Big Sonia (2016) - News Poster



Justice League Stumbles to the Top of the Box Office with $96M

Justice League Stumbles to the Top of the Box Office with $96M
Warner Bros.' Justice League, the studio's fourth Dceu entry, was expected to easily top the box office this weekend, although it came in far under even the most modest of expectations. The Dceu superhero ensemble had no trouble taking the top spot and beating other newcomers like Wonder and The Star, but it failed to hit its projections, coming in far below most expectations with $96 million. Wonder did manage to overperform, coming in above expectations with a solid $27 million in its opening weekend in second place.

Back in September, box office analysts put Justice League's opening weekend at $150 million, coming in just shy of the $166 million of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Last month, those numbers dipped even more, with analysts predicting an opening weekend between $110 million and $120 million, and while some thought it may exceed those more modest expectations, it still managed to fall quite short of most projections,
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Justice League Vs. Thor: Ragnarok: Who Will Win the Box Office?

Justice League Vs. Thor: Ragnarok: Who Will Win the Box Office?
After two weeks in a row of box office dominance, Thor: Ragnarok will certainly not come out on top this weekend, with that honor almost certainly going to Warner Bros. Justice League. Unlike most Marvel movies, this Dceu movie does have some competition in wide release, with the Lionsgate drama Wonder, starring Julia Roberts and Jacob Tremblay, and Sony's animated biblical tale The Star, although none of those movies will come anywhere close to Justice League. We're predicting that Justice League comes in just a bit over its latest box office projections, taking in $126.7 million.

In late October, the latest Justice League box office tracking put the superhero ensemble between $110 million and $120 million, an opening weekend which comes in below both Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($166 million) and Suicide Squad ($133.6 million), but above the opening weekend of Wonder Woman ($103.2 million). Ironically, Wonder Woman ($412.5 million) ended up besting both Batman
See full article at MovieWeb »

November 2017 Film Preview

Lady Bird

November is here with collection of women-centric, women-directed, and women-written films that range from funny to heartbreaking to eye-opening to game-changing. On November 1, the month begins with “A Bad Moms Christmas.” This sequel follows three frustrated mothers as they try to conquer the upcoming holiday season. On the same day we have Jessica M. Thompson’s “The Light of the Moon,” a portrait of a sexual assault survivor.

November 3 follows with a blend of comedy and drama. First up is Michelle Morgan’s “It Happened in L.A.,” which follows two women navigating modern romance in Los Angeles. Greta Gerwig’s “Lady Bird” traces the journey of the titular character, a self-mythologizing, rebellious teen living in Sacramento, CA. And Ana Asensio’s thriller “Most Beautiful Island” presents one hellish day in the life of an undocumented immigrant in New York.

November 10’s releases will see women making unexpected and bold moves. “Thelma” follows a college student falling in love while simultaneously developing supernatural powers. Marianna Palka’s “Bitch” centers on a stressed housewife adopting the psyche of a dog in order to cope with her life. And “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” stars a foul-mouthed Frances McDormand as a mother putting up signs on a highway in an effort to find her daughter’s murderer and draw attention to the local police’s ineptitude.

Among November’s documentary releases are Christina Herrera’s “No Dress Code Required,” about two men who become lightning rods in the process of getting married, and Alexandra Dean’s “Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story,” which highlights the movie star’s hidden life as an inventor who trademarked an element found in all cell phones.

Here are all of the women-centric, women-directed, and women-written films debuting in November. All descriptions are from press materials unless otherwise noted.

November 1

A Bad Moms Christmas

A Bad Moms Christmas”: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/Stx Entertainment

A Bad Moms Christmas” follows our three under-appreciated and over-burdened women (Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn) as they rebel against the challenges and expectations of the Super Bowl for moms: Christmas. And if creating a more perfect holiday for their families wasn’t hard enough, they have to do all of that while hosting and entertaining their own mothers (Christine Baranski, Cheryl Hines, and Susan Sarandon).

The Light of the Moon” — Written and Directed by Jessica M. Thompson

The Light of the Moon

Bonnie (Stephanie Beatriz), a young and successful architect, is sexually assaulted while walking home from an evening out with friends in Brooklyn. At first, she attempts to keep the assault a secret from her long-term boyfriend Matt (Michael Stahl-David), but the truth quickly emerges. Bonnie emphatically denies the impact of what has just happened to her. Another attack in the neighborhood only drives Bonnie further into denial, before an encounter with an at-risk woman causes her to face the truth and confront her own self-blame.

November 3

Lady Bird” — Written and Directed by Greta Gerwig

Lady Bird

ChristineLady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) fights against but is exactly like her wildly loving, deeply opinionated, and strong-willed mom (Laurie Metcalf), a nurse working tirelessly to keep her family afloat after Lady Bird’s father (Tracy Letts) loses his job. Set in Sacramento, California in 2002, amidst a rapidly shifting American economic landscape, “Lady Bird” is an affecting look at the relationships that shape us, the beliefs that define us, and the unmatched beauty of a place called home.

