M. Night Shyamalan Hosts Gala Honoring Sharon Pinkenson for 20 Years of Vision, Commitment & Accomplishments
On Saturday, March 10th, the Greater Philadelphia Film Office (GPFO) Board of Directors and Board of Advisors hosted a star-studded fundraising gala for the regional non-profit organization, at the home of M. Night and Dr. Bhavna Shyamalan. The event marked the first in a year of planned activities recognizing Sharon Pinkenson’s 20th Anniversary as Executive Director and regional film commissioner.Guests included Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett and First Lady Susan Corbett, cast members from Shyamalan’s latest local production After Earth, including the star of the film and co-producer Will Smith and his co-star, Jaden Smith. Other celebrity and VIP guests included Kim Delaney, Rebecca Creskoff and stars of the NBC/ Universal TV pilot, Do No Harm, Phylicia Rashad, Alana De La Garza and Mousa Kraish. Other elected officials in attendance included State Senator Vincent Hughes and State Senator Daylin Leach, former Congresswoman Margie Margolis and many longtime supporters of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office as well as special guests of Ms. Pinkenson and her family. During the formal presentation, Governor Tom Corbett delivered remarks and reaffirmed his support of the Commonwealth’s booming film industry, stating
“With our commitment to job creation, the Film Tax Credit Program is a vital economic development tool which not only fosters a solid relationship with the industry, but provides the commonwealth with thousands of family sustaining jobs.” The pièce de résistance was the presentation of Sharon’s gift by City Representative Melanie Johnson. First, an official Tribute Letter on behalf of the Mayor, and then a very special minted movie poster from the original production of Philadelphia, as well as an AFI certificate proclaiming the film as one of America’s Most Inspiring Movies, both inscribed with a personal and touching message to Sharon from Academy Award winner, Tom Hanks.(The Best and the Brightest Wrap Press Conference with Neil Patrick Harris and Bonnie Somerville with Amy Sederis)
“I have the best job in the whole world, just like everyone thinks I do because I work in the best business in the world. It never gets old. I continue to grow and learn and remain passionate about the work we do to help create jobs for other creative professionals, who are just as passionate about what they do! I am so humbled by the recognition and the wonderful friends who continue to support me and my beloved Greater Philadelphia Film Office,” stated an emotional Pinkenson. The brotherly love didn’t end there either. As a thank you for hosting the gala and supporting the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, Sharon and new GPFO partner Montblanc fittingly co-presented M. Night Shyamalan—a collector of unique memorabilia—with an Alfred Hitchcock Limited Edition Fountain Pen.
Selected Filmography Highlights during Sharon’s tenure: