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March 23, 2003 - DFS Honored with Oscar Night® America

What: Party with Oscar® at the 75th Anniversary of the Academy Awards

Where: Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium

When: March 23, 2003

Beneficiary: Denver Film Society

Master of Ceremonies: Bill Clarke of KMGH-TV, News 7

Gala Chairperson(s): Holly Kylberg and Valere Shane

Founders: Artistic Director: Ron Henderson

Executive Director: Scott Rowitz

Libations: Skyy Vodka, Rosemount Estate, Coors

Catering: Epicurean

Entertainment: Live broadcast from the Kodak Theatre in L.A., California, the 75th Anniversary of the Academy Awards®

Sponsors: 7NEWS, The Denver Post, Shane Co., Kacey Fine Furniture, Qube Visual, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Quote of the evening: "Every time an Oscar® is given out and agent gets his wings," quipped Kathy Bates, Vice President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Presenter

Attendance: Sold out - 575

Attire: Hollywood Glamour

Special Thanks: Year-round supporters: Starz Encore Group, New Deal Pictures, John and Anna Sie Foundation, The Denver Foundation, The Janus Foundation, The Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, KBCO 97.3 FM, CEAVCO Audio Visual, Magnolia Pictures, SCFD, City and County of Denver, Heinrich, 23airmail

Information: Denver Film Society @ 303.595.3456

Event Coordinator: Donna Crafton Boemper of PRima Donna PR and Lindsay Mangat, Project Coordinator with the Denver Film Society

Decor/Rental Company: Shelli Nelligan of Stems

Blacktie Photos by: Elizabeth Byrnes

 Oscar-winning® Documentarian Donna Dewey and Denver Film Society's Artistic Director Ron Henderson posing with Donna's prized Oscar® statuette.  She won five years ago for her documentary, A Story of Healing.
Oscar-winning® Documentarian Donna Dewey and Denver Film Society's Artistic Director Ron Henderson posing with Donna's prized Oscar® statuette. She won five years ago for her documentary, A Story of Healing.

By Elizabeth Byrnes

As the evening hour drew later, the excitement and tension built to a crescendo. Millions of viewers were glued to their television sets, from the moment of the celebrity arrivals transversing down the infamous red carpet, to the last statuette being awarded. It was once again, time for annual Academy Awards®.

The 75th Anniversary of The Academy Awards® was a time for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to shine and to celebrate its history. For many viewers it was also a trip down memory lane, reliving magical movie moments of old Hollywood glamour. Though it was just a few hours, well really three and a half hours, the shortest in the Academy’s history, it was time spent watching a familiar and comforting friend, even while a war is being fought on distant shores.

The Hollywood hills and the Academy Awards® may glitter with gold but this year the shine and glamour were contained to the inside of the Kodak Theatre and not on the famous red carpet. The talk of war was not the topic of conversation at the awards, though there were a few comments. Documentarian Michael Moore won “Best Documentary Feature” for his Bowling For Columbine and used his acceptance speech to vent his option. "We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons. Whether it's the fiction of duct tape or fiction of orange alerts we are against this war, Mr. Bush, shame on you," Mr. Moore shouted, amidst a mixture of cheers and boos from the audience.

On March 23rd, Oscar’s® presence was felt in Denver, Colorado, miles away from Tinsletown. This year, Denver joined other host cities in attempting to recreate the glamour and excitement of the Academy Awards® ceremony. There are only 39 cities across the country that are sanctioned by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to host an "Oscar Night® America" fundraising gala, which was started in 1994 in both Minneapolis and San Francisco. All sanctioned parties featured a live broadcast from the Kodak Theatre in L.A., California. Last year, "Oscar Night® America" parties raised over $1.6 million for local charities, all of which stays in each community and does not go to the Academy.

Co-chairs Holly Kylberg and Valere Shane greeted guests as they walked the length of the red carpet into Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium. They "interviewed" local personalities on the "Casting Couch," sponsored by Leslie Fishbein of Kacey Fine Furniture.

“Oscar® Night is one of our favorite nights to celebrate the best and brightest in the film industry,” said Ron Henderson, Artistic Director of the Denver Film Society. “We are honored that Denver was chosen to host the state’s only Academy-sanctioned event.”

Oscar-winning® Documentarian Donna Dewey was one of the local celebrities to attend the gala. She brought along her prized Oscar® statuette which she won five years ago for her documentary, A Story of Healing. “I was stunned when my name was called out,” Donna reminisced about her attendance at the Academy Awards® ceremony. “I don’t know what was more thrilling, attending the awards, sitting behind Jack Nicholson, being nominated, or getting the Oscar®!”

Guests mingled during the cocktail hour, placing bids on the unique silent auction items and getting their photo taken with Donna Dewey’s Oscar® statuette on the “Casting Couch.” As the ceremony started, guests found their seats and settled in to watch the live broadcast.

Funnyman Steve Martin was the Master of Ceremonies, returning for his second year with his trademark wit in tow. After receiving a standing ovation, Martin launched into a monologue that was at times bitingly funny. "Tonight, Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep made Oscar® history -- it was backstage, and it wasn’t pretty." The evening ceremony was full of highlights and even a few surprises. Chicago was nominated for 13 categories and swept away with six awards, one of them being “Best Picture.” A musical movie feature has not won this coveted titled since Oliver! in 1968. Halle Berry, 2002 Best Actress for her performance in Monster's Ball, presented the Best Actor Oscar® to Adrien Brody for his performance in The Pianist. She was caught off-guard when Adrien dipped and kissed her. “Bet they didn’t tell you that was in the gift bag,” joked Adrien after he released the surprised Halle.

Silver screen legend Olivia de Havilland, past Oscar® recipient, introduced a special segment to the 75th Anniversary celebration, the presentation of 59 past Oscar® honorees. "In the last 53 years much has changed but what hasn't is the magic of the movies. Tonight we are here to honor the 75th birthday and the great artists."

Kirk and Michael Douglas were the last presenters of the evening, having the honor to announce the final award of the night: Best Picture. Kirk ripped the sealed envelope in half, passed half to his son and they both yelled, "Chicago!"

And the Oscar® went to…

Best Picture: Martin Richards, Producer for Chicago

Leading Actor: Adrien Brody in The Pianist

Leading Actress: Nicole Kidman in The Hours

Supporting Actor: Chris Cooper in Adaptation

Supporting Actress: Catherine Zeta-Jones in Chicago

Best Director: Roman Polanski for The Pianist

Cinematography: Conrad L. Hall for Road to Perdition

Costume Design: Colleen Atwood for Chicago

Film Editing: Martin Walsh for Chicago

Makeup: John Jackson and Beatrice de Alba for Frida

Original Screenplay: Pedro Almodóvar for Talk to Her

Adapted Screenplay: Ronald Harwood for The Pianist

Original Score: Elliot Goldenthal for Frida

Original Song: “Lose Yourself,” by Eminem, from 8 Mile

Visual Effects: Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Sound: Chicago

Sound Editing: Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Art Direction: Chicago

Animated Feature: Hayao Miyazaki for Spirited Away

Short Animated Film: The ChubbChubbs!

Short Live Action Film: This Charming Man (Der Er En Yndig Mand)

Foreign Language Film: Germany’s Nowhere in Africa

Documentary Feature: Michael Moore and Michael Donovan for Bowling for Columbine

Documentary Short: Bill Guttentag and Robert David Port for Twin Towers

The sold out gala raised approximately $36,000 for the Denver Film Society.

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