The pre-Oscar party circuit started rolling on Tuesday and culminated with the Saturday, Feb. 8, annual behemoth known as the MPTF “Night Before” party, where A-list stars gathered at Fox Studios to give back to their own, raising over $5.4 million to benefit the MPTF. From Leonardo DiCaprio, Mahershala Ali and Nicolas Cage to Viola Davis and Brie Larsen (to name a few), Oscar winners were everywhere.
Amanda Shires, Stephanie Schriock, Amber Tamblyn and Eva Longoria at Emily’s List panel and brunch. Photo credit: Getty Images
The week was filled with female-centric events, including the week’s first, as the Emily’s List panel and brunch descended on the Four Seasons Hotel on Tuesday Feb. 4 to advocate for abortion rights and electing more women into public office. Leading the charge were (pictured) Amanda Shires, who wore her opinions on her jacket, along with the org’s president Stephanie Schriock, Amber Tamblyn and Eva Longoria.
Charlize Theron at the Vanity Fair Annenberg Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Annenberg Foundation
Tuesday found more beautiful females gathered at the Vanity Fair and Annenberg Space for Photography Celebrate the Opening of Vanity Fair: Hollywood Calling photo exhibit, as 2020 best actress nominee Charlize Theron (pictured) led the crowd in to see gorgeous photos of the world’s most famous people. Sharon Stone, Demi Moore, Caitlyn Jenner, Ashley Greene and Rumer Willis joined the party, too.
Tuesday saw the best short filmmakers in Hollywood gather at Yamashiro to join the HollyShorts Film Festival organizers in a celebration of their Oscar nominations, with special recognition to those whose works have shown at the fest. Pictured are the night’s honorees Yves Plat, Stefon Bristol, Frederica Bailey, Siqi Song and Ben Goldberg.
“How to Train Your Dragon” Canadian writer-director Dean DeBlois has his third best animated feature Oscar nomination this year, so Zaib Shaikh, the Consul General of Canada (pictured together), threw a private dinner bash for him at the consul’s home on Wednesday evening. They’re hoping three’s the charm. Photo courtesy Justin Wagner
Essence Awards 2020 honorees Hallie Sahar, Janet Mock, Angelica Ross, MJ Rodriguez and Billy Porter. Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images for ESSENCE
It was a full Thursday afternoon, complete with awards trophies, at the 13th Annual ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood luncheon at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Celebrating diversity in both film and TV, the magazine honored many of the African-American women who are helping to change the face of Hollywood.
Laura Dern attends Vanity Fair’s Women in Hollywood 2020. Photo by Philip Faraone/Getty Images for Vanity Fair
Females of all races kicked up their heels and took over SoHo House’s rooftop garden to join Vanity Fair and Lancome’s celebration of Women in Hollywood. Radhika Jones and Laura Dern (pictured) led the action, which took place in a tinsel-bedazzled pink wonderland. “This place looks just amazing,” laughed Angelica Ross, whose hot pink dress matched the décor; Georgia Hirst (pictured) got the hot pink memo, too, and livened up the room filled with stars like Patricia Clarkson, Kate Beckinsale, Minnie Driver and Julianne Moore, as well as 2020 nominees Sandy Powell, Hildur Guonadottir and Diane Warren, who admitted that she’s really hoping her 11th Oscar nomination finally gets her the gold.
Norman Lear, Tig Notaro and Martin Short were honorees as the Oscar Wilde Awards. Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for US-Ireland Alliance
Thursday Feb.6 was party central all over town, but for lovers of all things Irish, the place to be was Santa Monica, where the US-Ireland Alliance’s annual Oscar Wilde Awards went off with lots of laughs at Bad Robot. J. J. Abrams hosted the celebration, which served up traditional Irish fare and a handful of awards – to Norman Lear, Jenn Murray and Tig Notaro. Martin Short, Chris O’Dowd, Roma Downey and Caitriona Balfe joined in the Irish revelry, too.
