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(2009)

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Morgan Freeman’s Biggest Revelation: He Could Shape His Own Destiny

Morgan Freeman’s Biggest Revelation: He Could Shape His Own Destiny
Revelations Entertainment has explored a wide variety of topics since Morgan Freeman and computer-programmer-turned-producer Lori McCreary founded the production company two decades ago: The projects have been both global and universal, tackling South African politics (the 2009 feature “Invictus”) and women in power (CBS’ “Madam Secretary”) in addition to fundamental issues such as love, belief, rebellion and peace (the National Geographic docu-series “The Story of Us”).

But the impetus to form the company came from a deeply personal place in Freeman.

Like many men of his generation, Freeman grew up playing cowboy and watching Westerns. But, as an African-American, he didn’t see many people who looked like him riding high in the saddle on the big screen, literally or figuratively. There were a few who were given respectable but not necessarily fully developed roles, including “Spartacus” gladiator Woody Strode and “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” co-star Rex Ingram, but most high-profile black actors appearing in mainstream films, such as
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Film News Roundup: Billy Dee Williams, Omari Hardwick, Tiffany Haddish Receive Honors

Film News Roundup: Billy Dee Williams, Omari Hardwick, Tiffany Haddish Receive Honors
In today’s film news roundup, Billy Dee Williams will receive a Hollywood legacy award, the Art Directors Guild taps three for lifetime achievement, and fan-owned Legion M invests in a Nicolas Cage movie.

Honors

The American Black Film Festival will honor Billy Dee Williams with the Hollywood legacy award, actor Omari Hardwick with the distinguished Abff alumni award, and actress Tiffany Haddish with the rising star award.

The awards gala will take place on Feb. 25 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The show celebrates individuals of African descent who have made distinguished contributions to American culture through their work, and salutes the year’s best movies and television shows.

Williams’ credits include “Brian’s Song,” “Lady Sings the Blues,” “The Empire Strikes Back,” “Return of the Jedi,” and “Batman.” Hardwick stars in the Starz series “Power” with credits on “Tyler Perry’s for Colored Girls” and Bet Network’s “Being Mary Jane.”

Haddish starred
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Britannia Honorees Come From Both Sides of the Pond

This year, BAFTA Los Angeles is partnering with IGN to bring the 2017 Amd British Academy Britannia Awards to viewers all around the country! The livestream of this year’s ceremony, which will honor Aziz Ansari, Kenneth Branagh, Matt Damon, Ava DuVernay, Claire Foy, and Dick Van Dyke, will begin at 8:15pm Pt on Oct. 27.

Aziz Ansari

Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy

The Britannia Award is the latest kudo for Aziz Ansari, co-creator and star of Netflix laffer “Master of None.” The award “recognizes talent whose popularity and cultural impact exemplifies the uniquely transcendent quality of excellent comedy.”

“[Ansari’s] recent streak of ground-breaking work makes him a deserving recipient,” says BAFTA Los Angeles chairman Kieran Breen. “Aziz’s thoughtful and intelligent humor seamlessly traverses cultural and national boundaries.” Ansari’s “Master of None,” which he created with Alan Yang, has won the Emmy Award for comedy writing two years in a row, in addition
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Report: Just 14 Percent of Studio First-Look Deals Are With Women-Led Companies

Tina Fey, one of the few women with a first-look deal, on “Great News”: NBC

The latest round of first-look production deals have been finalized and, according to a report from Variety, there are very few pacts with women-led organizations. Of the 139 total first-look deals, 20 are with female-driven production companies, amounting to about 14 percent. This marks a superficial and slight increase from last year’s 19 deals. “The additional deal — Amblin Partners’ pact with Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall,” the source writes, “is merely a bit of paperwork, as the indie studio was incorporated into Universal.”

First-look deals see “studios provide the overhead plus some funds for development in exchange for having first dibs on movie projects,” Variety writes. And if this report’s numbers are any indication, studios are not that interested in doing business with women or developing women’s stories.

“The value of women in the marketplace seems to be a lesson that continues to be learned,” observes “Hunger Games” producer Nina Jacobson, who is under a first-look deal at Fox. “It keeps needing to be reaffirmed every time it happens, such as with ‘Wonder Woman.’”

That’s a good point. You’d think that the success of apparent game-changers like “Wonder Woman” and “Girls Trip” would be enough to convince studios that first-look deals with women-led companies are simply smart investments. But it’s not.

