Alliance of Women Directors Announces Inaugural Rising Director Fellowship Class – Film News in Brief

The Alliance of Women Directors has chosen six directors to compose its inaugural 2024 Rising Director Fellowship class – Josie Andrews, Christianna Carmine, Angela Cohen, Julie Herlocker, Jessica Liu and Morgen Whiteman.

They were chosen from a finalist pool of 19 candidates.

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For the next year, participants will now have access to education and networking opportunities, mentorship and the opportunity to create a “proof of concept” for their feature projects, with the program concluding with an “industry screening” of the shorts.

“The Rising Director Fellowship is an exciting addition to our current slate of Member Programming,” Kylie Eaton, co-chair of the board of directors and spearhead of the RDF program, said in a statement. “These six deserving directors are at an inflection point in their career. They have done the hard work and preparation to get to this point; AWD is proud to offer them this opportunity for the exposure and guidance needed to become the next groundbreaking feature directors. As with all of the work we do, our goal with this fellowship is to get women and nonbinary directors hired and get their projects made.”

Since its foundation in 1997 by alumnae of the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women, the AWD strives to “increase opportunities for women and nonbinary directors working in the screened content industry through robust advocacy, craft development programs, and mentorship.”

“We are thrilled to welcome our inaugural class of talented and ambitious women directors into our Rising Director Fellowship program,” Melanie Mack, executive director of the AWD, said in a statement. “These women are the future of the industry, and we are committed to providing them with the support, resources, and mentorship they need to thrive in their careers. We are excited to see the incredible work they will create this year.”

Jeff Bridges to be Honored with Chaplain Award by Film at Lincoln Center

Jeff Bridges will be honored with the 49th Chaplin Award at a gala evening at Lincoln Center on April 29.

Past recipients include Alfred Hitchcock, Sidney Poitier, Barbara Streisand, Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, Spike Lee, Cate Blanchett, and Viola Davis. The Chaplin Award Gala is the major annual fundraiser for Film at Lincoln Center; proceeds support the nonprofit organization’s year-round programs, including film series, student programs, and film festivals such as the New York Film Festival and New Directors/New Films.

Dan Stern, Chairman of the Board of Film at Lincoln Center, said, “Jeff Bridges is one of our most distinguished and beloved actors whose body of work, commitment to his art, and lifetime of career achievements demonstrate a significant contribution to the art of film. We at Film at Lincoln Center are honored to present the 49th Chaplin Award to Jeff Bridges, and look forward to celebrating with Jeff, his family, his colleagues, and the Film at Lincoln community and supporters.”

“One of America’s greatest actors, Jeff Bridges is an artist and creative soul who naturally brings compassion and depth to every role he inhabits. His humanity and intelligence inform iconic characters such as Rooster Cogburn in True Grit, Duane Jackson in The Last Picture Show (NYFF9), and of course the iconic Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski in The Big Lebowski,” said Lesli Klainberg, president of Film at Lincoln Center. “The Chaplin Award is meant to recognize the work of artists who believe in cinema and Film at Lincoln Center is delighted that Jeff Bridges will receive the 49th Chaplin Award.”

Actors Zazie Beetz and Jack Quaid to Host Oscars Nominations Announcement on Jan. 23

Actors Zazie Beetz and Jack Quaid will host the announcement of the 96th Oscars nominations in all 23 Academy Award categories in a live presentation on Jan. 23 from the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

You can read Variety’s Clayton Davis’ 2024 Oscars nominations predictions here.

The live presentation of the nominations will begin at 5:30 a.m. PT/8:30 a.m. ET, where they’ll be live-streamed on the Oscars website, the Academy’s digital platforms (TikTokInstagramYouTubeFacebook) and national broadcast and streaming news programs, including ABC’s “Good Morning America,” ABC News Live and Disney+.

The rough schedule for the announcement of nominees in specific categories can be found below, but it’s subject to change and not listed in order of presentation.

