Hollywood fest to salute public faves

Nominees tapped for film honors

Gearing up for their third outing, in August, organizers of the Hollywood Film Festival on Tuesday revealed their nominees for actor and actress of the year, and unveiled other plans for the event.

Jackie Chan (“Rush Hour”), Cuba Gooding Jr. (“What Dreams May Come”), Ian McKellen (“Gods and Monsters”), Nick Nolte (“Affliction”), Edward Norton (“American History X”) and Billy Bob Thornton (“Pushing Tin”) were nominated in the actor category.

Women tapped

On the femmes’ side, nominees are Drew Barrymore (“Never Been Kissed”), Angela Bassett (“How Stella Got Her Groove Back”), Halle Berry (“Bulworth”), Angelina Jolie (“Pushing Tin”), Jennifer Lopez (“Out of Sight”) and Gwyneth Paltrow (“Shakespeare in Love”).

The noms were announced by actor James Woods and director Ted Kotcheff during a press conference at the Hollywood Entertainment Museum. Also on hand were Paramount Studios Group president Earl Lestz, Los Angeles Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg, Casting Society of America president Mary Buck and California Film Commission chairwoman Christine Essel.

Nominees were selected by members of the Casting Society, and winners will be chosen by the public at polls in 1,400 Hollywood Video stores across the country, as well as online on at the “Entertainment Tonight” Web site, ETOnline.com, and at HollywoodVideo.com, HollywoodAwards.com, and Reel.com.

“The nominations cover the actors’ work from August ’98 to May ’99,” fest founder Carlos de Abreu said. “We’re looking at the body of work within that period of time, not specifically their performances in a particular film.”

Prizes in several categories — directing, producing, screenwriting, and composing for the screen, among others — are valued at more than $100,000, de Abreu said, and will be handed out Aug. 9 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, at the close of the six-day festival.

Million-dollar mark

There also will be prizes for the best features made for over and under $1 million. The competitive event will showcase domestic and international feature films, shorts, animation and documentaries, mostly by independents.

Schedule includes screenings at Paramount Studios and the Hollywood Film Conference, in which some 150 industry professionals are to participate.

This year’s festival includes the noncompetitive Hollywood Film Market, whose board of advisors comprises execs from 20 distrib companies.

“It’s only appropriate that Hollywood, in its rejuvenation, should embrace this melting pot and this festival,” Woods said. “I think this festival will grow and grow, and it’s nice to be in at the foundation of it.”