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Pepperdine University Hosts the Hollywood Visionaries and Beyond

In a unique exploration of the culture of faith, family legacies, and the entertainment industry, Pepperdine University will host a series of film screenings, panel discussions, and a library exhibit celebrating the Jewish visionaries who helped create Hollywood. Developed in collaboration with the Center for Entertainment, Media and Culture and Pepperdine University Libraries, "The Hollywood Visionaries and Beyond" series is supported by the Brenden Mann Foundation founded by Johnny Brenden, the grandson of Hollywood producer and theater magnate Ted Mann. The series will explore how the aspirations of Jewish immigrants became the celluloid dreams embraced by audiences around the world.

"From the beginning, Hollywood was a family business presided over by legendary names like Mayer, Goldwyn, Laemmle, Warner, and Zukor," said Craig Detweiler, director of Pepperdine's Center for Entertainment, Media and Culture. "How appropriate that Johnny Brenden seeks to remember the legacy of his grandfather, Ted Mann, with this celebration of Hollywood visionaries." Ted Mann received an honorary doctorate from Pepperdine in 1989.

George SchlatterGeorge Schlatter

Kicking off the series is an evening celebration in tribute to alumnus George Schlatter, the award-winning creator and executive producer of the groundbreaking television show Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In. Hosted by Larry King, "Still Laugh-In: A Toast to George Schlatter" will be held Wednesday, Sept. 25, at 8 p.m. at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, Calif. The tribute will serve as a benefit for the creation of the George Schlatter Comedy Collection at Pepperdine and will feature such noted entertainment legends as Lily Tomlin and Tim Conway.

"This is our chance to honor a lifetime of service—to the art of comedy and the joy of laughter," said Detweiler. "What's more, this evening will continue George's lifelong commitment to comedy by creating a gathering place and living laboratory at Pepperdine to learn the art of improv, and comedic writing and performance."

To register for "Still Laugh-In," please visit the event registration website.

During his career, Schlatter was nominated for 15 Emmy Awards, winning twice for Laugh-In as Outstanding Musical or Variety Program and for Sammy Davis, Jr. 60th Anniversary Celebration as Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special. He was also nominated for a Writers Guild of America award in 1997. Schlatter has been credited for helping to launch the careers of such entertainers as Lily Tomlin, Goldie Hawn, and Robin Williams. He was the creator and producer of the annual American Comedy Awards and the television program, Real People.

Continuing the series of events will be the "Hollywood Visionaries Exhibition: the Photography of Leigh Wiener"at Payson Library, Malibu, opening Tuesday, Oct. 1, which will feature photography from the golden age of Hollywood by noted photographer Leigh Wiener as well as well as photographs of legendary Los Angeles movie palaces from the collection of Bruce Corwin. "Leigh Wiener's extraordinary photographs capture a pivotal time in the history of filmmaking, and reveal the full humanity of the producers and studio heads who shaped American dreams," said Mark Roosa, dean of Pepperdine University Libraries.

"American Dreams and the Big Screen: Projections of Jewish, Faith, Ethnicity, and Culture Through the Generations" will take place Tuesday, Oct. 1, at Elkins Auditorium, Malibu, and feature clips from films Gentleman's Agreement, The Graduate, and A Serious Man.

On Tuesday, Oct. 15, a screening of My Favorite Year with Norman Steinberg will take place in Elkins Auditorium and explore the theme "Jewish Humor in the TV Writers' Room."

The Laemmle families and Universal's horror films will be featured in the panel discussion "From Draculas to Dybbuks" on Tuesday, Oct. 29.

For more information and to register for "Women in Hollywood," please visit the Straus Institute website.

"Women in Hollywood: 100 Years of Negotiating the System," a two-day symposium cosponsored by the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at the School of Law and the Center for Entertainment, Media and Culture, will take place Friday to Saturday, Nov. 15 to 16, on the Malibu Campus. Featured speakers include Hunger Games producer Nina Jacobson, Lean In co-author Nell Scovell, and Twilight series screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg. An evening reception, "Lean In: Honoring the Next Wave of Hollywood Women Leaders," held at the Malibu Jewish Center and Synagogue will conclude the symposium.

"Women in creative, business, and legal roles still face a scarcity of opportunities in entertainment," said professor Thomas J. Stipanowich, academic director of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law. "We hope this event will help advance the discussion on how to manage conflicts and relationships, both personal and professional, in order to successfully negotiate the system."

For more information about The Hollywood Visionaries and Beyond, please visit the Center for Entertainment, Media, and Culture website.

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