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Layoffs Hit Topic Studios as TV Division Relocates to West Coast (Exclusive)

  • Variety
A small round of layoffs has hit Topic Studios this week in the television division, insiders familiar with the company told Variety.

One of the insiders said three executives at the New York-based producer and distributor are out: senior vice president of scripted programming and Viacom alum Lisa Leingang, vice president of development Mona Panchal and scripted programming director Kate Zabinsky.

A spokesperson for Topic Studios declined to comment on personnel, but said the scripted television division is in the process of relocating to Los Angeles. Topic operates as an arm of Pierre Omidyar’s First Look Media, and has been making cost-cutting moves since HBO vet Maria Zuckerman replaced Adam Pincus as executive vice president in May.

In late June, First Look shuttered the studio’s digital publication Topic Magazine, dedicated to nonfiction storytelling, and cut off funding to the political cartoon website the Nib. In mid-July, New York
See full article at Variety »

Oscars 2020: Best Original Screenplay Predictions

Oscars 2020: Best Original Screenplay Predictions
Quentin Tarantino may have the upper hand in the Best Original Screenplay race, considering the upbeat reception for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” However, the first strong original screenplays of the year emerged before Tarantino’s opus premiered at Cannes, with the highlights of the Sundance Film Festival.

Writer-director Lulu Wang’s true family dramedy “The Farewell,” starring Awkwafina, scored rave reviews, a coveted A24 deal, and became a rare summer box office hit that stayed in theaters through the fall. Somehow, writer-turned-director Scott Z. Burns managed to turn a 6,700-page Senate CIA investigation into “The Report,” a feat of dramatic writing for smart audiences that imparts reams of info about CIA interrogation techniques, along the lines of post-Watergate journalism drama “All the President’s Men,” which won four Oscars.

This spring, Jordan Peele followed up his Oscar-contender “Get Out” with another original smart horror hit, “Us” ($255 million worldwide
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Oscars 2020: Best Original Screenplay Predictions

  • Indiewire
Oscars 2020: Best Original Screenplay Predictions
Quentin Tarantino may have the upper hand in the Best Original Screenplay race, considering the upbeat reception for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” However, the first strong original screenplays of the year emerged before Tarantino’s opus premiered at Cannes, with the highlights of the Sundance Film Festival.

Writer-director Lulu Wang’s true family dramedy “The Farewell,” starring Awkwafina, scored rave reviews, a coveted A24 deal, and became a rare summer box office hit that stayed in theaters through the fall. Somehow, writer-turned-director Scott Z. Burns managed to turn a 6,700-page Senate CIA investigation into “The Report,” a feat of dramatic writing for smart audiences that imparts reams of info about CIA interrogation techniques, along the lines of post-Watergate journalism drama “All the President’s Men,” which won four Oscars.

This spring, Jordan Peele followed up his Oscar-contender “Get Out” with another original smart horror hit, “Us” ($255 million worldwide
See full article at Indiewire »

Celebrities Join Forces with the Unep to Show the World Is In Our Hands

As they gathered to promote their films at the 44th annual Toronto International Film Festival (Tiff) last week, high-profile personalities were urged to use their voices to shine a spotlight on the global climate emergency.

The World is in Our Hands

The effort between the Un Environment Programme (Unep), acclaimed photographer and director Justin Wu, The Krim Group (Tkg) and global hospitality leader, Accor, was launched with a pop-up photography studio set up at Toronto’s iconic hotel, Fairmont Royal York. The dramatic black and white photographs are part of #WorldIsInOurHands campaign, which builds upon the Un’s Act Now initiative designed to raise awareness, ambition, and action around climate change. Act Now aims to educate and encourage individual actions for climate, mainly by adjusting consumption patterns.

Participating stars include Antonio Banderas, Susan Sarandon, Joaquin Phoenix, Rainn Wilson, Rosario Dawson, Neve Campbell and Alfre Woodard, to name a few.

Beginning today,
See full article at Look to the Stars »

Antonio Banderas Says Ex-Wife Melanie Griffith Is 'One of My Best Friends': 'She Is My Family'

  • PEOPLE.com
Antonio Banderas Says Ex-Wife Melanie Griffith Is 'One of My Best Friends': 'She Is My Family'
Antonio Banderas has some heartfelt words to share about his ex-wife Melanie Griffith.

The Pain and Glory actor, 59, gushed about Griffith, 62, during an interview with Vulture in which he recalled how they met and the depth of their friendship after their divorce in 2015.

“I am not married with Melanie anymore, but she is my family,” Banderas said. “She is probably one of my best friends, if not the best friend that I have. My family is there, Dakota [Johnson], Little Estella and Alexander.”

