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‘The Woman King’ Tops AAFCA’s Ten Best Films of 2022 – Film News in Brief

The Woman King
Sony

‘The Woman King’ headlines the African American Film Critics Association’s annual list of the top 10 films of the year. The film, directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, has ensemble cast led by Viola Davis which includes Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim and Thuso Mbedu as the Agojie, an all-female army of fierce warriors. John Boyega also stars as King Ghezo.

“The best films of this year prove that diverse stories – the true and the fantastical – are not only important to the culture but are equally important to the movie-making business,” said AAFCA president and co-founder Gil Robertson. “Black films which make an impact on our minds and hearts are also making a sizable impact at the box office. Our top film, ‘The Woman King’, bridges the gap between telling important, heartfelt stories, and providing an entertaining experience for movie-going audiences. These true tales of black empowerment and accomplishment, such as ‘Emancipation,’ ‘Devotion’ and ‘Sidney,’ as well as fantastical tales such as ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,’ and ‘Wendell & Wild’ invite us to experience underappreciated pieces of history along with our own imaginings.”

The full list of AAFCA’S Top 10 Films of 2022:

  • The Woman King
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  • Till
  • Sidney
  • Emancipation
  • Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
  • Inspection
  • Causeway
  • Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • Wendell & Wild
  • Devotion

AAFCA will reveal winners of the 14th Annual AAFCA Awards honoring outstanding achievement in film in 15 competitive categories on Jan. 16. An in-person celebration in Los Angeles will follow on March 1.

Viola Davis to Receive Chairman’s Award at Palm Springs International Film Awards

The Palm Springs International Film Awards has announced that Viola Davis will be honored with the Chairman’s Award for her work as an actor and producer for “The Woman King.”

“Whether as an actress or producer, Viola Davis brings powerful stories to the screen. In The Woman King, Davis continues to prove that she is a force of nature in this groundbreaking performance about the leader of the Agojie, a unit of all-female warriors,” festival chairman Harold Matzner said in a statement. “It is our honor to present the Chairman’s Award to Viola Davis celebrating her work as both an actress and producer.”

Davis joins previously announced honorees Austin Butler (Breakthrough Performance Award, Actor), Cate Blanchett (Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress), Colin Farrell (Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor), Sarah Polley (Director of the Year Award), Michelle Yeoh (International Star Award) and “The Fabelmans” (Vanguard Award).

The Palm Springs International Film Awards will take place on Jan. 5 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

Society of Voice Arts and Sciences Announces Presenters for 9th Annual Voice Arts Gala

The Society of Voice Arts and Sciences announced two new presenters for their upcoming 9th Annual Voice Arts Gala, which recognizes exceptional performances in voice acting and media production.

Marc Malkin, Senior Editor, Culture & Events for Variety, will present Wes Studi with the Muhammad Ali Voice of Humanity Honor. The honor is for Wes’ body of work and his activism on behalf of Native Americans.

“I am extremely honored to receive a humanitarian award from SOVAS,” Studi said. “Coming from a culture of oral tradition in storytelling, the recognition is especially appreciated for its inclusion of Native American content.”

Broadway performer and voice actor Anjali Bhimani will present the Voice Arts Icon Award to Jennifer Hale. Hale holds the Guinness World Record for the most female video game voices. Oluwaseun Shobo will receive the Voice Arts Influencer Award to be presented by Dr. Emmanuel Okeny, Founder, Child Scholars. Shobo has been an active player in the voice-over industry; his passion for its growth and a need to groom African talents for global positioning. Charlie Adler will be honored with the Voice Arts Lifetime Achievement Award. Sidney Clifton, SVP of The Jim Henson Company, will present to him.

Presenters include Bob Bergen, Sydney Loft, Amber Friendly, DC Glenn, Jasmine Sanders, Lori Alan and others.

Palm Springs International Film Festival Announces 2023 Lineup

The 34th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival has announced its 2023 lineup, with “80 for Brady” as the opening night film and “The Lost King” to close the festival.

