‘Orange Is the New Black’ team backstage at the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards

January 30, 2017

by Carla Hay

The 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards took place on January 29, 2017, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.


SAG Award win:

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series

Here is what these SAG Award winners said backstage in the SAG Awards press room.

The cast of "Orange Is the New Black" at the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles.
The cast of “Orange Is the New Black” at the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)


How do you all stay connected without getting into feuds?

Samira Wiley: You’re asking us that most of us are women. I think a lot of us in the very first year of this show, most of us were did not have any fame or anything like that. And we really went through this journey together, figuring out how to navigate press, how to navigate being in this industry. And I think that that really fostered a camaraderie.

Kimiko Glenn: I feel like there’s a lot of respect between all of us. I know every time the show comes out, I’m like blown away. I’m texting everyone, like, “Wow that’s amazing.” I feel like it and everyone are so wonderful and sweet, and everyone is just doing their thing so well.

Emily Althaus: It’s also work. We’re going to work, and so we have the benefit of becoming great friends after working maybe such long hours or whatever but it still works, so we’re professional adults.

Glenn: It’s pretty chill.

Annie Golden: We’re professional adults who have been totally blessed. So there it is. It’s gratitude and you’re happy to be there with each other.

James McMenamin: The cast is wonderful and talented. The women are talented and strong and impassioned. And I’m just proud to be part of it.

Samira, can you tell a little about when you found out the arc of your character in this season that was so emotional? How was the process well until the end?

Wiley: Sure. Absolutely. I knew about what was going to happen to my character over a year before it got released. The real story is I knew about six to nine months before the rest of my cast knew, so the entire time we were shooting Season 4, I had a dirty little secret. I remember when that when that script first came out and everyone else you know found out just by reading it and getting to the end, I got a lot of texts a lot of calls that day. But you know, we all got through it together, just like we’ve all gotten through everything together this entire journey.

You had a case of the giggles during your acceptance speech. Was it just because you’re still a winner or was there a particular mood or a particular meaning to tonight?

Abigail Savage: We were surprised. I didn’t expect it.

Wiley: Okay, the way they work these seats, the last time we were sort of upfront, and another time we were sort of upfront, but this time, we were in the back, so we didn’t think we were going to win.

Golden: We’ve never had Taylor Schilling with us. She’s always been working when we have this award. So the fact that Taylor had to step up. And then the mood on the red carpet was so politically heavy we were like, “How’s our girl going to going to pull it out?” And she pulled it out. It’s like we were giddy.

What does it mean to all of you to be on a show as diverse as inclusive as “Orange Is the New Black” during these times that are quite divisive right now?

Lori Petty: I think we reflect reality and that all of the separations are man-made. We live on Carl Sagan’s pale blue dot, and we’ve always been one, will always be one, and they just want to cut us up. And love will conquer all this. So if they’re going to lock up a Muslim, they’re going to lock up us.

“Orange Is the New Black” is on a winning streak. What does that reflect in your personal life the success of the show?

Selenis Leyva: I think that we’re also honored to just be working with each other, to be telling real stories, diverse stories, stories that reflect our world. We’re just really blessed. And I think that it just the audience really accepts it because they can relate to it, you know what I mean? And that’s really important especially during these times. Art is going to be very important during the next four years. We’re just so blessed. Thank you.

You all bring a good vibe to this event. What is it about your show that brings such goodness here?

Jessica Pimentel: We’re all drunk!

Danielle Brooks: No, we’re not.

Dale Soules: We’re all family, and it all starts with [“Orange Is the New Black” executive producer/creator] Jenji Kohan setting the bar for all of us to be ego-free. We work together as a family, and we really love each other.

Elizabeth Rodriguez: We love and respect each other and are really thrilled to be here.

Dascha Polanco: It’s also the true representation of what the world is. I know diversity is a trend now, but this is what it really is and the stories that are being told that we’ve been working on have connected not only in America but throughout the world so this is what is. This is what the world is, and we’re very proud to be here to represent all of us.

Brooks: And I also want to say we’re very grateful for this moment.


‘Stranger Things’ team backstage at the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards

January 30, 2017

by Carla Hay

The 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards took place on January 29, 2017, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.


SAG Award win:

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series

Here is what these SAG Award winners said backstage in the SAG Awards press room.

Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Millie Bobby Brown, Noah Schnapp, and Caleb McLaughlin at the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles.
“Stranger Things” cast members Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Millie Bobby Brown, Noah Schnapp and Caleb McLaughlin at the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)


How strange is it to have this award?

Caleb McLaughlin: Oh my gosh, it’s a blessing. I was sitting there. I was waiting for “The Crown,” “Game of Thrones,” all of the great competition that we had. And then I just heard, “Oh my gosh.” I just heard the “s,” and I knew it was us, and I just started jumping.

Finn Wolfhard: I’ll say something very quickly. I looked to Natalia, I looked to Millie. I was like, “Guys, I’m going to sleep. See you later.” And I laid my head on the rest. And then they were, like, “Stranger Things” …

Millie Bobby Brown: And it was actually funny because the Duffers, the [“Stranger Things”] directors, we thought we had no chance. It is so incredible to be in such an incredible category with so many talented, incredible shows that have worked so hard. I really want to thank everyone I didn’t get to say on stage because David Harbour just rocked it, but I just want to say thank you so much to every single nominee in that category.

Noah Schnapp: Mr. [Matthew] Modine actually told me that it’s like it’s already like winning when you get nominated, and then being able to win after being nominated is just the feeling, the rush; it’s just such a blessing.

Gaten Matarazzo: Yeah, it really is just a great opportunity to be here, and the great thing about it is that we’re in our first season. We are in our first season of this show, and we just won this award. And it’s the whole cast, and they called our name, and I’m like, “How the hell? Like what? You’re kidding me!” And Dave’s speech was just amazing, and I could listen to that a hundred times. It was just a phenomenal job. Thank you to just everyone and David Harbour. It’s exciting.

You’re all so young. What would you say to kids who aspire to be actors?

McLaughlin: I would say just keep striving for your dreams and never give up. Don’t believe anyone that puts you down. Just keep going because you’re your own person, and you have to just keep doing it. Just keep going.

Wolfhard: My answer to that would be keep trying. Every actor has been in the position, well not every actor. Some actors like us got lucky with this, but some actors don’t get lucky, and they work their whole lives to be on a show like this. I’ve only been acting for five years, four years. Some actors have been acting their entire life, because we’re not old. That sounded awful. Sorry. Not all on the older side. We’ve only been on this planet for 14 years. I would just say keep trying; keep auditioning for stuff.

Brown: I’ve always thought just go into an audition room thinking you haven’t got the job, and that’s really bad advice but to me that really works. And when I went into “Stranger Things,” I thought, “I really am not going to get this. I mean, there’s so many talented … 306 girls, I think, auditioned for Eleven.” And I’m just like, “It’s to be going the same audition as them,” so I just thought, “I’m going to get this.”

Schnapp: So my answer would be … everyone says this but it’s really true: Just never give up and stay motivated keep trying. One day you’re going to get it if you love it. Just go after it, because if you love it, put your heart into it and your passion. One day it’ll come.

Matarazzo: So mine is to say that tonight really proves that kids can be good actors too, because there are a lot of things that a lot of people give a lot of stereotypes saying kids aren’t good actors because they don’t have experience. But it’s not about experience. It’s about your will to do what you love, and it’s about your passion for it. It is about how much you really want to do this, because you can really just do amazing things, no matter how long you’ve been on this planet.

So if any kid out there that says they aren’t as good as someone because they’re older, they are wrong because age does not matter no matter how old you are. You can be a hundred years old in there [he points to his head] even if you’re 9 years old. That’s what I have to say. Any kid can do amazing things.

David, you got very emotional in your speech. How long did you take for you prepare it?

David Harbour: I didn’t expect us to win at all, actually, because we’re the newcomers, and there’s a lot of kids in the show, and it’s a strange show to give an acting award. I think I’m so proud of this cast, and I think it’s well-deserved. I think the work that these guys are doing is so extraordinary, but I did not think we were going to win. I did know that if we did win, I’m very bad at improvisation, as the rest of the cast can tell you. So I did not want to go up there with nothing to say, so I did write this speech.

And it’s gone through many iterations. I’ve had a lot of feelings and thoughts this last week, and I wanted to express it in some way that dealt with what we do through our art and also the craft of acting. And I feel like in our society now, it’s important to remember that acting is a craft, and that this is a guild, and it is something worthy of study, and it’s something worthy of hard work and dedication. It’s not about how popular you are; it’s not about how many “likes” you get on things. I see some trends in our society going a certain way, and I think acting is, at least for my life, has been a very important component about self-expression that is very worthy of a guild. And so I wanted the speech really to be about that.

