The Sonoma International Film Festival celebrates its 25th edition from March 23 to 27 in the Northern California wine country town. More than 120 independent and international films will be screening, including 79 premieres. The festival will open with Sandra Bullock’s “The Lost City” and close with French film “The Butcher’s Daughter.” Jacqueline Bisset will be honored with the Cinematic Excellence award, while Jacques Pepin will be feted with the Culinary Excellence Award at a five-course dinner.

Head to Sonoma Film Festival’s website for more info.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr. and Daveed Diggs Reunite to Open SAG Awards

“Hamilton” trio Daveed Diggs, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Leslie Odom Jr. will reunite to open the 28th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sun. Feb. 27.

Following the Tony-winning blockbuster stage show, Diggs, Miranda and Odom Jr. have gone on to other major projects. Diggs stars in “Snowpiercer” and, last year, earned a SAG nomination for his performance in “Hamilton on Disney plus, while Odom Jr. earned two SAG nominations (ahead of two Oscar nods) for his work in “One Night in Miami.” Miranda’s latest film — and directorial debut — “Tick, Tick … Boom!” earned a SAG nod for star Andrew Garfield’s performance outstanding performance by a male actor in a leading role. Miranda is currently in the running for a best original song Oscar for Disney’s “Encanto.”

The lineup of presenters for the awards show include Alexandra Daddario, Rosario Dawson, Ross Butler and Vanessa Hudgens, with more to be announced. Kate Winslet will present the 57th SAG Life Achievement Award to five-time SAG Award and Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren.

The SAG Awards will be nationally simulcast live on TNT and TBS at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT from the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica. The ceremony will be available the following day on HBO Max.

Guillermo del Toro to Be Presented With Gene Kelly Visionary Award at the AIS Lumiere Awards

The Advanced Imaging Society announced today that Guillermo del Toro will be honored with the first-ever Gene Kelly Visionary Award at the 2022 AIS Lumiere Awards.

In addition, The Sir Charles Wheatstone Award will be presented to the Epic Games for Unreal Engine for their real-time engine technology and support for filmmakers.

Del Toro and Epic Games will join fellow previously announced honorees Denis Villeneuve (Harold Lloyd Award) and Adam McKay (Voices For the Earth Award) at the 12th annual awards ceremony.

“Many of us think of Gene Kelly as the legendary actor and dancer,” said Jim Chabin, president of AIS. “But he was as powerful a creative force behind the camera as he was in front. His bold innovations with the use of the camera, lighting, music, choreography and animation changed the course of film history and left us with a legacy of sheer motion picture magic. Guillermo del Toro fully embodies this same pioneering spirit, and we are thrilled he will be our first recipient.”

Presenting the award to del Toro will be Kelly’s widow and biographer Patricia Ward Kelly. “Gene was always looking for the next horizon,” said Patricia Kelly. “Guillermo Del Toro’s brilliant vision represents the kind of creative genius that Gene most admired. Like Gene, del Toro is a risk-taker who breaks new ground. I am deeply honored that he will be the first to receive the Gene Kelly Visionary Award.”

DGA Women’s Steering Committee Announces Second Mentorship Class

The DGA Women’s Steering Committee (WSC) announced its second class of WSC Squad mentees and filmmakers. Led by WSC Squad co-chairs Amy J. Aniobi, Maureen Bharoocha, Lena Khan and Amber Sealey, the six-month program supports other working directors to achieve their goals by pairing 10 mid-career directors with well-established mentors.
The pairings include Kat Coiro mentoring Rachel Raimist, Karyn Kusama mentoring Marie Jamora, Sian Heder mentoring Jen Derwingson-Peacock, Destin Daniel Cretton mentoring Nijla Mu’min, Uta Briesewitz mentoring America Young, Nicole Kassell mentoring SJ Chiro, Dawn Wilkinson mentoring Tchaiko Omawale, Kelly Park mentoring Evelyn Belasco, Kari Skogland mentoring Jen McGowan, Jessica Yu mentoring Charissa Sanjarernsuithikul and Anu Valia will mentoring Elvira Ibragimova.

‘No Time to Die,’ ‘Being the Ricardos’ and ‘Dune’ Win Set Decorators Society of America Awards

The Set Decorators Society of America has announced its recipients for the SDSA Awards.

The winners are:

“No Time to Die” (Set Decoration by Véronique Melery SDSA with Production Design by Mark Tildesley)

“Being the Ricardos” (Set Decoration by Ellen Brill SDSA with Production Design by Jon Hutman)

“Dune” (Set Decoration by Zsuzsanna Sipos with Production Design by Patrice Vermette)

“The French Dispatch” (Set Decoration by Rena DeAngelo SDSA with Production Design by Adam Stockhausen)

“The Power of the Dog” ( Directed by Jane Campion, Set Decoration by Amber Richards, Production Design by Grant Major)

Art of the Hollywood Backdrop: Cinema’s Creative Legacy Comes to Boca Raton

The first museum show dedicated to Hollywood’s painted backdrops, the grandest illusions ever created for the movies, makes its world premiere in South Florida (April 20. ‒ Jan. 22, 2023) at the Boca Raton Museum of Art. Art of the Hollywood Backdrop: Cinema’s Creative Legacy honors the unsung heroes who created these monumental canvases for the camera, going back almost 100 years. These artists were the backbone of the film industry. The exhibition was originated by the Boca Raton Museum of Art and is cocurated by Thomas A. Walsh and Karen L. Maness, who played pivotal roles among a group of passionate Hollywood insiders to salvage these American treasures. The result in the Museum’s galleries is a magical portal that takes the terms “large-scale,” “immersive,” and “virtual reality” to a whole new level.

“This exhibition of movie backdrops is not to be missed. These monumental paintings were essential to moviemaking for almost a century and were never meant to be seen by the public with the naked eye. Having this rare opportunity to experience these American masterpieces up close is long overdue,” said
Leonard Maltin, the renowned film critic, historian, and author.