Mena Suvari, James Cameron and Tiffany Haddish pose for cameras at the Red Carpet Green Dress 2020. Photo by Jose Perez
James Cameron stood in for his sick wife Suzy Amis Cameron, the founder of the Red Carpet Green Dress initiative, at the group’s annual pre-Oscars celebration on Thursday night at the Hollywood Hills Absolut Elyx house. With the aim to get people to make more sustainable choices in the clothes they wear, Cameron and Samata (CEO of RCGD) announced their 2020 ambassadors who will walk the Oscars carpet in sustainable eveningwear (in partnership with TENCEL Luxe) – Kaitlyn Dever, Lea Seydoux and Elena Andreicheva. Mena Suvari and Tiffany Haddish joined the eco-friendly party (pictured with Cameron), as did Tyrese Gibson, Zelda Williams and Danielle Macdonald.
Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig attend the Cadillac party. Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for Cadillac
Hollywood’s reigning power couple – Oscar nominees Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach (pictured) – joined a glittery crowd on Thursday’s biggest bash, as Cadillac once again took over Chateau Marmont for their annual pre-Oscar party. They rubbed shoulders with fellow 2020 nominees Shannon McIntosh, Chelsea Winstanley, Ra Vincent and Feras Fayyad, while everyone craned their necks to say hello to former NBA star Jason Collins, whose seven-foot frame towered over the crowd. Even Allison Janney looked short next to him! Also hanging out late into the evening were Margaret Qualley, Joel McHale, Rachel Brosnahan, Zoe Saldana and Nia Vardalos.
Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden (pictured) looked pretty in pink and led the celebrity charge to the GBK Luxury Lounge in Honor of the 92nd Oscar Awards held at the Kimpton LaPeer Hotel on both Friday and Saturday. Favorite gifting items that Best Picture nominee “1917” star George MacKay, 2020 nominee Yves Plat and former nominee Cicely Tyson scooped up included the Artisan Group’s overflowing bag of handcrafted gifts, Dapper and Dashing tuxes and gowns, trips to Fiji, Los Cabos, Bali and Nashville, and Parasuco denim, along with off-the-diet offerings of California Caviar, Palmina Wines and John Kelly Chocolates.
Women in Film Oscar party 2020 brought out the likes of Diane Warren, Idina Menzel and WIF president Cathy Shulman Schulman. Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images for Women in Film
The female empowerment party theme for 2020 continued on Friday night as Women in Film – the org that has long led the charge for equality in employment for women in Hollywood – 13th Annual Pre-Oscar Cocktail Party unspooled at the Sunset Room in Hollywood. Women of every size, shape and color joined the revelry that was led by Idina Menzel and WIF president Cathy Shulman (pictured along with nominee Diane Warren), all agreeing on the common goal of increasing the female presence both above and below the line in Hollywood films. Lulu Wang, Kyra Sedgwick, Anika Noni Rose, Beanie Feldstein, Dove Cameron, Hari Nef, Lake Bell and many others turned out, too.
Greta Gerwig, Noah Baumbach and Timothee Chalamet celebrate “Little Women” success at UTA’s Oscar Party 2020. Photo courtesy UTA/Justin Bishop
Friday night brought the UTA stable of talent together for a celebration at the Sunset Tower, led by nominees Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig (pictured with Timothee Chalamet), along with fellow nominee Cynthia Erivo, Laura Dern, Amy Pascal. UTA chairman Jim Berkus welcomed Jerry Bruckheimer, Steve Tisch, Sigourney Weaver, Marisa Tomei, Lulu Wang, Keegan Michael Key and many others to the exclusive bash.
Bruce Dern pops in at Doris Bergman’s 12th Annual Valentine Romance Pre-Oscar Luxury Lounge. Photo courtesy of Doris Bergman
Saturday afternoon was a day for getting some pampering at Doris Bergman’s 12th Annual Valentine Romance Pre-Oscar Luxury Lounge at Fig & Olive, as “Once Upon a Time . . . in Hollywood” co-star Bruce Dern, “Ford vs. Ferrari” co-star Sean Carrigan and many other famous faces discovered. With truffle pasta and pastries for brunch and plenty of gifting happening on the restaurant’s patio, actors Anthony Anderson, Dee Wallace, Judd Nelson, Bill Duke and a gaggle of stars found beautiful, interchangeable jewelry by Charise Noel, gowns by Sue Wong, IFGfit posture-correcting activewear and more, including plenty of free-flowing wines from BuyWine.com and vodka from Precious Vodka, which left everyone with a happy face as they headed to the next party.
