Friday, September 21, 2018

News Briefs

Displaying 11 - 20 of 3188
  • Friday, Sep. 14, 2018
Mexico vies for best foreign film Oscar with Cuaron's "Roma"
This image released by Netflix shows a scene from the film "Roma." The Mexican film academy announced Friday that it has chosen “Roma”, by Academy Award-winner Alfonso Cuaron, as its bid for a best foreign language film nomination. (Netflix via AP)
MEXICO CITY (AP) -- 

The ninth time may be the charm for Mexico at the Oscars. The Mexican film academy announced Friday that it has chosen "Roma," by Alfonso Cuaron, as its bid for a best foreign language film nomination.

"Roma," which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, is a deeply personal film for the director of "Gravity" and "Children of Men." It is Cuaron's first in Spanish and first filmed in his native country since his 2001 breakthrough "Y Tu Mama Tambien."

Mexico has competed for the trophy eight times, most recently in 2011 with "Biutiful" by Alejandro G. Inarritu, but has never won.

"Roma," with Oscar-winner Cuaron also serving as cinematographer, will be available on Netflix this December.

Academy Award nominations will be announced on Jan. 22.

  • Thursday, Sep. 13, 2018
Beyond fake news? Facebook to fact check photos, videos
In this May 1, 2018, file photo Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg makes the keynote address at F8, Facebook's developer conference in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Facebook says it is expanding its fact-checking program to include photos and videos as it fights fake news and misinformation on its service.

Malicious groups seeking to sow political discord in the U.S. and elsewhere have been embracing images and video to spread misinformation.

The company has been testing the image fact-checks since the spring, beginning with France and the news agency AFP. Now, it will send all of its 27 third-party fact-checkers disputed photos and videos to verify. Fact-checkers can also find them on their own.

Facebook will label images or video found to be untrue or misleading as such.

Facebook says the fact-checkers use visual verification techniques such as reverse image searching and analyzing image metadata to check the veracity of photos and videos.

  • Thursday, Sep. 13, 2018
American Film Market unveils expanded program
Jean Prewitt, president & CEO of the Independent Film & Television Alliance
LOS ANGELES -- 

The American Film Market (AFM®) has announced the expansive programming lineup for its Conferences, Roundtables, Workshops, and Spotlight Events which will feature international industry experts, decision makers, and academics, and run alongside the AFM’s industry screenings and marketplace. This year’s market is taking place October 31-November 7 in Santa Monica.

AFM’s panel programming is anchored by its five-day Conference Series which this year launches with The Global Perspective Conference. The half-day event taking place on Friday, Nov. 2, will open with a discussion between Jean Prewitt, president/CEO of the Independent Film & Television Alliance, and Charles Rivkin, chairman/CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, on the major challenges and opportunities facing the film industry and how their organizations are addressing them.  The opening dialogue will be followed by two panel sessions that will bring together high-level producers, financiers, buyers and distributors to discuss business strategies and how the marketplace is evolving.

Also new to the lineup is a half-day Conference dedicated to Blockchain set for Saturday, Nov. 3. The event will be moderated by Pepperdine professor and Forbes writer Nelson Granados, with presentations and discussions with companies that are transforming independent film financing, production, and distribution with this groundbreaking technology.

In addition, this year’s AFM Roundtables, which explore specialized and timely issues, will take place in a larger venue, the AFM Gallery at Le Merigot Hotel, and feature sessions and programming partners including:

  • International Awakening: Investing in Gender Diversity for Expanding Audiences Around the Globe - Presented in partnership with Reframe
  • Using Intellectual Property to Boost the Visibility of LGBTQ Characters - Presented in partnership with Outfest
  • Boosting Your Micro-Budget - Presented in partnership with Slamdance
  • Why Do Some Horror Films Work While Others Don’t? - Presented in partnership with Dread Central
  • Producing Passion Documentaries - Moderated by KCRW’s Matt Holzman

 
AFM managing director Jonathan Wolf commented, “AFM is the perfect environment for international experts, leaders and visionaries to engage in discussions and debates.  Our expanded programming of more than 40 sessions will address the topics most important to AFM’s global participants.”

After a highly successful launch in 2017, the Writer’s Workshops will return to AFM.  Helmed by UCLA and other academic instructors, these four workshops cover screenwriting and storytelling tips and techniques.

To round out the market’s panel programming, an array of Spotlight Events with topics ranging from Understanding Distribution in China to Working with the U.S. Guilds will join the AFM’s popular returning Conferences including Pitch, Finance, Production, and Distribution.

