Monday, December 10, 2018

News Briefs

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  • Monday, Dec. 10, 2018
Creative Partnership expands U.S. base with Gardiner at helm
Chris Warrington (l) and Michelle Gardiner
LOS ANGELES & LONDON -- 

Film marketing agency Creative Partnership has expanded its U.S. operation and leadership team. Managing director Michelle Gardiner is relocating from London to the West Coast where she will head up the company’s existing Los Angeles operation as executive VP. Taking over at the agency’s London headquarters is film and entertainment marketing executive Chris Warrington, who joins as managing partner.

“The aim of this new leadership structure is to strengthen our client offering and reinforce the connection between our international presences on both sides of the Atlantic,” said Gardiner.

“With these two contact points we’re able to offer a more transparent chain of brand and creative custody for clients, deliver them more integrated global campaigns, protect their valuable assets and drive their businesses. This is an exciting time of change for Creative Partnership and I’m delighted to be based stateside and to continue to work closely with creative director Mia Matson, Chris and our L.A. team to deliver exceptional creative.”

Creative Partnership, which became part of the AKA Group in 2012, has nearly 40 years of experience in delivering creative campaigns for some of the biggest names in film and TV distribution and has seen significant growth under Gardiner’s direction. Recent projects include international print, digital and social campaigns for Mary Queen of Scots, Johnny English 3, and Mamma Mia 2. The agency also ran origination work and U.K. distribution campaigns for The Little Stranger and Goodbye Christopher Robin. 

Warrington brings extensive experience in film and entertainment marketing, both client- and agency-side, at companies including Twentieth Century Fox, Icon Film Distribution, and most recently Trafalgar Releasing, where he led the campaigns for Peter Jackson’s They Shall Not Grow Old and this year’s record-breaking global release of The King And I: From The Palladium.

“I’ve been a great admirer of Creative Partnership for many years, ever since being awestruck by their iconic designs for Reservoir Dogs! The legacy of the agency’s work speaks for itself and with Michelle and Mia’s direction, the CP team has created campaigns that capture the essence of a story and what attracts an audience to it,” said Warrington. 

  • Monday, Dec. 10, 2018
"Fearless Girl" statue gets new permanent home
The Fearless Girl statue is unveiled at its new location in front of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in New York. The statue, considered by many to symbolize female empowerment, was previously located near the Charging Bull statue on lower Broadway. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

The "Fearless Girl" statue that inspired millions with a message of female empowerment has a new permanent home in front of the New York Stock Exchange.

The statue was removed on Nov. 27 from its spot opposite Wall Street's "Charging Bull" and unveiled at its new location Monday.

The hands-on-hips bronze statue was intended as a temporary display when the Boston-based State Street Global Advisors installed it, as part of a campaign created by ad agency McCann New York, in March 2017 to encourage corporations to put more women on their boards.

Tourists flocked to a traffic island for selfies with the 4-foot (130-centimeter) bronze celebrity. City officials said the crowds were causing a traffic hazard.

The bull will join the Fearless Girl at a later date.

  • Friday, Dec. 7, 2018
"Roma" to be released in 600-plus theaters worldwide
A scene from "Roma," by filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron. (Netflix)
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- 

Netflix has confirmed that Academy Award® winning director and writer Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, produced by Esperanto Filmoj and Participant Media, will be released in over 100 theaters in the United States and more than 500 theaters internationally in over 40 countries, curated by Netflix by territory around the release of the film on the service on December 14​.

The theatrical presentation of the film began in the United States and Mexico on November 21, already selling out theaters in New York, Los Angeles, Mexico City, London and Toronto, among others.

The passion and pride from viewers in Mexico created a reported “​Roma ​fever,” leading to an increasing number of theaters reaching out to exhibit the film. ​Roma​ will be in nearly 100 theaters throughout the country this weekend.

This weekend the film will continue its expansion, hitting nearly 50 theaters in the U.S. and over 200 theaters internationally. The innovative roll-out allows consumers worldwide the opportunity to experience the film theatrically, both before and during the film’s global streaming release, where it will be available to over 130M people.

The film premiered earlier this year at the Venice Film Festival where it took home the Golden Lion for best film and has played in nearly 70 film festivals to great acclaim worldwide. The film, a timely story about the human condition, has received numerous accolades, including recently being named Best Picture of the year by the New York Film Critics Circle, a prestigious award from the American Film Institute and three Golden Globe Award nominations. 

“We love this film and our goal is to bring this cinematic experience to audiences everywhere, and our theatrical plan, combined with the reach of our service, has made ​Roma ​an event film and cultural moment,” said Scott Stuber, head of Netflix’s film group. “​Roma has played in festivals all over the world and we’re expanding our theatrical engagements, not only in major markets, but also in places like Honduras, South Africa, and Iceland.”

