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SAG Life Achievement Honoree Morgan Freeman Proves Life Can Begin at 50

SAG Life Achievement Honoree Morgan Freeman Proves Life Can Begin at 50
When Morgan Freeman receives the Screen Actors Guild’s Life Achievement Award on Jan. 21, the honor will feel triumphantly inevitable. At 80 years old, his impressive resume includes 84 films, two Golden Globes, and an Oscar. But there’s a difference between Freeman and past winners, including Elizabeth Taylor and Gene Kelly. Freeman didn’t get his Hollywood break until he was 50. He’s earned his statue in half the time.

Freeman was born to act. The first night he walked onstage, the then-third grader felt so at ease, he claims he could have fallen asleep. “I was a show-off,” he admitted. His mother, Mayme, joked she was going to take him to Hollywood, but with four kids and no money, he just kicked back and forth between relatives in Mississippi and Chicago. At 13, Freeman won his first acting award when his performance as a World War II soldier took top place in a statewide school drama competition. He spent
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Morgan Freeman To Be Honored With 2017 SAG Life Achievement Award

Morgan Freeman – Academy Award winning actor, producer, voice actor and activist – has been named the 54th recipient of SAG-aftra's highest tribute: the SAG Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment.

Freeman will be presented the performers union’s top accolade at the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards,which will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018 at 8 p.m. (Et), 7 p.m. (Ct), 6 p.m. (Mt) and 5 p.m. (Pt). Given annually to an actor who fosters the “finest ideals of the acting profession,” the SAG Life Achievement Award will join Freeman’s exceptional catalog of preeminent industry and public honors, which includes a Screen Actors Guild Award, an Academy Award, HFPA’s Cecil B. DeMille Award, an AFI Lifetime Achievement Award, seven Image Awards, a Silver Berlin Bear, several Obies, a Kennedy Center Honor, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
See full article at Look to the Stars »

Morgan Freeman to Receive SAG Life Achievement Award

Morgan Freeman to Receive SAG Life Achievement Award
Morgan Freeman has been named the 54th recipient of the SAG Life Achievement award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment.

Freeman will be presented the accolade at the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Jan. 21 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The award is given annually to an actor who fosters the “finest ideals of the acting profession.”

Freeman has won a Screen Actors Guild Award, an Academy Award, HFPA’s Cecil B. DeMille Award, an AFI Lifetime Achievement Award, seven Image Awards, a Silver Berlin Bear and a Kennedy Center Honor. SAG-aftra made the announcement Tuesday.

“I am thrilled to announce Morgan Freeman as this year’s recipient of the SAG Life Achievement Award,” said SAG-aftra President Gabrielle Carteris. “Some actors spend their entire careers waiting for the perfect role. Morgan showed us that true perfection is what a performer brings to the part. He is innovative, fearless
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Two Films by Madeline Anderson to Screen at American Black Film Festival

Madeline Anderson’s 1970 doc, “I Am Somebody”: Black Film Center/Archive

Two short documentaries from the history-making director, producer, reporter, and writer Madeline Anderson will be shown at this year’s American Black Film Festival (Abff). According to Shadow and Act, Anderson’s “I Am Somebody” and “Integration Report 1” will be presented at the fest by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. The screenings will be followed by a discussion with Anderson and the museum’s curator of photography and film, Rhea Combs.

Anderson blazed several trails throughout her career. She was the first black employee hired at Wnet, a television station in New York. She was also “the first black woman to produce and direct a televised documentary film, the first black woman to produce and direct a syndicated television series, and one of the first black women to join the film editor’s union,” Shadow and Act summarizes. After proving herself as a reporter and filmmaker, she served as the in-house producer/director at “Sesame Street” and “The Electric Company.” In addition, she helped establish Whmm-tv, now called Whut-tv, at the historically black college Howard University during the 1970s.

