The HFPA Donates $3.25 Million at the Annual Grants Banquet

by Ana Maria Bahiana August 9, 2018
HFPA president Meher Tatna at the 2018 Grants Banquet

HFPA President Meher Tatna opens the 2018 Annual Grants Banquet.

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Dozens of stars filled the Beverly Hilton’s International Ballroom this evening – not to receive Golden Globes but, this time, to announce $ 3.25 million granted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to 80 nonprofit and educational entities, 12 of them for the first time. Over the past 25 years the HFPA has given our $ 33.4 million to organizations focused on education, especially in film and television; film preservation; journalistic organizations committed to freedom of speech; as well as humanitarian organizations that support natural disaster relief and other international crises.

Opening the evening, HFPA president Meher Tatna reminded the audience of the significance of keeping the grants program going especially in difficult times, and asserted the commitment of the HFPA to philanthropy, and the continuation of the special events which have marked the 75th Anniversary of the Golden Globes.

Tatna also highlighted the recent grant in support of RAICES, purveyor of legal services to immigrant families and instrumental in the effort of reuniting families forcefully separated at the US border. “I am an immigrant and so are 99% of my colleagues”, Tatna said. “Our mandate has always been to give back to the people and the country who gives us so much. “

Host William H. Macy greeted the audience with a wink to the other night that takes place in the International Ballroom - “Listen, guys, we got this joint to ourselves” – before formally introducing the grants presenters: “No collusion, fake news, draining the swamp or alternative facts tonight - we are here to do good”, Macy said.  “We should we be proud of our generosity", he added, reminding the audience that, just in the past decade, the HFPA has given out $25 million in grants. "We're here for the cause", said Lena Waithe, presenting the grant to Women in Film's Production Program.

Besides established grantees such as Women in Film, Museum of the Moving Image Museum, Film Independent, Los Angeles County High School for the Arts and the Sundance Institute, several nonprofits received their first grants. Among them, Cal State Dominguez Hills and the Southwestern Law School, both focused on a diverse student body, and The Actor’s Gang’s Education Department, which introduces theater to young people.

“Goodness still exists!”, exclaimed Billy Porter, summing up an extraordinary evening.