Oscars Parties: Governors Ball, Elton John and the Inaugural Fame & Philanthropy Party

Each year as the Oscar ceremony comes to a close, the after parties are just gearing up as Hollywood luminaries celebrate the official end of the awards season. First stop is always the Governors Ball, which is held in a ballroom a few escalator rides away from the Dolby Theatre.

Guests moved around a garden-like setting that Jeffrey Kurland and event producer Cheryl Cecchetto created to allow a flow of people since the priorities are schmoozing and eating, in that order. Another high priority: listening to the music of John Legend.

The “12 Years a Slave” and Fox Searchlight teams, under co-presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley, celebrated their big wins with a mixture of joy and relief, with all paying tribute to Steve McQueen. “It’s thrilling to be recognized in such a great year with so many terrific movies,” Gilula told Variety. “It’s great art and great entertainment, plus it’s important. That’s rare.” The Oscars will bring in more audiences to a film that has triumphed at Oscars and at the box office; not bad for a film that some deemed “hard to watch.”

Elsewhere, David Heyman and the “Gravity” team were accepting congrats for their seven wins, while the crowd mingled with winners Matthew McConaughey, Cate Blanchett, John Ridley, and the “Frozen” group, plus a bevy of nominees, including Sandra Bullock, Steve Coogan, Leonardo DiCaprio, Alexander Payne and June Squibb, and execs including Jim Gianopulos, Sue Kroll, Ron Meyer, Michael Barker, Tom Bernard, Kevin Tsujihara and Howard Stringer.

Another long-running popular party is Elton John’s fete to benefit the AIDS Foundation. Now in its 22nd year, it is held in a massive tent set up across from the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood. A highlight was a musical perf by Ed Sheeran, who was joined on stage by John himself for a rendition of “Candle in the Wind.”

“Thank you for parking yourself here tonight,” Sheeran told the crowd, including the likes of Sarah Hyland, that he had trying to sing along to the chorus Sunday night in a tent in West Hollywood.

Earlier in the evening John and David Furnish hosted a viewing party which included an auction. Among those participating in the bidding were Heidi Klum, Vanessa Hudgens, Stephen Moyer and Anna Paquin, Ashley Greene, Olympians Charlie White and Meryl Davis, toting their gold medals, Sharon Osbourne, Skylar Grey, Tim Allen, David Foster, Lance Bass, J.C. Chasez, Sheryl Crow, Steven Tyler, Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka.

The live auction, which included such items as tickets to “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” on Broadway with a backstage tour and drinks with the tuner’s star Neil Patrick Harris and five days at Tyler’s Hawaiian home, raised $5.1 million for the AIDS Foundation.

Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres was among those sending videotaped messages to guests at the viewing party.  “This is the kind of generosity that will help us change the course of this epidemic,” John said.
The stars also showed up for a brand new post-Oscar party held at The Vineyard Beverly Hills. Charlize Theron and Halle Berry were among the guests at the inaugural Fame and Philanthropy party.

Theron, who arrived with boyfriend Sean Penn after attending the ceremony, stuck to the VIP area while her fellow Oscar winner Berry was flanked by body guards as she made her way through the crowd.

Academy Award-winning helmer James Cameron gave a lengthy opening address before the party really got started and called attention to the charities being supported by the event, including The Community Inspiring Today’s Youth and the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project.

Cameron talked about his own Oscar experience and said he was happy that the Academy “shared the love” between “12 Years a Slave” and “Gravity.”

“It was an embarrassment of riches this year as an Academy member having to vote on this. It was a tough call in some of the acting categories,” Cameron said. “But what’s great is we get to have the glitz and the red carpet and the glamour and everything here, but we’re doing it for a good cause.”

Cameron also gave a shout out to the work of best director winner Alfonso Cuaron. “Alfonso won because that movie is one of the most technical films imaginable, but unbelievably powerful emotionally,” Cameron noted.

As the festivities continued, partygoers enjoyed the club-like vibe as the Stafford Brothers took over the DJ booth and tossed inflatable kangaroos into the crowd. Actress-singer-dancer Zendaya hit the dance floor and posed for several photos with guests while others opted for a turn in the photo booth, complete with Hollywood-themed props.

Ne-Yo’s set got the entire crowd on its feet as the Grammy-winner performed a medley of his hits including “So Sick,” “Let’s Go” “Let Me Love You” and Pitbull’s “Give Me Everything.”

The crooner took a moment in between songs to acknowledge the night’s big winners and also noted that he recently celebrated the eight-year anniversary of the release of his debut album, “In My Own Words.”

Following Ne-Yo’s performance, Paris Hilton took over the DJ duties, spinning tunes like Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.” Guests seemed to take those lyrics to heart, as the party kept going strong well into the early morning.

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  1. MC says:

    TMZ is posting the real story about this party. The headline is: “Charlize Theron–$50,000-a-table Oscars party TOTAL DISASTER.”

  2. Ri says:

    It’s actually quite sad that James Cameron knew absolutely nothing about this “charity” that he was supposedly supporting. For being paid $250,000.00 (on a payment plan), he should have done a little research. Then again, if he had actually done his research, he would have found that the 501(c)(3) tax shelter, er, “charity” didn’t even exist until end-December 2013. And it was formed by the good friend of the Fame & Philanthropy (F&P, LLC) executive producer, Ryan Long, aka “King Ryan” (King of Ripoff Report with a DV and child endangerment record). This founder of CITY Project found herself unemployed from the school district’s after-school program last year: perfect timing to provide the ca$h funnel that Ryan Long needed for this event. The CITY’s application filed with the AG shows that the charity runs all the ticket sales through its account (to provide buyers with a tax-deductible purchase), gives 20% off the top to the ticket sellers, then sends 90 (NINETY) % back to F&P, LLC. The F&P, LLC, is owned by Creative Edge Entertainment (established Aug 2013), which exists in name only. It was never capitalized. It started a month-to-month lease in Hollywood (due to bad credit of certain individuals, and its uncertainty of this event’s success). The deposits on the event were made by a workers’ comp medical lien collections company which has its entire operations and phone room in Pakistan and has quite an unpleasant reputation in its industry. Ryan Long is a modestly-paid employee of the company. The F&P event was leveraged on future ticket sales, which is why, at the last minute, so many promises weren’t able to be kept. To name a few: a “black tie” Oscar viewing party beginning at 5 pm, “celebrity chef,” fashion show, 200 Playmates, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Brangelina, George Clooney, full-course gourmet meal with wine pairing, “hundreds of A-list celebrities” RSVP’d, etc., etc. In the end, it started at 8 pm, was “cocktail attire,” catered by Gardein (grocery store veggie food), served cheap wine, had four PAID headliner celebrities (through their charities, or direct), and had . . . let’s count them . . . THREE unpaid A-listers: Sean Penn, Gene Simmons, and Paris Hilton. And a bunch of Ryan Long’s club rats who were given tickets, to make the place look full. Ladies and gentlemen, you been had.

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