The two married in 1996 and had daughter Stella, 22, later that year. Griffith shares her daughter Johnson, 29, with actor Don Johnson,
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Rushes: Art House Theater Day, Women Film Editors, Best Movies of the Century

  • MUBI
Get in touch to send in cinephile news and discoveries. For daily updates follow us @NotebookMUBI.NEWSOleg Sentsov.Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, whose film Gamer was previously shown on Mubi in December of 2018, has been released from imprisonment in Russia following a prisoner exchange. Today, September 18, 2019, is Art House Theater Day, "an annual celebration of art house and indie theaters." The official Art House Theater Day website has provided a service that helps art-house movie enthusiasts find nearby locations to celebrate and support their local theaters. New details have emerged regarding Angela Schanelec's upcoming feature, Music, an adaptation of the Oedipus myth that follows a young boy from Greece to London. Recommended Viewing. Todd Haynes's latest, Dark Waters, delves into a legal battle between an attorney and a chemical company that connects a series of mysterious deaths to forty years of poisoned water. The international trailer for Pietro Marcello's Martin Eden,
See full article at MUBI »

Oscar predictions: Top 10 frontrunners for Best Original Screenplay include ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,’ ‘Parasite,’ ‘Marriage Story’ and …

  • Gold Derby
Oscar predictions: Top 10 frontrunners for Best Original Screenplay include ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,’ ‘Parasite,’ ‘Marriage Story’ and …
Frontrunners are already forming in the Oscar race for Best Original Screenplay, according to early combined predictions at Gold Derby. While most films in contention have not yet been released, many were recently seen by film industry insiders at the Toronto, Telluride and/ or Venice Film Festivals. We’ve confirmed most category placements with studios or campaigners, but — as awards season veterans know — such labels can change later. The whole bottom three of this list from last month — “Us,” “Queen and Slim” and “The Lighthouse” — have been replaced by a trio of film fest faves.

Here are the current top 10 original screenplay picks according to racetrack odds based upon our users’ predictions as of Sept. 17:

1. “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”: Quentin Tarantino‘s ode to hippie-era Tinseltown has many of his big-screen trademarks, from bare female feet and rambling speeches to spot-on vintage music cues and over-the-top violence.
See full article at Gold Derby »

The Oscar Race After the Festivals Has Hitler and the Joker, But No Front-Runner

  • The Wrap
The Oscar Race After the Festivals Has Hitler and the Joker, But No Front-Runner
The first round of fall festivals has concluded, and here’s where the Oscars race stands:

Adam Sandler and Jennifer Lopez are actual awards contenders.

• A movie about a comic-book character won the jury prize from one of the most prestigious international film festivals.

• A comedy about Nazis featuring a lovably goofy Adolf Hitler won an audience award that is supposed to lead to an automatic Best Picture nomination.

• And there is no Best Picture front-runner, unless you want to count the July release that has gotten flak for making fun of Bruce Lee and incorporating the Manson family into a Hollywood story.

Also Read: Tiff 2019: Every Movie Sold So Far, From 'Dads' to 'True History of the Kelly Gang' (Updating)

Welcome to awards season 2019, where the Venice, Telluride and Toronto film festivals didn’t crystallize this year’s awards forecast, where Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time
See full article at The Wrap »

Oscar predictions: Top 10 frontrunners for Best Supporting Actress include Meryl Streep, Laura Dern and …

  • Gold Derby
Oscar predictions: Top 10 frontrunners for Best Supporting Actress include Meryl Streep, Laura Dern and …
Frontrunners are already forming in the Oscar race for Best Supporting Actress race, according to early predictions at Gold Derby. While many films in contention have not yet been released, some were seen recently at the Toronto, Venice and/or Telluride Film Festivals. We’ve confirmed most category placements with studios or campaigners, but some decisions are still outstanding.For example, Gold Derby lists Jennifer Lopez (“Hustlers”) in both lead and supporting races in our prediction center and the placement fates of all three “Bombshell” actresses — Margot Robbie, Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman — have yet to be determined.

Here are the current top 10 supporting actress picks according to racetrack odds based upon our users’ predictions as of Sept. 17:

1. Laura Dern: No one does fierce, feisty and whip-smart better than Dern (witness her work on the second season of HBO’s “Big Little Lies”). She plays the crackerjack lawyer
See full article at Gold Derby »

How ‘Diego Maradona’ Director Got Soccer Legend to Talk – But Still Didn’t Show Him On Camera

  • The Wrap
How ‘Diego Maradona’ Director Got Soccer Legend to Talk – But Still Didn’t Show Him On Camera
Diego Maradona is still alive. That’s the big difference between the subject of Asif Kapadia’s latest documentary compared to his films “Amy” and “Senna.”

