Lifetime greenlights Gabby Douglas biopic. Regina King, S. Epatha Merkerson to star
The series of spin-off films will be based on Newt Scamander, the fictional author of the Hogwarts textbook ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.’
Our movie predictions: dragons, young Dumbledore cameo and AWESOMENESS.
The secretive underground lives of British mammals have been captured on camera by filmmakers.
Full-scale rabbit warrens, vole burrows and badger sets were crafted in order to film previously unrecorded details.
The team were able to capture intimate views of family life for some of Britain’s best loved, and least understood, species.
The results are revealed in the BBC Two series The Burrowers: Animals Underground.
The resulting footage revealed previously unknown insights: from where water voles locate their latrines to how unrelated badgers establish social bonds.
Zoe Saldana’s newest role is behind the camera as she partners with Lionsgate to create new television and film projects. Saldana – whose on-screen performances include roles in “Star Trek” and “Avatar” – has signed a deal with Lionsgate, that will allow her production company to offer the major film studio a “first look” to develop TV and movie projects aimed at Hispanic audiences, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
SA animation wins in Brazil
South African animated 3D movie Adventures in Zambezia won the “best feature for children” award at the 21st Anima Mundi international animation festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil last week.
The award is the latest in a string of successes for the debut feature from Cape Town-based Triggerfish Animation Studios, which followed up with its second feature film, Khumba, earlier this year.
Last year, Adventures in Zambezia became the first African 3D feature animation to be nominated - for best music and best voice artist - for the Hollywood-based Annie Awards, the most prestigious in the animated movie industry.
It was also named best South African feature film at the 2012 Durban International Film Festival, and best animation at the 2012 African Movie Academy Awards.
According to the National Film and Video Foundation, the film has been sold to over 40 territories, and within 12 weeks of its release in five of those territories had sold over 1-million tickets, notably reaching number 2 at the box office in Russia and Germany.
On Wednesday, the film will be widely released - at 477 screens - in France, having been snapped up by a French distributor, along with Khumba, at the 2013 Cannes International Film Festival in May.
Adventures in Zambezia tells the story of a young falcon that leaves his home and his father in the desert to make a life for himself in the big city of Zambezia - only to find that surviving the urban jungle can be more difficult than living in the wild.
Directed by Wayne Thornley, it features an all-star cast including Abigail Breslin, Jeff Goldblum, Leonard Nemoy, Richard E Grant and Samuel L Jackson. [x]
Cheryl Boone Isaacs Elected President of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
According to Variety.com, Cheryl Boone Isaacs has become the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences first African-American president.
A New Perspective of the Day: The World’s Smallest Movie
Researchers at IBM have created the world’s smallest stop-motion animation by moving carbon monoxide molecules under a scanning tunneling microscope frame by frame.
The classic “Star Wars” film that launched a science fiction empire is being dubbed in the Navajo language.
A handful of Navajo speakers translated the script for “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.” Now people are being sought to fill some two dozen roles.
Casting calls are scheduled Monday in Burbank, Calif., and next Friday and Saturday at the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Ariz.
Potential actors don’t have to sound exactly like Princess Leia or Luke Skywalker but should deliver the lines with character.
Museum director Manuelito Wheeler says he sees the translation as entertaining and a way to preserve the Navajo language. Wheeler says it’s rewarding considering the U.S. once tried to eradicate the language, then called on Navajos to use it during World War II.
Ellen DeGeneres will reprise her role as Dory, the blue fish introduced in 2003’s Finding Nemo, and co-director Andrew Stanton will return to helm Finding Dory as well. We hope you’ve been practicing your Whale. source
Update: For all of those concerned about a possible April Fools’ prank, it’s worth noting that this story wasn’t posted until after the start of normal business hours on April 2. Oh, and Ellen confirmed the news on her show. — Scott @ SFB
Sanaa Lathan, Terrence Howard, Blair Underwood and Harry Lennix to Star in Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ set in the Caribbean
The film, to be titled Macbett, is written and directed by Aleta Chappelle, who is the first African American woman to direct a film version of a Shakespeare play.
The film is set to start pre-production in Sept. 2013 on location in Jamaica and Puerto Rico.
Nine-year-old Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis will play the title role in “Annie,” Sony’s Columbia Pictures announced on Sunday.
