The nominations for the 90th Annual Academy Awards were released last week and met with mixed reactions. Some were ecstatic, others were disappointed, but how many were surprised? The Academy has been attempting to present itself in a new light in the years since a slew of all-white nominees was presented in the Best Actor category at the 2015 ceremony. Despite the #OscarsSoWhite movement that followed, the same thing happened the next year, sending organizers into a furor that found them completely revamping the membership list in the hopes of getting more diversified nominations. Although the 89th ceremony saw some changes in terms of the voting body, it seemed more like a desperate attempt to show change rather than a legitimate attempt to actually change. Now, in the age of #MeToo, this year’s nominees also fell shy of expectations. Continue reading →
Every year, the Sundance Film Festival hosts an impressive number of independent films, documentaries, and short films from all around the world. Titles like The Usual Suspects, Memento, Reservoir Dogs, Clerks, Napoleon Dynamite, Super-Size Me, Saw, and Little Miss Sunshine have all found success at the world-renowned festival. So it’s no surprise that this years line-up is definitely keeping with that reputation. A number of documentaries, including the Amir Bar-Lev’s Grateful Dead tribute Long Strange Trip and Jeff Orlowski’s follow-up to his 2012 Chasing Ice feature, Chasing Coral, have already premiered to great praise from festival attendees and critics alike. At the same time, a number of films have already been purchased for distribution, including Patti Cake$ by former doorman-turned-filmmaker Wass Stevens, which sold to Fox Searchlight for $10.5 million! Here are a few of the festival entries that have caught our eye for expanded release. We’ll post more information about domestic releases as we get further into the year. Continue reading →
Despite the recent change up with writing duties for the project, Disney has finally given Star Wars: Episode 7 an official release date. Even though the producers don’t have a title yet, and filming has yet to begin, Disney has set the release for December 18th, 2015. The cast is not yet complete, but this Star Wars movie is already setting a record for being the first Star Wars to be released during the holiday season and not to a summer audience. Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher have all been rumored to be reprising their roles in the new film, as well as Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) and Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian), but nothing official has been released. Ford just took a big role in the new space drama Ender’s Game, which hit theaters last week and is already gaining a reputation for phenomenal visual effects, but he may also be in the running to make another Indiana Jones movie, so we’ll see how he fits Star Wars into his schedule, if he actually does at all. We’ll have to wait until next year to hear anything official. Stay tuned to MADE for more news.