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2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2002 | 1999 | 1997

1-20 of 40 items from 2016   « Prev | Next »


Netflix’s ‘Dear White People’ Series Adds Brandon Bell, Logan Browning to Cast

21 July 2016 10:31 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Justin Simien’s “Dear White People” Netflix series, based on Simien’s film of the same name, just added two key cast members.

Brandon P. Bell will reprise his role as Troy Fairbanks, a political science student campaigning to become the first black student president of his mostly white school, Winchester University.

Logan Browning, last seen in “Powers” on Sony’s PlayStation Network and VH1’s “Hit the Floor,” will play Samantha White, the biracial student at Winchester whose “Dear White People” radio show and “Ebony and Ivy” book put her in high demand for a spokesperson position at a number of black student groups. The trouble is, Sam is still figuring out how to speak for herself. Tessa Thompson originated the role in the movie.

There’s no word yet on whether any of the movie’s other stars, including Dennis Haysbert as Troy’s father and Tyler James Williams as gay black student Lionel Higgins »

- Oriana Schwindt

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‘Dear White People’ TV Show: Cast Includes Logan Browning & Brandon Bell

21 July 2016 8:52 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Netflix has finally cast two key members for its “Dear White People” TV adaptation. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the streaming service has picked Logan Browning (“Powers”) to replace Tessa Thompson in the leading role as Samantha White, a biracial film major in the midst of a political firestorm on her Ivy League campus due to her radio show “Dear White People.” Also, Brandon Bell will reprise his role as Troy Fairbanks, the son of the dean of students who is campaigning to become the school’s first black president. Both Sam and Brandon face particular hardships when their personal aspiration and political ideals clash with the campus culture and its approach to identity politics.

Read More: ‘Dear White People’: Netflix Adapting Justin Simien’s Racial Satire Into TV Series

The upcoming series is based on Justin Simien’s 2014 film of the same name, which examined the racial tensions »

- Vikram Murthi

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Steven Spielberg and Laura Dern Join Motion Picture Academy Board of Governors, Elected Under New Rules

18 July 2016 12:21 PM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Thanks to new rules, this year’s Academy Board of Governors race was more intense than usual. The Academy’s 17 branches each has three governors on the board; they can serve three consecutive three-year terms. One seat is up for reelection every year. The Board of Governors actually runs the show at the Academy, determining the strategy and mission, and keeping tabs on its financial health.

(The full list of Governors is here.)

This year, the race was opened up to allow any of the 6200-plus Academy members to run for the board. Before, the membership voted for 50% of a nominating committee that selected candidates to present to the Board. This yielded the same favorites over and over again.

Now, members of each branch can pick their own contenders. Academy CEO Dawn Hudson clearly sees the benefit of a more diverse board of Governors. In an email to members announcing »

- Anne Thompson

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Steven Spielberg and Laura Dern Join Motion Picture Academy Board of Governors, Elected Under New Rules

18 July 2016 12:21 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Thanks to new rules, this year’s Academy Board of Governors race was more intense than usual. The Academy’s 17 branches each has three governors on the board; they can serve three consecutive three-year terms. One seat is up for reelection every year. The Board of Governors actually runs the show at the Academy, determining the strategy and mission, and keeping tabs on its financial health.

(The full list of Governors is here.)

This year, the race was opened up to allow any of the 6200-plus Academy members to run for the board. Before, the membership voted for 50% of a nominating committee that selected candidates to present to the Board. This yielded the same favorites over and over again.

Now, members of each branch can pick their own contenders. Academy CEO Dawn Hudson clearly sees the benefit of a more diverse board of Governors. In an email to members announcing »

- Anne Thompson

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Boyz n the Hood and The Importance of Supporting Diverse New Filmmakers

12 July 2016 11:08 AM, PDT | FilmSchoolRejects.com | See recent FilmSchoolRejects news »

What we can learn from John Singleton’s feature debut 25 years after its historic release.Columbia Pictures

Twenty-five years ago today the film Boyz n the Hood was released into American theaters to critical and commercial success. Written and directed by John Singleton, then a 23-year-old first-time filmmaker freshly graduated from USC film school, this devastatingly powerful drama chronicles the struggles of black life against a backdrop of urban violence and racial inequality in South Central Los Angeles. The success of Boyz ushered in a new wave of black American cinema, featuring superior performances by Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett, and launching the careers of Cuba Gooding Jr., Morris Chestnut, Ice Cube, Nia Long, and Regina King. A quarter century since its momentous debut, Boyz prevails as a reminder of the importance of supporting new and diverse filmmakers in telling their unique and oftentimes personal stories.

