Category Archives: Awards Ceremony

Legendary Actors and Martial Artists Aleong and Novak to Be Inducted Into the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame

  On Saturday, May 20th, legendary actors and martial artists Aki Aleong and Mel Novak will be inducted into the prestigious USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame at their gala in Fullerton, CA. This Hall of Fame was founded by Grandmaster Jim Thomas, Ph.D./D.Sc./Ma.Dsc.

Grandmaster Jim Thomas and Loretta Hallmark

Dr. Thomas is a 10th degree grand master and is recognized as one of 20 worldwide. He has been active in the martial arts field for over half a century. In addition to serving as the head coach for Team USA, he was inducted into 6 various martial arts ‘Hall of Fame’ institutions and listed in ‘Who’s – Who’ in the world of Martial Arts. Grandmaster Thomas has won over 200 awards and trophies and served in the U.S. Air Force for 7 years during the Vietnam Evacuation Era. He was a former athlete for the USA World Class Competition Team and has appeared in over 8 Martial Arts Motions pictures.

Sifu Mark Hoadley

The U.S.A. Martial Arts ‘Hall of Fame’ “Hall of Heroes” was originally created in 1976 by Grand Master Robert Trias, the first man to open a martial arts school in the U.S. In its beginning it was very small in nature and was done spontaneously at various Martial Arts functions. Grandmaster Thomas and Mike Day were called upon to orchestrate this function into what it is today. Even with the passing of Grandmaster Trias and Day, Thomas has kept this event alive himself and includes new exciting things each and every year! This event actually spans three days from May 19th to May 21st with seminars and classes and the gala being on the 20th. Celebrities in attendance at the gala are Kathy Long, Art Camacho, Olivier Gruner and many more. Martial Artist and stand-up comic Mark Hoadley will be opening the gala with his unique style of stand-up comedy. Sifu Hoadley is a 3 time Hall of Fame inductee and last year’s Alliance inductee. Mark frequently performs at The World Famous Comedy Store, The Ice House and the Clown House.

Awardees Aki Aleong and Mel Novak. Photo courtesy of Sheri Determan/PR Photos

Iconic martial artist Aki Aleong has starred in over 50 feature films and 150 TV shows. He has starred in films opposite the likes of Frank Sinatra Jr., Nick Nolte, Christian Slater, Marlon Brando, Faye Dunaway, Joanne Woodward, Ben Kingsley, Ernest Borgnine, Martin Landau, Roger Moore, Peter Lawford, Olivia Hussey, and Pierce Brosnan. He has served on the National Board of the Screen Actors Guild, appointed National Chair of SAG’S EEOC and was a member of the President’s Diversity/Affirmative Action Task Force. Aki’s legendary career started on Broadway in “Teahouse of the August Moon” and “The Interview.” He is probably best known for portraying Senator Hidoshi during the first season of Babylon 5, as well as portraying Mr. Chiang, the aide to Nathan Bates in the weekly series of V: The Series. He also portrayed the character of Colonel Mitamura in Farewell to the King and starred in Missing in Action Part 3 Opposite Chuck Norris and The Quest opposite Jean Claude Van Damme and Roger Moore. Aleong recently starred opposite Jean Claude Van Damme again in Pound of Flesh and just guest starred in an episode of the three time Peabody nominated Suspense show opposite Torohu Masamune (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).

Aki on set with Danny Trejo

Martial arts legend Mel Novak is best known as the iconic Stick the Assassin in Bruce Lee’s final film Game of Death. He has starred in more than 60 feature films opposite the likes of icons such as Steve McQueen, Yul Brenner, Chuck Norris, David Carradine, Rosie O’Donnell, Dan Ackroyd and many others. He has been bestowed with numerous awards for his acting work as well as humanitarian awards. He has been volunteering on Skid Row for over 30 years and has counseled prisoners at the most dangerous prisons in the country and has also volunteered with the Special Olympics. More recently, he starred in Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance, #1 grossing indie martial arts action movie of 2015. Mel also starred in the recently released Sony Pictures’ Checkpoint, opposite William Forsythe, Bill Goldberg, Fred “The Hammer” Williamson and Kenny Johnson. Mel also starred in the much buzzed about Holy Terror opposite Kristine DeBell (Meatballs, The Big Brawl) and Vida Ghaffari (The Mindy Project, Jimmy Kimmel Live).

