News

Drama Writers From ‘Westworld,’ ‘Shades of Blue,’ ‘Queen Sugar,’ and More Talk Series Origins, Network Notes

Drama Writers From ‘Westworld,’ ‘Shades of Blue,’ ‘Queen Sugar,’ and More Talk Series Origins, Network Notes
The creative minds behind some of the biggest dramas on television convened for Variety‘s A Night in the Writers’ Room to discuss how they came to their shows and how their networks have or have not pushed back when it comes to pushing boundaries.

The panel was comprised of David E. Kelley from HBO’s “Big Little Lies,” Ava DuVernay of Own’s “Queen Sugar,” Jonathan Nolan from HBO’s “Westworld,” Graham Yost from Amazon’s “Sneaky Pete,” Jack Orman from NBC’s “Shades of Blue,” and Kyle Bradstreet from USA’s “Mr. Robot.”

For DuVernay, she didn’t so much chase after the source material for the show as much as Own’s founder, Oprah Winfrey, insisted that she read it during a vacation at Winfrey’s home in Maui.

“While I was there, there was a book on the nightstand on the right hand side,” DuVernay said. “And
See full article at Variety - TV News »

David E. Kelley on ‘Big Little Lies’ Season 2: ‘It’s Possible’

David E. Kelley on ‘Big Little Lies’ Season 2: ‘It’s Possible’
Big Little Lies” writer and executive producer David E. Kelley addressed the calls for a second season of the HBO series during Variety‘s A Night in the Writers’ Room event on Tuesday.

“We never planned on it,” Kelley said. “It’s possible. There’s a lot of talk and thought being put into it now, but it was not something we planned on. It was conceived as a one-off. In fact, it was a given going into it that it would only be one year because of the acting ensemble we had: Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Alex Skarsgård, Shailene Woodley. These are all people with big careers with a lot of projects lined up and they all had just one year deals.”

“We committed to this one thing as a complete picture,” he continued. “We didn’t have to conceive of future storylines and protect characters and make sure that they could be redeeming in any
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Jennifer Lopez NBC Police Drama ‘Shades of Blue’ Renewed for Season 3

Jennifer Lopez NBC Police Drama ‘Shades of Blue’ Renewed for Season 3
Shades of Blue,” the NBC police drama starring Jennifer Lopez and Ray Liotta, has been renewed for a third season, the network announced Friday.

“We’re so hugely appreciative of everything Jennifer and Ray do, and know it is due to their dedication, as well as the hard work of our incredible cast and producers, that ‘Shades of Blue’ has so clearly and compellingly earned a third-season renewal,” NBC Entertainment head Jennifer Salke said. “This show continues to mine powerful stories that always leave us hungry for more.”

The series follows Harlee Santos (Lopez), a single mother and detective at the heart of a tight-knit crew of Brooklyn detectives, led by enigmatic Lt. Matt Wozniak (Liotta) who often leads the team to step outside the limitations of the law in order to effectively protect their precinct and their own.

The cast includes Drea de Matteo, Dayo Okeniyi, Vincent Laresca, Hampton Fluker, Sarah Jeffery
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Jennifer Lopez Drama 'Shades of Blue' Renewed for Season 3 at NBC

NBC is ready for more Shades of Blue.

The network has renewed the Jennifer Lopez cop drama for a third season, it was announced Friday. Season three will consist of 10 episodes.

The series, which also stars Ray Liotta, Drea de Matteo and Warren Kole, centers on a single mother and detective (Lopez) who is hiding several dark secrets.

Lopez is also an executive producer on Shades of Blue, along with Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Benny Medina, Ryan Seacrest, Nina Wass and showrunner Jack Orman. The series hails from Universal Television, Nuyorican Productions, Egtv, Ryan Seacrest Productions and Jack Orman Productions.

