Wednesday, June 26, 2019

News Briefs

Displaying 21 - 30 of 3633
  • 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."

  • Saturday, Jun. 8, 2019
Olivia Colman gets royal honor ahead of debut in "The Crown"
In this file photo dated Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, Academy Award-winning actress Olivia Colman poses for photographers at the 75th Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy. Colman is awarded the title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire, or CBE, on Friday June 7, 2019, in the annual Queen’s Birthday Honors list, honoured by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, the monarch that Colman plays in the new TV drama “The Crown.” (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, FILE)
LONDON (AP) -- 

Academy Award-winning actress Olivia Colman has been honored by Queen Elizabeth II - the monarch she is about to play on the Netflix royal family TV drama "The Crown."

Colman was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, or CBE, in the annual Queen's Birthday Honors list.

The performer won a best-actress Oscar this year for playing 18th-century monarch Queen Anne in "The Favourite." She plays Elizabeth in the upcoming third season of "The Crown," which is currently in production.

Colman said she was "totally thrilled, delighted and humbled" by the honor.

The queen also made singer-songwriter Elvis Costello, 64, an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, or OBE - an honor far from his roots in Britain's punk and new wave scene during the 1970s.

In a website post entitled "In Her Majesty's Secret Service," Costello said he spoke with his mother before deciding to put aside "old doubts and enmities" about the crown and his country's past as the British Empire and "muster what little grace I possess" to accept the honor from the 93-year-old monarch Friday.

It was a task Costello made more palatable by dedicating the award to his grandfathers, who fought "for King and Country" during World War I, "and because my Mam told me to do it.

"To be honest, I'm pretty tickled to receive this acknowledgement for my 'Services To Music' as it confirms my long held suspicion nobody really listens to the words in songs or the outcome might have been somewhat different," Costello wrote.

Other recipients of this years' Queen's Birthday Honors include British-Sri Lankan rapper MIA, whose real name Mathangi Arulpragasam, 43, and Andrew Roachford, the singer-songwriter behind the band Roachford. Both were made a Member of the Order of the British Empire, or MBE, for services to music.

The honors are awarded twice a year, at New Year's and to mark the monarch's official birthday in June. (Elizabeth actually was born on April 21, so celebrates twice, as well.) They acknowledge hundreds of people for services to community or British national life.

In descending order, the main honors are knighthoods, CBE, OBE and MBE. Knights are addressed as "sir" or "dame," followed by their name. Recipients of the other honors have no title, but can put the letters after their names.

The latest list included a knighthood for Simon Russell Beale, one of Britain's finest stage actors, who can now call himself Sir Simon.

Recipients are selected by committees of civil servants from nominations made by the government and the public, with the awards bestowed by the queen and other senior royals during Buckingham Palace ceremonies.

Famous faces typically are in the minority. Most go to activists and teachers, doctors and police officers - people who do big things in small communities and often labor for years without recognition.

Among this year's honorees were seven Holocaust survivors awarded British Empire medals for services to Holocaust education: Walter Kammerling, 95, Ernest Simon, 89, Gabrielle Keenaghan, 92, Ruzena Levy, 89, Ann Kirk, 90, Bob Kirk, 94, and George Hans Vulkan, 89,

Holocaust Educational Trust chief executive Karen Pollock said the survivors provide a "public service" by sharing their stories amid a climate of "rising anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial and hate." Pollock said there are other Holocaust survivors "who have yet to receive national recognition, and I hope that they too will be rightly recognized while we still can."

The queen also bestowed knighthood on Boyd Tunnock, inventor of the Tunnock's Teacake, a chocolate-coated marshmallow treat.

"When you get to my age, very few things surprise you but this certainly did and I am deeply honored and grateful to Her Majesty the queen," said Tunnock, whose family firm has been making sweets in Scotland since the 19th century.

Artist Rachel Whiteread, who won the Turner Prize in 1993 for her concrete cast of the inside of a condemned house, became a dame, the female equivalent of a knight.

Novelist Joanna Trollope and Lee Child, writer of the Jack Reacher thrillers, were made CBEs.

Like Costello, Feargal Sharkey, former lead singer of The Undertones — best known for punk classic "Teenage Kicks" — was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, as was actress Cush Jumbo, a star of TV legal series "The Good Fight."

