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Donald Trump’s Antics Push Hollywood Conservatives Back Into Closet

Donald Trump’s Antics Push Hollywood Conservatives Back Into Closet
For years, Hollywood conservatives have worked tirelessly to gain acceptance in a town known for its uber-liberal views. They’ve quietly started their own support groups and, recently, have even felt comfortable speaking to the media — something unthinkable just a few years ago. But that’s all changed now, with many right-leaning industry members saying they’ve been forced back into the closet. And it’s all thanks to Donald Trump. “The genie is being squeezed back into the bottle,” said Lionel Chetwynd, an Academy-Award nominee and member of leading conservative Hollywood group Friends of Abe. “All the efforts to
See full article at The Wrap »

Why One Hollywood Conservative Is ‘Ebullient Bordering on Jubilant’ Following Iowa Caucuses

Why One Hollywood Conservative Is ‘Ebullient Bordering on Jubilant’ Following Iowa Caucuses
Hollywood conservatives are flushed with a new wave of confidence following Monday night’s Iowa caucuses. It’s not the candidates who have them smiling from ear to ear, but the voters. “I’m feeling ebullient bordering on jubilant,” Lionel Chetwynd, a 1975 Oscar nominee and member of the Hollywood conservative group Friends of Abe, told TheWrap. “New voters are now participating in the process. It’s a huge movement.” Also Read: Ted Cruz Upsets Donald Trump In Iowa Caucuses Conservative-leaning industry insiders say the record-breaking turnout among Republican voters means more Republicans are now part of the process and could
See full article at The Wrap »

Hollywood Conservatives Defend Oscars Voting: Racist Accusations Are ‘Insulting’

Hollywood Conservatives Defend Oscars Voting: Racist Accusations Are ‘Insulting’
This year’s all-white round of Oscar acting nominations — the second in a row — sparked a national outcry and raised new uncomfortable questions about whether or not the entertainment industry, known for its ultra-liberal values, is secretly harboring racial biases. But some in Hollywood’s conservative community say nothing could be further from the truth. “It’s shortsighted that people are making these accusations and, frankly, it’s insulting,” said Oscar nominated writer, director and producer Lionel Chetwynd. “I’m quite capable of judging and marveling at a performance without being conscious of the actor’s skin color. What’s wrong with you all?
See full article at The Wrap »

Why Hollywood Republicans Are Still Flirting With Wide Gop Field

Why Hollywood Republicans Are Still Flirting With Wide Gop Field
As Gop presidential candidates take the stage for the third Republican debate in Boulder, Colorado, on Wednesday, Hollywood conservatives say they’ll be glued to their TV sets in the hope of getting one step closer to picking their candidate for the 2016 presidential race. While most are leaning toward a specific presidential hopeful, many say they haven’t made up their mind yet, insisting it’s still anyone’s game. “I’m supporting Ted Cruz,” Lionel Chetwynd, an Academy-Award nominee and member of leading conservative Hollywood group Friends of Abe, told TheWrap. “I think he’s very smart, articulate and
See full article at The Wrap »

Seven Anti-James Bond Movies You Haven’t Seen

The Bond franchise which has been with us so long, has become so deeply entrenched in popular culture, that we often forget what it was that first distinguished the Bonds a half-century ago. Skyfall might be one of the best of the Bonds, and even, arguably, one of the best big-budget big-action flicks to come along in quite a while, but it’s not alone. The annual box office is – and has been, for quite some time – dominated by big, action-packed blockbusters of one sort of another. The Bonds aren’t even the only action-driven spy flicks (Mr. James Bond, I’d like you to meet Mr. Jason Bourne and Mr. Ethan Hunt).

