Danny Masterson scandal: Netflix fires him from ‘The Ranch’ after he’s accused of rape

December 5, 2017

by Colleen McGregor

Danny Masterson
Danny Masterson (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

Netflix has announced that it has fired actor Danny Masterson from its comedy TV series “The Ranch,” after four women have come forward with claims that Masterson raped them in the early 2000s, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “The Ranch,” which premiered in 2016, is set to begin airing the second half of its second season on December 15, 2017. The show is about a dysfunctional family that owns a ranch in Colorado. The cast includes Ashton Kutcher, Debra Winger and Sam Elliott.

Masterson is best known for co-starring with Kutcher in the sitcom “That ’70s  Show,” which was on the air from 1998 to 2006. In the U.S., “That ’70s Show” aired on Fox. Masterson has denied all the rape allegations, and issued a statement saying that he was “disappointed” in Netflix’s decision to fire him from “The Ranch.”

Netflix’s firing of Masterson comes a little over a month after the streaming network did the same thing to “House of Cards” star/executive producer Kevin Spacey after numerous men (including “House of Cards” employees) came forward in October 2017 to claim that Spacey sexually harassed or sexually assaulted them. Spacey allegedly committed sexual harassment against males over several decades, according to published reports. Spacey issued a public apology to actor Anthony Rapp, who claimed in an October 2017 article published by BuzzFeed that Spacey tried to have sex with him in 1986, when Rapp was 14 and Spacey was 26. Spacey has not publicly commented on the other allegations, but said that he is taking time off from his career to seek treatment. Spacey has since been removed from the Columbia Pictures drama “All the Money in the World” and replaced by Christopher Plummer.

In late 2017, other actors who have lost TV shows, movies or other business deals after being accused of sexual misconduct include Louis C.K., Ed Westwick, Jeremy Piven and Jeffrey Tambor. Prominent TV journalists Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose and Mark Halperin have also had disgraceful exits from their jobs after numerous women accused them of sexual harassment going back several years. An even larger number of high-ranking executives who work behind the scenes at various entertainment and media companies have been fired, placed on leave or have resigned in late 2017 after being accused of sexual misconduct by several people. The companies with these major shake-ups include Amazon Studios, DC Comics, Def Jam, National Public Radio, Nickelodeon, Pixar, Rush Communications, Vox Media, Warner Bros. Television and The Weinstein Company.

Although people being fired for sexual misconduct is nothing new, this unprecedented tidal wave of accusations and scandalous ousters in the entertainment industry seems to have been triggered by entertainment mogul Harvey Weinstein’s massive fall from grace in early October 2017, when numerous women went public with stories that he sexually harassed or sexually assaulted them. As of this writing, more than 60 women have come forward with sexual misconduct stories about Weinstein, with the stories spanning various years over several decades, going as far back as the 1970s.

 

Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society announces nominations, details of its first award ceremony

December 4, 2017

The following is a press release from Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society:

The Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society (LAOFCS) is pleased to announce that their Awards Ceremony will be held on January 3, 2018, at which time the winners will be announced.

Fox Searchlight’s “The Shape of Water” tops the nominations list with 11 nominations including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay while “Lady Bird” earns nine nominations and “Dunkirk” earns eight. Jordan Peele’s massive hit “Get Out” scores nominations for Best Male Director and Best First Feature.

Studio films such as “Wonder Woman,” “War for the Planet of the Apes” and “Blade Runner 2049” are also among the nominations scoring five nominations each.

A few smaller released films have found their place on the nominations list including Neon’s “Colossal,” Trademark Films & Break Thru Films’ “Loving Vincent” and the Sundance Institute’s “Columbus.”

Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet are each nominated for Best Actress and Actor as well as Best Performance by an Actor or Actress Under the Age of 23.

The Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society is pleased to announce that it is the first ever critics group to feature two Best Director categories; one for female and one for male. “There has been so much conversation about the power of female filmmakers and we wanted to embrace it,” said Mantz. “There is a Best Actor and Best Actress category as well as Best Supporting Actor and Actress, so why not have a Best Male Director and Best Female Director category?” asked Menzel.

In total, the Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society members have nominated over 40 different films ranging from smaller art-house releases to major blockbusters.

A detailed list of the nominations can be found below:

Nominations for the first Annual Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society Awards:

BEST PICTURE

The Big Sick
Colossal
Call Me By Your Name
Get Out
I, Tonya
Lady Bird
Molly’s Game
The Post
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

BEST FEMALE DIRECTOR

Dee Rees, Mudbound
Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
Kathryn Bigelow, Detroit
Patty Jenkins, Wonder Woman
Sofia Coppola, The Beguiled

BEST MALE DIRECTOR

Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water
Jordan Peele, Get Out
Luca Guadagnino, Call Me By Your Name
Steven Spielberg, The Post

BEST ANIMATED / VISUAL EFFECT PERFORMANCE

Andy Serkis, War for the Planet of the Apes
Doug Jones, The Shape of Water
Dan Stevens, Beauty and the Beast

BEST EDITING

Baby Driver
Dunkirk
I, Tonya
The Post
The Shape of Water

BEST SCORE

Blade Runner 2049
Dunkirk
Phantom Thread
The Shape of Water
War for the Planet of the Apes

BEST STUNT WORK

Atomic Blonde
Baby Driver
Dunkirk
John Wick: Chapter 2
Wonder Woman

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR OR ACTRESS UNDER 23 YEARS OLD

Brooklynn Prince, The Florida Project
Dafne Keen, Logan
Jacob Tremblay, Wonder
Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name

BEST SCI-FI/ HORROR

Blade Runner 2049
Get Out
It
It Comes at Night
The Shape of Water

BEST ACTION/WAR

Baby Driver
Dunkirk
Logan
War for the Planet of the Apes
Wonder Woman

BEST COMEDY/MUSICAL

The Big Sick
The Disaster Artist
Girls Trip
I, Tonya
Lady Bird

BEST FIRST FEATURE

Aaron Sorkin, Molly’s Game
Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
Kogonada, Columbus
Jeremy Gasper, Patti Cake$
Jordan Peele, Get Out

BEST INDEPENDENT FILM

The Big Sick
Colossal
A Ghost Story
I, Tonya
Lady Bird

BEST BLOCKBUSTER

Beauty and the Beast
Dunkirk
Logan
War for the Planet of the Apes
Wonder Woman

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Bruno Delbonnel, Darkest Hour
Dan Laustsen, The Shape of Water
Hoyte van Hoytema, Dunkirk
Rachel Morrison, Mudbound
Roger Deakins, Blade Runner 2049

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Blade Runner 2049
Dunkirk
The Shape of Water
War for the Planet of the Apes
Wonder Woman

BEST DOCUMENTARY

An Inconvenient Sequel
Jane
Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond
Step
Whose Streets?

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

BPM, France
First They Killed My Father, Cambodia
In the Fade, Germany
The Square, Sweden
Thelma, Norway

BEST ANIMATED FILM

The Breadwinner
Coco
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
The LEGO Batman Movie
Loving Vincent

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani, The Big Sick
Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
Guillermo del Toro & Vanessa Taylor, The Shape of Water
Jordan Peele, Get Out
Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Aaron Sorkin, Molly’s Game
Luca Guadagnino, James Ivory, & Walter Fasano, Call Me by Your Name
Michael H. Weber & Scott Neustadter, The Disaster Artist
Scott Frank, James Mangold, & Michael Green, Logan
Virgil Williams & Dee Rees, Mudbound

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Holly Hunter, The Big Sick
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water
Tiffany Haddish, Girls Trip

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Idris Elba, Molly’s Game
Michael Stuhlbarg, Call Me By Your Name
Patrick Stewart, Logan
Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Williem Dafoe, The Florida Project

BEST ACTRESS

Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game
Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird

BEST ACTOR

Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
James Franco, The Disaster Artist
Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
Tom Hanks, The Post

About LAOFCS:

Krisily Kennedy, Scott Mantz, and Scott Menzel founded the Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society in late 2016. The primary goal of the society was to create a critics group that appropriately reflects a varied history and perspective of people from various races and gender. The intention was to create a critics group that was as diverse as the city in which it is based.

2018 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Kristen Bell named first-ever host of the show

December 4, 2017

Kristen Bell
Kristen Bell (Photo by: Mike Coppola/NBCUniversal)

The following is a press release from the Screen Actors Guild:

Kristen Bell (“The Good Place,” “Frozen”) will host the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, an event which is simulcast live on TNT and TBS at 8 p.m. (ET) / 5 p.m. (PT), Executive Producer Kathy Connell announced today. As the SAG Awards has never had an emcee before, Connell and the SAG Awards Committee are breaking a long-standing custom by inviting the multi-faceted actor to fill this prestigious role.

“We are delighted to have Kristen Bell as the first-ever host of the SAG Awards,” Connell said. “This has been a year in which assumptions have been challenged, stereotypes have been shattered, and precedents have been broken. We decided to capture the cultural mood by casting aside one of our own traditions, and we’re thrilled to have such a talented performer like Bell help us do so.”

“I am honored to be part of the SAG Awards, and am a little nervous about being its first-ever host,” Bell said. “I’m so glad that I’ll be in the company of my fellow actors, many of whom I’ve worked with before, so I know they’ll be warm and supportive. It’s going to be an amazing night.”

Kristen Bell currently stars as the late Eleanor Shellstrop, who may have landed in the wrong afterlife in NBC’s The Good Place, opposite Ted Danson. NBC has renewed the critically acclaimed dramatic comedy for a third season starting in 2018. Also in 2018 she will star in the Netflix comedy Like Father, with Kelsey Grammer as her titular dad. Bell then is reprising her role as Anna in the 2019 sequel to Disney’s Frozen, the highest grossing animated film of all time. She will next be seen on Dec. 10 in the ABC musical special Encore, which she also executive produced. Her extensive list of credits includes films like A Bad Moms Christmas and CHiPs, and television series such as House of Lies, Veronica Mars, and a guest-starring arc on Parks & Recreation.

