Dinner gala raises more than $700,000 to benefit the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation
LAS VEGAS, NV – The Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation tonight presented veteran Hollywood producer Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm and Vice President of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), with its coveted 2013 Pioneer of the Year Award. Actress Sally Field presented Kennedy with her award. Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt hosted the ceremony.
Chris Aronson, President of the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation and President of Domestic Distribution for Fox, welcomed the more than 2,000 guests in attendance at the dinner gala that raised more than $700,000 to benefit the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation.
The ceremony was held in the Octavius Ballroom of Caesars Palace as part of CinemaCon, the official convention of The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), the largest and most important gathering of cinema owners and operators from around the world.
The Pioneer of the Year 2013 Honorary committee includes J.J. Abrams, Bruce Cohen, Harrison Ford, Jim Gianopulos, Alan Horn, Dawn Hudson, Bob Iger, Janusz Kamiński, George Lucas, Frank Marshall and Steven Spielberg.
The “Pioneer of the Year” award honors leaders of the motion picture industry and within the philanthropic community. Past honorees include Cecil B. DeMille, Jack Warner, Darryl F. Zanuck, Frank G. Mancuso, Jack Valenti, Sumner Redstone, Sherry Lansing, Marc Shmuger, David Linde, Dick Cook, and in 2012, Jeffrey Katzenberg. Proceeds from the event go to the Motion Picture Pioneers Assistance Fund (MPPAF), an industry charity that helps movie industry veterans who are encountering an illness, injury or life-changing event.
The MPPAF is owned and operated by the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation. For more information about the Pioneer of the Year Dinner or the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation, please call (888) 994-3863 or visitwww.wrpioneers.org.
About The Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation
Named after one of the greatest humanitarians, philanthropists and entertainers – Will Rogers – the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation perpetuates his legacy through the works of two programs, the Will Rogers Institute and the Motion Picture Pioneers Assistance Fund.
A hospital created for Vaudevillians stricken with tuberculosis, the National Vaudeville Association Hospital was renamed the Will Rogers Memorial Hospital in 1936, as a tribute to Will Rogers. The hospital became a national training facility for doctors treating patients with tuberculosis, becoming known as the Will Rogers Institute. In 2002, the Will Rogers charity merged with the Foundation of Motion Picture Pioneers and became the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation. Today, WRMPPF operates two distinct programs, under the names Will Rogers Institute and the Motion Picture Pioneers Assistance Fund.
The Motion Picture Pioneers Assistance Fund continues the mission of FMPP by helping individuals from the motion picture community who are encountering an illness, injury or life-changing event. Social workers provide confidential consultations and financial assistance on a short-term or long-term basis, in order to help a person get back to a normal life or continue living with dignity.
CinemaCon will attract upwards of 5,000 motion picture professionals from all facets of the industry –from exhibition and distribution, to the equipment and concession areas – all on hand to celebrate the moviegoing experience and the cinema industry. From exclusive Hollywood product presentations highlighting a slate of upcoming films, to must-see premiere feature screenings, to the biggest stars, producers and directors, CinemaCon will help jumpstart the excitement and buzz that surrounds the summer season at the box office.
CinemaCon is delighted to have both the International Cinema Technology Association (ICTA) and National Association of Concessionaires (NAC) as its tradeshow partners. Cinemacon is also delighted to have as its official presenting sponsor, The Coca-Cola Company, one of the industry’s greatest and highly regarded and respected partners in the world of the movies. Additional information on CinemaCon, the Official Convention of NATO, can be found at www.cinemacon.com.
The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) is the largest exhibition trade organization in the world, representing more than 30,000 movie screens in all 50 states, and additional cinemas in 57 countries worldwide. NATO’s membership includes the largest cinema chains in the world and hundreds of independent theatre owners, too.