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CANNES: Sean Goes Glam Rock, Uma Leaves Town, Sarkozy Film Sold To U.S.

By | Friday May 20, 2011 @ 6:14pm PDT
Pete Hammond

Sean Penn looked like he just rolled out of bed at the 11 AM press conference following the media screening of his second competition film of the week, This Must Be The Place, the first English-language film from Italian director Paolo Sorrentino ( Il Divo). He probably did, considering I spotted him having a great time in the wee hours at the Eden Roc afterparty following the big Cinema Against AIDS event at Hotel Du Cap Thursday night. These Cannes hours can be rough. He did well enough, though, trying to explain what drew him to Sorrentino’s entertaining if quirky but oddly touching story of a washed-up-at-age-50 rock star from the 1980s named Cheyenne who suffers from depression and malaise until he gets a chance at renewal upholding his late father’s honor. Early reviews I’ve read on the film range from “transformative” to “embarrassing” — in other words, mixed — with general consensus that David Byrne’s songs are keepers. Also, Penn’s go-for-broke performance, a risky and engaging and right-on-the-nose turn, is one for the ages even if you don’t personally think this movie must be the place to be. Read More »

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Al Michaels To Get Lifetime Honor As Sports Emmy Noms Announced

By | Tuesday March 22, 2011 @ 1:43pm PDT

ESPN led the field with 36 nominations — including 10 for its coverage of the FIFA World Cup during the summer — as the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences unveiled nominees for the 32nd annual Sports Emmy Awards, which will be presented May 2 in New York. NBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver last year had the most individual nominations with 11. During the ceremony, Michaels, the longtime sportscaster currently the voice of NBC’s Sunday Night Football franchise, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. He has called every sport in the book but certainly is best remembered for the “Do you believe in miracles?” call as the U.S. hockey team upset the favored Soviet Union during the Cold War-tinged 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid.

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Producers Guild Sets Date For 2012 Awards

By | Thursday March 17, 2011 @ 3:20pm PDT

LOS ANGELES (March 17, 2011) – The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced today that the 23rd Annual Producers Guild Awards, honoring excellence in motion picture and television production, will take place on Saturday, January 21st, 2012 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza.

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Why These Could Be The Last SAG Awards

Nellie Andreeva

They’re still called the SAG Awards. But the upcoming 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild show on January 30th could just as easily be called the AFTRA Awards in terms of television. That’s because an increasing number of categories, especially among comedy series, are dominated by AFTRA shows. On December 16th when the SAG Awards nominations were announced, AFTRA put out a congratulatory note listing all nominees from AFTRA shows. And while SAG still represents movies and such TV heavy hitters as Mad Men, Dexter, Breaking Bad, 30 Rock, Glee, The Office, and The Big Bang Theory as well as hot awards prospects like Boardwalk Empire and The Walking Dead, AFTRA now boasts top awards TV contenders such as Modern Family, The Good Wife, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Nurse Jackie as well as Parks & Recreation and Community.

I’m now hearing that this could be the last SAG Awards. If even the most optimistic merger scenarios come true, then by the end of 2011 and just in time for the 18th SAG Awards, Hollywood may have a single actors union that would replace SAG and AFTRA. And therefore a newly conceived awards show for the combined actors’ union. The awards telecast would reflects what’s been happening union-wise on the TV side over the past couple of years. Where once TV was populated by virtually 100% SAG-designated series, the pendulum has swung to AFTRA in primetime since the writers strike.

Of … Read More »

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ChiTown Crix Like ‘The Social Network’

Mike Fleming

The Chicago Film Critics Association chose The Social Network for its Best Picture and Best Director honors for David Fincher and Best Adapted Screenplay for Aaron Sorkin. I’m not sure how important Monday’s results from the Chicago contingent figures in the larger Oscar picture, but it certainly bolsters my prognosticating colleague Pete Hammond’s feelings about how The Social Network is rising in the critical consensus so far.

