Global Showbiz Briefs: MTV Brazil, Nigeria’s ‘Half Of A Yellow Sun’ To Open TTFF, MIPCOM Honors Jeffrey Katzenberg, ‘Pulp’ Heads To Oz, New Zealand On Xbox

Viacom International To Launch MTV Brazil
Viacom International Media Networks is expanding its presence in Brazil with the launch of a new MTV channel on the country’s Pay TV platform. MTV Brazil will deliver more than 350 hours of local programming spanning daily formats, celeb realities, sitcoms, music, extreme sports and adult animations. The cable network will also debut formats from Viacom’s international content portfolio with local versions of World Stage, Guy Code and Pranked, in addition to other MTV global content in Portuguese (Snookie & Jwow, Ridiculousness and Awkward). The new channel will debut in October across key cable operators in Brazil.

Nigeria’s ‘Half Of A Yellow Sun’ To Open TTFF
The Nigerian drama Half Of A Yellow Sun has been selected as the opening film of the 2013 trinidad+tobago film festival. Thandie Newton and Chiwetel Ejiofor star in the adaptation of Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s best-selling novel of the same title. Set in 1960s Nigeria, the story brings audiences into a country torn apart by civil war and shows how the interwoven lives of four central characters intersect during a struggle to establish an independent republic of Nigeria. Biyi Bandele directs. The festival runs from September 17-October 1. Read More »

Comments (3)

DreamWorks Animation Launches Effort To Re-Position Itself As A Television Power

The company told analysts this afternoon that it will produce 1,200 TV episodes over the next five years, which CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg says “will give us a significant footprint across the global TV landscape.” DreamWorks Animation is “now … Read More »

Comments (14)

Katzenberg: DreamWorks Animation Becoming A “Case Study” For China

DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg spoke at the Fortune Global Forum in Chengdu, China on Friday. He did not refer to last week’s move by the Chinese authorities to pull The Croods from release ahead of schedule, but he did address the differences between handling “rules, regulations, and traditions” in China versus in Hollywood. Here are his remarks on DreamWorks Animation’s history, and future, in the booming market:

Timing, we all know the importance of this. In fact, when the timing is right, anything and everything is possible. Today in China the timing is right. We’ve arrived at a unique moment in this country, and you might say it’s actually been 5,000 years in the making. For ages, China has been known for its Great Wall. Now it might be better symbolized by a portal of opportunity that has begun to swing open.

But as with everything else here, this portal is distinctly Chinese in its appearance, its intricacy and its functionality. At DreamWorks Animation, we are becoming something of a case study for how things and timing is so important when it comes to China. It all started a few years (ago) when two seemingly completely unrelated events were taking place at opposite ends of the planet.

In Beijing, the country’s leadership was recognizing the importance of soft power. Meanwhile in Hollywood, DreamWorks was given the green light to a movie called Kung Fu Panda. I would love to tell you that we did this as part of a very shrewd strategy to gain entrée into China. It wasn’t. We just liked the idea of a film about a panda who wants to do kung fu.

Read More »

Comments (4)

DreamWorks Animation Chief Talks Up Possible TV Programming Initiatives

By | Tuesday April 30, 2013 @ 3:10pm PDT

The studio’s being “pretty aggressive” about at least one potential venture and hopes to have “news to share pretty quickly,” CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg told analysts this evening following his company’s Q1 earnings release. He didn’t provide details, … Read More »

Comments (3)

Jeffrey Katzenberg Announces China Film Project, ‘Tibet Code’

By | Friday April 19, 2013 @ 6:48pm PDT

Jeffrey Katzenberg has revealed his latest film project, Tibet Code, an Indiana-Jones-style adventure based on a series of Chinese novels set in 9th-century TibetThe DreamWorks Animation CEO announced the project, a co-production with Oriental DreamWorks’ Chinese partners, China … Read More »

Comments (11)

