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10 items from 2014

10 live action shorts advance in 2015 Oscar race

20 November 2014 1:14 PM, PST | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

The Academy has announced the 10 live-action short films that have advanced in this year's Oscar race. Five nominees will be announced along with all other categories on Jan. 15, 2015. Potential nominees come from across the globe, qualifying with either a short theatrical run or acceptance in a competitive festival. 141 pictures had originally qualified in the category. Recent winners include familiar names like Terry George, Martin McDonagh, and Andrea Arnold. A full list of the nominees below: “Aya,” Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis, directors (Chasis Films) “Baghdad Messi,” Sahim Omar Kalifa, director, and Kobe Van Steenberghe, producer (a team productions) “Boogaloo and Graham,” Michael Lennox, director, and Ronan Blaney, writer (Out of Orbit) “Butter Lamp (La Lampe Au Beurre De Yak),” Hu Wei, director, and Julien Féret, producer (Ama Productions) “Carry On,” Yatao Li, director (Rochester Institute of Technology) “My Father’s Truck,” Maurício Osaki, director (Lupi Filmes) “Parvaneh,” Talkhon Hamzavi, director, »

- Matt Patches

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MGM Buys 55% Of Roma Downey And Mark Burnett’s Empire; Relaunches United Artists

22 September 2014 10:15 AM, PDT | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

In a deal that follows Roma Downey and Mark Burnett coming aboard the MGM/Paramount epic Ben-Hur that Timur Bekmambetov will direct with Jack Huston in the title role, MGM has acquired a 55% interest in Downey, Burnett and Hearst Entertainment’s One Three Media and LightWorkers Media, including all of their interests in such hit shows as Survivor, The Voice, Shark Tank, The Bible and The Apprentice. All this will be consolidated into a new media venture called United Artists Media Group. MGM chairman and CEO Gary Barber made the deal with Burnett, Downey and Steven Swartz, Hearst Corp’s president and CEO. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Uamg will primarily focus on developing, producing and financing premium content across all platforms, including scripted and non-scripted television programs, motion pictures and digital content. Burnett will serve as the CEO of Uamg. Downey will serve as president of LightWorkers Media, the »

- Mike Fleming Jr and Anita Busch

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Beau Willimon, Walter Bernstein Win WGA East Council Seats

19 September 2014 9:06 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

House of Cards” creator Beau Willimon and 94-year-old incumbent Walter Bernstein have won freelance seats on the Writers Guild of America East Council.

Incumbents John Auerbach, Terry George and Jenny Lumet were re-elected to freelance seats along with newcomers Kyle Bradstreet and Chris Kyle. A total of 16 candidates were seeking the seven open freelance seats.

Gail Lee, Kathy McGee and Cath Twohill won the staff seats. All seats are for two-year terms.

Bernstein was blacklisted by the Hollywood studios during the 1950s. He  received an Oscar nomination and a WGA award for the script for 1976’s “The Front.” The WGA East awarded him the Ian McLellan Hunter Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement in Writing in 1994 and the Evelyn F. Burkey Award in 2008.

Willimon is also a playwright and wrote “Farragut North,” which was adapted into George Clooney’s “The Ides of March.”

The WGA East has about 4,000 members.


- Dave McNary

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2014 Independent Film Week Includes Latest From Barry Jenkins, Alistair Banks Griffin, Passon, Frammartino & Landes

23 July 2014 7:30 PM, PDT | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

On the heels of the 39th edition of the Toronto Int. Film Festival (Sept 4-14), Ifp’s Independent Film Week is where a plethora of fiction, non-fiction and new this year, web-based series from the likes of Desiree Akhavan and Calvin Reeder find future coin. Sectioned off as projects at the very beginning of financing to those that are nearing completion, there happens to be tons of Sundance alumni in the names below. Among those that caught our attention we have Medicine for Melancholy‘s Barry Jenkins’ sophomore feature, produced by Bad Milo!‘s Adele Romanski, Moonlight is about “two Miami boys navigate the temptations of the drug trade and their burgeoning sexuality in this triptych drama about black queer youth”. Concussion‘s Stacie Passon digs into the thriller genre with Strange Things Started Happening. Produced by vet Mary Jane Skalski (Mysterious Skin), this is about “a woman who has »

- Eric Lavallee

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Beau Willimon Among Candidates For WGA East Council

1 July 2014 3:11 PM, PDT | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

The House Of Cards showrunner is looking to expand his political influence from the White House to the union hall. Beau Willimon is among the candidates announced today for a two-year term on the WGA East Council. Fifteen other candidates also will vie for the seven open Freelance seats including incumbents John Auerbach, Jenny Lumet, Terry George, Richard Vetere, Patrick Mason and Walter Bernstein, the 94-year-old Fail-Safe and The Front scribe who was blacklisted during the 1950s. The other candidates are Kyle Bradstreet, Andrea Ciannavei, Timothy Cooper, Marin Gazzaniga, Chris Kyle, John Marshall, Jo Miller, Oren Moverman, Danielle Paige and […] »

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Blacklisted Writer Walter Bernstein Seeking Re-Election to WGA East Council, Beau Willimon Running

1 July 2014 1:53 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The Writers Guild of America East has announced 20 candidates for its 10 open council seats, including 94-year-old Walter Bernstein and five other incumbents.

