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'Carol' composer Carter Burwell on his first Oscar nomination & academy's embrace of the new (Exclusive Video)'

12 February 2016 9:13 PM, PST | Gold Derby | See recent Gold Derby news »

"A couple of decades ago I stopped waiting for it to happen," says "Carol" composer Carter Burwell about earning his first Oscar nomination for Best Score. In our recent video chat (watch above, or click here), he discusses what it's like to finally be recognized by the academy after decades of scoring awards contenders like "Fargo," "Adaptation," "No Country for Old Men" and many more. -Break- Oscar predictions: Will Ennio Morricone finally win Best Score for 'The Hateful Eight'? He partly credits the awards success of his "Carol" score to its traditional orchestral style and its prominence in the film. "There are basically two characters in the movie, and the music plays the role of a third character," Burwell explains of how director Todd Haynes used his score to evoke the blossoming romance between shopgirl Therese (Rooney Mara) and socialite Carol (Cate Blanche...' »

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‘West Side Story’ and 3 Other Fabulous Acting Gigs

12 February 2016 11:00 AM, PST | | See recent Backstage news »

Check out some of this week’s most exciting casting notices below! “West Side Story” Centennial World TOURDid you know Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents, and Jerome Robbins were all born within months of each other—about 100 years ago? To celebrate their birthdays, and the eternal impression they made on the musical theater world, the “West Side Story” Centennial World Tour 2016 needs triple-threat-level talent to play Jets and Sharks. “This 40-plus-week tour will play major opera houses and theaters in Europe and Asia, including Zurich, Dubai, Seoul, Tokyo, Prague, Bangkok, Paris, and many more,” reads the casting notice. Atlassian SHORTSThe annual “Next Big Thing” campaign needs lead and background actors to star in their next viral smash video. San Francisco-based performers, take note: auditions will be held Feb. 16. This gig pays $400 a day for the four main roles and $100 for the 15 extras. Check it out here! “A Sense Of An Ending »

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Diane Ladd Blasts Studios’ ‘Greed and Corruption’ for Pushing Leading Roles as Supporting

11 February 2016 1:29 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Focus Features and the Weinstein Company were criticized this year for promoting Alicia Vikander (“The Danish Girl”) and Rooney Mara (“Carol”), respectively, in the supporting actress category when both performances were arguably leading ones. In the end, the dust-up didn’t harm the campaigns; both actresses received supporting nominations — much to the dismay of actress Diane Ladd.

At the Aarp Movies for Grownups Awards earlier this week, where the “Joy” star received the best supporting actress honor, Ladd blasted the “greed and corruption” of forcing leading players into the supporting ranks, pushing out performances like her own.

“I was really upset and chagrined by the studios’ greed and corruption,” Ladd said. “I mean Rooney Mara, she won best actress in Cannes. Three people are stars in leading roles. They are the female lead and the star. So why are they in the supporting category?”

It’s unclear which of the »

- Kristopher Tapley

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Who’s expected at the Ee British Academy Film Awards 2016? Full list here!

11 February 2016 1:13 PM, PST | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

We definitely hit the movie awards season deep in the heart this weekend because the Ee British Academy Film Awards 2016 are here and it really shows us that, in London, we put on a classy show at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. In the past few years the respect for the BAFTAs has continued to grow and grow across the world because, frankly, we seem to pick the right winners. Is that Oscar fighting talk? I think so.

Once again hosted by the multi-rambling and intelligently talented Stephen Fry, the ceremony will be broadcast on BBC One and BBC One HD at 21.00 this Sunday 14 February. The Hollywood News, or call us Thn if you fancy it, will be there bringing you as much as we viably can so keep track over on our dedicated Twitter feed.

But I think you’re here for this attendees? So… Nominees confirmed »

- Dan Bullock

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Recommended New Books on Filmmaking: ‘The Force Awakens,’ Spike Lee, ‘Alien,’ Pixar, and More

11 February 2016 11:28 AM, PST | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Force Awakens fever is still gripping the film industry two months after the release of the seventh Star Wars entry, and the world of cinema-centric books is just as Snoke-obsessed. But there’s plenty more worth snagging, including in-depth analyses of Pixar and Spike Lee’s Bamboozled, a lavish study of musicals, and a graphic stunner called Filmish.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary by Pablo Hidalgo (Dk Publishing)

