Thursday, November 19, 2009

Oscars® - Feature Docs Short List & New TV Director




Documentary Features


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced yesterday that 15 films in the Documentary Feature category will advance in the voting process for the 82nd Academy Awards®. Eighty-nine pictures originally qualified to vie for the Best Documentary Feature award.

The Documentary Branch Screening Committee viewed all the eligible documentaries and they will now select the five nominees from among the 15 titles on this list.

The 15 films listed below in alphabetical order by title, with their director are:

THE BEACHES OF AGNES, Agnès Varda;
BURMA VJ, Anders Østergaard;
THE COVE, Louie Psihoyos;
EVERY LITTLE STEP, James D. Stern & Adam Del Deo;
FACING ALI, Pete McCormack;
FOOD, INC., Robert Kenner;
GARBAGE DREAMS, Mai Iskander;
LIVING IN EMERGENCY: Stories of Doctors Without Borders, Mark N. Hopkins;
THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN AMERICA: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, Judith Ehrlich & Rick Goldsmith;
MUGABE AND THE WHITE AFRICAN, Andrew Thompson & Lucy Bailey;
SERGIO, Greg Barker;
SOUNDTRACK FOR A REVOLUTION, Bill Guttentag & Dan Sturman;
UNDER OUR SKIN, Andy Abrahams Wilson;
VALENTINO THE LAST EMPEROR, Matt Tyrnauer;
WHICH WAY HOME, Rebecca Cammisa.


The 82nd Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Tuesday, 2 February 2010, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2009 will be presented on Sunday, 7 March 2010, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.

New Oscar TV Gala Director

Almost simultaneously, the producers of the 82nd Academy Awards® telecast, Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman, announced Hamish Hamilton will direct the 82nd Academy Awards® telecast. Who?

It will be Hamilton's first time directing the Oscar show. If you haven't heard of him before, you are far from alone. I learned he has directed such live shows as the “MTV Video Music Awards” and the “MTV Europe Music Awards.” He has also directed live concert performances by U2, Neil Diamond, Josh Groban, Stevie Wonder, Christina Aguilera and many others. He has been tapped to direct the upcoming Super Bowl XLIV half-time show in February.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Academy Governors Awards Tonight



The first ever Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences'® Governors Ball was held tonight. The Governors Awards were presented in a ceremony at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center®.

Oscar® winners Jonathan Demme, Anjelica Huston and Quentin Tarantino, along with past Honorary Award recipient Kirk Douglas, were among those presenting to Lauren Bacall, Roger Corman and Gordon Willis, who were present to receive their Oscar statuettes. John Calley was not present to receive the statuette for the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award due to health reasons.

These awards, usually given at the Academy Awards® Television Gala, were given out, instead, at this inaugural Governors Ball. I suspect there may be a brief mention at the 82nd awards in March, but perhaps not.

For each of the 2009 Governors Honorary Award winners, see bios, filmographies and audio testimonials on the official Website at Oscars.org -- click title of post. Also, highlight video clips from the Academy’s inaugural Governors Awards ceremony will be posted on the Website after 6 a.m., PT, Sunday, 15 November.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Animated Feature Films for Possible Oscar® Nod



Twenty feature animated movies have been submitted for consideration in the Animated Feature Film category for the 82nd Academy Awards®. However seven movies have not yet had their required Los Angeles qualifying run, and they are indicated with (*). Submitted features must fulfill the theatrical release requirements and meet all of the category’s other qualifying rules before they can advance in the voting process. Under the rules for this category, a maximum of five features can be nominated in a year in which the field of eligible entries numbers at least 16.

The 20 movies that have jumped the first hurdle are:

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (*)
Astro Boy
A Town Called Panic (*)
Battle for Terra
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Coraline
Disney's A Christmas Carol
Fantastic Mr. Fox (*)
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
Mary and Max
Monsters vs. Aliens
9
Planet 51 (*)
Ponyo
The Dolphin – Story of a Dreamer (*)
The Missing Lynx
The Princess and the Frog (*)
The Secret of Kells (*)
Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure
Up

Complete 82nd Academy Awards rules. Also, follow the Academy and all awards on Facebook and on YouTube.