It Happened in L.A.” — Written and Directed by Michelle Morgan (Opens in NY November 3; Opens in La November 10) (Available on VOD November 14)

It Happened in L.A.

Annette (Michelle Morgan) and Elliot (Jorma Taccone) are a mostly happy, moderately neurotic La couple. Maybe Annette doesn’t enjoy game nights or taco stands as much as Elliot does, but no relationship is perfect, right? Rather than embracing their differences, Annette can only compare their relationship to their happy couple friends. This cannot be endorsed by Annette’s beautiful but romantically troubled best friend, Baker (Dree Hemingway), who is very well-versed on the bleakness of the La dating scene. Taking its cues from classic mid-20th century comedies with a stylish and contemporary spin, “It Happened in L.A.” is an irreverent tale of life and the search for elusive love in the 21st century.

Most Beautiful Island” — Written and Directed by Ana Asensio (Also Available on VOD)

Most Beautiful Island

Most Beautiful Island” is a psychological thriller set in the world of undocumented female immigrants hoping to make a life in New York City. Shot on Super 16mm with an intimate, voyeuristic sensibility, “Most Beautiful Island” chronicles one harrowing day in the life of Luciana (Ana Asensio), a young immigrant woman struggling to make ends meet while striving to escape her past. As Luciana’s day unfolds, she is whisked, physically and emotionally, through a series of troublesome and unforeseeable extremes. Before her day is done, she inadvertently finds herself a central participant in a cruel game where lives are placed at risk, and psyches are twisted and broken for the perverse entertainment of a privileged few.

“No Dress Code Required” (Documentary) — Directed by Christina Herrera (Opens in NY)

A rallying cry for equality, this loving documentary follows Victor and Fernando, two respected stylists from the Baja California border town of Mexicali who became the center of a social firestorm from their simple desire to get married.

“Wait for Your Laugh” (Documentary) (Opens in NY; Opens in La November 17)

Rose Marie’s rise to fame began at the age of four with her own NBC radio show. As she grew, she went from the stages of Vaudeville to the bright lights of Vegas to some of the most iconic television shows. But it’s not just credits like “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and “Hollywood Squares” that make her life so memorable. Characters like Al Capone, Bugsy Siegel, and Jerry Lewis all played a part in this woman’s story of fame, love, tragedy, and success. A woman’s 90-year career is also the greatest untold story in show business.

Princess Cyd

Princess Cyd

Sixteen-year-old Cyd (Jessie Pinnick) decides to take a break from her depressive single father and spend a summer in Chicago with her aunt Miranda (Rebecca Spence), a well-known novelist. Soon after her arrival, Cyd encounters Katie (Malic White), a young barista behind the counter. The two make plans to meet up after Katie’s shift and a new, charged relationship begins. The Chicago landscape expands, and we navigate intimate and fragile moments between Cyd and Katie as they explore their new attraction. Miranda functions as a counterpart to young Cyd’s new explorations of sexuality and love, and as the summer continues, they develop a strong relationship founded on a shared openness and healthy criticism of particular personal moments.

Battlecreek” — Directed by Alison Eastwood; Written by Anthea Anka

Henry Pearl’s (Bill Skarsgård) rare skin disease has left him hiding from the sun in the shadows of small town Battlecreek. His overprotective mother,​ the local diner, and his night time job at the gas station provide him a nocturnal and mundane existence. When a beautiful, yet tormented girl (Claire van der Boom) becomes stranded in town, Henry is awakened by love, forcing them both to face their turbulent pasts in light of the future.

“11/8/16” (Documentary) — Co-Directed by Sheena M. Joyce, Petra Epperlein, Alma Har’el, Alison Klayman, Ciara Lacy, Martha Shane, and Elaine Mcmillion Sheldon (Also Available on VOD)

On the morning of Election Day 2016, Americans of all stripes woke up and went about living their radically different lives. These were the hours leading up to Donald Trump’s unexpected, earth-shaking victory, but, of course, no one knew that yet. Featuring footage captured by a carefully curated group of some of America’s finest documentary filmmakers, “11/8/16” follows 16 subjects spanning the country’s geographic, socioeconomic, and political divides throughout the course of that history-altering day.

“Uncle Gloria: One Helluva Ride” (Documentary) — Directed by Robyn Symon (Available on VOD November 7)

“Uncle Gloria”

“Uncle Gloria: One Helluva Ride” recounts the astonishing true story of Butch, the macho owner of a South Florida auto-wrecking company, who in a desperate search of a way to hide from the law, transformed himself into a woman named Gloria. But what started out as a trick to beat the system ended up changing Butch’s life forever. Now in her 80s, Gloria’s stranger-than-fiction life has been filled with risky surgeries, sex work, family dysfunction, activism, and a gender-bending love story. Full of humor, warmth, and sass, “Uncle Gloria” is a rollicking ride that must be seen to be believed.

