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HFPA shells out near-record $1.2 million

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The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. presented more than $1.2 million in financial grants to film schools and nonprofit organizations Thursday at its annual Installation Luncheon honoring the organization's 2007-08 slate of officers at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The grants represent the largest tally ever distributed in the group's 65-year history, behind the annual Golden Globe Awards.

Marc Anthony, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Lopez and Hilary Swank were among the celebrities who announced the grants, while others like Charlize Theron, appearing for the Film Foundation, accepted on behalf of the recipients.

President Jorge Camara introduced the new officers: Mike Goodridge, vp; Serge Rakhlin, executive secretary; and Meher Tatna, treasurer. The new board of directors is comprised of Mahfouz Doss (chairman), Armando Gallo, Anke Hofmann, Erkki Kanto, Paz Mata and Frances Schoenberger (alternate).

The grants were distributed among 28 film-related charities and educational institutions.

A complete list of the recipients is available at hollywoodreporter.com.

The recipients are:

In the education area: American Film Institute, $30,000 for HFPA Fellowships for second-year MFA students; California Institute of the Arts, $60,000 for eight scholarships for upperclassmen and graduate students; California State University, Long Beach, Dept. of Film and Electronic Arts, $30,000 for scholarships; California State University, Los Angeles, $30,000 for fellowships for directing students to complete their film/video projects and for showcase of projects and $10,000 for digital video equipment; California State University, Northridge, Dept. of Cinema and Television Arts, $60,000 for fellowships for seniors for their final film project, $15,000 for equipment upgrades and $5,000 for showcase of projects; Columbia University School of the Arts, $50,000 for HFPA Fellowships for international MFA candidates; New York University; Tisch School of the Arts, $20,000 to support third-year students to complete their thesis films; North Carolina School of the Arts Foundation, $20,000 for HFPA Fellow Scholarships for undergraduate students; and the University of California, Los Angeles; School of theatre Film and Television, $50,000 for five directing student fellowships and $30,000 for presenting sponsorship at the 2008 Festival of New Creative Work.

In the pre-professional training and education area, grants went to: California State Summer School Arts Foundation, $20,000 for scholarships for inner-city high school students with exceptional talent in the arts to attend InnerSpark, a summer arts training program; The Ghetto Film School, Inc., $15,000 to provide training and experience for New York City-Bronx inner-city youth interested in pursuing careers in filmmaking; Inner-City Arts, $20,000 to support the animation program for middle and high school inner-city youth; Inner-City Filmmakers, $20,000 to support inner-city youth by providing year-round sequential education, training and job placement for diverse, talented young artists interested in film industry careers; and Los Angeles County High School for the Arts Foundation, $20,425 to underwrite some of the TV/Film Program classes not funded by the state.

For professional training and mentoring, grants went to: Film Independent, Inc., $30,000 to support Project:Involve: a mentoring, training, job placement and screening program for local underrepresented filmmakers; Independent Feature Project, $10,000 to provide national emerging filmmakers with quality works-in-progress professional mentorship and industry support at the end stages of production; National Association of Latino Independent Producers, Inc., $20,000 to provide professional filmmaker mentors at the Latino Producers Academy- workshop and practicum sessions for emerging Latino/a filmmakers to support their film projects; and Sundance Institute, $100,000 to continue support of the development and expansion of emerging international filmmakers participation in the Sundance Feature Film Program Screenwriting and Filmmaking Labs.

To promote cultural exchange through film, grants went to: FilmAid International, $25,000 to support the HFPA Kakuma Peace and Reconciliation Series for Sudanese refugees in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya and $25,000 to support the Participatory Video Project for refugee youth in Kakuma Refugee Camp to learn filmmaking skills from scriptwriting through editing.

To preserve the culture and history of motion pictures, grants went to: The Film Foundation, Inc., $350,000 for restoration of specific films to be identified and approved by HFPA; Outfest, $25,000 to expand the Outfest Legacy Project for LGBT Film Preservation; Ingmar Bergman Archive, $10,000 from President's Discretionary Fund to convert the late filmmaker's journals and archival documents into digital format; American Cinematheque, $40,000 for Golden Globe Foreign Language Film Nominees Series screening and discussion with directors; Los Angeles Conservancy, $30,000 to support the "Last Remaining Seats" series bringing together great films, classic movie houses and broad public audiences.

In the area of special projects, grants went to: Ensemble Studio Theatre - The LA Project, $10,000 to support emerging and established theatre artists and productions; FINCA International, $10,000 to provide micro-loans for support of the poverty alleviation program in Haiti; Lollipop Theatre Network, $5,000 to support a film screening series for pediatric patients in Southern California hospitals; and Young Musicians Foundation, $5,000 to support the YMF Debut Orchestra.