Jeffrey Katzenberg picks up a humanitarian honor


Jeffrey Katzenberg is best known as the CEO of DreamWorks Animation. But he's also been active as the chairman of the Motion Picture & Television Fund Foundation, most notably as the force behind their annual "Night Before" pre-Oscar party, which has raised more than $30 million for the industry charity since 2003.

That alone would probably merit the Norma Zarky Humanitarian Award, which Women in Film is bestowing upon Katzenberg, recognizing outstanding philanthropic work on behalf of the community. But he and his wife, Marilyn, have also been generous contributors to AIDS Project Los Angeles, the Museum of the Moving Image, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, among other causes.

"We try to start with the things that most deeply touch our lives and -- almost in concentric circles -- work our way out from that," Katzenberg says of their giving philosophy. "It starts with things that have touched our family, from things that have happened in our lives medically -- the birth of our children, the passing on of our parents -- to places that mean a lot to us in terms of our faith and various important Jewish causes. Then there's the industry itself, which is why the Motion Picture Fund is at the very top of our list."

Katzenberg says his strong dedication to philanthropy is partially inspired by a "very wise,

Spartacus-like thing" Kirk Douglas told him years ago: "You haven't learned how to live until you've learned how to give."