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Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller Named Exec VPs of HBO Doc and Family

Abraham: Independent Filmmaker Project/YouTube

Sheila Nevins is leaving HBO Documentary in good hands. A press release has announced that Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller have been promoted to executive vice presidents of HBO Documentary and Family Programming. The pair are currently senior VPs of HBO Doc and Family and oversee development, production, and acquisition content.

“With Nancy and Lisa leading a stellar team, there will be a continued commitment to the excellence that was a hallmark of Sheila’s tenure,” stated HBO programming prez Casey Bloys. “Our viewers can look forward to a compelling slate of programming.”

Abraham was hired to HBO’s documentary division in 1995 and became VP of Doc Programming in 1998. She has been a senior VP since 2009. The winner of six Emmys, Abraham has produced projects such as “The Loving Story,” “Manhunt: The Inside Story of the Hunt for Bin Laden,” and ” “Ghosts of Abu Ghraib.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Film Review: ‘The Rape Of Recy Taylor’

Film Review: ‘The Rape Of Recy Taylor’
If there’s one thing the past year has demonstrated, it’s that American society is not as modern as we thought. In fact, just in the last month, we’ve seen that gender and racial issues still plague the state of Alabama, so Nancy Buirski’s accessible but uneven documentary “The Rape of Recy Taylor” — about the 1944 case of a 24-year-old black woman abducted and gang raped near her home in Abbeville, Ala., whose white abusers were never so much as arrested, let alone convicted of any crime — arrives at a pivotal moment, nationally and regionally.

Timing alone makes “The Rape of Recy Taylor” something close to essential viewing. But Buirski’s approach is oddly diffuse, lacking the clarity of rage that has informed so many recent touchpoints in social-issue documentary. Instead, the tone is mournful and a little misted over with time (especially in the first half), an effect magnified by Buirski’s evocative but sometime
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘The Rape of Recy Taylor’ Set for Awards Qualifying Run This December

‘The Rape of Recy Taylor’ Set for Awards Qualifying Run This December
Coming off strong showings at both the Venice and New York Film Festivals, Nancy Buirski’s Augusta Films has set an awards-qualifying run for the filmmaker’s new documentary “The Rape of Recy Taylor.” The film, which debuted at Venice last month and went on to screen at Nyff, will open in New York and Los Angeles this December to qualify for the Academy Award for Best Documentary.

In a statement, Buirski said, “We were stunned by reviews that not only recognized the hidden story of black women physically abused in Jim Crow South, but by how powerfully our film resonates today. From a president who gropes women to white supremacy in Charlottesville to women who courageously speak up against predatory celebrities and mogals, this film is smack in the public square. Though we’re throwing our hat in the ring late, we felt this coud not wait! An Academy
See full article at Indiewire »

‘The Rape of Recy Taylor’ Review: Nancy Buirski’s Wrenching Documentary Is More Relevant Than Ever — Nyff

‘The Rape of Recy Taylor’ Review: Nancy Buirski’s Wrenching Documentary Is More Relevant Than Ever — Nyff
On a quiet late summer night in tiny Abbeville, Alabama, a car full of young white men cruised the streets, searching. They were looking for a mark, Nancy Buirski’s wrenching documentary “The Rape of Recy Taylor” tells us, eventually settling on a trio of black neighbors walking home from evening church services. Recy Taylor, then just 24-years-old, a wife and mother to a nine-month-old, a local sharecropper with ties to the community, was one of them. The car’s passengers — seven of them, including the sons of some of the town’s most notable residents — took Taylor to a secluded stand of trees, forced her to strip naked, and then raped her. (One voiceover tells it plainly without the need for details: “What they did to her? They didn’t need to live.”)

Buirski’s latest documentary, a worthy companion to her lauded “The Loving Story,” tells Taylor’s story in expressive detail,
See full article at Indiewire »

Nancy Buirski on Exploring Hidden Stories in the Civil Rights Movement in “The Rape of Recy Taylor”

The Rape of Recy Taylor

Nancy Buirski’s writing, directing, and producing credits include “By Sidney Lumet,” “Afternoon of a Faun,” and the the Oscar shortlisted, Peabody and Emmy Award-winning “The Loving Story.” She founded and ran the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, and is the photographer and author of “Earth Angels: Migrant Children in America.”

The Rape of Recy Taylor” made its world premiere at this year’s Venice Film Festival and will make its North American premiere at the New York Film Festival on October 1.

