Tag Archives: novel

Final Portrait (Tucci, 2017): Great Britain

Posted by Larry Gleeson.

Stanley Tucci’s newest film, Final Portrait, is set in Paris, France, 1964, and is based on James Lord’s biography, “A Giacometti Portrait.”

The film opens in slow motion with voice over narration provided by Armie Hammer. Hammer plays James Lord. Geoffrey Rush turns in a stellar performance as the quirky Alberto Giacometti at the height of his fame having received Grand Prize at the Venice Biennale for Sculpture in 1962. Lots of grays, whites, and a touch of navy blue dominates the film’s studio and cemetery scenes while the cafe scenes allow for color variety.

Lord has come to see Giacometti to have his portrait done and soon discovers no portrait is ever complete. In an agonizingly slow scene with non-diagetic violins and strings, Lord rigidly sits while Giacometti begins his brushwork making comments toward Lord in often side-splitting dead-pan. For example at the first sitting, Giacometti tells Lord he has the “head of a brute.” Later as Giacometi moves in close to gain a greater perspective, he declares Lord has the profile “of a degenerate’ despite Hammer brahmin-like portrayal of Lord.

Soon, Lord realizes the three days he originally scheduled won’t suffice and begins what becomes a pattern of cancelling and rescheduling flights to accommodate Giacometti’s process. And, what a process it is.

Screen Shot 2017-02-11 at 10.32.25 PM.png
Left, Clemencey Poesy, as prostitute Caroline enjoys the amiance of an evening with artist Alberto Giacometti, right, played by Geoffrey Rush in Stanley Tucci’s biopic Final Portrait. (Photo credit; Parisa Taghizadeh)

Giacometti has a passion and large appetitite for women, food and wine. His women range from a high-end prostitute, Caroline, played by the soft French actress, Clémence Poésy, to the “house maid,” Annette, played by character actress Sylvie Testud.

Finally after nearly three weeks, Lord has realized he needs to take matters into his own hands if the portrait is ever to be completed as Giacometti has a recurring tendency to paint the negative, i.e., whitewash the canvas. However, along the way, the men, including Giacometti’s brother, Diego, an artist as well, and played by Tony Shalhoub engage in some philosophical meanderings and in some male bonding. Giacometti likes control and continually keeps Lord off balance with dialogues on suicide which he thinks about daily, and meaningful death experiences like burning oneself to death or slicing oneself from ear-to-ear. Sadly, Giacometti laments he can only die but once.

Photo credit: @Parisa Taghizadeh

Tucci has cast a fairly uninhibited look into Giacometti as an artist. Tastefully shot with most frames qualifying as portraits unto themselves. Some repetition detracts form the work as we see the mundane nature of Giacometti’s studio life one time too many. Yet, overall, Tucci tackles Giacometti in fine fashion. The film is entertaining with the strong, masculinity Hammer portrays as James Lord. Rush is very good with emoting and his physicalities are quite excellent. While the women appear as adornments both Poesy and Testud provide significant feminine wiles bringing to fruition Giacometti’s studio confession to Lord that as a young man he had difficulty sleeping until he imagined murdering two women…after raping them.

Fortunately, this episodic scenario is not carried out on screen Instead, Giacometti high-handedly pays off Caroline’s two pimps in a fashion and manner that they can’t refuse.

Final Portrait is a broad stroke for Tucci. With over 122 acting credits and only six directorial credits on imdb.com, Tucci churns out a fairly sophisticated piece of cinema reminiscent of earlier Wood Allen works including the Oscar-winning Annie Hall, as he brings Alberto Giacometti to light. Warmly Recommended.

Berlin Film Fest International Jury Press Conference

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The 67th Berlin International Film Festival International Jury held its  opening press conference Thursday, February 9th, at the Berlin Grand Hyatt Hotel to introduce this year’s  Berlinale festival goers to its panel. As previously announced, Director and Screenwriter, Paul Verhoeven is serving as this year’s  Jury President. Other members of the Jury include; producer Dora Bouchoucha Fourati (Tunisia), artist Olafur Eliasson (Denmark), actress Maggie Gyllenhaal (USA), actress Julia Jentsch (Germany), actor and director Diego Luna (Mexico), and director and screenwriter Wang Quan’an (People’s Republic of China). After a warm Berlinale welcome and very brief introductions, the panel opened for questions from the floor.

Interestingly, a Kurdistan/Iraq news agency reporter popped the first question with all the zeal of a U.S. White House Press Briefing first informing the press conference her agency would be reporting live for ten days. From there, she set the tone for her question stating “traditionally the Berlinale is quite political with its selection of films. What political message do you want to transmit with this year’s festival?” Verhoeven coolly replied as the International Jury President his focus is on a film’s qualitative nature rather than any specific ideological or political message.

Quickly, the Boston Herald took the floor next delivering a two-pronged inquiry for Ms.Gyllenhaal and Verhoeven into the courageous nature of creating film roles and insider casting details of Elle.

Taking the lead, Verhoeven affirmed the Herald’s line of questioning telling the room he and the Elle producers tried to make Elle a Hollywood film with a profit motive. However, after several unsuccessful pitches to A-listers, the Elle team returned to France moving forward with a French film production. French starlet Isabelle Humbert had made it known through various channels she was very interested in the film. She thoroughly studied the characters from Phillipe Dijan’s novel “Oh…” With hat-in-hand, Verhoeven offered to Humbert. She accepted. And she delivered according to Verhoeven with a courageous performance.

American Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, third from left, at the 67th Berlin Film Festival International Jury Press Conference on Thursday, February 9, 2017. (Photo credit: Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)

Gyllenhaal interjected “Isabelle was meant to play that role and was very courageous.” Continuing Gyllenhaal remarked most often actors choose roles they can identify with as a person versus as an actor and when a collaboration between a director such as Verhoebven and Humbert works together something special is created.

