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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

CinemaCon 2018, Day 3: Will Rogers Pioneer of the Year Dinner

Film Flam Flummox


In what has become annual tradition, the penultimate evening of CinemaCon is occupied by the posh charity benefit gala that is the Pioneer of the Year Dinner, during which the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation celebrates a figure in film as an industry pioneer. This year was the first time in the award's 77-year history that the recipient was an actor: the fresh-from-the-Paramount-presentation-stage Tom Cruise--who, to fair, has also enjoyed substantial success as a producer in addition to his well known on-screen exploits. The event, which benefits the Pioneers Assistance Fund for motion picture industry veterans in need of financial aid and assistance, was hosted by James Corden and featured a performance from rising film/stage/music star Leslie Odom Jr., best known for Kenneth Branagh's Murder on the Orient Express on the big screen and his Tony-winning performance in Hamilton on Broadway. Ideally, I would relate more details about the event program and the various tributes and speeches, and more importantly more details on the great year-round work the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation does through its various programs. However, the media representative hired by the Foundation to handle this event, unlike the generous charity by which she was hired, was of steadfast non-assistance and coldly denied me a seat at the gala--despite what I was later told were a lot of unoccupied/unclaimed seats and empty tables at the event. All the same, here's to all the selfless work the Foundation as a whole and most of its employees and affiliates do in maintaining the happiness and literal health of those who keep the motion picture industry alive.

Stay tuned here and on my Twitter and Instagram all week for ongoing coverage of all the goings-on at CinemaCon 2018!

(Special thanks to Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation, and very special thanks to Heather Lewandoski, Corey Barger, and the entire team at Rogers & Cowan for all their helpful and generous assistance at the convention, as well as Mitch Neuhauser and the CinemaCon crew)

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