The Academy’s 90th Oscars: First Promo, New Time and Shortlists — Michelle Hannett reports

oscars goldKicking of the 90 days to the 90th Oscars, the Academy revealed to movie fans that the telecast from Hollywood on Sunday, March 4, 2018, will now begin at 8:00 p.m. EST/5:00 p.m. PST, a half-hour earlier than prior telecasts. As previously announced, late-night talk show favorite Jimmy Kimmel will return to host. Nominations voting opens for the 90th Academy Awards on January 5, 2018, closes on January 12, 2018, with the announcement on Tuesday, January 23, 2018. Women filmmakers are definitely part of the conversation this awards season continue reading…

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THE WEEK IN WOMEN: Iran’s Female-Directed Oscar Pick, Plus Portman, Bigelow, Winslet and more — Brandy McDonnell Reports

Natalie Portman wins Israel’s Genesis Prize, Iran makes first Academy Award submission directed by a woman, Sundance Selects acquires Rachel Dretzin’s documentary ‘Far from the Tree,’ and Kathryn Bigelow, Kate Winslet and more are honored by SAG-AFTRA Foundation. Read more on THE WEEK IN WOMEN…

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THE WEEK IN WOMEN: Varda and Tomlin Honored, Nowlin Plays PTSD Woman Vet, Sexual Harassment Help Line Set

Legendary French filmmaker Agnes Varda, now age 89, receives an honorary Oscar in Hollywood, while The Society of Voice Arts & Sciences has bestowed upon Lily Tomlin the Voice Arts Icon Award, presented at New York’s Lincoln Center. Actress Kate Nowlin weighs in on what it’s like to play a war veteran suffering from PTSD in Blood Stripe, which she also co-scripted. The tsunami of stories out sexual harassment continues to sweep through the entertainment industry and Women in Film Los Angeles is launching a sexual harassment hot line to help those who have suffered unwanted sexual attention for decades to overcome the trauma. Read details on THE WEEK IN WOMEN.

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SPOTLIGHT October 2017: Agnès Varda, Filmmaker, Honorary Oscar Recipient, Director of FACES PLACES

“You decide you do something, then you are totally ready for things to happen.” Agnès Varda, on YouTube

agnes headsho croppedawfjspotlightsmallsmallFilm director Agnès Varda was talking about her process for creating documentaries, but she might as well have been talking about her storied career as the only female director of the French New Wave. Over her 63 years (and counting) of filmmaking, Varda has created a vast body of work composed not only of documentaries, but also short films and features. She is also an accomplished photographer. And now, at age 89, Varda has a new film and a new honor to add to her crowded list of awards and recognitions. Continue reading…

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Oscars 2017: We Have a New Hollywood Hero — Jeanne Wolf comments (Exclusive)

oscar logoWhile the people in the audience were gasping with surprise, Jordan Horowitz — as if to assure them this wasn’t fake news — held up the card just pulled from the correct award envelope. “I’m going to be really thrilled to hand this to my friends from ‘Moonlight,’ ” he said. Horowitz wasn’t just a gracious loser; he became the closest thing the Oscars can get to a folk hero.” Read more>>

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Oscars 2017: Victories for ‘Moonlight,’ ‘La La Land’ and Viola Davis — Brandy McDonnell reports (Exclusive)

oscar logoIn a twist ending that only Hollywood could dream up, “Moonlight” won best picture Sunday night after a mixed-up finish at the 89th Academy Awards. Viola Davis became the first black woman to win an Emmy, a Tony and an Oscar for acting. Read more on THE WEEK IN WOMEN

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THE SALESMAN — Review by Susan Granger

Iran’s Oscar-winner for Best Foreign Language Film is another marital drama from Oscar-winner Asghar Farhadi (“The Separation”). When Emad (Shahab Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti) Etesamis are forced to evacuate their crumbling Tehran apartment, they move into a more dilapidated abode, one that was previously occupied by a single woman with a young child. The clutter she left behind when she was evicted gives subtle clues as to who she is and the promiscuous life she led. She’s described as “a woman with lots of acquaintances…who lived a wild life.” Read on…

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THE WEEK IN WOMEN: 2017 Oscars set records but women are still underrepresented — Brandy McDonnell reports

oscar logoThis year’s Oscar nods are good news and bad news. Let’s get the bad news out of the way, especially since I’m sure it will come to no surprise to industry watchers or regular readers of this blog. Despite a slew of attention-getting films such as “Jackie,” “Arrival” and “Hidden Figures.” all featuring featuring strong, complex women as leading characters, the number of female Oscar nominees for behind-the-scenes roles dropped among this year’s Academy Award nominations. Read more on THE WEEK IN WOMEN

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OSCAR Nominated Live Action Shorts — Review by Martha K. Baker

There’s not a bad seed in this barrel of apples. All five, mostly a half-hour each, offer resounding stories, well told and acted and filmed. They come from France, Hungary, Switzerland, Denmark, and Spain. Two of them swirl around the predicament of refugees in Europe.