“Elliot the Littlest Reindeer” — Written and Directed by Jennifer Westcott

When Blitzen announces his retirement on December 21, a miniature horse (voiced by Josh Hutcherson) has three days to fulfill his lifelong dream of earning a spot on Santa’s team at the North Pole tryouts.

November 7

The Journey Is the Destination” — Co-Written and Directed by Bronwen Hughes (Available on Netflix)

The Journey Is the Destination

Director Bronwen Hughes (“Stander”) and screenwriter Jan Sardi (“Shine”) recreate the inspiring life story of the late photojournalist, artist, and activist Dan Eldon, who documented the struggle, heartbreak, and hope of a war-torn and famine-ridden region of Africa.

November 10

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”: Merrick Morton/20th Century Fox

After months have passed without a culprit in her daughter’s murder case, Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) makes a bold move, commissioning three signs leading into her town with a controversial message directed at William Willoughby (Woody Harrelson), the town’s revered chief of police. When his second-in-command, Officer Dixon (Sam Rockwell), an immature mother’s boy with a penchant for violence, gets involved, the battle between Mildred and Ebbing’s law enforcement is only exacerbated.



A college student (Eli Harboe) starts to experience extreme seizures while studying at a university in Oslo, Norway. She soon learns that the violent episodes are a symptom of inexplicable, and often dangerous, supernatural abilities.

Bitch” — Written and Directed by Marianna Palka (Also Available on VOD)


Bitch” tells the powerful and darkly humorous story of a housewife (Marianna Palka) who, after her philandering husband (Jason Ritter) and unruly kids break her psyche, upends the family dynamic by assuming the persona of a vicious dog.

Gold Star” — Written and Directed by Victoria Negri (Opens in NY) (Also Available on VOD)

After dropping out of music school, Vicki (Victoria Negri) drifts aimlessly between her family’s house in Connecticut and an itinerant existence in New York. When her father suffers a debilitating stroke, she has to become his primary caretaker. Vicki resists connecting with him, and making peace with herself, but finds a way forward thanks to a new friend and a life-changing event.

Destination Unknown” (Documentary) — Directed by Claire Ferguson (Opens in NY and La)

Destination Unknown

Destination Unknown” blends intimate testimony with immersive archive to bring the stories of 12 Holocaust survivors to the screen. The survivors share their memories, some for the first time, some for the last, bringing their experiences to a new generation. They endured the death camps. They hid in remote farms. They fought as partisans in Polish forests. But when the war ended, those struggles were only just beginning.

November 15

Song of Granite” — Co-Written by Sharon Whooley

Song of Granite

Song of Granite” revolves around the life of the great traditional Irish singer Joe Heaney. The harsh landscape combined with the myths, fables, and songs of his Connemara childhood helped shape this complex and fascinating character. Enigmatic and complex, Heaney’s devotion to his art came at a huge personal cost.

November 17

Mudbound” — Co-Written and Directed by Dee Rees — November 17 (Also Available on Netflix)


Set in the rural American South during World War II, Dee Rees’ “Mudbound” is an epic story of two families pitted against one another by a ruthless social hierarchy, yet bound together by the shared farmland of the Mississippi Delta. “Mudbound” follows the McAllan family, newly transplanted from the quiet civility of Memphis and unprepared for the harsh demands of farming. Meanwhile, Hap (Rob Morgan) and Florence Jackson (Mary J. Blige) — sharecroppers who have worked the land for generations — struggle bravely to build a small dream of their own despite the rigidly enforced social barriers they face. The war upends both families’ plans as their returning loved ones, Jamie McAllan (Garrett Hedlund) and Ronsel Jackson (Jason Mitchell), forge a fast but uneasy friendship that challenges the brutal realities of the Jim Crow South in which they live.

“A Fantastic Woman”

“A Fantastic Woman”

Marina and Orlando are in love and planning for the future. Marina (Daniela Vega) is a young waitress and aspiring singer. Orlando (Francisco Reyes) is 20 years older than her, and owns a printing company. After celebrating Marina’s birthday one evening, Orlando falls seriously ill. Marina rushes him to the emergency room, but he passes away just after arriving at the hospital. Instead of being able to mourn her lover, suddenly Marina is treated with suspicion. The doctors and Orlando’s family don’t trust her. A detective investigates Marina to see if she was involved in his death. Orlando’s ex-wife forbids her from attending the funeral. And to make matters worse, Orlando’s son threatens to throw Marina out of the flat she shared with Orlando. Marina is a trans woman and for most of Orlando’s family, her sexual identity is an aberration, a perversion. So Marina struggles for the right to be herself. She battles the very same forces that she has spent a lifetime fighting just to become the woman she is now — a complex, strong, forthright, and fantastic woman.

