KITS 10th Anniversary Presentation Packs Punch at Paramount
Kids in the Spotlight celebrated its 10th anniversary with its annual screening and awards presentation on the historic Paramount Pictures Studios lot on Saturday. In a throwback to Hollywood's Golden Era, the KITS Awards treated the youngsters who completed the organization's filmmaking program to an elegant, Academy Award-esque affair complete with interviews on the Blue carpet, celebrity presenters, and an exciting after party.
Each of the program participants were professionally styled and received a full glamour make-over, courtesy of in-kind sponsors Kara Saun, LA Designers, and Casa de Los Angeles: Glamour Gowns and Suit Up, before being whisked away in limo to the studio.
Sponsored in part by Music is Unity Foundation, and held in the Paramount Theater, a 518-seat, state-of-the-art venue, the screening showcased 11 short films written, cast, and starring youngsters ages 12-22 who either reside in foster care group homes, were recently emancipated, or attend an underserved school. The films were directed and produced by industry professionals who contributed their time and resources to the effort. Five awards were given for Best Actor, Supporting Actor, Ensemble, Screenplay and Film.
The evening also included two non-competitive awards--the Jordan Award--honoring author-activist Regina Louise Kerr-Taylor for her contributions to raising foster care awareness through the arts. And in one of the most heartfelt and humorous moments of the proceedings, Senator Holly J. Mitchell (D-California) presented the inaugural Gary Burrell Humanitarian Award to Modern Family star Ty Burrell--(But not before some spontaneous fun sparked by a blank teleprompter screen.)
Named after his late father, a social worker, the award honors one who embodies the spirit of the organization through advocacy and service. Burrell, who was accompanied by his mother Shirley, has served as host and ambassador for five years.
The star-studded event included presentations by Keltie Colleen Knight , Tichina Arnold, Jen Lilley, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Ariel Winter, Molly C. Quinn, Andrew Tyree Clinkscale. Pre-show entertainment featured jazz phenom, Yuko Mabuchi. Rounding out the annual fundraiser was a delectable courtesy of Impeccable Taste and music by DJ BOVA.
To learn more or make a tax-deductible contribution to Kids in the Spotlight visit: www.kitsinc.org.
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(CREDIT: MARK LAING PHOTOGRAPHY)