The festival will screen 134 films from 64 countries, including 27 premieres. The lineup also includes 35 of the international feature film Oscar submissions.

The upcoming sports comedy “80 for Brady” will open the festival on Jan. 6 at the Richards Center for the Arts. Starring Jane Fonda, Sally Field, Lily Tomlin and Rita Moreno, the film is based on the true story of four best friends who take a trip to the 2017 Super Bowl LI to see their hero Tom Brady.

The festival will close on Jan. 15 with “The Lost King,” starring Sally Hawkins, Shonagh Price, Helen Katamba and Lewis Macleod.

“We are beyond excited to welcome back our beloved audience and filmmakers in Palm Springs. We’re especially thrilled to be joined by all four leads of 80 For Brady. The film is brimming with joy and heart, and it’s a perfect film to kick off our 34th edition,” artistic director Lili Rodriguez said in a statement. “Our programmers have dedicated almost a year to scouting the world for the films that make up this edition. It is our most thematically diverse year yet and I don’t believe you’ll find two movies that are alike. From light entertainment for casual nights out to urgent commentaries that beg for post-screening conversation and beyond, the cinema is there to capture it all.”

The 34th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival will take place from Jan. 5-16.

See the full 2023 lineup below:

Awards Buzz – Best International Feature Film Submissions

“Ajoomma” (Singapore) Director He Shuming
“Alcarràs” (Spain) Director Carla Simón
“All Quiet on the Western Front” (Germany) Director Edward Berger
“Argentina, 1985” (Argentina) Director Santiago Mitre
“Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths” (Mexico) Director Alejandro G. Iñárritu
“Beautiful Beings” (Iceland) Director Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson
“Blanquita” (Chile) Director Fernando Guzzoni
“The Blue Caftan” (Morocco) Director Maryam Touzani
“Cairo Conspiracy” (Sweden) Director Tarik Saleh
“Cinema Sabaya” (Israel) Director Orit Fouks Rotem
“Close” (Belgium) Director Lukas Dhont
“Corsage” (Austria) Director Marie Kreutzer
“Darkling” (Serbia) Director Dušan Milić (U.S. Premiere)
“Decision to Leave” (South Korea) Director Park Chan-wook
“EO” (Poland) Director Jerzy Skolimowski
“Eternal Spring” (Canada) Director Jason Loftus
“The Happiest Man in the World” (North Macedonia) Director Teona Strugar Mitevska (U.S. Premiere)
“Holy Spider” (Denmark) Director Ali Abbasi
“Il Boemo” (Czech Republic) Director Petr Václav (U.S. Premiere)
“Joyland” (Pakistan) Director Saim Sadiq
“Kalev” (Estonia) Director Ove Musting
“Klondike” (Ukraine) Director Maryna Er Gorbach
“Last Film Show” (India) Director Pan Nalin
“Mars One” (Brazil) Director Gabriel Martins
“Mediterranean Fever” (Palestine) Director Maha Haj
“Nostalgia” (Italy) Director Mario Martone
“The Quiet Girl” (Ireland) Director Colm Bairéad
“Return to Seoul” (Cambodia) Director Davy Chou
“Saint Omer” (France) Director Alice Diop
“Under the Fig Trees” (Tunisia) Director Erige Sehiri
“Utama” (Bolivia) Director Alejandro Loayza Grisi
“Victim” (Slovakia) Director Michal Blaško
“War Sailor” (Norway) Director Gunnar Vikene (U.S. Premiere)
“World War III” (Iran) Director Houman Seyyedi
“You Won’t Be Alone” (Australia) Director Goran Stolevski

Talking Pictures

“Alice, Darling” (Canada/USA) with actress Anna Kendrick
“Chevalier” (USA) with director Stephen Williams
“The Banshees of Inisherin” (Ireland/UK/USA) with actor Colin Farrell
“Moving On” (USA) with director Paul Weitz and producer Andrew Miano

