Tag Archives: Music


Posted by Larry Gleeson

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Pahokee, photo by Patrick Bresnan


For the 2019 Festival, slated to run January 24th through February 3rd, 2019, 112 feature-length films were selected from a record high of 14,259 submissions including 4,018 feature-length films, representing 33 countries and 45 first-time filmmakers. Of the feature film submissions, 1,767 were from the U.S. and 2,251 were international; 31% were directed by one or more women; 38% were directed by one or more filmmaker of color; 11% by one or more people who identify as LGBTQIA. 24 films are supported by Sundance Institute in development, whether through direct granting or residency Labs. In addition, 102 of the Festival’s feature films, or 91% of the lineup, will be world premieres.

The Sundance Film Festival is the premier showcase for U.S. and international independent film, held each January in and around Park City, Utah. Presenting dramatic and documentary feature-length films from emerging and established artists, innovative short films, filmmaker forums and panels, live music performances, cutting-edge media installations, and engaging community programs, the Festival is known for bringing together the most original storytellers of our time.

Robert Redford, pictured below, President and Founder of Sundance Institute, recently said this about storytellers,

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“Society relies on storytellers.

The choices they make, and the risks they take, define our collective experience.

This year’s Festival is full of storytellers who offer challenges, questions and entertainment.

In telling their stories, they make difficult decisions in the pursuit of truth and art; culture reaps the reward.”



Supported by the non-profit Sundance Institute, the Sundance Festival has introduced global audiences to some of the most ground-breaking films of the past two decades, including sex, lies, and videotape, Maria Full of Grace, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, An Inconvenient Truth, Trouble the Water, and Central Station and, through its New Frontier initiative, has brought the cinematic works of media artists including Isaac Julian, Doug Aitken, Pierre Huyghe, Jennifer Steinkamp, and Matthew Barney.

In 2018, the Festival drew 124,900 attendees from 49 U.S. states and 26 other countries, generated $191.6 million in economic activity for the state of Utah and supported 3,323 local jobs.

The 2020 Sundance Film Festival will take place January 23 – February 2, 2020.

Stay tuned for this year’s program! Until then….

I’ll see you at the movies!

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Behind ‘La La Land,’ A Long Relationship Between A Director And A Composer

Posted by Larry Gleeson

La La Land has already won seven Golden Globe Awards and is nominated for fourteen Oscars, including Best Original Score and two Best Original Songs. The music and the film’s story, about two struggling artists in Los Angeles who can’t launch their careers, are inseparable — it’s a musical, after all. But the collaboration between La La Land‘s composer and its director goes all the way back to college.

Composer Justin Hurwitz and director Damien Chazelle already had a successful track record with their previous film, Whiplash, but Hurwitz says selling a traditional musical in 21st century Hollywood was not easy.

“If he would have said no, our roads would have been very different and there certainly wouldn’t have been a La La Land,” the director says. “The smartest decision I ever made was to latch on to him and not let go.”

When Chazelle and Hurwitz finally got the green light to make La La Land, they wrote and composed hand-in-hand. The first task Chazelle put to the composer was to come up with a main theme.

“I spent so much time at the piano working on demo after demo, idea after idea,” Hurwitz says of what became “Mia & Sebastian’s Theme.” “As soon as I came up with that melody, it was like an “A-ha!” moment for me and Damien: ‘OK, wow, that’s the theme of the movie.'”

He and Chazelle also asked their stars, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, to help create the sound of the film by singing some of the songs live on camera while Hurwitz played the keyboard backstage.

“We did that because we wanted those really intimate moments to feel live and to have that live vulnerability,” Chazelle says, “and to let Emma and Ryan really act those moments and those songs in a way that probably wouldn’t have happened if they had to pre-record those songs in a studio months earlier.”

That sometimes unorthodox approach that Hurwitz and Chazelle took to collaborating has paid off. But the director says their sentimental musical was never a sure bet.

“The idea of embracing that, not apologizing for it, not trying to coat it in any kind of irony, and also embracing the kind of emotions that can come with that, that I feel like we downplay in movies these days,” Chazelle says. “The sort of full-fledged romanticism that movies of an earlier era were able to embrace without hesitation, and now it feels like we’re a little scared to embrace those sometimes.”

Chazelle has another movie in the pipeline, although it’s not a musical. As soon as it gets a green light, Hurwitz says, he will sit back down at his piano to compose once again.