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OSCAR Nominated Animation Shorts — Review by Martha K. Baker

“Short” is right. Most of these films run fewer than 10 minutes with one longer than a half-hour. And “sweet” is right, too, in a way, if “sweet” stretches to mournful. The Oscar-nominated Short films advance the concept of brevity as good and worthy. Read on…

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THE WEEK IN WOMEN: The Women of HIDDEN FIGURES — Brandy McDonnell Reports

hidden-figures-5Once the feel-good film of awards season, ‘Hidden Figures’ is now a big winner and a big moneymaker. Throughout this film awards cycle, Hidden Figures has been the crowd-pleasing, uplifting fan favorite. This weekend, the fact-based period drama about the African-American women who worked behind the scenes at NASA during the space race won the top prize at the SAG Awards and crossed the $100 million mark at the domestic box office. Will the film’s success make a difference? The real women whose stories are told in the film hope it will. Read more on THE WEEK IN WOMEN…

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AWFJ on KTEP 88.5 FM: Talking EDA Awards, Oscars, and the Status of Women In Film — Jennifer Merin reports

KTEP 88.5 FM’s ON FILM host Charles Horak discusses The Alliance of Women Film Journalists’ annual and festival EDA Awards recognizing the work and contributions done by women and about women, both in front and behind the camera, points to the decreased level of opportunity for women behind the camera in 2016, and elicits a list of must-see undervalued 2016 films by and about women. Thank you, Charles Horak for your ongoing support of AWFJ and our goals. Listen to the program on KTEP 88.5 FM.

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THE WEEK IN WOMEN: 2017 Oscar Nominations — Brandy McDonnell comments

With the 2017 Oscar nominations, the Academy broke or tied multiple records. The movie musical “La La Land” earned a leading 14 nominations, putting it in a tie with “Titanic” and “All About Eve” for the most in Academy Awards history. Its nods include best picture, best director and best original screenplay for writer-director Damien Chazelle, best actress for Emma Stone and best actor for Ryan Gosling. How did they fare on gender parity and diversity? Read more on THE WEEK IN WOMEN

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THE WEEK IN WOMEN: News wrap around Oscars, SAGs, Lily Tomlin Honored and More — Brandy McDonnell reports

lily tomlin headshotThe Academy will forego a live audience for the nomination announcements, instead livestreaming them at Oscars.org, which has caused quite a flap among publicists and members of the press. But everyone’s delighted that Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton will present SAGs Life Achievement Award to brilliant, all-round entertainment maverick Lily Tomlin during the 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. And more coursgeous female stars are speaking out to spark change in Hollywood. Read more on THE WEEK IN WOMEN.

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Oscars and Movies and Targeting Millennials — Michelle McCue comments

ArquetteOscar15The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has announced – to widespread chagrin– that the press and publicists would no longer be a part of the annual tradition of being at AMPAS headquarters in Beverly Hills at the Samuel Goldwyn theater when the Oscar nominations are revealed on January 24. A beloved tradition is gone. What comes in its place and what do the changes augur for Oscar’s future? Read more on AWARDS INTELLIGENGER

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Oscar-bound Annette Bening Shakes up the Screen — Profile by Thelma Adams (Exclusive)

anette beningIn 20th Century Women, Annette Bening redefines what it is to be an actress over forty – okay 58 – while gunning for an Oscar as Santa Barbara single mum Dorothea. Smart, sexy, searching: just three adjectives that describe the Kansas native. Fold in funny and touching, too. But what makes this mother-of-four married to former matinee idol Warren Beatty so disruptive, so eruptive, is that as a craftswoman and artist, she never stands still. Read on…

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THE WEEK IN WOMEN: ‘La La Land’ keeps dancing, ‘Moonlight’ still shining, ‘Kubo’ makes history — Brandy McDonnell reports

LLL d 41-42_6689.NEFLast weekend’s Golden Globes established La La Land as a clear front-runner — closely followed by Moonlight — in upcoming races for the prestigious awards doled out by the DGA, PGA, BAFTA and, ultimately, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Now, nominations have been announced by all but the Academy. To see how they compare, read Brandy McDonnell’s awards season update on THE WEEK IN WOMEN.