Mel on the set of Check Point with noted director Thomas J. Churchill and William Forsythe

For more info and to purchase tickets, please go to http://www.usamartialartshalloffame.com/california-2017 or call 714-922-1700

Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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Brain Mapping Foundation Conference and Gala

The Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics (“SBMT”), Brain Mapping Foundation (“BMF”), and the National Center for NanoBioElectonics (“NCNBE”) held their 14th Annual World Brain Mapping and Therapeutics Conference at the swanky Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. SBMT was founded in 2004 to break boundaries in healthcare and to promote global interdisciplinary research to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of patients with central nervous system diseases and disorders. I was unable to attend, but was so impressed with the mission of this foundation that I was compelled to write a post and here it is.

“This year, there are 320 speakers and 12 keynote speakers who addressed state-of-the-art brain science and technology, and pioneering diagnostics therapeutics for Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, brain and spinal trauma, brain cancer, psychiatric disorders, the Autism spectrum, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”), as well as all other neurological disorders,” said Dr. Wes Ashford, Clinical Professor of Stanford University (affiliated), Director of The War Related Illness & Injury Study Center at the VA Palo Alto HCS and the 14th President of SBMT (2016-17). “This year, several sessions of the conference will focus on translation, integration and development of advanced diagnostics and therapeutics for soldiers, veterans and civilians with neurological disorders.”

Annually, the Society and the Brain Mapping Foundation recognizes pioneers in the field of brain mapping and therapeutics with distinguished awards. The Brain Mapping Foundation is holding its “Gathering for the Cure” black tie gala on Thursday, April 20th at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel to celebrate pioneering work of some of the world’s leading scientists, technologists, policymakers, and science advocates.

 

“We had a very competitive pool of applicants this year who are truly remarkable individuals as people and pioneers in their respective fields for which they were selected,” said Dr. Vicky Yamamoto, USC-Keck School of Medicine Cancer Scientist, Executive Director of SBMT, Member of the Board of Brain Mapping Foundation and Co-chair of the Award Committee. “We are truly delighted to recognize the contributions of these colleagues to the field of clinical neuroscience.”

 

The 2017 award recipients are as follows: Professors George Ojemann (Pioneer in epilepsy neurosurgery) and John Adler (inventor of Cyberknife) the recipients of the Pioneer in Medicine award; Congressman Jerry McNerney the recipient of Pioneer in Healthcare Policy Award, Professor Afsaneh Rabiei is recipient of the Pioneer in Technology Development; Travis Roy recipient of Beacon of Courage and Dedication; Golden Axon award for leadership is given to Drs. Wes Ashford (2016-17 President of SBMT), Michael Roy (2012-13 President of SBMT) and Drs. Nasser Kashou, Ajeet Kaushik, Alexander Stahn are the recipients of Young Investigator award.

Dr. Peter Diamandis, Chairman of XPrize, is the keynote speaker at the Brain Mapping Foundation “Gathering for Cure” gala who will be speaking about global innovation.

“SBMT and its science committee includes over 80 scientists that have built this program over the last 16 months”, said the 2018 President Elect of SBMT, Dr. Warren Boling, chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at Loma Linda University (“LLU”). He added “LLU, City of Hope, and Cedars Sinai Medical Center co-sponsored this world class scientific program for its Continuing Medical education (“CME”) accreditation.”

This remarkable scientific program is supported by industry leaders including: Fiagon, Fulgent Diagnostics, Space Bio-Laboratories Co., Ltd, Siemens Healthcare, Medtronic, Codman, Stryker, KLS Martin, Ad-Tech, Zeiss, Anatom-e, Nordic Neuro Lab (“NNL”), Synaptive Medical, Integra , PMT Corporation, HarleQuin Recruiting, Med Valley Home Healthcare Inc, Jupiter 9 Production, CariCord,  Neurotrope BioScience, California Neurosurgical Institute, Nuvasive, the Law office of Nadia Davari, Planet Street Digital Marketing, Apex Photo Studios, Keri Ann Kimball of Kimball Entertainment, Joe Williamson of Williamson Management, SoVeryVida and Neuronavigation Dinamics.

The scientific program of 2017 SBMT annual meeting has 320 speakers and 12 keynote speakers including Congressman Jerry McNerney, Space Traveler and Engineer Anousheh Ansari, Drs. Gary Small (UCLA), Laligam Sekhar (UW), George Ojemann (UW), Mark Humayun (USC), Wes Ashford (Stanford/VA Palo Alto HCS), Warren Boling (LLU), Kyu Rhee (IBM Watson Health), Dean Yamaguchi (Department of Veterans Affair), and RADM Colin Chinn (Defense Health Agency).

