Spike Lee criticises decision to reopen cinemas

Spike Lee has spoken out against the decision to reopen cinemas in Georgia despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp recently announced that he would be relaxing quarantine restrictions and reopening select non-essential bu…

Spike Lee has spoken out against the decision to reopen cinemas in Georgia despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp recently announced that he would be relaxing quarantine restrictions and reopening select non-essential businesses, such as cinemas, beginning 27 April. His decision has sparked controversy, with many believing it is too soon to go back to movie theatres, given that the Covid-19 pandemic is still sweeping America, the country currently worst affected by the crisis.

The BlackKklansman director made it clear that he doesn’t support the decision in a statement to Vanity Fair, in which he stated that the focus should be on testing people for the virus.

“Open Movie Theatres Now? Hell To Da Naw,” Lee wrote in an email in his signature style. “I Got Alot More Movies To Make, Not Rollin’ Da Dice Wit’ Da Only Life I Got. TESTING. TESTING And Mo’ TESTING (sic).”

Lee isn’t the only filmmaker taking a stand. Veep creator Armando Iannucci took to Twitter this week to make it known that he doesn’t support his film The Death of Stalin being shown in the reopened movie theatres.

“I’d like to make it clear I don’t approve of any of my films being shown in US movie theatres before it’s clear the virus has been overcome. So, I don’t approve of The Death of Stalin being shown in US movie theatres as early as May 29th. That’s simply too early,” he wrote.

Officials at IFC Films, which distributed his satire, announced this week that they would be making 200 of their titles available for free to independent movie theatre owners looking to fill their slates when they reopen.

There won’t be any new studio films to populate the cinema schedules for weeks as they have all been postponed due to the crisis. The next big releases are Christopher Nolan’s Tenet and Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan, which are currently slated to open in July.

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Renee Zellweger triumphs at 2019 British Independent Film Awards

Renee Zellweger’s awards season run is off to a great start as she won the Best Actress prize at the British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs) on Sunday.The star claimed the honour for her lead role in Judy Garland biopic Judy, but she was not present at…

Renee Zellweger’s awards season run is off to a great start as she won the Best Actress prize at the British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs) on Sunday.

The star claimed the honour for her lead role in Judy Garland biopic Judy, but she was not present at the show, and the trophy was accepted on her behalf by the film’s producer, David Livingstone.

Backstage at the London event, David told WENN that Renee had skipped the ceremony to look after her sick dog Chester back home in Los Angeles.

It was also a big night for Syrian civil war film For Sama, which was named Best British Independent Film and Best Documentary, and earned Best Director for Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts.

The Personal History of David Copperfield was the night’s top winner, earning five awards in total, including Best Screenplay for Armando Iannucci and Simon Blackwell, and Best Supporting Actor for Hugh Laurie.

Meanwhile, Kristin Scott Thomas was presented with the 2019 Richard Harris Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Actor to British Film.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Best British Independent Film – For Sama

Best Director – Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts, For Sama

Best Screenplay – Armando Iannucci, The Personal History of David Copperfield

Best Actress – Renee Zellweger, Judy

Best Supporting Actress – Ruthxjiah Bellenea, The Last Tree

Best Actor – Josh O’Connor, Only You

Best Supporting Actor – Hugh Laurie, The Personal History of David Copperfield

Most Promising Newcomer – Sam Adewunmi, The Last Tree

The Douglas Hickox Award (Best Debut Director) – Harry Wootliff, Only You

Debut Screenwriter – Emma Jane Unsworth, Animals

Breakthrough Producer – Kate Byers and Linn Waite, Bait

The Discovery Award – Children of the Snow Land

Best Documentary – For Sama

Best British Short Film – Anna

Best International Independent Film – Parasite

Best Casting – The Personal History of David Copperfield

Best Cinematography – Beats

Best Costume Design – The Personal History of David Copperfield

Best Editing – For Sama

Best Effects – A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon

Best Make Up & Hair Design – Judy

Best Music – Wild Rose

Best Production Design – The Personal History of David Copperfield

Best Sound – Beats

The Richard Harris Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Actor to British Film – Kristin Scott Thomas

The Special Jury Prize – Amanda Nevill

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The Personal History of David Copperfield leads BIFA nominations

The Personal History of David Copperfield will be the top contender at the 2019 British Independent Film Awards with 11 nominations. Armando Iannucci’s comedic take on Charles Dickens’s classic novel David Copperfield, starring Dev Patel, has landed n…

The Personal History of David Copperfield will be the top contender at the 2019 British Independent Film Awards with 11 nominations.

Armando Iannucci’s comedic take on Charles Dickens’s classic novel David Copperfield, starring Dev Patel, has landed nominations for categories including Best British Independent Film, Best Screenplay, Best Actor for Patel and Best Supporting Actor and Actress for Hugh Laurie and Tilda Swinton, respectively.