That’s not to take anything away from the superb entertainment Skyfall is, or the sentimentally treasured place the Bonds hold. It’s only to say that where there was once just the one, there are now many.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Donald Trump to Address Hollywood Conservative Group

Donald Trump to Address Hollywood Conservative Group
Donald Trump will speak to Friends of Abe, a leading private Hollywood conservative group, this Friday in Brentwood, a person close to the event told TheWrap. Foa gatherings have become a regular stop for Republican presidential hopefuls since 2004. But Trump’s appearance is especially noteworthy in light of his recent comments on Mexican immigrants which set off a national outcry in recent days. “I’m anxious to give him the opportunity to clarify what he has said and what is in his heart,” Foa member and Oscar-nominated screenwriter Lionel Chetwynd told TheWrap on Tuesday. “Trump expressed his opinion,” he added.
See full article at The Wrap »

Kevin Spacey’s Tribute Revives Angry Feud Over Stanley Kramer’s Role In The Blacklist

  • Deadline
Kevin Spacey’s Tribute Revives Angry Feud Over Stanley Kramer’s Role In The Blacklist
Exclusive: Karen Kramer is going on the offensive again against Lionel Chetwynd, who again has called her late husband, legendary filmmaker and liberal icon Stanley Kramer, an “enabler” of the Hollywood blacklist. She has accused Chetwynd, a darling of Hollywood conservatives, of defaming her husband, who produced and directed such classics as High Noon, Inherit The Wind, Judgment At Nuremberg, On The Beach and Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner.

The blacklist, which ended some 55 years ago, is still a polarizing issue.

There is no doubt that blacklisted screenwriter Carl Foreman felt betrayed by Kramer in connection with the 1952 masterpiece High Noon. Foreman, who died in 1984 and was a longtime friend of Chetwynd’s, said as much in a lengthy letter to New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther after his glowing review of the film. Foreman never forgave Kramer for denying him associate producer credit on the film. Foreman
See full article at Deadline »

Ted Cruz “Excellence” Award Raises Questions About Caucus’ Union Ties

  • Deadline
The Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors’ former ties to Hollywood’s unions are coming into question in light of its recent decision to stand by its award to ultra-conservative presidential hopeful Senator Ted Cruz.

The decision to give the Texas Republican its American Spirit Award had polarized the caucus’ membership, with internal objections leading to an emergency meeting of the executive committee Monday, which upheld the decision to honor Cruz. The caucus traditionally hands out American Spirit Awards to a Republican and a Democrat (California Governor Jerry Brown appears to be the choice on the liberal side this year, though it is unclear whether the Cruz controversy would affect his decision to accept it). Other prominent conservatives have received the award in the past, including include Congressmen Darrell Issa (R-ca) and Eric Cantor (R-va), but none has been as polarizing or anti-union as Cruz.

Co-founded in 1977 by Hollywood liberal icon Norman Lear,
See full article at Deadline »

Hollywood Conservative Group Gets Tax-Exempt Status

Hollywood Conservative Group Gets Tax-Exempt Status
Friends of Abe, a private group of politically conservative entertainment-industry workers, said Sunday it has been granted tax-exempt status after battling with the IRS for three years. The group, known among insiders as Foa, said the IRS has designated it a 501(c)(3) and backdated the status beginning in February 2011, when Foa first formed as a legal entity. Foa as a fellowship, though, has existed for nearly 10 years, loosely formed by actors Gary Sinise, Kelsey Grammer and Jon Voight, along with the late Andrew Breitbart, writer-producer Lionel Chetwynd and others. Friends of Abe is a reference

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See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Seven Anti-007 Movies You Haven’t Seen

(*My apologies for this coming so long after Sound on Sight’s celebration of 50 years of James Bond, but I’ve been swamped with end-of-semester work and only just now managed to finish this. Hope you all still find this of interest.)

As a coda to the Sos’s James Bond salute, there’s still a point I think deserves to be made.

The Bond franchise which has been with us so long, has become so deeply entrenched in popular culture, that we often forget what it was that first distinguished the Bonds a half-century ago. Skyfall might be one of the best of the Bonds, and even, arguably, one of the best big-budget big-action flicks to come along in quite a while, but it’s not alone. The annual box office is – and has been, for quite some time – dominated by big, action-packed blockbusters of one sort of another.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Romney Eyes Hollywood Return After Successful Weekend Fundraiser