“We’re so...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - TV News »

‘Shades Of Blue’ Panel Cautiously Handles In-The-News Cop Question– TCA

Shades of Blue star Ray Liotta, star/Ep Jennifer Lopez, and Ep Jack Orman got sucked into a question about news reports questioning "whether cops are either heroes or creepy murderers," during their TCA Q&A, by a journalist who wondered how making their NBC drama series might have changed how they participate in that conversation. Lopez, who plays a single-mom NYPD detective forced to work in the FBI's anti-corruption task force, in the NBC drama, answered cautiously…
See full article at Deadline TV »

How ‘Eyewitness’ Creator Adi Hasak Made His Own Opportunities

How ‘Eyewitness’ Creator Adi Hasak Made His Own Opportunities
When Adi Hasak visits Mipcom this week, it will be with the wind at his back. He will serve as a keynote speaker at the annual confab on the heels of the premiere of his new series “Eyewitness,” which debuts Sunday night on USA. It is the second show created by Hasak to premiere this year, following “Shades of Blue,” the Jennifer Lopez cop drama that was renewed by NBC after a successful midseason roll out in January.

It’s a triumphant moment for Hasak, a journeyman writer who has begun to carve out a niche for himself as a bridge between the international and U.S. television businesses — and done so without traditional backing such as an agent or U.S. studio deal.

“I went to Mipcom for the first time I think three years ago,” Hasak says. “And I just started going from booth to booth. No one knew who I was. The
See full article at Variety - TV News »

First-Time Showrunners Share Challenges of Being the Boss

Running a TV show comes with plenty of challenges — especially when it’s your first time doing it on a freshman show.

Showrunners Jack Orman (NBC’s “Shades of Blue”), Jessica Goldberg (Hulu’s “The Path”), Alan Yang (Netflix’s “Master of None”) and Justin Spitzer (NBC’s “Superstore”) participated in a panel on Friday morning at NBC’s Summer Press Day in Thousand Oaks, Calif., to share what they’ve learned from running a television series in its first season.

The foursome (who are all showrunners on Universal TV projects) said that balancing many roles is the toughest task. All agreed the challenges make their day-to-day extremely rewarding, though.

“You have to balance keeping an overall strategic vision and also paying attention to a lot of details,” Orman said, being the only panelist to have been a showrunner previously. “Essentially, you’re a storyteller and you have to have
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Jennifer Lopez Police Thriller ‘Shades of Blue’ Picked Up by Sky in U.K.

Jennifer Lopez Police Thriller ‘Shades of Blue’ Picked Up by Sky in U.K.
London — Pay TV network Sky has nabbed U.K. rights to police thriller “Shades of Blue,” starring Jennifer Lopez, and season four of musical drama series “Nashville.” The shows will play on the platform’s channel Sky Living.

“Nashville” will appear for the first time on Sky Living, with previous seasons having aired in the U.K. on Channel 4 niche channels More 4 and E4. Seasons one to three will be available to Sky customers via Sky Box Sets and streaming service Now TV.

The acquisitions add to Sky Living’s strong lineup of U.S. drama. The channel is already home to “Scandal,” “Elementary,” “The Blacklist,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Criminal Minds” and “Bones,” and most recently the U.K. premiere of “Blindspot.”

“Blindspot” consolidated from 384,000 to 1.19 million, making it the best launch of a brand new U.S. drama on Sky Living ever. Also coming soon to Sky Living
See full article at Variety - TV News »

NBC Renews Jennifer Lopez’s ‘Shades of Blue’ for Season 2

NBC Renews Jennifer Lopez’s ‘Shades of Blue’ for Season 2
NBC has picked up a second season of Jennifer Lopez’s cop drama “Shades of Blue,” Variety has learned.

Though the early renewal comes right after the show’s lowest ratings came in for its fifth episode last night, the pickup comes as no surprise, given Lopez’s star power and “Shades of Blue” still-strong performance as one of NBC’s biggest debuts in recent years.

In its first three telecasts, “Shades of Blue” averaged a 2.5 rating in 18-49 and 11.2 million viewers overall, according to Nielsen’s “live+3” estimates, standing as one of the most time-shifted programs on television during this time. Thanks in part to no competition from ABC’s “How to Get Away With Murder,” “Shades” gave NBC its first Thursday-at-10 wins with in-season regular programming over original competition on ABC and CBS since March 2010 in the demo and since March 2008 in total viewers.

