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Berlin Film Review: ‘The Patriarch’

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Seen through the eyes of a Maori teen on the brink of manhood, “The Patriarch” plays like a classic Western as it proudly expands the still-limited canon of essential films about New Zealand’s tribal people.

SAG-AFTRA, Telemundo Unionization Battle Heats Up

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SAG-AFTRA and NBCUniversal are raising the stakes in their battle for  unionization of Spanish-language performers on its Telemundo productions. The performers union accused NBCUniversal of operating with a double standard between Spanish-language and English-language talent hired for productions under the same parent corporation. SAG-AFTRA made the announcement Tuesday on the heels of NBCUniversal unveiling plans for… Read more »

‘The Martian’: Andy Weir, Drew Goddard Discuss the Book-to-Film Journey

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Andy Weir and Drew Goddard have been enjoying the success of Fox’s “The Martian,” which has notched seven Oscar nominations (including best pic and screenplay) and $608 million at the box office. The writers of the novel and screenplay, respectively, have said they hope the book and movie inspire people to get more passionate about science. The scribes spoke to Variety about… Read more »

Berlin: Lee Tamahori and ‘Mahana’ Cast Talk Westerns, Maori Tradition, Gender Equality

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Lee Tamahori’s out of competition screener “Mahana” (“The Patriarch”) won loud kudos from critics and reporters following its screening at the Berlin Film Festival on Saturday. Media reps attending the press conference that followed were treated to philosophical discussions on Maori culture, John Ford westerns, the role of gender in society and were left ultimately… Read more »

Berlin: Focus Buys Joel Edgerton-Ruth Negga Interracial Drama ‘Loving’

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Focus Features has bought the interracial drama “Loving,” starring Joe Edgerton, Ruth Negga and Michael Shannon, for North American and most major international territories including the U.K., Germany and Latin America. The deal was for nearly $9 million and was announced Saturday at the Berlin Film Festival. It is the first major transaction for Focus… Read more »

Ratings: ABC’s ‘20/20′ Spikes With Interview of Columbine Shooter’s Mother

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ABC News has delivered another winning sweeps performance for the Alphabet, as Diane Sawyer’s exclusive “20/20” interview with the mother of one of the Columbine shooters dominated its time period in key demos and teamed with “Shark Tank” to lift the network to victory on the night. In Nielsen’s preliminary nationals, “20/20” averaged a 1.7… Read more »

BAFTA Diversity Protest Expected Ahead of Sunday’s Awards

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LONDON — In another sign that the diversity debate within the film biz shows no sign of abating, a number of protesters are expected to stage a “peaceful” demonstration outside the British Academy of Film and Television Awards on Feb. 14. Creatives of Colour, an org led by thesp-scribe Leon Herbert (“Aliens 3,” “Batman”), will… Read more »

Berlin: Adrien Brody Starring Thriller ‘Manhattan Nocturne’ Sells Worldwide

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Los Angeles-based 13 Films has sold “Manhattan Nocturne,” starring Adrien Brody, to multiple territories. The sexy thriller was picked up for Germany (Telemunchen), Australia and New Zealand (Transmission), South Africa (Sterkinekor), Greece (Tanweer), Latin America (Alebrije), China (DDDream), Hong Kong (Deltamac), the Middle East (Eagle Films) Taiwan (Winday), South Korea (Lion), Portugal (Films 4 You),… Read more »