Copyright 2004

[ March 9th 2004 ]

ShoWest 2004, which will take place March 22nd - March 25th, is pleased to announce that Djimon Hounsou, who was recently nominated for The Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his role as "Mateo" in Jim Sheridan's critically acclaimed, semi-autobiographical, In America, has been named ShoWest 2004 Supporting Actor of the Year, it was announced today by Mitch Neuhauser, co-managing director of the event.

"It takes a very special actor to create a character as complex as Mateo. Djimon Hounsou was a true joy to watch in In America and we could not be more excited about honouring his performance with the ShoWest 2004 Supporting Actor of the Year Award," said Neuhauser. "It's always special to be able to screen a film at ShoWest well in advance of its release date, and to have it go on to receive such critical and commercial success. Such is the case with In America and we thank Fox Searchlight for giving us this opportunity in 2003."

While this is his first Academy Award nomination, Djimon Hounsou is also a Golden Globe-nominated actor for his career-making role in the Stephen Spielberg's Amistad. Additionally, Hounsou starred in the second instalment of the action blockbuster Lara Croft: Tomb Raider for Paramount Pictures with Angelina Jolie. And earlier this year he starred with Laurence Fishburne in the blockbuster action feature Biker Boyz for DreamWorks. Hounsou is currently shooting the futuristic thriller, Constantine for Warner Bros. studios in which he will be starring with Keanu Reeves. This film is an adaptation of the popular comic book, "Hellblazer".

On the small screen Hounsou can be seen guest starring alongside Jennifer Garner in the ABC hit series "Alias" starring as, Kazari Bomani the leader of the notorious organization known as "The Covenant". Born in Benin, West Africa, Hounsou moved to Paris at the age of thirteen for his education where he was discovered by fashion designer Thierry Muglar. Soon after, Hounsou worked with legendary photography Herb Ritts and starred in several television commercials for now-famed film director David Fincher (Alien 3, Seven). Most recently Hounsou was used for several of the popular 2003 Gap campaigns, which appeared on television and in print.

Hounsou moved to Los Angeles where he taught himself to speak English (largely by watching television commercials). A featured role in the Janet Jackson video, "Love Will Never Do Without You," caught the attention of agents and casting directors. This led to small roles in such films as "Stargate," Unlawful Entry and Deep Rising, and Amistad. Hounsou was also seen starring in such epics as Ridley Scott's, Oscar winning film, Gladiator opposite Russell Crowe, and The Four Feathers, for Miramax Films opposite Kate Hudson and Heath Ledger. The ShoWest 2003 Supporting Actor of the Year was Christopher Walken.

Celebrating its 30th Anniversary in 2004, ShoWest is the world's largest motion picture industry convention. The 2004 edition of ShoWest will be held from March 22nd-25th at Bally's and Paris Las Vegas and at this time it is expected that more than 5000 members of the industry will be on hand. Each year, ShoWest attracts delegates from more than 45 countries in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. For the third consecutive year, DLP Cinema, a Texas Instruments Technology, is the Official Corporate Sponsor of ShoWest. Founded by the National Association of Theatre Owners of California and Nevada, ShoWest is managed by the VNU Expositions Film Group, a division of VNU Business Media.

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