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Kosovo short wins top Palm Springs award

Short films from Kosovo, France, the Us and Switzerland are among the winners at the Palm Springs International ShortFest.

The Palm Springs International ShortFest has given its Best of Festival Award to Daniel Mulloly’s Home (pictured), from Kosovo, and its Grand Jury Award to Vincent Maury’s Minh Tâm, from France.

Nearly 20 other shorts from the 327 that screened at the event, which bills itself as the largest short film festival and only short film market in North America, also won awards.

The winner of the Best of Festival award gets a $5,000 cash prize and may be eligible to submit their film to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Oscar consideration. The Grand Jury award comes with a $2,000 cash prize.

The jury – comprising David Ansen, Jeremy Boxer, Zorianna Kit, Molly Parker, Rachel Samuels and Alison Willmore – gave ShortFest’s Panavision Best North American Short award to La Laguna, from Mexico
See full article at ScreenDaily »

'The Fault in Our Stars' Social Media Phenom

Read the in-depth piece on "Tfios" which appeared in Re/code: The Online Fandom That Launched "The Fault in Our Stars" by fanthropogist, Meredith Levine, in which she lays out just how this social media phenom happened,

According to ticketing website Fandango, 20th Century Fox's, "The Fault in Our Stars" has sold more advanced tickets than any romantic drama in their 14-year history, besting 2012’s "The Vow". Meanwhile critics are also praising the film. The Washington Post says "Tfios" "“achieves that rare feat of eliciting as many cheers as tears;"while movie news website JoBlo writes that it, “should do for a generation of kids what 'Ghost' did for their parents.”

The Wrap praises its social media edge as the determining factor in its popularity, stating, "Green has a hugely popular Tumblr — over two million subscribers, easy — and a YouTube network with his brother (aptly, it's called the VlogBrothers) that has over 600 million total views. This book is incredibly popular, with at least 43 Tumblr blogs dedicated to it; Green has at least 30 different meme sites about him, which is incredible for a young Ya author." Read more Here

What is not reported widely however, is what fanthropologist, Meredith Levine, delves into more deeply in her blog on Zefr, a young company founded by Richard Raddon which provides software solutions for brands and rights holders on YouTube, connecting brands and fans. To further the aims of fans suits the suits just fine but in the case of "The Fault in Our Stars" branding and fandom takes a more altruistic route toward by using media as a means to improve our world. To really understand “The numbers” as The Wrap reports them, Read:

The Vlogbrothers and The Project 4 Awesome shows some of the activities of John Green.

"YouTube has a reputation for being a platform for entertainment, but YouTubers also understand how to wield their influence for the greater good.”

For further reading on this Ya phenom and the film adaptation of the best selling book which is wowing the crowds, read screenwriters Scott Newstadter and Michael Weber as they talk about adapting it here in Zorianna Kit ’s Studio System News: http://www.studiosystemnews.com/from-start-to-finish-screenwriters-scott-neustadter-michael-weber-talk-adapting-the-much-loved-novel-the-fault-in-our-stars/
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

Cissy Houston: 'Was I A Good Mother?'

Cissy Houston: 'Was I A Good Mother?'
Los Angeles, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Whitney Houston's mother has told People magazine that she questions her skills as a parent and wonders if she could have saved her superstar daughter from the drug use that played a role in her death.

"Was I a good mother?" Cissy Houston, 79, was quoted as telling the celebrity magazine in an advance excerpt released on Wednesday from the magazine's Friday edition.

"I still wonder if I could have saved her somehow. But there's no book written on how to be a parent. You do the best you can."

Whitney Houston drowned accidentally in a Beverly Hills hotel bathtub on Feb. 11, 2012, after taking cocaine and after a well-chronicled battle with drug addiction. She was 48.

Cissy Houston, a singer in her own right, talked to People about her daughter's personal life and career while promoting her upcoming memoir, "Remembering Whitney."

In the memoir, Cissy Houston
See full article at Huffington Post »

Matt Damon Tackles Fracking In 'Promised Land'

Matt Damon Tackles Fracking In 'Promised Land'
* Damon pairs up with Gus Van Sant for third time

* Co-wrote script with John Krasinski

* Damon says film does not have a stance on fracking

By Zorianna Kit

Los Angeles, Dec 28 (Reuters) - The hot-button topic of "fracking" has finally made its way to Hollywood in the new movie "Promised Land," out in U.S. theaters on Friday, with actors Matt Damon and John Krasinski teaming up to further the debate on the energy drilling technique.

The film explores the social impact of hydraulic fracturing drilling technique, or "fracking," which has sparked nation-wide environmental and political battles over its impact on drinking water, U.S. energy use, seismic activity and other areas.