Sony Pictures Classics Dinner welcomed Pedro Almodovar and Antonio Banderas. Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics/The West Hollywood EDITION Hotel
Saturday night’s MPTF blowout drew most of the A-listers and nominees over to Fox Studios, but “Pain and Glory” best actor nominee Antonio Banderas had a special dinner to attend. So he hit MPTF early then headed for a typically Spanish-time late dinner at The West Hollywood EDITION Hotel with Sony Pictures Classics head honcho Michael Barker and his “Pain and Glory” director and fellow nominee Pedro Almodovar. “To be with Pedro and Agustin [Almodovar] for over 30 years, since ‘Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,’ is incredible,” mused Michael Barker to the intimate group. “There is nothing like our partnership in the history of world cinema, and nothing like the partnership between Antonio and Pedro, actor and director, either, in the history of cinema,” he added.
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www.thewrap.com | 2/10/20
The last few weeks have shown that n avigating Latino identity is a minefield that can set off an explosion at any moment in American culture. Such as: Is Antonio Banderas Latino or not?
This and other hot-button debates — including the unalloyed joy at Shakira and JLo performing at the Super Bowl — expose the complexity of what it means to be Latinx. These heated discussions drive home why Hollywood desperately needs gatekeepers who understand what these cultural firestorms are really about.
That’s because the unspoken rules regarding Latino identity shift depending on the context. (We can’t even agree on what to call ourselves, but that’s a topic for another time.)
Let me break down the firestorms of the past month as a way to unpack the lessons embedded within.
1. Antonio Banderas: Colonist or Hollywood trailblazer for Latinos?
Exactly on queue, on the morning Oscar nominations were announced last month, outrage among Latinxers erupted on social media. Aside from widespread frustration with JLo’s nomination snub, despite her head-turning role in “Hustlers,” debate raged over Banderas’ nomination for his leading role in Pedro Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glory.”
The rub? For some, Banderas, who was born in Spain, does not represent diversity in Hollywood. The outrage at the suggestion that his nomination was a small win for all Latinos was so strong, one would think Banderas makes it a habit of waking up in the morning and dressing in Spanish conquistador armor before heading to Hollywood meetings. Others within the Latinx community dismissed the debate as divisive — a win for someone with Spanish-speaking roots should be a win for all.
Perhaps a more constructive conversation would be examining how Hollywood’s executive elite perceives Banderas. Have studio heads historically seen him as one of their own, a slam dunk for quintessential Hollywood roles? Or has Banderas, in his 30+ years in Hollywood, too been perceived as an “other” in those closed-door, career-defining conversations by gatekeepers?
The response to Banderas’ nomination among the Latinx community should have come as no surprise: The entertainment industry would do well in trying to understand the nuances of representation.
Mexican director Alfonso Cuarónlast year captured the ongoing struggle about the lack of representation of U.S. born Latinos in an interview with media company Remezcla.
“There is so much talk about diversity, and I mean some progress has been made, but definitely the Hispanic Americans — and specifically Chicanos — are really, really badly represented still,” Cuarón said after winning an Oscar for the feature film “Roma.” “It’s amazing, you know? It’s a huge percentage of the population.”
Why Hollywood darling “American Dirt” turned to ash
Before copies even hit the bookshelves, the Mexican migrant novel by Jeanine Cummins unleashed the wrath of many Mexican Americans and other Latinos for what has been described as the book’s unsophisticated narrative — a tale laced with stereotypes, clichés and a hollow understanding of the journey to cross the border.
Imperative Entertainment, the production company behind Clint Eastwood’s “The Mule,” acquired the rights to the novel after a publishing bidding war resulted in a seven-figure sum for Cummins. In the author’s note, Cummins now famously says she wished “someone slightly browner than me” had written the novel, before conceding she had the “capacity” to be some sort of a cultural bridge, presumably because her husband was an undocumented immigrant (from Ireland, it was later known) and her grandmother is Puerto Rican.