A handful more of questions came forth ranging from why Russian films weren’t in the festival to Luna’s feelings about a  border wall to what does the jury expect from the festival. In reverse order, the jury has high hopes of learning more about film, while Luna artfully and quite diplomatically said he is still investigating the wall issue. However, he plans to be a part of the solution as he has several love stories with the United States and to sever such beauty makes no sense. Verhoeven reminded the audience, the jury does not select films.

Coming full circle, the press conference concluded with how Gyllenhaal was introduced as the brother of Jake Gyllenhaal. Jake served on the jury five years ago. As inquiring minds want to know, Maggie was asked if she called Jake to ask about being on the jury. She did and Jake told her it was an amazing experience seeing films from all over the world from filmmakers he didn’t know existed. Wrapping up and putting the finishing touch on the morning, “What an amazing time to be an American at an international film festival,” said Ms. Gyllenhaal. Without further adieu, the 2017 Berlin Film Festivals’s International Jury Press Conference concluded.

The festival runs through February 19th.





Berlinale Goes Kiez: The Festival in Neighbourhood Cinemas

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Once again the Berlinale Goes Kiez special series is bringing the glamour of the festival to Berlin’s very diverse neighborhoods and the city of Potsdam. The Berlinale will screen at seven select arthouse cinemas known for participating in and contributing to cultural life in their respective neighborhoods.

In Neukölln a new cinema  w o l f  will be opening its doors for the first time with the Berlinale. And in the Wrangelkiez, one of Kreuzberg’s most upbeat neighborhoods, the Red Carpet will again be rolled out at the newly converted and enlarged EISZEIT cinema.



From February 11 to 17, 2017, a selection of films from the official Berlinale program will be shown in neighborhoods, ranging from Berlin-Weißensee to beyond the city limits in Potsdam-Babelsberg. Each evening one arthouse cinema will be turned into a festival venue.

Members of film teams have already announced their intention to present their works personally and discuss them with audiences after the screenings. At each neighborhood cinema a prominent film personality will serve as its patron.

The Berlinale Goes Kiez series will also begin with the official opening film of this year’s Berlinale. Django (Competition) by Etienne Comar will kick off the evening at the Bundesplatz-Kino in Wilmersdorf. Local moviegoers can expect a long and interesting evening, as shortly before midnight a film from the Berlinale Classics program will be presented as well: the digitally restored version of George A. Romero’s horror classic Night of the Living Dead.

For the first time NATIVe, the Berlinale special series on Indigenous cinema, has been invited to participate in Berlinale Goes Kiez. At the EISZEIT cinema in Kreuzberg, two films from Canada will represent this year’s special region of focus, the Artic.
At the  w o l f  in Neukölln, Berlinale Goes Kiez and Berlinale Talents will launch their first collaboration. In public talks titled “Local Heroes: Community Cinema Reloaded”, innovative international cinema operators will discuss with the audience ways to curate, finance, and involve the neighborhood in local movie theatres.


Berlinale-Festival Director Dieter Kosslick: “Our ‘local heroes’ are neighborhood cinemas in Berlin and Brandenburg that are open to topics important to the community and foster an on-going dialogue through the stories presented on their screens.”


Advance sales start on February 6, 2017; tickets will also be available at the respective cinemas.

Neighbourhood cinemas and programme

Saturday, February 11 at Bundesplatz-Kino, Wilmersdorf
6.00 pm Competition
Django by Etienne Comar

9.00 pm Competition
Teströl és lélekröl (On Body and Soul) by Ildikó Enyedi

11.45 pm Berlinale Classics
Night of the Living Dead by George A. Romero

Sunday, February 12 at Toni & Tonino, Weißensee
3.30 pm Generation Kplus
Die Häschenschule – Jagd nach dem Goldenen Ei (Rabbit School – Guardians of the Golden Egg) by Ute von Münchow-Pohl

6.30 pm Competition
Wilde Maus (Wild Mouse) by Josef Hader

9.30 pm Perspektive Deutsches Kino
Back for Good by Mia Spengler

Monday, February 13 at Odeon, Schöneberg
6.30 pm Berlinale Special Gala
Le jeune Karl Marx (The Young Karl Marx) by Raoul Peck

9.30 pm Competition
Una mujer fantástica (A Fantastic Woman) by Sebastián Lelio

Tuesday, February 14 at  w o l f  , Neukölln
4.30 pm Talents Go Kiez
“Local Heroes: Community Cinema Reloaded”
Public talk (in English)

6.30 pm Panorama Special
Tiger Girl by Jakob Lass

9.30 pm Forum
Chemi bednieri ojakhi (My Happy Family) by Nana & Simon

Wednesday, February 15 at Thalia Programmkino, Potsdam-Babelsberg
6.30 pm Competition
Toivon tuolla puolen (The Other Side of Hope) by Aki Kaurismäki

9.30 pm Competition
Beuys by Andres Veiel

Thursday, February 16 at City Kino Wedding
in Centre Français de Berlin, Wedding
6.30 pm Forum
Tiere (Animals) by Greg Zglinski

9.30 pm Berlinale Shorts Go Kiez
Fishing Is Not Done On Tuesdays by Lukas Marxt, Marcel Odenbach
Kometen (The Comet) by Victor Lindgren
Everything by David OReilly
Estás vendo coisas (You are seeing things) by Bárbara Wagner, Benjamin de Burca
Os Humores Artificiais (The Artificial Humors) by Gabriel Abrantes

Friday, February 17 at EISZEIT cinema, Kreuzberg
6.30 pm Culinary Cinema Goes Kiez
Theater of Life by Peter Svatek
After the screening menu at Markthalle Neun

9.00 pm NATIVe Goes Kiez
Tungijuq by Félix Lajeunesse, Paul Raphaël
Angry Inuk by Alethea Arnaquq-Baril

Berlinale Goes Kiez is supported by the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg. Its complete programme can be found at http://www.berlinale.de. Please contact Uschi Feldges for more information ().


