Sutherland, Burnett, Roizman, Varda to Get Honorary Oscars

Actor Donald Sutherland, writer-director Charles Burnett, cinematographer Owen Roizman and Belgian director Agnes Varda are getting honorary Oscars this year.

The film academy announced the honorees Wednesday. They will receive Oscar statuettes at the ninth annual Governors Awards ceremony in November.

Burnett is an independent filmmaker whose work has been celebrated for its portrayals of the African-American experience.

Roizman has received five Academy Award nominations for his work on such films as “The Exorcist” and “Network,” and served as a governor of the academy’s cinematography branch for more than 10 years.

The 89-year-old Varda wrote and directed her first feature film in 1956 and released her latest film this year.

Sutherland has appeared in more than 140 films, including the “Hunger Games” series.

 

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David Letterman Headed Back to Talk TV With Netflix Series

David Letterman, who said goodbye to his long-running CBS talk show two years ago, will say hello to TV again with a new show for Netflix.

Netflix announced Tuesday that the six-episode series has Letterman combining two primary interests: in-depth conversations, and in-the-field segments sparked by his curiosity and humor. In each hour-long episode, Letterman will conduct a long-form conversation with a single guest, and explore topics of his own outside the studio.

The as-yet-untitled series is set to premiere in 2018.

In 33 years on late-night television, Letterman hosted 6,028 episodes of NBC’s “Late Night” and CBS’ “Late Show,” and is the longest-running late-night broadcaster in American history. He stepped down from “Late Show” in May 2015. (AP)

Ed Sheeran, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry to perform at MTV VMAs

Ed Sheeran, Miley Cyrus, the Weeknd and host Katy Perry will perform at the MTV Video Music Awards later this month.

MTV announced Monday that Lorde, Shawn Mendes, Fifth Harmony and Thirty Seconds to Mars will also hit the stage Aug. 27 at the Forum in Inglewood, California.

More performers will be announced at a later date.

Kendrick Lamar is the top VMA contender with eight nominations. His hit, “Humble,” will compete for video of the year with Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic,” DJ Khaled and Rihanna’s “Wild Thoughts,” the Weeknd’s “Reminder” and Alessia Cara’s “Scars to Your Beautiful.”

Sheeran is nominated for artist of the year along with Lamar, Mars, Ariana Grande, Lorde and the Weeknd. (AP)

Film Academy Invites 774 New Members

The film academy is inviting 774 new members to join its ranks, including actors Leslie Jones, Dwayne Johnson, Riz Ahmed, Chris Pratt and Anna Faris.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed its latest invitees on Wednesday.

The organization reports the new class of potential members is 39 percent female and 30 percent non-white. The film academy has been diversifying its ranks after two years of #OscarsSoWhite and criticism of its overwhelmingly white and male voting body.

Other invitees include directors Barry Jenkins, who was nominated for his film “Moonlight,” and composers Lin-Manuel Miranda and Justin Timberlake. “Hidden Figures” director Theodore Melfi and documentarian Ezra Edelman, who won an Oscar for “O.J.: Made in America,” also received invitations.  (AP)

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)

Private Service, Public Viewing for Cornell in Hollywood

Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell is being laid to rest Friday at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles.

Representatives for the late singer-songwriter say private memorial service Friday will be followed by a public viewing of Cornell’s burial site.

The 52-year-old was pronounced dead May 18 after he was found unresponsive in a Detroit hotel room after a concert performance. Coroner’s officials released say preliminary autopsy results show the singer hanged himself, but full toxicology results remain pending. The singer’s family has disputed the findings and claim Cornell may have taken more of an anti-anxiety drug than he was prescribed.

Cornell was a leading voice of the grunge movement in the 1990s. Besides Soundgarden, he scored hits with Temple of the Dog and Audioslave. He is survived by his wife and two children. (AP)

CBS, NBC Also Refuse to Air Trump Advertisement

CBS and NBC have joined CNN in refusing to air an advertisement that lists President Donald Trump’s accomplishments while blaming the “fake news” media for not reporting on them.

Trump’s campaign team also says ABC would not air the ad, although an ABC representative did not immediately respond to queries on Friday. CNN said it did not air the ad because its request to eliminate a “fake news” graphic was refused. NBC similarly cited the “incorrect” graphic that was shown over the face of NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell, among others.

CBS isn’t commenting on why it turned down the ad.

The Trump campaign is using the networks’ refusal in fundraising pleas and says the decisions “set a chilling precedent against free speech rights.”