Sunday, April 22, 2018

News Briefs

Displaying 1 - 10 of 2962
  • Friday, Apr. 20, 2018
Call for submissions opens for DGA Student Film Awards spotlighting diverse talent
LOS ANGELES -- 

The Directors Guild of America (DGA) announced that the application period for the 24th Annual DGA Student Film Awards for African-American, Asian-American, Latino, and women directors is now open. The awards are designed to honor, encourage and bring attention to exceptional direction by diverse student filmmakers in film schools and select universities across the country.

Over the years, the DGA Student Film Awards have highlighted dozens of African American, Asian American, Latino and Women filmmakers. Winners of the DGA Student Film Awards in each category will receive a $2,500 prize from the DGA and have their films screened in a special ceremony at the DGA Theater.  

A number of past winners have gone on to enjoy successful directing careers, including:

  • Steven Caple Jr. (Creed II; Grown-ish; Rapture; The Land)
  • Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians; Now You See Me 2; G.I. Joe: Retaliation; Step Up 3D)
  • Ryan Coogler (Black Panther; Creed; Fruitvale Station)
  • Nicole Kassell (Westworld; The Americans; The Following; The Killing)
  • Patricia Riggen (Miracles From Heaven; The 33; Lemonade Mouth; Under the Same Moon)
  • Sylvain White (Slender Man; The Americans; Hawaii Five-0; Empire; Stomp the Yard)

This year’s application period runs from April 18-October 5, 2018, and the winners in each category will be announced in November. 

Eligible films must be made in the 2017/2018 school year (September 2017 through August 2018), and produced as a student project under the supervision of a faculty member. Dramas, comedies and documentaries are all eligible. Animated films, experimental films, commercials, music videos and webisodes are not eligible. Applicants must be enrolled in, or be a recent (one-year) graduate from, an accredited post-secondary institution located in the United States and selected by the DGA. Eligible films are those in which a student holds every major crew position. 

The DGA Student Film Awards application and submission process is entirely online. For more information, or to begin the application process, visit here.

  • Thursday, Apr. 19, 2018
Nat Geo says "Frankenstein" author is its next "Genius"
In this April 24, 2017 file photo, filmmaker Ron Howard arrives at the premiere of "Genius", in Los Angeles. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

"Frankenstein" author Mary Shelley is the National Geographic TV network's third genius.

The network announced Thursday that the 19th-century writer will be the next subject of what is becoming a franchise, a miniseries on a particular historical figure. The first series, featuring Albert Einstein, premiered last year. The second, profiling artist Pablo Picasso, starts Tuesday.

Shelley was a prolific writer in the early 1800s, with "Frankenstein" in particular still alive as a piece of literature. The Shelley series will air in 2019, most likely in the spring. The same creative team of Brian Grazer and Ron Howard's Imagine Entertainment will make it.

Shelley died of a brain tumor in 1851 at age 53.

  • Thursday, Apr. 19, 2018
Company 3 opens new Chicago digs
Tyler Roth
CHICAGO -- 

Company 3’s Chicago color studio is relocating to a suite on State Street, housed on the 26th floor within the same building as Cutters Studios.

“We are very happy about this new location,” said Company 3 CEO Stefan Sonnenfeld. “Recent corporate changes have fueled some speculation about Company 3’s continued presence in Chicago but we fully intend to continue serving this very important region with Tyler (sr. colorist Roth) as the top talent in the city.”

Roth added, “Company 3 has been an integral part of the advertising community in Chicago since we opened the facility almost six years ago. I look forward to launching the new operation and continuing to partner with my agency friends, directors, cinematographers, and editors in our exciting new space.”

  • Wednesday, Apr. 18, 2018
3 more Nike execs depart amid probe into workplace behavior
In this Oct. 17, 2017 file photo, The Michael Jordan "Jumpman" logo is shown on merchandise at the Charlotte Hornets' NBA basketball fan store in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Three more Nike executives are leaving amid the company's efforts to overhaul workplace culture.

They are Vikrant Singh, a senior brand director for the Nike basketball brand in North America; Daniel Tawiah, vice president of global brand digital marketing innovation; and Antoine Andrews, vice president of diversity and inclusion.

