Michael Bay

Inside the Hollywood Film Awards, where the stars come to rehearse for other, more important awards shows

Inside the Hollywood Film Awards, where the stars come to rehearse for other, more important awards shows

Three cold shrimp on a plate, swimming in cocktail sauce. This was the meal served to stars like Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman and Clint Eastwood on Sunday evening at the Hollywood Film Awards, the annual event that bills itself as “The Official Launch of the Award Season.”

In reality, no one quite knows what to make of the HFAs, which were founded in 1997 by Mozambique-born entrepreneur Carlos de Abreu and his wife, Janice Pennington, who once modeled on “The Price Is Right.” For years, top film stars and directors have shown up to accept prizes from the organization, even though it’s long been unclear who exactly votes on the awards. Executives at Dick...

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