  • Wednesday, Sep. 12, 2018
"60 Minutes" chief Jeff Fager out at CBS
In this Sept. 12, 2017 file photo, "60 Minutes" Executive Producer Jeff Fager poses for a photo at the "60 Minutes" offices, in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

CBS News on Wednesday fired "60 Minutes" top executive Jeff Fager, who has been under investigation following reports that he groped women at parties and tolerated an abusive workplace.

The network news president, David Rhodes, said Fager's firing was "not directly related" to the allegations against him, but because he violated company policy. Fager said it was because of a text message he sent to a CBS News reporter who was covering the story about him.

"My language was harsh and, despite the fact that journalists receive harsh demands for fairness all the time, CBS did not like it," Fager said.

The investigation into Fager by an outside law firm is not complete. Fager has denied charges made by former CBS employees in the New Yorker magazine of personal misbehavior at parties and not disciplining people under him who had misconduct issues.

Fager said he would not have thought that one note would have resulted in a dismissal after 36 years at the network, "but it did." CBS had no immediate comment on his characterization of the action.

"60 Minutes" is the most popular and powerful network news broadcast on television, and Fager is only the second person to lead it during its 50 years of history. He was appointed in 2004 to succeed founding executive Don Hewitt.

He worked to modernize the broadcast and uphold its standards during a changing of the guard from the show's original cast of figures like Mike Wallace, Morley Safer and Andy Rooney.

His firing came only three days after the CBS Corp. board ousted the company's chief executive, Leslie Moonves, who was charged with sexual misconduct in the same New Yorker articles.

Fager and Rhodes had worked for several years as a team, when Fager was appointed CBS News chairman by Moonves. Rhodes was then brought in as news president, taking over full management of the news division when Fager went back to solely running "60 Minutes."

Fager's second in command at "60 Minutes," Bill Owens, will run the show while a search is conducted for a permanent replacement, Rhodes said. The show debuts a new season on Sept. 30.

 

  • Wednesday, Sep. 12, 2018
Warner Bros. distances itself from "A Star Is Born" producer Peters
In this May 1, 2007 file photo, Hollywood producer Jon Peters poses with his new star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame during dedication ceremonies in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)
TORONTO (AP) -- 

Just as film festival audiences are swooning over Bradley Cooper's celebrated romance "A Star Is Born," the film's studio is distancing itself from a producer of the project.

Jon Peters is a credited producer of the new "A Star Is Born," the third remake of the Hollywood fable. Peters was instrumental in the making of the 1976 version of "A Star Is Born," which starred his then-girlfriend Barbra Streisand.

But with the new film in the spotlight, Peters' history has come under scrutiny. A report Tuesday by Jezebel took issue with Peters, in the #MeToo era, being a producer on one of the fall's biggest releases.

In August 2011, a Los Angeles jury awarded one of Peters' former employees, Shelly Morita, more than $3.3 million in a harassment case she filed against the producer. The jury determined Peters subjected Morita to "severe and pervasive" harassment and a "hostile or abusive" work environment.

Peters and Morita entered into a later agreement overturning the judgment in the case. The terms were not disclosed.

Warner Bros., which produced and will release "A Star Is Born" next month, said Tuesday it was contractually bound to credit Peters.

"Jon Peters' attachment to this property goes as far back as 1976," said the studio in a statement. "Legally, we had to honor the contractual obligation in order to make this film."

The Producers Guild of America also confirmed Tuesday that it has ruled that Peters did not work enough on the film to receive a "producers mark." In the film's credits, Peters' name doesn't include the "p.g.a." label of a producers mark.

That has potential ramifications for "A Star Is Born" in awards season, where it is expected to be a heavyweight contender. Peters wouldn't likely be among the listed producers, for example, should the film be nominated for best picture. He would not get an Oscar, if the film were to win.

The new version of "A Star Is Born," which stars Cooper and Lady Gaga, was in development for years. One earlier incarnation was to be directed by Clint Eastwood and star Beyonce.

But while "A Star Is Born" went through multiple iterations, one of the film's producers, Bill Gerber, earlier praised Peters work on it.

"There were a lot of complicated deals on 'Star Is Born,' a lot of heavy-hitters," Gerber told The Hollywood Reporter last year. "And Jon could not have been more helpful in getting it all in line."

After-hours messages left for Peters were not immediately returned.

  • Tuesday, Sep. 11, 2018
Tate Modern makes time for 24-hour movie "The Clock"
People watch a section of the 24 hour video installation by Christian Marclay, which is entitled ' The Clock' at the Tate Modern in London, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
LONDON (AP) -- 

Christian Marclay's "The Clock" is both the ultimate feature film and an artwork you can set your watch by.

