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Thompson on Hollywood

'The Hobbit' US Premiere to Benefit AFI with Gala Event

The US premiere of Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," the first of the forthcoming trilogy, will benefit the American Film Institute with a gala event on December 6 at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York. Benefit tickets and packages are available here (beware, they start at $500 per person). On December 14 the rest of the country can enjoy the film in theaters.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 4, 2012 3:23 PM
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'60 Minutes' to Profile 'Sugar Man' Rodriguez on October 7

CBS's "60 Minutes" will spotlight artist and musician Sixto Diaz Rodriguez and director Malik Bendjelloul’s acclaimed documentary, "Searching for Sugar Man," this Sunday, October 7.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • October 4, 2012 1:51 PM
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  • 2 Comments

And the Award for Best 'Words with Friends' Celebrity Player Goes to Edward Norton

Edward Norton has nabbed the title as winner of the first-ever "Words with Friends" Celebrity Challenge, defeating Kristen Bell and Sophia Bush on his way to word domination and winning more than $132K for his charity, the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust. "Anyone who knows me know I love words," Norton quipped. That's probably a good thing, given all the secret-service mumbo jumbo he needed to spew in the last "Bourne" movie.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • October 4, 2012 1:41 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Facebook Passes One Billion Users [ZUCKERBERG VIDEO]

In an interview with Matt Lauer on NBC's Today Show, Facebook's 28-year-old CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that over a billion people are now using Facebook: "It's just this amazing honor. To be able to come into work every day and build things that help a billion people stay connected with the people they care about .... just unbelievable."
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • October 4, 2012 12:54 PM
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Academy Announces The 2012 Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting Finalists

The Academy announces ten finalists for the 2012 Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting competition. The next step is having their scripts read and judged by the fellowship committee, which can choose to award up to five $35,00 fellowships. This year's finalists were chosen from 7,197 scripts,..
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 3, 2012 3:35 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Sundance Institute Chooses Six Projects for 2nd Edition of New Frontier Story Lab

Six projects have been chosen for Sundance's New Frontier Story Lab, taking place at the Sundance Resort October 21-26. The lab, inspired by the Sundance Film Festival and structured after the Institutute's Lab model, aims to support "projects that use technology to deepen story and engage audiences."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 3, 2012 3:14 PM
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Amazon Studios Options First Novel, Self-Published Southern Gothic 'SEED'

Amazon's original content branch Amazon Studios has optioned the rights for author Ania Ahlborn's "SEED," a self-published Southern Gothic horror novel centering on a man whose malignant supernatural past catches up with him following a car accident. This is the first novel option for the studio, which has heretofore optioned only movie scripts and episodic series.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • October 3, 2012 2:26 PM
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MPAA Head Chris Dodd's Anti-Piracy Plea: Hollywood and Online Tech "not adversaries, we're partners"

CEO of the MPAA and former Connecticut senator Chris Dodd wrote an op-ed piece for Politico Tuesday broaching the subject of Hollywood and technology, and how the two are making strides to join forces against online piracy. Dodd writes: "Despite what the media and the advocates on the extremes would have you believe, the content and technology communities are not adversaries, we're partners."
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • October 3, 2012 2:25 PM
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Focus Features' 5th Annual Africa First Winners

Five filmmakers have been selected for Focus Features' fifth annual Africa First Program, an initiative developed exclusively for emerging filmmakers of African nationality and residence. Each filmmaker will be awarded $10K for their prospective short film projects. Full list of award recipients and films below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • October 3, 2012 2:23 PM
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In the Works: Lynne Ramsay Nabs Backing for Her Take on 'Moby Dick,' Sci-Fi Thriller 'Mobius'

Scott Pictures will be producing Lynne Ramsay's excitingly ambitious project "Mobius," a sci-fi psychological thriller based on Herman Melville's "Moby Dick." The whale of a tale will be set in deep space, where a crew is lead into ever deeper peril by an unhinged captain on a death mission, obsessed with revenge on an elusive alien entity.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • October 3, 2012 12:49 PM
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  • 2 Comments

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