Boyz’ deeply moving tale about three friends — Tre, Ricky »

- Paola Mardo

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How the Academy Pushed the Diversity Needle with 683 Member Invites

29 June 2016 2:54 PM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

“Introducing the Academy class of 2016,” reads the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences website announcement of its invited new members Wednesday. And while joining that august organization is a singular honor, many say they were surprised to learn of their inclusion — mainly because they hadn’t applied for membership. Traditionally, that’s a laborious process that can take years before you get recommended by peers, vetted by your branch, and finally invited. Every year it’s a shock that someone like, say Tina Fey, IFC’s Arianna Bocco, last year’s Oscar-winner Margaret Sixel (“Mad Max: Fury Road”), or Oscar marketer Lisa Taback, wasn’t already a member.

Read More: Oscars So White: 8 Ways to Solve the Academy’s Diversity Problem 

At the heart of the Academy’s complex diversity issue is how much the Oscars reflect the way that the Academy likes to view itself. Believe me, they were horrified when, »

- Anne Thompson

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How the Academy Pushed the Diversity Needle with 683 Member Invites

29 June 2016 2:54 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

“Introducing the Academy class of 2016,” reads the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences website announcement of its invited new members Wednesday. And while joining that august organization is a singular honor, many say they were surprised to learn of their inclusion — mainly because they hadn’t applied for membership. Traditionally, that’s a laborious process that can take years before you get recommended by peers, vetted by your branch, and finally invited. Every year it’s a shock that someone like, say Tina Fey, IFC’s Arianna Bocco, last year’s Oscar-winner Margaret Sixel (“Mad Max: Fury Road”), or Oscar marketer Lisa Taback, wasn’t already a member.

Read More: Oscars So White: 8 Ways to Solve the Academy’s Diversity Problem 

At the heart of the Academy’s complex diversity issue is how much the Oscars reflect the way that the Academy likes to view itself. Believe me, they were horrified when, »

- Anne Thompson

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‘Blood Stripe,’ ‘Political Animals’ Win Top Prizes at La Film Festival

9 June 2016 1:46 PM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Remy Auberjonois’ “Blood Stripe,” a feature about a female U.S. Marine sergeant struggling after returning from her third tour of duty in Afghanistan, won the top prize at the Los Angeles Film Festival. The documentary feature award, also announced Thursday, went to “Political Animals,” Jonah Markowitz and Tracy Wares’ account of the first openly gay members of the California House of Representatives. “With all the talk about diversifying Hollywood, the La Film Festival provides proof that talented filmmakers with new voices are out there, they just need a platform and that’s what we’re providing,” said Stephanie Allain, »

- Beatrice Verhoeven

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'Political Animals' triumphs in Laff awards

9 June 2016 1:55 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

The film from Jonah Markowitz and Tracy Wares eatned the documentary award and the audience documentary award.

In other prizes handed out at the end of the festival on Thursday, the U.S. Fiction Award went to Remy Auberjonois for Blood Stripe, while the World Fiction Award was presented to Anaïs Volpé for Heis (chronicles).

As previously stated, the Documentary Award went to Markowitz and Wares for Political Animals, and the La Muse Award was presented to Heidi Saman for Namour.

The Nightfall Award went to Jackson Stewart for Beyond The Gates, while the Audience Award for Fiction Feature Film went to Green / is / Gold, directed by Ryon Baxter.

Markowitz and Wares also collected the Audience Award for Documentary Feature Film for Political Animals.

