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DeGeneres earns Twain prize … and other notes

Some awards-related news and notes from around and around …

— Ellen DeGeneres will receive this year’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor from the Kennedy Center. Paul Harris has details for Variety. Last year’s honor went to Will Ferrell, whose smashing acceptance speech can be seen here:

Watch Will Ferrell’s Full Acceptance Speech on PBS. See more from Mark Twain Prize.

–Bob Hofler (with contributions from Addie Morfoot and Stephen Schaefer) brings this detailed piece to Variety describing the challenges that this year’s Tony nominees faced.  “The challenge with such a violent comedy is getting to the heart of it, the nub of it, the real pain underneath,” Lavin offers. “It’s the stuff of serious life, made funny by (Nicky Silver’s) vision of reality. Audiences get it right away, the absurdity, which is not really that absurd, when you think about your own life.”

— The AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival will honor Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky on June 19 at its Charles Guggenheim Symposium, for their collective and individual contributions to the documentary genre.  Projects by Berlinger and Sinofsky include “Brother’s Keeper” and the “Paradise Lost” series, including this past year’s Oscar-nominated “Paradise Lose 3: Purgatory.” Berlinger also is behind 2012’s “Under African Skies,” focusing on Paul Simon and his 1986 “Graceland” record. More details can be found here.

— MTV is taking the Video Music Awards to Staples Center in Los Angeles for the first time. This year’s event will be held Sept. 6.

— Ten students have been selected as winners in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 39th Annual Student Academy Awards competition. Winners will be brought to Los Angeles to join the international student winners in the foreign film category for a week of industry activities, culminating in an awards ceremony June 9.

Alternative
“The Reality Clock,” Amanda Tasse, USC

Animation
“Eyrie,” David Wolter, California Institute of the Arts
“The Jockstrap Raiders,” Mark Nelson, UCLA
“My Little Friend,” Eric Prah, Ringling College of Art and Design

Documentary
“Dying Green,” Ellen Tripler, American University
“Hiro: A Story of Japanese Internment,” Keiko Wright, NYU
“Lost Country,” Heather Burky, Art Institute of Jacksonville

Narrative
“Nani,” Justin Tipping, AFI
“Narcocorrido,” Ryan Prows, AFI
“Under,” Mark Raso, Columbia University

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