(Source: Berlinale Press Office)

Martin Scorsese on the Making of SILENCE

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The one and only Martin Scorsese visited the AFI Campus recently to discuss making his spiritual epic SILENCE (an AFI AWARDS 2016 Official Selection), the master filmmaker’s decades-long labor of love that explores apostasy and crises of faith in 17th-century Japan. The film features Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver as Jesuit missionaries dispatched to Japan to locate a fellow priest gone rogue, played by Liam Neeson.

“Obviously, these themes and ideas and concepts are very much the foundation of my life. The formation began, in a way, at a very early age, so I’ve never really lost interest in that or the urge to keep searching,” Scorsese told AFI Conservatory Fellows, referencing his religious films THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST (1988) and KUNDUN (1997). SILENCE is based on Shūsaku Endō’s 1966 novel of the same name. “Reading the book… The whole idea of this apostasy, why did it seem like a victory rather than a defeat?” Scorsese said, explaining one of the film’s central questions.

Watch a clip below in which Scorsese discusses how he was forced to re-think how to film a particular scene in SILENCE.


Scorsese also discussed the future of cinema with Fellows. “I do feel that cinema, for the first hundred years, has been within this proscenium…but that doesn’t mean it has to stay that way,” he said. “You have this unlimited technology; you can do anything. I’m the product of a certain place in time. You’re younger, it’s very different, and it’s up to you to reinvent it and use any form you want… The one thing that keeps you human is your story, and it has to be from a personal vision. It has to come from a personal truth that is different from making a product.”


(Source: afi.com)

2017 SBIFF Outstanding Directors Award

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Outstanding Directors of the Year Award
Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)
Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea)
and Denis Villeneuve (Arrival)

Tuesday, February 7, 2017 @ 8:00pm
Arlington Theatre


Click Here To Attend

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will honor this year’s Outstanding Directors at the Arlington Theatre, Tuesday, February 7, 2017, at 8 PM in Santa Barbara, Calif. (Pictured left to right; Damien Chazelle, Barry Jenkins, Kenneth Lonergan and Denis Villeneuve. Photo courtesy of sbiff.org)


Barry Jenkins, Damien Chazelle, Denis Villeneuve, and Kenneth Lonergan will receive the 2017 Outstanding Directors of the Year Award. They will each be celebrated individually for their films Moonlight, La La Land, Arrival, and Manchester by the Sea respectively.  The individual honors will be followed by a joint conversation between the directors on their craft and the landscape of modern day filmmaking.  The ceremony will take place on Tuesday, February 7th at the historic Arlington Theatre.


SBIFF Executive Director, Roger Durling (Photo via SBIndependent)

“These directors are true visionaries, with a body of work that exemplifies excellence in filmmaking,” said SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling.  “We are thrilled to honor this group for their indelible contributions to cinema.”


The Outstanding Directors of the Year Award is given to directors that push the boundaries of cinema with their innovative approach. They are master storytellers, bringing their vision to life on screen.

Past recipients include:

2016 – Lenny Abrahamson (ROOM), Alejandro G. Iñárritu (THE REVENANT), Tom McCarthy (SPOTLIGHT), Adam McKay (THE BIG SHORT), and George Miller (MAD MAX: FURY ROAD)

2015 – Damien Chazelle (WHIPLASH), Richard Linklater (BOYHOOD), Bennett Miller (FOXCATCHER), Laura Poitras (CITIZENFOUR), and Morten Tyldum (THE IMITATION GAME)

2014 – David O. Russell (AMERICAN HUSTLE)
2010 – Kathryn Bigelow (THE HURT LOCKER)
2009 – Danny Boyle (SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE)

(Source: sbiff.org)


Bassett to be honored by American Black Film Institute

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Angela Basset (Photo via Pittsburgh Courier)

HOLLYWOOD, Calif./PRNewswire/—Academy Award nominated actress, Angela Bassett, will be honored with the “Reel Icon” award by the American Black Film Institute, at their annual  “New, Next, Now Legend” Oscar Week gala for her iconic roles and career achievement as one of cinemas all-time favorite actors, in a poll conducted by American Black Film Institute.

The event will be held at the fabulous Prestons-over-Hollywood at the Hollywood Loews Hotel, on Friday, February 24, and once again brings together actors, producers, writer/directors and top executives, as they celebrate and highlight the years’ accomplishments amid the backdrop of Hollywood’s most glamorous weekend.

ABFI’s theme for the evening “New, Next, Now, Legend” reflects its mission to preserve the cinematic legacy of African American films and films of the global Black experience, while nurturing its current crop of emerging talented writers, directors and artists who give voice to the continued enhancement of the Black experience on film.

“We are excited to bring the excitement and camaraderie of our previous Oscar festivities among industry professionals to Prestons-over-Hollywood, where we can pay well-deserved tribute to an iconic and well respected artist such as Angela Bassett, while fortifying partnerships, old and new, which is always the order of the day at the ABFI gala,” said American Black Film Institute Executive Director Gordon Kenney.

The ultra-chic venue which boasts a glass-enclosed wall-to-wall view of the iconic Hollywood sign and the Hollywood Hills, says it’s delighted to host Hollywood’s elite, in such an exclusive and elegant space, where the venues festivities at this time of year are normally reserved strictly for the Academy and its events. With the theme, “New, Next, Now, Legend,” other artists receiving awards include rising star of Survivor’s Remorse and Independence Day 2, Jessie T. Usher, HBO breakout star Issa Rae, creator and executive Producer of HBO’s hit “Insecure,” Golden Globe nominated director Barry Jenkins, Moonlight’s Naomie Harris, and emerging screen talent Janelle Monae, whose turns in both “Hidden Figures” and “Moonlight” have been garnering critical praise, as a rising screen talent worth watching.

