HOLLYWOOD, Calif., Sept. 20, 2011/PRNewswire/ -- The 15th Annual Hollywood Film Festival and Hollywood Film Awards, presented by Starz Entertainment, are pleased to announce that the cast of DreamWorks Pictures and Participant Media's "The Help" - Jessica Chastain, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Allison Janney, Chris Lowell, Ahna O'Reilly, Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone, Sissy Spacek, Mary Steenburgen, Cicely Tyson and Mike Vogel - will be recognized at the Hollywood Awards Gala Ceremony with the "Hollywood Ensemble Acting Award."
The announcement was made today by Carlos de Abreu, Founder of the 15th Annual Hollywood Film Awards Gala Ceremony, which will take place on the evening of Monday, October 24, 2011, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
The Hollywood Film Awards Gala launches the awards season. In the past eight years a total of 73 Oscar nominations and 27 Oscars were given to the honorees of the Hollywood Awards.
The 2011 Hollywood Film Festival has announced they will also honor "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, Editor Stephen Mirrione, Production Designer James Murakami and Visual Effects Supervisor Scott Farrar at their annual Awards Gala. Gore Verbinski's "Rango" will also be honored at the Hollywood Film Awards Gala Ceremony, along with additional honorees to be announced in the coming weeks.
Based on the best-selling novel by Kathryn Stockett, THE HELP stars Academy Award®-nominated Viola Davis (DOUBT) as Aibileen and Emma Stone as Skeeter, two very different, extraordinary women who build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project that breaks societal rules and puts them both at risk at the height of the civil rights movement in 1960s Mississippi. When Aibileen enlists the help of her best friend Minny (Octavia Spencer), their improbable alliance fosters a remarkable sisterhood, instilling all of them with the courage to transcend the lines that define them, and the realization that sometimes those lines are made to be crossed-even if it means bringing everyone in town face-to-face with the changing times. Deeply moving, filled with poignancy, humor and hope, THE HELP is a timeless and universal story about the ability to create change. THE HELP was written for the screen and directed by Tate Taylor and produced by Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan. The film is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.
ABOUT JESSICA CHASTAIN
JESSICA CHASTAIN (Celia Foote) recently co-starred in "Tree of Life," this year's Palme d'Or winner at Cannes, written and directed by Terrence Malick and starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, as well as "The Debt" with Helen Mirren and Sam Worthington. She will next be seen in the feature films "Coriolanus," directed by and co-starring Ralph Fiennes, "The Wettest County" opposite Tom Hardy and Shia LaBeouf, and "Take Shelter."
Chastain attended the Juilliard School where she starred in "Romeo and Juliet." At the senior class Juilliard showcase, Chastain landed a coveted talent deal with Emmy Award-winning executive producer and writer John Wells. After completing a pilot for Wells and director P.J. Hogan, Chastain returned to the stage in the Los Angeles Wadsworth Theatre production of "Salome," where director Estelle Parsons and Al Pacino cast Chastain to play the title role of Salome opposite Pacino. Continuing the collaboration, she starred in the recent film version, "Wilde Salome," directed by Pacino. Chastain's work in "Salome" received enormous critical attention and led to her being cast in the dynamic title role in "Jolene" directed by Dan Ireland. The film also stars Rupert Friend, Frances Fisher, Dermot Mulroney and Michael Vartan. Chastain won the Best Actress Award at the 2008 Seattle Film Festival for this role.
ABOUT VIOLA DAVIS
VIOLA DAVIS (Aibileen Clark) received a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination, a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination and a Golden Globe Award nomination, as well as being voted Best Breakthrough Performance-Female by the National Board of Review for her role as Mrs. Miller in "Doubt." Davis's other feature film credits include "It's Kind of a Funny Story," "Trust," "Eat Pray Love," "Knight & Day," "Law Abiding Citizen," "State of Play," "Madea Goes to Jail," "Nights in Rodanthe," "Disturbia," "Syriana," "Get Rich or Die Tryin'," "Solaris," "Antwone Fisher" (for which she was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award), "Far From Heaven," "Kate & Leopold," "Traffic," and "The Substance of Fire." She will next be seen in Stephen Daldry's "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close."
On Broadway, Davis won Tony Awards for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play for her role in "King Hedley II" and Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play for "Fences." Off-Broadway she has also won many awards for her work.
