Industry Leaders Honored at ‘Best Gay Networking Party in Town’

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Enjoying cocktails and truffle fries on a late afternoon about a week before the 12th annual Power Premiere, producer Stacy Codikow talks about the film biz, gays in Hollywood and why there won’t be a film to premiere at the annual premiere party on Nov. 4 at Eden.

Codikow, the founder of POWER UP (the Professional Organization of Women in Entertainment Reaching Up), says that POWER UP’s latest film, Girl Trash: All Night Long, is stuck in a creative tug-of-war between the producers and the filmmakers.

So instead, the annual fundraiser for the nonprofit production company will focus on the rare opportunity for outsiders to mingle with Hollywood insiders in an intimate setting.

“The club atmosphere really works,” says Codikow. “It’s a sentimental evening of speeches and interaction–a real get-together of people and friends. It’s a fundraiser so anybody can come, but we say it’s the best gay networking party in town.”

Among the 10 Amazing Women and 10 Amazing Men being honored this Sunday at Eden, the female honorees include: Michele Abbott, co-creator of “The L Word”; Kacy Boccamini, a director at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment; Miriam Cutler, an Emmy-nominated composer; Sheila Di Marco, owner of Commercial Talent Agency; Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Sophie B Hawkins; Tristian Higgens, director of Legal at Sony Electronics; Aynee Osborn, sound supervisor on “Hawaii Five-0”; Lynn McCracken, director of “8 Simple Rules,” “Hope and Faith”; Lucy Mukerjee, vice president of production and development at After Dark Films; Coley Sohn, director of the new release “Sassy Pants.”

The male honorees are: Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff, co-presidents at Roadside Attractions; Jim Dobson, president of INDIE PR; Gary Goldstein, co-chair of the WGA’s Gay & Lesbian Writers Committee; Greg Hernandez, editor in chief of Greg In Hollywood; Dan Ireland, producer-director of “Jolene,” “The Whole Wide World”; Larry Kennar, producer of “50 First Dates” and “Barbershop”; attorney Jamie Mandelbaum; Christopher Racster, producer and Outfest staff member; and Guy Shalem, an Emmy nominated writer-director.

The Power Premiere combines celebrity guests, music and mingling with cocktails and comedy (Frangela opens the show). Tickets at the $500 level include seating, open bar, hors d’oeuvres and desserts, a tribute book and tickets to the celebrity pre-party at 6 p.m. The $125 level (7 p.m. arrival) includes a no-host bar, hors d’oeuvres and desserts, and the tribute book.
All tickets are tax deductible.

The funds raised go to POWER UP’s educational programs, which include hands-on filmmaking mentorships, workshops and seminars. While visibility for women has improved since the organization started a dozen years ago, Codikow says there is still a need for the opportunities they provide.

“No one gives access in Hollywood, no one, like we do,” says Codikow. “POWER UP is the only one who will let you sit down with six female show runners for a weekend [workshop] and you can talk to them.”

The Eden is located at 1650 Schrader Blvd., Hollywood. For tickets or more about the group see

Journalist Laurie Schenden covers the entertainment industry, with many of her notable celebrity interviews appearing in the Los Angeles Times and other national and international publications. As a longtime columnist and feature writer for the LA Times, she also covered events and California destinations for the lifestyle, Outdoors and Travel sections. Laurie Schenden's international pieces include the long-running Where Are They Now celebrity feature for Spotlight Magazine, published in five languages. Laurie has also contributed to numerous documentary films, and produces content via Saving Grace Films.

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