With those movies, Kapadia dared himself to tell their stories entirely through archival material and with no contemporary talking heads, knowing he wouldn’t have access to his subjects. “Diego Maradona” is constructed in the same way, but Kapadia actually met the legendary soccer star, interviewed him and included his voice in the film.

Incredibly, even though he had access to one of the most famous athletes on the planet, Kapadia stuck to his guns and held back from ever showing new footage of Maradona’s face as he is today. TheWrap spoke with Kapadia about whether he was tempted to break that golden rule.

Also Read: 'Diego Maradona' Trailer Reveals 2 Sides to Legendary Soccer Star (Video)

“I showed weakness at one point,” Kapadia said.
See full article at The Wrap »

Oscar predictions: Top 10 frontrunners for Best Actor include Adam Driver, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joaquin Phoenix and …

  • Gold Derby
Oscar predictions: Top 10 frontrunners for Best Actor include Adam Driver, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joaquin Phoenix and …
Frontrunners are already forming for the Oscar Best Actor race, according to early predictions at Gold Derby. Now that the three major fall film festivals — Telluride, Venice and Toronto — have premiered many of the most anticipated titles, the predictions reflect the flux now that some film critics and industry leaders have passed judgment on possible contenders. The top 10 for male leads have completely shifted save for Taron Egerton (“Rocketman”), who retains the eighth spot. Whereas Leonardo DiCaprio (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”) held first place for a while, he has dropped to third while Adam Driver (“Marriage Story”) zoomed up to No. 1. Similarly, Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”) bumped Robert De Niro (“The Irishman”) out of the second place and down to the fifth spot. We’ve confirmed most category placements with studios or campaigners, but — as awards season veterans know — some decisions aren’t yet final and changes may occur.
See full article at Gold Derby »

‘Brittany Runs a Marathon’ Expands at a Brisk Pace at Indie Box Office

  • The Wrap
It was a quieter weekend at the indie box office than last week, with the big move being not a new release, but an expansion. Amazon Studios’ “Brittany Runs a Marathon” expanded nationwide to 757 screens and took in $1.5 million, bringing its total to $3.8 million.

The top new release on the specialty front was Neon’s “Monos,” a drama from Alejandro Landes that premiered at Sundance this past winter. Released on five screens, it grossed $43,285 for a per screen average of $8,657.

Also Read: Antonio Banderas, Kerry Washington and 95 More Portraits From TheWrap's Toronto Studio (Photos)

“Monos” follows a group of eight teenage commandos in Latin America who are assigned to guard a prisoner and a conscripted cow, only for the mission to fall apart after an ambush drives them into the jungle. Julianne Nicholson and Moises Arias star in the film, which has a 91% Rotten Tomatoes score.

Among other holdovers,
See full article at The Wrap »

‘Jojo Rabbit’ Wins Audience Award at the 2019 Toronto Film Festival

  • The Wrap
‘Jojo Rabbit’ Wins Audience Award at the 2019 Toronto Film Festival
Taika Waititi’s “Jojo Rabbit” has won the Grolsch People’s Choice Award as the audience’s favorite movie at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, Tiff announced on Sunday.

The black comedy deals with a 10-year-old German boy in World War II who idolizes Adolf Hitler but is forced to reconsider his ideals when he discovers that his mother is hiding a young Jewish girl in their house. The film drew largely positive reviews at Tiff, but offended some who felt that Hitler and Nazis were not a laughing matter.

Jojo” beat Todd Phillips’ “Joker” for the award, as well as less divisive films that included Marielle Heller’s “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” and Fernando Meirelles’ “The Two Popes.”

Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story” was the first runner-up, while Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” was second runner-up.

Also Read: 'Jojo Rabbit' Film Review: Taika Waititi Insists That
See full article at The Wrap »

Review: The Laundromat (Tiff 2019)

  • JoBlo
Plot: A woman’s (Meryl Streep) investigation into insurance fraud leads her to a never-ending series of shell companies set up by two Panama City law partners (Gary Oldman & Antonio Banderas). Review: The Laundromat is director Steven Soderbergh’s long-awaited Panama Papers expose, but those of us expecting a sprawling drama in the vein of Traffic will have to make do with…
See full article at JoBlo »

Antonio Banderas Didn’t Want to Impersonate Pedro Almodóvar for ‘Pain and Glory’ (Video)

  • The Wrap
Antonio Banderas Didn’t Want to Impersonate Pedro Almodóvar for ‘Pain and Glory’ (Video)
Though he’s worked with the Spanish auteur Pedro Almodóvar across eight films, Antonio Banderas found the most meaningful one yet was his work on “Pain & Glory,” in which Banderas is playing a thinly fictionalized version of the director himself.

Banderas recognized many of the moments in the film from Almodóvar’s life, and the director actually gave Banderas permission to utilize some of his mannerisms as a way of getting into character. But at Tiff, Banderas explained why he stuck to the script and made the character his own.

