New York, Jan 11 (AP/UNB) — The long-gestating Aretha Franklin biopic "Respect" is going ahead with stage director Liesel Tommy set to direct.
MGM announced Thursday that Tommy will helm the film, which is to star Jennifer Hudson. The "Dreamgirls" actress was cast as the late Queen of Soul in January 2018 after Franklin selected her for the role. At the time, Hudson performed a medley of Franklin's songs at Clive Davis' pre-Grammy bash.
Callie Khouri, who penned 1991's "Thelma & Louise," will write the script.
Tommy was nominated for a Tony Award for directing the 2016 Broadway production of "Eclipsed" starring Lupita Nyong'o. She is also set to direct a film adaption of Trevor Noah's autobiography.
Franklin died at the age of 76 in August from pancreatic cancer.
Dhaka, Jan 10 (UNB) - The nine-day 17th Dhaka International Film Festival (DIFF) began here on Thursday with the theme ‘Better Film, Better Audience and Better Society’.
Rainbow Film Society, which has been dedicated to the promotion of a healthy cine culture in Bangladesh and in celebrating the global mainstream in film and its social relevance since 1977, organised the festival.
Immediate past Finance Minister AMA Muhith was the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony held at the main auditorium of the National Museum.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs and chief patron of the DIFF Shahriar Alam presided over the session while festival director Ahmed Muztaba Zamal and Festival Executive Committee member M Hamid were also present on the occasion.
At the 17th DIFF, which will end on January 18, some 220 films from around 72 countries will be screened, say organisers.
The film screenings will be held at the Alliance Francaise de Dhaka, Blockbuster Cinemas at Jamuna Future Park, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Central Public Library Auditorium and National Museum Auditorium.
There are competitions named “Asian Cinema Section”, “Retrospective”, “Bangladesh Panorama Section”, “Cinema of the World Section”, “Children Films Section”, “Women Filmmakers Section”, “Short and Independent Films Section” and “Spiritual Films Section”.
Like previous years, Rainbow Film Society is also arranging a two-day ‘Fifth Dhaka International Conference on Women in Cinema 2019’ from Friday where woman filmmakers, actors and personalities from all over the world will take part.
Alongside, a two-day long International Film Critics Federation (FIPRESCI) Asian region conference will be held as part of 17th DIFF on January 13-14.
The aim of the conference is to motivate and introduce the Asian FIPRESCI members, who are less prioritised and are not getting the privileges properly.
Another very important segment that the 2019 DIFF is arranging in continuation of all the previous festivals is the Children’s Film Section.
Around 10 fiction films will be screened in this segment. These screenings are ideal family outings and will be open to all children and adults.
One film will be selected by audience vote for the Best Juvenile Film Audience Award. The award will be in the form of a certificate and a crest.
Alongside, a day-long programme ‘WEST MEETS EAST’ will be held at the Dhaka International Film Festival on January 14 at the Dhaka Club Samson Lounge.
An international film critic, a prominent festival official, a leading academic and an experienced producer will participate in the segment.
Los Angeles, Jan 9 (AP/UNB) — Mattel and Warner Bros. Pictures announced Tuesday that Robbie will star as the iconic doll in the franchise's first-ever live-action film. The 28-year-old "I, Tonya" actress will also co-produce the film under her LuckyChap Entertainment banner.
The Barbie film is the first announced deal to come out of toymaker's newly-established Mattel Films. The Barbie doll debuted at a New York toy fair in 1959.
Robbie said in a statement that she believes the film will have a "tremendously positive impact on children and audiences worldwide." The Oscar-nominated actress has also starred in "Mary Queen of Scots," and "Suicide Squad."
The film's title and release date have not been revealed.
Los Angzeles , Jan 8 (AP/UNB) — The scripts for "Black Panther" and "A Star Is Born" are among the five films that have been selected to compete for best adapted screenplay at the Writers Guild of America Awards. The two blockbusters will compete against "BlacKkKlansman," ''Can You Ever Forgive Me?" and "If Beale Street Could Talk."
The writers guild also on Monday announced its nominees for best original screenplay, including Bo Burnham for "Eighth Grade," Alfonso Cuaron for "Roma," Adam McKay for "Vice," as well as the scripts for "A Quiet Place," co-written by John Krasinski, and "Green Book."
Documentary scripts nominated include Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 11/9" and Lauren Greenfield's "Generation Wealth."
Winners will be announced at concurrent ceremonies in New York and Los Angeles on February 17.
New York, Jan 6 (AP/UNB) — The National Society of Film Critics on Saturday chose Chloe Zhao's low-budget debut feature, "The Rider," as best picture of 2018.
Director Alfonso Cuaron's black-and-white "Roma" period piece set in modern Mexico won the most awards — as best picture runner-up, best foreign-language film and for best cinematography. Cuaron also got the award for best director.
The society of leading movie critics voted for Olivia Colman as best actress in "The Favourite," and Ethan Hawke as best actor in "First Reformed." The top accolade for best supporting actor went to Steve Yeun of "Burning," while Regina King of "If Beale Street Could Talk" nabbed best supporting actress. About 40 of the society's 64 members voted.
Best screenplay went to "The Death of Stalin," and best non-fiction film to "Minding the Gap," a documentary directed by Bing Liu about the complex friendship among three skateboarding young men, including himself, in their hometown of Rockford, Illinois.
The film critics society was founded in 1966, electing its voting critics from newspapers and other major U.S. media outlets. The 53rd annual awards were hosted by New York's Film Society of Lincoln Center.
Justin Chang, the society's chairman and the Los Angeles Times' film critic, told The Associated Press that 2018 yielded "an embarrassment of riches" among new movies, but "The Rider" stood out among them — a contemporary western drama shot in the badlands of South Dakota. There, a family living in a trailer against the backdrop of the rodeo circuit struggles with autism, brain damage from a bronc riding competition, drinking and gambling, but somehow endures.
The film, directed by a Beijing-born woman who was educated in the United States and lives here, "is a mixture of documentary realism and fiction," Chang said. "She uses nonprofessional actors in a way that's intimate and organic; it's a heartbreaking movie with a lot of staying power."
He noted that the society does not base its choices either on a film's box office or its budget. "We care about the quality of the movies."
The 2018 winners reflect this year's wide ethnic and technical diversity in film production, including "Burning," a South Korean mystery drama directed by Lee Chang-dong.
"Roma," directed by the Mexican-born Cuaron, has also been named best picture by the New York Film Critics Circle and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
"A lot of directors are rediscovering the striking, atmospheric properties of black-and-white cinema," Chang said — including Cuaron, who had also directed the 2001 prize-winning "Y Tu Mama Tambien."
In "Roma," Cuaron's lavish visuals capture a young domestic worker in the Roma neighborhood of Mexico City in the 1970s, exploding with domestic, social and political turmoil.
"It's the critical hit of the season," Chang said.