Palm Springs, CA (December 9, 2013) – The 25th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Lupita Nyong’o with the Breakthrough Performance Award for 12 Years a Slave and Thomas Newman with the Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing for Saving Mr. Banks at its annual Awards Gala. The Gala will also present awards to previously announced honorees Sandra Bullock, Bruce Dern, Matthew McConaughey, Steve McQueen and Julia Roberts. Presented by Cartier and hosted by Mary Hart, the Awards Gala will be held Saturday, January 4 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs January 3-13, 2014.
Noticing a significant trend that defines a large part of this awards season and movie-going year, the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) announced Tuesday that they have partnered with L.A.’s House Of Blues to produce an evening devoted to …
Nominations for Film Independent’s Spirit Awards were announced earlier today. As usual the Spirits were among the first groups to jump into the awards season fray, but also, other than the Oscars, the last to name winners (the ceremony is Saturday March 1, day before the Academy Awards). That means there can be a big momentum shift between now and then when the envelopes are opened. But it does give a boost to certain films that qualify as “indies” under their rules (generally a budget under or around $20 million) as they build toward Oscar nominations. Although the Spirits preclude many Oscar frontrunners such as Gravity, Captain Phillips, American Hustle, Saving Mr. Banks, Philomena, August: Osage County, The Wolf Of Wall Street, Prisoners and Lee Daniels’ The Butler to name a few they can provide some comfort for those crossover films whose smaller budgets make them eligible for both including newly-minted Best Film nominees All Is Lost, Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska and 12 Years A Slave which led all comers with 7 nods. Nebraska was a strong runner-up with 6 and would have tied, but inexplicably Phedon Papamichael’s exquisite black and white scope cinematography was somehow overlooked for the likes of Spring Breakers and Computer Chess. What’s up with that, indie people?
Nevertheless Oscar’s Best Picture list could include several of the Spirit choices and the same goes for the lead acting categories where Bruce Dern, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Oscar Isaac, Robert Redford, Matthew McConaughey (a winner last year at the Spirits) and Michael B. Jordan all have reasonable chances to make the corresponding Oscar lineup as well as Blue Jasmine’s Cate Blanchett who likely will have a very good early March weekend at both the Spirits and the Oscars for lead actress.
2014 Spirit Awards: ‘12 Years A Slave’, ‘All Is Lost’, ‘Frances Ha’, ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ & ‘Nebraska’ Nab Best Feature Noms
Fox Searchlight’s 12 Years A Slave, Lionsgate’s All is Lost, IFC’s Frances Ha, CBS Films’ Inside Llewyn Davis and Paramount Vantage’s Nebraska will vie for Best Feature at the 2014 Spirit Awards. 12 Years A Slave leads the field with 7 nominations. The Robert Altman Award honoring a film’s director, casting director, and ensemble cast will be awarded to Jeff Nichols’ Mud. Film Independent’s 29th Spirit Awards will be held March 1 in Santa Monica with Patton Oswalt hosting. Here is the full list of 2014 nominees announced today:
12 Years A Slave
All Is Lost
Inside Llewyn Davis
Shane Carruth, Upstream Color
J.C. Chandor, All Is Lost
Steve McQueen, 12 Years A Slave
Jeff Nichols, Mud
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
A recent, and unsolicited, email from a producer friend of mine demonstrates what a lot of people are saying about this year’s best picture race: “Now this is a year for film! Tremendous. Going to be a fun one, my friend.” It is going to be a fun one. Nearly every Academy member to whom I have spoken seems excited about the level of quality in this year’s race, which is a strong indication that this could be the first year 10 films are nominated since the rules changed to allow a variable number. Just consider what’s already out there in theaters or on Blu-Ray: 12 Years A Slave, Gravity, Captain Phillips, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Dallas Buyers Club, Blue Jasmine, All Is Lost, Fruitvale Station, Prisoners, Rush, Blue Is The Warmest Color, Before Midnight, Mud and The Place Beyond The Pines.
The fact is, this is a year in which there could be room for 20 films. Consider those yet to open or just opening: Philomena, Saving Mr. Banks, Nebraska, Inside Llewyn Davis, August: Osage County, The Book Thief, Her, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, Lone Survivor, Labor Day and The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty. All of those films have played the fest circuit, and most pundits—including this one—already have seen them and can say definitively that it’s a formidable list. Of those yet to be seen by just about anyone outside of rarefied circles are The Wolf Of Wall Street and American Hustle, both December releases expected to be major players in several races.
With this kind of lineup, it is no wonder some movies once thought to have awards aspiration—such as Foxcatcher, Grace Of Monaco, The Immigrant and George Clooney’s The Monuments Men—have all opted out. And why not?
