2018 Critics Choice Documentary Awards Nominees Announced – Jennifer Merin reports

2018 Critics Choice Documentary Awards Nominees Announced – Jennifer Merin reports

The official announcement of nonfiction nominees for the Third Annual Critics Choice Documentary Awards (CCDA) kicks off this year’s race for nonfic recognition, and what a race it is. Throughout the year, documentary production and distribution have soared, making 2018 the year of trending nonfiction.

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Early Oscars Buzz for LEAVE NO TRACE — Jennifer Merin reports

Early Oscars Buzz for LEAVE NO TRACE — Jennifer Merin reports

Debra Granik is attracting early Oscars buzz for Leave No Trace, her third narrative feature. AWFJ selected Leave No Trace as Movie of the Week for June 29, and an informal poll of AWFJ members shows that the film is placing high on most members’ lists of best 2018 films to date. AWFJ says Leave No Trace has legs that will lead to Oscars, come awards season.

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90th Oscar Noms Mark Milestones for Women and Diversity — Brandy McDonnell reports

90th Oscar Noms Mark Milestones for Women and Diversity — Brandy McDonnell reports

The 90th Academy Awards seem to be shaping up to be the most diverse ever. In the wake of #OscarsSoWhite, #MeToo and a cavalcade of sexual misconduct scandals brought to light after explosive investigative reports about Harvey Weinstein, the 2018 Oscar nominations marked several milestones for women, African-Americans and transgender people making movies. Continue reading on THE WEEK IN WOMAN.

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2018 SAG and PGA Awards — Michelle Hannett reports

2018 SAG and PGA Awards — Michelle Hannett reports

The dark comedic drama Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri was the big winner of the night at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, taking home the award for Best Cast in a Motion Picture at this year’s ceremony on January 21.

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Women Receive Two of Three Filmmaker Grants from the Independent Spirit Awards

Women Receive Two of Three Filmmaker Grants from the Independent Spirit Awards

Film Independent announced the winners of its five Spirit Awards filmmaker grants at its annual Spirit Awards Nominee Brunch held in West Hollywood on Janaury 6. John Cho (Star Trek, Columbus, Search) and Alia Shawkat (Search Party, Blaze, Duck Butter) co-hosted the event and handed out the honors. There’s quite a lot of money involved!

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Producers Guild Nominations Include WONDER WOMAN, MOLLY’S GAME and I, TONYA

Producers Guild Nominations Include WONDER WOMAN, MOLLY’S GAME and I, TONYA

Eight women producers are among the Theatrical Motion Picture nominees for the 29th Annual Producers Guild Awards. The January 5 announcement also saw four women nominated in the Animated category. Starring strong female protagonists, nominations for WONDER WOMAN, MOLLY’S GAME and I, TONYA were undoubtedly the big surprises of the day.

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Globes Honor Oprah but Pass on Female Directors, SAG Awards Boast Female Presenters — Brandy McDonnell reports

Globes Honor Oprah but Pass on Female Directors, SAG Awards Boast Female Presenters — Brandy McDonnell reports

Oprah Winfrey will receive the 2018 Cecil B. de Mille Award at the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards, but that big honor for Oprah does little to the ease the sting of HFPA’s snub of women among its best director nominees. However, when the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards are simulcast live on TNT and TBS, the presentation, hosted by Kristen Bell, will feature only women presenters in 13 of the categories. Read details on THE WEEK IN WOMEN.

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The Academy’s 90th Oscars: Latest Round Of Contenders for Best Foreign Film — Michelle Hannett reports

The Academy’s 90th Oscars: Latest Round Of Contenders for Best Foreign Film — Michelle Hannett reports

On December 19, AMPAS announced that nine feature films will advance to the next round of voting in the Foreign Language Film category. Ninety-two films had originally been considered in the category. Foreign Language Film nominations for 2017 are determined in two phases.
The Phase I committee, consisting of Los Angeles-based Academy members, screened the original submissions in the category between mid-October and December 11. The group’s top six choices, augmented by three additional selections voted by the Academy’s Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee, constitute the shortlist. Continue reading…

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The Academy’s 90th Oscars: Latest Round Of Contenders for Best Visual Effects — Michelle Hannett reports

The Academy’s 90th Oscars: Latest Round Of Contenders for Best Visual Effects — Michelle Hannett reports

On December 19, AMPAS announced that ten films remain in the running in the Visual Effects category for the 90th Academy Awards. The Academy’s Visual Effects Branch Executive Committee determined the shortlist. All members of the Visual Effects Branch will now be invited to view 10-minute excerpts from each of the shortlisted films on Saturday, January 6, 2018. Following the screenings, the members will vote to nominate five films for final Oscar®consideration. Here’s the short list of contenders for this year’s Best Visual Effects Oscar…

