Anaïs Demoustier to Preside Over Caméra d’or Jury at Cannes – Film News in Brief

Anaïs Demoustier, the French actor known for her roles in films “Smoking Causes Coughing” and “Anaïs in Love,” has been announced as president of this year’s Caméra d’or Jury at Cannes. The Caméra d’Or award is given to the best debut feature film in the Official Selection and aims to inspire young filmmakers to continue in their creative endeavors.

“Among my greatest joys as a spectator is seeing the debut film of a director who goes on to become a major force. A gesture, the first one, one that forever anchors the necessity of a director and creates a desire to see him or her begin again,” said Demoustier.

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“As an actress, I’ve been lucky to experience alongside young directors the delicate balance between nervous energy and a desire to see through their first creation. I am very honoured and looking forward to discovering debut films at Cannes this year as president of the Caméra d’or Jury. Promises and surprises from around the world to remind us how important cinema is.”

The jury also includes actor Raphaël Personnaz, director of photography Nathalie Durand, screenwriter and director Mikael Buch, CEO of Titrafilm Sophie Frilley and the editor-in-chief of Fiches du Cinéma et l’Annuel du Cinéma Nicolas Marcadé.

Female Voices Rock Film Festival to Kick Off on May 5 in Brooklyn, NY

This year’s Female Voices Rock Film Festival will feature dozens of projects from a diverse set of female filmmakers. The event takes place at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn, N.Y. from May 5 to May 7 and will be filled with screenings, workshops, industry panels and cocktail parties. The Official Selection ranges from documentaries to comedies and is sectioned into blocks with themes like “What Happens After Dark” and “Choice & Motherhood.”

The festival launched in 2019 and has since focused on championing the voices of all marginalized individuals in the film industry by building a platform centered around diversity and inclusion. In addition to the festival, Female Voices Rock hosts year-round educational workshops, webinars and networking events through their online community.

The event advisory board includes Julie Christeas, CEO and founder of Tandem Pictures; Grace Moss, director of talent development and inclusion for NBC Entertainment; and Kimberly Browning, established director, producer and film festival programmer.

Santa Barbara International Film Festival Sets 2024 Dates

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival has announced it will return Feb. 7-17. The 39th Santa Barbara International Film Festival will resume in Santa Barbara, Calif., continuing to take place throughout the city, including access to events at the historic Arlington Theatre.

The festival will include screenings, filmmaker Q&As, industry panels and celebrity tributes. In addition, the Variety Artisans Awards is scheduled to return for its tenth annual celebration at the 2024 festival.

“We just had a record year with packed houses showcasing over 200 films, and plenty of seminars, panels and tributes, and we hosted the eventual 2023 Oscar winners from 18 film categories; proving once again that the love of watching films in person and celebrating cinema is alive and well in Santa Barbara!” says Roger Durling, SBIFF’s executive director.

The Gotham Film & Media Institute Sets Date for 33rd Annual Gotham Awards

The Gotham Film & Media Institute today announced that the 33rd Annual Gotham Awards will take place on Monday, Nov. 27.

Each year, the Gotham Awards honors independent film and television projects in this first honors of the film awards season. At last year’s 32nd Annual Gotham Awards, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” was awarded Best Feature, marking the beginning of the film’s successful award season.

Additional honorees for last year’s show included the Outstanding Supporting Performance Award for Ke Huy Quan, the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director award for Charlotte Wells’ “Aftersun” and the Breakthrough Nonfiction Series Award for W. Kamau Bell’s “We Need to Talk About Cosby.”

Sundance Institute Reveals Fellows for the 2023 Directors, Screenwriters and Native Labs

The nonprofit Sundance Institute has announced its new class of Directors, Screenwriters and Native Labs fellows.

The 2023 Directors and Screenwriters Labs will honor 12 fellows, with five fellows selected for the Native Lab. All fellows will work with creative mentors to influence their filmmaking processes.

Fellows include Eva Grant, Quinne Larsen, Anpa’o Locke, Jana Schmieding, Cian Elyse White, Hadas Ayalon, Dania Bdeir, Bane Fakih, Rashad Frett, Lin Que Ayoung, Masami Kawai, Gabriela Ortega, Audrey Rosenberg, Abinash Bikram Shah, Walter Thompson-Hernández, Sean Wang and Farida Zahran.

The 2023 Native Lab will be held online May 1-5 and continues from May 8-13 in person in Santa Fe, N.M. The lab will help enhance the fellow’s creative development of feature film and episodic work, learning new skills and receiving feedback from advisors.

