New York’s Human Rights Watch Film Festival featuring 70% films directed by women

New York’s Human Rights Watch Film Festival featuring 70% films directed by women

For the first time in two years, the New York festival will be back with a full program of in-person screenings at Film at Lincoln Center and IFC Center, with in-depth discussions with filmmakers, film participants, activists and Human Rights Watch researchers.

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Netflix and Shondaland working on a ‘Bridgerton’ prequel focused on Queen Charlotte

Netflix and Shondaland working on a ‘Bridgerton’ prequel focused on Queen Charlotte

Centered on Queen Charlotte’s rise to prominence and power, the “Bridgerton”-verse prequel tells the story of how young Queen Charlotte’s marriage to King George sparked both a great love story and a societal shift, creating the world of the Ton inherited by the characters in “Bridgerton.”

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New artistic director Roberta Munroe leading Oregon’s Ashland Independent Film Festival

New artistic director Roberta Munroe leading Oregon’s Ashland Independent Film Festival

The Ashland Independent Film Festival annually attracts more than 7,000 film lovers to multiple venues to watch more than 100 documentary, feature and short films. It has been cited by MovieMaker Magazine several times as one of the “Top 25 Coolest Festivals in the World” and one of the “Top 50 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee.”

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Domee Shi’s feature film debut ‘Turning Red’ coming soon to Disney Plus

Domee Shi’s feature film debut ‘Turning Red’ coming soon to Disney Plus

Disney and Pixar’s “Turning Red” introduces Mei Lee (voice of Rosalie Chiang), a confident, dorky 13-year-old torn between staying her mother’s dutiful daughter and the chaos of adolescence. Her protective, if not slightly overbearing mother, Ming (voice of Sandra Oh, “The Chair,” “Killing Eve”), is never far from her daughter — an unfortunate reality for the teenager.

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Starz developing drama series about African warrior ‘Queen Nzinga’

Starz developing drama series about African warrior ‘Queen Nzinga’

The series will share the remarkable true story of Nzinga, who fought against the cruel subjugation of her people by Portuguese slavers. Set in 17th-century Angola, it will chronicle the legendary tale of Nzinga’s transformation from an innocent princess into a fearless warrior queen who rages a ferocious 40-year guerrilla war against the kingdom’s formidable enemies.

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Ursula Macfarlane directing Anna Nicole Smith documentary for Netflix

Ursula Macfarlane directing Anna Nicole Smith documentary for Netflix

The film promises to bring “Anna Nicole’s own voice to the foreground.” It will include exclusive footage from an unreleased documentary of an enchanting, unguarded young Smith on the verge of global stardom, offering a unique glimpse into her life out of the spotlight, and her dreams as a young mother.

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Krystin Ver Linden’s ‘Alice,’ starring Keke Palmer, acquired ahead of Sundance Film Festival premiere

Krystin Ver Linden’s ‘Alice,’ starring Keke Palmer, acquired ahead of Sundance Film Festival premiere

Inspired by true accounts, “Alice” is a modern empowerment fable tracing Alice’s (Keke Palmer) journey through the post-Civil Rights Era American South.

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Karen McClellan serving as showrunner in residence for the Pacific Screenwriting Program’s 2022 Scripted Series Lab

Karen McClellan serving as showrunner in residence for the Pacific Screenwriting Program’s 2022 Scripted Series Lab

Starting this month, McClellan is mentoring six up-and-coming British Columbia-based screenwriters as they develop her original series in the Pacific Screenwriting Program’s flagship training program.

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Sundance Film Festival 2022 moves fully online as omicron variant powers another COVID-19 wave

Sundance Film Festival 2022 moves fully online as omicron variant powers another COVID-19 wave

The previously planned online programming will proceed, with screening schedule adjustments being made to account for an online only schedule. Sundance is scheduled for Jan. 20-30.

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Halle Berry follows ‘Bruised’ by entering multi-film partnership with Netflix

Halle Berry follows ‘Bruised’ by entering multi-film partnership with Netflix

Berry’s feature directorial debut, “Bruised,” was released globally on Netflix last month and landed at the No. 1 spot in the United States and No. 2 spot on the Top 10 Global English Film List. The film was No. 1 in 21 countries and was watched for 47.7 million hours in its first five days.

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Victoria Mahoney to direct sequel to Netflix hit ‘The Old Guard’

Victoria Mahoney to direct sequel to Netflix hit ‘The Old Guard’

Recently, Mahoney served as second unit director on J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars: Episode IX -The Rise of Skywalker,” making her the first woman and first Black woman to direct a “Star Wars” film.

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Lena Waithe’s Hillman Grad Productions continues its expansion with Audible podcasts deal

Lena Waithe’s Hillman Grad Productions continues its expansion with Audible podcasts deal

Currently in active development, “Kym” is an original, scripted comedy podcast series inspired by the life of Emmy-nominated actress/comedian Kym Whitley. The series follows Whitley as she navigates single motherhood and Hollywood

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Addison Rae enters into a multi-picture creative partnership with Netflix

Addison Rae enters into a multi-picture creative partnership with Netflix

The deal comes after Rae made her acting debut in the rom-com remake “He’s All That,” which debuted on Netflix over the summer. She plays an influencer who accepts a challenge to turn the school’s biggest loser into prom king.

