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Laika, the award-winning animation studio nestled in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, celebrates 10 years of bold and memorable filmmaking this month. For a company whose name means “little barker” in Russian, Portland, Oregon-based Laika has made quite a noise in the global film industry over a relatively short time.
With its world-class filmmaking team, Laika pushes the boundaries of family entertainment and animated movies, redefining what stories can and should be told through the art form.
“When Laika began we had a simple goal: to make movies that matter,” says Travis Knight, Laika’s President and CEO, who also is lead animator and a producer on its films. “Laika is devoted to telling new and original stories in new and original ways.”
“We aspire to make films that are bold, distinctive, and enduring,” Knight continues. “We are committed to telling stories that are thematically challenging, aesthetically beautiful, emotionally resonant, »
- Michelle McCue
Over its first decade, all of Laika’s features — “Coraline,” “ParaNorman” (pictured) and “The Boxtrolls” — have been nominated for the animated feature Oscar. The company’s insiders say it is making money. It is planning to double its output from one film every other year to one release a year.
It’s seemingly flourishing as a scrappy indie, making films for about two-thirds of what its CG-animation rivals like to spend and focusing on eccentric, slightly scary stories. Each of its releases would have made a good Halloween release, and its next picture, “Kubo and the Two Strings,” is a fantasy epic with a sprinkling of monsters.
However “The Boxtrolls,” wasn’t as well received as the company’s first two films, and Laika hasn’t had the kind of near-billion-dollar grosser that marks the histories of Pixar, DreamWorks Animation and Illumination Entertainment. It seemingly hasn’t even really tried. »
- David S. Cohen
Academy invitee Eddie Redmayne in 'The Theory of Everything.' Academy invites 322 new members: 'More diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before' The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has offered membership to 322 individuals "who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures." According to the Academy's press release, "those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy's membership in 2015." In case all 322 potential new members say an enthusiastic Yes, that means an injection of new blood representing about 5 percent of the Academy's current membership. In the words of Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs (as quoted in the press release), in 2015 "our branches have recognized a more diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before, and we look forward to adding their creativity, ideas and experience to our organization." In recent years, the Academy membership has »
- Anna Robinson
©Renzo Piano Building Workshop/©Studio Pali Fekete architects/©A.M.P.A.S.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this week that the Los Angeles City Council, in a unanimous vote, approved plans for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Construction will begin this summer, and ceremonial groundbreaking festivities will occur this fall.
“I am thrilled that Los Angeles is gaining another architectural and cultural icon,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “My office of economic development has worked directly with the museum’s development team to ensure that the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will create jobs, support tourism, and pay homage to the industry that helped define our identity as the creative capital of the world.”
“We are grateful to our incredible community of supporters who have helped make this museum a reality,” said Dawn Hudson, the Academy’s CEO. “Building this museum has been an Academy »
- Michelle McCue
Strangely dropping a press release on a historic day where the nation's attention is elsewhere, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed their annual list of new member invitees this morning. For those who criticize the makeup of the Academy there was some good news and the stark realization the organization still has a long way to go. The Academy has spent the last eight to 10 years attempting to diversify its membership and this year's class mostly reflects that. There are significantly more invitees of Asian and African-American descent, but the male to female disparity is still depressing. Out of the 25 potential new members of the Actor's Branch only seven are women. And, no, there isn't really an acceptable way for the Academy to spin that sad fact. Additionally, It's important to realize the 322 people noted in the release have only been invited to join Hollywood's most exclusive club. »
- Gregory Ellwood
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences continues to push for diversity, sending membership invitations to 322 individuals, including a healthy number of people who can help change the org’s demos.
Among the invitees are David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Felicity Jones, Emma Stone, Rosamund Pike, Bong Joon-ho, Justin Lin and Francois Ozon. The Academy has been reaching out to women, foreign-born artists and people of various races, ethnic backgrounds and ages.
Accusations of Academy bigotry surfaced yet again in January when the list of Oscar nominees included Caucasians in all 20 acting categories, and few women or racial minorities among the other categories. Director Ava DuVernay and actor David Oyelowo of “Selma” had seemed like strong contenders, giving many people hopes of breakthroughs. After initial anger at the Acad, activists began to shift their protests to industry hiring practices. For example, 323 films were eligible for 2014 awards — which means AMPAS should theoretically »
- Tim Gray
The 87th Academy Awards took place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood last night, with Birdman named Best Picture, as well as taking home a further three awards – Best Director (Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu), Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography.
Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel also managed a haul of four Oscars for Best Original Score, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design and Best Makeup and Hairstyling.