“With all the talk about diversifying Hollywood, the La Film Festival provides proof that talented film-makers with new voices are out there; they just need a platform and that’s what we’re providing »

- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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‘Conjuring 2’ Director James Wan: ‘There Could Be Many More Movies’

8 June 2016 6:47 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

“The Conjuring” sequel brought back the horror — and hopes for a third movie — at its world premiere on Tuesday night.

Vera Farmiga was blunt about doing “The Conjuring 3.” “Just ask me,” she said on the red carpet at the TCL Chinese Theatre.

Screenwriters Chad and Carey Hayes admitted that they’re ready. “Yes, we definitely have a third in mind,” they added.

Director James Wan was a bit more coy — “It depends on what happens this weekend” — but conceded that the source of the franchise could be mined from the true stories of paranormal investigators Ed and 86-year-old Lorraine Warren, who received multiple hugs and kisses on the red carpet.

“There could be many more movies because the Warrens have so many stories,” a beaming Wan said of the possibility of more “Conjuring” sequels.

Patrick Wilson reflected a bit on the fact that he took the role of Ed Warren more than four years ago, »

- Dave McNary

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The Los Angeles Film Festival Embraces Its City and Finds a Niche

3 June 2016 3:21 PM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

The transition of Film Independent’s Los Angeles Film Festival continues. Geographically, the fest has moved away from downtown to multiple Arclight locations. Opening night in Hollywood, Ricardo de Montreuil’s coming-of-age East L.A. drama “Lowriders,” starring Demián Bichir and Theo Rossi as father and estranged ex-con son, signaled the fest’s mission: Provide a diverse program directed by rising filmmakers: among the 42 competition films, 87% are first-and-second-timers, 43% are women and 38% are people of color, while 90% of the 58 total festival films are world premieres.

Developed by Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer, “Lowriders” (written by Cheo Hodari Coker, Joshua Beirne-GoldenElgin James, and Justin Tipping), finally got made when the budget dropped—under Universal’s low-budget producing partner,  Jason Blum—from $20 million to $5 million. The grittiness helps the scruffy, colorful movie, which Laff head Stephanie Allain loved for being “so Los Angeles, so culturally rich,” she told the Arclight crowd. “Made by filmmakers of color, ‘Lowriders’ embodies our mission.” (The film will go out under a Universal label that remains to be seen, per Blum.)

Since Allain took over in 2014, the festival has lost some of its key programming talent (David Ansen, Doug Jones, Maggie McKay); the sprawling program is now commandeered by film professor Roya Rastegar (Bryn Mawr College). Very much in charge is Laff’s high-powered director, studio-trained producer Allain (“Boyz ‘n the Hood,” “Hustle & Flow”), who has pulled her friend Elvis Mitchell into a role as year-round “curator,” which basically means hosting Q & As at Film Independent-programmed events at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

As Laff becomes more local, eclectic, multi-cultural, and interactive, the Laff seeks to occupy a niche and grow its audience via a more populist, less international festival.

Truth is, only a few top-ranked film festivals a year are must-attend destinations packed with high-end world premieres and star attendees. Sundance, Cannes, Berlin, Toronto, Venice, New York, and Telluride top the list. So there’s some logic to opting out of that competitive arena. Increasingly, fests like Tribeca and SXSW are pushing outside the area of indie film to create alluring events for audiences, from interactive transmedia showcases and TV series premieres to high-profile panels, Q & As, and “Master Classes.” So it makes sense to brand Laff with an identifiable niche.

Giving people awards and tributes is another route pursued by awards-friendly fests like Santa Barbara and Palm Springs, hence Saturday Laff will award “Selma” director Ava DuVernay as well as her distribution company Array Releasing (her own “Middle of Nowhere” plus “Ashes and Embers,” “Mississippi Damned,” “Kinyarwanda,” and “Restless City”) with the annual Spirit of Independence Award given to members of the independent film community who “advance the cause of independent film and champion creative freedom.” Last year, Array bought La Film Festival Us Fiction award-winner “Out of My Hand” for distribution, along with “Ayanda.”

Ryan Coogler (“Fruitvale Station”) is the 2016 Festival’s Guest Director; he’s offering a master class on sound design for “Creed.” And Nate Parker hosted a screening of Sundance Oscar contender “Birth of a Nation.” This weekend also brings a panel of women cinematographers.

