With Dr. Aida Takla O’Reilly, the PRESIDENT of the HOLLYWOOD FOREIGN PRESS ASSOCIATION
“I am thrilled and honored to serve as the HFPA's president once again,” Dr. Aida Takla O'Reilly said.
O'Reilly was elected president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) for the 2011-12 year at the organization’s annual election meeting. She replaces Philip Berk as head of the organization, which oversees the Golden Globes. As a member of the HFPA since 1956, she previously served as the group's president from 1994-96.
“I believe in the vitality of the membership and what we have to contribute to the future of the industry both here and abroad,” O’Reilly mentioned during an interview with CultureM.
The HFPA’s annual Golden Globe Awards has enabled the non-profit organization to donate more than $12 million over the past 17 years to entertainment-related charities, as well as funding scholarships and other programs for future film and television professionals.
Known worldwide for its glittering Golden Globe Awards ceremony held every January and its multi-million dollar donations to charity, the association has humble origins that stemmed solely from a group of journalists' desire to efficiently and accurately cover all aspects of the entertainment world.
The group’s first special event was a luncheon in December 1947, at which a meritorious plaque was awarded to Harry M. Warner, president of Warner Brothers, in recognition of his humanitarian work as the principal sponsor of the “Friendship Train” which left Hollywood with food, clothing and medical supplies for the needy of Europe.
As representatives of the world press, the group’s members felt it was incumbent upon them to give their audience their judgments of Hollywood’s finest productions. The organization’s first awards presentation for distinguished achievements in the film industry took place in early 1944 with an informal ceremony at 20th Century Fox.
The HFPA is currently celebrating its 68th anniversary in Hollywood. Today the members of the association are from some 55 countries with a combined readership of more than 250 million. Their publications include leading newspapers and magazines in Europe, Asia, Australasia and Latin America, ranging from the Daily Telegraph in England to Le Figaro in France, L'Espresso in Italy and Vogue in Germany as well as the China Times and the pan-Arabic magazine Kul Al Osra.
CultureM: Who runs the HFPA?
Dr. Aida: A president, vice-president, executive secretary, treasurer and board of directors are elected from among the members each year. The general membership meets monthly and has the final say on all decisions. The HFPA also has four full-time employees, who are not members.
CultureM: How is the HFPA funded?
Dr. Aida: The HFPA receives substantial licensing fees for the network broadcasting rights to the Golden Globe Awards and from associated activities such as Golden Globe Awards pre-shows.
CultureM: Apart from running the Association, how is this money used?
Dr. Aida: The HFPA has an annual grants program that distributes sums among various entertainment-related non-profits and to entertainment-related scholarships at major educational institutions. In 2010, the HFPA gave grants totaling a record $1,541,000, bringing their overall donations to more than $12 million.
Each year HFPA members interview more than 400 actors, directors, writers and producers, as well as reporting from film sets and seeing more than 300 films. Members also attend film festivals in other countries in order to seek out interesting and innovative foreign language films and establish cultural bonds with directors, actors, jurors and fellow journalists around the world.
Membership meetings are held monthly and the officers and directors are elected annually. A maximum of five journalists are admitted to the organization each year. All members are accredited by the Motion Picture Association of America.
As the international box office has dramatically expanded in recent years, so the Globes’ prestige has increased. The awards now have the distinction of being one of the three most-watched award shows on television.
Check this website http://www.goldenglobes.org for more information.