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Int’l Student Film Festival Award Reception on November 1, 2005
at 7:00pm at the Beverly Garland's Holiday Inn in North Hollywood

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – October 10, 2005 – International Student Film Festival Hollywood President/Founder Robin Saban is pleased to announce Lainie Kazan as the recipient of the 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award during the opening ceremonies of the 3 rd Annual International Student Film Festival on November 1, 2005 at 7:00pm at the Beverly Garland’s Holiday Inn in the NoHo Arts District.

The International Student Film Festival Hollywood Lifetime Achievement Award was established to honor a single honoree based on the recipient’s active career.

 Lainie Kazan is like no other. She’s the embodiment of the word entertainer - an artist who has reached the pinnacle in virtually every area of performance. For the past forty years, Kazan has deftly combines the disparate qualities of a worldly performer. Kazan’s work is a high-charged, vivacious individual suffused with personality, humor, warmth and passion.

 Kazan received critical acclaim for her role in the blockbuster comedy “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” which has grossed more $600 million worldwide and won the People’s Choice Award. From Francis Ford Coppola’s “One From the Heart,” her Golden Globe nominated performance in Richard Benjamin’s “My Favorite Year” with Peter O’Toole, her performances in “Beaches” with Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey and appearances on “St. Elsewhere,” “The Paper Chase,” “Will & Grace,” “The Nanny” and “Veronica's Closet,” Kazan has never stopped given award winning performances while balancing out the raising of a family and devoting her time to numerous causes. Kazan co-stars with Patricia Heaton and Vincent Spano in the TNT Original Movie “The Engagement Ring” which premieres on TNT on November 28. She also has starring roles in two upcoming independent films, a musical version of “Red Riding Hood” directed by Randal Kleiser and “Whiskey School” with Olympia Dukakis and Mary Stuart Masterson directed by Peter Masterson.

 The International Student Film Festival Hollywood provides student filmmakers from the most over around the world a unique opportunity to showcase their work before entertainment industry decision makers while competing for scholarships and monetary prizes. For more information on the festival, please visit or contact Robin Saban at,
818-203-4179 or via email

 About Lainie Kazan

Lainie Kazan was born in Brooklyn, New York. Though her most notable character piece was Greek, her ethnicity is Spanish and Russian-Jew (Her surname name is Levine, and Kazan was her mother’s birth name). While still a junior at Hofstra University, she received her Equity card, and at twenty-three landed on Broadway as Barbra Streisand’s understudy in “Funny Girl.” After eighteen months into the run, Lainie got the chance to go on for an ailing Barbra. With several electrifying performances, Kazan became the “Chanteuse” of her native New York.

Her brief but stirring performance led to work in nightclubs, TV variety shows (appearing on the “Dean Martin Show” twenty six times), and her own NBC variety special. In the early seventies, she posed for a Playboy spread, and several years later, she opened Lainie’s Room in Los Angeles and Manhattan with business partner, Hugh Hefner.

In 1981, Francis Ford Coppola caught Lainie’s singing act at San Francisco’s Fairmount Hotel. Impressed with her mellow voice and sultry presence, he offered her a role in “One From The Heart.” She went on to complete over thirty films, including: “My Favorite Year” with Peter O’Toole, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination, “Beaches,” “The Associate” with Whoopi Goldberg, “What’s Cooking” directed by Gurinder Chadha, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” with Nia Vardolos, “Gigli” with Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez and many more.

A multitalented entertainer, Kazan has garnered kudos for her work on stage, screen, and records. She has appeared in a variety of television shows, from “St. Elsewhere” (Emmy Award nomination) to “The Paper Chase” (Cable ACE Award nomination). On Broadway, Lainie reprised her role in the musical version of “My Favorite Year” (Tony Award nomination) and later, “The Government Inspector.” She recorded half a dozen albums and her new CD, In The Groove, features her daughter, Jennifer Bena, on several tracks. Lainie has also performed with a number of symphonies around the country. Of Kazan’s voice, Lena Horne once said, "It’s like fine wine, sparkling and keeps flowing--smooth and tasty."

One performance Kazan is especially proud of is the Broadway tribute to Ethel Merman, Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly!, a benefit for the New York’s Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC). Several years ago, she assembled Elaine Stritch, Patty LuPone, Bette Midler, Madeline Kahn, and Andrea Martin and produced and starred in the event. A year after this production, Lainie gave a concert in Acapulco to assist ACIDA, an AIDS project that is headed by a dress designer friend of hers. She is also active with Angel Project, Young Musician’s Foundation, AIDS Project Los Angeles, Haven House, a shelter for battered women and their children, and Camp Heartland, a camp for children whose lives have been impacted with HIV/AIDS. A supporter of a variety of charity organizations, Kazan was named Woman of the Year by B'nai Brith, serves on the board of The Young Musicians Foundation and was recently elected to the board of governors of the Screen Actors Guild.

About International Student Film Festival

After years of work in film and theater and passionate about the opportunity to offer student filmmakers well-deserved recognition for their talents, entertainment industry veteran Robin Saban founded the festival focused solely on students in September of 2003.

The International Student Film Festival Hollywood, a non-profit 501 (C) 3, offers student filmmakers from all over the world a unique opportunity to gain the recognition of film industry leaders, create career development opportunities in their home countries and the U.S., and celebrate new artistic discoveries from all over the world. By offering a forum for international student filmmakers to showcase their films, the ISFFH seeks to bring worldwide attention to student filmmaking talent and artistic vision as the “international liaison” bringing together promising creative talent form all corners of the earth.

Participants must be registered in junior high or high school, community college, university, graduate or private film schools. Students compete with their peers (i.e. high school students will only compete with other high school students), is open to students of all ages and academic backgrounds. Non-student films will not be accepted.

Student films will be showcased either through their video and/or film presentations. English subtitles are required for foreign films or videos not produced in English.

The International Student Film Festival Hollywood is hosted and sponsored by the North Hollywood Art District, one of the fastest growing and developing areas of Los Angeles County. The Academy of Television Arts and Science recently selected the district for its headquarters. Over thirty independent theatres and numerous art galleries and independent museums permeate throughout the developing cultural district. NOHO Arts District is moving towards becoming the sister district of SOHO Arts District in New York.

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