Author Deborah Lipstadt Talks About the Movie “Denial” 


Deborah Lipstadt was as fiery as the on-screen portrayal of Rachel Weisz in the film “Denial.” Lipstadt was sued by an English Holocaust denier, David Irving, and the drama that unfolded were all adapted on the big screen by writer David Hare and director Mick Jackson. Take a look at my interview with the author for “Denial.”



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Writer David Hare and Director Mick Jackson Talk About “Denial” 


David Hare (“The Hours”) wrote the screenplay and Mick Jackson (“Temple Grandin,” “LA Story,” “The Bodyguard”) directed “Denial,” based on the true-life courtroom drama of author Deborah Lipstadt about Holocaust denier David Irving. I had a great time talking to the filmmakers and I had a better time telling Jackson that I will always love him, in homage to Whitney Houston!



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Critics' Choice Documentary Awards Announced!  


LOS ANGELES, CA (OCTOBER 10, 2016) – The Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA) have announced the nominees for the inaugural Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards. The winners will be presented their awards at a gala event on Thursday, November 3, 2016 at BRIC, in Brooklyn, New York.

“It is an amazing time for documentaries, with the ever-increasing number of platforms enabling producers to reach enthusiastic and growing audiences for non-fiction storytelling,” said BFCA and BTJA President Joey Berlin.

“This is clearly demonstrated in the depth and quality of our inaugural nominees. We have a wealth of brilliant creators who are bringing to light some of the most entertaining and illuminating stories being told today. Indeed, documentary filmmaking is modern investigative journalism. We look forward to celebrating all these fine and important achievements at the first Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards gala on November 3rd.”

13th, 30 For 30: O.J.: Made in America and Gleason lead the nominations this year with five each. 13th has been nominated for Best Documentary Feature, Best Political Documentary, Best Documentary Feature (TV/Streaming), Ava DuVernay for Best Director (TV/Streaming) and Best Song in a Documentary.

The nominations for O.J.: Made in America include Best Documentary Feature, Ezra Edelman for Best Direction of a Documentary Feature, Best Limited Documentary Series, Best Political Documentary and Best Sports Documentary.

Gleason received nominations for Best Documentary Feature, Clay Tweel for Best Direction of a Documentary Feature, Best Song in a Documentary, Best Sports Documentary, in addition to the Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary honor for Steve Gleason.

As part of the gala awards ceremony the BFCA and BTJA will be honoring this year’s Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary. Honorees are as follows:

- Danny Fields - Danny Says (Magnolia/Outre Films)

- Iggy Pop - Gimme Danger (Magnolia/Amazon)

- Kirsten Johnson – Cameraperson (Janus Films/Fork Films/Big Mouth Productions)

- Owen Suskind - Life, Animated (A&E IndieFilms/The Orchard/Motto Pictures/Roger Ross Williams Productions)

- Sharon Jones - Miss Sharon Jones! (Cabin Creek Films/Starz Digital Media)

- Steve Gleason – Gleason (Open Road/Amazon/Exhibit A)

- Theo Padnos - Theo Who Lived (Zeitgeist Films)

Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards Nominations include:

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE


- 13th (Netflix/Kandoo Films)

- 30 For 30: O.J.: Made in America (ESPN/Laylow Films)

- Cameraperson (Janus Films/Fork Films/Big Mouth Productions)

- Fire at Sea (Kino Lorber/Stemal Entertainment/21 Unofilm/Cinecittà Luce/Rai Cinema/Les Films d'Ici/Arte France Cinéma)

- Gleason (Open Road/Amazon/Exhibit A)

- Life, Animated (A&E IndieFilms/The Orchard/Motto Pictures/Roger Ross Williams Productions)

- Tickled (Magnolia/A Ticklish Tale/Fumes Production/Horseshoe Films)

- Tower (Kino Lorber/ITVS/Meredith Vieira Productions/GTS Films/Diana DiMenna Film)

- Weiner (Sundance Selects/Motto Pictures/Edgeline Films)

- The Witness (FilmRise/Five More Minutes Productions)

BEST DIRECTION OF A DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

- Ezra Edelman – 30 For 30: O.J.: Made in America (ESPN/Laylow Films)

- Ron Howard – The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years (Hulu/Imagine Entertainment/Apple Corps)

- Kirsten Johnson – Cameraperson (Janus Films/Fork Films/Big Mouth Productions)

- Keith Maitland – Tower (Kino Lorber/ITVS/Meredith Vieira Productions/GTS Films/Diana DiMenna Film)

- Clay Tweel – Gleason (Open Road/Amazon/Exhibit A)

- Roger Ross Williams – Life, Animated (A&E IndieFilms/The Orchard/Motto Pictures/Roger Ross Williams Productions)

BEST FIRST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE


- Otto Bell – The Eagle Huntress (Sony Pictures Classics/Kissaki Films/Stacey Reiss Productions)

- David Farrier and Dylan Reeve – Tickled (Magnolia/A Ticklish Tale/Fumes Production/Horseshoe Films)

