14 items from 2014
View Photo Gallery
In Hollywood, there’s a contingent of talented actors for whom awards and endless praise from the film community are expected. Meryl Streep competes for her fourth Academy Award on Sunday night, and it’s been scientifically proven that she gets thanked more than God at these things. Each year some permutation of the same crew is expected to receive nominations and each year we rack our brains trying to figure out which one is more deserving of the coveted golden statue. Except when there are wildcards.
Just like Mo’Nique traded in her standup and hosting duties to star as the chilling Mary Lee Johnston in Precious: Based on the Novel Push By Sapphire, Whoopi Goldberg‘s first steps towards Egot came with an award-winning turn in Ghost. Call it beginner’s luck if you want, but we’d like to think that this impressive group is so talented, »
- Emily Exton
The duo, who began working together in the 1980s, will depart Friday, according to a spokeswoman. Each held the title of exec VP of marketing, and the pair were based at Participant’s headquarters in Beverly Hills.
Participant was founded a decade ago ago by former eBay exec Jeff Skoll with the aim of backing films with a social message. The company’s co-financed “The Help,” “Lincoln,” “Good Night, and Good Luck” and “Syriana” as well as docu “An Inconvenient Truth.” “Lincoln” has been Participant’s top grosser with $275 million worldwide.
Participant’s “The Fifth Estate” performed poorly after it premiered as the opening night film at the Toronto Film Festival last September. The WikiLeaks drama took in only $3.2 million in the U.S. and another $5 million overseas.
Shutt and Jones were hired at »
- Dave McNary
Participant Media's film marketing chiefs Kathy Jones and Buffy Shutt are exiting the financing and production company at the end of the week. The longtime business partners joined Participant in 2007 as executive vp marketing after working as consultants for the company, helping to guide some of Participant's first releases, including Good Night and Good Luck, Syriana and An Inconvenient Truth. Photos: 35 of 2014's Most Anticipated Movies: 'X-Men: Days of Future Past,' 'Mockingjay,' 'Spider-Man 2' Participant was founded in 2004 by former eBay executive Jeff Skoll with a mandate to co-finance and co-produce
- Pamela McClintock
Timing can be crucial in the Oscar race. For topical, political documentaries, voters often select winners based upon newsy subject matter that is relevant right now, like climate change in 2006 ("An Inconvenient Truth"), U.S. military torture in 2007 ("Taxi to the Dark Side") and the financial crisis in 2010 ("Inside Job"). This year that voting trend may help "Dirty Wars," about President Obama's drone attacks on innocent people in the Mideast, or "The Square," which chronicles the hopes, dashed dreams and death toll of the Egyptian revolution. "The Square" premiered in January 2013 at the Sundance Film Festival and has been updated since to reflect changing conditions before its January 2014 Netflix premiere. Violence continues to plague Egypt even now on the third anniversary of the protests that removed dictator Hosni Mubarak in 2011. The military, Islamic, and secular conflicts c »
Opera has always been a reflection of the cultural zeitgeist of Western society. Historical events, popular stories, real people—they’ve all inspired musicalizations which allow patrons to connect directly with cultural moments in artistic ways.
But while opera may have stopped being the most popular art form, it never stopped being a relevant one. Hats off to the contemporary composers who continue to devote themselves to breathing life into the art form (because if they don’t, who will?). Opera is an endangered species, much like pandas or stenographers, and it continues to thrive creatively by reflecting the pop culture moments—movies, »
- Marc Snetiker
The Sundance Film Festival has come to a close in snowy Park City, Utah, and the institute has announced its winners for 2014. The big winner on the night was a film called Whiplash starring Miles Teller. The film picked up the big Grand Jury prize as well as the Audience Award in the U.S. Dramatic Competition. Whiplash sees Teller as a young musician who struggles to make it as a top jazz drummer (see main pic).
Dramatic effort The Skeleton Twins which stars comedy stars Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader in serious roles, won the Waldo Salt Screening Award for writers Craig Johnson and Mark Heyman, while the big directing award, went to Cutter Hodierne and his drama Fishing Without Nets, which revolves around a young father who turns to pirating in Somalia to support his family.
Here’s the full release with the complete list of the 2014 winners:
Park City, »
- Paul Heath
RADiUS-twc has acquired “Fed Up,” a documentary about childhood obesity that recently premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, company said Saturday. Stephanie Soechtig followed a group of obese children for more than two years, depicting their efforts to lose weight and examining how the food industry and government hinder those efforts. The film had one of the biggest profiles at Sundance given some of Soechtig’s advocates — executive producer and narrator Katie Couric, executive producer Laurie David (“An Inconvenient Truth”) and executive producer Regina Scully (“The Invisible War”). Also read: Sundance Day 6: What Are Katie Couric, Angelina Jolie and Kurt Russell Doing. »
- Lucas Shaw
Radius-twc has acquired worldwide rights to Fed Up, a documentary expose executive produced by Katie Couric about how the food industry has contributed to obesity in America. Directed by Stephanie Soechtig, the film follows a group of obsese children for more than two years as they try to lose weight, while it also takes aim at the food industry and the U.S. government. Photos: Sundance at 30: Vintage Photos of Park City's Biggest Stars In addition to Couric, the film is executive produced by Laurie David (An Inconvenient Truth), Regina Scully (The Invisible War),Heather Reisman, Michael Walrath
- Gregg Kilday
Accessibility trumps artistry in “Fed Up,” a formulaic and functional documentary that nevertheless proves effective at getting the message out about America’s addiction to unhealthy food. Focusing specifically on childhood obesity, the insidious practices of big food companies and the lack of political will to address the problems, Stephanie Soechtig’s film is the latest in a long line of call-to-action docs following in the footsteps of “An Inconvenient Truth” (and boasts that film’s executive producer, Laurie David to boot). Slick execution and big-name participants, including narrator Katie Couric and an interview with former President Bill Clinton, puts the pic in prime position to become one of the year’s highest-profile commercial docs.
