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The idea to establish an organization that would truly celebrate and unite the film world began when Dr. Olympia Gellini, at 17, was a participant at the Berlin Film Festival. From there, Dr. Olympia took part in and attended a multitude of international film festivals, film markets and entertainment industry events. The dedication and passion Dr. Olympia demonstrated over the years distinguished him in the international film community.
Dr. Olympia efforts caught the attention of the renowned television production company Dick Clark Productions (dcp), in 1994. Dick Clark joined in Dr. Olympia ’s vision by agreeing to produce television awards shows for the World Film Institute (WFI), honoring the world entertainment community.
In 1995 Tichi Wilkerson Kassel, former owner, publisher and editor-in-chief for The Hollywood Reporter and CEO of Hollywood Reporter Industries (publisher of over 70 magazines annually) became acquainted with Dr. Olympia through various international industry events and film festivals. A generous patron of the arts, Tichi over the years has promoted and recognized excellence in all areas of the entertainment industry. She founded Women in Film, the Hollywood Report Key Arts Awards and Marketing Concept Awards, all of which benefit the entertainment and motion pictures industry around the world. Tichi, became aware of Dr. Olympia’s vision and discovered that they shared similar interest and goals so she agreed to assist Dr. Olympia in his life long quest. Dr. Olympia and Tichi established the World Film Intitute as an official non-profit organization to recognize outstanding achievements of the motion picture industry. Tichi was made the World Film Institutes President Emritus and Dr. Olympia Gellini, its Founder and President.
In October 1995, the WFI held its very own film festival, the “Best of the Fest,” at Unviersal Studios, as part of the semi-annual “Creativity in America Expostion.” At the Gala festival dinner, the WFI honored Helen Harris for her work in the development of “Theater Vision,” an innovative technology designed to enhance motion picture experience for the visually impaired.
In April 1996, WFI presented its first scholarship to UCLA’s School of Cinema. At his Paramount Studios offices, WFI’s Scholarship Committee co-Chairman, Howard Koch made the presentation, generously accepted on the university’s behalf by Dean Gil Cates.
In 1996 Atonio Gellini, Dick Clark Productions (dcb) and Direct TV/Primestar produced the highly success Family Film Awards. This award show was attended by celebrities such as Ron Howard, Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, and many more.
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