"Annie" is due to hit theaters in 2014 during the winter holiday season, and is based on the stage play about an orphan’s adventures in finding her family and a better life while overcoming the schemes of orphanage mistress Miss Hannigan.
President of production at Columbia Pictures Hannah Minghella expressed confidence in Wallis’ talent and star power.
"With the recent Academy Award nomination and critical acclaim, Quvenzhané Wallis is a true star and we believe her portrayal as Annie will make her a true worldwide star," she said.
"She is an extraordinary young talent with an amazing range, not only as an actress but as a singer and dancer, and we can’t wait for audiences to further discover her."
Among the film’s co-producers are Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter. Carter’s 1998 Grammy-winning album “Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life” contains a hip-hop version of “It’s a Hard Knock Life,” a song from the original Broadway musical “Annie.”
The hit musical was first made into a film starring Carol Burnett as Miss Hannigan in 1982. A made-for-TV version with Kathy Bates in the same role aired on ABC in 1999, and earned two Emmy awards.
Wallis is the youngest actress to ever be nominated for a Best Actress Oscar. She was nominated for her role as Hushpuppy in indie drama “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” which also earned a nod for Best Picture. “Beasts” is Wallis’ first acting job.
Among her other firsts, she will also be the first African-American actress to play Annie, who has been traditionally portrayed as a freckle-faced redhead.
Later this year, she will star alongside Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender in Steve McQueen’s historical drama “Twelve Years a Slave,” based on the book by Solomon Northup.
‘Girl Rising’ Spotlights Need For Girls’ Education
Just because a film isn’t finished doesn’t mean it can’t get buzz at Sundance.
Director Richard Robbins showed about 10 minutes of his new movie, “Girl Rising,” at the independent-film festival Monday, even though he still has a few weeks of post-production work to do on the project.
The film tells the stories of nine girls from different developing countries — including Cambodia, Haiti, India and Afghanistan — and shows how access to education would change their lives.
Robbins, who works as a writer for TV’s “Scandal,” said he had hoped to finish the film in time to compete or premiere at Sundance, but after visiting 10 countries in 12 months gathering footage, he just couldn’t make it in time. Still, he wanted to generate interest in the film, which is set for release in March.
It is being distributed by CNN Films and Gathr, an on-demand distribution platform that allows those interested in the film to request a theatrical showing in their neighborhood.
Actress Freida Pinto introduced “Girl Rising” Monday at Sundance by sharing some powerful statistics: There are 66 million girls who are not in school; 14 million girls under 18 who will be married this year; and 150 million girls are victims of sexual violence each year.
"No one is more vulnerable than an uneducated girl," said Pinto, who is active with the 10x10 organization behind the film and its campaign to educate girls worldwide. "Making a girl aware of her fundamental human rights through education can change all that."
Girls who are educated marry later, have fewer and healthier children, achieve self-sufficiency and continue the cycle of education with their own children, Pinto said.
"If you educate girls, you will change the world," she said.
The film features the voices of Meryl Streep, Salma Hayek, Kerry Washington, Alicia Keys, Cate Blanchett and Selena Gomez, among others.
The earliest surviving Charles Dickens film has been found in the BFI’s archive after sitting on a shelf for more than 50 years.
The Death of Poor Joe, a one minute-long silent film based on an episode in Dickens’ novel ‘Bleak House’, was filmed in Brighton in 1901.
It is thought to be the work of the pioneering Brighton filmmaker G.A. Smith, a view that is backed up by the his wife’s appearance in it. Smith was married to the stage actress Laura Bayley, who appeared in many of his films and plays the role of the young boy ‘Jo’ in this short.
Bryony Dixon found the film in February, the day after the world celebrated the 200th anniversary of Dickens’ birth. Her research revealed this to be the earliest film made featuring a Dickensian character.
"It’s wonderful to have discovered such a rare and unique film so close to Dickens’ bicentennial. Not only does it survive but it is the world’s earliest Dickensian film. It looks beautiful and is in excellent condition. This really is the icing on the cake of our current celebration of Dickens on Screen," said Dixon. The BFI said that the picture would have been shot in one take with a 17.5mm film.
Smith was fond of fairytales and comedy, and went on to make adaptations of ‘A Christmas Carol’, ‘Scrooge, or Marley’s Ghost’ in 1901 also.