What A Night!


HFPA Grants Banquet

Theo Kingma and Sofia Vergara

The HFPA gave away almost two million dollars to entertainment-related charities during a star-studded night of love, laughter and surprises at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

This year's donations brought the amount given away by the HFPA over the last 20 years to $20 million—-and president Theo Kingma revealed to applause that another $7.5 million is available thanks to Guggenheim Partners, the new owners of dick clark productions, the HFPA's Golden Globes producing partners.

" It underscores a new kind of partnership and we are going to make sure it is shared with those that are so deserving in an industry HFPA journalists cover all year," said Kingma.

The evening featured a performance by actress Kristen Bell, who wowed the guests with the song, Wanna Build a Snowman from the hit movie Frozen.

Before the donations were announced Kingma, saying: "No star wants to hear silence," called for a round of applause for Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall.

HFPA Grants Banquet

Sofia Vergara

The many celebrities who were there to accept the checks included Sofia Vergara, Nick Jonas, Jenny Slate, Andy Samberg, Channing Tatum, Kerry Washington, Rob Pattinson, Minnie Driver, Morgan Freeman, Elle Fanning, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette,Logan Lerman, Jason Segal, Anne Heche, Franke Potenta, Chris Evans, Gena Rodriguez, Michael Pena, James Marsden and many more.

For the first time the grants were given at an evening banquet instead of at a lunch and marked the latest in ever-increasing amounts of money the organization has given to some 50 diverse entertainment-related and charitable organizations.

Kingma said: "We try every year to give as much as we can to these highly deserving organizations. It is gratifying to know that our efforts are appreciated and we are helping to further the cause of education and film preservation."

HFPA Grants Banquet

Morgan Freeman

As well as the preservation of film, the donations are for a wide range of projects, including higher education, training and mentoring and the promotion of cultural exchange through film.

Historically the Film Foundation has received the largest single donation and this year received $350,000. So far the HFPA has been responsible for the restoration of 85 films, from Stanley Kubrick's Paths of Glory to Federico Fellini's La Strada and this year's project, Sergio Leone's Fistful of Dollars. In a video message Martin Scorsese congratulated the HFPA on its "incredible contribution to cinema history."

Morgan Freeman, accepting the check, thanked the HFPA for "a decade of support."

Among its many additional charities, the HFPA provides scholarships, supports filmmaker training in Kenyan refugee camps and donates money to theater groups, musicians, storytellers' foundations, film archives and youth projects, as well as many other worthy causes.

Watch the replay of the HFPA Grants Dinner Banquet