Turns out Mitt Romney is a big fan of Hollywood. After pulling in $6 million in a fundraiser Saturday at the Beverly Hilton, the Gop candidate could be back in town soon. “This weekend’s event was very successful and there are plans to try to get the Governor back in Los Angeles again after the first or second debate for a similar occasion,” a source close to the Romney campaign told Deadline. The first Presidential debate is October 3, with a second October 16 and a final face-to-face October 22. On Saturday night, 1500 donors showed up for the Romney fundraiser. Among the attendees were producer Jerry Bruckheimer and wife Linda; former Warner Bros chair Terry Semel; Children Of A Lesser God producer Burt Sugarman; Gladiator producer Frank Price and wife Katherine; DC 9/11: A Time Of Crisis writer-producer Lionel Chetwynd; actor John O’Hurley, CSI: NY’s Gary Sinise; and Everyone Loves Raymond
See full article at Deadline TV »

Tim Lahaye on Why Easter Shouldn’t Be ‘Left Behind’

Tim Lahaye on Why Easter Shouldn’t Be ‘Left Behind’
(c) Newmarket/courtesy Everett Collection “The Passion of the Christ,” Jim Caviezel, 2004

Earlier this month, humorist Ricky Gervais presented his arguments for atheism and why he thought he was a better Christian than many Christians. In follow-up essays, Lee Strobel gave his take on Easter and Tony and Emmy-winning actress Kristin Chenoweth offered her take on being a believer in world of make-believe. In this final installment, Tim Lahaye, co-author of the “Left Behind” series, presents his thoughts on Easter and the movies.
See full article at Speakeasy/Wall Street Journal »

DAP, Future to helm Maria Callas biopic

DAP, Future to helm Maria Callas biopic
Toronto -- French actress Eva Green ("Casino Royale") is in negotiations to star as Maria Callas in the upcoming English-language biopic about the operatic star from Italy's DeAngelis Group (DAP) and British producer partner Future Films.

DAP president Guido DeAngelis said the Callas project, to be shot next year, will also be co-produced by crystal producer Swarovski, whose bling was often worn by the iconic opera star on stage and off.

DeAngelis and Canadian co-producer the Fremantle Corp. are also prepping the $28 million, 12-hour mini-series "Titanic: The Untold Story of How it All Began," for a May 2011 shoot in Ireland.

Also on board the "Titanic" TV series as co-producers are Future Films, Play Productions France, the Irish Film Authority and Wilshire Films USA.

DeAngelis said the sinking of the Titanic has already been told widely, not least by James Cameron. The Fremantle/Dap dramatization, originally created in Italy for
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Lionel Chetwynd joins Canada-Italy co-pro

Lionel Chetwynd joins Canada-Italy co-pro
Toronto -- Writer-producer Lionel Chetwynd has joined up with Dap Italy and Fremantle Corporation to co-develop an Italian crime novel by Diego Cugia as a 12-hour TV series.

Italian broadcaster MediaSet earlier picked up the broadcast rights to "The Merchant of Flowers" TV drama, which will be shot in Italy as a Canadian-European co-production and sold into the international market.

The project, set against the backdrop of international sex slavery, is the first in a slate of TV dramas from Toronto-based Fremantle and Italian partner Dap.

"For me this is one of those rare opportunities to deal with a true infection of the human spirit in an uncompromising way," Chetwynd said in a statement.
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Both sides of aisle rip MSNBC

In a room full of television industry executives, no one seemed inclined to defend MSNBC on Monday for what some were calling its lopsidedly liberal coverage of the presidential election.

The cable news channel is "completely out of control," said writer-producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, a self-proclaimed liberal Democrat.

She added that she would prefer a lunch date with right-leaning Fox News star Sean Hannity over left-leaning MSNBC star Keith Olbermann.

Olbermann was criticized by many who attended Monday's luncheon sponsored by the Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The event was dubbed "Hollywood, America and Election '08."

Bloodworth-Thomason and others seemed especially critical of the way MSNBC -- and other media -- has attacked Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin while demeaning her supporters.

"We should stop the demonizing," she said, adding that Democrats have been worse than Republicans as far as personal attacks on candidates are concerned.
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Caucus to fete Herskovitz

Caucus to fete Herskovitz
Marshall Herskovitz has been tapped by the Caucus for Television Producers, Writers and Directors to receive its Silver Anniversary New Vision Award.

