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The last three Oscar winners in a row for Best Documentary Feature have been feel-good stories, even though they faced the kinds of "important" topics awards voters often gravitate towards. Will the academy's populist streak continue this year, or will they pick something political for the first time in years? -Break- Documentarian Orlando von Einsiedel: 'Virunga' was a 'dangerous film to make' [Video] "20 Feet from Stardom" was last year's winner. Documenting the lives and careers of underappreciated background singers, it defeated films about genocide ("The Act of Killing"), revolution ("The Square"), and covert warfare ("Dirty Wars"). The year before, another music-themed doc prevailed: "Searching for Sugar Man" swept the awards season with its story of two South African fans' search for obscure American musician Sixto Rodriguez. Falling short were nomi...' »
By Anjelica Oswald
Director Lauren Poitras traveled to Hong Kong in 2013 with journalist Glenn Greenwald to meet with Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency contractor known for revealing information about the Nsa’s massive surveillance efforts, and what she filmed while meeting with Snowden resulted in Citizenfour.
The documentary premiered at the New York Film Fest and was met with a standing ovation and high praise. The film made the Academy’s documentary feature shortlist and could land a nomination at the 87th Academy Awards.
The film could join these ten Oscar-nominated documentaries that question American government’s military and/or political conduct (in chronological order):
The Panama Deception (1991)
Barbara Trent’s documentary offers a critical look back on the 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama, which resulted in the ousting of General Manuel Noriega, and the deceptive reasons for U.S. involvement. The documentary also captures biased media coverage and suppressed information. »
- Anjelica Oswald
Fans of writer/director Eli Roth have two very different films to look forward to: The Green Inferno, an homage to Italian cannibal movies, and Knock Knock, a home intrusion psychological thriller. While the theatrical release of the former is delayed, the latter, which stars Keanu Reeves, will make its world premiere as part of Sundance’s Park City at Midnight lineup, and the first batch of photos from the film have been unveiled.
“Two beautiful young girls walk into a married man’s life and turn a wild fantasy into his worst nightmare.”
- Derek Anderson
From You’re Next director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett comes The Guest, a wacko action/horror comedy that rocks and rolls like a midnight madness movie, where expectations about pacing and tone are challenged, and good ol’ cinematic chaos reigns. Leading the film is Dan Stevens, formerly of BBC series “Downton Abbey,” who plays a kind ex-soldier named David who shows up one day at the Peterson family’s door, and begins to cozy into their daily lives. However, as the soldier spends more time as visitor, he slowly reveals himself to be a strangely wired individual, whose charm and incredible presence only provides a mask for his true origins.
Along with You’re Next, Wingard & Barrett have also made films like A Horrible Way to Die, and the V/H/S anthology shorts. Both of them also appeared as actors in Joe Swanberg’s post-Drinking Buddies experimental murder mystery 24 Exposures. »
- Nick Allen
As we know, a passage through the many Sundance labs doesn’t guarantee a gold ticket for Park City in January, but undoubtably its certainly a professional nudge in the right direction. A total of nine films (5 fiction) will be heading to the Labs (July 28 – August 1) with this year’s Creative Advisors including folk we’ve mentioned on several occasion here in Paul Mezey (Beasts of the Southern Wild), Pam Koffler (Boys Don’t Cry), Jay Van Hoy (Love is Strange) and Julie Lynn (Albert Nobbs). Among this year’s summer camp for film producers we have the likes of Riel Roch Decter (who produced 2013 SXSW entry The Wait
Feature Film Creative Producing Lab
The Feature Film Creative »
- Eric Lavallee
What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream.