The Swiss-American artist has edited together thousands of movie clips containing clocks, watches or references to the time — one or more for every minute of the day — into a 24-hour video.

It's a mesmerizing patchwork, full of sex, drama, action, excitement and hundreds of characters, that moves forward in time as it dances back and forth across film history.

First displayed in 2010, the piece goes on show this week at London's Tate Modern , which plans several all-night openings so that it can be shown in its entirety.

Marclay knows most visitors won't see the whole thing, and admitted Tuesday that he's never sat through the full 24 hours.

  • Tuesday, Sep. 11, 2018
Google case set to examine if EU data rules extend globally
In this April 17, 2007, file photo exhibitors of the Google company work in front of a illuminated sign at the industrial fair Hannover Messe in Hannover, Germany. Google is taking its legal fight against an order requiring it to extend "right to be forgotten" rules to its search engines globally to Europe's top court. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer, File)
LONDON (AP) -- 

Google is going to Europe's top court in its legal fight against an order requiring it to extend "right to be forgotten" rules to its search engines globally.

The technology giant is set for a showdown at the European Union Court of Justice in Luxembourg on Tuesday with France's data privacy regulator over an order to remove search results worldwide upon request.

The dispute pits data privacy concerns against the public's right to know, while also raising thorny questions about how to enforce differing legal jurisdictions when it comes to the borderless internet.

The two sides will be seeking clarification on a 2015 decision by the French regulator requiring Google to remove results for all its search engines on request, and not just on European country sites like google.fr.

Google declined to comment ahead of the hearing. Its general counsel, Kent Walker, said in a blog post in November that complying with the order "would encourage other countries, including less democratic regimes, to try to impose their values on citizens in the rest of the world."

"These cases represent a serious assault on the public's right to access lawful information," he added.

In an unusual move, the court has allowed a collection of press freedom, free speech and civil rights groups to submit their opinions on the case. These groups agree with Google that forcing internet companies to remove website links threatens access to information and could pave the way for censorship by more authoritarian regimes such as China, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

The court's ruling is expected within months. It will be preceded by an opinion from the court's advocate general.

The case stems from a landmark 2014 Court of Justice ruling that people have the right to control what appears when their name is searched online. That decision forced Google to delete links to outdated or embarrassing personal information that popped up in searches of their names.

Authorities are now starting to worry about the risk that internet users can easily turn to proxy servers and virtual private networks to spoof their location, allowing them to dig up the blocked search results.

Google said in its most recent transparency report that it has received requests to delete about 2.74 million web links since the ruling, and has deleted about 44 percent of them.

Not all requests are waved through. In a related case that will also be heard Tuesday, the EU court will be asked to weigh in on a request by four people in France who want their search results to be purged of any information about their political beliefs and criminal records, without taking into account public interest. Google had rejected their request, which was ultimately referred to the ECJ.

  • Monday, Sep. 10, 2018
Study: Middle Eastern actors ignored, stereotyped by TV
This combination photo shows, from left, Egyptian-American actor Rami Malek, who stars on “Mr. Robot,” Turkish-American actor Ennis Esmer, who stars in "Red Oaks," and Iranian-American actress Necar Zadegan, who stars in “Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce." A new study says actors of Middle Eastern and North African descent are either ignored on TV or stereotyped. Malek, Esmer and Zadegan were described as “exemplary” in the report. (AP Photo)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Actors and characters of Middle Eastern and North African descent are either ignored by TV or stereotyped, according to a new study.

The few such actors who get work are largely confined to playing tyrants and terrorists, said the university-funded study released Monday.

One percent of regularly seen TV series actors have roots in countries including Egypt, Turkey and Israel. But estimates show about 3 percent of the U.S. population, 10 million people, are from the region, said the study's lead author, Biola University associate professor Nancy Wang Yuen.

Researchers who examined 242 scripted prime-time series on broadcast, cable and streaming during the 2015-16 season found that between 90 percent and 97 percent had no characters of Middle Eastern or North African ethnicity.

When those characters do appear, 78 percent are tyrants or trained terrorists, agents or soldiers, the study said. Most speak with obvious foreign accents.

Ninety percent of shows with such characters feature just one — with the now-ended "Tyrant," a drama set in the Middle East, among the exceptions.

The study warned that such depictions can contribute to the rise of anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant sentiment in American society.