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The Academy’s 90th Oscars: Latest Round Of Contenders for Best Original Song — Michelle Hannett reports

The Academy’s 90th Oscars:  Latest Round Of Contenders for Best Original Song — Michelle Hannett reports

On December 19, AMPAS announced that 70 songs are eligible for consideration for this year’s Oscars in the Best Original Song category. “It Ain’t Fair” from “Detroit,” “If I Dare” from “Battle of the Sexes,” and “Mighty River” from “Mudbound” are among them. The final five nominees in the Best Original Song category are to be determined by voting members of the Academy’s Music Branch and will be announced, along with nominees in all other awards categories, on Tuesday, January 23, 2018. The 90th Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood. Here is a rundown of regulations regarding eligibility for Best Original Score and a list of this year’s eligible contenders…

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The Academy’s 90th Oscars: Latest Round Of Contenders for Best Original Score — Michelle Hannett reports

The Academy’s 90th Oscars:  Latest Round Of Contenders for Best Original Score — Michelle Hannett reports

On Tuesday (Dec. 19), AMPAS announced the long lists of eligible contenders for this year’s Oscars in the Best Original Score category. The final five nominees in this category are to be determined by voting members of the Academy’s Music Branch and will be announced, along with nominees in all other awards categories, on Tuesday, January 23, 2018. The 90th Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood. Here is a rundown of regulations regarding eligibility for Best Original Score and a list of this year’s eligible contenders…

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

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

Kicking 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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AWFJ Members’ Oscars 2017 Opinions, in Brief — Jennifer Merin reports

AWFJ Members’ Oscars 2017 Opinions, in Brief — Jennifer Merin reports

This compendium of AWFJ members’ takes on Oscars 2017 represents our diverse opinions. Read what Jeanne Wolf, Susan Wloszczyna, Moira Sullivan, Diana Saenger, Sheila Roberts, Nell Minow, Brandy McDonnell, Michelle McCue, Karen Martin, Kimberly Lindbergs, Leba Hertz, Candice Frederick, Marilyn Ferdinand, Chaz Ebert, Katherine Brodsky, Liz Braun, Betsy Bozdech and Erica Abeel have to say about Oscar 2017. Exclusive commentaries with links to other coverage. Read on…

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Oscars 2017: Poise Under Pressure — Sheila Roberts comments (Exclusive)

Oscars 2017: Poise Under Pressure — Sheila Roberts comments (Exclusive)

Etched indelibly in my mind about the Oscars this year is how graciously the presenters and the filmmakers from “La La Land” and “Moonlight” handled the confusion that ensued on stage after the wrong Best Picture was announced. Noteworthy was the leadership of “La La Land” producer Jordan Horowitz who took charge and stepped in to clarify what had gone wrong, even when it meant acknowledging his own loss. It was done with a lot of class, dignity, and poise under pressure.

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Oscars 2017: We Need More Creativity on Stage! — Katherine Brodsky comments (Exclusive)

Oscars 2017: We Need More Creativity on Stage! — Katherine Brodsky comments (Exclusive)

This year had several worthy nominees and they were well-recognized. Although as a whimsical musical fan, I was rooting for “La La Land” as Best Picture, having finally caught up on “Moonlight” a few nights prior, I recognized what a great film it was as well. But here’s a sad fact: This year’s Oscar ceremony will be remembered most for the hiccup at the end rather than anything in between. Every year, I tune in to the Oscars telecast hoping for a great show, thinking that this year will be the one.

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Oooops! Oscars 2017 As Seen from the Pressroom — Jeanne Wolf (Exc;usive)

Oooops! Oscars 2017 As Seen from the Pressroom — Jeanne Wolf (Exc;usive)

What???? What’s going on? How could this happen? What went wrong? WOW! Oh my God! The F word flying in the air.

In such a wild – lightning bolt of a moment minds explode with a jumble of reactions and parallel narratives. Nervous laughter, adrenaline driven shouts, everyone guessing at an explanation, asking each other for an urgent reality check.

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Iran’s Oscar-Winning THE SALESMAN — Review by Susan Granger

Iran’s Oscar-Winning 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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Oscar 2017 Predictions — Susan Granger

Oscar 2017 Predictions — Susan Granger

Every film year acts as a mirror & reflects the tenor of the times. When the Oscars began in 1929 to celebrate the motion picture industry, the winner was William Wellman’s anti-war “Wings.”

The subsequent Depression years celebrated character studies like “Grand Hotel,” “The Great Ziegfeld” and “Rebecca.” After the turmoil of Kennedy’s assassination, the Academy chose light-hearted fare like “Tom Jones,” “My Fair Lady,” and “Oliver!” And in 2000, the last time a Republican won the White House, after losing the popular vote, “Gladiator” won the Oscar.