5:30 a.m. PT: 

Actor in a Supporting Role 
Actress in a Supporting Role 
Animated Short Film 
Costume Design 
Live Action Short Film
Makeup and Hairstyling 
Music (Original Score) 
Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Writing (Original Screenplay)

5:41 a.m. PT: 

Actor in a Leading Role 
Actress in a Leading Role 
Animated Feature Film 
Documentary Feature Film 
Documentary Short Film 
Film Editing
International Feature Film 
Music (Original Song) 
Best Picture
Production Design 
Visual Effects

The 96th Oscars will air on March 10 on ABC, and you can read Variety’s prediction for best picture contenders here.

Judd Apatow to Host 76th Annual Directors Guild of America Awards

Judd Apatow, the producer and director behind comedy hits like “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Knocked Up,” “Funny People,” “This Is 40,” “Trainwreck” and “The King of Staten Island,” among others, is set to host the 76th Annual Directors Guild of America Awards, which will take place on Feb. 10.

Apatow will return to the podium for a fifth turn, as he previously hosted the 70th DGA Awards in 2018, the 72nd DGA Awards in 2020, the 74th DGA Awards in 2022 and the 75th Anniversary DGA Awards in 2023.

“It’s an honor to be hosting the DGA Awards for the 5th time,” Apatow said in a statement. Further joking that in “just three more times and I’ll be eligible for health insurance.”

DGA chair Beth McCarthy-Miller made the announcement, noting she was “thrilled that Judd will return as our host, keeping our ceremony grounded in connection, camaraderie and comedy.”

The awards will take place at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, and you can find the complete list of nominees here.

American Cinema Editors to Honor John Waters With Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year Award

John Waters will be honored by the American Cinema Editors with the Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year Award. Waters will be recognized at the 74th Annual ACE Eddie Awards on March 3.

“John Waters isn’t just a filmmaking icon,” ACE president Kevin Tent said in a statement. “He’s a punk rock poet of the picture palace. With each frame, he challenges norms, skewers societal hypocrisies, and explodes cinematic expectations with subversive wit and audacious style. His films crackle with an anarchic energy that’s as intoxicating as it is hilarious and poignant. ACE is proud to celebrate his singular artistic vision that has entertained the hell out of generations.”

At the ACE Eddie Awards, film editors Kate Amend and Walter Murch will also receive career achievement honors, and Stephen Lovejoy will be honored with the ACE Heritage Award. Additionally, the winners of the 13 categories recognizing the best film editing achievements will be announced at the ceremony.

Past Golden Eddie recipients include Spike Lee, Quentin Tarantino, Kathleen Kennedy and Christopher Nolan, among several others.

Art Directors Guild Announces Recipients of Lifetime Achievement Awards for Production Design

The Art Directors Guild, IATSE Local 800 (ADG 800) has announced its three honorees for the 28th Annual Excellence in Production Designs awards, which recognizes artisans across film and television.

This year’s recipients are guild members David Lowery, who’s served as a storyboard artist on the “Jurassic Park” franchise, “Iron Man” and others; Wynn P. Thomas, the first African American production designer to join the ADG with credits including “Hidden Figures,” “A Beautiful Mind” and “Da 5 Bloods;” and Francine West, the first woman working as a scenic artist in film and television projects for both the NBC Television Network and MGM, according to the press release. The awards show will be hosted on Feb. 10.

“It’s our honor to recognize and award these trailblazers in our guild,” said Michael Allen Glover and Megan Elizabeth Bell, ADG award show producers.

Newly Remastered, Black and White Version of ‘Godzilla Minus One’ To Hit Theaters For One Week on Jan. 26

A newly remastered, black and white version of “Godzilla Minus One,” titled “Godzilla Minus One Color,” will hit U.S. theaters for a limited, one-week run starting on Jan. 26. The release serves as a thank you from film distributor Toho International to fans who helped propel the 2023 post-World War 2 science-fiction film about the iconic monster to over $50 million at the U.S. box office.

Tickets are on sale now for “Godzilla Minus One Color,” and fans have until Feb. 1 to see all versions of the film before they leave theaters.

