HiFi Holiday Festival Returns to L.A.’s Historic Filipinotown – Film News in Brief

The HiFi Holiday Festival, hosted by Filipinos Advancing Creative Education (F.A.C.E) in collaboration with other HiFi organizations, took over L.A.’s Historic Filipinotown on Saturday for the second consecutive year.

Held at RideBack Ranch, the event raised toy donations to ship back to less fortunate families in the Philippines while spreading holiday cheer to L.A. locals through live music, complimentary meals and festive photo-ops.

“This is one of our favorite annual community engagement programs we offer to serve those less fortunate during the holiday season,” said Lyle Del Mundo, executive director of F.A.C.E. “It’s an opportunity for some of the many talented Filipinos in entertainment to donate their time and talent to connect, inspire, and this is their reason to celebrate the season.”

The celebration featured a line-up of celebrity meet and greets with special guests like Simu Liu, Patrick Starrr, Alex Wassabi, Paris Belrec, Vincent Rodriguez III, Jon Jon Briones, Josh Dela Cruz, Teo Briones, Eugene Cordero, Jason Rogel, Roshon Fegan and Ella Jay Basco. Other highlights of the event were a Christmas bazaar, free kid’s haircuts and an abundance of caroling.

“Organizations like FACE are indispensable because they not only provide educational programming, but give kids the chance to be kids and creative professionals the chance to cheer them on,” said Dela Cruz, a Filipino-American actor best known as a recurring host on “Blue’s Clues.” “Events like the HiFi Holiday Festival celebrate kids and act as kindling to keep the fire of possibility burning.”

Long-time Scenic Artist Michael Denering to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award from Art Directors Guild

Scenic artist Michael Denering will receive the Art Directors Guild (ADG) Lifetime Achievement Award from the Scenic, Title & Graphic Artists (STG) at the 27th annual ADG Awards.

Scenery painted by Denering can be spotted in “Toys,” “Die Hard,” “Jurassic Park,” “Django Unchained” and 2004’s “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” as well as the first and second “Iron Man.” Denering’s work has also appeared in popular series like “Grace & Frankie,” “Glee,” “American Horror Story” and “Three’s Company.”

Over the course of his 42-year career, Denering worked at both Warner Bros. and Fox Studios. He then served as co-chair for the ADG’s Fine Arts Committee before retiring in 2020. His paintings can still be admired in L.A. entertainment venues such as the Ahmanson Theater, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and the Mark Taper Forum.

“Michael Denering is what his colleagues have referred to as a ‘dynamic’ scenic artist,” said STG Council Chair Clint Schultz. “From his beginnings painting scenery at CBS Television City to his many years at Warner Brothers Studios, Mike’s career as a filmmaker has seen his murals and backings appear in over 100 films.

Denering is the first of four Lifetime Achievement Award honorees to be announced by the ADG. The remaining three honorees will represent the other councils that make up the guild — the Art Directors; the Illustrators and Matte Artists; and the Set Designers & Model Makers.

The ADG Awards are scheduled to take place Saturday, Feb. 18. at the InterContinental in Downtown L.A.

Film Commission Group Picks New Executive Director

Jaclyn Philpott has been named the new executive director of the Association of Film Commissioners International, a trade group representing more than 300 film commissions around the world.

Philpott is from New Zealand, where she has worked for the last several years in marketing for Tataki Auckland Unlimited, the cultural and economic development agency of the city of Auckland.

She will take over the leadership position left vacant when Eve Honthaner departed earlier this year. AFCI holds two annual conferences, at which state and national film commissioners gather to discuss how best to lure productions to their territories.

“I am honored to be selected as AFCI’s new Executive Director and excited for the opportunity to work closely with our members across the world to build on the accomplishments of those who came before me,” Philpott said in a statement. “The screen sector is at a turning point in history, and I see significant opportunities for growth and collaboration.”

Philpott will relocate to Los Angeles, where AFCI is headquartered.

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