By ROBERT W. WELKOS
The producers of a new biopic about the late labor leader Cesar Chavez are rushing to tamp down a flickering controversy appearing on Latino social media over whether unionized workers were fired and non-union personnel employed on the film.
The allegation is being vigorously disputed by lead producerPablo Cruz, who said the production complied with all union regulations andthat all the actors, either those from the U.S. or from Mexico, were unionmembers. He did concede, however, that extras hired in Mexico were non-unionsince there is no equivalent of an extras union in Mexico.
‘If there was a union for extras (in Mexico), we would havehad them, but there wasn’t one,’ Cruz said.
Cesar Chavez, which is directed by Diego Luna and stars Michael Pena, America Ferrara, Rosario Dawson and John Malkovich,is scheduled to be released March 28 in more than 600 theaters by Pantelion Films.
The movie was shot predominately in Sonora, Mexico, for reasons that had to do with the grape-picking season and how differently grapesare harvested today in the Central Valley of California, as opposed to decades ago when Cesar Chavez was organizing farm workers.
Cruz also rejected claims that they were a ‘runaway’ production. ‘We are a Mexican production company. We are the company who managed to finance this film. We are not a U.S. company.’
If the union/non-union issues are not satisfactorily dealt with, they could impact the film’s perception, especially in the Latino community, where Chavez’s struggle to organize California farm workers lifted him in many eyes into the Latino equivalent of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The controversy, which has been around for a few years, erupted anew earlier this week when the website Latino Rebels published a story under the headline: ‘Critics of New Chavez Movie Allege Producers Used Non-Union Workers and Outsourced Workto Mexico.’
The source of this allegation was an L.A. activist namedChamba Sanchez, who wrote on his Facebook page that he had received an emailasking if he would help promote the film. He derisively questioned why he would want Luna to get rich?
‘Furthermore,’ Sanchez posted, ‘I am currently researching into allegations that people behind this movie fired unionized workers and outsourced part or the entire production to Mexico. This is quite disturbing. If this is the case, Cesar Chavez must be spinning in his grave. And a bigger question: Why his family would agree to this?’
‘We never fired anybody to hire a non-union [...]
Tag Archives: california
By ROBERT W. WELKOS
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that it has received a $25 million commitment from The David Geffen Foundation for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. The gift was made as part of the Academy Museum’s $300 million capital campaign and is the largest commitment received to date. In recognition of this gift, the Academy will name the Museum’s premiere-sized theater The David Geffen Theater.
“David’s support of this project is transformative,” said Academy Museum Campaign Chair Bob Iger. “It takes a large and diverse group of supporters to build a project on the scale of the Academy Museum. David joins an esteemed group of individuals, companies, and foundations who are leading the charge.” The Academy launched the Museum’s capital campaign in 2012 and has already secured more than half of the campaign’s goal in commitments. The campaign is co-chaired by Annette Bening and Tom Hanks.
“I’m pleased to support the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures,” added David Geffen. “This is an exciting opportunity to be part of the creation of an iconic architectural space and cultural institution that will combine the best of the old and the new and provide a permanent public home for the Academy’s rich tradition of honoring the shining stars of the cinematic arts.”
Designed by architects Renzo Piano and Zoltan Pali, the Academy Museum will be located next to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in the historic Wilshire May Company building. Slated to open in early 2017, the Academy Museum will contain nearly 300,000 square feet of state-of-the-art galleries, exhibition spaces, theaters, screening rooms, education centers, and special event spaces.
The design for the Academy Museum fully restores the Wilshire and Fairfax street-front facades of the original 1939 Streamline Moderne building. It also includes a spherical wing at the northern end of the original building that will replace an extension made to the structure in 1946. Designed to represent the marriage of art and technology, the wing will house The David Geffen Theater and will be a spectacular new piece of contemporary architecture that will perfectly complement the historic building.
