Vashon Island Film Festival Sets Date for Third Event – Film News in Brief

Vashon Film Institute has set the date for the third annual Vashon Island Film Festival, which is slated to take place Aug. 8-11. The announcement comes with the launch of two new divisions of the Vashon Film Institute and a new donation arm, which accepts restricted funds to be used solely to fund improvements at the Vashon Theatre.

VFI’s new divisions are the Quartermaster Lab, a collective of filmmaking programs, and VFIpresents, its sales, distribution and release division, which will also focus on organizing community events outside VIFF.

“The quintessential goal in founding VFI was to support independent filmmaking in the Pacific Northwest,” said Mark Mathias Sayre, founder of Vashon Film Institute. “To that end, VIFF has already brought compelling indie features and documentaries to local audiences and will continue to do so. But that’s only part of the game plan: We’re equally committed to engendering the creation of new films as much as we are thrilled to celebrate them. In this sense, the [Quartermaster Lab] will focus on developing new projects that VFIpresents can bring to life. Their commonality will be the PNW, whether that means the films are set or produced here, or the filmmakers call it home.”

Gunnur Martinsdóttir Schlüter Awarded the Inaugural Eva Maria Daniels Award for Vital Filmmaking at the Stockfish Film & Industry Festival

The Stockfish Film & Industry Festival has awarded Gunnur Martinsdóttir Schlüter the inaugural Eva Maria Daniels Award for Vital Filmmaking for her narrative short film “Fár.” The prize, presented at the 25th annual Edda Awards, came with 1.5 million Icelandic Króna for Schlüter to put towards her next project.

“An esteemed jury of Eva Maria Daniels peers and colleagues were unanimous in our decision to award the inaugural prize in Eva’s honor to Gunnur Martinsdóttir Schlüter for her outstanding short film ‘Fár’,” said jury chair Riva Marker. “Gunnur, and her producers, Sara Nassim and Rúnar Ingi, crafted a dynamic short that brims with vision, confidence and atmosphere, and we are thrilled to launch the EDP Vital Award with them.”

The award honors the legacy of Icelandic filmmaker and producer Eva Maria Daniels, who died in June 2023. “Fár” was selected from a pool of 20 films.

Spirit Awards Set February Date

Film Independent has set the date of Saturday, Feb. 22 for the 40th Spirit Awards. The awards come a few weeks ahead of the March 2 Oscars date.

“For 40 years, the Spirit Awards have been the beacon for bold and original independent storytelling,” said Josh Welsh, President of Film Independent. “As we commemorate this significant milestone, we look forward to celebrating with the independent creative community on February 22nd.”

The Spirit Awards nominee brunch will take place on Jan. 4.

Seattle Film Festival Sets Lineup, Opening With ‘Thelma’

The Seattle International Film Festival has revealed its lineup for the 50th edition, which takes place May 9–19 at venues across Seattle and followed by a week of select virtual screenings on the SIFF Channel May 20–27. The program includes 261 films representing 84 countries and regions, including 92 features, 47 documentaries, five archival features, two special tributes, two secret screenings and 115 short films.

The festival will open with Josh Margolin’s action comedy “Thelma” from Magnolia Pictures, which will screen at the Paramount Theatre during SIFF’s opening night on May 9. Other highlights include “Dìdi” (“弟弟”), a directorial debut from Oscar nominee Sean Wang; Neon’s “Babes” written by and starring Ilana Glazer and directed by first time director Pamela Adlon; IFC’s “Ghostlight” and Harmony Korine’s “Aggro Dr1ft”. SIFF will close with Greg Kwedar’s “Sing Sing” from A24, which will screen on May 18 at SIFF Cinema Downtown. Tickets and schedules can be found on the festival’s website.

Miky Lee to Deliver USC School of Cinematic Arts 2024 Commencement Address

Miky Lee, executive producer of “Parasite” and “Past Lives,” will deliver the USC School of Cinematic Arts 2024 Commencement address, announced Elizabeth M. Daley, dean of the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA). Director, writer and SCA alumnus James Gray (“The Immigrant,” “Armageddon Time”) will also receive the Mary Pickford Alumni Award at the in-person graduation ceremony held on Friday, May 10, at the Shrine Auditorium.

“Miky Lee is a true pioneer and ambassador of collaborative global filmmaking, and we are so happy to have her share her insight and expertise with our graduating students,” Daley said. “Miky works across borders, cultures and genres, and champions the kinds of projects our students aspire to creating. We are so pleased she agreed to be this year’s graduation speaker.”

As commencement speaker, Lee joins a recent list of entertainment figures including Brian Grazier and Ron Howard, Matt Reeves, Ryan Coogler, Jon M. Chu, Paul Feig, Jim Gianopulos, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Donna Langley, Barry Meyer, Ron Meyer, Sumner Redstone, Jay Roach, Stacey Sher and Laura Ziskin.

GKIDS Acquires North American Distribution Rights toGhost In The Shell 2: Innocence”

GKIDS, the distributor of the Studio Ghibli films, has acquired theatrical distribution rights for North America to Mamoru Oshii’s “Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence.” In celebration of the film’s 20th anniversary, GKIDS will release a 4K restoration of “Ghost In The Shell 2” in theaters nationwide this summer.

