Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong’o of 12 Years a Slave were two of the 271 artists and industry leaders invited to become members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which determines nominations and winners at the annual Oscars. The entire list of Academy membership—which numbers about 6,000—isn’t public information so the annual invitation list is often the best indication of the artists involved in the prestigious awards process. It’s worth noting that invitations need to be accepted in order for artists to become members; some artists, like two-time Best Actor winner Sean Penn, have declined membership over the years. »
- Jeff Labrecque
Pop quiz: What do Chris Rock, Claire Denis, Eddie Vedder and Josh Hutcherson all have in common? Answer: They could all be Oscar voters very soon. The annual Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences invitation list always makes for interesting reading, shedding light on just how large and far-reaching the group's membership is -- or could be, depending on who accepts their invitations. This year, 271 individuals have been asked to join AMPAS, meaning every one of them could contribute to next year's Academy Awards balloting -- and it's as diverse a list as they've ever assembled. Think the Academy consists entirely of fusty retired white dudes? Not if recent Best Original Song nominee Pharrell Williams takes them up on their offer. Think it's all just a Hollywood insiders' game? Not if French arthouse titans Chantal Akerman and Olivier Assayas join the party. It's a list that subverts expectation at every turn. »
- Guy Lodge
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has invited 271 individuals to become members, with the list reflecting the org’s determination to bring more diversity to its ranks.
Every year, the list of invitations includes several recent Oscar nominees. That’s true this year as well, with letters going out Wednesday to a cross-section of people including 2013 contenders Barkhad Abdi, Lupita Nyong’o, Hayao Miyazaki, Pharrell Williams, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, plus such creatives as Megan Ellison, Chris Rock, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Steve Coogan, Jason Statham, William Chang Suk Ping, Joan Sobel, Tracey Seaward, Mads Mikkelsen and Chantal Akerman.
Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs told Variety Thursday, “This is a continuation of an initiative to bring in new voices. Filmmaking has gotten more diverse, and audiences have been responding. There are terrific filmmakers around the world at the top of their game and we want to recognize them and bring them into the Academy. »
- Tim Gray
Broadcaster expected to decide on new Film4 head in July, Screen looks at some likely candidates.
Film4 is getting closer to appointing its new boss, with a second round of interviews understood to be underway now.
Speculation is rife within the UK industry as to potential suitors for the job, which is widely regarded as one of the most coveted in the business — in the UK and abroad.
While former Focus Features CEO James Schamus was tipped by many as a front-runner for the job a few weeks ago, the executive is now understood to be unlikely to take on the role, preferring to concentrate on his own slate (he is Ang Lee’s long-time producer) and remain in the Us.
But Film4 is still understood to be considering an international hire with a leading candidate known to be London-based David Kosse, president of international for Universal, who chose not to move to La when Universal recently »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Andreas Wiseman)
[Press Release] Hollywood, CA (June 20, 2014) – Paramount Pictures and Pathé today announced that the feature film “Selma” will have a limited release in the U.S. on Christmas day and will open wide on January 9, 2015. Directed by Ava DuVernay (“Middle Of Nowhere”), the film is being produced by Oprah Winfrey, Plan B, the producers of the Academy Award®-winning “Twelve Years A Slave,” and Cloud Eight Films’ Academy Award®-winning Christian Colson (“127 Hours,” “Slumdog Millionaire”). Academy Award® nominee Oprah Winfrey joins the film’s cast as Annie Lee Cooper, an elderly woman and visible leader amongst the civil rights protesters in Selma who tried to register to vote and was unfairly denied by the sheriff. “Selma” is the story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s historic struggle to »
They were known simply as “The Lost Boys.”
Orphaned by the brutal Civil war in Sudan that began in 1983, these young victims traveled as many as a thousand miles on foot in search of safety. Fifteen years later, a humanitarian effort would bring 3600 lost boys and girls to America.
In The Good Lie, Philippe Falardeau, (writer and director of the Oscar- nominated Foreign Language film “Monsieur Lazhar”) brings the story of their survival and triumph to life. Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon (“Walk the Line”) stars alongside Sudanese actors Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany, Emmanuel Jal, and newcomer Nyakuoth Weil, many of whom were also children of war.
Mamere and Theo are sons of the Chief in their village in Southern Sudan. »
- Michelle McCue
Paramount Pictures and Pathé today announced that the feature film Selma will have a limited release in the U.S. on Christmas day and will open wide on January 9, 2015. Directed by Ava DuVernay (Middle of Nowhere), the film is being produced by Oprah Winfrey, Plan B, the producers of the Academy Award-winning 12 Years a Slave, and Cloud Eight Films' Academy Award-winning Christian Colson (127 Hours, Slumdog Millionaire).