Jeffrey Katzenberg Made $5.2M In 2012, +31%

By | Friday April 19, 2013 @ 10:09am PDT

One reason for the increase is that the DreamWorks Animation CEO collected $365,386 in salary, up from his traditional $1 — an amount that many tech entrepreneurs take to illustrate that they want to help their new companies conserve cash while they make most of their wealth from the large amount of stock that they own in their companies. (Katzenberg controls 61% of the voting shares.) The new contract Katzenberg signed in October will guarantee him a $2.5M annual salary and a bonus of as much as $4M, according to the proxy filed today at the SEC. The board says the change recognizes that it’s no longer a young company — it went public in 2004 — and “determined that Mr. Katzenberg should receive a more traditional overall compensation package.” The DWA chief still did well in the stock department last year, collecting $4.5M, up from $4M in 2011, along with other compensation of $375,331 The “other” benefits largely went to security services for the CEO which the company says it doesn’t consider to be compensation but includes “in accordance with SEC guidance on this issue.” Katzenberg’s compensation was 1.8 times higher than the median for his company’s other top executives, well below the level (3 times) that corporate governance watchdogs consider to be out of whack. Read More »

Comments (4)

Hollywood Power Players Hosting April Fundraiser For Newark Mayor’s Undeclared Senate Race

Cory Booker hasn’t officially said he’s running to become New Jersey’s next Senator but Hollywood is planning to shovel money into his campaign treasure chest. Anointing Booker as Hollywood’s new favorite politician, invites went out this week for a “Special Evening In LA” April 25 fundraiser for the Newark Mayor at the Beverly Hills home of producer Jerry Weintraub and girlfriend, producer Susan Ekins. The event has a marquee host list that cuts across party lines and into deep wallets. It costs $5,000 a ticket to attend the fundraiser with the money going to Cory Booker For Senate. The event is one of eight the telegenic Democrat has lined up in the next two months in anticipation of a 2014 run to replace departing fellow Democrat Frank Lautenberg in the heavily Blue state. The Beverly Hills fundraiser certainly shows that backing a potential winner cuts across party lines. Republicans like Bush family confidante Weintraub and Bruce Willis are listed on the invite but so are avowed Democrats like Jeffrey Katzenberg, who was one of the largest single contributors to Barack Obama’s reelection, Steven Spielberg and new Star Wars director J.J. Abrams and their wives Kate Capshaw and Katie McGrath.

Related: President Obama Thanks Katzenbergs For “Tireless” Support
Read More »

Comments (12)

Union Didn’t Disrupt ‘Night Before’ Party

By | Sunday February 24, 2013 @ 2:21am PST

Deadline contributor Ross Lincoln reports that Beverly Hills Hotel security kept a handful of members of Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West well back from guests arriving for Saturday night’s 11th Annual ‘Night Before’ Oscars Party. It’s … Read More »

Comments (19)

Union Leaflets, Not Pickets, For Katzenberg’s ‘Night Before’ Oscar Party For MPTF

By | Friday February 22, 2013 @ 4:28pm PST

Guests at Jeffrey Katzenberg’s 11th Annual ‘Night Before’ Oscars Fundraiser benefiting the Motion Picture and Television Fund tomorrow won’t have to worry about crossing a union picket line after all. But that doesn’t mean they’ll be able to ignore … Read More »

Comments (5)

UPDATE: MPTF CEO “Encouraged” By Contract Talks As Union Prepares To Picket This Week

UPDATE, 8:34 AM: The union that represents healthcare workers at the Motion Picture and Television Fund’s care facility and hospital is planning picket lines this week but the organization’s CEO says “progress was made” in the last set of talks between the two sides. “We were encouraged by this past week’s bargaining session with SEIU and a federal mediator,” said the MPTF’s Bob Beitcher in a statement today. In the February 14 meeting, the MPTF offered to open up their books to provide the SEIU will a full sense of their negotiating position, says a source close to the situation. The union, who won a strike authorization vote from their members on January 30, is planning to picket MPTF offices and the Woodland Hills hospital on February 21. More visibly, the SEIU is considering a picket line at Jeffrey Katzenberg’s February 23 ‘Night Before’ charity event for the MPTF at the Beverly Hill Hotel. Read MPTF CEO Beitcher’s full statement here:

We were encouraged by this past week’s bargaining session with SEIU and a federal mediator.  Progress was made in resolving a long list of open contract points and both parties were actively engaged in narrowing the discussions to a few key issues.  To facilitate additional progress, MPTF and SEIU continue to comply with additional information requests and MPTF has agreed to provide an educational workshop for SEIU’s bargaining unit.  We are hopeful that the next bargaining session on March 7th will take us even closer to achieving a mutually satisfactory 3-year agreement.

PREVIOUSLY, FEB. 15: Jeffrey Katzenberg’s 11th Annual ‘Night Before’ Oscars Fundraiser benefitting the Motion Picture and Television Fund on February 23rd could suffer a pre-strike union picket line. That’s because of a stalemated bargaining session Thursday between the MPTF and the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West. I have learned that the powerful union is “strongly considering” going out on the line at the charity event at the Beverly Hills Hotel. That would present guests with a dilemma because some notables also belong to unions — Hollywood guilds — and won’t want to cross the picket line. The gala has been protested before – but by families and concerned friends of the long-term care hospital and units when Katzenberg decided to close them. The guests in limousines simply whizzed past the demonstrators barely giving them a glance. But last year’s fundraiser went off without a hitch when a compromise was reached to keep the long-term care facilities open. Read More »

Comments (16)

Academy’s 4th Annual Governors Awards Draws Heavy Hitters And Oscar Contenders

Pete Hammond

Flight director Robert Zemeckis was sitting next to me at Saturday’s fourth annual Governors Awards of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences saluting Hal Needham, George Stevens Jr., D.A. Pennebaker, and Jean Hersholt Humanitarian winner Jeffrey Katzenberg. He asked what I thought the news coming out of tonight would be. I quickly replied, “It’s become a very big place, perhaps the biggest in the season, for Oscar campaigning.” No question since this very important event is taking place closer than ever to official Academy voting (which begins December 17th and runs through January 3rd – 10 days earlier than usual). So contenders were out in force. What better place to be seen than in a room full of Academy voters? “Now it begins. This is the first really big one of the season,”  one studio marketing executive said about the very impressive turnout.

Related: Honorary Oscars Ignore Veteran Actors For Industry Insiders

Zemeckis noted the heavy studio presence making a big difference in star turnout. Studios this year have more Oscar hopefuls than usual, and many potential nominees eager to talk were at those tables: Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal and co-star Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty); director Juan Antonio Bayona, stars Ewan McGregor and Tom Holland (The Impossible); Bradley Cooper, Jacki Weaver, director David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook); director Nicholas Jarecki, star Richard Gere (Arbitrage); John Krasinski, Rosemarie DeWitt (Promised Land); John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, director Ben Lewin (The Sessions); writer Tony Kushner, director Steven Spielberg (Lincoln); director Tom Hooper, Producer Eric Fellner (Les Misérables); Omar Sy (The Intouchables);  Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann (This Is 40); director Joe Wright (Anna Karenina); Kristen Stewart (On The Road); Amy Adams (The Master); Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas (The Dark Knight Rises); Writer Chris Terrio (Argo); Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained). And this is just a partial list.

Tarantino had come directly to the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood And Highland Center from his DGA screening  of awards-buzzed Django Unchained. The violent spaghetti western homage had not screened in its finished form to an audience anywhere until Saturday afternoon – and it reportedly received two standing ovations, immediately erasing fears that it wouldn’t be ready in time for its Christmas Day release or that it was over-hyped as a serious contender. Twitter reaction is pretty ecstatic, too. Tarantino was clearly in a good mood, saying it was the first time he was able to screen the film to anyone other than the same “8 people” who’ve seen it over and over. “It was really great. They seemed to get all the jokes, and it played very well,” he told me. “You have to see this film,” Sony Chairman Amy Pascal told me as I came over to talk to Tarantino. (Sony has international on the film while The Weinstein Company retains domestic rights.) Film nerd that he blissfully is, Tarantino seemed just as excited when Governors awardee Needham came up to say hello. “I think Smokey And The Bandit is one of the best first-directed features to this day. And it is a real Southern film,” he said to the honoree he would later be toasting. Bradley Cooper, attending his first Governors Awards, noted how great it is that events like these allow people in the industry to talk to others they really admire and respect. Of course the real reason for this event was so the industry could take a good deal of time to honor their own with the highest awards they can bestow.

It made for quite an emotional night. Academy President Hawk Koch began the evening describing the congratulatory phone calls he made telling the four recipients that they had just been voted an Oscar. “I can still hear D.A. Pennebaker asking in disbelief, ‘Are you kidding?’ And George Stevens Jr saying, ‘Oh my God!’ True to form, Hal Needham gave a giant ‘Woo hoo!’ And Jeffrey Katzenberg, believe it or not, was speechless,” Koch said before describing what the evening (flawlessly produced by Don Mischer, Cheryl Boone Issacs, Charlie Haykel, Juliane Hare) was really all about. “The definition of who deserves an Honorary Oscar is simple. Each one of these people we are honoring tonight has made a difference to every single person in the film community, here in Hollywood, and all over the world. They have redefined our art form. They have changed how our movies are made and the impact on our lives.”

Next came a one-hour dinner break which became the Super Bowl of table-hopping as overworked awards consultants made sure their contenders were moving around the room for meets and greets with the Academy crowd.

After dinner U.S. Senator Al Franken came on to extoll the virtues of 87-year old documentary filmmaking legend D.A. Pennebaker, whose career spans music docs for the likes of Bob Dylan and David Bowie to penetrating political docs like 1960′s Primary and The War Room. One of his films even profiled Franken himself (2007′s Al Franken: God Spoke). “He was a pioneer in the use of cinéma vérité and the use of moving, even jerky, camera moves  that has changed the way filmmakers shoot their movies. And his body of work has influenced us all, not just because he’s a great filmmaker but because his films feel so honest and true,” said Franken. Academy Documentary Governor Michael Moore echoed those sentiments in introducing Pennebaker by saying, ”Tonight we are honoring a man who invented the modern documentary.” The night’s first honoree,Pennebaker said referring to the Oscar, “Everyone here probably has one of these already… New York is a long way from here and people who make films in New York never even expect to go to Oscarland, much less even get one. And there’s also the distance between the 16MM and 35MM and the 70 film, so it’s a long stretch – and being here now I am trying to kind of deal with it. It’s hard.”  His speech ran very long but was sincere so the audience went with it. But even he asked if he was overstaying his welcome.

Academy Governor Annette Bening introduced Honorary Oscar winner George Stevens Jr, saying there’s no single word that describes this man of many talents and strong Hollywood heritage who founded AFI and later the Kennedy Center Honors. “He has elevated the act of honoring others and made it a sublime art. He is a true enthusiast for the art of film in all its forms and we have all benefitted from his dogged determination to preserve, promote, and elevate filmmaking,” she said. Sidney Poitier then appeared to a standing ovation and spoke of his long friendship and association with Stevens Jr. who directed him in the TV movie Separate But Equal. Stevens spoke a terrific thank you, telling of going to the Oscars several times including once when his father won for directing A Place In The Sun in 1951. “On the way home I sat next to him in the car with the Oscar between us on the seat. He said, ‘We will have a better idea what kind of film this is in the next 25 years.’ He was talking about the test of time… I thank Dad for that and opening the door for me to a creative life that that has been so rich, and gifted me with so many wonderful friends in our profession,” he said as he clutched his brand new Academy Award.

Perhaps the liveliest presentation was to stunt man/director Hal Needham whom presenter Tarantino noted was only the second stunt person to receive an Oscar. (The first going to legendary Yakima Canutt.) Producer Albert S. Ruddy followed Tarantino with an absolutely hilarious tale about the making of a Needham film called Megaforce which caused major destruction on the Goldwyn lot where it was shooting. A very large missile built for the film inadvertently misfired sending a giant hole into an adjacent stage that then burned down. That didn’t stop Needham, who continued making the film despite personal injury and calamity. (“It was a very interesting movie. When you say ‘interesting’ as a producer it means it didn’t make any money,” Ruddy joked.) “You’re looking at the luckiest man alive and lucky to be alive,” said Needham in an emotional acceptance in which he also remembered his late mother. He told of early jobs including a fortuitous budget meeting with director Billy Wilder on his first gig as a stuntman, The Spirit Of St. Louis. “I want to thank the entire Hollywood community for allowing me to be a part of it.”

Last up was Katzenberg whose presentation also was responsible for the biggest starpower of the night (Spielberg, George Lucas and Kirk Douglas were among those sitting at his table) with both Will Smith and Tom Hanks offering their assessments of why Katzenberg is so successful as a philanthropist. “It’s not just a phone call, it’s the invitation to breakfast,” said a deadpan Hanks. “It’s the lunch that lasts exactly 47 minutes. It’s the follow-up phone call. It’s the visit to the office. It’s the tour of the facility. It’s the follow-up phone call. It’s a letter to remind you you had a phone call and a tour of the facility. And finally it is a thank you for the contribution you made.”

Related: Katzenberg Interviewed On Humanitarian Award

Then Hanks became serious about the humanity of Katzenberg Read More »

Comments (11)

OSCARS: Jeffrey Katzenberg On Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award — “I Don’t Feel Like This Is My Award”

By | Thursday November 29, 2012 @ 10:43am PST
Pete Hammond

On Saturday night, four shiny new Oscars will be handed out at the fourth annual Governors Awards being held at The Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland. Those receiving Honorary Oscars this year are legendary stuntman-director Hal Needham, documentary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker, and producer and film champion George Stevens Jr. And receiving the prestigious Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award that has gone in recent years to Jerry Lewis, Sherry Lansing and Oprah Winfrey is DreamWorks Animation head and philanthropist Jeffrey Katzenberg, who tells me he was “almost totally” surprised to be getting the honor.

Related: Academy Names 2012 Governors Awards

“There were two people who shall remain nameless who had said over the summer, ’Hey you know there’s a little bit of talk that maybe this is the right moment, the right time to acknowledge the work you’ve been doing’, but honest to God it didn’t register,” Katzenberg said. “I tried to be humble and gracious and say I appreciate it but no need. So when (Academy president) Hawk (Koch) called me, I had no idea they were meeting. I was floored. I get this urgent call at 10:30 PM from Hawk and I was genuinely taken by surprise.”

So what does it mean to him?

“I am gonna talk about it on Saturday night because I have had time to think about it like I hadn’t before”, he said. “What I really believe is in a way is this is a reflection back on our own community. The real fact is all I did was ask, and it’s Hollywood that has done the giving. I really feel I am receiving this on behalf of Hollywood and our community and the extraordinary generosity that we have for the real world that we live in. The Oscars are given out for great work in the fantasy world that is moviemaking. And the Hersholt Award is about the great work that is done in the real world that we actually all live in together. I don’t believe there is a more generous community than ours. I don’t really feel like this is my award. I don’t feel this is me. I feel this belongs to all of us together”. Read More »

Comments (3)

AFI Fest: ‘Rise Of The Guardians’ Tries To Stake Its Claim In Oscar Race And At Holiday Box Office

Pete Hammond

AFI Fest 2012 continued Sunday with the World Premiere of DreamWorks Animation’s holiday biggie and Oscar hopeful, Rise Of The Guardians, and if the buzz generated by this screening is any indication DWA should have a hit on … Read More »

Comments (14)

DreamWorks Animation & Barco Ink Multi-Film Partnership On 3D Sound Format

By | Thursday November 1, 2012 @ 4:01pm PDT

DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said today that DWA’s next 15 animated feature films will be mixed in Barco’s new Auro 3D sound format. “That’s like a hundred years for us, the way we go,” Katzenberg … Read More »

Comments (1)

DreamWorks Animation Channel Idea Is “Being Realized”, But Katzenberg Also Wants To Be On Fox In Primetime

Sounds like CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg has a lot on his agenda when he talks to his new distribution partners at Fox. He told analysts this evening that international execs at News Corp’s entertainment arm have “enthusiasm” for his effort … Read More »

Comments (4)

Jeffrey Katzenberg’s New Contract Will Keep Him At DreamWorks Animation Through 2017

Jeffrey Katzenberg DreamWorks Animation ContractThe CEO and just about all of the other top execs have landed new employment deals, DreamWorks Animation says in an SEC filing. Jeffrey Katzenberg‘s agreement, which was due to expire in April 2014, … Read More »

Comments (12)

Katzenberg & Spielberg Donate $1M Each To Obama Super PAC

By | Saturday October 20, 2012 @ 5:45pm PDT

The director and DreamWorks Animation CEO’s contributions to the Super PAC Priorities USA were revealed today in a filing to the Federal Elections Commssion. The electronic filing shows that Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg made their donations on September 24. Katzenberg, … Read More »

Comments 26

Spielberg, Katzenberg & Geffen Donate $30 Million Apiece To MPTF

By | Tuesday October 16, 2012 @ 10:09am PDT

Los Angeles, CA, (October 16, 2012) – In an extraordinary commitment, the three men who created DreamWorks SKG: Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen, are each donating $30 million to the MPTF Campaign as announced today by George Clooney, MPTF Board member and co-chair of the Campaign. The total commitment of $90 million is a major shot in the arm for the $350 million Campaign announced earlier this year to build the endowment and support the charitable operations of the industry’s charity.

Read More »

Comments (12)

David Geffen Swaps Out Super-Voting Shares At DreamWorks Animation, Solidifying Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Control

Co-founder David Geffen converted his 3M Class B shares — which have 15 votes apiece — for Class A ones that only have one vote but that trade in the open market, the company disclosed this morning in an SEC filing. … Read More »

Comments (0)
More Deadline | Hollywood »
« Previous Deadline | Hollywood