12:13pm PT by Scott Feinberg
THR Kicks Off Awards Season in Hollywood
After weeks on the road — in Venice, Telluride, Toronto and New York — the Oscar race is finally coming to Hollywood, and The Hollywood Reporter marked the occasion, as it does each year, with a big soiree hosted by editorial director Janice Min and publisher Lynne Segall.
On Thursday night at Spaghettini in Beverly Hills, THR's unparalleled awards season team — including but not limited to film editor Gregg Kilday, executive editor features Stephen Galloway, deputy editor Jeanie Pyun, chief film critic Todd McCarthy, senior editor Ben Svetkey, senior writer Seth Abramovitch, deputy editorial director Alison Brower, creative director Shanti Marlar, photo/video director Jennifer Laski, producer Stephanie Fischette and vp entertainment Victoria Gold — was joined by a host of awards season power players.
Representatives of top distributors included Open Road Films CEO Tom Ortenberg, Fox Searchlight co-president Nancy Utley, exec vp marketing Michelle Hooper and executive director of national publicity Sonia Freeman, Warner Bros. exec vp theatrical communications Jack Horner and senior vp publicity/promotions Juli Goodwin, DreamWorks exec vp publicity Marvin Levy, Disney director of global publicity Michelle Rasic, Magnolia vp publicity Arianne Rocchi, Participant Media head of film marketing Laura Kim, and Netflix publicity director Karen Barragan, vp originals marketing Stephen Bruno and vp original documentaries Lisa Nishimura.
Top PR firms were represented by ID PR president and COO Mara Buxbaum, 42 West head of west coast entertainment marketing Susan Ciccone, account executive Annalee Paulo and publicist Max Buschman, Sunshine-Sachs vp film Brooke Blumberg, PMK director of national publicity Rebecca Fisher, Elzer & Associates president Steve Elzer and Ginsberg/Libby partner Lee Ginsberg and publicist Lisa Danna.
Out in force, of course, were top awards consultants such as BKPR's Melody Korebrot, LTLA's Lisa Taback and Christy Grosz, MRC's Michele Robertson, Karen Fried & Associates' Karen Fried, Chasen & Co.'s Jeff Sanderson, ACME PR's Nancy Willen, The Angellotti Company's Christine Foy, Weissman/Markovitz Communication's Rick Markovitz, Strategy PR's Matt Mazur, Costa Communications' Ray Costa, Mediaplan PR's Tatiana Detlofson, DreamWorks Animation's Jerry Schmitz, Disney's Kira Feola and independent consultant Bruce Feldman; and top marketing execs including Warner Bros.' Judi Schwam, Focus Features' Gail Brounstein and Fox's Steven Flynn.
And other friends on hand included PGA national executive director Vance Van Petten, AFI Fest director Jacqueline Lyanga, Santa Barbara International Film Festival director Roger Durling, SAG Awards' executive in charge of publicity Rosalind Jarrett Sepulveda and International Documentary Association board member James Costa and officer Fonda Berosini.
Segall introduced Min and Min introduced the THR personnel in attendance — joking that doing so was "like a really bad, long Oscar speech" — before previewing some of what's to come this season. Returning hallmarks include contender roundtables, "Anatomy of a Contender" and weekly "Feinberg Forecasts." There are also new offerings such as weekly episodes of the new awards podcast Awards Chatter (click here to access already posted episodes and/or subscribe), which I moderate, and weekly installments of the "Awards Pundits" column, co-written by Galloway and yours truly.
Let the games begin!