In the acting categories, Julianne Moore (Still Alice) and Eddie Redymayne (The Theory of Everything) were honoured with Best Actress and Best Actor respectively, while Patricia Arquette (Boyhood) and J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) received Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor.
You can check out a full list of the nominations below, with the winners highlighted in red…
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Achievement in directing
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu »
- Gary Collinson
A memorable 87th annual Academy Awards for Fox Searchlight saw Birdman claim best film, director and two other statuettes to tie with The Grand Budapest Hotel’s four-strong haul.
Boyhood, which entered the evening on six nominations and had been expected to push Birdman in several of the senior categories on Sunday night, won a sole best supporting actress for Patricia Arquette.
The film’s time in the Oscar ceremony spotlight will not be forgotten, however, as Arquette paid tribute to her “Boyhood family” and made an impassioned plea for wage equality that spread like wildfire across social media.
Eddie Redmayne from The Theory Of Everything prevailed in a tight best actor contest to deny Michael Keaton another success for Birdman. The popular victory had the British actor jumping with excitement on stage at the Dolby Theatre.
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
See below a full list of winners from the 87th Academy Awards, announced Sunday at the Dolby Theater. The show, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, aired live on ABC. “Birdman,” “Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Whiplash” came out of the event as big winners.
Best Picture “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole, Producers (Winner)
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” Wes Anderson
Keira Knightley in »
- Variety Staff
The 87th Academy Awards were handed out Sunday, February 22nd at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood. Here is a complete list of all the nominees and the winners as they were announced. Best Picture "American Sniper" (Clint Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Andrew Lazar, Bradley Cooper and Peter Morgan) "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)" (Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole)***Winner*** "Boyhood" (Richard Linklater and Cathleen Sutherland) "The Grand Budapest Hotel" (Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales and Jeremy Dawson) "The Imitation Game" (Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky and Teddy Schwarzman) "Selma" (Christian Colson, Oprah Winfrey, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner) "The Theory of Everything" (Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce and Anthony McCarten) "Whiplash" (Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook and David Lancaster) Directing "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)" (Alejandro G. Iñárritu)***Winner*** "Boyhood" (Richard Linklater) "Foxcatcher" (Bennett Miller) "The Grand Budapest Hotel" (Wes Anderson) "The Imitation Game »
- Gregory Ellwood
Oscar 2015 winners (photo: Chris Pratt during Oscar 2015 rehearsals) The complete list of Oscar 2015 winners and nominees can be found below. See also: Oscar 2015 presenters and performers. Now, a little Oscar 2015 trivia. If you know a bit about the history of the Academy Awards, you'll have noticed several little curiosities about this year's nominations. For instance, there are quite a few first-time nominees in the acting and directing categories. In fact, nine of the nominated actors and three of the nominated directors are Oscar newcomers. Here's the list in the acting categories: Eddie Redmayne. Michael Keaton. Steve Carell. Benedict Cumberbatch. Felicity Jones. Rosamund Pike. J.K. Simmons. Emma Stone. Patricia Arquette. The three directors are: Morten Tyldum. Richard Linklater. Wes Anderson. Oscar 2015 comebacks Oscar 2015 also marks the Academy Awards' "comeback" of several performers and directors last nominated years ago. Marion Cotillard and Reese Witherspoon won Best Actress Oscars for, respectively, Olivier Dahan »
- Steve Montgomery
All the winners from Sunday’s 87th Academy Awards.
Show host Harris signs off with a chirpy, “Buenos noches!”
Sean Penn walks on. It’s time for the big one. Best film. Will it be Birdman or Boyhood? It’s Birdman! The movie ends the night tied with The Grand Budapest Hotel on four Oscars. Inarritu, referring to his pal Alfonso Cuaron who enjoyed success with Gravity at last year’s show, says, “Two Mexicans in a row. That’s suspicious, I guess.” Slightly more seriously, Agi also calls on his fellow Mexicans to help build a strong future for his beloved country. Wow, a good night for Birdman and a surprisingly barren one for Boyhood. Pirates indeed, Ethan Hawke, but glorious pirates.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Oscar Week at the Academy threw together the nominees for shorts on Tuesday (hosted by Sean Astin) and features on Thursday (hosted by "Frozen" directors Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee). Rites of passage and storytelling challenges were common talking points, but the discussions came alive when they divulged their eureka moments. 1. "Big Hero 6": In Don Hall's quest to find a unique, huggable robot, he discovered his inspiration while visiting Carnegie Mellon, where the robotics team had perfected inflatable, vinyl bots for health care assistance. Baymax was born and Hall had the linchpin for combining a story about grief with a superhero origin subplot. 2. "The Boxtrolls": The ambitious Dickensian look had to match the characters and it wasn't jelling for director Anthony Stacchi until he recruited head of story Graham Annable to be co-director. He had a wonderful handle on the trolls, thanks to a successful test, which became the most. »
- Bill Desowitz
By Michelle McCue and Melissa Thompson
This year there are 30 nominees in the animated category, between the Short and Features. “Don’t we love these people who bring us the magic?,” said Academy Governor Bill Kroyer as The Academy celebrated the Feature Animated films on Thursday.
