Ever since Deadline began its big awards season event , The Contenders Presented By Deadline five years ago, the opening act in the daylong Oscar season showcase for studios and distributors has been the presentation from The Weinstein Company – and this year was no different as TWC produced a special reel and last month brought six of their filmmakers to tell the gathered crowd of AMPAS and key guild members at the DGA theatre about their Oscar hopefuls. Director Kirby Dick talks about taking on the previously under-explored topic of campus rape in his (now shortlisted ) documentary, The Hunting Ground. Director Todd Haynes and screenwriter Phyllis Nagy discuss the challenges of bringing to the screen the 60 year old Patricia Highsmith book, The Price Of Salt (which explores a lesbian romance in the early 50’s) and turning it into the movie Carol. Oscar winning Producer Iain Canning (The King’s Speech) tells how Michael Fassbender was both terrified and excited at the same time to be playing Macbeth opposite Marion Cotillard in the latest screen incarnation of the great Shakespeare play. And producers Stacey Sher and Shannon McIntosh discuss the logistics of making Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight work in glorious 70MM film using Ultra Panavision lenses that haven’t seen the light of a film set since Khartoum in 1966. To watch my conversation with all of them just click on the above video link.