The studios with the highest number of first-look deals with women are, unsurprisingly, led by women themselves. Universal, headed by Donna Langley, has pacts with Charlize Theron, Tina Fey, Elizabeth Banks, Eva Longoria, and more. Fox, topped by Stacey Snider, has deals with Jacobson, Karen Rosenfelt (“Twilight”), and animators Karen Disher, Lori Forte, and Locksmith Animation’s Sarah Smith and Julie Lockhart.

PGA co-president and “Invictus” producer Lori McCreary believes that, in order for more women to achieve first-look deals, there needs to be more women in leadership positions. “When I made my first film, Sherry Lansing was running Paramount, so it never occurred to me that women shouldn’t be producers and have studio deals,” McCreary told Variety. “Any time there’s a woman able to greenlight a film, it makes a difference.”

McCreary added, “In Hollywood, there’s a lot of talk about how the industry needs to think outside the box and reach out of its comfort zone to find talent from diverse backgrounds.” “For this to happen, change needs to start at the top,” she continued. “Now more than ever, these types of conversations are taking place, and it’s starting to get people to think differently about who they work with and the types of projects they take on. But change takes time.”

Yes, it does — but there’s no time like the present. Women comprise 52 percent of moviegoers. Top-grossing films with female protagonists gross an average of $50 million more than films featuring male protagonists. And female-written films receive the highest return on investment at the box office. With figures like that, studios should be making first-look deals with female-led production companies their №1 priority.

Below are all the women with first-look studio deals. List adapted from Variety. For more information on the studios’ current first-look deals, check out Variety’s “Facts on Pacts” publication.

Fox Animation

Karen Disher

Lori Forte

Sarah Smith and Julie Lockhart, Locksmith Animation

Fox 2000

Nina Jacobson, Color Force

Karen Rosenfelt, Sunswept Entertainment

Paramount

Dana Goldberg, Skydance (with David Ellison)

Sony

Elizabeth Cantillon, Arad Prods. (with Avi Arad)

Amy Pascal, Pascal Pictures

Universal

Elizabeth Banks, Brownstone Prods. (with Max Handelman)

Charlize Theron and Beth Kono, Denver and Delilah Prods. (with A.J. Dix)

Tina Fey, Little Stranger

Samantha Vincent, One Race Films(with Vin Diesel)

Deborah Forte, Silvertongue Films

Eva Longoria, UnbeliEVAble Entertainment

Amblin Partners

Kathleen Kennedy (with Frank Marshall) (Kennedy/Marshall)

Warner Bros.

Deborah Snyder (with Zack Snyder) (Cruel and Unusual)

Denise Di Novi (Di Novi Pictures)

Margot Robbie (LuckyChap Entertainment)

Polly Johnsen (Polymorphic)

Tory Tunnell (with Joby Harold) (Safehouse)

Im Global

Christi Dembrowski (with Johnny Depp) (Infinitum Nihil)

Amazon Studios

Christine Vachon and Pamela Koffler (Killer Films)

Report: Just 14 Percent of Studio First-Look Deals Are With Women-Led Companies was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Morgan Freeman to Play Colin Powell in Biopic

Morgan Freeman to Play Colin Powell in Biopic
Morgan Freeman will star as Colin Powell in an independent biopic about the former U.S. Secretary of State.

The film will focus on Powell’s 2003 speech to the United Nations to seek support for the Bush administration’s plan to forcibly remove Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, based on intelligence — later discredited — that Iraq was developing nuclear weapons. Powell later described the event as a low point in his career.

Reginald Hudlin is attached to direct “Powell” with Ashok Amritraj’s Hyde Park Entertainment and Freeman’s Revelations Entertainment as the production companies. Producers are Amritraj and Lori McCreary, Freeman’s partner at Revelations.

Hudlin will direct from a script by Ed Whitworth, which was on the 2011 Black List. The project will focus on Powell’s tenure as the 65th United States Secretary of State, serving under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005. He was the first African American to serve in that position.