The Breadwinner” — Directed by Nora Twomey; Written by Anita Doron and Deborah Ellis

The Breadwinner

Parvana (Saara Chaudry) is an 11-year-old girl growing up under the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001. When her father is wrongfully arrested, Parvana cuts off her hair and dresses like a boy in order to support her family. Working alongside her friend Shauzia (Soma Chhaya), Parvana discovers a new world of freedom — and danger. With undaunted courage, Parvana draws strength from the fantastical stories she invents, as she embarks on a quest to find her father and reunite her family.

“Cook Off!” — Co-Directed by Cathryn Michon; Co-Written by Cathryn Michon and Wendi McLendon-Covey (Also Available on VOD)

Reality-show shenanigans mix with the fiery-and-fierce world of competitive baking in the deliciously sly mockumentary “Cook Off!” As a buffet of quirky contestants prepare for the renowned Van Rookle Farms Cooking Contest, the heat is on to win a one million-dollar prize. The filmmakers follow them as the foodie media and celebrity judges descend on a hotel convention area to see which contestants rise, which ones fall, who will reveal their true nature, and who will find love with the contest’s costumed Muffin Man mascot.

Big Sonia” (Documentary) — Co-Directed by Leah Warshawski

Big Sonia

In the last store in a defunct shopping mall, 91-year-old Sonia Warshawski — great-grandmother, businesswoman, and Holocaust survivor — runs the tailor shop she’s owned for more than 30 years. But when she’s served an eviction notice, the specter of retirement prompts Sonia to resist her harrowing past as a refugee and witness to genocide. A poignant story of generational trauma and healing, “Big Sonia” also offers a laugh-out-loud-funny portrait of the power of love to triumph over bigotry, and the power of truth-telling to heal us all.

Soufra” (Documentary) (Opens in La)


Soufra” follows the inspirational story of intrepid social entrepreneur Mariam Shaar — a refugee who has spent her entire life in the 69-year-old Burl El Barajneh refugee camp south of Beirut, Lebanon.

On the Beach at Night Alone”

On the Beach at Night Alone”

An actress (Min-hee Kim) wanders around a seaside town, pondering her relationship with a married man.

November 22

Mr. Roosevelt” — Written and Directed by Noël Wells (Opens in NY)

Mr. Roosevelt

Emily (Noël Wells), a talented but hard-to-classify comedic performer, left behind her home and boyfriend to pursue career opportunities in La. When a loved one falls ill, Emily rushes back to Austin where she’s forced to stay with her ex-boyfriend (Nick Thune) and his new-and-improved girlfriend (Britt Lower), a totally together woman with a five-year plan. Though Emily is the same, everything else is different: her house has been smartly redecorated, her rocker boyfriend is training to be a real estate agent, and her old haunts show serious signs of gentrification. Holed up in her own guest room, Emily — who has no idea what she’ll be doing five days from now, let alone five years — is forced to question everyone’s values: are they sell-outs or have they just figured out what makes them happy? And is she following her dreams or is she just a self-absorbed loser?

The Man Who Invented Christmas” — Written by Susan Coyne

The Man Who Invented Christmas”: Kerry Brown/Garlands Films

The Man Who Invented Christmas” tells of the magical journey that led to the creation of Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, and other classic characters from “A Christmas Carol.” The film shows how Charles Dickens (Dan Stevens) mixed real-life inspirations with his vivid imagination to conjure up unforgettable characters and a timeless tale, forever changing the holiday season into the celebration we know today.

November 24

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story” (Documentary) — Directed by Alexandra Dean

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story

Austrian actress Hedy Lamarr fled an oppressive marriage to create a name for herself as one of Hollywood’s top leading ladies in the 1940s. Behind the glamour and sex appeal, though, was a talented and inquisitive inventor who created a radio system that is now considered the basis of Bluetooth technology.

November 2017 Film Preview 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 »

Oscar Doc Submissions Are 35 Percent Women-Directed


It’s time to meet the 2018 Oscar doc contenders. One hundred seventy features have been submitted for consideration in the category at the upcoming Academy Awards, and one of them will be taking home an Oscar and the title of Best Doc at the 90th installment of the ceremony. Of those 170 titles, 60 are directed or co-directed by women, amounting to about 35 percent of the total. Last year, 30 percent of the features in the race were helmed or co-helmed by women. Just one doc submitted by a woman earned a nod, Ava DuVernay’s “13th,” an exploration of the connection between slavery and mass-incarceration in the United States.

“Several of the films have not yet had their required Los Angeles and New York qualifying releases,” a press release announcing this year’s doc hopefuls specified. So at this point it’s not a sure bet that these films will be eligible to advance, since “submitted features must fulfill the theatrical release requirements and comply with all of the category’s other qualifying rules in order to” do so.