“We want to thank Jennifer,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Shades of Blue Trailer: Get Your First Look at Jennifer Lopez’s NBC Cop Drama

Although she’s been on television for the past few years as an American Idol judge, Jennifer Lopez will soon be back to actual acting, as the premiere for her new NBC cop drama, Shades of Blue, is less than two months away. And with the debut of Lopez’s new series getting so close, NBC released the first full-length trailer for the Shades of Blue last night during Sunday Night Football, and you can now watch the entire two and half minute-plus video online. In addition to Lopez, Shades of Blue also stars Ray Liotta, Warren Kole, Dayo Okeniyi, Drea de Matteo, Hampton Fluker, Vincent Laresca, and Sarah Jeffery. Jack Orman and Adi Hasak are writing and executive producing the series, with Lopez, Barry Levinson, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Benny Medina, Ryan Seacrest, and Nina Wass also serving as executive producers. Shades of Blue premieres Thursday, Jan. 7, at 10 p.m. on NBC.
See full article at TVovermind.com »

‘Shades of Blue’: Watch the First Trailer for Jennifer Lopez’s NBC Cop Drama

‘Shades of Blue’: Watch the First Trailer for Jennifer Lopez’s NBC Cop Drama
The lines between good cop and bad cop are blurred in the first look at Jennifer Lopez’s upcoming NBC drama “Shades of Blue,” which Lopez debuted on her Facebook page Sunday ahead of the show’s January premiere.

The show stars Lopez as Harlee Santos, an FBI agent who’s been assigned to an anti-corruption task force. The footage shows Lopez being questioned as to whether she’s an FBI informant or not and further complications as she tries to do her job and be a single mother to her daughter. Ray Liotta co-stars.

“A Rat!,” Liotta yells at one point. “An FBI informant on my team!”

Drea de Matteo, Vincent Laresca and Gino Anthony Pesi also star. The 13-episode series, created by Adi Hasak, from Universal Television was given a straight-to-series order last year.

Lopez, Barry Levinson, Jack Orman, Adi Hasak, Ryan Seacrest, Nina Wass, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Benny Medina exec produce.
See full article at Variety - TV News »

NBC Schedules Jennifer Lopez Police Drama ‘Shades of Blue’ for Thursdays

NBC Schedules Jennifer Lopez Police Drama ‘Shades of Blue’ for Thursdays
The first piece of the networks’ midseason schedule puzzle was put into place Wednesday when NBC announced that its new Jennifer Lopez police drama “Shades of Blue” would bow on Thursdays in January.

Shades of Blue” will bow with a two-hour episode on Jan. 14 at 9 p.m., and will begin airing in the 10 o’clock hour the following week when “The Blacklist” returns from its two-month hiatus. The drama, which centers on a NYPD detective-turned-informant who must carefully straddle the line between work and family, will be taking over the timeslot occupied this fall by “The Player,” whose 13-episode order had been trimmed by NBC last week.

Timeslot competition for “Shades of Blue” will include ABC’s “How to Get Away With Murder,” though the Viola Davis drama may still be on its midseason hiatus in mid-January.

“Blue” marks the first foray into dramatic television for Lopez, who will also
See full article at Variety - TV News »

NBC Announces 2015-2016 Fall TV Schedule with Trailers

  • MovieWeb
As it closes in on its second consecutive season-long victory in the key adult 18-49 demographic, NBC unveils a new 2015-16 primetime schedule that combines popular returning series, edge-of-your-seat new dramas, inventive new comedies and season nine of the Emmy Award-winning musical competition series The Voice. NBC is on track to win the traditional September-to-May primetime season in adults 18-49 for the second year in a row after having gone the prior 10 years without an 18-49 win. Through 32 completed weeks of the season, NBC also ranks #1 or tied for #1 among the Big 4 networks in adults and men 18-34 and men and women 18-49.

In total viewers, NBC is running #2 for the season and within 7% of its year-ago Olympics-boosted average (8.8 million vs. 9.5 million), making this season and last NBC's two top-scoring seasons in total viewers since 2006-07. NBC has won the last three November sweeps in adults 18-49, as well as
See full article at MovieWeb »

Jennifer Lopez’s ‘Shades of Blue’ Adds Ray Liotta & Drea de Matteo

Jennifer Lopez’s ‘Shades of Blue’ Adds Ray Liotta & Drea de Matteo
Jennifer Lopez’s NBC cop drama “Shades of Blue” has rounded out its ensemble with Ray Liotta, Drea de Matteo, Vincent Laresca and Warren Kole, Variety has learned.

