LOS ANGELES, Nov 21, (Agencies): The Producers Guild of America has nominated seven films for its top documentary award — “Chasing Coral,” “City of Ghosts,” “Cries From Syria,” “Earth: One Amazing Day,” “Jane,” “Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower” and “The Newspaperman: The Life and Times of Ben Bradlee.”
The winner will be named Jan. 20 at the 29th annual Producers Guild Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The PGA is a trade group with more than 8,100 members. The organization has not yet determined the producers of the nominated films.
Nominations in the other film and TV categories will be announced Jan. 5. “O.J.: Made in America” won the PGA’s documentary award this year for Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow, then went on to win the Academy Award.
“Chasing Coral” explores the disappearance of coral reefs and is directed by Jeff Orlowski. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was released by Neflix in July.
“City of Ghosts” centers on the Syrian media activist group Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently, directed by Matthew Heineman.
“Cries from Syria” is about the impact of the Syrian Civil War, directed by Evgeny Afineevsky. TV rights were acquired by HBO just prior to Sundance.
“Earth: One Amazing Day” is directed by Peter Webber, Lixin Fan and Richard Dale for BBC Earth.
“Jane” is directed and written by Brett Morgen about primatologist and anthropologist Jane Goodall. The film has grossed more than $1 million domestically since its Oct. 20 release by Abramorama.
“Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower” is about Joshua Wong, a teenager who rallies Hong Kong youth in dissent during the 2014 Hong Kong Occupy Movement. Netflix bought worldwide rights for the documentary.
“The Newspaperman: The Life and Times of Ben Bradlee” is about the late executive editor of The Washington Post. Bradlee passed away in 2014.
Prominent titles that were overlooked include Cannes Film Festival documentary winner “Faces Places,” directed by Agnes Varda and JR: “One of Us” from Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady; and Turkish cat documentary “Kedi.”
New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT), which focuses on gender equality in the New York entertainment industry, will celebrate its 40th anniversary by honoring six leading women in entertainment at the 38th Annual Muse Awards on Dec. 14 at the New York Hilton Midtown.
The gala, emceed by Nancy Giles, will honor women who have made strides in film, television, and digital media. The honorees for this year’s Muse Awards are actress and producer Laura Dern, Refinery 29’s Chief Content Officer Amy Emmerich, and Tony-winning actress Judith Light. Regina K. Scully, founder and CEO of Artemis Rising Foundation and a social justice filmmaker, will receive the 12th Annual Loreen Arbus Changemaker Award, which is given to an individual, organization, or corporation in entertainment that has helped to create and bring about significant change to benefit and aid women.
The event will also feature the debut of two new awards: the Nancy Malone Directing Award and an honor from the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment, both of which are intended to recognize exceptional leadership and drive. Writer and director Julie Dash will receive the first ever Nancy Malone Directing Award. Meanwhile, commissioner Julie Menin of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment will present actress Alysia Reiner with the new “made in NY” award.
“The Muse Awards is an incredible display of the fantastic work women are doing in the industry and an event we look forward to every year,” said Terry Lawler, New York Women in Film & Television’s executive director. “As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of our organization, this year’s commemoration of women’s outstanding achievements is extraordinarily inspiring and encouraging to the continued pursuit of success at a critical time in our industry.”
NEW DELHI: A member of India’s Hindu nationalist ruling party offered 100 million rupees ($1.5 million) to anyone who beheads the lead actress and the director of an unreleased Bollywood film “Padmavati” rumored to depict a relationship between a Hindu queen and a Muslim ruler.
Suraj Pal Amu, a Bharatiya Janata Party leader from the northern state of Haryana, offered the bounty against actress Deepika Padukone and filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali on Sunday. The film’s producers postponed the release of the film, which was set to be in theaters Dec 1, and Amu was reported by local media to have said at a public rally that the film would not be allowed to be released at all.
“Padmavati” is based on a 16th century Sufi epic poem, “Padmavat,” in which a brave and beautiful Rajput queen chose to kill herself rather than be captured by the Muslim sultan of Delhi, Allaudin Khilji. Over centuries of its retelling, the epic has come to be seen as history, despite little evidence.
Padukone plays Padmini, the legendary queen who committed “jauhar,” the medieval Rajput practice in which female royals walked into funeral fires to embrace death over the dishonor of being taken captive.
“Padmavati” has been in trouble since the beginning of the year, with fringe groups in the western state of Rajasthan attacking the film’s set, threatening to burn down theaters that show it and even physically attacking Bhansali in January.
Most of the anger appears to stem from allegations that Bhansali filmed a romantic dream sequence between the protagonists, which Bhansali has denied.
Earlier this month, the head of the Rajput Karni Sena in Rajasthan said Padukone should have her nose cut — a symbol of public humiliation — for being part of a film that allegedly insulted the famed queen.
India’s 1.3 billion-strong democracy is the largest in the world and has made great economic strides, but its politics are held hostage by a complex mix of religion and caste. Books and movies have been banned or received threats of violence because they either offend one religious or caste group, or are deemed offensive to Indian culture in general.