Marketing Exec Tony Sella Rejoins Fox

Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Tony Sella

The exec, who left the studio in 2013, is returning as worldwide chief content officer.

Tony Sella, who stepped down as 20th Century Fox’s co-president of domestic marketing in October 2013, is returning to the studio in the newly created role of worldwide chief content officer.

Sella will play “a leading role in driving creative for our theatrical marketing group,” Stacey Snider, 20th Century Fox chairman and CEO, said in a memo that she sent to the studio’s staff today announcing his return.

Sella, who spent more than two decades at Fox, left Fox amid an earlier reorganization more than four years ago. He originally joined Fox as a senior vp advertising in 1991 before moving up the ranks.

In her memo, Snider said that she and Pamela Levine and Kevin Campbell, the studio’s co-presidents of worldwide theatrical marketing, were welcoming Sella back, writing, “Tony is simply as good as it gets on the creative side, and he’s jumped right into the fray. We’re so excited and lucky to have him back home here at the studio, so please join us in welcoming him back on board.”

‘Three Billboards’ Named Film of the Year at London Critics’ Circle Awards

Courtesy of Merrick Morton/Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’

Martin McDonagh’s film won three awards on the night.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri went into the London Critics’ Circle film awards in the lead with seven nominations, and went home with a trio of gongs on Sunday night in the British capital.

The dark comedy claimed the film of the year prize, plus actress of the year for Frances McDormand and scriptwriter of the year for its director and writer Martin McDonagh.

Elsewhere, there was a solid spread of winners.

Timothee Chalamet won actor of the year for Call Me By Your Name, Sean Baker earned director of the year for The Florida Project and Dunkirk claimed British/Irish film of the year.

Chalamet, who beat the likes of Gary Oldman and Daniel Day-Lewis, thanks his “tongue wrestling partner, Armie Hammer” on collecting the award.

In the British/Irish actress of the year category, Sally Hawkins won for The Shape of Water, Maudie and Paddington 2, with Daniel Kaluuya coming away with the best Britsh/Irish actor of the year for Get Out.

Earlier on the night, Paddington 2 nabbed another prize, Hugh Grant named best supporting actor. Phantom Thread’s Lesley Manville won the best supporting actress award.

“Well that’s ludicrous. First Brexit, then Trump, now me winning, it really is the end of days,” said Grant on winning.

Raoul Peck’s I am Not Your Negro claimed the best documentary award, while Elle won for foreign-language film. The young British/Irish performer award went to Harris Dickinson for his lead role in Beach Rats. 

For his debut feature, the indie hit God’s Own Country, Francis Lee won the breakthrouogh British/Irish filmmaker.

The London Critics’s Circle closed with Kate Winslet being honored with the Dilys Powell Award for excellence in film, presented by her The Holiday co-star Jude Law.

'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri'

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‘Three Billboards’ Tops London Critics’ Circle Film Award Nominations

Margot Robbie and Producer Bruna Papandrea Honored at G’Day USA Australian Gala

John Sciulli/Getty Images for G’Day USA
Honoree Margot Robbie speaks onstage during the 2018 G’Day USA Black Tie Gala.

“As a girl from the lucky country, living in the land of opportunity, I can say with absolute certainty that when you have opportunity collide with luck, incredible things can happen,” the Oscar nominee says.

The Aussie community recognized the women behind two of the year’s hottest projects — I, Tonya and Big Little Lies — Saturday night at the Intercontinental Hotel in Downtown L.A.

Margot Robbie (I, Tonya) received the Excellence in Film Award while producer Bruna Papandrea (Big Little Lies) was honored for her Outstanding Achievement in Film and Television at the 15th annual black tie gala.

The G’Day USA event followed what Robbie called “definitely one of the best weeks of my life.”

She started at the Australian premiere of I, Tonya and was still awake when she found out about her Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

“It’s something you dream of, but would never ever dare to presume it would happen to you,” she said.

Throughout the night, stars praised Robbie’s portrayal of figure skater Tonya Harding.

Award presenter Amy Adams (Arrival) said she “pulls off one of the most daring feats of empathy that we’ve seen in years,” and Allison Janney, Robbie’s on-screen mom, sent in a sweet congratulatory video. I, Tonya co-star Bojana Novakovic (Shameless) told The Hollywood Reporter that Robbie pushed herself on set despite injuries.

“I’ve known her since Australia,” Novakovic said. “She’s always very keen to do things that she’s never done before,” recalling one of their improv performances a year ago based on made up dating profiles.

When Robbie took the stage at G’Day USA, she reflected on the American dream that she and Harding both strove to achieve.

Growing up, she was taught that Australia is the lucky country and the United States is the land of opportunity.