The 13-episode series follows police officers who are effective at keeping the streets safe, but also corrupt when it comes to lining their pockets and protecting their own. Lopez will star as Det. Harlee McCord, a single mother recruited to work undercover for the FBI’s anti-corruption task force. When McCord is forced to become a federal informant, she must decide between her own family’s welfare and that of her police family.

Liotta has been cast as Lt. Bill Wozniak, the enigmatic and resourceful patriarch of the group of cops. Wozniak steps outside the limitations of the law to protect his precinct and effectively navigates his own moral code until he comes to believe he’s been betrayed by one of his own.
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Cinema of West Africa at Home in L.A : An Interview with Mahamat Saleh Haroun

Growing up in Culver City, I always saw the MGM studio near us as a place of make-believe where I could collect autographs of famous movie stars. I knew they made the movies there that I watched every weekend. But it was home, and home was a place of safe daydreams without ambitious goals associated with it.

When I became a teenager and saw Un Chien Andalou, I began to see Movie Mecca as New York and Paris, but now I see they have nothing on us.

Los Angeles this past month had so many events that I could see the world without leaving town. Just a sampling here: German Film Currents,Polish Film Festival, So. African Arts Fest, Satyajit Ray Restored, Pure and Impure: The films of Pier Paolo Pasolini, Gabriel Figueroa Retrospective and The Golden Age of Mexican Cinema which this weekend showed Roberto Gavaldon’s Macario an Oscar-nominated 1959 surrealist Mexican fable. Also showing this weekend alone were A Century of Chinese Cinema at UCLA, the Cambodian documentaryA River Changes Course, Ida’s free documentary series, sci-fi Beyond Fest at the Egyptian Theater, Henri-George Couzot’s La Verite at Red Cat, not to mention Classics from the Cohen Film Colletion: The Rohauer Collection and finally, the early press screenings for the Foreign Language Submissions for the Academy Awards.

Today I write about Africa, West Africa in particular, but even more so Chad, because that is where Mahamat-Saleh Haroun and his film Grigris (Isa: Les Films du Losange, No. America: Film Movement) originate. Grigris premiered in the Cannes Film Festival this year. Haroun also wrote and directed The Screaming Man (Isa: Pyramide, No. America: Film Movement) which won The Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

Grigris is playing as part of the Cameras d’Afrique Series at Lacma which I blogged about earlier Here. This showcase of world-changing films is an initiative of Loyola Marymount University Film School, Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Film Program and Film Independent.

The films offer a unique view of Africa in the comfort of our own town. This series includes the 1963 film Borom Sarret by Ousmane Sembene from Senegal, the first film directed by an African to focus on an African filmmaker’s own people. We all know the name of Ousmane Sembene, but rarely have the chance to see his films, though I will never forget the experience of seeing Black Girl in 1966 at the height of our own Civil Rights struggles. It enlightened me about the rest of the world’s own warped (i.e., colonial) view of the Africans in diaspora, a subject being revived in so many films of today.

My most current education on Africa comes from the annual course I teach about the international film business to festival directors from Africa, Asia and Latin America at the Deutsche Welle Akademie in Berlin. I learn about the problems and issues facing a diverse range of festival directors, many of whom are also filmmakers. For example, in a country with no theaters, the film festival is held in the bush and promoted via cel phones which everyone possesses. I was also made alert to the fact that many Africans themselves find European-funded films showing dusty, poverty-stricken but cute kids in torn t-shirts and running barefoot in dirty streets and men wearing the boubou and women balancing baskets on their heads condescending and imbalanced depictions of Africa today.

Mama Kéïta was present to talk about L’Absence and Gaston Kaboré was there with Buud Yam (followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker). Other program highlights included the L.A. premiere of Mille Soleils (A Thousand Suns), Djibril Diop Mambéty’s 1973 French New Wave–inspired Touki Bouki, Idrissa Ouédraogo’s 1990 Cannes Film Festival Grand Prix winner Tilaï (The Law), and the 2013 Fespaco Golden Stallion winner Tey (Today), followed by a Q&A with director Alain Gomis and star Saul Williams.

Seeing these films gave me a feeling of wholeness, from L’Absence, the tail of a prodigal son, returning too long after he was granted an education in France by his fellow countrymen and family who had expected him to return and contribute to his own country’s wellbeing but instead stayed in France where he basically lost his soul, to Buud Yam, a classic hero’s journey by a young man seeking a healer for his sister. The audience and the filmmakers along with their films had a great opportunity to unveil an Africa about which we know too little

Planning to interview Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, I looked up Chad in Wikipedia and read it is what is called a “failed country”. My spirits dropped. But on seeing Grisgris and meeting Haroun and hearing all he had to say, my spirits soared.