The Directors Lab will allow filmmakers to rehearse, shoot and edit selected scenes from their work-in-progress screenplays with the guidance of creative advisors. The lab will take place May 30-June 13 in person at the Sundance Resort. The Screenwriters Lab will be held June 20-23 virtually where fellows will work on enhancing their screenwriting skills through individual story sessions with screenwriter advisors and group sessions.

The Directors Lab advisor cohort, led by Artistic Director Gyula Gazdag, includes Miguel Arteta, Joan Darling, Rick Famuyiwa, Stephen Goldblatt, Keith Gordon, Randa Haines, Ed Harris, Gina Prince-Bythewood, Polly Morgan, Ira Sachs, Michelle Tesoro and Joan Tewkesbury. The Screenwriters Lab advisor cohort, led by Artistic Director Howard Rodman, includes Justin Chon, Sebastian Cordero, Cherien Dabis, D.V. Devincentis, Scott Frank, John Gatins, Nicole Kassell, Kasi Lemmons, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Elena Soarez and Robin Swicord. The Native Lab creative advisors include Andrew Ahn, Alex Lazarowich (Cree), Dana Ledoux Miller (Sāmoan) and Jennifer Reeder.

Hartbeat Announced the Return of ‘Women Write Now’ Comedic Screenwriting Fellowship

Kevin Hart’s entertainment company Hartbeat (formerly Laugh Out Loud) announced the return of “Women Write Now,” the comedic screenwriting fellowship which champions black women in comedy through mentorship, advocacy, production and exhibition.

In partnership with Sundance Institute, the immersive fellowship is designed to support writers in developing short comedic scripts with the guidance of some of the most influential Black women in comedy. The application process allows 10 finalists to interview with a panel of award-winning filmmakers, industry leaders, Hartbeat executives and Sundance Institute partners. The panel then selects three finalists for the fellowship.

Similar to previous years, Hartbeat will offer the fellows the chance to produce their scripts with Hartbeat and enlist celebrity Black female directors for their production. The fellows will also be provided a 12-month first-look deal to submit original projects for production consideration and will have the opportunity to celebrate with a special screening premiere at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival.

Submissions for the 2023 Women Write Now Fellowship are currently open

The American Cinematheque Announces Return of ‘Bleak Week: Cinema of Despair’ Film Festival and Upcoming Lineup

The American Cinematheque announced the “Bleak Week: Cinema of Despair”’ film festival will return for its second annual celebration this June. “Bleak Week” will take place from June 1-7 at the Los Angeles theaters, Aero Theatre and Los Feliz 3. Tickets to “Bleak Week” are now available for purchase.

This year’s lineup features 35 films representative of 20 countries. The festival curators selected features and shorts that premiered throughout film history, including the 1937 feature “Make Way for Tomorrow” to the 2018 feature “Sorry to Bother You.”

Hungarian filmmaker Béla Tarr will attend as the festival’s guest of honor and one of the participating moderators, hosting special Q&As and introductions.

“We are thrilled to welcome legendary Hungarian filmmaker Béla Tarr as our guest of honor with an extremely rare in-person appearance in Los Angeles. ‘Bleak Week’ is a celebration of films that masterfully challenge and enlighten us, and there is no greater filmmaker alive that better represents that spirit,” said Chris LeMaire, senior programmer at the American Cinematheque and “Bleak Week” co-founder.

See below for the “Bleak Week: Cinema of Despair” full festival lineup:

June 1
“They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?”(1969)
“Gerry” (2003)
“Twilight” (1990)

June 2
“Blackboards” (2000)
“The Life Of Oharu”(1952)
“Baxter” (1989)
“Come And See” (1985)
“The Ascent” (1977)
“Alien 3” (1992)

June 3
“The Piano Teacher” (2001)
“Amour” (2012)
“Borom Sarret” (1963)
“Black Girl” (1966)
“Cries and Whispers” (1972)
“Britannia Hospital” (1982)
“Sorry To Bother You” (2018)
“Khrustalyov, My Car” (1998)
“Der Todesking” (1990)

June 4
“Eight Deadly Shots” (1972)
“Make Way For Tomorrow” (1937)
“Samson And Delilah” (2009)
“4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days” (2007)
“The Friends Of Eddie Coyle” (1973)
“Fox And His Friends” (1975)
“Bleak Street” (2015)

June 5
“La Ciénaga” (2001)
“Mother And Son” (1997)
“The Second Circle” (1990)
“In A Glass Cage” (1986)

June 6
“Teorema” (1968)
“Werckmeister Harmonies” (2001)
“The River” (1997)

