Wednesday, September 19, 2018

News Briefs

Displaying 11 - 20 of 3184
  • Wednesday, Sep. 12, 2018
Warner Bros. distances itself from "A Star Is Born" producer Peters
In this May 1, 2007 file photo, Hollywood producer Jon Peters poses with his new star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame during dedication ceremonies in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)
TORONTO (AP) -- 

Just as film festival audiences are swooning over Bradley Cooper's celebrated romance "A Star Is Born," the film's studio is distancing itself from a producer of the project.

Jon Peters is a credited producer of the new "A Star Is Born," the third remake of the Hollywood fable. Peters was instrumental in the making of the 1976 version of "A Star Is Born," which starred his then-girlfriend Barbra Streisand.

But with the new film in the spotlight, Peters' history has come under scrutiny. A report Tuesday by Jezebel took issue with Peters, in the #MeToo era, being a producer on one of the fall's biggest releases.

In August 2011, a Los Angeles jury awarded one of Peters' former employees, Shelly Morita, more than $3.3 million in a harassment case she filed against the producer. The jury determined Peters subjected Morita to "severe and pervasive" harassment and a "hostile or abusive" work environment.

Peters and Morita entered into a later agreement overturning the judgment in the case. The terms were not disclosed.

Warner Bros., which produced and will release "A Star Is Born" next month, said Tuesday it was contractually bound to credit Peters.

"Jon Peters' attachment to this property goes as far back as 1976," said the studio in a statement. "Legally, we had to honor the contractual obligation in order to make this film."

The Producers Guild of America also confirmed Tuesday that it has ruled that Peters did not work enough on the film to receive a "producers mark." In the film's credits, Peters' name doesn't include the "p.g.a." label of a producers mark.

That has potential ramifications for "A Star Is Born" in awards season, where it is expected to be a heavyweight contender. Peters wouldn't likely be among the listed producers, for example, should the film be nominated for best picture. He would not get an Oscar, if the film were to win.

The new version of "A Star Is Born," which stars Cooper and Lady Gaga, was in development for years. One earlier incarnation was to be directed by Clint Eastwood and star Beyonce.

But while "A Star Is Born" went through multiple iterations, one of the film's producers, Bill Gerber, earlier praised Peters work on it.

"There were a lot of complicated deals on 'Star Is Born,' a lot of heavy-hitters," Gerber told The Hollywood Reporter last year. "And Jon could not have been more helpful in getting it all in line."

After-hours messages left for Peters were not immediately returned.

  • Tuesday, Sep. 11, 2018
Tate Modern makes time for 24-hour movie "The Clock"
People watch a section of the 24 hour video installation by Christian Marclay, which is entitled ' The Clock' at the Tate Modern in London, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
LONDON (AP) -- 

Christian Marclay's "The Clock" is both the ultimate feature film and an artwork you can set your watch by.

The Swiss-American artist has edited together thousands of movie clips containing clocks, watches or references to the time — one or more for every minute of the day — into a 24-hour video.

It's a mesmerizing patchwork, full of sex, drama, action, excitement and hundreds of characters, that moves forward in time as it dances back and forth across film history.

First displayed in 2010, the piece goes on show this week at London's Tate Modern , which plans several all-night openings so that it can be shown in its entirety.

Marclay knows most visitors won't see the whole thing, and admitted Tuesday that he's never sat through the full 24 hours.

  • Tuesday, Sep. 11, 2018
Google case set to examine if EU data rules extend globally
In this April 17, 2007, file photo exhibitors of the Google company work in front of a illuminated sign at the industrial fair Hannover Messe in Hannover, Germany. Google is taking its legal fight against an order requiring it to extend "right to be forgotten" rules to its search engines globally to Europe's top court. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer, File)
LONDON (AP) -- 

Google is going to Europe's top court in its legal fight against an order requiring it to extend "right to be forgotten" rules to its search engines globally.

The technology giant is set for a showdown at the European Union Court of Justice in Luxembourg on Tuesday with France's data privacy regulator over an order to remove search results worldwide upon request.

The dispute pits data privacy concerns against the public's right to know, while also raising thorny questions about how to enforce differing legal jurisdictions when it comes to the borderless internet.