In 1960's “Integration Report 1” Anderson follows the build-up to the “first attempt” at a march for civil rights on Washington, D.C. “I Am Somebody,” made in 1970, is about the 400 African American women in Charleston, S.C. who — with the goals of fair pay and unionization — went on strike from their jobs as hospital workers. The strikers eventually drew the support of Coretta Scott King and activists Ralph Abernathy and Andrew Young.

As Shadow and Act details, Anderson “worked entirely outside the Hollywood system, which she was critical of — notably of films that depicted the African American experience but weren’t made by African Americans.” However, her refusal to play Hollywood’s game did not slow her down or deter her from making work. Anderson’s other documentary directing credits are 1967’s “Malcolm X: Nationalist or Humanist?” and 1975’s “The Walls Came Tumbling Down.” She produced the series “The Infinity Factory” and “Al Manahil.” Anderson also served as editor on several of her projects.

“I really didn’t let gender and race issues bother me,” Anderson said of the obstacles she faced during her career in the 1997 book “Reel Black Talk: A Sourcebook of 50 American Filmmakers.” “I knew I would have trouble with both. I was determined to do what I was going to do at any cost. I kept plugging away. Whatever I had to do, I did it.”

The Abff will run June 14–18 at Miami Beach, Florida. Find out more and purchase passes at the fest website.

Two Films by Madeline Anderson to Screen at American Black Film Festival was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Sundance in Havana

Sundance in Havana
A Panel on Screenwriting: Features vs. TV Series

There has been an explosion in TV series over the last five years which has opened more opportunities worldwide to writers, directors and producers than feature film writing.

Paul Federbush, International Director, Feature Film Programs for Sundance Institute moderated a riveting panel of such TV/ feature writers as D.V. DeVincentes who wrote three episodes of the limited TV series (and exec produced five), “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” which won two Primetime Emmys and the feature “High Fidelity”; Erik Jendresen who won a Primetime Emmy for the miniseries “Band of Brothers” and is now working on a limited series which may go from four segments to eight; Naomi Foner who created “The Electric Company” aimed at children ages 7 to 10 to teach basic reading concepts to its young viewers. She won the Golden Globe for the screenplay and
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

Today in Movie Culture: Tom Hanks Revisits 'Big' Scenes, Musical 'Nightmare Before Christmas' Tributes and More

  • Movies.com
Here are a bunch of little bites to satisfy your hunger for movie culture:   Talk Show Appearance of the Day: Tom Hanks went on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, was reunited with the Zoltar machine from Big and wished he could be 30 again:   Musical Movie Recreation of the Day:  Speaking of Tom Hanks revisiting parts of Big, here he is performing the childhood rap from the movie with some fans:   Vintage Image of the Day: Morgan Freeman poses for a production continuity Polaroid while a cast member of The Electric Company, which was first broadcast 45 years ago today. See more Polaroids at A.V. Club.   Halloween Prep of the Day: Disney Style shows four quick and easy Disney costumes for...

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See full article at Movies.com »

Denise Nickerson is the latest 'Willy Wonka' child star to mourn Gene Wilder

  • Hitfix
Denise Nickerson is the latest 'Willy Wonka' child star to mourn Gene Wilder
Yesterday I posted a tweet from Julie Dawn Cole (a.k.a. Veruca Salt) in which the Willy Wonka star expressed her sadness at the passing of former co-star Gene Wilder, who died yesterday at the age of 83 (read Drew's remembrance here). Now, Denise Nickerson, whose gum-snapping character Violet Beauregarde famously transformed into a human blueberry in the 1971 classic, has posted her own tribute, which she signed "Love, Violet": Rip Gene. You were so talented and kindhearted. You will be sorely missed by so many. All of us have lost Our Willy Wonka. Love, Violet — Denise Nickerson (@deniseviolet71) August 30, 2016 Nickerson, who was just 14 when Willy Wonka debuted, racked up a number of roles in the wake of the film's release, including a regular stint on the '70s variety series The Electric Company and as a beauty pageant contestant in Michael Ritchie's 1975 film Smile. She retired from acting
See full article at Hitfix »

Interview: Actor Paul Dooley of ‘Breaking Away,’ ‘Sixteen Candles’

Chicago – If there ever was a quintessential “Dad” in movies of the last generation, it would have to be Paul Dooley. The comedian and character actor is best known for portraying the patriarch in “Breaking Away” (1979) and “Sixteen Candles” (1984), but was also in director’s Robert Altman’s ‘ensemble’ and has had a stellar career.

