By Diana Kruschewsky-Kilgore
The LACMA Gala, the museum’s huge summer benefit, benefitted LACMA, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the J. Paul Getty Trust this year. The event is a chance for the community to mingle, top off cocktails with hors d’oeuvres and lend a hand to the institution.
And what an institution it is. It is often recognized as a leader in museum operations and, especially for its prestigious film collection, a driving force in the motion picture industry.
The evening honored LACMA Director Michael Govan with the Masterpiece Award and celebrated Steven Spielberg with the Norman Lear Achievement Award. Producer Francis Ford Coppola gave Spielberg, a seven-time Oscar winner, the award. It was the director’s first-ever Gala, which means he knows how to say yes.
On stage, Spielberg took note of the event’s founder, Sid Ganis, and used the platform to praise the music of current California rock star Billie Eilish.
After her speech, his daughter, Emily Spielberg, walked the red carpet arm-in-arm with her mom, Kate Capshaw, at the event. Emily, who is director of international programs at the nonprofit Upstream, presented the award to her dad.
Eilish started her acting career in her parents’ home state of Georgia before moving to Los Angeles.
The night’s other big winner, Time Life, received the exhibition of the year award for its exhibition “Mulholland Drive,” directed by David Lynch. On opening night, LACMA curator Paul Schimmel praised the time maker. “His work has maintained an intensity and a mystery that makes it even more relevant and timeless today,” he said.
CNN Films also received the broadcast and e-media platform award.
“#SpielbergGala” has taken over Twitter. From @delisseettemidien for “Watch Me” and @KittyOnNetflix for “Citizen Spielberg” to @sasilkollandparker for “Director Lance Bass shares behind-the-scenes stories of the master of horror,” the hashtag is providing plenty of gifs for social media.
The evening raised $9.2 million. Other honorees included cinematographer Larry Fong, game publisher Sequential Games and in memoriam honors were given to Roger Deakins, Cicely Tyson and R.K. Byrnes.