Palm Springs, CA (November 21, 2013) – The 25th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Steve McQueen with the Director of the Year Award for 12 Years a Slave at its annual Awards Gala. The Gala will also present awards to previously announced honorees Sandra Bullock, Bruce Dern and Matthew McConaughey. Presented by Cartier and hosted by Mary Hart, the Awards Gala will be held Saturday, January 4 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs January 3-13, 2014.
Specialty Box Office: ’12 Years A Slave,’ ‘Dallas Buyers Club,’ ‘All Is Lost’ Hold Strong; ‘Armstrong Lie’ Tops Newcomers
High profile awards contenders had big expansions over the weekend, easily dwarfing the roll outs of lower profile new comers this weekend. Fox Searchlight’s big Oscar hopeful 12 Years A Slave, Roadside/Lionsgate’s All Is Lost and Focus Features’ Dallas Buyers Club headed into more theaters and markets with mostly strong results. Searchlight moved 12 Years A Slave into 1,144 theaters, an increase of 734 from the previous week. It grossed $6.6 million in its 4th week of release, averaging $5,769 and placing 7th in the overall box office.
Roadside/Lionsgate’s All Is Lost, which had its U.S. debut earlier this month at the New York Film Festival, headed into 401 runs grossing over $1.2 million and averaging $3K. Last week, it grossed nearly $600K in 131 locations. Focus added 26 theaters for Dallas Buyers Club‘s second frame. The film starring Matthew McConaughey held nicely, grossing $629K, averaging almost $18K. Focus noted the film had a 61% increase from Friday to Saturday, which the company touted Sunday morning. “This bump far exceeds the 45% to 50% bump which is the norm for a roll-out,” said a Focus spokesperson. “This big bump on Saturday shows momentum with Saturday’s habitual adult – Boomer, Gen X and sophisticated younger patrons. For the second week in a row, the film over performed on Saturday. Clearly it is connecting with the core adult audience.” Focus added that increases also took place in last week’s theaters as well.
Among newcomers, Sony Classics’ The Armstrong Lie took the weekend’s highest PSA, though from a slight threshold. The Venice and Toronto documentary grossed $30,904, averaging $6,181. This is the second film to head to theaters this year from veteran filmmaker Alex Gibney, whose late May release We Steal Secrets: The Story Of Wikileaks averaged $6,922 when it bowed in 4 theaters. That film went on to gross over $166K in the U.S. SPC will expand The Armstrong Lie into several additional markets next weekend, while also adding runs in Los Angeles.
Contenders 2013: ‘Wolf Of Wall Street,’ ‘Nebraska,’ ‘Dallas Buyers Club,’ ‘Inside Llewyn Davis,’ ‘Fruitvale Station,’ ‘Lee Daniels’ The Butler,’ ‘August: Osage County,’ ‘All Is Lost,’ ‘Place Beyond The Pines,’ ’12 Years A Slave,’ ‘Gravity’ & More Kick-Off Panels
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline.
Deadline’s 3rd annual The Contenders event kicked off this morning at the shimmering new Wallis Annenberg Center For the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, simultaneously launching the 2013 awards season precisely four months before the 86th Academy Awards. The spotlight fell on seven different studios/distributors and 22 films competing for awards consideration, with an overview of the Weinstein Company‘s impressive offerings getting things started in a highlight reel that felt like an Oscar contender in itself. An assortment of TWC writers, producers and directors were on hand to share anecdotes and tidbits with Deadline’s Pete Hammond, including Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler, Lee Daniels’ The Butler producer Pam Williams and writer Danny Strong, August: Osage County director John Wells, and the directors of the acclaimed documentaries 20 Feet From Stardom (Morgan Neville) and Salinger (Shane Salerno). Hammond quipped that TWC was so stocked with doc contenders this year that of the 151 eligible entries, “149 felt like they were from Weinstein.” Wells recalled how Osage County co-star Meryl Streep showed up to the first table read of ther script having memorized it and going off-book. “Everyone was like, ‘Wow’,” he recalled. “It was, ‘OK, game on’.”
Related: PHOTOS: Contenders 2013 Gallery
During a session promoting the Roadside/Lionsgate feature All is Lost starring Robert Redford in what the actor has called the most challenging role of his career, sound editors Richard Hymns and Steve Boeddeker marveled at how the film – with abundant action, a single star and minimal dialogue – was literally a sound editor’s dream. And during the following panel for the Focus Features hopefuls Dallas Buyers Club, The Place Beyond the Pines and We Steal Secrets, the morning theme of patience being a virtue came to the fore. Dallas Buyers Club producer Robbie Brenner calmly discussed how her film’s journey from script to screen spanned some 20 years – and nearly fell apart at the last minute when Canadian financing dried up.
