Monday, November 20, 2017

News Briefs

Displaying 21 - 30 of 2719
  • Monday, Nov. 6, 2017
Rose McGowan memoir "Brave" coming in late January
Newly released book cover for Rose McGowan's "Brave"

Rose McGowan's publisher has set a January release for her memoir "Brave," a month ahead of its original on-sale date.

The actress has accused Harvey Weinstein of raping her and has been a leading advocate for women confronting sexual assault and harassment. She began working on the book well before last month's revelations about Weinstein and before dozens of women accused him of rape or harassment. HarperOne announced Monday that it will publish "Brave" on Jan. 28 instead of the original planned release of Feb. 28.

McGowan's acting credits include "Scream" and the TV series "Charmed." McGowan said in a statement her book will take on Hollywood, "the biggest cult of it," and how she fought her way out of it.

  • Monday, Nov. 6, 2017
"A Taxi Driver," George Takei, "First They Killed My Father" Among Asian World Film Fest Winners
George Takei
CULVER CITY, Calif. -- 

The 3rd annual Asian World Film Festival (AWFF) came to a close on Thursday, November 2, culminating the screening of 37 films from 25 participating countries including 22 Oscar® Foreign Language contenders and a number of Golden Globe submissions. George Takei’s Allegiance: The Broadway Musical on the Big Screen concluded the festival and was preceded by an awards ceremony hosted by actors Christopher Kriesa (Fresh Off the Boat, Cast Away), Alexandra Kahwagi and Korean actress Banyah Maria Choi presenting the awards to a sold-out audience. The AWFF took place from October 25 – November 2 at the ArcLight Culver City Theater.

George Takei was honored with the Snow Leopard Lifetime Achievement Award for his activism work within the LBGTQ community. Vietnamese actress, singer and philanthropist Ha Phuong presented the award.

Dr. Kim’s ‘He Can Do She Can Do’ Award, presented by Lighthouse Worldwide Solutions was awarded to A Taxi Driver (Dir: Jang Hoon, Republic of Korea). The $10,000 award was presented by Peter MaGuire, an executive at Lighthouse Solutions, and the film was chosen by a jury designated by the company.

The Snow Leopard Rising Star Award was presented to Sreymoch Sareum for her role in First They Killed My Father. The film’s director, producer and co-screenwriter Angelina Jolie and co-screenwriter and executive producer, Loung Ong, accepted the award on Sreymoch’s behalf at a special screening of the film earlier in the week (October 30). During the closing night ceremony, the award was re-presented by Jury president Lisa Lu to Olary Yim, Cambodian community leader. The award will be taken back to Cambodia and given to Sreymoch.

The Spirit Award for Dedication and Passion was given to Vietnamese actress Ha Phuong and presented by the Festival’s chairman and founder, Sadyk Sher-Niyaz.

The Murray Weissman Poster Art Award was given to Little Gandhi (Dir: Sam Kadi, Syria; designer: Brian A. Metcalf) and presented by Korean actress, Banyah Maria Choi. Little Gandhi is Syria’s 2017 Foreign Language Film Oscar contender.

From a total of 16 films in competition, The AWFF Jury Awards, presented by members of the Jury, were:

  • Snow Leopard Best Picture: A Taxi Driver (Dir: Jang Joon, Republic of Korea) presented by Sergei Bodrov and accepted by Park Un-Kyoung.
  • Snow Leopard Best Actor: Actor and director, Aktan Arym Kubat in Centaur, (Kyrgyzstan) presented by Nancy Wang Yuen.
  • Snow Leopard Best Actress: Anoma Janadari in Burning Birds (Dir: Sanjeewa Pushpaumara, Sri Lanka) presented by Cade Carradine. A Special Mention was given to Kang-ho Song in A Taxi Driver by Banyah Maria Choi.
  • Snow Leopard Special Jury Award: Mad World (Dir: Wong Chun, Hong Kong) presented by Tuba Büyüküstün.
  • Snow Leopard Audience Award was given to Ayla: The Daughter of War (Dir: Can Ulkay, Turkey). The Award was presented by Nathan Wang and accepted by the film’s actor Cade Carradine.
  • Snow Leopard Best New Director Award was awarded to two winners: Scary Mother Dir: Ana Urushadze (Georgia) presented by Thomas Lin and How Victor “The Garlic” Took Alexey “The Stud” To The Nursing Home Dir: Alexander Hant (Russia) presented by Igor Kokarev.