Dk’s Star Wars visual dictionaries are, quite simply, must-owns. (Even the three prequel editions are fascinating.) And the Force Awakens Visual Dictionary might be the best yet. Author Pablo Hidalgo goes deep, providing everything you wanted to know about Jakku (but were afraid to ask), offering insight on briefly seen characters like Max Von Sydow’s Lor San Tekka, and breaking down exactly why the “crossguard blades” of Kylo Ren’s lightsaber are a necessity. Plus, the film stills »

- Christopher Schobert

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Share This Exclusive 'Carol' Valentine With Your Special Someone

11 February 2016 9:14 AM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Is there a better film released in the past year that's more perfect for some romantic Valentine's Day watching than Todd Hayne's emotionally rich "Carol"? We don't think so, which makes us quite pleased to share a special "Carol"-themed valentine that will make any relationship just as lovingly sublime. Read More: Cannes Review: Todd Haynes' 'Carol' is a Masterful Lesbian Romance Starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara Hayne's 1950s romance is currently up for six Academy Awards, including best actress for Cate Blanchett and best supporting actress for Rooney Mara. The sizzling chemistry between the actresses gives "Carol" its passionate spark, as does Haynes' tender direction, which turns every glance and touch into a rush of heart-pumping emotion.  Check out the "Carol" valentine below and be sure to share it with your special someone this Sunday. The drama is now playing in theaters.  »

- Zack Sharf

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For Your Consideration: Tom Hardy and Alicia Vikander Deserve Oscars — But Not For These Roles

11 February 2016 8:22 AM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Watch: Oscar Nominee Tom Hardy Explains Why Shooting 'The Revenant' Was So Bloody Hard Editor's note: Our For Your Consideration column looks at films and events related to awards season that we find exciting and different. For detailed analysis of every Oscar category, check out our Oscar pages. When the Academy Awards kick off later this month, Hollywood's own Dolby Theatre will be briefly populated by a sizable number of stars, including a field of 20 acting nominees. But while that group includes plenty of talented performers doing some of their best work, it also includes two stars who, while surely grateful for the honor of being nominated for their work, were nominated not only for the wrong film, but in the wrong category. This year's Oscar race has already played fast and loose with category designations (as often determined by studios and distributors, but still), most notably with »

- Kate Erbland

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Oscars: Evaluating the Best Costume Design Nominees

11 February 2016 7:48 AM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

1."Mad Max: Fury Road": Jenny Beavan found inspiration shooting George Miller's new post-apocalyptic world in Namibia. The African ethos of recycling and re-purposing became important to the aesthetic, where dressing for necessity took precedence. It was about finding beauty in the ordinary objects that get thrown away. Two highlights were Rictus Erectus (Nathan Jones), with his dolls head necklace (which took her back to her early prop and model-making days), and the five wives who are totally underdressed for a road trip with shawls, sarong wraps, bikini tops and mini-skirts. 2. "Carol": Sandy Powell's designs for socialite Carol (Cate Blanchett) and beatnik photographer Therese (Rooney Mara) convey the restraint and repression at the dawn of the Eisenhower era in 1952. Carol embodies a softer, more streamlined look with muted colors yet still very fashionable and elegant, while Therese dresses for comfort and practicality with lots of plaid. Finally, »

- Bill Desowitz

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“Are We Telling Stories with Images through the Camera or from a Computer?” Ed Lachman on Shooting Carol in Super 16mm

11 February 2016 7:00 AM, PST | Filmmaker Magazine - Blog | See recent Filmmaker Magazine news »

Ed Lachman has been the director of photography on a long list of visually stunning movies. He has worked repeatedly with director Todd Haynes. This year he is nominated for an Oscar for his work on Carol, an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel that stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. For Carol, Lachman creates a beautiful pastiche of color and texture to invite the audience into the world of New York in the 1950s as well as the emotional state of two women suddenly and deeply in love. Lachman and I sat down in L.A. to talk about Carol and […] »

- Alix Lambert

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2016 Oscar Predictions: Best Supporting Actress

11 February 2016 6:16 AM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Read More: Indiewire Awards Season Spotlight  Almost as confusing as its male counterpart (though not quite), best supporting actress seems like a wide open race at this point. Kate Winslet was always going to be a surefire nominee for her brilliant turn in "Steve Jobs," but even with her surprise Globe win, this category is far from a done deal. As expected, Alicia Vikander and Rooney Mara landed where their studios wanted them, and both have strong critical support and rising star power the Academy may take not of, especially because Winslet is an Oscar-winning veteran with no shortage of nominations to her name. The other two nominees, Jennifer Jason Leigh ("The Hateful Eight") and Rachel McAdams ("Spotlight"), fit effortlessly into their ensemble, though Leigh's ferocious turn has many pegging her as the category's ultimate victor. For now, it's anyone's guess. Below is Anne Thompson's take on how things might »

- Indiewire

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WestEnd boards Baltasar Kormakur-produced 'Mules'

10 February 2016 9:00 PM, PST | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Exclusive: Nordic co-production readies spring shoot.

