In today’s film news roundup, the Santa Barbara Film Festival announces its final slate of virtuosos award winners, Slamdance reveals its opening night films and Elton John’s Oscar viewing party names “Queer Eye” stars as hosts of its annual festivities.


Cynthia Erivo (“Harriet”), Beanie Feldstein (“Booksmart”), Aldis Hodge (“Clemency”) and George MacKay (“1917”) will receive virtuosos awards from the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. They join previously announced honorees Awkwafina (“The Farewell”), Taron Egerton (“Rocketman”), Florence Pugh (“Midsommar”) and Taylor Russell (“Waves”). They will be recognized during the fest on Jan. 18 during a tribute moderated by Turner Classic Movies host and IMDb special correspondent host Dave Karger.

“Our final four virtuosos range from comedies to dramas, from the U.S. to the U.K., and from lead to supporting roles. But what they all have in common is that they shined in their respective films this year. They’re the perfect additions to our exciting evening in Santa Barbara,” Karger said.

The USC Libraries has announced the finalists for the 32nd annual USC Libraries Scripter Awards. The winning authors and screenwriters will be announced on Jan. 25 during the USC Libraries’ annual gala at the Edward L. Doheny Memorial Library in Los Angeles.

The nominees in film are:

Matthew Carnahan and Mario Correa for “Dark Waters” based on the New York Times Magazine article “The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare” by Nathaniel Rich

Steven Zaillian for “The Irishman” based on the nonfiction work “I Heard You Paint Houses” by Charles Brandt

Taika Waititi for “JoJo Rabbit” based on the novel “Caging Skies” by Christine Leunens

Author Louisa May Alcott and screenwriter Greta Gerwig for “Little Women”

Anthony McCarten for “The Two Popes” based on his play “The Pope”

The American Black Film Festival has revealed the nominees for its 2020 movie of the year award. They include “Black & Blue,” “Dolemite Is My Name,” “Harriet,” “Just Mercy,” “The Last Black Man in San Francisco,” “Queen & Slim” and “Us.” The ABFF Honors gala, hosted by Deon Cole, takes place on Feb. 23.

GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics will honor Olivia Wilde as its Wilde Artist of the Year for 2019. A special tribute will held for the “Booksmart” filmmaker on for Feb. 2 at the group’s 11th Dorian Awards Winners Toast in Los Angeles.


“Film About a Father Who,” Lynne Sachs’ documentary about her Park City businessman father Ira Sachs Sr., will open the 26th annual Slamdance Film Festival on Jan. 24. Lynne shot her father over a 35-year period from 1984-2019.

“It takes undeniable courage to discover and reveal shocking truths about one’s family,” Slamdance festival manager Alina Solodnikova said in a statement. “Lynne Sachs has done it with unique style, a dry sense of humor and honesty that captivates our programmers. A generation in the making, ‘Film About a Father Who’ is pulling no punches. We couldn’t imagine a better film to open Slamdance 2020.”

Slamdance also announced the premiere of “Shoot to Marry” and the fest’s shorts lineup.

For the festival’s complete lineup, visit slamdance.com.

Netflix’s “Queer Eye” stars Jonathan Van Ness, Tan France, Karamo Brown and Bobby Berk will host the 28th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party on Feb. 9. EJAF also announced that Sam Fender will perform during the festivities. Chaired by John and David Furnish, the event will once again take place in West Hollywood Park.

“I absolutely love Sam Fender. He’s so talented,” John said. “Each year we are blessed to have incredible artists do what they do best at our party and this year will be another special night not to miss. Given we have some of the wonderful hosts of ‘Queer Eye’ at our party, we all wanted to use the event to raise funds for our work with LGBT communities around the world, many of whom are 20 times more vulnerable to the disease than their straight peers. AIDS isn’t over until no one gets left behind.”

Cadillac, M&M’S Chocolate Candies, Gilead Sciences and M•A•C VIVA GLAM are co-sponsors of the evening. Presenting sponsors are IMDb and Neuro Drinks.

Bryan Rabin and Adam Bravin will transform Mr. Lyons in Palm Springs into Hollywood nightclub Giorgio’s to help kick off the desert city’s 31st annual film festival. Doors open at 10 p.m. following the festival’s opening night awards gala. The Giorgio’s Palm Springs pop-up debuted last year.