Thursday, December 13, 2018

News Briefs

Displaying 1 - 10 of 3319
  • Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018
Hungarian director Ferenc Kosa, winner in Cannes, dies at 81
This March 15, 2017 file photo portrays Hungarian film director Ferenc Kosa in Budapest. Kosa died on Dec. 12, 2018, at the age of 81. (Attila Kovacs/MTI via AP, FILE)
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) -- 

Ferenc Kosa, winner of the best director award at the 1967 Cannes film festival, has died at 81, the Hungarian Academy of Arts said Wednesday.

Kosa was recognized in Cannes for "Ten Thousand Days," about the travails of a Hungarian peasant family from the 1930s onward. The film was banned for a few years by officials in communist Hungary because of its references to the 1956 anti-Soviet revolution.

"Through his talent and commitment, (Kosa) played a defining role in the renovation of the Hungarian film artistry of the era," the Hungarian Academy of Arts said. "'Ten Thousand Days' belongs by now to the classical assets of not just Hungarian, but universal film history."

Kosa co-wrote many of his scripts with poet and author Sandor Csoori and often worked with cinematographer Sandor Sara. Among the trio's works are "Ten Thousand Days," ''Judgment" (1970) and "Snowfall" (1974).

"Kuldetes" ("Mission"), his 1977 portrait of Andras Balczo, winner of a total of three gold and two silver medals in the modern pentathlon at three Olympic Games, was a big success in Hungary but later banned for its criticism of the communist system.

Upon Hungary's return to democracy in 1990, Kosa was a founder of the Socialist Party and a parliamentary lawmaker from 1990 to 2006. He played a key role in drafting Hungary's film and media laws, since greatly amended.

Kosa was born in Nyiregyhaza, northeastern Hungary.
 

  • Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018
CBS sells Television City for $750M to LA developer
In this July 30, 2018, photo the logo for CBS Corporation is displayed above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. CBS says it has sold Television City, its Los Angeles headquarters and production facility, to a real estate developer for about $750 million. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
LOS ANGELES -- 

CBS says it has sold Television City, its Los Angeles headquarters and production facility, to a real estate developer for $750 million.

Shows on Television City sound stages include "The Late Late Show with James Corden" and "The Price is Right." They will continue to be based there for at least five more years.

CBS said Monday that the buyer is Hackman Capital Partners and that it will have the right to use the Television City name in connection with its future operations on the property.

The media giant says the sale will increase its "financial flexibility."

CBS purchased the property in 1950 when it expanded operations from New York to the West Coast.

Shows produced there include "All In The Family," ''Three's Company," and "America's Got Talent."

  • Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018
Juliette Binoche to head Berlin film festival jury
In this Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015, file photo, French actress Juliette Binoche arrives on the red carpet for the opening film "Nobody Wants The Night" at the 2015 Berlinale Film Festival in Berlin. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
BERLIN (AP) -- 

Juliette Binoche will be the jury president at this winter's Berlin International Film Festival.

Organizers of the festival announced Tuesday that the French actress will lead the jury that presents the Golden Bear and other top awards at the 2019 event, which runs from Feb. 7 to Feb.17. There was no immediate word on who will join her on the jury.

Binoche ("The English Patient," ''Chocolat") said in a statement that she "will embrace my task with joy and care." This winter's event is the last "Berlinale" under longtime festival director Dieter Kosslick.

The festival will open with a premiere of Danish director Lone Scherfig's "The Kindness of Strangers."

  • Monday, Dec. 10, 2018
Google accelerates Plus closure after another privacy lapse
In this Dec. 4, 2017 file photo, people walk by Google offices in New York. Google is still having trouble protecting the personal information on its Plus service, prodding the company to accelerate its plans to shut down a little-used social network created to compete against Facebook. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- 

Google is still having trouble protecting the personal information on its Plus service, prodding the company to accelerate its plans to shut down a little-used social network created to compete against Facebook.

A privacy flaw that inadvertently exposed the names, email addresses, ages and other personal information of 52.5 million Google Plus users last month convinced Google to close the service in April instead of August, as previously announced. Google revealed the new closure date and its latest privacy lapse in a Monday blog post .

It's the second time in two months that Google has disclosed the existence of a problem that enabled unauthorized access to Plus profiles. In October, the company acknowledged finding a privacy flaw affecting 500,000 Plus users that it waited more than six months to disclose.

Google moved more quickly to own up to the most recent privacy problem on Plus. This time around, the names, email addresses, ages and other personal information of the affected Plus users were exposed for six days in November before it was fixed. No financial information or passwords were visible to intruders, according to Google. The company also said it hasn't seen evidence indicating that unauthorized users who accessed Plus through the inadvertent peephole have missed used any of the personal information.

Even if the latest privacy gaffe on Plus didn't cause any major damage, it nevertheless marks another embarrassing incident for Google. The company's business model relies on it being seen as a trustworthy guardian of the personal information it collects about the billions of people who use its search engine, Gmail, Chrome browser, maps, and Android software for smartphones.

Like Facebook, Google makes most of its money by selling ads that draw upon what the company learns about the interests, habits and locations of people while they're using its free services.

Google's privacy issues on Plus are likely to be a topic that U.S. lawmakers delve into Tuesday, when company CEO Sundar Pichai is scheduled to appear before a House committee. Pichai's appearance comes more than three months after he turned down an invitation to testify in August, to the consternation of some lawmakers. Some members of Congress are now mulling whether tougher regulations to curb the power of Google, Facebook and other technology companies are needed in addition demanding tighter controls over digital privacy.

Facebook has had even more trouble guarding the personal information that it scoops up on its social networking service, which now has more than 2.2 billion users. The most glaring breakdown emerged in March when Facebook acknowledged the personal information of as many as 87 million of its users had been shared with Cambridge Analytica, a data mining firm affiliated with President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign.

The desire to peer into people's lives is one of the reasons that Google launched Plus in 2011. It was supposed to be a challenger to Facebook's social network, but Plus turned into a digital ghost town that Google began to de-emphasize several years ago.

  • 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.

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