Wednesday, January 23, 2019

News Briefs

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  • Friday, Jan. 11, 2019
"Roma" tops Women Film Journalists' competition with 5 EDA Awards
A scene from "Roma" (photo by Alfonso Cuaron/courtesy of Netflix)
NEW YORK -- 

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists has announced the winners of the 2018 AWFJ EDA Awards. This year, AWFJ presents EDA Awards in 25 categories, divided into three sections: the standard “Best Of” section, the Female Focus awards and the irreverent EDA Special Mention awards—including Actress Most in Need of a New Agent and the AWFJ Hall of Shame Award.

In the “Best Of” section, this year’s big winner is Roma, garnering five EDA Awards for Best Film, Best Non-English Language Film, and Best Cinematography, Best Editing and Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron.

The Favourite was honored in the “Best Of,” “Female Focus,” and “EDA Special Mention” categories with a total of four awards.  The film’s star Olivia Colman was honored with the Best Actress and the Bravest Performance awards, while the film’s writer Deborah Davis received two wins for Best Original Screenplay (with co-writer Tony McNamara) and Best Woman Screenwriter.

Marielle Heller’s Can You Ever Forgive Me? won three awards including Best Supporting Actor for Richard E. Grant; Best Adapted Screenplay to writers Nicole Holofcener and Jeff White; and Best Woman Director to Heller.

Action film Black Panther was awarded Best Ensemble Cast and cinematographer Rachel Morrison earned Outstanding Achievement By A Woman distinction for paving the road for women cinematographers for her work on Mudbound, which garnered her a history making 2018 Best Cinematography Oscar nomination. 

Morgan Neville’s documentary on Mr. Rogers--Won’t You Be My Neighbor?--was named Best Documentary, and Best Animated Film went to Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsay and Rodney Rothman. 

Additional acting awards went to Ethan Hawke for Best Actor for First Reformed; Best Supporting Actress to Regina King for her role in If Beale Street Could Talk; and newcomer Thomasin McKenzie was honored with the Best Breakthrough Performance Award for her starring role in Leave No Trace.

“Representing women film critics’ perspectives on the world’s constantly evolving cinema scene, the Alliance of Women Film Journalists is proud that our 2018 EDA Awards nominees and winners genuinely reflect the movie industry’s advances in the cause of equality and diversity,” states Jennifer Merin, EDA Awards and AWJF founder and film critic. “Our EDA Awards always honor the year’s best regardless of gender, but we also recognize the need to have categories that focus specifically on women’s achievements in an industry that still has a long way to go to reach gender parity and equal opportunity for all.”

This year on their final ballots, AWFJ members singled out films that told stories centering on strong and complex female characters from diverse backgrounds. The organization honored the excellent work of female directors and screenwriters. And, as is customary, they have called out some egregious choices and behavior that hopefully will not be repeated in the future.

“All in all, 2018 produced a bumper crop of female-directed and female-centered films,” added Merin. “Too few of them reached the mainstream, but we hope that AWFJ and the EDA Awards can help to rush such films into the current.”

Below is the entire list of this year’s winners: 

AWFJ BEST OF AWARDS
These awards are presented to women and/or men without gender consideration.

Best Film
ROMA      

Best Director
Alfonso Cuaron
ROMA

Best Screenplay, Original
THE FAVOURITE
Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara

Best Screenplay, Adapted
CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?
Nicole Holofcener, Jeff White  

Best Documentary
WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?
Morgan Neville 

Best Animated Film
SPIDER-MAN INTO SPIDER-VERSE
Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsay, Rodney Rothman 

Best Actress
Olivia Colman
THE FAVOURITE

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Regina King
IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK 

Best Actor
Ethan Hawke
FIRST REFORMED

Best Actor in a Supporting Road
Richard E Grant
CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?

Best Ensemble Cast
BLACK PANTHER
Sarah Finn, Casting Director

Best Cinematography
ROMA
Alfonso Cuaron  

Best Editing
ROMA
Alfonso Cuaron, Adam Gough   

Best Non-English-Language Film
ROMA
Alfonso Cuaron
Mexico

EDA FEMALE FOCUS AWARDS
These awards honor WOMEN only.

Best Woman Director
Marielle Heller
CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?

