'Rouge' Lends Color to Fest

The Hollywood Film Festival, which begins its fifth annual run in the heart of Tinseltown on Thursday, has tabulated the votes of more than 40,000 people who cast ballots over the Internet and at more than 1,800 Hollywood Video stores, and the results are official: This year's "Hollywood Movie of the Year" goes to director Baz Luhrmann's glitzy musical "Moulin Rouge," while its two stars--Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor--walked off with the best actress and actor honors.

The awards will be handed out next Monday at a gala dinner held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, where the scheduled presenters include actors Harrison Ford, Sandra Bullock, Charlize Theron and Jacqueline Bisset and directors Sydney Pollack, Penny Marshall and Michael Apted.

It wasn't that long ago that Hollywood cast a suspicious eye at the Hollywood Film Festival, which was the brainchild of a former Cartier marketing executive named Carlos de Abreu. How times have changed. Now, publicists for major stars are throwing their weight behind the event, and even some studios are beginning to take an interest.

The Los Angeles premiere of Paramount Classics' "An American Rhapsody" will be held Friday at 7 p.m. in the Paramount Theater at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, while DreamWorks' new Woody Allen film, "The Curse of the Jade Scorpion," will have a special closing night screening at 6 p.m. Sunday in the Chaplin Theater at Raleigh Studios across from Paramount.

"This is the first year we decided to actively pursue movie studio releases," de Abreu said. "Next year, we're going to expand the participation of movie studio premieres."

A total of 14 feature films, 18 documentaries and 12 shorts will be screened during the festival, and a film industry conference featuring producers, directors and others working in the business will be held Thursday through Sunday at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

Compiled by Times staff writers

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