Kelly Fremon Craig to write and direct long-awaited film adaptation of Judy Blume’s ‘Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret’

Kelly Fremon Craig to write and direct long-awaited film adaptation of Judy Blume’s ‘Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret’

The book chronicles the coming-of-age of Margaret Simon, a sixth-grader who moves from New York City to suburban New Jersey. She frequently prays to God to help her navigate the challenges of her adolescence, which range from puberty and first crushes to her interfaith family dynamics.

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Study: For the first time, family films had as many women and girls in lead roles as men and boys in 2019

Study: For the first time, family films had as many women and girls in lead roles as men and boys in 2019

“Media images have a huge impact on how we see ourselves and judge our value,” said Geena Davis. “When you see someone like yourself reflected, you take in the message: ‘There’s someone like me, I must belong.’ This is why it’s vital for children to see — from the beginning — fictitious worlds that reflect the real world.”

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Cynthia Erivo to star in and produce film adaptation of her sci-fi podcast ‘Carrier’

Cynthia Erivo to star in and produce film adaptation of her sci-fi podcast ‘Carrier’

The movie is based on the podcast “Carrier,” created by audio studio QCode and Dan Blank, who also will write and direct the film. Erivo starred in and co-produced the seven-episode season of the “Carrier” podcast.

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Award-winning indie film producer Karin Chien teams up with Louverture Films

Award-winning indie film producer Karin Chien teams up with Louverture Films

Chien is a four-time Independent Spirit Award nominee, the recipient of the Independent Spirit Producer’s Award and the Cinereach Producing Fellowship, and the producer of 10 independent feature films.

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AFI gala honoring Julie Andrews, Geena Davis’ Bentonville Film Festival and more pushed back over coronavirus concerns

AFI gala honoring Julie Andrews, Geena Davis’ Bentonville Film Festival and more pushed back over coronavirus concerns

The outbreak has disrupted the global theater marketplace, forcing the shuttering of theaters in Italy, Korea and China — and the latter is the second biggest movie market in the world behind the U.S.

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Awkwafina to take a gamble on fact-based feature ‘The Baccarat Machine’

Awkwafina to take a gamble on fact-based feature ‘The Baccarat Machine’

The fact-based film is being adapted from Michael Kaplan’s Cigar Aficionado article “The Baccarat Machine,” which follows Sun, a young Chinese woman, as she industriously develops her skills as a gambler. With major casinos conspiring to keep her out, Sun teams with Ivey, the international “King of Poker,” to take down the system, setting up one of the most impressive legal gambling runs ever chronicled.

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Study: More women and people of color were lead characters in movies in 2019

Study: More women and people of color were lead characters in movies in 2019

Despite the increase of lead characters for both women and people of color, Smith and her cohorts noted that the percentages still don’t reflect census data: Women comprise 51% of the U.S. population, and people of color make up 39.6% of the nation’s population.

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Olivia Wilde to direct biopic ‘Perfect,’ about gold-medal gymnast Kerri Strug

Olivia Wilde to direct biopic ‘Perfect,’ about gold-medal gymnast Kerri Strug

The fact-based underdog sports drama will be based on the book “Landing On My Feet, A Diary Of Dreams” by Strug and John P. Lopez. The book tells the true story of the gymnast’s victory against the odds to win Team USA’s first gold medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Strug completed her final vault at the Atlanta games on a badly injured ankle to seal win for Team USA.

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Home release details announced for Greta Gerwig’s ‘Little Women’

Home release details announced for Greta Gerwig’s ‘Little Women’

“Little Women” earned six Oscar nominations – for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay for Gerwig, and Best Original Score for Alexandre Desplat, Best Actress for Ronan, Best Supporting Actress for Pugh and Best Costume Design for Jacqueline Durran. But the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – along with the Golden Globes and BAFTAs – faced widespread criticism for failing to nominate any women, including Gerwig, for Best Director.

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‘Joker’ and ‘Chernobyl’ composer Hildur Guðnadóttir to follow historic awards sweep with Rewire Festival performance

‘Joker’ and ‘Chernobyl’ composer Hildur Guðnadóttir to follow historic awards sweep with Rewire Festival performance

While Guðnadóttir is the first woman to win in the best original score category as we’ve known it for the past two decades, she is not the first woman to win an Academy Award for score: Marilyn Bergman shared a best original song score Oscar with her husband Alan Bergman and Michel Legrand for their work on “Yentl” in 1984. Female composers Rachel Portman and Anne Dudley won the best original musical or comedy score Oscars back to back in 1996 and 1997 for their scores on “Emma” and “The Full Monty,” respectively.

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Despite more female leads in 2019, men still get two-thirds of cinematic speaking roles

Despite more female leads in 2019, men still get two-thirds of cinematic speaking roles

“We have now seen two consecutive years of substantial gains for female protagonists, indicating the beginning of a positive shift in representation,” said Dr. Martha M. Lauzen, the report’s author and the executive director of San Diego State University’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film.

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Tabitha Jackson named new director of Sundance Film Festival

Tabitha Jackson named new director of Sundance Film Festival

Keri Putnam is the chief executive and executive director of Sundance Institute, the nonprofit organization founded in 1981 by Robert Redford that puts on the festival. Since 2018, Kim Yutani has been the festival’s programming director.

