Teamsters Local 25, whose members work on local film projects, honored director David O. Russell at its eighth annual Light Up the Night gala for autism on Saturday. Russell — who’s in town to film the movie “Joy” with Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper — was named the night’s “Essential Puzzle Piece honoree” for speaking out about mental illness. The night’s other honorees were young Bruins superfan Liam Fitzgerald and Malden Police Detective Steve Mulcahy, who helped a young boy on the autism spectrum last year.
The party at the InterContinental started with a performance by the Greater Boston Firefighters Pipes and Drums and a welcome from Local 25’s president, Sean O’Brien, who asked guests to observe a moment of silence for Boston Police Officer John Moynihan, who was in critical condition after being shot in Roxbury on Friday night.
Russell’s supporters at the event included Oscar winner Chris Cooper and his wife, actress Marianne Leone Cooper. Auction items included a walk-on role in “Joy,” which is inspired by the life of Miracle Mop inventor and entrepreneur Joy Mangano, of Ingenious Designs, and other business pioneers who made history. Last we checked, that item was on its way to raising thousands of dollars.
Before taking the stage, O’Brien acknowledged that it’s been a tense time for the Teamsters local because of Governor Charlie Baker’s plan to get rid of the state’s film tax credit. But O’Brien said that, at least for one night, the group would be focused on the cause. “Tonight is just purely about raising money for autism. On Monday when we wake up, we’ll look at the next battle.” . . . Cooper and his wife were also at Friday night’s AccesSportAmerica auction, which raises money for the nonprofit’s mission to get children and adults with disabilities involved in high-challenge sports. Other VIPs at that party, hosted by the Royal Sonesta in Cambridge, included Regan Communications exec and AccessSport honorary board member Mariellen Burns, local movie producer Dot Aufiero, whose film “The Finest Hours” (with Chris Pine and Casey Affleck) will be released this fall, and the night’s honoree, AccesSport athlete Morgan Gallagher.
Correction: Due to a reporting error, the subject of the film “Joy” was misidentified.” The film is inspired by the life of Joy Mangano, creator of Ingenious Designs, as well as other entrepreneurs.