The winners:

Best picture: The Social Network

Director: David Fincher, The Social Network

Actor: Colin Firth, The King’s Speech

Actress: Natalie Portman, Black Swan

Supporting actor: Christian Bale, The Fighter

Supporting actress: Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit

Original screenplay: Christopher Nolan, Inception

Adapted screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network

Foreign language film: A Prophet

Documentary: Exit Through the Gift Shop

Animated feature: Toy Story 3

Cinematography: Wally Pfister, Inception

Original score: Clint Mansell, Black Swan

Promising performer: Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone

Promising filmmaker: Derek Cianfrance, Blue Valentine

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London Critics’ Circle Announces Nominees

The London Critics’ Circle announced its nominees for the 31st Film Awards, to be held February 10. Here are the nominees:

SKY 3D AWARD: FILM OF THE YEAR
Black Swan (Fox Searchlight)
The Kids Are All Right (Focus Features)
The King’s Speech (The Weinstein Co)
The Social Network (Sony Pictures)
Toy Story 3 (Pixar/Disney)

THE ATTENBOROUGH AWARD: BRITISH FILM OF THE YEAR
127 Hours
The Arbor
Another Year
The King’s Speech
Monsters

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
Dogtooth
I Am Love
Of Gods and Men
The Secret in Their Eyes
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

ACTOR OF THE YEAR
Jeff Bridges – True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg – The Social Network
Colin Firth – The King’s Speech
Ryan Gosling – Blue Valentine
Edgar Ramirez – Carlos

ACTRESS OF THE YEAR
Annette Bening - The Kids Are All Right
Jennifer Lawrence – Winter’s Bone
Natalie Portman - Black Swan
Noomi Rapace - The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Hailee Steinfeld – True Grit

BRITISH ACTOR OF THE YEAR
Riz Ahmed – Four Lions
Christian Bale – The Fighter
Jim Broadbent – Another Year
Colin Firth – The King’s Speech
Andrew Garfield - Never Let Me Go

BRITISH ACTRESS OF THE YEAR
Helena Bonham Carter – The King’s Speech
Lesley Manville - Another Year
Rosamund Pike – Barney’s Version
Ruth Sheen - Another Year
Tilda Swinton – I Am Love

BRITISH ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
David Bradley – Another Year
Pierce Brosnan - The Ghost Writer
Andrew Garfield – The Social Network
Tom Hardy - Inception
Peter Wight – Another Year

BRITISH ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Helena Bonham Carter – Alice in Wonderland
Christine Bottomley – The Arbor
Minnie Driver – Barney’s Version
Rosamund Pike – Made Read More »

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Chicago Crix Deliver Nominations

Mike Fleming

The Chicago Film Critics Association has released its nominations, covering many of the usual suspects who’ve lined other awards lists. Here is the list of nominees:

BEST PICTURE

Black Swan
Inception
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
Winter’s Bone

BEST DIRECTOR

Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
David Fincher, The Social Network
Debra Granik, Winter’s Bone
Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech
Christopher Nolan, Inception

BEST ACTOR

Jeff Bridges, True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
James Franco, 127 Hours
Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine

BEST ACTRESS

Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
Lesley Manville, Another Year
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Christian Bale, The Fighter
Andrew Garfield, The Social Network
John Hawkes, Winter’s Bone
Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Amy Adams, The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech
Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Black Swan, Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz & John McLaughlin
Four Lions, Jesse Armstrong, Sam Bain & Chris Morris
Inception, Christopher Nolan
The Kids Are All Right, Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
The King’s Speech, David Seidler

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Rabbit Hole, David Lindsay Abaire
The Social Network, Aaron Sorkin
Toy Story 3, Michael Arndt
True Grit, Joel & Ethan Coen
Winter’s Bone, Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Black Swan, Matthew Libatique
Inception, Wally Pfister
Shutter Island, Robert Richardson
The Social Network, Jeff Cronenweth
True Grit, Roger Deakins

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Black Swan, Clint Mansell
I Am Love, John Adams
Inception, Hans Zimmer
The Social Network, Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
True Grit, Carter Burwell

BEST DOCUMENTARY

Exit Through the Gift Shop
Inside Job
Restrepo
The Tillman Story
Waiting for Superman

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM

Biutiful
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
I Am Love
Mother
A Prophet

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Despicable Me
How to Train Your Dragon
The
Read More »

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2011 Golden Globes: Nikki’s Non-Analysis