Best Woman Screenwriter
Deborah Davis
THE FAVOURITE

Best Animated Female
Elastagirl
Holly Hunter
INCREDIBLES 2

Best Breakthrough Performance
Thomasin McKenzie
LEAVE NO TRACE  

Outstanding Achievement by A Woman in The Film Industry
Rachel Morrison
For paving the road for women cinematographers with her Oscar nomination for MUDBOUND and scoring as DP on BLACK PANTHER.  

 
EDA SPECIAL MENTION AWARDS

Actress Defying Age and Ageism         
Viola Davis – WIDOWS

Bravest Performance                  
Olivia Colman – THE FAVOURITE

Actress Most in Need Of A New Agent
Jennifer Lawrence – RED SPARROW

Most Egregious Age Difference Between The Lead and The Love Interest Award
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE FALLOUT – Tom Cruise and Rebecca Ferguson

Remake or Sequel That Shouldn’t Have Been Made
OVERBOARD  

AWFJ Hall of Shame Award
ALL ALLEGED ABUSERS: Including Weinstein, Moonves, CK, Spacey, Rush, Franco, Singer, Rose, Lauer et al.

  • Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019
Aretha Franklin biopic moves ahead with director and writer
In this April 19, 2017, file photo, Aretha Franklin performs at the world premiere of "Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives" at Radio City Music Hall, during the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, in New York. The long-gesticulating Franklin biopic “Respect” is going ahead with stage director Liesel Tommy set to direct. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

The long-gestating Aretha Franklin biopic "Respect" is going ahead with stage director Liesel Tommy set to direct.

MGM announced Thursday that Tommy will helm the film, which is to star Jennifer Hudson. The "Dreamgirls" actress was cast as the late Queen of Soul in January 2018 after Franklin selected her for the role. At the time, Hudson performed a medley of Franklin's songs at Clive Davis' pre-Grammy bash.

Callie Khouri, who penned 1991's "Thelma & Louise," will write the script.

Tommy was nominated for a Tony Award for directing the 2016 Broadway production of "Eclipsed" starring Lupita Nyong'o. She is also set to direct a film adaption of Trevor Noah's autobiography.

Franklin died at the age of 76 in August from pancreatic cancer.

  • Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019
Sundance adds Michael Jackson Neverland doc about accusers
In this May 25, 2005 file photo, Michael Jackson arrives at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse for his child molestation trial in Santa Maria, Calif. A documentary film about two boys who accused Michael Jackson of sexual abuse is set to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival later this month. (Aaron Lambert/Santa Maria Times via AP, Pool)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

A documentary film about two boys who accused Michael Jackson of sexual abuse is set to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival later this month.

The Sundance Institute announced the addition of "Leaving Neverland" and "The Brink," a documentary about Steve Bannon, to its 2019 lineup on Wednesday.

A description of "Leaving Neverland" says it will tell the story of two men who are now in their 30s and began long-running relationships with Jackson at ages 7 and 10 when Jackson was at the height of his fame. The names of the Jackson accusers profiled in the documentary were not released. Jackson was acquitted of molestation charges in 2005.

The film is produced and directed by BAFTA-winning director Dan Reed.

The Sundance Film Festival kicks off on Jan 24 and runs through Feb. 4.

  • Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019
Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild To Present Melissa McCarthy With Distinguished Artisan Award
Melissa McCarthy
LOS ANGELES -- 

Emmy® Award-winning actress Melissa McCarthy will receive this year’s Distinguished Artisan Award at the 6th Annual Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild Awards (MUAHS, IATSE Local 706) celebrating her prolific acting career and the plethora of characters she embraces. McCarthy is the first female artist to receive this award. The black-tie awards gala, honoring both make-up artists and hair stylists outstanding achievements in motion pictures, television, commercials and live theater, returns to the NOVO in L.A. Live on Saturday, February 16, 2019.
 
Sue Cabral-Ebert, president of IATSE Local 706, said, “It is with respect and joy that we are able to honor Melissa McCarthy, a true friend to our crafts of make-up artistry and hair styling. Melissa collaborates with our creative artisans in every character she develops – whether it’s the SNL parody of Sean Spicer or the true-to-life author Lee Israel. We want to let Melissa know how greatly she is appreciated, she is so deserving of this award. This is also a historic moment as Melissa is the first woman to ever receive this honor from our guild.”
 