Barnes & Noble
Did Hollywood jump before doing its due diligence? How we tell the important stories of our time is just as important as deciding what stories to tell.
The “American Dirt” controversy reminds me of a time early in my career when I was tapped by newsroom editors as a lead writer to help chronicle California’s changing demographics. I was being dispatched to the border to tell the story of the explosive population growth among Latinos, which for the first time was more a result of births than of immigration.
Barely out of college from my hometown of Miami — where Latinos dominate every layer of business, politics and culture — I felt the assignment was all wrong. So I mustered up the courage to ask for a meeting with editors to discuss the direction of the story.
Journalists, as with entertainment execs, are fans of storytelling extremes — when, in fact, most of our daily lives are lived within the gritty, ambiguous in-between. My twenty-something self sat in a chair inside a small office, flanked by three veteran journalists, all white men. I proceeded to explain what I saw as flaws of the story idea.
Latinos, it seemed from our conversation, were something to observe through a fishbowl. “Why do Latinos have so many babies? Let’s go see them in the wild,” it felt as though they were asking.
When I pushed back, one of the journalists who was standing inside of the cramped office asked if I felt as though I was “too close to the story” and couldn’t be impartial.
Would it be better, he asked, “if a Bavarian wrote it?” He was the said Bavarian.
I’m not exactly sure how I managed to pick up my metaphorical mouth from the floor and continue my pitch, but it remains a moment of pride that I walked out of that office with a completely different assignment of my own choosing. I would spend several months reporting and writing — alone, without the Bavarian.
It helped that I came to the meeting prepared, having spent hours analyzing census and private polling data. I found that if you look deeper at the trends over time, Latinos across generations very much begin to resemble white America when it comes to birth rates.
So I set out and found the perfect family (who hadn’t settled on the poverty-stricken border) from which to tell a generational story that begins at the Rio Grande, migrates to California’s crop-picking fields and finishes (or begins again) on college campuses.
It’s too late to change the immigrant tale at the center of “American Dirt,” though its publisher, Flatiron Books, backpedaled on its marketing push and book tour after the fervent backlash:
“We should never have claimed that it was a novel that defined the immigrant experience; we should not have said that Jeanine’s husband was an undocumented immigrant while not specifying that he was from Ireland…” the statement read. “We can now see how insensitive those and other decisions were, and we regret them.”
Does it come as a surprise that Latinos made up just 3 percent of the publishing workforce in 2018, according to a 2019 Publisher’s Weekly study?
No, not really.
3. How Shakira and JLo’s performance united Latinos
“I’ve often wondered why Latinos, particularly considering our share of the population, have struggled to make the same headway in Hollywood as African Americans and Asian Americans.
Then I think about some of the complicated conversations with my friends. For context: I’m the daughter of Cuban immigrants; my husband is second-generation California Mexican American; our friends are a mix of children and grandchildren of Mexican, Peruvian, Argentinian and European immigrants; and several also proudly represent Boyle Heights and East L.A.
On a recent night, we went from debating the Banderas nomination to discussing the Latino director of some obscure film. The assumption was that he was of Mexican heritage. Then we Googled his name.
“Oh, he’s Puerto Rican,” my friend, a self-described Chicana, said.
“You sound disappointed,” I responded, as her shoulders slightly slumped.
“I thought he was Mexican.”
In that disappointment lies the crux of why what Shakira and JLo did Sunday night felt so significant. For 12 minutes, these power women brought pan-ethnic Latinos together, forcing us to forget our differences and instead focus on our shared culture, experience and love of Spanglish.
We were one. And when JLo draped herself in a feathered Puerto Rican flag, Latinos collectively cheered, regardless of what country our parents or grandparents immigrated from; whether or not we speak Spanish; and no matter if we identify as Latinx or not.
Because in the context of making entertainment history on the most significant of stages, Latino identity transcended divisions.
So, yes, Latinos can gripe about whether a Banderas Oscar nomination counts toward Latino representation — and still see ourselves in “Pain and Glory.” We can tear apart the immigrant story central to “American Dirt” — and still demand more stories about the struggles south of the border. We can wear our different nationalities as badges of honor — and still come together as one when our culture is center stage.
