Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Acadmy of Motion Pictures Elects New President

Producer Hawk Koch was elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences tonight (July 31) by the organization's Board of Governors. This will be his first term in office. Koch, who is beginning his ninth year as a governor representing the Producers Branch, has served as first vice president of the Academy during the past year. He previously served three one-year terms as treasurer and one term as vice president.

In addition, Public Relations Branch governor Cheryl Boone Isaacs was elected first vice president; Producers Branch governor Kathleen Kennedy was elected to one vice president post and Writers Branch governor Phil Robinson was re-elected to the other vice president post; Public Relations Branch governor Rob Friedman was elected treasurer; and Executives Branch governor Robert Rehme was elected secretary.

Koch's producer credits include Losing Isaiah and Gorky Park. He recently served as executive producer on Source Code and is executive producer on the upcoming Very Good Girls.

Academy board members serve three-year terms, while officers serve one-year terms, with a maximum of four consecutive terms in any one office.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

New Rules for Oscars and Academy Issues Invitations


The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has approved the rules for the upcoming 85th Academy Awards. The most significant changes affect the Music, Foreign Language Film, Makeup and Visual Effects categories.

In the Music (Original Song) category, the Executive Committee may recommend that a fourth songwriter for an individual song be considered in rare and extraordinary circumstances. This amends the rule that has been in effect since 2005, whereby up to two songwriters could be eligible per song, although a third songwriter could be added if he or she were found to be an essentially equal contributor.

In the Foreign Language Film category, films must be submitted to the Academy in 35mm or DCP*, but are no longer required to be exhibited in those formats in their countries of origin.

The award given in the Makeup category will now be known as the Makeup and Hairstyling Award. Additionally, during the nominations process, all branch members who have seen the seven shortlisted titles will receive ballots to list their top three choices.

In the Visual Effects category, nominees will be selected from a pool of ten films chosen by the Branch Executive Committee by secret ballot. Previously, the committee could put forward as many as ten productions or as few as seven.

Other adjustments to the rules include standard date changes and other "housekeeping" adjustments.

Rules are reviewed annually by individual branch and category committees. The Awards Rules Committee then reviews all proposed changes before presenting its recommendations to the Academy's Board of Governors for approval.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2012 will be presented on Sunday, February 24, 2013, in the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscar® presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries worldwide.
*A Digital Cinema Package (DCP) is a collection of digital files used to store and convey digital cinema (DC) audio, image, and data streams.

Dujardin and Uggie

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is extending invitations to join the organization to 176 artists and executives who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures. Those who accept the invitation will be the only additions in 2012 to the Academy’s roster of members.

"These film professionals represent some of the most talented, most passionate contributors to our industry,” said Academy President Tom Sherak. “I’m glad to recognize that by calling each of them a fellow Academy member."

Voting membership in the organization has now held steady at just under 6,000 members since 2003. Some of the 2012 actor invitees are:

Simon Baker – Margin Call, L.A. Confidential;
Bérénice Bejo – The Artist, OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies;
Jessica Chastain – The Help, The Tree of Life;
Jean Dujardin – Les infidèls, The Artist;
Jonah Hill – Moneyball, Superbad;
Ken Howard – J. Edgar, In Her Shoes;
Diego Luna – Milk, Y Tu Mamá También (And Your Mother, Too);
Melissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids, The Back-Up Plan;
Matthew McConaughey – The Lincoln Lawyer, A Time to Kill;
Janet McTeer – Albert Nobbs, Tumbleweeds;
Andy Serkis – The Prestige, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King;
Octavia Spencer – The Help, The Soloist;
Michelle Yeoh – The Lady, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

But, where is Uggie's name? Fans of Uggie in the silent movie The Artist and Water for Elephants, were outraged when the Jack Russell Terrier didn't get an Oscar nomination last January. Now Uggie's owner tells a magazine that movie was Uggie's last. He is 10 now, and is officially retired. Uggie did win the Palm Chien Prix (Palm Dog Prize) after last year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Film Festials of Summer 2012

This is the time of year in the United States that the movie calendar is full of big budget loud movies meant to appeal to the youngsters on summer break from high school and college. Amidst all the shouting, I like to see what films the festivals in the U.S., and around the world, are highlighting. I love to look for little gems that will be big movies when the major awards season arrives in November.

In Scotland, wedged between the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic games in the U.K., the prestigious Edinburgh International Film Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland (EIFF), opened 20 June 2012, and closed today, 1 July, after the final big screening last night of Disneys latest animation from Pixar, BRAVE. This year, the Festival returned to bestowing awards and the big winners are:

Director Penny Woolcock was awarded The Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film for ONE MILE AWAY, which received its World Premiere at the Festival. The Jury choosing the Michael Powell award winners was chaired by actor Jim Broadbent

Andrea Riseborough and Bríd Brennan jointly won The Michael Powell Award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film for their performances in James Marsh’s SHADOW DANCER, which had its UK Premiere last night.

The Award for Best Film in the International Feature Competition went to the drama HERE, THEN, about rootless youngsters in China, from director Mao Mao, with his first credit as a director. Elliot Gould presided over the Jury.


Heart of Sarajevo
Next up is a festival that most in the world may never have heard of, but one that has the backing of the likes of Actor Kevin Spacey and U2's Bono. It's the 18th SARAJEVO FILM FESTIVAL (SFF) held in Bosnia Herzegovina, opening July 6 and running through the 14th. Because this festival arose from the ashes of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina between April 1992 and December 1995, we feel it is important to cover it. Last year, Angelina Jolie was awarded the Heart of Sarajevo for her efforts to bring awareness of the war through her movie, LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY.

The Festival Program Journal has been published. It is available at the Main Box Office, and single tickets are on sale. This year the Festival will present 210 films from 57 countries. There is also an online version of this year's Program Journal with information about all the screenings. We highly recommend you take a look at it as it is bilingual with English, and there is a beautiful spread featuring handsome Michael Fassbender:    

Special screenings will include Steven Spielberg's SCHINDLER'S LIST, and some screenings will take place under the stars. The opening feature is Aida Begic's CHILDREN OF SARAJEVO (Dejeca), which won the Special Distinction of the Jury at this year's Cannes Film Festival. THE ANGEL'S SHARE will close. The already award-winning THE BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, filmed in and around New Orleans will screen in competition, and it is the directorial debut of U.S. director Benh Zeitlin.
WEBSITE (English)   

The 69th Venice International Film Festival (VIFF) will run August 29th to September 8th, directed by Alberto Barbera. New features of the next edition include a new foyer of the Palazzo del Cinema; the Venice Film Market, a new service that will join the Industry Office; and Biennale College - Cinema, a workshop open to young filmmakers for the production of low-budget films.
The Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement has been awarded to Italian director and screenwriter Francesco Rosi. The award will be presented on August 31st, on the occasion of the screening of the restored copy of Rosi's masterpiece, Il caso Mattei (The Mattei Affair, 1972).


The 36th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), originally known as the Festival of Festivals, will be held in September from the 6th to 16th in Toronto, Canada. The Festival will be screening more than 300 films from over 60 countries, as it does every September. Tickets sales are available, but the full program has not yet been announced.

Toronto's programers have earned a reputation for excellence, and a diverse array of films are shown. There are Hollywood galas, complete with red carpet glamor but, most of all, the best in international cinema and potential Academy Award winners are screened. Toronto's track record of booking eventual Academy Award winners is legendary.

Could this be the surprise movie of the year?