Modern Masters

“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” (USA) Director Laura Poitras
“Broker” (South Korea) Director Hirokazu Koreeda
“A Compassionate Spy” (USA/UK) Director Steve James
“Hilma” (Sweden) Director Lasse Hallström (North American Premiere)
“No Bears” (Iran) Director Jafar Panahi
“One Fine Morning” (France/UK/Germany) Director Mia Hansen-Løve
“R.M.N” (Romania/France/Belgium/Sweden) Director Cristian Mungiu
“Salvatore: Shoemaker of Dreams” (Italy) Director Luca Guadagnino
“Tori and Lokita” (Belgium/France) Director Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne

New Voices New Visions

“Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” (USA) Director Aitch Alberto (U.S. Premiere)
“Butterfly Vision” (Ukraine/Czech Republic/Croatia/Sweden) Director Maksim Nakonechnyi (U.S. Premiere)
“The Damned Don’t Cry” (France/Belgium/Morocco) Director Fyzal Boulifa (North American Premiere)
“How to Blow Up a Pipeline” (USA) Director Daniel Goldhaber
“Love According to Dalva” (Belgium/France) Director Emmanuelle Nicot
“Our Father, the Devil” (USA) Director Ellie Foumbi
“Riceboy Sleeps” (Canada) Director Anthony Shim
“Snow and the Bear” (Turkey/Germany/Serbia) Director Selcen Ergun (U.S. Premiere)
“Susie Searches” (USA/UK) Director Sophie Kargman (U.S. Premiere)

True Stories

“1341 Frames of Love and War” (Israel) Director Ran Tal
“All That Breathes” (India/UK) Director Shaunak Sen
“Anxious Nation” (USA) Director Vanessa Roth, Laura Morton
“The Art of Eating: The Life of M.F.K. Fisher” (USA) Director Gregory M. Bezat
“Bella” (USA) Director Bridget Murnane
“Body Parts” (USA) Filmmakers Kristy Guevara-Flanagan and Helen Hood Scheer
“Born in Chicago” (USA) Director Bob Sarles, John Anderson
“Butterfly in the Sky” (USA) Director Bradford Thomason, Brett Whitcomb
“The Caviar Connection” (France) Director Benoît Bringer
“Crows Are White” (Japan/Ireland/USA) Director Ahsen Nadeem
“Desperate Souls, Dark City and the Legend of Midnight Cowboy” (USA) Director Nancy Buirski
“The Grab” (USA) Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite
“I Like It Here” (USA) Director Ralph Arlyck
“Lakota Nation vs. United States” (USA) Director Jesse Short Bull, Laura Tomaselli
“Lift” (USA) Director David Petersen
“Liquor Store Dreams” (USA) Director So Yun Um
“Of Medicine and Miracles” (USA) Director Ross Kauffman
“Roberta” (USA) Director Antonino D’Ambrosio
“Shot in the Arm” (USA) Director Scott Hamilton Kennedy (World Premiere)
“Split at the Root” (USA) Director Linda Goldstein Knowlton
“Subject” (USA) Director Camilla Hall, Jennifer Tiexiera
“The Thief Collector” (USA) Director Allison Otto
“To Kill a Tiger” (Canada) Director Nisha Pahuja (International Premiere)
“Turn Every Page: The Adventures of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb” (USA) Director Lizzie Gottlieb

Cine Latino

“Chile ’76” (Chile/USA) Director Manuela Martelli
“Huesera” (Mexico/Peru) Director Michelle Garza Cervera
“I Have Electric Dreams” (Belgium/France/Costa Rica) Director Valentina Maurel (North American Premiere)
“Sublime” (Argentina) Director Mariano Biasin
“The Substitute” (Argentina/Italy/France/Spain/Mexico) Director Diego Lerman