The two sides will be seeking clarification on a 2015 decision by the French regulator requiring Google to remove results for all its search engines on request, and not just on European country sites like google.fr.

Google declined to comment ahead of the hearing. Its general counsel, Kent Walker, said in a blog post in November that complying with the order "would encourage other countries, including less democratic regimes, to try to impose their values on citizens in the rest of the world."

"These cases represent a serious assault on the public's right to access lawful information," he added.

In an unusual move, the court has allowed a collection of press freedom, free speech and civil rights groups to submit their opinions on the case. These groups agree with Google that forcing internet companies to remove website links threatens access to information and could pave the way for censorship by more authoritarian regimes such as China, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

The court's ruling is expected within months. It will be preceded by an opinion from the court's advocate general.

The case stems from a landmark 2014 Court of Justice ruling that people have the right to control what appears when their name is searched online. That decision forced Google to delete links to outdated or embarrassing personal information that popped up in searches of their names.

Authorities are now starting to worry about the risk that internet users can easily turn to proxy servers and virtual private networks to spoof their location, allowing them to dig up the blocked search results.

Google said in its most recent transparency report that it has received requests to delete about 2.74 million web links since the ruling, and has deleted about 44 percent of them.

Not all requests are waved through. In a related case that will also be heard Tuesday, the EU court will be asked to weigh in on a request by four people in France who want their search results to be purged of any information about their political beliefs and criminal records, without taking into account public interest. Google had rejected their request, which was ultimately referred to the ECJ.

  • Monday, Sep. 10, 2018
Study: Middle Eastern actors ignored, stereotyped by TV
This combination photo shows, from left, Egyptian-American actor Rami Malek, who stars on “Mr. Robot,” Turkish-American actor Ennis Esmer, who stars in "Red Oaks," and Iranian-American actress Necar Zadegan, who stars in “Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce." A new study says actors of Middle Eastern and North African descent are either ignored on TV or stereotyped. Malek, Esmer and Zadegan were described as “exemplary” in the report. (AP Photo)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Actors and characters of Middle Eastern and North African descent are either ignored by TV or stereotyped, according to a new study.

The few such actors who get work are largely confined to playing tyrants and terrorists, said the university-funded study released Monday.

One percent of regularly seen TV series actors have roots in countries including Egypt, Turkey and Israel. But estimates show about 3 percent of the U.S. population, 10 million people, are from the region, said the study's lead author, Biola University associate professor Nancy Wang Yuen.

Researchers who examined 242 scripted prime-time series on broadcast, cable and streaming during the 2015-16 season found that between 90 percent and 97 percent had no characters of Middle Eastern or North African ethnicity.

When those characters do appear, 78 percent are tyrants or trained terrorists, agents or soldiers, the study said. Most speak with obvious foreign accents.

Ninety percent of shows with such characters feature just one — with the now-ended "Tyrant," a drama set in the Middle East, among the exceptions.

The study warned that such depictions can contribute to the rise of anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant sentiment in American society.

Three instances were described as "exemplary" in the report: Iranian-American actress Necar Zadegan's portrayal of an attorney on Bravo's "Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce," the cyber-security engineer played by Egyptian-American (and Emmy-winning) actor Rami Malek on "Mr. Robot" and a tennis pro on Amazon's "Red Oaks" played by Turkish-American actor Ennis Esmer.

"His ethnicity doesn't define the role, and he gets to be a full person aside from that, and in fact because of that," Esmer said of his character in a statement.

The entertainment industry as a whole must seek change, the study said. It recommended steps including the hiring and mentoring of Middle East and North African actors, directors, executives and others.

The study cited the work of actress Azita Ghanizada, who founded an advocacy coalition that successfully lobbied Hollywood guilds to include Middle East and North African performers in casting data reports.

The study received funding from schools including Biola University in La Mirada, California; California State University Fullerton; and San Jose State University, along with CBS Entertainment Diversity.

  • Saturday, Sep. 8, 2018
Study finds diversity in film criticism lacking
TORONTO (AP) -- 

USC's Annenberg Inclusion Initiative on Friday expanded on its previous findings regarding diversity in film criticism to give a more detailed look at what researchers conclude is a not level playing field for critics.

