While entertainment industry legends Stan Lee and Dustin Hoffman looked on, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) last week presented California State University, Northridge $65,000 to support the university’s film students.
HFPA gift included $60,000 to support senior film projects and an additional $5,000 toward a $25,000 endowment for scholarships the association set up at the university. The presentation to CSUN’s Department of Cinema and Television Arts was made during the association’s annual star-studded grants banquet, held Aug. 2 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Among the celebrities at the event were Chelsea Handler, Robert Pattinson, Anthony Mackie, Chadwick Boseman, Kumail Nanjiani, Matt Bomer, Elisabeth Moss, Ava DuVernay, Katherine Langford, Dylan Minnette, Armie Hammer, Chrissy Metz, Aja Naomi King, Patrick Stewart, Mark Hamill, Kathryn Hahn, Alison Brie and Bob Odenkirk.
“Southern California’s entertainment industry is known worldwide for creative storytelling with universal appeal,” said CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison, who attended the banquet with film professor Nate Thomas. “The Hollywood Foreign Press Association exposes global audiences to new voices, and their generosity each year ensures that the creative talents behind those voices get a chance to be heard. CSUN is fortunate to be a beneficiary of the association’s continued generosity and dedication to expanding opportunities for even more talented filmmakers to showcase their voices.”
Only two years ago, HFPA gave the department $2 million to support students, including the creation of a Hollywood Foreign Press Association Scholars program, and to enhance technology.
HFPA, which is made up of international journalists who report on the entertainment industry and hosts the Golden Globe Awards each year, handed out a total of $2.8 million in grants at the Aug. 2 banquet to a variety of entertainment-related and charitable organizations. The donations were for a wide range of projects, including film preservation, higher education, training and mentoring, and the promotion of cultural exchange through film.
“We at CSUN continue to be grateful for all that the HFPA does for the Department of Cinema and Television Arts,” said Thomas. “They have funded our senior film projects for 22 years, and periodic facility upgrades for our seniors for 13 years. With the continued senior film support, the scholarship endowment and the 2016 $2 million gift, the HFPA is ensuring that our department remains a prominent fixture in training the next generation of professionals for the entertainment industry.”
CSUN’s relationship with the association dates back to 1996. In addition to the $2 million gift, HFPA grants over the years have supported student film projects and helped keep CSUN’s film program current with the latest technology. Students edit in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Senior Film Edit Suite on campus, and they work on sound design in a state-of-the-art sound mix facility made possible by a grant from the association.
CSUN’s Department of Cinema and Television Arts, housed in the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication, has an international reputation for producing dedicated and talented entertainment industry professionals who recognize the value of hard work as they learn and continue to perfect their crafts. The department currently enrolls nearly 1,700 undergraduate students and 30 students in its graduate screenwriting program. Its alumni work in all aspects of entertainment media, from writing, producing and directing to manning cameras and having the final say in what project is made. Earlier this year, the entertainment-industry trade magazine Variety listed CSUN as one of the top 30 film programs in the world.