Academy Award nominee Oprah Winfrey joins the film's cast as Annie Lee Cooper, an elderly woman and visible leader amongst the civil rights protesters in Selma who tried to register to vote and was unfairly denied by the sheriff.
The film is currently shooting in Atlanta, Georgia, and Montgomery and Selma, Alabama.
Selma is the story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic struggle to secure voting rights for all people - a dangerous and terrifying campaign that culminated with the epic march from Selma to Montgomery, »
Selma is the story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s historic struggle to secure voting rights for all people – a dangerous and terrifying campaign that culminated with the epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, and led to President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The film’s release will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the landmark legislation.
It was also announced that Academy Award nominee Oprah Winfrey has joined the cast as Annie Lee Cooper, an elderly woman and visible leader amongst the civil rights protesters in Selma who tried to register to »
- Michelle McCue
Paramount Pictures and Pathé today announced that Selma will have a limited release in the U.S. on Christmas day and will open wide on January 9, 2015. Directed by Ava DuVernay (Middle of Nowhere), the film is being produced by Oprah Winfrey, Plan B, the producers of the Academy Award®-winning 12 Years a Slave and Cloud Eight Films' Academy Award®-winning Christian Colson (127 Hours, Slumdog Millionaire). »
Director Ava DuVernay’s Martin Luther King, Jr. film Selma will open in limited release on Christmas Day before going wide on January 9, 2015. Paramount and Pathé’s Paul Webb-scripted awards season drama has the powerhouse backing of producers Oprah Winfrey, Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave shingle Plan B, and Cloud Eight Films’ Oscar-winner Christian Colson (127 Hours, Slumdog Millionaire). The film stars David Oyelowo as the iconic civil rights leader and tracks King’s struggle to secure voting rights for all people, culminating in the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, and President Lyndon Johnson’s signing of the Voting Rights Act […] »
If you were planning to book a spot on the annual charter flight from Lax to Colorado's Telluride Film Festival (August 29 through September 1, 2014), it's full. Every year the usual suspects convene at the La airport and get their prized copy of the schedule to peruse on the flight. That's because the annual Labor Day Rocky Mountain festival does not announce its four-day slate in advance, trying to fly under the radar and skip the usual competition for world premieres. This fabulously curated festival has been on a roll of late. Founded forty years ago by Bill and Stella Pence and continued by co-directors Gary Meyer, Julie Huntsinger and Tom Luddy, the festival has been riding high on its prescient pre-Oscar bookings, from "Slumdog Millionaire" and 'The King's Speech" to "Argo." Last year, however, the combo of "12 Years a Slave" and "Gravity" broke the camel's back with rival Toronto Film Festival, »
- Anne Thompson
Million Dollar Arm has a total number of 16 tracks on the album, with all of the songs composed and written completely by music maestro Ar Rahman. Having already delivered some amazing international music albums previously (Slumdog Millionaire, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, 127 Hours, The Lord of the Rings) Ar Rahman is always pushing himself further and with it Indian music on a global scale.
We thought we would share our music review with you as very often international films soundtracks can be easily passed over, but with Ar Rahman’s name to it, intrigue and loyalty is surely enough to have a listen.
There are only a handful of traditional singing tracks in the album: Keep The Hustle is essentially a hip hop track, featuring Raghav, with a nice beat and an Arabian rift thrown in.
We Could Be Kings is an upbeat western track, designed as a positive and uplifting sports motivational song, »
- Anjum Shabbir
Jim Gianopulos is riding a big wave of success.
The chairman and CEO of 20th Century Fox — who oversees the motion picture divisions of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., which include Fox 2000, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox Animation Studios, Blue Sky Studios and Fox Intl. Prods. — has presided over the release of such hits as “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (which recently opened as the top grossing film in the world), “Life of Pi,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “Taken” and its two sequels, “12 Years a Slave” and — of course — record-breakers “Titanic” and “Avatar.”
Gianopulos will receive the Taormina Film Festival’s Arte Award »
- Peter Caranicas
Get ready London film fans! The fabulous London Indian Film Festival, running July 10th – 17th, will bring you an eclectic and cool mix of films! Now Europe’s largest platform for Indian cinema, the London Indian Film Festival returns to the Capital, in association with Pure Heaven, the British Film Institute, and official Hotel Partner Grange Hotels, celebrating the exploding movement of Indian Independent cinema and bringing to UK audiences a rare selection of cutting-edge films from some of the Indian subcontinent’s hottest independent talents. Going way beyond Bollywood, the festival presents a kaleidoscope of new films that challenge, shock, generate debate and present a more realistic view of India and the subcontinent today, in all its diversity.
