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First Oscars of season to be presented amid tight security

oscar-awardsTight security following the Paris terror attacks was in effect at Saturday night’s seventh annual Governors Awards, where Spike Lee, Gena Rowlands and Debbie Reynolds were to receive the first Oscars of Hollywood’s award season. Los Angeles police say security for the star-studded ceremony at the Hollywood & Highland Center was increased in the wake of the attacks, as it will at several other high-profile events around the city on Saturday night. Police say there are no known threats against the city, but the department was beefing up patrols as a precaution.

“If it falls under our jurisdiction, in light of what happened yesterday, you would think you’d have extra patrols out there,” Los Angeles Police spokesman Mike Lopez said Saturday. “Event security details would be doing that as well … especially if you have celebrities going in that venue.” In addition to security, sentiment at the Governors Awards will likely run high, too, as celebrities reflect on the attacks while trying to maintain the gala’s usual air of celebration for the film world’s best. Film academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs opened the Governors Awards with words of support for France. “All of us here stand in solidarity and support of France and the French people,” she said. “Our connection with the film-loving French is especially deep.”

As the awards were presented Saturday in Hollywood, she said, “we mourn those who died. We send our deepest affection to our brothers and sisters in France.” This year, Lee and Rowlands will accept Oscars for career achievement. Reynolds will receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in recognition of her decades-long commitment to raising awareness of mental health issues. Reynolds announced Friday that she’ll be unable to attend the ceremony because of unspecified surgery and that her granddaughter will accept the award on her behalf.

Other celebrities expected at the motion picture academy’s black-tie affair include Meryl Streep, Idris Elba, Cate Blanchett, Bryan Cranston, Jane Fonda, Samuel L. Jackson, Amy Schumer, Ava DuVernay and Quentin Tarantino. Portions of the untelevised ceremony may be included in the 2016 Oscar telecast.-AP

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