no UK release dates, but you can watch them here
Being Ginger: smartly perceptive and very brave personal documentary diary of one man’s attempts to come to terms with being an oft-derided and bullied redhead [my review] [iTunes UK] The Final Member: the world’s only penis museum is no joke, but there’s plenty funny (and enlightening, and poignant) in this sweet portrait of a man dedicated to completing his life’s work [my review] [iTunes UK] La Camioneta: The Journey of One American School Bus: follow a humble yellow school bus as it is transformed into something joyous and defiant; it’s like discovering that your grandma has another life as a secret agent [my review] [iTunes UK]
streaming now, before it’s on dvd
A Long Way Down: a suicide-club meet-cute? it shouldn’t work, but it does, as »
- MaryAnn Johanson
1. Documentary Filmmaking Tips: During the "Let's Talk Docs" session at the 2014 Cine Gear Expo in Los Angeles, non-fiction cinematographers Nicola Marsh ("20 Feet From Stardom," "Burn"), Rick Rowley ("Dirty Wars"), Nick Higgins ("The Crash Reel," "The Lion's Mouth") and Jerry Ricciotti (HBO’s "Vice") shared stories from the front line and provided good advice for their audience of (mostly) other filmmakers. Read their top tips here. 2. How to Pitch: Not sure how to pitch your next project? Read about how indie director Josh Boone pitched "The Fault in Their Stories" to Fox and got the gig here. 3. Shoot Cool Stuff. Get Paid.: "Maybe you're an independent filmmaker with hard drives full of unpublished footage. Maybe you're a dedicated hobbyist who takes video on your travels and adventures, or around your own city with friends. Maybe you film professionally for digital agencies or production companies and have a pile of unused 'B-roll' in your archives. »
- Paula Bernstein
At the Canon-sponsored panel “Let’s Talk Docs” session at the 2014 Cine Gear Expo in Los Angeles, non-fiction cinematographers Nicola Marsh ("20 Feet From Stardom," "Burn"), Rick Rowley ("Dirty Wars"), Nick Higgins ("The Crash Reel," "The Lion's Mouth") and Jerry Ricciotti (HBO’s "Vice") shared stories from the frontlines. Even though each had a different approach to how they work in the typically run-and-gun atmosphere of documentary filmmaking, they all had good advice to disperse to the audience mostly full of other filmmakers. Here are their top tips: 1. Your gear should help, not hinder you -- and the best camera might not be the most expensive one. "The first thing I think about is how long the camera is going to be on my shoulder. It’s nice to shoot on a Pl lens, but I can’t have that on my shoulder all day. I don’t want to have »
- Valentina I. Valentini
Netflix is a pretty great and incredibly powerful service. Our queues (I'm sorry, "lists" now) fill up with movies and TV shows, and it can be overwhelming. A good approach is narrowing it down to maybe one or two new additions that you can watch this weekend, and save other movies from your list for weekdays. This week, our partners at Complex Media are recommending the coming-of-age films Mud, Fish Tank, and Paranoid Park. I strongly agree with their choices of Mud and Fish Tank (I haven't seen Paranoid Park). If you're looking for other new additions to check out, you should also make time for Gattaca, Archer: Season 4, and this year's Oscar winner for Best Documentary, 20 Feet from Stardom (its fellow nominees—The Act of Killing, Cutie and the Boxer, Dirty Wars, and The Square—are also available on Netflix). Hit the jump to check out Complex Media's video explaining why Mud, »
- Matt Goldberg
Oscar 2014 winners and nominees (photo: Oscar winners Lupita Nyong’o and Jared Leto chat at the 2014 Oscar ceremony) Best Picture: American Hustle, Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Megan Ellison, Jonathan Gordon; Captain Phillips, Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca; Dallas Buyers Club, Robbie Brenner, Rachel Winter; Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón, David Heyman; Her, Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze, Vincent Landay; Nebraska, Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa; Philomena, Gabrielle Tana, Steve Coogan, Tracey Seaward; 12 Years a Slave, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen, Anthony Katagas; The Wolf of Wall Street, Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joey McFarland, Emma Tillinger Koskoff. Best Foreign Language Film: The Broken Circle Breakdown, Belgium; The Great Beauty, Italy; The Hunt, Denmark; The Missing Picture, Cambodia; Omar, Palestine. Best Actress: Amy Adams, American Hustle; Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine; Sandra Bullock, Gravity; Judi Dench, Philomena; Meryl Streep, August: Osage County. Best Actor: Christian Bale, American Hustle; Bruce Dern, Nebraska; Leonardo DiCaprio, »
- Steve Montgomery
Alfonso Cuarón's space thriller takes seven awards, but loses out to 12 Years a Slave for best picture
• How the night unfolded
• Full list of winners
Gravity may be set in space, but it achieved a landslide at the 86th Academy Awards, taking seven Oscars, while 12 Years a Slave went home with three.