Here I am, only for informational purposes, posting the 2011 Golden Globes nominations held by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association with the awards to be broadcast live on NBC on January 16th. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: it’s a completely meaningless awards show by a scandal-riddled organization on a network desperate for ratings. That’s why I opt out of analyzing the nominations every year: because the Golden Globes have zero integrity. Studios and networks who lavishly lobby the HFPA almost always score nominations. Stars win in direct correlation to their glamour quotient. Everything about the awards is geared towards hyping the media’s interest and the telecast’s ratings. Even the small motley group of 85 mostly freelancers who belong to the HFPA won’t grant membership to the real foreign journalists at the prestige newspapers across the world. That’s because the clique don’t want to dilute the financial bonanza they receive from the studios and networks who arrange exclusive interviews about the year’s movies and TV shows. NBC and Dick Clark Productions could clean up the Globes but choose not to.

Even the HFPA’s 17-year publicist Michael Russell who no longer has an association with the GGs sent a letter to HFPA president Philip Berk back in March (and only recently sent to me and others) accusing the organization of “a number of questionable business practices of the HFPA which we have brought directly to your attention this year that need to be changed or they … Read More »

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‘Social Network’ Wins LA Film Critics Award

LOS ANGELES, DECEMBER 12, 2010 – “The Social Network” was voted Best Picture of the Year, it was announced today by Brent Simon, President of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA). The runner up was “Carlos”.

The 36th annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association awards ceremony will be held Saturday, January 15 at the InterContinental, Los Angeles. As previously announced, Paul Mazursky will receive the 2010 Career Achievement Award.

Award winners are:

PICTURE: “The Social Network“; Runner-up: “Carlos”

DIRECTOR: Olivier Assayas, “Carlos,” and David Fincher, “The Social Network” (tie)

ACTOR: Colin Firth, “The King’s Speech”; Runner-up: Edgar Ramirez, “Carlos”

ACTRESS: Kim Hye-ja, “Mother”; Runner-up: Jennifer Lawrence, “Winter’s Bone”

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Niels Arestrup, “A Prophet”; Runner-up: Geoffrey Rush, “The King’s Speech”

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Jacki Weaver, “Animal Kingdom”; Runner-up: Olivia Williams, “The Ghost Writer”

SCREENPLAY: Aaron Sorkin, “The Social Network”; Runner-up: David Seidler, “The King’s Speech”

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: “Carlos“; Runner-up: “Mother”

ANIMATION: “Toy Story 3“; Runner-up: “The Illusionist”

DOCUMENTARY / NON-FICTION FILM: “Last Train Home“; Runner-up: “Exit Through the Gift Shop”

CINEMATOGRAPHY: Matthew Libatique, “Black Swan”; Runner-up: Roger Deakins, “True Grit”

MUSIC/SCORE: Alexandre Desplat, “The Ghost Writer,” and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, “The Social Network” (tie)

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Guy Hendrix Dyas, “Inception”; Runner-up: Eve Stewart, “The King’s Speech”

NEW GENERATION: Lena Dunham, “Tiny Furniture”

DOUGLAS E. EDWARDS INDEPENDENT/EXPERIMENTAL FILM/VIDEO: “Film Socialism

LEGACY OF CINEMA AWARDS: Serge Bromberg, “Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno,” and the F.W. Murnau Foundation and Fernando Pena for the restoration of “Metropolis”

CAREER ACHIEVEMENT: Paul Mazursky

Founded in 1975, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA) is

Read More »

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2010 Annie Awards Noms For Animation

By | Monday December 6, 2010 @ 9:46pm PST

The International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood, announced the nominations and award recipients for the 38th Annual Annie Awards scheduled for February 5th at UCLA’s Royce Hall in Los Angeles:

2010 ANNIE AWARD NOMINATIONS

PRODUCTION CATEGORIES
Best Animated Feature
Despicable Me – Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures
How to Train Your Dragon – DreamWorks Animation
Tangled – Disney
The Illusionist – Django Films
Toy Story 3 – Disney/Pixar

Best Animated Short Subject
Coyote Falls – Warner Bros. Animation
Day & Night – Pixar
Enrique Wrecks the World – House of Chai
The Cow Who Wanted To Be A Hamburger – Plymptoons Studio
The Renter – Jason Carpenter