WestEnd Films has acquired worldwide rights to drugs thriller Mules, produced by Everest and Contraband director Baltasar Kormakur [pictured].

Commercials director Börkur Sigthorsson, who collaborated with Kormakur and Johansen on hit Icelandic TV series Trapped, will take the reins on the Icelandic, Danish and Swedish co-production, which is due to shoot in all three countries in the spring.

In Mules, two antagonistic brothers decide to smuggle drugs into their native Iceland using a young Polish girl as their mule. When everything goes off the rails, the brothers’ fate spirals out of control in a life-or-death race against time.

Kormakur will produce the Icelandic-language thriller with fellow Rvk Studios producer Agnes Johansen (Virgin Mountains).

Co-producers are Anni Faurbye Fernandez (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Headhunters) and Stinna Lassen (The Team) for Good Company Films in Denmark and Mimmi Spång (Call Girl) and Rebecka Lefrenz (Call Girl) for Garage Film in Sweden. 

The »

- (Andreas Wiseman)

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Watch: Costume Designer Sandy Powell on Carol

10 February 2016 1:48 PM, PST | Filmmaker Magazine - Blog | See recent Filmmaker Magazine news »

Yes, it’s a promotional featurette produced by The Weinstein Company, but this video of the great costume designer Sandy Powell talking about designing Carol is illuminating. Powell discusses conceiving clothing for both Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara while keeping in mind what their sartorial choices illuminate about their characters. Also, her comment about costuming for the period — that the “look” of a decade doesn’t really kick in until halfway through as people are stuck in the fashions of the previous decade — is spot on. »

- Filmmaker Staff

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Kate Winslet Joins Star-Studded Cast Of Will Smith's 'Collateral Beauty,' To Help Battle 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story'

10 February 2016 12:33 PM, PST | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

It's funny to remember that at one time, "Collateral Beauty" was in dire straights. Originally, it was set to star Hugh Jackman and Rooney Mara, with "Me And Earl And The Dying Girl" director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon behind the camera. But first Jackman left, only to be replaced by Will Smith. Then Mara and Gomez-Rejon both exited, and the project seemed to be in peril. But man, has it ever bounced back. Read More: Watch 15-Minute Talk With Will Smith And 'Concussion' Filmmakers Kate Winslet has joined the ensemble which now includes Keira KnightleyHelen MirrenEdward Norton, Michael Peña and Naomie Harris. Dang. It's certainly the biggest roster of stars that  David Frankel ("The Devil Wears Prada," "Marley & Me"), now tasked with directing, has ever worked with. And it perhaps indicates that Allan Loeb's ("Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," "Just Go With »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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How They Dressed the Oscar-Nominated 'Carol' and 'Cinderella' (Video)

10 February 2016 9:22 AM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

"Carol" and "Cinderella" offer a fascinating study in contrast for costume designer Sandy Powell. While the wardrobes for Oscar-nominated Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara convey the conservative vibe at the dawn of the Eisenhower era in 1952, Lily James' strong-willed fairy tale fave dons an unconventional blue gown for the royal ball and gets extra sparkle in her slipper. "There was a real restraint to the look of ['Carol'] but then that also really echoes the period and the repression," Powell explained. "In terms of the costumes, there's an element of that too. Nothing is ever extreme or extravagant and I use that restraint for the sophistication and elegance for Cate's character, Carol." Like any decade, it's a transitional period, still dominated by late '40s fashions (strong-shouldered silhouette and full skirts). But after researching fashion magazines, Powell came up with the proper style for Carol: a softer, more streamlined look. »

- Bill Desowitz

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2016 Oscar Previews: Part 2

9 February 2016 7:09 PM, PST | Cinelinx | See recent Cinelinx news »

Our Oscar coverage continues. Here we overview the best acting and best directing award nominees.