Do you know for a fact that a film can change the world? I believe it can, does and is changing the world. So many of my colleagues in the film world are in film because of the same ideal.

The African directors at the series spoke of their films and their passion and they too make films to change the world. Haroun was not the only one who spoke at the African film series, but my conversation with him proved it to me. We spent a good hour discussing his films and his thoughts and development which I will try to summarize here.

It has been a long road for Haroun. When he first returned to Chad from France and made Bye Bye Africa, he was inexperienced and afraid of nothing. You see his chutzpah making Bye Bye Africa as he shoots film of everyone, offending some who believed he was stealing their spirits. He meets his past star who played a woman dying of AIDS whose life has been ruined because the people believe the film was real.

For Haroun, acting is like cooking. You do it for someone you love. Chad was such a difficult country for filming his first film, so he could make mistakes. If you fall down, you just get up and keep going. He had no doubts. It’s a question of love. You feel it; you act it. His non-professional actors do their best and their passion carries them through.

Making his second film was different. There was pressure, especially for him as an actor, to make it good. After A Screaming Man he got a call from Brad Pitt who wanted him as an actor in World War Z and who wanted the lead, but not speaking English put an end to that.

Chad is landlocked country in Central Africa. It is bordered by Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest, and Niger to the west. Because the French colonized it in the 1920s, it is now a “Francophone” country and has more in common with its neighbors in the West and so is considered West African.

Chad had free elections in 2008 and elected President Idriss Déby. The country defeated the Sudanese rebels there. The nation sent troops into Mali and killed Moktar Belmoktar, the Algerian terrorist behind the deadly attack on a natural gas plant in Algeria and withdrew its troops in April of this year saying they were not prepared to fight guerilla warfare. That means money that went to the military can be redirected toward peaceful endeavors. Today they are rebuilding the country which is based on an oil economy which gives it a window of rich opportunity.

Cinema in Chad changed greatly and became a new focal point for the newly elected government when Haroun won the Jury Prize in Cannes for A Screaming Man in 2010 When his debut film Bye Bye Africa (1999), showed the wreck of the country revisited by long-time French exile, he saw theaters which the long civil war and instability had destroyed. He spoke to a woman who swore she would renovate her theater, the Normandie. Bye Bye Africa was a drama but it took place in a documentary setting which looks at the poor state of cinema in the country. After Haroun won the Grand Jury Prize of Cannes, the government allocated $1 million to restore the theater which stands today as a testament to the power of film. It shows 35mm, is digitized and can use satellite transmission. It can buy Hollywood films using digital coding although film distribution rights are still difficult to negotiate. However, the distributor of Django in France arranged for Django to show day and date in Paris and Chad’s capitol city N’Djamena for a minimum guarantee. This was a major event for a country that has gone 30 years without cinema.

The government of Chad began to receive compliments for winning the Jury Prize in Cannes, which is perceived to be as important as the Olympics themselves (It is, in fact, the 2nd largest press event in the world after the Olympics). The world’s perception of Chad and its own perception of itself shifted from being one of the poorest, war-torn and corrupt nations of Africa to one of high stature culturally. And its current Prime Minister Djimrangar Dadnadji, and his government has now allocated $10 million into building a film school which should be finished by 2015. It will be one of the rare film schools in all of Africa and will be the finest in the north, east or west of the entire continent.

The film school is a part of rebuilding the country today. It is also trying to become part of the U.N. Security Council. It is the leading country in Central and West Africa. It is part of the Central African Economic Council (Ceeac).

What these changes mean for Haroun is that he can continue to use film for himself as a platform, the means to objectify and philosophize about conscience and consciousness. As Aimee Caesar was quoted in Bye Bye Africa, Africa needs to articulate its storytelling tradition in new ways and to be visible beyond its own borders. Film shows diversity. Differing points of view and discussions mean the nation can start to play a role on a grander world stage. With the building of a film school, the parliament also voted into law at tax of $.01 per telephone call to go toward artistic activities. This will make a huge difference to the next generation.