Executive producers
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Matt Damon to Receive BAFTA Britannia Award As He Enters Oscar Season With Two Bold, Divisive Roles

Matt Damon to Receive BAFTA Britannia Award As He Enters Oscar Season With Two Bold, Divisive Roles
Matt Damon is one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, and a superb actor. This fall audiences anticipate his return in two high-profile award-season movies. He plays a rather nasty character in “Suburbicon,” a film noir ’50s dramedy adapted from a Coen brothers script and directed by George Clooney, Damon’s old chum and “Oceans” co-star. And he’s a goofy sad sack in “Downsizing,” a future-world sci-fi comedy with an ecological message from Oscar perennial Alexander Payne, in which he becomes 5 inches tall to save the environment.

It makes perfect sense for BAFTA to present Damon with a well-deserved award — the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film — at the Britannia Awards October 27 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. After all, he won an Oscar in 1997 with buddy Ben Affleck for writing “Good Will Hunting,” and was nominated for his performances in that movie as well as “Invictus” and “The Martian,
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Matt Damon to Receive BAFTA Britannia Award As He Enters Oscar Season With Two Bold, Divisive Roles

  • Indiewire
Matt Damon to Receive BAFTA Britannia Award As He Enters Oscar Season With Two Bold, Divisive Roles
Matt Damon is one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, and a superb actor. This fall audiences anticipate his return in two high-profile award-season movies. He plays a rather nasty character in “Suburbicon,” a film noir ’50s dramedy adapted from a Coen brothers script and directed by George Clooney, Damon’s old chum and “Oceans” co-star. And he’s a goofy sad sack in “Downsizing,” a future-world sci-fi comedy with an ecological message from Oscar perennial Alexander Payne, in which he becomes 5 inches tall to save the environment.

It makes perfect sense for BAFTA to present Damon with a well-deserved award — the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film — at the Britannia Awards October 27 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. After all, he won an Oscar in 1997 with buddy Ben Affleck for writing “Good Will Hunting,” and was nominated for his performances in that movie as well as “Invictus” and “The Martian,
See full article at Indiewire »

Morgan Freeman To Be Honored With 2017 SAG Life Achievement Award

Morgan Freeman – Academy Award winning actor, producer, voice actor and activist – has been named the 54th recipient of SAG-aftra's highest tribute: the SAG Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment.

Freeman will be presented the performers union’s top accolade at the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards,which will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018 at 8 p.m. (Et), 7 p.m. (Ct), 6 p.m. (Mt) and 5 p.m. (Pt). Given annually to an actor who fosters the “finest ideals of the acting profession,” the SAG Life Achievement Award will join Freeman’s exceptional catalog of preeminent industry and public honors, which includes a Screen Actors Guild Award, an Academy Award, HFPA’s Cecil B. DeMille Award, an AFI Lifetime Achievement Award, seven Image Awards, a Silver Berlin Bear, several Obies, a Kennedy Center Honor, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
See full article at Look to the Stars »

Morgan Freeman to Receive SAG Life Achievement Award

Morgan Freeman to Receive SAG Life Achievement Award
Morgan Freeman has been named the 54th recipient of the SAG Life Achievement award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment.

Freeman will be presented the accolade at the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Jan. 21 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The award is given annually to an actor who fosters the “finest ideals of the acting profession.”

Freeman has won a Screen Actors Guild Award, an Academy Award, HFPA’s Cecil B. DeMille Award, an AFI Lifetime Achievement Award, seven Image Awards, a Silver Berlin Bear and a Kennedy Center Honor. SAG-aftra made the announcement Tuesday.

“I am thrilled to announce Morgan Freeman as this year’s recipient of the SAG Life Achievement Award,” said SAG-aftra President Gabrielle Carteris. “Some actors spend their entire careers waiting for the perfect role. Morgan showed us that true perfection is what a performer brings to the part. He is innovative, fearless
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘The 15:17 to Paris’: Clint Eastwood takes a big risk in casting his latest film, but will it pay off?

‘The 15:17 to Paris’: Clint Eastwood takes a big risk in casting his latest film, but will it pay off?
Playing a biographical role in a Clint Eastwood movie has been known to pay off for A-list stars: Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon both earned Oscar nominations for the true-story “Invictus” (2009), and so did Bradley Cooper as the title character in “American Sniper” (2014). And Tom Hanks was a Critics’ Choice nominee for playing […]
See full article at Gold Derby »

Win a Clint Eastwood 40 Film Collection boxset

Author: Competitions

To mark the release of Clint Eastwood 40 Film Collection, out now, we’ve been given a copy of the boxset to give away on DVD.