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Marley Morrison’s ‘Sweetheart’ wins jury honors at Out on Film, Atlanta’s LGBTQ Film Festival

Marley Morrison’s ‘Sweetheart’ wins jury honors at Out on Film, Atlanta’s LGBTQ Film Festival

T.J. Parsell’s “Invisible: Gay Women in Southern Music” won both the jury’s Best Documentary honor as well as the Audience Award for Best Documentary, and filmmaker Lauren Hadaway earned jury nods for Best First Feature for her film “The Novice” as well as capturing the Best Director prize.

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New York Women in Film and Television expands script development lab for screenwriters older than 40

New York Women in Film and Television expands script development lab for screenwriters older than 40

Accepting pilots as well as features for the first time since launching in 2015, The Writers Lab will build a virtual experience for nine feature writers and seven pilot writers in 2021, its seventh year.

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Native writer/producer Sierra Teller Ornelas of ‘Rutherford Falls’ extends deal with Universal Television

Native writer/producer Sierra Teller Ornelas of ‘Rutherford Falls’ extends deal with Universal Television

In addition, her Peacock Original show “Rutherford Falls” was recently renewed for a second season. The critically acclaimed comedy is considered a breakthrough moment in Native representation in television, both in front of and behind the camera.

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Hulu orders drama ‘Tell Me Lies,’ starring Grace Van Patten, straight to series

Hulu orders drama ‘Tell Me Lies,’ starring Grace Van Patten, straight to series

Van Patten currently stars in Hulu and David E. Kelley’s buzzy new limited series “Nine Perfect Strangers,” opposite Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy.

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Netflix acquires Maggie Gyllenhaal’s ‘The Lost Daughter’ ahead of Venice Film Festival premiere

Netflix acquires Maggie Gyllenhaal’s ‘The Lost Daughter’ ahead of Venice Film Festival premiere

The deal furthers Netflix’s relationship with Gyllenhaal, following the 2018 release of “The Kindergarten Teacher,” in which she starred and earned rave reviews from critics.

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Film ‘Skate Dreams’ to chronicle rise of women’s skateboarding

Film ‘Skate Dreams’ to chronicle rise of women’s skateboarding

Directed by Jessica Edwards and executive produced by Gary Hustwit, “Skate Dreams” will be the first feature-length film to chronicle the rise of female skateboarding from its early days as a vibrant, if marginalized, part of the subculture to its international debut as an official sport at the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.

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Deadline approaching for SeriesFest and Shondaland’s Women Directing Mentorship

Deadline approaching for SeriesFest and Shondaland’s Women Directing Mentorship

SeriesFest and Shondaland are proud to have partnered for the past two years on the Women Directing Mentorship, a competition designed to discover aspiring women directors with a unique voice and provide a launchpad for their career.

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Gabourey Sidibe to make feature film directorial debut on thriller ‘Pale Horse’

Gabourey Sidibe to make feature film directorial debut on thriller ‘Pale Horse’

Set in the Pacific Northwest, “Pale Horse” centers on Naia, a reclusive African-American author who writes celebrated books for young adults but is  living with multiple sclerosis. She becomes tangled up a sinister mystery when she provides shelter for the man who escaped captivity with her long-missing brother.

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Oscars make history by nominating two women for best director in the same year

Oscars make history by nominating two women for best director in the same year

Prior to this year, only five women had been nominated for best director: Lina Wertmüller, in 1976 for “Seven Beauties”; Jane Campion, in 1993 for “The Piano”; Sofia Coppola, in 2003 for “Lost in Translation”; Kathryn Bigelow, in 2009 for “The Hurt Locker”; and Greta Gerwig, in 2017 for “Lady Bird.”

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Kelly Hu to star in feature film ‘Breast Cancer Bucket List’

Kelly Hu to star in feature film ‘Breast Cancer Bucket List’

Hu will star as Brenda Lee, who is facing her mortality after she is diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. With the help of her best friend Meg (Patricia Velasquez, “The Mummy” movies), Brenda is determined to find her daughter Talia (Sylvia Kwan, “Grey’s Anatomy”), whom she gave up for adoption as an baby.

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Aisha Tyler to direct ‘socially conscious psychological thriller’ ‘Silent John’

Aisha Tyler to direct ‘socially conscious psychological thriller’ ‘Silent John’

As a performer, Tyler is known for hosting “Whose Line Is It Anyway,” acting in TV shows like “Criminal Minds,” “CSI” and “24” and doing voiceover work in “Archer,” “BoJack Horseman” and the upcoming Disney+ series “Monsters at Work.” She has directed episodes of TV series like “Criminal Minds.”

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Abby Ryder Fortson and Rachel McAdams to star in movie version of Judy Blume’s ‘Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret’

Abby Ryder Fortson and Rachel McAdams to star in movie version of Judy Blume’s ‘Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret’

The film, which begins production in April, is written and will be directed by Kelly Fremon Craig, who is re-teaming with legendary Academy Award-winning producer James L. Brooks and his Gracie Films banner.

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