Docs in the running include Amanda Lipitz’s “Step,” an inspirational story of an all-girls dance team at a Baltimore high school, Nanfu Wang’s “I Am Another You,” a portrait of a drifter in Florida, and Ramona S. Diaz’s “Motherland,” a look inside the world’s busiest maternity hospital.

A shortlist of 15 films will be unveiled in December, and nominations will be announced January 23, 2018. The Oscars will take place March 4, 2018.

Check out all of the women-directed and co-directed docs up for Oscar glory below. List adapted from a press release.

All the Rage” (Co-Directed by Suki Hawley)

“Angels Within” (Co-Directed by Connie Lamothe)

“Arthur Miller: Writer” (Directed by Rebecca Miller)

“Atomic Homefront” (Directed by Rebecca Cammisa)

Big Sonia”(Co-Directed by Leah Warshawski)

“Birthright: A War Story” (Directed by Civia Tamarkin)

Bobbi Jene” (directed by Elvira Lind)

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story” (Directed by Alexandra Dean)

“Born to Lead: The Sal Aunese Story” (Directed by Lara Anne Slife)

Casting JonBenet” (Directed by Kitty Green)

“ “Chavela” (Directed by Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi)

Destination Unknown” (Directed by Claire Ferguson)

“11/8/16” (Co-Directed by Petra Epperlein, Alma Har’el, Sheena M. Joyce, Alison Klayman, Ciara Lacy, Martha Shane, and Elaine McMillion Sheldon)

“Embargo” (Directed by Jeri Rice)

Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars” (Directed by Lili Fini Zanuck)

“Everybody Knows… Elizabeth Murray” (Directed by Kristi Zea)

Faces Places” (Co-Directed by Agnès Varda)

“The Farthest” (Directed by Emer Reynolds)

“500 Years” (Directed by Pamela Yates)

Good Fortune” (Co-Directed by Rebecca Harrell Tickell)

“Hare Krishna! The Mantra, the Movement and the Swami Who Started It All” (Co-Directed by Jean Griesser and Lauren Ross)

I Am Another You” (Directed by Nanfu Wang)

I Am Evidence” (Directed by Trish Adlesic and Geeta Gandbhir)

I Am Jane Doe” (Directed by Mary Mazzio)

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” (Co-Directed by Bonni Cohen)

“Jeremiah Tower The Last Magnificent” (Directed by Lydia Tenaglia)

Karl Marx City” (Co-Directed by Petra Epperlein)

“Kedi” (Directed by Ceyda Torun)

“Kiki” (Directed by Sarah Jordenö)

The Last Laugh” (Directed by Ferne Pearlstein)

Letters from Baghdad” (Directed by Sabine Krayenbühl and Zeva Oelbaum)

“Look & See” (Co-Directed by Laura Dunn)

Motherland” (Directed by Ramona S. Diaz)

“Obit” (Directed by Vanessa Gould)

One of Us” (Directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady)

“The Pathological Optimist” (Directed by Miranda Bailey)

“Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman” (Co-Directed by Susan Froemke and Beth Aala)

The Rape of Recy Taylor” (Directed by Nancy Buirski)

The Reagan Show” (Co-Directed by Sierra Pettengill)

Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan” (Co-Directed by Linda Saffire)

“Risk” (Directed by Laura Poitras)

Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World” (Co-Directed by Catherine Bainbridge)

School Life” (Co-Directed by Neasa Ní Chianáin)

“ “Served Like a Girl” (Directed by Lysa Heslov)

Sled Dogs” (Directed by Fern Levitt)

“Spettacolo” (Co-Directed by Chris Shellen)

Step” (Directed by Amanda Lipitz)

“Stopping Traffic: The Movement to End Sex-Trafficking” (Directed by Sadhvi Siddhali Shree)

Swim Team” (Directed by Lara Stolman)

Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton” (Directed by Rory Kennedy)

“Take My Nose… Please!” (Directed by Joan Kron)

“32 Pills: My Sister’s Suicide” (Directed by Hope Litoff)

This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous” (Directed by Barbara Kopple)

Tickling Giants” (Directed by Sara Taksler)

“Trophy” (Co-Directed by Christina Clusiau)

“Unrest” (Directed by Jennifer Brea)

Vince Giordano — There’s a Future in the Past” (Co-Directed by Amber Edwards)

“Wasted! The Story of Food Waste” (Directed by Anna Chai and Nari Kye)

Water & Power: A California Heist” (Directed by Marina Zenovich)

“Whose Streets?” (Co-Directed by Sabaah Folayan)

Oscar Doc Submissions Are 35 Percent Women-Directed 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 »

Record 170 Documentary Features Will Vie for 2018 Oscar

Record 170 Documentary Features Will Vie for 2018 Oscar
One hundred seventy features have been submitted for consideration in the Documentary Feature category for the 90th Academy Awards. That’s 25 more than 2016. Assuming they all book their qualifying runs in New York and Los Angeles, the members of the documentary branch have just a few more weeks to see as many films as possible and file their votes for the shortlist of 15 to be announced in December. They’re each supposed to watch an assigned list of about 20 films, plus as many more as they can.