"Promised Land" will see Damon, 42, reunite with director Gus Van Sant for the third time, following their success with 1997 film "Good Will Hunting and 2002's "Gerry."

In their latest film, Damon plays a corporate salesman who goes to a rural U.
See full article at Huffington Post »

Film Explores Perils Of Sports Concussions

Film Explores Perils Of Sports Concussions
By Zorianna Kit

Los Angeles, Sept 18 (Reuters) - When a concussion forced WWE's Christopher Nowinski to retire in 2004, the professional wrestler and former Harvard football player wanted to understand his condition better and set out to raise awareness for sports head trauma.

The result was his 2006 book "Head Games: Football's Concussion Crisis" and a new career as a concussion activist.

Nowinski's book is the inspiration for the documentary "Head Games," directed by Steve James ("Hoop Dreams"), which opens in theaters Friday. The film explores the concussion crisis in American sports such as football, hockey and soccer as well as wrestling.

Nowinski, who will turn 34 on Monday, talked to Reuters about his personal struggles with numerous concussions, his work in educating others about them and his efforts to encourage the sports industry to take measures to prevent them.

Q: What is the biggest misconception about concussions?

A: "That they don't
See full article at Huffington Post »

'Biggest Loser' Host And Her Dog Battle Pet Obesity

'Biggest Loser' Host And Her Dog Battle Pet Obesity
By Zorianna Kit

Los Angeles, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Alison Sweeney, host of the NBC network's weight loss TV series "The Biggest Loser," has worked with the show's contestants since 2007, supporting them as they drop pounds and learn to lead a healthier way of life.

Now, Sweeney is taking on more weight issues by teaming up with dog food company Hill's Science Diet for the second annual Million Pound Pledge to raise awareness about obesity in pets.

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 54 percent of America's pet population is overweight. Sweeney, who also stars on the daily soap opera "Days of Our Lives," became aware of pet obesity when she took her Boston Terrier, Winky, to the vet and was told her pooch could stand to lose a few pounds. After adjusting Winky's diet and making a few changes, the canine is back in shape.

With the Million Pound Pledge,
See full article at Huffington Post »

Oscar organizers crack down on movie campaigns

Oscar organizers crack down on movie campaigns
Los Angeles (Reuters) - Oscar organizers on Wednesday unveiled a tough new set of rules that cracks down on the types of events Academy Award voters can attend before making their picks for the world's top film awards.

The new rules are meant to help create a more level playing field for nominated movies, actors and actresses by curbing the wining and dining that takes place for members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences ahead of the awards.

"These campaign regulations play an important role in protecting the integrity of the Academy Awards process and the distinction of the Oscar," Academy president Tom Sherak said in a statement.

The key change is that after nominations are announced on January 24, Academy members can only attend screenings of movies, but not a party or event if there is no screening.

That means many dinners and gatherings where performers, producers
See full article at Huffington Post »

Taylor Lautner's career sees new dawn with "Abduction"

Taylor Lautner's career sees new dawn with
By Zorianna Kit

Los Angeles (Reuters) - To legions of teenage girls and fans of the "Twilight" films, Taylor Lautner will always be known as Jacob Black, the werewolf who competes with a vampire for the love of a young woman.

But on Friday, the boyishly handsome actor with the six-pack strong abdomen hopes to broaden his appeal to wider audiences, headlining movie marquees on his own for the very first time in action thriller "Abduction."

Lautner, 19, finds himself the sole person on the movie's poster with his name above the title -- a major fete for any actor in Hollywood. And he must prove not only that he can draw audiences to box offices, but also that Lautner -- like Cruise or Pitt or Clooney before him -- can be a powerful brand name.

"Abduction" marks the inaugural film of his production company Quick Six, which he runs with his father,
See full article at Huffington Post »

"Boardwalk Empire" brings Martin Scorsese an Emmy

Los Angeles (Reuters) - He is one of the greatest American film directors working, but on Sunday night it was the world of U.S. television that Martin Scorsese ruled over, winning an Emmy for directing drama "Boardwalk Empire."

The pilot episode of the series, which is set in 1930s Prohibition-era Atlantic City at a time when mob bosses ruled that seaside town, was directed by Scorsese, and if he had his way, the maker of "GoodFellas" and "Raging Bull" said he'd like to direct more.

""I've always dreamed of working on a project where the characters can develop over a period of time," Scorsese told reporters backstage at the Emmys. "You can develop plot, characters ... and get more done over a longer period of time. It gives you more license and much more freedom."

Scorsese, 68, had been nominated for Oscars, the film industry's top honors, seven times before finally
See full article at Huffington Post »

Emmy fashions lean toward bright colors, simple lines

Emmy fashions lean toward bright colors, simple lines
By Zorianna Kit

Los Angeles (Reuters) - Playing up one of the most popular colors of the fall season, the red carpet was awash in a variety of crimson and scarlet dresses at the Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday.