The American Black Film Institute is a non-profit cinematic arts foundation, whose goal is to preserve and promote the legacy of diverse stories of people of color on film, while enhancing their financial viability and broadening their success.   With Academy Awards weekend as the backdrop, and a new crop of stars on the rise, the word is out that the 2017 ABFI gala promises to be among the events not to be missed.

(Source: Pittsburgh Courier News Room)

Books at Berlinale


Posted by Larry Gleeson


Twelve New International Novels Ripe for Screen Adaptation

On February 14, film producers attending “Books at Berlinale” will have the chance to discover twelve new literary works that lend themselves perfectly for adaptation to the screen. The selected novels will be presented at a pitching session in the framework of the Berlinale Co-Production Market. At a get-together following the session, the invited producers will be able to join in conversation with respected, internationally active literary agents and representatives of publishing houses who hold the film rights to the works in question. There they can establish and cultivate contacts in the international book world or perhaps even begin to negotiate right away to option the film rights to one or more of the selected books.

The twelve literary works that make up the selection at this year’s edition of “Books at Berlinale” come from publishers and agencies from Belgium, Brazil, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. More than 130 works from over 30 countries were submitted for consideration in the program.

In addition to the brand-new novels of best-selling authors Martin Suter (Switzerland) and Herman Koch of the Netherlands, whose international hit “Het Dinner” (“The Dinner”) is represented this year in the Berlinale Competition in a screen adaptation starring Richard Gere, and a new work from multiple prize-winning Kurdish author Bachtyar Ali, the selection presents a broad spectrum of themes and genres with a high potential for adaptation to the screen.

The selected novels deal with urgent contemporary questions such as the potential consequences of genetic manipulation, with dystopian scenarios arising after the extinction of bees, but also with child heroes who grow into crusaders against evil along with a group of mascots in one particularly comedic instance. Beyond that, they relate epic historical sagas based on real persons and events: German POWs in American camps at the end of the Second World War; the opalescent life story of banker Hugo Simon, companion of Thomas Mann and many other artists, who was forced to flee from Berlin with his family into exile in Brazil; and the daughter of James Joyce, who, engaged to Samuel Beckett, moved through Paris of the 1920s as a dancer in search of her destiny.

“Books at Berlinale” has been organized annually by the Berlinale in co-operation with the Frankfurt Book Fair since 2006.

Berlinale-“With ‘Books at Berlinale’, we have been able, together with the Frankfurt Book Fair, to create an event with a large network, which promotes co-operation in the area of literary adaptations, which themselves represent an important part of the film production world,” according to Berlinale Director Dieter Kosslick.

Film producers who are active in the area of literary adaptations (or would like to be) as well as publishers and literary agents can register to participate in the event until February 8 at .

“Books at Berlinale” takes place in the Berlin House of Representatives in the framework of the Berlinale Co-Production Market. Primary partners of the Berlinale Co-Production Market are MDM – Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung and Creative Europe – MEDIA, a programme of the European Union. The Berlinale Co-Production Market is a part of the European Film Market (EFM).

The following works have been selected for “Books at Berlinale” 2017:
(in alphabetical order by company presenting the film)

“Elefant“ / “Elephant” (Martin Suter), Diogenes Verlag, Switzerland

“Never Be Sad Again” (Baptiste Beaulieu), Éditions Fayard, France

“The Boy” (Marcus Malte), Éditions Zulma, France

“Ein mögliches Leben“ / “One Possible Life“ (Hannes Köhler), Elisabeth Ruge Agentur, Germany

“The Mascoteers: Enter the Zebra” (Rollo de Walden), Kaiken Publishing, Finland

“The Last Pomegranate” (Bachtyar Ali), Literarische Agentur Mertin, Germany

“The History of Bees” (Maja Lunde), Norse Code Agency, Norway

“Berlin – Fires of Tegel” (Fabio Geda & Marco Magnone), Oetinger Filmrechte-Agentur, Germany

“The Ditch” (Herman Koch), Shared Stories, The Netherlands

“We Own the Sky” (Luke Allnutt), The Artists Partnership, United Kingdom

“The Remnant” (Rafael Cardoso), Villas-Boas & Moss Literary Agency, Brazil

“The Joyce Girl” (Annabel Abbs), Zeitgeist Literary Agency, Belgium


(Source: Berlinale Press Office)

Japanese cast of Scorsese’s Silence speak of masterwork for the ages

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Kenta Kato

Japanese stars heap praise on American auteur’s direction in his searching adaptation of Shusaku Endo’s novel about religious persecution.

“God is silence. You have to go into your soul and search for the answer by yourself.”

Thus Yosuke Kubozuka meditated on Martin Scorsese’s new film, Silence, at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan (FCCJ) on January 12.

Scorsese’s long-awaited project – based on the acclaimed Japanese novel by Shusaku Endo, a story of religious prosecution in 17th-century Japan, where Christianity was prohibited – has finally been realized. Karen Severns, the FCCJ’s film programmer, praised Scorsese’s film as “a slow-burn masterwork, with a message that has contemporary resonance, reverberating across the centuries.”

The FCCJ screened the movie back in its home country in partnership with Kadokawa Corporation, then hosted a discussion with three of its Japanese stars – Kubozuka, Tadanobu Asano and Issey Ogata.