In addition, the caucus on Wednesday announced the nominees for its producer, writer, director and actor-producer awards, which will be handed out Dec. 7 at the annual Caucus Awards black-tie gala at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Herskovitz, who also is president of the Producers Guild of America, recently launched with Edward Zwick a Web series on MySpace titled Quarterlife, which "keep(s) with the intent of the New Vision Award," according to awards chair Chuck Fries, who said the series is "on the cutting edge of new-media content production and distribution."

Herskovitz's other credits include the series thirtysomething, My So-Called Life and Once and Again and films including Legends of the Fall, Traffic, I Am Sam, The Last Samurai and Blood Diamond.

The nominated producers are the teams of Paul Attanasio & Katie Jacobs and Silvio Horta & Salma Hayek as well as David Chase, Doug Ellin and Jon Stewart. Writer nominees are Bill Blinn, Lionel Chetwynd, Larry Gelbart, David Mamet and Shonda Rhimes.

'Resurrection' to appear at Easter

Picking up where the biblical story of Jesus Christ's passion leaves off, Screen Gems is angling for an Eastertime release of a feature film tentatively titled The Resurrection, people familiar with the project confirmed Wednesday. Using the Bible for its source material, Resurrection will tell the story of Jesus Christ beginning the day he died on the cross and ending about 40 days later with his ascension into heaven. According to insiders, Screen Gems, headed by Clint Culpepper, commissioned a script several months ago from Lionel Chetwynd, the veteran screenwriter, producer and director whose credits include The Hanoi Hilton for the big screen and the Emmy-nominated TV movie Ike: Countdown to D-Day.

Banff fest lures master class guests

TORONTO -- Hollywood producer Lionel Chetwynd (The Hanoi Hilton), Fox Reality Channel COO and general manager David Lyle, and Canadian filmmakers Patricia Rozema (Mansfield Park) and Peter Raymont (Shake Hands With the Devil) are to top-line the master class sessions at the upcoming Banff World Television Festival, organizers said Wednesday. Also leading classes in Banff are directors Jon Cassar (La Femme Nikita, 24) and Jeremy Podeswa (The L Word). The Banff World Television Festival, an annual meeting place of TV producers, buyers and financiers, will take place June 12-15 in the Canadian Rockies.

WGA West board approves re-edit of roundtable chat

WGA West board approves re-edit of roundtable chat
The board of the WGA West has decided to allow a controversial roundtable discussion to be re-edited with the goal of publishing it in the union's in-house magazine. The decision at Monday's board meeting did little to stifle the concern of panelists who believe that their views are being censored. The goal of the July roundtable was to bring together union leaders across political lines to discuss guild history, especially in light of the past year's controversy including the resignation of two presidents. The result was a 33,000-word discussion that, according to several panelists, offered important insight into union affairs. To the staff, it was rife with pointless personal attacks that were potentially defamatory and needed to be edited out. The article was shelved when the board voted 7-7-1 in November against printing the article. That sparked cries of censorship by four of the panelists: Larry Gelbart, Lionel Chetwynd, Lynn Roth and Michael Russnow.

WGAW board censored us, members say

WGAW board censored us, members say
A decision by the WGA West board to hold off on publishing a round-table discussion about the union's history led to cries of censorship by four of the participants. The interview of guild leaders took place in July and has yet to run in the in-house Written By magazine. It was originally scheduled to appear in the October issue. "Those who took part in the conversation are without any question being censored by the largest union of English-speaking writers in the world," said Larry Gelbart, who joined fellow panelists Lionel Chetwynd, Lynn Roth and Michael Russnow in issuing a statement Friday condemning the board's decision to hold off on publishing the article. WGAW spokeswoman Cheryl Rhoden confirmed that the board has decided not to publish the article at this time, adding that it was "being reviewed for future publication subject to editorial changes." Board member Peter Lefcourt moderated the panel, with the political spectrum said to range from Gelbart on the left to Chetwynd on the right. Topics included contract negotiations, strikes, past elections and current and past staff and officeholders. There has been speculation that, in addition to its sheer length, the discussion needed to be edited to remove some potentially defamatory comments about current or former union leaders. Guild officials declined to address those allegations.
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