Tuesday, December 12, 2017

News Briefs

Displaying 1 - 10 of 2755
  • Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017
ICG Publicists Awards Luncheon to be held on March 2
Steven Poster, president of the International Cinematographers Guild
LOS ANGELES -- 

The International Cinematographers Guild (ICG, IATSE Local 600) 55th Annual ICG Publicists Awards Luncheon will take place Friday, March 2, 2018, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The awards, which traditionally occurs the week leading up to the Academy Awards®, will be presented in the following categories: Motion Picture Showman of the Year, Television Showman of the Year, Lifetime Achievement, Maxwell Weinberg Publicist Award for a Television Campaign and for a Movie Campaign, Les Mason Award for Career Achievement in Publicity, and the Bob Yeager Award for Community Service.

“These awards recognize outstanding efforts in publicity and promotion during the previous calendar year,” said ICG President Steven Poster. “They are most often responsible for the international box office success of movies and television shows.”

Past honorees include Clint Eastwood, Jim Gianopolus, Alfred Hitchcock, Alan Horn, Michael Lynton, Amy Pascal, Barry Meyer, Lew Wasserman, Tom Rothman, Jack Warner, Les Moonves, Jerry Bruckheimer, Fred Silverman, Grant Tinker, Norman Lear, David Kelley, Steven Bochco, Aaron Spelling and Bob Hope, among others. More than 1,000 industry leaders are expected to attend the awards luncheon.

Awards Chairs this year are Henri Bollinger and Tim Menke. Nominations will be announced in January 2018. Final online balloting will be held Jan. 17-Feb. 9. 

  • Monday, Dec. 11, 2017
Apple orchestrates deal for song-recognition app Shazam
This Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013, file photo shows the Apple logo above a store location entrance in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- 

Apple has bought Shazam, the maker of a song-recognition app that Apple's digital assistant Siri has already been using to help people identify the music playing on their iPhones.

The companies didn't disclose the price of the acquisition announced Monday. Technology news site Recode previously reported Apple is paying about $400 million for Shazam, citing three unidentified people familiar with the deal.

Apple Inc. issued a statement describing Shazam as "natural fit" with its services.

"We have exciting plans in store, and we look forward to combining with Shazam," Apple said. The Cupertino, California, company declined to say whether Shazam's app will still be available after the deal closes.

Some of Shazam's features conceivably could be blended into Apple's music streaming services, which has accumulated more than 27 million subscribers since the company created it in 2015.

Siri began drawing upon Shazam's technology to answer questions about songs as part of a 2014 update to the iPhone's operating system.

The Shazam deal marks Apple's biggest acquisition in music since paying $3 billion for Beats Electronics' line of headphones and music service in 2014.

Digital services have been playing an increasingly important role for Apple as the sales of iPhones — the company's main moneymaker — have slowed. Software and other services generated $30 billion in revenue during Apple's last fiscal year, a 23 percent increase from the previous year.

Shazam was founded in 2002 and made one of the first apps for the iPhone. It has about 250 employees working at its London headquarters and seven other offices in the U.S., Australia and Germany.

  • Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017
"The Square" wins big at European Film Awards
This image released by Magnolia Pictures shows Claes Bang in a scene from "The Square." (Magnolia Pictures via AP)
BERLIN (AP) -- 

Swedish comedy "The Square" has swept this year's European Film Awards, winning six prizes, including for best film, director and screenwriter.

Ruben Ostlund's film already took the Cannes Film Festival's coveted Palme d'Or earlier this year, raising hopes it might be a contender at the upcoming Oscars.

Claes Bang, who plays a museum director whose life goes awry in the film, received the best actor award at the ceremony in Berlin late Saturday. Josefin Asberg was honored for the production design.

This year's best actress award went to Alexandra Borbely of Slovakia for her role in "On Body and Soul."

The European Film Awards are decided by a vote of more than 3,000 members of the European Film Academy.

  • Friday, Dec. 8, 2017
"Big Little Lies" back for season 2 with Kidman, Witherspoon
This Nov. 27, 2017, file photo shows Reese Witherspoon, left, and Nicole Kidman arriving at the 27th annual Independent Film Project's Gotham Awards at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

HBO says the dark drama "Big Little Lies" is coming back for a second season.

The channel said Friday that Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon will again star and serve as executive producers of the Emmy-winning series.