Had you run the speech by your castmates? It looked Winona Ryder was hearing it for the first time.

Harbour: I didn’t see her reaction. Actually we were at dinner the other night, and it was Cara [Buono] and the teens and myself. And I was like, “Guys, I want to say this kind of crazy speech. Can I run it by you? And Charlie [Heaton] was like, “No, no you’ll ruin it. You’ll jinx it.” But finally we beat him into submission. And I did do it for them.

But it even changed last night, based on the protests that are going on at the airports and all this stuff that’s going down. I started to change it some more, but they did help me, and they did reassure me that it was an okay thing to say and that it wasn’t pretentious,  and that I could say it. So I was very appreciative of their feedback.



Bryan Cranston backstage at the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards

January 30, 2017

by Carla Hay

The 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards took place on January 29, 2017, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.


SAG Award win:

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie

(“All the Way”)

Here is what this SAG Award winner said backstage in the SAG Awards press room.

Bryan Cranston at the 29th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on January 29, 2017.
Bryan Cranston at the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)


What can you say about a sequel project to “All the Way” covering the rest of Lyndon Johnson’s career as president?

“The Great Society” is actually a play that has already been written and is actually being produced in Austin, Texas, right now. I’m not doing it. I’m here tonight. It was a big temptation to be to do it and to follow through, but after having lived with it for a couple years—doing the play in Boston first, and then New York, and then doing the movie for HBO, I felt I examined it, and I felt like I needed to move on and do something else. But thanks. It’s good. It’s a good play.

There’s a lot going on in the world right now that might make it hard to celebrate at award shows like this. Do you think it’s a challenge?

Is that a challenge? Yeah, there’s a lot of strife in the world and in our country, but I think it’s important to embrace the good things that we have as well. And the collective of creative people coming together and talking about the issues which you’ve seen tonight, it’s alive. And this is what artists do best is we take it take the anguish anxiety or fear and put it back into work and hopefully that creates a groundswell of understanding and acceptance and compassion. And I don’t feel that it’s you know the wrong thing to do to celebrate good work that has nothing to do with other things. It’s important to mark occasions.

When Meryl Streep gave her speech at this year’s Golden Globes, a lot of viewers were complaining on social networks that the show became too political and should be entertaining. And tonight, a lot of the actors gave political speeches. What do you say about to this people who think that this is only entertainment?

Well you know, we’re human beings and citizens before we ever became actors and activists or artists of any kind. If something is important to you. If something appears before you and in a way that that feels oppression, it’s up to the citizenry to speak out.

Not everybody agrees, but that’s part of the democracy is that were allowed to do that. In so many countries around the world, you’re not even allowed to voice objections or any dissent, but our country was founded on that so we shouldn’t be afraid of it should embrace everything so that the voices are all heard. And then people make up their own minds as to how they want to you know continue with it.

William H. Macy backstage at the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards

January 30, 2017

by Carla Hay

The 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards took place on January 29, 2017, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.


SAG Award win:

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series


Here is what this SAG Award winner said backstage in the SAG Awards press room.

William H. Macy at the 29th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on January 29, 2017.
William H. Macy at the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)


In “Shameless,” there’s no limit to what you do. Are you more fearless about what you can do?

What a great question. I certainly have done things I never thought I would do. I grew up in western Maryland. I’m Lutheran, for God’s sake, so I read the scripts with this same horror that the audience has in watching it. Yeah, I think it’s made me bolder. Perhaps it’s my age, but I think Frank Gallagher has something to do with the fact that I feel freer to say what I really think. I don’t need your pity

You thanked your wife, Felicity Huffman, in your speech. How does she you support you, and what does that means you?

It’s a fairytale. We both love acting. We met in the theater when we were one of us was very young, and the other was a little bit older. And it’s all we’ve ever done. It’s the language that we have. Felicity’s about to start a new series. She’s about to do a pilot. We read each other scripts to each other. We work together. Don’t try this at home, but it’s what we do, and it seems to work. And I’m blessed. I am blessed. We have a blast. That’s it.

Do you have different closets for your awards?

I’ll admit to having a number of trophies and our house. We have a balcony and we put them up there thinking it would be discreet. And then I was going to direct a film, and I they said, “Where you want to do the first reading?” And I had all these young actors come to our house. And I said, “We’ll sit around that table in the balcony.” And I realized halfway through the first rehearsal that they were there were all these awards to William H. Macy behind them. And I realized this wasn’t the best place to do it after all. I think it may be have to be an actor to understand.

