Academy Museum to honor Sophia Loren, Haile Gerima at gala

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is assembling a star-studded cast for its opening gala in September. Italian screen legend Sophia Loren and independent filmmaker Haile Gerima will be honored with special awards, and Tom Hanks, Annette Bening and Bob Iger are being saluted for their efforts to raise $388 million for the long gestating museum, the organization said Monday.

The gala will be held on Sept. 25 as the kick-off to a week of celebrations leading up to the museum’s opening to the public on Sept. 30.

Bill Kramer, the director and president of the Academy Museum, said in a statement that the museum is “committed to celebrating and championing the work of film artists, scholars and professions through our exhibitions, screenings, programs, collections and now, through our annual gala.”

Gerima is acclaimed for his portraits of Black urban life in films like “Bush Mama” and “Ashes & Embers.” The Ethiopian-born filmmaker will be receiving the inaugural Vantage Award, recognizing artists who have contextualized or challenged dominant narratives in film. Loren will be getting the Visionary Award for artists whose work has advanced the art of cinema.

Gala co-chairs include Ava DuVernay, Ryan Murphy and Jason Blum.

Designed by architect Renzo Piano, The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is located at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue in the historic Saban Building. Inaugural attractions include an exhibit celebrating legendary Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, and Bruce, the 1,208 pound, 25-foot-long, 45-year-old fiberglass shark made from the “Jaws” mold.

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