Friday, December 19, 2014

9 Foreign Language Films Advance in Oscar Race

Nine features will advance to the next round of voting in the Foreign Language Film category for the 87th Academy Awards®. Eighty-three films had originally been considered in the category.

Foreign Language Film nominations for 2014 are being determined in two phases.

The Phase I committee, consisting of several hundred Los Angeles-based Academy members, screened the original submissions in the category between mid-October and December 15. The group’s top six choices, augmented by three additional selections voted by the Academy’s Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee, constitute the shortlist.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Call for submissions: Shaw Media Diverse Voices Program for emerging documentary filmmakers

Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and Shaw Media are pleased to announce the Shaw Media Diverse Voices Program, which will provide six to eight emerging Canadian filmmakers of diverse backgrounds with training in documentary and factual television production. Taking place during the 2015 Hot Docs Festival, the program will guide participants through an intensive training module and seminar series, career management workshops, and networking events with industry professionals. The Shaw Media Diverse Voices Program will focus on documentary and factual television production and show running, including proposal preparation, the production cycle, financing, co-production, and access to broadcasters.

“Representation of diverse voices in the documentary and television production industries is a vitally important issue for Hot Docs and our community,” said Elizabeth Radshaw, Hot Docs Industry Programs Director. “With Shaw Media’s generous support, this program will help develop core skills of producing and filmmaking.”

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Library of Congress names 25 new films for 2014 to National Film Registry

Cinematic Treasures Named to National Film Registry
Saving Private Ryan, Luxo Jr. and Rosemary’s Baby Among Film Additions

The horrors of war, the heroism of sacrifice, a vaudeville pioneer, the devil and a master of the macabre represent the diversity of an elite selection of films that have been recognized as cultural, historic or aesthetic cinematic treasures. Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced today the annual selection of 25 motion pictures to be named to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Selection to the registry will help ensure that these films will be preserved for all time.

"The National Film Registry showcases the extraordinary diversity of America’s film heritage and the disparate strands making it so vibrant," said Billington. "By preserving these films, we protect a crucial element of American creativity, culture and history."

Spanning the period 1913-2004, the films named to the registry include Hollywood classics, documentaries, silent movies, student films, independent and experimental motion pictures. This year’s selections bring the number of films in the registry to 650, which is a small fraction of the Library’s vast moving-image collection of 1.3 million items.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

14th annual Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival announces schedule and tour dates

Guests include David Cronenberg, Keanu Reeves, Sturla Gunnarsson, Maxime Giroux, Harold Crooks, Bonnie Sherr Klein, Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis

The 14th annual Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival kicks off at TIFF Bell Lightbox on January 2, 2015, offering 10 days of public screenings of the year’s top 10 features, shorts and student films. Established in 2001, the Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival celebrates excellence in Canadian cinema and raises global awareness of Canadian achievements in film. The festival features introductions and Q&A sessions with filmmakers — including Sturla Gunnarsson, Harold Crooks, Maxime Giroux, David Cronenberg, Andrew Huculiak, Marie-Hélène Cousineau and Stéphane Lafleur— as well as two special onstage events: In Conversation With... Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis on January 10, and In Conversation With... Keanu Reeves on January 11.

The Toronto Film Critics Association announce 2014 TFCA award winners

Boyhood, Richard Linklater’s era-spanning look at a Texas kid’s life from his first week of school to his first week of college, has won three top prizes at the 2014 awards of the Toronto Film Critics Association.

In addition to the film’s Best Picture award, Linklater has won Best Director, and Patricia Arquette has been named Best Supporting Actress for her role as the young protagonist’s mother.

The awards were voted by the TFCA at a meeting on the afternoon of December 14. The membership also named its three finalists for the Rogers Best Canadian Film Award Enemy, directed by Denis Villeneuve; The F Word, directed by Michael Dowse; and Mommy, directed by Xavier Dolan.

Monday, December 15, 2014

2014 Oscars announce shortlist for Makeup and Hairstyling

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have announced the short list in the Makeup and Hairstyling category for this year’s Oscars.

On Saturday, January 10, 2015, all members of the Academy’s Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Branch will be invited to view 10-minute excerpts from each of the seven shortlisted films. Following the screenings, members will vote to nominate three films for final Oscar consideration.

10th anniversary Black List scripts announced

The Black List was compiled from the suggestions of over 250 film executives, each of whom contributed the names of up to ten of his or her favorite scripts that were written in, or are somehow uniquely associated with, 2014 and will not have begun principal photography during this calendar year.

