Saturday, August 17, 2019

News Briefs

Displaying 101 - 110 of 3717
  • Friday, Jun. 14, 2019
NBCUniversal to build state-of-the-art studio in New Mexico
This Dec. 3, 2009, file photo, the NBC Universal logo hangs on a building in Los Angeles. NBCUniversal announced plans Friday, June 14, 2019, for a state-of-the-art television and film studio in a warehouse district just north of downtown Albuquerque. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
ALBUQUERQUE, NM (AP) -- 

NBCUniversal announced Friday it will build a state-of-the-art television and film studio in a warehouse district just north of downtown Albuquerque as it seeks to expand its footprint in one of the fastest growing film production hubs in the country.

The media giant said it has entered a 10-year venture with a developer to reshape an empty warehouse into a studio with two sound stages, offices and a mill. The studio will be used to produce shows for broadcast and cable channels.

"NBCUniversal has enjoyed a longstanding and productive relationship with New Mexico and Albuquerque and we are grateful for the opportunity to expand our presence in this community through our venture," said Dawn Olmstead, president of Universal Content Productions and Wilshire Studios, and Pearlena Igbokwe, president of Universal Television said in a statement.

The pair thanked Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Mayor Tim Keller for helping NBCUniversal with the project.

City and state officials are offering more than $10 million in incentives but promise the economic impact will top $1 billion over the next decade.

NBCUniversal will have more than 330 full-time jobs at its New Mexico hub, state officials said. The total number of jobs, direct and indirect, should exceed 800, according to an economic analysis by the state.

"We are growing New Mexico's film industry, diversifying our economy and creating exciting jobs — this is a home run deal," Gov. Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, said. "I'm incredibly thrilled to welcome our state's new partner, NBCUniversal."

NBCUniversal will be joining Netflix, which solidified its footing in New Mexico last year.

In recent months the state has experienced a big jump in film productions. It is set to more than double its annual spending cap on film incentives. The USA Network series "Briarpatch," starring Rosario Dawson, is set to film in Albuquerque.

  • Friday, Jun. 14, 2019
Britain bans "harmful" gender stereotypes in advertisements
The Advertising Standards Authority logo
LONDON (AP) -- 

Hapless husbands and housework-burdened moms are being banished from British advertising, as a crackdown on gender stereotypes comes into force.

From Friday, advertisements must not include "gender stereotypes which are likely to cause harm or serious or widespread offense."

Examples include depictions of men struggling to complete simple domestic tasks or ads that suggest women are solely responsible for cooking and cleaning.

Complaints will be assessed by the Advertising Standards Authority. British broadcasters are bound by the terms of their licenses to comply with its rulings.

The authority says its aim is not to ban all gender stereotypes but to remove those that are harmful.

Authority chief executive Guy Parker said "put simply, we found that some portrayals in ads can, over time, play a part in limiting people's potential."

  • Friday, Jun. 14, 2019
Almodovar to receive Venice Film Festival career achievement honor
In this Sunday, July 23, 2017 file photo, Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar poses for photographers after winning the best director award during the Platino Awards ceremony in Madrid. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, file)
ROME (AP) -- 

The Spanish Oscar-winning writer and director Pedro Almodóvar will be awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement by the Venice Film Festival.

The decision from the board of the Biennale di Venezia, follows a proposal by the festival's director, Alberto Barbera.

Almodovar, whose film credits include 1999's All About My Mother and 2002's Talk to Her , said Friday he has good memories of Venice, where he made his international debut in 1983: "This Lion is going to become my pet, along with the two cats I live with."

Barbera praised Almodóvar as "the greatest and most influential Spanish director since Buñuel" and "a filmmaker who has offered us the most multifaceted, controversial, and provocative portraits of post-Franco Spain."

The 76th Venice Film Festival runs Aug. 28 to Sept. 7.

  • Thursday, Jun. 13, 2019
Director Bryan Singer reaches settlement of assault claim
This Dec. 2, 2013, file photo, shows Bryan Singer at the Los Angeles premiere of "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." Singer has agreed to pay $150,000 to settle allegations that he raped a then-17-year-old boy on a yacht 15 years ago. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)
SEATTLE (AP) -- 

Movie director Bryan Singer has agreed to pay $150,000 to settle allegations that he raped a then-17-year-old boy on a yacht 15 years ago.

