Richard Raymond's Desert Dancer, a drama about a young dancer in present-day Iran that stars Slumdog Millionaire's Freida Pinto, will kick off the 30th Santa Barbara International Film Festival at the historic Arlington Theatre on Jan. 27, 2015, the fest's organizers announced this week. Sbiff also announced that its Attenborough Award for Excellence in Nature Filmmaking, which hasn't been presented in five years, will go to the Cousteau family. Desert Dancer, which is based on the life story of Afshin Ghaffarian, will be released by Relativity Studios in select cities on March 20 before expanding wider on March 27.
- Scott Feinberg
Best Editing is known for its close correlation with Best Picture. Since 1981, every Best Picture winner has at least been nominated in this category. And of those 33 races, 16 editing champs went on to win the top prize. -Break- Predict Best Costume Design Oscar: Will period and fantasy continue to dominate? Because editing is a non-visual art, it is not as easy to identify trends among winners. Action-heavy and suspense-driven films often prevail, including "Gravity," "Argo," "The Hurt Locker," "The Bourne Ultimatum," "Black Hawk Down," and "The Matrix." Lavish epics also frequently win, like "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" and "The Aviator." "Traffic" and "Crash" won in large part for juggling multiple characters and storylines, while "Slumdog Millionaire" and "The Social Network" featured complex flas »
Celebrating two decades of cinematic innovation and excellence, Fox Searchlight Pictures 20th Anniversary Collection features powerful performances and direction by some of Hollywood’s most beloved actors and filmmakers. Each of the 20 iconic films featured in this one-of-a-kind collection was hand selected from Fox Searchlight’s impressive catalog based on considerations of timelessness, cultural impact, awards recognition and box office success. From sidesplitting comedies and riveting thrillers to unforgettable dramas, including Best Picture Academy Award® Winners Slumdog Millionaire (2008) and 12 Years a Slave (2013), these critically acclaimed movies have captured the hearts and imaginations of audiences around the world. Blu-ray Titles Include: ● The Brothers McMullen ● Garden »
- Pietro Filipponi
These have been a great couple of weeks for friends Matthew Goode and Allen Leech, who play Finn on The Good Wife and Tom Branson on Downton Abbey. Not only did their new movie, The Imitation Game, win the Toronto International Film Festival’s People’s Choice Award—an award that’s been a harbinger for Oscar winners like The King’s Speech and Slumdog Millionaire—but both of their hit television shows debut their new seasons tonight. (Downton doesn’t air on PBS in the U.S. for four months, but you know you’re going to find a way to start watching it before then.) The two were cast as part of the “Hut 8” team of cryptographers and linguists working out of London’s Bletchley Park under the direction of Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch), who eventually built a machine to break the “unbreakable” code the Nazis used for communication in WWII. »
- Jada Yuan
Several unspoken-for films came into this year’s Toronto International Film Festival determined not only to find a distributor, but to set a 2014 release date. In the case of Still Alice, the touching drama of a woman’s descent into early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, that plan worked spectacularly well. It had a stirring world-premiere screening on Sept. 8 in a less-visible afternoon slot at Tiff and quickly sparked Oscar buzz for star Julianne Moore, a four-time nominee who has never won.
Sony Pictures Classics presidents Michael Barker and Tom Bernard quickly recognized the kind of role that has Oscar written all over it, and two days later the picture sold to Spc (which, despite having its largest slate of Oscar hopefuls ever, still had an »
- Pete Hammond
Director Ang Lee and writer-producer James Schamus are one of industry's inspiring pairs. Over 22 years, they've worked on nine out of Lee's 12 feature films together, everything from the director's 1992 debut "Pushing Hands" to "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" to "Hulk" to the little seen "Taking Woodstock." But the relationship doesn't define them — they're two distinct voices approaching the film business from their personal experiences. Case in point: This week, Ang Lee signed on to helm a biting war drama for Sony while Schamus cut the artistic ambition of screenwriters off at the knees. Deadline reports that Lee is onboard to direct an adaptation of Ben Fountain’s novel "Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk" for Tom Rothman's TriStar Pictures and Film4. Described as "a razor-sharp satire set in Texas during America's war in Iraq," the book follows the title character during a media-friendly "Victory Tour" that takes him to a Dallas Cowboys halftime show. »
- Matt Patches
Ang Lee never met a literary adaptation he couldn’t tackle, it seems. The multi-Oscar winner, who’s been largely absent since winning Best Director for Life of Pi, has picked his next project: Ben Fountain’s celebrated 2012 novel Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, about a group of Iraq war vets, including 19-year-old Billy Lynn, who must endure a Thanksgiving Day football game in Texas on their exhaustive “Victory Tour” before they return to the war. TriStar Productions and Film4 announced the news Thursday.