- Stacey Yount
Releasing this Friday, June 13th is Fugly, directed by Kabir Sadanand. A fast-paced masala thriller with a social message, the film is produced by Akshay Kumar and Ashvini Yardi’s company Grazing Goat Pictures. Starring newcomers Mohit Marwah, Kiara Advani, Vijender Singh and Arfi Lamba, this cool flick also features Jimmy Shergill in a villainous role.
It tells the story of 4 friends – Dev, Gaurav, Aditya and Devi. They are at the cusp of their lives; college has just about finished, but what they want to do for the rest of their lives including a career has not been set. These are the last few days of true freedom. These friends are conscientious; they will have fun but would never cross the boundaries. Their fun filled and carefree lives come to an abrupt halt when they are faced with an extremely corrupt and seemingly fearless Police Officer. This puts a series »
- Stacey Yount
Jon Hamm travels to India in a last ditch effort to save his career by finding a young cricketer to turn into a major sports star
With business failing, struggling Us sports agent Jb Bernstein (Jon Hamm) travels to India in a last ditch effort to save his career by finding a young cricketer to turn into a major sports star. With the help of a cantankerous retired talent scout (Alan Arkin) Jb sets up a national contest called “The Million Dollar Arm” and discovers Rinku (played by Life of Pi‘s Suraj Sharma) and Dinesh (Slumdog Millionaire’s Madhur Mittal), two 18-year-old boys who have a knack for throwing a fastball. »
Danny Boyle, director of "Trainspotting," "Slumdog Millionaire" and "127 Hours," will judge a short film competition that's part of the Shuffle arts festival. Shuffle, which will take place July 31-August 4, is a music, film and arts festival that takes place right outside of London. It showcases a series of events that will be centered around the themes of death, nature and survival. The short film competition, one of the first programs to be announced for the festival, invites filmmakers to submit a short film under these three categories: Science and Imagination, the City and Young People (under the age of 25). Some of the prizes include a chance to see how the director works as well as the chance to fly to California and New York to receive a once-in-a-lifetime filmmaking opportunity. More information on prizes will be revealed at a later date. "Shuffle is the most fun anyone can have in »
- Eric Eidelstein
Canadian pop star Raghav and Oscar winning composer Ar Rahman collaborate on ‘Keep The Hustle’ featuring Wale.
Tipped to be one of the stand out soundtracks of the year, legendary composer Ar Rahman adds his midas touch on the music for forthcoming Walt Disney Pictures UK release ‘Million Dollar Arm’. The Oscar and Grammy award winner has once again teamed up with chart topping Canadian singer songwriter Raghav on the electro fused anthem ‘Keep The Hustle’ featuring American rapper Wale.
Speaking on the collaboration, Raghav says: “It’s been a dream come true working with Ar over the last couple of years. Not only have we made some great music, we’ve become great friends in the process.”
‘Keep The Hustle’ sees Raghav feature on an electronic laced hip hop fusion with a distinctly Eastern feel. The loud, up tempo anthem is taken from the soundtrack for ‘Million Dollar Arm’, composed by Ar Rahman. »
- Stacey Yount
London — The surge in support for the U.K. Independence Party — demonstrated at the European Union election last week — may have major consequences for the British film and TV industry.
UKIP, which advocates an exit from the European Union, took first place among British parties in the EU election, the results of which were just announced. It is the first time a party other than the Conservatives or Labor Party has come first in a national election for 100 years.
The Ukip vote surged 11% to nab 27.5% of the votes cast, compared with 25.4% for Labor, and 23.9% for the Conservatives, which forms part of the coalition government with the Liberal Democrats, whose support fell 6.87%, leaving it with just 6.87% of the vote.
There is a double threat to EU membership posed by the Ukip surge. First, if Ukip wins next May’s general election, then the U.K. will definitely leave the EU. Second, »
- Leo Barraclough
Paramount Pictures and Pathé today announced that principal photography has commenced on Selma, directed by Ava DuVernay (Middle of Nowhere) The film is shooting in Atlanta, Georgia, and Montgomery and Selma, Alabama.
The screenplay was written by Paul Webb (Four Nights in Knaresborough). Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner will produce through their Plan B banner (World War Z, 12 Years a Slave), with Christian Colson through his Cloud Eight Films (127 Hours, Slumdog Millionaire), and Oprah Winfrey (The Hundred-Foot Journey, Beloved) through her Harpo Films. Ava DuVernay, Paul Garnes, Cameron McCracken and Nan Morales are executive producing.
"This story will resonate deeply with not only those brave men and women who fought for voting rights alongside Dr. King, but also the countless millions of people who continue to fight against discrimination in voting today. This talented group of filmmakers, led by Brad Pitt »
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