8 items from 2016
When Linda Lowy was casting the pilot for “Grey’s Anatomy” more than a decade ago, she had only one edict from creator Shonda Rhimes regarding skin color — Miranda Bailey had to be white. Rhimes envisioned the character as a petite blonde whose mousy frame would contrast with a fierce intellect and fiercer demeanor, both of which would intimidate the show’s young doctors in training. Kristin Chenoweth tested for the role. But then Lowy saw a taped audition from an African-American actress named Chandra Wilson.
“I didn’t see anything other than the character,” Lowy says. “I took it out of the machine — it was a VHS tape then — and I walked down to Shonda’s office and I said, ‘You have to look at this.’ We were both flabbergasted.”
Wilson is now in her 13th season on “Grey’s.” When the show premiered, the broadcast-network diversity departments born out of an NAACP boycott were not »
- Daniel Holloway and Brent Lang
Keep up with the always-hopping film festival world with our weekly Film Festival Roundup column.
– Exclusive: The 6th Annual Lower East Side Film Festival and their 2016 panel of judges, including Ethan Hawke, Cindy Tolan, Steve Farneth and Raul Castillo have announced their winners. Check them out below.
The Lesff Neighborhood Award – “Streit’s: Matzo and the American Dream” – By Michael Levine
Audience Award »
- Kate Erbland
The festival will run June 9 to 16 at the Landmark Sunshine Cinema, Hotel Indigo, the new Ludlow House and other downtown venues. The fest showcases low-budget and independent films from across the globe.
Festival Director Shannon Walker said, “Lesff is for everyone — cinephiles and casual theatergoers alike, and we’re very excited to have such an eclectic panel of judges that bring such different experiences and expertise to our fest this year.”
Tolan has been a casting director for “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, »
- Dave McNary
Winners of the Casting Society of America’s top honors were announced Jan. 21 in both New York City and Los Angeles. The 31st annual Artios Awards recognized the best casting directors in the biz, spanning film, television, Web series, and theater. On hand to present the awards were America Ferrera, Finn Wittrock, William H. Macy, Jay Duplass, Neil Brown Jr., and host Greg Grunberg on the west coast, and Jeff Daniels, Christian Slater, Annaleigh Ashford, Jake Lacy, David Hyde Pierce, Kal Penn, Rachel Dratch, and host Tituss Burgess on the east coast. “Straight Outta Compton” took home the Feature Film Big Budget Drama award for CDs Cindy Tolan and Victoria Thomas, location CDs Meagan Lewis, Beth Sepko, Carolyn Pickman, Lucinda Syson, Pat Moran, and associate Judith Sunga. It was a good night for Tolan, who also won New York Broadway Theatre award for the drama “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. »
Oscar nominees "The Big Short," "Room," and "Straight Outta Compton" all notched wins at the Casting Society of America's 31st Artios Awards Thursday night, hosted by Greg Grunberg and Tituss Burgess and featuring presenters such as Sarah Paulson, Aaron Sorkin, and Julianna Marguiles. "Transparent," "Empire," "Game of Thrones," and "Olive Kitteridge" took home the major television awards. Read the list of film and television winners below. Feature Film Big Budget Comedy “The Big Short,” Francine Maisler, Meagan Lewis (Location Casting) Feature Film Big Budget Drama “Straight Outta Compton,” Cindy Tolan, Victoria Thomas, Meagan Lewis (Location Casting), Beth Sepko (Location Casting), Carolyn Pickman (Location Casting), Lucinda Syson (Location Casting), Pat Moran (Location Casting), Judith Sunga (Associate) Feature Film Studio or Independent Comedy “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” Angela Demo, »
- Matt Brennan
One of the greatest American playwrights and the foundation bearing his name will honor the past and invest in the future come Jan. 25. Celebrating the centennial of Arthur Miller’s birth, One Night 100 Years will be a star-studded event at Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre, benefiting the outstanding educational programs of the Arthur Miller Foundation. In addition to performances of Miller’s work from the likes of Alec Baldwin, Bradley Cooper, Laurence Fishburne, Greta Gerwig, and Jake Gyllenhaal, the evening will feature glimpses of the playwright’s creative process. “The thing that’s really exciting [will be] prose passages from Arthur Miller’s private journals and diaries that no one has ever heard before,” event producer Cindy Tolan told Backstage. “Those will be read by Tony Kushner, Ayad Akhtar, Katori Hall, and various other playwrights and actors.” The benefit will also include an introduction from New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, plus »
The Casting Society of America has announced the nominees of its 31st annual Artios Awards. J.J. Abrams' "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" is among the nominees in its Big Budget Drama category. And why not? The film cast the fantastic unknowns Daisy Ridley and John Boyega along with franchise veterans Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill. All to stellar effect mind you!
According to its site, "Artios" from the ancient Greek, meaning "perfectly fitted." So how fitting! Here's more info on the Artios Awards:
In October of 1985 the Casting Society of America presented the first-ever Artios Awards for Excellence in Casting at an awards luncheon. Held in the Crystal Room of the Beverly Hills Hotel, the event was attended by more than 500 industry leaders and seven Csa members were honored for their work in four different casting categories. In 1988, the first Artios Award for theatre casting was presented »
The Casting Society of America has nominated 34 feature films in seven categories for the 31st annual Artios Awards. Among the contenders are Oscar hopefuls, including “The Big Short,” “Brooklyn,” “Carol,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “Straight Outta Compton” and “Trumbo,” as well as small-scale dark horses such as “Infinitely Polar Bear” and “It Follows.”
Final ballots have been distributed to the 600 Csa members, with voting to continue through Friday, Jan. 8. All winners for film, television, theater, short film and new media categories will be announced at the 31st annual Artios Awards on Jan. 21, with award ceremonies being held simultaneously at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles and at the Hard Rock Café in New York.
Among the individuals with multiple noms are Douglas Aibel, Henry Russell Bergstein, Nina Gold, Meagan Lewis, Natalie Lyon, Francine Maisler, Adam Richards, Carolyn Pickman, Kevin Reher, Paul Schnee, Bernard Telsey and Fiona Weir.
As previously announced, »
- Tim Gray
8 items from 2016
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