Wednesday, November 21, 2018

News Briefs

Displaying 81 - 90 of 3282
  • Sunday, Sep. 30, 2018
"Between Two Waters" wins top film prize at San Sebastian
A scene from "Between Two Waters" (La Termita Films/B-Team Pictures)
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -- 

Director Isaki Lacuesta's film "Between Two Waters" has won the top prize at the San Sebastian International Film Festival, the biggest film festival for Spanish-language films.

It was the second Golden Shell award for best film to go to Lacuesta, after the Catalan filmmaker also triumphed at San Sebastian with his 2011 movie "The Double Steps" ("Los pasos dobles").

A social drama set in present-day southern Spain, "Between Two Waters" ("Entre dos aguas") is a sequel to Lacuesta's 2006 film "The Legend of Time" ("La leyenda del tiempo"). It explores the lives of two brothers from a family of Gypsies, also known as Roma.

The Argentine film "Red" ("Rojo") was the festival's other big winner Saturday night, with awards for best director going to Benjamin Naishtat, best actor to Dario Grandinetti and best cinematography to Pedro Sotero.

Norwegian actress Pia Tjelta won the award for best actress for her role in "Blind Spot" by director Tuva Novotny.

  • Saturday, Sep. 29, 2018
Banned Kenyan film "Rafiki" is allowed limited showings
In this April 27, 2018 file photo, Wanuri Kahiu, the director of the film "Rafiki," or "Friend" in Swahili, a love story featuring two women, is interviewed in Nairobi, Kenya. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- 

The first Kenyan feature film to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival has received overwhelming audience support since a court temporarily lifted a ban imposed by censors over the film's gay content, a lawyer said Friday.

"Rafiki" went from being screened once a day in one theater in Nairobi on Sept. 22 to three daily screenings at theaters in three of Kenya's largest cities as of Friday, said Sofia Leteipan, who represents director Wanuri Kahiu.

The court ruled that the film, a love story featuring two women, could be viewed locally for one week to make it eligible for Oscar contention. The ban will resume after Sunday showings.

Ezekiel Mutua, the head of the Kenya Film Classification Board, has said that only "a small portion" of the country's population has seen it.

"There is no market for homosexual movies in Kenya. Is there value for money in making a homosexual movie that will be watched by 300 out of 44 million people?" Mutua said in an interview on Citizen Television earlier in the week.

It is illegal to have same-gender sex in Kenya. Gays and lesbians in many parts of Africa face severe harassment, physical threats and judicial punishment.

Kenya's National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission is currently in court arguing that sections of the penal code violate the constitution and deny basic rights by criminalizing consensual same-sex relations between adults.

Leteipan said that although "Rafiki" in the end wasn't nominated for an Oscar, its screening across Kenya is a "huge win for the articulation of freedom of expression."

She said that after the ban resumes, "we'll still be in court pursuing the original petition to have the ban permanently lifted and strike out provisions of Films and Stage Plays Act which restrict freedom of expression and constrain creativity."

After watching the film, gay activist Immah Reid called it a "well-structured conversation starter for sexuality in Kenya ... how gender appears and the violence people who don't conform to gender rules end up going through."

Maureen Nyambura, a university student, said it is progress that "Rafiki" is being seen in a society that often doesn't tolerate different sexualities.

"You don't have to be a woman to fall in love with a man and vice versa. It's time Kenya embraces sexual diversity," she said.

  • Saturday, Sep. 29, 2018
CBS subpoenaed by Manhattan district attorney on Moonves
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)

CBS said Friday that a New York City prosecutor has subpoenaed the company for information related to sexual misconduct allegations that led to the ouster of longtime chief Les Moonves.

The company said in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it received subpoenas from the Manhattan District Attorney and New York City's Commission on Human Rights and that it is cooperating.

The state attorney general's office has also requested information, the filing said.

A CBS spokesman declined comment. The district attorney's office also declined comment. The other agencies didn't immediately respond to messages.

Moonves resigned as chairman of CBS on Sept. 9, hours after The New Yorker published a story detailing a second round of ugly accusations against him.

In total, a dozen women have alleged mistreatment, including forced oral sex, groping and retaliation if they resisted him.

Moonves has denied the allegations, though he said he had consensual relations with some of the women.

Outside lawyers hired by CBS continue to investigate allegations against Moonves and Jeff Fager, the former top executive at "60 Minutes."