You’ve done versatile roles and characters. Is there a particular character or personality that you haven’t done that you want to do?

That’s a lovely question. The bad guy, but more than bad—the truly evil guy, which is tough because I don’t like violence. I don’t like going to movies that have a lot of violence. It upsets me, and I find it’s stupid sometimes. I’d like to play the bad guy, you know maybe it’s because I played Frank Gallagher. I’d like to play the unplayable roles: the Nazi, the racist, the Ku Klux Klan guy. I’d like to give a shot at those roles.

I love comedy. I have a tendency myself to only go to films that make me laugh. I’d rather laugh than anything else. I’m growing into my age. I can’t wait to play the older guy, whatever that is. The president, the senior lawyer.

John Lithgow and Claire Foy backstage at the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards

January 30, 2017

by Carla Hay

The 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards took place on January 29, 2017, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.


SAG Award wins:

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series

(“The Crown”)

Here is what these SAG Award winners said backstage in the SAG Awards press room.

John Lithgow and Claire Foy at the 29th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on January 29, 2017.
John Lithgow and Claire Foy at the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)


How enjoyable has it been to bring this story to life? And do you think that any of the British royal family has watched it?

Claire Foy: We don’t know anything. You know it’s very difficult to get a straight answer from anyone or truthful answer, unless they actually come up to us and say, “We watched it. We loved it.” And we just don’t know, which is the nature of them and the beauty of them. We don’t know, but we do know that they have a Netflix subscription, and the chances are they might have know about its existence, but yeah we don’t know for definite anything, unfortunately.

John Lithgow: What was it like bringing these people to life? Completely wonderful. It was one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. Claire was in the first sentence that was spoken to me by my agent about this project. It was Peter Morgan, Stephen Daldry, Claire Foy, Winston Churchill and Netflix. And I had said “yes” at the word “Claire Foy.” I had seen her in “Little Dorrit” and “Wolf Hall.” I have many actor friends in London who have worked with Claire and know her, and the word “lovely” kept coming up.

It’s very true. She’s a completely wonderful person. She’s just as great an actor as she is a person. Everybody so delighted to hear that because they love her acting so much. And you know, it’s a beautifully written historical drama that doesn’t even look like historical drama because you get to know the characters so deeply, and they’re so beautifully played with such dimension by this incredible cast. So it was easy.

John, you are such a tall man, and Winston Churchill was so short. What’s the trick to playing that character?

Lithgow: You know, we rehearsed for about 10 days before we shot. And on about the ninth day, I asked Stephen Daldry, our director, I said, “You know, there’s an elephant in the room. Nobody has even mentioned the fact that I’m about 18 inches taller than Churchill.”

And Stephen said, “It’s not an issue.” I said, “What are we going to do?” He said, “Nothing. It’s not an issue.” And it never was. The only accommodation they made for my height was to build the Downing Street door about six inches taller than it actually is.

But beyond that, I go through life, and everybody I meet says, “You’re so much taller than I thought.” You don’t think that much about height when you look at film and television, thank God. This is the one enormous difference between me and Winston.

Lily Tomlin backstage at the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards

January 30, 2017

by Carla Hay

The 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards took place on January 29, 2017, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.


SAG Award win:

Life Achievement Award

Here is what this SAG Award winner said backstage in the SAG Awards press room.


Lily Tomlin at the 29th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on January 29, 2017.
Lily Tomlin at the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)


This honor that you’ve been given tonight is not only for your incredible acting repertoire but also for what you’ve done in the community and things that you campaign for that you believe in. How much do you think it’s important to use awards shows like this to raise these issues in to comment on them?

I don’t know if you can’t be a little bit entertaining at the same time. It probably falls on deaf ears. I’m not sure. So many people are activists now, and they so understand about expressing themselves and taking that platform to use it. It may be it may kind of melt, but on the other hand, I think that stars that people really have affection for and have and care for in some degree, I think what they say does land home—or I hope it doesn’t just land on the ears of people who are inclined as they are already.

The main thing you really should be talking about is legislation. Any activist should really be talking about how to mount some kind of legislation against whatever it is that they are opposed to. You’ve got to change the laws. Trump is changing the laws now and that’s he’s trying to change the laws, but you know …

I don’t want to make this comparison. I’m not making it anyway, but the Nazis, they changed the law if it didn’t agree with them. They just change them, and they could do whatever they wanted. Now that was over a period of time. And so I think we have to be vigilant and stop certain behaviors so that someone who has not thought something through doesn’t get too far in the process.

