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.
Currently the WFI is re-launching the annual Family Film Awards, honoring the best family motion pictures and television accomplishments and the Olympia Film Awards honoring the best in films globally.
Thank for memory of the WFI Board Of Director (1994)
Dennis Kain: serves as WFI Director of Marketing and Promotions, having joined WFI at its very inception. Mr. Kain has been the key architect of the institute’s year long, 25-country tour which was designed to introduce the WFI to filmmaking organizations and film festival directors. He is now responsible for coordinating WFI’s recently organized presentations at The Moscow Film Festival (Russia), The Cannes Film Festival (France) and the The Sochi Film Festival (Georgia).
Howard Koch: former Production Chief at Paramount, is one of the most successful independent producers in Hollywood. Among his many films are the blockbuster hits, Ghost, Airplane, Plaza Suite, The Odd Couple, and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. His career at Paramount spanned over thirty-three years, an unprecedented relationship between a studio and a filmmaker. He has been actively involved in the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, including serving as its President from 1977 to 1979. He produced a total of eight Emmy nominated Academy Awards Programs from 1972 to 1983. Many honors have been bestowed upon him including the Frank Capra Award from the Directors Guild of America (1991) and the David O’Selznick Life time achievement Award from the Producers Guild of America (1995).
Kayla Garen: Director of Operations and General Manager of Hollywood Reporter Industries, since 1981, Ms. Garen boast over 18 years of experience in entertainment industry executive management. Prior to joining The Hollywood Reporter, she held the position of Vice President of Corporate Development at Starquest Productions, as Los Angeles based multimedia production company. A graduate of the University of Mexico