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1-20 of 31 items from 2007   « Prev | Next »


Four docus make cut for IDA honors

8 November 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

The International Documentary Assn. will present special awards to When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, Sputnik Mania, This American Life and The Supreme Court.

Director Spike Lee's When the Levees Broke will receive the IDA's Pare Lorentz Award, which is given to the film that best represents the activist spirit and lyrical vision of filmmaker Lorentz. The film is an intimate portrait of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and the floods. The HBO documentary tells the personal stories of those who endured the ordeal and survived to share tragic and triumphant tales.

The continuing series winner, Showtime's American Life, was created by Ira Glass and Chicago Public Radio and directed by Chris Wilcha. Inspired by the Chicago public radio show of the same name, the 30-minute program looks at stories culled from all over the country.

The limited series winner, Supreme Court, was directed by Thomas Lennon, produced by Mark Zwonitzer and executive produced by Jody Sheff. The four-part PBS series focuses on the history, impact and drama of America's highest court. »

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Italians protest details in Lee's 'Miracle'

7 November 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

ROME -- A group of former partisan soldiers are taking aim at Spike Lee for the way their former cause is being depicted in Lee's in-progress film Miracle at St. Anna.

The $45 million film, based on the best-seller by James McBride, is set in the Tuscan countryside during World War II.

The film will tell the story of a group of black soldiers caught between enemy lines who come upon a town of partisans -- Italians who fought against Mussolini's Fascists and their Nazi allies -- seeking to find a traitor in their midst. Filming started Oct. 15.

The film also will include a recounting of what Italians refer to as the "St. Anna Massacre", in which 560 civilians -- women, children and elderly men -- were slaughtered and then burned by German troops in retaliation for partisan activities.

The veterans accuse Lee of changing history to suit his story, and they have demanded that that part of the story be removed or changed. »

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Cobain biopic 'In-Bloom'

20 October 2007 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- Universal Pictures has hired scribe David Benioff (The 25th Hour) to write their planned Kurt Cobain biopic based on 'Heavier Than Heaven' by writer Charles Cross- which remains controversial among Nirvana fans for Cross's decision to include his own impression of Cobain's final days. The film will be a co-production between Working Title and Reveille Motion Pictures. Cobain's widow, Courtney Love, will exec produce with her lawyer, Howard Weitzman. This is now the second project within a couple fo months that Love has greenlit.  The studio has not yet revealed whether they've locked the music rights to Nirvana's catalogue- or how they're going to approach the story. This is bound to be a controversial production. Many Nirvana fans despise Courtney Love, and rail against the commercialization of Cobain's music. That said, I'm amazed it has taken so long to get a Cobain biopic off the ground. »

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Italian cast picked for Lee's WWII drama

22 September 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

ROME -- The production team behind Spike Lee's wartime drama Miracle at St. Anna on Friday announced the Italian-language cast for the film and said that work on the project will begin Oct. 15.

The film, which will be shot mostly on location in Tuscany, tells the story of a group of black U.S. soldiers who get involved in a Tuscan village's efforts to weed out a traitor.

According to producers Luigi Musini and Roberto Cicutto, the Italian-language cast will include Pierfrancesco Favino (Romanzo Criminale), Omero Antonutti (La Ragazza del Lago), Valentina Cervi (War and Peace), Lydia Biondi (HBO-BBC's Rome) and Italian TV actor Sergio Albelli.

Producers have not yet announced the films English- and German-speaking cast.

In addition to Musini and Cicutto, producers will be Italy's 01 Distribution, RAI Cinema and Lee's own 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks.

»

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White Lies, Black Sheep

11 September 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

TORONTO -- For his first narrative feature, documentary filmmaker James Spooner (Afro-Punk) goes with what he knows, telling the story of a young African-American man who discovers that the New York underground music world he's immersed in isn't as colorblind as he had believed.

Ayinde Howell plays the role of A.J., a well-liked presence on the club promotion scene with spiky hair, skinny jeans and posters of Blondie and The Who on his walls.

His British, Afro-centric father can't figure him out, while his Caucasian best buddy tries unsuccessfully to get him to read The Autobiography of Malcom X.

But gradually, through his unsuccessful relationships with women, A.J. begins to see himself the way others see him, realizing that maybe he hasn't blended in after all, and, in the process, he's also starting to see himself, for himself, for the first time in his life.

Shot with digital Betacam, White Lies, Black Sheep tells its story from the perspective of a documentary crew following A.J. around 24/7, but it may have been better to scrap the faux reality angle and take a more straight-ahead approach.

While the film's punk rock milieu certainly rings with authenticity and has an affable lead in Howell--and there are moments when Spooner's style calls to mind the youthful energy of early Spike Lee -- there remains the basic problem of trying to fill the feature-length running time with what, at best, amounts to half-an-hour of story.