The former “Paul Brown” was born in West Virginia, and studied acting at West Virginia University, before heading to New York City and a new career as Paul Dooley. He did stage work, stand-up comedy and the New York City version of The Second City (story below), before getting his big break in the original stage version of “The Odd Couple” in 1965, directed by the legendary Mike Nichols. While working the stage, he appeared in a number of commercials, eventually moving to Los Angeles to “be where the action is.”

The Dad: Paul Dooley, with Dennis Christopher,
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

Matthew Broderick: ‘Morgan Freeman Doesn’t Sound Like God, God Sounds Like Morgan Freeman’

Matthew Broderick: ‘Morgan Freeman Doesn’t Sound Like God, God Sounds Like Morgan Freeman’
Morgan Freeman was hailed as a cinematic icon and the inspiration for President Barack Obama’s political career at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Chaplin Award ceremony on Monday.

The gathering, a champagne soaked affair that brought out one percenters, cinephiles, and A-list talents such as Helen Mirren and Matthew Broderick, veered briefly away from film projects and into the current political landscape.

In toasting the Oscar-winner, Robert De Niro joked that Freeman’s deft handling of an asteroid on a collision course with earth inspired the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to seek higher office.

“In 1998 he played President Beck in the movie ‘Deep Impact.’ Morgan’s movie performance was an inspiration for the young Barack Obama,” De Niro joked to the audience. “According to reports, after seeing the film Barack turned to his friends in Kenya and said I want to be president, too. If only I had a birth certificate.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Rita Moreno Continues to Build on Her Prized Legacy

Rita Moreno Continues to Build on Her Prized Legacy
It’s fitting that “Remember Me” is the name of Rita Moreno’s new road-trip comedy. Since her 1950 film debut (as Rosita Moreno) in “So Young, So Bad,” the Emmy-, Tony-, Grammy- and Oscar-winning actress has created many unforgettable characters — the loose-lipped Zelda Zanders in “Singing in the Rain,” the firebrand Anita in “West Side Story,” the zany Googie Gomez in “The Ritz” and the compassionate Sister Reimondo in “Oz,” to name a few — more than earning her a Legend Award at this year’s Newport Beach Film Festival.

She’s received so many honors, in fact, she “stopped counting — I think now they’re saying, ‘Quick, let’s get her before she kicks the bucket!’” the 84-year-old says with a hearty laugh. After the radiant star sang youthfully during her 2014 SAG Life Achievement Award speech, that seems like a lifetime away. “(SAG) said ‘You have one minute,’” she recalls.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The Golden Girls, Benson: Writer Tom Whedon Dies at 83

TV writer and producer, Tom Whedon, father of TV and screenwriter Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Angel, Firefly, Marvel's The Avengers), musician and writer Jed Whedon (Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog), and writer Zack Whedon (Deadwood, Halt and Catch Fire), died on March 23, 2016, at the age of 83. Jed announced the news late yesterday, on Instagram.

A producer on It's a Living, Benson, Maggie, The Golden Girls, and The Sinbad Show , Mr. Whedon's TV series writing credits includes those shows and many more. His professional career began on the Captain Kangaroo TV show, in the 1950s. Other TV credits include Music Scene, The Dick Cavett Show, The Electric Company (on which he was head writer), All's Fair, United States, The Two of Us, and the children's series, Between the Lions, for which he was nominated for a Daytime Emmy.