Couric opens the film with alarmist voiceover — turning her years of reporting stories about the obesity epidemic into a mark of authority on the subject — accompanied by clips from the likes of YouTube and “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. »
- Geoff Berkshire
As the 2014 Sundance Film Festival winds down to a close with the annual awards ceremony giving prizes to the top films selected by the various juries and audience members, RADiUS-twc stepped forward to pick up its second film of the festival, acquiring the worldwide rights to Stephanie Soechtig's Fed Up , which is executive produced by journalist Katie Couric and Laurie David ( An Inconvenient Truth ). The documentary follows the controversial topic of childhood obesity and how, despite major changes in the dietary guidelines by the U.S. government instituted three decades ago, many kids will live shorter lives than their parents. The film follows a group of obese children over two years as Soechtig ( Tapped ) got close and personal while following their uphill battles to lose »
Over the years, Sundance has been famously friendly to eco-themed docs, providing high-profile premieres for films such as “An Inconvenient Truth” and “The Cove,” as well as political hot potatoes like “Why We Fight” and “8: The Mormon Proposition.” Among fests, Sundance is hardly alone in offering a platform to left-leaning docs. Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, while Alex Gibney’s “Taxi to the Dark Side” is just one of many lefty Tribeca offerings.
By contrast, “2016: Obama’s America” co-directors Dinesh D’Souza and John Sullivan avoided the U.S. fest circuit altogether — and it doesn’t seem to have hurt the film in the slightest. “2016” earned more than $33 million, making it the second-highest-grossing political doc after “Fahrenheit 9/11.”
For most nonfiction pics, however, the fest circuit is a vital component of a film’s life cycle, which is why businessman-turned-documaker Dennis Michael Lynch »
- Addie Morfoot
Virtually every year, the Sundance Film Festival premieres at least one documentary that serves as a hugely compelling call to action: "An Inconvenient Truth" (2006) brought discussions of climate change to the mainstream, "The Cove" (2009) illuminated Japan’s wholesale slaughter of dolphins, "The Invisible War" (2012) brought the U.S. military’s rape epidemic to the forefront and last year's "Blackfish" sparked mass outrage against SeaWorld for its treatment of Orcas. Rallying for the distinction this year is director Stephanie Soechtig’s “Fed Up." Just reading the logline makes the doc’s ambition clear: Fed Up / U.S.A. (Director: Stephanie Soechtig) — Fed Up blows the lid off everything we thought we knew about food and weight loss, revealing a 30-year campaign by the food industry, aided by the U.S. government, to mislead and confuse the American public, resulting in one of the largest health epidemics in history. Incendiary exposés of »
- Robert Cameron Fowler
From frigid New York City, Stephen Colbert’s ultra-conservative late night character joined Donald Trump’s campaign against faux weather trend global warming on Tuesday night. “Science tells us that if it ever gets cold, global warming isn’t real,” Colbert explained to the audience taking shelter in his studio. See video: Stephen Colbert Braves Polar Vortex’s Thunder Snow, Prepares for Cloudpocalypse Rain-a-Geddon Trump continued his personal railing against the climate change concept yesterday via Twitter, and found a very likely ally in “Fox & Friends.” The Fox News talk show shared a viral photo showing that someplace, somewhere, Al »
- Tony Maglio
Participant Media has hired veteran PR exec Ann Boyd for the newly created post of executive VP of communications.
Boyd will oversee communications strategy and operations for Participant’s film and documentary division, its new TV network Pivot and its digital lifestyle brand TakePart.
Boyd most recently served as exec VP of global communications at Sony Pictures Entertainment, handling its corporate communications and social responsibility teams. She was also a studio representative for the Motion Picture Association and Creative America Coalition.
Boyd will report directly to Participant CEO Jim Berk.
“Ann is a highly respected communications professional with experience leading digital and traditional entertainment companies and global brands,” Berk said. “As Participant expands both globally and into new media, Ann will lead a multiplatform communications group charged with increasing the visibility of our content and reach of our social impact.”
Before joining Sony in 2008, Boyd was VP of corporate communications for Fox Interactive Media, »
- Dave McNary
14 items from 2014
IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.See our NewsDesk partners