“David’s enlightened philanthropy touches lives every day,” said Dawn Hudson, the Academy’s CEO. “His generosity and commitment to our museum are deeply inspiring to all of us working to make this long-held dream a reality.”
The David Geffen Theater will be in operation throughout the year. Programming will include: premieres of films from [...]
The Tribeca Film Festival (TFF), presented by founding partner American Express, today announced a variety of programming that will allow domestic audiences to experience the Festival from across the country, including the lineup and programming for the Tribeca Online Festival, and Tribeca Film’s video-on-demand offerings during TFF. The 12th annual Tribeca Film Festival runs from April 17-28 in lower Manhattan.
“We are always looking for ways to expand our community and engage new audiences,” said Geoff Gilmore, Chief Creative Officer, Tribeca Enterprises. “For the past three years, viewers nationwide have been able to take in a selection of Festival films and activities, even if they aren’t able to make it to Tribeca. This year we have expanded the opportunity for the public to participate in the Festival not just as observers, but also as creators through our first ever Vine competition, which is open to anyone with an imagination and a Vine app.”
The Festival announced the program for the fourth annual Tribeca Online Festival, a digital initiative that offers front row access to exclusive Festival content and new storytelling opportunities. New this year is the launch of Tribeca Film Festival’s #6SECFILMS Vine Competition, an online juried competition using the six-second, micro-movie making app. Filmmakers can submit in one of four categories — #genre, #auteur, #animate and #series – using both the category hashtag and #6SECFILMS. Shortlists in each category will be viewable for the public on April 17 and will compete for cash prizes of $600. Submissions are now open through midnight on April 7. Winners will be announced by the Tribeca Online Festival on April 26.
As in years past, the Tribeca Online Festival (TOF) will provide free streaming of Festival films. Seven titles including features Alias Ruby Blade: A Story of Love and Revolution, Lil Bub & Friendz, and Farah Goes Bang (which will be streamed just after their Festival theatrical premieres), and short films RPG OKC, Delicacy, The Exit Room, and A Short Film About Guns will be accessible on tribecaonlinefestival.com . Via TribecaOnlineFestival.com audiences can vote on the best online feature and short, with the winners receiving a total of $16,000 in prize money.
The Tribeca Online Festival will stream a number of highly anticipated conversations during the Festival as well as the 2013 TFF awards show on Thursday April 25, 2013.
Tribeca Film will also release 2013 TFF selections What Richard Did, Greetings from Tim [...]
For a 17th consecutive year, the Hollywood Film Awards® continues its mandate of celebrating Hollywood cinema and recognizing excellence in Hollywood, both in-front and behind the camera. This year the Hollywood Film Awards® Gala ceremony takes place on October 21, 2013, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, in Beverly Hills.
In the last 10 years, a total of 96 Oscar® nominations and 34 Oscars® were given to the honorees of the Hollywood Film Awards®.
The “Los Angeles Times” recognized the Hollywood Film Awards® Gala Ceremony as a “pre-Oscar showcase,” and the “New York Times,” called it the “first mandatory stop in the awards season.”
“We are very excited to be having our seventeenth annual Hollywood Film Awards® Gala ceremony on October 21. Last year’s event was one of the best yet, with our presenters and honorees including Richard Gere, Bradley Cooper, Marion Cotillard, Robert De Niro, Amy Adams, Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, John Hawkes, Jeffrey Katzenberg, David O. Russell, Dustin Hoffman, Quentin Tarantino, Quvenzhané Wallis, Chris Evans, Tom Ford, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Hillcoat, Helen Hunt, Melissa Leo, Ray Liotta, Christopher Nolan, Edward Norton, Eric Roth, Susan Sarandon, Amanda Seyfried, Adam Shankman, Kerry Washington, Samantha Barks, Bella Heathcote, Tom Holland, John Magaro, Ezra Miller, and Kelly Reilly among many others,” Hollywood Film Awards’ founder, Carlos de Abreu, announced.