Queer Cinema Today & the Gayla

“1946: The Mistranslation that Shifted Culture” (USA/Canada) Director Sharon “Rocky” Roggio
“Casa Susanna” (USA) Director Sebastien Lifshitz
“Eismayer” (Austria) Director David Wagner (North American Premiere)
“Esther Newton Made Me Gay” (USA) Director Jean Carlomusto
Gayla! Screening – “God Save the Queens” (USA) Director Jordan Danger
Gayla! Screening – “Mama Bears” (USA) Director Daresha Kyi
“My Emptiness and I” (Spain) Director Adrián Silvestre
“Nelly & Nadine” (Sweden/Belgium/Norway) Director Magnus Gertten
“Punch” (New Zealand/USA) Director Welby Ings (North American Premiere)
“Winter Boy” (France) Director Christophe Honoré
“You Can Live Forever” (Canada) Director Mark Slutsky, Sarah Watts

World Cinema Now

“Back Then” (Poland) Director Kinga Dębska
“The Beasts” (Spain/France) Director Rodrigo Sorogoyen
“Before, Now & Then” (Indonesia) Director Kamila Andini
“Burning Days” (Turkey/France/Germany/Netherlands/Greece/Croatia) Director Emin Alper
“Concerned Citizen” (Israel/USA) Director Idan Haguel
“Dirty, Difficult, Dangerous” (France/Italy/Lebanon/Saudi Arabia/Qatar) Director Wissam Charaf (North American Premiere)
“Driving Madeleine” (France) Director Christian Carion (U.S. Premiere)
“Emily” (UK) Director Frances O’Connor (U.S. Premiere)
“Freaks Out” (Italy/Belgium) Director Gabriele Mainetti
“Golden Years” (Switzerland) Director Barbara Kulcsar (North American Premiere)
“Greener Pastures” (Israel) Director Matan Guggenheim, Assaf Abiri (North American Premiere)
“Gyeong-ah’s Daughter” (South Korea) Director Kim Jung-eun
“Haute Couture” (France) Director Sylvia Ohayon
“The Judgement” (Netherlands/Germany) Director Sander Burger
“Juniper” (New Zealand) Director Matthew J. Saville
“Linoleum” (USA) Director Colin West
“Lullaby” (Spain) Director Alauda Ruiz de Azúa
“Max, Min & Meowzaki” (India) Director N Padmakumar (U.S. Premiere)
“Melchior the Apothecary” (Estonia/Latvia/Lithuania/Germany) Director Elmo Nüganen
“My Neighbor Adolf” (Israel/Colombia/Poland) Director Leonid Prudovsky (North American Premiere)
“My Sailor, My Love” (Finland/Ireland) Director Klaus Härö
“Next Sohee” (South Korea) Director July Jung
“The Origin of Evil” (France/Canada) Director Sébastien Marnier
“Revoir Paris” (France) Director Alice Winocour
“Simone: Woman of the Century” (France) Director Olivier Dahan (U.S. Premiere)
“Somewhere in Queens” (USA) Director Ray Romano
“Stonewalling” (Japan/China) Director Huang Ji, Ryuji Otsuka
“The Storyteller” (India) Director Anant Narayan Mahadevan (North American Premiere)
“Talia’s Journey” (Belgium/Senegal/Luxembourg) Director Christophe Rolin
“Viking” (Canada) Director Stéphane Lafleur
“Where Life Begins” (Italy) Director Stéphane Freiss
“Without Her” (Iran/Germany) Director Arian Vazirdaftari (North American Premiere)
“The Word” (Czech Republic/Slovakia/Poland) Director Beata Parkanová (U.S. Premiere)

Local Spotlight

“Don’t Worry Darling” (USA) Director Olivia Wilde
“Racist Trees” (USA) Director Sara Newens, Mina T. Son (North American Premiere)

The Flash’ Will Release One Week Earlier as Warner Bros. Adjusts Theatrical Slate

Warner Bros. has made a few adjustments to its theatrical slate, moving the release date of its DC superhero film “The Flash” up one week. Originally set for June 23, 2023, the film will now hit theaters on June 16, 2023. The DC Comics entry, which has faced skepticism regarding its potential release due to controversies surrounding star Ezra Miller, will follow after “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” bows on March 17, 2023.

