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Bud Yorkin, ‘Jeffersons’ and ‘All in the Family’ Director-Producer, Dies at 89

Bud Yorkin, ‘Jeffersons’ and ‘All in the Family’ Director-Producer, Dies at 89
Bud Yorkin, director of influential 1970s TV shows including “All In The Family,” “Maude,” “The Jeffersons,” “Sanford and Sons” and “Diff’rent Strokes,” died Aug. 18 of natural causes at his home in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles. He was 89.

Yorkin played a pivotal role in developing some of the most popular series of the 1970s in partnership with Norman Lear at Tandem Productions. He was nominated for three Emmys and worked on TV series that won 25 Emmys and 10 Golden Globes. His feature film directing credits included “Love Hurts,” “Twice In A Lifetime,” “Arthur 2: On The Rocks,” “The Thief Who Came To Dinner” and “Inspector Clouseau.”

After working in the 1950s on numerous award-winning variety shows, he teamed with writer Lear in 1959 to form Tandem Productions, and made his film directing debut with “Come Blow Your Horn” starring Frank Sinatra. Yorkin had previously worked with Lear on such
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Bud Yorkin, ‘Jeffersons’ and ‘All in the Family’ Director-Producer, Dies at 89

Bud Yorkin, director of influential 1970s TV shows including “All In The Family,” “Maude,” “The Jeffersons,” “Sanford and Sons” and “Diff’rent Strokes,” died Aug. 18 of natural causes at his home in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles. He was 89.

Yorkin played a pivotal role in developing some of the most popular series of the 1970s in partnership with Norman Lear at Tandem Productions. He was nominated for three Emmys and worked on TV series that won 25 Emmys and 10 Golden Globes. His feature film directing credits included “Love Hurts,” “Twice In A Lifetime,” “Arthur 2: On The Rocks,” “The Thief Who Came To Dinner” and “Inspector Clouseau.”

After working in the 1950s on numerous award-winning variety shows, he teamed with writer Lear in 1959 to form Tandem Productions, and made his film directing debut with “Come Blow Your Horn” starring Frank Sinatra. Yorkin had previously worked with Lear on such
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Spirit nominations announced

Spirit nominations announced
UPDATED 5:21 p.m. PT Nov. 27, 2007

Film Independent's 2008 Spirit Awards took on an international accent as nominees were announced Tuesday. Best feature noms went to the French-language "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" and the Pakistan-set "A Mighty Heart", while the starring duo of Tony Leung and Tang Wei of the Shanghai drama "Lust, Caution" both figure in the top acting categories.

But Americana also ruled as "I'm Not There", Todd Haynes' kaleidoscope deconstruction of the work of Bob Dylan, led the field. With four nominations, including best feature, director and supporting noms for Cate Blanchett and Marcus Carl Franklin, it also was named the inaugural winner of the Robert Altman Award, recognizing Haynes, casting director Laura Rosenthal and the ensemble cast.

While the Spirit Awards focus on American independent film, a film can qualify if at least one U.S. citizen or permanent resident is credited in two or more of the categories of writer, director or producer, which opened the door for this year's globetrotting noms.

In addition to "I'm Not There", "Diving Bell", a film told from the point of view of a stroke victim, and "Mighty Heart", the dramatization of the search for kidnapped journalist Daniel Pearl, the other contenders in the best feature category are "Juno", a comedy about an unintended pregnancy, and "Paranoid Park", the account of a teen who accidentally kills a man.

Four of the best film nominees saw their helmsman nominated for best director: Haynes ("I'm Not There"), Jason Reitman ("Juno"), Julian Schnabel ("Butterfly") and Gus Van Sant ("Paranoid"). But instead of Michael Winterbottom for "Mighty Heart", the fifth slot went to Tamara Jenkins -- who also was nominated for best screenplay -- for the family drama "The Savages".