Fager was fired after he texted a CBS News reporter to "be careful" when she questioned him about reports that he tolerated an abusive environment at the newsmagazine.

The lawyers' investigation is also looking into "cultural issues at all levels of CBS," the filing said.

In a regulatory filing earlier this month, CBS said it would pay Moonves a $120 million severance if that investigation fails to find any evidence of sexual misconduct.

  • Thursday, Sep. 27, 2018
Rob Marshall to receive Cinematic Imagery Award at 23rd Art Directors Guild Awards
Rob Marshall

Rob Marshall, Oscar nominee, DGA and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, producer, theater director and choreographer whose films have consistently reflected the highest quality of production design, will receive the prestigious Cinematic Imagery Award from the Art Directors Guild (ADG, IATSE, Local 800) at its 23rd Annual Art Directors Guild’s Excellence in Production Design Awards. The 2019 Awards, themed “Production Design: Landscape of the Imagination,” will be held Saturday, February 2, 2019 at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown and will honor the prestigious spectrum of Marshall’s extraordinary award-winning work. The announcement was made today by ADG Council Chairman Mark Worthington ADG and Awards Producers Scott Moses ADG  and Marco Miehe ADG.

Marshall’s films have been honored with a total of 23 Academy Award nominations--winning nine, including Best Picture.  His most recent film Mary Poppins Returns, which he directed and produced, stars Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Said ADG president Nelson Coates, “We are excited to recognize the amazing talents and creative contributions Rob Marshall has made to narrative design and imaginative storytelling, while so beautifully creating an incredible cinematic legacy as which includes some of the most successful movies of our time.  The breadth of his impact on the visual lexicon spans the worlds of film, television, theater and dance.”

Marshall’s directorial efforts include the Oscar -winning films Chicago and Memoirs of a Geisha. For his work on Chicago, winner of six Oscars including Best Picture, Marshall received the Directors Guild Award, Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations, the National Board of Review Award and the New York Film Critics Online Award, both for best directorial debut, as well as the American Choreography Award.  His epic film Memoirs of a Geisha was the winner of three Oscars, three BAFTA Awards and a Golden Globe.  Marshall’s film version of the musical Nine was nominated for four Oscars, five Golden Globes, 10 Critics Choice awards, and a SAG award for best cast.  His film Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, starring Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz, went on to gross over one billion dollars at the worldwide box office. Marshall’s screen adaption of the Sondheim musical Into the Woods, starring Meryl Streep, was nominated for three Oscars, three Golden Globes (including Best Picture), and was chosen as one of AFI’s best films of the year. 

Marshall executive produced, directed and choreographed the NBC television event Tony Bennett: An American Classic, winning his second Directors Guild Award as well as three Emmy Awards for Direction, Choreography and Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special.  He directed and choreographed Disney/ABC’s movie musical Annie, which received 12 Emmy nominations and won the prestigious Peabody Award. For his work he received an Emmy and an American Choreography Award.  He is the recipient of the Cinema Audio Society Filmmaker Award, as well as the Distinguished Collaborator Award for the Costume Designers Guild and the Hamilton Award.

In addition to his film and television achievements, Marshall is a six-time Tony Award nominee and George Abbott Award winner. His stage work includes Broadway productions of Cabaret, Little Me, Victor/Victoria, Damn Yankees, She Loves Me, Company, and Kiss of the Spiderwoman.

The ADG’s Cinematic Imagery Award is given to those whose body of work in the film industry has richly enhanced the visual aspects of the movie-going experience. Previous recipients have been Kathleen Kennedy, Brad Bird, David O. Russell, Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, John Lasseter, George Lucas, Frank Oz, the team behind the James Bond franchise and behind the Harry Potter films, Bill Taylor, Syd Dutton, Warren Beatty, Allen Daviau, Clint Eastwood, Blake Edwards, Terry Gilliam, Ray Harryhausen, Norman Jewison, Robert S. Wise and Zhang Yimou.

Producers of this year’s ADG Awards (#ADGawards) are Scott Moses ADG and Marco Miehe ADG. Award submissions open online on October 4 and run through November 8, 2018. Online nomination voting will be held December 5, 2018-January 4, 2019 and nominees announced on January 7, 2019. Final online balloting will be held January 8-31, 2019 and winners will be announced at the dinner ceremony on Saturday, February 2, 2019.  ADG Awards are open only to productions when made within the U.S. by producer’s signatory to the IATSE agreement. Foreign entries are acceptable without restrictions.