(Source: npr.org)

La La Land leads 2017 Oscar Noms with a record-tying 14

Posted by Larry Gleeson

La La Land continues its strong showing on the awards circuit with a whopping 14 Oscar nominations tying the all-time nominations record 0f 14 set by All About Eve (1950) and tied first by Titanic (1997).


With over 336 feature films in contention for best picture, the list is now nine;  Arrival,  Fences, Hell or Highwater, Hidden Figures, Hacksaw Ridge,  La La Land, Lion,  Manchester By The Sea, and Moonlight. In addition,


Meryl Streep receives a record-breaking 2oth Oscar nmination for her role in Florence Foster Jenkins (Photo via imdb)

Legendary Hollywood actress, Meryl Streep, received a record-breaking 20th Oscar nomination for her role as a deluded singer in Florence Foster Jenkins. Ms. Streep breaks her own record of 19 nominations.


O.J.: Made in America, a Documentary Feature nominee, is the longest film ever nominated for an Academy Award with a run time of 7 hours and 47 minutes.
La La Land is the first musical with original music and story to receive a Best Picture nomination since All That Jazz (1979) and the second since Anchors Aweigh (1945).
Denzel Washington is the seventh individual to receive Acting and Best Picture nominations for the same film, joining Warren Beatty, Kevin Costner, Clint Eastwood, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Bradley Cooper.
With his Best Picture nomination for Manchester by the Sea, Matt Damon becomes only the third individual to be nominated in the Acting, Writing and Best Picture categories. The others are Warren Beatty and George Clooney.
With their Best Picture nominations for Moonlight, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner become the first individual producers to have nominations in the Best Picture category in four consecutive years.

In the acting categories, seven individuals are first-time nominees (Andrew Garfield, Mahershala Ali, Lucas Hedges, Dev Patel, Isabelle Huppert, Ruth Negga and Naomie Harris). Six of the nominees are previous acting winners (Denzel Washington, Jeff Bridges,Natalie Portman, Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and Octavia Spencer).

A comprehensive 89th Oscars fact sheet is available, in addition to the brief history of the Oscars previously posted.


The 89th Academy Awards will be announced in the Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center, Sunday, February 26, 2017. Jimmy Kimmel is scheduled to host and the program will air on ABC at 7PM EST. Without further ado,

The Nominees are:

Actor in a Leading Role


Casey Affleck

Manchester by the Sea

Andrew Garfield

Hacksaw Ridge

Ryan Gosling

La La Land

Viggo Mortensen

Captain Fantastic

Denzel Washington


Actor in a Supporting Role


Mahershala Ali


Jeff Bridges

Hell or High Water

Lucas Hedges

Manchester by the Sea

Dev Patel


Michael Shannon

Nocturnal Animals

Actress in a Leading Role


Isabelle Huppert


Ruth Negga


Natalie Portman


Emma Stone

La La Land

Meryl Streep

Florence Foster Jenkins

Actress in a Supporting Role


Viola Davis


Naomie Harris


Nicole Kidman


Octavia Spencer

Hidden Figures

Michelle Williams

Manchester by the Sea

Animated Feature Film


Kubo and the Two Strings

Travis Knight and Arianne Sutner


John Musker, Ron Clements and Osnat Shurer

My Life as a Zucchini

Claude Barras and Max Karli

The Red Turtle

Michael Dudok de Wit and Toshio Suzuki


Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Clark Spencer




Bradford Young

La La Land

Linus Sandgren


Greig Fraser


James Laxton


Rodrigo Prieto

Costume Design



Joanna Johnston

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Colleen Atwood

Florence Foster Jenkins

Consolata Boyle


Madeline Fontaine

La La Land

Mary Zophres




Denis Villeneuve

Hacksaw Ridge

Mel Gibson

La La Land

Damien Chazelle

Manchester by the Sea

Kenneth Lonergan


Barry Jenkins

Documentary (Feature)


Fire at Sea

Gianfranco Rosi and Donatella Palermo

I Am Not Your Negro

Raoul Peck, Rémi Grellety and Hébert Peck

Life, Animated

Roger Ross Williams and Julie Goldman

O.J.: Made in America

Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow


Ava DuVernay, Spencer Averick and Howard Barish

Documentary (Short Subject)