“I believe in luck, but I believe in making your own luck even more. I also believe that waiting for doors to open or opportunities to come knocking means that you’ll probably be waiting a really long time, and you’re probably better off going and knocking down those doors yourself,” she said. “So as a girl from the lucky country, living in the land of opportunity, I can say with absolute certainty that when you have opportunity collide with luck, incredible things can happen—and receiving this award is one of those incredible things. This whole week for me has been one of those incredible things.”

This awards season has also recognized the hard work of Papandrea, whose HBO show Big Little Lies earned four Golden Globes this month. Isla Fisher (The Great Gatsby) introduced Papandrea, who also produced Gone Girl and Wild, as “one of the finest producers in the world.”

In her speech, Papandrea told the story of how her mother, at age 14, dropped out of school and later raised four children on her own in government housing.

“While coming from very little can seem like a liability to some people, it can also be used as a superpower. It certainly gave me incredible drive.”

Through her company Made Up Stories, Papandrea has become committed to women telling stories.

“They have to be in front of the camera or behind it. It’s that simple. I made that decision about six years ago and haven’t looked back,” she told THR.

After honoring two of the most successful shows this year, G’Day USA also paid tribute to two film legends: the late Heath Ledger and the musical Grease.

Kim Ledger accepted the award on his son’s behalf, after an unscripted and passionate speech from Farrell about Heath Ledger’s “magic” as a curious and generous artist.

To conclude the night, Newton-John and John Travolta joined performers on stage to honor Farrar with a nostalgic Grease medley.

The diplomacy-center annual event, produced in part by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs. Guests enjoyed an Australian lamb chop dinner by chef Curtis Stone’s and had stars Rebel Wilson, Colin Farrell, Rose Byrne and Olivia Newton-John take to the podium for the evening’s entertainment and speeches.

Weekend Box Office: ‘Maze Runner: Death Cure’ Sprints to $23.5M; ‘Shape of Water’ Gets Oscar Bump

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox
‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure’

Elsewhere, Christian Bale’s ‘Hostiles’ rides into the top five after expanding nationwide, while overseas, ‘Maze Runner’ wows with $62.6 million.

Maze Runner: The Death Cure sprinted to the top of box office in its domestic debut over the weekend, unseating Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle with $23.5 million from 3,787 theaters.

The final installment in 20th Century Fox’s dystopian YA film franchise is doing sensational business overseas. It grossed $62.6 million for the weekend from 58 markets for an early foreign total of $82 million and $105.5 million globally, including a $21.6 million China launch.

The Death Cure was originally set to hit theaters a year ago, but its release was delayed when franchise star Dylan O’Brien was injured while filming. Wes Ball directed all three films, the last of which, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, launched to $30.6 million in September 2015. The first outing, The Maze Runner, opened to $32.5 million in September 2014.

This time out, the Gladers travel to the villainous WCKD headquarters to rescue their friends. Nearly 60 percent of ticket buyers were under the age of 25.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle — which had stayed atop the chart the previous three weekends — was hardly a slouch, grossing $16.4 million from 3,553 locations in its sixth outing for a domestic total of $338 million. Globally, the reboot has hit $822 million to become the fifth-biggest film in Sony’s history, not accounting for inflation.

Elsewhere, Scott Cooper’s gritty Western Hostiles, starring Christian Bale and Rosamund Pike, rode into 2,813 theaters across the country after playing in select cinemas since Christmas. The indie film, which placed No. 3, grossed an estimated $10.2 million for an early total of $12.1 million.

The Greatest Showman remained a force in its sixth weekend, dropping just 11 percent to $9.5 million for a domestic tally of $126.5 million for Fox and Chernin Entertainment. Overseas, Showman has grossed $133 million for a worldwide tally of $259.6 million.

While Hostiles was shut out of the Oscar race, a flurry of films picking up best picture nominations last week enjoyed a boost at the box office, led by Steven Spielberg’s The Post (20th Century Fox) and Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water (Fox Searchlight), which earned a total of 13 noms, the most of any movie.

The Post came in No. 4 in its third weekend in wide release with $8.9 million from 2,640 theaters for a domestic cume of $58.5 million. The Pentagon Papers drama, starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, fell 24 percent, compared to nearly 40 percent last weekend.

Shape of Water, which had been rolling out slowly, upped its theater count to 1,851, an uptick of more than 800 cinemas. The adult fairy tale took in $5.7 million, by far its strongest weekend to date (it was up 160 percent). Shape of Water has grossed $37.7 million domestically and $13.9 million from its first 10 markets for a total $51.6 million.

Other best picture nominees seeing a boost included Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Fox Searchlight). The film earned $3.6 million for a North America total of $37 million to date and $71.3 million globally. Phantom Thread and Darkest Hour, both from Focus Features, each earned $2.9 million, followed by Call Me by Your Name (Sony Pictures Classics) with $1.3 million.