On television, Davis was seen last year in a six-episode arc in Showtime's hit series "United States of Tara." She also starred in the A&E miniseries "The Andromeda Strain," and enjoyed recurring roles on "Law & Order: SVU" and in the CBS miniseries franchise "Jesse Stone." Additional television credits include "Traveler," "Century City," "Lefty," and "City of Angels." She also had roles in Oprah Winfrey's "Amy and Isabelle," and Hallmark Hall of Fame's "Grace and Glorie."
ABOUT BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD
BRYCE DALLAS HOWARD (Hilly Holbrook) is one of Hollywood's most versatile and dynamic talents both on screen and behind the camera. Her feature-film acting credits include "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse," "Hereafter," "The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond," "Terminator Salvation," "Spider Man 3," "Lady in the Water," "The Village," and "Manderlay." She will next be seen in Jonathan Levine's comedy "50/50," opposite Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Howard also received a 2008 Golden Globe Award nomination for her performance as Rosalind in HBO's adaptation of Shakespeare's "As You Like It," written and directed by Kenneth Branagh. Expanding her creative reach beyond acting, Howard produced Gus Van Sant's soon to be released "Restless." She made her directorial debut with the short film "Orchids" and currently has a feature in development as a screenwriter.
After leaving the Tisch School of the Arts program at New York University, Howard immediately began working on the New York stage, including playing the role of Marianne in the Roundabout's Broadway production of "Tartuffe"; Rosalind in the Public Theatre's "As You Like It"; Sally Platt in the Manhattan Theater Club's production of Alan Ayckbourn's "House/Garden"; and Emily in the Bay Street Theater Festival's production of "Our Town."
ABOUT ALLISON JANNEY
ALLISON JANNEY (Charlotte Phelan) has starred in numerous feature films, including "Life During Wartime," "A Thousand Words," "Away We Go," "Juno," and "Hairspray." She also appeared in the comedy "Strangers with Candy," was heard as the voice of Gladys in DreamWorks' animated comedy "Over the Hedge" and received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for her work in "Our Very Own."
Janney also starred opposite Meryl Streep in "The Hours," which received a SAG Award nomination for Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture. Other feature credits include "American Beauty" (for which she won a SAG Award for Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture) and the Disney/Pixar animated feature "Finding Nemo" (as the voice of Peach), as well as "Nurse Betty," "How to Deal," "Drop Dead Gorgeous," "10 Things I Hate About You," "Primary Colors," "The Ice Storm," "Six Days Seven Nights," "The Object of My Affection" and "Big Night." She will soon be seen starring in "The Oranges," "Margaret" and "Lucky Them."
On television, Janney starred as C.J. Gregg on "The West Wing," for which she won four Emmy Awards, as well as four SAG Awards. She currently stars on the ABC comedy "Mr. Sunshine," with Matthew Perry. Janney was recently seen on Broadway as Violet Newstead in the musical "9 to 5," for which she received a Tony Award nomination and Drama Desk Award.
ABOUT CHRIS LOWELL
CHRIS LOWELL (Stuart Whitworth) starred as Dell, in ABC's "Grey's Anatomy," and its spin-off "Private Practice." His additional television credits include the series regular roles of Piz, on the critically acclaimed "Veronica Mars," and Jonathan Fields in ABC's "Life as We Know It."
In feature films, Lowell appeared in the Oscar®-nominated "Up in the Air," directed by Jason Reitman and starring George Clooney. His other films include "Spin," directed by Henry Pincus, and "Graduation," directed by Michael Mayer. He will soon be seen in writer/director Maggie Kiley's "Light Years."
ABOUT AHNA O'REILLY
With numerous film and television credits to her name, AHNA O'REILLY (Elizabeth Leefolt) has emerged as one of Hollywood's most sought after young actors. O'Reilly's previous film credits include the comedy "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" alongside Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis and Russell Brand as well as "Nancy Drew" with Emma Roberts, Amy Bruckner and Kay Panabaker. O'Reilly's television credits include a recent appearance on The CW's "Vampire Diaries" as well as "CSI:NY," and "Unhitched."
