×

Film News Roundup: Elizabeth Banks Honored as Pioneer of the Year by Will Rogers Foundation

In today’s film news roundup, Elizabeth Banks will receive the Pioneer of the Year Award, “The Great Hack” launches a festival, Women In Media launch the CAMERAderie Initiative and UCLA, University of Michigan and USC are receiving $50 million.

BANKS HONORED

The Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation has selected Elizabeth Banks as the recipient of its Pioneer of the Year Award.

The honor will be presented on Sept. 25 at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. Banks is the first female director to receive the honor, which is given to a member of the motion picture community who exemplifies professional leadership, service and commitment to philanthropy.

Banks made her directorial debut with Universal Pictures’ “Pitch Perfect 2,” the top grossing musical comedy of all time with $287 million. she is also currently directing, producing, co-writing and starring as Bosley in “Charlie’s Angels” for Sony Pictures and has starred in “The Hunger Games” and “Pitch Perfect” franchises, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, “Seabiscuit,” “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” and “The Lego Movie.”

Past Pioneer of the Year honorees include Dick Cook, Cecil B. DeMille, Michael D. Eisner, Jim Gianopulos, Alan Horn, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Kathleen Kennedy, Donna Langley, Sherry Lansing, Frank G. Mancuso, Sumner Redstone, Terry Semel, Tom Sherak, Jack Valenti, Jack Warner, Darryl F. Zanuck, Cheryl Boone Isaacs and Tom Cruise.

FILM FESTIVAL

Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim’s documentary “The Great Hack” is opening the 10th annual NewportFilm Outdoors festival on Thursday.

Other titles set for the series, which screen on Thursdays, include “Framing John Delorean,” Don Argott and Sheena M. Joyce’s hybrid film about car maker John DeLorean; Barak Goodman’s “Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation”; and Avi Belkin’s “Mike Wallace Is Here,”  about the late 60 Minutes newsman.

Doris Duke’s Rough Point will host a special exhibition of fashion by 1970s designer icon Halston, timed to a screening of Frederic Tcheng’s “Halston.”

WOMEN IN MEDIA

The Women In Media organization has launched the CAMERAderie Initiative in Los Angeles, giving members experience, networking, and mentorship via production of three short films.

Mentors include Colin Trevorrow  (“Jurassic World”), Alan Caso (“Six Feet Under”), Germaine Franco, Kathryn Bostic (“Clemency”) and Bobbi Banks (“Men In Black: International).

“We don’t have a farm system or draft in Hollywood,” said Trevorrow. “We rely on established filmmakers to identify new talent and push them to the fore. We also count on them to give opportunity to those who might not otherwise get it. I’m grateful for the mentorship and support I was given, and I feel a responsibility to do the same for others.”

Participants were chosen based on script submissions no longer than 10 pages by a panel of judges including Effie T. Brown, Mitchell Block, Kimberly Browning, Michael Slade, Steve
Kaplan, Cynthia Graner, Judalina Neira, Shawna Benson and Kim Magnusson.

UNIVERSITY GIFTS

The Patricia W. Mitchell Trusts have donated $50 million to three universities to prepare current and future generations to lead creative industries.

The UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television will receive $20 million, the University of Michigan will receive $10 million and the USC School of Cinematic Arts will receive $20 million. Additional match funding is coming from UCLA and USC of $5 million from each.

The gift was conceived by the late philanthropist Patricia W. Mitchell to honor the legacy of her husband, television industry leader John H. Mitchell, who died in 1988.

The UCLA funding will support annual archive programming for television, such as workshops, lectures, screenings, symposiums, as well as greatly needed television preservation opportunities.  The television collection will be named The John H. Mitchell Television Collection at the UCLA Film & Television Archive.

The $10 million endowment from the Mitchell Trusts at the University of Michigan will support faculty and student initiatives at the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA), and the Stephen M. Ross School of Business. Mitchell graduated from Michigan in 1939 with a degree in economics.

The $20 million to USC will establish the John H. Mitchell Endowed Fund for the Business of Entertainment.

More Film

  • Toronto Film Festival Lineup

    Toronto Film Festival: 'Joker,' 'Ford v Ferrari,' 'Hustlers' Among Big Premieres

    This year’s Toronto Film Festival will feature super-villain origin stories, splashy literary adaptations, and Tom Hanks as the most beloved performer in children’s television. The Canadian celebration of all things movies unveiled its 2019 lineup on Tuesday, and it appears to be an eclectic mixture of glossy awards bait, auteur-driven indies, and populist crowd-pleasers. It’s [...]

  • Sylvester Stallone Variety Cover story

    Sylvester Stallone Feels Robbed of an Ownership Stake in 'Rocky': 'I Was Furious'

    Sylvester Stallone shares an uncanny, symbiotic connection with Rocky, the underdog boxer character he created four decades ago — a kindred spirit who served as his creative muse in spawning one of Hollywood’s most successful film franchises. In his long career Stallone also played another memorable screen role — John Rambo — but Rocky was [...]

  • Beware of Children

    First Trailer Released for Venice Days Entry 'Beware of Children' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Variety has been given exclusive access to the first trailer for Dag Johan Haugeruds’ politically and socially charged drama “Beware of Children,” which premieres as part of the Venice Film Festival’s Venice Days section. The pic, which is being sold at Venice by Picture Tree Intl., features the dramatic aftermath of a tragic incident in [...]

  • The Tower animated film about Palestinians

    ‘The Tower’ Animation Wins Japan's Skip City Festival

    “The Tower,” Mats Grorud’s animation about the plight of the Palestinians, as viewed through the eyes of an 11-year-old girl in Beirut, won the grand prize in the international competition at the 16th edition of Skip City International D-Cinema Festival. The film also scooped the section’s audience award. The Skip City festival, which launched in [...]

  • For web story

    Transgender Immigrant Pic 'Lingua Franca,' Thriller 'Only Beasts' to Bow at Venice Days

    New York-based Filipina filmmaker Isabel Sandoval’s “Lingua Franca,” about a transgender immigrant, is among 11 competition entries, all world premieres, that will launch from the Venice Film Festival’s independently run Venice Days section. The only U.S. entry set to compete in the section modeled on Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight, “Lingua Franca” is Sandoval’s third work. It [...]

  • Female-Led and LGBTQ Narratives Win Big

    Female-Led and LGBTQ Narratives Win Big At Durban FilmMart Awards

    DURBAN–Female-driven narratives and daring portraits of queer culture around the continent were the big winners at this year’s Durban FilmMart (DFM), the industry program of the Durban Intl. Film Festival, which handed out awards at a ceremony Monday night at the Southern Sun Maharani Hotel. Among the prize-winners were the story of a Zimbabwean woman [...]

  • Oscar Nominations Reactions Phyllis Nagy

    Screenwriter Phyllis Nagy Runs for Writers Guild Presidency, Citing Agency Stalemate

    Oscar-nominated screenwriter Phyllis Nagy is challenging Writers Guild of America West’s incumbent president David Goodman, citing his handling of the bitter stalemate between the WGA and Hollywood agents. Nagy announced her candidacy online Monday night, a day before the deadline for filing. She made the announcement  in a private online group as part of Writers for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content