Speaking on the differences between this film and its original version, director, writer and VFX supervisor Takashi Yamazaki said, “‘Godzilla Minus One Color’ is not just a simple black and white version. Our colorist took the time and care to go through a very meticulous and complex process. The black-and-white images make Godzilla look very realistic and documentary-like, which leads to even more fear.”

Further adding: “I was very happy that the North American audience embraced ‘Godzilla Minus One’ and gave us positive feedback such as ‘it was incredible!’, ‘it was scary!’ and ‘it made me cry!’ And now I am very pleased to be able to release a black-and-white version for North America as well. ‘Godzilla Minus One Color’ will bring a new and visceral experience to audiences, and I hope they will tremble with a new kind of terror!”

“Godzilla Minus One” is currently the #5 highest-grossing non-English language film in the U.S. box office history and is on the Academy shortlist for best visual effects, already having won awards for its visual effects and for being the international/foreign language film as well as the best horror/science-fiction film from various film critics associations.

International Cinematographers Guild Appoints Michaella “Micki” Bursalyan, John Amman As Regional Directors

The International Cinematographers Guild has appointed Michaella “Micki” Bursalyan to join the ICG as the western region director, while John Amman has been promoted to eastern region director.

The International Cinematographers Guild represents more than 10,000 members who work on feature films, television, streaming, commercials, news broadcast, documentaries and industrials as directors of photography, visual effects supervisors, camera operators, camera assistants, loaders, utilities, still photographers, digital imaging technicians, video controllers and publicists. In addition to organizing and advocating for artisans, ICG’s ongoing events include the Emerging Cinematographer Awards and the ICG Publicists Awards Luncheon.

“We are fortunate to have two labor leaders like John and Micki step into these important roles as region directors, and I’m looking forward to working with them,” ICG national executive director Alex Tonisson said in a statement. “Their skills and experience will help Local 600 grow and thrive during the upcoming Basic Agreement negotiations and beyond.”

Before joining the ICG, Bursalyan served as the Staff Director for SEIU Local 221 and Senior Coordinator for SEIU International, a 2-million-member international labor organization. She also worked as a television business representative with AFTRA and then SAG/AFTRA early in her career.

Ammam has worked for Local 600, a branch of the ICG, serving as assistant eastern region director and senior business representative in New York. He “brings more than three decades of experience managing the needs of the Eastern region membership,” the ICG said in a statement.

Bursalyan and Amman complete a roster of three region directors alongside central region director Theresa Khouri.

‘Whiplash’ Tops Sundance Film Festival’s Top 10 Feature Films List From Past Four Decades

The 2014 psychological drama “Whiplash” has topped the Sundance Film Festival’s list of top 10 feature films from the past four decades. In honor of the 40th edition of the festival that starts Thursday, the Sundance Institute surveyed over 500 filmmakers, critics and industry members who selected from nearly 4,000 features that have played the festival.

Directed and written by Damien Chazelle, “Whiplash” stars Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons as music conservatory student Andrew Neiman and abusive music teacher Terrence Fletcher, respectively. The film went on to win Academy Awards for best adapted screenplay and best film editing, with J.K. Simmons receiving the best supporting actor award for his performance.

Placing second and third in the list were Quentin Tarantino’s 1992 neo-noir film “Reservoir Dogs,” about the aftermath of an unsuccessful jewelry heist, and Jordan Peele’s 2017 horror, “Get Out,” about a Black man (Daniel Kaluuya) visiting the home of his white girlfriend, Rose (Alison Williams), only to find that terrifying operations are going on inside.

Following the first three, the other seven films that made the list were, in descending ranking: “Little Miss Sunshine,” “Memento,” “sex, lies and videotape,” “Before Sunrise,” “Boyhood,” “Y tu mamá también” and “Blood Simple.”

To see the all the films that played the festival for the past four decades, click here. The festival runs from Thursday to Jan. 28 in Park City and Salt Lake City, Utah.

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