When Haroun began making movies he wanted to stop talking about the state of cinema, so he put it into his film, memorialized it and then closed the door on the subject.

You can see Haroun’s own evolution in regards to his treatment of women in Bye Bye Africa to his depiction of them in Grigris. It was not a very flattering portrayal; even in Grigris, the hero does not stand up for the woman he loves when his boss degrades her. However, the film gives a special place to the women in the village as if they were a in a classical Greek Choir. The women change the Story and the two artists’ destiny is changed because of the women.

Grigris is the portrait of a young African artist, but even with talent, the milieu is so difficult and as the eldest, he has to take care of others. This is The Responsibility that kills dreams. Grigris is a cruel portrayal of the young artist. It is a modern story, extending the tradition of oral storytelling.

Although he is not acting in it, it is still an impressionistic self-portrait, as was Bye Bye Africa which was shot in two weeks and won Best First Feature in Venice in 1999. His growth intellectually and emotionally can be measured by watching the two films.

After being selected and awarded at the 66th Festival de Cannes for the remarkable quality of its photography, the film Grigris, by Mahamat Saleh Haroun, supported by the Acp Cultures + Programme, won the Bayard d'Or for best photography at the 28th Festival International Film Francophone de Namur (Fiff) in Belgium. (Read the full list of 28th Fiff Awards : click here.)

Haroun explains that he has many women around him – his mother, his sisters, cousins. In Africa, a man’s role does not include cooking. Cooking is love. But in France he enjoys cooking. Cooking shows trust in those who partake in the making and eating of the meal. No one burns the steak when cooking for one’s mother. Food is essential to Haroun. “If you cook, you can share, you open your doors.”

He told me how he got into movies.

I was 9 years old when I saw my first movie. It was a Bollywood movie and a beautiful lady in it was smiling at the camera. I thought she was smiling at me. The love and happiness I felt watching this made me love cinema.

My dream of cinema was a big ambition. It was not to make small films. I dreamt of expressing an important philosophy of life and of my country in cinema. I did not want to stick just to tradition which is disappearing. But to the eternal which remains. Tradition is not the essential; culture is. For example, in Western society, the meaning of seat number 13 on a plane is not culture, but it is a tradition.

Haroun is leading his generation. In 1965 the civil war was raging in the North. It came to the capital in 1979 and he went to Paris to study cinema in 1981/82. His country was ruled by a dictator who is now in prison to be judged in court for the 40,000 lives taken during the 8 years of war. Reid Brady of the Human Rights Watch and Haroun are now making a documentary about this. Today Haroun travels between France and Chad 5 to 6 times a year. Interestingly, there is not yet a film festival in Chad.

When I asked what was next :

Next is about Indian fashion. Also a young artist. It is based on a true story of a young man in N’Djemena who used to watch Bollywood dvds and has seen more than 1,500 Bollywood films and speaks Hindu as a result. He gets a job at an Indian factory and translates to French and to his African language. He spends eight years there but dreams of becoming an actor in Bollywood. The story brings him to Bombay. That is a good base for a film; a film built on truth and documentary.

I am also making a film in France called A Life in France. I have lived there for 30 years. The film is from the point of view of an immigrant as I am.

Hamoud and I so enjoyed our talk that we are now looking forward to meeting again when he returns here in December! Wouldn’t it be great if his film is one of those shortlisted for the Nomination, or if it actually received the Nomination? Or if it won? How might that then change the world? We will have to wait and see.

About Lmu Sftv

Movie industry moguls helped establish Loyola Marymount University’s (Lmu) current campus on the bluffs above west Los Angeles in the 1920s. By 1964, Lmu was formally teaching film and television curriculum, and in 2001, the School of Film and Television (Sftv) was established as its own entity. Today, Sftv offers students a comprehensive education where mastering technical skills and story is equally important to educating the whole person, including the formation of character and values, meaning and purpose. Sftv offers undergraduate degrees in animation, production, screenwriting, film and television studies and recording arts; and graduate degrees in production, screenwriting and writing and producing for television. The school is one of the few film programs providing students with a completely tapeless model of production and post-production, and Sftv’s animation program is one of the few worldwide that teaches virtual cinematography. Selected alumni include John Bailey, Bob Beemer, Francie Calfo, Brian Helgeland, Francis Lawrence, Lauren Montgomery, Jack Orman, Van Partible and James Wong, among others. Get more information at sftv.lmu.edu or facebook.com/lmusftv.