Connect with the SAG Awards(R) Twitter: @imkristenbell Facebook: /KristenBell Instagram: /kristenanniebell

About the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards(R)

The 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards(R) presented by SAG-AFTRA with Screen Actors Guild Awards, LLC will be produced by Avalon Harbor Entertainment. Inc. and will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018 at 8 p.m. (ET) / 5 p.m. (PT). TBS and TNT subscribers can also watch the SAG Awards live through the networks’ websites and mobile apps. In addition, TNT will present a special encore of the ceremony at 11 p.m. (ET) / 8 p.m. (PT). Actor(R) Nominations will be announced at the Pacific Design Center on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017 at 10 a.m. (ET) / 7 a.m. (PT), carried live on TNT, TBS, TruTV, sagawards.tntdrama.com, truTV.com and sagawards.org, preceded by the announcement of the stunt ensemble nominations at 9:50 a.m. (ET) / 6:50 a.m. (PT) carried live on sagawards.tntdrama.com and sagawards.org. One of the awards season’s premier events, the SAG Awards(R) annually celebrates the outstanding motion pictures and television performances from the previous calendar year. Of the top industry honors presented to actors, only the SAG Awards are selected entirely by performers’ more than 160,000 peers in SAG-AFTRA. The SAG Awards was the first televised awards show to acknowledge the work of union members and the first to present awards to motion picture casts and television ensembles. For more information about the SAG Awards(R), SAG-AFTRA, TNT and TBS, visit sagawards.org/about. Connect with the SAG Awards(R) Hashtag: #sagawards Website: sagawards.org Facebook: facebook.com/sagawardsofficialpage Twitter: twitter.com/sagawards Google +: google.com/+SAGawards Instagram: instagram.com/sagawards Tumblr: sagawards.tumblr.com

2017 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards: ‘Call Me By Your Name’ wins three, including Best Picture

December 3, 2017

The following is a press release from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association:

“Call Me by Your Name” won for Best Picture of the Year, it was announced by Claudia Puig, President of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA).

“I am so pleased to be honoring such a wide breadth of films and filmmakers this year. The winners come from several countries around the world and reflect a diversity that should be the norm during the awards season. We’re so excited to celebrate this year’s extraordinary group of winners,” said Puig, on this year’s awards.

The 43rd annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association awards ceremony will be held Saturday, January 13th at the InterContinental, Los Angeles. As previously announced, Max von Sydow will receive the 2017 Career Achievement Award.

Award winners are:

PICTURE: “Call Me by Your Name”
Runner-up: “The Florida Project”

DIRECTOR: Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water” and Luca Guadagnino, “Call Me by Your Name” (tie)

ACTOR: Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
Runner-up: James Franco, “The Disaster Artist”

ACTRESS: Sally Hawkins, “The Shape Of Water”
Runner-up: Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Runner-up: Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Runner-up: Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”

SCREENPLAY: Jordan Peele, “Get Out”
Runner-up: Martin McDonagh, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

ANIMATION: “The Breadwinner”
Runner-up: “Coco”

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: “BPM” (Beats Per Minute) and “Loveless” (tie)

DOCUMENTARY / NON-FICTION FILM: “Faces Places”
Runner-up: “Jane”

NEW GENERATION: Greta Gerwig

FILM EDITING: Lee Smith, “Dunkirk”
Runner-up: Tatiana S. Riegel, “I, Tonya”

CINEMATOGRAPHY: Dan Laustsen, “The Shape of Water”
Runner-up: Roger Deakins, “Blade Runner 2049”
 
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Dennis Gassner, “Blade Runner 2049”
Runner-up: Paul D. Austerberry, “The Shape of Water”

MUSIC/SCORE: Jonny Greenwood, “Phantom Thread”
Runner-up: Alexandre Desplat, “The Shape of Water”

DOUGLAS E. EDWARDS INDEPENDENT/EXPERIMENTAL FILM/VIDEO: “Purge This Land” from director Lee Anne Schmitt

CAREER ACHIEVEMENT: Max von Sydow

Founded in 1975, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA) is comprised of Los Angeles-based, professional film critics working in the Los Angeles print and electronic media.  Each December, LAFCA members vote on the year’s Achievement Awards, honoring screen excellence on both sides of the camera. Plaques of recognition are then presented to winners during LAFCA’s annual awards ceremony, held in mid-January.

Aside from honoring each year’s outstanding cinematic achievements, LAFCA has also made it a point to look back and pay tribute to distinguished industry veterans with its annual Career Achievement Award, which is announced in October, as well as to look forward by spotlighting fresh, promising talent with its annual New Generation Award.  In addition, over the past three decades, LAFCA has sponsored and hosted numerous film panels and events and donated funds to various Los Angeles film organizations, especially where film preservation was concerned.  LAFCA members have also collectively been vocal about taking up causes they have felt passionate about, from drafting formal protests against censorship and colorization to lending their support to controversial films.

For a full list of voting members, visit: http://www.lafca.net/members.html

Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, Richard Jenkins get caught up in an unusual love story in ‘The Shape of Water’

December 1, 2017

Sally Hawkins and Octavia Spencer in "The Shape of Water" (Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Sally Hawkins and Octavia Spencer in “The Shape of Water” (Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures)

From master storyteller, Guillermo del Toro, comes “The Shape of Water,” an other-worldly fable, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962.  In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (played by Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of isolation.  Elisa’s life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (played by Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment.  Rounding out the cast are Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Michael Stuhlbarg and Doug Jones.

Here are videos and photos from “The Shape of Water”:

Russell Simmons scandal: Entertainment mogul steps down from his companies after being accused of sexual misconduct

November 30, 2017

by Colleen McGregor

Russell Simmons
Russell Simmons (Photo by Dan Steinberg/Netflix)

Russell Simmons, an entertainment executive and producer who is best known for co-founding Def Jam Recordings and Rush Communications, has stepped down from his companies after multiple women have come forward with claims that he sexually assaulted them.

The first public accusation came from model Keri Claussen Khalighi, who told her story in a Los Angeles Times article that was published on November 19, 2017. Claussen Khalighi claimed that Simmons sexually assaulted her in 1991 when she was 17, and director Brett  Ratner stood by and did nothing. Multiple other women have come forward accusing Ratner of sexual misconduct. Ratner’s misdeeds allegedly spanned over several years, include allegations from actress Olivia Munn that Ratner masturbated in front of her without her consent in 2006 and actress Natasha Henstridge, who claims that Ratner forced her to perform oral sex on him in 1993. Ratner has denied the allegations. After Claussen Khalighi’s story was published, Simmons issued a statement saying that his encounter with her was consensual.

Then on November 30, 2017, The Hollywood Reporter published a first-hand story by screenwriter Jenny Lumet, who wrote an open letter to Simmons saying that a sexual encounter that they had in 1991 was non-consensual. Lumet, who wrote the movie screenplays to 2008’s “Rachel Getting Married” and 2017’s “The Mummy,” says that Simmons had pursued her off and on romantically for years before the alleged sexual assault, but she rejected his advances, and he seemed to accept that their relationship would remain platonic. Lumet and Simmons had mutual friends, and had at one time worked together when Lumet had a role in “Tougher Than Leather,” a 1988 movie that had Simmons as one of its producers.

That friendly relationship changed in 1991, when one night Simmons offered to give Lumet a ride home. Instead of taking her home, Simmons instructed his driver to go to Simmons’ home, where Lumet (who was 24 at the time) says Simmons pressured and intimidated her into having sex, even though she verbally protested his sexual advances many times that night. Although Simmons did not use physical violence to force her into the encounter, Lumet says she  was fearful and in shock at the time, and went along with his demands so she could get it over with and escape from Simmons.

After Lumet’s claims were published, Simmons issued the following statement: “I have been informed with great anguish of Jenny Lumet’s recollection about our night together in 1991. I know Jenny and her family and have seen her several times over the years since the evening she described. While her memory of that evening is very different from mine, it is now clear to me that her feelings of fear and intimidation are real. While I have never been violent, I have been thoughtless and insensitive in some of my relationships over many decades, and I sincerely apologize.

“This is a time of great transition. The voices of the voiceless, those who have been hurt or shamed, deserve and need to be heard. As the corridors of power inevitably make way for a new generation, I don’t want to be a distraction, so I am removing myself from the businesses that I founded. The companies will now be run by a new and diverse generation of extraordinary executives who are moving the culture and consciousness forward. I will convert the studio for yogic science into a not-for-profit center of learning and healing. As for me, I will step aside and commit myself to continuing my personal growth, spiritual learning and above all to listening.”

Simmons, who is 59, is divorced with two daughters—Ming Lee (born in 2000) and Aoki Lee (born in 2002)—from his marriage to model Kimora Lee. Simmons and Lee started dating in 1992, when she was 17 and he was 35. They were married in 1998, separated in 2006, and officially divorced in 2009.

After Claussen Khalighi’s story was published, Simmons also came under fire when actor Terry Crews posted an email that he received from Simmons in which Simmons advised Crews to back off from pursuing a sexual assault claim against Hollywood agent Adam Venit. In October 2017, Crews went public with his story about Venit aggressively grabbing Crews’ genitals twice at an industry party in 2016. Crews said that Venit called him the day after the incident to apologize and to make the excuse that he was drunk at the party.

Crews initially did not name Venit in telling the story, but a month after going public with his story, he named Venit as the assailant and filed a complaint with the Los Angeles police. Venit, who headed the motion pictures department at the William Morris Endeavor (WME) agency, was placed on leave for about one month since Crews went public. Venit no longer heads the motion pictures department at WME, but he is still working at the company.

In  the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal that broke in October 2017, Simmons is one of several high-profile and powerful men whose careers and reputations have been ruined after numerous people have accused them of sexual misconduct that took place over several years. The growing list of shamed celebrities includes Ratner, actor Kevin Spacey, TV journalist Matt Lauer, comedian Louis C.K., TV journalist Charlie Rose, actor Ed Westwick, actor Jeffrey Tambor and TV journalist Mark Halperin. All have lost jobs and/or business deals as a result of these stories being made public. Many other prominent men, although not as famous, have also been ousted from their positions of power in October and November 2017. Amazon Studios, DC Comics, National Public Radio, Nickelodeon, Pixar, Vox Media and Warner Bros. Television are just some of the entertainment and media companies that have had massive shake-ups behind the scenes after high-ranking men were fired, resigned, or were placed on leave for sexual misconduct.

2018 Sundance Film Festival: film slate announced

November 29, 2017

Sundance Film Festival

The following is a press release from Sundance Institute:

Sundance Institute showcases bold, independent storytelling at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, beginning with today’s announcement of feature films selected across all categories. The Festival hosts screenings in Park City, Salt Lake City and at Sundance Mountain Resort, from January 18–28.