For Part 1 of our 2016 Oscar Previews, click here.

Best Actor Nominees

Bryan Cranston - as Dalton Trumbo, Trumbo

Age: 59

Previously Best Known For:

Walter White - TV’s Breaking Bad

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:


Interesting Fact: Became an ordained minister while he was in college as a part-time job.

Matt Damon - as Mark Watney, The Martian

Age: 45

Previously Best Known For:

Jason Bourne - The Bourne Films

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

Nomination - Best Actor in a Leading Role 1998 - Will Hunting in Good Will Hunting

Won - Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen 1998 - Good Will Hunting

Nominated - Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role 2010 - Francois Pienaar in Invictus

Interesting Fact: Started a bowling league in Berlin while making The Bourne Supremacy.

Leonardo DiCaprio - as Hugh Glass, »

- (G.S. Perno)

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Oscar Odds: Supporting Actress Race Sees Shifts

9 February 2016 6:14 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Since December, Gold Derby’s Oscar predictions for the supporting actress race have changed considerably. While Rooney Mara was an early favorite for “Carol,” she has been overtaken by Alicia Vikander in “The Danish Girl.” Meanwhile, “Steve Jobs” star Kate Winslet, Rachel McAdams of “Spotlight” and Jennifer Jason Leigh in “The Hateful Eight” are showing little traction with a panel of awards experts who have been tracking the season at Gold Derby.

Vikander co-starred in “The Danish Girl” with Eddie Redmayne, who was nominated for best actor for his role as transgender pioneer Lili Elbe in the drama directed by Tom Hooper. Redmayne won last year’s best actor Oscar for his performance as Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything.”

Click Image for Large Preview »

- Variety Staff

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FILM4 is the Company with 15 Academy Award Nominations Nobody is Talking About but Should Be

9 February 2016 4:04 PM, PST | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

Titles backed by Film4 this year have a total of 15 Oscar nominations including a Best Picture and Best Director nomination and three of the five Oscar Best Actress Nominees: Cate Blanchett, Brie Larson, Charlotte Rampling.  The total tally of Film4’s awards nominations and wins across the Academy, BAFTA, critics groups, guilds, etc. in 2015 to date is: 181 wins out of a total 581 nominations (95% of which were in the U.S.) across 11 films -  “Room”, “Carol”, “Suffragette”, “Youth”, “The Lobster", "Ex Machina", "45 Years”,  “Amy”, “Macbeth”, “Slow West”, and “Dark Horse”.

Film4 has already had two Academy Best Picture wins in recent years with "Slumdog Millionaire" and "12 Years A Slave" amid other Academy Award nominations, so we can declare they are a force to be reckoned with.

This year again they have more nominations than most Hollywood Studios!  The New York based Distribution and Production Company A24 has seven nominations, and people are talking about them as serious players in the Oscar race, so let’s talk about Film4

Film4 is known for working with the most distinctive and innovative, both new and established, talent. It develops and co-finances films and is well known for its involvement with “The Last King of Scotland” (2006), “Slumdog Millionaire” (2008), “This is England” (2006), “Seven Psychopaths” (2012), “12 Years a Slave” (2013) as well as its most recent crop of successes in the current awards season which has also already garnered a record number of BAFTA nominations this year - 22 in all.

Sue Bruce Smith is the head of distribution and brand strategy at Channel 4’s feature film division, Film4.  She supports the building and financing of projects from the U.K. broadcaster. She works in some capacity across most of the Film4 slate but has been particularly associated with films like “Room”, “The Lobster”, “Slumdog Millionaire”, “The Last King of Scotland”, “Tyrannosaur”, “The Imposter” and “Le Weekend”,

Sue has been at Film4 over 12 years. Prior to this she has worked variously in U.K. distribution, broadcaster investment in film, international sales and independent production at Palace Pictures, BBC Films, Littlebird and Film4.

Sl: Can you define what exactly you do at Film4?

Sue Bruce Smith: What I do varies quite a bit from film to film.  Some of the seasoned producers are more adept at finding partners and don’t need much in the way of help putting their finance together.  However, we also work with emerging producers and directors who require more guidance so I am on hand to help them access the right co-production or distribution partners to ensure the film is built in the best possible way.  Once the film is completed, I again get involved in the strategy for the launch of the film and I oversee the distribution activity.  Protecting and maximizing the strength of our Film4 brand is a key consideration in everything I do.  We are also the only free-to-air channel dedicated to film in the U.K. so this really helps define our strong brand.


