Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” Awarded Two Prizes by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association

Alfonso Cuaron is the LA critics’ choice…

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association has announced its annual awards with the 57-year-old Mexican filmmaker earning two trophies for his critically acclaimed drama Roma.

Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma

Cuaron’s “deeply personal” film tookhome honors for Best Picture, while he was named Best Cinematography for his work on the Spanish language film.

He was the runner up in the Best Director and Best Editing categories.

The group will honor its winners January 12 at a gala dinner at the InterContinental Hotel in Century City, where Japanese director and animator Hayao Miyazaki will receive the Career Achievement award.

Last year, Sony Pictures ClassicsCall Me By Your Name was voted the LAFCA’s Best Picture, with A24’s The Florida Project runner-up for Best Picture. The former went on to earn an Oscar Best Picture nom.

Here’s the complete list of winners:

Best Picture:
Winner: ROMA
Runner-up: Burning

Best Director
Winner: Debra Granik, Leave No Trace
Runner-up: Alfonso Cuaron, ROMA

Best Actor
Winner: Ethan Hawke, First Reformed
Runner-up: Ben Foster, Leave No Trace

Best Documentary
Runner-up: Minding the Gap
Winner: Shirkers

Best Screenplay
Winner: Nicole Holofcener, Jeff Whitty, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Runner-up: Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara, The Favourite

The Douglas Edwards Experimental Film Award
Evan Johnson, Galen Johnson and Guy Maddin, The Green Fog

Best Animation
Winner: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Runner-up: Incredibles 2

Best Actress
Winner: Olivia Colman, The Favourite
Runner-up: Toni Collette, Hereditary

Best Supporting Actress
Winner: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Runner-up: Elizabeth Debicki, Widows

Editing
Winner: Joshua Altman and Bing Liu, Minding the Gap
Runner-up: Alfonso Cuarón and Adam Gough, Roma

Best Production Design
Winner: Hannah Beachler, Black Panther
Runner-up: Fiona Crombie, The Favourite

Supporting Actor
Winner: Steven Yeun, Burning
Runner-up: Hugh Grant, Paddington 2

Best Music/Score
Winner: Nicholas Britell, If Beale Street Could Talk
Runner-up: Justin Hurwitz, First Man

Best Cinematography
Winner: Alfonso Cuaron, Roma
Runner-up: James Laxton, If Beale Street Could Talk

Career Achievement Award
Hayao Miyazaki

Sony Pictures Classics Acquires Lelio’s “A Fantastic Woman”

Sebastián Lelio’s latest project is expanding globally…

Sony Pictures Classics has acquired the North American, Australian and New Zealand rights to the 42-year-old Argentine-Chilean filmmaker’s A Fantastic Woman, ahead of its world premiere in competition Sunday at the Berlin Film Festival.

Sebastián Lelio

Written by Lelio and Gonzalo Maza, the Spanish-language film stars Daniela Vega as Marina, a waitress and singer, and Orlando (Francisco Reyes), an older man, who are in love and planning for the future. After Orlando suddenly falls ill and dies, Marina is forced to confront his family and society, and to fight again to show them who she is: complex, strong, forthright, fantastic.

The Chile-U.S.-Germany-Spain co-production is produced by Fabula’s Juan de Dios Larraín and Pablo Larraín with German banner Komplizen Film.

Lelio’s previous film, Gloria, won Best Ibero-American Film at the 1st Platino Awards.

Almodovar’s “Julieta” Selected as Spain’s Official Best Foreign Language Film Entry

Spain is putting its Oscar bet on Pedro Almodovar

The Spanish Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has selected the 66-year-old Spanish filmmaker’s drama Julieta as its official submission in the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar race, marking the sixth time the director has represented Spain in the category.

Pedro Almodovar

The film, which Sony Pictures Classics will release in the U.S. on December 21, was selected by the organization from a shortlist of three titles including Iciar Bollain’s The Olive Tree and Paula Ortiz’s The Bride.