- Adam Irving – Off the Rails (The Film Collaborative/Zipper Bros Films)

- Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg – Weiner (Sundance Selects/Motto Pictures/Edgeline Films)

- James D. Solomon – The Witness (FilmRise/Five More Minutes Productions)

- Nanfu Wang – Hooligan Sparrow (The Film Collaborative/Little Horse Crossing the River)

BEST POLITICAL DOCUMENTARY


- 13th (Netflix/Kandoo Films)

- 30 For 30: O.J.: Made in America (ESPN/Laylow Films)

- Audrie & Daisy (Netflix/Actual Films)

- Newtown (Abramorama/Mile 22/Independent Television Service)

- Weiner (Sundance Selects/Motto Pictures/Edgeline Films)

- Zero Days (Magnolia/Jigsaw Productions/Participant Media)

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE (TV/STREAMING)

- 13th (Netflix/Kandoo Films)

- 30 For 30: Fantastic Lies (ESPN)

- Amanda Knox (Netflix/Plus Pictures)

- Audrie & Daisy (Netflix/Actual Films)

- Before the Flood (National Geographic/Appian Way/Insurgent Docs/RatPac Documentary Films)

- Holy Hell (CNN/WRA Productions)

- Into the Inferno (Netflix/Herzog-Film/Matter of Fact Media/Spring Films)

- Jim: The James Foley Story (HBO/Kunhardt Films)

- Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures (HBO/Film Manufacturers/World of Wonder Productions)

- Rats (Discovery Channel/Dakota Group/Submarine Entertainment/Warrior Poets)

BEST DIRECTOR (TV/STREAMING)

- Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato – Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures (HBO/Film Manufacturers/World of Wonder Productions)

- Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn – Amanda Knox (Netflix/Plus Pictures)

- Ava DuVernay – 13th (Netflix/Kandoo Films)

- Werner Herzog – Into the Inferno (Netflix/Herzog-Film/Matter of Fact Media/Spring Films)

- Morgan Spurlock – Rats (Discovery Channel/Dakota Group/Submarine Entertainment/Warrior Poets)

- Fisher Stevens – Before the Flood (National Geographic/Appian Way/Insurgent Docs/RatPac Documentary Films)

BEST FIRST FEATURE (TV/STREAMING)

- Everything is Copy - Jacob Bernstein and Nick Hooker (HBO/Loveless)

- Holy Hell - Will Allen (CNN/WRA Productions)

- Mavis! - Jessica Edwards (HBO/Film First Co.)

- My Beautiful Broken Brain - Sophie Robinson and Lotje Sodderland (Netflix)

- Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four - Deborah Esquenazi (Investigation Discovery/Motto Pictures/Naked Edge Films)

- Team Foxcatcher - Jon Greenhalgh (Netflix/Hattasan Productions/Madrose Productions)

BEST LIMITED DOCUMENTARY SERIES


- 30 For 30: O.J.: Made in America (ESPN/Laylow Films)

- The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth (Showtime/Left/Right)

- The Eighties (CNN)

- The Hunt (BBC America/Silverback Films/NDR Naturfilm)

- Jackie Robinson (PBS/Florentine Films)

- Soundbreaking: Stories From the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music (PBS/Higher Ground/Show of Force)

BEST ONGOING DOCUMENTARY SERIES

- 30 for 30 (ESPN)

- Frontline (PBS)

- Last Chance U (Netflix)

- Morgan Spurlock Inside Man (CNN)

- POV (PBS)

- This Is Life with Lisa Ling (CNN)

BEST SONG IN A DOCUMENTARY


- “Angel by the Wings” – The Eagle Huntress – Written by Sia – Performed by Sia (Sony Pictures Classics/Kissaki Films/Stacey Reiss Productions)

- “The Empty Chair” – Jim: The James Foley Story – Written by Sting and J. Ralph – Performed by Sting (HBO/Kunhardt Films)

- “Flicker” – Audrie & Daisy – Written by Tori Amos – Performed by Tori Amos (Netflix/Actual Films)

- “Hoping and Healing” – Gleason – Written by Mike McCready – Performed by Mike McCready (Open Road/Amazon/Exhibit A)

- “I’m Still Here” – Miss Sharon Jones! – Written by Sharon Jones – Performed by Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings (Cabin Creek Films/Starz Digital Media)

- “Letters to the Free” – 13th – Written by Common, Karriem Riggins and Robert Glasper – Performed by Common featuring Bilal (Netflix/Kandoo Films)

BEST SPORTS DOCUMENTARY

- 30 For 30: Fantastic Lies (ESPN)

- 30 For 30: O.J.: Made in America (ESPN/Laylow Films)

- Dark Horse (Sony Pictures Classics)

- The Eagle Huntress (Sony Pictures Classics/Kissaki Films/Stacey Reiss Productions)

- Gleason (Open Road/Amazon/Exhibit A)

- Jackie Robinson (PBS/Florentine Films)

- Keepers of the Game (Tribeca Digital Studios/Flatbush Pictures)

