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'Bopha!' Raises Funds and Political Awareness

September 23, 1993|KEVIN ALLMAN

The Scene: Tuesday night's benefit premiere of "Bopha!" Paramount Pictures and the Reebok Foundation sponsored the evening; the proceeds will go to Artists for a Free South Africa, an entertainment industry organization founded three years ago by "Bopha!" stars Danny Glover and Alfre Woodard and others. Lots of press turned out for the screening at the Director's Guild of America. The group will fund voter registration and political awareness in South Africa, which will have its first democratic election in April. The film opens in Los Angeles this Friday.

Who Was There: Executive producer Arsenio Hall; director Morgan Freeman; producers Lawrence Taubman and Lori McCreary; stars Glover, Woodard, Marius Weyers, Maynard Eziashi, Michael Chinyamurindi and Malick Bowens; Paramount chief Sherry Lansing; and guests including Mike Farrell and wife Shelley Fabares, Michael Ontkean, Sidney Poitier and wife Joanna Shimkus, William Guillaume, John Savage, Will Smith and Blair Underwood.

Dress Code: After-work business slick. African-inspired clothes were few and far between. Those who wore them looked great. Howard Hesseman had on a bilious yellow-green suit, while action star Steven Seagal wore a knee-length fringed buckskin jacket accessorized with his trademark ponytail and scowl.

Chow: The catering firm of Good Gracious! provided a black bean salad, sausage sandwiches, Indonesian chicken, pizza and fresh fruit.

Noted: When Morgan Freeman was introduced from the stage, Arsenio Hall virtually levitated from his seat to applaud, just the way he does on his TV show.

Hollywood Being Hollywood: Large petitions were set up in the lobby for the actors to sign, supporting human rights in South Africa. Foreign governments are always so cognizant of their standing among movie folks.

Why Agents Get 15%: The title of the movie, as stated on the posters, reads: "Paramount Pictures Presents an Arsenio Hall Production in Association With Taubman Entertainment Group--A Film by Morgan Freeman-Danny Glover--"BOPHA!"

Triumphs: The main party wasn't in the main lobby of the DGA (which has all the ambience of a deserted airport lounge), but in a solarium and outdoor patio at the back of the building.

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