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Kathleen Kennedy receiving prestigious BAFTA Fellowship

Kathleen Kennedy receiving prestigious BAFTA Fellowship

Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, who has producer of dozens of critically and commercially successful films, will receive prestigious BAFTA fellowship next month. It is the highest award bestowed by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, given to an individual in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film, games or television, according […]

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Cate Blanchett named president of Venice International Film Festival jury

Cate Blanchett named president of Venice International Film Festival jury

Led by the Australian actor/producer, the jury will decide on the Golden Lion for best film and other awards. The decision was made by the board of directors of the Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta, based on the recommendation of festival director Alberto Barbera.

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Women of color badly underrepresented even as number of female directors of top-grossing films reached historic high in 2019

Women of color badly underrepresented even as number of female directors of top-grossing films reached historic high in 2019

Stacy L. Smith and her cohorts at  University of Southern California Annenberg Inclusion Initiative have revealed more about the status of female filmmakers in the movie business. Their “Inclusion in the Director’s Chair? Analysis of Director Gender & Race/Ethnicity Across 1,300 Top Films from 2007 to 2019” reveals a 20 to 1 ratio of male […]

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Oscar nominations create controversy with lack of diversity, exclusion of female directors

Oscar nominations create controversy with lack of diversity, exclusion of female directors

Male-dominated titles dominated the Oscars field when the nominations were revealed Monday: Todd Phillips’ R-rated smash “Joker,” starring Joaquin Phoenix as a failed mentally ill comedian who turns to crime and eventually becomes Batman’s nemesis, nabbed a leading Oscar 11 nominations and became just the second comic-book movie nominated for best picture, following 2018’s “Black Panther.”

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Nancy Meyers to receive Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement at Writers Guild Awards

Nancy Meyers to receive Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement at Writers Guild Awards

Over the course of her successful, decades-long career, multi-hyphenate filmmaker Meyers has created a body of work that explores modern relationships in all their nuances, delivering a string of literate, sophisticated films that have become worldwide box-office hits.

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Female filmmakers hit ‘historic highs’ in 2019 but still are ‘so far from parity’

Female filmmakers hit ‘historic highs’ in 2019 but still are ‘so far from parity’

The study also indicated why the hiring of women is so important, especially when it comes to reaching any semblance of parity: Films with female directors are much more likely to hire women in key roles than films directed just by men.

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Sundance Film Festival close to gender parity with 2020 edition

Sundance Film Festival close to gender parity with 2020 edition

This year’s lineup includes 118 full-length feature films, representing 27 countries and 44 first-time feature filmmakers. Of the 65 directors in the four competition categories – which total 56 films – 46 percent are women, 38 percent are people of color and 12 percent are LGBTQ+.

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Octavia Spencer to be presented Producers Guild of America’s Visionary Award

Octavia Spencer to be presented Producers Guild of America’s Visionary Award

Kenya Barris received the 2019 Visionary Award, and past winners include Ava DuVernay, Plan B Entertainment, Chis Meledandri, Laura Ziskin and Participant Media’s Jeff Skoll.

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Ellen DeGeneres to receive the Carol Burnett Award at Sunday’s Golden Globes

Ellen DeGeneres to receive the Carol Burnett Award at Sunday’s Golden Globes

Plus, her production company, A Very Good Production, is producing NBC’s game show “Ellen’s Game of Games,” NBC’s new special event series “Ellen’s Greatest Night of Giveaways,” NBC’s “Little Big Shots,” Netflix’s “Green Eggs and Ham” and Discovery Channel’s “Wildlife Warriors.”

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Several tentpole movies directed by women coming in 2020, including ‘Black Widow,’ ‘Mulan’ and ‘Wonder Woman 1984’

Several tentpole movies directed by women coming in 2020, including ‘Black Widow,’ ‘Mulan’ and ‘Wonder Woman 1984’

First, Cathy Yan’s “Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn” is due out on Feb. 7. The “Suicide Squad” spinoff sees Harley Quinn (Oscar nominee Margo Robbie) splitting with the Joker and joining DC Comics superheroes Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) to save a young girl from an evil crime lord.

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Annette Bening to receive AARP Movies for Grownups Career Achievement Award

Annette Bening to receive AARP Movies for Grownups Career Achievement Award

She joins a prestigious list of previous AARP Movies for Grownups Career Achievement honorees, including Shirley MacLaine, Kevin Costner, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Robert Redford, Susan Sarandon and Sharon Stone.

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Record number of movies directed by women added to National Film Registry

Record number of movies directed by women added to National Film Registry

The 2019 registry selections span a century of filmmaking, from 1903 to 2003. The oldest film in this year’s class depicts footage of immigrants arriving in New York at Ellis Island, and the newest film on the list is the documentary “Fog of War,” in which former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara reexamines his role in shaping American military and foreign policy.

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‘Frozen II’ continues to set box-office records as it crosses $1 billion mark

‘Frozen II’ continues to set box-office records as it crosses $1 billion mark

Set three years after the icy and dicey events of the first film, “Frozen II” continues the adventures of Queen Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel), her younger sister, Princess Anna (Kristen Bell), Anna’s awkward yet affable ice harvester beau Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and the magical snowman Olaf (Josh Gad).

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