Rather than see us as too difficult to understand, Hollywood should value us for being complicated and dynamic and flawed — a true American story.
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www.thewrap.com | 2/7/20
Hulu released a slew of new trailers on Friday, including for its hotly anticipated upcoming literary adaptations “Normal People” and “Little Fires Everywhere.”
“Normal People,” an adaptation of the bestselling novel by Sally Rooney, tracks the tender but complicated relationship of Marianne and Connell from the end of their school days in small-town west of Ireland to their undergraduate years at Trinity College.
The series stars Daisy Edgar-Jones as Marianne, and Paul Mescal as Connell. Rooney adapted her own novel with writers Alice Birch and Mark O’Rowe. Lenny Abrahamson and Hettie McDonald split directing duties on the 12-episode series.
“Little Fires Everywhere,” an eight-episode limited series based on the novel by Celeste Ng, is set to premiere on Hulu on March 18.
Starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, the series follows the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and an enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. Per Hulu, “The story explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, the ferocious pull of motherhood — and the danger in believing that following the rules can avert disaster.”
Joshua Jackson, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jade Pettyjohn, Jordan Elsass, Gavin Lewis, Megan Stott, Lexi Underwood and Huang Lu also star, with “Casual’s” Liz Tigelaar serving as writer and showrunner on the drama.
Hulu also released a new full-length trailer for the series adaptation of “High Fidelity” led by Zoe Kravitz.
A retelling of the 1995 novel by Nick Hornby and the 2000 feature film starring John Cusack, “High Fidelity” centers on Kravitz’s character, a record store owner in the rapidly gentrified neighborhood of Crown Heights, Brooklyn who revisits past relationships through music and pop culture, while trying to get over her one true love.
Da’Vine Joy Randolph, David H. Holmes, Jake Lacy and Kingsley Ben-Adir also star in the series from writers Veronica West and Sarah Kucserka. It is set to premiere on Feb. 14.
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www.thewrap.com | 1/17/20
The film Blue Story is still banned from the 91 UK and Ireland Vue cinema locations.
www.bbc.co.uk | 11/25/19
Staff reported "a culture of criticism and ridicule" in the body which upholds teaching standards.
www.bbc.co.uk | 9/11/19
There are almost too many original ideas in “A Faithful Man,” the second feature directed by French star Louis Garrel.
Many plot twists and turns are packed into the rather rushed 75-minute running time here, and they are not always “elegant,” to borrow a preferred term from the film, but they are certainly diverting. The screenplay was co-written by Garrel and the great screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière, and the tone is all over the place, but playfully so.
“A Faithful Man” begins with a shot of the Eiffel Tower and some tasteful piano music on the soundtrack, and this would seem to threaten some serious Gallic treatment of l’amour. Garrel’s character Abel tells us in narration that he has been living with Marianne (Laetitia Casta) for three years. As he is leaving one morning for work, Marianne very matter-of-factly tells him that she is pregnant with a baby by a mutual friend named Paul, and Abel takes this news with near-comic equanimity. There is even an old-fashioned Noel Coward air of “we’re all adults and we’re sophisticated” about their viewpoint.
Any film with Louis Garrel in it is at least partially about his hair, which is close-cropped in this first scene but back to its full iconic mess of curls in a scene set around eight years later, at Paul’s funeral. The dry comic undertone of the material is maintained when Abel goes out to eat with Marianne and the waitress keeps shaking her head to let him know not to order certain dishes, but this romantic drama with whiffs of romantic comedy shifts towards something darker when Joseph (Joseph Engel), Marianne’s young son, tells Abel that he thinks Paul was poisoned by Marianne. Engel has a very mature face and a clear gaze, and so it isn’t too easy to shake off Joseph’s suspicions of murder, either for Abel or for the audience.
