The Academy announced Kelley Kali and Waad al-Kateeb as domestic and international recipients, respectively, of the 2021 Academy Fellowship for Women — with Kali receiving $35,000 and al-Kateeb receiving the equivalent of £20,000.
Part of the Academy Gold global talent development and inclusion initiative, the fellowship for women is a one-year program that provides direct financial support, mentorship and access to filmmakers. Additionally, fellows will also receive career achievement support through the Alumni Gold Program — which provides professional development and education for alumni of Academy Gold Programs, including Gold Rising, Student Academy Awards and the Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting.
More from Variety
Both Kali and al-Kateeb were selected from a group of 11 finalists, including Kimberlee Bassford, Vigil Chime, Shaina Ghuraya, Amy Tofte, Gordon West, Farah Abushwesha, Rienkje Attoh-Wood, Prano Bailey-Bond and Dionne Edwards.
Kali is a graduate of Howard University and USC School of Cinematic Arts. Credits include being selected to work with Ron Howard and Brian Grazer to develop her web series pilot, “The Discovery of Dit Dodson,” and wrote and directed “Lalo’s House.”
al-Kateeb’s credits include reporting on the conflict in Syria for Channel 4 News in the UK., which won the 2017 international Emmy for news. Her documentation of her life in Aleppo was the inspiration for the feature documentary, “For Sama,” which she directed with Edward Watts — garnering them a 2019 Oscar nomination for best documentary feature.
‘The Harder They Fall’ Sets New Black Reel Award Records
“The Harder They Fall” set new film records with 20 Black Reel award nominations at the 22nd annual Black Reel Awards, with winners being announced on Feb. 27.
With what was once a record held by “Black Panther” with 17 nominations in 2018, “The Harder They Fall” became the first western nominated for outstanding picture and outstanding screenplay. Additionally, director Jeymes Samuel has tied with Radha Blank for the most individual nominations in a single year.
Other films that have garnered nominations include: Rebecca Hall’s “Passing,” which landed 13 and “Zola” received a total of nine nominations.
Rita Moreno was nominated for outstanding supporting actress in “West Side Story;” and Beyonce and Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter both face a off in outstanding original song for “King Richard” and “The Harder They Fall,” respectively.
Peter Skinner’s ‘The Lost Boy’ Submitted For Oscar Consideration
After making successful rounds in the Australian film festival circuits, filmmaker Peter Skinner submitted his short film, “The Lost Boy” for the best live action short film at the 2022 Academy Awards.
“Lost Boy,” which was released in 2020, chronicles Tate (Michael Sheasby) as a volatile bartender who shows up to work with a black eye — and is challenged by his boss to drop his tough guy persona. The film garnered Skinner an Australian Director’s Guild (ADG) nomination
Sheasby, who has since been cast in three of Peter Skinner’s short films, had a conversation about their creative partnership.
“On a personal level, if our partnership was to be boiled down to its essential effect, it is built on a foundation of trust and respect that creates a safe environment to explore the most vulnerable sides of ourselves,” said Sheasby.
Skinner spoke about how the film transcends the conversation of manhood, saying, “…It is never an aim to find an answer but to engage in the process of peeling back the surface, to go deeper in the nuance of masculinity and a hope that it sparks conversation and investigation similar.”
Watch “The Lost Boy” trailer below.
Louder Than Pop Partners with Dennis Hopper Trust To Launch Artist’s Museum
Louder Than Pop partnered with Dennis Hopper Art Trust to launch “Dennis Harper: Widescreen,” an immersive museum that explores themes in both Hopper’s life and artistic work.
“We are honored to announce our partnership with The Hopper Art Trust to produce and tour an immersive museum experience around the life and work of Dennis Hopper,” said Piere Vudrag, chief executive officer of Louder Than Pop. “Widescreen will allow visitors to discover the multifaceted and talented man, Dennis Hopper…”
Viewers will see rare personal items discovered at his Taos, New Mexico properties: the El Cortez Theater and items that are part of The Hopper Art Trust. Additionally, attendees will be sent into Widescreen — showcasing experimental designs and physical sets, among others.
The exhibit is set for an eight city tour starting in L.A. in 2023 and including New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, London and Paris to start.
Yellow Veil Pictures Acquires Rights to ‘The Midnight Swim’
Yellow Veil Pictures announced the acquisition of Sarah Adina Smith’s “The Midnight Swim” which will be released digitally on Jan. 25.
Winning both the breakthrough audience award from AFI Fest and best feature film from the Denver international film festival, “The Midnight Swim” follows half-sisters Isa, June and Annie after the disappearance of their mother during a deep-water dive in Spirit Lake. Working to put their mother’s affairs in order, the sisters accidentally summon a local ghost. The film stars Aleksa Palladino, Lindsay Burdge, Aleksa Palladino, Jennifer Lafleur and Ross Patridge. The film is produced by Jonako Donley and Mary Pat Bentel.
“The Midnight Swim” is produced by Jonako Donley and Mary Pat Bentel. The acquisition deal was negotiated by Yellow Veil Pictures co-founders Justin Timms, Joe Yanick and Hugues Barbier with Everything is Everything co-founders Jonako Donley and Smith.
A special collector’s BluRay edition will be available on Jan. 1 as part of Yellow Veil’s partnership with OCN Distribution.
Best of Variety