For such a relatively small event, the Hollywood Film Festival continues to attract big names to its awards dinner.
Monday’s BevHilton dinner saw Brad Pitt, Janet Jackson, John Travolta, Richard Gere and Ben Affleck either presenting or being honored.
The presentations ran smoothly enough and was surprisingly fast for a kudos event (it ended at 9:15 p.m.).
However, speakers in the first hour were forced to compete with the din as dinner was being served by the BevHilton’s none-too-subtle staff. Daily Variety publisher Charlie Koones, who presented the 10 Actors to Watch, and speakers including Jennifer Connolly and Aaron Sorkin had to talk above the noise: It’s hard to say what was said in those early speeches.
And just before Travolta was honored, there was a rhubarb in the back of the room when fest topper Carlos de Abreu called security to have the “Entertainment Tonight” crew thrown out. The crew members, who said they’d permission to film, exited quietly just as “ET” host Mary Hart was onstage as emcee.