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Rooney Mara’s Evolution With Clues from Cate Blanchett, Todd Haynes – Quendrith Johnson comments

Rooney Mara’s Evolution With Clues from Cate Blanchett, Todd Haynes – Quendrith Johnson comments

To 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,” a woman many Oscar watchers believe will one day match or best Katharine Hepburn in lead wins, cobbles together some descriptive sentences worthy of a literary titan…

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Why Sylvester Stallone Could Take the Oscar, Thanks to Ryan Coogler’s CREED – Quendrith Johnson comments

Why Sylvester Stallone Could Take the Oscar, Thanks to Ryan Coogler’s CREED – Quendrith Johnson comments

Maybe it’s a little known fact that a deep bond between Hollywood icon Sylvester Stallone and newly minted phenom director Ryan Coogler, who turns 30 in May, is that they both were homeless once and fought their way to the big leagues in movies. Deadline’s reporter Pete Hammond, on hand to present Stallone with the Montecito Award in Santa Barbara, prods Stallone on this, skipping the connection with Coogler who lived in his car on and off while attending USC Film School.

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Spotlight’s Real-life Sacha Pfeiffer On “How We Got The Story” & The Power of Subtext – Quendrith Johnson comments

Spotlight’s Real-life Sacha Pfeiffer On “How We Got The Story” & The Power of Subtext – Quendrith Johnson comments

One thing is certain, in Oscar contender Spotlight, Rachel McAdams is well-cast as Boston Globe investigative reporter Sacha Pfeiffer. McAdams is as intense as her real-life counterpart, and jokingly credits “17 years of figure skating” for her tenacity. RacheSachaPfeiffer packs an editorial punch, and has earned her stripes as was part of the Pulitzer Prize winning team that cracked open the Priest sex-abuse scandal and dethroned Catholic powerbroker Cardinal Law. But in person, Sacha tilts her head to one side and leans back when introduced, as if to welcome you into her zone…

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Maltin’s Gravitas Matters As Oscar Takes a Powder for Johnny Depp & BLACK MASS – Quendrith Johnson comments

Maltin’s Gravitas Matters As Oscar Takes a Powder for Johnny Depp & BLACK MASS – Quendrith Johnson comments

Leonard Maltin just tells it like it is, but with such heart and insight for viewers. So much so that the elder statesman of cinema had a life achievement award renamed after him at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) in 2015: The Maltin Modern Master Award. Last night his legacy was cemented as A-List actor Johnny Depp, or “John Christopher Depp,” as Maltin called him, came to SBIFF to accept The Other Golden Statuette.

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Golden Globes Noms Make You Wake Up At 5:15 AM PST, That’s Show Business

Golden Globes Noms Make You Wake Up At 5:15 AM PST, That’s Show Business

What’s cool about the Golden Globes is you can do things there you wouldn’t dream of at there award shows. Can you imagine Jodie Foster coming out during an Oscar speech? But that’s exactly what she did, years after everyone in Hollywood had long since known and forgotten about it. Foster knew there would be no theme music rushing her off stage, nor any censorship, so in 2013 she accepted herself while accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award from The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA). Even the word “Foreign” in their name is slightly strange and outdated, almost anachronistic…

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Spike Lee’s CHI-RAQ: The Most Inventive & Poignant Film of The Year

Spike Lee’s CHI-RAQ: The Most Inventive & Poignant Film of The Year

“Has the world gone crazy?” This is the refrain coming from the San Bernardino, Calif., and the Paris mass shootings; but it also echoes in filmmaker Spike Lee’s new movie Chi-Raq, which opens tomorrow. While Chi-Raq is ostensibly a high-art adaptation of Aristophanes’ Greek satirical classic “Lysistrata” set in the inner city, it is a call-to-action on the shock topic of gun-related violence worldwide.

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How Oscar 2015 Shapes 2016 With Kat Kramer & Thank Meryl via Patricia, Now Lily, Jane Fonda

How Oscar 2015 Shapes 2016 With Kat Kramer & Thank Meryl via Patricia, Now Lily, Jane Fonda

What happened after winner Patricia Arquette’s impassioned Equal Pay Oscar acceptance speech in 2015, remarkably, has had a ripple effect, not just with the projects it inspired for 2016, but also in legislation, and even a federal investigation into equal pay in Hollywood based on salary numbers leaked as part of the Sony Hack. ArquetteASFArquette’s trophy moment for Boyhood, Best Supporting Actress, crescendoed with “To every woman who gave birth, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality…”

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