The Academy presented their seventh annual event celebrating the nominees for Best Animated Feature Film.
Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, who won last year’s Animated Feature Film Oscar for Frozen, moderated the discussion with all the nominated filmmakers from Big Hero 6, The Boxtrolls, How To Train Your Dragon 2, Song Of The Sea and The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya. This year’s nominated films come from around the world and encompass traditional animation, computer animation and stop-motion, and the evening also featured clips from each film.
Prior to the panel discussion, a few of the nominees spoke with Wamg.
- Movie Geeks
When the first Academy Awards were handed out on May 16, 1929, at an Academy banquet in the Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, movies had just begun to talk. The attendance was 270 and guest tickets cost $5. It was a long banquet, filled with speeches, but presentation of the statuettes was handled expeditiously by Academy President Douglas Fairbanks.
The suspense that now touches most of the world at Oscar time was not always a characteristic of the Awards presentation. That first year, the award recipients were announced to the public three months ahead of the ceremony.
Today, Oscar pundits and fans alike avidly watch the precursor and guild awards to ultimately make their predictions in the 24 categories. Academy members have cast their ballots, so now it’s our turn for our Oscar picks.
Need some help in that office Oscar pool or at the party you’re throwing at home? Wamg is here to help. »
- Movie Geeks
If BAFTA could hand out an award for oddest movie, it would surely be won by The Boxtrolls, which is the latest animated offering from Laika, producers of Coraline and Paranorman. This tale of a society dictated by cheese and overrun by cardboard-wearing creatures was in the running for Best Animated Film.
We spoke to directors Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable to chew the fat, or at least the rind, over what went into the making of this eccentric chapter in the history of stop motion animation. I’m a huge fan of the medium – my Dad used to be such an animator back in the day – and I was interested to hear what the pair had to say about the project, which appears defiantly old-fashioned in this age of CGI…
Thn: There’s a British flavour to the film, coming from the source novel (Here Be Monsters by Alan »
- Steve Palace
From BAFTA to DGA, the Latest Winners this Awards Season
With the Oscars upon us, the awards season is almost over! But the last trek to the Academy Awards include many guild awards and of course, BAFTA! So here.s the latest congratulatory awards list of the winners from BAFTA to DGA, from Annie to Ace and everything in between!
Your full BAFTA winners (winners are highlighted):
The Grand Budapest Hotel Wes Anderson
Boyhood has been named best film at this year’s BAFTA awards, with Richard Linklater also awarded as best director and Patricia Arquette winning best supporting actress. With a total of five awards, Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel is the evening’s most awarded film, recognised for its original screenplay, makeup/hair, both costume and production design, and for its music. The Theory of Everything won the award for outstanding British film as well as best adapted screenplay and best actor for Eddie Redmayne for his portrayal of the young Stephen Hawking. Winners of outstanding British debut are Stephen Beresford (writer) and David Livingstone (producer) for Pride, which was backed by the BFI Film Fund. The winners were announced at a ceremony at London’s Royal Opera House hosted by Stephen Fry. Explore the Best of BAFTA collection on BFI Player Best film Winner: Boyhood Birdman – Alejandro G. Iñárritu, »
Known as the British Oscars, the Ee British Academy Awards were handed out on Sunday.
The Grand Budapest Hotel won five awards for Costume Design, Production Design, Make Up & Hair and Original Music, with Wes Anderson winning his first BAFTA for Original Screenplay.
Emmanuel Lubezki received the BAFTA for Cinematography for Birdman, having won this category twice previously, most recently in 2014. On Saturday, Inarritu took home the top prize at the Directors’ Guild of America Awards for Birdman.
The Lego Movie received the BAFTA for Animated Film, and »
- Michelle McCue
The BAFTA Awards are being held on Sunday, with nominees including “Birdman,” “Boyhood” and more. Variety will be updating live with a full winners list here. See the full list of nominees, and winners as they’re announced, below.
Outstanding British Film
- Variety Staff
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