Gotham Awards: ‘12 Years A Slave’, ‘Ain’t Them Bodies Saints’, ‘Before Midnight’, Inside Llewyn Davis’ & ‘Upstream Color’ Win Best Picture Noms
The 2013 Gotham Independent Film Awards nominations have been announced. The trophies will be handed out December 2 at Cipriani Wall Street. This is the first of the many upcoming awards shows, and because of the Gotham’s indie bent, the awards rarely reflect how the Oscars turn out. I always found that to be the most charming thing about them. Here are the nominees:
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, David Lowery, director; Tony Halbrooks, James M. Johnston, Jay Van Hoy, Lars Knudsen, Amy Kaufman, Cassian Elwes, producers (IFC Films)
Before Midnight, Richard Linklater, director; Richard Linklater, Christos V. Konstantakopoulos, Sara Woodhatch, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)
Inside Llewyn Davis, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, directors; Scott Rudin, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, producers (CBS Films)
Upstream Color, Shane Carruth, director; Shane Carruth, Casey Gooden, Ben LeClair, producers. (erbp)
Catch up with the top film stories you missed this week:
OSCARS: Why Michael Fassbender’s Refusal To Campaign Likely Won’t Matter
By Pete Hammond - Campaign or no campaign, in Fassbender’s case it may not matter. He’s very likely going to get nominated — and could win — for Best Supporting Actor and I think that’s a scenario whether he lifts a finger or not in doing the usual rounds.
Tom Hanks Retraces A Life In Pictures, Talks Pitfalls Of Comedy & Freedom From Self-Consciousness At BAFTA Event
By Nancy Tartaglione - Tom Hanks was in London on Saturday to spend an evening with BAFTA. The British Academy’s Life In Pictures series is a walk through an actor or director’s career – Hanks’ this evening lasted two hours, which, considering his resumé, wasn’t nearly enough time to touch on every film.
Oren Aviv Exited As Chief Movie Marketing Officer At 20th Century Fox
By Nikki Finke - EXCLUSIVE: There’s yet another shake-up inside a major Hollywood studio. I’ve learned that Thursday will be the last day for 20th Century Fox Chief Marketing Officer Oren Aviv at Twentieth Century Fox even though his contract had another 18 months to go.
Tony Sella Not Out Yet At Fox Film – But Decision Day Is Monday
By Mike Fleming Jr. - Might 20th Century Fox Film chief creative officer Tony Sella be soon following marketing chief Oren Aviv out the door?
Specialty Box Office: ‘12 Years A Slave’ Triumphs In Limited Debut; ‘All Is Lost,’ ‘Kill Your Darlings’ Open Solid
Fox Searchlight opened its Oscar hopeful 12 Years A Slave in limited release following spectacular runs in Telluride, Toronto and the New York Film Festival. The film, directed by Steve McQueen and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, grossed $960K in 19 theaters for a strong $50,525 PSA, placing it in the upper echelon for the year. Searchlight said Sunday that the film, produced by New Regency, reached an “incredibly diverse audience,” adding, “We have been attracting both the Art/Specialty cinephile crowd as well the African-American audience. CinemaScores have come in with an overall grade of ‘A’ with a fairly wide spread in terms of age and demographics.”
To put in perspective, SPC’s Blue Jasmine opened in 6 theaters in August, averaging just over $102K ($31.97 cume); Focus’ The Place Beyond The Pines bowed in April with 4 runs, averaging $69,864 ($21.4M cume); A24′s Spring Breakers opened in a trio of runs, averaging $87,667 ($14.12M cume), while the distributor’s August release The Spectacular Now opened with a $49,354 average in 4 theaters ($6.8M cume). Searchlight’s own box office successes The Way, Way Back opened in 19 locations in July, averaging just over $29K ($21.43M cume) and Enough Said opened in 4 theaters, averaging $58,200 September 18 ($10.787M cume so far).
Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘All Is Lost’, ‘12 Years A Slave’, ‘Kill Your Darlings’, ‘The Square’, ‘American Promise’, ‘Peaches Does Herself’, ‘Torn’, ‘Blood Brother’
Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
The upcoming weekend will host a number of anticipated films from the recent festival circuit, some of which are likely eyeing an Oscar nomination or two. Robert Redford-starrer All Is Lost hits theaters after crowd-pleasing runs in Cannes and the recent New York Film Festival. Word of mouth helped propel the film when it debuted back in May in Cannes, despite its limited dialog. 12 Years A Slave has practically won the race according to some prognosticators. A debut at Telluride, Toronto and NYFF, the film should continue to see positive word of mouth, though may prove tough viewing for some. Daniel Radcliffe stars in Sundance and Venice debut Kill Your Darlings. The Harry Potter thespian breaks out from the franchise that made him huge in a leading role that launches him squarely into adulthood. Doc filmmaker Jehane Noujaim takes her latest onto the streets of Cairo during the country’s series of uprisings in The Square. The filmmaker and her team experienced arrest, interrogation and more creating the film which had standing ovations at TIFF and NYFF. The doc is part of a trio of non-fiction films utilizing various forms of DIY releases including Blood Brother and “Fantastical doc” Peaches Does Herself. And The Film Collective and Dada will bow drama Torn in a targeted roll out.