About Film Independent at Lacma

Film Independent at Lacma is a film series produced by Film Independent—the nonprofit arts organization that also produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival—and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Lacma) with presenting sponsor The New York Times and premier sponsor Ovation. The Film Independent at Lacma Film Series is curated by Elvis Mitchell and assistant curator Bernardo Rondeau. The program features classic and contemporary narrative and documentary films; emerging auteurs; international showcases; special guest-curated programs, such as Jason Reitman's acclaimed Live Read series; and conversations with artists, filmmakers, and other special guests. For more information, go to filmindependent.org/lacma or lacma.org.
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

Caméras d’Afrique: The Films of West Africa

  • Sydney's Buzz
Rarely do American audiences get to experience the cinematic diversity from the African continent; however, this October thanks to Film Independent and the Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television, audiences in Los Angeles will be able to be part of a month-long series showcasing the best of modern cinema from West Africa. Curated by Film Independent and Lacma curator Ellvis Mitchell, Cameras d'Afrique: The Films of West Africa runs from October 3-28, 2013 at Lacma. The event will feature an array of 21 film, both narrative and documentary, many of which have never been screened in the U.S, most screenings will also include Q&As with the talented African filmmakers.

The event begins Thursday October 3rd with a double feature celebrating the films of Mahamat-Saleh Haroun. Bye Bye Africa, and his latest effort Grigris will be screened followed by Q&A with the director. Grigris was screened at this year's Cannes Film Festival to critical acclaim, and it will see its U.S Premiere here.

The program continues on Saturday October 5th with Mama Kéïta’s L’Absence and Gaston Kaboré’s Buud Yam, each film will be followed by Q&A's with the filmmakers, and then a panel discussion moderated by the Mitchell dealing with the current state of West African cinema, the challenges, and the stories from this often unseen region of the world. Other program highlights include the L.A. premiere of Mille Soleils (A Thousand Suns), Djibril Diop Mambéty’s 1973 French New Wave–inspired Touki Bouki, Idrissa Ouédraogo’s 1990 Cannes Film Festival Grand Prix winner Tilaï (The Law), and the 2013 Fespaco Golden Stallion winner Tey (Today), followed by a Q&A with director Alain Gomis and star Saul Williams.

“This series brings me such joy,” said film curator Elvis Mitchell. “Primarily because there's nothing more exhilarating to me than to expose people to exciting new filmmakers and films, let alone bring attention to the art of an area that deserves more attention than it's received in America. The works we're playing demonstrate that film at its best, like any other art form, is idiosyncratic and universal.”

Screenings will be held throughout October at Lacma’s Bing Theater on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Free community screenings and select Q&As moderated by Mitchell will take place on the Loyola Marymount University campus every Monday night.

“We are thrilled to be able to present Caméras d’Afrique: The Films of West Africa. Patrons will have the rare opportunity to see the latest films that have received accolades from the top European and African film festivals as well as classics from the past 50 years," said Lmu Sftv Dean Stephen Ujlaki, adding, “Connecting our students to the rich filmography of West Africa, long a Francophone region, will expose them to different forms of storytelling, inspiring their own unique visions.”

Film Independent, Lacma Film Club, and The New York Times Film Club members can purchase tickets to films for $5 Here

Lacma Members, students with valid ID, and seniors can get tickets for $7, and $10 for general public Here

To make a reservation for the community screenings at the Loyola Marymount University click Here

About Lmu Sftv

Movie industry moguls helped establish Loyola Marymount University’s (Lmu) current campus on the bluffs above west Los Angeles in the 1920s. By 1964, Lmu was formally teaching film and television curriculum, and in 2001, the School of Film and Television (Sftv) was established as its own entity. Today, Sftv offers students a comprehensive education where mastering technical skills and story is equally important to educating the whole person, including the formation of character and values, meaning and purpose. Sftv offers undergraduate degrees in animation, production, screenwriting, film and television studies and recording arts; and graduate degrees in production, screenwriting and writing and producing for television. The school is one of the few film programs providing students with a completely tapeless model of production and post-production, and Sftv’s animation program is one of the few worldwide that teaches virtual cinematography. Selected alumni include John Bailey, Bob Beemer, Francie Calfo, Brian Helgeland, Francis Lawrence, Lauren Montgomery, Jack Orman, Van Partible and James Wong, among others. Get more information at sftv.lmu.edu or facebook.com/lmusftv.

