CSUN Renames South Wing of Manzanita Hall to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Wing

Plus, we have highlights from the panel discussion hosted by Jenna Elfman.

Photo Credit: Allison Bird

California State University, Northridge (CSUN) renamed its south wing of the Manzanita Hall to the “Hollywood Foreign Press Association Wing in honor of the HFPA’s significant and continued investment in the Department of Cinema and Television Arts (CTVA) this afternoon (September 15).

For those of you who don’t know, CSUN’s relationship with the HFPA dates back to 1996, with an initial gift of $500. Today’s dedication is in celebration of the $2 million grant the HFPA just donated to CSUN’s CTVA department to support students, and enhance technology along with the creation of a Hollywood Foreign Press Association Scholars program.

“The HFPA is investing in improving the film and television community with grants to education, the arts and film preservation,” said Dianne F. Harrison, President of California State University, Northridge.

Harrison continued saying, “for their desire to make positive change in the face of entertainment, celebrate diversity and offer opportunity for underrepresented students to have a chance to pursue a career in entertainment, I applaud the HFPA and acknowledge the university’s gratitude for all your philanthropy has accomplished.”

Photo Credit: Allison Bird

Followed by the special ceremony, actress and CSUN alumna Jenna Elfman moderated a short panel discussion to a packed house about the history and evolution of the HFPA, where panelists also shared personal anecdotes from over the years about some of the most iconic actors of our time. Panelists included Noel de Souza, Jorge Camara, Aida Takla-O’Reilly, Philip Berk, and Mahfouz Doss.

Elfman covered many topics in her panel with the guests, however there were four moments that really stood out to the audience listening in on the panel.

First, panelists were asked about their favorite celebrity interview from over the years. The entire panel agreed in unison that Alfred Hitchcock was by far their favorite. They admired his honesty, humor and directness.

Second, Elfman asked about their most memorable Golden Globe moment. Doss answered, “I remember the event with Marilyn Monroe and Rock Hudson.  As a matter of fact, someone took a picture of me. It was me, Marilyn Monroe and Rock Hudson. The three of us together.” When Elfman asked if he still had the photo, Doss responded, “Yes, I still have it. I show it to people from time to time.” Elfman joked, “If you get pulled over by the police, just pull that out.”  As the room erupted with laughter, Doss replied, “That’s what I’ll do.”

Third, Elfman asked the panelists about how they managed to file their newspaper stories in time for their deadlines before technology existed. Camara replied with his anecdote, “I would go to the airport and find people who were flying to Mexico City. I would ask them if they could please take the story with them. Fortunately, most of them said yes. Then when they got into Mexico City, there was somebody there waiting to greet them. That was our system.”

Lastly, when Elfman asked the group about their most memorable interview, de Souza recalled, “In the early days, we didn’t have these press conferences, so the studio publicists would get us one-on-one {interviews}. I had one with Charles Bronson. I went up to his house and I remember he was teaching me how to do karate and jiu jitsu, while we were munching on cookies.”

Written by Juliet Schroder

Juliet is the founder and executive producer/host of Celeb Secrets and Celeb Secrets Country. When not reporting on the latest news in pop culture and country music, she enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, and exploring the latest fashion trends.

Juliet holds a B.S. in marketing from St. John's University.