  • Friday, Jun. 7, 2019
Michael B. Jordan presents Central Park 5 with courage award
Honoree Yusef Salaam, right, becomes emotional as he addresses the audience at the ACLU SoCal's 25th Annual Luncheon at the JW Marriott at LA Live, Friday, June 7, 2019, in Los Angeles. Looking on at left is presenter Michael B. Jordan. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Michael B. Jordan told the men known as the Central Park Five Friday that he cannot watch footage of the new series "When They See Us" without getting emotional and feeling like as a young black man he too could have faced a similar ordeal.

"It's dangerous in America when you're living in a black body," Jordan said.

Jordan praised the men —  Yusef Salaam, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise — for their perseverance and courage during a luncheon in which the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California honored Netflix's series about their case.

"The whole time that these men were incarcerated, they never changed their story," he said. "They insisted of their innocence even as they did their time."

Salaam cried as he accepted an award on behalf of series creator Ava DuVernay.

"I'm not ashamed to cry in front of you," Salaam said after a moment of silence as he reflected on how he and the other men were "just boys" between the ages of 13 and 16 years old when they were wrongfully convicted.

"Our story is a story of an egregious miscarriage of justice," he added.

Jordan hugged Salaam, who also spoke on behalf of the five men.

"That's courage," said Jordan, whose performances have ranged from his acclaimed portrayal of a young black man killed by a police officer in "Fruitvale Station" to the vengeful Erik Killmonger in "Black Panther."

Salaam and the rest of the Central Park Five were exonerated in 2002 after being charged with the 1989 rape of a white woman in New York's Central Park. They received a standing ovation while accepting the ACLU chapter's inaugural Roger Baldwin Courage Award. Baldwin was one of the ACLU's founders and its first executive director.

"When They See Us" isn't Hollywood's first attempt to recount the story of the Central Park Five's wrongful conviction, but it has sparked a renewed interest in the details of the case.

Hector Villagra, executive director of the ACLU of Southern California, said DuVernay refocused the narrative on the humanity of the five men and it has shone a new light on a widely known case 30 years later.

The series has re-ignited outcry about how the case was handled. Linda Fairstein, the Manhattan sex crimes prosecutor who observed the teenagers' interrogation, has faced backlash for her role in their conviction. Fairstein has already resigned from at least two nonprofit boards as backlash intensified and a #CancelLindaFairstein movement spread on social media.

Shortly before the men accepted their award, Fairstein was dropped by her book publisher in the face of the increasing criticism. Villagra said that he thinks it's fair that Fairstein be judged for her actions, even decades later.

"It's in many ways justice delayed," Villagra said.

  • Friday, Jun. 7, 2019
Spike Lee calls for Hollywood to "shut it down" in Georgia
Spike Lee arrives at the 47th AFI Life Achievement Award ceremony honoring Denzel Washington at the Dolby Theatre on Thursday, June 6, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Director Spike Lee is calling for Hollywood production companies to leave Georgia over a law that would ban abortions as early as six weeks, upon detection of a fetal heartbeat.

Most studios that have commented have said they're waiting to see if the so-called "heartbeat" law actually takes effect next year, or if the courts will block it. But at the arrivals line for Denzel Washington's AFI Lifetime Achievement tribute Thursday, Lee said now is the time for Georgia-based productions to "shut it down" and boycott the state's booming film industry to drive change.

Lee acknowledged that a mass exodus could dent livelihoods, but cited black bus drivers affected by the Civil Rights Movement-era boycott in Montgomery.

Georgia's economy currently gets a $9.5 billion annual boost from the industry.

  • Thursday, Jun. 6, 2019
Obamas to produce exclusive podcasts for Spotify
In this Oct. 31, 2017 file photo, former President Barack Obama, right, and former first lady Michelle Obama appear at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Barack and Michelle Obama's production company is teaming up with Spotify to produce exclusive podcasts for the platform.

Under the Higher Ground partnership announced Thursday, the former president and first lady will develop and lend their voices to select podcasts.

The Obamas launched Higher Ground in 2018 with an initial partnership with Netflix. The idea was to raise new, diverse voices in the entertainment industry. The Spotify partnership seeks to expand the conversation.

In a statement, the former president says podcasts offer an opportunity to "foster productive dialogue, make people smile and make people think."

Michelle Obama says she hopes they can help people connect emotionally and open their hearts and minds.

MySHOOT Profiles

Award Winning Writer-Director with International Experience
Director, Writer
Laurie Rubin
Director
docter twins
Director

Director

MySHOOT Company Profiles