LOS ANGELES (AP) — Days before the Academy Awards celebrates the finest in film, unite4:good honored the success of individuals serving the global movement for humanity, from stars to everyday visionaries.
Hosted by comedian Andy Samberg, the fete, which was also presented by Variety, brought together figures like Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and Julia Louis-Dreyfus for the formal dinner and awards gala on the Sony Pictures Studio lot on Thursday evening.
"I would like to thank Variety for coming up with another award because our stiletto heels spend far too many nights during the year in their little silk bags," joked Louis-Dreyfus, poking fun at the frenzy of events that cluttered the weeks leading up to Hollywood's biggest night on March 2.
Louis-Dreyfus received the creative commitment in television award for her work with Heal the Bay, an environmental advocacy non-profit dedicated to making Southern California coasts clean.
Forest Whitaker presented the unity recognition award to Bill Clinton, who gave the evening's keynote address. Clinton joked that he was the warm-up act for Sean Penn, who later presented De Niro with the creative commitment in film award and Clear Channel president John Sykes the media social visionary award.
In his address, Clinton mentioned the positive influence of the late Nelson Mandela and Lebanon's perseverance to support his central point: Unite to survive and thrive.
Steve Coogan, who starred in the Oscar-nominated "Philomena," presented the real Philomena Lee with the everyday hero award.
After receiving his honor, De Niro handed "his partner in crime," Scorsese, the creative conscience award for his work on film preservation through The Film Foundation. "Are you kidding," joked De Niro. "The creative conscience award? Have you not seen 'Wolf of Wall Street?'"
Scorsese said that since his foundation's inception in 1990, around 640 films have been restored and preserved.
For her work as a UNICEF ambassador, singer Selena Gomez was awarded the young humanitarian award. She lauded fellow do-gooder, Demi Lovato, who received the evening's young luminary honor, saying, "I am so thankful for you for inspiring me every day. We're here at 21 years old using our voice to help this generation, though sometimes I feel like we're the only ones holding down the fort."
Both Lovato and music visionary recipient, Alicia Keys, performed at the affair. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., William H. Macy, Jada Pinkett Smith, Eva Longoria and Wilmer Valderrama were presenters.