Read More…
See full article at TVSeriesFinale »

Tom Whedon, TV Writer-Producer and Father of Joss Whedon, Dies at 83

Tom Whedon, a veteran TV writer and producer who worked on shows including The Golden Girls and Captain Kangaroo, died Thursday at 83, his son Jed announced.

Whedon was father to five sons, including Avengers director and Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. writer-producer Jed, Halt and Catch Fire writer Zack Whedon, Samuel and Matthew.

"We said goodbye to our dad yesterday," Jed, 41, wrote on Instagram Friday. "He passed away in relative peace surrounded by his wife, all five of his boys and their loved ones. He gave us the gift of his warmth and humor. We miss him terribly.
See full article at People.com - TV Watch »

Tom Whedon, TV Writer-Producer and Father of Joss Whedon, Dies at 83

Tom Whedon, a veteran TV writer and producer who worked on shows including The Golden Girls and Captain Kangaroo, died Thursday at 83, his son Jed announced. Whedon was father to five sons, including Avengers director and Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. writer-producer Jed, Halt and Catch Fire writer Zack Whedon, Samuel and Matthew. "We said goodbye to our dad yesterday," Jed, 41, wrote on Instagram Friday. "He passed away in relative peace surrounded by his wife, all five of his boys and their loved ones. He gave us the gift of his warmth and humor. We miss him terribly.
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Tom Whedon, TV Writer-Producer and Father of Joss Whedon, Dies at 83

Tom Whedon, a veteran TV writer and producer who worked on shows including The Golden Girls and Captain Kangaroo, died Thursday at 83, his son Jed announced. Whedon was father to five sons, including Avengers director and Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. writer-producer Jed, Halt and Catch Fire writer Zack Whedon, Samuel and Matthew. "We said goodbye to our dad yesterday," Jed, 41, wrote on Instagram Friday. "He passed away in relative peace surrounded by his wife, all five of his boys and their loved ones. He gave us the gift of his warmth and humor. We miss him terribly.
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Tom Whedon, TV Writer and Joss Whedon’s Father, Dies at 83

  • The Wrap
Tom Whedon, TV Writer and Joss Whedon’s Father, Dies at 83
Tom Whedon, father of “The Avengers” director Joss Whedon, died on Tuesday at the age of 83. According to an Instagram post from his son Jed Whedon, who currently serves as showrunner on ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of Shield,” Whedon passed away “in relative peace” surrounded by family. Whedon himself was an accomplished television writer and producer, having worked on series including “The Dick Cavett Show,” “Benson” and “The Golden Girls.” He also served as head writer on the children’s series “The Electric Company.” Also Read: J.J. Abrams, Joss Whedon, Francis Ford Coppola Highlight Tribeca Film Festival Panels Whedon
See full article at The Wrap »

Legendary Actress Rita Moreno Will Be Part of the 6th Annual Loft Film Fest

Iconic actress Rita Moreno ("West Side Story"), internationally-renowned filmmaker/actor Alfonso Arau ("Like Water for Chocolate") and Oscar-winning screenwriters Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana ("Brokeback Mountain"), will be the special guests this October at the 6th annual Loft Film Fest to take place at The Loft Cinema in Tucson, Arizona.

The festival will feature an incredible array of legendary, award-winning performers, filmmakers and screenwriters, as well as a stellar program of critically-acclaimed films selected from prestigious festivals around the globe, including Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, Venice.

The film selection includes the documentary "Hitchcock/Truffaut," which will premiere at Tiff, the Sundance comedy hit "Entertainment" (starring Michael Cera and John C. Reilly), and the latest film from celebrated Iranian director Jafar Panahi, "Taxi" (winner of the Golden Bear at Berlin).