The first-ever Hollywood Film Awards® Gala ceremony took place in October 1997 in the historic Blossom Room at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, in Hollywood. Kirk Douglas took home the inaugural “Hollywood Career Achievement Award.”
The criteria for the recipients are based on their body of work and/or one or more films that are to be released within the calendar year.
Last year’s Hollywood Film Awards® total TV audience was over 42 million unique impressions, in addition to 300 million media impressions from both online and offline hits.
Further, through the “Hollywood Gives Back®” Project, the Hollywood Film Awards® continues highlighting and helping important local and national causes.
Over the years, the Hollywood Film Awards® have contributed to such organizations as: The Art of Elysium, Artists For Human Rights; Artists for Peace and Justice; Children’s Hospital Los Angeles; the Enough Project; Matchingdonors.com, Scren Actors Guild Foundation, and the children’s charity Variety SoCal among others.
The Hollywood Film Awards® selects individuals to be recipients of their “Hollywood Humanitarian Awards®” in recognition of their contribution to the betterment of their communities or society at large. Prior recipients include Nobel Peace Prize winner and [...]
This year, with the appointment of Fest veteran Jon Fitzgerald as Executive Director of the 17th Annual Hollywood Film Festival, films that matter will have an opportunity to be showcased in the heart of Hollywood.
Fitzgerald will be working closely with festival founder Carlos de Abreu, and will be in charge of development, artistic direction, programming, marketing and overall Festival management, as well as the Hollywood Gives Back® Project.
Hollywood Gives Back® with CineCause, will be showcasing the other side of Hollywood, celebrating the Industry’s creative artists who have supported causes around the world. These efforts will be presented through the CineCause Spotlight section of the Festival, connecting social impact films with related causes.
The Hollywood Gives Back® mandate is to give a voice to the voiceless through the visual and new mediums, highlighting social and human conditions worldwide, and recognizing people and organizations that have contributed to the betterment of their communities or society at large by bestowing the Hollywood Gives Back Awards®.
In addition, through the Hollywood Gives Back® program, the Hollywood Gives Back Awards selects individuals to be recipients of the “Hollywood Humanitarian Awards®” in recognition of their contribution to the betterment of their communities or society at large.
Prior recipients of the “Hollywood Gives Back Awards®” include Nobel Peace Prize winner and President of East Timor, Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta, Nobel Laureate Jody Williams, Father Rick Frechette and actor and activist Sean Penn.
Over the years, the Hollywood Film Festival® and Hollywood Gives Back® program have contributed to such organizations as: The Art of Elysium, Artists For Human Rights; Artists for Peace and Justice; Children’s Hospital Los Angeles; the Enough Project; MatchingDonors.com; Screen Actors Guild Foundation; and the children’s charity Variety SoCal among others.
“We greatly appreciate all you have done for us through the Hollywood Gives Back Awards® and our “Everybody Can Save a Life!” video contest. Your efforts have saved many lives.” – Paul Dooley, CEO- MatchingDonors.com
“Because of the generosity of The Hollywood Gives Back Awards®, we have just opened our new building at the Academy for Peace and Justice, the first free secondary school serving the very poor in Port-au-Prince… It is because of YOU that we are able to help change the lives of the poorest children of Haiti — children whose names I would love you to get to know, and whose faces I would love you to see.” – Director Paul Haggis for [...]
It is on The Great Gatsby by Australian director Baz Luhrmann, that the curtain will rise at the inauguration of the 66th Festival de Cannes, on Wednesday 15th May, in the Grand Théâtre Lumière du Palais des Festivals, out of Competition in the Official Selection.
Adapted from the famous novel by American author Francis Scott Fitzgerald and set against the roaring twenties on the East Coast of the United States, the film depicts the romantic and tragic figure of Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), as narrated by his friend Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire). Carey Mulligan is Daisy Buchanan, whose husband is played by Joel Edgerton.