Sl: How are productions greenlit at Film4?

Sue Bruce Smith:The creative and commercial team within Film4 will guide a project through development to final greenlight.  David Kosse, Director of Film4 is a key part of the whole progression of the film and his final decision, based very much on the soundings he gets from his senior team, also obviously draws heavily on his valuable experience and understanding of film investment and the international marketplace.  The Film4 team is a very inclusive team of about 23 people working across development, production, finance and distribution.  it is also able to draw upon additional resources within the Channel4, most specifically in marketing and press.

Sl: Do you do co-productions?

Sue Bruce Smith: If you mean financial co-productions, yes lots.  These tend to be U.S. set financial co-productions or they might come out of Europe.  But official co-productions are relatively rare as it is more difficult and takes longer to set up.  “Room”, however, was an official co-production with Telefilm Canada and “The Lobster” was the result of a wonderful collaboration of over five different European co-producers.

Sl: What sort of budget parameters do you work with?

Sue Bruce Smith: We span from the very low to sometimes quite high.  We try not to limit ourselves and allow the project to find its optimum level.   When we developed “Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk” with Ink Factory, in the course of looking for partners we found a fan in Tom Rothman who at that time was in the process of rebuilding production at TriStar and we have ended up, as a result, being involved in an Ang Lee film!  However these are the exceptions and the range is usually between Us $3m to Us$15m.

Going forward, we are keen to be bolder in how Film4 invests especially when we feel a film is a potential break out.  We operate a cross subsidy model where the bigger, more commercial investments allow us to generate revenue that then supports the new emerging talent.  It is worth noting that absolutely everything we earn from our films goes straight back into more development and film investment.

Sl: Do you have special “strands” for particular types of films?

Sue Bruce Smith: We don’t really distinguish films in strands we just work across many levels and genres. First time filmmakers tend to have smaller budgets - around Us$3m and they are built in a slightly different way.  For our larger projects I’d say our sweet spot is $10 – 15 million. 

Sl: How do you find projects?

Sue Bruce Smith:: We are constantly scouting for interesting new talent, watching shorts like “Robots of Brixton” where we found Kibwe Tavares, culling talent from our TV arm (like Yann Demange who worked with us on the TV series “Top Boy” before making “'71”) from theater (Lucy Kirkwood who we are making a short film with and developing a feature), the arts (which is where Steve McQueen originated and is still very active) and writing (Alex Garland who adapted “Never Let Me Go” for us and went on to make his striking debut “Ex Machina”)

Sl: I notice you don’t do international sales like you used to in the 80s.

Sue Bruce Smith: Yes we shed the international sales division and the U.K. Distribution arm back in 2002 and brought the focus back to our core development and co-financing activities.  We currently work with a wide range of sales agents like Protagonist, Hanway, Cornerstone, FilmNation, Westend, Pathe, Studio Canal, Independent and others.

Sl: In the early days in the 1980s operations were different.

Sue Bruce Smith: David Rose, in 1982, was the real visionary behind Film4.  He decided Channel4 would be different from all other TV channels.  Channel4 was the first U.K. broadcaster, through its film arm, Film on Four, to develop and co-finance films and, crucially, to allow these films to play in cinemas before their television transmission on Channel4. Our theatrical model became Film on Four and HBO, Sbs and Arte followed this lead. “Walter” by Stephen Frears followed this route in 1982.   Frear's next film “My Beautiful Laundrette” followed shortly after in 1985

(An aside here by Sydney Levine):

If my readers will indulge me for a little history lesson in how films change with technological change, I want to point out that in the early days of home video, in 1985, Sue and I (a couple of the pioneer women in the modern business) shared in the good fortune resulting from the shift in the movie and TV business.  