It’s followed closely by Wild Rose, starring Jessie Buckley as a rising singer, with 10 nominations, thriller In Fabric with nine, and The Souvenir with eight.

Renee Zellweger has landed a Best Actress nomination for her portrayal of icon Judy Garland in the biopic Judy. She will go up against her Judy co-star Jessie Buckley, who has been nominated for her leading role in Wild Rose as well as Sally Hawkins for Eternal Beauty, Holliday Grainger for Animals, and Vicky Knight for Dirty God.

For the Best Actor prize, Patel will compete against Tom Burke for The Souvenir, Josh O’Connor for Only You, Sam Adewunmi for The Last Tree, and Kris Hitchen for Sorry We Missed You.

Other notable nominees include Chiwetel Ejiofor, who is up for the debut director and supporting actor prizes for The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, and Swinton’s daughter, Honor Swinton Byrne, who is up for Most Promising Newcomer for her leading role in The Souvenir.

Other nominees for Best British Independent Film include Wild Rose, The Souvenir, For Sama and Bait, while the Best International Independent Film nominees include Marriage Story, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Monos, Parasite, and Ash is Purest White.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on 1 December.

The main list of nominees is as follows:

Best British Independent Film:

Bait

For Sama

The Personal History of David Copperfield

The Souvenir

Wild Rose

Best International Independent Film:

Ash is Purest White

Marriage Story

Monos

Parasite

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Best Director:

Waad Al-Kateab, Edward Watts – For Sama

Oliver Hermanus – Moffie

Joanna Hogg – The Souvenir

Mark Jenkin – Bait

Asif Kapadia – Diego Maradona

Best Screenplay:

Joanna Hogg – The Souvenir

Armando Iannucci, Simon Blackwell – The Personal History of David Copperfield

Paul Laverty – Sorry We Missed You

Peter Strickland – In Fabric

Nicole Taylor – Wild Rose

Best Actress:

Jessie Buckley – Wild Rose

Renee Zellweger – Judy

Sally Hawkins – Eternal Beauty

Holliday Grainger – Animals

Vicky Knight – Dirty God

Best Actor:

Tom Burke – The Souvenir

Josh O’Connor – Only You

Sam Adewunmi – The Last Tree

Kris Hitchen – Sorry We Missed You

Dev Patel – The Personal History of David Copperfield

Best Supporting Actress:

Jessica Barden – Scarborough

Ruthxjiah Bellenea – The Last Tree

Elizabeth Debicki – Vita & Virginia

Tilda Swinton – The Personal History of David Copperfield

Julie Walters – Wild Rose

Best Supporting Actor:

Chiwetel Ejiofor – The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Hugh Laurie – The Personal History of David Copperfield

Edlison Manuel Olbera Nunez – Yuli

Peter Mullan – The Vanishing

Bluey Robinson – Dirty God

Best Documentary:

Coup 53

Diego Maradona

For Sama

Seahorse

Tell Me Who I Am

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The Personal History of David Copperfield to open London Film Festival

Armando Iannucci’s latest movie The Personal History of David Copperfield will open the 2019 London Film Festival. The Death of Stalin director’s comedic take on Charles Dickens’s classic novel David Copperfield will kick off the 63rd edition of the a…

Armando Iannucci’s latest movie The Personal History of David Copperfield will open the 2019 London Film Festival.

The Death of Stalin director’s comedic take on Charles Dickens’s classic novel David Copperfield will kick off the 63rd edition of the annual film extravaganza with a premiere at the Odeon Luxe cinema in London’s Leicester Square on 2 October.

The film stars Slumdog Millionaire’s Dev Patel in the lead role, with support from an all-star British cast which includes Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Peter Capaldi, Ben Whishaw, Paul Whitehouse, and Gwendoline Christie.

“The Personal History of David Copperfield is a film about compassion, humour, generosity and friendship, and I couldn’t have asked for a more welcoming setting in which to premiere it,” The Thick of It creator/director shared in a statement.

“Scotland’s Armando Iannucci is one of the most prodigiously talented and original filmmakers hailing from the U.K.,” Tricia Tuttle, BFI London Film Festival Director, added. “The Personal History of David Copperfield shows his trademark wit and a joyous sense of style – it’s a delight from start to finish, with Dev Patel and co-stars delivering performances of megawatt charm and comic flair.

“I’m so excited to be opening the 63rd BFI London Film Festival with this film which is not only wildly entertaining but also a timely celebration of the power of generosity and compassion.”

Iannucci and his frequent collaborator Simon Blackwell wrote the adaptation, which follows the good-hearted David as he sets out to be a writer and meets an array of vivid characters in Victorian England.

The film was shot on location in the U.K. and is produced by Iannucci and Kevin Loader.

The 2019 London Film Festival runs from 2 to 13 October.

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