Dan Krauss

4.1 Miles

Daphne Matziaraki

Joe’s Violin

Kahane Cooperman and Raphaela Neihausen

Watani: My Homeland

Marcel Mettelsiefen and Stephen Ellis

The White Helmets

Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara

Film Editing



Joe Walker

Hacksaw Ridge

John Gilbert

Hell or High Water

Jake Roberts

La La Land

Tom Cross


Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon

Foreign Language Film


Land of Mine


A Man Called Ove


The Salesman




Toni Erdmann


Makeup and Hairstyling


A Man Called Ove

Eva von Bahr and Love Larson

Star Trek Beyond

Joel Harlow and Richard Alonzo

Suicide Squad

Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Nelson

Music (Original Score)



Mica Levi

La La Land

Justin Hurwitz


Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka


Nicholas Britell


Thomas Newman

Music (Original Song)


Audition (The Fools Who Dream)

from La La Land; Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

Can’t Stop The Feeling

from Trolls; Music and Lyric by Justin Timberlake, Max Martin and Karl Johan Schuster

City of Stars

from La La Land; Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

The Empty Chair

from Jim: The James Foley Story; Music and Lyric by J. Ralph and Sting

How Far I’ll Go

from Moana; Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Best Picture



Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, Aaron Ryder and David Linde, Producers


Scott Rudin, Denzel Washington and Todd Black, Producers

Hacksaw Ridge

Bill Mechanic and David Permut, Producers

Hell or High Water

Carla Hacken and Julie Yorn, Producers

Hidden Figures

Donna Gigliotti, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Pharrell Williams and Theodore Melfi, Producers

La La Land

Fred Berger, Jordan Horowitz and Marc Platt, Producers


Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Angie Fielder, Producers

Manchester by the Sea

Matt Damon, Kimberly Steward, Chris Moore, Lauren Beck and Kevin J. Walsh, Producers


Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, Producers

Production Design



Production Design: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Paul Hotte

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock

Hail, Caesar!

Production Design: Jess Gonchor; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh

La La Land

Production Design: David Wasco; Set Decoration: Sandy Reynolds-Wasco


Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Gene Serdena

Short Film (Animated)


Blind Vaysha

Theodore Ushev

Borrowed Time

Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj

Pear Cider and Cigarettes

Robert Valley and Cara Speller


Patrick Osborne


Alan Barillaro and Marc Sondheimer

Short Film (Live Action)


Ennemis Intérieurs

Sélim Azzazi

La Femme et le TGV

Timo von Gunten and Giacun Caduff

Silent Nights

Aske Bang and Kim Magnusson


Kristof Deák and Anna Udvardy


Juanjo Giménez

Sound Editing



Sylvain Bellemare

Deepwater Horizon

Wylie Stateman and Renée Tondelli

Hacksaw Ridge

Robert Mackenzie and Andy Wright

La La Land

Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan


Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman

Sound Mixing



Bernard Gariépy Strobl and Claude La Haye

Hacksaw Ridge

Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace

La La Land

Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee and Steve A. Morrow

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

David Parker, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Mac Ruth

Visual Effects


Deepwater Horizon

Craig Hammack, Jason Snell, Jason Billington and Burt Dalton

Doctor Strange

Stephane Ceretti, Richard Bluff, Vincent Cirelli and Paul Corbould

The Jungle Book

Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Dan Lemmon

Kubo and the Two Strings

Steve Emerson, Oliver Jones, Brian McLean and Brad Schiff

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

John Knoll, Mohen Leo, Hal Hickel and Neil Corbould

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)



Screenplay by Eric Heisserer


Screenplay by August Wilson

Hidden Figures

Screenplay by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi


Screenplay by Luke Davies


Screenplay by Barry Jenkins; Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney

Writing (Original Screenplay)


Hell or High Water

Written by Taylor Sheridan

La La Land

Written by Damien Chazelle

The Lobster

Written by Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthimis Filippou

Manchester by the Sea

Written by Kenneth Lonergan

20th Century Women

Written by Mike Mills
Thank you to Oscars Producers Jennifer Todd and Mike DeLuca!
Pictured left to right, Oscars Producers Jennifer Todd and Mike DeLuca. (Photo courtesy of Oscars.org)
(Source: oscars.org)

Golden Globes – Winners & Nominees (Film) 2017

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Tra la la!  La La Land  scores a record seven Golden Globe Awards!

