Central Virginia Film Institute hosts Oscar Night America party
Monday, February 27, 2012
CHESTER - While no movie star attended last night's sixth annual Oscar Night America, the spirit of another celebrity was definitely present - that of Abraham Lincoln. Steven Spielberg's major motion picture about the 16th president of the United States was what everyone talked about at the dinner celebration at the Cultural Center of India.
Frank Underwood Sr., chairman of the Central Virginia Film Institute, which hosted the event, reminded guests of the Oscar Night in 2010 at Union Station in Petersburg, where Gov. Bob McDonnell announced his tax incentives to lure filmmakers to come to Virginia.
"On the very spot where the governor talked about his incentives, Steven Spielberg filmed his Lincoln movie two years later," Underwood said.
To honor the efforts of the McDonnell administration, the Central Virginia Film Institute presented its Dreamers Team Film Achievement Award to Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, who accepted the award in McDonnell's place.
"We're not done yet," Bolling said, referring to the administration's continuing efforts to lure Hollywood film makers to Virginia.
"The Lincoln movie was not the peak, it was just the beginning of what we want to do here," Bolling said. "The film industry is a vital part of Virginia's economy."
Besides Bolling, U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., also attended last night's event.
"The Film Institute and the Virginia Film Office have done a tremendous job in bringing the Lincoln film to this area," he said. "Think of how much has been spent - tens of millions - and much of it right here in Central Virginia."
Other guests included local officials from Chesterfield County, Petersburg and Hopewell, TV personality Bill Bowman and Miss United States Ashley Smith of Chesapeake, whose date for the night was 11-year-old Jordan Bowman from Charles City, a volunteer for the Central Virginia Film Institute.
Oscar Night America Richmond is one of only 51 parties nationwide officially sanctioned by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
"Our motto this year is Making Dreams Come True," said Kay Ingram with the Film Institute. "Our event is officially sanctioned by the academy. And us hosting the event in the Richmond area mirrors bringing the industry from Hollywood to Central Virginia, in form of the Lincoln movie."
Civil War re-enactors were a constant reminder that the Richmond-Petersburg area can now claim to be a Hollywood location.
The highpoint of the night was a telecast of the 84th annual Academy Awards, live from Los Angeles.
For additional information contact Ibbie Hedrick at 804-225-2487 or firstname.lastname@example.org.