Through its UK producer, David Heyman, Gravity qualifies as a British film, and its Oscar wins come in the wake of the best British film award at the Bafta ceremony. Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI, the UK's lead film agency said: "We join the whole British film industry in congratulating Steve McQueen on the awards for his remarkable and important film, 12 Years A Slave, and Alfonso Cuarón whose astonishing film, Gravity was made right here in the UK. Our industry continues to punch above its weight, with exceptional creative talent and world-leading practitioners, infrastructure and facilities »
- Catherine Shoard, Andrew Pulver
Peter Debruge: All is right with the universe. Not sure I felt this way going in, but as it turns out, the Oscar race was all about race. As Ellen DeGeneres joked at the top of the telecast, “Possibility No. 1: ‘12 Years a Slave’ wins best picture. Possibility No. 2: You’re all racists. And now please welcome our first white presenter, Anne Hathaway … ”
And yet, the evening proved to be incredibly diverse, both in its presenters and in its recipients. Of course, “12 Years” did go on to win, reflecting the Academy’s deep admiration for a film that tackles a subject the industry has been largely remiss in addressing. Though I hope its choices were indeed made from the heart, as opposed to on behalf of an actual agenda, such recognition is especially encouraging in light of the Los Angeles Times investigation that estimated the Academy’s 5,765 active voting members to be 94% white. »
- Peter Debruge, Scott Foundas and Justin Chang
The stars of the silver screen gathered in Hollywood last night as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences celebrated the very best in cinematic achievement over the past 12 months with the 86th annual Academy Awards.
Taking home the main prize, the Oscar for Best Picture, was Steve McQueen's acclaimed slavery drama 12 Years a Slave, while the film also received Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong'o). Also winning three awards - Best Actor (Matthew McConaughey), Best Supporting Actor (Jared Leto) and Best Makeup and Hairstyling - was Dallas Buyers Club; however, the night belonged to Gravity, which claimed seven gongs in total including Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron.
Check out the full list of nominations here, with the winners highlighted in red....
"12 Years a Slave"
- Gary Collinson
The 86th annual Academy Awards were really fun to watch. Ellen Degeneres did a fantastic job hosting, and I enjoyed the show she put on. It was also insanely predictable, at least, for me it was. Overall, I'm happy with all of the films that won. My favorite win of the the night was Spike Jonze taking home the Oscar for Best Original screenplay for Her. That was such an amazing movie, and I really wanted it to win that award, but I wasn't sure it would happen. My favorite speech of the night came from Best Actor winner Matthew McConaughey. I was never really a big fan of his, but over the last couple of years he has sure blown up into an amazing actor who has starred in some really incredible films. Then that speech he gave last night won me over, and now I'm on team McConaughey. »
- Joey Paur
Hard-hitting slavery drama starring Chiwetel Ejiofor becomes first film from black director to win top Academy award
• How the night unfolded
• Full list of winners
12 Years a Slave has won the best picture Oscar at the 86th Academy Awards, defeating a nine-strong field that included Gravity, The Wolf of Wall Street and American Hustle for the headline prize at this year's ceremony. 12 Years a Slave becomes the first film from a black director to take the best picture Oscar.