Ogata, who plays the grand inquisitor, Inoue Masashige, said of Scorsese’s direction:

Japanese Actor Issey Ogata plays the Grand Inquisitor, Inoue Masashige, in Martin Scorcese’s Silence. (Photo via zimbio.com)

“He never really instructs you to act in a certain way, but lets you bring what you have to the table. He never ever said anything negative about what I have to provide for him. In that way, it is really inspiring for actors and leads to many other ideas.”


Yosuke Kubozuka (AsianWiki)

According to Kubozuka, “Scorsese is the king on set. Just being there makes acting so much easier. He is like a mirror that makes me look like twice or three times bigger, and you can kind of think of yourself as a wonderful actor.”


Ogata, who tried to read Endo’s novel when he was younger but couldn’t finish, said Scorsese had developed his character beyond what was is laid out in the book. “Scorsese made so much effort to build the character of Inoue… by using imagination as much as possible. That gave me a lot of room to act in free style.”


The director himself has said: “The conflicts that occur – the persecution of religious minorities, the testing of faith – are timeless.” The film takes place in the insular Japan of the 17th Century, but its themes and characters reverberate across the ages.


Asano, who plays a translator involved in prosecuting Portuguese Jesuits, noted:

Tadanobu Asano (AsianWiki)

“I empathized with the character that I played, and I don’t see him as a vicious figure. He was probably a Christian himself but no longer able to carry on his faith. That led him to the line of work he is in.”


One of the most unforgettable characters in Silence is Kichijiro, an indecorous character who succumbs easily to the pressure applied by his prosecutors, who force Christians to trample on a ‘fumie’, a crudely carved image of Christ. According to Kubozuka, Kichijiro “is depicted as a weak, ugly, cunning, and dirty character. But he does commit fumie over and over again, which makes me wonder if he is really weak or actually strong. He is kind of two sides of the same coin.”

The film hints at the fragile morality that exists in the heart of all mankind. “When I went to the United States on 5 January, I asked this question about whether Americans would step on the picture of Jesus Christ in this day,” claims Kubozuka, “And a lot of people said, ‘I guess everybody would.’ So, by having this character Kichijiro, this story becomes something that is relevant to this modern age.”

Silence has been well-received by critics all over the world. Already, Ogata has been named runner-up in the Best Supporting Actor category by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Asked about the growing Oscar buzz, Asano jokes: “If it were not nominated, I suspect God would say something that he should not have said.”

(Source: atimes.com)


Ericsson’s Nuvu to distribute 20th Century Fox TV’s DreamWorks animated features across Africa

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Nuvu, Ericsson’s SVOD platform will distribute 20th Century Fox TV’s DreamWorks Animation-produced titles along with an extensive selection of global film franchises for territories across sub-Saharan Africa in multiple language.


In a statement, Thorsten Sauer, head of Broadcast and Media Services, Ericsson said:

Thorsten Sauer, head of Ericsson’s Broadcast and Media Services (Photo via digitalveurope.com)

“This feature film content deal through 20th Century Fox Television Distribution is another major milestone for Ericsson as we look to expand our new SVOD service, Nuvu. Through this partnership, Nuvu subscribers will have access to some of Hollywood’s hottest films as part of their package, localized on a market-by-market basis.”

Developed for mobile operators in Africa, Nuvu leverages the company’s extensive over-the top capabilities based on Ericsson Managed Player and components of Ericsson MediaFirst TV Platform, Ericsson’s highly scalable modular technology platforms used by broadcasters and telco service providers to distribute video content efficiently to connected devices.

For a monthly fee, subscribers have unlimited access to an initial 3 000 local and international premium titles across a wide variety of genres including Hollywood and Nollywood movies, TV series, kids, music, gospel and education.

To take on competitors – ShowMax, Amazon and Netflix – Nuvu has built-in ability to distribute content to consumers during off-peak periods minimising data costs for both operator and consumer. The platform also integrates fully into the operator’s customer relationship management and payment systems.

(Source: screenafrica.com, TechMoran)

DGA Announces Nominees for Achievement in Television, Commercials and Documentary for 2016

By Larry Gleeson


Los Angeles – Directors Guild of America President Paris Barclay announced the DGA’s nominees for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Television, Commercials and Documentary for 2016.

Directors Guild of America President Paris Barclay (Photo via MadameNoir)

“There’s so much to celebrate in such an incredible year for television, commercials and documentaries as we announce the DGA nominees for directorial achievement,” said Barclay. “As content across these categories reaches record levels, the bar is set higher than ever for directors – with each genre requiring unique skillsets and talents. And our nominees this year have far surpassed the challenge with such creative and captivating projects. I congratulate all of them on their exceptional work.”


The nominees for the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series for 2016 are (in alphabetical order):



Stranger Things, “Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Byers”


The Duffer Brothers’ Directorial Team:

  • Unit Production Manager: Timothy Lonsdale
  • First Assistant Director: Richard Denault
  • Second Assistant Directors: Maria Battle Campbell, Kristina M. Peterson
  • Second Second Assistant Director: Simeon Jones
  • Additional Second Assistant Director: Franchesca Winters

This is Mr. Matt Duffer’s first DGA Award nomination.

This is Mr. Ross Duffer’s first DGA Award nomination.



The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, “From the Ashes of Tragedy”


Mr. Murphy’s Directorial Team:

  • Unit Production Manager: Chip Vucelich
  • First Assistant Director: Leo Bauer
  • Second Assistant Director: Janell Sammelman
  • Second Second Assistant Director: Matt Pexa
  • Additional Second Assistant Director: Alicia Lewis

This is Mr. Murphy’s fourth DGA Award nomination. He was previously nominated for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Mini-Series in 2014 for The Normal Heart; for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series in 2009 for the Glee pilot; and in 2010 for the Glee episode “The Power of Madonna.”



