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  • Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014
Jack Epsteen
AUSTIN, Tex. -- 

GSD&M has hired Jack Epsteen as  sr. VP/director of integrated production. In this role, he will guide the agency’s 40-person department with capabilities spanning digital, sound and motion and print. In addition, Epsteen will oversee day-to-day operations and work closely with creative and media to develop new opportunities for clients.

“It’s more important than ever that we continue to adapt to the ever-changing media landscape and provide value to our clients and their needs,” said Duff Stewart, CEO of GSD&M. “Jack’s experience and approach to production make him a great fit to build upon the success of the department and to develop smart solutions to create great work for our clients.”

Epsteen comes to GSD&M with a track record of leadership experience within the production industry. Most recently, he expanded his agency portfolio while working as a freelance executive producer. Prior More

  • Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014
PARK CITY, Utah (AP) -- 

An international documentary in competition at the Sundance Film Festival can already be seen throughout the United States and Canada.

Apple's iTunes made "Sepideh: Reaching for the Stars" available for rent or purchase on Tuesday, marking the first time the company has distributed a film while it is still playing at the independent film showcase. The Sundance Film Festival continues through Sunday in Park City, Utah.

"Sepideh" tells the story of an Iranian girl who dreams of being an astronaut, despite the limitations of her culture and gender. The film is the first feature documentary from Danish director Berit Madsen.

Most films playing at Sundance can only be seen at the festival — at least until distributors decide to pick them up and make them available to wider audiences.

  • Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- 

Federal authorities say they questioned an Ohio man they suspected of recording a movie in a theater with his Google Glass computer-in-eyeglass device.

The government says no action was taken after the man confirmed the Google Glass was also a pair of prescription glasses with the recording function inactive.

The man was watching "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" at an AMC theater in Columbus on Saturday. Authorities did not identify him.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Khaalid Walls says the man voluntarily answered questions from officers with ICE Homeland Security Investigations.

AMC says it contacted authorities after identifying someone wearing a recording device. Spokesman Ryan Noonan says the company takes movie theft seriously.

Both ICE, which investigates piracy and counterfeiting, and the Motion Picture Association of America, were involved.

More
  • Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014
PARK CITY, Utah (AP) -- 

The Sundance Institute is announcing a new element to the Sundance Film Festival: A global call for short films about overcoming poverty and hunger.

The executive director of the institute made the announcement Tuesday during the festival. Keri Putnam is inviting documentary and narrative filmmakers from around the world to submit short films that tell empowering stories about individuals or communities conquering hunger and poverty.

She says the aim of the contest is to inspire ideas, discussions and solutions through films "that inform and engage audiences in ways that are as innovative and imaginative as the solutions people are putting into action every day."

Five winners will be shown at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, and the filmmakers will receive $10,000 each. The Short Film Challenge is separate from the festival's regular short-film competition.

The new contest will formally More

  • Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014
LOS ANGELES -- 

The Publicists of the International Cinematographers Guild (IATSE Local 600) have announced nominees for the Maxwell Weinberg Publicist Showmanship Awards, with the winners to be announced at the Publicists’ 51st Annual Awards Luncheon at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Friday, February 28.

Nominees for the Maxwell Weinberg Publicist Showmanship Award for Motion Pictures are the union publicists who worked on American Hustle (Sony Pictures); Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (Paramount Pictures); Despicable Me 2 (Universal Pictures); Gravity (Warner Bros.); Saving Mr. Banks (Walt Disney Studios); and The Heat (Fox).

The nominees for the Television category are American Horror Story: Coven (20th Century Fox Television); The Crazy Ones (20th Century Fox Television); Glee (20th Century Fox Television); The Good Wife ( More

  • Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014
LOS ANGELES -- 

Award-winning writer-director-producer John Wells will receive the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) 2014 Board of Governors Award. Wells will be honored during the 28th Annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards gala here on February 1 at the Hollywood & Highland Ray Dolby Ballroom.

"John Wells is an extraordinary talent whose long career has exposed the world to superlative cinematography across a wide array of features and television," said ASC president Richard Crudo.

Wells has notched over 830 credits during his prolific career. He is the creative force behind multiple hit television series, including the Emmy-winning ER and The West Wing. He served as an executive producer on the critically acclaimed Southland (TNT), and the award-winning Mildred Pierce (HBO) and China Beach (ABC), among many others. Currently, he is the executive producer More

  • Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014
LOS ANGELES -- 

The Visual Effects Society (VES) announced that actor/comedian/author Patton Oswalt will serve as host of the 12th Annual VES Awards on February 12 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.  This marks Oswalt’s third engagement as host of the annual celebration that recognizes outstanding visual effects artistry and innovation. 

“Look, no one drinks more or parties harder than visual effects artists.  They’ve promised to green screen a vat of bourbon into my stomach.  I had to say yes, “ said Oswalt on his return engagement.

Oswalt continues to find success in all areas of entertainment, from his Grammy-nominated comedy specials to his many memorable TV guest roles (including Parks and Recreation, for which he received a TV Critics Choice Award).  He is also currently featured in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, stars in Adult Swim’s The Heart, She Holler and is the narrator on ABC’s More

  • Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014
A Sept. 11, 2013 file photo of actor Kurt Russell (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
PARK CITY, Utah (AP) -- 

Calling his late castmate Paul Walker "a terrific guy," Kurt Russell says he's not sure what will happen with his role in the latest "Fast & Furious" movie.

Russell joined the seventh film in the franchise and plays a father figure to Vin Diesel's character Dominic Toretto. The 62-year-old actor said he had one day left of filming when Walker died in a car crash outside Los Angeles last November.

"They're having to rewrite, they're having to do whatever they're having to do to deal with the situation. Listen, it's catastrophic. It's the worst thing that could happen to a movie, but it's not as bad as what happened to Paul," Russell said in an interview at the Sundance Film Festival, where he's promoting a documentary about his father's minor-league baseball team, "The Battered Bastards of Baseball." ''So everything is in perspective. He was a terrific guy. And life is full of curveballs."

More

  • Monday, Jan. 20, 2014
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- 

PBS documentary maker Ken Burns is examining the roots of country music and how it has changed through the present day for a multi-episode series on public broadcasting.

Country fans have a wait ahead of them, though. PBS said Monday that Burns' country music project isn't set to air until 2018.

The noted documentarian has several other projects in the works for PBS, including one on the Gettysburg Address that will air this spring, and films on the Roosevelts, Jackie Robinson and Vietnam.

The country series explores the question, "what is country music." It will track the careers of the Carter family, Jimmie Rodgers, Bob Wills, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and others.

  • Monday, Jan. 20, 2014
PARK CITY, Utah (AP) -- 

A study commissioned by the Sundance Institute and Women in Film Los Angeles finds that female filmmakers who participate in the institute's feature and documentary development labs succeed in equal numbers to men.

The executive director of the Sundance Institute, Keri Putnam, and the president of Women in Film Los Angeles, Cathy Schulman, presented the findings Monday at a private event during the Sundance Film Festival.

The study examined participation in Sundance's film-development labs and found that gender had no impact on the likelihood of a film's completion. About 41 percent of all lab projects by male and female filmmakers are finished, and 80 percent of those go on to play at major film festivals.

"Labs level the gender playing field," said lead researcher Stacy L. Smith of the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California.

Women More

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