Julieta, Almodovar’s 20th film, premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival this year and was welcomed by critics and festgoers.

Produced by Esther Garcia through brothers Pedro and Agustin Almodovar’s banner El Deseo, the film is based on three short stories by Canadian Nobel laureate Alice Munro.

It follows the story of a woman who lives in Madrid with her daughter Anita who both suffer in silence over the loss of Xoan, Anita’s father and Julieta’s husband. The grief eventually drives them apart, and Anita abandons her mother age 18 without an explanation.

Adriana Ugarte, Emma Suarez, Rossy de Palma and Michelle Jenner star in the film, which was released in Spain in April through Warner Bros. and grossed $2.4 million in the territory.

Spain has won the Foreign Language Oscar category four times with the most recent win in 2004 with Alejandro Amenabar’s The Sea Inside.

The last time an Almodovar title was selected by the Spanish Academy as the country’s Oscar submission was in 2006 with Volver.

Sony Pictures Classics Releases Trailer for Molina’s Drama “Love Is Strange”

It’s a strange time for Alfred Molina

Sony Pictures Classics has released the official trailer for the Ira Sachs-directed drama Love Is Strange, starring the 61-year-old half-Spanish actor and John Lithgow.

Love Is Strange

Molina and Lithgow portray longtime gay lovers who finally tie the knot. But their idyllic situation begins to unravel when one of them then gets fired and is unable to pay the rent. The couple must move in, separately, with a nephew and his family in Brooklyn and the two gay cops next door.

In addition to Molina and Lithgow, the film also stars Marisa Tomei, Cheyenne Jackson, Darren Burrows and Charlie Tahan.

Sony Pictures Classics will release Love Is Strange on August 22.

Sony Pictures Classics to Distribute Ribeiro Salgado’s “Salt of the Earth”

Juliano Ribeiro Salgado is bringing a little salt of the earth to U.S. theaters.

Sony Pictures Classics has acquired the U.S. rights to the French-Brazilian filmmaker’s award-winning documentary Salt of the Earth.

Juliano Ribeiro Salgado

The film played in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival, where it earned the Un Certain Regard Special Jury Honor.

Directed by Ribeiro Salgado and Wim Wenders, the film centers on photographer Sebastião Salgado, who has been travelling through the continents over the last 40 years, in the footsteps of an ever-changing humanity. He has witnessed the major events of our recent history; international conflicts, starvations and exodus… He is now embarking on the discovery of pristine territories, of the wild fauna and flora, of grandiose landscapes: a huge photographic project which is a tribute to the planet’s beauty.Sebastião’s Salgado’s life and work are revealed to us by his son, Juliano, who went with him during his last journeys, and by Wenders, a photographer himself.

“Sony Pictures Classics is overjoyed to be back in business with the master, Wim Wenders, and to discover the work of Juliano Ribeiro Salgado,” said partners Michael Barker and Tom Bernard.

“Sony Pictures Classics has the legacy of releasing some of the most compelling films of our times,” said Salgado. “I’m very excited for The Salt of the Earth, it couldn’t have found a better home in the US.”

Sony Pictures Classics Acquires Molina’s “Love is Strange”

Sony Pictures Classics and Alfred Molina are set to make strange bedfellows…

The art-house film distributor has acquired the distribution rights to the gay marriage drama Love is Strange, starring the 60-year-old half-Spanish actor.

Love is Strange

Written and directed by Ira Sachs, the film centers on two longtime gay lovers who finally get married. One of them then gets fired and is unable to pay the rent. The couple must move in, separately, with a nephew and his family in Brooklyn and the two gay cops next door.

Along with Molina, the film also stars John Lithgow, Manny Pérez, Kelly Reilly, Tracy Letts, Marisa Tomei and Cheyenne Jackson.

The film received a strong response from the audience when it premiered earlier this year at the Eccles Theater.

The film has also garnered a French distribution deal with Pretty Pictures.

