Hollywood’s publicity professionals got their own turn in the kudos spotlight on Friday at the International Cinematographers Guild’s 49th Annual Publicists awards. The luncheon event, which usually takes place just prior to Academy Awards weekend, was held in a jam-packed ballroom at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
In the major movie and television categories, the studio publicity team at Disney that worked behind the scenes to promote box-office hit The Help and the Fox publicists for critically acclaimed TV hit Modern Family received the top honors – the Maxwell Weinberg publicists showmanship awards.
All-around entertainer Carole Burnett received the organization’s lifetime achievement award. Whenever asked what publicists do, she would answer, “Everything but windows.” Steven Poster, president of the ICG presented the honor to Burnett who, he said, “continues to make me laugh to this day.” The publicists are part of IATSE Local 600, the cinematographers guild union.
Tony Angellotti of the Angellotti Company, received the Les Mason award, the group’s highest honor paid to a union publicist. Angellotti works on publicity campaigns for major studio films, filmmakers and production companies during awards season, along with the Golden Globes and Oscars.
David Stapf, president of CBS Television Studios, was named television showman of the year. He is head of the CBS division that broadcasts six of the top 10-rated weekly TV dramas including the CSI skein of shows.
David Heyman, producer of the seven-film Harry Potter franchise, the most lucrative in cinema history, was named motion picture showman of the year.
The event, hosted by Australian comedian Rove McManus, had its usual complement of big-name presenters, including actors Gary Oldman, Max Von Sydow and Martin Landau. Julie Andrews and Jodie Foster dedicated the 2012 Publicist Directory to veteran Walt Disney publicist Arlene Ludwig, now in her 50th year at the Mouse Factory. Ludwig, who is recuperating from a serious accident, received a warm round of audience applause when she appeared.
Frank Masi won the award for excellence in unit still photography for movies, and Hopper Stone for unit still photography for television.
The Press Award went to Susan King, an entertainment writer for The Los Angeles Times. The International Media Award recipient was Elaine Lipworth of the United Kingdom.
Warner Bros. publicist Sharon Black was recognized for community service for her work on behalf of animals.