McCarthy, an Academy Award®-nominated and two-time Primetime Emmy®-winning actress, is a comedy trailblazer whose diverse career includes television, film and stand-up. She has received accolades worldwide including nominations for Golden Globe® Awards, SAG Awards, BAFTA® Award, Critics’ Choice, among many others. McCarthy has received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and has placed her hand and footprints in the cement in front of the TCL Chinese Theatre. She was recently awarded the Inaugural People’s Icon Award at the 2018 People’s Choice Awards and the coveted Comedic Genius Award from MTV.
 
McCarthy’s film career is composed of a myriad of memorable characters. She first received widespread recognition for her role as Megan in the worldwide hit comedy Bridesmaids, for which she received nominations for the Academy Award, BAFTA Award and Screen Actors Guild. She can currently be seen starring in Fox Searchlight’s Can You Ever Forgive Me? for which she has earned Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice and SAG Award nominations. Most recently, she starred in Life of the Party which she co-wrote and produced with husband Ben Falcone, through their On the Day Productions. McCarthy’s previous award-winning film credits include The Boss, Spy, St. Vincent, Tammy, The Heat, Identity Thief, This is 40, The Hangover Part III and Ghostbusters.  She recently wrapped The Kitchen (Warner Bros./New Line) and Super-Intelligence (Warner Bros./New Line).
 
McCarthy’s television career began in the late 1990s and she gained nationwide recognition for the clumsy culinary genius Sookie St. James in Gilmore Girls, and Dena in the series Samantha Who?. McCarthy won an Emmy Award and People’s Choice Award for starring as Molly on the hit CBS comedy Mike & Molly and has directed several episodes. She has won an Emmy award for Saturday Night Live, which she has hosted multiple times. Most recently, she appeared on the television series Nobodies (Paramount Network) which she executive produced along with husband Ben Falcone.
 
The Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild’s Distinguished Artisan Award is given annually to those whose body of work in the film and television industry was richly enhanced by the consistent collaboration of make-up and hair styling artistry creating memorable characters throughout their career. Previous recipients include Gary Oldman, Johnny Depp, Ryan Murphy and Guillermo del Toro.
 
As previously announced, Cabral-Ebert, outgoing Local 706 President and Emmy-nominated make-up artist, and Robert Louis Stevenson, legendary Emmy-winning hair stylist, will receive Lifetime Achievement Awards. Additional awards will honor nominees for outstanding achievements in motion pictures, television, commercials and live theater. Online voting will be made at www.local706.org. Nominations for this year’s awards will be announced on Thursday, January 10, 2019. Final ballot on-line voting closes on Friday, February 8, 2019.  Winners will be announced on Saturday, February 16, 2019 at the Awards gala.

  • Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019
Jamie Lee Curtis named recipient of ICG Publicists' Lifetime Achievement Award
Jamie Lee Curtis
LOS ANGELES -- 

Actress and author Jamie Lee Curtis will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 56th Annual International Cinematographers Guild (ICG, IATSE Local 600) Publicists Awards celebrating her prolific acting career spanning four decades and still going strong. The awards luncheon returns to the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Friday, February 22, 2019.
 
“We are thrilled to honor Jamie Lee Curtis, who has created a celebrated body of film and television work that spans many genres. Who wasn’t frightened by her Laurie Strode character in Halloween – and just as terrified in her reprise portrayal 40 years later? Her artistic talents have generated a legacy of characters that are embedded in our minds forever.  We are honored to spotlight her varied and award-winning career,” said ICG National President Steven Poster, ASC.

Curtis has demonstrated her versatility as a film actress having performed in over 55 films. She has garnered numerous awards and acclaim for her work in blockbusters such as True Lies, winning a Golden Globe Award; Trading Places, earning a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress; A Fish Called Wanda, receiving Best Actress nominations from BAFTA and the Golden Globes; and Disney’s Freaky Friday, winning a Golden Globe nomination. It was her starring role in Halloween that brought her to the attention of audiences worldwide. In 2018, Curtis revived that signature character in Jason Blum’s record-breaking version of Halloween, directed by David Gordon Green. Its opening weekend was the biggest debut ever, for any movie in any genre, to feature a female lead character over 55 years of age. 

In 2015, Curtis returned to her horror roots, starring in two seasons of the Ryan Murphy-created TV series, Scream Queens for which she received a Golden Globe nomination. She also won both a Golden Globe and People’s Choice Award for her role in the acclaimed sitcom Anything but Love, was nominated for a Golden Globe for The Heidi Chronicles and was also nominated for an Emmy Award for her role in the CBS television movie Nicholas’ Gift.

