Nicolás Pereda’s Narco Culture-Themed Film “Fauna” to Premiere at This Year’s Reimagined Toronto Film Festival

Nicolás Pereda is bringing the faunato this year’s reimagined Toronto Film Festival.

The 38-year-old Mexican filmmaker’s latest film Fauna will be among the film’s screened at the festival, which is North America’s largest festival.

Nicolás Pereda

The film is an exploration of the impact of “narco” culture on Mexican society.

It’ll be Fauna’s official global premiere. An excerpt from the film was screened as part of the “Works in Progress” section of the Los Cabos International Film Festival in 2019,and won the Cinecolor Mexico Award.

This year’s edition will run from September 10–19. As expected, the festival will look different due to the coronavirus.

Organizers say the 45th TIFF will be “tailored to fit the moment,” with a combination of physical screenings and drive-ins, digital screenings, virtual red carpets, press conferences and industry talks. 

There’ll be considerably fewer movies — a selection comprising 50 new features — and the festival isn’t expecting large numbers of international press or industry to attend in person.

In addition to Pereda’s Fauna, this year’s strong crop of early movies confirmed to screen at the festival are the Kate Winslet-starrer AmmoniteThomas Vinterberg’s Another RoundConcrete Cowboy with Idris ElbaGood Joe Bell starring Mark WahlbergSuzanne Lindon’s Spring BlossomTrue Mothers by Naomi Kawase and Halle Berry’s directorial debut BruisedMore titles will be announced over the summer.

The movies will play over the event’s first five days as physical, socially distanced screenings. There will also be five programs of short films, interactive talks, film cast reunions, and Q&As with cast and filmmakers.

However, the festival has acknowledged that its plans for an in-person festival will be contingent on the local government’s “reopening framework to ensure that festival venues and workplaces practice, meet and exceed public health guidelines.” Large gatherings still aren’t permitted in Toronto.

TIFF temporarily closed its year-round offices and cinemas at TIFF Bell Lightbox in March due to the pandemic. The organization is now taking steps to prepare for reopening and working with medical advisors and public health officials to ensure safe conditions.

Meanwhile, TIFF is launching a bespoke digital platform for the festival. The organization has partnered with Shift72 on the platform, which will host digital screenings, talks and special events.

The Industry Conference will be online-only this year, with screenings for press and industry taking place on the digital platform only. The fest says there will be “advanced security and anti-piracy measures, access to buyers, and opportunities for networking.”

For 2020, TIFF says it will welcome 50 filmmakers and actors as TIFF Ambassadors to help the festival deliver its program. They will include Ava DuVernayTaika Waititi, Anurag KashyapNicole KidmanMartin ScorseseNadine LabakiAlfonso CuarónTantoo CardinalRiz Ahmed, Isabelle HuppertClaire DenisAtom EgoyanPriyanka Chopra, Viggo MortensenZhang ZiyiDavid OyelowoLulu Wang, Rosamund PikeSarah Gadon and Denis Villeneuve.

TIFF will also present its annual TIFF Tribute Awards, acknowledging and celebrating outstanding contributors to the film industry. 

Now in its third year, TIFF’s Media Inclusion Initiative will continue to accredit eligible black, indigenous, people of color, LGBTQ+ and female emerging film critics. New this year, TIFF is also offering companies and individuals the opportunity to gift industry access to 250 underrepresented emerging filmmakers from around the world.

Antonio Banderas to Receive International Star Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival

Antonio Banderas is a shining star… 

The 59-year-old Spanish actor will receive the 31st annual Palm Springs International Film Festival’s International Star Award, Actor for his performance in Pedro Almodovar’s Pain and Glory

Antonio Banderas

“Throughout his career Antonio Banderas has garnered international acclaim and world recognition from his memorable performances,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “In his latest film Pain and Glory, Antonio Banderas gives another deeply moving performance as aging film director Salvador Mallo going through a creative crisis as he reflects on the choice’s he’s made throughout his life.”

