If you couldn't tell from the reactions on social media, It was a very good year in Park City (well, at least on the narrative side). The 2015 Sundance Film Festival featured a dramatic competition with far fewer bad eggs than usual, a NEXT slate which once again got people excited, a number of the noncompetitive premieres that surprised (we're looking at you "Brooklyn"), two closing night films that were reportedly pretty good (a rare occurrence for any film festival) and acclaimed movies that landed distribution deals which you'll be talking about all year long.
SANTA BARBARA — Saturday night the Santa Barbara International Film Festival shook things up a bit with the annual Modern Master Award tribute, this year dedicated to "Birdman" star Michael Keaton. Colleagues and co-stars sent pre-recorded messages to honor the actor, emotions ran high at the end of the evening and the fest had a special surprise in store for moderator Leonard Maltin as well.
The 42nd Annual Annie Awards were handed out on a busy Saturday night in the awards world and "How To Train Your Dragon 2" was the big winner.
The Art Directors Guild handed out their 2015 awards and outside of a Marvel Studios win in the Fantasy Film category, there weren't many surprises.
LOS ANGELES — It may be hard to believe, but the USC Scripter Award is honoring its 27th recipient this year. The Scripter is the equivalent of an Adapted Screenplay honor for both the screenwriter and the author of the original source material. The last five winners were "Up in the Air," "The Social Network," "The Descendants," "Argo" and "12 Years A Slave." Your 2015 winner? The duo behind "The Imitation Game."
The 2015 Sundance Film Festival concluded on Saturday (January 31) night with a Tig Notaro-hosted award ceremony in which it seemed like nearly everything was given an award by one of the Festival's juries.
Last night "Key & Peele" delivered a Super Bowl-centric special edition of their regular show on Comedy Central and, needless to say, it killed. Show stars and creators Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key delivered another edition of their popular East/West Bowl skits, but they also released a bit that is laugh-out-loud funny for anyone who follows both awards season and the NFL.
SANTA BARBARA — Controversy was at the forefront of discussion Saturday at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival's annual Writers Panel featuring behind-the-keyboard talent involved with some of the year's most celebrated films, all of them nominated for Academy Awards for their work.
One thing was pretty certain going into Friday night's ACE Eddie Awards ceremony honoring the best in editing: "Boyhood" was an odds-on lock to win the drama prize, and is, as ever, the frontrunner to win the Oscar in the category. So that happened. With "Birdman" tearing up the guild circuit, though, certainly plenty of us had an eye on it coming out on top in the comedy field, despite a lacking Oscar nod. Alas, that didn't happen.
Wow, what a Sundance! The 2015 edition of America's most prestigious film festival was once again full of standing ovations, slight controversies and late night bidding wars for films that will be headed your way very soon. And that's a major emphasis on why a throng of the nation's media head to Park City every year.