The Festival represents the flagship of the Institute’s public programs, which also include Festivals in London and Hong Kong and other screenings throughout the year. Sundance Institute supports independent artists with year-round programs, granting more than $2.5 million and convening 25 global residency Labs focusing on theatre, film, New Frontier and episodic content.

Robert Redford, President and Founder of Sundance Institute, said, “The work of independent storytellers can challenge and possibly change culture, illuminating our world’s imperfections and possibilities. This year’s Festival is full of artfully-told stories that provoke thought, drive empathy and allow the audience to connect, in deeply personal ways, to the universal human experience.”

Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute, said, “We’re proud of the diversity of this year’s lineup; emboldening broader, more inclusive independent voices is a crucial part of our work at the Festival and throughout the year. These stories might inspire or move us, even occasionally make us uncomfortable – but they can shift our perspectives, spark conversation and create change.”

John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival, said, “These films and voices offer a creative lens to view our complex times. This is connected, relevant, global art that provides a fresh alternative to the noise dominating the cultural mainstream, and an inspiration for its future.”

For the 2018 Festival, 110 feature-length films were selected, representing 29 countries and 47 first-time filmmakers, including 30 in competition.These films were selected from 13,468 submissions including 3,901 feature-length films and 8,740 short films. Of the feature film submissions, 1,799 were from the U.S. and 2,102 were international. One-hundred feature films at the Festival will be world premieres. In 2017, the Festival drew 71,638 attendees, generated $151.5 million in economic activity for the state of Utah and supported 2,778 local jobs.

More lineup announcements, including Shorts, new-this-year Indie Episodic and New Frontier, are forthcoming; watch sundance.org/festival.

U.S. DRAMATIC COMPETITION

Presenting the world premieres of 16 narrative feature films, the Dramatic Competition offers Festivalgoers a first look at groundbreaking new voices in American independent film. Films that have premiered in this category in recent years include Fruitvale Station, Patti Cake$, Swiss Army Man and The Diary of a Teenage Girl.

Jared Abrahamson, Evan Peters, Blake Jenner and Barry Keoghan in “American Animals” (Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute)

American Animals / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Bart Layton, Producers: Derrin Schlesinger, Katherine Butler, Dimitri Doganis, Mary Jane Skalski) — The unbelievable but mostly true story of four young men who mistake their lives for a movie and attempt one of the most audacious art heists in U.S. history. Cast: Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner, Jared Abrahamson, Ann Dowd, Udo Kier. World Premiere

BLAZE /U.S.A. (Director: Ethan Hawke, Screenwriters: Ethan Hawke, Sybil Rosen, Producers: Jake Seal, John Sloss, Ryan Hawke, Ethan Hawke) — A reimagining of the life and times of Blaze Foley, the unsung songwriting legend of the Texas Outlaw Music movement; he gave up paradise for the sake of a song. Cast: Benjamin Dickey, Alia Shawkat, Josh Hamilton, Charlie Sexton. World Premiere

Blindspotting / U.S.A. (Director: Carlos Lopez Estrada, Screenwriters: Rafael Casal, Daveed Diggs, Producers: Keith Calder, Jess Calder, Rafael Casal, Daveed Diggs) — A buddy comedy in a world that won’t let it be one. Cast: Daveed Diggs, Rafael Casal, Janina Gavankar, Jasmine Cephas Jones. World Premiere. DAY ONE

Burden / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Andrew Heckler, Producers: Robbie Brenner, Jincheng, Bill Kenwright) — After opening a KKK shop, Klansman Michael Burden falls in love with a single mom who forces him to confront his senseless hatred. After leaving the Klan and with nowhere to turn, Burden is taken in by an African-American reverend, and learns tolerance through their combined love and faith. Cast: Garrett Hedlund, Forest Whitaker, Andrea Riseborough, Tom Wilkinson, Usher Raymond. World Premiere

Eighth Grade/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Bo Burnham, Producers: Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, Christopher Storer, Lila Yacoub) — Thirteen-year-old Kayla endures the tidal wave of contemporary suburban adolescence as she makes her way through the last week of middle school — the end of her thus far disastrous eighth grade year — before she begins high school. Cast: Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton. World Premiere.

I Think We’re Alone Now / U.S.A. (Director: Reed Morano, Screenwriter: Mike Makowsky, Producers: Fred Berger, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Fernando Loureiro, Roberto Vasconcellos, Peter Dinklage, Mike Makowsky) — The apocalypse proves a blessing in disguise for one lucky recluse – until a second survivor arrives with the threat of companionship. Cast: Peter Dinklage, Elle Fanning. World Premiere

The Kindergarten Teacher / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Sara Colangelo, Producers: Celine Rattray, Trudie Styler, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Osnat Handelsman-Keren, Talia Kleinhendler) — Lisa Spinelli is a Staten Island teacher who is unusually devoted to her students. When she discovers one of her five-year-olds is a prodigy, she becomes fascinated with the boy, ultimately risking her family and freedom to nurture his talent. Based on the acclaimed Israeli film. Cast: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Parker Sevak, Rosa Salazar, Anna Barynishikov, Michael Chernus, Gael Garcia Bernal. World Premiere

Lizzie / U.S.A. (Director: Craig William Macneill, Screenwriter: Bryce Kass, Producers: Naomi Despres, Liz Destro) — Based on the 1892 murder of Lizzie Borden’s family in Fall River, MA, this tense psychological thriller lays bare the legend of Lizzie Borden to reveal the much more complex, poignant and truly terrifying woman within — and her intimate bond with the family’s young Irish housemaid, Bridget Sullivan. Cast: Chloë Sevigny, Kristen Stewart, Jamey Sheridan, Fiona Shaw, Kim Dickens, Denis O’Hare. World Premiere

The Miseducation of Cameron Post / U.S.A. (Director: Desiree Akhavan, Screenwriters: Desiree Akhavan, Cecilia Frugiuele, Producers: Cecilia Frugiuele, Jonathan Montepare, Michael B. Clark, Alex Turtletaub) — 1993: after being caught having sex with the prom queen, a girl is forced into a gay conversion therapy center. Based on Emily Danforth’s acclaimed and controversial coming-of-age novel. Cast: Chloë Grace Moretz, Sasha Lane, Forrest Goodluck, John Gallagher Jr., Jennifer Ehle. World Premiere

Monster / U.S.A.(Director: Anthony Mandler, Screenwriters: Radha Blank, Cole Wiley, Janece Shaffer, Producers: Tonya Lewis Lee, Nikki Silver, Aaron L. Gilbert, Mike Jackson, Edward Tyler Nahem) — “Monster” is what the prosecutor calls 17 year old honors student and aspiring filmmaker Steve Harmon. Charged with felony murder for a crime he says he did not commit, the film follows his dramatic journey through a complex legal battle that could leave him spending the rest of his life in prison. Cast: Kelvin Harrison Jr., Jeffrey Wright, Jennifer Hudson, Rakim Mayers, Jennifer Ehle, Tim Blake Nelson. World Premiere

Monsters and Men / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Reinaldo Marcus Green, Producers: Elizabeth Lodge Stepp, Josh Penn, Eddie Vaisman, Julia Lebedev, Luca Borghese) — This interwoven narrative explores the aftermath of a police killing of a black man. The film is told through the eyes of the bystander who filmed the act, an African-American police officer and a high-school baseball phenom inspired to take a stand. Cast: John David Washington, Anthony Ramos, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Chanté Adams, Nicole Beharie, Rob Morgan. World Premiere

NANCY/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Christina Choe, Producers: Amy Lo, Michelle Cameron, Andrea Riseborough) — Blurring lines between fact and fiction, Nancy becomes increasingly convinced she was kidnapped as a child. When she meets a couple whose daughter went missing thirty years ago, reasonable doubts give way to willful belief – and the power of emotion threatens to overcome all rationality. Cast: Andrea Riseborough, J. Smith-Cameron, Steve Buscemi, Ann Dowd, John Leguizamo. World Premiere

Sorry to Bother You / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Boots Riley, Producers: Nina Yang Bongiovi, Forest Whitaker, Charles King, George Rush, Jonathan Duffy, Kelly Williams) — In a speculative and dystopian not-too-distant future, black telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success – which propels him into a macabre universe. Cast: Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Steven Yeun, Jermaine Fowler, Armie Hammer, Omari Hardwicke. World Premiere

The Tale/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jennifer Fox, Producers: Oren Moverman, Lawrence Inglee, Laura Rister, Mynette Louie, Sol Bondy, Simone Pero) — An investigation into one woman’s memory as she’s forced to re-examine her first sexual relationship and the stories we tell ourselves in order to survive; based on the filmmaker’s own story. Cast: Laura Dern, Isabel Nelisse, Jason Ritter, Elizabeth Debicki, Ellen Burstyn, Common. World Premiere

TYREL /U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Sebastian Silva, Producers: Jacob Wasserman, Max Born) — Tyler spirals out of control when he realizes he’s the only black person attending a weekend birthday party in a secluded cabin. Cast: Jason Mitchell, Christopher Abbott, Michael Cera, Caleb Landry Jones, Ann Dowd. World Premiere

Wildlife/ U.S.A. (Director: Paul Dano, Screenwriters: Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Producers: Andrew Duncan, Alex Saks, Oren Moverman, Ann Ruark, Jake Gyllenhaal, Riva Marker) — Montana, 1960: A portrait of a family in crisis. Based on the novel by Richard Ford. Cast: Carey Mulligan, Ed Oxenbould, Bill Camp, Jake Gyllenhaal. World Premiere

U.S. DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION

Sixteen world-premiere American documentaries that illuminate the ideas, people and events that shape the present day. Films that have premiered in this category in recent years include Chasing Coral, Life, Animated, Cartel Land and City of Gold.

