• Awards

HFPA Member Yong Chavez Wins International Media Award

Yong Chavez, a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, has won the International Media Award at the 60th Annual ICG Publicists Awards honoring her excellent work as an international journalist for ABS-CBN News (Philippines). This award is given to journalists who cover entertainment internationally.

“I grew up in a haunted house in a small dirt road in San Antonio, San Pascual, Batangas in the Philippines,” said Chavez from the stage at the Beverly Hilton Hotel when she accepted the award. “My family could not even afford a TV, but I was so obsessed with films and TV and movie stars at a young age. So as a young girl, I would go around the neighborhood every morning listening to whose TV was on and be standing outside their windows and just be watching any show they were watching.”

Chavez started her career in the US working as a freelance TV reporter for the San Francisco-based Philippine News, and has been working for ABS-CBN News since 2005. In her speech, Chavez thanked the publicists who help journalists to do their job and she focused on the difficulties of being an international journalist covering Hollywood. She also thanked the international and multicultural publicists who champion and support, and as she said ‘sometimes even fight with talent reps’ to give international journalists space in junkets and on the red carpets.

“Thank you to my HFPA family for making sure that I can attend today,” continued Chavez from the stage. “Being a foreign journalist in America isn’t easy but it was even more challenging when I joined the HFPA to help as the organization was reforming. There is a lot of generalization and xenophobic treatment against members and you have to develop a thicker skin and just hope that one day you will not be referred to as weird or looked down on just because you have an accent.”

Chavez was among six nominees in the International Media Award category, which also included HFPA member Adam Tanswell from the UK who writes for Total Film. The other nominees were Dan Jolin of Empire, Garry Maddox of Sydney Morning Herald, Zachary Ntim of Deadline and Helen O’Hara of Empire.

The domestic press award went to Andy Reyes of Entertainment Tonight.

The ceremony was hosted by Tim Menke who is the international theatrical publicist at Paramount and a co-chair of the ICG Publicists Awards with Sally Main, a unit publicist. The award ceremony recognizes individual publicists, unit still photographers and entertainment journalists that facilitate film and television publicity campaigns. The two top prizes for film and TV, respectively, went to Top Gun: Maverick and Abbott Elementary.

The awards which celebrate publicists, a group of people who are often unsung for their hard work behind the scenes, were presented at a luncheon ceremony on March 10​​ at the Beverly Hilton ​Hotel in Los Angeles, California​.