If they get too far they might believe it themselves that it’s true and it should be pursued. So we need to be vigilant and we need to agree when he may have a good idea or she may have a good idea. And we should be resistant when they don’t. Oh my gosh, I feel like I’m talking to someplace in Germany many decades ago.

What do you wish you knew then that you know now that takes you into every job you do?

I guess I wish I’d known to just be more myself instead of trying to stretch my myself my face my voice everything into a character. Although I’ve had great fun with all those characters, and if I had another idea I would do one. Although I didn’t know this—see I

wasn’t ignorant I even as a young child. I knew to use sunscreen. I really did. I used to read my mother’s beauty magazines, and they would say, “Look at the skin on your behind, how good it is, compared to the skin on your face.” This is meant for an older woman.

And I thought, “That’s true. Your skin on your behind is covered up most of the time and you are not subject to the ultraviolet rays of the sun.” So I started using sunscreen, although I have been lapse. I have to admit that and that’s the result, but if I hadn’t, I think I would look better than I do now, even though I do look pretty good. But I think using sunscreen is good advice for men and women—not just women. I don’t want to make that a woman’s issue at all.


Sarah Paulson backstage at the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards

January 30, 2017

by Carla Hay

The 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards took place on January 29, 2017, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.


SAG Award win:

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie

(“The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”)

Here is what this SAG Award winner said backstage in the SAG Awards press room.

Sarah Paulson at the 29th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on January 29, 2017.
Sarah Paulson at the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)


Could you expand a bit on why you decided to comment on what you commented about tonight? Was it a tough decision or an easy decision?

No, it wasn’t a tough decision to come up with what I wanted to say. I am not an immigrant. I was born here, so in terms of how I can speak about it from a personal standpoint from my youth or something wasn’t available to me, so I just wanted to have an opportunity to mention the inclusivity that I think is required right now in general. The ACLU, to me, represents that sort of across the board, and they do really rely on funds from people like you and me. So at this time, it’s an odd thing because this has been a very celebratory time in my life, in terms of my work being recognized at the same time it’s sort of dovetailing with a very interesting time in our country.

And so even as I was getting ready tonight as excited as honored as I was, I felt the duality of the celebration and also the seriousness of people who are at JFK right now people, who are at LAX, people who are at airports all over the country. It just feels like a grave time. At the same time I also feel very honored and proud so I’m trying to find a place to put it where I can be celebratory and also give the day its appropriate weight.

In this time of women’s marches and whatnot, what did you take away from Marcia Clark?

Everything I possibly could. To me, she was and is an incredibly, smart, complicated—not without flaws—human woman and I find that very relatable. I too am full of flaws and complications, and sometimes I think more and more this is less true. Certainly on television, you are seeing such diverse complicated characters now more than you used to, but still what we’ve got going on outside of the entertainment industry sort of strikes a little bit of fear. I feel very honored to have played her, and I don’t know when I’ll come across a role like that again.

As an actor in this political climate, do you feel pressured to kind of make these statements?

I think we should all now be able to speak our minds as we see fit. I do think silence is not golden at this particular time. I do think if you have a platform in a place to say it with a large audience and you can reach further than you, then you should take the opportunity. But I don’t want anyone to feel that they’re failing if they’re not doing it or if they forget to or they get overwhelmed.

It’s what happens to you when you get up there. I could never have said this to you a year ago because I haven’t had the experience, but I have been getting up there more than I ever have. It is hard to keep your bearings, and when you feel the extra desire to communicate a larger world view, you do feel that that weight. But I think people should do whatever they’re moved to do in general.

What have all these accolades done for you as an actress?

Well, that’s hard too. That’s a blessing and a curse because now I fear the next time I come out of the gate with something people will be going, “Well that wasn’t as good as Marcia Clark.” But that’s just a normal human reaction to having some success.

I’m 42 years old, and I’ve been working for a long time, and I’ve certainly been employed and made my living as an actress for many, many years, but this is a whole new world that I’m living in, absolutely. And with that does come a whole new set of neuroses—at least for me particularly, where I do think, “Oh God, I hope I don’t disappoint next time I put something out there.”