Court records show that Singer, whose credits include "Bohemian Rhapsody," ''Superman Returns" and "The Usual Suspects," continues to deny he assaulted Cesar Sanchez-Guzman or ever attended a party with him on a yacht as it sailed on Lake Union and Lake Washington in Seattle.

A trustee who is overseeing Sanchez-Guzman's bankruptcy case filed a motion Wednesday recommending the settlement be approved. The trustee noted that it would be enough money to pay off the $61,000 in claims against Sanchez-Guzman, pay the costs of administering the case and leave money left over for him.

Sanchez-Guzman sued Singer in King County Superior Court in 2017.

  • Thursday, Jun. 13, 2019
Amy Poehler, Issa Rae recognized for their entrepreneurship at Women in Film Gala
Issa Rae accepts the women in film emerging entrepreneur award at the Women in Film Annual Gala on Wednesday, June 12, 2019, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) -- 

In a night of commanding words from some of the most accomplished women in entertainment at the annual Women in Film Gala Wednesday night in Beverly Hills, from the likes of Issa Rae, Viola Davis and producer Cathy Schulman, Amy Poehler put her own unconventional spin on the "empowerment speech."

Poehler, who was accepting the final honor of the evening, the Entrepreneur in Entertainment Award, simply read off a list of names: "A League of Their Own," Patti Smith, "Fleabag," ''The Virgin Suicides," Judge Judy, U.S. Women's Soccer, "American Psycho," ''Russian Doll," Dolly Parton. She continued listing off female creators and female-created shows and films for two and a half minutes.

"Thank you, thank you," Poehler said. "More, more, more."

It was simple, brief, and got the point across to the ballroom full of women working in the industry. She followed a riotously funny speech from "Insecure" creator Rae, who decided to take inspiration from her hip-hop idols and buck the social convention of women being humble. She said she was just going to say the opposite of, "What I would normally say."

"You future hoes need to bow down," Rae said as the inaugural recipient of the Emerging Entrepreneur Award. "Entrepreneur means I did that s--- by myself."

Producer Cathy Schulman, and former Women in Film board president, who was being recognized for her advocacy in entertainment, took a vastly different approach with a vulnerable and open story about the personal and financial trials she's had to endure while trying to "make it."

Although she won an Oscar for producing the film "Crash," she said she never made a dollar from the film, which earned almost $100 million at the box office, and even went into credit card debt trying to make sure the production had what was needed. She's produced 30-something films and raised a daughter too, but she said she has from pre-school through graduation only picked her up from school four times.

"I've paid a deep price for my advocacy," Schulman said.

She said there's still, "A long way to go" and she hopes, for one, that the words "diversity" and "inclusion" are decoupled.

"Diversity is a counting mechanism," she said. "Inclusion is not something you can count, advertise or market. Inclusion is what happens when diverse people are actually present in equal numbers in decision making positions."

Davis, who is working with Schulman on a project called "The Woman King," which she described as "'Braveheart' only with all black women and no Scottish brogues," said that, "In a world that has a bad habit of erasing us girls...we need champions like Cathy."

Women in Film, the advocacy organization putting on the event with the help of sponsor Max Mara, announced a new initiative at the event called Entrepreneurial Pathways which is intended to help knock down the roadblocks to capital for female filmmakers and creators.

Kirsten Schaffer, the executive director of Women in Film, said that women currently get only 16% of the overhead deals and 23% of the overall deals in television. Their goal is to, "Strategize ways to advance parity."

The organization raised over $50,000 for program over the course of the event.

  • Wednesday, Jun. 12, 2019
Oscar-nominated "Midnight Cowboy" actress Sylvia Miles dies
In this Sunday, Jan. 7, 2007, file photo, Sylvia Miles arrives for the 2006 New York Film Critic's Circle Awards at the Supper Club in New York. Miles, whose brief appearances in “Midnight Cowboy” and “Farewell, My Lovely,” earned her two Academy Award nominations, died Wednesday, June 12, 2019. Miles was also a scene-stealing character of the New York party scene, beloved for her outgoing personality and flamboyant fashion sense. (AP Photo/Rick Maiman, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Sylvia Miles, an actress and Manhattan socialite whose brief, scene-stealing appearances in the films "Midnight Cowboy" and "Farewell, My Lovely" earned her two Academy Award nominations, died Wednesday.