Past recipients of the International Star Award include Javier BardemNicole KidmanHelen Mirren, Gary Oldman and Saoirse Ronan

Banderas, who recently earned a Goya Award nomination for his performance in Pain and Glory, will join the previously announced honorees Jennifer Lopez (Spotlight Award), Joaquin Phoenix (Chairman’s Award), Martin Scorsese Sonny Bono Visionary Award), Charlize Theron( International Star Award, Actress) and Renée Zellweger(Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress).

From Sony Picture Classicsand presented by El DeseoPain and Glory tells of a series of reencounters experienced by Salvador Mallo, a film director in his physical decline. Some of them in the flesh, others remembered.

The award will be presented at the festival’s Film Awards Galaon Thursday, January 2 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

The festival runs January 2-13, 2020.

Banderas’ next project is Dolittle

Jennifer Lopez to Receive Spotlight Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival

Jennifer Lopezis under the spotlight

The 50-year-old Puerto Rican superstar is set to receive the Spotlight Award at the 31st annual Palm Springs International Film Festival for her performance in Hustlers. The award will be presented at the fest’s annual gala on Thursday, January 2.

Jennifer Lopez

The festival, held at the Palm Springs Convention Center, runs Jan. 2-13.

“Jennifer Lopez is a star in every sense of the word, and you will experience this in her latest film Hustlers. Starting with her show-stopping entrance Jennifer brings to life the character of Ramona, an exotic dancer, who leads a group of dancer friends to steal money from their clients,” said festival chairman Harold Matzner. “For this full-force yet grounded performance, deserving of awards consideration, we are thrilled to present Jennifer Lopez with this year’s Spotlight Award.”

Past recipients of the Spotlight Award, Actress include Amy AdamsJessica ChastainHelen HuntAllison JanneyRooney Mara and Julia Roberts

All recipients received Academy Award nominations in the year they were honored, with Janney receiving an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Lopez joins this year’s previously announced honorees Joaquin PhoenixMartin ScorseseCharlize Theron and Renée Zellweger.

From STX FilmsHustlershas earned more than $150 million worldwide at the box office to date. The film follows a crew of savvy former strip club employees who band together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients.

David Zayas to Star in the Action Film ” Force of Nature”

David Zayasis a force of nature…

The 56-year-old Puerto Rican actor will star opposite Mel Gibson, Kate Bosworth and Emile Hirsch in Emmett-Furla-Oasis’ Force of Nature.

David Zayas

Zayas, best known for his role on Dexter, will play John the Baptist in the Michael Polish-directed action film about a gang of thieves who plot a heist during a hurricane, only to have a cop complicate events.

Zayas’ character is part of the bank heist crew, described as a ruthless, cold guy who’ll stop at nothing to get what he wants, even if means sacrificing people on his team. 

The film is currently shooting in Puerto Rico. 

Zayas is a former New York police officer, and he began his acting career with LAByrinth Theater Company in 1992. His film credits include The ExpendablesMichael Clayton16 BlocksThe Savages and Martin Scorsese’s Bringing Out the DeadHe’ll next appear in Paramount Players Body Cam.

He played Angel Batista on the Emmy-winning Showtimes eries Dexter, was recently seen as Sal Maroni on Fox’s Gothamportrayed Sheriff Aguirre on Netflix’s Bloodline, and Eduardo Magana on Hulu’s Shut Eye among several credits. While working on the crime drama The Beat, Zayas met Emmy-winning television writer and producer Tom Fontana, who went on to create the role of Enrique Morales on HBO’s Oz especially for him.

Pedro Almodóvar to be a Guest Speaker at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s 50th Anniversary Gala

Pedro Almodóvaris headed to the Big Apple for a special occasion…

The Film Society of Lincoln Center has invited the 69-year-old legendary Spanish director to be a guest speaker at its 50th Anniversary Gala on Monday, April 29, 2019 in Alice Tully Hall.

Pedro Almodovar

Reflecting and building upon the organization’s half-century introducing New York audiences to many of the industry’s most acclaimed and important filmmakers, the Gala will honor the Film Society’s legendary past and vibrant present, and look ahead as we extend our commitment to the film community.