“The Brain Mapping Foundation has been on the forefront of wounded warrior care for 14 years by bringing together world leading scientists” said Ret. Navy Commander Dr. Ken Green. “We have engaged NASA centers, NASA Human Health and Performance, National Labs, Departments of Energy, Commerce, State, Defense, Navy, Army, Air Force, and Defense Health Agency, in our G20 Global Brain Mapping Initiative (Neuroscience-20) aimed at rapidly introducing diagnostics and therapeutics in the field.”

Many Hollywood celebrities including:  Tim Kring, Jim Kwik, Matthew Rhodes, Charlie Corwin, James Hong, Kate Linder, Hank Garrett, Mel Novak, Aki Aleong, Navid Negahban, Ken Davitian, Eden Sassoon, Gary Graham, Jimmy Jean-Louis, James Kyson, Dru Mouser, Sophia Milos, Vida Ghaffari, Alison Arngrim, Jarrod Bunch, Max Amini, NFL player Alec Ogletree, Andrew Jang, Tony Denison, Rachel Sterling of Pussycat Dolls, Shanica Knowles, Sean Kanan, Apick Youssefian, Mary Apick, fashion designer Sue Wong, and entrepreneur and publisher Miguel R. Forbes were in attendance at the “Gathering for Cure” gala.

For more information about the “Gathering for Cure” gala registration and donation to the foundation please visit: www.BrainMappingFoundation.Org and for more information about the Society and convention registration for the 14th Annual World Brain Mapping Conference and Gala please visit: www.WorldBrainMapping.Org

All photos courtesy of Bob Delgadillo/PR Photos

Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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Unity at The Universe Multicultural Film Festival

It truly was a small world after all this past weekend, as the Universe Multicultural Film Festival united the diverse worlds of film, fashion and finance. The festival held their lavish red Carpet Awards Ceremony at the RHCC Community Center in Rolling Hills Estates.

Awardee Laurene Landon dazzles in a beautiful green gown

Celebrities in attendance from the event were Lynn Tang, Festival Founder and President, Awardees Aki Aleong (Babylon 5, Walker, Texas Ranger), Mel Novak (Bruce Lee’s Game of Death, Chuck Norris’ An Eye For An Eye), Laurene Landon (Maniac Cop, Sky, the #1 trending movie on Netflix opposite Norman Reedus) and presenter actor/filmmaker Thomas J. Churchill (Check Point, Lazarus: Day of the Dead). Aleong received the Lifetime Achievement Award, Landon received the Trailblazer Award, and Novak received the Living Legend Award.

Awardees Aki Aleong and Mel Novak

The Universe Multicultural Film Festival seeks to bring to the best of classic and contemporary filmmaking from the world and is committed to enlightening the public with a unique international film program, a forum for cultural understanding and enriching educational opportunities. The Festival focuses on showcasing diverse cultural and heritages films, supports the creation and advancement of innovative and artistic cinematic works of both emerging and seasoned filmmakers and proudly embraces the passion, independent spirit and vision of these talented artists. With the integration of the local community and educational institutions into all aspects of the Festival, this Festival stimulates an interest in the study and appreciation of film and encourages people of all ages and background to participate and share the harmony of the universe. In addition to the awards ceremony, this three day festival will have screenings, panels and a fashion show.

Presenter Thomas J. Churchill with awardees Laurene Landon and Mel Novak on the red carpet

This prominent festival was founded by Lynn Tang. Ms. Tang is a film and Broadway musical producer. She is the executive director of Universe Multicultural Film Festival; director of San Diego International Kids’ Film Festival; Founder of Epic ACG Fest; Chairwoman of Maeya Art Festival.

Laurene gives a wonderful and witty acceptance speech with fabulous presenter Thomas J. Churchill

As a film producer, her feature movie “Hiding Sword ” (in China and Hollywood) won the best actor & actress awards at the Los Angeles Nollywood Film Festival. Recently, she served as the executive producer of the Hollywood film “Senior Entourage” starring Hollywood Icons Ed Asner, Mark Rydell, Dick Van Dyke, Helen Reddy; Marion Ross and Charlie Robinson.

Awardees Aki Aleong and Mel Novak

As a Broadway musical producer, her production “Chen Ying Rescuers the Orphan “made to Dolby Theater (Oscar award Home theater) in October 2016. It become the first Broadway Musical to debut at in Dolby theater in history.

Mel’s motivational acceptance speech with Thomas J. Churchill and festival official

For the past 5 years in a row, she has been appointed as the film jury and international commissioner of Seoul Guro International Kids Film Festival ( Korea) and for two years in a row as the Asian Film Block director of the Broadway International Film Festival -Ensenada ( Mexico).