Guests in attendance from the closing night film included Allegiance star George Takei, who was joined by director Lorenzo Thione and co-stars Janelle Dote and Greg Watanabe.

Jury members in attendance included Lisa Lu (The Joy Luck Club); Oscar®-nominated director Sergei Bodrov; actress and international Emmy® nominee Tuba Büyüküstün; actor and director Thomas Lim (China/Singapore); singer and philanthropist Ha Phuong; US music composer, Nathan Wang; Caylee So Filmmaker and Director of Cambodia Town Film Festival; Cade Carradine US actor; and Nancy Wang Yeun, Ph.D. (US) documentary producer and author of “Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism.”

Celebrity guests included Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Janet Yang (The Joy Luck Club Producer), Peter Kwong (Big Trouble In Little China), Bai Ling, Kieu Chinh (The Joy Luck Club) and producer Andre Morgan.

Twenty-five filmmakers from all over the world attended the festival including Sam Kadi (Syria), Phillippe Aractingi (Lebanon), Pierre Saraff, (Lebanon), Sanjeewa Pushpakumara (Sri Lanka), Deepak Rauniyar (Nepal), Bayram Najafov (Azerbaijan), Aktan Arym Kubat, Murat Aliyev (Kyrgystan) Najia Khaan (Afghanistan), Ha Phoung (Vietnam), Jarantai Altantsetseg, Ganjuur Tsogtgerel, Tsengel Davaasambuu (Mongolia), Xiao Dong Xie (China), Rekesh Salim Ismail (Iraq), Farhan Alam (Pakistan), Kurmashev Ernar (Kazakhstan) Gaukhar Gia Noortas (Kazakhstan) and Karinne Behr (France).

The festival also held five panels featuring industry leaders discussing such topics as producing, the filmmaking process, sales and distribution, social media and cross- cultural collaboration.

  • Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017
"Mission Impossible" to shoot at famed Norway tourist site
Equipment is airlifted by helicopters to Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) in Lysefjorden near Stavanger, Norway, Friday Nov. 3, 2017, in preparation for filming of a new Mission Impossible movie. The Pulpit rock rises 600 meters above the fjord and is a major tourist attraction, and the next Mission Impossible film is slated for release next year. (Carina Johansen/NTB scanpix via AP)
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) -- 

Technical equipment to shoot "Mission: Impossible 6" is being helicoptered in to southern Norway's most famous tourist attraction — which means the site is being temporarily closed off for visitors.

Cameras are to be rolling Tuesday through Thursday at the Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock), a plateau and spectacular viewpoint over Norway's mountainous landscape that sits more than 600 meters (nearly 2,000 feet) above the Lysefjord.

Tom Cruise, who broke his ankle while performing a stunt for the film during a London shoot, is expected to be on the Norway set.

The Stavanger Aftenblad newspaper said Saturday that an airplane with filming gear has landed at a nearby airport and a helicopter was seen hoisting containers onto Pulpit Rock.

The film is scheduled to open in July 2018.

  • Friday, Nov. 3, 2017
Margaret Atwood's "Alias Grace" adapted as Netflix series
In this Aug. 16, 2017 photo, actress Sarah Gadon poses for a portrait to promote her series, "Alias Grace" in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

Another Margaret Atwood novel is getting the Hollywood treatment, this time on Netflix.

In "Alias Grace," a six-episode Netflix miniseries starring Sarah Gadon, an Irish immigrant working as a maid in Canada in the 1840s is accused of murdering her boss and his mistress. Her case is covered with breathless scrutiny, making the young woman infamous.

Based on Atwood's historical novel, Gadon plays Grace, who recounts her life story to a young psychiatrist trying to help jog her memory.

"While he's having these interviews with Grace throughout the show, you start to question his motives," Gadon said in a recent interview. "Is he falling for Grace? Does he want to save her? Has he become obsessed with her or is she manipulating him?"

Gadon said the compelling part of the story is the gray area of it all. She and director Mary Harron analyzed different scenarios that would make Grace guilty or not. Gadon says they have their own beliefs about what happened but don't want to influence anyone watching the series.