This year, scripts had to receive at least six mentions to be included on the Black List.

All reasonable effort has been made to confirm the information contained herein.

Additional films, events, New Frontier installations announced for 2015 Sundance Film Festival

Sundance Institute today announced the addition of 10 films, events and New Frontier installations to the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, January 22 to February 1 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah. The Festival is is the centerpiece of the year-round public programs for the Institute, which also hosts 24 residency labs and grants more than $2.5 million to independent artists each year.

With these additions, the 2015 Festival will present 123 feature-length films, representing 29 countries and 45 first-time filmmakers, including 19 in competition. These films were selected from 12,166 submissions, including 4,105 feature-length films and 8,061 short films. Of the feature film submissions, 2,016 were from the U.S. and 2,089 were international. 106 feature films at the Festival will be world premieres.

The 20th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards – nominations


The Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) has announced the nominees for The 20th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards. The winners will be revealed at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, which will broadcast live on A&E from the Hollywood Palladium on January 15th at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT, the day the Academy Award nominations are announced. This is the first year that the BFCA will partner with A&E to broadcast the show.

Legendary Super Bowl Champion Michael Strahan will serve as the show’s host. Strahan is the co-host of the popular morning talk show “LIVE with Kelly and Michael,” and an Emmy-nominated “Fox NFL Sunday” analyst. He also serves as special co-host for ABC’s top-rated morning program, “Good Morning America.”

Saturday, December 13, 2014

27th European Film Awards – winners

The ceremony for the 27th European Film Awards was held this year at the Latvian National Oscar House in Riga.

The Polish film Ida by Paweł Pawlikowski was the big winner on the night. It won the award for Best European Film as well as the awards for Director and Screenwriter. It was the previously announced winner for cinematography. Additionally, it won the People’s Choice Award.

Acting awards went to Marion Cotillard for Two Days, One Night and Timothy Spall for Mr. Turner.

Friday, December 12, 2014

114 Original Scores in 2013 Oscar Race

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 114 scores from eligible feature-length motion pictures released in 2014 are in contention for nominations in the Original Score category for the 87th Oscars®.

The eligible scores along with their composers are listed below, in alphabetical order by film title:

79 Original Songs Vie For 2014 Oscar

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 79 songs from eligible feature-length motion pictures released in 2014 are in contention for nominations in the Original Song category for the 87th Oscars®.

The original songs, along with the motion picture in which each song is featured, are listed below in alphabetical order by film title and song title:

323 feature films in contention for 2014 Best Picture Oscar

Three hundred twenty-three feature films are eligible for the 2014 Academy Awards®, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today.

To be eligible for 87th Academy Awards consideration, feature films must open in a commercial motion picture theater in Los Angeles County by midnight, December 31, and begin a minimum run of seven consecutive days.

Under Academy rules, a feature-length motion picture must have a running time of more than 40 minutes and must have been exhibited theatrically on 35mm or 70mm film, or in a qualifying digital format.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

72nd Golden Globe Awards – nominations

The nominations for the 72nd Golden Globe Awards were announced bright and early this morning at the Beverly Hilton hotel. During the traditional pre-dawn ceremony in Beverly Hills, HFPA president Theo Kingma introduced Kate Beckinsale, two-time Golden Globe Award-nominee Peter Krause, Paula Patton, and Golden Globe-winner and five-time nominee Jeremy Piven did the honours.

Leading the field with seven nominations was Birdman. Its nominations included Best Picture — Comedy or Musical, Best Director, Best Screenplay and a Best Actor nod for Michael Keaton. It's competitors for Best Picture – Comedy or Musical are The Grand Budapest Hotel, Into the Woods, Pride and St. Vincent. The Best Motion Picture – Drama nominees are Boyhood, Foxcatcher, The Imitation Game, Selma and The Theory of Everything.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

21st annual Screen Actors Guild Awards – nominations

Nominees for the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® for outstanding performances in 2014 in five film and eight television categories, as well as the SAG Awards® honors for outstanding action performances by film and television stunt ensembles were announced this morning in Los Angeles at the Pacific Design Center’s SilverScreen Theater in West Hollywood.

SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard introduced Ansel Elgort ("The Fault in Our Stars," "Divergent") and actress/director/producer and SAG Award® recipient Eva Longoria, who announced the nominees for this year’s Actors®. SAG Awards® Committee Chair JoBeth Williams and Vice Chair Daryl Anderson announced the stunt ensemble nominees.