"One of fall's hottest trend colors is crimson, and the stars didn't miss a beat on the Emmy's red carpet this year," said style expert Sam Saboura, citing Lea Michele, Kate Winslet, Nina Dobrev, Kerry Washington and Adrianne Palicki among the many stars wearing the bold color.

Even actor Allan Cumming opted for the hue, wearing red pants with his tuxedo jacket.

Additionally, bright blues and aquas -- showcased during this past week's Fashion Week as colors to wear next spring -- showed up on stars like Cobie Smulders, Claire Danes and Amy Poehler.

"Sleeves were everywhere," observed fashion watcher Shara Koplowitz. "Actresses wore sleeves that best accentuated their arms."

That meant short sleeves on Michele,
See full article at Huffington Post »

At Emmy time, the gift suites hit Hollywood

At Emmy time, the gift suites hit Hollywood
By Zorianna Kit

Los Angeles (Reuters) - Adults can embrace their inner child with T-shirts by Lotty Dotty featuring the image of a paper doll who comes with her own detachable Velcro clothing to mix and match, changing the doll's outfit to fit the wearer's own personal fashion.

The offbeat shirts are just one of the many items being handed to celebrities at gifting suites in Los Angeles this week in the lead-up to Sunday's Emmy Awards, U.S. television's top honors that bring out A-list Hollywood TV stars.

Gifting lounges have become important marketing tools for companies, and even in the recent gloomy economic climate, the suites open up as a way for established companies and upstarts to gain exposure for new products or reintroductions. In recent years, many have begun to give some proceeds to charities.

By giving their products to celebrities as a "gift," marketers hope consumers
See full article at Huffington Post »

Tom Hardy, from 'Warrior' battles to Batman brawls

Tom Hardy, from 'Warrior' battles to Batman brawls
By Zorianna Kit

Los Angeles (Reuters) - It is an understatement to say that actor Tom Hardy's star is rising fast.

Last year, the 33 year-old British actor earned Hollywood credibility as a member of Leonardo DiCaprio's dream traveling posse in "Inception." The film's director, Christopher Nolan, then cast Hardy in one of 2012's most coveted roles: the villain Bane in Batman flick, "The Dark Knight Rises."

On Friday his movie "Warrior," set in the world of mixed martial arts, debuts in U.S. theaters. It was filmed before "Inception" and it catches the actor at a time that will soon be rare -- a time when he was an relative unknown.

The actor plays a former wrestling prodigy-turned-marine who returns to the ring to fight for a $5 million prize, only to be pitted in the ring against his estranged brother played by Australian actor Joel Edgerton.

Hardy gained an additional 30 lbs.
See full article at Huffington Post »

Reese Witherspoon struck by car while jogging

Reese Witherspoon struck by car while jogging
Los Angeles (Reuters) - Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon was home and recovering from being hit by a car while jogging in the beach community of Santa Monica on Wednesday, her representative said.

"The actress was not seriously injured and is resting comfortably at home," her spokeswoman said in a statement.

No further details were available. Santa Monica is a community immediately adjacent to Los Angeles.

Witherspoon, 35, became a box office sensation and A-list Hollywood star in her "Legally Blonde" comedy movies, and she won an Academy Award for best actress in drama "Walk the Line."

(Reporting and Writing by Bob Tourtellotte; Editing by Zorianna Kit)
See full article at Huffington Post »

Steven Soderbergh talks "Contagion" and retirement

Steven Soderbergh talks
By Zorianna Kit

Los Angeles (Reuters)Los Angeles, September 5 (Reuters) - Academy Award-winning director Steven Soderbergh explores how a lethal virus is transmitted from one person to another, until the entire world is affected in "Contagion."

The film, which debuted over the weekend at the Venice film festival and hits theaters Friday, features an all star cast that includes Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishburne and Jude Law among others.

Soderbergh, known for directing such movies as the "Ocean's" trilogy, "Erin Brockovich" and "Traffic," sat down with Reuters to talk about the film, what he learned about viruses and why he's decided to "retire" from moviemaking.

Q: "Contagion" is about a virus that kills people with no cure in sight. With real-life scares like Sars, N1H1 and the bird flu, this is a fear anyone can relate to.

A: "Yes (the virus) doesn't speak and it doesn't have a brain,
See full article at Huffington Post »

Vera Farmiga, younger sister take on "Higher Ground"

Vera Farmiga, younger sister take on
By Zorianna Kit

Los Angeles (Reuters) - After Vera Farmiga was nominated for an Oscar for her performance opposite George Clooney in the 2009 film "Up in the Air," the actress was offered the chance of a lifetime -- not just to act in a film, but to direct it as well.

