Manhattan Beach Studios Evacuated Due to Bomb Threat

A bomb threat forced the evacuation of the Manhattan Beach Studios Media Campus for over six hours on Tuesday in Manhattan Beach, Calif.

The sprawling 25,000 sq.-ft. facility, formerly known as Raleigh Studios in Manhattan Beach, Calif., was previously the home of Marvel Studios and was the filming location for such films as “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and the upcoming “Avatar” sequels.

Police spokeswoman Stephanie Martin told Variety law enforcement officials received a call at 9:56 a.m. of a bomb threat that was phoned into the busy film and TV production center, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of employees.

Martin said that all staffers were immediately escorted from the building safely and that bomb sniffing dogs were brought into the massive complex, in addition to police forces from Lax, Los Angeles port police, Inglewood and Beverly Hills divisions before police finished the search without harm at 4:32 p.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

2014 Athena Film Festival Lineup Includes Belle, Short Term 12, The Book Thief & In A World


The 2014 Athena Film Festival has unveiled its lineup of narrative, documentary and short films.

The New York Premiere of Belle, starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw and directed by Amma Asante, is the Athena Film Festival’s Opening Film, screening on Thursday evening. Decoding Annie Parker, starring Helen Hunt and Samantha Morton and directed by Steven Bernstein, is the festival’s Centerpiece Film, and will be screened on Friday evening. Geraldine Ferraro: Paving The Way, directed by her daughter, Donna Zaccaro, is the festival’s Closing Film, screening on Sunday evening.

The festival honors extraordinary women in the film industry and showcases films that address women’s leadership in real life and the fictional world. Now in its fourth year, the festival runs from Thursday, February 6 through Sunday, February 9 on the Barnard College campus in Morningside Heights. Artemis Rising Foundation is the Founding Sponsor of the Festival.

The Book Thief

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Bruce Dern Launches Production Company

Bruce Dern Launches Production Company
On the heels of starring in Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska,” Bruce Dern has launched Los Angeles-based production company Publicly Private with his long-time business partner Wendy Guerrero.

Dern is set to receive an AFI Tribute on Nov. 11 at the AFI Festival. He received the lead actor award at Cannes for his role in “Nebraska.”

“I created Publicly Private because I missed movies about the people,” Dern said. “Publicly Private is a name that says what it means. We want to work with actors, writers and filmmakers who have the ability to start from their heart and therefore, publicly expose their hearts to audiences in all mediums. In other words, every project will involve essences of the human condition and why we make the choices we make, particularly in times of crisis.”

Publicly Private’s first production will be “Coast,” which is directed by AFI graduate Stephanie Martin and shot entirely
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Interview: Jacqueline Lyanga on AFI Fest 2013

Once again this Fall AFI Fest will take place in the heart of Hollywood on November 7-14, 2013. Presented by the American Film Institute and Audi, the 27th edition of the festival encompasses the year's best in cinema from around the world's most important festivals. The program includes some of the most anticipated films that will surely be in the running this Award Season, as well as several Foreign Language Oscar Submissions, films from new voices in cinema, as well as classic films restored for the delight of new audiences. AFI Fest is a World Class film festival that is also, surprisingly, free for the public, which really assures people in Los Angeles, and those who visit for the festival, that they can enjoy great films without any burden.

The festival's director Jacqueline Lyanga talked to us about the specifics of each section in the festival, the arduous selection that begins early every year, and how AFI Fest represents the new, broader way Hollywood operates today.

Carlos Aguilar: Could you briefly discuss the selections process for the festival, given that it is a very eclectic and varied program?

Jacqueline Lyanga: Our festival has evolved over the past few years; we are not a festival that focuses on World Premieres. What we do is, we start looking for films in January at Sundance, and then we go to Rotterdam, Berlin, Tribeca and South By Southwest, Cannes, Locarno, Telluride, and lastly Toronto is the last festival that we attend. We look to bring, as best as we can, a program that serves as a kind of almanac of the year. We look to bring the best films of the year and try to inspire in the local audience, and in those who come to Los Angeles for the festival, dialogues around cinema that we have experience over the course of the year as we go from festival to festival, to showcase the ideas that filmmakers are exploring around the world.

Aguilar: In regards to each section, what is new this year? Could you give us an overview of the distinct sections of the festival?