“We’re honored to be working with the team at Production I.G in bringing this visionary film, from a true auteur, to theatrical audiences in North America,” said Rodney Uhler, GKIDS Director of Acquisitions and Development. “Mamoru Oshii was and remains, in many ways, a filmmaker ahead of his time so we’re thrilled to be able to share his film, with a beautiful, 4K remaster, with new and old audiences alike.”

The deal was negotiated between Uhler of GKIDS and Francesco Prandoni of Production I.G.

SAG Awards 2025 Announces Key Dates, Live Stream on Netflix

The Screen Actor Guild Awards announced that its 31st annual telecast will be streamed live on Netflix on Feb. 23, 2025 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Last year’s SAG Awards were also streamed live on the platform, marking the award show’s live debut to the streamer.

The SAG Awards has traditionally run on cable networks, Netflix struck a deal to televise the show in 2022, when the award show ran on the streamer’s YouTube page. The SAG Awards previously had a longstanding deal with TBS/TNT that expired the same year.

The SAG Awards also announced eligibility dates and a calendar for the next awards season.

Submissions for nominations will open on Aug. 29 and close on Nov. 1. and must be sent in at Eligible performances must air or premiere between January 1, 2024 and December 31, 2024 to be considered for the 2025 award.

Actors can submit their own performances, or give permission to producers, studios/networks, agents, managers or publicists to do so.

Nominations will be announced Jan. 8, 2025. Key dates are as follows:

Submissions Open at

Submissions Close at 5 p.m. PT

Nominations Voting Opens

Nominations Voting Closes at 5 p.m. PT

Nominations Announced

Final Voting Opens

Final Voting Closes at 12 p.m. PT

31st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards Live on Netflix

Cinespia Reveals Lineup for Pride Month Hollywood Forever Cemetery Screenings

Cinespia has revealed the lineup for its Hollywood Forever Cemetery Pride Month film series. The screening lineup includes “Se7en” on May 26, “Legally Blonde” on June 1, “Dazed and Confused” on June 8, “Across The Universe” on June 15, “D.E.B.S.” on June 22 and the Bette Davis and Joan Crawford classic “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane” on June 29 in partnership with LA Pride.

“We’re so excited to be back at the Cemetery with some incredible, Cinespia fan-favorite films to kick off the summer,” said John Wyatt, founder of Cinespia. “As June ushers in a vibrant celebration of love and diversity, we’re thrilled to continue our annual tradition of partnering with LA Pride.”

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Baloji and Emmanuelle Béart to lead Cannes’ Caméra d’Or Jury

The 77th Cannes Film Festival will feature French actor Emmanuelle Béart and director and songwriter Baloji heading the Caméra d’Or Jury.

The Caméra d’Or award is presented to the best first feature film. The goal of the award is to reveal and highlight the importance of a director’s first movie, whose qualities imply that they should undertake another project. The prize is awarded during the festival’s closing ceremony by the jury.

“Being a self-taught filmmaker and a filmmaker from the Congolese diaspora,” confides Baloji, “it’s a great honour to be able to witness the vitality of first-time directors, to discover their strong singularities and their inaugural work, which will have a lasting impact on the identity of their filmography.” Baloji, who recieved the New Voice Prize at Un Certain Regard last year for his debut feature “Omen,” said in a statement.

Béart added in her statement: “A first film is about the impossibility of doing anything other than delving into the depths of one’s being to find out what we can’t keep quiet about. A deeply moving and terribly free birth: no one is waiting for you yet. We will honor our duty with wonder and respect.”

Béart and Baloji will be aided on the jury by representatives of the industry, including press, industry and filmmakers associations. Last year’s Caméra d’Or was awarded to Pham Thien An for “Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell” by the Jury presided over by French actor Anaïs Demoustier.

Greta Gerwig, writer and director of “Barbie,” will be the festival Jury president this year. The 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival will take place May 14-25.

Meryl Streep, Morgan Freeman and More Will Honor Nicole Kidman at AFI Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute

Meryl Streep, Morgan Freeman, Naomi Watts and Reese Witherspoon will be among the presenters at the 49th AFI Life Achievement Award Tribute in honor of Nicole Kidman at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on April 27.

Streep who was the recipient of the 32nd AFI Life Achievement Award, will present the award to Kidman, who is the first Australian actor to receive the kudo. Other former recipients include John Williams, Elizabeth Taylor, Jane Fonda, Julie Andrews, Denzel Washington, George Lucas and more.

The tribute special, “The 49th AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Nicole Kidman,” will premiere on TNT June 17 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT and on Turner Classic Movies June 27 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT. This marks the ninth year the AFI Life Achievement Award special will air on TNT.

DGA Announces Date for 2025 Awards Ceremony

The 77th Annual Directors Guild of America Awards will take place on Feb. 8, 2025 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Further information, including the voting schedule and key deadlines, will be announced later in the year.

Cadillac will once again serve as the official automotive sponsor for next year’s ceremony. Christopher Nolan was honored with the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Film Award for his film Oppenheimer at this year’s ceremony, which was also held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

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