‘NOMADLAND’ WINS 4 BAFTAS INCLUDING BEST PICTURE, DIRECTOR
LONDON (AP) - “Nomadland” has won four prizes, including best picture, at the British Academy Film Awards. The film’s director, Chloe Zhao, became only the second woman to win the best director trophy, and star Frances McDormand was named best actress. “Nomadland” also took the cinematography prize on Sunday. Emerald Fennell’s revenge comedy “Promising Young Woman” was named best British film, while the best actor trophy went to 83-year-old Anthony Hopkins for playing a man grappling with dementia in “The Father.” An event that was criticized in the recent past with the label #BAFTAsSoWhite rewarded a diverse group of talents, during a pandemic-curbed ceremony at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
CHLOÉ ZHAO BECOMES 1ST WOMAN OF COLOR TO WIN TOP DGA HONOR
UNDATED (AP) — Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland” continued its tour of dominance through awards season Saturday night, when Zhao took top honors at the 73rd annual Directors Guild Association Awards. She is only the second woman to earn the honor and the first woman of color to do so. And it all but solidifies her frontrunner status leading up to the Oscars on April 25. Only seven times in history has the DGA winner ever not gone on to take the best director prize at the Academy Awards. Other winners included Darius Marder for best first time feature for “Sound of Metal” and Gregory Kershaw and Michael Dweck for the documentary “The Truffle Hunters.”
CHAUVIN TRIAL PUTS COURT TV’S REVIVAL IN THE PUBLIC EYE
NEW YORK (AP) - The Derek Chauvin trial marks the public reemergence of Court TV. The network that burst into public consciousness with the O.J. Simpson trial in the 1990s folded 13 years ago. But it was revived in 2019, led by a former producer who had worked in television legal coverage for many years. Network top executive Scott Tufts hopes the trial of the former Minneapolis police officer accused in George Floyd’s death will alert viewers who weren’t aware that Court TV is back. The network is providing full coverage of the trial and copious amounts of discussion. Court TV cameras are providing every television network covering the case with a live feed of what’s going on in the courtroom.
AFTER SCOTT RUDIN BULLYING EXPOSÉ, THERE ARE MOSTLY CRICKETS
NEW YORK (AP) - How have Hollywood and Broadway responded to an exposé detailing routine abuse and bullying by producer Scott Rudin? Mostly, with crickets. The Hollywood Reporter’s cover story Wednesday on Rudin was, undoubtedly, a must-read for anyone in the film, television and theater businesses. Stories about a Hollywood heavyweight throwing glass bowls, staples and baked potatoes at underlings are hard to put down. But if Hollywood has taken steps to reform following a #MeToo upheaval that began with sexual abuse allegations against another much-rewarded uber-producer, Harvey Weinstein, the initial response to The Hollywood Reporter’s story on Rudin suggests the industry is less eager to curb cultures of verbal abuse and workplace toxicity.
VERSATILE TOM RILEY TACKLES SCI-FI FANTASY IN ‘THE NEVERS’
NEW YORK (AP) - A-list international heartthrob Robert Pattinson may owe a little thanks to rising star Tom Riley. Riley replaced Pattinson at the last minute in a 2005 stage production of “The Woman Before” at London’s Royal Court Theatre. The change was so late that programs and announcements to the press had not been made before the switch. Pattinson used the positive reviews to help fuel his rise to “Twilight” fame. Riley has no hard feelings. The British actor’s career is humming along nicely and he takes another step into the spotlight in “The Nevers,” a gender-bending sci-fi fantasy series on HBO created by Joss Whedon. The series centers on a group of people who have mysteriously been imbued with distinct superpowers.
HELEN MIRREN FINDS BRIGHT SIDE DURING THE PANDEMIC
LONDON (AP) - Helen Mirren has been finding the bright side of the pandemic. She says she finds working from home “much more convenient” — buying a ring light for Zooms and balancing her laptop on two dictionaries. She’s enjoyed slowing down, eating daily dinners with her husband, the director Taylor Hackford. They’ve been living together in the mountains near California’s Lake Tahoe for much of the last year. The 75-year-old British star is backing the Discovery+ documentary “My Beautiful Stutter,” which looks at the work of New York City-based nonprofit group SAY: The Stuttering Association for the Young.
HOW AN IRISH TOWN BECAME HOME FOR AN ANIMATION POWERHOUSE
NEW YORK (AP) - The medieval town of Kilkenny in the southeast of Ireland is an unlikely home for a perennial Oscar contender. But there, among cathedral spires and castles, the animation studio Cartoon Saloon has carved out a factory of hand-drawn artistry and local folklore that has persisted and flourished well beyond its creators’ expectations. When Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart, directors of the enchanting Oscar-nominee “Wolfwalkers,” met growing up in Kilkenny, any success seemed a sure thing in typical entertainment epicenters like London, New York or Los Angeles. But by staying at home, Cartoon Saloon has become a revered animation factory, with films like “The Secret of Kells.”