Best Actress Frances McDormand talks Inclusion Rider before global Oscars audiences

Monday, 5 March, 2018

So far this UK Guardian article gives the most in-depth discussion re Inclusion Rider: “Woman behind ‘inclusion rider’ explains Frances McDormand’s Oscar speech – Professor responsible for concept spotlighted in McDormand’s acceptance speech tells the Guardian how it can boost diversity” (emphasis added)

In an interview late Sunday night, [Dr. Stacy] Smith said she was shocked and grateful to hear that McDormand had given a shout out to her work.

“I’m utterly elated,” she told the Guardian by phone. “It’s a complete surprise.”

Smith said she had worked with attorneys to create specific contract language and has already been in touch with numerous actors interested in the idea.

“The real goal is to counter bias in the auditioning and casting process,” she said, explaining that the contract could also stipulate that if the film ultimately failed to meet the requirements, the distributor would have to pay a “penalty” to a fund that supports female directors and other underrepresented groups.

Smith said A-list stars could use inclusion riders to ensure proper representation and inclusion of women, people of color, LGBT people and people with disabilities.

“The goal is that talent can take the inclusion rider and adopt it in ways that make sense for their values and their beliefs,” she said.

(note: I will include more info re Dr. Stacy Smith’s TED talk on The data behind Hollywood’s sexism below.)

THR has a good informative article on IR too: “What Is an Inclusion Rider? Frances McDormand’s Oscars Speech Explained

Frances McDormand’s Oscar 2018 Acceptance Speech for Best Actress

Frances McDormand – Oscars – Best Actress – Full Backstage press Q&As (at time code 0:46 VF asks Ms. Frances McDormand to explain the last two words of her acceptance speech “inclusion rider”)

Dr. Stacy Smith’s TED talk on The data behind Hollywood’s sexism (TED talk with time-coded transcript) Read the rest of this entry »

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Video interview with Oscar Shortlisted doc director Alison Klayman, Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

Thursday, 6 December, 2012

Alison Never Sorry interview - Youtube thumbnail compositeAi Weiwei carrying an Oscar on Facebook

The insightful, fun, and sometimes deadly serious documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (艾未未:道歉你妹; title in Taiwan 艾未未:草泥馬) has been Oscar shortlisted from 126 films down to 15, coming out ahead of films like “The Central Park Five” by the legendary Ken Burns et al, and “Head Games” by Steve James (director of the amazing Hoop Dreams).

Alison Klayman, director of Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, was very nice and cool to do her first post-Oscar-shortlist video interview with me on the day after she came back from a Bangkok film festival trip. Here is my video interview with Alison.

Video interview with Oscar Shortlisted Alison Klayman, director of Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry trailer (Official selection Sundance 2012 Film Festival)

I just noticed on the back wall in the following film still, the pictures are the concept drawings that lead to the Remembering (2009), an installation for the Façade of the House of German Art.

Ai Weiwei Never Sorry - Film Still

Golden Ai Weiwei Oscar

Alison and I talked about the middle finger salute in the interview. To me, it is a show of defiance to the powerful, be it the one-party ruled Chinese government or any other governments or powerful institutions.

Weiwei middle-finger art Read the rest of this entry »


Academy narrows best Oscar documentary list from 126 to 15 films

Monday, 3 December, 2012

Ai Weiwei in a big pot

Today The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced 15 out of 126 films will advance to the next stage. Here are the 15 films (in alphabetical order by title) with their production companies (links to the films added):

(**) “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry,” Never Sorry LLC
(*) “Bully,” The Bully Project LLC
(*) “Chasing Ice,” Exposure
(*) “Detropia,” Loki Films
(*) “Ethel,” Moxie Firecracker Films
(*) “5 Broken Cameras,” Guy DVD Films
(*) “The Gatekeepers,” Les Films du Poisson, Dror Moreh Productions, Cinephil
(*) “The House I Live In,” Charlotte Street Films, LLC
How to Survive a Plague,” How to Survive a Plague LLC
The Imposter,” Imposter Pictures Ltd.
(*) “The Invisible War,” Chain Camera Pictures
Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God,” Jigsaw Productions in association with Wider Film Projects and Below the Radar Films
Searching for Sugar Man,” Red Box Films
(*)* “This Is Not a Film,” Wide Management
(*) “The Waiting Room,” Open’hood, Inc.

These 15 films are now qualified for the documentary branch members to further narrow down to five nominees. Regrettably this reporter only has a chance to watch one of the above films Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry and I really enjoyed it. Documentary films are insightful sources to expand our views and sometimes world views. I am hope in the coming months to have chances to watch some of the above films, especially the ones I’ve put a “*” in front of.