W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words.

Nb: This is a film about courage and nobility, about standing up for oneself, speaking truth to power, and power verging on evil. It is the story of Recy Taylor, a black woman who accused six white men of rape knowing she’d be putting her life in utter danger. She knew what these men did was wrong, and there was no shame for her as a survivor of their despicable act. In those years, she was not alone. As a teenager, Rosa Parks talked a white man out of raping her, then devoted her life to getting justice for women like Mrs. Taylor. This was years before Parks’ famous bus boycott!

This is a film about women’s crusade to protect their bodies and their dignity — no different from today — and in doing so becoming the very foundation of the Civil Rights Movement. These crimes were and are a form of terrorism, but unlike other highly visible forms of terrorism, white men raping black women was a secret. Considered “unspeakable,” these crimes were not spoken of publicly nor reported. These stories are hidden stories.

W&H: What drew you to this story?

Nb: A remarkable book by Danielle L. McGuire, “At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance — A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power.” Recy Taylor’s story begins McGuire’s history of these incredible women.

W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?

Nb: I want them to remember a brave woman named Recy Taylor, who so many forgot or tried to silence in her lifetime. I’d love us all to give voice to women with such stories, then and now. I want women who have survived these atrocities to feel inspired by Recy Taylor and her courage.

Rape is universal, regardless of color, gender, religion, or nationality. It is a crime and needs to be recognized as such. No one asks a victim of robbery or assault if he or she was drinking.

W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?

Nb: Marrying the very personal, dramatic story of Recy Taylor with the epic meaning of it all. The ramifications of Recy Taylor’s “speaking up” are infinite; they continue to reverberate today. How does a filmmaker tell such a searing, emotional story and deliver the broader ideas at the same time?

W&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got the film made.

Nb: This film is supported by generous funders who believed in Recy’s story, and communicated their belief through equity and grants. We’d not be where we are today if not for co-producer Transform Films, the remarkable Artemis Rising, Amy Tiemann, Mark Trustin, Barbara Dobkin, Matador Content, Lauren Embry, Derrick Harkins, and others.

On the creative end I’m indebted to Dp Rex Miller and Blaire Johnson for their thrilling work in the field, providing me and my editor Anthony Ripoli with b-roll and provocative drone images. This helped me tell this sensitive story without recreations, which felt out of place here.

Our gratitude to Kino Lorber and to Gina Telaroli who helped locate valuable race films, lending the story a biblical resonance.

A shout out to our marvelous producers — no way this happens without Claire Chandler, Beth Hubbard, Susan Margolin, and Vanessa Martino, and advisers Danielle McGuire, Crystal Feimster, Laurens Grant, Susie Ruth Powell, Sam Pollard, and Jacquelyn Serwer.

Thanks to the amazing Cynthia Erivo for her Rosa Parks reading and to Randall Poster for help on the music.

Our deepest gratitude to Recy Taylor and her family, especially Robert Corbitt and the late Alma Daniels.

W&H: What does it mean for you to have your film play at the New York Film Festival?

Nb: This is a coming home. I screened my second documentary, “Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq,” at Nyff, but it’s a homecoming in other respects. I grew up in Manhattan and attended this festival over many years, well before I knew I’d make movies. It laid the foundation for my appreciation of cinema — it’s where I discovered Truffaut, Scorsese, Godard, and so many more. I might not be a filmmaker today if not for the New York Film Festival.

W&H: What’s the best and worst advice you’ve received?

Nb: Best advice: Make it personal and don’t read reviews.

Worst advice: Don’t read reviews and don’t spend your own money. One can learn from reviews — good and bad — as long as it’s not too dispiriting and taken too seriously. And one must spend one’s own money — within reason — if only to get started. You must believe enough in yourself to invest in yourself. It is not a matter of pride.

W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?

Nb: Do what you can to help other women and keep making your movies. Don’t make what you think others will like or will get into festivals or will be well reviewed. Make what you believe in. And only look at the good stuff. This is advice I’d give anyone, not just women.

W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.

Nb: Really too many to name and too hard to choose. Forgive me.

W&H: There have been significant conversations over the last couple of years about increasing the amount of opportunities for women directors yet the numbers have not increased. Are you optimistic about the possibilities for change? Share any thoughts you might have on this topic.

Nb: I am optimistic. Even if the changes are insincere or politically motivated, there seems to be an effort to hire more women. If the numbers don’t reflect this, the zeitgeist seems to. That’s alright with me, because as more women are visibly making movies the perception will change and it may, just may, start to feel normal.