Curtis is also a New York Times best-selling children’s book author of 13 books. Her latest book "Me, MySelfie & I: A Cautionary Tale" was released last September.

Curtis has a deep and active connection to many children’s charities. She has worked closely with the Starlight Children’s Foundation and Children Affected by AIDS Foundation and was a board member of Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and CASA (Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse) at Columbia University. Curtis and her husband are longtime supporters of the ACLU, People for the American Way and the NRDC, among many other causes.
 
Curtis received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1998. She is the daughter of legendary actors Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis. She has been married to actor/director Christopher Guest for 34 years and has two children.
 
Past recipients of the prestigious ICG Publicists Lifetime Achievement Award include Warren Beatty, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Clint Eastwood, Julie Andrews, Army Archerd, Sid Ganis, Harrison Ford, Peter Bart, Robert Zemeckis, Sylvester Stallone, Carol Burnett, Kirk Douglass, Jerry Lewis, Bob Newhart, Lily Tomlin and Betty White.
 
As previously announced, the publicists will honor Jon M. Chu with the Motion Picture Showman of the Year Award. Still to be announced is the Television Showman of the Year Award.
 
Awards chair this year is Tim Menke with Sheryl Main serving as co-chair. Final online balloting will be held Jan. 14–Feb. 4, 2019 and winners will be announced at the lunch ceremony on Friday, February 22.

  • Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019
Kevin Hart says he won't be hosting Academy Awards
In this Dec. 11, 2017 file photo, Kevin Hart arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" in Los Angeles. Hart says he won’t be hosting the Academy Awards. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Kevin Hart says he won't be hosting the Academy Awards.

"No," was his response when asked Wednesday on ABC's "Good Morning America." Hart says it's too late to prepare.

Hart added it's "hard to predict what can happen." But he doesn't want "people to think there's a thing about me and the Academy."

The motion picture academy has not named a replacement host for its Feb. 24 awards show since Hart backed away days after being named host last month when some anti-gay tweets he posted a decade ago resurfaced.

Earlier this week on his Sirius XM show "Straight from the Hart" program, he again apologized to the LGBTQ community.

He told "GMA" he's not giving any more explanations. Hart says, "I'm just done."

  • Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019
Margot Robbie to play Barbie in live-action film
In this Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, file photo, actress Margot Robbie poses for photographers upon her arrival at the premiere of the film "Mary Queen of Scots," in London. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Margot Robbie will bring Barbie to life in a live-action film.

Mattel and Warner Bros. Pictures announced Tuesday that Robbie will star as the iconic doll in the franchise's first-ever live-action film. The 28-year-old "I, Tonya" actress will also co-produce the film under her LuckyChap Entertainment banner.

The Barbie film is the first announced deal to come out of toymaker's newly-established Mattel Films. The Barbie doll debuted at a New York toy fair in 1959.

Robbie said in a statement that she believes the film will have a "tremendously positive impact on children and audiences worldwide." The Oscar-nominated actress has also starred in "Mary Queen of Scots," and "Suicide Squad."

The film's title and release date have not been revealed.

  • Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019
Tom Hanks to present SAG's lifetime award to Alan Alda
In this Oct. 25, 2018 photo, actor Alan Alda poses for a portrait in New York. The 82-year Golden Globe and Emmy-winning actor will become the 55th recipient of the annual Life Achievement award at the upcoming Screen Actors Guild Award ceremony on Jan. 27. (Photo by Matt Licari/Invision/AP)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

One of America's sweethearts hands the torch to another when Tom Hanks presents Alan Alda with a lifetime achievement award at the upcoming Screen Actors Guild Award ceremony.

The 82-year-old Alda, a Golden Globe- and Emmy-winner, will become the 55th recipient of the annual award given to an actor who fosters the "finest ideals of the acting profession." Hanks will hand it to him in a Jan. 27 ceremony.

"I'm so thrilled that Tom agreed to that. I had no idea they were even asking him. And it's so generous of him," Alda told The Associated Press.

Alda and Hanks worked together on the film "Bridge of Spies," and Alda said they "have run into each other casually over the years at awards ceremonies and on airplanes and things like that. So, I remember him when he was just a kid."