"There wasn't a dominant genre or even a film. It was a mix of emerging filmmakers and veteran filmmakers like Gus Van Sant and Todd Haynes. I felt like it was a wide spectrum of talent in all areas," FIND exec director Dawn Hudson said at the ceremonies that Lisa Kudrow and Zach Braff hosted at the Sofitel Hotel in Los Angeles.

"You want all these films to gain some momentum," she added. "There's such a glut of films this season that you hope that this will shine a spotlight on these lower-budgeted films that are so deserving."

The best actress contenders are Angelina Jolie for portraying Mariane Pearl in "Mighty Heart"; Sienna Miller, seen as a soap actress facing off with a journalist in "Interview"; Ellen Page, who appears as the pregnant teen in "Juno"; Parker Posey, who finds herself embarking on an affair in "Broken English"; and Tang, who becomes entangled in love and espionage in "Lust".

Nominated as best actor are Pedro Castaneda, who plays an undocumented farm worker "August Evening"; Don Cheadle, who stars as a radio host in "Talk to Me"; Philip Seymour Hoffman, whose character struggles with an ailing father in "Savages"; Frank Langella, who appears as the older half of a May-December relationship in "Starting Out in the Evening"; and Leung, who plays a spy in "Lust".

Still, several performances that have excited critics failed to make the cut: Among the missing were Ryan Gosling ("Lars and the Real Girl"), Laura Linney ("Savages"), Nicole Kidman ("Margot at the Wedding"), Keri Russell ("Waitress") and John Cusak ("Grace Is Gone").

Along with Blanchett, who seems to channel Dylan in "Not There", the nominees for best supporting female are Anna Kendrick ("Rocket Science"), Jennifer Jason Leigh ("Margot"), Tamara Podemski ("Four Sheets to the Wind") and Marisa Tomei ("Before the Devil Knows You're Dead").

Best supporting male nominee Franklin plays a young musician who calls himself Woody Guthrie in "Not There". In the nominees circle, he joins Chiwetel Ejiofor ("Talk to Me"), Kene Holliday ("Great World of Sound"), Irfan Khan ("The Namesake") and Steve Zahn ("Rescue Dawn").

Screenplay nominees are Ronald Harwood ("Butterfly"), Jenkins ("Savages"), Fred Parnes & Andrew Wagner ("Starting Out"), the late Adrienne Shelly ("Waitress") and Mike White ("Year of the Dog").

In the adjoining category of best first screenplay, the nominees are Jeffrey Blitz ("Rocket Science"), Zoe Cassavetes ("Broken English"), Diablo Cody ("Juno"), Kelly Masterson ("Devil") and John Orloff ("Mighty Heart").

The Spirits also recognize films made for less than $500,000 with its John Cassavetes Award.

Spirit nominations announced

UPDATED 6:36 p.m. PT Nov. 27

Film Independent's 2008 Spirit Awards took on an international accent as nominees were announced Tuesday.

Best feature noms went to the French-language "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" and the Pakistan-set "A Mighty Heart", while the starring duo of Tony Leung and Tang Wei of the Shanghai drama "Lust, Caution" both figure in the top acting categories.

But Americana also ruled as "I'm Not There", Todd Haynes' kaleidoscope deconstruction of the work of Bob Dylan, led the field. With four nominations, including best feature, director and supporting noms for Cate Blanchett and Marcus Carl Franklin, it also was named the inaugural winner of the Robert Altman Award, recognizing Haynes, casting director Laura Rosenthal and the ensemble cast.

While the Spirit Awards focus on American independent film, a film can qualify if at least one U.S. citizen or permanent resident is credited in two or more of the categories of writer, director or producer, which opened the door for this year's globetrotting noms.

In addition to "I'm Not There", "Diving Bell", a film told from the point of view of a stroke victim, and "Mighty Heart", the dramatization of the search for kidnapped journalist Daniel Pearl, the other contenders in the best feature category are "Juno", a comedy about an unintended pregnancy, and "Paranoid Park", the account of a teen who accidentally kills a man.