Nancy Buirski on Exploring Hidden Stories in the Civil Rights Movement in “The Rape of Recy Taylor” 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 »

‘The Rape Of Recy Taylor’: First-Look At Nancy Buirski’s New Doc – Venice

Exclusive: Nancy Buirski, the director of By Sidney Lumet and The Loving Story, is headed to the Venice Film Festival with her latest project, The Rape Of Recy Taylor. The documentary about a woman who defied the times to stand up against the physical abuse of black women in the 1940s south, is running in the Horizons section and screens next week. It will have its North American premiere at the New York Film Festival in October. See a first-look clip above. This is the…
See full article at Deadline »

20 Female Directors Who Will Rule This Fall Festival Season, Including Agnes Varda, Greta Gerwig, Dee Rees, and More

20 Female Directors Who Will Rule This Fall Festival Season, Including Agnes Varda, Greta Gerwig, Dee Rees, and More
Girl Talk is a weekly look at women in film — past, present, and future.

The fall festival season has long been a harbinger of things to come, from the contenders that will consume months of awards season jockeying to bright new talents just making their first big splashes, and this year brings with it another glimpse of the future: one that’s filled with new films from a wide variety of female filmmakers.

From Venice to Toronto, New York to Telluride, this year’s fall festival circuit is filled with new offerings from from female filmmakers of every stripe, including 20 that we’ve hand-picked as the ones to keep an eye on during the coming weeks.

First-time feature filmmakers like Maggie Betts, Brie Larson, and the Mulleavey sisters are out in full force, along with the return of mainstays like Angelina Jolie, Lynn Shelton, and Susanna White. There are plenty
See full article at Indiewire »

Wide House, ICM Partners Board Nancy Buirski’s ‘The Rape of Recy Taylor’ (Exclusive)

After joining forces on Raoul Peck’s “I am Not Your Negro,” Wide House is re-teaming with ICM Partners for Nancy Buirski’s “The Rape of Recy Taylor,” a historical, yet timely documentary which will world premiere at Venice Film Festival.

Wide House handles “Recy Taylor”‘s worldwide sales outside of North America which is being handled by ICM Partners.

Slated for Venice’s Horizons section, the documentary feature tells the story of Recy Taylor, a 24-year-old black mother and sharecropper who was gang raped by six white boys in 1944 Alabama.

Although Recy Taylor was represented by Rosa Parks, who rallied support and triggered an unprecedented outcry for justice, her six assailants were never prosecuted. It took nearly 70 years for the rape to be acknowledged by authorities, explained Anais Clanet, the boss of Paris-based Wide House.

Recy Taylor’s courage inspired other black women to speak up and their noble efforts to take back their bodies led
See full article at Variety - Film News »

By Sidney Lumet

A lengthy talk-fest interview of the underrated filmmaker, who takes us through his life story as a personal journey, not a string of movie assignments. Sidney Lumet seems to attract a lot of criticism, and so did this docu for not challenging his opinions or rubbing his nose in his less admirable movie efforts. The docu is just Lumet’s thoughts, and the words of a man of integrity are always inspiring.

By Sidney Lumet

Blu-ray

FilmRise

2015 / Color /1:78 widescreen / 103 min. / Street Date January 9, 2017 / 24.95

Starring Sidney Lumet

Cinematography Tom Hurwitz

Film Editor Anthony Ripoli

Produced by Scott Berrie, Nancy Buirski, Chris Donnelly, Joshua A. Green, Thane Rosenbaum, Robin Yigit Smith

Directed by Nancy Buirski

This ought to be a good year for documentary filmmaker Nancy Buirski. I first caught up with her excellent feature docu Afternoon of a Faun, about the ill-fated ballerina Tanaquil Le Clerc, and she’s had other successes as well.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Exclusive Interview: Ruth Negga and Jeff Nichols on Loving

  • HeyUGuys
Author: Scott Davis

After what seems like a long road to UK cinemas, the acclaimed true story Loving is finally arriving in UK cinemas and given a fresh impetus after star Ruth Negga was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress last week. We sat down with her and writer/director Jeff Nichols to discuss the extraordinary true story of one couple’s love amongst insurmountable odds.