Throughout a career that has spanned seven decades, Alda has appeared in "The West Wing," ''The Aviator" and "Manhattan Murder History," but is perhaps best known for his role as Hawkeye Pierce in the television series ""M*A*S*H." Alda has won six Emmy Awards and was also nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 2004 for his role in "The Aviator."

Alda has also been involved in numerous charities and organizations that have supported children's causes, women's issues and the sciences. The latter inspired the formation of the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University in New York.

That combined with his affable personality has earned Alda his "nice guy" reputation over the years. He jokes that the "niceness" compensates for a profession that is not always viewed kindly.

"It's a counterbalance, I guess, to the rowdy reputation that a lot of actors have had over the last couple of hundred years, including the guy who shot Lincoln. So it's good to balance the reputations of the acting profession," Alda said.

  • Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019
Marjo Bernay to receive Art Directors Guild's Service Award
Marjo Bernay
LOS ANGELES -- 

Marjo Bernay, a veteran entertainment IATSE activist for over four decades, will be honored with a special Service Award from the Art Directors Guild (ADG, IATSE Local 800) at its 23rd Annual “Excellence in Production Design Awards. The ADG Service Award is given to exemplary employees or members with a long history of work for the Guild. The black-tie gala, themed “Landscape of the Imagination,” will be held Saturday, February 2, 2019 at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown. The announcement was made today by ADG president Nelson Coates ADG and awards producer Scott Moses ADG.
 
Trailblazer, pioneer, groundbreaker, innovator, feminist and labor activist are all labels that could be aptly applied to Bernay, a 40-year veteran from three IATSE Locals. Marjo followed in her father Josef Bernay’s footsteps when she joined IATSE’s Illustrators & Matte Artists (Local 790); Set Designers & Model Makers (Local 847); and later Art Directors Guild (Local 800). She was a leader in the unions as a business agent of Local 790 and Local 847 until they merged with the ADG (Local 800) in 2008. Bernay retired from the Art Directors Guild as manager, awards and events in 2013, and remains active on the ADG Board.
 
Bernay was a member of numerous organizations promoting the entertainment industry, including the California Film Commission, the Los Angeles Film Development Committee and the L.A. County Film Commission. She was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plans and the first woman from the labor side to chair the Health Plan. In addition, she was VP and a member of the Executive Council of the California State Theatrical Federation and chairman of the Environmental Allocations Committee of the Permanent Charities Committee of the Entertainment Industry. She was a member of the Executive Committee of IATSE District 2 and first chairperson of the District’s Women’s Caucus.
                                                            
As previously announced, Rob Marshall (Mary Poppins Returns), the Oscar®-nominated and Emmy®-winning filmmaker, producer, theater director and choreographer whose films have consistently reflected the highest quality of production design, will receive the prestigious ADG Cinematic Imagery Award. British production designer and set decorator Anthony Masters, nominated for an Academy Award® for the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Benjamin Carré, best known for his work on The Phantom of the Opera and The Wizard of Oz, will be inducted into the ADG Hall of Fame. Lifetime Achievement Awards will be presented to Oscar®-nominated production designer Jeannine Oppewall, sr. illustrator and production designer Ed Verreaux, scenic artist Jim Fiorito and set designer and art director William F. Matthews.
 
Final online balloting for the Excellence in Production Design Awards starts January 8th and ends January 31, 2019 and winners.  ADG Awards are open only to productions when made within the U.S. by producer’s signatory to the IATSE agreement. Foreign entries are acceptable without restrictions.

  • Monday, Jan. 7, 2019
Top court won't hear de Havilland's case about TV miniseries
In this June 18, 2016, file photo, U.S. actress Olivia de Havilland poses during an Associated Press interview, in Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- 

The Supreme Court is declining to revive a lawsuit by Olivia de Havilland over the FX Networks miniseries "Feud: Bette and Joan," which centered on the rivalry between actresses Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.

The high court on Monday said it would not take the actress's case. That means a California appeals court's decision throwing out the lawsuit stands. The appeals court unanimously ruled in 2018 that California law and the First Amendment required the lawsuit's dismissal.

The 102-year-old de Havilland had objected to her depiction on the eight-part miniseries. She said her likeness was illegally used and her character, played by Catherine Zeta-Jones, came across as a vulgar gossipmonger.

As is its usual practice, the Supreme Court did not say anything about the case in declining to hear it.

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