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Syriana (2005) More at IMDbPro »

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4 items from 2016

George Clooney, Coen Brothers Address Refugee Crisis at Berlin Film Festival

11 February 2016 8:03 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

For much of the world, George Clooney has become the face of Hollywood’s humanitarian conscience, so it was no surprise that many of the questions at Thursday’s Berlin Film Festival press conference for Joel and Ethan Coen’s “Hail, Caesar!” went beyond the film to the current refugee crisis gripping Europe.

Clooney said he would meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday to discuss the refugee crisis, as well as with refugees. More than a million refugees, many of them from war-torn Syria, have arrived in Germany over the past year and many continue to flee their homeland.

Asked if he would consider making a sequel to “Syriana,” or other films exploring the issue of refugees and war, Clooney said tackling such subjects in film remains difficult, adding that he has long tried to make a film about Sudan and Darfur, but that “finding the proper venue and script” had been difficult. »

- Ed Meza

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Is 'Hail, Caesar!' from Joel and Ethan Coen the first Oscar contender of 2016?

4 February 2016 12:23 PM, PST | Gold Derby | See recent Gold Derby news »

Could four-time Oscar champs Joel and Ethan Coen be working their awards magic again? Their new comedy film "Hail, Caesar!" opens nationwide this weekend and could be a contender at the Oscars, Golden Globes, and other awards ceremonies almost a year away. -Break- Subscribe to Gold Derby Breaking News Alerts & Experts’ Latest Oscar Predictions The Coen brothers have assembled an all-star cast on screen and behind the scenes for the comedy film set in Hollywood's golden age of the 1950s. Previous Oscar nominee Josh Brolin ("Milk") stars as a studio fixer with plenty of problems to solve over one single day of production. Two-time Oscar winner George Clooney ("Syriana," "Argo") has a supporting role as the popular leading man of a religious epic being shot at the studio. The kidnapping of his character sets many of the plot developments into motion. Based on screentime, those men a...' »

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Al Jazeera Journo Mohamed Fahmy’s Egypt Hell Memoir ‘The Marriott Cell’ Being Developed Into Feature Film

1 February 2016 7:33 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Egyptian-Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy’s upcoming memoir “The Marriott Cell,” about his arrest with two other Al Jazeera English reporters at the Cairo Marriott hotel in December 2013 and the protracted incarceration that followed, is being developed into a feature film by British book-to-film agency The Development Partnership in tandem with Egyptian multi-hyphenate Amr Waked.

On board to pen the screenplay adaptation of Fahmy’s hotly anticipated memoir is Michael Bronner, the former CBS “60 Minutes” producer who more recently co-produced director Paul Greengrass’ “Green Zone,” “Captain Philips,” and “United 93.”

The Al Jazeera case, which became a cause celebre, saw Fahmy (pictured behind bars) and his two colleagues, Australian journalist Peter Greste and Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed, spend more than 400 days in Egypt’s infamous Tora prison, also known as Scorpion, on Cairo’s outskirts on trumped-up charges of spreading “false news.”  Egyptian prosecutors linked them to supposed student terrorist groups connected with the Muslim Brotherhood, »

- Nick Vivarelli

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Adam McKay at Art for Amnesty Brunch: ‘It’s Been an Amazing Year for Movies Challenging Entrenched Power’

8 January 2016 10:32 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

“We were thinking about how we break back into the Hollywood awards season with a social change-human rights message, and since the Globes were first up, we said, ‘why don’t we go for it?'” explained Art for Amnesty’s creative director Marvin Bing at the inaugural Art for Amnesty Pre-Golden Globes Recognition Brunch on Friday afternoon at Chateau Marmont.

There, the historic organization — which was founded 55 years ago, and has fought beside activists from Nelson Mandela to Malala Yousafzai — honored three individuals for artistically promoting freedom of expression: Participant Media founder and chairman Jeff Skoll, “The Big Short’ writer/director Adam McKay and “Homeland” actress Nazanin Boniadi.

“I think it’s been an amazing year for movies challenging entrenched power and corruption,” McKay — who founded comedy video website Funny or Die with Will Ferrell, and partnered with Amnesty in 2010 — told Variety before the program. “‘Beasts of No Nation, »

- Jasmin Rosemberg

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