The study, the second in a three-part series, evaluated reviews posted by aggregator Rotten Tomatoes for the top 300 highest grossing films from 2015 through 2017. It found that 67.1 of the critics were male, 32.9 percent were female and that of critics with an "ascertainable" race or ethnicity, 23.2 percent were from minority groups while 76.8 percent were white.

The USC researches suggested the race or gender of a critic can have an effect on their reviews. They found that women of color were more likely to rate a movie with a minority female lead "fresh" than white male critics, though researches expressed caution on those results due to small sample size.

According to the study, entertainment trade publications contained the lowest percentage of female "top" critics (10 percent of reviews) on Rotten Tomatoes. General news outlets fared the best with 34.6 percent of reviews written by female "top" critics.

The center's earlier studied analyzed more than 19,000 reviews of the 100 top-grossing films of 2017. It found that nearly 80 percent of critics were male, according to reviews compiled by Rotten Tomatoes.

In response to the researchers' earlier study, the Toronto International Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival have sought to diversify its press corps by inviting and paying the way for underrepresented critics and journalists. The currently running Toronto Film Festival has brought nearly 200 critics (approximately 20 percent of the festival press) to Toronto.

Rotten Tomatoes has since modified its review aggregation to include a wider pool of critics.

  • Friday, Sep. 7, 2018
Director Ramaa Mosley's "Lost Child" opens in theaters on Sept. 14
Ramaa Mosley
LOS ANGELES -- 

Director Ramaa Mosley’s Lost Child, a feature she wrote along with producer Tim Macy, is slated to open in theaters on Sept. 14, distributed by Breaking Glass Pictures.

Lost Child stars Leven Rambin (Hunger Games, True Detective), Taylor John Smith (Sharp Objects) and Jim Parrack (Suicide Squad, True Blood). Mosley’s film follows an army vet, Fern, who returns home in order to look for her brother--only to discover an abandoned boy lurking in the woods behind her childhood home. After taking in the boy, she searches for clues to his identity, and discovers the local folklore about a malevolent, life-draining spirit that comes in the form of a child.

The thriller recently won Best Narrative Feature distinction at the 2018 Kansas City Film Festival, and the Best Actress honor for Rambin at the Taormina Film Festival. Lost Child was also an official selection at the Bentonville Film Festival, the Heartland Film Fest, and the Sarasota Film Festival.

Director/writer Mosley made her first film at the age of 16, winning the prestigious United Nations’ Global 500 Award in the process. Over the past 20 years, Mosley has directed feature films and hundreds of award -winning  commercials. Mosley  directed  her  debut  feature  film--based  on  the  original  comic  book she  co-wrote--titled The Brass Teapot starring Juno Temple. The Brass Teapot premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was distributed by Magnolia Pictures in 2013. It was nominated for the International Critics’ Award (FIPRESCI) and a Saturn Award.  

Mosley was recently named as part of NBC’s inaugural class for its new “Female Forward” directors initiative which will provide female directors a pipeline into scripted television. She has been paired with the hit show Blindspot.

Mosley also serves as founder/CEO/executive creative director of Adolescent Content, a commercialmaking and branded entertainment production house. Adolescent Content represents and develops prodigious Gen Z and Millennial directors working in youth advertising, entertainment, and marketing.

  • Thursday, Sep. 6, 2018
Report: CBS CEO in exit talks amid misconduct probe
In this Sept. 19, 2017 file photo, Les Moonves, chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation, poses at the premiere of the new television series "Star Trek: Discovery" in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that CBS chief Les Moonves is negotiating with independent directors of CBS' board for a possible exit.

CBS has appointed two law firms to investigate Moonves for sexual misconduct allegations stemming from a July New Yorker article. CBS didn't return a request for comment. The report cites unnamed people familiar with the talks.

The Journal and CNBC both say Chief Operating Officer Joe Ianniello would be CBS' interim CEO if Moonves leaves.

The Journal also reports that the independent directors are seeking an assurance that CBS parent National Amusements won't seek to combine CBS with sibling company Viacom, something Moonves has long resisted. CBS and National Amusements, run by media mogul Shari Redstone, are reportedly in talks to settle a court battle over control.