Awardees Mel Novak and Laurene Landon
Awardee Mel Novak and festival founder Lynn Tang
Awardee Laurene Landon and presenter Thomas J. Churchill

Before the entertainment industry, she was a Project Manager specializing in international business exchanges and has served as a management specialist for Fortune 500 companies. She is the Shanghai (China) Zhabei District Investment Advisor and currently serves as the vice chairwoman of the Maeya Culture Exchange Group. Given Ms. Tang’s background, This international festival will unite the worlds of film, fashion and finance. Bravo to Lynn and her team for putting this incredible festival together.

For more info, please go to http://umfilms.org/

All photos are courtesy of Sheri Determan/PR Photos

Vida G.

Vida G.

Vida is an actress and journalist who lives in Los Angeles, California. She is the co-founder of the Hollywood Press Corps.

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The Fourth Annual Nollywood Awards is a Great Success

The fourth annual Los Angeles Nollywood Film Association (LANFA)’s Nollywood Awards took place on Saturday August 6th at the James Bridges Theater at UCLA. This event recognized renowned international talents in the film, music and media industries within the African communities globally. LANFA has experienced tremendous growth since it’s inception and wanted to appreciate all those who have stayed the cause and also given back to their communities. King Bassey is the founder of the Nollywood awards and LANFA. Mark Sevier was the LA Coordinator of LANFA and Amelia Johnson was the head of marketing. Additionally Mark won a best actor award for the film “The Chosen One.”

Mistress of Ceremonies Denise O'Brien, Founder of the Nollywood awards King Bassey, awardee Vida Ghaffari and presenter Ford Austin
Mistress of Ceremonies Denise O’Brien, Founder of the Nollywood awards King Bassey, awardee Vida Ghaffari and presenter Ford Austin
Awardee Mark Sevier
Awardee and LA coordinator for the Nollywood Awards Mark Sevier
Beauty queen and model Amelia Johnson and Mark Sevier
Beauty queen and model Amelia Johnson and Mark Sevier

HPC’s own Vida G. , who is also an award-winning actress and fashion and beauty blogger, was presented with a prestigious Excellence in Media Award at this prestigious event. Celebrated actor Ford Austin presented Vida’s award to her.  Ford is Vida’s co-host on their popular Facebook live show, “Live with Ford and Vida.”  “Live with Ford and Vida” was also an official sponsor of this auspicious event. Entrepreneur Laverne Tillis also presented this award to Vida.

Awardee Vida with her award and presenters Ford Austin and Laverne Tillis
Awardee Vida with her award and presenters Ford Austin and Laverne Tillis. Ford and Vida are dressed in Sai Suman Couture
Romane 4th from left with actor Said Faraj (second from left) and all the other awardees.

Also in attendance was filmmaker and awardee Romane Simon, who is also a prolific author. Simon has an interesting background. Originating from Haiti, his grandfather was Antoine Simon, the president of Haiti.

Presenter and founder of the World Networks Lousine Karibian with awardees Said Faraj and Vida Ghaffari

More info at http://www.Lanfaa.com

Photos courtesy of Mark Sevier and Bob Delgadillo

Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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The Night of 100 Stars – 26th Annual Awards Night Gala – The Beverly Hilton

Blanca Blanco at the Night of 100 Stars. Photo courtesy BurrisAgency
Blanca Blanco at the Night of 100 Stars. Photo courtesy BurrisAgency

 

Actress and model Blanca Blanco arrived at the Night of 100 Stars and turned everyone’s head in a stunning and unique gown by Haute Couture designer Quynh Paris. The shimmering, romantic violet gown accentuated the beauty’s curves and offered a peek-a-boo view of her legs. The movement of the dress was captivating and the material combination of tulle and organza gave volume to the dress, making it appear as though the gown was floating around her.

Actress and model Blanca Blanco in a Quynh Paris design. Photo courtesy BurrisAgency
Actress and model Blanca Blanco in a Quynh Paris design. Photo courtesy BurrisAgency

The complexity of the gown was perfectly offset with simple teardrop diamond earrings and an elegant, side-swiped hairstyle. Blanco made a strong yet delicate statement on the red carpet on Sunday night and fans were blown away with her style and elegance.
Quynh Paris’s handmade gown was inspired by the starlight and she spent two months creating the perfect blend of couture and avant guard fashion.

Photographer and publisher Winston Burris with actress Blanca Blanco
Photographer and publisher Winston Burris with actress Blanca Blanco

Fabby Lifestyle was wowed by the decadent couture and the fabulously bold statement the star and the designer created together on the red carpet. We will be seeing much more from both of these extremely talented ladies in the future.