Miles was declared dead at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, her niece Holly-Jane Rahlens, told The Associated Press. She was 94. The cause was not immediately clear.

Miles was a veteran actress but not a widely known name when she appeared onscreen for about six minutes in 1969's "Midnight Cowboy." In her sole scene, she plays a brassy Manhattan woman who invites an aspiring male prostitute from Texas, played by Jon Voight, up to her penthouse for sex, but ends up taking money from him instead.

"You were going to ask me for money?" Miles' character, Cass, says as she breaks into increasingly angry mock-tears. "Who the hell do you think you're dealing with? ... In case you didn't happen to notice it, you big Texas longhorn bull, I'm one hell of a gorgeous chick!"

In 1975's "Farewell, My Lovely," which starred Robert Mitchum as detective Philip Marlowe, her screen time is only slightly longer as a down-on-her-luck entertainer who swaps information for a bottle of booze.

The fleetingly brief roles both got her Oscar nominations.

Her appearances in real life were just as memorable for those who came across her.

"She was pretty much the same person off screen as she was on screen," Miles' friend, fashion industry publicist Mauricio Padilha, said. "She was quite a character."

Miles was born in, and became a lifelong resident of, Manhattan, where she was married and divorced three times and had no children. She is survived by her older sister, Thelma Rahlens.

Miles studied at The Actors Studio, making her name in a series of Off-Broadway roles starting in the 1950s, and moving on to movies in the 1960s.

Her film credits included 1972's Andy Warhol-produced "Heat," 1987's "Wall Street" and its 2010 sequel "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," and 1988's "Crossing Delancey."

Her TV roles included guest appearances on "Miami Vice," ''One Life to Live" and "Sex in the City."

Miles was a competitive chess player, according to the New York Times, which twice featured her in its coverage of the game.

And she went, it seems, to nearly every party in New York for a time, becoming as beloved for her outgoing personality and flamboyant fashion sense than as for her acting.

"She shows up at premieres, screenings, receptions, teas and charity cocktail parties," said a 1976 article in People magazine titled, "What would a Manhattan party be without the ubiquitous Sylvia Miles?"

"I get invited because I'm fun," Miles told People at the time. "I have a good sense of humor. I look good. I'm not bad to have at a party."

Even after the 9/11 attacks, when the city was in a state of fear and mourning for months, she was quick to start socializing again, attending a Broadway opening just over a week later.

"Honey, this is a known jungle to me," she told the AP outside the play. "I am not afraid of anything. The animals in this jungle I can handle."

  • Tuesday, Jun. 11, 2019
New Jersey awards over $6M in tax credits for film projects
Gov. Phil Murphy (D-New Jersey)
TRENTON, NJ (AP) -- 

New Jersey called "Action!" on a new film tax credit program Tuesday, approving its first awards totaling $6.2 million for four projects, including a film starring Chazz Palminteri.

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement that the Economic Development Authority approved the awards Tuesday. The approvals are the first since July when Murphy signed the law that succeeded a 2015 film tax credit program that his predecessor, Republican Chris Christie, let expire.

"Our diverse population and geography have long kept us on the short lists of studios and location scouts," Murphy said in a statement. "The addition of this tax credit as well as our continued defense of progressive values put New Jersey on the cusp of becoming one of the premier locations in the nation."

The four projects include "Besa," featuring Palminteri; a tragic romance called "The Atlantic City Story," starring Jessica Hecht; a thriller called "Emergence," set in Kearny, New Jersey, and "Gimme Liberty," a prequel to the 2014 film "Gimme Shelter" that tells the story of Kathy DiFiore, a New Jersey woman who founded an organization to help homeless women and pregnant teens.

"Gimme Liberty" got $3.2 million in awards; "Emergence" won $2.4 million; "Besa" is getting about $470,000; and "The Atlantic City Story" was awarded $77,000.

Under the law, films and TV shows can qualify for an award that's equal to 30% of qualified expenses. Eligibility hinges on one of two criteria: at least 60% of the total budget must be spent through qualified New Jersey vendors, or the project must have more than $1 million in qualified expenses in the state.