For nearly 40 years, Clint Eastwood has called Warner Bros home. This essential collection contains the extraordinary films created during his partnership with the studio, where Eastwood opened Malpaso Productions in 1975. The deluxe boxset includes: Where Eagles Dare (1968), Kelly’s Heroes (1970), Dirty Harry (1971), Magnum Force (1973), The Enforcer (1976), The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), The Gauntlet (1977), Every Which Way but Loose (1978), Bronco Billy (1980), Any Which Way You Can (1980), Honkytonk Man (1982), Firefox (1982), Sudden Impact (1983), City Heat (1984), Tightrope (1984), Pale Rider (1985), Heartbreak Ridge (1986), Bird (1988), The Dead Pool (1988), Pink Cadillac (1989), White Hunter, Black Heart (1990), The Rookie (1990), Unforgiven (1992), A Perfect World (1993), The Bridges of Madison County (1995), Absolute Power (1997), Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997), True Crime (1999), Space Cowboys (2000), Blood Work (2002), Mystic River (2003), Flags of Our Fathers (2006), Letters from Iwo Jima
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Clint Eastwood Is Returning to Acting

Clint Eastwood Is Returning to Acting
Clint Eastwood is one of those rare Hollywood stars who is a legend both in front of and behind the camera. While he's best known to most audiences as an actor, with decades of iconic performances, but he has also established himself as one of our finest filmmakers as well. In recent years, the multi-hyphenate has focused his energies more on filmmaking and less in acting, with his last on screen performance coming in his 2012 baseball movie entitled Trouble With the Curve, where he played an aging baseball scout. During an appearance at the Cannes Film Festival, the Hollywood icon suggested that he eventually will make his return to acting.

Variety attended a master class being put on by the actor-filmmaker at the Cannes Film Festival, where he discussed a variety of topics. The filmmaker stated that he does miss performing "once in a while but not often," while hinting
See full article at MovieWeb »

Clint Eastwood to Direct 'The 15:17 to Paris,' True-life Terrorist Train Thriller

Clint Eastwood made his directorial debut by helming The Beguiled: The Storyteller, a 12-minute documentary about director Don Siegel that was shot on location during production of The Beguiled, released in 1971. Sadly, it's not been made available publicly since then. Eastwood directed his first feature, Play Misty for Me, later that year and steadily honed his talents on the big screen, even as he took on a wide variety of projects that reflected his personal interests. As both producer and director, he earned Academy Awards for Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby. In recent years he's been increasingly attracted to real-life stories, such as Invictus, J. Edgar, Jersey Boys, American Sniper and Sully. Now he's ready to take on another project that is drawn from...

Read More
See full article at Movies.com »

12 Movies to Watch After You See ‘The Fate of the Furious’

Assorted recommendations inspired by the multifarious sequel.Sorry, Marky Mark, but you’ve already got a car-based franchise.

By the time you’re done watching The Fate of the Furious, you’re likely to have forgotten some of its distinctly differing parts. The sequel begins as one thing then becomes another and another and another, delivering a thrilling mix of action sequences that don’t quite fit together as a fluid and cohesive whole.

I was reminded of a number of dissimilar movies while watching the eighth Fast and the Furious installment, so this week’s list of recommendations could be an even more mixed assortment than usual. But I have no interest in prescribing bad-tasting medicine like The Game Plan in response to Dwayne Johnson’s soccer dad scene. I’m also ignoring Jason Statham’s cheeky insult reminding Johnson and us all of his dumb Hercules movie.

Instead of going with the usual chronological trip
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

Matt Damon vs. Ben Affleck: Film Critics Are Forced to Pick a Favorite — IndieWire Critics Survey

  • Indiewire
Matt Damon vs. Ben Affleck: Film Critics Are Forced to Pick a Favorite — IndieWire Critics Survey
Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of film and TV critics two questions and publishes the results on Monday. (The answer to the second, “What is the best film in theaters right now?”, can be found at the end of this post.)

From “School Ties” to “Live By Night” and this weekend’s “The Great Wall,” Ben Affleck and Matt Damon have each — for better and worse — left a considerable and ever-increasing footprint in the cultural landscape. But while the world is wide enough for both of them, our hearts are not. And so, we forced our panel of critics to choose: Ben Affleck or Matt Damon?

There can be only one.