“I am very excited to be going back to work and to be collaborating with my old friend Tom Rothman, »
- Lindsey Bahr
Tom Rothman’s TriStar Productions and Film4 announced today that the three-time Oscar-winner Ang Lee has chosen an adaptation of Ben Fountain’s acclaimed novel Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk as his next film, his first since winning the Academy Award for directing the groundbreaking Life of Pi.
The film will be produced by Lee, Ink Factory’s Stephen Cornwell, Rhodri Thomas and Simon Cornwell and by Film4, who originally optioned the book. Simon Beaufoy wrote the script. TriStar has been developing the project with Film4 and Ink Factory since opening its doors at the end of last year. Tessa Ross, who oversaw Film and Drama for Film4 until recently being named to run the UK’s National Theatre, was instrumental on behalf of that studio.
Making the movie for TriStar returns Lee to the Sony Pictures umbrella, where he enjoyed great success with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Sense and Sensibility. »
- Michelle McCue
Slow and steady could win the race for "The Imitation Game," which has been climbing in our experts' predictions for Best Picture. As of this writing, it ranks fifth with 9/1 odds. That's up from one week ago (September 9), when it was seventh with 25/1 odds, and up even more from two weeks ago (September 2), when it was in 10th place with 33/1 odds. Will it keep going until it takes Best Picture in February? -Break- 'The Imitation Game' wins Toronto Film Festival award - Oscar next? The surge was inspired by the strong reviews it has received on the festival circuit, including Telluride and Toronto. Then, over the weekend, it won the top prize at the Toronto fest, the People's Choice Award, which in recent years has gone to Best Picture Oscar champs "Slumdog Millionaire" (2008), "The King's Speech" (2010), and "12 Years a Slave" (2013), in addition to Best Picture nominees "Prec..." »
Over the weekend, the Toronto International Film Festival gave out its extremely prestigious Audience Award, a prize that’s often considered to be a harbinger of future Oscar success. To one degree or another, almost all movies that win the prize tend to receive some level of Academy Award attention. The award is highly sought after and a number of films were thought to be in the running at this year’s Toronto Film Festival. Well, for those of you who don’t know which flick took the prize, I’ll save that for a little later in the article, but right now I want to get into what the Audience Award means and which titles were thought to be eying it up in a big way. Historically, the Audience Award at Toronto has really been a signifier for the Academy, especially of late. The award was first given out »
- Joey Magidson
In The Imitation Game, Cumberbatch plays Alan Turing, a British mathematician who worked to break the Nazi Enigma code in World War II. The film, directed by Morten Tyldum, also stars Keira Knightley and Matthew Goode.
Tiff’s People’s Choice Award is commonly used as an indicator of the Best Picture winner at the Oscars. 12 Years A Slave, which Cumberbatch also appeared in, won the award last year before taking home the Best Picture Oscar, and other winners include The King’s Speech and Slumdog Millionaire.
The Imitation Game screened at Tiff, inspiring glowing reviews and earning buzz for its lead actor Cumberbatch, who appears to be an early favorite for a Best Actor nominee.