Read More:2018 Oscar Predictions: Best Documentary Feature

It’s possible for documentaries to also vie for Best Picture, although it is rare. Among this year’s most lauded features are “City of Ghosts,” “Faces Places,” “Jane,” “Kedi” and “One of Us.”

The submitted features, listed in alphabetical order, are:

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

“Aida’s Secrets

“Al Di Qua”

All the Rage
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Record 170 Documentary Features Will Vie for 2018 Oscar

Record 170 Documentary Features Will Vie for 2018 Oscar
One hundred seventy features have been submitted for consideration in the Documentary Feature category for the 90th Academy Awards. That’s 25 more than 2016. Assuming they all book their qualifying runs in New York and Los Angeles, the members of the documentary branch have just a few more weeks to see as many films as possible and file their votes for the shortlist of 15 to be announced in December. They’re each supposed to watch an assigned list of about 20 films, plus as many more as they can.

Read More:2018 Oscar Predictions: Best Documentary Feature

It’s possible for documentaries to also vie for Best Picture, although it is rare. Among this year’s most lauded features are “City of Ghosts,” “Faces Places,” “Jane,” “Kedi” and “One of Us.”

The submitted features, listed in alphabetical order, are:

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

“Aida’s Secrets

“Al Di Qua”

All the Rage
See full article at Indiewire »

170 Documentary Features Submitted for Oscar Consideration

170 Documentary Features Submitted for Oscar Consideration
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Friday that 170 films have been submitted for documentary feature Oscar consideration.

Included are films like “City of Ghosts,” “Cries from Syria,” “Faces Places” and “Kedi,” which have picked up nominations on the awards circuit already.

Several of the submissions have not yet had their required Los Angeles and New York qualifying releases. Theatrical release requirements must be fulfilled and submitted titles must comply with all of the category’s other qualifying rules in order to advance in the voting process.

A shortlist of 15 films will be announced in December.

This year’s documentary feature Oscar winner was Ezra Edelman and Espn’s “O.J.: Made in America.” Following an outcry over what was perceived as a television series winning a film award, the Academy added a new rule disallowing multi-part movies from being eligible.

The 170 submitted features, in alphabetical order, are:

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

“Aida’s [link
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Trailer Watch: A Holocaust Survivor Revisits Her Trauma in “Big Sonia”

Big Sonia

“You live with it all your life and you can never forget. I would catch myself laughing and feel guilty,” says the titular character of “Big Sonia” in a new trailer for Leah Warshawski’s award-winning documentary. Sonia Warshawski is a great-grandmother, businesswoman, and Holocaust survivor.

As Sonia explains in the spot, keeping busy helps keep her thoughts away from her painful history, but when she’s served an eviction notice for her tailoring business, “the specter of retirement prompts Sonia to revisit her harrowing past as a refugee and witness to genocide,” the film’s official synopsis details.

“If I reach one heart, I accomplished something,” Sonia emphasizes. And it’s clear that she’s reached many hearts. “It takes people who’ve been through something to reach people who are going through something,” a man in prison says in the spot.

“Sonia is an engaging character in a dying generation. She can draw audiences in to larger, universal themes. She also happens to be my grandmother,” Warshawski told us.

Described as “a poignant story of generational trauma and healing,” “Big Sonia” has taken home over a dozen awards on the festival circuit, including the Barcelona International Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary. The doc hits theaters November 17.

Trailer Watch: A Holocaust Survivor Revisits Her Trauma in “Big Sonia” 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 Chinese Widow' to replace 'Our Time Will Come' as Siff opener

  • ScreenDaily
'The Chinese Widow' to replace 'Our Time Will Come' as Siff opener
No reason has been given for the change in opening film.

Danish director Bille August’s The Chinese Widow will open this year’s Shanghai International Film Festival (Siff, June 17-26), replacing Ann Hui’s Our Time Will Come, which was previously announced as the opening film.

However, Our Time Will Come will still play in the Golden Goblet competition at Siff. No reason was given for the change by either the festival or the film’s producer Bona Film Group.

Both films are set in China during the Second World War. Starring Emile Hirsch and Yu Nan, The Chinese Widow tells the story of an American pilot who is shot down and saved by Chinese villagers. It remains unclear if the film has been made under the recently signed Danish-Chinese co-production treaty. August recently served as jury president at the Beijing International Film Festival.

Our Time Will Come, which stars Zhou Xun and Eddie Peng, revolves
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Shanghai Festival Completes Competition Lineup, Replaces Opening Film

Shanghai Festival Completes Competition Lineup, Replaces Opening Film
Bille August’s Chinese-made “The Chinese Widow” has been set at the opening night movie of the Shanghai International Film Festival. It replaces the previously announced “Our Time Will Come,” by Hong Kong auteur Ann Hui.