Working for the biggest TV production house in U.S. in the days of “Dallas”, I came to Lorimar to buy for home video, the fastest growing new technological distribution tool yet.  We put up $175,000 advance to acquire home video rights to the Film4 feature “My Beautiful Laundrette” for U.S.  $75,000 of that was to be used as P&A by theatrical distributor Orion Pictures Classics’ platform theatrical release – to platform first in N.Y. and L.A for critical reviews, and then, if profitable, to expand across the nation.  It was the first British film to come to U.S. in many a year (except of course for the James Bond franchise).  Orion Classics was headed by Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and Donna Gigliotti who paid no advance but used the P&A allotment wisely and well.  It was a happy association that we shared a couple of more times before they moved on to form Sony Pictures Classics and I moved on to Republic Pictures, reconstructed by Cnb’s Russell Goldsmith, former CEO of Lorimar. This Film4 picture, “My Beautiful Laundrette” was by complete unknowns in the U.S. and was a first for us all.  We did not know it would go on to gross $7 million at the box office (a huge amount at that time for an independent film) and would sell 75,000 video units (at $50 wholesale a piece = $3,750,000).  We at Lorimar made a $1 million profit and overages of $1 million went to Channel 4 and $1 million went to Working Title.  I got a $100 bonus, and we were all delighted.  My association with Film4 was followed by many loyal and loving years and reunions, but that is another lesson.  

To quote Adam P. Davies, the writer of the U.K. Film Finance Handbook 2005/6: How to Fund Your Film:

Stephen Frears’s 1985 “My Beautiful Laundrette” signalled a change in direction for the industry in that TV backed film investment started to feed local productions.  The Channel4 film encouraged the broadcasters to increase investment in filmmaking over the late 80s and also launched Working Title, initially run by Tim Bevan and Sarah Radcliffe (who left in 1992 to run her own company) and later Eric Fellner, with whom Bevan runs the company today [in a longstanding deal with Universal-Focus].  Video distributor and producer Palace Pictures, run by Nik Powell and Stephen Woolley, followed the success in 1985 of Neil Jordan’s “Company of Wolves” with “Mona Lisa” in 1986.  The British Film Commission launched in 1992 [when “The Crying Game” had its world success]. 

Sue was at Palace Productions when I was at Lorimar and Republic and our paths crossed many times and so I was quite eager to share the latest good fortune of the 2016 Academy Awards at a time when the Academy is being besieged by negative publicity.  At that time, back in ’85, I suggested to Michael and Tom that they put up Daniel Day Lewis for Best Actor Nomination and as I recall, they told me British films or British actors in British films were not acceptable to the Academy, and so neither he nor the film was put up for nomination. 

My Beautiful Laundrette” obviously had Asian actors; it was about a gay skinhead and a Pakistani.  Diversity was at its core, but it did not get past the British line of demarcation the Academy had drawn in ’85.  Its ethnic boundaries might have existed if anyone had tried to test them but that was not even an issue in 1985. “Diversity” in those days did not exist as a word one used and the very idea of diversity was even more limited than today.  

Film4 has had a key role in proactively promoting different voices and stories since the 1980s. And today diversity is a crucial consideration in the decisions Film4 makes about its developments and productions with the aim of increasing diversity across all areas of the business.  They have several films currently in development with Bame writers and directors and are successfully working with many female directors such as Andrea Arnold, Debbie Tucker Green, Susanna White, Clio Bernard, Sarah Gavron and Lynne Ramsay.

In January last year parent company Channel4 launched the 360 Degree Diversity Charter which is all about a commitment to implementing diversity on and off screen and to measuring its progress.  It is tied to Project Diamond, an industry-wide diversity monitoring system.  Its results will be published in the next few months. 

Film4 has developed and co-financed many of the most successful U.K. films of recent years, Academy Award-winners such as Steve McQueen’s "12 Years a Slave", Danny Boyle’s "Slumdog Millionaire", Phyllida Lloyd’s "The Iron Lady” and Martin McDonagh’s "In Bruges" in addition to critically-acclaimed award-winners such as Mike Leigh’s "Mr. Turner", Chris Morris’ "Four Lions", Shane Meadows’ "This is England", Ben Wheatley’s “Sightseers", Clio Barnard’s "The Selfish Giant" Jonathan Glazer’s "Under the Skin" and David Mackenzie’s "Starred Up".

Film4’s recent releases include; Lenny Abrahamson’s “Room", Todd Haynes’ “Carol", Sarah Gavron’s “Suffragette", Justin Kurzel’s “Macbeth", Yorgos Lanthimos’ "The Lobster", Asif Kapadia’s box office record breaking documentary “Amy", Andrew Haigh’s "45 Years", Alex Garland’s "Ex Machina", Paolo Sorrentino’s “Youth", Peter Strickland’s "The Duke of Burgundy", Daniel Wolfe’s "Catch Me Daddy" and John Maclean’s "Slow West".