Best Animated Television Commercial
Children’s Medical Center – DUCK Studios
Frito Lay Dips “And Then There Was Salsa” – LAIKA/house
‘How To Train Your Dragon’ Winter Olympic Interstitial “Speed
Skating” – DreamWorks Animation
McDonald’s “Spaceman Stu” – DUCK Studios
Pop Secret “When Harry Met Sally” – Nathan Love

Best Animated Television Production
Futurama – The Curiosity Company in association with 20th Century
Fox Television
Kung Fu Panda Holiday – DreamWorks Animation
Scared Shrekless – DreamWorks Animation
Star Wars: The Clone Wars “Arc Troopers” – Lucasfilm Animation,
Ltd.
The Simpsons “The Squirt and the Whale” – Gracie Films

Best Animated Television Production for Children
Adventure Time – Cartoon Network Studios
Cloudbread – GIMC
Fanboy & Chum Chum – Nickelodeon, Frederator
Regular Show – Cartoon Network Studios
SpongeBob SquarePants – Nickelodeon

Best Animated Video Game
Heavy Rain – Quantic Dream
Kirby’s Epic Yarn – Good-Feel & HAL Laboratory
Limbo – Playdead
Shank – Klei Entertainment Inc.

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT CATEGORIES
Animated Effects in an Animated Read More »

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OSCAR: Parade Of Critics Awards & Parties

Pete Hammond

If they weren’t first out of the gate every season, the New York-based National Board Of Review (a self-described group of film enthusiasts, academics, film professionals, and students) probably wouldn’t garner a whole lot of attention for their awards choices. But their announcement (1ST AWARDS: ‘The Social Network’ Sweeps 2010 National Board Of Review Kudos) today naming Sony Picture’s The Social Network Best Picture, Best Director for David Fincher, Best Adapted Screenplay for Aaron Sorkin, and Best Actor for Jesse Eisenberg will certainly give at least a temporary boost to that film’s battle for supremacy over the other presumed Oscar frontrunner, The King’s Speech, which only got mentioned on the org’s 10 Best List. The complete shut out in individual categories for The Weinstein Co pic is a bit surprising since the NBR in the past had a tendency to be a little more conservative. It even was overlooked for Original Screenplay which  went, surprisingly, to Liongate’s Buried, a box office dud that disappeared quickly and is not on anyone’s awards radar.

Still The Social Network probably shouldn’t start prepping those Oscar acceptance speeches yet. Even though the NBR did match eventual Best Picture Oscar winners No Country For Old Men in 2007 and Slumdog Millionaire in 2008, nothing other than Best Documentary winner The Cove and Best Animated winner Up repeated at the Oscars last year. (Up In The Air was the NBR winner.) And only one of their 8 acting winners in the past two … Read More »

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1ST AWARDS: ‘The Social Network’ Sweeps 2010 National Board Of Review Kudos

2ND UPDATE 11:45 AM and 12:30 PM: The National Board Of Review kicked off the critics’ awards with their winners today. As I scooped earlier today, Sony Pictures’ The Social Network won Best Film Of 2010, Best Director for David Fincher, Best Adapted Screenplay for Aaron Sorkin, and Best Actor for Jesse Eisenberg.  “We believe the film portrays a dramatic story that will stand up over time and appeal to many generations,” said NBR President Annie Schulhof. Another Year‘s Lesley Manville captured Best Actress. Christian Bale won Best Supporting Actor for Paramount/Relativity’s The Fighter and Jacki Weaver won Best Actress for Animal Kingdom. The NBR is traditionally the first group to announce its annual film honors during awards season but is not necessarily considered a reliable arbiter of things to come since its membership is not confined to professional critics. The annual gala will be held January 11th. Here are all the winners:

Best Film: The Social Network (Sony Pictures)
Best Director: David Fincher, The Social Network
Best Actor: Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Best Actress: Lesley Manville, Another Year
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, The Fighter (Paramount/Relativity)
Best Supporting Actress: Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom
Best Foreign Language Film: Of Gods and Men
Best Documentary: Waiting for “Superman”
Best Animated Feature: Toy Story 3
Best Ensemble Cast: The Town
Breakthrough Performance: Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
Debut Directors: Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington, Restrepo
Spotlight Award: Sylvain Chomet and Jacques Tati, The Illusionist
Best Original Screenplay: Chris Sparling, Buried
Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network
Special Filmmaking Achievement Award: Sofia Read More »

