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EMA Awards Honor Veterans and Newcomers

24 Jun, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Upcoming and classic television stars and directors received kudos last night during the Home Entertainment Awards show at EMA's Home Media Expo 2008 at the Palms Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Host actor/comedian Jamie Kennedy, whose documentary DVD Heckler showcases the verbal, mental and physical abuse stand-up comics endure from unruly audiences, couldn't resist poking fun at the sparse crowd.

“There are 53 people here,” Kennedy cracked. “It's going to be an exciting night.”

Getting serious, Kennedy thanked Echo Bridge Home Entertainment for the Sept. 9 release of his film.

“DVDs are what keep the studios alive,” he said.

Cam Gigandet, who starred in Never Back Down (Summit Entertainment), was named Rising Male Star, much to the delight of females in the attendance and Kennedy, who admitted, “That dude is hot.”

“I play a bad guy a lot,” Gigandet said sheepishly. He thanked Summit's Steve Nickerson, for releasing the movie.

Veteran actor and social commentator Ben Stein won the Freedom of Expression Award for his documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, which showcases educators who have been singled out for publicly bringing religion into the debate on the origins of mankind.

Don Most and Anson Williams, who starred in ‘70s sitcom classic “Happy Days,” received the Legendary Television Duo Award.

“I want to thank Allumination Filmworks,” Most said regarding his directorial effort, Moola.

Other award recipients included former “Charles in Charge” star Josie Davis for Favorite Television Child Star; Ed Begley Jr. with the Humanitarian Award; Jon Chu for Breakout Director of the Year; Henry Jaglom with the Independent Career Achievement Award; Charlene Tilton with the Legendary Television Bad Girl Award; and Pauly Shore for Comedy Entertainer of the Year.

Paul Peterson, who starred on “The Donna Reed Show,” was honored with the Legendary Television Son Award. Peterson, together with his wife, runs an organization that assists former child stars' transition into the real world from Hollywood.

“We're able to bring some sanity to their lives,” Peterson said.

The EMA also inducted Paramount Home Entertainment's Raiders of the Lost Ark into its Video Hall of Fame during the show. It stands next to fellow Hall of Famers Casablanca, The Godfather, Grease and Scarface.

The Video Hall of Fame recognizes movies that have continued to perform well in both video sales and rental over an extended period of time. Home entertainment retailers and distributors that are members of EMA select inductees.

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