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The president of the association, Aida Takla-O’Reilly, also poked fun at the filmmaker, saying the luncheon was especially memorable for her.

“This is the day Steven Spielberg pulled my scarf out of the soup and wiped it for me,” she said.

Spielberg thanked the organization for its support of film-preservation efforts that totaled $3.6 million over the past 16 years. Film is “mankind’s most original medium,” he said.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has given nearly $15 million in grants over the past 18 years from profits generated by the Golden Globe Awards telecast. The 2013 Golden Globes are set for Jan. 13.