IMAGE Film Awards Gala to honor Tyler Perry Studios, Peter Gilbert & Steve James, Professor Matthew

by gabe
March 31, 2008 2:33 AM
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Each year, in advance of the Atlanta Film Festival, we hold our annual fund raiser, the IMAGE Film Awards Gala staged in Atlanta's Fabulous Fox Theatre's luxurious Egyptian Ballroom.


Last year, when we honored Atlanta producer Will Packer, the ceremony kicked off with a memorable step demonstration from the STOMP THE YARD crew. This year, we've got something special in store as well.
Our annual fund-raising event supports the Atlanta Film Festival and IMAGE's year-round programs, while honoring individuals and organizations for their contributions to film and art, and the lasting impact they've made culturally and socially.

Past honorees have included Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Spike Lee, Victor Nuñez, Burt Reynolds (who went all Eminem on a heckling puppet), Dallas Austin, Parker Posey, John Sayles, Maggie Renzi, Will Packer and Kenny Blank.


2008 IMAGE Awards Gala Honorees:

Peter Gilbert & Steve James
Hoop Dreams, At the Death House Door, Stevie

Reading Peter Gilbert and Steve James's collective resume, one would quickly realize how far reaching and encompassing their body of work is. Together and a part, they've explored the legacy of Vietnam to the life story of long distance phenom Prefontaine.

It's for their collective work that we honor Steve and Peter, including their work on "Hoop Dreams," named Best Documentary of All Time in 2007 by the International Documantary Association (IDA). With their latest project, "At the Death House Door", the pair continue to demonstrate that that they are unflinching in using their camera and the craft of film to document the tough stories. The stories that illustrate what it means to be human.

Tyler Perry Studios


Tyler Perry Studios
Why Did I Get Married, House of Payne, Meet the Browns

Since the Spring of 2005, when "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" debuted in theaters at no. 1, Tyler Perry Studios has rewritten the book on success, proving that the Hollywood model isn't sacroscant in its ability to reach and entertain audiences. Building and ever expanding, the studio ventured into television with "Tyler Perry's House of Payne" in 2007 and recently began working on building a series of sound stages. Last weekend, Tyler Perry's "Meet the Browns" opened with a solid $20 million.

Tyler Perry Studios' impact on Atlanta's film economy, employing hundreds of Atlanta crew and actors each year, and the film business nationwide has been incalcuable. It's for these reasons, as well as the studio's drive to entertain audiences of all ages and backgrounds, to unite movie-goers with those values we share in common, that we honor Tyler Perry Studios.

Virginia Hepner
Virginia Hepner
Board Chair of Metro Atlanta Arts & Culture Coalition, Business and Community Leader

Virginia is currently President of GHL, LLC a private real estate investment partnership, and a consultant with the firm Venadar, LLC, which advises Fortune 500
companies on external growth strategies. Virginia's devotion to the arts and community development is most apparent in the long list of organizations she has volunteered for and boards she has served on: Metropolitan Atlanta Arts and Culture Coalition (MAACC), Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund Advisory Board, Savannah College of Art and Design,Trustee of Theater of the Stars, member of Mayor Franklin's Task Force on public funding for the arts, past board memberships on the Atlanta Metropolitan Chapter of the American Red Cross and The Atlanta School.

Without the efforts of leaders like Virgina, the task of building and fostering a strong arts community in Atlanta would be exponentially more difficult for artistic organizations. It is for her extraordinary work that we honor Virginia.

Matthew Bernstein

Matthew H. Bernstein
Professor, Chair, and Director of Graduate Studies at Emory University, Key Cinema Club

A native of Great Neck, New York. Matthew received his B.A. and Ph.D. at the
University of Wisconsin-Madison and his M.F.A. at Columbia University. Currently Professor and Chair in the
Film Studies Department at Emory University Matthew also serves on the National Film Preservation Board, which advises the Library of Congress about the 25 films to be named annually to the National Film Registry, and is a member of the Steering Committee of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. He also serves as the host/moderator for the Key Sunday Cinema Club (in its tenth season), which screens new foreign and American independent films at the Landmark
Midtown Art Cinema before their commercial opening in Atlanta.

Matthew's commitment to adding to our understanding and appreciation of film, both from the view of an academic and historian and as well as just an average movie-goer looking to take an unexpected journey in the dark is why we chose him as one of our 2008 Honorees.

I'd like to thank everyone who has already joined the 2008 IMAGE Awards Gala Host Committee (see below) and I invite all 5 people who read these blog postings to make a pledge of support to IMAGE, the Atlanta Film Festival, and in support of Peter and Steve, Tyler Perry Studios, Matthew and Virginia.

Whether you were moved by HOOP DREAMS and STEVIE; if DIARY OF A MAD BLACK WOMAN, HOUSE OF PAYNE and MEET THE BROWNS strike you as a fresh voice long overdue in popular culture; if you are an Emory alum forever addicted to cinema thanks to Matthew's infectious commitment, or if, like Virginia, you are devoted to enriching the cultural lives of Atlantans through notable volunteerism, leadership and supporting for the arts--I invite you to make a pledge, and support what it is we do.

(I know there's a mogul reading this right now just itching to make a tax deductible pledge!)

Thanks to those who have already pledged--we look forward to seeing you at the IMAGE Gala next week. Even if you will not be attending the event, your support will be deeply appreciated by everyone who benefits from the events we produce.

The 2008 IMAGE Film Awards Gala Host Committee

Mogul ($10,000)
(click through to see benefits)
Gene & Pam Bernstein
Linda & Tony Rubin

Executive Producer ($5,000)
(click through to see benefits)
The Coca-Cola Company

Producer ($2,500)
(click through to see benefits)
Matthew & Natalie Bernstein
Department of Film Studies, Emory University
Emory College
John Petrini, Toybox Productions

Director ($1,250)
(click through to see benefits)
American Jewish Committee, Atlanta Chapter
Traci Carroll & Jim Hunter
Georgia Production Partnership
Simon & Bobbi Kornblit
Samantha Worthen

All-Star Cast ($500)
(click through to see benefits)
Cindy Abel
Ron & Susan Antinori
Joe & Lisa Bankoff
Kay Beck & David Cheshier
Linda Burns
Fran Burst, Burst Video/Film, Inc.
Steve Clements & Claudia Coplon
Emory University's Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry
Tom Karsch
Chris & Crissy Klaus
Caroline & Philip Moise
John San Miguel
Suzan Satterfield, Salt Run Productions
Sony Electronics
Terri Theisen
Bill VanDerKloot



Host Committee Registration

Individual Gala Tickets are available for $150.

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