The film is based on the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving (Joel Edgerton and Negga), a young couple who were married in 1958 in Washington DC. They actually lived in Virginia but due to anti-miscegenation laws they had to leave the state in order for their marriage to be considered legal, but on their return home they are arrested and sentenced to a year in prison. However, the judge presiding over the case decided that the couple could leave on condition
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Movie Review – Loving (2016)

Loving, 2016.

Directed by Jeff Nichols.

Starring Joel Edgerton, Ruth Negga, Michael Shannon, Marton Csokas, Nick Kroll, Will Dalton and Sharon Blackwood.

Synopsis:

In 1958, Richard and Mildred Loving were married in Washington DC. Interracial marriage in their home state of Virginia was illegal and, on their return home, they were arrested, imprisoned but also spared more jail time if they stayed out of the state for the next 25 years. Back in Washington, a civil rights lawyer took up their case and it went all the way to the Supreme Court. Based on true events.

Jeff Nichols steps out of his comfort zone of fiction for Loving, the true story of an unassuming couple who changed the constitution of the United States. Richard and Mildred Loving made their first on-screen appearance in the 2011 documentary, The Loving Story, which the director draws on heavily for his dramatized version, using some of its actual
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Oscars 2017: Spotlight on the Best Actress Nominees

  • PEOPLE.com
Oscars 2017: Spotlight on the Best Actress Nominees
This article originally appeared on EW.com.

On Feb. 26, Los Angeles will become what La La Land promises: A city of stars. But before the envelopes are opened, we’ve got inside intel on the nominees. Below, read about the nominees for Best Actress, and come back to EW.com throughout the week for spotlights on the other major categories.

Emma Stone

Starring In: La La Land

Age: 28

Oscar Past: 1 nomination; 0 wins

Role Call: Mia, an aspiring actress in Los Angeles who manages to stay upbeat in the face of professional rejection

After a decade of starring in successful Hollywood films,
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Who is Ruth Negga? All about the Oscar-Nominated Star of Loving

Who is Ruth Negga? All about the Oscar-Nominated Star of Loving
From the moment audiences first saw her powerful performance in Loving at the Cannes Film Festival, Ruth Negga had major Oscar buzz — and now the Irish-Ethiopian rising star will be heading to the Academy Awards for the first time with a Best Supporting Actress nomination.

In the movie, Negga and Joel Edgerton play real-life couple Mildred and Richard Loving, who were arrested in 1958 in their own bedroom in Virginia. Their crime? Being in an interracial marriage. The Lovings’ love truly stood the test of time when they challenged the law and brought their case before the Supreme Court in 1967, leading
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Joel Edgerton Is the Quiet Hero of the Touching and Lyrical ‘Loving’: Awards Spotlight

  • Indiewire
Joel Edgerton Is the Quiet Hero of the Touching and Lyrical ‘Loving’: Awards Spotlight
Joel Edgerton has generated awards buzz ever since the 2016 Cannes Film Festival premiere of “Loving” in May. The film tells the true story of the biracial couple whose landmark civil rights case, Loving v. Virginia, saw the U.S. Supreme Court end all racial restrictions on marriage in 1967. Edgerton’s portrayal of Richard Loving in director Jeff Nichols’ film earned the actor a Golden Globes nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama, the actor’s first Golden Globe nod.

One of the challenges of the role, which saw the Australian actor transform himself into Loving’s Virginia-born brickmason, was staying true to the real Richard Loving, as seen in Nancy Buirski’s 2011 documentary “The Loving Story,” which captured many of the details of Mildred and Richard Loving’s private lives.

“When you get a story that’s real, and the characters existed — and particularly if
See full article at Indiewire »

BAFTA announces the nominations for the Ee Rising Star Award 2017

BAFTA has announced this morning that Laia Costa, Lucas Hedges, Tom Holland, Ruth Negga and Anya Taylor-Joy have been nominated for the Ee Rising Star Award at this year’s British Academy Film Awards.

The Rising Star Award is designed to honour actors and actresses who have shown truly outstanding talent on the big screen in the past year and captured the attention of both the public and the film industry and is the only award to be decided by a public vote.

Laia Costa starred in Sebastian Schipper’s critically-acclaimed Victoria, a film which was almost entirely improvised by the actors and shot in one single take – in turn landing her a series of awards wins. Prior to this, she played the lead role of Lucià in the Russian film Fort Ross, directed by Russian director Yuriy Moroz, and also starred in Palm Trees in the Snow. Costa has
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

The BAFTA Rising Star Nominations 2017

  • HeyUGuys
Author: David Sztypuljak

Every year, Ee sponsor the BAFTA Rising Star Award at the British Academy of Film and Television Awards here in London town. The award is always a fascinating one since it’s voted for by the public.