The camera style chosen by Garrel and cinematographer Irina Lubtchansky (“Ismael’s Ghosts”) for the first scenes is conventional, even classical, with a lot of measured shot-reverse-shot conversations. But when Paul’s younger sister Eve (Lily-Rose Depp) begins to narrate and tell us about her obsession with Abel, the camerawork gets far less steady and becomes handheld, which gets across the difference in point-of-view between Abel and Marianne and the far less stable Eve, who extols Abel’s hair, of course, and his voice, and takes photos of herself in the passenger seat of his car to pretend like she’s his girlfriend.
Eve is basically a stalker of Abel through most of “A Faithful Man,” and both she and Marianne are far more active characters than Abel is. There has always been a streak of passivity about Garrel as a performer when he has worked in movies for directors like Bernardo Bertolucci, Christophe Honoré (for whom he has been a muse), and his own father Philippe Garrel. He has become a standard-bearer for his generation in French cinema, a more amiable Jean-Pierre Léaud for the 21st century, and while he could seem callow when he was just starting out, time has begun to deepen his emotional resources on screen so that he is becoming more than just the surface he offered in his early work.
Abel is a pawn in “A Faithful Man” being moved around by Eve and by Marianne, who admits that she doesn’t actually know who fathered her child. (She flipped a coin to decide which lover to pick to be Joseph’s father.) Eve declares “war” on Marianne, but Marianne deftly sidesteps this and tells Abel to sleep with Eve and see how it goes, and he semi-reluctantly does so. Eve admits that she had better orgasms with other guys while thinking of Abel than she actually has with Abel, and this is the kind of psychological insight that can be found in Carrière’s best screenplays.
All the while, Joseph is recording practically everything said in Marianne’s apartment, and he even places a phone under her bed to monitor his mother’s sex life. In description, “A Faithful Man” sounds like quite a rich brew, but it is actually more of an exercise than anything else, a chance to play a kind of cinematic shell game with four main characters who are never quite what they seem.
For the last scene, which is fairly dramatic in theory, Marianne is wearing a grey coat with light pink accents that is so striking that it rules the frames with its beauty, and this is the kind of lightly enjoyable film that allows such incidental pleasures to dominate if they care to.
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www.thewrap.com | 7/16/19
HBO’s untitled Naomi Watts-led “Game of Thrones” prequel pilot may not have Targaryens and dragons — but it does have Starks, direwolves and, of course, White Walkers.
“The Starks will definitely be there,” George R.R. Martin, co-creator and executive producer on the project alongside showrunner Jane Goldman, told Entertainment Weekly in an interview published Tuesday.
“Obviously the White Walkers are here — or as they’re called in my books, The Others — and that will be an aspect of it,” the “A Song of Ice and Fire” author said, adding: “There are things like direwolves and mammoths.”
The appearance of the Starks, descendants of the First Men, shouldn’t be a shock to fans who remember the prequel — which is reportedly currently filming in North Ireland — takes place roughly 5,000 years before the events of HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”
And Martin says a lot of things are different back then, including the fact that the Lannisters won’t be around, because they don’t occupy Casterly Rock yet — and there are way more kingdoms in Westeros.
“We talk about the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros; there were Seven Kingdoms at the time of Aegon’s Conquest,” Martin told EW. “But if you go back further then there are nine kingdoms, and 12 kingdoms, and eventually you get back to where there are a hundred kingdoms — petty kingdoms — and that’s the era we’re talking about here.”
Though the prequel — which Martin calls an “ensemble” series — is still untitled, that hasn’t stopped the author from repeatedly calling it “The Long Night,” which we now know to be the title of a Season 8 episode of “Game of Thrones.” And that might complicate things a bit.
While he still can’t confirm the title, he told EW: “I heard a suggestion that it could be called ‘The Longest Night,’ which is a variant I wouldn’t mind. That would be pretty good.”
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www.thewrap.com | 7/9/19
TheWrap welcomed top entertainment industry executives and leaders in film to celebrate its 10th anniversary at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday after a moving discussion among women activists and filmmakers about their work.
The panel discussion on the Pinewood yacht beside the Palais de Festival featured Somali activist Ifrah Ahmed, the subject of the festival film “A Girl From Mogadishu”; “Give Me Liberty” writer and producer Alice Austen, whose film featured in the Directors Fortnight section of the festival; and Yolonda Brinkley, founder of Diversity in Cannes, a group that advocates for inclusivity at the festival.
