LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 25: The legendary actress Sophia Loren attends the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures: Opening Gala honoring Haile Gerima and Sophia Loren, and Museum Campaign Leadership Bob Iger, Annette Bening, and Tom Hanks; Gala Co-Chairs Jason Blum, Ava DuVernay, and Ryan Murphy on September 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Academy Museum of Motion Pictures )

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Opening Gala Honors Sophia Loren and Haile Gerima, as well as Academy Museum Campaign leaders Bob Iger, Annette Bening, and Tom Hanks.

The Star-Studded Gala, Co-Chaired by Jason Blum, Ava Duvernay, and Ryan Murphy,
was Presented by Rolex with Leadership Support by J.P. Morgan. The Event Raised More Than $11 Million for the Los Angeles’s Newest Museum, Dedicated to the Arts, Sciences, and Artists of Moviemaking.

Los Angeles, Calif. – On September 25, 2021, as part of a week of celebrations culminating in the museum’s public opening on September 30, 2021,the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures hosted an Opening Gala co-chaired by Jason BlumAva Duvernay, and Ryan Murphy. The celebratory evening included the presentation of the inaugural Vantage Award to Haile Gerima, for his work as a filmmaker who has helped to contextualize and challenge dominant narratives around cinema, and the inaugural Visionary Award to Sophia Loren, for her extensive body of work that has advanced the art of cinema. The Vantage and Visionary Awards were generously presented by Rolex. Bob IgerAnnette Bening, and Tom Hanks were also recognized with the Pillar Award for their leadership of the recently completed Campaign for the Academy Museum. Designed by the Haas Brothers, the Pillar Award references the soaring sphere of the Academy Museum and the iconic gold of the Oscar.

The event was attended by many notable actors and filmmakers, who came together to support the new museum, which advances the understanding, celebration, and preservation of cinema. Produced and designed by Opening Gala Creative Director Lisa Love and Artistic Director Raúl À vilathe evening was inspired by Academy Award®-winning movie Spirited Away , written and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki. From a cocktail hour on the Wilshire Terrace, guests passed through a whimsical Hayao Miyazaki inspired “tree tunnel” to a dinner under the stars on the Dolby Family Terrace. Guests enjoyed a special musical performance by Lady Gaga and the opportunity to preview the museum’s highly immersive exhibitions, including a retrospective of the work of Hayao Miyazaki. Dinner was prepared by Wolfgang Puck Catering, which oversees catering services at the museum and its restaurant Fanny’s.

Generously presented by Rolex—founding supporter and official watch partner of the Academy Museum—with leadership support from J.P. Morgan, who has more than one hundred years of experience in the entertainment industry, the evening raised more than $11 million to support the Academy Museum’s access, education, and programming initiatives.         

Academy Museum Trustees
Arnaud Boetsch, Jason Blum, Laura Dern, Diane von Furstenberg, Olivier de Givenchy, Ray Halbritter, Tom Hanks (and Honoree), Miky Lee, Eva Longoria, Alejandro Ramirez Magaña, Ryan Murphy, Dominic Ng, Ted Sarandos, Jeremy Scott, Kimberly Steward, and Emma Thomas.

Academy and Museum Leadership
Academy Museum Director and President Bill Kramer, Academy Museum Chief Artistic and Programming Officer Jacqueline Stewart, Academy Museum COO and General Counsel Brendan Connell, Jr., Academy President and Academy Museum Trustee David Rubin, and Academy CEO and Academy Museum Trustee Dawn Hudson.

Gala Partners
Gala co-chairs Ryan Murphy, Jason Blum, and Ava DuVernay, honorees Haile Gerima, Sophia Loren, Bob Iger, and Annette Bening and Tom Hanks.