About Film Independent at Lacma

Film Independent at Lacma is a film series produced by Film Independent—the nonprofit arts organization that also produces the Film Independent Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival—and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Lacma) with presenting sponsor The New York Times and premier sponsor Ovation. The Film Independent at Lacma Film Series is curated by Elvis Mitchell and assistant curator Bernardo Rondeau. The program features classic and contemporary narrative and documentary films; emerging auteurs; international showcases; special guest-curated programs, such as Jason Reitman's acclaimed Live Read series; and conversations with artists, filmmakers, and other special guests. For more information, go to filmindependent.org/lacma or lacma.org.
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

Reel TV: 'Outbreak' and 'Les Miserables' Are Both Heading to TV

  • Movies.com
We're usually the first in line for a deadly contagion tale, though it's been a while since we watched the 1995 film Outbreak, starring Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Spacey, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Morgan Freeman. Now Wolfgang Petersen's story of deadly viruses and government coverups is being adapted for the small screen. Deadline has the news about John Wells and Jack Orman's new medical thriller (they're the producers behind ER). As long as someone dies in every episode we might be Ok with this project (also: monkeys), but without the great cast behind the story it's feeling a little flat. C'mon NBC, give us something new. Rob Thomas figured he wasn't busy enough with his newly funded Veronica Mars project, so he asked actor-writer Graham Norris to pen a...

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See full article at Movies.com »

TV Show Based On 'Outbreak' Coming, Neil Cross Says 'Luther' Prequel Movie Written & Aiming To Shoot In 2014

TV Show Based On 'Outbreak' Coming, Neil Cross Says 'Luther' Prequel Movie Written & Aiming To Shoot In 2014
With the success of shows like “Bates Motel” and the promise of the forthcoming small-screen adaptation of “Fargo,” networks are once again looking to the silver screen for future shows. Deadline reports that NBC—no doubt emboldened by the critical reception to “Hannibal”—has ordered a pilot for an hour-long medical thriller based on the 1995 Wolfgang Petersen-helmed viral thriller “Outbreak.” Shepherded and written by “ER” veterans John Wells and Jack Orman, the series will follow “an ensemble of characters as they race to contain a lethal virus before it becomes a global pandemic.” Can NBC go two-for-two with their adaptations? The past decade has seen many a showrunner tease and promise a big-screen version of a short-lived series. The latest entrant is “Luther” creator Neil Cross who, in an interview with The Telegraph, has revealed his very real and concrete plans to film a prequel to the Idris Elba-starring BBC crime drama.
See full article at Indiewire Television »

TVLine Items: Mekhi Phifer Moves Into House of Lies, Outbreak Gets TV Treatment and More!

  • TVLine.com
TVLine Items: Mekhi Phifer Moves Into House of Lies, Outbreak Gets TV Treatment and More!
Mekhi Phifer has found a new home on House of Lies.

The ER alum joins the Showtime comedy’s upcoming third season as Dre, a business mogul who hires Don Cheadle’s Marty to help grow his empire, Deadline reports.

Related | Joshua Jackson Cast in Showtime Pilot The Affair

Phifer’s most recent TV credits include White Collar and Torchwood.

Ready for more of today’s TV dish? Well…

• NBC may be headed for an Outbreak. ER executive producers John Wells and Jack Orman are re-teaming on a new medical drama based on the 1995 film, Deadline reports. The project, which
See full article at TVLine.com »

New Killer Virus TV Show Set to Outbreak over at NBC

Even though the quality of original and exciting TV shows never seems to waiver from season to season there still appears to be a need to gaze through the back catalogue of old movies to source inspiration for new shows. And with examples such as 'Bates Motel' and 'Hannibal' already enjoying success and critical acclaim and with the newly announced pilot for '12 Monkeys' in the works where else do you turn? It seems the realm of viral infections is being tapped for a potential new series. A new show based on the 1995 thriller 'Outbreak', which starred Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Spacey ('Se7en'), is in development over at NBC with 'E.R.' execs Jack Orman and John Wells penning a script....
See full article at Horror Asylum »
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