The Hollywood Creative Alliance, formerly known as the Hollywood Critics Association, announced today that the HCA Film Awards, HCA TV Awards, and HCA Creative Arts Awards will become the Astra Film Awards, Astra TV Awards, and the Astra Creative Arts Awards aka The Astra Awards. The decision to rename the awards ceremonies was put to a vote by the advisory committee on Friday, November 17, 2023.
“As the Hollywood Creative Alliance expands to include creatives and other industry professionals, we wanted an award name that would be reflective of the newly relaunched organization,” notes HCA CEO Scott Menzel. “The name “Astra” is a perfect award show title evoking celestial brilliance and creative mastery. It encapsulates the collaborative spirit, symbolizing individual stars and elegantly embodies the industry’s aspiration, innovation, and distinction. This new name symbolizes unity amongst the diverse and inclusive membership of the Hollywood Creative Alliance.”
The HCA also revealed its first three Astra Film Awards honorees: Jeffrey Wright (American Fiction), Abby Ryder Fortson (Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret), and Glenn Howerton (BlackBerry) for their film ceremony taking place at the historic Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 6, 2024.
“This past year has been a tremendous struggle for most in the industry including those in SAG-AFTRA and WGA. Yet through trying times the film industry continued to persevere, and we at the HCA couldn’t be more excited to honor and celebrate the work of these three extraordinary talents,” notes HCA Vice-Chair Yong Chavez. “HCA has always taken great pride in recognizing a wide variety of artists, and with the strikes hopefully behind us, we believe these actors and their phenomenal achievements encompass what we as an organization stand for diversity and unity.”
The nominations for the Astra Film Awards will be revealed on Thursday, December 7, 2023, beginning at 8:30 am on the official HCA YouTube Channel. The Astra Film Awards and the Astra TV Awards will be available to stream worldwide via live-stream platforms on January 6th and January 8th.
The HCA advisory committee, which includes Phil Lord (Director/Writer/Producer), Beau Flynn (Producer), Adele Lim (Writer/Director), Deon and Roxanne Taylor (Hidden Empire Film Group), Donald Mowat (Hair and Makeup Artist), Aida Rodriguez (Comedian/Author), John Ottman (Composer/Editor), Tara Westwood (Actress/Director), Annalee Paulo (Vice President of 42 West), Jennifer Payne (Chiat\Day\LA), Lana Walker (Walker Media & Associates), Bernard Hiller (Acting Teacher and Life Coach), Maggie Lovitt (Collider), and John Rocha (The Hot Mic) meets quarterly and will continue to discuss upcoming projects and new ways that the organization can work collectively with those within the industry.
Over the last year, the HCA had been hit with allegations of malfeasance and having a hostile membership environment, has completed an organizational restructuring that it believes will address those issues, which includes a member handbook of rules and codes of conduct. The restructure, handled by HCA President Scott Menzel and corporate operation strategist Leslie Short of the Cavu Group, included a mostly new board and an expansion of its membership scope, which it described as “critics, entertainment journalists, content creators, industry influencers and creatives,” among other newly implemented strategies.
The HCA has also revealed that the organization will be reuniting with Petco Love to host a pet adoption event for rescue animals during the Astra Film Awards and the Astra TV Awards on Saturday, January 6, 2024, and Monday, January 8, 2024, respectively.
“Petco Love thanks the Hollywood Creative Alliance for using their platform to spotlight the many pets waiting to be discovered. Featuring adoptable pets on the HCA red carpet alongside major celebrities is simply award-worthy! Petco Love is honored to be the charitable partner and help bring attention to pets nationwide looking for a loving home,” said Susanne Kogut, Petco Love President.