“Alfonso and everyone at Participant believe strongly in the theatrical experience,” said David Linde, CEO of Participant Media. “Choice and increased audience diversity around the world are also very important, and this incredible combination of the two worlds is something very exciting.”

  • Friday, Dec. 7, 2018
Hart steps down as Oscars host after outcry over old tweets
In this Dec. 11, 2017 file photo, Kevin Hart arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Just two days after being named host of the Academy Awards, Kevin Hart stepped down following an outcry over past homophobic tweets by the comedian.

Capping a swift and dramatic fallout, Hart wrote on Twitter just after midnight Friday that he was withdrawing as Oscars host because he didn't want to be a distraction. "I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past," wrote Hart.

Hart stepped aside just about an hour after refusing to apologize for tweets that resurfaced after he was announced as Oscars host on Tuesday. In a video on Instagram, Hart said the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences gave him an ultimatum: apologize or "we're going to have to move on and find another host."

"I chose to pass on the apology," Hart said. "The reason why I passed is because I've addressed this several times."

The film academy didn't respond to messages Thursday evening.

Hart has since deleted some of the anti-gay tweets, mostly dated from 2009-2011. But they had already been screen-captured and been shared online. In 2011, he wrote in a since-deleted tweet: "Yo if my son comes home & try's 2 play with my daughters doll house I'm going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice 'stop that's gay."

In an earlier post Thursday, Hart wrote on Instagram that critics should "stop being negative" about his earlier anti-gay remarks.

"I'm almost 40 years old. If you don't believe that people change, grow, evolve? I don't know what to tell you," said Hart, who added, in all-caps: "I love everybody."

Hart's attitudes about homosexuality were also a well-known part of his stand-up act. In the 2010 special "Seriously Funny," he said "one of my biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay."

"Keep in mind, I'm not homophobic, I have nothing against gay people, do what you want to do, but me, being a heterosexual male, if I can prevent my son from being gay, I will," Hart said.

GLAAD, the advocacy group for LGBTQ rights, said Thursday that it reached out to Oscars broadcaster ABC, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and Hart's management to "discuss Kevin's anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and record."

Comedian and actor Billy Eichner said "a simple, authentic apology showing any bit of understanding or remorse would have been so simple."

It's not the first time an Oscars host has been derailed by anti-gay remarks. Ahead of the 2012 Academy Awards, producer Brett Ratner, who had been paired with host Eddie Murphy, resigned days after using a gay slur at a film screening. Murphy soon after exited, as well.

That year, a tried-and-true Oscars veteran — Billy Crystal — jumped in to save the show, hosting for his eighth time. This time, speculation has already been rampant that few in Hollywood want the gig, for which few win glowing reviews.

The film academy moved up this year's ceremony to Feb. 24, giving producers little time to find a replacement.

  • Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018
McGill, Deaton to receive special DGA Awards
Kathleen McGill (l) and Mimi (Marian) Deaton (photo courtesy of DGA)
LOS ANGELES -- 

The Directors Guild of America has announced the recipients of two special DGA Awards recognizing extraordinary contribution to the Guild: UPM Kathleen McGill and associate director Mimi (Marian) Deaton will be honored at the 71st Annual DGA Awards on Saturday, February 2, 2019 at the Hollywood & Highland Center’s Ray Dolby Ballroom in Hollywood.

McGill will receive the DGA’s 2019 Frank Capra Achievement Award, which is given to an assistant director or unit production manager in recognition of career achievement in the industry and service to the Directors Guild of America.

Deaton will receive the DGA’s 2019 Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award, which is given to an associate director or stage manager in recognition of service to the industry and to the Directors Guild of America.

“Kathy and Mimi embody the type of leadership, dedication and distinguished commitment that these special Awards were designed to celebrate,” said Thomas Schlamme, DGA president. “Even with active, successful careers, they have both devoted countless hours in service to the DGA representing their fellow members and advocating on their behalf, strengthening our Guild and reinforcing our mission to protect and promote the economic and creative rights of our members.”

The awards will be presented at the 71st Annual DGA Awards on Saturday, February 2, 2019

Kathleen McGill
McGill began her entertainment career as a production accountant before joining the Guild as a UPM in 1995. Since becoming a DGA member, she has focused on educating and mentoring her fellow members, all the while steadily working as a UPM on major motion pictures including Brian DePalma’s Snake Eyes and Ron Howard’s The Da Vinci Code, Frost/Nixon and his DGA Award-winning feature, A Beautiful Mind. Since 2012 she has worked as the UPM on the X-Men franchise including Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse, and is currently at work on Simon Kinberg’s X-Men: Dark Phoenix.