Additionally, Warner Bros. has set a limited theatrical release for the animated feature “Mummies.” The film, helmed by first-time feature director Juan Jesus Garcia Galocha, will be on the big screen in some markets on Feb. 24, 2023. Jordi Gasull, Pedro Solis and Toni Novella produce.

Austin Butler to Be Honored at Palm Springs International Film Awards

Austin Butler is set to receive the Breakthrough Performance Award for his performance in “Elvis” at the Palm Springs International Film Awards.

“Austin Butler commands the screen with a larger-than-life performance as Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s spectacular film Elvis. The heart and soul of the movie, Butler’s dedication to this role shows in the nuances he brought to the character, seen through multiple decades of the often-tumultuous life Elvis lived, as well as the sprawling live performances where Austin embodies the iconic artist in a way previously unseen on the big screen,” festival chairman Harold Matzner said in a statement. “We are honored to present the Breakthrough Performance Award to Austin Butler.”

In July, Butler won the best actor award for his role as Elvis from the Hollywood Critics Association. His upcoming projects include “Dune: Part Two,” “Masters of the Air” and “The Bikeriders.”

The Palm Springs International Film Awards will take place on Jan. 5 at the Palms Springs Convention Center, with the festival running through Jan. 16.

Roadside Attractions Acquires “Moving On,” Starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin

Roadside Attractions will release Paul Weitz’s “Moving On,” starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin.

The comedy film follows Fonda and Tomlin as estranged pals who reunite to seek revenge on the petulant widower (Malcolm McDowell) of their recently deceased friend. Zach Schiller, David Boies, Tyler Zacharia, Dan Balgoyen and Britta Rowings serve as executive producers, while Andrew Miano, Stephanie Meurer, Chris Parker, Dylan Sellers and Weitz produce.

“Moving On” will be released in theaters March 17.

American Society of Cinematographers to Honor Stephen Goldblatt with Lifetime Achievement Award

The American Society of Cinematographers will honor the careers of members Stephen Goldblatt, Darius Khondji, Fred Murphy, Charlie Lieberman and Sam Nicholson at the 37th Annual Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography Gala.

ASC will present Goldblatt with the Lifetime Achievement Award; Khondji with the International Award; Murphy with ASC Career Achievement in Television Award; Lieberman with the Presidents Award; and Nicholson with the Curtis Clark ASC Technical Achievement Award.

Goldblatt’s credits include “Get On Up,” “The Help,” “Julie & Julia,” “Closer,” “Charlie Wilson’s War and “Lethal Weapon.” His work on “Batman Forever” and “The Prince of Tides” earned him Oscar and ASC Award nominations, and his contributions to “Angels in America,” “Path to War” and “Conspiracy” scored him multiple Emmy nominations.

The ASC awards ceremony will take place at the Beverly Hilton on March 5.

Connie Nielsen boards Anders Walter’s “Ivalu” as executive producer

Connie Nielsen has joined as executive producer Anders Walter’s “Ivalu,” based on the acclaimed graphic novel about a young girl who is impacted by the disappearance of her sister.

“I am incredibly proud to collaborate on ‘Ivalu’ – a film that challenges the audience to bear witness to the traumatic effects of incest rape and child abuse. This abuse still happens and continues to victimize children, not just in indigenous societies, but in communities all over the world” says Nielsen. “Growing up inside a tight-knit family, our lives are often marred by male rage and violence, I sympathized with the characters in ‘Ivalu,’ and was reminded of the sense of helplessness a child can experience when imprisoned in the family violence. Incest is a secret no one should keep. I hope ‘Ivalu’ will help us join a conversation to help break the taboo.”

‘Ivalu’ is produced by Rebecca Pruzan and Kim Magnusson. Nielsen joins Ola Strøm as executive producer on the project.