Almodóvar will be joined by Darren AronofskyJake GyllenhaalDee Rees, and Martin ScorseseMarielle HellerTilda Swinton, and John Waters, who will also be feted.

Almodóvar has a specialconnection with the New York Film Festivaland FSLC

His film What Have I Done to Deserve This? (1984) screened in New Directors/New Films, and since then he has premiered 10 films in the New York Film Festival; 

The 50th Anniversary Gala will tell the story of the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s semi-centennial, reflecting and building upon the organization’s half-century introducing New York audiences to many of the industry’s most acclaimed and important filmmakers. The special guest speakers will present this history alongside a collection of interviews and archival footage, photographs, and film clips that will reflect upon the organization and its role in New York City film culture. In honoring the past, the evening will celebrate a film community that is helping to shape the future of our art form.

Bobby Cannavale to Star in Amazon’s Drama Series “Homecoming”

Bobby Cannavale is coming home…

The 47-year-old half-Cuban American actor will co-star opposite Julia Roberts and Stephan James in Homecoming, the half-hour drama from Universal Cable ProductionsMr. Robot creator Sam Esmail and Anonymous Content.

Bobby Cannavale

The project has a two-season straight-to-series order at Amazon.

Homecoming, based on Gimlet Media’s breakout fictional podcast, is written by the podcast’s creators Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg and directed by Esmail.

It’s described a psychological thriller that centers on Heidi (Roberts), a caseworker at a secret government facility, and a soldier (James) eager to rejoin civilian life.

Cannavale plays Colin Belfast, the ambitious off-site supervisor of the Homecoming Initiative.

Presented in a collage of telephone calls, therapy sessions and overheard conversations, the Homecoming podcast had a cast led by Catherine Keener that also included Oscar Isaac, David Schwimmer, Amy Sedaris and David Cross. Keener voiced the caseworker, Isaac the soldier and Schwimmer the supervisor.

Filming is slated to begin in Los Angeles in April 2018. Amazon Studios will have global rights to Homecoming, which will premiere globally exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.

Cannavale, who starred on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, appears on USA Network’s drama series Mr. RobotHe will next be seen in I, Tonya and Jumanji as well as Going Places, The Wasp and Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman.

Cannavale to Star in Season 3 of USA’s “Mr. Robot”

Bobby Cannavale is booting up for his next role.

The 46-year-old half-Cuban American actor will star in season 3 of USA’s Mr. Robot.

Bobby Cannavale

The Emmy-winning actor has been cast as a series regular on Sam Esmail’s award-winning show. There’s no word on his exact role.

Cannavale previously headlined Martin Scorsese/Mick Jagger/Terry Winter’s 1970s New York rock & roll HBO series Vinyl last year as a drug-addled record executive fingered for a mob murder.

On Boardwalk EmpireCannavale was unforgettable for his fierce performance as torturous psycho kingpin Gyp Rosetti.

Miranda Receives First Oscar Nomination for His Work on Disney’s “Moana”

Lin-Manuel Miranda is thisclose to making history…

The 37-year-old Puerto Rican actor, playwright, composer, rapper, and writer, best known for creating and starring in the Broadway musicals Hamilton and In the Heights, has picked up his first Oscar nomination from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Miranda, the recipient of an Emmy, two Grammys and three Tony Awards, earned the recognition for his musical work on the Disney animated film Moana. He’s responsible for the music and lyrics for the track “How Far I’ll Go,” which is nominated in the Best Original Song category.

Should he win, Miranda will become the youngest member of the EGOT club (recipients of an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony), replacing Robert Lopez, who completed his quartet in 2014 with a best original song win for Frozen’s “Let It Go.”

He’d be only the second Latino to join the club, following in the footsteps of fellow Puerto Rican multi-faceted artist Rita Moreno.

But Miranda faces stiff competition… “How Far I’ll Go” is up against two songs from Oscar frontrunner La La Land, “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” and Golden Globe-winner “City of Stars,” as well as Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling” from Trolls and Sting’s “The Empty Chair” from Jim: The James Foley Story.