The festival will also host “under the stars” screenings of Hollywood classics like "Three Amigos" (starring Alfonso Arau) and Hitchcock’s "Psycho" in the Loft parking lot, presented on The Loft’s new, state-of-the-art outdoor screen and projection system. On opening night, October 21, the festival will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the classic comedy "Back to the Future" with a special "Back to the Future Day" double feature of the first two films in the trilogy. Live '50s music, themed-food, and other surprises will make the evening even more memorable.

The Guests

Rita Moreno is a legendary star of stage, screen and television, and is one of only 12 performers in history to be classified as an Egot winner (winner of an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony). She is one of only four women to have achieved this landmark status, as well as the first Hispanic performer to be thusly honored. Over the course of her groundbreaking career, Ms. Moreno has starred in such iconic classics as "Singin’ in the Rain," "The King and I" and "West Side Story" (for which she won the 1962 Best Supporting Actress Academy Award), performed on Broadway in hits like "The Last of the Red Hot Lovers" and "The Ritz" (for which she won the 1975 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress), appeared on such successful television shows as "Oz, The Electric Company" and "The Muppet Show" (for which she was awarded a 1977 Emmy), recorded albums (including her Grammy-winning 1973 album for children, "The Electric Company") and written a New York Times best-selling memoir, 2014’s Rita Moreno: A Memoir. She has also been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, and in December, 2015, she will receive a prestigious Kennedy Center Honor. Ms. Moreno will appear at The Loft Film Fest for a tribute that will include a career highlight reel, an onstage Q&A, the presentation of a 2015 Loft Lifetime Achievement Award and a screening of "West Side Story."

Alfonso Arau, one of the legends of Mexican cinema, is the internationally-renowned director of such acclaimed films as " Zapata: The Dream of a Hero," "A Walk in the Clouds" and the arthouse smash, "Like Water for Chocolate" (winner of the 1992 Ariel Awards for Best Picture and Best Director). Over the course of his distinguished career, he has also made numerous memorable appearances as an actor in such classics as "The Wild Bunch," "El Topo" and the Tucson-shot comedy "Three Amigos" (in the unforgettable role of El Guapo). At The Loft Film Fest, Mr. Arau will also receive a tribute that will include a career highlight reel, an onstage Q&A, presentation of a 2015 Lofty Lifetime Achievement Award and a screening of "Like Water for Chocolate." Filmmaker/artist/actress Yareli Arizmendi (star of "Like Water for Chocolate") and filmmaker/artist/actor Sergio Arau ("Day without a Mexicans"), the son of Mr. Arau, will also appear at this event. The Loft Film Fest will also present an “under the stars” screening of "Three Amigos" on the Loft’s new outdoor screen in the parking lot.

Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana are the Academy Award-winning co-screenwriters and co-producers of the groundbreaking hit film, "Brokeback Mountain." Mr. Murtry is a prolific, Pulitzer Prize-winning author (for the best-selling novel Lonesome Dove) and the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of "The Last Picture Show" (based on his novel). Ms. Ossana is an acclaimed writer and Oscar-nominated producer (for "Brokeback Mountain"). The Loft Film Fest will present a special 10thanniversary screening of "Brokeback Mountain," and Mr. McMurtry and Ms. Ossana will participate in an onstage Q&A to discuss the film’s lasting impact and legacy.

The Films

"Hitchcock/Truffaut," a new documentary by Kent Jones, uses the 1962 meeting between the two legendary directors, Alfred Hitchcock and Francois Truffaut, as a jumping off point for an exploration of the endlessly fascinating work of Hitchcock, the Master of Suspense. After premiering at Cannes earlier this year, the film will have its Arizona Premiere at The Loft Film Fest, following its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. The Loft Film Fest will also present an “under the stars” screening of Hitchcock’s classic 1960 scare-fest, "Psycho," in the parking lot on The Loft’s beautiful new outdoor screen!