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BAFFLING BAFTA: Explaining British Oscar

By | Friday November 26, 2010 @ 6:14pm PST

Extravagant film producer Alexander Korda first broached the idea of establishing a British equivalent of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences over a suitably lavish dinner he was hosting for his fellow film swells at swank Claridge’s Hotel on May 13, 1947. Those sitting round the table included directors David Lean and Carol Reed and Ealing Comedies creator Michael Balcon. Having worked their way through sole with Liebfraumilch followed by steak and kidney pie, Korda compared their dessert of hot whipped meringue concealing a frozen ice cream heart to Russian women of his acquaintance. That’s when the conversation abruptly turned to why didn’t Britain have its own film academy giving awards? There had never been a British equivalent of the Oscars, so Lean was appointed the first chairman and donated his royalties. At the inaugural awards on May 29, 1949, Laurence Olivier presented just four categories. Now the British Academy Of Film & Television Arts presents 22 at its televised film–only awards show.

If you think the Oscars are overly complicated, then the BAFTAs will positively baffle. That’s because the current push is for their increasing democratization. Only the 6,350 film members are allowed to vote for the motion picture awards. They used to wade through every film released in Britain but that changed in 2005 when it became the responsibility of each pic’s producer and distributor to decide submissions which close on November 18 for the 2011 BAFTAs. The longlist will be published on December 3.

BAFTA’s management has long debated Read More »

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Art Directors Guild Names Its Lifetime Achievement Award Winner: Patricia Norris

LOS ANGELES, November 22, 2010 — Academy Award®-winning Production Designer and Costume Designer Patricia Norris will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Art Directors Guild’s 15th Annual Excellence in Production Design Awards on February 5, 2011, it was announced today by Thomas A. Walsh, ADG Council President, and Awards co-producers Dawn Snyder and Tom Wilkins. The award will be presented at a black-tie industry gathering at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

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OSCAR: 2010 Governors Awards Ceremony

Honorary Award recipient Kevin Brownlow, Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award recipient Francis Ford Coppola, and Honorary Award recipient Eli Wallach at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences’ 2010 Governors Awards in the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland in Hollywood on Saturday. Honorary Award recipient Jean-Luc Godard declined to attend:





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EXCLUSIVE: Oscar Foreign Language Race Starts With 65 Films Competing

Pete Hammond

EXCLUSIVE: (Screening schedule below) Although the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has yet to officially announce it, their official Best Foreign Language Film Award screening schedule has begun circulating and I’ve obtained a copy (see below). It contains a total of 65 movies competing, each selected as the sole entry from their home countries per Academy rules. AMPAS breaks the unwieldy process into four different color groups: Red, White, Green, and Blue with each section assigned 16 films (although RED gets an extra one as it is currently laid out). Screenings for the large volunteer committees will begin  Friday at 7:30 PM with the Canadian entry Incendies and end Thursday January 13 with a 9:40 PM screening of Latvia’s Hong Kong Confidential (not to be confused with Hong Kong’s Echoes Of The Rainbow screening November 12). After this 3-month  process is completed, and the top six scoring movies are selected, another uber-Academy committee presided over by Foreign Language committee head Mark Johnson will choose 3 more movies from the initial 65 entries. Then these 9 films will be judged by specially selected  groups in LA and NY who will whittle the list down to the 5 official contenders. After years of controversy over glaring omissions from the big committee like Brazil’s City Of God among others, the Academy reverted to this 3-step nomination process in order to protect some of the more internationally well-regarded, but perhaps edgier, entries from embarrassing slights in the Oscar process.

The opener, Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies, is one of the most anticipated this year after highly successful showings in this Fall’s film festival trifecta of Venice, Telluride and Toronto. Perhaps the best known film on the list is Mexico’s entry, Biutiful, from 3-time Oscar-nominee Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu. It was in the official Cannes competition and won Best Actor for star Javier Bardem. After several tense months, it was finally picked up for American distribution by Roadside Attractions and will open on December 29th in time to compete in other categories as well. With a January 11th official screening, it will be one of the last to show for the foreign language committee as well as the only entry not currently scheduled as part of a double feature. At 148 minutes, it sports the longest running time, too. The shortest is Uruguay’s La Vida Util at a breezy 66 minutes.