Academy Museum architect Renzo Piano, J.J. Abrams, Sasha Alexander, Judd Apatow, Robert Armani, Nicole Avant, Angela Bassett, Warren Beatty, Colleen Bell, Halle Berry, Selma Blair, Orlando Bloom, Diego Boneta, Abigail Breslin, Charles Burnett, Ruth Carter, Bob Chapek, Cher, Eva Chow, Clifton Collins, Jr., Laverne Cox, Darren Criss, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jamie Lee Curtis, Julie Dash, Ariana Debose, Jenna Dewan, Ernest R. Dickerson, Barry Diller, Grigor Dimitrov, Ashgar Farhadi, Lady Gaga, Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti, Kaia Gerber, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Nikolai & Simon Haas, Tiffany Haddish, Rebecca Halls, Colin Hanks, Lydia Hearst, Kathy and Rick Hilton, Jennifer Hudson, Kate Hudson, Van Hunt, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Cheyenne Jackson, Arthur Jafa, Patty Jenkins, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Michael Keaton, Anna Kendrick, Riley Keough, Nicole Kidman, Regina King, Shaka King, Maryse Knight, Spike Lee, Shawn Levy, Adriana Lima, Billie Lourd, Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki, Natasha Lyonne, Bob Mackie, Jenna Malone, Frank Marshall, Marlee Matlin, Thuso Mbedu, Max Minghella, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, Kumail Nanjiani, Ruth Negga, Christopher Nolan, Normani, Sarah Paulson, Katy Perry, Arianne Phillips, Edoardo Ponti, Zac Posen, Questlove, Lily Rabe, Issa Rae, Andrea Riseborough, Olivia Rodrigo, MJ Rodriguez, David O. Russell, Meg Ryan, Filippo Scotti, Diana Silvers, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Jurnee Smollett, Aaron Sorkin, Paolo Sorrentino, Morgan Spector, Carly Steel, Holland Taylor, Sean Patrick Thomas, Tessa Thompson, Guillermo del Toro, Gabrielle Union, Lindsey Vonn, Dwyane Wade, John Waters, Rita Wilson, Edgar Wright, Kulapat Yantrasast, and Chloe Zhao.

Like the museum’s Hayao Miyazaki exhibition, the gala is designed as a journey, with décor inspired by the filmmaker’s enchanted worlds. Guests entered the event via a green carpet with large floral installations referencing Miyazaki’s depictions of the natural environment and the exhibition’s immersive Magical Forest. The floral arrangements, along with that tree tunnel that connects the museum’s two terraces, are created by Raúl Àvila Inc.

Marking the seventh year of a long-term partnership between Piper-Heidsieck and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Piper-Heidsieck provided the exclusive champagne of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures opening celebrations. Rare Champagne Rosé 2007 and Rare Champagne Brut Millésime 2006 were served at the Opening Gala. 

The cocktail hour featured signature drinks created by Diageo included Don Julio Ranch Water, Don Julio Limonada, Tanqueray Negroni, Ketel One Classic Martini, and Johnnie Walker Fuzhou Highball. Various spirits from Diageo’s portfolio were served including Tequila Don Julio 1942, Johnnie Walker Blue Label, Tequila Don Julio Blanco, Tanqueray London Dry Gin, Ketel One Vodka, and Johnnie Walker Black Label.

San Benedetto Natural Water andSparkling Mineral Water were served at the Gala. Based in Venice, San Benedetto is a 65-year-old Italian family-owned and operated beverage company and the first company to be recognized by Italy’s Ministry of Environment for its leadership and advancements in environmental stewardship.

The Academy Museum is the largest museum in the United States devoted to the arts, sciences, and artists of moviemaking. The museum advances the understanding, celebration, and preservation of cinema through inclusive and accessible exhibitions, screenings, programs, initiatives, and collections. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano and Renzo Piano Building Workshop in collaboration with Gensler as executive architect, the museum’s campus contains the restored and revitalized historic Saban Building—formerly known as the May Company building (1939)—and a soaring spherical addition. Together, these buildings contain 50,000 square feet of exhibition spaces, two state-of-the-art theaters, an education studio, restaurant, retail store, and beautiful public spaces. The museum opens to the public on September 30, 2021.

Photos ©Academy Museum Foundation,  Stefanie Keenan- Getty Images/©Academy Museum Foundation, Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com for Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Stefanie Keenan- Getty Images/©Academy Museum Foundation

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