Fernando Serrano in ‘Bisbee ’17” (Photo by Jarred Alterman/4t Row Films)

Bisbee ’17 / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Robert Greene, Producers: Douglas Tirola, Susan Bedusa, Bennett Elliott) — An old mining town on the Arizona-Mexico border finally reckons with its darkest day: the deportation of 1200 immigrant miners exactly 100 years ago. Locals collaborate to stage recreations of their controversial past. Cast: Fernando Serrano, Laurie McKenna, Ray Family, Mike Anderson, Graeme Family, Richard Hodges. World Premiere

Crime + Punishment / U.S.A. (Director: Stephen Maing) — Over four years of unprecedented access, the story of a brave group of black and Latino whistleblower cops and one unrelenting private investigator who, amidst a landmark lawsuit, risk everything to expose illegal quota practices and their impact on young minorities. World Premiere

Dark Money / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Kimberly Reed, Producer: Katy Chevigny) — “Dark money” contributions, made possible by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, flood modern American elections – but Montana is showing Washington D.C. how to solve the problem of unlimited anonymous money in politics. World Premiere

The Devil We Know / U.S.A. (Director: Stephanie Soechtig, Producers: Kristin Lazure, Stephanie Soechtig, Joshua Kunau, Carly Palmour) — Unraveling one of the biggest environmental scandals of our time, a group of citizens in West Virginia take on a powerful corporation after they discover it has knowingly been dumping a toxic chemical — now found in the blood of 99.7% of Americans — into the local drinking water supply. World Premiere. THE NEW CLIMATE

Hal / U.S.A. (Director: Amy Scott, Producers: Christine Beebe, Jonathan Lynch, Brian Morrow) — Hal Ashby’s obsessive genius led to an unprecedented string of Oscar®-winning classics, including Harold and Maude, Shampoo and Being There. But as contemporaries Coppola, Scorsese and Spielberg rose to blockbuster stardom in the 1980s, Ashby’s uncompromising nature played out as a cautionary tale of art versus commerce. World Premiere

Hale County This Morning, This Evening / U.S.A. (Director: RaMell Ross, Screenwriter: Maya Krinsky, Producers: Joslyn Barnes, RaMell Ross, Su Kim) — An exploration of coming-of-age in the Black Belt of the American South, using stereotypical imagery to fill in the landscape between iconic representations of black men and encouraging a new way of looking, while resistance to narrative suspends conclusive imagining – allowing the viewer to complete the film. World Premiere

Inventing Tomorrow/ U.S.A. (Director: Laura Nix, Producers: Diane Becker, Melanie Miller, Laura Nix) — Take a journey with young minds from around the globe as they prepare their projects for the largest convening of high school scientists in the world, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). Watch these passionate innovators find the courage to face the planet’s environmental threats while navigating adolescence. World Premiere. THE NEW CLIMATE

Kailash / U.S.A. (Director: Derek Doneen, Producers: Davis Guggenheim, Sarah Anthony) — As a young man, Kailash Satyarthi promised himself that he would end child slavery in his lifetime. In the decades since, he has rescued more than eighty thousand children and built a global movement. This intimate and suspenseful film follows one man’s journey to do what many believed was impossible. World Premiere. DAY ONE

Kusama – Infinity / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Heather Lenz, Producers: Karen Johnson, Heather Lenz, Dan Braun, David Koh) — Now one of the world’s most celebrated artists, Yayoi Kusama broke free of the rigid society in which she was raised, and overcame sexism, racism, and mental illness to bring her artistic vision to the world stage. At 88 she lives in a mental hospital and continues to create art. World Premiere

The Last Race/U.S.A. (Director: Michael Dweck, Producers: Michael Dweck, Gregory Kershaw) — A cinematic portrait of a small town stock car track and the tribe of drivers that call it home as they struggle to hold onto an American racing tradition. The avant-garde narrative explores the community and its conflicts through an intimate story that reveals the beauty, mystery and emotion of grassroots auto racing. World Premiere

Minding the Gap / U.S.A. (Director: Bing Liu, Producer: Diane Quon) — Three young men bond together to escape volatile families in their Rust Belt hometown. As they face adult responsibilities, unexpected revelations threaten their decade-long friendship. World Premiere

On Her Shoulders / U.S.A. (Director: Alexandria Bombach, Producers: Marie Therese Guirgis, Hayley Pappas, Brock Williams, Bryn Mooser, Adam Bardach) — A Yazidi genocide and ISIS sexual slavery survivor, 23-year-old Nadia Murad is determined to tell the world her story. As her journey leads down paths of advocacy and fame, she becomes the voice of her people and their best hope to spur the world to action. International Premiere

The Price of Everything/ U.S.A. (Director: Nathaniel Kahn, Producers: Jennifer Blei Stockman, Debi Wisch, Carla Solomon) — With unprecedented access to pivotal artists and the white-hot market surrounding them, this film dives deep into the contemporary art world, holding a funhouse mirror up to our values and our times – where everything can be bought and sold. World Premiere

Seeing Allred/ U.S.A. (Directors: Sophie Sartain, Roberta Grossman, Producers: Roberta Grossman, Sophie Sartain, Marta Kauffman, Robbie Rowe Tollin, Hannah KS Canter) — Gloria Allred overcame trauma and personal setbacks to become one of the nation’s most famous women’s rights attorneys. Now the feminist firebrand takes on two of the biggest adversaries of her career, Bill Cosby and Donald Trump, as sexual violence allegations grip the nation and keep her in the spotlight. World Premiere

The Sentence/U.S.A. (Director: Rudy Valdez, Producers: Sam Bisbee, Jackie Kelman Bisbee) — Cindy Shank, mother of three, is serving a 15-year sentence in federal prison for her tangential involvement with a Michigan drug ring years earlier. This intimate portrait of mandatory minimum drug sentencing’s devastating consequences, captured by Cindy’s brother, follows her and her family over the course of ten years. World Premiere

Three Identical Strangers/U.S.A. (Director: Tim Wardle, Producer: Becky Read) — New York,1980: three complete strangers accidentally discover that they’re identical triplets, separated at birth. The 19-year-olds’ joyous reunion catapults them to international fame, but also unlocks an extraordinary and disturbing secret that goes beyond their own lives – and could transform our understanding of human nature forever. World Premiere

WORLD CINEMA DRAMATIC COMPETITION

Twelve films from emerging filmmaking talents around the world offer fresh perspectives and inventive styles. Films that have premiered in this category in recent years include The Nile Hilton Incident, Second Mother, Berlin Syndrome and The Lure.

Babetida Sadjo and Patrik Nökkvi Pétursson in “And Breathe Normally” (Photo by Ita Zbroniec-Zaj)

And Breathe Normally / Iceland, Sweden, Belgium (Director and screenwriter: Ísold Uggadóttir, Producers: Skúli Malmquist, Diana Elbaum, Annika Hellström, Lilja Ósk Snorradóttir, Inga Lind Karlsdóttir) — At the edge of Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula, two women’s lives will intersect – for a brief moment – while trapped in circumstances unforeseen. Between a struggling Icelandic mother and an asylum seeker from Guinea-Bissau, a delicate bond will form as both strategize to get their lives back on track. Cast: Kristín Thóra Haraldsdóttir, Babetida Sadjo, Patrik Nökkvi Pétursson. World Premiere

Butterflies / Turkey (Director and screenwriter: Tolga Karaçelik, Producers: Tolga Karaçelik, Diloy Gülün, Metin Anter) — In the Turkish village of Hasanlar, three siblings who neither know each other nor anything about their late father, wait to bury his body. As they start to find out more about their father and about each other, they also start to know more about themselves. Cast: Tolga Tekin, Bartu Küçükçağlayan, Tuğçe Altuğ, Serkan Keskin, Hakan Karsak. World Premiere

Dead Pigs / China (Director and screenwriter: Cathy Yan, Producers: Clarissa Zhang, Jane Zheng, Zhangke Jia, Mick Aniceto, Amy Aniceto) — A bumbling pig farmer, a feisty salon owner, a sensitive busboy, an expat architect and a disenchanted rich girl converge and collide as thousands of dead pigs float down the river towards a rapidly-modernizing Shanghai, China. Based on true events. Cast: Vivian Wu, Haoyu Yang, Mason Lee, Meng Li, David Rysdahl. World Premiere

The Guilty / Denmark (Director: Gustav Möller, Screenwriters: Gustav Möller, Emil Nygaard Albertsen, Producer: Lina Flint) — Alarm dispatcher Asger Holm answers an emergency call from a kidnapped woman; after a sudden disconnection, the search for the woman and her kidnapper begins. With the phone as his only tool, Asger enters a race against time to solve a crime that is far bigger than he first thought. Cast: Jakob Cedergren, Jessica Dinnage, Johan Olsen, Omar Shargawi. World Premiere

Holiday / Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden (Director: Isabella Eklöf, Screenwriters: Isabella Eklöf, Johanne Algren, Producer: David B. Sørensen) — A love triangle featuring the trophy girlfriend of a petty drug lord, caught up in a web of luxury and violence in a modern dark gangster tale set in the beautiful port city of Bodrum on the Turkish Riviera. Cast: Victoria Carmen Sonne, Lai Yde, Thijs Römer. World Premiere

06 Hollywood / U.S.A., Hungary (Directors: Elan Bogarín, Jonathan Bogarín, Screenwriters: Jonathan Bogarín, Elan Bogarín, Nyneve Laura Minnear, Producers: Elan Bogarín, Jonathan Bogarín, Judit Stalter) — When two siblings undertake an archaeological excavation of their late grandmother’s house, they embark on a magical-realist journey from her home in New Jersey to ancient Rome, from fashion to physics, in search of what life remains in the objects we leave behind. World Premiere. DAY ONE

A Boy, A Girl, A Dream. / U.S.A. (Director: Qasim Basir, Screenwriters: Qasim Basir, Samantha Tanner, Producer: Datari Turner) — On the night of the 2016 Presidential election, Cass, an L.A. club promoter, takes a thrilling and emotional journey with Frida, a Midwestern visitor. She challenges him to revisit his broken dreams – while he pushes her to discover hers. Cast: Omari Hardwick, Meagan Good, Jay Ellis, Kenya Barris, Dijon Talton, Wesley Jonathan. World Premiere

An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn / United Kingdom, U.S.A. (Director: Jim Hosking, Screenwriters: Jim Hosking, David Wike, Producers: Sam Bisbee, Theodora Dunlap, Oliver Roskill, Emily Leo, Lucan Toh, Andy Starke) — Lulu Danger’s unsatisfying marriage takes a fortunate turn for the worse when a mysterious man from her past comes to town to perform an event called ‘An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn For One Magical Night Only.’ Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Emile Hirsch, Jemaine Clement, Matt Berry, Craig Robinson. World Premiere

