Magic and Cookie Johnson to Be Honored at Elizabeth Taylor Ball to End AIDS – Film News in Brief

The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) announced on Tuesday that NBA Hall of Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson and entrepreneur Cookie Johnson will be commemorated at this year’s Elizabeth Taylor Ball to End AIDS on Sept. 21 at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Both Magic and Cookie Johnson will be presented with the Elizabeth Taylor Commitment to End AIDS Award at the ball.

Paris Jackson and Christine Chiu serve as this year’s gala’s co-chairs. The event will sport a number of 270 guests entertained by a live auction in partnership with Chiu presenting a number of art/luxury experiences, a live performance and an exclusive look at items from The Elizabeth Taylor Archive.

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“We loved Elizabeth Taylor’s passion, activism and the work we did together in the fight against HIV and AIDS,” said Magic and Cookie Johnson. “Since beginning this journey in the early ’90s, we’ve dedicated our lives to raising awareness and funding programs to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS. We would like to thank The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation for recognizing our commitment to an AIDS-free world by honoring us with The Elizabeth Taylor Commitment to End AIDS Award at this year’s gala. Although there is still work to be done, we appreciate the acknowledgement and look forward to continuing to advocate for those who need it most.”

The Magic Johnson Foundation’s (MJF) “I Stand With Magic” program ran from 2006 to 2009, granting free HIV/AIDS testing to around 80,000 Americans across 16 varying cities. The program served as an educational tool to teach citizens about HIV, associated risk factors and the importance of testing.

“The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation is grateful to Earvin ‘Magic’ and Cookie Johnson for agreeing to be honored with The Elizabeth Taylor Commitment to End AIDS Award at this year’s gala,” said Catherine Brown, executive director of The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. “The courage, compassion, and empathy of the Johnsons over the last 30 years have resulted in a tremendous positive impact on people living with HIV and AIDS.”

Laika Film Studio Adds Two New Executives to Live-Action Division

Laika, the film studio that produced “Coraline” and “ParaNorman,” has added two new executives to its live-action division. Jeremy Kipp Walker will serve as executive vice president of live-action production, and Chaz Salembier as the creative vice president of live-action film. Both will report to Matt Levin, president of live-action film & series.

In a statement, Levin said, “I have had the privilege of working closely with Jeremy for over 10 years – he’s one of the most talented and respected producers in the business and I could not ask for a better partner. Chaz is an exceptional creative executive who will be an incredible champion for filmmakers and bold, original storytelling at Laika.”

Walker is an independent film producer whose credits include “The Big Sick” and “Half Nelson.” He recently served as head of production for Netflix’s independent film division where he oversaw production of Netflix original films and helped develop the streamer’s Emerging Filmmaker Initiative.

For the last decade, Salembier was a creative executive in Disney’s live-action department, and worked on films like “Lady and the Tramp,” “Pinocchio,” and “Peter Pan and Wendy.” He recently served as lead executive for “Rise” and “Chang Can Dunk.”

Currently, Laika is in production for their sixth animated film, “Wildwood,” and is developing their first live-action project based on the thriller novel “Seventeen” by John Brownlow.

Shelly Johnson Elected President of the American Society of Cinematographers

The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Board of Governors has elected Shelly Johnson as the organization’s 47th president.

Additionally, vice presidents Charlie Lieberman, John Simmons and Patti Lee; treasurer Charles Minsky; secretary Dejan Georgevich; and sergeant-at-arms Chris Chomyn join the ASC’s new slate of officers.

Johnson hails as a Art Center College of Design graduate who has worked part of varying television and movie projects, including the 1997 retelling of Stephen King’s “The Shining.” Johnson, too, worked on other feature films including “Jurassic Park III,” “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters,” “The Wolfman,” “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “Greyhound.”

“The collaborative spirit of the ASC will carry on with a continued focus on industry education, mentorship and diversity outreach,” Johnson said. “Our membership is embracing new technologies, and looking forward to developing the latest tools to facilitate the creation of images that resonate with audiences. Our doors are open as we welcome all artistic and technical minds venturing to expand meaningful storytelling.”

The ASC is a nonprofit organization “inspiring the next generation of cinematographers and advancing the art of filmmaking through many industry events and initiatives.”

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