Legislative estimates say the tax credit program could cost up to $425 million over five years with an uncertain economic benefit to the state, whose budget is perennially strapped.

But Murphy has dismissed such criticism, saying that the projects will mean million in jobs and goods and services in the state.

Tuesday's announcement comes as Murphy is feuding with powerful political powerbroker George Norcross over the state's expiring business tax credits. Norcross and companies linked to him are suing Murphy over a task force the first-term governor appointed to investigate how business tax incentives were doled out.

The task force has made an unspecified criminal referral. Norcross has denied any wrongdoing and criticized Murphy's task force as overtly political.

Christie, who left office in 2018, let the previous tax credit program expire in 2015 and vetoed legislative attempts to renew it.

He famously criticized the MTV series "Jersey Shore," opposing $420,000 in credits for the show and saying it perpetuated misconceptions about the state.

  • Tuesday, Jun. 11, 2019
Academy sets 2021, 2022 Oscars date for late February
In this Feb. 4, 2019 file photo, the Oscar statue appears the 91st Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has set the date for the 94th Oscars. The film academy says Tuesday, June 11, 2019 that the ceremony will be held on Feb. 27, 2022, airing live on ABC at 8 p.m ET.(Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP, file)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

The Oscars will be headed back to late February after next year's show.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences says Tuesday that the 93rd and 94th ceremonies will be held on Feb. 28, 2021 and Feb. 27, 2022 respectively.

The 2020 show was moved up significantly on the calendar to Feb. 9, drastically truncating the awards season calendar.

But the organization that puts on the show says that the following two shows will remain on the last Sunday of February to account for events like the 2022 Olympics, the Super Bowl and national holidays.

The Oscars have in recent years faced declining viewership, but this year saw an uptick with a hostless show. They will air live on ABC at 8 p.m. Eastern.
 

  • Tuesday, Jun. 11, 2019
Czech film fest to honor actresses Moore, Clarkson
In this Friday, May 17, 2019 file photo, Julianne Moore poses for photographers at the photo call for the film 'The Staggering Girl' at the 72nd international film festival, Cannes, southern France. The international film international at the Czech spa of Karlovy Vary will honor U.S. Oscar-winning actress Julianne Moore for her outstanding contribution to world cinema. The festival opens on June 28, 2019. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP, File)
PRAGUE (AP) -- 

The international film festival at the Czech spa of Karlovy Vary will honor U.S. Oscar-winning actress Julianne Moore for her outstanding contribution to world cinema.

Moore, who won the 2015 Oscar for best actress for her performance in "Still Alice," will present "After the Wedding," a movie directed by her husband, Bart Freundlich, to kick off the festival.

Organizers say they will also honor another U.S. actress, Patricia Clarkson.

They said Tuesday that Academy Award-winner Casey Affleck, who received an award in Karlovy Vary in 2017, returns to present his movie "Light of My Life."

The 54th edition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival opens June 28 and runs through July 6. The festival's grand jury will consider 12 movies for the top prize, the Crystal Globe.

  • Tuesday, Jun. 11, 2019
Bill Wittliff, "Lonesome Dove" co-screenwriter, dies at 79
In this Wednesday, June 21, 2006, file photo, Bill Wittliff, a writer, photographer and producer, poses with some of his collection in his office in Austin, Texas. Wittliff, a prolific screenwriter who co-wrote the script for the 1989 miniseries “Lonesome Dove,” died Sunday, June 9, 2019, at the age of 79. (AP Photo/Harry Cabluck)
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- 

Bill Wittliff, a prolific screenwriter who co-wrote the script for the 1989 miniseries "Lonesome Dove," has died at the age of 79.

His death was announced by Texas State University, where Wittliff had founded The Wittliff Collections with his wife, lawyer Sally Wittliff. Collections Music Curator Hector Saldana tells The Hollywood Reporter that Wittliff died Sunday of a heart attack.

Besides "Lonesome Dove," Wittliff was the writer and director of the 1986 film "Red Headed Stranger," shared screenplay credit on the 1979 film "The Black Stallion" and 1994's "The Legends of the Fall," and wrote the screenplays for the 1981 film "Raggedy Man" and 2000's "The Perfect Storm."

In a statement on the Collections' website, University President Denise Trauth called Wittliff and "inspiration" and "a Texas State hero."

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