The question is whether Allain’s quest for diversity will coincide with choosing the best movies, ones that create buzz for must-see titles—so far, actress Amber Tamblyn’s directing debut, “Paint It Black,” debuting Friday night at Lacma, has earned the most advance word of mouth. Established fest circuit titles such as Roger Ross Williams’ autism doc “Life, Animated,” closing night border film “Desierto” from Jonás Cuarón (“Gravity”), starring Gael Garcia Bernal and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Mike Birbliglia and Ira Glass’s latest collaboration, improv comedy “Don’t Think Twice,” starring Keegan-Michael Key, are all worth seeing.

But for many of the unknown titles unspooling this week, audiences and buyers will just have to check them out and spread the word, good or bad. Otherwise, they’ll disappear into the ether.

Here are Indiewire’s Laff picks so far.

Related stories2016 Los Angeles Film Festival Awards: 'Heis (chronicles)', 'Blood Stripe' & 'Political Animals' Win BigThe TV Director's Hurdle: Why A Small-Screen Actor Is Making An Indie Feature To Get His Foot In The DoorFilm Independent Announces The 10 Projects Selected for Fast Track and Recipient Of Alfred P. Sloan Grant »

- Anne Thompson

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La Film Festival Revs Up With Quintessential L.A. Movie ‘Lowriders’

2 June 2016 1:18 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The Los Angeles Film Festival opened its 22nd edition Wednesday night at the Cinerama Dome with the world premiere of  “Lowriders,” which attendees agreed was a quintessential Los Angeles movie.

“This is the right movie and the right place to open the La Film Festival,” noted star Eva Longoria on the red carpet.

Lowriders” focuses on the dynamics of a fractured family in East Los Angeles and centers on the world of customizing classic cars.

Producer Brian Grazer told the audience at the screening that the project germinated for him during his high school days in the late 1960s in the San Fernando Valley. Jason Blum also produced.

“I grew up in Chatsworth and I loved the car clubs,” Grazer recalled. “It was an avenue of brotherhood. The Coasters stuck in my mind.”

Indeed, it turns out that The Coasters are front and center in the film. “Lowriders” director Ricardo de Montreuil, »

- Dave McNary

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‘Lowriders’ Gives Highflying Opening-Night Start To A Very Diverse La Film Festival

2 June 2016 11:32 AM, PDT | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

It may not be Cannes, from which many on the film fest circuit are still recovering, but Film Independent’s La Film Festival is not trying to compete, just carve its own niche on the uber competitive circuit. And for fest director Stephanie Allain, that niche clearly is diversity. Last night at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, she met her goal with this year’s Laff opening-night film Lowriders, a familial drama that explores the rampant car culture in L.A.’s Latino… »

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La Film Festival Beats Low Expectations With East La Drama ‘Lowriders’

2 June 2016 12:02 AM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

It may be a measure of the lowered expectations surrounding this year’s Los Angeles Film Festival that the dominant mood after its opening night film “Lowriders” was mild surprise that it wasn’t bad. The family drama about East L.A.’s car culture was an appropriate kickoff for a festival whose programming strategy now emphasizes diversity and makes few nods toward the mainstream or toward the Hollywood films that once popped up among all the indies. Under the leadership of producer Stephanie Allain, Laff now places a premium on work from female and minority filmmakers — and while that approach is true to the. »

- Steve Pond

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Los Angeles Film Festival Reaffirms Commitment to Diversity

1 June 2016 10:00 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

This year, Ava DuVernay’s production company Array and Ryan Coogler were chosen as honorees at the Los Angeles Film Festival. And while that might look to outsiders like a sly riposte to the recent outcry over the lack of diversity at the Hollywood majors, Film Independent [Find] has “been in the business of diversifying Hollywood for 30 years,” says Laff director Stephanie Allain.

“We’re not responding to #OscarsSoWhite, we’re doing what we’ve always done,” Allain says.

DuVernay herself demurs at the suggestion the fest honor is a reaction to the recent controversy. “It’s disingenuous to suggest that every outreach at this point to anyone who’s not a white man is a reaction to … the state of affairs,” she says. “This is not a hashtag or a current trend. It is a reality for me.”