“Blue Jasmine,” Starring Louis C.K., Shines Bright Like a Diamond in Limited Release

Louis C.K. has no reason to feel blue about the box office performance of his latest project…

The 45-year-old Mexican American stars in Woody Allen’s ensemble drama Blue Jasmine, which sparkled like a diamond at the box office this weekend.

Louis C.K. in Blue Jasmine

The film, which co-stars Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett and Bobby Cannavale, grossed nearly $603,000 in limited release, outperforming the performance of Allen’s last film Midnight in Paris (a $99,834 debut average in six theaters), which was the director’s best-grossing film to date.

Blue Jasmine, released by Sony Pictures Classics, opened in six theaters, averaging $102,128, placing the film atop the year’s specialty debuts.

“It certainly belies the myth opening,” said SPC’s Michael Barker about debuting against the summer blockbusters like The Wolverine. “When we first screened the film I remember we heard that people said, ‘Why aren’t you waiting until the fall?’ Our response was that a good serious film will be a good breath of fresh air.”

Blue Jasmine edges out Selena Gomez’s Spring Breakers in the averages game so far in 2013.

Louis C.K. portrays Al in the film, which centers on Blanchett’s New York socialite character who moves into her sister’s modest apartment in San Francisco to try to pull herself back together after her life falls apart, including her marriage to wealthy businessman Hal (Baldwin).

Bejo’s “The Past” to be Distributed in the U.S. by Sony Pictures Classics

Bérénice Bejo’s future in the United States lies in The Past

Sony Pictures Classics has landed U.S. rights to the French drama The Past, which stars the 36-year-old Argentine Oscar-nominated actress, at the Cannes Film Festival.

Berenice Bejo

Directed by Asghar Farhadi, the film’s twisting plot involves secrets, lies, deceit, divorce, affairs, comas, pregnancy and other traumatic situations.

“This is a film that is so far removed from my life, from my everyday,” says Bejo. “But at the same time, it’s really interesting to play someone who is your total opposite.”

The ambitious drama starring Bejo, Ali Mosaffa and Tahar Rahim, is considered an early contender for the Palme d’Or, with reaction and reviews very strong after its screening Friday in competition.

Bejo, who earned an Oscar nomination for her star-making role in The Artist, stepped into the lead role after Marion Cotillard had to exit the project due to a scheduling conflict.

Almodóvar’s “I’m So Excited” to Premiere in North America at the Los Angeles Film Festival

Pedro Almodóvar’s latest film will be taking flight in Los Angeles this June…

The 63-year-old Spanish filmmaker’s “light, very light comedy” I’m So Excited, which will open in New York and LA in late June, will have it’s North American premiere on opening night of the 19th annual Los Angeles Film Festival on June 13.

Pedro Almodovar

The film’s debut will come nearly two weeks before the Spanish-language comedy’s U.S. platform release on June 28 via Sony Pictures Classics.

I’m So Excited opened in Spain on March 8 and is currently opening throughout Europe.

I'm So Excited Poster

Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas are among the ensemble cast of the comedy, which is set on an airplane flight where nothing seems to be going right.

The film festival, produced by Film Independent, teamed with Sony Pictures Classics last year to premiere the Oscar-winning documentary Searching For Sugar Man.

The LAFF will run through June 23 and spotlight more than 200 feature films, shorts, and music videos, representing more than 30 countries.

New Trailer for Almodóvar’s “I’m So Excited” Released

Following the release of a teaser trailer for Pedro Almodóvar‘s highly anticipated comedy I’m So Excited, Sony Pictures Classics has released a full trailer for the film.

I'm So Excited Poster

The full trailer for the 61-year-old Spanish director’s first comedy in nearly 20 years helps fill out the story a little bit, as well as offers a glimpse of Penélope Cruz and Antonio Banderas’ cameo roles.

The film is a comedy about what happens on a plane after a psychic onboard predicts it’s going to crash.

I’m So Excited is set for limited release on June 28 in the United States.