BEST MUSIC DOCUMENTARY

- The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years (Hulu/Imagine Entertainment/Apple Corps)

- Gimme Danger (Magnolia/Amazon)

- Miss Sharon Jones! (Cabin Creek Films/Starz Digital Media)

- The Music of Strangers (Participant Media/Tremolo Productions)

- Presenting Princess Shaw (Magnolia)

- We Are X (Drafthouse Films)

MOST INNOVATIVE DOCUMENTARY

- Cameraperson (Janus Films/Fork Films/Big Mouth Productions)

- Kate Plays Christine (Grasshopper Film/4th Row Films/Faliro House Productions/Prewar Cinema Productions)

- Life, Animated (A&E IndieFilms/The Orchard/Motto Pictures/Roger Ross Williams Productions)

- Nuts (Amazon/mTuckman Media/Cartuna/Gland Power Films)

- Tower (Kino Lorber/ITVS/Meredith Vieira Productions/GTS Films/Diana DiMenna Film

- Under The Sun (Icarus Films/Vertov Studio/Saxonia Entertainment/Hypermarket Film)

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A Big Congrats to “La La Land” for Winning People’s Choice Award at TIFF 


Damien Chazelle’s brilliant musical “La La Land” starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone (she recently won Best Actress at Venice International Film Festival) took home the People’s Choice Award making it the one to beat this award season! Since 2008 (except for 2011’s “Where Do We Go Now?”), every single People’s Choice Award Winner has been nominated for Best Picture Oscar with films like “Room,” “The Imitation Game,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” and “Precious.” Some even won Best Picture like “Slumdog Millionaire,” “The King’s Speech,” and “12 Years a Slave.” But don’t go betting on the film yet. There were some movies that dominated TIFF but was ignored by the Academy such as the aforementioned “Where Do We Go Now?,” “Bella,” “Eastern Promises,” “Zatoichi,” and “The Hanging Garden.”

We shall see if “La La Land” will score big with Academy voters. For now, here’s the complete list of TIFF 2016 winners:

People’s Choice Award: “La La Land,” Damien Chazelle
People’s Choice Award For Documentary: “I Am Not Your Negro,” Raoul Peck
People’s Choice Award For Midnight Madness: “Free Fire,” Ben Wheatley
Platform Prize: “Jackie,” Pablo Larrian
Platform Prize, Special Mention: “Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait,” Khyentse Norbu
Best Canadian Feature Film: “Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves,” Mathieu Denis and Simon Lavoie
Best Canadian First Feature Film: “Old Stone,” Johnny Ma
Prizes of the International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) for Special Presentations Section: “I Am Not Madame Bovary,” Feng Xiaogang
Prizes of the International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) for Discovery Section: “Kati Kati,” Mbithi Masya
Dropbox Discovery Programme Filmmakers Award: “Jeffrey,” Yanillys Perez
NETPAC Award For World or International Asian Film Premiere: “In Between,” Maysaloun Hamoud
Best Short Film: “Imago,” Ribay Gutierrez
Best Canadian Short Film: “Mutants,” Alexandre Dostie

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“Sully” Continues to Soar, Beats “Bridget Jones,” “Blair Witch,” “Snowden” 


It was a horrible weekend at the box-office. According to Deadline, at $89M, the weekend of 9/16-18 was the worst this year. Prior to that, the weekend of 2/5-7 was the lowest with $95M.

But, Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks made Warner Bros. happy with “Sully” dominating the competition with $22 million. So far, the biopic has made $70.5M at the box-office.

Lionsgate’s “Blair Witch” on the other hand, failed miserably. Projected to make between $15-$20M this weekend, the threequel managed to eke out a mere $9.7M at the box-office landing at Number 2. And with a horrible CinemaScore of D+, we can say the film is dead on arrival. What happened? I thought the movie, which was over-buzzed beginning with its secret Comic-Con screening and ending at the Toronto International Film Festival, was good enough, certainly better than the sequel “The Book of Shadows.” But alas, audiences seemed to not care.

Also underperforming was “Bridget Jones’ Baby” at Number 3 with $8.2M. I thought the movie was funny and buoyant with Renee Zellweger front and center. But don’t cry for Zellweger and company, the threequel made almost $30M at the international box-office. With a budget of $35M, Universal will be able to recoup its investment in no time.

Don’t cry for Oliver Stone and “Snowden” either according to its studio Open Road Films. Debuting at Number 4 with $8M (projected to make $10M), the biopic starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley received a high CinemaScore grade of A so it has legs leading up to the award season.

Here’s the Top 10 box-office films in North America for weekend of 9/16-18:

1. Sully - $22 million
2. Blair Witch - $9.7 million
3. Bridget Jones’s Baby - $8.2 million
4. Snowden - $8 million
5. Don’t Breathe - $5.6 million
6. When the Bough Breaks - $5.5 million
7. Suicide Squad - $4.7 million
8. The Wild Life - $2.7 million
9. Kubo and the Two Strings - $2.5 million
10. Pete’s Dragon - $2 million

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