Forthcoming releases include; Ben Wheatley’s "High-Rise" and "Free Fire", Ang Lee’s "Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk", Benedict Andrews’ “Una" and Andrea Arnold’s "American Honey".

For further information visit, but for now, here is the Cheat Sheet on Film4’s 2016 Total Oscar Nominations numbering 15.  It will be at my side as I watch the Awards on February. Parenthetically, I am also looking forward to watching the fashions before the show, and inside the show, to catching that one loose cannon who will deliver the only inspirational speech in a rather inspirationless, basically boring, but still worthy traditional show.

3 of 5 Oscar Best Actress Nominees – Cate Blanchett, Brie Larson, Charlotte Rampling

Nomination tally by film:

Room” – 4 - Picture, Actress, Director, Best Adapted Screenplay

Carol” – 6 –Actress, Supporting Actress, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Costume Design, Original Score

Ex Machina” – 2 –Original screenplay, Visual Effects

Amy” – 1 – Documentary Feature

“45 Years” – 1 – Actress

Youth” – 1 – Original Song

Film4-backed films Oscar® nominations in full:


Actress in a Leading Role: Cate Blanchett

Actress in a Supporting Role: Rooney Mara

Adapted Screenplay: Phyllis Nagy

Achievement in Cinematography: Ed Lachman

Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original score): Carter Burwell

Achievement in Costume Design: Sandy Powell


Best Motion Picture of the Year: Ed Guiney

Achievement in Directing: Lenny Abrahamson

Actress in a Leading Role: Brie Larson

Adapted Screenplay: Emma Donoghue

Ex Machina

Original Screenplay: Alex Garland

Achievement in Visual Effects: Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington and Sara Bennett

“45 Years”:

Actress in a Leading Role: Charlotte Rampling


Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original song): Simple Song # 3, music and lyrics by David Lang


Best Documentary Feature: Asif Kapadia, James Gay-Rees


- Sydney Levine

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Kristen Stewart and James Franco Team for ‘Jt Leroy’; Yorgos Lanthimos and Pablo Trapero Find New Projects

9 February 2016 11:05 AM, PST | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Here’s a good sign of momentum: weeks after a documentary premiered at Sundance and received its first wave of fine reviews, the figure known as Jt Leroy is having their life story turned into a feature film. THR tell us Kristen Stewart, James Franco, Helena Bonham Carter, and writer-director Justin Kelly (the Franco-led I Am Michael) will team for Jt Leroy, which examines the eponymous figure — itself the outlet for a writer and actor who fooled the world with “a man who identifies as transgender, tricking the rich and famous in Hollywood, the fashion world and elite literary circles.”

If contracts are arranged, Carter and Stewart will respectively star as Laura Albert and Savannah Knoop, Leroy’s writing and public personas. There are many directions in which this narrative can reach, evidenced by the fact that writer-director-actress Asia Argento, who adapted Leroy’s The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, »

- Nick Newman

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Keira Knightley In Talks For ‘Collateral Beauty’

9 February 2016 10:58 AM, PST | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

New Line/Village Roadshow’s Collateral Beauty is starting to pick up steam after a wild ride that has included recasting its lead (Will Smith, replacing Hugh Jackman), its director (David Frankel, replacing Alfonso Gomez-Rejon) and now a key female role. Keira Knightley is in talks for the part that once was meant for Rooney Mara. Helen Mirren, Edward Norton, Naomie Harris and Michael Pena are also confirmed for the ensemble. Warner Bros yesterday set a December 16 release… »

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Weinsteins closing in on 'Mary Magdalene'

9 February 2016 9:21 AM, PST | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

The company is reportedly finalising a North American rights deal for the Biblical era biopic that would see it partner once again with See-Saw Films.

As ScreenDaily reported exclusively, Rooney Mara is in the frame to star for director Garth Davis as the misunderstood devoted follower of Jesus Christ.

Were Mara to commit to Mary Magdalene and The Weinstein Company come on as distributor it would mark a major reunion with London-based See-Saw Films and Davis.

The parties are all involved in Lion, an awards bait drama that the Weinsteins will distribute later this year and also stars Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman.

Universal Pictures International Productions partners with See-Saw on Mary Magdalene and Universal will distribute in all international territories except Australia and New Zealand, where Transmission handle rights. Film4 developed the project with See-Saw.

The Weinstein Company and See-Saw collaborated on Macbeth and famously began their association with Oscar winner The King’s Speech.


- (Jeremy Kay)

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