Robert Redford won praises for his portrayal of a skipper aboard a pleasure craft sailing alone on the open sea. The film unfolds with little dialog, with Redford playing the only cast member “Our Man,” whose boat collides with a shipping container at sea, damaging his boat, forcing him to face mortality and the elements. “It’s a big weekend for us, it’s the first movie Roadside has been involved with as a production,” Roadside co-president Howard Cohen said. “J.C. handed us the script as [his previous film] Margin Call opened. We had released that film [with success] and liked the material.” They also liked Redford who was attached at that point. Margin Call had debuted at Sundance, but Chandor had already reached out to Redford for the “Our Man” part. The two met in Redford’s office in L.A. “When we met, I was already inclined. I just had to make sure he wasn’t nuts,” said Redford at the recent New York Film Festival.
Listen to (and share) episode 46 of our audio podcast Deadline Awards Watch With Pete Hammond. Deadline’s awards columnist talks with host David Bloom about early awards frontrunner 12 Years A Slave, whose Michael Fassbender may snag an Oscar nomination despite his likely absence during the campaign months, and lead actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, who already is hitting the awards circuit ahead of the film’s debut this weekend. We also look at a very different kind of performance, Scarlett Johansson’s sterling voice work in Spike Jonze’s quirky Her and whether it can make Academy history; the AFI Fest snares a world premiere with Lone Survivor; and the Pen Center USA literary awards, where one winner’s work faced a noisy protest by her film’s editors.
Finally, we’ll get Pete’s take on this week’s very full slate of new movie releases, including Bill Condon’s nervy meditation on journalism and whistleblowers in the Internet age, The Fifth Estate; Robert Redford’s remarkable solo journey in All Is Lost; the surprisingly enjoyable action film Escape Plan, featuring great chemistry between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone; and a remake of the horror classic Carrie, with Julianne Moore and Chloe Grace Moretz.
Buried near the end of a lengthy Michael Fassbender profile in the November issue of GQ, writer Zach Baron gets the Oscar-buzzed actor to explain why he has no plans to do the campaign circuit this season for his supporting role as the vicious slave owner in 12 Years A Slave.
“I’m going to be busy working. I just don’t really have time. (Campaigning is) just not going to happen, because I’ll be in New Zealand. I’ll be on the other side of the world. You know, I get it. Everybody’s got to do their job. So you try and help and facilitate as best you can. But I won’t put myself through that kind of situation again. It’s just a grind. And I’m not a politician. I’m an actor,” Fassbender said of the whole Oscar process, which seems to grow every year and includes numerous Q&As, luncheons, meet-and-greets, private screenings, film festival tributes, presenting at endless awards shows, well-timed talk show appearances, etc etc. Many artists who suddenly find themselves the object of an all-out Oscar campaign find this part of the job even more grueling than making the actual film. And by the time the Oscars roll around they are spent.
Campaign or no campaign, in Fassbender’s case it may not matter. He’s very likely going to get nominated — and could win — for Best Supporting Actor and I think that’s a scenario whether he lifts a finger or not in doing the usual rounds. The film and the role are so strong it’s hard to imagine the actors branch ignoring him. Now after the nominations it could change, especially in a tight, competitive race where every vote counts.
EXCLUSIVE: Ever since its debut at the Telluride Film Festival over the Labor Day weekend, Fox Searchlight‘s 12 Years A Slave has been annointed, at least by some eager-to-call-the-race-early media members, as the movie that could take it all at the Oscars. Though it is far too early to say that with any conviction (it doesn’t open in theaters until next week and hasn’t even played its official Academy screening yet), it continues to register strongly on the Fest circuit. It hit the New York Film Festival Tuesday night where the cast led by Chiwetel Ejiofor, director Steve McQueen and other key creative players received a standing ovation, just as they did in Telluride and Toronto. Next week the film hits the BFI London Film Festival on October 18th, home turf for its British star and director, but telling a very American story. Searchlight clearly would be more comfortable not to be shackled with the front-runner label before the movie is able to catch its boxoffice wind. It’s always a perilous position as there is nowhere to go but down (just ask Social Network about that), but the film has drawn critical raves wherever it’s played and early audiences are clearly moved. The subject matter however is not easy, often gut-wrenching to watch, and needs to be carefully nurtured by Fox Searchlight which plans a slow rollout beginning next Friday.