  • Thursday, Sep. 27, 2018
Fox plans to sell stake in Sky to Comcast for $15B
In this Thursday, June 14, 2018, file photo shows the 21st Century Fox logo outside its New York office. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, FILE)

21st Century Fox will sell its remaining stake in British pay TV provider Sky to Comcast in the latest financial wrangling as Disney prepares to acquire Fox's entertainment assets.

Over the weekend, Comcast won a rare bidding auction for 61 percent of Sky offering 17.28 pounds per share, almost 30 billion pounds ($39 billion). Fox will sell its 39 percent stake to for 11.6 billion pounds ($15.25 billion).

Last December a bidding war between Walt Disney Co. and Comcast began over Fox's entertainment assets. Walt Disney Co. prevailed and is in the process acquiring Fox. Comcast dropped out of that contest to focus on its acquisition of Sky.

Disney says the sale will significantly reduce the amount of debt it is taking on by acquiring Fox's entertainment assets.

  • Wednesday, Sep. 26, 2018
Universal Studios Costume Dept. opens Digital Design Workroom

The Universal Studios Costume Department has announced the grand opening of its latest innovative service, the Digital Design Workroom.  In a 3D virtual environment, Workroom staff can create a designer’s garment using talent measurements, fabric type and color, and overall fit.  The Digital Design Workroom technology saves time in design, approval, and manufacturing while reducing fabric waste by creating more accurate patterns.

“The Workroom is very flexible.  Designers can bring in photos and sketches or even actual garments to replicate,” said Poppy Cannon-Reese, director of Costume at Universal Studios. “The Digital Design Workroom staff provides hands-on client support from concept to printed pattern to manufacturing.”

Designers can provide the Workroom staff with objects such as fabric samples, buttons, buckles, straps, and zippers to see life-like attributes and behaviors for their desired garment.  Print placement for fabrics, stitching, and logos can also be displayed in the system.  The software simulates draping, accounting for fabric weight and texture, and allows for multiple iterations on customized avatars.  Images and videos of the designs can be shared for approvals via email, enabling a quicker turnaround.  Once approved, the design is converted into a pattern that is printed on site.  Designers can take the pattern with them, or have Universal Costume finish with sewing and alterations.

Universal Studios Costume Department is a unit of NBCUniversal, a leading media and entertainment company in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience.  NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks, and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses.  NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.

  • Wednesday, Sep. 26, 2018
SAG-AFTRA Foundation to honor Jeffrey Katzenberg, Spike Lee
Director Spike Lee pose for photographers during a photo call for the film "BlacKkKlansman" at the 71st international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Tuesday, May 15, 2018. (Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP)

The SAG-AFTRA Foundation will present its Patron of the Artists Awards to entertainment industry leader, WndrCo co-founder and NewTV (working title) founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and trailblazing director/producer/writer Spike Lee whose most recent film BlacKkKlansman opened earlier this year. The award honors industry leaders who are champions of the arts and whose history of fostering creativity and creating opportunities for actors has made a positive impact on the acting profession and the performing arts. The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s 3rd annual Patron of the Artists Awards benefit takes place Thursday, November 8, at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills.

“The SAG-AFTRA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a vital safety net for artists throughout their careers. We believe that the contributions made by performing artists to our society are not only valuable, but essential, and it’s not only the arts, but the artists who need a community of support,” said SAG-AFTRA Foundation president JoBeth Williams. “Jeffrey Katzenberg and Spike Lee are two leaders within our industry who have created opportunities, opened doors, nurtured careers and provided jobs to countless artists. They understand the value of artists--and the arts--to transport us to worlds that we have never seen before and tell stories that have never been told before. Mr. Lee and Mr. Katzenberg are innovators, leaders and champions of the arts, and of artists, and could not be more deserving of our Patron of the Artists Awards.” 

Previous recipients of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Patron of the Artists Awards are director/writer/producer Judd Apatow, director/producer Kathryn Bigelow, director/writer/producer Lee Daniels, producer Megan Ellison, director/producer Rob Marshall, and Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. The Patron of the Artists Awards event includes musical performances with ticket sales benefitting the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s vital assistance and performers programs for SAG-AFTRA artists, as well as its Emmy®-nominated children’s literacy program Storyline Online®.

