Annual bash raises $6 million
It was a new vibe, but the same good cause, as the sixth annual Night Before party raised $6 million for the Motion Picture & Television Fund on Saturday night.
Customarily held outdoors, the event was moved inside the Beverly Hills Hotel due to the weather, with some 800 celebs, execs and Oscar nominees crowding the fund-raiser.
The juxtaposition of so many high-profiles celebs — George Clooney, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Tom Hanks, Jennifer Aniston — standing shoulder to shoulder with Hollywood’s biggest execs — Rupert Murdoch, Philippe Dauman, Kirk Kerkorian, Brad Grey, Bob Iger, Leslie Moonves — left attendees mingling in a sea of high-profile bizzers.
Oscar nominees making the rounds included Marion Cotillard, Tommy Lee Jones, Diablo Cody, Tilda Swinton, Julian Schnabel, Joel Coen, Casey Affleck, Jason Reitman and Tony Gilroy.
They sidled up to helmers Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee and Ron Howard and the music world’s Cher, Seal, Elton John, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, plus box office draws Cameron Diaz, Meg Ryan, Sacha Baron Cohen, Harrison Ford and Tobey Maguire. Also not to be missed were fashion designer Roberto Cavalli alongside industry stalwart Edie Wasserman.
It all added up to a very impressive evening, with the event bringing in a total of $31 million for the MPTF since the soiree’s inception in 2003.
The hefty haul is particularly welcome this year. The fund has received a record number of requests in the past few months from many in the industry needing financial help as a result of the four-month work stoppage, according to the org’s CEO, Ken Scherer.
MPTF chairman and Night Before host Jeffrey Katzenberg said, “(My wife) Marilyn and I felt strongly that this year, more than ever before, it was important to not only continue but step up support for MPTF.”
Founding sponsor Variety was represented by CEO Tad Smith with wife Caroline Fitzgibbons; new president and publisher Neil Stiles with Marla Brown and editor-in-chief Peter Bart with Phyllis Fredette.
Other sponsors were Hewlett Packard, Target, McDonald’s, L’Oreal Paris, AOL, Panavision and Deluxe Entertainment Services Group.
Check out the Feb. 25 edition of Daily Variety for exclusive pictures of the Night Before bash.
Attendees of the sixth annual Night Before include:
David Arquette & Courteney Cox
Sacha Baron Cohen
Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes
Eric Dane & Rebecca Gayheart
Donald De Line
Robert Downey Jr.
Josh Duhamel & Stacy Ferguson
Harrison Ford & Calista Flockhart
Ginnifer Goodwin & Chris Klein
Tom Hanks & Rita Wilson
Neal Patrick Harris
Tommy Lee Jones
Heather Locklear & Jack Wagner
Tim McGraw & Faith Hill
Michael Nathanson & Cheryl Tiegs
Holly Robinson Peete
Tommy Schlamme & Christine Lahti
Seal & Heidi Klum
Will & Jada Pinkett Smith
Steven Spielberg & Kate Capshaw