No explanation for the change was offered by the festival, or Bona Film Group, producer of “Our Time,” or its international sales agent, Hong Kong-based Distribution Workshop. The film is a wartime drama focusing on the a woman school teacher and other youths who led the resistance movement during Japan’s WWII occupation of Hong Kong. It stars Taiwan’s Eddie Peng and Wallace Huo and China’s Zhou Xun as the female lead.

Hui has been reported as conceiving the film as a tribute to the 20th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong from British colonial rule to China. It will open in China on the anniversary, July 1 and in Hong Kong a few days later.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Geena Davis, Brett Ratner, Allison Williams to Be Honored at Sun Valley Film Festival

Geena Davis, Brett Ratner, Allison Williams to Be Honored at Sun Valley Film Festival
Geena Davis, Brett Ratner and Allison Williams will be honored at the sixth edition of the Sun Valley Film Festival, running March 15-19 in the Idaho resort community. Davis will receive the Vision Award, Ratner the Pioneer Award and Williams is being honored with the Rising Star Award.

In addition to starring in films including “Thelma and Lousie” and “Beetlejuice,” Davis founded the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and the Bentonville Film Festival. She will appear in the upcoming “Marjorie Prime” with Tim Robbins and Jon Hamm. She will be honored with the Vision Award on March 18 and speak at the Grande Dame brunch.

Ratner directed the “Rush Hour” trilogy and “X-Men: The Last Stand,” and has produced films including “The Revenant.” He will receive the Pioneer Award on March 17.

Williams is currently starring in the final season of HBO’s “Girls” and in Jordan Peele’s hit horror film “Get Out.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Big Sonia’: Film Review | Napa Valley 2016

‘Big Sonia’: Film Review | Napa Valley 2016
The petite nonagenarian at the center of Big Sonia would be a compelling film subject under any circumstances. With her bright lipstick and penchant for animal prints (“They never go out of style”), Sonia Warshawski is as vibrant as she is diligent, single-handedly running a six-day-a-week tailor shop. That it’s the only thriving business in a moribund Kansas City mall is itself a story; so, too, is the jolt of Old World glamor she brings to a suburban Midwestern setting.

But for Sonia, the importance of keeping busy is no simple response to widowhood or means of fending off the...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Watch: A Holocaust Survivor Tells Her Story in Exclusive Clip From Doc NYC Premiere ‘Big Sonia’

Kicking off last week and continuing through this Thursday, Doc NYC is a utopia for the year’s best documentaries. One of the most promising will have a premiere tomorrow and today we’re pleased to premiere an exclusive clip. Big Sonia follows one of the last remaining survivors of the Holocaust, the 90-year-old Sonia, who is faced with an eviction notice after running her late husband’s tailoring business.

“There are many sides to Sonia – she’s a tiny, dynamic woman – who never stops trying to make an impact in her own small ways,” co-director Leah Warshawski, and Sonia’s granddaughter, tells us. “She’s the only survivor in the Kansas City area who speaks regularly about her experience during the Holocaust to students, prisoners, and anyone who will listen. This clip is from one of our first trips to see her speak at a middle school, and we
See full article at The Film Stage »

‘Book of Love,’ ‘Sticky Notes’ to Screen at Napa Valley Film Festival

‘Book of Love,’ ‘Sticky Notes’ to Screen at Napa Valley Film Festival
The West Coast premieres of “The Book of Love” and “Sticky Notes” have been set for the sixth annual Napa Valley Film Festival during Nov. 3-9.

The two titles are part of the 10 films in the Narrative Feature Film lineup for juried competition along with 10 titles in the Documentary Feature competition. The awards ceremonies will take place Nov. 12 at the Lincoln Theater in Yountville.

“The Book of Love” stars Jason Sudeikis as an introverted architect with Jessica Biel as his quirky artist wife, who’s expecting their first child. When tragedy strikes, he quits his job and mopes around the house, taking passing notice of a young homeless girl (Maisie Williams) rooting around in the trash outside and helps her build a raft designed to weather a transatlantic crossing. Directed by Bill Purple.

Sticky Notes” stars Rose Leslie as an emotionally detached backup dancer living in Los Angeles who, returns
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Exclusive: Seattle International Film Festival Awards $50,000 Grants to Two Documentaries on Aging

Exclusive: Seattle International Film Festival Awards $50,000 Grants to Two Documentaries on Aging
The two feature-length documentaries, both of which focus on subjects over the age of 80, are the beneficiaries of a three-year pledge from True Productions founder Dwayne Clark and his wife, Terese. The Seattle-based film, theater, and media production company will award one $50,000 grant annually during that time — though the competition was so strong in this, the program's inaugural year, that Clark tapped Aegis Living, the retirement, assisted living, and Alzheimer's care company of which he's CEO, to support a second $50,000 grant. Leah Warshawski and Todd Soliday's "Big Sonia" depicts 90-year-old Holocaust survivor Sonia Warshawski — who stands at a not-so-big 4'8" — struggling with retirement and imparting life lessons after she's served an eviction notice for John's Tailoring, the last shop left in a dying suburban mall. Kate Dandel's "Gold Balls," filmed at four locations around the country, depicts the competitors in the tennis...
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