June 7
“Fat Girl” (2001)
“The Turin Horse” (2011)
“When The Wind Blows” (1986)

‘Remembering Gene Wilder’ Documentary to Premiere at Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival

The Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival has returned after three years, this time with the premiere of the feature documentary “Remembering Gene Wilder.” The film honors the life and career of Hollywood’s first Willy Wonka through home videos and interviews with Wilder’s close friends, including Mel Brooks, Carol Kane, Harry Connick Jr. and Ben Mankiewicz. The film will open the festival on May 18 at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Born Jerome Silberman, Wilder was a comedic light as an actor and filmmaker — not just in the remarkable “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory,” but in films like “Young Frankenstein,” “Blazing Saddles, “The Woman in Red” and “Silver Streak.” Wilder died in 2016 at the age of 83 from Alzheimer’s disease.

The documentary was directed by Ron Frank and was produced by David Knight and Julie Nimoy, daughter of Leonard Nimoy, the actor who played Spock in the Star Trek film franchise.

“David and I are thrilled that Gene’s widow, Karen Wilder, is supporting our project by providing us with hundreds of never-seen-before photos and videos from the estate,” said Julie Nimoy. “My Dad loved Gene!”

The Cinema Audio Society Announces 60th Annual CAS Awards Timeline

The Cinema Audio Society has announced that the 60th Annual CAS Awards will take place on Saturday, March 2, 2024.

The CAS Awards honor outstanding sound mixing across film and television, along with the distribution of the annual Student Recognition Award. Recipients for the CAS Career Achievement Award and CAS Filmmaker Award for the upcoming season will be announced later in the year.

“The CAS is looking forward to honoring the best contributions of 2023 to the collaborative art of motion pictures and television through sound mixing,” says CAS president Peter Kurland. “We also will look at the milestones of our rich 60-year history advancing the art of auditory appreciation.”

Along with the official date for the CAS Awards show, they have released the full timeline surrounding submission and voting dates.

See the full schedule below.

  • Entry Submission Form available Online – Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023, on the CAS website at

  • Entry Submissions due Online – 5 p.m. PT, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023

  • Nomination Ballot Voting Begins Online – Tuesday, Dec.19, 2023

  • Nomination Ballot Voting Ends Online – 5 p.m. PT, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024

  • Final Nominees in each category announced – Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024 (Nominee listing error and omission deadline – Friday, Jan. 19, 2024)

  • Final Voting Begins Online – Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024

  • Final Voting Ends Online – 5 p.m. PT, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024

  • 60th Annual CAS Awards – Saturday, March 2nd, 2024

Streamland Media’s Picture Shop Revamps Two of Their Hollywood Post Production Facilities

Streamland Media’s Picture Shop has revamped its Sunset and Seward post production facilities, adding new color bays, edit rooms and grading theaters to the Hollywood locations. The Sunset location has over 115,000 square feet of work space spanning six floors of the Sunset Gower Studio lot, while the Seward location offers a smaller, more boutique-like work environment.

“We’ve spent our time focusing on their needs, putting the industry’s most advanced tools in their hands, all in a beautiful and stylish environment that fuels creativity,” said Cara Shepherd, President of Picture Shop. “The team has done an incredible job and I look forward to seeing our clients’ work take flight.”

The Sunset complex is also home to Streamland’s global headquarters and co-occupies the space with Ghost VFX, the company’s visual effects division, and Picture Head, their marketing division. The facility will have on site, around-the-clock teams ready to assist clients in production and operations.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Joins ‘Expendables 4’ Filmmaker Scott Waugh’s Action Film ‘Breakout

Arnold Schwarzenegger is set to star in “Expendables 4” filmmaker Scott Waugh’s upcoming action thriller “Breakout,” which Anton will sell at the upcoming market in Cannes.

Schwarzenegger will lead “Breakout” in the role of Terry Reynolds. After Terry’s stepson is framed and sentenced to serve 25 years in a foreign country, he makes it his mission to break him out of jail. Terry will have to dodge prison wardens and the race of time if he wants to aid his stepsons flee from the country.

“Breakout” serves as Schwarzenegger’s return to action films since the blockbuster franchise installment “Terminator: Dark Fate” and ahead of his Netflix series “Fubar,” which is set to release in May.

Waugh, who is best known for directing “Act of Valor” and Dreamworks’ “Need for Speed,” will helm the film, coming on the heels of directing the fourth installment of “The Expendables” franchise, which is expected later this year. Waugh directs from a screenplay by Richard D’Ovidio, based on a story D’Ovidio co-created with Nicole D’Ovidio.

