Hollywood Fest Fetes Howl’s, War, Batman, Sin

This year’s Hollywood Film Festival will honor Hayao Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle with the Animation of the Year Award. The fest, which takes place Oct. 18-24, will also see top kudos go to Paramount’s War of the Worlds, Warner Bros.’ Batman Begins and Dimension’s Sin City. The awards will be handed out at the Hollywood Awards gala ceremony on Monday, Oct. 24, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Miyazaki’s previous animated feature, the critically lauded Spirited Away, took top toon honors at many festivals worldwide before receiving the Best Animated Feature Oscar for 2003. Howl’s Moving Castle, released in North America by Disney, is sure to be one of this year’s big awards season competitors. The film is a love story about an 18-year-old girl trapped in an old woman’s body and a magician who undertake a magical adventure on an enchanted walking castle.

War of the Worlds will be honored with the festival’s Hollywood Visual Effects of the Year Award. Director by Steven Spielberg’s summer blockbuster features vfx work by Industrial Light & Magic. The team was led by senior visual effects supervisor Dennis Muren, who has been nominated for twelve Oscars and has won six times. His credits include Jurassic Park, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, The Abyss, Innerspace, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Star Wars: Episode V–The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Episode VI–Return of the Jedi.

Batman Begins will take home the Hollywood Sound of the Year Award. The film’s supervising sound editor is David G. Evans, whose film credits include Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, Die Another Day and the David Cronenberg pics Spider, Crash, M. Butterfly and The Fly.

The Hollywood Make-Up of the Year Award will be bestowed upon Sin City from directors Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez. Industry legend Gregory Nicotero (Ray, Kill Bill) helped bring Miller’s graphic novels to the screen with prosthetics that transformed actors Mickey Rourke and Nick Stahl into depraved denizens of Basin City.

Other industry professionals to be honored for achievements in their respective fields this year include Oscar-nominated cinematographer Pawel Edelman, Academy Award-winning editor Walter Murch, Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood, Academy Award-winning production designer Grant Major and casting director Avy Kaufman.

Screenings for the 2005 Annual Hollywood Film Festival will take place at Arclight Theatres in Hollywood. More information can be found at www.hollywoodfestival.com.