by Julia Pierrepont III
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) — The Hollywood Film Awards rolled out another star-studded red carpet event Sunday night at the chic Beverly Hilton Hotel, launching Hollywood’s official awards season.
This year saw a surprising shift in award recipients as a large number of Asians and people of color were honored, while the event featured heavy-weight stars like Brad Pitt, Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Ann Hathaway and Ryan Gosling.
“Now that Hollywood is moving in the right direction,” Nicole Kidman, the Hollywood Career Achievement Award winner, told Xinhua. “We have to keep moving forward.”
A highlight of the ceremony, the Hollywood Breakout Ensemble Award went to “Crazy Rich Asians” (CRA), a romantic comedy that features an all-Asian starring ensemble and sparkles at U.S. box office.
“New unique voices are being accepted now. They are embracing authenticity in a way they never have before and I’m very proud of that,” Awkwafina, an actress who joined the film, told Xinhua. “CRA really changed things. People are realizing the power of diverse representation.”
“It’s rare to be involved in a project that has such a social impact,” Michelle Yeoh, who plays a leading role in the movie, told Xinhua. “And tonight, it’s amazing for us all to be honored together as a group — it’s going to be an emotional night.”
Kevin Kwang’s face was aglow when he stepped down the red carpet. “Who ever thought it would come to this?” said the author of the 2013 novel “Crazy Rich Asians.” “I never expected to be part of something so big, that began with such a simple idea that’s turned into a tsunami.”
Nick Santos, who played a bubbly Oliver T’sien in the CRA, is already looking toward the future. “I can’t wait for the sequel! I get goosebumps just thinking of it.”
Another blockbuster “Black Panther,” which tells a story of a modern African hero, won the “Hollywood Film Award” for best picture.
“For everyone with African roots, it spoke to us on an intensely powerful level,” said Michael B. Jordan, a leading star in the Marvel film, from the podium.
Sharing his accolades was Hannah Beachler, “Black Panther” production designer who won the Hollywood Production Design Award.
Janelle Monae of the 2017 Oscar nominee “Hidden Figures” presented the Hollywood Breakout Performance Actress Award to newcomer Amandla Stenberg for her stirring performance in “The Hate U Give.”
Monae described Stenberg as growing up to be “a fierce and fearless woman,” while Stenberg shared her hope that the film she starred in can inspire people to “stand up for what they believe in.”
The Hollywood Film Awards were founded in 1997 by Dick Clark Productions, the world’s largest producer and proprietor of televised live events, and created to celebrate Hollywood’s top talents.