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Thompson on Hollywood

Focus Features' Africa First Program Announces Winners of $10,000 Grants

Focus Features' Africa First short film program announces fourth set of winners. Each filmmaker--of African nationality and residence--will receive $10,000 and will be networked with and mentored by leaders of the African film community.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 6, 2011 7:12 AM
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Trailer Watch: Reitman's Young Adult Stars Charlize Theron as A Soulless Bitch You'll Love to Hate

After his over-exposure on the Up In The Air campaign trail -- as he emulated his own leading man's logging of air miles --and having lost the screenwriting Oscar to Precious's Geoffrey Fletcher, director Jason Reitman (and Paramount) have held off as long as they could before unveiling Young Adult, written by Juno's Diablo Cody.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 6, 2011 6:47 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Stars Line Up to Fete Robert Downey Jr.at 25th American Cinematheque Awards on October 14

On October 14 the American Cinematheque will present Robert Downey, Jr. with its 25th annual award at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The event serves as a benefit for the Cinematheque's non-profit operations, and often function as a roast. Tributes to the actor will be given by Jack Black, Michael Douglas, Robert Downey Sr., Jon Favreau, Jodie Foster, Jamie Foxx, Anthony Michael Hall, Jared Harris, Joel Silver and Robin Wright. Past winners include Matt Damon (2010), Al Pacino (2005), Nicole Kidman (2003) and many others. Chairman Rick Nicita says: "The pleasure that we receive from his charismatic and nuanced performances is matched only by the respect that he has earned for his personal and professional journey,..While we have been enjoying him for years, it seems that he's just getting started all over again. The Cinematheque is thrilled to mark this milestone in the flourishing career of Robert Downey, Jr."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 6, 2011 6:12 AM
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Weekend Preview: Ides of March, Real Steel, The Way, Dirty Girl, War Doc Hell and Back Again

The star power of this weekend's leading men -- George Clooney and Ryan Gosling of political drama The Ides of March and Hugh Jackman of amped-up sci-fi actioner Real Steel -- will make a dent in Dolphin Tale and Moneyball's current top spots. In the indiesphere, Mateo Gil's Blackthorn takes a bite out of Butch Cassidy legend, while Emilio Estevez's The Way aims to inspire and Abe Sylvia's reedited Dirty Girl attempts to push indie girl Juno Temple into leading lady status. In the mood for something French? Phillippe Le Guay's The Women on the 6th Floor is a charming trifle. Powerful war documentary Hell and Back Again is scoring the best reviews; it's indieWIRE's pick of the week.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 6, 2011 5:40 AM
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London Critics' Circle Film Awards Moves to January, Aims to Stand Out from The Crowd

The London Critics' Circle Film Awards have moved their ceremony up a month to January 19, 2012. Held at BFI Southbank, the awards will be hosted by Critics' Circle chairman Jason Solomons. Of the date change, Solomons says: "[It] will further underline the distinctive choices of winners and nominees that make The London Critics' Circle Film Awards stand out from the crowd, highlighting certain films, performances and achievements that may be overlooked by other awards events."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 6, 2011 5:38 AM
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More: Awards

A Shaded View on Fashion and Film: Festival in Paris October 7-9

There's a new film festival every minute, it seems. Here's a new wrinkle: the fourth edition of the first annual International Fashion, Style and Beauty Film Festival -- A Shaded View of Fashion and Film -- will launch October 7-9 in Paris. Brands, photographers, jurors, prizes and films are listed below:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 6, 2011 5:35 AM
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More: Festivals

Trailer Watch: Michelle Williams Wows in My Week with Marilyn Trailer

If anybody could do it, it's Michelle Williams. Check out the first trailer for My Week with Marilyn, featuring what looks to be a knockout performance by Williams as icon Marilyn Monroe. I'll seeing the film at its gala premiere at the New York Film Festival on Sunday, October 9. Williams is an Oscar perennial, so she should never be counted out of the Best Actress Oscar race.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 6, 2011 5:25 AM
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RIP Steve Jobs, Who Deserves the Word Visionary: Obits, Links, Clips

I once had lunch with Jobs at an excellent Japanese restaurant in Beverly Hills. He wore his trademark black turtleneck and jeans; he was serious, accessible. We talked about Pixar, which he also deserves credit for. Sadly, Jobs has died at age 56 of pancreatic cancer, which he had been fighting since 2004.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 6, 2011 1:14 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Media Watch: Hulu Lets You Choose Your Ads, Amazon Splits Streaming, Transformers Streamed Directly

- Amazon's stand-alone streaming service might follow the path of Netflix, reports Fierce Online. Amazon's plans to break its streaming business from its e-commerce store marks another instance, like Netflix, in which corporations make business decisions that do not cater to their consumers. Amazon might also have plans to split Prime from its original site.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • October 5, 2011 12:21 PM
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Queue Up the Oscar Wannabes: Sally Kirkland Strikes Again

Hope springs eternal. Each time an underdog character actor pushes into surprise Oscar contention, it brings back the hope that anything is possible. Especially when a micro-indie boasts an Oscar-nominee, publicists send movie scribes pitches like this one (pasted below), for a live-action short starring Sally Kirkland, who famously landed a nomination for Anna by taking out her own ads. One note to publicists: "surefire" is the one word you should never use in a pitch.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 5, 2011 11:34 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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