Four of the best film nominees saw their helmsman nominated for best director: Haynes ("I'm Not There"), Jason Reitman ("Juno"), Julian Schnabel ("Butterfly") and Gus Van Sant ("Paranoid"). But instead of Michael Winterbottom for "Mighty Heart", the fifth slot went to Tamara Jenkins -- who also was nominated for best screenplay -- for the family drama "The Savages".

"There wasn't a dominant genre or even a film. It was a mix of emerging filmmakers and veteran filmmakers like Gus Van Sant and Todd Haynes. I felt like it was a wide spectrum of talent in all areas," FIND exec director Dawn Hudson said at the ceremonies that Lisa Kudrow and Zach Braff hosted at the Sofitel Hotel in Los Angeles.

"You want all these films to gain some momentum," she added. "There's such a glut of films this season that you hope that this will shine a spotlight on these lower-budgeted films that are so deserving."

The best actress contenders are Angelina Jolie for portraying Mariane Pearl in "Mighty Heart"; Sienna Miller, seen as a soap actress facing off with a journalist in "Interview"; Ellen Page, who appears as the pregnant teen in "Juno"; Parker Posey, who finds herself embarking on an affair in "Broken English"; and Tang, who becomes entangled in love and espionage in "Lust".

Nominated as best actor are Pedro Castaneda, who plays an undocumented farm worker "August Evening"; Don Cheadle, who stars as a radio host in "Talk to Me"; Philip Seymour Hoffman, whose character struggles with an ailing father in "Savages"; Frank Langella, who appears as the older half of a May-December relationship in "Starting Out in the Evening"; and Leung, who plays a spy in "Lust".

Still, several performances that have excited critics failed to make the cut: Among the missing were Ryan Gosling ("Lars and the Real Girl"), Laura Linney ("Savages"), Nicole Kidman ("Margot at the Wedding"), Keri Russell ("Waitress") and John Cusack ("Grace is Gone").

Along with Blanchett, who channels Dylan in "Not There", the nominees for best supporting female are Anna Kendrick ("Rocket Science"), Jennifer Jason Leigh ("Margot"), Tamara Podemski ("Four Sheets to the Wind") and Marisa Tomei ("Before the Devil Knows You're Dead").

Best supporting male nominee Franklin plays a young musician who calls himself Woody Guthrie in "Not There". In the nominees circle, he joins Chiwetel Ejiofor ("Talk to Me"), Kene Holliday ("Great World of Sound"), Irfan Khan ("The Namesake") and Steve Zahn ("Rescue Dawn").

Screenplay nominees are Ronald Harwood ("Butterfly"), Jenkins ("Savages"), Fred Parnes & Andrew Wagner ("Starting Out"), the late Adrienne Shelly ("Waitress") and Mike White ("Year of the Dog").

In the adjoining category of best first screenplay, the nominees are Jeffrey Blitz ("Rocket Science"), Zoe Cassavetes ("Broken English"), Diablo Cody ("Juno"), Kelly Masterson ("Devil") and John Orloff ("Mighty Heart").

The Spirits also recognize films made for less than $500,000 with its John Cassavetes Award.

Gothams embrace more 'Sound'

NEW YORK -- After departing from tradition to embrace studio pictures with its nominations last year, the Gotham Awards on Monday returned to its roots, tapping only indie and specialty films for its annual kudos.

In doing so, it tried another walk down the line between awards-season relevance and indie bona fides.

The Gothams, which are run by the industry group IFP, handed out best feature noms to the New York-centric (Noah Baumbach's Margot at the Wedding and Killer Films/Weinstein Co.'s I'm Not There) and the specialty divisions (Fox Searchlight's The Namesake and Paramount Vantage's Into the Wild).

But notably, it gave the most noms to an ultra-indie, Craig Zobel's music-world satire Great World of Sound. In addition to best feature, the movie also landed breakthrough director and breakthrough actor spots. (Zobel shared the former with Lee Isaac Chung, Stephane Gauger, Julia Loktev and David Von Ancken; Kene Holliday was nominated for the latter along with Emile Hirsch, Ellen Page, Jess Weixler and Luisa Williams.)