The result is indie drama "Higher Ground," due in theaters on Friday. The film is inspired by Carolyn Brigg's memoir "This Dark World," in which a young woman enters a community of evangelical Christians, then begins to question her faith.

"Ground" follows lead character Corinne (Farmiga) over a span of 20 years. Farmiga, 38, made the film a family affair with husband Renn Hawkey a producer and musical director and her sister Taissa, 15 years-old at the time and with no prior acting experience, playing young Corinne.

"Higher Ground" debuted at 2011's Sundance Film Festival, launching Farmiga's second career as a filmmaker
See full article at Huffington Post »

Oscar Round-Up: Best Actress Buzzing, Quoting The Social Network, Does Winter's Bone Have a Chance?

Oscar Round-Up: Best Actress Buzzing, Quoting The Social Network, Does Winter's Bone Have a Chance?
Buzz is building around this year's best actress Oscar race: "Unlike most years when men dominate the critical buzz for strong roles," asserts TheStar's Zorianna Kit. Well, that's debatable: last year boasted the Sandra Bullock/Meryl Streep flirtation, Carey Mulligan's breakout performance, Mo'Nique, Helen Mirren, Kathryn Bigelow winning for best director…and so on. But certainly this year boasts an abundance of actresses to pick from, including some who grabbed our attention in untraditional roles, from Annette Bening in The Kids Are All Right to Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone--and many have not yet seen fall fest fave Natalie Portman in Black Swan. Fasten your seat belts. - It's Bening vs. Portman for now, says Gold Derby's Tom O'Neil: "Both rivals have the Cool Factor and significant ...
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Aniston, Bateman, Day circling 'Bosses'

Aniston, Bateman, Day circling 'Bosses'
After years of trying, New Line is close to making the workplace murder comedy "Horrible Bosses."

Jason Bateman and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" star Charlie Day are in negotiations to star as frustrated employees in the feature, which is being directed by Seth Gordon and produced by Rat Entertainment.

New Line is in the process of attracting A-list names for the roles of the bosses, including a master manipulator, a sexually aggressive dentist and a weaselly scion. Jennifer Aniston is joining Colin Farrell in entering negotiations to play two of the movies' three chiefs.

The project has attracted a plethora of candidates over the years. Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn and Ashton Kutcher and Dax Shepherd were two of the combinations attempted, with helmers such as Frank Oz and David Dobkin in the director's seat. One phase saw Roger Kumble developing the project with Matthew McConaughey to star.

The
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Bindi Irwin making film acting debut

Bindi Irwin making film acting debut
She's the spitting image of her late father and has inherited his passion for wildlife, and now 11-year-old Bindi Irwin is following "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin's footsteps into Hollywood-style movies.

Bindi makes her feature film acting debut in "Free Willy: Escape From Pirates Cove," being released Tuesday on DVD as the fourth movie based on the 1990s franchise about a boy helping free an Orca trapped in captivity.

"Pirates Cove," however, is a new story about an Australian girl (Irwin) helping a baby Orca trapped at her grandfather's theme park on the shores of South Africa.

Growing up with a larger-than-life personality like Australian adventurer Steve Irwin, who died in 2006 after a stingray attack, acting seems like a natural evolution for Bindi.

She came into this world camera-ready when her father filmed her birth. Growing up, she often was featured on his shows including "The Crocodile Hunter" and
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Sandra Bullock wins Best Actress

Sandra Bullock wins Best Actress
Sandra Bullock won the best actress Oscar and her first Academy Award on Sunday for her role as a suburban mother who takes in a homeless black teen and guides him to a football career in The Blind Side. Bullock's winning performance helped make "The Blind Side" the first film with a sole female lead ever to surpass $200 million in U.S. and Canada ticket sales. Bullock's role in the sports drama is based on a real Tennessee woman. (Reporting by Zorianna Kit; Editing by Mary Milliken and Sandra Maler) ...
See full article at Hindustan Times - Cinema »

HuffPost Exclusive: Ricky Schroder Q&A

HuffPost Exclusive: Ricky Schroder Q&A
Veteran television actor Ricky Schroder stars in the indie feature Blood Done Sign My Name, which open in theaters February 19th. Based on the Timothy Tyson novel, the film is a true-life civil rights drama set in 1970s. Set in a small town, Schroder portrays a pastor of an all-white Methodist church who tries to get his congregation to live harmoniously with the black community. Zorianna Kit: You came aboard this project at the last minute. Rick Schroder: When the script came in, I had to read it right away because they needed an answer that day. I'd need to be on set in North Carolina in three days. It was an immediate yes for me. You can tell good writing when you read it. It had good dialogue and good characters. Zorianna Kit: The film...
See full article at Huffington Post »
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