Clara’s Ghost / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Bridey Elliott, Producer: Sarah Winshall) — Set over the course of a single evening at the Reynolds’ family home in Connecticut, Clara, fed up with the constant ribbing from her self-absorbed showbiz family, finds solace in and guidance from the supernatural force she believes is haunting her. Cast: Paula Niedert Elliott, Chris Elliott, Abby Elliott, Bridey Elliott, Haley Joel Osment, Isidora Goreshter. World Premiere

Madeline’s Madeline / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Josephine Decker, Producers: Krista Parris, Elizabeth Rao) — Madeline got the part! She’s going to play the lead in a theater piece! Except the lead wears sweatpants like Madeline’s. And has a cat like Madeline’s. And is holding a steaming hot iron next to her mother’s face – like Madeline is. Cast: Helena Howard, Molly Parker, Miranda July, Okwui Okpokwasili, Felipe Bonilla, Lisa Tharps. World Premiere

Night Comes On / U.S.A. (Director: Jordana Spiro, Screenwriters: Jordana Spiro, Angelica Nwandu, Producers: Jonathan Montepare, Alvaro R. Valente, Danielle Renfrew Behrens) — Angel LaMere is released from juvenile detention on the eve of her 18th birthday. Haunted by her past, she embarks on a journey with her 10 year-old sister that could destroy their future. Cast: Dominique Fishback, Tatum Hall, John Earl Jelks, Max Casella, James McDaniel. World Premiere

Search / U.S.A. (Director: Aneesh Chaganty, Screenwriters: Aneesh Chaganty, Sev Ohanian, Producers: Timur Bekmambetov, Sev Ohanian, Adam Sidman, Natalie Qasabian) — After his 16-year-old daughter goes missing, a desperate father breaks into her laptop to look for clues to find her. A thriller that unfolds entirely on computer screens. Cast: John Cho, Debra Messing. World Premiere. WINNER: 2018 Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize.

Skate Kitchen / U.S.A. (Director: Crystal Moselle, Screenwriters: Crystal Moselle, Ashlihan Unaldi, Producers: Lizzie Nastro, Izabella Tzenkova, Julia Nottingham, Matthew Perniciaro, Michael Sherman, Rodrigo Teixeira) — Camille’s life as a lonely suburban teenager changes dramatically when she befriends a group of girl skateboarders. As she journeys deeper into this raw New York City subculture, she begins to understand the true meaning of friendship as well as her inner self. Cast: Rachelle Vinberg, Dede Lovelace, Jaden Smith, Nina Moran, Ajani Russell, Kabrina Adams. World Premiere

We The Animals / U.S.A. (Director: Jeremiah Zagar, Screenwriters: Daniel Kitrosser, Jeremiah Zagar, Producers: Jeremy Yaches, Christina D. King, Andrew Goldman, Paul Mezey) — Us three, us brothers, us kings. Manny, Joel and Jonah tear their way through childhood and push against the volatile love of their parents. As Manny and Joel grow into versions of their father and Ma dreams of escape, Jonah, the youngest, embraces an imagined world all his own. Cast: Raul Castillo, Sheila Vand, Evan Rosado, Isaiah Kristian, Josiah Santiago. World Premiere

White Rabbit / U.S.A. (Director: Daryl Wein, Screenwriters: Daryl Wein, Vivian Bang, Producers: Daryl Wein, Vivian Bang) —A dramatic comedy following a Korean American performance artist who struggles to be authentically heard and seen through her multiple identities in modern Los Angeles. Cast: Vivian Bang, Nana Ghana, Nico Evers-Swindel, Tracy Hazas, Elizabeth Sung, Michelle Sui. World Premiere

PREMIERES

A showcase of world premieres of some of the most highly anticipated narrative films of the coming year. Films that have premiered in this category in recent years include The Big Sick, Call Me By Your Name, Boyhood and Mudbound.

Claire Danes, Jim Parsons, and Leo James Davis in “A Kid Like Jake” (Photo by Jon Pack)

A Kid Like Jake / U.S.A. (Director: Silas Howard, Screenwriter: Daniel Pearle, Producers: Jim Parsons, Todd Spiewak, Eric Norsoph, Paul Bernon, Rachel Song) — As married couple Alex and Greg navigate their roles as parents to a young son who prefers Cinderella to G.I. Joe, a rift grows between them, one that forces them to confront their own concerns about what’s best for their child, and each other. Cast: Claire Danes, Jim Parsons, Octavia Spencer, Priyanka Chopra, Ann Dowd, Amy Landecker. World Premiere

Beirut/ U.S.A. (Director: Brad Anderson, Screenwriter: Tony Gilroy) — A U.S. diplomat flees Lebanon in 1972 after a tragic incident at his home. Ten years later, he is called back to war-torn Beirut by CIA operatives to negotiate for the life of a friend he left behind. Cast: Jon Hamm, Rosamund Pike, Shea Whigham, Dean Norris. World Premiere

The Catcher Was a Spy/ U.S.A. (Director: Ben Lewin, Screenwriter: Robert Rodat, Producers: Kevin Frakes, Tatiana Kelly, Buddy Patrick, Jim Young) — The true story of Moe Berg – professional baseball player, Ivy League graduate, attorney who spoke nine languages – and a top-secret spy for the OSS who helped the U.S. win the race against Germany to build the atomic bomb. Cast: Paul Rudd, Mark Strong, Sienna Miller, Jeff Daniels, Guy Pearce, Paul Giamatti. World Premiere

Colette / United Kingdom (Director: Wash Westmoreland, Screenwriters: Wash Westmoreland, Richard Glatzer, Producers: Pamela Koffler, Christine Vachon, Elizabeth Karlsen, Stephen Woolley) — A young country woman marries a famous literary entrepreneur in turn-of-the-century Paris: At her husband’s request, Colette pens a series of bestselling novels published under his name. But as her confidence grows, she transforms not only herself and her marriage, but the world around her. Cast: Keira Knightley, Dominic West, Fiona Shaw, Denise Gough, Elinor Tomlinson, Aiysha Hart. World Premiere

Come Sunday/ U.S.A. (Director: Joshua Marston, Screenwriter: Marcus Hinchey, Producers:Ira Glass, Alissa Shipp, Julie Goldstein, James Stern,Lucas Smith, Cindy Kirven) — Internationally-renowned pastor Carlton Pearson — experiencing a crisis of faith — risks his church, family and future when he questions church doctrine and finds himself branded a modern-day heretic. Based on actual events. Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Danny Glover, Condola Rashad, Jason Segel, Lakeith Stanfield, Martin Sheen. World Premiere

Damsel/ U.S.A. (Directors and screenwriters: David Zellner, Nathan Zellner, Producers: Nathan Zellner, Chris Ohlson, David Zellner) — Samuel Alabaster, an affluent pioneer, ventures across the American Frontier to marry the love of his life, Penelope. As Samuel, a drunkard named Parson Henry and a miniature horse called Butterscotch traverse the Wild West, their once-simple journey grows treacherous, blurring the lines between hero, villain and damsel. Cast: Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, David Zellner, Robert Forster, Nathan Zellner, Joe Billingiere. World Premiere

Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot / U.S.A. (Director: Gus Van Sant, Screenwriters: Gus Van Sant (screenplay), John Callahan (biography), Producers: Charles-Marie Anthonioz, Mourad Belkeddar, Steve Golin, Nicolas Lhermitte) — John Callahan has a talent for off-color jokes…and a drinking problem. When a bender ends in a car accident, Callahan wakes permanently confined to a wheelchair. In his journey back from rock bottom, Callahan finds beauty and comedy in the absurdity of human experience. Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara, Jack Black. World Premiere

Futile and Stupid Gesture/ U.S.A. (Director: David Wain, Screenwriters: John Aboud, Michael Colton, Producers: Peter Principato, Jonathan Stern) — The story of comedy wunderkind Doug Kenney, who co-created the National Lampoon, Caddyshack, and Animal House. Kenney was at the center of the 70’s comedy counter-culture which gave birth to Saturday Night Live and a whole generation’s way of looking at the world. Cast: Will Forte, Martin Mull, Domhnall Gleeson, Matt Walsh, Joel McHale, Emmy Rossum. World Premiere

The Happy Prince / Germany, Belgium, Italy (Director and screenwriter: Rupert Everett) — The last days of Oscar Wilde—and the ghosts haunting them—are brought to vivid life. His body ailing, Wilde lives in exile, surviving on the flamboyant irony and brilliant wit that defined him as the transience of lust is laid bare and the true riches of love are revealed. Cast: Colin Firth, Emily Watson, Colin Morgan, Edwin Thomas, Rupert Everett. World Premiere

Hearts Beat Loud/U.S.A. (Director: Brett Haley, Screenwriters: Brett Haley, Marc Basch, Producers: Houston King, Sam Bisbee, Sam Slater) — In Red Hook, Brooklyn, a father and daughter become an unlikely songwriting duo in the last summer before she leaves for college. Cast: Nick Offerman, Kiersey Clemons, Ted Danson, Sasha Lane, Blythe Danner, Toni Collette. World Premiere

Juliet, Naked / United Kingdom (Director: Jesse Peretz, Screenwriters: Tamara Jenkins, Jim Taylor, Phil Alden Robinson, Evgenia Peretz, Producers: Judd Apatow, Barry Mendel, Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa) — Annie is the long-suffering girlfriend of Duncan, an obsessive fan of obscure rocker Tucker Crowe. When the acoustic demo of Tucker’s celebrated record from 25 years ago surfaces, its release leads to an encounter with the elusive rocker himself. Based on the novel by Nick Hornby. Cast: Rose Byrne, Ethan Hawke, Chris O’Dowd. World Premiere

Ophelia / United Kingdom (Director: Claire McCarthy, Screenwriter: Semi Chellas, Producers: Daniel Bobker, Sarah Curtis, Ehren Kruger, Paul Hanson) — A mythic spin on Hamlet through a lens of female empowerment: Ophelia comes of age as lady-in-waiting for Queen Gertrude, and her singular spirit captures Hamlet’s affections. As lust and betrayal threaten the kingdom, Ophelia finds herself trapped between true love and controlling her own destiny. Cast: Daisy Ridley, Naomi Watts, Clive Owen, George MacKay, Tom Felton, Devon Terrell. World Premiere

Puzzle / U.S.A. (Director: Marc Turtletaub, Screenwriter: Oren Moverman, Producers: Peter Saraf, Wren Arthur, Guy Stodel) — Agnes, taken for granted as a suburban mother, discovers a passion for solving jigsaw puzzles which unexpectedly draws her into a new world – where her life unfolds in ways she could never have imagined. Cast: Kelly Macdonald, Irrfan Khan, David Denman, Bubba Weiler, Austin Abrams, Liv Hewson. World Premiere

Untitled Debra Granik Project/ U.S.A. (Director: Debra Granik, Screenwriters: Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini, Producers: Anne Harrison, Linda Reisman, Anne Rosellini) — A father and daughter live a perfect but mysterious existence in Forest Park, a beautiful nature reserve near Portland, Oregon, rarely making contact with the world. A small mistake tips them off to authorities sending them on an increasingly erratic journey in search of a place to call their own. Cast: Ben Foster, Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, Jeff Korber, Dale Dickey. World Premiere

What They Had/U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Elizabeth Chomko)— Bridget returns home to Chicago at her brother’s urging to deal with her mother’s Alzheimer’s and her father’s reluctance to let go of their life together.
Cast: Hilary Swank, Michael Shannon, Blythe Danner, Robert Forster. World Premiere

DOCUMENTARY PREMIERES

Renowned filmmakers and films about far-reaching subjects comprise this section highlighting our ongoing commitment to documentaries. Films that have premiered in this category in recent years include An Inconvenient Sequel, The Hunting Ground, Going Clear and What Happened, Miss Simone?