The new episodes are based in part on a story by Liane Moriarty, author of the novel "Big Little Lies."

The drama's first-season writer, David E. Kelly, is returning to write the seven new episodes. Andrea Arnold, whose credits include "Transparent," will direct.

HBO said the series will explore friendships, the fragility of marriage and include the potential for "emotional and bodily injury."

The first season of "Big Little Lies" included domestic abuse and a violent death.

An air date for season two was not announced.

  • Friday, Dec. 8, 2017
CBS, HBO, Netflix among 2018 duPont-Columbia award winners
Author-activist Angela Davis in a scene from Ava DuVernay's documentary "13th" (photo courtesy of Netflix)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

A mixture of legacy journalism and new media with emerging platforms were among the 16 winners of the 2018 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards honored for their work in broadcast, digital and documentary journalism.

The awards were announced by Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism on Thursday.

"At a challenging time for the news media," said Jury Chair Cheryl Gould. "We were gratified to see both new platforms strengthen their journalism muscles and traditional outlets maintain their vigorous reporting standards."

Audio and video journalists were recognized with offerings as broadcasts and podcasts. "This American Life" won for its coverage of the split within the Republican Party and Reveal for its human rights reporting in Russia. The New York Times podcast "The Daily" also was honored.

Awards went to media newcomer Netflix and filmmaker Ava Du Vernay for the feature-length documentary "13th" and to Hollywood filmmaker John Ridley's partnership with ABC News on the documentary "Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992."

CBS News won two awards, one for its Syrian war coverage of veteran correspondent Elizabeth Palmer and the other for a two-part "60 Minutes" report from inside the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

PBS picked up wins for the "Frontline" documentary "Exodus," which traces the route of refugees into Europe, and for WORLD Channel's "America ReFramed: Class of '27," a look at the benefits of early education.

Cable outlets also were represented: "HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" for its investigation into the International Olympic Committee and National Geographic Documentary Films for "Hell on Earth: the Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS."

Five local television stations were honored for investigative reporting: ABC15 Arizona for exposing abuse of the American Disabilities Act; KARE 11 for three hard-hitting investigative stories; KHOU-TV for revealing Houston's wasteful police body camera program; KNTV for chronicling the misuse of school police officers to discipline students; and WITI-TV for challenging public opinion about laws intended to safeguard children but that may put them at greater risk.

The awards ceremony, co-hosted by "CBS This Morning" host Gayle King and CNN anchor Jake Tapper, will be at Columbia on Jan. 16.

  • Friday, Dec. 8, 2017
"Get Out" wins Best Picture & Best Screenplay honors from D.C. Film Critics
This image released by Universal Pictures shows Daniel Kaluuya in a scene from "Get Out." (Universal Pictures via AP)
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- 

The Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA) honorees for 2017 are led by "Get Out," a smart, hair-raising satire about prejudice and race relations, which won Best Film, as well as Best Original Screenplay for writer-director Jordan Peele. Christopher Nolan claimed Best Director for his remarkably mounted, ceaselessly intense World War II thriller "Dunkirk." 

WAFCA awarded Best Actor to Gary Oldman for his assured, multilayered performance. Frances McDormand's searing turn as a grieving, unapologetically outspoken mother nabbed the Best Actress award for the darkly comedic "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri." Other acting honors for that film went to Sam Rockwell as Best Supporting Actor and Best Acting Ensemble for the cast as a whole.

Best Supporting Actress was awarded to Laurie Metcalf, as a working-class mother in "Lady Bird." For their thoughtful adaptation of author Hillary Jordan's acclaimed 2008 novel about the relationship between two families—one black, one white—living in the 1940s Jim Crow South, Dee Rees and Virgil Williams earned Best Adapted Screenplay accolades for "Mudbound." 

Pixar's touching family adventure "Coco," set during Mexico's annual Day of the Dead celebration, was awarded Best Animated Feature. And the film's star, 13-year-old Anthony Gonzalez, earned Best Voice Performance. Andy Serkis claimed the award for Best Motion Capture Performance as Caesar in "War for the Planet of the Apes."

Brooklynn Prince clinched the Best Youth Performance category for "The Florida Project."

Best Documentary kudos went to "Jane" and "BPM (Beats Per Minute)," Robin Campillo's touching story of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in 1990s France, took Best Foreign Language Film honors.