  • Thursday, Sep. 6, 2018
Report: CBS, National Amusements in talks to settle case
In this March 29, 2017, file photo, Shari Redstone attends the premiere of "Ghost in the Shell" at AMC Loews Lincoln Square in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that CBS and its parent company National Amusements are in talks to settle pending litigation over who controls the broadcaster.

CBS and National Amusements, run by media mogul Shari Redstone, have been duking it out in court since May when CBS attempted to issue a special dividend that would strip National Amusements of its controlling stake in the media company.

According to the Journal, the settlement talks include CBS dropping the dividend. In exchange, National Amusements would agree not to push for a merger between CBS and Viacom, which it also controls. The trial had been set for early October.

The report cited anonymous sources familiar with the matter. National Amusements and CBS both declined to comment.

  • Wednesday, Sep. 5, 2018
Kennedy, Levy, Marshall, Schifrin, Tyson To Be Honored At Academy’s Governors Awards
Kathleen Kennedy
LOS ANGELES -- 

The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted Tuesday night (September 4) to present Honorary Awards to publicist Marvin Levy, composer Lalo Schifrin and actress Cicely Tyson, and the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award to producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall. The three Oscar® statuettes and Thalberg Award will be presented at the Academy’s 10th Annual Governors Awards on Sunday, November 18, at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center®.

“Choosing the honorees for its awards each year is the happiest of all the Board of Governors’ work. And this year, its selection of five iconic artists was made with universal acclaim by the Academy’s 54 spirited governors,” said Academy president John Bailey.

Levy began his career in publicity working for MGM in New York City before joining Columbia Pictures in Hollywood, where he guided the advertising for films including “The Deep” and “Kramer vs. Kramer.” His work for the 1977 film “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” marked the beginning of a four-decade-long partnership with Steven Spielberg. Levy has held positions at Amblin Entertainment, DreamWorks Studios and Amblin Partners, and has worked on publicity campaigns for such films as “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial,” “Back to the Future,” “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” “Schindler’s List,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “American Beauty,” “Gladiator” and “Lincoln.” Levy is the first publicist to receive an honorary Oscar.

Born and raised in Argentina, Schifrin studied classical music and jazz in France before beginning to compose for film in Buenos Aires in the mid-1950s. He has written scores for more than 100 films, including “The Cincinnati Kid,” “Bullitt,” “Dirty Harry,” “Enter the Dragon” and “Rush Hour.” His memorable theme for the television series “Mission: Impossible” has been a hallmark of the recent film series. He has received six Oscar® nominations, for the original scores for “Cool Hand Luke” (1967), “The Fox” (1968), “Voyage of the Damned” (1976) and “The Amityville Horror” (1979), the original song “People Alone” from “The Competition” (1980) and the adaptation score for “The Sting II” (1983).

Raised in Harlem, Tyson began her career as a model and a theater actress, appearing both on Broadway and Off-Broadway. After playing small roles in feature films and television, she was cast as Portia in “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter” in 1968. Four years later, she received an Academy Award® nomination for her leading performance in “Sounder.” Her other notable film credits include “The River Niger,” “Fried Green Tomatoes,” “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” “The Help,” “Alex Cross” and “Last Flag Flying.”

The Kennedy/Marshall producing partnership, formed in 1991, has generated Best Picture nominations for “The Sixth Sense” (1999), “Seabiscuit” (2003), “Munich” (2005) and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (2008). Kennedy/Marshall Company productions also include “Congo,” all five “Bourne” films, and “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.” Prior to forming Kennedy/Marshall, the duo co-founded Amblin Productions with Steven Spielberg, sharing a Best Picture nomination for “The Color Purple” (1985). Additionally, Marshall received a Best Picture nomination for “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981), while Kennedy was nominated in the same category for “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” (1982), “War Horse” (2011) and “Lincoln” (2012). Kennedy is the first woman to receive the Thalberg Award.

The Honorary Award, an Oscar statuette, is given “to honor extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy.” The Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, a bust of the motion picture executive, is presented to creative producers “whose body of work reflects a consistently high quality of motion picture production.”

