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Film News Roundup: ‘Florida Project’ Producers Honored by Miami Film Festival

In today’s film news roundup, “The Florida Project” producers and Peter Guber are honored and veteran distribution exec Richard Fay may have a new gig.

HONORS

Miami Dade College’s Miami Film Festival has selected “The Florida Project” producing partners Kevin Chinoy and Francesca Silvestri as recipients of the festival’s Precious Gem Award, Variety has learned exclusively.

The honor will be presented during the festival, to be held March 9-18. The film won Best Director and Best Supporting Actor accolades for Sean Baker and Willem Dafoe from New York Film Critics Circle along with Best Supporting Actor and Best Picture (Runner-up) from Los Angeles Film Critics Circle.

Chinoy and Silvestri also worked on Baker’s previous features “Starlet” and “Tangerine,” as well as the directorial debuts of filmmakers including Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Hudson, Demi Moore, Courteney Cox, Rachel Weisz, Jessica Biel, Eva Mendes, Alicia Keys, Kirsten Dunst, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rita Wilson, Trudie Styler, Zoe Saldana, Olivia Wilde, Ashley Judd, Laura Dern and Eva Longoria.

“Kevin and Francesca’s association with Miami Film Festival traces back a full decade, from their work to bring Kate Hudson to our 2008 Festival with her film ‘Cutlass’ and Demi Moore in 2009 with her film ‘Streak’”, said festival director Jaie Laplante. “They are the behind-the-scenes heroes who we wish to put center stage and honor as the Precious Gems that they are – without their commitment and determination to bring original independent visions to realization, many of the films they have worked on might never have been made and enjoyed.”

*****

Peter Guber, chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment, has been presented with the UCLA Medal, the highest honor for extraordinary accomplishment that may be bestowed upon an individual by UCLA.

Chancellor Gene Block made the presentation this week at his residence. Guber is a longtime Hollywood executive and producer of movies that have earned 50 Academy Award nominations. His most notable credits are “Batman,” “Flashdance,” “The Witches of Eastwick” and “The Kids Are All Right.” He is also a part owner of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

For more than 40 years Guber has taught classes at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, where he also an executive board member, and at the Anderson School of Management.

“Peter is as passionate about his teaching as he is every other aspect of his career,” Block said. “It’s clear that he values the opportunity to contribute and prepare the next generation for success — whether it’s in entertainment, sports or any number of other industries. His commitment is evident in the fact that, despite all he’s worked on throughout his career, Peter has never — to anyone’s knowledge — missed a year of teaching.”

Block noted that earlier this year, Gov. Jerry Brown  appointed Guber to a 12-year term on the University of California Board of Regents.

DISTRIBUTION JOB

Veteran distribution exec Richard Fay is in talks to head up Global Road’s domestic theatrical distribution.

Fay had headed Broad Green’s distribution operations after serving in posts at Lionsgate and Summit. He will be re-teamed with former Lionsgate/Summit colleague Rob Friedman and will report to him. Friedman was named chairman and CEO of Global Road when Tang Media acquired Open Road and rebranded it Global Road.

Fay’s resume includes president of marketing and film at the AMC chain. He also worked at Sony, United Artists Distribution, United Artists Theatres Exhibition and Loews Theatres. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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