LA Film Festival Features Diverse Slate of Films, Directors

While the rest of Hollywood lags behind, the LA Film Festival continues to break the mold with its robustly diverse programming.

The festival begins Wednesday and includes a slate in which 42% of the films playing are directed by women and 40% by filmmakers of color.

The festival includes the directorial debut of actress Lea Thompson, who directs herself and her daughters Zoey and Madelyn Deutch in “The Year of Spectacular Men” and Whitney Cummings’ ensemble relationship pic “The Female Brain,” with Sofia Vergara and James Marsden.

Festival Director Jennifer Cochis says the numbers are due to exhaustive outreach, a diverse programming staff and a shared goal of amplifying underrepresented voices.

The festival begins Wednesday in Culver City with the premiere of Colin Trevorrow’s “The Book of Henry.” (AP)

Faye Dunaway Speaks on Oscar’s Best Picture Fiasco

Actress Faye Dunaway says she thought co-presenter Warren Beatty was joking when he paused before showing her the envelope that should have contained the Oscar’s best picture winner.

Dunaway tells Lester Holt on NBC Nightly News she thought Beatty was stalling for effect.

Dunaway read “La La Land” as best picture winner rather than “Moonlight” after PwC partner Brian Cullinan mistakenly handed them the back-up envelope for Actress in a Leading Role instead of the envelope for Best Picture.

She says she read the movie’s title on the card but didn’t notice Emma Stone’s name.

Dunaway says she felt “completely stunned” and later felt guilty because she thought she could have done something to prevent the debacle.

Holt’s interview with Dunaway will air Tuesday on the “Today” show. (AP)

MTV Movie Awards Get Reboot With Addition of TV Nominations

The MTV Movie Awards are getting a reboot.

Network officials have announced that after 25 years of celebrating everything from the irreverent to the excellent in movies, they will be adding television to the lineup.

The new “MTV Movie & TV Awards” will air live on Sunday, May 7, from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

The network is also turning the run-up to the live show into a full-fledged “Movie & Television Festival” with live musical acts and a red carpet.

Chris McCarthy, president of MTV, said great storytelling and characters resonate regardless of whether they are seen in a theater or on TV.

With awards ranging from Best Kiss to Best Fight, the celebrity friendly show has also served as an annual promotional vehicle for upcoming summer blockbusters. (AP)

Tribeca Film Festival to Close With ‘Godfather’ Reunion, Screenings

The 16th Tribeca Film Festival will close with a “Godfather” cast reunion and a back-to-back screening of parts one and two of Francis Ford Coppola’s classic saga.

Tribeca announced Wednesday that the 45th anniversary screenings will be followed by a conversation with Coppola, Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Robert Duvall, James Caan and Talia Shire. Robert De Niro, co-founder of the festival, naturally, will also join.

The New York festival also plans several other anniversary celebrations. A 25th anniversary of “Reservoir Dogs” will be followed by a chat with Quentin Tarantino and the cast. A sing-along will be held for the 25th anniversary of Disney’s “Aladdin.” And Michael Moore will be at the festival for the 15th anniversary of his “Bowling for Columbine.”

Tribeca will take place April 19-30. (AP)

Robert Osborne, Face of TCM, Dies at 84

Robert Osborne, the genial face of Turner Classic Movies and a walking encyclopedia of classic Hollywood, has died. He was 84.

Jennifer Dorian, general manager of TCM, announced Osborne’s death Monday. A publicist for the network said he passed away Monday in New York.

Osborne, who began his career as an actor, was a columnist for The Hollywood Reporter. He was the on-air host of Ted Turner’s fledgling classic movie network from its inception in 1994. He was there from the start, to introduce “Gone With the Wind,” and remained Turner Classic’s primary – and often sole – host since.

For TCM viewers, Osborne was a constant and calming presence. He introduced films with bits of history and trivia, and conducted interviews with stars about their favorite old films.  (AP)

Oscars Get 32.9 Million Viewers, Lowest Rating Since 2008

The 32.9 million viewers tuning into Sunday’s Academy Awards represented a drop-off of more than a million from last year and Oscar’s smallest audience since 2008.

The Nielsen company said Monday that viewership dipped notably from the 34.3 million who watched the ABC telecast in 2016.

In both 2014 and 2013, the awards show reached more than 40 million viewers, while 37.3 million were watching in 2015.

In 2008, just 32 million viewers tuned in.

The ceremony, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, maintained a political edge as many winners, presenters and Kimmel himself took digs at President Donald Trump.

But the most memorable twist was saved for the broadcast’s final moments when presenter Faye Dunaway mistakenly declared “La La Land” as Oscar-winning best picture before the record was corrected to “Moonlight.”  (AP)

Jimmy Kimmel to Host Academy Awards Next February

The Oscars finally have a host: Jimmy Kimmel will emcee the 89th Academy Awards.

Kimmel will be hosting the show for the first time, the Academy of Motion Pictures said Monday. In September, he hosted the Emmy Awards for the second time.

The selection of Kimmel gives ABC, home of the Oscars telecast, the choice the network had sought. The academy waited much later than usual to name a host for the Feb. 26 ceremony.

This year’s show is being produced by Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd. (AP)