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LGBT Film Festival Outfest’s Computer System ‘Infiltrated’ by Russian Bot and ‘Irreparably Damaged’

William H. Macy began his hosting duties of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s grants gala on Thursday night by teasing that the evening would not include “colluding, fake news, nepotism, tweets, swamp draining, document checking, boats being untied and sent adrift, or alternative facts.”

However, there was talk of Russian interference.

While presenting on stage, “Pose” star Billy Porter, revealed that the computer system of Los Angeles’ LGBT film festival Outfest was “infiltrated” by a Russian bot two years ago.

The festival’s computer infrastructure was wiped out the night before the opening of the annual event. “Their system crashed and was irreparably damaged, denying access to stakeholders, ticket sales, and membership donations,” Porter said.

“But goodness does exist,” Porter said before announcing that the HFPA “has made a special grant to build and restore [Outfest’s] website, that will once again serve not only filmmakers, but the community as well.”

The Outfest grant was among dozens announced at the gala, which took place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. “Every year, we have more organizations that we support,” HFPA president Meher Tatna told Variety earlier in the evening on the red carpet. “We give away scholarships, we endow chairs, we donate equipment, and we also restore films as part of preserving Hollywood’s legacy, and then we do humanitarian grants as well.”

Mj Rodriguez, Billy Porter. Mj Rodriguez, left, and Billy Porter speak at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Grants Banquet at The Beverly Hilton hotel, in Beverly Hills, Calif2018 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Grants Banquet - Show, Beverly Hills, USA - 09 Aug 2018

Along with Porter, a star-studded roster of presenters, including Charlize Theron, Jennifer Garner, Lena Waithe, John David Washington, Mj Rodriguez, Joey King, Amber Heard, and Rami Malek, announced grants totaling $3.5 million. For more than 25 years, the HFPA has donated more than $33 million.

Here is the complete list of this year’s recipients:

Higher Education: Fellowships & Institutional Support/strong>
California Institute for the Arts (CalArts): $60,000
Cal State Fullerton: $60,000
Cal State Long Beach: $60,000
Cal State Los Angeles: $60,000
Cal State Northridge: $60,000
Columbia University: $60,000
Los Angeles City College: $25,000
Mt. San Antonio College Foundation: $20,000
New York University: $50,000
Santa Monica College – $30,000
University of California, Los Angeles: $125,000

Professional Training & Mentoring
American Film Institute: $40,000
Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment: $20,000
Exceptional Minds: $25,000
Film Independent, Project: Involve: $60,000
Independent Filmmaker Project (Brooklyn): $20,000
International Documentary Association: $10,000
Motion Picture & Television Fund: $15,000
New Filmmakers Los Angeles: $15,000
SAG-AFTRA Foundation: $10,000
Streetlights: $20,000
Sundance Institute: $125,000
Veterans in Film & Television: $30,000
Sharewell (Zimmer Children’s Museum): $10,000

Pre-Professional Education & Mentoring
California State Summer School Arts Foundation: $25,000
Echo Park Film Center: $10,000
Ghetto Film School: $30,000
GlobalGirl Media: $10,000
Inner-City Arts (Downtown LA): $30,000
Inner City Filmmakers (Santa Monica): $40,000
Kids in the Spotlight: $10,000
LAUSD/USC Arts & Engineering Magnet: $25,000
Los Angeles County High School for the Arts: $25,000
Los Angeles LGBT Center: $10,000
The Music Center: $5,000

Preserve the Culture & History of Film
Film Noir: $50,000
Outfest (UCLA LGBT project): $35,000
The Film Foundation: $350,000

Promote Cultural Exchange Through Film
American Cinematheque: $45,000
Film Independent/LACMA Series: $300,000
FilmAid International: $200,000
Hollywood Heritage Museum: $10,000
Latin American Cinemateca of Los Angeles: $15,000
Library Foundation of Los Angeles: $20,000
Los Angeles Conservancy, Last Remaining Seats: $35,000
Museum of the Moving Image: $10,000
San Francisco Silent Film Festival: $10,000
University of California, Berkeley Film Archive: $20,000
University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana (Ebertfest): $10,000

Special Projects
Children’s Hospital: $35,000
Ensemble Studio Theatre: $15,000
Gingold Theatre Group/Shaw Festival: $20,000
Lollipop Theater Network: $20,000
Pablove Foundation: $20,000
The Moth: $70,000
Young Musicians Foundation: $10,000
Young Storytellers Foundation: $10,000

2018 New Grantees


American Documentary Association: $30,000
Australians in Film: $10,000
Cal State Dominguez Hills: $30,000
Cal State Dominguez Hills: $5,000
City Year Los Angeles: $10,000
Dag Hammarskjold Fund for Journalists: $10,000
GetLit – Worlds Ignite: $10,000
IndieCollect: $10,000
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes Foundation: $10,000
POPS the Club: $10,000
Southwestern Law School: $30,000
The Actor’s Gang: $10,000
Women in Film: $10,000

2018 One-Time Equipment Grants
Cal State Fullerton: $25,000
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles: $20,730
Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA: $10,000
Film Independent, Project Involve: $25,000
Inner City Filmmakers (Santa Monica): $49,300
Los Angeles Conservancy: $10,000
New Filmmakers Los Angeles: $21,000
Outfest: $50,000
Santa Monica College: $20,000
Sharewell (Zimmer Children’s Museum): $43,220
Streetlights: $23,700
Young Musicians Foundation: $7,500

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