By Maggie McCauley | Photographs by Charlie Magovern
WHO: 700 guests, including emcees Sally Wiggin and Michelle Wright; Pittsburgh Film Office director Dawn Keezer; honorary co-chairs Peet and Lori Schoonmaker; Kim Moses, executive producer of NBC International’s “Gone;” Larry Rapaport, producer of WGN Network’s “Outsiders;” Tom Savini, award-winning actor and director; and Lieutenant Governor Mike Stack
WHAT: The annual celebration of the Academy Awards was definitely a show-stopper this year! Guests watched the show live on two giant screens, while they also enjoyed signature cocktails named after characters on “Outsiders,” a donut wall from Dunkin’ Donuts, treats from Millie’s Ice Cream’s pushcart, and more. The event raises operating funds for the Pittsburgh Film Office, which works to bring television and movie productions to the Pittsburgh region. The office has brought in hundreds of millions of dollars to this region and the industry has employed thousands of people, making Pittsburgh and all of Southwestern PA one of the top film centers in the U.S.
WHERE: David L. Lawrence Convention Center
HIGHLIGHTS: As soon as guests stepped onto the 515-foot red carpet, provided by Stetson Convention Services, they were offered a “Viola” cocktail — in honor of Viola Davis’ Oscar nomination (which turned out to be a win!) for “Fences” — and greeted by top drag queens of Pittsburgh. The Izzazu Glam Cam was in full swing and hosted by Bubba from Star 100.7 FM and Emilio Cornacchione from Izzazu Salon and Serata. — M.M.
“Thanks to our sponsors and guests, I’m pleased to say the gala raised over $300,000 year!” — Pittsburgh Film Office Director Dawn Keezer