Pete Hammond

Attendees of CinemaCon Wednesday night headed to the massive Octavius Ballroom for the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation’s Pioneer of the Year Dinner honoring Jeffrey Katzenberg. The award was presented by host Jack Black, Cameron Diaz, and Antonio Banderas to their Dreamworks Animation employer. Katzenberg was clearly moved by their participation and noted “it doesn’t get better than to have Cameron, Antonio, and Jack here tonight”. He said that he has been in the business 40 plus years but in quoting Will Rogers said that if you want to be successful you need to “know, love and believe” in what you are doing. Monday night, Katzenberg had been at CinemaCon showing off DWA’s latest entries, June’s Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted which is also going to Cannes, and the November entry Rise Of The Guardians. Newly minted 20th Century Fox President-elect of Distribution Chris Aronson spoke on behalf of the Pioneers which raised over $1 million from the 71st annual dinner this year. It was also the one event of CinemaCon that managed to bring all the various studio heads of distribution together in one common goal.

Awards Columnist Pete Hammond - tip him here.