Here’s a list of this year’s winner and nominees for this year’s film awards:


Best Motion Picture – Drama

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Best Motion Picture – Drama:
“Hacksaw Ridge”
“Hell or High Water”
“Manchester by the Sea”
“Moonlight” (WINNER)


Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy


Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy:
“20th Century Women”
“Florence Foster Jenkins”
“Sing Street”
“La La Land” (WINNER)


Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama


Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama:
Amy Adams – “Arrival”
Jessica Chastain – “Miss Sloane”
Ruth Negga – “Loving”
Natalie Portman – “Jackie”
Isabelle Huppert – “Elle” (WINNER)


Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama


Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama:
Joel Edgerton – “Loving”
Andrew Garfield – “Hacksaw Ridge”
Viggo Mortensen –  “Captain Fantastic”
Denzel Washington – “Fences”
Casey Affleck – “Manchester by the Sea” (WINNER)


Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy


Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy:
Annette Bening – “20th Century Women”
Lily Collins – “Rules Don’t Apply”
Hailee Steinfeld – “The Edge of Seventeen”
Meryl Streep – “Florence Foster Jenkins”
Emma Stone – “La La Land” (WINNER)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

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Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy:
Colin Farrell – “The Lobster”
Hugh Grant – “Florence Foster Jenkins”
Jonah Hill – “War Dogs”
Ryan Reynolds – “Deadpool”
Ryan Gosling – “La La Land” (WINNER)


Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture


Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture:
Naomie Harris – “Moonlight”
Nicole Kidman – “Lion”
Octavia Spencer – “Hidden Figures”
Michelle Williams – “Manchester by the Sea”
Viola Davis – “Fences” (WINNER)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture


Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture:
Mahershala Ali – “Moonlight”
Jeff Bridges – “Hell or High Water”
Simon Helberg – “Florence Foster Jenkins”
Dev Patel – “Lion”
Aaron Taylor-Johnson – “Nocturnal Animals” (WINNER)


Best Director – Motion Picture


Best Director – Motion Picture:
Tom Ford – “Nocturnal Animals”
Mel Gibson – “Hacksaw Ridge”
Barry Jenkins – “Moonlight”
Kenneth Lonergan – “Manchester by the Sea”
Damien Chazelle – “La La Land” (WINNER)


Best Screenplay – Motion Picture


Best Screenplay:
“Nocturnal Animals”
“Manchester by the Sea”
“Hell or High Water”
“La La Land” (WINNER)


Best Motion Picture – Animated


Best Motion Picture – Animated:
“Kubo and the Two Strings”
“My Life as a Zucchini”
“Zootopia” (WINNER)


Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language


Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language:
“Divines” – France
“Neruda” – Chile
“The Salesman” – Iran/France
“Toni Erdmann” – Germany
“Elle” – France (WINNER)

Best Original Score – Motion Picture


Best Original Score – Motion Picture:
Nicholas Britell– “Moonlight”
Johann Johannsson – “Arrival”
Dustin O’Halloran, Hauschka – “Lion”
Hans Zimmer, Pharrell Williams, Benjamin Wallfisch – “Hidden Figures”
Justin Hurwitz – “La La Land” (WINNER)

Best Original Song – Motion Picture


Best Original Song – Motion Picture:
“Can’t Stop the Feeling” – “Trolls”
“Faith” – “Sing”
“Gold” – “Gold”
“How Far I’ll Go” – “Moana”
“City of Stars” – “La La Land” (WINNER)

(Sources: goldenglobes.org, variety.com)

Nashville Film Festival Competitions Closing

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Competitions Closing this Sunday!!

Don’t miss the chance to enter the 2017 Nashville Film Festival.  Nashville Film Festival was voted one of “25 film festivals worth the entry fee” by MovieMaker Magazine and highlighted as One of the Best Film Festival Prizes by Film Festival Today. Brooks Institute named it one of the top 5 film festivals in the U.S. See the links for your gateway to entry!

Enter the Film Competition

Enter the Screenwriting Competition

Enter the Virtual Reality/360 Film Competition 

More on NashFilm

NashFilm presents the best in World Cinema, American Indies, documentaries, and numerous short form programs by veteran masters, up-and-coming directors, and first-time filmmakers. NashFilm films have won the highest honors in the film world.  Films screened in the past include 13 Assassins, (500) Days of Summer, Cyrus, Terri, Buck, Nowhere Boy, Project Nim and Academy Award nominees, I Am Love, Ajami, and Dogtooth.


With Academy Award qualifying status and numerous well-attended shorts programs, NashFilm has screened many prize-winning narrative and animated shorts.