Directed by Steve McQueen, the landmark slavery drama stars Chiwetel Ejiofor as a free man kidnapped and sold to slaveowners in 19th-century Louisiana. It was based on the bestselling memoir by Solomon Northup, first published in 1853. 12 Years a Slave follows McQueen's award-winning dramas Hunger and Shame, and was produced by among others Brad Pitt's Plan B outfit. Pitt also takes a small but pivotal role as abolitionist carpenter Samuel Bass. »
- Andrew Pulver
So, the ceremony has just finished and Gravity turned out to be the big winner on the night with no less than seven awards at the 86th Academy Awards. Best Picture did Not go to the space drama, but to Steve McQueens superb 12 Years A Slave. We have a ton of fun stuff for you to read over at our official Live Blog of this year’s ceremony, so be sure to check it out here.
Here’s the full list of this year’s Oscar winners.
** Winners in bold **
- Paul Heath
The Oscars took place on Sunday with "12 Years a Slave" ending up being the big winner of the night, with a total of three awards for best picture, best adapted screenplay and best supporting actress. But it was "Gravity" that took home the most prizes, a total of seven. Most of the awards were for achievement in the technical department, except for Alfonso Cuaron, who won in the best director category. Meanwhile, Matthew McConaughey won the best actor award for "Dallas Buyers Club" and Cate Blanchett won the best actress award for "Blue Jasmine." Check out the full list of nominees and winners (marked in red) below. And let us know if you think the academy got it right. Best Picture: * 12 Years a Slave * American Hustle * Captain Phillips * Dallas Buyers Club * Gravity * Her * Nebraska * Philomena * The Wolf of Wall Street Directing: * Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity) * David O. Russell (American Hustle) * Alexander Payne »
After a lengthy awards season that lasted three long months, the race for the Oscars came to a conclusion tonight at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
This year’s 86th Academy Awards saw a split between Best Picture and Director. 12 Years A Slave won three, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress for Lupita Nyong’o.
Backstage, producer/actor Brad Pitt said, “ I love this movie. I ‑‑ just as a film, as a lover of film, the filmmaking, the ‑‑ this heroic story of a man in this inhumane situation trying to get back to his family. I love this film. I love the filmmaking. It’s counterintuitive to the way we’re making films today. It’s a real achievement by Mr. McQueen here. I love this movie. I think it’s important. I think it’s important because it deals with our history that we haven »
- Michelle McCue
The 86th Academy Awards were handed out Sunday, March 2 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood. A complete list of all the nominees and winners can be found below. Best Picture "American Hustle" "Captain Phillips" "Dallas Buyers Club" "Gravity" "Her" "Nebraska" "Philomena" "12 Years a Slave" - Winner "The Wolf of Wall Street" Best Director David O. Russell, "American Hustle" Alfonso Cuarón, "Gravity" - Winner Alexander Payne, "Nebraska" Steve McQueen, "12 Years a Slave" Martin Scorsese, "The Wolf of Wall Street" Best Actor Christian Bale, "American Hustle" Bruce Dern, "Nebraska" Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Wolf of Wall Street" Chiwetel Ejiofor, "12 Years a Slave" Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club" - Winner Best Actress Amy Adams, "American Hustle" Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine" - Winner Sandra Bullock, "Gravity" Judi Dench, "Philomena" Meryl Streep, "August: Osage County" Best Supporting Actor Barkhad Abdi, "Captain Phillips"" Bradley Cooper, "American Hustle" Michael Fassbender, "12 Years a Slave" Jonah Hill, "Wolf of Wall Street" Jared Leto, »
- Gregory Ellwood
The 2014 Oscar Awards have been handed out and it to no real surprise... there were few surprises as 12 Years a Slave took home Best Picture as well as Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong'o) and Best Adapted Screenplay (John Ridley) while Gravity, unsurprisingly, ended up taking home the night's largest number of wins with seven, none bigger than a Best Director win for Alfonso Cuaron. In the acting categories the only category that seemed up for grabs was Supporting Actress, but as I said, that went to Lupita, which may have something to do with Jennifer Lawrence wearing red... I learned on E! that no one wearing red has ever won the Oscar. Yeah, that's hard-hitting journalism right there. Dallas Buyers Club co-stars Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto won Best Actor and Supporting Actor respectively while Cate Blanchett took home her second Oscar, winning Best Actress for Blue Jasmine. One of »
- Brad Brevet
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