Joan Jett in “Bad Reputation” (Photo by Kevin Kerslake)

Bad Reputation / U.S.A. (Director: Kevin Kerslake, Screenwriter: Joel Marcus, Producers: Peter Afterman, Carianne Brinkman) — A look at the life of Joan Jett, from her early years as the founder of The Runaways and first meeting collaborator Kenny Laguna in 1980 to her enduring presence in pop culture as a rock ‘n’ roll pioneer . World Premiere

Believer / U.S.A. (Director: Don Argott, Producers: Heather Parry, Sheena M. Joyce, Robert Reynolds) — Imagine Dragons’ Mormon frontman Dan Reynolds is taking on a new mission to explore how the church treats its LGBTQ members. With the rising suicide rate amongst teens in the state of Utah, his concern with the church’s policies sends him on an unexpected path for acceptance and change. World Premiere

Chef Flynn / U.S.A. (Director: Cameron Yates, Producer: Laura Coxson) — Ten-year-old Flynn transforms his living room into a supper club, using his classmates as line cooks and serving a tasting menu foraged from his neighbors’ backyards. With sudden fame, Flynn outgrows his bedroom kitchen and mother’s camera, and sets out to challenge the hierarchy of the culinary world. World Premiere

The Game Changers / U.S.A. (Director: Louie Psihoyos, Screenwriters: Mark Monroe, Joseph Pace, Producers: Joseph Pace, James Wilks) — James Wilks, an elite special forces trainer and winner of The Ultimate Fighter, embarks on a quest for the truth in nutrition and uncovers the world’s most dangerous myth. World Premiere

Generation Wealth / U.S.A. (Director: Lauren Greenfield, Producers: Lauren Greenfield, Frank Evers) — Lauren Greenfield’s postcard from the edge of the American Empire captures a portrait of a materialistic, image-obsessed culture. Simultaneously personal journey and historical essay, the film bears witness to the global boom–bust economy, the corrupted American Dream and the human costs of late stage capitalism, narcissism and greed. World Premiere. DAY ONE

Half The Picture/ U.S.A. (Director: Amy Adrion, Producers: Amy Adrion, David Harris) — At a pivotal moment for gender equality in Hollywood, successful women directors tell the stories of their art, lives and careers. Having endured a long history of systemic discrimination, women filmmakers may be getting the first glimpse of a future that values their voices equally. World Premiere

Jane Fonda in Five Acts/ U.S.A. (Director: Susan Lacy, Producers: Susan Lacy, Jessica Levin, Emma Pildes) — Girl next door, activist, so-called traitor, fitness tycoon, Oscar winner: Jane Fonda has lived a life of controversy, tragedy and transformation – and she’s done it all in the public eye. An intimate look at one woman’s singular journey. World Premiere

King In The Wilderness / U.S.A. (Director: Peter Kunhardt, Producers: George Kunhardt, Teddy Kunhardt) From the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 to his assassination in 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. remained a man with an unshakeable commitment to nonviolence in the face of an increasingly unstable country. A portrait of the last years of his life. World Premiere

Quiet Heroes/ U.S.A. (Director: Jenny Mackenzie, Co-Directors: Jared Ruga, Amanda Stoddard, Producers: Jenny Mackenzie, Jared Ruga, Amanda Stoddard) — In Salt Lake City, Utah, the socially conservative religious monoculture complicated the AIDS crisis, where patients in the entire state and intermountain region relied on only one doctor. This is the story of her fight to save a maligned population everyone else seemed willing to just let die. World Premiere

RBG / U.S.A. (Directors and producers: Betsy West, Julie Cohen) — An intimate portrait of an unlikely rock star: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. With unprecedented access, the filmmakers show how her early legal battles changed the world for women. Now this 84-year-old does push-ups as easily as she writes blistering dissents that have earned her the title “Notorious RBG.” World Premiere

Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind /U.S.A. (Director: Marina Zenovich, Producers: Alex Gibney, Shirel Kozak) — This intimate portrait examines one of the world’s most beloved and inventive comedians. Told largely through Robin’s own voice and using a wealth of never-before-seen archive, the film takes us through his extraordinary life and career and reveals the spark of madness that drove him. World Premiere

STUDIO 54 / U.S.A. (Director: Matt Tyrnauer, Producers: Matt Tyrnauer, John Battsek, Corey Reeser) — Studio 54 was the pulsating epicenter of 1970s hedonism: a disco hothouse of beautiful people, drugs, and sex. The journeys of Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell — two best friends from Brooklyn who conquered New York City — frame this history of the “greatest club of all time.” World Premiere

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?/ U.S.A. (Director: Morgan Neville, Producers: Caryn Capotosto, Nicholas Ma) — Fred Rogers used puppets and play to explore complex social issues: race, disability, equality and tragedy, helping form the American concept of childhood. He spoke directly to children and they responded enthusiastically. Yet today, his impact is unclear. Have we lived up to Fred’s ideal of good neighbors? World Premiere. SALT LAKE CITY OPENING NIGHT FILM

MIDNIGHT

Danny McBride in “Arizona” (Photo by Cathy Kanavy)

From horror and comedy to works that defy genre classification, these films will keep you wide awake, even at the most arduous hour. Films that have premiered in this category in recent years include The Little Hours, The Babadook and Get Out.

Arizona / U.S.A. (Director: Jonathan Watson, Screenwriter: Luke Del Tredici, Producers: Dan Friedkin, Bradley Thomas, Ryan Friedkin, Danny McBride, Brandon James) — Set in the midst of the 2009 housing crisis, this darkly comedic story follows Cassie Fowler, a single mom and struggling realtor whose life goes off the rails when she witnesses a murder. Cast: Danny McBride, Rosemarie DeWitt, Luke Wilson, Lolli Sorenson, Elizabeth Gillies, Kaitlin Olson. World Premiere

Assassination Nation / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Sam Levinson, Producers: David Goyer, Anita Gou, Kevin Turen, Aaron L. Gilbert, Matthew J. Malek) — This is a one-thousand-percent true story about how the quiet, all-American town of Salem, Massachusetts, absolutely lost its mind. Cast: Odessa Young, Suki Waterhouse, Hari Nef, Abra, Bill Skarsgard, Bella Thorne. World Premiere

Mandy / Belgium, U.S.A. (Director: Panos Cosmatos, Screenwriters: Panos Cosmatos, Aaron Stewart-Ahn, Producers: Daniel Noah, Josh Waller, Elijah Wood, Nate Bolotin, Adrian Politowski) — Pacific Northwest. 1983 AD. Outsiders Red Miller and Mandy Bloom lead a loving and peaceful existence. When their pine-scented haven is savagely destroyed by a cult led by the sadistic Jeremiah Sand, Red is catapulted into a phantasmagoric journey filled with bloody vengeance and laced with fire. Cast: Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache, Olwen Fouéré, Richard Brake, Bill Duke. World Premiere

Never Goin’ Back / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Augustine Frizzell, Producers: Toby Halbrooks, Liz Cardenas , James Johnston, David Lowery) — Jessie and Angela, high school dropout BFFs, are taking a week off to chill at the beach. Too bad their house got robbed, rent’s due, they’re about to get fired and they’re broke. Now they’ve gotta avoid eviction, stay out of jail and get to the beach, no matter what!!! Cast: Maia Mitchell, Cami Morrone, Kyle Mooney, Joel Allen, Kendal Smith, Matthew Holcomb. World Premiere

Piercing / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Nicolas Pesce, Producers: Josh Mond, Antonio Campos, Schuyler Weiss, Jake Wasserman) — In this twisted love story, a man seeks out an unsuspecting stranger to help him purge the dark torments of his past. His plan goes awry when he encounters a woman with plans of her own. A playful psycho-thriller game of cat-and-mouse based on Ryu Murakami’s novel. Cast: Christopher Abbott, Mia Wasikowska, Laia Costa, Marin Ireland, Maria Dizzia, Wendell Pierce. World Premiere

Revenge / France (Director and screenwriter: Coralie Fargeat, Producers: Marc-Etienne Schwartz, Jean-Yves Robin, Marc Stanimirovic) — Three wealthy married men get together for their annual hunting game in a desert canyon. This time, one of them has brought along his young mistress, who quickly arouses the interest of the other two. Things get dramatically out of hand as a hunting game turns into a ruthless manhunt. Cast: Matilda Lutz, Kevin Janssens, Vincent Colombe, Guillaume Bouchede, Jean-Louis Tribes. Utah Premiere

Summer of ’84 / Canada, U.S.A. (Directors: Francois Simard, Anouk Whissell, Yoann Whissell, Screenwriters: Matt Leslie, Stephen J. Smith, Producers: Shawn Williamson, Jameson Parker, Matt Leslie, Van Toffler, Cody Zwieg) — Summer, 1984: a perfect time to be a carefree 15-year-old. But when neighborhood conspiracy theorist Davey Armstrong begins to suspect his police officer neighbor might be the serial killer all over the local news, he and his three best friends begin an investigation that soon turns dangerous. Cast: Graham Verchere, Judah Lewis, Caleb Emery, Cory Grüter-Andrew, Tiera Skovbye, Rich Sommer. World Premiere

SPOTLIGHT

The Spotlight program is a tribute to the cinema we love from throughout the past year. Films that have played in this category in recent years include Lunchbox, Ida,Raw and The Lobster.

