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Fox’s Diverse Writers Program Sets Winner

Writer-director Yule Caise has been selected as this year’s Fox Writers Intensive Fellow. Chosen from the sophomore class of 10 Fwi finalists, Caise has inked a development deal with FX Networks, in conjunction with Fox Broadcasting Co and 20th Century Fox Television, and will pitch a new original script to FX. In addition, Fox will award Caise’s referring organization, the NAACP Hollywood Bureau, a $15,000 Fwi grant to be earmarked for its writing program. In addition to Caise, the sophomore Fwi class included finalists Angela Allen, Sal Calleros, Carol Doyle, Sara Endsley, Warren Hsu Leonard, Nick Ozeki, Chitra Sampath, Theo Travers and Marisa Wegrzyn. Following their completion of the Fwi, all of the finalists are being submitted for potential staffing on Fox entertainment productions. To date, six of the 10 Fwi finalists have been staffed on series for the 2013-14 season, including Fox’s Sleepy Hollow and Raising Hope, Showtime’s
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10 Finalists Chosen for 2013 Fox Writers Intensive

As part of an ongoing effort to increase diversity across its television, film, digital, and publishing platforms, Fox Audience Strategy has announced the 10 writers chosen for its second annual Fox Writers Intensive, a program designed to develop writers of diverse backgrounds and experiences for potential employment on Fox productions.This year’s 10 participating finalists—chosen from more than 400 submissions and nominations—are Angela Allen, Yule Caise, Sal Calleros, Carol Doyle, Sara Endsley, Warren Hsu Leonard, Nick Ozeki, Chitra Sampath, Theo Travers, and Marisa Wegrzyn.“I couldn’t be more impressed with the caliber of this year’s 10 Fwi finalists,” Nicole Bernard, the Fox Group’s senior vice president of audience strategy, said in a statement. “Not only are they unbelievably talented, accomplished writers, but they all have really fresh, unique creative perspectives that we would like our entertainment businesses to tap into and grow. Reflecting a broad range of viewpoints
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Fox’s Diverse Writers Program Sets Finalists

Fox has set the sophomore class for its Fox Writers Intensive, the company’s advanced writers program for experienced writers from diverse backgrounds. This year’s 10 finalists were selected from more than 400 nominations and submissions by talent representation and arts organizations, including National Hispanic Media Coalition, Sundance Institute, New York Foundation for the Arts, Outfest, Film Independent, NAACP, Women in Film La, Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment and Visual Communications. Here they are, along with their reps: · Angela Allen (The Cartel) · Yule Caise (Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler & Feldman) · Sal Calleros (Rothman, Brecher, Kim / Magnet Management) · Carol Doyle (The Gersh Agency) · Sara Endsley (Rothman, Brecher, Kim/ The Shuman Company) · Warren Hsu Leonard (ICM Partners/ Circle of Confusion) · Nick Ozeki (Independent) · Chitra Sampath (Ragna Nervik Management) · Theo Travers (ICM Partners/ Artists International) · Marisa Wegrzyn (Abrams Artists Agency / Myra Model Management) The 10 will spend the next 13 weeks attending seminars and workshops with executives,
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Veronica Guerin

Veronica Guerin
Opens

Friday, Aug. 1

United Kingdom


LONDON -- A luminous performance from Cate Blanchett lies at the heart of Joel Schumacher's impressive drama "Veronica Guerin. While it is a fair bet that she -- and the film -- will get honorable mentions when it comes to awards time, it is equally unlikely that the film will make much of a dent at the boxoffice. It has opened well in Ireland but is not set to be released in the United States until October.

The real-life story of crusading Irish journalist Veronica Guerin made its way to the screen in John Mackenzie's impressive 2000 film "When the Sky Falls", made for Sky Television, which was given a limited theatrical release. That low-budget drama starred Joan Allen as the fictional journalist Sinead Hamilton, though the story was very much that of Guerin.

Schumacher's film is far more glossy than Mackenzie's grittier movie -- his budget was larger -- but the films are similar in that they feature standout performances from two actresses very much at the top of their game. The character of Guerin is a powerful one, and it is easy to see why it would attract top actresses. As a journalist in Dublin in the 1990s, she set out to expose the vicious drug dealers rife in the city. Her obsession led to her murder in 1996.

"Veronica Guerin" covers the last two years of her life. It is refreshingly frank in showing that Guerin's passionate determination to expose Dublin drug dealers also led to her neglecting her family and being accused of seeking self-glory. While the Guerin presented here is clearly a woman driven by a very honest desire to right wrongs, she also is presented as being self-absorbed, reckless and susceptible to manipulation.

In her mission to battle the drug dealers, she is helped -- though often misdirected and manipulated -- by the roguish John "The Coach" Traynor (played with charm by Ciaran Hinds), though her real nemesis is the brutal drug lord Gilligan (Gerard McSorley, who gives a performance of frightening brutality). Faced with beatings and attempted bribery, Guerin remains strident in her mission, with support and balance coming from her mother Bernie (Brenda Fricker).