In addition to honoring Katzenberg and Lee with Patron of the Artists Awards on November 8, the SAG-AFTRA Foundation will also recognize Harrison Ford and Lady Gaga with Artists Inspiration Awards for their philanthropic work.

  • Tuesday, Sep. 25, 2018
"Making a Murderer" sequel set to premiere Oct. 19
In this April 16, 2007, file photo, Brendan Dassey appears in court at the Manitowoc County Courthouse in Manitowoc, Wis. A sequel to the popular "Making a Murderer" documentary series recounting the story of Dassey, and his uncle, Steve Avery, who were convicted in the 2005 slaying of Wisconsin photographer Teresa Halbach, is set to premiere Oct. 19, 2018, on Netflix. The sequel, "Making a Murderer 2," will follow their appeals. (Dan Powers/The Post-Crescent, Pool, File)
MADISON, Wisc. (AP) -- 

A sequel to the popular "Making a Murderer" documentary series about a Wisconsin murder case is set to premiere Oct. 19 on Netflix.

The first "Making a Murderer" recounted the story of Steven Avery and his nephew, Brendan Dassey, who were convicted in the 2005 slaying of Wisconsin photographer Teresa Halbach. Avery and Dassey are serving life sentences in the killing.

Halbach's remains were found in the Avery family's Manitowoc County salvage yard. Avery insists police framed him. Dassey has argued detectives coerced him into confessing that he helped Avery rape and kill Halbach.

The documentary won Avery and Dassey legions of fans and spurred demands for their release.

The 10-episode sequel, "Making a Murderer Part 2," will follow their appeals. The premiere date is Dassey's birthday.

Netflix says Emmy-winning filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos had "exclusive access" to Avery, Dassey, the men's family members and their legal teams. It says the second season explores the "emotional toll" the appeals take on all of them.

Dassey was 16 years old when he confessed to Wisconsin authorities. His attorneys argued that he is borderline intellectually disabled and that police manipulated him into confessing, but the U.S. Supreme Court refused without comment to take his case in June. One of Dassey's attorneys has said the fight to win him a new trial will continue.

Avery was denied his request for a new trial last October. Avery's attorney said she planned to present new evidence and new testimony, but a judge found no grounds to warrant a new trial. Avery is appealing for a new trial.

The first multi-part "Making a Murderer" debuted in 2015, sparking conjecture about the pair's innocence. Those who worked on the cases said the filmmakers left out key pieces of evidence and presented a biased view, but Ricciardi and Demos defended their work.

  • Tuesday, Sep. 25, 2018
CBS taps media industry veteran Parsons as interim chairman
In this Thursday, March 12, 2009, file photo, then-Citigroup CEO Richard Parsons listens as President Barack Obama speaks about the economy at Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies, at a hotel in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

CBS says it has named media industry veteran Richard Parsons as interim chairman of the board as the company moves to reshape itself following the ouster of longtime chief Les Moonves.

Parsons is the former chairman of Time Warner and Citicorp. He was added to the board of CBS earlier this month along with five others as the company pursues an independent investigation into Moonves.

Moonves resigned just after six women joined others who had previously accused the long-time television executive with sexual misconduct.

CBS also said Tuesday that two other board members were stepping down. Bruce Gordon and William Cohen had been on the company's board since it became a standalone public company in 2006.

  • Monday, Sep. 24, 2018
Mel Gibson to direct, co-write remake of "The Wild Bunch"
In this Nov. 16, 2017 file photo, Mel Gibson arrives at the premiere of "Daddys Home 2," in London. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP, File)

Mel Gibson will co-write and direct a remake of Sam Peckinpah's classic 1969 Western "The Wild Bunch."

Warner Bros. on Monday confirmed that Gibson will helm the production, with Bryan Bagby to co-write the script with him. It will be Gibson's first time directing since his 2016 World War II drama "Hacksaw Ridge," for which Gibson earned a best directing Oscar nomination.

"Hacksaw Ridge" was nominated for six Academy Awards including best picture. The Oscar reception was seen by some as a comeback for Gibson in Hollywood years after he pleaded no contest in 2011 to spousal battery of his former girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva. In 2006, he went on an anti-Semitic tirade while being arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.

No production start or release date for "The Wild Bunch" was announced. Gibson is first prepping a World War II drama to star Mark Wahlberg.

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