“Dominating it all is Cumberbatch, whose charisma – tellingly »
Anne Thompson reminds that the Oscar Best Picture winner is often the same as Toronto's People's Choice Award champ. If that is the case this time, could we already crown "The Imitation Game" with Benedict Cumberbatch? Other recent films that accomplished the double victories were "The King's Speech," "Slumdog Millionaire," and "American Beauty." Watch a new video interview with Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, and director Morten Tyldum as they promote the film at the festival. The film opens nationwide in the United States on November 21. Thompson on Hollywood -Break- Join the lively film and TV discussions going on right now in the Gold Derby message boards Jordan Ruimy offers up his "best of the fest" from Toronto. The top lead performers were Julianne Moore ("Still Alice" and "Maps to the Stars") and Eddie Redmayne ("The Theory of Everything"). The best supporting players were...' »
Arnold Schwarzenegger landed Monday in the South Indian city of Chennai where The Expendables star will attend the launch event for the soundtrack of upcoming South Indian film I. The soundtrack is composed by Oscar-winning composer A R Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire) and is released by Sony Music India. The launch function will take place Monday evening, with Schwarzenegger set to share the stage with the film's cast. The film stars actor Vikram along with British actress Amy Jackson and is directed by Shankar who has had a string of hits in India. These include 2010 release Enthiran, which starred
- Nyay Bhushan
Last we knew, Ang Lee's next project will be a 3D boxing movie, but according to The Wrap the Life Of Pi director is being considered by Film4 and The Ink Factory for an adaptation of the Ben Fountain book Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, and he might end up directing it before the boxing flick. Fountain's novel was adapted by Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours screenwriter Simon Beaufoy, and it has been described as "The Catch-22 of the Iraq War." »
- Jesse Giroux
The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival ends today, and Tiff has announced this year’s Audience Award winner. Audience members vote by dropping their ticket into a ballot box after a screening if they like a film, and this year they really liked Morten Tyldum’s drama, The Imitation Game. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing and focuses on his efforts to break the Germans’ code during World War II. I saw the movie and quite enjoyed it, and while it wasn’t my favorite at the festival (that would be While We’re Young), I can understand why audiences went for it. Click here for my review. I’ll leave the official Oscar prognosticating to Adam and his Oscar Beat column, but I will say this: five of the last six Tiff Audience Award winners have gone on to be nominated for Best Picture; three of them won (Slumdog Millionaire, »
- Matt Goldberg
Over the years, the Toronto International Film Festival has grown into one of the top destinations for film fans and one of the biggest stops on the festival circuit, with numerous films making their World Premiere and North American Premiere at the event before going on to commercial and critical acclaim. This has given Tiff’s awards a level of prestige, as previous winners include 12 Years a Slave, The King’s Speech, and Slumdog Millionaire. The committee has now announced the winners for the 2014 incarnation of the festival, and they are as follows:
The Grolsch People’s Choice Documentary Award for most popular documentary at the festival goes »
- Deepayan Sengupta
"The Imitation Game" won the People's Choice Award for Best Picture at the Toronto International Film Festival, thus officially emerging as a top Oscar contender. Of the previous 36 Tiff winners, 25 (almost 70%) became Oscar rivals, reaping 122 nominations and 43 victories. Five bagged the Academy Award for Best Picture: "Chariots of Fire" (1981), "American Beauty" (1999), "Slumdog Millionaire" (2008), "The King's Speech" (2010) and last year's winner, "12 Years a Slave." Seven other Toronto champs were nominated for Oscar's top prize: "The Big Chill" (1983), "Places in the Heart" (1984), "Shine" (1996), "Life is Beautiful" (1998), "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (2000), "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" (2009) and "Silver Linings Playbook" (2012). -Break- "The Imitation Gam..." »
Given the jam-packed crowds and red carpet at Tuesday's Imitation Game premiere, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Morten Tyldum's look at the life of codebreaker Alan Turing took home the 2014 Grolsch People's Choice Award. The annual Tiff honour is quite often a predictor of Oscar victory, with 12 Years A Slave, Silver Linings Playbook, The King's Speech, Slumdog Millionaire and American Beauty all having nabbed the People's Choice before their eventual Best Picture wins. Will the trend continue?
The drama sees Benedict Cumberbatch star as Turing, the groundbreaking British mathematician, philosopher, and cryptologist who led the team that cracked the German Enigma Code, turned the tide of WWII and consequently saved millions of lives. Though Turing is largely responsible for the creation of the modern computer, along with his critical time at Bletchley Park, his subsequent persecution for homosexuality by the UK government in the early »
- Emma Badame
The Imitation Game leads this year's winners at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The thriller starring Benedict Cumberbatch won the People's Choice Award, which was announced at the Festival's annual awards brunch on Sunday (September 14).
Other winners at this year's awards include Beats of the Antonov and What We Do in the Shadows.
The full list of this year's Toronto International Film Festival winners is as follows:
People's Choice Award For Documentary - Beats of the Antonov, directed by Hajooj Kuka
The audience award-winner at the Toronto International Film Festival is often the best Picture Oscar winner as well. This year, "The Imitation Game" won the People's Choice Award won last year by "12 Years a Slave," and in prior years by several films directed by Brits, "The King's Speech," "Slumdog Millionaire" and "American Beauty." (Other Tiff audience winners such as "Silver Linings Playbook" and "Precious" go on to win Oscars other than best Picture.) Very British "The Imitation Game" is directed by Norwegian Morten Tyldum ("Headhunters") and stars Benedict Cumberbatch as genius World War II code-cracker Alan Turing, who gets help from mathematicians played by Keira Knightley (indiewire interview here) and Matthew Goode. Oscar-savvy Weinstein Co. is backing the moving period drama, which opens November 21. Other awards this year are unlikely to have much impact »
- Anne Thompson
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