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SPOTLIGHT DECEMBER 2016: Maren Ade, Director and Producer, TONI ERDMANN — by Julide Tanriverdi

awfjspotlightsmallsmallmaren-ade2The German filmmaker Maren Ade is making waves with her third feature Toni Erdmann which caused a sensation at the Cannes Film Festival. Now it opens in theaters and this is a movie no one should miss. Read on…

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THE WEEK IN WOMEN: Oscars Aftermath, GHOSTBUSTERS, and more – Brandy McDonnell reports

ghostbustersThe Oscars and Ghostbusters offer opportunities for real talk about diversity, plus Geena Davis reminds us why women’s equal representation in movies and television is important and Patricia Arquette continues her equality crusade, exec producing a docu that advocates for passage of the ERA. Tribeca Film Festival, unveiling half of it’s 2016 slate, sets a new record for female directors with one third of its programmed titles helmed by women, including Sophia Takal and Ingrid Jungermann. Read more in THE WEEK IN WOMEN.

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SPOTLIGHT March 2016: Margaret Sixel, Film Editor, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

awfjspotlightsmallsmallsixel head 1It’s been a season of honors for Sixel. The Oscar is just the latest addition to the many she has already received—a list that includes a BAFTA, the Australian Film Institute’s AACTA, and AWFJ’s EDA Award, among others—for her work in giving shape, form, and nail-biting tension to Mad Max: Fury Road. After over 30 years in the business, it was Sixel’s first action movie. It will certainly not be her last. Read on…

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THE WEEK IN WOMEN: Tarnished Oscars and more – Brandy McDonnell reports

oscars gold88th Academy Awards preview: Oscars’ gender imbalance and another good reason Hollywood should embrace diversity. The 2016 Academy Awards will be handed out Sunday night, and the Women’s Media Center has revealed some appalling, if not particularly surprising, statistics leading up to Hollywood’s golden day. Read more on THE WEEK IN WOMEN…

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AWARDS INTELLIGENCER: Rooney Mara Revered by Cate Blanchett and Todd Haynes – Quendrith Johnson reports

rooney maraTo hear fellow Oscar-nom, two-time winner Cate Blanchett, gush about her Best Supporting Actress and Carol consort Rooney Mara, is almost as shocking as when Blanchett uses the word “startling” to describe Mara’s acting chops. Next “The Great Cate” cobbles together some descriptive sentences worthy of a literary titan. It’s more of a love letter than an endorsement, in keeping with the forbidden 1950′s women-in-love angle in Carol. Read more on AWARDS INTELLIGENCER

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AWARDS INTELLIGENCER: Why Stallone Might Win the Oscar – Quendrith Johnson comments

CreedJordanSly16The deep rooted bond between Hollywood icon Sylvester Stallone and tinseltown’s phenom director Ryan Coogler comes from shared experience: they were both homeless and from that position of deprivation fought their way to the movie major leagues. Stallone, in Santa Barbara to accept the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s Montecito Award, credits Coogler with creating greatness in Creed and talks about finding common ground with the young filmmaker who lived in his car while attending film school. Read more in AWARDS INTELLIGENCER

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AWARDS INTELLIGENCER: Sacha Pfeiffer talks SPOTLIGHT, Journalism and Subtext — Quendrith Johnson Interviews

RacheSachaOne thing is certain, in Oscar Best Film contender Spotlight, Rachel McAdams is well-cast as Boston Globe investigative reporter Sacha Pfeiffer, who proves to be an intensely interesting character in her own right. A key member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning team that cracked open the priest sex-abuse scandal that’s plumbed in the film, and dethroned Boston’s Catholic powerbroker Cardinal Law, Pfeiffer packed a impactful editorial punch. She still does when it comes to social and political issues. But when you meet her, she tilts her head to one side, leans back a bit and welcome you into her zone. Read more in AWARDS INTELLIGENCER...

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On #OscarsSoWhite, Genre Inclusion, and Enabling the Status Quo – Candice Frederick comments

The blinding whiteness of the Oscars nominations is on the tips of everyone’s tongues–again. Honestly, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that once again the Academy completely ignored performances from people like Benicio del Toro (Sicario), Abraham Attah (Beasts of No Nation), Samuel L. Jackson (The Hateful Eight), Rinko Kikuchi (Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter) and all the lead actors in Straight Outta Compton. We all know they have a looooong history of blatantly ignoring some of the best talent of color ever to walk the earth. In an industry that continues to pat itself on the back, suck its own b*lls, and self-congratulate over and over (so much so that that they don’t have just one award, they have a season of awards), none of this is shocking. But what might be the most frightening thing about all of this is that there are actually people out there who scoff at accusations of Academy discrimination. Read more>>

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