Nike spokesman Greg Rossiter confirmed the departures but declined to say why they were leaving.

They come a month after Nike's CEO Mark Parker reportedly sent a memo to employees regarding inappropriate workplace behavior and plans to overhaul its leadership. That included the resignation of Trevor Edwards, seen as Parker's successor, and the exit of another executive, Jayme Martin.

Nike is the latest thrust into a movement that has spread after reports of sexual harassment allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

  • Wednesday, Apr. 18, 2018
Kristen Stewart, Ava DuVernay to serve on the Cannes Film Fest jury
In this March 24, 2018, file photo, Ava DuVernay attends the 35th Annual Paleyfest "Queen Sugar" at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Kristen Stewart and Ava DuVernay will serve on the Cannes Film Festival jury that will choose this year's Palme d'Or winner, the French festival announced Wednesday.

The French film festival Wednesday announced the jury that will serve under Cate Blanchett. Also joining them are filmmaker Denis Villeneuve, French actress Lea Seydoux, Chinese actor Chang Chen, French director Robert Guediguian, Burundian singer Khadja Nin and Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev.

Thierry Fremaux, the festival's artistic director, recently said that Cannes is paying more attention to "the gender ratio" on selection committees. Blanchett's jury will feature five women and four men. Some have criticized Cannes for not selecting more films directed by women. This year, there are three movies by female filmmakers in competition for the Palme.

The 71st annual Cannes Film Festival runs May 8 through May 19.

  • Wednesday, Apr. 18, 2018
Facebook is introducing more privacy safeguards to users in Europe 
In this May 16, 2012, file photo, the Facebook logo is displayed on an iPad in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
LONDON (AP) -- 

Facebook is enhancing privacy safeguards for users around the world as it complies with new European rules designed to make it easier for consumers to give and withdraw consent for the use of their data.

Facebook is introducing the new policies this week in Europe, but eventually everyone on the social network will be asked to decide whether they want to enable features like facial recognition and some types of targeted advertising, the company said in a blog post.

"Everyone - no matter where they live - will be asked to review important information about how Facebook uses data and make choices about their privacy on Facebook," the company said in a blog post. "We'll begin by rolling these choices out in Europe this week."

The announcement comes as Facebook struggles with the fallout from revelations that a data analytics firm misused personal information from as many as 87 million Facebook accounts to help Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. The European Union next month will begin enforcing its new General Data Protection Regulation, which explicitly applies to any company that uses the data of EU residents, no matter where it is based.

The privacy law is the latest attempt by EU regulators to rein in mostly American tech giants who they blame for avoiding tax, stifling competition and encroaching on digital privacy rights. The EU says the rules are the most important change in data privacy regulation in a generation as it tries to catch up with technological advances since 1995, when the last comprehensive rules were approved.

The EU rules require consent forms to be written in plain language anyone can understand, as the EU targets the legalese buried in pages of terms and conditions that few users actually read before clicking "I Agree." The regulations also require that consent must be as easy to withdraw as it is to give.

As part of the changes, Facebook users in Europe and Canada will for the first time be able to opt into the network's facial recognition technology, which has been available in most other parts of the world for the past six years, the company said.

Users will also be asked whether they want to allow Facebook to use data from partners such as apps and websites to tailor the ads they see, and whether they want to share political, religious or relationship information from their profiles.

"We not only want to comply with the law, but also go beyond our obligations to build new and improved privacy experiences for everyone on Facebook," the company said.

Meanwhile, the European Parliament renewed its call for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify about the data privacy scandal, after Zuckerberg offered to send a subordinate in his place.

In a letter to Zuckerberg on Wednesday, the EU assembly's president, Antonio Tajani, said that Europeans hit by the "scandal deserve a full and thorough explanation from Facebook's top manager."

  • Tuesday, Apr. 17, 2018
Steven Spielberg taking on DC Universe film "Blackhawk"
In this Feb. 5, 2018 file photo, Steven Spielberg arrives at the 90th Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Steven Spielberg is flying into the DC Universe with the World War II action adventure "Blackhawk."