The nomination slate returns the Gothams to a path some say it had abandoned last year, when it nominated two studio films, Warners' The Departed and Sony's Marie Antoinette, for best feature.

By any measure, the size of the nominated movies this year were much smaller. Last year, the top three grossers on the best feature ballot earned a collective $154 million. Of this year's three best feature noms that have been released so far, the take has been just $18 million. (With $18,000, World was responsible for roughly 0.1% of that.)

As the first awards ceremony of the season, the Gothams have tried to position themselves as an awards program that can set the agenda for the coming months while also including movies that won't get recognition from other quarters. The balance hasn't always been easy.

The choices announced Monday divided players in the biz -- based largely, it seemed, on whether those players had nominated films. While many said it reflected the proper ethos of inclusion, others say it represented an overcorrection.

"It seems like they got such a backlash from last year that they went too far the other way," said an executive at one studio.

Supporters of the choices, however, said the Gothams are upholding primary values. "There isn't a mission exactly, but there is a spirit and a deeply felt philosophy," ThinkFilm U.S. chief Mark Urman said. "The Gothams specifically have to pay some attention to the achievements that others won't pay attention to."

In a sense, the Gothams are in a no-win situation: When they choose higher-profile movies that could help establish them as a bigger player, they're criticized for losing their way; when they don't, they're criticized for being provincial.

Interview: Craig Zobel

  • The Great World of Sound is a charming portrait of the sleazy underbelly of the music industry. Martin and Clarence (played by actors Patrick Healy and Kene HolidayKene Holliday
[/link]) are hired as first time record producers and sent out on the road to find the next big name in music. What they don’t know is that they are hucksters, scamming musicians for down payments on an illusory album. The film’s director, Craig Zobel, and his team posted real audition notices in North Carolina and Georgia papers in order to get documentary footage of musicians in the throes of desire for that big break. The auditions were filmed with secret cameras as the actors led on the musicians with false promises. The result is beautiful, yet heartbreaking, scenes of people giving the gift of song not knowing the cruel truth. Luckily, most of the real life musicians filmed by Mr.
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Magnolia likes 'Sound' of Sundance/SXSW selection

[/link] to pick up the North American rights - but after Sundance and the recently wrapped up South by Southwest Film Festival, Craig Zobel's The Great World of Sound will now be shown in movie theatres sprinkled a little everywhere. Written by George Smith and Zobel, this follows two Southerners who unwittingly become part of a record industry scam operation. The feature combines narrative filmmaking with lead actors Patrick Healy and Kene Holliday and documentary-style "auditions" from aspiring performers unaware at the time that they were part of a film.The first-time feature director got some mentoring from one of my favorite directors around in David Gordon Green. Richard A. Wright and Melissa Palmer also produced. THR reports that indie film fans can expect an early fall release. Next question. Who will buy Dgg’s Snow Angels? ...
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Magnolia digs Zobel's 'Sound' for N. America

NEW YORK -- Magnolia Pictures nabbed North American rights to Craig Zobel's satirical black comedy Great World of Sound, an entry in this week's South by Southwest Film Festival.

Sound, which had its premiere in January at the Sundance Film Festival, follows two Southerners who unwittingly become part of a record industry scam operation. The feature combines narrative filmmaking with lead actors Patrick Healy and Kene Holliday and documentary-style "auditions" from aspiring performers unaware at the time that they were part of a film.

"Magnolia is one of the most progressive, exciting companies out there," said Zobel, a first-time feature director. "They were at the top of the wish list in my hopes of getting distribution."

Magnolia's Mark Cuban said: "Having performers come to a constructed set in response to classified ads was a brilliant choice on Craig's part," said Cuban, who co-owns Magnolia with Todd Wagner. Magnolia plans an early fall release.

The film is a GWS Media and Plum Pictures presentation.

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