2017 Sundance Film Festival Award Winners

January 28, 2017

The award winners of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival were announced on January 28 in Park City, Utah.  Jessica Williams hosted the ceremony.  Williams is also the star of “The Incredible Jessica James,” a comedy film that premiered at Sundance this year and was acquired by Netflix.  Four juries consisting of filmmakers and other people in the entertainment industry chose the winners. The 2017 Sundance Film Festival took place January 19 to January 29 in Park City.

Here is the complete list of winners:

U.S. Dramatic Competition

Grand Jury Prize: “I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore”

"I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore"
“I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore” (Photo by Allyson Riggs)

Audience Award: “Crown Heights”

"Crown Heights"
“Crown Heights” (Photo by Ben Kutchins)

Directing: Eliza Hittman, “Beach Rats”

"Beach Rats"
“Beach Rats” (Photo by Tayarisha Poe)

Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: Matt Spicer and David Branson Smith, “Ingrid Goes West”

“Ingrid Goes West” (Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute)

Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Performance: Chanté Adams, “Roxanne Roxanne”

"Roxanne Roxanne"
“Roxanne Roxanne” (Photo by Tom Zuback)

Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Director: Maggie Betts, “Novitiate”

“Novitiate” (Photo by Mark Levine)

Special Jury Award for Cinematography: Daniel Landin, “Yellow Birds”

“Yellow Birds” (Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute)


U.S. Documentary Competition

Grand Jury Prize: “Dina”

“Dina” (Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute)

Directing: Peter Nicks, “The Force”

“The Force” (Photo by Peter Nicks)

Orwell Award: “Icarus”

“Icarus” (Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute)

Audience Award: “Chasing Coral”

“Chasing Coral” (Photo by The Ocean Agency/ XL Catlin Seaview Survey/Aaron Spence)

Special Jury Award for Editing: Kim Roberts and Emiliano Battista, “Unrest”

“Unrest” (Photo by Jason Rothenberg)

Special Jury Award for Storytelling: Yance Ford, “Strong Island”

“Strong Island” (Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute)

Special Jury Award for Inspirational Filmmaking: Amanda Lipitz, “Step”

“Step” (Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute)


World Cinema Documentary Competition

Grand Jury Prize: “The Nile Hilton Incident”

“The Nile Hilton” (Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute)

Audience Award: “I Dream in Another Language”

“Sueño en otro idioma (I Dream in Another Language)” (Photo by Victor Mendiola)

Directing Award: Francis Lee, “God’s Own Country”

“God’s Own Country” (Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute)

Screenwriting: Kirsten Tan, “Pop Aye”

“Pop Aye” (Photo by Chananun Chotrungroj)

Special Jury Award for Cinematic Visions: Jun Geng, “Free and Easy”

“Free and Easy” (Photo by Weihua Wang)

Special Jury Award for Cinematography: Manu Dacosse, “Axolotl Overkill”

“Axolotl Overkill” (Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute)


World Cinema Documentary Competition

Grand Jury Prize: “Last Men in Aleppo”

“Last Men in Aleppo” (Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute)

Audience Award: “Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower”

“Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower” (Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute)

Directing Award: Pascale Lamche, “Winnie”

“Winnie” (Photo by Felix Meyburgh)

Special Jury Award for Masterful Storytelling: Catherine Bainbridge, Alfonso Maiorana, “Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World”

“Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World” (Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute)

Special Jury Award for Editing: Ramona S. Diaz, “Motherland”

“Motherland” (Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute)

Special Jury Award for Cinematography: Rodrigo Trejo Villanueva, “Machines”

“Machines” (Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute)

Other Awards

Next Audience Award: “Gook”

“Gook” (Photo by Ante Cheng)

Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize: “Marjorie Prime”

“Marjorie Prime” (Photo by Jason Robinette)

Cinergy Entertainment complex to open in Edinburg, Texas in 2018

January 25, 2017

Cinergy Entertainment Group
(Rendering courtesy of Cinergy Entertainment Group)

Cinergy Entertainment Group is planning to open a 90,000-square-foot Cinergy Entertainment complex in Edinburg, Texas, at Resaca Market at La Sienna. Construction begins this summer with a target opening of May 2018.

Cinergy Entertainment will have 10 auditoriums, 18 lanes of bowling, two full-service bars, multiple escape rooms, a fully loaded game floor with more than 110 interactive games,  a redemption store, premium dining options, a multi-level laser tag arena, Sky Walker with a zip line (a gravity-defying, black light overhead ropes course) and multiple event rooms.  The complex’s auditoriums will also have large wall-to-wall screens, enhanced sound and spacious electric recliner seating.