Lyanga: We have one competitive section for feature films, that’s our New Auteurs section. New Auteurs is a section that highlights first and second time international filmmakers. We look to have it be very international, there is one American filmmaker in it, and we look to showcase films of young filmmakers with a bold new creative vision. That’s a really exciting program, many of these films have won awards at other festivals, and then they play together in the same section at AFI Fest.

World Cinema encompasses a number of kinds of filmmakers, emerging filmmakers, master filmmakers, The Lunchbox is by a first time director, then we have filmmakers like Kim Ki-duk with Moebius, or Sebastian Lelio, who has made a few films, with Gloria starring Paulina Garcia. It showcases a lot of great international performances as well.

The Special Screenings are highly anticipated films often from the Fall Festival Circuit, and of course our Galas, our big nightly red carpets. That section is also very much a combination of studio films, independent films, auteur films, and foreign films. We have The Last Emperor in 3D, we have Inside Llewyn Davis, Saving Mr. Banks, Out of the Furnace, so a lot of different kinds of filmmaking, which really showcases what Hollywood is now, which is really a big part of our message this year.

We want people to see the festival as the way in which Hollywood encompasses icons, masters, and emerging filmmakers, American filmmakers and foreign filmmakers. Our guest Artistic Director is Agnes Varda, as I’m sure you know, she selected a program of films. That program will showcase two of her films Cleo from 5 to 7 and Documenteur, as well as a film that she restored with her children, her daughter Rosalie and her son Mathieu, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, her late husband Jacques Demy’s film.

So we have a really great cross-section of filmmaking in the program. We also have a new section this year called Cinema’s Legacy in which we highlight restoration and film anniversaries, all of the films in that section have a connection to our program the one I just mentioned, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, that Agnes Varda restored. The other two are The Court Jester, which stars Danny Kaye, who also starred in the original The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It is Danny Kaye’s centennial this year, which we are celebrating. The third film Mary Poppins, which is the film that inspired our Opening Night film Saving Mr. Banks that tells the story of the making of Mary Poppins.

Aguilar: What drew you to select Agnes Varda to be this year’s Guest Artistic Director?

Lyanga: It is really exciting for us that she is our first female Guest Artistic director, and a director that has been so influential to the French New Wave. The French New Wave was extremely influential to American filmmakers especially in the 70’s, so that influence and us seeking for masters in that role like David Lynch, and as you know Pedro Almodovar or Bernardo Bertolucci, and it just seemed perfect to follow those three with Agnes Varda.

Aguilar: Given that you have attended all the major film festivals in the world what makes AFI Fest different or special?

Lyanga: One of the great things about the festival is that it’s free. I think it’s amazing, because of great partners, great sponsors like Audi, American Airlines who helps us bring in the filmmakers, or Motorola who is a big sponsor this year, or Coca-Cola, they enable us to really put on a World Class film festival for free. The audience doesn’t have to worry about the cost of the ticket; the cost of the ticket doesn’t have to be a barrier to experience the best of contemporary World Cinema. I think that’s what makes me really excited every year about programming this festival and then ultimately about Opening Night.

Aguilar: What is the relationship between AFI Fest and the AFI Conservatory Alummi?

Lyanga: The festival offices are on the Institute’s campus, which is where the conservatory is housed. Every year, including this year, we definitely have some AFI Alumni’s films playing at the festival. Drake Doremus, who was a Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winner with Like Crazy a few years ago, has a film called Breath In at the festival this year. Producer Brian Udovich is present with a film called We Gotta Get Out Of This Place in our American Independent section, which was at Toronto earlier this year. We have alumni as a screenwriter and another as a cinematographer on Out of the Furnace. Also La Jaula de Oro a Spanish/Mexican Co-Production directed by an AFI cinematography alumni. We have some in the shorts program as well; a short called Whale Valley, another short called Machsom, also Wild Horses by Stephanie Martin. So we have several AFI Alumni with films in the program.

Aguilar: The program includes several Submissions to compete for the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award; do you think AFI serves as a platform to increase the chances of these films at getting a nomination?

Lyanga: Often times when we invite a film it hasn’t even been selected yet, so we don’t know, we find out afterwards. It’s always exciting to find that out because it means more opportunities and more attention for the filmmakers. Festivals certainly do have a role to help promote cinema, and to build audiences for the filmmakers, and to help build the filmmakers’ careers. The fact that the festival takes place in Los Angeles provides a great opportunity for those films and those filmmakers to get the attention from both the public audience and the industry audience that might have been difficult for them to attain otherwise.

Aguilar: Lastly, why should people come to AFI Fest 2013, and what are you most excited about this year?

Lyanga: I think a lot of people came to festival over the past two or three years and had a great experience, and discovered new films and new filmmakers, and fell in love with films that they were looking forward to seeing. We will definitely have that again this year. There are some films that people have been hearing about, films like Her, Philomena, Mandela, August Osage County, or The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, that people can’t wait to see and they are going to come see them at the festival. There is the return of some great filmmakers like the Cohen Brothers, that’s really exciting, is something great to look forward to. They return to their partnership with T-Bone Burnett. Of course, I think in our New Auteurs section specially, there are some great new directors to discover. Across the World Cinema program, fantastic performances in Child’s Pose, in Gloria, Omar, Bethlehem, Gabrielle, there is a global experience and what filmmakers are exploring and the issues that people are tackling around the word. It’s a great place to escape, to be entertained, and in many way to educate both in documentaries and in narrative films.

For tickets, schedules, and more information on AFI Fest visit Here
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Watch: The Video That Constantly Inspires Sundance-Winning Director Ava DuVernay

Watch: The Video That Constantly Inspires Sundance-Winning Director Ava DuVernay
Earlier this week, "Middle of Nowhere" director and African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement founder Ava DuVernay was the keynote speaker at the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop for Women.  DuVernay, who won the U.S. dramatic directing award at last year's Sundance, gave brief remarks before viewing the work of the workshop's up-and-coming participants.  Honored this year were Shaz Bennett, Catherine Dent, Antoneta Kastrati, Lauren Ludwig, Stephanie Martin, Juliana Penaradna-Loftus, Lisanne Sartor and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro. Below are DuVernay's remarks to her fellow women directors:i'm using one of my 5 allotted minutes to show you something that helps me. Some days I watch and I laugh. Some days I watch and I get a little misty. Depends on the day.  So I thought to myself, why not me? Why not us? The question is fundamentally flawed in that it shouldn't be a viable question in the first place. It speaks to exclusion and heirachy and.
See full article at Indiewire »

AFI Introduces Eight New Women Directors at Shorts Program, Ava DuVernay to Give Keynote Address

AFI Introduces Eight New Women Directors at Shorts Program, Ava DuVernay to Give Keynote Address
The American Film Institute will introduce eight new female filmmakers at its Directing Workshop for Women on May 6, where new short films by each director will screen. The keynote address comes from "Middle of Nowhere" director Ava DuVernay, who won Best Director at Sundance in 2012 and recently nabbed a prize at Tribeca. Her new documentary "Venus Vs" premieres at Laff this June. The list of directors honored at the AFI Directing Workshop for Women Class, and their respective short films, below. Read more about the films on AFI's website here. Shaz Bennett, "Alaska is a Drag" Catherine Dent, "Silk" Antoneta Kastrati, "She Comes in Spring" Lauren Ludwig, "Burn Brightly" Stephanie Martin, "Wild Horses" Juliana Penaranda-Loftus, "Learning to Fly" Lisanne Sartor, "Six Letter Word" Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, "Sequin Raze"
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

DVD Review: Ambitious ‘The Objective’ Sustains Interest, But Ultimately Fails

Chicago – While adult comedies continue to rake in the big bucks at the box office, adult dramas continue to plunge in popularity, particularly dramas centering on the war in Iraq. When a brilliant edge-of-your-seat thriller like Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” or a galvanizing documentary like “Taxi to the Dark Side” can’t even manage to find an audience, a tiny horror picture like “The Objective” doesn’t stand a chance.

DVD Rating: 2.5/5.0

The Objective” opened in a few theaters earlier this year, performed badly, and has now been unceremoniously dumped into stores. Not an impressive feat for “The Blair Witch Project” co-director Daniel Myrick. At least the new film by his “Witch” partner, Eduardo Sanchez, was chosen for the latest “Ghost House Underground” collection.

The Objective was released on DVD on October 13th, 2009.

Photo credit: IFC Films

But while Sanchez’s “Seventh Moon” was a boring misfire, Myrick
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[DVD Review] The Objective

Poor Daniel Myrick. After all but setting the world on fire a decade ago with The Blair Witch Project (co-directed with Eduardo Sanchez), a film that managed to grab headlines in the summer of The Matrix, Star Wars: Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, and The Sixth Sense, he returns now with The Objective, a film that is split by two opposing instincts: recapturing the glory of his initial success and expanding his vision to a scope that would suggest he’s ready to move on to a studio feature. Neither instinct is satisfied by either the film’s plotline or its execution, leaving us to wonder what movie he really wanted to make.

In the weeks following 9/11, the United States government picks up a strong heat signal emanating from the remote mountains of Afghanistan. The first suggestion, of course, is that the Taliban has gotten hold of a nuclear weapon,
See full article at JustPressPlay »

DVD news #1: New Silent Scream/Sorority discs and more

  • Fangoria
A couple more cult-fave slasher flicks of the early ’80s receive the special-edition treatment via DVDs that arrive November 24. Fango got the details on a new disc of Mark Rosman’s 1983 The House On Sorority Row (the basis of the current big-screen remake Sorority Row) from Liberation Entertainment, and the DVDebut of 1980’s Silent Scream from the new Scorpion Releasing.

House On Sorority Row, previously issued on a bare-bones disc by Elite, has been given a fresh transfer from a recently discovered print for this 25th Anniversary Edition (even though the film is technically 26 years old). The film is now supplemented with:

Audio commentary by writer/director Rosman Alternate ending Photo gallery Trailer

Retail price is $19.95. Silent Scream, directed by Denny Harris from a script by Jim and Ken Wheat (who also produced) and Wallace C. Bennett, is set at a boarding house where a group of college students take up residence,
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The Objective and Killer Movie (Tribeca Flashback Review)

Current events inform these two genre films: Daniel Myrick’s The Objective takes place against the backdrop of the war in the Middle East, while Jeff Fisher’s Killer Movie puts a horrific spin on the endless reality-television trend. For The Blair Witch Project’s Myrick, The Objective marks a return to the scenario of a group of people venturing into forbidding territory where mysterious forces threaten them, while Fisher has intimate knowledge of his film’s specific milieu, having served time on the likes of The Real World/Road Rules and The Simple Life. But while the former effectively makes an already harrowing situation worse with the introduction of the supernatural, the latter doesn’t come up with anything that’s as scary as, say, the prospect of sitting through a whole season of Paris Hilton hijinx. Myrick, who scripted The Objective with Mark A. Patton and Wesley Clark Jr.,
See full article at Fangoria »

The Objective

Release Date: Feb. 6 (limited)

Director: Daniel Myrick

Writers: Daniel Myrick, Mark A. Patton and Wesley Clark Jr.

Cinematographer: Stephanie Martin

Starring: Jonas Ball, Matthew R. Anderson, Jon Huertas, Sam Hunter, Jeff Prewett

Studio/Run Time: IFC Films, 104 mins.

Whatever else he may do, director Daniel Myrick will always have the words "Blair Witch Project" attached to his name. Judging from his work on The Objective, that may be the way he likes it, since the film in large part reprises what Blair Witch did earlier but without all the faux-cinema-verite trappings. Jonas Ball plays a CIA agent searching for a massive radiation silhouette spotted by spy satellites in Afghanistan. With him is a small group of special ops soldiers, assigned to protect him from what may lie in wait for them in the post-9/11 country. The group soon finds itself lost in the desert and under attack by some unknown supernatural force.
See full article at PasteMagazine »

Bad Biology leads NYC Horror Fest award winners

Fango was on hand last night for the close of the 2008 New York City Horror Film Festival, capped by the handing out of the event’s awards (for which this writer was one of the judges). Bad Biology topped the list of winners, taking Best Feature Film and Best Special Effects (Gabe Bartalos); writer/director Frank Henenlotter and stars Anthony Sneed and Charlee Danielson (pictured) were on hand to accept.

Also taking a pair of prizes was Jennifer Lynch’s Surveillance, which marked two firsts for the fest: Its first female Best Director, and the first award given to a child performer (Ryan Simpkins, named Best Actress). The rest of the winners are:

• Best Actor: Dameon Clarke for How To Be A Serial Killer

• Best Screenplay: Nacho Vigalondo for Timecrimes

• Best Cinematography: Stephanie Martin for The Objective

• Best Short Film: Nathan Bezner’s Altar

• Audience Award, Best Feature: Timecrimes

• Audience Award,
See full article at Fangoria »

See also

Credited With | External Sites