Denis Villeneuve's visionary sci-fi sequel "Blade Runner 2049" nearly swept the technical categories, taking home Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, and Best Original Score. Best Editing was awarded to "Baby Driver," a music-fueled heist picture directed by Edgar Wright where the rhythm of each scene is thrillingly cut to its soundtrack.

The Joe Barber Award for Best Portrayal of Washington, DC, given each year in honor of one of WAFCA's cherished late members, went to Steven Spielberg's journalism drama "The Post."

The Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Association comprises 52 DC-VA-MD-based film critics from television, radio, print and the Internet. Voting was conducted from December 5-7, 2017.

THE 2017 WAFCA AWARD WINNERS:

Best Film
Get Out

Best Director
Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk)

Best Actor
Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)

Best Actress
Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Best Supporting Actor
Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Best Supporting Actress
Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird)

Best Acting Ensemble
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Youth Performance
Brooklynn Prince (The Florida Project)

Best Voice Performance
Anthony Gonzalez (Coco)

Best Motion Capture Performance
Andy Serkis (War for the Planet of the Apes)

Best Original Screenplay
Jordan Peele (Get Out)

Best Adapted Screenplay
Virgil Williams and Dee Rees (Mudbound)

Best Animated Feature
Coco

Best Documentary
Jane

Best Foreign Language Film
BPM (Beats Per Minute)

Best Production Design
Production Designer: Dennis Gassner; Set Decorator: Alessandra Querzola (Blade Runner 2049)

Best Cinematography
Roger A. Deakins, ASC, BSC (Blade Runner 2049)

Best Editing
Paul Machliss, ACE; Jonathan Amos, ACE (Baby Driver)

Best Original Score
Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch (Blade Runner 2049)

The Joe Barber Award for Best Portrayal of Washington, DC
The Post

  • Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017
Ava DuVernay to receive 2018 Visionary Award from Producers Guild
Ava DuVernay
LOS ANGELES -- 

The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced that celebrated producer and director Ava DuVernay will be honored with the 2018 Visionary Award. DuVernay will accept the award at the 29th Annual Producers Guild Awards on Saturday, January 20, 2018 at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles.
 
The Producers Guild Visionary Award recognizes television, film, or new media producers for their unique or uplifting contributions to our culture through inspiring storytelling or performance. 
 
DuVernay is being honored with the Visionary Award for her work in creating topical films and television shows focusing on important social issues such as “13th,” the riveting documentary about race in America for which she earned two Emmys and an Academy Award® nomination, as well as her critically acclaimed hit television series “Queen Sugar.” DuVernay is a fierce advocate for underrepresented filmmakers. In 2010, she founded ARRAY, a non-profit collective dedicated to the distribution and amplification of films by people of color and women filmmakers. DuVernay has broken down barriers throughout her Hollywood career--she was the first African-American woman director to have a film nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards with 2014’s “Selma,” as well as the first to earn the Best Director Prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Her upcoming film Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” makes her the first African-American woman to direct a film budgeted over $100 million. The film will be released on March 8, 2018 and stars Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Storm Reid, Chris Pine and Zach Galifianakis.
 
Producers Guild Awards Chairs Donald De Line and Amy Pascal stated, “The emergence of Ava DuVernay as a producer and filmmaker has been one of the great developments of the past several years. Whether in scripted features, television or documentaries, her unique voice, skill and passion have inspired countless audiences throughout our country and around the world.  She is, by any standard, a visionary storyteller, and we are excited to be honoring her as such in 2018.”
 
Previous honorees include: Oscar-nominated producer and founder of Annapurna Pictures Megan Ellison; Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, and Jeremy Kleiner’s Plan B Entertainment; producer and founder of Illumination Entertainment Chis Meledandri; producer Laura Ziskin; and Participant Media’s Jeff Skoll.

  • Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017
JK Rowling, Warner Bros. voice support for casting of Johnny Depp
In this combination photo, Johnny Depp appears at the Los Angeles premiere of "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" on May 18, 2017, left, and J.K. Rowling appears at the BAFTA Film Awards in London on Feb. 12, 2017. (Photos by Jordan Strauss, left, and Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

J.K. Rowling voiced her support for Johnny Depp and his casting in an upcoming sequel to "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," following earlier domestic abuse allegations made against the actor.