The 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® will be simulcast live nationally on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015 at 8 p.m. (ET) / 5 p.m. (PT) from the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center. An encore performance will air immediately following on TNT. The SAG Awards® can also be viewed live on the TNT and TBS websites, and also the Watch TNT and Watch TBS apps for iOS or Android (viewers must sign in using their TV service provider user name and password).

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

2015 Sundance Film Festival announces short film program

Sundance Institute announced today the program of short films selected to screen at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, January 22 to February 1 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah. The 2015 Short Film program is comprised of 60 short films selected from 8,061 submissions. The Festival is the centerpiece of the year-round public programs for the Institute, which also hosts 24 residency labs and grants more than $2.5 million to independent artists each year.

Mike Plante, Senior Programmer for the Sundance Film Festival, said, "This year's short filmmakers have broken through their limited timeframe with a high level of artistry and story that will resonate with audiences long after each film has ended."

Sundance Institute and the Festival have long supported the creation and exhibition of short films. A record 8,161 short films were submitted for consideration for the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Notable Institute alumni who started their careers with short films include Wes Anderson, Todd Haynes, Spike Jonze, Debra Granik, Paul Thomas Anderson, David O. Russell, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, Tamara Jenkins and Jason Reitman. In addition to the short film program at the Festival, the Institute also hosts daylong workshops for short filmmakers and a program of short films that screens in theaters across the country.

DOC Institute announces inaugural award winners

The DOC Institute, an initiative of DOC Toronto, is pleased to announce the winners of its inaugural awards.

The DOC Star Award will be given to Elizabeth Klinck, and the New Visions Award, presented by Urban Post Production, to Brett Story.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the nominations submitted by DOC members nationwide, and with the selection of winners for our first year,” said Adam Shamoon, Director of the DOC Institute. “The jury had a difficult task, but the winners embody the spirit of the DOC Institute and its awards.”

Cinema Eye Honors Announces 2015 Heterodox Award Nominees

The Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking today announced the five nominees for its annual Cinema Eye Heterodox Award, sponsored by Filmmaker Magazine, a publication of IFP. The Cinema Eye Heterodox Award honors a narrative fiction film that imaginatively incorporates nonfiction strategies, content and/or modes of production.

The five films nominated this year for the Cinema Eye Heterodox Award are:

Monday, December 8, 2014

Premieres, Documentary Premieres, Special Events announced for 2015 Sundance Film Festival

Sundance Institute announced today the films selected to screen in the out-of-competition Premieres and Documentary Premieres sections, as well as the selections for a new Special Events section and participants for two panels, at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, January 22 to February 1 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah. The Festival is the centerpiece of the year-round public programs for the Institute, which also hosts 24 residency labs and grants more than $2.5 million to independent artists each year.

John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival, said, "Filmmakers in the Premieres and Documentary Premieres sections, many of whom are returning to the Festival, do not shy away from controversial, challenging and provocative subject matter. Their work enrages, engages and entertains audiences, shining a light on issues and people we thought we knew."

Trevor Groth, Director of Programming for the Sundance Film Festival, said, "As artists continue to explore evolving forms of storytelling, this year's new Special Events section allows us the space to showcase episodic content and live performance. With this addition, the Festival offers a more complete look at the creative opportunities for independent artists today."

American Film Institute announces 2014 AFI Awards for film & television

It’s that time of year again. AFI is honoring the most outstanding films and television programs of the year with AFI AWARDS. The non-competitive AFI AWARDS acknowledge the collaborative nature of film and TV production, bringing the community’s creative teams together in a unique celebration of their work.

This year’s list includes 10 television programs and, for the first time in AFI AWARDS history, 11 motion pictures. The 2014 honorees deemed by AFI’s Jury to be culturally and artistically representative of the year’s most significant achievements are:

Sunday, December 7, 2014

17th Moët British Independent Film Awards – winners

The ceremony for the 17th Moët British Independent Film Awards took place tonight at Old Billingsgate in London. The event was hosted by actor, writer and comedian Simon Bird.

Matthew Warchus' gay themed miners' strike drama Pride took the top prize of Best British Independent Film. It also won both Supporting Acting categories for actors Imelda Staunton and Andrew Scott. Yann Demange's '71 had led the nominations with nine. Its only win was for Best Director.

Honourary Awards were presented to actors Emma Thompson and Benedict Cumberbatch, and to director John Boorman.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

International Documentary Association's 2014 IDA Awards – winners

The International Documentary Association held their awards ceremony for the 30th Annual IDA Documentary Awards last night on the Paramount Pictures lot.

