News Nuggets: Academy will honor Pedro Almodovar with London retrospective

The Academy will honor Pedro Almodovar in London: “The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will celebrate the groundbreaking career of Oscar-winning filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar with an intimate retrospective on Thursday, December 13, at the Curzon Soho Cinema in London. Hosted by Sir Christopher Frayling, the evening features a conversation with Almodóvar and discussions with friends, colleagues and family members including Agustín Almodóvar, Stephen Frears, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Alberto Iglesias, Peter Morgan, and Sally Potter. Excerpts from many of Almodóvar’s films will illustrate the breadth of his artistic explorations, his passionate engagement with the human heart, and a worldview often articulated by powerful female leads.” AMPAS

“Argo” will receive the Ensemble Award from the Palm Springs Film Festival on Jan. 5. Cast members Ben Affleck, Alan Arkin, and Bryan Cranston will accept the honor in person. Also present will be previously announced honorees Helen Hunt, Naomi Watts and Robert Zemeckis. The Festival runs January 3-14.

After eliminating multiple categories in 2011, Grammys add three this year: “When the Recording Academy consolidated last year’s Grammy nominations by eliminating 31 categories in R&B, American roots music, classical, Latin, jazz, country, pop and rock fields, the changes felt out of key for some musicians. There were grumblings, protests, petitions and a group of Latin jazz artists even filed a class action lawsuit to contest the restructuring, which brought the total number of categories down to 78 from 109. This year, the Recording Academy has added three new categories to previously scaled back fields with the addition of awards for classical compendium, Latin jazz album and urban contemporary album.” LOS ANGELES TIMES

Open Road Films gives its January release, “The Grey,” an awards push: “Open Road Films has announced that the film will be given an exclusive two-week engagement at Laemmle theaters in both Santa Monica and Encino starting this Friday, December 7. Guild and Academy members will be given free entrance to the showings by presenting their membership cards, so obviously the goal is to get them out of the house to see the film on the big screen rather than risk it being lost in the never-ending stack of screeners that accumulates this time of year.” IN CONTENTION

The TV Academy is holding a holiday auction for charity. From the press release: “People can bid on and win once-in-a-lifetime VIP tickets and memorabilia from their favorite shows.  The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation is the charitable arm of the Television Academy and all auction proceeds will support its education and archival programs. Bid on these and many other items benefitting the Television Academy Foundation’s scholarship, educational outreach and preservation efforts hosted by eBay Giving Works.” EBAY

Alec Baldwin signs a deal to stay with Universal Television: “As he is wrapping his first starring TV series role on NBC‘s ‘30 Rock,’ Alec Baldwin is staying in business with the network and the studio behind the departing Emmy-winning comedy. I’ve learned that Baldwin, whose turn on ’30 Rock’ has earned him two Emmys, has signed a two-year overall deal with Universal Television. Under the pact, Baldwin, who also serves as a producer on ’30 Rock,’ will develop and produce series projects for the studio, including potential new starring vehicles for him.” DEADLINE

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