This prestigious occasion will also be graced with the presence of Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan, as well as the American pop star, rapper Jay-Z
To read more go to Festival de Cannes
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The Producers Guild of America (PGA) is pleased to announce the opening of submissions for the ninth annual PGA Producing Workshop: “The Power of Diversity.” This multi-session workshop will run from May 28 through July 13 in Los Angeles, and is designed to foster the development of aspiring and seasoned producers who bring diverse perspectives to television, film and digital media.
This annual program provides ten participants with one-on-one mentoring sessions with members of the Guild’s Diversity Committee as well as master classes with some of today’s top producers. Topics are tailored to the participating producers and their projects, and will include all aspects of producing such as story development, pitching, packaging, financing, marketing and digital media.
“We’re excited to offer this unique and career-enhancing workshop to entertainment professionals,” said workshop chair Deborah Calla, who also chairs the PGA Diversity Committee. “Reflecting diverse communities through accurate and informative storytelling is an incredibly powerful tool that brings us all closer together. As PGA producers, we have a responsibility not just to appreciate different perspectives, but to empower such producers with the tools, resources and capacity to assist them in bringing their projects to fruition.”
Past mentors have included such top producing talent as Bruce Cohen (SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, AMERICAN BEAUTY), Mark Gordon (“Grey’s Anatomy,” SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, 2012), Marshall Herskovitz (DEFIANCE, BLOOD DIAMOND, THE LAST SAMURAI), Damon Lindelof (LOST, STAR TREK), Caryn Mandabach (“Nurse Jackie,” “That 70s Show”), Lori McCreary (INVICTUS, THE MAIDEN HEIST), Shonda Rhimes (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Private Practice”), Darren Star (“Sex in the City,” “90210”), Mike Tollin (“Smallville,” “One Tree Hill”) and Ralph Winter (X-MEN, FANTASTIC 4), among many others.
Past mentees have included Ben Lobato (“The Unit,” “Justified”), Aaron Rahsaan Thomas (“Southland”), Sarah DeLio (BLESS ME, ULTIMA) and Holly Overton (“The Client List”).
“The mentors’ enthusiasm, support and feedback were crucial to my development as a working writer and aspiring producer,” said Overton. “They brought in the best producers, directors and executives in the business and have continued to foster relationships with all the workshop participants. I completed the workshop with a newfound confidence and an understanding of the various facets of producing. This amazing opportunity provided me with skills I continue to use on a daily basis.”
Submissions for the “Power of Diversity” workshop will open on March 11 and close on April 19 at midnight Pacific Time. Ten participants will be selected to take part in the workshop at no charge.
The Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) today announced that the world premiere of Mistaken for Strangers, executive produced by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Marshall Curry and produced by Matt Berninger, Carin Besser and Craig Charland, will open the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, presented by American Express. Director Tom Berninger chronicles his experience on tour with his brother, The National’s frontman Matt Berninger, in this funny and affecting film, which will also play during the Festival’s 12th edition. The premiere, taking place on Wednesday, April 17, will be followed by a special performance by The National. The Festival will run through April 28.
Mistaken for Strangers follows The National on its biggest tour to date. Newbie roadie Tom (lead singer Matt Berninger’s younger brother) is a heavy metal and horror movie enthusiast, and can’t help but put his own spin on the experience. Inevitably, Tom’s moonlighting as an irreverent documentarian creates some drama for the band on the road. The film is a hilarious and touching look at two very different brothers and an entertaining story of artistic aspiration.
“Mistaken for Strangers exemplifies the independent spirit and vitality that Tribeca is excited to showcase every year,” said Geoff Gilmore, Chief Creative Officer. “We are thrilled to open with a film that embodies the journey of an independent filmmaker, and is at its core a highly personal and lighthearted story about brotherly love. It will be a great night of both indie film and music.”