The nominations for the 82nd Academy Awards will be announced on Tuesday, 2 February 2010, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2009 will be presented on Sunday, 7 March 2010, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

MARTIN AND BALDWIN TO HOST OSCAR® SHOW


Actors Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin will serve as co-hosts of the 82nd Academy Awards®, Oscar® telecast producers Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman announced yesterday.

Martin hosted the 73rd and 75th Academy Awards shows, earning an Emmy nomination for the first stint. He has also served as a presenter on the show several times, most recently at the ceremony in February when he appeared with Tina Fey. He is currently touring with the bluegrass band Steep Canyon Rangers in support of his latest album “The Crow: New Songs for the Five String Banjo.” In 1977 and 1978 Martin won Grammys for Best Comedy Recording. He earned a third Grammy in 2001 in the Best Country Instrumental Performance category. In 2007 Martin earned a Kennedy Center Honor.

Baldwin was nominated for an Academy Award in 2003 for his supporting role in “The Cooler.” That year also marked his most recent appearance as a presenter on the show. Baldwin currently stars as Jack Donaghy on the comedy “30 Rock,” a role for which he has won two Emmys (in 2008 and 2009). Baldwin earned a Tony nomination in 1992 for his performance in “A Streetcar Named Desire.”

There will be no honorary awards given at televised gala on 7 March. They have been moved to a new event, the Governors Ball, which will be held in the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center® 14 November. The event is by invitation only, and the event will not be televised. However, look for a quick filmed nod to the recipients on the Oscar broadcast.

The Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award will be presented to John Calley for a consistently high quality of motion picture production. Actress Lauren Bacall will receive an Honorary Award in recognition of her central place in the Golden Age of motion pictures. Other Honorary Awards will go to filmmaker Roger Corman for his rich engendering of films, and Gordon Willis for unsurpassed mastery of light, shadow, color and motion.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Animated Feature Entries for 2009 Oscars® Due



Entry forms and supporting materials to qualify in the Animated Feature Film category for the 82nd Academy Awards® must arrive at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences by 5 p.m., PT, today. The deadline to submit accompanying film prints is Friday, 13 November.

Complete 82nd Academy Awards rules. Additional information may be obtained by contacting Will Goldenberg via phone at (310) 247-3000, ext. 190, by fax at (310) 247-2600, or by e-mail wgoldenberg@oscars.org. Also, follow the Academy and all awards on Facebook and on YouTube.

The 82nd Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Tuesday, 2 February 2010, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2009 will be presented on Sunday, 7 March 2010, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the world’s preeminent movie-related organization, with a membership of more than 6,000 of the most accomplished men and women working in cinema. In addition to the annual Academy Awards – in which the members vote to select the nominees and winners – the Academy presents a diverse year-round slate of public programs, exhibitions and events; provides financial support to a wide range of other movie-related organizations and endeavors; acts as a neutral advocate in the advancement of motion picture technology; and, through its Margaret Herrick Library and Academy Film Archive, collects, preserves, restores and provides access to movies and items related to their history. Through these and other activities the Academy serves students, historians, the entertainment industry and people everywhere who love movies.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

French Movie Wins Best Film In London



A PROPHET (Un Prophéte), by French director / writer Jacques Audiard, was named the best film at the BFI London Film Festival (LFF) during the closing ceremonies, Thursday the 29th. The Best Documentary award went to Israeli Yoav Shamir's DEFAMATION (Hashmatsa).

Other writers for A PROPHET are Thomas Bidegain, Abdel Raouf Dafi and Nicolas Peufaillit. The prison drama received the second place Jury Grand Prize at Cannes, behind Austrian director/writer Michael Haneke's black and white drama, THE WHITE RIBBON (Das Weisse Band), which won the Golden Palm.

Here is some of the report from the LFF (keep in mind that film festivals tend to exaggerate the hype):

"When Malik, a young French Arab, finds himself in prison with no friends or allies, he goes out of his way to be useful to the dominant Corsican gang and its leader Cesar Luciani. After a grueling rites-of-passage murder of a new friend, Malik builds, by slow degrees, a power base of his own.

At present, no Hollywood director can match Jacques Audiard's vice-like grip on character-driven action cinema. Time rips by in fingernail- biting anticipation of Malik's brutally authentic travails. His irrepressible nature is brilliantly incarnated by Tahar Rahim, whose impact is equally matched by Audiard regular Niels Arestrup as the Corsican boss. This is undoubtedly the crime drama of the year."