Miranda isn’t the only Latino nominee this year…

Like Miranda, Juanjo Gimenez has also picked up his first nomination. The 53-year-old Spanish filmmaker is nominated for Best Live Action Short Film for “Timecode.”

The short film picked up the Palme d’Or for Best Short Film at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.

Rodrigo Prieto has picked up the second Oscar nod of his career… The 51-year-old Mexican cinematographer is nominated in the Best Cinematography category for his work on Martin Scorsese’s Silence.

Prieto was previously nominated for an Academy Award for his work on Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain, losing the prize to Dion Beebe’s Memoirs of a Geisha.

Other Latino nominees include Richard Alonzo for Best Makeup and Hair for his work on Star Trek Beyond and Adam Valdez for Best Visual Effects for his work on The Jungle Book.

The 89th annual Academy Awards will take place on February 26 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

Here’s the full list of nominees:

Best picture:
“Arrival”
“Fences”
“Hacksaw Ridge”
“Hell or High Water”
“Hidden Figures”
“La La Land”
“Lion”
“Manchester by the Sea”
“Moonlight”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 

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

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 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 foreign language film:
“A Man Called Ove,” Sweden
“Land of Mine,” Denmark
“Tanna,” Australia
“The Salesman,” Iran
“Toni Erdmann,” Germany

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

Sound editing:
“Arrival,” Sylvain Bellemare
“Deep Water 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

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 

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 

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

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

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 

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 

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

Cannavale’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Drama Series “Vinyl” to Debut in February on HBO

Bobby Cannavale will have a rockin’ Valentine’s Day.

HBO has confirmed the February debut date for its new rock ‘n’ roll drama series Vinyl, starring the 45-year-old half-Cuban American actor.

Bobby Cannavale in Vinyl

Vinyl, from Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger and Terence Winter, launches its 10-episode season on Sunday, February 14 at 9:00 pm with a two-hour premiere directed by Scorsese.

Set in 1970s New York City, Vinyl explores the sex- and drug-addled music business at the dawn of punk, disco and hip-hop.

Cannavale stars as record label president Richie Finestra, who is trying to save his company and his soul without destroying everyone in his path.

LACMA to Honor González Iñárritu at This Year’s Art + Film Gala

Alejandro González Iñárritu is being feted for his “daring and nimble vision”…

The 51-year-old Oscar-winning Mexican filmmaker will be honored alongside light and space artist James Turrell at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s fifth Art + Film Gala on November 7.

Alejandro González Iñárritu

LACMA trustee Eva Chow and actor Leonardo DiCaprio will once again co-chair the annual fundraiser presented by Gucci.

“In only a few years, LACMA’s Art + Film Gala has established its reputation for honoring artists and filmmakers whose impact can be felt worldwide and that have particular relevance to Los Angeles, and James Turrell and Alejandro G. Inarritu certainly fit that bill,” said Michael Govan, LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg director, who further elaborated on the selections.

“In the last two decades, Inarritu has displayed a daring and nimble vision for films including Birdman and Babel; his work has rightly garnered the highest of critical acclaim.”

González Iñárritu won three golden statuettes as the 87th Academy Awards for Birdman, becoming the first-ever three-time Latino Oscar winner in history.

His five feature films – Amores perros (2000), 21 Grams (2003), Babel (2006), Biutiful (2010) and Birdman (2014) – have garnered wide acclaim.

Past honorees include Barbara Kruger, Quentin Tarantino, David HockneyMartin ScorseseEd Ruscha and Stanley Kubrick.

“The Art + Film Gala is now an annual highlight and brings together figures from the worlds of art, cinema, fashion and music to support the museum,” said longtime supporter and fashion designer Chow. “It’s a real honor and my pleasure to welcome two such unique and greatly talented artists whose work moves and inspires me deeply. And I am thrilled to co-chair this important fundraiser with Leonardo DiCaprio, whose support for this initiative is so critical.”

Funds from the Art + Film Gala support LACMA’s growing mission to make film a more prominent aspect of the museum’s programming, by way of exhibitions, educational sessions and screenings that explore how the film and art worlds converge.