I, Tonya may not have landed a best picture nod, but other top noms gave the Tonya Harding drama a boost. I, Tonya, starring Oscar nominee Margot Robbie, earned $3 million from 960 theaters for a total $18.8 million. A24 is releasing the movie in the U.S., while Sierra/Affinity has international duties. I, Tonya debuted at No. 1 in Australia — Robbie’s home country — over the weekend with a strong $1.8 million.

Weekend Box Office 1/28/18

3-Day Weekend Box Office Actuals – Source: comScore
Weekend Cume Theaters Week
1. Maze Runner: The Death Cure $23.5M $23.5M 3,787 1
2. Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle $16.4M $338M 3,553 6
3. Hostiles $10.2M $12M 2,816 6
4. The Greatest Showman $9.5M $126.4M 2,663 6
5. The Post $8.8M $58.5M 2,640 6
6. 12 Strong $8.6M $29.7M 3,018 2
7. Den of Thieves $8.3M $28.5M 2,432 2
8. The Shape of Water $5.7M $37.6M 1,854 9
9. Paddington 2 $5.5M $32M 2,792 3
10. Padmaavat $4.2M $4.2M 324 1
From left: 'The Shape of Water,' 'Phantom Thread,' 'Call Me by Your Name'

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Oscars: Nominees Banking on the Biggest Box-Office Bump

Sundance: HBO Picks Up Controversial Israel-Palestinian Doc ‘Oslo Diaries’ (Exclusive)

Courtesy of Sundance Institute
‘The Oslo Diaries’

Directed by Mor Loushy and Daniel Sivan, the film features never-before-seen footage of meetings involving an unlikely group of negotiators — two Israeli professors and three PLO members — who met secretly in Norway in 1992.

HBO has acquired all domestic TV and streaming rights to The Oslo Diaries, a documentary that chronicles secret peace meetings between Israelis and Palestinians that took place in 1992.

Directed by Mor Loushy and Daniel Sivan, the film features never-before-seen footage of meetings involving an unlikely group of negotiators — two Israeli professors and three PLO members — who met secretly in Norway. To these unsanctioned meetings, the bitter enemies brought fiercely held convictions: the Palestinians saw occupiers, the Israelis saw terrorists, and both saw a history of failed negotiations. But united in the serious desire for peace, they continued through disheartening setbacks, escalating violence and fraught government politics, ultimately reaching an accord few thought possible.

Oslo Diaries is a timely geopolitical story, articulated through readings of the participants’ diaries from the time, interwoven with exclusive interviews with key players, including the last on-camera conversation with former Israeli president Shimon Peres.

The film is sparking controversy in the Middle East on both side of the divide because it is unclear if the archival footage was ever meant to be seen. The deal plays out against the backdrop of tensions between Israelis and Palestinians as high as ever.

HBO will debut the film later this year to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Oslo Accords. The pay network had a busy Sundance, picking up the Laura Dern starrer The Tale for $7 million and Rudy Valdez’s incarceration documentary The Sentence.

Executive producers include Guy Lavie, Koby Gal Raday, Danna Stern, Dagmar Mielke, Barbara Dobkin and Jean Tsien, while Hilla Medalia and Ina Fichman produced.

“We are humbled and excited by the warm hug our film has received from audiences at the Sundance Film Festival and thrilled with HBO’s decision to acquire the film,” said Loushy and Sivan. “The prestigious platform of HBO will allow us to reach millions of viewers and we’re full of hope that this film will lead to the crucial dialogue we are missing so much these days, when it seems both sides have given up on a peaceful solution.”

The film made its world premiere on Jan. 21 in Sundance’s World Cinema Documentary Competition section.

Submarine’s Josh Braun and Ben Braun negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers.

Sundance: ‘The Miseducation of Cameron Post’ Wins Dramatic Grand Jury Prize

Courtesy of Sundance Institute
‘The Miseducation of Cameron Post’

The Documentary Grand Jury Prize went to Derek Doneen’s ‘Kailash.’

The Miseducation of Cameron Post, starring Chloe Grace Moretz, which is set in a gay conversion therapy center that tries to turn several young lesbians straight, claimed the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, which held its awards ceremony Saturday night. The Documentary Grand Jury Award was presented to Derek Doneen’s Kailash, a portrait of Kailash Satyarthi, who has led a campaign to end child slavery.

Audience Award winners included the dramatic feature Burden, writer/director Andrew Heckler’s film, starring Garrett Hedlund, about a Klansman whose encounters with a single mom and an African-American reverend teach him tolerance, and the documentary The Sentence, whose director Rudy Valdez recounts the case of his sister, who received a 15-year mandatory sentence, for a crime in which she was only tangentially involved.