ABOUT OCTAVIA SPENCER
OCTAVIA SPENCER (Minny Jackson) began her acting career in 1995 in Joel Schumacher's "A Time to Kill," opposite Sandra Bullock. Since that time she has built a diverse and impressive resume and in 2009 was lauded by Entertainment Weekly online for her comedic timing when she was named one of the "25 Funniest Actresses in Hollywood." Spencer's extensive feature film credits include "Peep World," "Dinner for Schmucks," "Small Town Saturday Night," "Herpes Boy," "Halloween II," "The Soloist," "Drag Me to Hell," "Seven Pounds," "Pretty Ugly People," "Coach Carter," "Charm School," "Win a Date with Tad Hamilton," "Bad Santa," "Spiderman," "Big Momma's House," "Being John Malkovich" and "Never Been Kissed." In 2009, Spencer directed and produced a short film entitled "The Captain" which was a finalist for the coveted Poetry Foundation Prize at the Chicago International Children's Film Festival.
On television, Spencer starred in the Comedy Central series "Halfway Home" and completed a five-episode arc as the character Constance Grady on the hit series "Ugly Betty." Additionally, Spencer has been seen in guest-starring roles on shows including "The Big Bang Theory," "E.R.," "CSI," "CSI: NY," "Raising the Bar," "Medium" and "NYPD Blue."
ABOUT EMMA STONE
EMMA STONE (Skeeter Phelan) recently co-starred in Warner Bros comedy, "Crazy, Stupid, Love," opposite Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling and "Friends with Benefits" opposite Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis. She will next be seen in Columbia Pictures' "The Amazing Spider-Man."
In 2010, Stone earned rave reviews and a Golden Globe Award nomination for her performance in the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award winning comedy "Easy A," for which she also won the 2011 MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance. Stone also recently lent her voice to the DreamWorks Animation comedy "The Croods" along with Ryan Reynolds and Nicholas Cage, which is slated for release in 2013. Stone's film credits include the independent drama "Paperman," the Twentieth Century Fox animated comedy, "Marmaduke," Columbia Picture's hit comedy "Zombieland," the Warner Brothers romantic comedy "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past," the Columbia Pictures/Happy Madison hit comedy, "The House Bunny," Twentieth Century Fox's "The Rocker" and the Judd Apatow comedy "Superbad," where she portrayed the love interest of Jonah Hill.
ABOUT SISSY SPACEK
SISSY SPACEK (Missus Walters) has been one of the industry's most respected actresses for almost four decades. Her many honors include an Academy Award, five additional Oscar nominations, three Golden Globe Awards, and numerous critics awards. She first gained the attention of critics and audiences with her performance in Terrence Malick's widely praised 1973 drama "Badlands," in which she starred opposite Martin Sheen. In 1976, Spacek earned her first Academy Award nomination and won a National Society of Film Critics Award for her chilling performance in the title role of Brian De Palma's "Carrie," based on the Stephen King novel. The following year, she won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for her work in Robert Altman's "Three Women."
In 1980, Spacek starred as Loretta Lynn in the acclaimed biopic "Coal Miner's Daughter," winning the Oscar and Golden Globe Award for her performance. Spacek received another Golden Globe nomination the next year for her work in "Raggedy Man," directed by her husband, Jack Fisk. She earned her third Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for her role in Costa-Gavras' 1982 drama "Missing," opposite Jack Lemmon, and her fourth Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for her work in 1984's "The River," in which she starred with Mel Gibson. In 1987, Spacek gained her fifth Academy Award nomination and won another Golden Globe and the New York film Critics Circle Award for her performance in the dark comedy "Crimes of the Heart." Her most recent Oscar nomination came for her portrayal of a mother grieving for her murdered son in the drama "In the Bedroom," for which she also won a Golden Globe Award, an Independent Spirit Award, and an AFI Film Award for Best Actress. In addition, she garnered Best Actress Awards from a number of critics' organizations, including the Los Angeles, New York and Broadcast Film Critics. Her work in "In the Bedroom" also brought Spacek two Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award nominations, one for Outstanding Lead Actress and another for Outstanding Cast, shared with the rest of the film's ensemble.
Spacek's other film credits include "A Home at the End of the World," "The Straight Story," "Blast From the Past," "Affliction," "The Grass Harp," "JFK," "The Long Walk Home," "'night, Mother," "Marie," "North Country," "Nine Lives," "Hot Rod," "Lake City" and "Four Christmases." Spacek most recently starred in "Get Low" alongside Robert Duvall and Bill Murray. Her next films will be the thriller "Blackbird," and her directorial debut "Sweet Tea" (based on the novel "Goodbye to the Buttermilk Sky" by Julia Oliver). She is also writing her memoir "Barefoot Stories."