The EPIC (Experience Perfection in Cinema) Auditorium has a 64′ x 35′ silver screen, Dolby Atmos sound system with more than 62 channels, bright digital images utilizing a 4K projection system, ultra-plush electric leather recliner seating, and the newest movies every week. All auditoriums will feature luxury electric recliner seating with swivel table and extra wide space between rows for maximum comfort.

2017 Academy Awards: ‘La La Land’ leads with record 14 nominations

January 24, 2017

by Carla Hay


With a record 14 nominations (including Best Picture), the contemporary musical “La La Land” is the  leading contender at the 89th Annual Academy Awards, which will be presented at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on February 26, 2017.  Jimmy Kimmel is hosting the ceremony, which be telecast in the U.S. on ABC.  “La La Land” ties the record previously held by 1950’s “All About Eve” and 1997’s “Titanic,” which each had 14 Oscar nominations.

Other movies that received several nominations for the 89th Annual Academy Awards included “Moonlight” and “Arrival” (eight nominations each); “Hacksaw Ridge,” “Lion” and “Manchester by the Sea” (six nominations each); and “Fences” and “Hell or High Water” (four nominations each).

The nominations also set a record for the most nominations for African-Americans and other people of color. For the first time in Academy Awards history, people of color were nominated in all of the major categories in the same year: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress. The ethnic diversity in the nominees comes after the Academy changed its membership policies in 2016 to include more women and people of color, following the #OscarsSoWhite controversy that slammed the Oscars for not having any African-American nominees in the actor/actress categories for the 2016 and 2015 ceremonies.

The nominations for the 2017 Oscars were also noteworthy for the strides made by streaming services. “Manchester by the Sea” because the first movie from a streaming service (Amazon) not a traditional film studio, to get an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.

The documentary “O.J.: Made in America,” which was an ESPN miniseries totaling more than seven hours, qualified for the Academy Awards because “O.J.: Made in America” had a limited run in U.S. theaters. “O.J.: Made in America” is up for the prize of Best Documentary Feature.

Another noteworthy nominee was “Arrival,” which became one of the few science-fiction films to get an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.

Best Picture
“Hacksaw Ridge”
“Hell or High Water”
“Hidden Figures”
“La La Land”
“Manchester by the Sea”

Best Actor
Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”
Andrew Garfield, “Hacksaw Ridge”
Ryan Gosling, “La La Land”
Viggo Mortensen, “Captain Fantastic”
Denzel Washington, “Fences”

Best Actress
Isabelle Huppert, “Elle”
Ruth Negga, “Loving”
Natalie Portman, “Jackie”
Emma Stone, “La La Land”
Meryl Streep, “Florence Foster Jenkins”

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”
Jeff Bridges, “Hell or High Water”
Lucas Hedges, “Manchester by the Sea”
Dev Patel, “Lion”
Michael Shannon, “Nocturnal Animals”

Best Supporting Actress
Viola Davis, “Fences”
Naomie Harris, “Moonlight”
Nicole Kidman, “Lion”
Octavia Spencer, “Hidden Figures”
Michelle Williams, “Manchester by the Sea”

Best Director
Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”
Mel Gibson, “Hacksaw Ridge”
Barry Jenkins, “Moonlight”
Kenneth Lonergan, “Manchester by the Sea”
Denis Villeneuve, “Arrival”

Best Adapted Screenplay
“Arrival,” Eric Heisserer
“Fences,” August Wilson
“Hidden Figures,” Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi
“Lion,” Luke Davies
“Moonlight,” Barry Jenkins; Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney

Best Original Screenplay
“20th Century Women,” Mike Mills
“Hell or High Water,” Taylor Sheridan
“La La Land,” Damien Chazelle
“The Lobster,” Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthimis Filippou
“Manchester by the Sea,” Kenneth Lonergan

Best Cinematography
“Arrival,” Bradford Young
“La La Land,” Linus Sandgren
“Lion,” Greig Fraser
“Moonlight,” James Laxton
“Silence,” Rodrigo Prieto

Best Documentary Feature
“13th,” Ava DuVernay, Spencer Averick and Howard Barish
“Fire at Sea,” Gianfranco Rosi and Donatella Palermo
“I Am Not Your Negro,” Raoul Peck, Remi Grellety and Hebert Peck
“Life, Animated,” Roger Ross Williams and Julie Goldman
“O.J.: Made in America,” Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow

Best Documentary Short Subject
“4.1 Miles,” Daphne Matziaraki
“Extremis,” Dan Krauss
“Joe’s Violin,” Kahane Cooperman and Raphaela Neihausen
“Watani: My Homeland,” Marcel Mettelsiefen and Stephen Ellis
“The White Helmets,” Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara

Best Foreign Language Film
“Land of Mine,” Martin Zandvliet (Denmark)
“A Man Called Ove,” Hannes Holm (Sweden)
“The Salesman,” Asghar Farhadi (Iran)
“Tanna,” Martin Butler and Bentley Dean (Australia)
“Toni Erdmann,” Maren Ade (Germany)

Best Animated Feature
“Kubo and the Two Strings,” Travis Knight and Arianne Sutner
“Moana,” John Musker, Ron Clements and Osnat Shurer
“My Life as a Zucchini,” Claude Barras and Max Karli
“The Red Turtle,” Michael Dudok de Wit and Toshio Suzuki
“Zootopia,” Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Clark Spencer

Best Animated Short
“Blind Vaysha,” Theodore Ushev
“Borrowed Time,” Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj
“Pear Cider and Cigarettes,” Robert Valley and Cara Speller
“Pearl,” Patrick Osborne
“Piper,” Alan Barillaro and Marc Sondheimer

Best Live Action Short Film
“Ennemis Interieurs,” Selim Azzazi
“La Femme et le TGV,” Timo von Gunten and Giacun Caduff
“Silent Nights,” Aske Bang and Kim Magnusson
“Sing,” Kristof Deak and Anna Udvardy
“Timecode,” Juanjo Gimenez

Best Original Score
“Jackie,” Mica Levi
“La La Land,” Justin Hurwitz
“Lion,” Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka
“Moonlight,” Nicholas Britell
“Passengers,” Thomas Newman

Best Original Song
“Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from “La La Land” — Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
“Can’t Stop the Feeling” from “Trolls” — Music and Lyric by Justin Timberlake, Max Martin and Karl Johan Schuster
“City of Stars” from “La La Land” — Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
“The Empty Chair” from “Jim: The James Foley Story” — Music and Lyric by J. Ralph and Sting
“How Far I’ll Go” from “Moana” — Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Best Production Design
“Arrival,” Patrice Vermette, Paul Hotte
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” Stuart Craig, Anna Pinnock
“Hail, Caesar!,” Jess Gonchor, Nancy Haigh
“La La Land,” David Wasco, Sandy Reynolds-Wasco
“Passengers,” Guy Hendrix Dyas, Gene Serdena

Best Makeup and Hair
“A Man Called Ove,” Eva von Bahr and Love Larson
“Star Trek Beyond,” Joel Harlow and Richard Alonzo
“Suicide Squad,” Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Nelson

Best Costume Design
“Allied,” Joanna Johnston
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” Colleen Atwood
“Florence Foster Jenkins,” Consolata Boyle
“Jackie,” Madeline Fontaine
“La La Land,” Mary Zophres

Best Film Editing
“Arrival,” Joe Walker
“Hacksaw Ridge,” John Gilbert
“Hell or High Water,” Jake Roberts
“La La Land,” Tom Cross
“Moonlight,” Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon

Best Sound Editing
“Arrival,” Sylvain Bellemare
“Deepwater Horizon,” Wylie Stateman and Renee Tondelli
“Hacksaw Ridge,” Robert Mackenzie and Andy Wright
“La La Land,” Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan
“Sully,” Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman

Best Sound Mixing
“Arrival,” Bernard Gariepy Strobl and Claude La Haye
“Hacksaw Ridge,” Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace
“La La Land,” Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee and Steve A. Morrow
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” David Parker, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson
“13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,” Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Mac Ruth

Best Visual Effects
“Deepwater Horizon,” Craig Hammack, Jason Snell, Jason Billington and Burt Dalton
“Doctor Strange,” Stephane Ceretti, Richard Bluff, Vincent Cirelli and Paul Corbould
“The Jungle Book,” Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Dan Lemmon
“Kubo and the Two Strings,” Steve Emerson, Oliver Jones, Brian McLean and Brad Schiff
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” John Knoll, Mohen Leo, Hal Hickel and Neil Corbould

Here’s a look at the movies that received more than one nomination for the 2017 Academy Awards: