Friday, February 28, 2014

Dining With the Stars:
Hollywood Salutes The Wrap's Fifth Anniversary

Give Them Five!

Whether Old School or new media, any publication that not only survives but flourishes for five years is doing everything right. That’s certainly the case with the movie business go-to web site “The Wrap.”

Former New York Times reporter Sharon Waxman launched the lively, tremendously informative site in 2009. It’s become one of Hollywood’s daily must reads, thanks to its smart reporting and analysis, complemented by its sharp, attractive design.

“We have been embraced by the insider Hollywood community for some time,” Waxman said, “and are now seeing that credibility scale into a broad consumer community that is savvy about
the entertainment business and eager for an intelligent, insider read.”
Sharon Waxman, Sony Classics' co-chief Tom Bernard
at The Wrap's fifth anniversary celebration

While acknowledging what she calls “those two intersecting communities,” Waxman declares that “no matter how big we get – and we grew 500% just last year – we will never lose sight of our core 
mission of serving the entertainment professional. That is the heart of our value as a news 

Working hard to succeed is one thing, but there’s always time for some good fun and fine food. That’s what The Wrap offered the film community on Wednesday evening at its swanky annual Oscar-week party. A mix of old and young Hollywood turned out in force at celebrity hangout Culina in Beverly Hills to party with The Wrap’s editorial team.
Oscar nominee June Squibb with Denis Haysbert

We spotted industry venerables producer Mike Medavoy, powerhouse manager Rick Nicita, former AMPAS president Sid Ganis, Lionsgate co-chairman Rob Friedman, and “Nebraska’s” June Squibb, who will find out on Sunday if she wins the Best Supporting Actress Oscar.

Also on hand were “Nebraska” producers Ron Yerxa and Albert Berger, Sundance Institute mainstay Michelle Satter, CAA marketing maven Megan Crawford, attorney Linda Lichter, Oscar-nominated cinematographer (“Nebraska”) Phedon Papamichael, Relativity founder Ryan Kavanaugh, and producer Jonathan Dana, whose compelling documentary “The Galapagos Affair” premiered at Telluride last fall.
Jane Seymour and Relativity's Ryan Kavanaugh
Jane Seymour, Ken Howard, and Denis Haysbert were sampling the lavish buffets, as were top foreign language film awards consultants M.J. Peckos and Steven Raphael. They were accompanied by Adam Bakri, star of their Oscar-nominated “Omar” from Palestine. It’s a terrific movie, made all the more watchable by Bakri’s magnetic performance in the lead role.

And we chatted with The Wrap's Oscar guru Steve Pond, the only guy in town we believe when he says he fully understands the Academy's preferential voting system in the Best Picture category.

Rain was forecast but didn’t arrive. Either way it would not have dampened this five-star evening.

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