CSUN Film Program Awarded $50,000 from Hollywood Foreign Press

Actress Ell Fanning at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's banquet. Photo courtesy of Nate Thomas.

Actress Ell Fanning at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s banquet. Photo courtesy of Nate Thomas.

California State University, Northridge’s acclaimed film program was awarded $50,000 to support student film projects earlier this month by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association at its annual star-studded grants banquet.

While such celebrities as Sofia Vergara, Channing Tatum, Kerry Washington, Robert Pattinson and Morgan Freeman looked on, actors Elle Fanning and Logan Lerman announced the award during an evening celebration Aug. 14 that included a performance by actress Kristen Bell and tributes to the late Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall.

“It was wonderful to see our film program highlighted in the presence of so many of Hollywood’s luminaries,” said CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison, who attended the celebration. “The honor comes on the heels of The Hollywood Reporter’s ranking us among the top 25 film schools in the nation. We’ve always known we have a great program. It’s nice to see it being recognized across the entertainment industry.”

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which is made up of international journalists who report on the entertainment industry and hosts the Golden Globes each year, donated more than $2 million in grants to a variety of entertainment-related and charitable organizations at the banquet. The donations benefit a wide range of projects, including higher education, training and mentoring and the promotion of cultural exchange through film.

“We try every year to give as much as we can to these highly deserving organizations,” said the association’s president, Theo Kingma. “It is gratifying to know that our efforts are appreciated and we are helping to further the cause of education and film preservation.”

Cinema and television arts professor Nate Thomas, head of CSUN’s film program, noted that the university and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association have a relationship that is nearly two decades old.

“They understand who our students are — working class and reflective of the rich diversity of cultures that make up not only Southern California, but the United States as well,” Thomas said. “Every gift we get makes a difference to our students and helps them move closer to their dreams — telling stories and making movies that speak to who they are and the worlds they come from. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s leadership gets that and has always been supportive of our students’ efforts.”

In addition to the association’s continued support of the film students’ senior projects, CSUN students also edit in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Senior Film Edit Suite on campus and work on sound design in a state-of-the-art sound mix facility made possible by a grant from the association.

Hailed by The Hollywood Reporter as one of the top 25 film programs in the nation, California State University, Northridge’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’s 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.

Serving more than 38,000 students each year, CSUN is one of the largest universities in the United States. CSUN ranks 10th in the country in awarding bachelor’s degrees to underrepresented minority students, fifth nationally in awarding master’s degrees to Hispanic students and enrolls the largest number of deaf and hard-of-hearing students of any U.S. state university. CSUN’s 171 academic programs and engaged centers enjoy international recognition for excellence. CSUN partners with more than 100 institutions of higher education in 22 countries around the globe and attracts the largest international student population of any U.S. master’s-level institution. Situated on a 356-acre park-like setting in the heart of Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley, the campus features modern educational buildings and world-class LEED Gold-certified performing arts and recreational facilities, recognized as among the best in the country. CSUN is a welcoming university that champions accessibility, academic excellence and student success.