The profile of whistleblower Edward Snowden by Laura Poitras Citizenfour took the top prize in winning Best Feature. The film is a gripping, powerful firsthand account of Snowden's decision to reveal the extent of government spying to Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald. It won against competition from Finding Vivian Maier, Point and Shoot, The Salt of the Earth and Tales of the Grim Sleeper. Each of the nominees except for Point and Shoot were also shortlisted by the Academy for their Best Documentary Oscar.

Robert Redford was presented with a Career Achievement Award.

Nominations for the 30th Annual IDA Documentary Awards

Friday, December 5, 2014

10 Contenders Remain in the 2014 Oscar Race for Visual Effects

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 10 films remain in the running in the Visual Effects category for the 87th Oscars.

The Academy’s Visual Effects Branch Executive Committee determined the shortlist. All members of the Visual Effects Branch will now be invited to view 10-minute excerpts from each of the shortlisted films on Saturday, January 10, 2015. Following the screenings, the members will vote to nominate five films for final Oscar consideration.

57th annual Grammy Awards – nominations [UPDATED]

The Recording Academy did a slow roll-out of announcing the nominations for the 57th annual Grammy Awards today. Pharrell Williams and Ed Sheeran announced some of the bigger categories this morning at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles. The remainder were unveiled on Twitter by various celebrities throughout the day.

Beyoncé picked up five more nominations to become the most-nominated female in Grammy history, surpassing Dolly Parton's previous record of 46. Surprisingly, however, she was not nominated for Record of the Year. British singer Sam Smith also picked up five nominations for his hit “Stay With Me.”

The following list of nominations is complete except for the category Album of the Year which will be revealed during tonight's broadcast of A Very Grammy Christmas.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

2015 Sundance Film Festival Announces Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, New Frontier lineups

Sundance Institute announced today the films selected to screen in the 2015 Sundance Film Festival out-of-competition sections Spotlight and Park City at Midnight, as well as the films and installations to be featured in the New Frontier program. The Festival, which takes place January 22 to February 1 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah, is the centerpiece of the year-round public programs for the Institute, which also hosts 24 residency labs and grants more than $2.5 million to independent artists each year.

Trevor Groth, Director of Programming for the Sundance Film Festival, said, "This year's Park City at Midnight selections have much to offer genre enthusiasts. With everything from futuristic fantasies to paranormal nightmares, it's an all-out trip to the cinematic edge."

New Frontier champions films that expand, experiment with, and explode traditional storytelling. Recognizing the crossroads of film, art, and media technology as a hotbed for cinematic innovation, New Frontier is also a venue showcasing innovative media installations and panel discussions that explore the expansion of cinema culture in today's rapidly changing media landscape. The installations will be housed on the top two floors of the historic Claim Jumper, at 573 Main Street in Park City. Admission to all New Frontier installations is free.

First artists announced for the 36th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal

Jesse Cook, Snarky Puppy, The Stanley Clarke Band, Steven Wilson, The Bad Plus with Joshua Redman, Bebel Gilberto, Eliane Elias, Dee Dee Bridgewater and a Tribute to Piaf by Richard Galliano and Sylvain Luc

We’re delighted to announce the very first artists of the 36th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, presented by TD in collaboration with Rio Tinto Alcan—just in time to add them to everyone’s Christmas wish lists!

Tickets for these concerts go on sale this Friday, December 5 at noon… although Spectra Newsletter subscribers (subscription is free at, can purchase them Thursday, December 4, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Sundance Film Festival Unveils 2015 Competition, Documentary, Next programs

Sundance Institute announced today the films selected for the U.S. and World Cinema Dramatic and Documentary Competitions and the out-of-competition NEXT <=> section of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, January 22 to February 1 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah. The Festival is the centerpiece of the year-round public programs for the Institute, which also hosts 24 residency labs and grants more than $2.5 million to independent artists each year.

Robert Redford, President & Founder of Sundance Institute, said, "The work of independent artists inevitably reflects the state of our culture and the times in which we live. Their stories are often irreverent, challenging, compelling and unexpected, and not only possess the power to move and hopefully inspire audiences, but also to speak to our shared humanity."

Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute, said, "Independent artists are embracing diverse forms of storytelling – from feature film to New Frontier to episodic content. In response to their risk-taking spirit, we continue to evolve our Festival and other programs to seek out the best ways to support original and inventive storytellers."

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Shortlist of 15 documentary features announced for 2014 Oscars

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 15 films in the Documentary Feature category will advance in the voting process for the 87th Oscars®. One hundred thirty-four films were originally submitted in the category.

