The Academy Partners With Letterboxd to Create Content for the 95th Oscars – Film News in Brief

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced an exclusive partnership with Letterboxd, the social media platform for users to discuss and discover films.

The Academy and Letterboxd will collaborate on exclusive Oscars digital content. The partnership begins with the creation of the Academy’s HQ account, which features complete lists of 95th Oscar nominees in all categories, along with content highlighting the ceremony’s history and previous winners.

The collaboration kicks off in person at the Nominees Luncheon on Feb. 12 with featured nominees reading the best Letterboxd reviews of their films.

Throughout awards season, Letterboxd will host nominees on “The Letterboxd Show” podcast and present an Oscars-themed series of Showdowns, beginning with the Best Picture Showdown.

“Oscar-nominated films form the backbone of so many Letterboxd lists, and the annual ceremony is so often the starting point for many a cinephile’s journey, that it feels completely natural to welcome the Academy into the fold. A thrilling moment for the whole team at Letterboxd HQ,” said Letterboxd cofounder Matthew Buchanan.

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige to Speak at USC Commencement

USC announced that Oscar-nominated alumnus Kevin Feige will deliver the keynote address at its 140th commencement.

Feige serves as head of Marvel Studios, home of the interconnected Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). He is the force behind several MCU films and series such as the Academy Award-winning “Black Panther,” “Avengers: Endgame,” “Guardians of the Galaxy” and the recent “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” Feige graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts in 1995.

“He’s a creative force: an impresario who builds extraordinary teams and tells magical, diverse stories that captivate people around the world,” said USC president Carol L. Folt in a statement. “He sat in the same seats and walked the same paths as so many of our students – and look where his adventure has taken him. I can’t wait to hear his inspiring stories.”

Feige serves on the USC School of Cinematic Arts Board of Councilors and established the Kevin Feige Endowed Fund for Creative Producing in 2017. In 2014, he was honored with the Mary Pickford alumni award. He returns frequently to the university for screenings and to talk with students.

“My USC experience played such a fundamental part in who I have become, both as a filmmaker and as a person,” Feige said. “Of course, they never have to ask me twice to come back and talk with students, but I’m honored and humbled to be asked to be the commencement speaker celebrating the 2023 graduating class as they carry their own USC experience into the world to do big things as part of the next generation of storytellers and innovators and leaders.”

USC’s 140th commencement will take place May 12 at Alumni Memorial Park.

Guillermo del Toro to Be Honored With Cameron Menzies Award

The Art Directors Guild has announced that Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro will receive the esteemed William Cameron Menzies Award for his striking visuals and emotionally rich portfolio, cumulating in his latest film, “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio.”

Del Toro will receive the award on Feb. 18 at the 27th Annual Art Directors Guild ceremony at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown.

The award recognizes individuals’ service to the entertainment industry through distinguished contributions to motion pictures or TV. Past honorees include Robert Osborne, John Musker and Ron Clements, Syd Mead and Denis Villeneuve.

“Guillermo del Toro has stunningly brought humanity to non-human characters and full-fledged existence to environments which could be seen as devoid of life by integrating strong narrative imagery into his collaborations with production designers,” remarked Nelson Coates, ADG president. “The Art Directors Guild is thrilled to celebrate his captivating work, which has indelibly pushed the bounds of production design to new heights.”

Asian Art Publication Lab Announces International Symposium Centered Around “Asian Diaspora and Migration Narratives”

Asian Art Publication Lab (AAPLab) announced its international symposiums to teach Asian diasporas, celebrate diversity and foster unity in partnership with the Korean Film Festival Canada from Jan. 27 to Feb. 25.

The symposium will use a hybrid format of both in-person and online activities such as film screenings, artist talks, panels and “Asian Spice-Up!,” public events surrounding Asian cooking and grocery stores.

The symposium takes place amid a rise in hate crimes against Asians, particularly with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic, signaling the importance of spreading knowledge to break through barriers and strengthen communities impacted by Asian diasporas.

“Asian Spice-Up” will begin Jan. 27, when attendees and live-streamers will tour Asian groceries stores and explore Asian ingredients and will continue Feb. 3 and Feb. 17.

Panels and artist talks will permit Asian diaspora education through the perspective of scholars and artists, with a discussion surrounding national identity, forced displacement and community representation through design. Online talks will take place on Jan. 28 and Feb. 25, and an in-person talk will take place Feb. 11.

On Jan. 28, the symposium will screen “Tiger Spirit,” and on Feb. 25, it will screen “SHOWPAO: The Filipinx-Montrealer Experience,” “Moving the Mountain” and “Être Chinois au Québec.”

AAPLab is an independent non-profit cluster organization focused on Asian media and visual arts in Montreal, Canada, which works to use critical dialogue to create a community-based in inclusivity and decolonization.

Worldwide Production Announces Addition of Literary Agent Liz Orr 

Worldwide Production Agency (WPA) announced on Monday that the agency has hired accomplished literary agent Liz Orr. Orr joins WPA after four years as a TV Literary/Packaging Agent at Buchwald. Orr will establish a new office in New York City, in an effort to expand the agency’s physical presence.

Orr’s extensive knowledge of artists, producers, and management partners will support WPA client expansion into the literary space. Orr’s clients include Patrick Coker and Adam Wiesen (“East New York”), Gary Hardwick (“The Perfect Match”), Hakim Hill (“Hysteria”), Jake Plunkett (“Late Night with Stephen Colbert”), Markuann Smith (“Godfather of Harlem”), and 2022 GLAADLIST writer Dana Aliya Levinson.

“I’m thrilled to find a new home in WPA for myself and my clients. With their exceptional team of committed agents advocating for the production artists critical to fine film and television production, literary expansion seemed inevitable,” expressed Orr.

WPA managing partners Steve Jacob and Frank Balkin announced, “We’re extremely fortunate Liz has chosen to join our team – her passion for her clients and ‘artist-first’ philosophy makes her an outstanding fit with both our staff and our culture.”