News Nuggets: Sundance Film Festival will showcase female directors

2013 Sundance Film Festival lineup includes multiple films by women: “The odds of getting into the Sundance Film Festival have been astronomical for years, but the statistic that jumps out from the dramatic competition lineup for January’s festival might be even more remarkable: In what festival programmers say is a Sundance first, fully half of the narrative features were made by women. Culled from 1,227 submissions, the 16 dramas playing in the 2013 festival announced Wednesday cover a wide array of subjects and are populated by well-known actors (Casey Affleck, Daniel Radcliffe, Octavia Spencer, Jessica Biel) and complete unknowns. Many of the films, perhaps as a reflection of the gender of their directors, focus closely on personal, and often highly sexual, relationships.” LOS ANGELES TIMES

Palm Springs Film Festival awards Robert Zemeckis with Director of the Year Award. From the press release: “‘For 35 years, Robert Zemeckis has been creating some of the most iconic and indelible images in cinema, garnering international acclaim as a filmmaker of extraordinary vision,’ said Film Festival Chairman Harold Matzner.  ‘In his latest work, “Flight,” Zemeckis continues to tell fascinating stories by combining strong characters with groundbreaking visual effects, which includes one of the most memorable plane crashes in cinematic history, while following the compelling emotional journey of Denzel Washington’s character of an emotionally damaged man dealing with addiction.  For these achievements the Palm Springs International Film Festival is honored to present the 2013 Director of the Year Award to Robert Zemeckis.'”

Busy Philipps and Taye Diggs will announce the SAG Award nominees. Press release: “Busy Philipps, star of the TBS original comedy series ‘Cougar Town,’ and Taye Diggs, star of the ABC drama ‘Private Practice,’ will reveal the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations on Wednesday, Dec. 12. The announcement will be telecast live on TNT at 9 a.m. (ET)/6 a.m. (PT) and webcast live on and SAG-AFTRA Co-President Roberta Reardon and Executive Vice President Ned Vaughn will introduce Phillips and Diggs to the assembled media. Just prior to the nominations announcements, SAG Awards Committee Vice Chair Daryl Anderson and Committee Member Woody Schultz will announce the stunt ensemble honors nominations at 8:50 a.m. (ET) / 5:50 a.m. (PT).”

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Oscar-winner Milos Forman will receive Lifetime Achievement Award from the DGA. Press release: “Directors Guild of America President Taylor Hackford today announced that Milos Forman will receive the Guild’s top honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Achievement in Motion Picture Direction, at the 65th Annual DGA Awards on February 2, 2013. ‘It is a tremendous privilege to present the DGA Lifetime Achievement Award for feature film to one of the greatest filmmakers of our time, Milos Forman,’ said Hackford. ‘No matter what subject or genre he tackles, Milos finds the universality of the human experience in every story, allowing us – his rapt audience – to recognize ourselves within the struggle for free expression and self-determination that Milos so aptly portrays on the silver screen.'”

Are Oscars in store for Independent Spirit Award nominee “Moonrise Kingdom“? “So does this mean ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ is on its way to a Spirit Award followed by an Oscar? It still seems unlikely, between ‘Moonrise’s’ June 29 release date (movies that are considered big Oscar contenders tend to come out later in the year) and the strong momentum behind its competitors. ‘Silver Linings Playbook,’ just recently released, already has Oscar buzz, and ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild‘ is one of the most well-respected movies of the year, the kind of movie that could add some real indie cred to a list of best picture nominees.” TIME

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