Array was born of a collaboration among black film festivals, film societies »

- Valentina I. Valentini

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Oscars: Steven Spielberg Among Candidates in Academy's First Open Elections for Board (Exclusive)

19 May 2016 9:40 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Steven Spielberg, James L. Brooks, Laura Dern, indie producers Stephanie Allain and Cassian Elwes, Disney-Pixar president Ed Catmull, Imagine Entertainment co-chair Michael Rosenberg and awards consultants Tony Angellotti, Melody Korenbrot and Michele Robertson are among a diverse group of hundreds of members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences who have thrown their hat in the ring as candidates for the organization's first truly open board of governors elections. The board is comprised of three representatives from each of the Academy's 17 branches — one rep from each branch comes up for election each year —

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»

- Scott Feinberg

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Netflix Planning "Dear White People" Series

5 May 2016 12:05 PM, PDT | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

Filmmaker Justin Simien is set to adapt his own acclaimed 2014 comedy feature "Dear White People" into a ten-episode Netflix half-hour comedy TV series.

Netflix has given the project a straight-to-series order with the action following a diverse group of students of color as they navigate a predominantly white Ivy League college where racial tensions are often swept under the rug.

The series is a send up of 'post-racial' America that also weaves a universal story about forging one's own unique path. Simien will write the series and direct the first episode, with production kicking off later this year for a 2017 debut.

It's unclear if any of the movie's original cast will be onboard, but Devon Shepard, Stephanie Allain Bray and Julia Lebedev are set to executive produce.

Source: The Live Feed »

- Garth Franklin

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Netflix Orders Series Adaptation of Big-Screen Comedy Dear White People

5 May 2016 10:45 AM, PDT | TVLine.com | See recent TVLine.com news »

Another movie-to-tv adaptation is in the works — but this time, it’s coming from the indie world.

Netflix announced Thursday that it’s ordered 10 episodes of Dear White People, a half-hour comedy series based on writer/director/producer Justin Simien’s Sundance award-winning satire. (The full trailer for the movie is embedded below.)

RelatedStar WarsJohn Boyega to Headline Netflix’s Watership Down Series

The logline for the series — which Simien will write (and also serve as director on the pilot episode) — is as follows: “Set among a diverse group of students of color as they navigate a predominantly »

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‘Dear White People’ Adaptation Gets Series Order at Netflix

5 May 2016 10:37 AM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Netflix has given a straight-to-series order to “Dear White People,” based on the 2014 movie from writer/director Justin Simien. Set amidst a diverse group of students of color as they navigate a predominantly white Ivy League college where racial tensions are often swept under the rug, the 10-episode, half-hour series is described as a sendup of “post-racial” America. Simien will write the series produced by Lionsgate TV, and will direct the first episode. Devon Shepard will executive produce with Stephanie Allain Bray and Julia Lebedev, who also produced the film. Also Read: Netflix Now Lets Customers Control Phone's Data Instead of Capping It “During the. »

- Reid Nakamura

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‘Dear White People’ Series Ordered at Netflix

5 May 2016 10:00 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Netflix has given a series order to “Dear White People,” an adaptation of writer and director Justin Simien’s 2014 feature film of the same name. Simien will write all 10 half-hour episodes and direct the premiere. The series will begin production later this year and debut worldwide on Netflix in 2017.

Dear White People” tells the story of a diverse group of students of color experiencing campus life at a fictional Ivy League university dominated by white students. Devon Shepard will serve as executive producer alongside Stephanie Allain Bray and Julia Lebedev, who exec produced the film.

The series will be produced by Lionsgate Television, which also produces “Orange Is the New Black” for Netflix. Lionsgate’s Roadside Attractions released the original movie.

“Justin is a gifted storyteller whose bold, unique vision is perfectly suited to Netflix,” said Cindy Holland, vice president of original content at Netflix. “His original film ‘Dear White People »

- Daniel Holloway

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2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2002 | 1999 | 1997

1-20 of 40 items from 2016   « Prev | Next »


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