Jessie Buckley and Johnny Flynn in “Beast” (Photo by Kerry Brown)

BEAST / United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Michael Pearce, Producers: Ivana MacKinnon, Lauren Dark, Kristian Brodie ) — In a small island community, a troubled young woman falls for a mysterious outsider who empowers her to escape from her oppressive family. When he comes under suspicion for a series of brutal murders, she learns what she’s capable of as she defends him at all costs. Cast: Jessie Buckley, Johnny Flynn, Trystan Gravelle, Geraldine James, Charley Palmer Rothwell. U.S. Premiere

The Death of Stalin / France, United Kingdom, Belgium (Director: Armando Iannucci, Screenwriters: Armando Iannucci, David Schneider, Ian Martin, Producers: Yann Zenou, Laurent Zeitoun, Nicolas Duval Adassovsky, Kevin Loader) — The internal political landscape of 1950’s Soviet Russia through a darkly comic lens. In the days following Stalin’s collapse, his core ministers tussle for control; some want positive change, others have more sinister motives. Their one common trait? They’re all just desperately trying to remain alive. Cast: Steve Buscemi, Jeffrey Tambor, Andrea Riseborough, Rupert Friend, Olga Kurylenko, Jason Isaacs. U.S. Premiere

Foxtrot / Israel (Director and screenwriter: Samuel Maoz, Producers: Michael Weber, Viola Fügen, Eitan Mansuri, Cedomir Kolar, Marc Baschet, Michel Merkt) — Michael and Dafna are devastated when army officials show up at their home, announcing the death of their son Jonathan. While his sedated wife rests, Michael spirals into a whirlwind of anger only to experience one of life’s unfathomable twists, which rivals his son’s surreal military experiences. Cast: Lior Ashkenazi, Sarah Adler, Yonatan Shiray.

I Am Not a Witch/ United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Rungano Nyoni, Producers: Juliette Grandmont, Emily Morgan) — After a minor incident, nine-year old Shula is exiled to a witch camp where she is told that if she escapes, she’ll be transformed into a goat. As she navigates through her new life, she must decide whether to accept her fate or risk the consequences of seeking freedom. Cast: Margaret Mulubwa, Henry B.J. Phiri, Nancy Mulilo, Margaret Sipaneia. U.S. Premiere

The Rider / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Chloé Zhao, Producers: Chloé Zhao, Bert Hamelinck, Sacha Ben Harroche, Mollye Asher) — After a tragic riding accident, young cowboy and rising rodeo circuit star Brady Jandreau is told that his competition days are over. In an attempt to regain control of his fate, Brady undertakes a search for new identity and tries to redefine his idea of manhood in America’s heartland. Cast: Brady Jandreau, Tim Jandreau, Lily Jandreau, Lane Scott, Cat Clifford. Utah Premiere

Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! / U.S.A. (Director: Morgan Spurlock, Screenwriters: Jeremy Chilnick, Morgan Spurlock, Producers: Keith Calder, Jessica Calder, Spencer Silna, Nicole Barton, Jeremy Chilnick, Matthew Galkin) — Muckraking filmmaker Morgan Spurlock reignites his battle with the food industry – this time from behind the register – as he opens his own fast food restaurant. U.S. Premiere

KIDS

This section of the Festival is especially for our youngest independent film fans. Programmed in cooperation with Utah Film Center, which presents the annual Tumbleweeds Film Festival, Utah’s premiere film festival for children and youth. Films that have played in this category in recent years include My Life as a Zucchini, The Eagle Huntress and Shaun the Sheep.

A film still from “Lu Over the Wall” (Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute)

Lu Over the Wall / Japan (Director: Masaaki Yuasa, Screenwriters: Reiko Yoshida, Masaaki Yuasa, Producer: Eunyoung Choi) — Kai is a lonely teenage boy who lives in a small fishing village. One day, he meets and befriends Lu, a fun-loving mermaid whose singing is hypnotic to all who hear it. But the townspeople have always thought that mermaids bring disaster… World Premiere

Science Fair / U.S.A. (Directors: Cristina Costantini, Darren Foster, Producers: Cristina Costantini, Darren Foster, Jeffrey Plunkett) — Nine high school students from around the globe navigate rivalries, setbacks, and of course, hormones, on their journey to compete at the international science fair. Facing off against 1,700 of the smartest, quirkiest teens from 78 different countries, only one will be named Best in Fair. World Premiere

White Fang / U.S.A. (Director: Alexandre Espigares, Screenwriters: Dominique Monfery, Philippe Lioret, Serge Frydman, Producers: Jeremie Fajner, Clement Calvet, Peter Saraf, Marc Turtletaub) — An updated reimagining of Jack London’s classic novel, this thrilling tale of kindness, survival and the twin majesties of the animal kingdom and mankind traces the loving and magnificent hero White Fang, whose intense curiosity leads him on the adventure of a lifetime. Cast: Rashida Jones, Nick Offerman, Eddie Spears, Paul Giamatti. World Premiere

The Sundance Film Festival®
The Sundance Film Festival has introduced global audiences to some of the most groundbreaking films of the past three decades, including Boyhood, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Whiplash, Brooklyn, Twenty Feet from Stardom, Life Itself, The Cove, The End of the Tour, Blackfish, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Super Size Me, Dope, Little Miss Sunshine, sex, lies, and videotape, Reservoir Dogs, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, An Inconvenient Truth, Precious and Napoleon Dynamite. The Festival is a program of the non-profit Sundance Institute®. 2018 Festival sponsors include: Presenting Sponsors – Acura, SundanceTV, and Chase Sapphire®; Leadership Sponsors – Adobe, Amazon Studios, AT&T, DIRECTV, Dropbox, Omnicom, Stella Artois® and YouTube; Sustaining Sponsors – Canada Goose, Canon U.S.A., Inc., Dell, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, GEICO, Grey Goose Vodka, High West Distillery, IMDbPro, Lyft, Unity Technologies and the University of Utah Health; Media Sponsors – Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and Variety. Sundance Institute recognizes critical support from the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and the State of Utah as Festival Host State. The support of these organizations helps offset the Festival’s costs and sustain the Institute’s year-round programs for independent artists. Look for the Official Sponsor seal at their venues at the Festival. sundance.org/festival

Sundance Institute
Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, and new media to create and thrive. The Institute’s signature Labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new work, take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences to artists in igniting new ideas, discovering original voices, and building a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Sundance Institute has supported such projects as Boyhood, Swiss Army Man, Manchester By the Sea, Brooklyn, Little Miss Sunshine, Life, Animated, Sonita, 20 Feet From Stardom, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Sin Nombre, Spring Awakening, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Fun Home. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Billboard Music Awards set to move from ABC to NBC in 2018

November 28, 2017

by Audrey Morgan

Drake at the 24th Annual Billboard Music Awards at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on May 21, 2017.
Drake at the 24th Annual Billboard Music Awards at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on May 21, 2017. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images via ABC)

The annual Billboard Music Awards  show is moving from ABC to NBC, as of 2018. The ceremony began in 1990 and aired in the U.S. on Fox from 1990 to 2006. The show then went on hiatus from 2007 to 2010. The Billboard Music Awards was then resurrected in 2011, and aired on from 2011 to 2017. For the past several years, the show has been held in April or May in Las Vegas.

January 16, 2018 UPDATE: The 2018 Billboard Music Awards will be presented on May 20.

Here is more information from a press released issued by Dick Clark Productions and NBC:

NBC and dick clark productions have announced that the network has acquired the rights to broadcast the immensely popular “Billboard Music Awards” in a new multi-year deal set to begin in 2018.

The 2018 telecast, with a date to be announced in the near future, will showcase the hottest musical acts, biggest performances, unexpected collaborations and buzzworthy pop culture moments that will have the world talking.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with the ‘Billboard Music Awards’ and dick clark productions to bring our mutual love of music and live programming together to showcase spectacular performances with the biggest names in music,” said Paul Telegdy, President, Alternative and Reality Group, NBC Entertainment. “The Billboard charts have long been the industry standard of greatness, making this show the #1 destination for music artists. We couldn’t imagine better partners than dcp, who we have teamed with on our Golden Globe telecasts for many years.”

“Bringing together the ‘Billboard Music Awards’ and NBC is a perfect partnership,” said Mike Mahan, President, dick clark productions. “We believe that pairing NBC’s enormous music and TV platform with the authority and legacy of the ‘Billboard Music Awards’ will be an extraordinarily powerful combination. We couldn’t be more excited.”

“Billboard Music Awards” finalists are based on key interactions with music fans, as well as album and digital songs sales, radio airplay, streaming, touring and social engagement, tracked by Billboard and its data partners, including Nielsen Music and Next Big Sound. The awards are based on a 12-month reporting period. Since 1940, the Billboard charts have been the go-to guide for ranking the popularity of artists, songs and albums, and are the ultimate measure of success in music.

For the latest “Billboard Music Awards” (BBMAs) news, exclusive content and more, follow the BBMAs on social media and join the conversation by using the official hashtag for the show, #BBMAs.

The “Billboard Music Awards” is produced by dick clark productions. Allen Shapiro, Mike Mahan, Mark Bracco, Barry Adelman and Robert Deaton are executive producers.

About Billboard
Billboard is the world’s largest voice in music, built on the most complete and well-respected database of charts across all music genres. The Billboard charts define success in music. From the iconic Billboard magazine to Billboard.com, the ultimate consumer-facing destination for millions of passionate music fans, to the industry’s most elite conference series and influencer events including the Power 100 and Women in Music – the Billboard brand has unmatched authority among fans, artists and the industry alike. Billboard was named the leading U.S. brand on Twitter, surpassing the NFL, ESPN, BuzzFeed and MTV, with 7.5 million engaged actions in Q4 2015, and named an overall Top 10 U.S. Media Publisher in December 2015 with 11.8 million social actions. Billboard topped Shareablee’s list of U.S. publishers by engagement on Twitter in Q4, ahead of brands including Bleacher Report, BuzzFeed and The New York Times. Billboard magazine has scored major news-generating covers recently including Nicki Minaj, Lana Del Rey, Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber.

