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Barry Jenkins and Jordan Peele Among the 774 Invited to Join the Academy As It Pushes for Inclusion

8 hours ago

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences continues its quest to diversify its largely white male membership ranks and Wednesday’s announcement of its annual invitation list numbered a record 774.

Among them are “Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins and “Get Out” director Jordan Peele. (They can both choose between the writer and director branches.) Writer-actress-producer Brit Marling (Netflix’s “The Oa”) also landed an invite from the writers branch, along with British actor Simon Pegg (“Shaun of the Dead”).

Indian stars invited include Aimir Kahn, Irrfan Kahn, Salman Kahn, Amitab Bachchan and his daughter in law, Aishwarya Rai. Other international stars receiving the nod include Monica Bellucci, Maggie Cheung, Gal Gadot, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Naomie Harris, and Rinko Kikuchi.

Read More: Netflix’s Next Big Move? Hacking the Oscars

American adds include Leslie Jones, Kristen Stewart, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Colman Domingo, Viggo Mortensen, Mike Mills, Shari Redstone, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Joss Whedon, »


- Anne Thompson

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‘The Big Sick’: 6 Ways to Create a Summer Indie Hit and an Oscar Contender

11 hours ago

Now that “The Big Sick” has opened better than any limited release so far this year, its success seems almost predestined: By the time it premiered at Sundance, Amazon Studios was already prepared to make a fat bid based on the script and elements. They just needed to see it, finally, in front of an audience. (Amazon won the bidding war against Netflix, Fox Searchlight, Lionsgate, and Focus Features, buying North American rights for $12 million.)

Read More: ‘The Big Sick’ and ‘The Beguiled’ Rescue Indie Box Office, Top All 2017 Specialty Openers

Of course, success is never simple. Here are six reasons why “The Big Sick” is currently the indie success of 2017 — and has Oscars written all over it.

1. True romance.

The first reason why this movie is so good: It’s authentic. You couldn’t make up this truth-is-stranger-than-fiction culture-clash story, written from life by “Silicon Valley” star Kumail Nanjiani »


- Anne Thompson

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Why Netflix Bingeing Brought Fresh Power to the 50-Year-Old Mystery of ‘The Keepers’

26 June 2017 10:52 AM, PDT

We all know the Catholic church has kept its share of hideous secrets. As “Spotlight” and other cases showed, priests have used their authority to sexually abuse underage girls and boys under the protection of the Church, which used its power to squash the press.

And yet, Netflix’s “The Keepers” is shocking. Ryan White’s docuseries blows the lid off a Catholic scandal from the ’60s, one that is still playing out. This true cold-case crime story has not been solved — and is still unfolding with new developments.

Sister Cathy Cesnik was 26 and a beloved teacher at Baltimore’s Archbishop Keough High School when she was murdered in 1969. Fifty years later, documentarian White, journalists, and former students delve into the mystery and the role the school’s chaplain, the late Father Maskell, may have played in it. Decades after they left the school, women in their 60s tell White »


- Anne Thompson

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Here’s the Oscar-Qualifying Palm Springs International ShortFest 2017 Award Winners

25 June 2017 8:30 PM, PDT

This year, some 500 filmmakers from 60 countries braved record temperatures to attend the 23rd annual Palm Springs International ShortFest (June 20-26), the largest short film festival and only short film market in North America. Psisf hosted 338 fiction and documentary shorts, 46 World Premieres, 12 International Premieres, 42 North American Premieres and 16 U.S. Premieres.

And more than 4,200 of the festival submissions were available in the Film Market for industry attendees to view online. Check out the complete lineup here.

Designated by AMPAS, BAFTA, and Bifa as an award-qualifying festival, and accredited by the International Short Film Conference, the festival gives its competition filmmakers a chance to secure $20,000 in cash prizes in 21 categories. The Panavision Best North American Short Award winner gets the use of a camera package valued at $60,000. Only the first-place winners in five categories are eligible to vie for an Academy Award nomination. Over 22 years, the Festival has presented 101 films that have »


- Anne Thompson

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