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NashFilm is also the place where many up-and-coming filmmakers get their first big break. Craig Brewer – Footloose, Hustle & Flow, and Black Snake Moon won his first award at NashFilm. Most recently, Clay Jeter received the Ground Zero Tennessee Spirit Award for Best Short Film and used the finishing funds to complete Jess + Moss, which then premiered at Sundance and was accepted for competition in Berlin before returning to the NashFilm 2011.

The 48th Annual Nashville Film Festival will take place April 20 – 29, 2017 at Regal Cinema Hollywood in Nashville, TN.

See you there!

(Source: nashvillefilmfestival.org)

Berlinale Talents turns 15 and shows “Courage: Against All Odds”

With its focus on “Courage: Against All Odds”, the 15th edition of Berlinale Talents takes on the significance of everyday bravery and fearlessness for today’s film professionals. 250 exceptional Talents and over 100 international experts and mentors will be invited to the six-day programme, held once again at the three venues of HAU Hebbel am Ufer from February 11 to 16, 2017.

Talents and experts will jointly explore moments of courage in the filmmaking process, from making daring choices at personal risk to pushing artistic, political or financial boundaries and venturing into unknown narrative worlds.


“Every time a filmmaker acts with courage, their step takes the true measure of a challenge. For the anniversary edition, Berlinale Talents will focus on these crucial points while celebrating a new generation busy making film with unshakeable optimism and against all odds,” programme manager Florian Weghorn explains the theme.


The Berlinale Talents 2017 key visual showcases quotes that will sound familiar to many filmmakers from their day-to-day lives. With a little wink, the poster series calls on Talents, guests and Berliners to find the courage to interact with these messages during the festival.

New structures for more interaction

With the level of Talent experience continuously on the rise, Berlinale Talents has redesigned integral parts of the programme to strengthen the networking effects. Four major slots traditionally reserved for master classes have been replaced by a new series of interactive sessions and smaller encounters to better deepen the Talents’ knowledge and harness their expertise.


Berlinale Talents is also intensifying its ties with the European Film Market and the other industry activities of the festival. The re-branded “Talents Market Studio” offers emerging sales and distribution professionals a better framework to discuss unconventional and collective marketing strategies and to test them directly on location at the “Talents Market Hub” of the EFM.

More information at www.berlinale-talents.de

Press contact Berlinale Talents:
Malte Mau

Tel. +49 30 259 20-518
Fax +49 30 259 20-534

Berlinale Talents is an initiative of the Berlin International Film Festival, a business division of the Kulturveranstaltungen des Bundes in Berlin GmbH, funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, in cooperation with Creative Europe MEDIA, a programme of the European Union, Robert Bosch Stiftung and Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, the German Federal Foreign Office and the German Federal Film Board.


(Source: Berlinale Press Office Press Release)

#SBIFF The Showcase – Daughters of the Dust


daughtersAt the dawn of the 20th century, a multi-generational family in the Gullah community on the Sea Islands off of South Carolina – former West African slaves who adopted many of their ancestors’ Yoruba traditions – struggle to maintain their cultural heritage and folklore while contemplating a migration to the mainland, even further from their roots.

Cohen Media Group is proud to present the 25th anniversary restoration of director Julie Dash’s landmark film “Daughters of the Dust.” The first wide release by a black female filmmaker, “Daughters of the Dust” was met with wild critical acclaim and rapturous audience response when it initially opened in 1991. Casting a long legacy, “Daughters of the Dust” still resonates today, most recently as a major in influence on Beyonce’s video album “Lemonade.” Restored (in conjunction with UCLA) for the first time with proper color grading overseen by cinematographer AJ Jafa, audiences will finally see the film exactly as Julie Dash intended.

Written and Directed by Julie Dash
Starring Alva Rogers, Bahni Turpin, Barbara-O, Cheryl Lynn Bruce,
Cora Lee Day, Tony King, Trula Hoosier
Country of Origin: USA, UK
Running Time: 112 min

Get Tickets Here

Sunday, December 18 @ 2:00pm
Monday, December 19 @ 7:30pm
Tuesday, December 20 @ 5:00pm
Wednesday, December 21 @ 7:30pm
at the Riviera Theatre – 2044 Alameda Padre Serra

“A film of spellbinding visual beauty.”
Stephen Holden – NY Times

“Dash’s boldly imaginative, ecstatically visionary drama … is one of the best of all American independent films; she turns one family’s experience of the Great Migration into a vast mythopoetic adventure.”
Richard Brody – New Yorker

“It is an astonishing, vivid portrait not only of a time and place, but of an era’s spirit.”
Rita Kempley – Washington Post