Derek Zemrak, Founder of the California Independent Film Festival Association, to be honored with the Golden Halo Award
October 31, 2012
East Bay resident and California Independent Film Festival Association (CAIFFA) Founder, Derek Zemrak, has been selected by the Southern California Motion Picture Council (SCMPC) for the Golden Halo Award.
SCMPC is a non-profit organization founded in 1936 to promote the best in entertainment. The Council encourages production of family oriented films and television programs; promotes civic-minded, educational and cultural programs of exceptional merit and presents awards for the best in movies, television, stage plays and the performing arts. Only the "Best of the Best" in movies and television, stars whose performances deserve special recognition or members of the industry whose outstanding contributions to the field of entertainment are selected. The Golden Halo is the SCMPC's highest award. A partial list of past honorees includes Bette Davis, James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Robert Mitchum, Doris Day and Charlton Heston. The 2011 recipients of this award were Mickey Rooney and Carol Channing.
Derek Zemrak, Founder and President of CAIFF and owner-operator of The New Rheem Theatre in Moraga and The Orinda Theatre, will be honored on October 31st. Oscar winner, Margaret O’Brien nominated Mr. Zemrak this year after meeting him at the 14th Annual California Independent Film Festival, where Ms. O’Brien was honored with the 2012 Diamond Award. Ms. O’Brien stated that she was “so moved by the CAIFFA organization and the kindness and passion of the people was a direct result of Mr. Zemrak”. After learning more of Mr. Zemrak’s passion to save the beautiful art deco theatres for Moraga and Orinda, his contribution to independent filmmakers by giving them a venue to screen their films for over 15 years and his work in producing independent films, the SCMPC committee voted Mr. Zemrak as this year’s honoree.
Mr. Zemrak requested the award be presented at The New Rheem Theatre, a fitting location given his love for theatres and movies. The evening will began at 8PM with a wine and food reception in the lobby, followed by a video tribute presentation to Zemrak. The Golden Halo Award will be presented to Mr. Zemrak by Hollywood legend Margaret O’Brien. The awards presentation will be followed by a 9PM west coast screening of the horror film Frankenstein Rising, a perfect film for Halloween night.
Mr. Zemrak’s recent efforts have focused on raising money to purchase new, digital projectors for both The New Rheem Theatre and The Orinda Theatre, as mandated by the Hollywood movie studios. These projectors will help to keep the theatre’s showing new, blockbuster films and ensuring that these local, independent theatres stay open. Both theatres have become integral parts of the community, supporting local community organizations as well as keeping the mission of CAIFFA promoting the art of independent film making as well as preserving and maintaining historical movie theatres such as The New RheemTheatre and The Orinda Theatre.
Tickets are $20 for the evening and all proceeds will be donated to the Lamorinda Theatre Foundation Digital Fund.