House of Cards” creator Beau Willimon is also seeking a seat.

Bernstein, who was blacklisted by the Hollywood studios during the 1950s, and Willimon are among 16 candidates for the seven open Freelance seats along with Timothy Cooper, Marin Gazzaniga, Jo Miller, John Marshall, John Auerbach, Chris KyleRichard Vetere, Kyle Bradstreet, George Strayton, Oren Moverman, Jenny Lumet, Andrea Ciannavei, Danielle Paige and Terry George.

The four candidates for the three open Staff seats are Cath Twohill,  Gail Lee, Kathy McGee and Patrick Mason.

Besides Bernstein, the other incumbents are Auerbach, George, Lumet, Mason and Vetere.

Bernstein received an Oscar nomination and a WGA award for the script for 1976′s “The Front.” The WGA East awarded him the Ian McLellan Hunter Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement in Writing in 1994 and the Evelyn F. »

- Dave McNary

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History Sets Knights Templar Miniseries From Craig Zadan & Neil Meron

30 May 2014 3:21 PM, PDT | Deadline TV | See recent Deadline TV news »

Exclusive: History is teaming with Bonnie & Clyde executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron on a new four-hour miniseries. The network has bought a script for the project, from Sony TV and Zadan and Meron’s Storyline Entertainment, which tracks the origins of the mystic medieval Christian order known as Knights Templar. Written by Keir Pearson, an Oscar nominee with Terry George for Hotel Rwanda, the mini tells the true story of three brothers, all knights, during the first Crusade, as they make the long journey through the Holy Lands to recapture Jerusalem, ultimately bringing rise to the Knights Templar. Zadan and Meron executive produce, with Pearson co-executive producing and Storyline VP Development Mark Nicholson, who brought in the project, serving as a producer. Like the Knights Templar mini, Zadan and Meron’s Bonnie & Clyde, also from Sony TV where Storyline has a longform deal, was originally set up at »


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UK Management & Production Outfit 42 Pacts With ITV Studios Global

15 April 2014 3:47 AM, PDT | Deadline TV | See recent Deadline TV news »

Production and management shingle 42 was founded last year by Welcome To The Punch producers Rory Aitken and Ben Pugh, and agents Josh Varney and Kate Buckley. The UK-based company reps talent and develops film projects, now with a deeper move into television. An exclusive, multi-year development and distribution partnership with ITV Studios Global Entertainment will focus on scripted drama, an increasingly lucrative area for UK producers. When they created 42, Varney and Buckley exited UK agency Independent Talent Group, but continued to share certain clients. 42′s client roster now includes Michael Caine, Rhys Ifans, Rupert Friend, Nicholas Hoult, Emily Mortimer, Tom Hollander, Jonny Lee Miller, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Charlotte Gainsbourg, William Monahan, Lynne Ramsay, Peter Cattaneo, Eran Creevy, Terry George, and Daniel Wolfe. The company is currently in post-production on feature Monsters: The Dark Continent, the sequel to Gareth EdwardsMonsters. Pre-production has started on both Creevy’s Autobahn, starring Hoult, »

- NANCY TARTAGLIONE, International Editor

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Writers Guild: New Deal Addresses TV Writer Problems

2 April 2014 6:43 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Leaders of the Writers Guild of America are touting their new contract as addressing key problems for TV writers — who are now seeing far shorter seasons.

“Importantly, we have now placed limits on the options and exclusivity requirements often imposed on episodic television writers,” said negotiating commmitte co-chairs Billy Ray and Chip Johannessen in a note to members.

“Our negotiations on these issues were complicated and protracted, but the companies worked with us to find solutions,” the duo said in the note. “As a result, the endless unpaid holds that have become more and more commonplace in television have now been addressed in the Mba (minimum basic agreement) for the first time ever.”

The tentative three-year deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers was reached late Tuesday following two days of talks over the options and exclusivity requirements. The other issues had been settled as of the first week of March. »

- Dave McNary

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Writers Guild Awards Sets Presenters For NY Show

22 January 2014 8:50 AM, PST | Deadline TV | See recent Deadline TV news »

New York, NY (January 22, 2014) – An incredible line-up of presenters has been confirmed for the 66th annual Writers Guild Awards New York Ceremony on Saturday, February 1, 2014 at the Edison Ballroom in New York City. This year, awards will be presented by an eclectic mix of writers, producers and actors, including Fred Armisen (Portlandia), Robert Carlock (30 Rock), Raúl Esparza (Law & Order: Svu), Terry George (Hotel Rwanda), Kate Mulgrew (Orange Is The New Black), Lawrence O’Donnell (The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell), Steve O’Donnell (Late Show with David Letterman), Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife), Matthew Rhys (The Americans), Frank Rich (Veep), Keri Russell (The Americans), Danny Strong (Lee DanielsThe Butler) and Beau Willimon (House of Cards). Dee Rees, the screenwriter and director of Pariah, will present James Schamus with the Evelyn F. Burkey Award for bringing honor and dignity to writers. Schamus co-founded Focus Films, produced the Oscar®-nominated Brokeback Mountain, »


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