Hollywood 'Stands in Solidarity' with France, Says Academy President

Manila Bulletin, November 17, 2015 | Go to article overview

Hollywood 'Stands in Solidarity' with France, Says Academy President


LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Hollywood stands in solidarity with France, the head of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences said Saturday at a star-studded gala honoring three top figures in the industry.

"All of us here stand in solidarity and support of France and the French people," Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said at the Governors Awards ceremony in Los Angeles.

"So as we gather here to celebrate our history and some of the people who have made it, we also mourn those who died.

"We send our deepest affection to our brothers and sisters in France."

Filmmaker Spike Lee, who received an honorary Oscar at the gala for his contribution to film, said he was also moved by Friday's terror attacks that left at least 129 dead -- especially since his daughter is an exchange student in France and had just left the country on the day of the attacks.

"My heart goes out to all the people of Paris," Lee told AFP. "I've always loved France.

"The French have always treated me very well and Vive la France."

Also awarded an honorary Oscar at the event was actress Gena Rowlands, whose rich film career includes 10 movies she made with her husband John Cassavetes.

Film star Debbie Reynolds, who did not attend the ceremony because she was recovering from surgery, received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for her work in raising public awareness of mental health issues.

Oscar winning actress Cate Blanchett paid a glowing tribute to Rowlands, 85, saying she had had a profound influence on her acting career and that of many others.

"When I see the work of Gena Rowlands, the intense authenticity, and the immediacy of her acting, it seems to me to be the closest that anyone has ever come to capturing on film that special quality, that presence."

"So Gena, for what you have given me, for what you have given all of us, and perhaps most importantly for what you have given the craft of acting, a very sincere and deep thank you," Blanchett added. …

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