“We’re really happy to premiere this movie at Tribeca, as New York has been home to us for these past 15 years,” Matt Berninger said. “I was happy to give my brother whatever access he needed. I just didn’t expect this movie to include shower scenes.”
“When my brother asked me along on tour as a roadie, I thought I might as well bring a camera to film the experience,” explained director Tom Berninger. “What started as a pretty modest tour documentary has, over the last two and a half years, grown into something much more personal, and hopefully more entertaining. It’s a huge thrill to be showing this movie at the Tribeca Film Festival.”
The National band members include Matt Berninger, Bryce Dessner, Aaron Dessner, Bryan Devendorf and Scott Devendorf. In 2010 the band released High Violet, which sold more than half a million copies worldwide. A brand new studio album from The National is slated for a May release on 4AD with [...]
Stars, Stars and more Stars presenting at the Oscars! Jane Fonda, Jennifer Garner, Kristen Stewart and Kerry Washington
Academy Award® winner Jane Fonda will join Jennifer Garner, Kristen Stewart and Kerry Washington to present on the Oscar telecast, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today.
Fonda earned seven nominations and won Academy Awards for her roles in “Klute” and “Coming Home.” Garner was seen in this year’s “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” and will be seen next in “Dallas Buyers Club.” Stewart is best known for her role as Bella Swan in the “Twilight” saga and also starred in 2012′s “On the Road” and “Snow White and the Huntsman.” Washington starred in the Best Picture Nominee “Django Unchained” and was seen in “A Thousand Words.” Washington is also the star of ABC’s hit drama “Scandal.”
Fonda, Garner, Stewart and Washington join a stellar list of previously announced Oscar presenters including Jennifer Aniston, Michael Douglas, Jamie Foxx, Paul Rudd, Salma Hayek Pinault, Melissa McCarthy, Liam Neeson, John Travolta, Ben Affleck, Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Mark Wahlberg, Ted and “Marvel’s The Avengers” cast members Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo; returning 2011 Oscar winners Jean Dujardin, Christopher Plummer, Octavia Spencer and Meryl Streep; “Chicago” cast members Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones; special guests Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Daniel Radcliffe, Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron; and performers including Kristin Chenoweth, Jennifer Hudson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Samantha Barks, Aaron Tveit and Helena Bonham,Adele, Dame Shirley Bassey, Norah Jones and Barbra Streisand.
Oscars® for outstanding film achievements of 2012 will be presented on Oscar Sunday, February 24 at the Dolby Theatre™ at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and will be hosted by Seth MacFarlane live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries worldwide. For more information go to Oscar.com or download the official Oscars app.
ABOUT CRAIG ZADAN AND NEIL MERON
Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are producers of critically acclaimed and award-winning feature films, television movies, series, and Broadway productions. Their feature films include The Bucket List, Footloose, Hairspray, and Chicago, which won six Academy Awards including one for “Best Picture.” For television, they’ve produced films of “Steel Magnolias,” ”Life with Judy Garland,” and “A Raisin in the Sun,” among many others and the series “Smash” and “Drop Dead Diva.” They recently returned to their [...]
Thanks to an unexpectedly strong second-weekend showing of Identity Thief, there’s going to be a lot of wrangling about rank this weekend.
But as you know, I don’t care about rank, so let’s just get into the numbers. The biggest opener of the weekend was the stunningly terrible A Good Day To Die Hard, which earned an estimated $25 million for the Fri-Sun weekend, $31 million over the four-day Presidents’ Day holiday, and a projected $36 million since opening on Thursday the 14th.
This was the first Die Hard film to open outside of summer, and it’s arguable that Fox knew full-well that it had a turkey on its hands.
There were no press screenings until the last minute and Fox didn’t even bother to attach a teaser to The Wolverine to prints this weekend, which seemed like a no-brainer save for the danger of being associated with just a stunningly bad film. Nonetheless, the brand is still somewhat strong, although it’s obviously waning.
To read more go to Mendelson’s Memos
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