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To Win A Best Picture Oscar, Producers Need A Great Film – And It Helps To Have Three Little Letters

Mandatory Credit: Photo by David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock (5599373nm)
Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin and Blye Pagon Flaust - Best Picture, Spotlight
88th Annual Academy Awards, Press Room, Los Angeles, America - 28 Feb 2016

The film nominees for the PGA Awards were announced today in the latest stop on the Oscar trail, but it’s no doubt going to be bittersweet for the producers of some of the films who'd dreamed of getting onstage to accept a Best Picture Academy Award. That's because among this year's crop of films that have received the most Oscar buzz, many of their producers will be, in all likelihood, on the outside looking in if their films go on to win Best Picture – in large part… Read

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‘Weiner’ Filmmakers: “Anthony Declined A Number Of Offers To Watch It” – Q&A

Weiner

Who hasn't heard about–and possibly laughed at–the scandalous mess surrounding politician Anthony Weiner and his penchant for tweeting personal photos? However, when Weiner began campaigning to be Mayor of New York, filmmakers Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg saw an opportunity to make a documentary about redemption and resurgence. They could not have foreseen firstly, how well Weiner's campaign would go, then secondly, how yet more inappropriate pictures would… Read

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‘Moonlight’ DP James Laxton On The Emotional Effect Of CinemaScope And Capturing The Visual Poetry Of The Face

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Working with director Barry Jenkins over more than a decade since they first met, as Florida State University students, cinematographer James Laxton has attracted due notice this season for his work in Jenkins’ Moonlight, the director’s first feature since 2008’s Medicine for Melancholy. As with editor Nat Sanders, Laxton’s continued work with Jenkins is demonstrative of the director’s proclivity for keeping his collaborators close, resulting in a trust and kinship unique… Read

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Film Movement Acquires Oscar Shortlist Pic ‘Paradise’ By Andrei Konchalovsky

paradise

EXCLUSIVE: Film Movement has picked up U.S. rights to Andrei Konchalovsky’s Paradise which is shortlisted for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. The Russian-German co-production is set during WWII and looks at the Holocaust from the perspective of three characters. Paradise debuted at the Venice Film Festival last year and won Konchalovsky the Silver Lion for Best Director. ARRI Media International is handling sales. Shot in black and white by cinematographer Alexander… Read

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Pete Hammond’s Notes On The Season: Oscar Balloting Sends Campaigns Into Overdrive; ‘Zootopia’ Fetes Writers; Bacharach Is Back

the-little-prince

A column chronicling conversations and events on the awards circuit. And now it is crunch time. Oscar nomination ballots went live yesterday and are due back a week from today on Friday the 13th. Hope that date doesn’t mean scary things for some contenders, but it is clear the campaigns are taking nothing for granted as events seem to have ramped up — especially for contenders in the hotly contested feature documentary, animation and song races, which all feature a slew… Read

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‘Frame 394’ Documentarians Rich Williamson And Shasha Nakhai On The Problematic Rise Of Fake News

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When Rich Williamson met with his Ryerson University peer, Daniel Voshart, to view his weighty personal project, he only intended to provide a sounding board, and a person to confide in, not realizing that he would stumble on a fresh perspective on a national news story, bearing implications on a much larger scale. In the resulting Frame 394, an Oscar shortlisted documentary short, we see the fatal shooting of North Charleston local Walter Scott by police officer Michael… Read

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‘Jackie’ Production Designer Jean Rabasse On Hurdles Faced In Recreating One Of American History’s Darkest Moments

Pablo Larrain, Jean Rabasse - Jackie.jpeg

Oscar nominated for 2000's Vatel, starring Uma Thurman and Gérard Depardieu, French production designer Jean Rabasse was thrilled to be brought on board for Pablo Larrain's Jackie, a shoot which allowed him to immerse himself in American history and lore, and to visit Washington D.C. for the first time. Certainly, Jackie presented its share of challenges for Rabasse. With 10 weeks of prep and 27 shooting days in France, Rabasse was floored by Larrain's efficiency on the… Read

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‘Moana’-Opening Animated Short ‘Inner Workings’: Director Leo Matsuda On The Anatomy Of The Idea

INNER WORKINGS - (Pictured) Leo Matsuda. Photo by:  . All Rights Reserved.

Currently at work on Disney’s Frozen 2, a follow-up to the wintry 2013 smash, Leo Matsuda is among those individuals who have made the leap from Disney story artist to the writer and director of his own animated short. The film is Inner Workings, a charming 3D animated film with 2D interludes, depicting one man’s conflict between heart and mind, logic and emotion. Speaking with Deadline, Matsuda discusses the film’s unique conception of human anatomy, the experience of… Read

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Laura Dern On ‘Certain Women’, ‘The Founder’ And The Importance Of Understanding Small-Town America

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Oscar nominee Laura Dern, last competing for her role as Reese Witherspoon’s mother in Jean-Marc Vallée’s Wild, had a productive and politically charged 2016, finding roles in Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women and John Lee Hancock’s Ray Kroc biopic, The Founder. In Reichardt’s film, Dern portrays a beat down, small town lawyer confronting masculine insanity, arrogance and neglect; in Hancock’s, she faces off against Michael Keaton’s Kroc, one of the most famous and… Read

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‘Passengers’ Supervising Sound Editor Will Files Launches Into A New, Kubrick-Inspired Sci-Fi Realm

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An artist equally comfortable in the depths of outer space and in rural, small-town Virginia, in both epic and indie worlds, supervising sound editor Will Files contributed sound designs for two of this year's acclaimed pictures at opposite ends of the spectrum, the tense sci-fi actioner Passengers and Jeff Nichols' interracial marriage drama, Loving. In the former case, working alongside director Morten Tyldum and picture editor Maryann Brandon, Files was committed to… Read

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‘Arrival’ Editor Joe Walker’s “Super Power” To Manipulate Time

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This time last year, while on the press circuit for Denis Villeneuve's Sicario, Oscar-nominated editor Joe Walker had one project to remain tight-lipped about, with the director's follow-up feature, the unusual and elegant sci-fi pic Arrival; and now, with the conclusion of production on Blade Runner 2049 in Budapest, he has another. Coming from a background in sound, Walker not only cut picture, crafting the tension and reworking the film's structure throughout, but also… Read

Awards News

Oscars: Sci-Tech Winners Announced

Academy of Motion Picture Logo

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said today that 18 achievements from 34 individual recipients and five organizations will received its 2017 Scientific and Technical Awards. The hardware will be handed out February 11 at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills. "This year we are particularly pleased to be able to honor not only a wide range of new technologies but also the pioneering digital cinema cameras that helped facilitate the widespread conversion to… Read