Actor John Savage at the Night of 100 Stars. Photo courtesy BurrisAgency
Actor John Savage at the Night of 100 Stars. Photo courtesy BurrisAgency
Swiss-born Italian/Greek actress Sofia Milos. Photo courtesy BurrisAgency
Swiss-born Italian/Greek actress Sofia Milos. Photo courtesy BurrisAgency

Judy Hansen Pullos

Judy Hansen Pullos

Judy is a journalist and photographer. She lives in Southern California.

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Actress and Fashion Blogger Vida Ghaffari Honored with an Entrepreneur award

HPC’s very own award-winning actress, voice over artist and fashion blogger Vida Ghaffari was bestowed with a coveted entrepreneur award by the prestigious The World Networks which hosted the 2015 Entrepreneur Awards Ceremony. This event took place at the ritzy Taglyan Complex in Hollywood, CA on Tuesday, December 8th.

Honoree Vida Ghaffari with Founder and CEO of The World Networks Lousine Karibian
Honoree Vida Ghaffari with Founder and CEO of The World Networks Lousine Karibian

Lousine Karibian is the inspiring founder and CEO of The World Networks. “According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, there are over 400 million entrepreneurs in 54 countries, and in the next 5 years each entrepreneur plants to create at least 5 jobs. This is the perfect time to acknowledge these incredible entrepreneurs from all over the world who take risks every day to create a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities,” said Karibian.

Lousine with honoree Jerrie Ueberle, CEO and Founder of Global Interactions World Academy for the Future of Women
Lousine with honoree Jerrie Ueberle, CEO and Founder of Global Interactions World Academy for the Future of Women

“It was truly an honor to be awarded by a visionary like Lousine Karibian and to be amongst such accomplished luminaries in the fields of fashion, beauty, finance, the arts and media,” Vida said.

Atmosphere shot
Atmosphere shot

Guests included over 250 international entrepreneurs, investors, political figures, trendsetters, influencers, entertainment industry professionals, members of the press, and celebrities. The formal gala featured a red carpet, VIP networking reception, followed by a dinner awards ceremony, and heaping gift bags chock full of great gifts. A live performance was provided by Anna Boyrazyan. VIP guests enjoyed tasty signature cocktails by the Official Cocktail Sponsor, Be Tini Spirits along with gifts from 7Q Spa.

Honoree Ruby Polanco, the founder and CEO of Ruby Beauty Academy
Honoree Ruby Polanco, the founder and CEO of Ruby Beauty Academy
Honoree Dawn Christie, a Spiritual Figure, Author and Host
Honoree Dawn Christie, a Spiritual Figure, Author and Host
Designer Luz Correa, Honorees Alice Atakhanian, founder and CEO of Beyond Beauty Parlor and AML Academy and Ghaffari and Maryam Morrison, the Editor-in-Chief of The Eden Magazine
Designer Luz Correa, Honoree Alice Atakhanian, founder and CEO of Beyond Beauty Parlor and AML Academy and Maryam Morrison, the Editor-in-Chief of The Eden Magazine with Honoree Ghaffari
Honoree Julie Kang, founder and CEO of Be Tini Spirts, Karibian, Ghaffari and Honoree Deanna Hodges, Founder and President of Macada Design Group
Honoree Julie Kang, founder and CEO of Be Tini Spirts, Karibian, Ghaffari and Honoree Deanna Hodges, Founder and President of Macada Design Group

In addition to being a very successful blogger and voiceover artist, Ghaffari is best known for her appearances on the television comedies, Mind of Mencia on Comedy Central and The Mindy Project formerly on FOX. She will soon be shooting a role in multi award-winning filmmaker Gregory Hatanaka’s Darling Nikki alongside James Duval (Independence Day, Donnie Darko), Kristine DeBell (Hunter: Future Cop, Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance), Mel Novak (Bruce Lee’s Game of Death, Black Belt Jones) and actor/filmmaker Thomas J. Churchill (Checkpoint, Lazarus: Day of the Living Dead). She will also star in a mob movie written and directed by Churchill and a western written and directed by filmmaker Rick Groat. This multi-talented artist also created a self-titled blog about fashion and beauty called http://www.soveryvida.com and was recently on the cover of FVM Global Magazine. Ever the fashionista, Vida wore an evening gown designed by Aidan Mattox courtesy of Pistol and Stamen PR.

More info about the event at http://www.TheWorldNetworks.com and http://2015entrepreneurawards.weebly.com/

More info about Vida at http://www.imdb.me/vidaghaffari

Photos courtesy of Artin Mardirosian, Billy Bennight/PR Photos, Bob Delgadillo/Contact Music, Airic Lewis and Nima Darabi Bakhtiari.

Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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