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Film News Roundup: Leonardo DiCaprio Presenting Robert De Niro SAG Life Achievement Award

In today’s film news roundup, Leonardo DiCaprio will present Robert De Niro with his SAG Life Achievement Award, the Oliver Sacks documentary finds a home and UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television gets a new dean.

AWARD PRESENTATION

Leonardo DiCaprio has been selected to present Robert De Niro the SAG Life Achievement Award  at the 26th annual SAG Awards on Jan. 19.

DiCaprio co-starred with De Niro in “This Boy’s Life” as the only son of a single mother in the 1950s with De Niro as his abusive stepfather. The actors later starred in “Marvin’s Room.”

DiCaprio won an Academy Award for Best Actor in “The Revenant” and has been nominated for five additional Oscars. He was most recently seen in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”

De Niro is a seven-time Academy Award nominee, winning for “The Godfather II” and “Raging Bull.” He’s currently starring in Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman.”

ACQUISITION

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Zeitgeist Films., in association with Kino Lorber, has bought U.S. rights to “Oliver Sacks: His Own Life,” Ric Burns’ documentary about the neurologist and author who helped bring conditions as Tourette syndrome and autism to public awareness.

The film had its world premiere at this year’s Telluride Film Festival, followed by screenings at the New York, Hamptons (where it won the Audience Award for Documentary Feature) and AFI Festivals. It will open May 2020 at Film Forum in New York City, followed by a national rollout, and have an exclusive U.S. broadcast premiere on the American Masters series on PBS in 2021.

The film features exclusive interviews with Sacks conducted just weeks after he received a terminal diagnosis, and months prior to his death in 2015, and nearly two dozen deeply revealing and personal interviews with family members, colleagues, patients and close friends.

Kino Lorber’s Wendy Lidell and CEO Richard Lorber negotiated the deal with Ben Schwartz, Josh Braun and Matt Burke of Submarine on behalf of Steeplechase Films and the filmmaking team.

UCLA APPOINTMENT

The UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television has selected Brian Kite as interim dean beginning in January.

Kite currently serves as the special academic senior associate dean at the school and chair of the Department of Theater. Current Dean Teri Schwartz steps down on Dec. 31.

Before joining the UCLA faculty in 2015, Kite was the producing artistic director of La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts and directed “Billy Elliot,” “Miss Saigon,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Dinner with Friends,” “Driving Miss Daisy” and “Proof.”

He directed the national tours of “Steel Magnolias,” “Judgment at Nuremberg,” “In the Heat of the Night,” and “The Graduate” for L.A. Theatre Works, and staged the first production of “Miss Saigon” to ever play in China.

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