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By Film Threat Staff | October 2, 2007

The 11th Annual Hollywood Film Festival and Hollywood Awards, presented by STARZ, will honor Richard Gere with its “Hollywood Actor of the Year Award,” Marc Forster with its “Hollywood Director of the Year Award,” Ellen Page with its “Hollywood Breakthrough Actress of the Year Award” and Diablo Cody with its “Hollywood Breakthrough Screenwriter of the Year Award.”

The awards will be presented during the Festival’s black-tie awards ceremony banquet before a gathering of 1,200 industry and guild executives, stars, celebrities, filmmakers and members of the media in the International Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills on Monday, October 22.

In the last 4 years, a total of 54 Oscar nominations and 12 Oscars were given to films we showcased and to the nominees and honorees of the Hollywood Awards. “The New York Times” says that the festival and awards are “the first mandatory stop in the awards season.”

Other Hollywood Awards(r) honorees include actress Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose”), actors John Travolta (“Hairspray”), and Casey Affleck (“The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” “Gone, Baby, Gone”), directors Ben Affleck (“Gone, Baby, Gone”) and Brad Bird (“Ratatouille”), producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (“Hairspray” and “The Bucket List”), screenwriter Christopher Hampton (“Atonement”), the ensemble cast of “Hairspray” (John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Queen Latifah, Christopher Walken, Zac Efron, Brittany Snow, Amanda Bynes, James Marsden, Elijah Kelley, Allison Janney and Nikki Blonsky), film composer Mark Isham (“Reservation Road,” “Lions for Lambs,” “In The Valley of Elah”), cinematographer Stephen Goldblatt (“Charlie Wilson’s War”), editor Joe Hutshing (“Lions for Lambs”), production designer Dante Ferretti (“Sweeney Todd”) and visual effects supervisor Scott Farrar (“Transformers”).

Richard Gere stars as Clifford Irving in Lasse Hallstrom’s “The Hoax,” from Miramax films, which co-stars Marcia Gay Harden, Hope Davis, and Alfred Molina. Gere’s other recent work includes “The Hunting Party,” written and directed by Richard Shepard, and Todd Haynes’s “I’m Not There.”

In 2002, Richard Gere starred in the phenomenally successful Academy Award-winning film adaptation of “Chicago,” playing the infamous lawyer Billy Flynn, for which he won his first Golden Globe Award as Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy. Richard Gere made a name for himself with acclaimed performances in the theater before he turned to film. His motion picture debut came in 1978 with “Days of Heaven.” His subsequent films include “Looking for Mr. Goodbar,” “Blood Brothers,” “Yanks,” “American Gigolo,” “An Officer and a Gentleman,” “Breathless,” “Beyond the Limit,” “The Cotton Club,” “Power,” “No Mercy,” “Miles from Home,” “Internal Affairs,” “Pretty Woman,” “Red Corner,” “The Jackal,” “Runaway Bride,” “Unfaithful,” “Mothman Prophecies,” “Shall We Dance,” and “Bee Season.”

A student and friend of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and an outspoken human rights advocate, Richard Gere has done much to draw attention to the tragedy that has been unfolding in Tibet under Chinese occupation. He is the founder of the Gere Foundation, which contributes to numerous health education and human rights projects and is especially dedicated to promoting awareness of Tibet and her endangered culture.

Marc Forster made a name for himself as a director with the critical and commercial success of “Monster’s Ball” in 2001. Following that acclaimed film with “Finding Neverland,” “Stay,” “Stranger Than Fiction,” he has continued to foster the reputation of giving audiences surprisingly different yet highly creative film experiences and now DreamWorks Pictures, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Participant Productions present “The Kite Runner,” a Sidney Kimmel Entertainment Production and Parkes/MacDonald Production released by Paramount Classics in November.

‘Finding Neverland,” starring Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, Radha Mitchell, Dustin Hoffman, and Julie Christie, was one of the most celebrated films of 2004, touching audiences and critics alike, as well as being recognized as Best Film of the Year by the National Board of Review. The film received seven Academy Award nominations, five Golden Globe nominations, and eleven BAFTA nominations, all including Best Picture. Marc Forster himself received a Best Director nomination from the DGA.

Marc Forster’s next film was the reality-bending thriller “Stay,” starring Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts, and Ryan Gosling. Forster earlier made a significant mark with the award-winning “Monster’s Ball,” which received two Oscar(r) nominations, with Halle Berry winning for Best Actress. His first film was “Everything Put Together,” which he also co-wrote.

Ellen Page, a native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, has established a name for herself as one of the busiest of young emerging performers. She stars in Fox Searchlight Pictures’ upcoming comedy “Juno,” directed by Jason Reitman from a script by Diablo Cody.

At the age of ten, Ellen Page began her career on the award-winning television movie “Pit Pony.” Her next role was “Love That Boy,” followed by “Marion Bridge.” She has appeared in the cult hit TV series “Trailer Park Boys,” recently played the role of Lilith in the first season of “ReGenesis,” and starred in “Mrs. Ashboro’s Cat” for the Movie Network. Page played the lead in Alison Murray’s “Mouth to Mouth,” starred as part of the ensemble in “Wilby Wonderful,” and played the lead in “Hard Candy,” an independent feature directed by David Slade. Ellen Page was then offered the role of Kitty Pryde in the third installment of “X-Men” which she followed with the role of Tracey in Bruce McDonald’s “The Tracey Fragments.” Next came another starring role, opposite Catherine Keener, in “An American Crime,” directed by Tommy O’Haver. Ellen Page also participated in the ensemble cast of “The Stone Angel,” directed by Kari Skogland. Last year ended by bringing yet another starring role, opposite Dennis Quaid, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Thomas Haden Church, in “Smart People,” which is scheduled for release in April.

Writer Diablo Cody debut screenplay “Juno,” directed by Jason Reitman and starring Ellen Page is a comedy about an unplanned pregnancy. Due for release December 14, the film also stars Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Allison Janney, and J.K. Simmons.

Diablo Cody has been featured in “Entertainment Weekly,” “Playboy,” “Elle,” and “Jane,” among others, and has appeared on CNN, the “Fox Morning Show,” and “Late Night with David Letterman.” In 2004, she authored the infamous and critically acclaimed memoir “Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper.” Most recently she wrote and co-created a half-hour series, “The United States of Tara,” to be executive produced by Steven Spielberg for Showtime. The pilot is beginning pre-production with plans to shoot later this year. Diablo Cody is also working on her second book and various spec scripts.

The 2007 Annual Hollywood Film Festival will take place from October 17 to 22. The festival’s screenings take place at ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood. Its Hollywood Awards Gala Ceremony will be held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Monday, October 22.

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