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Natalie Portman Shines in Sequins at UCLA Nazarian Center 5th Anniversary Dinner

05/11/2015 02:48 pm ET | Updated May 07, 2016

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Natalie Portman - Photo credit: Vince Bucci

Dressed in a sequined Christian Dior mini dress, Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman took the stage at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, CA to present Israeli author Amos Oz with the UCLA Israel Studies Award.

Oz is the author of over 41 books, which have been translated into 42 languages. His International bestselling memoir, A Tale of Love and Darkness has been adapted by Portman who will play the role of Oz's mother Fania. Portman will also be making her directorial debut in this screenplay. The film is slated to premiere at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.

"As both an Israeli and an American, I understand well the importance that Israel is," said Portman. "His beautiful and moving memoir, A Tale of Love and Darkness, which I am so proud to bring to the screen, weaves his own life with a history of a young state of Israel. The two are linked. Thank you Amos for packing your suitcases for this long Jewish travel, putting words to our longings and for never losing to cynicism and your insistence on peace, even when it is not as popular as it should be."

The award presented to Oz is a sculpture created by Soraya Nazarian, an internationally renowned artist and sculptor, and is entitled Strong Roots, Grounded. The tree's strong roots portray identity, origin and strength to weather difficulty and the unknown.

Following the awards ceremony, an elegant dinner was held on the patio catered by Lucques.