"The series and the book are all about the ambiguity and it's all about the journey," Gadon said. "Did Grace do it? Did she not do it? Do you want her to have done it? It kind of plays with all those human emotions that we all feel."

To prepare for the role, Gadon spent time at Black Creek Pioneer Village, a working village in Ontario, Canada, that transports visitors back to the late 1700s to mid-1800s.

"I learned how to milk a cow, churn butter, start a fire and ... use a Victorian-era kitchen," she said.

Gadon also learned to sew because Grace sews a quilt by hand as she is being interviewed by her doctor. Gadon says she would need a refresher on sewing, but "could churn some butter. It's pretty easy. It's a lot of work but I could definitely churn some butter."

Another Atwood novel, "The Handmaid's Tale," is an Emmy-winning series on Hulu.

  • Friday, Nov. 3, 2017
Revelator adds writer/director Jonn Herschend to its roster
Jonn Herschend
AUSTIN, Texas -- 

Filmmaker Jonn Herschend has joined Revelator, an Austin-based video production company specializing in creative-driven and documentary-style commercial video. Led by Matt Muir and Chris Ohlson, Revelator now represents seven directors, working across the spectrum of commercial, feature and branded content.

Herschend is a California-based writer and director with an extensive background working in the contemporary art world. His work has been exhibited nationally, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Telluride Film Festival, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and internationally at the Den Frie Contemporary Art Center and most recently at Sydhavn Train Station in Copenhagen, Denmark.  

Herschend has won two Golden Gate Awards for his film work at the San Francisco International Film Festival, a SECA Award from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and he was included as an artist in the 2014 Whitney Biennial. His commercial experience includes creating marketing concepts and campaigns for brands such as Nike and Levi’s.

After working with Revelator on a long-form documentary this year, Herschend was excited to continue his collaboration with the company.   Revelator partner Chris Ohlson said of Herschend, “He has an incredibly unique voice and with wildly varying experiences in the world of modern art, publishing and commercial production — his vision and breadth of work is a great addition to our family of directors.”

  • Friday, Nov. 3, 2017
TV audience for Astros-Dodgers down from Cubs-Indians
The Houston Astros celebrate after Game 7 of baseball's World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Astros won 5-1 to win the series 4-3. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

The Houston Astros' seven-game World Series win over the Los Angeles Dodgers averaged 18.9 million viewers on Fox, down 19 percent from the 23.4 million average for the Chicago Cubs' seven-game victory over Cleveland last year for their first title since 1908.

The total audience on Fox's three outlets averaged 19.56 million, the network said Thursday. That included an average of 476,000 viewers on Fox Deportes, up 34 percent from 355,000 last year, and a digital audience average of 183,000 on Fox Sports Go, an increase of 4 percent.

Viewers on Fox were up 37 percent from San Francisco's seven-game win over Kansas City in 2014, which averaged 13.8 million on Fox.

This year's Series averaged a 10.7 rating and 20 share, down from a 13.1/23 last year. That was the highest-rated World Series since 2004, when Boston defeated St. Louis for its first title since 1918.

This was the second-highest rated World Series since the New York Yankees beat Philadelphia over six games in 2009.

Houston's 5-1 win in Game 7 on Wednesday night averaged 29,301,000 on Fox's three outlets, down 28 percent from 40,954,000 for Chicago's 8-7, 10-inning victory over Cleveland in Game 7 last year, the most watched baseball game since Minnesota's 1-0, 10-inning win over Atlanta in Game 7 in 1991.

This year's Game 7 audience included an average of 28,229,000 on the main Fox network, 778,000 on Fox Deportes and 294,000 on Fox Sports Go. The peak was 31,989,000 from 10:30 p.m. to 10:45 p.m. EDT. The audience on Fox Deportes was the highest for a sporting event on U.S. Spanish-language television other than soccer.

Last year's Game 7 averaged 40,045,000 on Fox, 565,000 on Fox Deportes and 344,000 on Fox Sports Go.

The rating is the percentage of television households tuned to a broadcast, and the share is the percentage tuned in among those television households with sets on at the time.

Fox said 106 million viewers watched the Series at some point, down from 115 million last year.

Television ratings were provided to Fox by Nielsen Media Research and the digital audience by Adobe Analytics.

  • Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017
Director Tom Tykwer to head Berlin film festival jury
In this Feb. 9, 2017 photo, German director Tom Tykwer arrives on the red carpet at the 2017 Berlinale Film Festival in Berlin, Germany. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

German director Tom Tykwer will head the jury at this winter's Berlin International Film Festival.

Festival organizers announced Thursday that they have chosen the German director of "A Hologram for the King," ''Cloud Atlas" and "Run Lola Run," among other films, to be jury president at the event's 68th edition in February.

The Berlin event is the first of the year's major European film festivals. It will run from Feb. 15-25. Tykwer said that he and the festival "have a fantastic and broad history with each other."

Other members of the jury that will award the top Golden Bear prize and other awards weren't immediately announced, and there are no details yet of the festival program.

Dutch director Paul Verhoeven led the jurors at the 2017 festival.

  • Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017
Beyonce to play Nala in Disney's "The Lion King"
In this Nov. 4, 2016 file photo, Beyonce performs at a Get Out the Vote concert for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Beyonce Knowles-Carter is joining the cast of "The Lion King" to voice to role of Nala.

The Walt Disney Studios revealed the main cast for its upcoming live-action and CG adaptation of its 1994 animated classic Wednesday and confirmed the months old rumor that the pop superstar would be lending her voice to the project.

Some had been previously announced for the film including Donald Glover as Simba and James Earl Jones as Mufasa. Other cast include Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Alfre Woodard as Sarabi, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, Billy Eichner as Timon and Keegan-Michael Key as a hyena.

Jon Favreau, who brought Disney's CG and live-action adaptation of "The Jungle Book" to life, is set to direct.

The film is slated for a July 19, 2019 theatrical release.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017
Renegade grows original programming unit, promotes Jorgensen to head development
Brittney Jorgensen
GLENDALE, Calif. -- 

Continuing to expand its original programming unit, Renegade Animation has promoted Brittney Jorgensen to the newly created post of head of marketing and development. Jorgensen will work with creators, writers and animators in developing concepts for animated television series and features, and serve as the studio’s chief liaison with studios, broadcasters and streaming services. The independent animation studio currently has 12 animated series in development, targeting demographics from pre-school through teenagers.

Demand for quality, animated content is strong, according to Renegade animation creative director Darrell Van Citters. “With the growth in television and streaming production, now is the right time to focus attention on original programming,” he said.

Renegade EP Ashley Postlewaite cited Jorgensen’s “strong background in animation” as making her a strong choice to spearhead the company’s development effort.

Jorgensen, who joined Renegade in 2012 on the production side, also recently served as production manager on Being by Yourself, an animated short for the Imaginary Friend Society designed to help children with cancer cope with hospitalization. Previously, she was a production manager at Bento Box Entertainment. She also served in a production role at Disney Animation on TRON: Uprising.

Renegade Animation has longtime relationships with the top animation writers and artists in Hollywood, and is unique in having the resources to take shows from concept through delivery in-house.  “We love to be involved from the very beginning,” she says. “Talent may come to us with a script, a storyboard, a show bible, or just the germ of an idea. We work with creators to develop ideas so that they conform to our style and fit market demand.”

Renegade Animation has produced several animated television series including Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi, The Mr. Men Show, Captain Sturdy and Tom & Jerry, all for Cartoon Network, and has two Emmy Award nominations for the PBS/WNET show, Oh, Noah!  The studio’s original web series Elmo Aardvark: Outer Space Detective won an Annie Award for Best Animated Series in an Electronic Medium.  Its theatrical work includes the animated holiday feature Christmas is Here Again, which was recently adapted into a musical for the stage.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017
Under fire, Kevin Spacey won't get International Emmy Award
In this June 11, 2017, file photo, Kevin Spacey arrives at the 71st annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has revoked an award it was going to give Kevin Spacey, a decision made after allegations that he made sexual advances on a teen boy.

The group says ""it will not honor Kevin Spacey with the 2017 International Emmy Founders Award."

The award is to honor "an individual who crosses cultural boundaries to touch humanity." Spacey was to get it at a gala on Nov. 20 in New York City. Past recipients include Steven Spielberg, Shonda Rhimes and J.J. Abrams.

The move comes after actor Anthony Rapp came forward with claims Spacey made inappropriate sexual advances toward him in 1986, when he was 14. Netflix announced Monday that it was pulling the plug on "House of Cards," which stars Spacey.