  • Wednesday, Sep. 5, 2018
KODAK bestows 2018 Student Scholarships upon promising global talent
A scene from the Gold Award-winning student film “Nice Talking to You” (photo courtesy of UFVA)
ROCHESTER, NY -- 

Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE: KODK) announced the winners of its 27th annual KODAK Student Scholarship Program, last month, at the 72nd annual University Film & Video Association (UFVA) Conference, hosted by New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico. This international competition is part of Kodak’s long-held commitment to encourage and foster the next generation of filmmakers and honors students who demonstrate exemplary skills and creativity in the art of motion pictures.

Held in conjunction with the University Film & Video Foundation (UFVF), the 501c(3) arm of the UFVA, which promotes worldwide education, research, innovation and charitable activities in the arts and sciences of moving images and aural communication, this competition is open to collegiate students at the undergraduate and graduate levels of accredited film programs. 

“Kodak is committed to helping up-and-coming motion picture artists tell stories, create art and work with real film,” said Steve Bellamy, president of Motion Picture and Entertainment at Kodak.  “While high definition and 4K video cameras have come a long way, there is absolutely nothing like shooting film!  ‘The magic of film’ is real, with its deep colors, unmistakable resolution, happy accidents and an unparalleled focus from actors and crew.  Much like other analog mediums artists are flocking to, the organic and emotive nature of film is a gift we want to expose as many young motion picture artists to as possible.  There is not a better place to work with up and coming artists than the UFVA.”

Simon Tarr, president, University Film and Video Foundation/Association, added, “Congratulations to all of the finalists of the UFVA/Kodak Scholarship program. The UFVA’s mission is the advancement of the teaching of the art and craft of the cinematic arts. The high quality of these works shows just how valuable the mentorship provided in film schools continues to be, even in this DIY world. I am proud that Kodak has been our long-time partner in this mission and am thrilled to work with them to award these scholarships. Kodak’s dedication to the art of motion pictures is well known. It is also important to acknowledge the company’s commitment to the scholarship and teaching of the art.”

Selected from entries from across the country and around the world, the 2018 winners are:

KODAK Student Cinematography Scholarship Awards
KODAK Vision Award — $3,000 Tuition Scholarship Award & $5,000 KODAK Motion Picture Product Grant. To qualify for this award, a minimum of 50 percent of the submission was required to be shot on film. Alfonso Herrera Salcedo, a student at New York University Tisch School of the Arts, was selected for his film Lefty/Righty, shot on 16mm film, about a divorced cowboy who tries to connect with his six-year-old daughter at the sickbed of the family patriarch.
 
First Place — $3,000 Tuition Scholarship Award & $5,000 KODAK Motion Picture Product Grant. Lucus Williams, a student at San Diego State University, was chosen for his picture, Sense of an Ending, a story about Thomas, an elderly man who, in an effort to understand his wife’s decisions, moves through the events of their life together.
 
KODAK Vision Award, Honorable Mention — $1,000 Tuition Scholarship Award & $500 KODAK Motion Picture Product Grant. Alejandro Chavez Perez, from Centro de Capacitacion Cinematograficia, A.C., received an honorable mention for the film Encarnación (Incarnation), shot on 35mm film. After massacring the people of the town of Encarnación, a group of undercover soldiers return to destroy the evidence. Soldier Ezequiel Gallardo drifts away from his platoon and ends up in the town alone, face to face with his own demons.
 

KODAK Student Scholarship Awards
Gold Award — $5,000 Tuition Scholarship Award & $5,000 KODAK Motion Picture Product Grant. Saim Sadiq from Columbia University received this award for the picture, Nice Talking to You, which tells the story of how two strangers form a silent bond in the world’s loudest city. At an American Sign Language party, a Lebanese girl on her last day in the city, meets a NYC photographer. What sparks is an unlikely romance until the spell is broken by words.

Silver Award — $3,000 Tuition Scholarship Award & $3,000 KODAK Motion Picture Product Grant. Federico Spiazzi from Columbia University received this award for the picture Refuge, a story about a crossroads in Athens, where people of different nationalities, including locals, refugees and tourists come together. Only for a moment.

Bronze Award — $2,000 Tuition Scholarship Award & $3,000 KODAK Motion Picture Product Grant. Benjamin Buxton from Northwestern University received this award for the picture, “on the rink”. The Rink in Southside Chicago has been the home to a vibrant community of roller skating enthusiasts for over 40 years. This portrait of the skaters who make up a unique Chicago staple exhibits the energy of a day on the rink.
 

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