Rory Kennedy’s (director of “Ethel”) reaction (via Variety) are I guess typical,

“I was just on an airplane — I just got off and got a call and I was very excited,” Kennedy told Variety. “It’s just an honor anytime to get shortlisted by the Academy — it’s a huge honor. Obviously, there are so many extraordinary documentaries out there.” 

This year’s rules changes in the selection process apparently lead to some controversy, Read the rest of this entry »


Lessons from Christopher Plummer 82 and Ronald Coase 101

Tuesday, 28 February, 2012

From G&M, “Plummer says he was ‘totally prepared to lose’ on Oscar night

“Plummer said he was “totally prepared to lose. You have to be. You have to have some idea of what you’re going to say if you do win, but you really wipe it from your mind.”

After his name was announced, though, Plummer delivered one of the most polished acceptance speeches of the night.

He paid eloquent tribute to his fellow nominees – Max von Sydow, Jonah Hill, Kenneth Branagh and Nick Nolte – thanked all of those connected with the film, particularly its star, Ewan McGregor, and acknowledged the critical support given to him by his “little band of agents provocateurs … who’ve tried so hard to keep me out of jail.”

“I change that line every time I have a speech. Sometimes it’s ‘keeping me out of Sing Sing’ or ‘keeping me in martinis for all these years.’ ””

I love Mr. Plummer and think his Oscar acceptance speech is just beautiful!

Following is an insightful and very funny talk given by professor Ronald Coase when he was just 92 in 2003. And next month in March 2012, prof. Coase, now just 101 years young, will be publishing his lastest book “How China Became Capitalist“.

You see, Christopher Plummer 82 and Ronald Coase 101 are inspiring to me for they are both at an age where many people would have long “retired” to “happy” lives of doing absolutely nothing. Of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing absolutely nothing. But why are Mr. Plummer and Prof. Coase still hard at work? I believe this saying says it all, “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life“. Both Mr. Plummer and Prof. Coase are doing work they just LOVE to do. And would do it anyway even if no one pays them to.

So Mr. Plummer‘s and Prof. Coase‘s lessons for me is to find and do a job I love so that I will never have to work a day in my life! Oh, and living to 82 or 101 to work will be just GREAT and a bonus!


Oscars 2012: A safe, unfunny, retro-disaster

Monday, 27 February, 2012

I love Billy Crystal and even held my VHS copy of When Harry Met Sally to show +Maria Quiban of +My Fox LA I love and respect Billy. I found Billy funny in the years he hosted in the past (videos 1998, 2004). The key is those acts worked in the past, not NOW. To me, last night’s Oscars feel so dated and it was boring, badly paced, and even had technical audio problems! Hello Oscars, audio problems? You must be kidding!

Maria made a great producing point, if the show had opened with the big Cirque du Soleil act with Billy flying in and out of the stage, that will be WOW and something to start the show on a bang! Of course, the rest of the show will still need to be fixed and updated to 2012 but at least that would have been a great start!

One of my tweet last night expressed my sentiment as a viewer.

#Oscars Fooled me once (2011). Fooled me twice (2012). Fooling me three times in a roll (2013)? #youmustbecrazytothinkthat #fail

For those that are in the business of creating entertainment and not just consumption, here is one heck of an insightful review of the retro-disaster Oscars 2012 by THR Chief TV Critic Tim Goodman. Here are some excerpts from the review. Read the full review, it is good.

“The colossal hosting disaster from last year is now forgotten by the safe, unfunny, retro-disaster that was Crystal making jokes that he laughed at repeatedly and overseeing an Oscars telecast that was as poorly paced as any in recent memory. […] Read the rest of this entry »


Oscar 2012 – Best Picture The Artist & more

Sunday, 26 February, 2012

Check out this “Oscars 2012: The Artist Producer and Jean Dujardin Backstage Interview

Here is a THR hosted “Q&A with the cast and crew of ‘The Artist.’ The crew talks about filming on th Warner Bros. and Paramount back lots as well as Los Angeles’ historic Orpheum Theatre.”

THR “Award Season Roundtable Series: The Actors Uncensored” – Full uncensored video of our roundtable interview with George Clooney, Christopher Plummer, Gary Oldman, Chastoph Waltz, Albert Brooks and Nick Nolte. Read the rest of this entry »


2011 Oscar Press Room

Monday, 28 February, 2011

Colin Firth – ‘Best Actor’ For ‘The Kings Speech’ – Press Room

Natalie Portman – ‘Best Actress’ For ‘Black Swan’

Christian Bale – ‘Best Supporting Actor’; ‘The Fighter’

Melissa Leo – ‘Best Supporting Actress’; ‘The Fighter’

CBS News: “Aaron Sorkin: Oscar win like being hit with bat

CBS Video: “The Social Network” writer Aaron Sorkin on his Oscar

***

Here is a clip of Colin Firth at Toronto when The King’s Speech premiere at TIFF 2010 on his birthday, complete with a Happy Birthday to You sang by the audiences!


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