About dick clark productions
dick clark productions (dcp) is the world’s largest producer and proprietor of televised live event entertainment programming with the “Academy of Country Music Awards,” “American Music Awards,” “Billboard Music Awards,” “Golden Globe Awards,” “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest,” “Hollywood Film Awards” and the “Streamy Awards.” Weekly television programming includes “So You Think You Can Dance” from 19 Entertainment and dcp. dcp also owns one of the world’s most unique and extensive entertainment archive libraries with over 60 years of award-winning shows, historic programs, specials, performances and legendary programming. For additional information, visit www.dickclark.com.

2018 Grammy Awards: Jay-Z leads with the most nominations

November 28, 2017

Jay-Z
Jay-Z (Photo by Hagop Kalaidjian/BFA)

The following is a press release from the Recording Academy:

The Recording Academy™ welcomes this year’s class of Grammy nominees. Already a 21-time Grammy winner, JAY-Z leads with eight nominations, followed by Kendrick Lamar (7), Bruno Mars (6), Childish Gambino (5), Khalid (5), No I.D. (5), and SZA (5). Selected from more than 22,000 submissions across 84 categories, the nominations showcase some of the most gifted music makers of the past awards year (Oct. 1, 2016–Sept. 30, 2017). As the only peer-selected music award, the Grammy is voted on by the Recording Academy’s membership body of music makers, who represent all genres and creative disciplines, including recording artists, songwriters, producers, mixers, and engineers.

“I’m inspired by this year’s nominees and the incredible talent each possesses,” said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the Recording Academy. “Their recordings are a true testament to how creatively alive and meaningful our music industry has become. Each nominee uses their craft to inspire, uplift, and tell stories of our world through their artistry. They provide a vibrant soundtrack that represents the highest level of excellence and continues to impact and reflect our culture.”

“The beauty of our process begins and ends with the participation of music professionals,” said Bill Freimuth, Recording Academy Senior Vice President of Awards. “Our nominations reflect the expertise and passion of Recording Academy voting members.”

The final round of Grammy voting is Dec. 7–21, 2017. The Recording Academy will present the Grammy Awards® on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018, live from Madison Square Garden in New York and broadcast on the CBS Television Network from 7:30–11:00 p.m. ET/4:30–8:00 p.m. PT.

The following is a sampling of nominations from the GRAMMY Awards’ 30 Fields and 84 categories.

For a complete nominations list, visit  www.grammy.com.

Record of the Year

“Redbone” — Childish Gambino

“Despacito” — Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber

“The Story Of O.J.” — JAY-Z

“HUMBLE.” — Kendrick Lamar

“24K Magic” — Bruno Mars

Album of the Year

“Awaken, My Love!” — Childish Gambino

4:44 — JAY-Z

DAMN. — Kendrick Lamar

Melodrama — Lorde

24K Magic — Bruno Mars

Song of the Year

“Despacito” — Ramón Ayala, Justin Bieber, Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd, Erika Ender, Luis Fonsi & Marty James Garton, songwriters (Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber)

“4:44” — Shawn Carter & Dion Wilson, songwriters (JAY-Z)

“Issues” — Benny Blanco, Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Julia Michaels & Justin Drew Tranter, songwriters (Julia Michaels)

“1-800-273-8255” — Alessia Caracciolo, Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, Arjun Ivatury, Khalid Robinson, songwriters (Logic Featuring Alessia Cara & Khalid)

“That’s What I Like” — Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Philip Lawrence, Bruno Mars, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus & Jonathan Yip, songwriters (Bruno Mars)

Best New Artist

Alessia Cara

Khalid

Lil Uzi Vert

Julia Michaels

SZA

Best Pop Solo Performance

“Love So Soft” — Kelly Clarkson

“Praying” — Kesha

“Million Reasons” — Lady Gaga

“What About Us” — P!nk

“Shape Of You” — Ed Sheeran

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

“Something Just Like This” ­— The Chainsmokers & Coldplay

“Despacito” — Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber

“Thunder” — Imagine Dragons

“Feel It Still” — Portugal. The Man

“Stay” — Zedd & Alessia Cara

Best Dance/Electronic Album

Migration — Bonobo

3-D The Catalogue — Kraftwerk

Mura Masa — Mura Masa

A Moment Apart — Odesza

What Now — Sylvan Esso

Best Rock Performance

“You Want It Darker” — Leonard Cohen

“The Promise” — Chris Cornell

“Run” — Foo Fighters

“No Good” — Kaleo

“Go To War” — Nothing More

Best Urban Contemporary Album

Free 6lack — 6lack

Awaken, My Love! — Childish Gambino

American Teen — Khalid

Ctrl — SZA

Starboy — The Weeknd

Best Rap Album

4:44 — JAY-Z

DAMN. — Kendrick Lamar

Culture — Migos

Laila’s Wisdom — Rapsody

Flower Boy — Tyler, The Creator

Best Country Album

Cosmic Hallelujah — Kenny Chesney

Heart Break — Lady Antebellum

The Breaker — Little Big Town

Life Changes — Thomas Rhett

From A Room: Volume 1 — Chris Stapleton

Best Jazz Vocal Album

The Journey — The Baylor Project

A Social Call — Jazzmeia Horn

Bad Ass And Blind — Raul Midón

Porter Plays Porter — Randy Porter Trio With Nancy King

Dreams And Daggers — Cécile McLorin Salvant

Best Gospel Album

Crossover — Travis Greene

Bigger Than Me — Le’Andria

Close — Marvin Sapp

Sunday Song — Anita Wilson

Let Them Fall In Love — Cece Winans

Best Contemporary Christian Music Album

Rise — Danny Gokey

Echoes (Deluxe Edition) —  Matt Maher

Lifer — MercyMe

Hills And Valleys — Tauren Wells

Chain Breaker — Zach Williams

Best Latin Pop Album

Lo Único Constante —  Alex Cuba

Mis Planes Son Amarte — Juanes

Amar Y Vivir En Vivo Desde La Cuidad De México, 2017 — La Santa Cecilia

Musas (Un Homenaje Al Folclore Latinoamericano En Manos De Los Macorinos) — Natalia Lafourcade

El Dorado — Shakira

Best Americana Album

Southern Blood — Gregg Allman

Shine On Rainy Day — Brent Cobb

Beast Epic — Iron & Wine

The Nashville Sound — Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit

Brand New Day — The Mavericks

Best Comedy Album

The Age Of Spin & Deep In The Heart Of Texas — Dave Chappelle

Cinco — Jim Gaffigan

Jerry Before Seinfeld — Jerry Seinfeld

A Speck Of Dust — Sarah Silverman

What Now? — Kevin Hart

Best Song Written For Visual Media

“City Of Stars” — Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, songwriters (Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone), Track from La La Land

“How Far I’ll Go” — Lin-Manuel Miranda, songwriter (Auli’i Cravalho), Track from Moana: The Songs

“I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (Fifty Shades Darker) — Jack Antonoff, Sam Dew & Taylor Swift, songwriters (ZAYN & Taylor Swift), Track from Fifty Shades Darker

“Never Give Up” — Sia Furler & Gregg Kurstin, songwriters (Sia), Track from Lion

“Stand Up For Something” — Common & Diane Warren, songwriters (Andra Day Featuring Common), Track from Marshall

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical

Calvin Harris

No I.D.

Greg Kurstin

Blake Mills

The Stereotypes

About the Recording Academy

The Recording Academy represents the voices of performers, songwriters, producers, engineers, and all music professionals. Dedicated to ensuring the recording arts remain a thriving part of our shared cultural heritage, the Academy honors music’s history while investing in its future through the Grammy Museum®, advocates on behalf of music creators, supports music people in times of need through MusiCares®, and celebrates artistic excellence through the Gtammy Awards—music’s only peer-recognized accolade and highest achievement. As the world’s leading society of music professionals, we work year-round to foster a more inspiring world for creators.

For more information about the Academy, please visit www.grammy.com. For breaking news and exclusive content, follow @RecordingAcad on Twitter, “like” Recording Academy on Facebook, and join the Recording Academy’s social communities on Instagram, Tumblr, and YouTube.

 

2017 National Dog Show: Photos and Videos

November 23, 2017

Susan DePew with Best in Show winner, a Brussels Griffon named Newton, at the 2017 National Dog Show Presented by Purina. (Photo by Bill McCay/NBC)

NBC presented the 16th anniversary edition of the beloved holiday special “The National Dog Show Presented by Purina” on Thanksgiving Day (noon-2 p.m. in all time zones), Nov. 23, 2017, following the telecast of NBC’s “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.” Newton, a red-rough variety Brussels Griffon, was named Best in Show.

“The National Dog Show Presented by Purina” celebrates man’s best friend and is hosted by award-winning actor, author and Broadway star John O’Hurley (“Seinfeld,” “Dancing with the Stars”). Expert analysis is offered by David Frei, an American Kennel Club-licensed judge and, along with O’Hurley, co-host of USA Network’s “Beverly Hills Dog Show Presented by Purina.” NBC’s Mary Carillo reports from the benching area and inside the show ring, while Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir offer a behind-the-scenes look at the show as reporters and digital contributors.

“For 16 years, the ‘National Dog Show Presented by Purina’ has been at the forefront of the purebred dog world,” said O’Hurley. “I’m proud to be a part of a legacy that not only celebrates such a rich history of dog breeds, but also being part of a tradition that entertains everyone from 4 to 94.”

NBC will present an encore of this year’s “National Dog Show Presented by Purina®” on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017 (8-10 p.m. ET/PT).

In celebration of Thanksgiving and the National Dog Show, Purina is inviting pet owners across the country to share what makes their pet the best, using #DogThanking and tag @Purina. From Nov. 16-26, for every unique post shared on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram that includes @purina and #dogthanking, Purina will donate $1 (up to $50,000) to GreaterGood.org, an organization which helps provide relief for people and pets in areas affecting by hurricanes, including Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico.

For more information on the “National Dog Show Presented by Purina®,” visit: http://www.nationaldogshow.com

Breed descriptions and more information can be found at http://nds.nationaldogshow.com/event-info-groups.php