Hopefully next time out, Spooner will flesh out a screenplay that will better serve those unique, first-hand observations on identity and community.

»

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Spike Lee & Timberlake Winners at Creative Emmys

10 September 2007 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

TV movie Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee emerged victorious at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards on Saturday night, winning five prizes. The HBO drama took home the awards for Best Make-Up, Best Picture Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing and Best Cinematography. Elsewhere, filmmaker Spike Lee's New Orleans documentary When The Levees Broke: A Requiem In Four Acts won four awards, including Best Director for Lee. Singer Justin Timberlake was also a surprise winner when his spoof track "Dick In A Box," which he performed alongside Saturday Night Live star Andy Samberg, walked away with Best Original Music And Lyrics. Speaking at the Los Angeles ceremony, Samberg joked, "I think it's safe to say that when we first set out to make this song, we were all thinking, 'Emmy!' The other thing we were thinking was, 'Hey! There's this young up-and-comer, Justin Timberlake, who is clearly very talented and could really use a break'." Comedienne Kathy Griffin was also a winner - her TV show Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-List won Best Reality Program. The Creative Arts Emmys are a precursor to the September 16 airing of The 59th Primetime Emmy Awards. »

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Lee lends hand to online fest

2 September 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

VENICE, Italy -- Director Spike Lee was on hand at the Venice Film Festival Saturday to support the launch of an online short film festival set up by web portal Babalgum.

Lee will make the final decision on who wins what from the festival categories, which come complete with cash prizes.

Organizers said the Babelgum Online Film Festival will award 20,000 euros ($27,500) to the short films in each of six separate categories.

The shorts will be voted on by the public from the Web site and then the ten top-rated movies in each category will be judged by a ten-member jury. That jury will select three finalists in each category, with the winners selected by Lee.

"I used to be a struggling independent filmmaker myself and so I understand how important a forum like this one is," said Lee, who spoke at a presentation ceremony on the sidelines of the 64th Venice Film Festival. "With opportunities like this one available these days, a good filmmaker who doesn't get his films seen has only himself to blame."

The creation of the festival throws up several ethical issues facing the judges, including the stipulation that "offensive" material is ruled out in the contracts drawn up for submissions from the movie's producers. »

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Noted helmers in triumphant Locarno return

31 July 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

ROME -- Entering his second year as artistic director of the Locarno Film Festival, which this week celebrates its 60th edition, Frederic Maire said the festival's sights remain firmly focused on the future.

"There is nothing wrong with celebrating Locarno's storied past, but the festival remains one of discovery," Maire said in an interview. "Locarno has a talent for recognizing trends and discovering new talent. We want to continue that."

The festival kicks off Wednesday with a slate heavy on Hollywood fare and cutting-edge technologies. Known for its laid-back atmosphere on the shores of Lake Maggiore in the foothills of the Alps in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, the film event runs through Aug. 11.

Only the Venice Film Festival is older than Locarno -- like Locarno, the Festival de Cannes started in 1946 -- and over the years Locarno has provided the first international exposure for directors as diverse as Claude Chabrol, Stanley Kubrick, Paul Verhoeven, Marco Bellocchio, Mike Leigh, Spike Lee and Chen Kaige. »

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Lee says he is not part of the 'mainstream'

10 July 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

ROME -- Spike Lee, in Tuscany, Italy, to scout locations for his next film and to receive the 41st Fiesole Master of Film Award, took swings Monday at Hollywood for its portrayal of black characters, at Washington for its foreign policy and at the film industry in general for leaving him on the outside looking in.

Lee was introduced to a standing-room-only news conference at the Hotel Villa San Michelle in Fiesole, just outside Florence, by town Mayor Fabio Incatasciato and a handful of other local figures who praised the director's work. But there was no shortage of opinions once Lee started speaking.

Said the two-time Oscar nominee, here for preproduction work on his latest project, Miracle at St. Anna, a $45 million World War II drama set in Italy: "My last feature film, 'Inside Man, ' was my most successful so far, and I was naive enough to think that that meant I could go from there and make any film I wanted to make. But I was very, very wrong about that. Anybody who thinks that I've become part of the mainstream doesn't understand the way it works."

Lee sparked laughter several times by saying he would only win an Oscar when he was so old he would have to be pushed onstage in a wheelchair and threatening to fine two photographers whose cell phones rang during the hourlong briefing. »

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'Levees' tops Banff TV awards

12 June 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

BANFF, Alberta -- Spike Lee's "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts" earned top honors Monday at the 28th annual Banff World Television Awards.

The HBO documentary about race and class divides spawned by Hurricane Katrina earned the Grand Prize as Banff honored the best in international TV programming.

"This genuinely seminal work will leave a creative -- and political -- legacy for years to come," said Slawko Klymkiw, chairman of the Banff international jury.

Lee's portrait of an embattled New Orleans also picked up the best social and political documentary prize in Banff.

As in past years, the 2007 Banff World Television Awards competition turned into a shootout between U.S. and British producers.

NBC's "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" from Warner Bros. Television earned the trophy for best continuing series, while the best comedy award went to British sitcom "The Vicar of Dibley: The Handsome Stranger" from Tiger Aspect Prods.

Other award winners included the Channel 4 telefilm "Death of a President", a fictional account of the assassination of President Bush, which grabbed the best TV movie prize; while the U.K.'s "See No Evil: The Moors Murders", came away with the best miniseries prize. »

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Lee heading to Tuscany for 'Miracle'

7 June 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

ROME -- Spike Lee's latest film project, "Miracle at St. Anna", will start shooting in 2008 in Tuscany, backed by new production company On My Own created by veteran Italian producers Roberto Cicutto and Luigi Musini.

Rumors about a Lee project in Tuscany have circulated in Italy for weeks, heightened last month by news that the award-winning director would come to Tuscany in July to accept the 41st Fiesole Master of Film Prize, awarded in the village of Fiesole just outside Florence. The award is given to industry players for career achievements.

The film will be based on James McBride's prize-winning war novel of the same name, which tells the story of three U.S. soldiers who venture between the German lines and the squadrons of predominantly black U.S. divisions in World War II in Italy in order to rescue a fourth soldier.

The Fiesole prize will be the second time in less than a year that Lee was presented with a major honor in Italy: Last year, Lee's Hurricane Katrina documentary "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts" won two prizes at the Venice Film Festival. »

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Lee heading to Tuscany for 'Miracle'

7 June 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

ROME -- Spike Lee's latest film project, "Miracle at St. Anna", will start shooting in 2008 in Tuscany, backed by new production company On My Own created by veteran Italian producers Roberto Cicutto and Luigi Musini.

Rumors about a Lee project in Tuscany have circulated in Italy for weeks, heightened last month by news that the award-winning director would come to Tuscany in July to accept the 41st Fiesole Master of Film Prize, awarded in the village of Fiesole just outside Florence. The award is given to industry players for career achievements.

The film will be based on James McBride's prize-winning war novel of the same name, which tells the story of three U.S. soldiers who venture between the German lines and the squadrons of predominantly black U.S. divisions in World War II in Italy in order to rescue a fourth soldier.

The Fiesole prize will be the second time in less than a year that Lee was presented with a major honor in Italy: Last year, Lee's Hurricane Katrina documentary "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts" won two prizes at the Venice Film Festival. »

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Peacock leads TCA nominations

6 June 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Fourth-ranked NBC is first with the TV critics, according to the annual Television Critics Assn. nominations announced Tuesday. The peacock network led all others with 13 noms, including four each for 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights and Heroes.

HBO took second place, collecting eight noms, three of which were for When the Levees Broke, Spike Lee's documentary on Hurricane Katrina. The Sopranos, which concludes its run Sunday, garnered two noms, as did The Wire.

The nominations were compiled from ballots submitted from TCA's 200-plus membership. A second round of voting will produce the winners in each of 11 categories, to be announced during ceremonies July 21 at the Beverly Hilton.

No current CBS program made the final ballot but two series from the network's past, "M*A*S*H" and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, were nominated for TCA's Heritage award.

ABC was represented with two noms for Ugly Betty, one for Lost and a Heritage mention for TV's first miniseries, Roots.

PBS received three noms but, surprisingly, none in the children's programming category, which it has dominated in the past. »

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HBO, NBC top Peabody Awards

5 June 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

NEW YORK --- HBO and NBC led the pack at the 66th annual Peabody Awards ceremony Monday, HBO with five nods and NBC with four.

NBC, as host and employee Bob Costas noted, won more Peabodys this year than any broadcast network in over a decade. The peacock was recognized for series The Office, Scrubs and Friday Night Lights and a Dateline NBC segment which followed a middle-school teacher in Atlanta.

HBO won awards for its film Elizabeth I and documentaries Baghdad ER, Billie Jean King: Portrait of a Pioneer, The Music in Me and When the Levee Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, Spike Lee's film about Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.

Lee provided an emotional moment as he accepted his award.

"People still catch hell in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast," he said. "They're still up the creek with no paddle, abandoned by local, state and federal governments. We can't forget them."

ABC also had a strong showing, winning three awards. The network was honored for Ugly Betty, a special report titled "Out of Control: AIDS in Black America" and Brian Ross' ABC News investigative report on Representative Mark Foley and his inappropriate instant messaging with young male pages. »

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Locarno bringing helmers Back

15 May 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

MILAN -- The Locarno Film Festival on Monday announced the creation of Back in Locarno, an initiative that will give directors who got their start at the 60-year-old event a chance to come back and host a retrospective based on their original film.

Helmers making the trip to the lakeside Swiss village this year include Italy's Marco Bellocchio with "I Pugni in Tasca" and Hungarian director Istvan Szabo with "Almodozasok Kora" -- both of which took home Locarno's Silver Sail prize in 1965.

Also on tap are 1969 Golden Leopard winner Raul Ruiz ("Tres Tristes Tigres), 1980 Golden Leopard winner Marco Tullio Giordana ("Maledetti vi Amero"), and Catherine Breillat, a Golden Leopard nominee in 1988 for "36 Fillette".

The Locarno festival focuses on emerging directors and has prominently featured early films from such directors as Roberto Rossellini, Stanley Kubrick, Paul Verhoeven, Lucian Pintilie, Alain Tanner, Edward Yang, Alexandr Sokurov, Abbas Kiarostami and Spike Lee.

This year's festival is scheduled for Aug. 1-11.

»

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Interview: Hilary Brougher

19 April 2007 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- Stephanie Daley was a difficult film to make and to watch. The tale of an unwitting teenager who is accused of putting her premature baby in the trash isn’t going to be the “feel-good” movie of the year.  But the audience will walk out of this film feeling as if they’ve experienced something profound, no matter their judgment of the main character.This is Hilary Brougher’s sophomore effort and it’s a broad departure from her first sci-fi comedy The Sticky Fingers of Time. The film was brought up through the Sundance labs and championed by Tilda Swinton, who is credited as an executive producer. Shot on HD and a tight schedule the end result is emotional and thought provoking.  Amber Tamblyn plays an innocently ignorant teenager, who may or may not have known she was pregnant before a horrifying premature birth on a ski trip. »

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'Office,' Bradley among Peabody winners

5 April 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

NEW YORK -- NBC's The Office, Friday Night Lights and Scrubs along with ABC's Ugly Betty and the late Ed Bradley's investigation of the Duke rape case for 60 Minutes highlighted the 2006 George Foster Peabody Awards announced Wednesday by the University of Georgia.

HBO received five awards, including one for Spike Lee's documentary When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It also won for Elizabeth I, Billie Jean King: Portrait of a Pioneer, Baghdad ER and HBO Family's The Music in Me, about young musicians.

The NBC version of the famed British series -- which itself won a Peabody -- was honored because it "firmly established its own precise voice and studied brilliance," according to Peabody judges. Scrubs -- which, like The Office, airs on Thursday nights -- was honored for its parody of The Wizard of Oz, and the critically acclaimed but ratings-challenged Lights was awarded a Peabody for its "clear-eyed" reality. Betty is "unmistakably graced with wry intelligence and heart," the Peabody judges said.

ABC News won two Peabodys, for Brian Ross' investigation about the Mark Foley scandal and for "Out of Control: AIDS in Black America," which included some of the last interviews done by the late anchor Peter Jennings. »

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'Door' opens 50th S.F. fest

4 April 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Emanuele Crialese's The Golden Door, an account of a Sicilian family coming to America at the turn of the last century, will serve as the opening-night film of the San Francisco International Film Festival, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

The fest, which runs April 26-May 10, will screen 200 films from 54 countries and present three world premieres.

Tom DiCillo's satiric comedy Delirious, starring Steve Buscemi, has been slated as the Centerpiece film, while the closing-night attraction will be Oliver Dahan's Edith Piaf biopic La vie en rose, starring Marion Cotillard.

"A golden anniversary comes around only once in an organization's lifetime," San Francisco Film Society executive director Graham Leggat said Tuesday in unveiling the lineup. "And we intend to take full advantage of this remarkable occasion."

Honorees at the annual black-tie Film Society Awards Night, set for May 3 at the Westin St. Francis Hotel, include Spike Lee, recipient of the Directing Award »

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Whitaker to patrol the 'Night'

28 March 2007 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- It’s the sort of project that seems to have passed through as many sets of hands as an old pool hall cue, but now with a May 21 production date set and some casting news trickling in – The Night Watchman is seriously going to make it o the screen. After re-confirming Keanu’s presence, the production is adding an (place the asterisk) Academy Award-winning actor to the slate. Variety reports that Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland and the upcoming Winged Creatures) has come onboard to play a captain of the elite unit called Ad/Vice. Set in Los Angeles in the early '90s, the project is described as being in the vein of Ellroy's "L.A. Confidential". Reeves plays a member of an elite group of Lapd cops who questions the ruthless tactics he has used to become such an effective force in solving murders and battling gang violence and drugs. »

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Ckrush Ent. getting help from Lee

20 March 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Spike Lee has agreed to serve as adviser to Ckrush Entertainment, a New York-based entertainment and digital media group. He will help Ckrush select film projects, serve as an executive producer on some films and consult with LiveMansion.com, the company's entertainment-based social network. The arrangement covers an initial period of two years. »

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