Jason Mantzoukas, who stars in festival feature The Long Dumb Road, hosted the night’s ceremony, which took place at Basin Recreation Field House in Park City, Utah. Opening the ceremony were Hearts Beat Loud co-stars Kiersey Clemons and Nick Offerman, performing the title track from their Brett Haley-directed film.

This year’s U.S. Dramatic Jury included actors Octavia Spencer, Jada Pinkett Smith and Michael Stuhlbarg, as well as director Joe Swanberg and Oscar nominated Mudbound cinematographer Rachel Morrison.

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The Scene at Sundance Film Festival 2018 (Photos)

A complete list of winners follows:

U.S. Dramatic Competition

U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize Award: The Miseducation of Cameron Post, directed by Desiree Akhavan

U.S. Dramatic Audience Award: Burden, directed by Andrew Heckler

U.S. Dramatic Directing Award: The Kindergarten Teacher, directed by Sara Colangelo

U.S. Dramatic Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: Nancy, written by Christina Choe

U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Outstanding First Feature: Monsters and Men, directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green

U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Excellence in Filmmaking: I Think We’re Alone Now, directed by Reed Morano

U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Achievement in Acting: Benjamin Dickey, Blaze

 

U.S. Documentary Competition

U.S. Documentary Grand Jury Prize Award: Kailish, directed by Derek Doneen

U.S. Documentary Audience Award: The Sentence, directed by Rudy Valdez

U.S. Documentary Directing Award, On Her Shoulders, directed by Alexandria Bombach

U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Social Impact: Crime + Punishment, directed by Stephen Maing

U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Creative Vision: Hale County This Morning, This Evening, directed by RaMell Ross

U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Filmmaking: Minding the Gap, directed by Bing Liu

U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Storytelling: Three Identical Strangers, directed by Tim Wardle

 

Wolrd Cinema Dramatic Competition

World Cinema Dramatic Grand Jury Prize: Butterflies, directed by Tolga Karacelik

World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award: The Guilty, directed by Gustav Moller

World Cinema Dramatic Directing Award: And Breathe Normally, directed by Isold Uggadottir

World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Acting:: Valerie Bertuccelli, The Queen of Fear

World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Screenwriting: Time Share (Tiemp Compartido), written by Julio Chavezmontes and Sebastian Hofmann

World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Ensemble Acting: Dead Pigs, directed by Cathy Yan

 

World Cinema Documentary Competition

World Cinema Documentary Grand Jury Prize: Of Fathers and Sons, directed by Talai Derki

World Cinema Documentary Audience Award: This Is Home, directed by Alexandra Shiva

World Cinema Documentary Directing Award: Shirkers, directed by Sandi Tan

World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award: Matangi/Maya/M.I.A., presented to director Stephen Loveridge and M.I.A.

World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Cinematography: Genesis 2.0, Peter Indergand and Maxim Arbugaev

World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Editing: Our New President, Maxim Pozdorovkin and Matvey Kulakov

 

NEXT

NEXT Audience Award: Search, directed by Aneesh Chaganty

NEXT Innovator Award: (tie) Night Comes On, directed by Jordana Spiro; We the Animals, directed by Jeremiah Zagar

 

Short Film Awards

Short Film Grand Jury Prize: Matria, directed by Alvaro Gago

Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction: Hair Wolf, directed by Mariama Diallo

Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction: Would You Look at Her, directed by Goran Stolevski

Short Film Jury Award: Nonfiction: The Trader (Sovdagari), directed by Tamta Gabrichidze

Short Film Jury Award: Animation: Glucose, directed by Jeron Braxton

 

Special Jury Awards: Emergency, directed by Carey Williams; Fauve, directed by Jérémy Comte; andFor Nonna Anna, directed by Luis De Filippis.

Sundance Institute Open Borders Fellowship Presented by Netflix:
Of Fathers and Sons (Syria), directed by Talal Derki
Untitled (India), directed by Chaitanya Tamhane
Night On Fire, directed by Tatiana Huezo

Sundance Institute / NHK Award: His House, directed by Remi Weekes.

Sundance Institute Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize:: Search, Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian

Sundance Institute / Amazon Studios Producers Award: Sev Ohanian

Watch the 2018 Sundance Film Festival Awards Live Stream

Courtesy of Sundance Film Festival
‘Search’

The awards honor the best of this year’s festival.

Fans who aren’t able to attend the frosty 2018 Sundance Film Festival Awards in person can watch the lauded stars, films and filmmakers receive their prizes in real time via live stream.

The Utah-based indie film festival is streaming its annual awards ceremony, which kicked off at 6 p.m. PT Saturday.

The winners are chosen by four juries of film and culture leaders.

Watch the stream below.

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