Schumacher directs with restrained skill, bringing out the passion and brutality of the situations without letting the film slip into melodrama. Schumacher's best work seems to come when he handles dramas with more modest budgets (such as "Tigerland" and "Flawless"), which challenge him and allow his clear intelligence and ability to work well with actors to come through.

Blanchett brings her expected professionalism and ability to the role. Her Irish accent is perfect, and she has the charisma and presence to easily hold center stage. Her character may be flawed, but she remains driven and admirable. Fricker, Hinds and McSorley also deliver powerful performances. Irishman Colin Farrell, a Schumacher regular, makes a brief appearance as the wonderfully named soccer fan Spanky McSpank.

VERONICA GUERIN

Buena Vista Pictures

Touchstone Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films

Credits:

Director: Joel Schumacher

Screenwriters: Carol Doyle, Mary Agnes Donoghue

Producer: Jerry Bruckheimer

Executive producers: Ned Dowd, Chad Oman, Mike Stenson

Director of photography: Brendan Galvin

Production designer: Nathan Crowley

Costume designer: Joan Bergin

Music: Harry Gregson-Williams

Editor: David Gamble

Cast:

Veronica Guerin: Cate Blanchett

Bernie Guerin: Brenda Fricker

John "The Coach" Traynor: Ciaran Hinds

Terry Fagan: Darragh Kelly

Timmy: Laurence Kinlan

John Gilligan: Gerard McSorley

Spanky McSpank: Colin Farrell

Running time -- 98 minutes

MPAA rating: R

Film Review: 'Washington Square' "Washington Square

Film Review: 'Washington Square'
Jane Austen move over. Henry James is now the author laureate of the movies.

With the premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival of Miramax's sterling adaptation of James' "The Wings of the Dove", Buena Vista has volleyed forth with yet another James adaptation, "Washington Square". A well-conceived production, capturing the cloistered tenor of the Gilded Age, the film stars Jennifer Jason Leigh as a lonely young heiress bereft of suitable male prospects. While Leigh's performance is splendidly modulated, her selection to play a dowdy, suitorless woman is, well, imaginative. No matter how frumped up, Leigh is not exactly a plain-Jane wallflower. Then again, Olivia de Havilland won an Oscar for her performance as the same character in the 1949 film "The Heiress".

In any event, this is not exactly a film for the menfolk, so such license might likely be tolerated. Prospects seem solid on the art house circuit.

In this meticulous evocation of both an age and a mind-set, director Agnieszka Holland has painstakingly crafted a visualization of James' central conflict: once again the clash of the old world vs. the new. In this fine outing, the old world is personified by a distinguished and tradition-minded physician, Austin Sloper (Albert Finney), whose personal rectitude is exceeded in stiffness only by his mule-headed ways. Arrogant and domineering, he wants what is best for his daughter -- in particular, the very best of suitors.

Unfortunately, the moneyed aristocrats of this New York enclave, Washington Square, are not exactly beating a path to his daughter's parlor; the only swain to appear is a penniless yet handsome wastrel named Morris (Ben Chaplin). He has the temerity to ask for Catherine's hand, which enrages the good doctor.

While Carol Doyle's adaptation of James' writing conveys a keen understanding of his themes, as well as wry humor, it is director Holland's visuals that capture the central conflicts here: old vs. new, intellect vs. heart.

Unfortunately, the narrative is corseted by the performances. As the ardent suitor, Chaplin is, alas, somewhat sallow and wan. Overall, one's passion for Catherine and Morris getting together is never fully aroused. Finney, though, is well-cast as the vainglorious doctor, oozing with pomposity and stern callousness. And Maggie Smith as Catherine's venturesome aunt adds sparks.

WASHINGTON SQUARE

Buena Vista

Hollywood Pictures presents

in association with Caravan Pictures

A Roger Birnbaum production

in association with Ann Dubinet

An Agnieszka Holland film

Producers Roger Birnbaum,

Julie Bergman Sender

Director Agnieszka Holland

Screenwriter Carol Doyle

Based on the novel by Henry James

Executive producer Randy Ostrow

Director of photography Jerzy Zielinski

Production designer Allan Starski

Costume designer Anna Sheppard

Editor David Siegel

Music Jan A.P. Kaczmarek

Casting Debra Zane

Color/stereo

Cast:

Catherine Sloper Jennifer Jason Leigh

Dr. Austin Sloper Albert Finney

Aunt Lavinia Penniman Maggie Smith

Morris Townsend Ben Chaplin

Mrs. Elizabeth Almond Judith Ivey

Mr. Almond Arthur Laupus

Marian Almond Jennifer Garner

Running time -- 115 minutes

MPAA rating: PG

See also

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