Other anticipated entries include Thailand’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (screening Nov 15), France’s Cannes Grand Prize winner, Of Gods And Men (Nov 13), the controversial Cannes entry Hors La Loi from Algeria (Dec 4), another Cannes discovery, South Africa’s Life, Above All (Jan 6), Greece’s Dogtooth (Dec 4), Spain’s Tambien La Liuvia (Dec 3), China’s earthquake drama, Aftershock (Oct 25), Romania’s When I Want To Whistle, I Whistle (Jan 6), and Danish director Susanne Bier’s In A Better World (Jan 13). Germany’s When We Leave (Oct 29) just screened at this weekend’s Hamptons Film Festival to acclaim and will be paired with Iraq’s Son Of Babylon (Oct 29). Israel will also have the chance to continue it’s hot streak of 3 nominations in a row (Beaufort, Waltz With Bashir, Ajami) by going for a 4th with  the tragi-comedy, The Human Resources Manager (Oct 18). Kazakhstan’s Strayed (Dec 18) could be one to watch along with India’s Peepli (Oct 16) as both those countries have had recent contenders. But with 65 entries, it’s anybody’s guess where this is going. Discoveries will always be made and American distribution scouts will be checking out those lesser known films that are still up for grabs.

Of course, as I’ve already detailed previously, controversy has reared its head in the selection of some entries, as it always does, including Italy’s well-reviewed The First Beautiful Thing (Dec 6), selected over the international Tilda Swinton hi, I Am Love, sparking outrage from Love’s American distributor Eamonn Bowles of Magnolia and disappointment from the producers of another well-regarded italian possibility, The Man Who Will Come. Some also accused politics in playing a part in Brazil’s selection of the glowing biography of its current popular President, Lula, The Son Of Brazil (Dec 11). Eyebrows have also been raised over South Korea’s snubbing of its highly regarded Cannes competition selection, Poetry which was thought in many quarters to be a sure thing and has received an American distribution deal from Kino. Instead South Korea chose the less  buzzed-about A Barefoot Dream (Oct 22).

Of course the hottest titles going in are not necessarily going to be the big winners in the end. Remember that 2008’s eventual foreign language champ, Japan’s Departures, and even last year’s crowd pleaser from Argentina, The Secret In Their Eyes, ( were big surprises to many when the envelope was finally opened (although I managed to correctly predict both). Members who vote in this competition often tend to shun the heavier stuff and go for the more accessible alternative. Screening schedules follow: Read More »

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ASC Honors Roger Deakins On February 13

By | Monday October 11, 2010 @ 12:53pm PDT

LOS ANGELES, October 11, 2010- Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC will receive the 2011 American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Lifetime Achievement Award. The presentation will be made during the 25th Annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards celebration here at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel on February 13, 2011.

“The Lifetime Achievement Award is a reflection of the impact that a cinematographer has made on the art of filmmaking rather than the capping of a career,” says ASC President Michael Goi. “It is our way of acknowledging a true artist in his prime. Roger Deakins raises the artistic profile of our profession with every movie and he will continue to do so for many years.”

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AFI To Honor Morgan Freeman On June 9

By | Monday October 11, 2010 @ 12:42pm PDT

LOS ANGELES, CA, October 11, 2010 – Morgan Freeman has been selected by the American Film Institute’s (AFI) Board of Trustees to receive the 39th AFI Life Achievement Award, the highest honor for a career in film, it was announced today by Sir Howard Stringer, Chair of the AFI Board of Trustees. The award will be presented to Freeman at a gala tribute on Thursday, June 9, 2011 in Los Angeles, CA.  TV Land will broadcast the 39th AFI Life Achievement Award tribute on TV Land PRIME later in June 2011.

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Tom Hanks And Gary Goetzman To Receive PGA’s Norman Lear Television Award

Nellie Andreeva

LOS ANGELES, CA (October 11, 2010) The Producers Guild of America announced today that the award-winning producing team, Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman will receive the Producers Guild’s 2011 Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television.  The award will be presented to Hanks and Goetzman at the 22nd Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony on Saturday, January 22nd at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles.  “Tom and Gary are extraordinarily talented producers who have changed the television landscape with extremely unique, award-winning programming,” said Paula Wagner, Chair of the 2011 Producers Guild Awards.

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