ABOUT MARY STEENBURGEN
MARY STEENBURGEN (Elaine Stein) won the Academy Award for her role in Jonathan Demme's "Melvin and Howard." Among her many other feature film credits are "Did You Hear About the Morgans?," "The Proposal," "Four Christmases," "Stepbrothers," "The Brave One," "Nobel Son," "Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School," "Elf," "Sunshine State," "Casa De Los Baby," "Life as a House," "Philadelphia," "Parenthood," "What's Eating Gilbert Grape," "The Grass Harp," "Back to the Future Part III," "Time After Time," "A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy," "Cross Creek," "One Magic Christmas," "Dead of Winter" and "End of the Line," for which she also served as the film's executive producer.
For two seasons on television, Steenburgen starred in the Emmy Award nominated CBS series, "Joan of Arcadia." She also starred in the television film "Southern Discomfort," and in numerous episodes of "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Steenburgen also starred with her husband, Ted Danson, in the television film "It Must Be Love" and in the television miniseries' "Talking to Heaven" and "Gulliver's Travels." Steenburgen starred with Jon Voight and F. Murray Abraham in Robert Halmi's "Noah's Ark" for NBC, and was also nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award®, for her role in "About Sarah." Currently, Steenburgen is starring in a pilot called "Outlaw Country," opposite John Hawkes, for FX. She also appears in the upcoming season of HBO's acclaimed series, "Bored to Death," and in FX's new series, "Wilfred," starring Elijah Wood, which debuts this month.
On stage, Steenburgen starred in the David Mamet-directed play "Boston Marriage" at The Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. Her other theater credits include "The Beginning of August," "Holiday" and "Candida" at New York's Roundabout Theater, and "Marvin's Room" at the Tiffany Theater in Los Angeles.
ABOUT CICELY TYSON
CICELY TYSON (Constantine Jefferson) is an actress, activist and humanitarian, renowned for her portrayals of strong female characters on stage, screen and television. Her career as both pioneer and award-winning actress have made her a respected national treasure and creative force.
Tyson was the first women of color to co-star in a television drama series, "East Side/West Side" and the first woman of color as a series regular on a daytime television soap opera series, "Guiding Light." This remarkable actress is hailed as a gifted performer for her roles in such landmark films as her title role in "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman," in which she played a slave woman ranging in age from 19 to 110 for which she received an unprecedented two Emmy Awards® for Best Actress and Actress of the Year. In addition, she won an Emmy Award® for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the television film "The Oldest Confederate Widow Tells All."
Other prominent performances include Harriet Tubman in the televised special "A Woman Called Moses," Binta, the mother of Kunta Kinte, in Alex Haley's landmark series "Roots," Marva Collins, the innovative Chicago schoolteacher, in "Welcome to Success: The Marva Collins Story," Coretta Scott King, the wife of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in "King," and her roles in both the Hallmark television movie "Relative Strangers" and the NBC series "Sweet Justice," all of which earned her Emmy® nominations.
Critical acclaim continues for Tyson's performance as "Rebecca" in the feature film "Sounder" for which she received an Academy Award® nomination as well as the British equivalent, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award nomination. Other beloved and memorable film credits include "Hoodlum," "The Women of Brewster Place," "Fried Green Tomatoes," "Mama Flora's Family," "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" and "Why Did I Get Married, Too?"
ABOUT MIKE VOGEL
MIKE VOGEL (Johnny Foote) recently co-starred in the critically acclaimed "Blue Valentine." He also appeared in "Cloverfield," "She's Out of My League," the cult thriller "Across the Hall," "The Deaths of Ian Stone," "Open Graves," "Poseidon" and "Rumor Has It."
Vogel received praise for his starring roles in "Supercross" and "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants," as well as for his breakthrough performance in MTV's musical adaptation of "Wuthering Heights" and the box office hit "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre."
About Starz Entertainment, LLC:
The festival and awards presenter is Starz Entertainment, LLC, is a premium movie and original programming entertainment service provider operating in the United States. The company offers 17 premium channels including the flagship STARZ® and ENCORE® brands with approximately 19 million and 32.9 million subscribers respectively. Starz Entertainment airs in total more than 1,000 movies and original series every month across its pay TV channels. Starz Entertainment is recognized as a pay TV leader in providing HD, On Demand, HD On Demand and online advanced services for its STARZ, ENCORE and MOVIEPLEX brands. Starz Entertainment (www.starz.com) is an operating unit of Starz, LLC, which is a controlled subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation and is attributed to the Liberty Starz tracking stock group (NASDAQ: LSTZA).
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