News Nuggets: ‘Argo,’ Sally Field to be honored at Palm Springs Fest

Armenia and Azerbaijan clash over foreign-language Oscar entry: “Armenia’s entry for Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards was conceived as a story of how humanity triumphs over prejudice. But since it also deals with Azerbaijan, it has become yet another element in the toxic feud between the two nations. The film, ‘If Only Everyone,’ tells the story of an Armenian man who helps a half-Russian, half-Armenian woman go to her father’s grave and plant a tree there. The father died in the early-1990s conflict over Nagorny Karabakh, which pitted Armenians against Azerbaijanis … In Azerbaijan, writer Elchin Huseynbayli, has stepped forward to insist that the idea for the film was stolen from his 2010 story ‘Dazzled by the Sun.'” INSTITUTE FOR WAR & PEACE REPORTING

SAG begins its holiday auction. From the press release: “The Screen Actors Guild Awards kicks off the first of three online auctions to benefit the Screen Actors Guild Foundation with the Holiday Auction beginning today at 6 p.m. (PT) at The auction will stay open for 10 days and close at 6 p.m. (PT) on Sunday, Dec 16, 2012. Auction items include a VIP ticket package to attend the SAG Awards ceremony and gala on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013. Proceeds from the SAG Awards Holiday Auction will benefit the SAG Foundation to help sustain their award-winning children’s literacy programs: BookPALS (Performing Artists for Literacy in Schools), reading to over 60,000 children monthly in classrooms and hospitals nationwide, and Storyline Online, reaching an average of 750,000 global views each month.” SAG

Argo” will receive the Ensemble Performance Award at the Palm Springs Film Festival. Press release: “The 24th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present the film ‘Argo’ with its Ensemble Performance Award.  Cast members from the film, including Ben Affleck, Alan Arkin, and Bryan Cranston will attend to accept the award.  Presented by Cartier, the Awards Gala will be held Saturday, January 5, at the Palm Springs Convention Center. Hosted by Mary Hart, the Awards Gala will also present awards to previously announced honorees Helen Hunt, Naomi Watts and Robert Zemeckis.”

Sally Field will also be honored in Palm Springs. Press release: “The 24th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present two-time Academy Award winning actress Sally Field with its Career Achievement Award … ‘From her all-American girl roles that brought her early stardom on television to her memorable and award-winning film performances, Sally Field has impressed generations of audiences with her incredible range,’ said Film Festival Chairman Harold Matzner.”

DGA announces its special award winners. Press release: “Michael Apted will receive the DGA’s 2013 Robert B. Aldrich Award, for extraordinary service to the Directors Guild of America and to its membership. Eric Shapiro will receive the DGA’s 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award in News Direction, for distinguished achievement in News Direction. Susan Zwerman will receive the DGA’s 2013 Frank Capra Achievement Award, which is given to an Assistant Director or Unit Production Manager in recognition of career achievement in the industry and service to the Directors Guild of America. Dency Nelson will receive the DGA’s 2013 Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award, which is given to an Associate Director or Stage Manager in recognition of service to the industry and to the Directors Guild of America.”

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