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Thompson on Hollywood

Focus Features' Africa First Program Accepting Entries

In its fourth year, Focus Features' Africa First Program is accepting entries May 16 - August 22. The initiative gives grants of up to $10,000 to emerging African filmmakers making narrative short films within continental Africa, and seeks to unite filmmakers with each other as well as advisors and mentors within the African film network.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 2, 2011 9:31 AM
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Weinsteins Get PG-13 for King's Speech, Appeal R-Rating for Schnabel's Miral

The Weinsteins are known for grabbing publicity with their ratings battles for such films as Blue Valentine, which earned an R PG-13 on appeal, and likely Oscar-winner The King's Speech, which just landed a PG-13 rating after the Weinsteins amended its volley of the F-word. Now Biutiful producer Jon Kilik and director Julian Schnabel (whose The Diving Bell and the Butterfly was briefly rated R for brief frontal nudity before Kilik protested) are appealing the MPAA’s R-rating for Weinstein indie pick-up Miral, their Pathe-financed film about the violent Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which played the festival circuit last year.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 25, 2011 10:58 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Ted Hope Brings Hope for Film to IndieWIRE Blog Network

Ted Hope defines today's indie producer: lean, smart, creative, prolific and always questing for useful intelligence about where our crazy film industry is going to go. The producer of 70 films in 20 years is also a sharer, which is why he blogs, constantly asking questions and throwing out possible answers on his website Truly Free Film. Whether he's on a film set, giving a speech, participating on an industry panel or interviewing rising Sundance stars with old pal and occasional producing partner Christine Vachon, Hope slaps something up on his Hope for Film blog, and invites others to do so as well.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 22, 2011 4:30 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Casting Coup: Maria Bello Lands Helen Mirren Role in NBC's Prime Suspect Remake

After a rigorous search for the right actress to play the lead detective originated by Helen Mirren in NBC's remake of the hit Brit series, Prime Suspect, Universal Media Studios and the team behind Friday Night Lights has hired veteran dramatic actress Maria Bello (The Cooler, A History of Violence, The Company Men), reports Variety. Bello is great casting: a smart, versatile, athletic actress, she has the authority to pull this off. This is a juicy sought-after role.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 17, 2011 12:22 AM
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  • 5 Comments
More: TV, News

Sony Negotiating MGM Distrib and Financing Deal, Including Bonds

Sony and MGM have been in bed together for some time. One of many investors in the company, Sony has released the last two Bond films, and wants to release the next two as well, reports the the LATimes. Streamlined MGM has been strapped for cash for some time, come through bankruptcy, and now has two new CEOs, industry vets Roger Birnbaum and Gary Barber, who are seeking to avoid the risk and expense of marketing and releasing their own movies. They are talking to several studios about a worldwide distribution deal for MGM's films and home video, as well as financing on some films such as Sam Mendes' Bond 23, starring Daniel Craig.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 9, 2011 3:07 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Jonathan Glickman Named MGM Production Chief

MGM co-chairmen and CEOs Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum have brought over 12-year Spyglass president Jonathan Glickman as new prexy of MGM's Motion Picture Group.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 2, 2011 9:51 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Superman Reboots with Henry Cavill: Who is He? He's Brit and 27. Check the Video.

Producer Chris Nolan and Zack Snyder have gone overseas for their new Superman: to Henry Cavill, 27. His name came up some time back as a possible Bond. But he lost the role to another more experienced British actor, the rugged Daniel Craig.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • January 31, 2011 8:33 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Exec Watch: Relativity Adds Steve Bertram as COO, CFO

As he continues to beef up his burgeoning company, Relativity Media CEO Ryan Kavanaugh has hired Steve Bertram, who was president of Business Operations for Paramount Home Entertainment for five years, as Relativity's new COO and CFO, supervising day-to-day company operations. He will oversee Relativity's domestic and international distribution operation and will report on those areas to Relativity president Michael Joe. In the financial arena he will report to Kavanaugh.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 27, 2011 9:01 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Chasen Murder: Case Closed

Songwriter Diane Warren dedicated her Golden Globe award to her long-time publicist Ronni Chasen, who was shot and killed in the wee hours of November 16 by a lone bicycle-riding gunman, Harold Martin Smith, on Sunset and Whittier after the premiere of Warren's film, Burlesque. Smith later killed himself with the same gun on December 1. Many friends of Chasen's, Warren included, found it tough to accept the Beverly Hills police accounts of the murder. Why was the lone gunman so far away from his own neighborhood, why did he flee the scene without robbing Chasen, 64, and how did those five bullets shatter the glass and kill her?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 20, 2011 2:54 AM
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  • 1 Comment
More: News, Obit

Anne Hathaway Rises as Catwoman in Nolan's Next Dark Knight: Right Pick?

Versatile actress on-the-rise Anne Hathaway just nabbed one of the most coveted roles in Hollywood. She'll play Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman, previously played by Michelle Pfeiffer and Halle Berry) in The Dark Knight Rises across from Christian Bale and bad-guy Tom Hardy.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 19, 2011 6:51 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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