Charles Bramesco (@intothecrevasse), Freelance with Rolling Stone, Vulture, Vox

This is a toughie. In terms of looks, both Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s faces remind me of between forty and fifty of my least-favorite classmates during
See full article at Indiewire »

Oscars: Matt Damon on the Financial Risks of Making 'Manchester by the Sea,' Advice for Host (and Frenemy) Jimmy Kimmel

Oscars: Matt Damon on the Financial Risks of Making 'Manchester by the Sea,' Advice for Host (and Frenemy) Jimmy Kimmel
In his career, Matt Damon has earned Oscar noms for lead actor (Good Will Hunting, The Martian), supporting actor (Invictus) and has won one for original screenplay with Ben Affleck (Hunting).

But with Manchester by the Sea, the 46-year-old has his first producing nomination, along with Kimberly Steward, Kevin Walsh, Lauren Beck and Chris Moore, for a film he once planned to direct and star in. Damon spoke with THR about making the movie on budget, how the awards have changed since his 1998 win and why Ben Affleck always will choose him over Jimmy Kimmel.

How did you first...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Oscars 2017: What Are Mel Gibson’s Chances of a Best Director Nomination For ‘Hacksaw Ridge’?

Mel Gibson on the set of ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ (Courtesy: Lionsgate)

By: Carson Blackwelder

Managing Editor

Mel Gibson has a chance at being nominated in the best director category at the 2017 Oscars for Hacksaw Ridge — but there is definitely some competition. While the 61-year-old multihyphenate has already received nominations at the Critics’ Choice Awards and the Golden Globes, snagging one from the Academy is not certain. How often have directors been gotten those two precursor nominations only to fall short of the all-important Oscar nomination?

Over the course of his lengthy career, Gibson has primarily been an actor. That being said, the New York native has stepped behind the camera and directed five feature films to date: 1993’s The Man Without a Face, 1995’s Braveheart, 2004’s The Passion of the Christ, 2006’s Apocalypto, and 2016’s Hacksaw Ridge — with the announcement of another, Berserker, on the horizon. The most successful of the bunch,
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

La La Land, Hidden Figures and … Deadpool! Producers Guild of America Announces 2017 Award Nominees

A version of this article originally appeared on ew.com.

La La Land and Moonlight take one step closer to clinching best picture nominations at the Academy Awards as the Producers Guild of America — one of the most influential guilds in the entertainment industry — announces its annual slate of award nominees.

The 7,500-strong union, comprised of producing teams in film, television, and new media, revealed its crop of honorees on Tuesday, firming up best picture frontrunner La La Land‘s bid for further awards season domination after the Damien Chazelle-directed musical became the most decorated film in Golden Globes history Sunday night.
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

From Groundhog Day to … Raging Bull? – films to inspire and uplift

Supposedly ‘inspirational’ films tend to leave our critic reaching for the sick bag. He finds defeated boxers, desperate weathermen and boozy, cantankerous widowers far more uplifting

More uplifting culture for 2017

Can films be inspirational? Well, the good ones all are. And, in a broader sense, going to the cinema is a narcotic, luxurious experience that makes you feel inspired, uplifted and stimulated. But when people talk about “inspirational” films – underdogs achieving spectacular sporting success, charismatic teachers winning over pupils, people overcoming disabilities – I am sometimes a bit agnostic. An inspirational film often feels soupy and syrupy, schematic and cliched, faintly coercive and reactionary. Inspirational means aspirational, no arguments – and it brings out my ironic, grumpy Brit. When I’m asked for my favourite inspirational scene, I nominate Tom Courtenay’s final, miserable act of defiance in The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner.

One movie that was lauded as inspirational,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Every Oscar Nominee and Winner of Color in Acting Categories Post-2000

By: Carson Blackwelder

Managing Editor

The Oscars have been a source of contention for the last two years — but that is poised to change this year. At the source of the controversy is a lack of non-white performers among the 20 slots in the best actor, best actress, best supporting actor, and best supporting actress categories. Let’s see just how many minorities — of black, Asian, and hispanic descent — have been honored by the Academy since 2000.

#OscarsSoWhite is the term that has been used to describe the phenomenon of having non-white thespians completely shut out of the acting categories at the 2015 and 2016 ceremonies. Nearly all of Hollywood and the press have spoken out about this occurrence, though it looks like the 2017 ceremony could shape up to be one of the most diverse in history. Here is a breakdown of every nominee and winner post-2000:

For the 2000 ceremony, there was one minority for each acting category.
See full article at Scott Feinberg »
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