Warner Bros. Chairman Toby Emmerich says Tuesday that the legendary filmmaker will produce and may direct the film for the studio.

The "Blackhawk" series started in 1941 and follows a group of ace WWII-era pilots as they fight evils, including the Axis powers.

"Jurassic Park" and "War of the Worlds" screenwriter David Koepp is writing the script.

Spielberg recently collaborated with Warner Bros. on the futuristic adventure "Ready Player One" which has made over $476 million worldwide.

The Oscar-winning director has a few projects on his plate first, however, including the fifth "Indiana Jones" and "West Side Story."

No release date has been set for "Blackhawk."

  • Tuesday, Apr. 17, 2018
DiCaprio to present Scorsese with Robert Osborne Award at TCM Film Festival
In this Dec. 9, 2013 file photo, Leonardo Di Caprio, left, and director Martin Scorsese arrive for the screening of their film, "The Wolf of Wall Street", in Paris. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Leonardo DiCaprio will present his friend and collaborator Martin Scorsese with the inaugural Robert Osborne Award for his contributions in keeping classic film relevant.

Turner Classic Movies says Tuesday that DiCaprio will present the award on the opening night of the TCM Classic Film Festival on April 26 in Hollywood at the TCL Chinese Theater.

DiCaprio has starred in five of Scorsese's films starting with "Gangs of New York" in 2002. Their other collaborations include "The Departed," ''The Aviator," ''Shutter Island" and "The Wolf of Wall Street."

The TCM Classic Film Festival is now in its ninth year. The event kicks off with the Robert Osborne Award presentation followed by a special screening of "The Producers," which Mel Brooks will be on hand to introduce.

  • Tuesday, Apr. 17, 2018
MTV's Video Music Awards are heading back to New York
On Tuesday, April 17, Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment commissioner Julie Menin, center, Darren Pfeffer, EVP of MSG live, left, and Bruce Gillmer, global head of music/talent MTV International announce the MTV VMAs' return to New York City outside Radio City Music Hall. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

After spending a year in California, the MTV Video Music Awards are coming back to the East Coast.

The network announced Tuesday that the 2018 VMAs will be held Aug. 20 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

Last year's ceremony was held in Inglewood, California, and the year before it was at New York's Madison Square Garden.

Radio City Music Hall was the home of the inaugural VMAs in 1984.

  • Tuesday, Apr. 17, 2018
Police: Suspect argued with men before fatal LA studio fire
Los Angeles firefighrers knock down hot spots on the roof of a music studio in Los Angeles Saturday, April 14, 2018. Officials says two people were killed and at least three others were hurt when flames ripped through the studio. Fire spokeswoman Amy Bastman says crews found heavy smoke when they responded shortly before 7 a.m. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Investigators believe a Los Angeles man had argued with two men hours before he spread gasoline inside a music studio and set it ablaze, killing them and leaving two other people critically injured, police said Monday.

Efrem Demery, 28, was arrested on suspicion of murder after Saturday's fire at the Top Notch Recording Studio, Los Angeles police Capt. William Hayes said.

Investigators are still working to pin down a motive but believe Demery had been hanging out with two of the victims, 28-year-old Devaughn Carter and 30-year-old Michael Pollard, when an argument broke out, Hayes said.

Several hours later, Demery was caught on surveillance video at a gas station across the street from the recording studio, police said. Detectives suspect Demery filled a container with gasoline then walked inside the recording studio, pouring gasoline around one of the rooms before lighting it on fire, Hayes said.

Carter and Pollard, who police said were the "intended targets," died. Two other people — a man in his 20s and a 15-year-old girl — were injured and remained in critical condition on Monday, police said.

The fatal fire was a "senseless and horrific crime," Chief of Detectives Justin Eisenberg said at a news conference.

Los Angeles Fire Department arson investigators have not yet determined whether the building was in compliance with building codes or whether there were working smoke alarms, officials said.

"The direct nature of going after these individuals is obviously very heinous," Hayes said. "Arson is a brutal crime and a terrible way to die."

Demery, who has prior arrests for burglary and selling counterfeit goods, was being held without bail. A telephone number listed for him in public records rang unanswered Monday afternoon.