"Entertainment," a hilarious new dark comedy from Rick Alverson, follows the misadventures of an aging, broken-down comedian playing a string of disastrous shows in the Mojave Desert while en route to meet his estranged daughter. Starring Michael Cera, John C. Reilly and Gregg Turkington (aka comedian Neil Hamburger), "Entertainment" makes its Tucson debut at The Loft Film Fest following successful screenings at Sundance and SXSW.

"Taxi," the new film from celebrated Iranian director Jafar Panahi ("Offside," "The White Balloon"), features Panahi himself starring as a taxi driver in Tehran whose conversations with the diverse passengers he picks up are hilarious, enlightening and heartbreaking. Winner of the Golden Bear and the Fipresci Prize at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival, Taxi will be making its Arizona debut at The Loft Film Fest.
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

'Sesame Street' Will Premiere on HBO for Next 5 Seasons

'Sesame Street' Will Premiere on HBO for Next 5 Seasons
Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind the Emmy Award-winning program Sesame Street and HBO, the nation's leading premium cable network, today announced a new partnership that will make the next five seasons of the iconic series available on HBO and its multiplex channels, HBO Go, HBO On Demand and the new internet-only Svod service HBO Now. As a key part of the deal, Sesame Street will be able to produce almost twice as much new content as previous seasons, and for the first time ever, make the show available free of charge to PBS and its member stations after a nine-month window. Here's what Sesame Workshop CEO Jeffrey D. Dunn had to say in a statement.

"Our new partnership with HBO represents a true winning public-private partnership model. It provides Sesame Workshop with the critical funding it needs to be able to continue production of Sesame Street and secure
See full article at MovieWeb »

Sesame Street, HBO Deal Means More Episodes, and Also Benefits PBS

Sesame Street, HBO Deal Means More Episodes, and Also Benefits PBS
The non-profit Sesame Workshop and HBO have struck a deal through which the next five seasons of Sesame Street will premiere on the pay cabler, HBO Go, HBO On Demand and HBO Now.

RelatedMuppets Star Kermit the Frog Confirms Break-Up With Miss Piggy

Now before Big Bird squawks, know this: As a result of the partnership, Sesame Street will be able to produce nearly twice as much new content and, for the first time ever, make the show available for free to PBS and its member stations, nine months after episodes debut on HBO.

Also as part of the deal,
See full article at TVLine.com »

Marvel in the 1980s Panel Recap

The 1980s were an important period for comics as they transitioned from the Bronze Age to the Modern or Dark Age of Comics with books like Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns. It was also an incredibly creative time for Marvel Comics with Chris Claremont and John Byrne beginning the decade with their “Dark Phoenix Saga” epic in Uncanny X-Men, Frank Miller’s run on Daredevil as well as the first event crossover Secret Wars and ending with the rise of artists, like Todd McFarlane and Jim Lee, who would later found Image Comics.

At East Coast Comicon, comics historian and researcher of the Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe Peter Sanderson, former Uncanny X-Men editor and Daredevil writer Ann Nocenti, and former Amazing Spider-Man editor Jim Salicrup chatted and swapped stories about what Marvel was really like in the 1980s.

After saying comics were his drug of choice then, Jim Salicrup
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Legendary Actress Rita Moreno Joins CW’s ‘Jane the Virgin’

  • The Wrap
Legendary Actress Rita Moreno Joins CW’s ‘Jane the Virgin’
West Side Story” star Rita Moreno has joined The CW’s “Jane the Virgin,” a spokesperson for the network told TheWrap.

The Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, Tony and Golden Globe winning actress-singer will play Jane’s (Gina Rodriguez) paternal grandmother, making her mother to charismatic soap star Rogelio De La Vega (Jaime Camil). The character, lovingly called “Glam-ma,” debuts on Episode 18.

Also Read: The CW Diversity Scorecard: From ‘Arrow’ to ‘Vampire Diaries’ (Photos)

Moreno, a bonafide Hollywood legend, has been nominated for six Emmys over the course of her career, winning as lead actress on NBC’s “The Rockford Files” in
See full article at The Wrap »
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