What’s Up Doc?: Pennebaker/Hegedus & Malick Voyage to the Top in November

It’s been a couple months since the last edition of What’s Up Doc? placed Michael Moore’s surprise world premiere of Where To Invade Next at the top of this list and in the meantime much shuffling has taken place and much time has been spent on various new endeavors (namely my Buffalo-based film series, Cultivate Cinema Circle). Finally taking its rightful place at the top, D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hagedus’ Unlocking the Cage is in the midst of being scored by composer James Lavino, according to Lavino’s own personal site. Though the project has been taking shape at its own leisurely pace, I’d expect to see the film making its festival debut in early 2016.

Right behind, the American direct cinema masters is a Texan soon to make his non-fiction debut with Voyage of Time. Just two weeks ago indieWIRE reported that Ennio Morricone, who scored
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Us Briefs: Samuel Goldwyn Films picks up 'Havana Motor Club'

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Us Briefs: Samuel Goldwyn Films picks up 'Havana Motor Club'
Plus… La Film Festival announces partnership with ArcLight Cinemas for 2016; Lakeshore, Phantom Four partner on Miles, Seattle grant finalists; Davoli and Davids merge firms.Samuel Goldwyn Films has acquired worldwide rights from Submarine Entertainment and Rosalind Lichter to Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt’s Havana Motor Club (pictured) about underground drag racers in Cuba. The film premiered in Tribeca and will open in 2016.The La Film Festival produced by Film Independent has announced a partnership with ArcLight Cinemas that will see the 22nd edition of the La Film Festival take place at ArcLight Cinemas across the city next summer from June 1-9.Paramount Television has closed a two-year overall television deal with Beasts Of No Nation director Cary Fukunaga and his production company Parliament Of Owls. Fukunaga is collaborating with Paramount Television as director and executive producer of The Alienist for TNT. Benicio del Toro, an awards season contender for Sicario, will take place in an on-stage conversation about his career
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What’s Up Doc?: Moore Docu Surprises, Locarno Begins, Telluride, Venice & Tiff Loom

The fall festival rush is upon us. Locarno is currently ramping up. Venice has released their line-up and Thom Powers and the Toronto International Film Festival team have dropped a bomb with a previously unannounced new feature from powerhouse docu-provocateur Michael Moore. It is truly a miracle that the production of a film such as Moore’s upcoming Where To Invade Next (see still above) managed to go completely undetected by the filmmaking community until it was literally announced to world premiere at one of the largest film festivals in the world. Programmed as a one of the key films in the Special Presentations section at Tiff, the film sees Moore telling “the Pentagon to ‘stand down’ — he will do the invading for America from now on.” Also announced to premiere at Tiff was Avi LewisThis Changes Everything, which has slowly been rising up this list, as well as
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What’s Up Doc?: Wiseman Rises to New “Heights” & Rivers Shooting “The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers” in Morocco

It’s been a surprisingly interesting month of moving and shaking in terms of doc development. Just a month after making his first public funding pitch at Toronto’s Hot Docs Forum, legendary doc filmmaker Frederick Wiseman took to Kickstarter to help cover the remaining expenses for his 40th feature film In Jackson Heights (see the film’s first trailer below). Unrelentingly rigorous in his determination to capture the American institutional landscape on film, his latest continues down this thematic rabbit hole, taking on the immensely diverse New York City neighborhood of Jackson Heights as his latest subject. According to the Kickstarter page, Wiseman is currently editing the 120 hours of rushes he shot with hopes of having the film ready for a fall festival premiere (my guess would be Tiff, where both National Gallery and At Berkeley made their North American debut), though he’s currently quite a ways away from his $75,000 goal.
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What’s Up Doc?: Sheffield & AFI Docs Signal the Summer Fest Drought

Well folks, after a rather long and brutal winter (at least for me here in Buffalo), we are finally heading into the wonderful warmth of summer, but with that blast of sunshine and steamy humidity comes the mid-year drought of major film fests. After the Sheffield Doc/Fest concludes on June 10th and AFI Docs wraps on June 21st, we likely won’t see any major influx in our charts until Locarno, Venice, Telluride and Tiff announce their line-ups in rapid succession. In the meantime, we can look forward to the intriguing onslaught of films making their debut in Sheffield, including Brian Hill’s intriguing examination of Sweden’s most notorious serial killer, The Confessions of Thomas Quick, and Sean McAllister’s film for which he himself was jailed in the process of making, A Syrian Love Story, the only two films world premiering in the festival’s main competition.
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