In today’s film news roundup, shooting has wrapped on “Tolkien,” the DGA honors two veteran members and Spotlight Cinema Networks moves into event programming.


Fox Searchlight Pictures has wrapped principal photography on the J.R.R. Tolkien biopic “Tolkien,” starring Nicholas Hoult and Lily Collins. Dome Karukoski is directing from a script by David Gleeson and Stephen Beresford. Producers are Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and David Ready of Chernin Entertainment, along with Kris Thykier of Archery Pictures. The film focuses on the orphaned author Tolkien, author of the “Lord of the Rings” books, as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts at school and serves as a British soldier in World War I.


The Directors Guild of America has awarded Dwight Williams with the 2018 Frank Capra Achievement Award, which is given to an assistant director or unit production manager in recognition of career achievement in the industry and service to the DGA. Jim Tanker will receive the 2018 Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award, which is given to an associate director or stage manager. Williams has been a first assistant director and unit production manager of “A Soldier’s Story,” “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” “New Jack City,” “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” “The Best Man Holiday” and “Girls Trip.” Tanker has worked on the Academy Awards and Oscars Red Carpets, Kennedy Center Honors, Golden Globe Awards, Grammy Awards, Emmy Awards and the opening and closing ceremonies of the summer and winter Olympics in Atlanta and Salt Lake City.


Spotlight Cinema Networks has formed CineLife Entertainment to distribute event cinema and other alternative programming through its network of art house and luxury cinemas of nearly 300 theaters. CineLife Entertainment will launch in early 2018 and distribute musical theatre, opera, dance, cult film classics, anime, contemporary musical performances, and faith and inspiration movies.

“Spotlight is committed to providing opportunities that benefit our exhibitor partners and advertisers.  The creation of this division is another way we will fulfill that commitment and help our exhibitor partners grow their revenue,” said Jerry Rakfeldt, CEO. Mark Rupp has been appointed managing director of CineLife Entertainment and will be responsible for Spotlight’s event cinema strategy.