Three instances were described as "exemplary" in the report: Iranian-American actress Necar Zadegan's portrayal of an attorney on Bravo's "Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce," the cyber-security engineer played by Egyptian-American (and Emmy-winning) actor Rami Malek on "Mr. Robot" and a tennis pro on Amazon's "Red Oaks" played by Turkish-American actor Ennis Esmer.

"His ethnicity doesn't define the role, and he gets to be a full person aside from that, and in fact because of that," Esmer said of his character in a statement.

The entertainment industry as a whole must seek change, the study said. It recommended steps including the hiring and mentoring of Middle East and North African actors, directors, executives and others.

The study cited the work of actress Azita Ghanizada, who founded an advocacy coalition that successfully lobbied Hollywood guilds to include Middle East and North African performers in casting data reports.

The study received funding from schools including Biola University in La Mirada, California; California State University Fullerton; and San Jose State University, along with CBS Entertainment Diversity.

  • Saturday, Sep. 8, 2018
Study finds diversity in film criticism lacking
TORONTO (AP) -- 

USC's Annenberg Inclusion Initiative on Friday expanded on its previous findings regarding diversity in film criticism to give a more detailed look at what researchers conclude is a not level playing field for critics.

The study, the second in a three-part series, evaluated reviews posted by aggregator Rotten Tomatoes for the top 300 highest grossing films from 2015 through 2017. It found that 67.1 of the critics were male, 32.9 percent were female and that of critics with an "ascertainable" race or ethnicity, 23.2 percent were from minority groups while 76.8 percent were white.

The USC researches suggested the race or gender of a critic can have an effect on their reviews. They found that women of color were more likely to rate a movie with a minority female lead "fresh" than white male critics, though researches expressed caution on those results due to small sample size.

According to the study, entertainment trade publications contained the lowest percentage of female "top" critics (10 percent of reviews) on Rotten Tomatoes. General news outlets fared the best with 34.6 percent of reviews written by female "top" critics.

The center's earlier studied analyzed more than 19,000 reviews of the 100 top-grossing films of 2017. It found that nearly 80 percent of critics were male, according to reviews compiled by Rotten Tomatoes.

In response to the researchers' earlier study, the Toronto International Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival have sought to diversify its press corps by inviting and paying the way for underrepresented critics and journalists. The currently running Toronto Film Festival has brought nearly 200 critics (approximately 20 percent of the festival press) to Toronto.

Rotten Tomatoes has since modified its review aggregation to include a wider pool of critics.

  • Friday, Sep. 7, 2018
Director Ramaa Mosley's "Lost Child" opens in theaters on Sept. 14
Ramaa Mosley
LOS ANGELES -- 

Director Ramaa Mosley’s Lost Child, a feature she wrote along with producer Tim Macy, is slated to open in theaters on Sept. 14, distributed by Breaking Glass Pictures.

Lost Child stars Leven Rambin (Hunger Games, True Detective), Taylor John Smith (Sharp Objects) and Jim Parrack (Suicide Squad, True Blood). Mosley’s film follows an army vet, Fern, who returns home in order to look for her brother--only to discover an abandoned boy lurking in the woods behind her childhood home. After taking in the boy, she searches for clues to his identity, and discovers the local folklore about a malevolent, life-draining spirit that comes in the form of a child.

The thriller recently won Best Narrative Feature distinction at the 2018 Kansas City Film Festival, and the Best Actress honor for Rambin at the Taormina Film Festival. Lost Child was also an official selection at the Bentonville Film Festival, the Heartland Film Fest, and the Sarasota Film Festival.

Director/writer Mosley made her first film at the age of 16, winning the prestigious United Nations’ Global 500 Award in the process. Over the past 20 years, Mosley has directed feature films and hundreds of award -winning  commercials. Mosley  directed  her  debut  feature  film--based  on  the  original  comic  book she  co-wrote--titled The Brass Teapot starring Juno Temple. The Brass Teapot premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was distributed by Magnolia Pictures in 2013. It was nominated for the International Critics’ Award (FIPRESCI) and a Saturn Award.  

Mosley was recently named as part of NBC’s inaugural class for its new “Female Forward” directors initiative which will provide female directors a pipeline into scripted television. She has been paired with the hit show Blindspot.

Mosley also serves as founder/CEO/executive creative director of Adolescent Content, a commercialmaking and branded entertainment production house. Adolescent Content represents and develops prodigious Gen Z and Millennial directors working in youth advertising, entertainment, and marketing.

MySHOOT Profiles

Ky Dickens
Cinematographer, Director
Award Winning Writer-Director with International Experience
Director, Writer

Visual Effects and Animation

MySHOOT Company Profiles