McGill’s service to the DGA began when she was first elected to the Eastern AD/UPM Council in 2000. She has since served ten terms on the Council including being elected Council chair from 2014-2017. Currently a DGA National Board member, McGill was first elected to the Board in 2003 as an alternate and has since served eight consecutive terms.

McGill also served on the DGA Negotiations Committee for the 2011, 2014 and 2017 negotiations cycles, and as a delegate to the DGA Biennial Conventions. Her various committee appointments through the years include the First-Time Feature Film Award Screening Committee, the DGA Honors Committee, and several Eastern AD/UPM Council Committees.

Mimi (Marian) Deaton
Deaton has been a member of the DGA for over three decades. She has served on the Western AD/SM/PA Council for 21 years, including spending the last four as second vice-chair of the Council. In 2017, she was elected as a second alternate on the DGA National Board.

Deaton began her associate director career working on classic sitcoms. Her extensive experience in the multi-camera genre includes 119 episodes of Martin, 92 episodes of the Facts of Life, 80 episodes of Reba, and more. She has also been very active in the Guild’s work to expand multi-camera creative rights. Her other work includes episodes of sitcoms such as The Neighborhood; Bizaardvark; Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn; Melissa & Joey; The Soul Man; and Carol & Company.

Since first being elected to the Western AD/SM/PA Council as an alternate in 1998, Deaton’s service to the DGA also includes her time on the DGA Negotiating Committee during the 2002, 2005, 2008, 2014 and 2017 negotiations cycles. She was instrumental in the Guild’s fight to increase the Basic Cable multi-camera rates and she worked closely with her AD/UPM colleagues to improve economic and industry parity with network productions.

  • Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018
Sean Penn working on documentary about Saudi writer's death
In this Wednesday Dec. 5, 2018 photo, US actor Sean Penn, left, is filmed near the Saudi Arabia's consulate building in Istanbul. Yasin Aktay, an adviser to Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, told The Associated Press Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, that Penn is in Turkey working on a documentary about the slaying of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the consulate on Oct. 2, 2018. (IHA via AP)
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- 

A Turkish official says Sean Penn is in Turkey working on a documentary about the slaying of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Yasin Aktay, an adviser to Turkey's president, tells The Associated Press on Thursday that the two-time Oscar winner interviewed him in Ankara as part of his "preliminary preparations" for the documentary before leaving for Istanbul where he was due to meet with Khashoggi's Turkish fiancee.

The Washington Post columnist who was critical of the Saudi crown prince was killed by Saudi agents on Oct. 2 after arriving to handle routine paperwork. Aktay, who was a friend of Khashoggi's, was the first to alert authorities that the journalist had disappeared inside the consulate.

Turkish media showed Penn filming in front of the consulate building Wednesday.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018
Viola Davis says "stop taming us" at Hollywood event
Viola Davis arrives at The Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment Breakfast at Milk Studios on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Actress and producer Viola Davis gave a rousing speech about leadership and authenticity to a well-heeled crowd of Hollywood power players Wednesday morning at The Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment breakfast.

Davis, who was being honored with the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award, said that she doesn't always come to mind when she thinks of the idea of leadership — Martin Luther King, Jr. does — but that she is trying through her production company to embrace women of color as they really are.

"There is no limit to how we see narratives with people of color," Davis said to a rapt crowd that included Mandy Moore, Lupita Nyong'o, Awkwafina, Rita Wilson, "Roma" breakout Yalitza Aparicio and Kesha. "There is only so much I am going to cow tow to this business."

She said she and her husband Julius Tennon started JuVee Productions because she was tired of celebrating movies that didn't have "me in it."

"I don't mean me Viola," Davis said. "I mean me as a black woman."

She urged those in power in Hollywood to show more authentic black female characters. "My main message is 'stop taming us,' she said. "Everything that we are inside is what makes art in this world rich ... There is something to be said about being wild. Steve McQueen is wild. Barry Jenkins. Ryan Coogler.... These people who just dare. Who say you cannot silence me."

Even when there are black characters, she said, they're reduced to being maternal, to being the savior, to being denied sexuality, to being there to, "Make that white character feel better."

"What is in my heart is I cannot lead with bull(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)," she said. "I cannot lead with lying. I cannot lead with the lying about what the road is out there."

Her company recently closed a first look feature production deal with Amazon Studios, where they will produce a film about pioneering politician Shirley Chisholm. Davis will star as the New York congresswoman.

