<p>Taylor&nbsp;Kitsch, Mark Wahlberg and Ben&nbsp;Foster in &quot;Lone Survivor&quot;</p>

Taylor Kitsch, Mark Wahlberg and Ben Foster in "Lone Survivor"

Credit: Universal Pictures

Mark Wahlberg and friends go to Afghanistan in the trailer for Peter Berg's 'Lone Survivor'

Universal recently set the film up with an Oscar qualifying run

Back in June it was announced that Universal would be slating Peter Berg's Afghanistan drama "Lone Survivor" for an Oscar qualifying run. With only Ron Howard's "Rush" to work with otherwise (a film I hear is a knock-out), the studio needed the extra firepower.

The film stars Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Eric Bana, Ben Foster and Emile Hirsch. A trailer has been released through Moviefone which gives it a commercial sheen. Who knows whether it will have the muscle to play the circuit, but Berg could sure use a palette cleanser after last year's "Battleship."

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<p>AMPAS</p>

AMPAS

Credit: AMPAS

AMPAS approves new branch for casting directors

That brings the organization up to 17 branches

The Academy's Board of Governors has announced the creation of a new branch for casting directors, who began to be invited to Academy membership more than 30 years ago, many of them admitted as Members-at-Large. The decision was approved at the regularly scheduled board meeting on Tuesday, July 30, which saw Cheryl Boone Isaacs nominated president of the Academy.

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<p>2012 Gotham Awards&nbsp;Afterparty at Andaz Wall Street</p>

2012 Gotham Awards Afterparty at Andaz Wall Street

Credit: AP Photo

IFP sets 2013 Gotham Awards date and adds a few more categories

Last year's winners included 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' and 'Moonrise Kingdom'

The Independent Filmmaker Project has announced that the first true film awards show of the season, the Gotham Awards, will be held this year on Dec. 2. Not only that but a couple of new categories have been added to the mix.

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<p>David&nbsp;O.&nbsp;Russell promotes &quot;American Hustle&quot;&nbsp;on Good Morning America</p>

David O. Russell promotes "American Hustle" on Good Morning America

Credit: ABC

David O. Russell brings the trailer for 'American Hustle' to Good Morning America

ABSCAM-inspired romp hits theaters in December

Well, you don't see this too often. Eschewing the usual Apple/Yahoo!/MSN launching pads, Sony premiered the trailer for David O. Russell's "American Hustle" on ABC's Good Morning America earlier today, with Russell on hand to talk about the movie.

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<p>Cheryl Boone Isaacs.</p>

Cheryl Boone Isaacs.

Credit: Courtesy of AMPAS

Cheryl Boone Isaacs makes history as Academy's new president

She replaces Howard Koch

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences made history Tuesday night by electing its first African-American president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs. The marketing and publicity veteran replaces Howard "Hawk" Koch who served one eventful year-long term. Isaacs is only the third woman to hold the position and the first since Fay Canin was president between 1979 and 1981.

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<p>Luminita Gheorghiu in &quot;Child's Pose.&quot;</p>

Luminita Gheorghiu in "Child's Pose."

Credit: Parada Film

The foreign Oscar race officially kicks off, as Romania enters 'Child's Pose'

Calin Peter Netzer's Berlinale Golden Bear winner was a unanimous selection

Well, the race is on. Officially, at any rate. We've been waiting for one country to open the floodgates on submissions for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, the deadline for which is almost exactly two months away, on October 1. It can be hard to keep pace with the process -- last year, a record 71 countries entered the race. But things have kicked off this year with an auspicious entry: Calin Peter Netzer's "Child's Pose," which THR reports was announced today as Romania's official submission.

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<p>Philip Seymour Hoffman in &quot;A&nbsp;Most Wanted Man&quot;</p>

Philip Seymour Hoffman in "A Most Wanted Man"

Credit: Lionsgate

Lionsgate picks up Anton Corbijn's 'A Most Wanted Man' with Philip Seymour Hoffman

The director of 'Control' and 'The American' is back with a John le Carré adaptation

I've had my eye on a number of films that are still looking for distribution this year and could, potentially, figure into the awards season. Of course, a decent rule of thumb is if a film hasn't been picked up by now (and isn't set for fests), there's usually a good reason for that. But you never know. More on those titles later this week, but for now, strike one from the list: Anton Corbijn's "A Most Wanted Man," which has just been acquired by Lionsgate.

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<p>A protest of Grant's shooting death at the Fruitvale BART station in Oakland, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009.</p>

A protest of Grant's shooting death at the Fruitvale BART station in Oakland, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009.

Credit: AP Photo

Appeals court says Oscar Grant’s dad can sue transit officer who killed son on train platform

Slain 22-year-old's story was the inspiration for the film 'Fruitvale Station'

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court says Oscar Grant’s father can sue the Northern California transit officer who shot and killed his son on a train platform.

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<p>Ben Stiller in &quot;The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.&quot;</p>

Ben Stiller in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty."

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Ben Stiller dreams big in first trailer for 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty'

Also featuring Kristen Wiig and an unsettling photo of Sean Penn

Yesterday, I posted some new images from Ben Stiller's upcoming remake of "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," while noting that the film's more extravagant flights of fancy were clearly being saved or a later unveiling. Immediately, a few of you replied with your thoughts on the film's first trailer (which hit theaters with "The Wolverine" last weekend) and suggested that it could indeed be something special.

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<p>Ben Stiller in &quot;The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.&quot;&nbsp;</p>

Ben Stiller in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty." 

Credit: 20th Century Fox

New images from Ben Stiller's 'Walter Mitty' remake keep the spectacle secret

The Christmas Day release might be a lurking awards player

Ben Stiller's upcoming remake of "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" is a project I've been dimly aware of without ever really stopping to think about it -- and certainly not in an awards-season context. I take Stiller's directorial output more seriously than most, and can quote hefty chunks of "Zoolander" dialogue on command, but somehow imagined he was taking the popular 1947 Danny Kaye vehicle in a sketchier direction than that suggested by this breathless Empire preview of the fantasy, in which Stiller stars as a magazine employee escaping his mundane existence (and pursuing love) via lavish daydreams.

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