Good things, it is often said, come to those who wait, and it seems that will be the case for those who have been anxiously anticipating the long-gestating Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

It was announced on Monday that the legendary Italian actress Sophia Loren and the noted Ethiopian filmmaker Haile Gerima will be honored at the museum’s opening gala on Sept. 25, which will feature a special dinner prepared by Wolfgang Puck Catering and be just one part of a week of in-person festivities (protected by all required public health and safety measures) leading up to the Sept. 30 launch of the establishment at the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax.

The museum intends to annually present two honors: the Visionary Award, honoring an artist or scholar whose extensive body of work has advanced the art of cinema; and the Vantage Award, honoring an artist or scholar who has helped to contextualize and challenge dominant narratives around cinema. Loren will receive the former and Gerima the latter.

Annette BeningTom Hanks and Bob Iger will also be recognized at the gathering for their leadership of the $388 million campaign to fund the museum, which, according to the announcement, was recently completed.

“The Academy Museum is committed to celebrating and championing the work of film artists, scholars and professionals — through our exhibitions, screenings, programs, collection and now, through our annual gala,” the museum’s director and president Bill Kramer said. “It is such an honor to be able to recognize both Haile Gerima and Sophia Loren for their impactful and inspirational artistry and to acknowledge the incredible work of our Campaign Committee. We are deeply grateful to our Gala Co-Chairs and our sponsors for their extraordinary leadership and support of this inaugural event.”

The gala is being co-chaired by filmmakers Jason Blum and Ryan Murphy, both museum trustees, and Ava DuVernay, who has also been advising the museum about its Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898-1971 exhibition that is slated for 2022. Overseeing event production and design are gala creative director Lisa Love and artistic director Raul Avila.

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