“He already provided me with his looks, his hair and the costumes, and we did an exact replica of the studio in his house,” Banderas told TheWrap’s Steve Pond. “But he came to the point in one of the rehearsals he said, ‘Don’t be afraid to use some of my mannerisms.” I said, ‘Uhhh, don’t think so.
See full article at The Wrap »

Movie Review – The Laundromat (2019)

The Laundromat, 2019.

Directed by Steven Soderbergh.

Starring Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman, Antonio Banderas, Jeffrey Wright, Nonso Anozie, Matthias Schoenaerts, Melissa Rauch, Sharon Stone, Nikki Amuka-Bird and Rosalind Chao.

Synopsis:

When a woman suffers an insurance injustice, she begins to investigate the shady law firm Mossack Fonseca, who would eventually become the subject of the Panama Papers.

“We are real people, just like you,” deadpans Gary Oldman during the opening voiceover of Steven Soderbergh’s new Netflix drama The Laundromat, sporting a ludicrous accent which sounds a bit like me attempting to do Werner Herzog. He’s playing Jürgen Mossack who, along with business partner Ramón Fonseca (Antonio Banderas), founded the law firm Mossack Fonseca, which is now infamous as the entity exposed in the Panama Papers investigation of 2016. Soderbergh’s film, penned by regular collaborator Scott Z. Burns, attempts the almost impossible task of explaining that story in a way
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

The Laundromat Tiff Premiere: The cast on the genius of Steven Soderbergh

  • HeyUGuys
We present our interviews from the Tiff premiere of Steven Soderbergh’s The Laundromat based on the book Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers by Jake Bernstein. The money laundering drama stars Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman, Sharon Stone, Melissa Rauch, Antonio Banderas, Alex Pettyfer, James Cromwell, David Schwimmer, Robert Patrick, Matthias Schoenaerts, Will Forte, Jeffrey Wright, Nonso Anozie, Nikki Amuka-Bird and Jessica Allain.

The film premiered at the 2019 Toronto Film Festival, and these are the interviews from the red carpet.

Synopsis:

A widow investigates an insurance fraud, chasing leads to a pair of Panama City law partners exploiting the world’s financial system.

When her idyllic vacation takes an unthinkable turn, Ellen Martin (Meryl Streep) begins investigating a fake insurance policy, only to find herself down a rabbit hole of questionable dealings that can be linked to a Panama City law firm and its vested interest in helping the world
See full article at HeyUGuys »

The Top Five Up and Coming Hispanic Actors

For decades we’ve been thrilled with some of the most daring and handsome characters portrayed by actors of Hispanic heritage. There is just something incredibly intriguing about the Latin culture that puts one in mind of sexy dancing, machismo, and incredible romance. Some of the most beloved actors including Raul Julia, Antonio Banderas, Hector Elizondo, Jimmy Smits, Andy Garcia, and others have kept us entertained, but these actors are joining the elder generation and we’re in need of a younger group of guys to step in and fill their big shoes. We’ve identified some of the younger actors that we

The Top Five Up and Coming Hispanic Actors
See full article at TVovermind.com »

Bulgaria, South Africa, Bosnia and Herzegovina select Oscar 2020 international film entries

Bulgaria, South Africa, Bosnia and Herzegovina select Oscar 2020 international film entries
Which film will follow on from ‘Roma’ in winning the prize?

Submissions for the best international feature film award at the 2020 Academy Awards have started to come in, and Screen is keeping a running list of each film below.

This is the first year the award will be given under the new name of ‘best international feature film’, after a change in April from ‘foreign-language film’.

Scroll down for latest entries

The eligibility rules remain the same: an international feature film is defined as a feature-length motion picture produced outside the Us with a predominantly non-English dialogue track and can include animated and documentary features.
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Tiff Launches New Awards Show; Meryl Streep, Joaquin Phoenix Make It Memorable On A Night Their Films Also Premiere – Toronto

  • Deadline
It is never too early for another awards ceremony, especially just as Oscar season kicks in. Thus the Toronto Film Festival launched the very first Tiff Tribute Gala on Monday night. It makes sense for this massive fest, even if Tiff already has an award, the People’s Choice Award, that gets a lot of attention at the end of the 11-day event because it has become quite prescient in predicting eventual Oscar-winning Best Pictures and nominees over the years (Green Book was the surprise audience winner last year). It often is pointed to by pundits as perhaps the first real sign of an Oscar contender, and prognosticators even write pieces trying to predict who will win it.

But as described by Tiff co-head Cameron Bailey, this new idea came about to essentially morph the festival’s traditional fundraising tribute dinner into one that specifically will “highlight the year’s best films,
See full article at Deadline »
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