Davis was in good company at the breakfast event, where comedian Hannah Gadsby chided "good men talking about bad men" and Monica Lewinsky talked about her "mistake" and learning how to survive and grow from it.

"We have each made a mistake in our career that has come with consequences. And probably everyone in this room can agree, that among all of us here today, when it comes to the worst mistake or mistake with the worst consequences, I definitely win, hands down," Lewinsky said. "Get comfortable with the fact that at some point you will make a mistake in your career...And know, from the deepest part of you, that you can move on from it, you can grow from it, and you can survive it."

One person who owned up to a mistake was Lena Dunham, who came on stage with the mother of a woman who accused a "Girls" writer of sexual assault last November. Dunham at the time came out in support of the writer, who was her friend, and questioned the account of Aurora Perrineau. Since then Dunham has become friends with Aurora and her mother Brittany Perrineau.

"I denied her experience publicly. That will always be my greatest regret," Dunham said. "But with Brittany and Aurora's love, forgiveness and bravery it has become my greatest moment of evolution and education...I learned to listen."

  • Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018
Sandra Oh, Andy Samberg to host Golden Globe ceremony
In this Sept. 17, 2018 file photo, Sandra Oh, left, and Andy Samberg present an award at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. Oh and Samberg will share host duties at next month’s Golden Globe ceremony. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg will share host duties at next month's Golden Globe Awards.

Producers on Wednesday announced the co-hosts for the Jan. 6 ceremony. The Globes are hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which presents awards for film and TV.

Oh won a 2006 Golden Globe for "Grey's Anatomy." This year, she became the first actress of Asian ethnicity to receive an Emmy nomination for drama series lead, for "Killing Eve."

Samberg won two Golden Globes in 2014 for "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," for best comedy actor and as a producer.

He was the 2016 Emmy Awards host, while Oh is a newcomer to handling emcee duties for a major ceremony.

Nominees will be announced Thursday morning. The three-hour Golden Globes ceremony will air live on NBC from Beverly Hills.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018
Lena Dunham sorry for supporting writer accused of assault
This combination photo shows actress Aurora Perrineau in Los Angeles on Feb. 17, 2015, left, and actress-writer Lena Dunham in New York on May 29, 2018. (AP Photo)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Lena Dunham is apologizing to actress Aurora Perrineau for defending a writer Perrineau accused of sexual misconduct.

Writing Wednesday in The Hollywood Reporter, Dunham says she "did something inexcusable" in supporting producer and writer Murray Miller. Dunham says she didn't have the "insider information" that she claimed and was acting on "blind faith." She says she wanted to feel her workplace was safe. Miller worked on Dunham's "Girls" series.

She tells Perrineau, "I believe you, Aurora." Dunham praised the 24-year-old actress and model's "bravery, openness, forgiveness, dignity and grace."

In 2017, Perrineau accused Miller of sexually assaulting her when she was 17 years old. The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office declined to file charges in August.

Miller has denied the "outrageous" allegations against him.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018
Netflix maintains high-priced relationship with "Friends"
This Oct. 11, 2011 file photo, shows the exterior of Netflix headquarters in Los Gatos, Calif. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- 

Netflix will still be there for fans of the old TV series "Friends," but maintaining the relationship will come at a steep price.

The video streaming service paid $100 million to keep showing "Friends" in the U.S. through 2019, according to a report in the New York Times . That's more than triple the $30 million a year Netflix had been paying for the long-running TV series about six 20-something friends in New York. The report cited two unidentified people with direct knowledge of Netflix's deal with the series' rights holder, AT&T.

Netflix tweeted that it will continue showing "Friends," but didn't disclose financial details. The Los Gatos, California, company declined further comment Tuesday.

Netflix's willingness to pay so much for a series that ended in 2004 is the latest sign of intensifying competition in video streaming.

Besides current rivals such as Hulu and Amazon, Netflix is also facing a significant threat next year when Walt Disney Co. plans to roll out a video streaming service featuring its popular movies and TV shows. As part of its move into streaming, Disney will be pulling much of the entertainment that it has licensed to Netflix for years.

That setback may have figured into Netflix's calculations about how much "Friends" is worth to its service. But Netflix is still spending far more on original programming such as "Stranger Things" and "The Crown" to distinguish itself from its rivals. The strategy has forced Netflix to take on billions of dollars in debt to pay for the programming, but it has helped the company build the world's largest video streaming service with 137 million subscribers.

AT&T also is planning to offer a video streaming service, and there is nothing in its deal with Netflix that prevents it from featuring "Friends" on that service beginning in 2020, according to the Times.

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