News Nuggets: 265 films eligible for Best Picture Oscar

Utah film critics pick “Drive“: “The Utah Film Critics Association has chosen ‘Drive’ as the Best Picture of the year. The film also won Best Supporting Actor for Albert Brooks and Best Cinematography. The group handed two awards to Jonathan Levine‘s ‘50/50,’ Best Actor for Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Best Original Screenplay.” IN CONTENTION

The Black Film Critics Circle awards “The Help“: ” Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC) has voted ‘The Help’ Best Film of 2011, Dee Rees Best Director for ‘Pariah,’ Viola Davis Best Actress for ‘The Help’ and Olivier Litondo Best Actor for ‘The First Grader’ … ‘This year was a very engaging one in cinema,’ says [BFCC co-president Mike] Sargent. ‘Both commercial and independent fare illustrated the continued ability of Hollywood to entertain, spotlight new talent, show fresh perspectives and move audiences. Congratulations to all of the winners.'” BLACK FILM CRITICS CIRCLE

265 films deemed eligible for Best Picture Oscar: “To qualify, films must have a running time of at least 40 minutes, been exhibited theatrically on accepted digital or 35mm or 70mm film formats, and open in a commercial theater in Los Angeles County by midnight, Dec. 31 for a minimum seven-day engagement. Best picture nominees will be announced Jan. 24, 2012, with the Oscar ceremony taking place Feb. 26.” HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

How will “30 Rock” work Kim Jong-il‘s death into its North Korea storyline? “The death of the North Korea strongman on Saturday has left the NBC sitcom in an awkward position. At the end of last season, Avery Jessup (Elizabeth Banks) was kidnapped by Kim and forced to live in the wintry, totalitarian country as the dictator’s propaganda mouthpiece. What the creative team at ’30 Rock’ clearly didn’t count on was that ‘Dear Leader’ would expire before the show returns for its mid-season debut on Jan. 12.” THE WRAP

Orson Welles‘s “Citizen Kane” Oscar sells for more than $800K: “One of the most magical pieces of movie memorabilia, Orson Welles’ Academy Award for ‘Citizen Kane’ was sold by Nate D. Sanders ( today for $861,542, which includes the buyer’s premium. Welles received this Award for Best Original Screenplay, which was, incredibly, the only Oscar that either ‘Citizen Kane’ or Orson Welles received. In an exciting auction that included David Copperfield and bidders from around the world, Orson Welles’ Oscar – thought to be lost for decades – achieves the distinction of being one of only a handful of Academy Awards that have sold for nearly a million dollars.”

Allman Brothers, Diana Ross to receive Grammys for Lifetime Achievement: “The Allman Brothers Band and Diana Ross will lead the next class of Special Merit Awards recipients at the Grammys. The Allmans, Ross, Glen Campbell, country music great George Jones, Brazilian songwriter Antonio Carlos Jobim, the late soul poet Gil Scott-Heron and the Memphis Horns are all set to receive Lifetime Achievement Awards.  In addition, Trustees Awards – which recognize those who contributed to the recording industry in a non-performance capacity – will go to the late Steve Jobs, New Orleans composer-arranger Dave Bartholomew and jazz producer Rudy Van Gelder.” ROLLING STONE

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