The author published a statement on her website Thursday, breaking her silence on what had been a simmering controversy for the franchise. Some Harry Potter fans have said they would boycott "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" after Depp's ex-wife Amber Heard in May 2016 said that Depp was "verbally and physically abusive" to her during their marriage. Depp earlier called that claim and others "salacious false stories, gossip, misinformation and lies." The two settled their divorce last year.

Rowling acknowledged that the reports "deeply concerned" her and others behind the production, and that she and director David Yates considered recasting Depp's role. While Depp had a brief cameo in "Fantastic Beasts," he has a starring role as the Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the follow-up film, and potentially future installments in the pre-Potter franchise.

"For me personally, the inability to speak openly to fans about this issue has been difficult, frustrating and at times painful. However, the agreements that have been put in place to protect the privacy of two people, both of whom have expressed a desire to get on with their lives, must be respected," wrote Rowling. "Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies."

Rowling added: "I accept that there will be those who are not satisfied with our choice of actor in the title role. However, conscience isn't governable by committee. Within the fictional world and outside it, we all have to do what we believe to be the right thing."

Warner Bros. said it supported the decision.

"This matter has been jointly addressed by both parties, in a statement in which they said 'there was never any intent of physical or emotional harm,'" said the studio in a statement. "Based on the circumstances and the information available to us, we, along with the filmmakers, continue to support the decision to proceed with Johnny Depp in the role of Grindelwald in this and future films."

  • Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017
Grand Jury set for New York Festivals International Advertising Awards
Grand Jury member Paruj Daorai, executive creative director, Leo Burnett Thailand
NEW YORK -- 

New York Festivals International Advertising Awards® has announced the 2018 Grand Jury. NYF’s 300+ Grand Jury taps into global creative minds from 50 countries.
 
From Cape Town to Sao Paola and Berlin to Tokyo, this esteemed peer-nominated panel provides a 360-degree creative view of the advertising world today. 2018’s Grand Jury is comprised of chief creative officers, executive creative directors, creative directors, art directors, copywriters, executive producers, and marketing/PR pros all playing a pivotal role in selecting the World’s Best Advertising® winners.
 
“New York Festivals is honored to have these prominent industry creatives participate on the 2018 Grand Jury. This 300-strong creative jury were all nominated by their peers, creatives who were judges themselves last year, and are respected globally for their innovative work and award-winning creative talent,” said Michael Demetriades, president/executive director of New York Festivals International Advertising Awards.
 
Using New York Festivals online judging platform, the Grand Jury will review global entries through two rounds of meticulous judging and select the creative work that merits Finalist Status. These entries will then move on to the medalist round. NYF’s Grand Jury is also the first line of defense, scrutinizing ads to provide security against possible scam ads.
 
2018’s trophy winning entries will be determined by the 8th annual Executive Jury, an elite panel of 30+ Global CCO’s. The Executive Jury will gather this April in New York City for four rounds of judging across all mediums and select 2018’s First Prize, Second Prize, Third Prize, Grand Award winners, and Best in Show. The members of the 2018 Executive Jury will be announced soon.
 
To view the members of the 2018 Grand Jury, click here.

The 2018 New York Show awards ceremony and gala will take place the evening of Thursday, May 17, 2018 at the world-class performance space, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall, Broadway at 60th Street, New York City.
 
The 2018 competition entry deadline is January 31.

  • Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017
Oscars org adopts code of conduct after Weinstein expulsion
In this March 2, 2014 file photo, Harvey Weinstein arrives at the Oscars in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science announced Wednesday that it has adopted its first code of conduct for its 8,427 members.

Film academy chief executive Dawn Hudson introduced the new rules to members in an email. In October, the academy broke with tradition and made Harvey Weinstein just the second person ever expelled from the Oscars' governing body.

The new code of conduct stipulates that the academy is no place for "people who abuse their status, power or influence in a manner that violates standards of decency."

The academy's board may now suspend or expel those who violate the code of conduct or who "compromise the integrity" of the academy.

The standards of conduct were drafted by a task force launched by the academy in October. It was formed after Weinstein was accused by dozens of women of sexual harassment and abuse.  Weinstein, who won an Academy Award for "Shakespeare in Love," has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.

Hudson told members that more details on the process by which offending members will be judged will be announced later.