Star WarsJohn Boyega won the 2016 BAFTA Rising Star Award

The nominations have just been announced from BAFTA HQ are in the running for the 2017 spot are all listed below. It’s going to be very interesting to see who takes the win this year with the likes of Tom Holland as Spider-Man being so mainstream and Anya Taylor-Joy appearing in the likes of The Witch.

Previous winners of the award include James McAvoy, Eva Green, Shia Labeouf, Noel Clarke, Tom Hardy, Juno Temple, Will Poulter, Jack O’Connell and last year the award was taken by Star Wars star John Boyega.

This year the nominations are as strong as every with Laia Costa,
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Newswire: Deadpool winks its way to a Writers Guild nomination alongside Moonlight and Arrival

Deadpool has had a surprising amount of staying power this awards season, earning its foul-mouthed self some Golden Globe nominations. Now it seems the members of the Writers Guild have fallen for its winking, self-referential masturbation jokes and given it a nod for best adapted screenplay. There it joins Arrival, Fences, Hidden Figures, and Nocturnal Animals. Over in the original category there are no big surprises as La La Land, Moonlight, and Manchester By The Sea continue to accumulate accolades. Hell Or High Water and Loving finish off that list. However, when it comes time for the Oscars, Moonlight and Loving will both compete as adapted screenplays. Moonlight originated with a play by Tarell Alvin McCraney, who has a story credit on the film, while the Academy decided Loving was based on the documentary The Loving Story. Three documentary screenplays were also nominated by the WGA: Author: The Jt LeRoy
See full article at The AV Club »

Jeff Nichols on the Quiet Strength of the ‘Loving’ Family: Awards Spotlight

Jeff Nichols on the Quiet Strength of the ‘Loving’ Family: Awards Spotlight
Even if his throwback sci-fi tale “Midnight Special” were his only 2016 output, Jeff Nichols would have had quite a year. But the filmmaker behind “Mud,” “Take Shelter” and “Shotgun Stories” may have found his best story yet in the life and love of Richard and Mildred Loving.

Loving,” Nichols’ second of two 2016 films, soars as a beautiful portrait of a resilient family primarily because of its patience. Jettisoning the standard biopic checklist, Nichols instead took great care following the quiet moments along Richard and Mildred’s journey from their meeting all the way through their role in the landmark Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court case that struck down existing interracial marriage bans nationwide. The drama of their lives hangs in these individual scenes in a way that few films profiling historical figures manage to achieve.

Over a decade of making films, Nichols has quietly built up an impressive roster of
See full article at Indiewire »

Oscars: The Landscape of the Best Adapted Screenplay Category Since 2000

Nocturnal Animals’ (Courtesy: Merrick Morton/Focus Features)

By: Carson Blackwelder

Managing Editor

This year’s contenders for best adapted screenplay are quite the eclectic group based on their sources — something that can never be said for those competing for best original screenplay. When looking at this category’s past since the year 2000, can history dictate which type of adapted screenplays the Academy might be leaning toward at the 2017 Oscars?

This site’s namesake, The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg, honed in on nine films considered either frontrunners (the first five) or major threats (the last four) in his latest check-in on the Oscar race: Moonlight, Lion, Fences, Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge, Nocturnal Animals, Sully, Silence, and Loving. The original sources for these films are as varied as the subject matter in the works they inspired, so let’s break them down.

As for frontrunners: Moonlight, written and directed by Barry Jenkins,
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

The Making of Jeff Nichols’ ‘Loving’ and Depicting the “Original Sin” of America

Jeff Nichols’ fifth feature film (and second in 2016, after the strange and spellbinding Midnight Special) is Loving, which also looks to potentially be his big breakthrough in terms of both popular appeal and awards prestige – thanks, in no small part, to the support of his studio and producers in spreading the good word about one of Hollywood’s most promising young directors.

With the film now in limited release, producer Peter Saraf and his family visited the Princeton Garden Theater in Princeton, NJ on Friday night to discuss his latest project. Following a screening of Loving, Mr. Saraf held an open Q&A discussion with the audience, in which he touched on such topics as the film’s production process, historical authenticity, political subtext, and the reactions of real people depicted in the film.

On the origins of this project

Loving began with The Loving Story, a 2011 documentary film by
See full article at The Film Stage »
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