The Academy’s Documentary Branch determined the shortlist in a preliminary round of voting. Documentary Branch members will now select the five nominees from among the 15 titles.

The 87th Academy Awards® nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 15, 2015, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

24th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards – winners

The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) tonight announced the winners of the 24thAnnual Gotham Independent Film Awards at its awards ceremony held at Cipriani Wall Street, in New York City.

Winning the Best Feature award was Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Alejandro González Iñárritu’s stylistically adventurous existential comedy in which a Hollywood actor attempts to revive his career and obliterate his superhero image past by producing and starring in a serious Broadway drama. Iñárritu previously received a Gotham Tribute in 2006.

The award for Best Documentary went to CITIZENFOUR, Laura Poitras’ inside, of-the-moment telling of the Edward Snowden revelations on the massive covert surveillance programs run by the NSA and other intelligence agencies – the third film in her trilogy on post-9/11 America.

Poitras previously won this award in 2010 for The Oath, the second film in the trilogy.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Canada’s Top Ten Films announced

Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival presents screenings, filmmaker Q&As, free events, and onstage discussions with celebrated Canadians Keanu Reeves, Naomi Klein, Avi Lewis and Sandra Oh

TIFF toasted the nation’s cinematic trailblazers tonight, announcing the top 10 feature, short film and student film selections for the 14th annual Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival. Established by TIFF in 2001, the Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival celebrates and promotes contemporary Canadian cinema and raises awareness of Canadian achievements in film. The 10-day festival runs January 2 to 11, 2015 at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto and presents public screenings of the selected films accompanied by introductions and Q&A sessions with filmmakers, as well as special events and free engagements. On January 10, the festival welcomes Canadian author and activist Naomi Klein and filmmaker Avi Lewis for an onstage conversation and a sneak peek at This Changes Everything, the upcoming documentary inspired by Klein’s new book. The one and only Keanu Reeves will close the festival, taking the stage on January 11 for an intimate discussion about his iconic career. The festival’s tour across Canada includes stops in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg and Montreal; Vancouver’s The Cinematheque will host a special onstage conversation with star of the big and small screen Sandra Oh.

42nd Annual Annie Awards – nominations announced

The International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood, announced nominations today for its 42nd Annual Annie Awards™ recognizing the year's best in the field of animation. For a complete list of nominations, please visit

The Annie Awards cover 36 categories and include Best Animated Feature, Best Animated Special Production, Commercials, Short Subjects and Outstanding Individual Achievements. The winners will be announced at a black tie ceremony on Saturday, January 31, 2015 at UCLA's Royce Hall. A pre-reception and press line begins at 5:00 pm with the awards ceremony following at 7:00 pm. A post-show celebration immediately follows the ceremony. All events will be held at Royce Hall.

Best Animated Features nominations include: Big Hero 6 (Walt Disney Animation Studios), Cheatin' (Plymptoons Studio), How to Train Your Dragon 2 (DreamWorks Animation SKG), Song of the Sea (GKIDS/Cartoon Saloon), The Book of Life (Reel FX), The Boxtrolls (Focus Features/Laika), The LEGO Movie (Warner Bros. Pictures), and The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (GKIDS/Studio Ghibli).

Producers Guild of America announces documentary and television nominees for 2015 PGA Awards

The Producers Guild of America on Monday announced the nominees for best documentary, TV series/specials and digital series.

Also set to be honoured at the ceremony are Jon Feltheimer with the Milestone Award, Mark Gordon with the Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television and Gale Anne Hurd with the David O. Selznick Achievement Award.

One of the awards season’s marquee events, the Producers Guild Awards celebrates the finest producing work of the year, and gives the Guild an opportunity to honour some of the living legends who have shaped our profession. Considered a strong prognosticator for the Best Picture Oscar®, the announcement of the Guild’s Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures is one of the most eagerly-anticipated of the season.

19th Annual Satellite Awards – nominations

The International Press Academy (IPA) announced its nominations for the 19th Annual Satellite™ Awards in the Motion Pictures and Television categories. Each year, the IPA celebrates nominees from domestic and international submissions for 38 categories: 19 in Motion Pictures, 13 in Television, 2 in Blu-ray DVDs and 4 in Video Games.

Special achievement awards and nominations for the Blu-ray and Video Game categories will be announced on January 5, 2015.

The special achievement awards include The Mary Pickford Award for outstanding artistic contribution, The Nikola Tesla Award for visionary achievements in filmmaking technology and The Auteur Award for creative vision and unique artistry made on audiences and fellow artists alike.