“We are proud to be on board to make Scott’s vision come alive with the legendary Arnold Schwarzenegger in the lead,” stated Anton’s Sebastien Raybaud. “This is the perfect fit for Anton’s slate to continue delivering high-quality entertainment with big scale to the global market.”

“Breakout” is financed and produced by Anton and Off The Pier Productions. Anton is handling worldwide sales, with UTA Independent Film Group co-repping domestic rights. The film is produced by Anton’s Raybaud and John Zois; Off the Pier Productions’ Jeff Elliott and Chad Moore; Oscar nominee Cindy Cowan under her eponymous Cindy Cowan Entertainment banner; and Almost Never Films’ Carsten Lorenz and Danny Chan. Steve Ponce serves as executive producer. Off the Pier Productions and Cindy Cowan Entertainment developed and packaged the project.

‘The Blackening’ to Make U.S. Premiere at Tribeca Film Festival at the Apollo Theater

Lionsgate announced its new horror-comedy “The Blackening” will make its U.S. premiere on June 13 at the Tribeca Festival. The screening will take place at the Apollo theater in Harlem as part of Tribeca’s Expressions of Black Freedom Program in commemoration of Juneteenth.

“The Blackening” focuses on a group Black friends who reunite for a Juneteenth weekend getaway, but soon discover they’re trapped in a remote cabin with a twisted killer. Fighting for their lives, the friends are forced to abide by his demands and soon realize this isn’t a joke, and as release says, the horror-comedy then “poses the sardonic question: if the entire cast of a horror movie is Black, who dies first?” The film stars Antoinette Robertson, Dewayne Perkins, Sinqua Walls, Grace Byers, X Mayo, Melvin Gregg, Jermaine Fowler, Yvonne Orji and Jay Pharoah.

Directed by Tim Story (“Ride Along”, “Barbershop”) and co-written by Tracy Oliver (“Girls Trip,” “Harlem”) and Perkins (“The Amber Ruffin Show,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”), Lionsgate and MRC present, a Story Company, Tracy Yvonne, Artists First and CatchLight Studios co-production.

“Of course, we want ‘The Blackening’ to be enjoyed by everyone – but it’s especially a celebration of and a theatrical event for Black culture. This film really shows that Black people are not a monolith – there are so many different things that define us, but also bring us together,” Story said in a statement. “That’s why it’s so deeply meaningful that we are premiering at the legendary Apollo. For more than a century, this theater has been the epicenter that originated so much Black entertainment before it sent its shockwaves out to the world. As we lead up to the release of our film on Juneteenth Weekend, it’s a unique pleasure to be celebrating our U.S. premiere in this historic place.”

“The Blackening” will hit theaters on June 16.

Costume Designers Guild and UCLA To Host Business of Costume Design Panel Event In May

The Costume Designers Guild is teaming up with the UCLA Anderson’s Center of Media, Entertainment and Sports to host the Business of Costume Design: The Value of Vision and Its Economic Impact, an event that explores the importance of costume design throughout the on-screen entertainment industry.

Industry professionals will share insights from their careers to highlight the artistry of costume design and offer ways to foster equity in the field. The event will also serve to show just how vital costume design is within television and film. “Some of the most iconic characters and memorable moments on screen are defined by costume. Costume designers are the key collaborators in creating distinctive characters that are at the heart of every story,” said the Anderson Center.

The panel and reception will be held from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. with doors opening at 9:30 a.m. Tickets for the event can be reserved via Eventbrite. It will be hosted at UCLA’s Anderson’s Center on May 13.

UK-Based Dragonfly Launches New AI Technology Platform

UK-based outfit Dragonfly is launching a technology platform for the global entertainment industry, which aims to help revolutionize film and TV production, distribution and marketing.

Dragonfly uses newly developed technologies to understand audience reaction to content; using artificial intelligence and bioinformatics the Dragonfly process captures the physical and emotional reactions of audiences moment by moment as they watch, and via a new insight platform called i4, where partners can access levels of insight that have never been available before.

Dragonfly’s new technology can map the specific audience for a film or TV show.

The team is led by CEO Ade Shannon, co- founder Rick Curtis and Head of Partnerships Con Gornell (former EVP of Marketing at Warner Brothers). The Managing Director of Dragonfly is the former VP of Strategy for Liverpool FC, Claire Smith.

Dragonfly are currently working with several leading film studios across major upcoming Hollywood titles.

Dragonfly’s innovative new technology has already launched in the UK with a proprietary audience of 6,000 people and will soon expand to 50,000 with a US service launching later this year.

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