Westworld, “The Original”


Mr. Nolan’s Directorial Team:

  • Unit Production Manager: Robert Del Valle
  • First Assistant Director: Kim H. Winther
  • Second Assistant Director: Jeff Okabayashi
  • Second Second Assistant Directors: Michelene Mundo, Katie Pruitt

This is Mr. Nolan’s first DGA Award nomination



Game of Thrones, “The Battle of the Bastards”


This is Mr. Sapochnik’s first DGA Award nomination



The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, “The Race Card”


Mr. Singleton’s Directorial Team:

  • Unit Production Manager: Chip Vucelich
  • First Assistant Director: Dan Shaw
  • Second Assistant Director: Matt Pexa
  • Second Second Assistant Directors: Kim Richards, Kyle Hollingsworth

This is Mr. Singleton’s first DGA Award nomination


The nominees for the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series for 2016 are (in alphabetical order):



Silicon Valley, “Daily Active Users”


Mr. Berg’s Directorial Team:

  • Unit Production Manager: Tyler Romary
  • First Assistant Director: Nick Mastandrea
  • Second Assistant Director: Sally Brunski
  • Second Second Assistant Director: Kim Richards
  • Additional Second Assistant Director: Kathleen D. Brennan

This is Mr. Berg’s first DGA Award nomination.



Atlanta, “B.A.N.”


Mr. Glover’s Directorial Team:

  • Unit Production Manager: Alex Orr
  • First Assistant Director: Veronica A. Hodge‑Hampton
  • Second Assistant Director: Jason Graham
  • Second Second Assistant Director: Danielle King
  • Additional Second Assistant Director: Mike Brune

This is Mr. Glover’s first DGA Award nomination.



Silicon Valley, “Founder Friendly”


Mr. Judge’s Directorial Team:

  • Unit Production Manager: Tyler Romary
  • First Assistant Director: James “Billy” Burton
  • Second Assistant Director: Thomas Boucher
  • Second Second Assistant Director: Kim Richards

This is Mr. Judge’s third DGA Award nomination. He was previously nominated in this same category in 2014 for the Silicon Valley episode “Minimum Viable Product” and in 2015 for the Silicon Valley episode “Binding Arbitration.”



Veep, “Inauguration”


Ms. Martin’s Directorial Team:

  • Unit Production Manager: David Hyman
  • First Assistant Director: Dale Stern
  • Second Assistant Director: Michelle Gritzer
  • Second Second Assistant Director: Chris Riddle
  • Additional Second Assistant Director: Gary Cotti

This is Ms. Martin’s first DGA Award nomination.



Veep, “Mother”


Mr. Stern’s Directorial Team:

  • Unit Production Manager: David Hyman
  • First Assistant Director: Michelle Gritzer
  • Second Assistant Director: Jeff Rosenberg
  • Second Second Assistant Director: Chris Riddle
  • Additional Second Assistant Director: Cecilia Sweatman

This is Mr. Stern’s first DGA Award nomination.

The nominees for the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Mini-Series for 2016 are (in alphabetical order):





Mr. De Felitta’s Directorial Team:

  • Unit Production Manager: Moshe Bardach
  • First Assistant Director: Scott Lazar
  • Second Assistant Director: David Fischer
  • Second Second Assistant Director: Ramona Murphy-Adair
  • Location Manager: Eddy Collyns

This is Mr. De Felitta’s first DGA Award nomination


THOMAS KAIL (Directed By)
ALEX RUDZINSKI (Live Television Direction By)

Grease Live!


Directorial Team:

  • Associate Directors: Carrie Havel, Adam Mishler, Brad Duns
  • Head Stage Manager: Garry Hood
  • Stage Managers: Jennifer Marquet, John Esposito, Jonathan Marks, Rob Sellers Jr., Dani Farrelly, Paul Forrest, Roy Friedland, Chris Hines, Roxanne Lozano, Drina Mohacsi, Tshaka Stewart, Mike Strauss, Cheryl Teetzel-Moore, Ari Woog, Katie Perkins

This is Mr. Kail’s first DGA Award nomination.

This is one of two DGA Award nominations this year for Mr. Rudzinski in this category. He is also nominated with Kenny Leon for Hairspray Live! He has not been previously nominated.



All the Way


Mr. Roach’s Directorial Team:

  • Unit Production Manager: Scott Ferguson
  • First Assistant Director: Josh King
  • Second Assistant Director: Aaron Fitzgerald
  • Second Second Assistant Directors: Jason C. Brown, Matthew Milan

This is Mr. Roach’s third DGA Award nomination. He previously won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Mini-Series in 2008 for Recount and in 2012 for Game Change.



The Night Of, “The Beach”


Mr. Zaillian’s Directorial Team:

  • Unit Production Manager: Greer Yeaton
  • First Assistant Director: Michael Steele
  • Second Assistant Director: Ginger Gonzalez
  • Second Second Assistant Director: Rachel Iovine
  • Location Manager: Shane Haden

This is Mr. Zaillian’s first DGA Award nomination.


The nominees for the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Regularly Scheduled Programming for 2016 are (in alphabetical order):



Real Time with Bill Maher, “Show #1437”


Mr. Casey’s Directorial Team:

  • Associate Director: Stacy Talbot
  • Stage Managers: Patrick Whitney, Brian Anderson

This is Mr. Casey’s third DGA Award nomination. He previously was nominated in this category in 2015 and 2014 for Real Time with Bill Maher “Show #1334” and “Show #1226.”



CBS Sunday Morning, “Charles Osgood Farewell Broadcast”


Ms. Gerard’s Directorial Team:

  • Associate Directors: Bernard Rozenberg, Jessica Frank, Kate D’Arcy Coleman,
    Patricia Finnegan, Jyll Phillips‑Friedman
  • Stage Managers: Mark Dicso, Lindsley Newbury

This is Ms. Gerard’s first DGA Award nomination.



