Last night saw yet another Hollywood awards show in the annual frenzy that leads up to the Oscars, this year taking place on March 2nd. The latest bash was a new one, unite4:humanity, organized by unite4:good in association with Variety. The show, hosted by Andy Samberg, honored actors and filmmakers who have made a positive contribution to humanity through their work.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus received the creative commitment in television award for her work with Heal the Bay, an environmental advocacy group working to clean up the Southern Californian coast. On receiving her award, Louis-Dreyfus joked that she ”would like to thank Variety for coming up with another award because our stiletto heels spend far too many nights during the year in their little silk bags,” reflecting just how many excuses Hollywood finds to give out awards at this time of year.

Bill Clinton was presented with the unity recognition award by Forest Whitaker, and delivered a keynote address in which he praised the late Nelson Mandela and the perseverance of Lebanon. The everyday hero award was given to the real life Philomena Lee by Steve Coogan, who adapted her story into the film Philomena, in which he stars alongside Judi Dench, and which is up for a number of awards this Sunday.

Robert DeNiro picked up the creative commitment in film award, but also presented another award, the creative conscience award, to famed director Martin Scorsese for his work in film preservation with The Film Foundation. DeNiro didn’t let Scorsese get away with a bit of good-natured humor, asking the show, ”Are you kidding? The creative conscience award? Have you not seen Wolf of Wall Street?”

Scorsese spoke about his work with The Film Foundation, announced that since he created it in 1990, around 640 films have been restored and preserved.

While there’s no shortage of awards shows this time of year, it’s nice to see one that’s a little different, acknowledging and applauding charity work as well as filmmaking – though I’m sure that Scorsese will be hoping that this isn’t the only award he picks up this week.

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