Ahmed, a Somali-Irish activist, riveted the audience in explaining her work in fighting female genital mutilation (FGM), getting legislation passed to ban the practice in Ireland and working closely with the Somali government to change policy there. Ahmed, who is depicted in “A Girl From Mogadishu” by Aja Naomi King, talked about how her decision to speak out against the cutting of young girls left her ostracized in the Somali immigrant community and led her to flee Dublin — until she decided she would speak out anyway.
“When I meet with different people in [the] Western world, they say ‘Oh, it’s their culture,'” Ahmed said. “Opening the conversation has opened their eyes, and now people say it’s a cruel practice and should be stopped.”
She added: “Then I decided to go back to Somalia and start the campaign where I was born and raised… Somalia has been in war for like 30 years, and we have al-Shabaab linked with al-Qaeda and ISIS… I lost many people who worked on my campaign — car-bombed, killed. It was very (full of) danger, but I felt if I could save one girl’s life, I’m doing something good and making a difference. That makes me keep going.”
Austen, a former human-rights lawyer turned playwright and screenwriter, described how she became a producer on her Cannes film. The initial deal with an art-house distributor fell through, and she decided to step up and produce the film herself. “Give Me Liberty,” which will be released by Music Box in the fall, is a madcap look at a Russian immigrant family in Milwaukee intersecting with the locals, including an African-American family, and a love story that ensues.
Brinkley talked about the need for greater inclusivity in Cannes despite the international nature of the festival. The former brand marketer took on her mission a decade ago, and solicits short films from underrepresented communities, choosing two winners in a Diversity Day program.
Among those in attendance were filmmaker Pamela Guest; Content Partners CEO Steve Kram; producer Bronwyn Cornelius; Jeffrey Zaks, Head of Media & Entertainment Banking at Opus Bank; SCAD festival executive director Christina Routhier; Aviron CEO David Dinerstein; “A Girl From Mogadishu” director Mary McGuckian; First Look Media CEO Michael Bloom; Creative Coalition CEO Robin Bronk; producer Cassian Elwes; student Academy Award winner Kelley Kali; Wrap Awards Editor Steve Pond and many others.
The event was sponsored by Pinewood Studios and Piper-Heidsieck champagne.
TheWrap celebrated its 10 years of existence with a collectors edition magazine. The edition features an exclusive interview with Antonio Banderas and the largest portfolio of Cannes directors ever compiled, brought to you by TheWrap’s award-winning creative team.
The Wrap News Inc. is the leading digital-first news organization covering the business of entertainment and media via digital, print and live events. TheWrap.com won best website for a news organization at the 2018 Los Angeles Press Club Journalism Awards. April 2019 saw record traffic highs, reaching 17 million monthly users on the site, and with a reach of 50 million users across all its channels and partners.
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www.thewrap.com | 5/20/19
“Game of Thrones” showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will receive the Founders Award at this year’s International Emmy Awards in November.
The Founders Award is given annually to those whose “creative accomplishments have contributed in some way to the quality of global television production.” The HBO fantasy epic has almost exclusively filmed aboard in locations Northern Ireland (mostly in Belfast), Croatia, Iceland and Morocco. The series airs in over 207 countries.
“The International Academy does us all a great honor. From cast to crew to locations, the ‘Game of Thrones’ effort was truly international, and this award rightly belongs to all the people who worked so hard for so many years to bring the show to life,” Benioff and Weiss said in a statement Monday.
“David and D.B. are absolute game changers, visionary storytellers who have created, with their first foray into television, a record breaking global cultural phenomenon with an international following like no other,” Bruce L. Paisner, president & CEO, International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, added. “We look forward to honoring their extraordinary talent and the ‘Game of Thrones’ legacy, with our Founders Award.”
The International Emmy Awards will be held Monday, Nov. 25, in New York City.
“Game of Thrones” is heading into its eighth and final season, which will premiere April 14. The series finale is slated for May 19.
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www.thewrap.com | 3/25/19