The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, “Episode #0179”


Mr. Hoskinson’s Directorial Team:

  • Associate Directors: Yvonne De Mare, Karen Yaeger
  • Stage Manager: Mark McKenna

This is Mr. Hoskinson’s fourth DGA Award nomination. He previously was nominated in this category in 2015, 2013 and 2007 for The Colbert Report episodes “11040,” “10004” and “3052.”



Saturday Night Live, “Host: Dave Chappelle”


Mr. King’s Directorial Team:

  • Associate Directors: Michael Mancini, Michael Poole, Bob Caminiti
  • Stage Managers: Gena Rositano, Chris Kelly

This is Mr. King’s eleventh DGA Award nomination. He previously won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Specials in 2015 for Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special and for Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Regularly Scheduled Programming in 2013 for Saturday Night Live “Host: Justin Timberlake.” He was previously nominated for Saturday Night Live episodes in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014, and in 2015 in the Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Regularly Scheduled Programming category for the Saturday Night Live episode, “Host: Tracy Morgan/Musical Guest: Demi Lovato.”



Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, “Episode #1030”


Mr. Pennolino’s Directorial Team:

  • Associate Director: Jeremy Hardwick
  • Stage Manager: Laura Mack

This is Mr. Pennolino’s first DGA Award nomination.


The nominees for the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in
Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Specials for 2016 are (in alphabetical order):


Tony Bennett Celebrates 90 – The Best is Yet to Come


Mr. Foley’s Directorial Team:

  • Associate Director: Randi Grossack
  • Key Stage Manager: Jeffry Gitter
  • Stage Managers: Bennymar Almonte, Lauren Class Schneider, Joey Despenzero, Jeff Markowitz, Karen Tasch Weiss

This is Mr. Foley’s ninth DGA Award nomination. He was previously nominated in the Musical Variety category, all for the Late Show with David Letterman, in 2007, 2005, 2004, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999 and 1998 for episodes “#2773,” “#2452,” “#2187,” “#1876,” “#1634,” “#1527,” “#1294,” and “#958.”



The Late Late Show with James Corden, “The Late Late Show Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special”


Mr. Mancinelli’s Directorial Team:

  • Associate Directors: Matt Powers, Bac Delorme, Brian Sutherin
  • Stage Managers: Michael J. Schiff, Teri Pensky Hlubik

This is Mr. Mancinelli’s first DGA Award nomination.



Smithsonian Salutes Ray Charles: In Performance at the White House


Ms. Mendoza’s Directorial Team:

  • Associate Directors: Dora Mendoza, Kelly Hernacki
  • Stage Managers: Lynn Finkel, Elise Reaves, Phyllis Digilio-Kent

This is Ms. Mendoza’s second DGA Award nomination. She was previously nominated in the Musical Variety category in 2010 for Paul McCartney: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song in Performance at The White House.



Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, “A Very Special Full Frontal Special”


This is Mr. Myers’s first DGA Award nomination.



The 70th Annual Tony Awards


Mr. Weiss’s Directorial Team:

  • Associate Directors: Ken Diego, Robin Abrams, Ricky Kirshner
  • Stage Managers: Garry Hood, Peter Epstein, Joey Despenzero, Phyllis Digilio-Kent, Andrew Feigin, Doug Fogel, Jeffry Gitter, Arthur Lewis, Jeffrey M. Markowitz, Cyndi Owgang, Jeff Pearl, Alfonso Pena, Annette Powlis, Elise Reaves, Lauren Class Schneider, Jim Semmelman

This is Mr. Weiss’s thirteenth DGA Award nomination. He previously won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Specials in 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015 for the 61st, 64th, 65th, 66th, 67th and 68th Annual Tony Awards. He was also nominated in 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2008 for the 55th, 56th, 59th, 60th, and 62nd Annual Tony Awards. He was also nominated in 2015 for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Mini-Series, together with Rob Ashford, for Peter Pan Live!


The nominees for the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Reality Programs for 2016 are (in alphabetical order):



Shark Tank, “801”


Mr. Fuchs’s Directorial Team:

  • Associate Director: Amy Wilcox‑Barker
  • Head Stage Manager: Eric Rhoden
  • Stage Managers: Doug Neal, Michael Strauss

This is Mr. Fuchs’s second DGA Award nomination. He was previously nominated in this category in 2015 for Shark Tank, 702.



Live PD, “Episode 5”


Mr. Gonzalez’s Directorial Team:

  • Stage Manager: Jeff Buda

This is Mr. Gonzalez’s first DGA Award nomination.



STRONG, “Welcome to STRONG”


Mr. Smith’s Directorial Team:

  • Associate Directors: Anna Moulaison‑Moore, David Charles
  • Stage Manager: Drew Lewandowski

This is Mr. Smith’s fourth DGA Award nomination. He previously won in this category in 2012 for Master Chef, “Episode #305.” He was also nominated in 2010 for Master Chef, “Episode #103,” and in 2011 for Master Chef, “Episode #201.”



American Grit, “The Finale ‑ Over the Falls”


Mr. Thompson’s Directorial Team:

  • Associate Director: David Charles
  • Stage Managers: Daniel Curran, Kevin Fletcher

This is Mr. Thompson’s seventh DGA Award nomination. He previously won in this category in 2005 for Fear Factor, “Heist Fear Factor, Season 6 Premiere.” He was also nominated in 2006 for Fear Factor, “Military Fear Factor, Season Finale,” in 2008 for Estate of Panic, “102, That Sinking Feeling,” in 2011 for Fear Factor 2.0, “Scorpion Tales,” in 2012 for Stars Earn Stripes, “Amphibious Assault,” and in 2013 for The Hero, “Teamwork.”



The Amazing Race, “We’re Only Doing Freaky Stuff Today”


Mr. van Munster’s Directorial Team:

  • Associate Director: Dan Coffie

This is Mr. van Munster’s eleventh DGA Award nomination. He won in this category in 2007 for The Amazing Race, “Episode #1110” and was also nominated an additional eight times in this category for the The Amazing Race: in 2005 for “Episode #805,” in 2006 for “Episode #102,” in 2008 for “Episode #1303,” in 2009 for “Don’t Let A Cheese Hit Me,” in 2010 for “I Think We’re Fighting the Germans, Right?,” in 2011 for “You Don’t Get Paid Unless You Win?”, in 2013 for “Beards in the Wind,” and in 2015 for “Bring The Fun, Baby!” He was also nominated with Directors Jack Cannon and Elise Doganieri in 2014 for The Quest, “One True Hero.”


The nominees for the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children’s Programs for 2016 are (in alphabetical order):



The Kicks, “Pilot”


Ms. Allen’s Directorial Team:

  • Unit Production Manager: Maria Melograne
  • First Assistant Director: Michael Williams
  • Second Assistant Director: Walter Parry

This is Ms. Allen’s first DGA Award nomination.



Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street, “Gortimer and the Jacks of All Trades”


Ms. Jones’s Directorial Team:

  • Unit Production Manager: Richard G. King
  • First Assistant Director: Lance W. Lanfear
  • Second Assistant Director: David Berke
  • Second Second Assistant Director: Christopher H. Cook

This is Ms. Jones’s first DGA Award nomination.



A Nutcracker Christmas

(Hallmark Channel)

This is Mr. Lembeck’s second DGA Award nomination. He was previously nominated in this category in 2011 for Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure.



An American Girl Story ‑ Melody 1963: Love Has to Win


Ms. Mabry’s Directorial Team:

  • Unit Production Manager: Richard G. King
  • First Assistant Director: Otto Penzato
  • Second Assistant Director: David Berke
  • Second Second Assistant Director: Christopher H. Cook
  • Additional Second Assistant Directors: Candice Lee, Matthew W. Ross

This is Ms. Mabry’s first DGA Award nomination.



Adventures in Babysitting

(Disney Channel)

This is Mr. Schultz’s first DGA Award nomination.


The nominees for the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials for 2016 are (in alphabetical order):



(Park Pictures)

Frankie’s Holiday, Apple – MAL

  • First Assistant Director: Thomas Smith

Movie Night, Kohl’s – Anomaly

  • First Assistant Director: Thomas Smith
  • Second Assistant Director: Rob Kay


    Hold Your Breath, SunTrust – Strawberry Frog

    • Unit Production Manager: Natalie Hill
    • First Assistant Director: George Nessis
    • Second Assistant Director: Isaac Mejia

    Riding is the New Driving, Lyft – Made Movement

    • Unit Production Manager: Natalie Hill
    • First Assistant Director: John Lowe
    • Second Assistant Director: Julian Metter
    • Second Second Assistant Director: Dave Liehn

    Tell Me When To Go, Beats

    • Unit Production Managers: Natalie Hill, Susan Levin
    • First Assistant Director: Chris Medak
    • Second Assistant Director: Adam Stern
    • Second Second Assistant Director: Jani Vournas

    This is Mr. Ariola’s seventh DGA Award nomination in this category. He won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials for Snowball (Traveler’s Insurance), Human (Johnny Walker), and First Taste (Coca-Cola) in 2006. He was also nominated in this category in 2011, 2007, 2004, 2002 and 2000.




Dive, Apple

  • First Assistant Director: Howell Caldwell

Everyday Hero, Philips – Ogilvy & Mather

World of Play, LG – Energy BBDO

  • Unit Production Manager: Line Postmyr
  • First Assistant Director: Anthony Dimino
  • Second Assistant Director: Spencer Taylor
  • Second Second Assistant Director: R. Ben Parker
  • Additional First Assistant Director: Chris Blanch
  • Additional Second Assistant Director: Steve Bagnara

This is Mr. Bond’s seventh DGA Award nomination. He was previously nominated in this category in 2013, 2012, 2011, 2008, 2007 and 2004.




Chase, Nike Golf – Wieden + Kennedy Portland

  • First Assistant Director: Rick Lange
  • Second Assistant Director: Ethan Ross

Doubts, Powerade – Wieden + Kennedy Portland

  • First Assistant Director: Mariela Comitini
  • Second Assistant Director: Brad Robinson

Expectations, Powerade – Wieden + Kennedy Portland

  • First Assistant Director: Mariela Comitini
  • Second Assistant Director: Brad Robinson

Manifesto, Squarespace – Anomaly

  • First Assistant Director: David Backus
  • Second Assistant Director: Josh Voegelin

This is Mr. Cianfrance’s first DGA Award nomination



(Park Pictures)

The Best Planet, S7 Airlines – Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam

The Snail, Samsung – Leo Burnett USA

  • First Assistant Director: Robert Dean Phillips

This is Mr. Rojas’s first DGA Award nomination.


The nominees for the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary for 2016 are (in alphabetical order):


The Eagle Huntress

Sony Pictures Classics

This is Mr. Bell’s first DGA Award nomination



O.J.: Made in America

ESPN Films

This is Mr. Edelman’s first DGA Award nomination




Sundance Selects/Showtime Documentary Films

This is Mr. Kriegman’s first DGA Award nomination.
This is Ms. Steinberg’s first DGA Award nomination



I Am Not Your Negro

Magnolia Pictures

This is Mr. Peck’s first DGA Award nomination.



Life, Animated

The Orchard

This is Mr. Williams’s first DGA Award nomination

*The winners will be announced at the 69th Annual DGA Awards on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.

(Source: dga.org)

*Featured photo via variety.com