Lopez Named NYC’s New Leader of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment

Cynthia Lopez is the new leader of the Big Apple’s film and television community…

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has named the Latina film and television veteran as New York City’s new commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.

Cynthia Lopez

The native New Yorker, who served as executive vice president and co-executive producer of American Documentary and PBS documentary series POV, has more than two decades of experience in New York City’s film and television industries.

At POV, she was responsible for all aspects of development including programming, community engagement, digital strategies and overall strategic growth of the organization.

During Lopez’s tenure, POV earned numerous awards and last year was one of only 13 nonprofits worldwide to receive a $1 million MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.

“The film and television industries are central to New York City’s cultural vitality and to economic strength,” de Blasio said in a statement. “Cynthia has the experience and understands how the industry works in the city, and as commissioner, she will lead the administration’s efforts to continue keeping New York City a top filming destination — while opening up the industry to New Yorkers from all five boroughs.”

Lopez has made it a priority to promote the work of filmmakers from traditionally unrepresented groups and mentor first-time filmmakers, but she’s also something of a left-field choice, with insiders describing her as a sleeper candidate with extensive experience.

“Having spent my entire career working in the television and film industries in New York, I’m honored to join the de Blasio administration,” Lopez said in a statement. “New York City is a thriving center of production and home to thousands of creative professionals who contribute to the film and television industries — and I look forward to leading the administration’s efforts to drive more film production to New York.”

The commission over the last decade has revitalized the city’s film and TV production, bringing millions of dollars to the state via aggressive tax credits and a streamlined permit process. Currently 29 TV series are based in New York, while an average of 200 films — from tentpole blockbusters to indies — are shot here each year. It is estimated that 130,000 New Yorkers work behind the scenes in film and TV production.

Since 2004, film and television production has grown from $5 billion to $7.1 billion, with such films as Darren Aronofsky‘s Noah and Martin Scorsese‘s The Wolf of Wall Streetand Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2filming in New York. 

Television also thrived under Bloomberg’s reign with The Blacklist, Person of Interest, Girls and The Good Wife (where de Blasio made a recent guest appearance in a taxi cab video) becoming staples on New York City streets, and the growth of numerous studios including Steiner Studios, Silvercup, Kaufman Astoria and Broadway Stages.

Steiner Studios chairman Douglas C. Steiner said of de Blasio’s pick, “It’s incredibly challenging to produce television shows and feature films. It’s exponentially more difficult to make documentaries. Cynthia Lopez has had a stellar career in the documentary field. We’re thrilled with her selection as the commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment — her experience in the trenches will help make New York City even more attractive to the exploding industry of content creation, which is vital to the city’s future.”

Jonás Cuarón Earns His First BAFTA Awards Nomination

Like father, like son…

Jonás Cuarón, the son of Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón, has earned his first BAFTA Awards nomination.

Jonas Cuaron

The Mexican filmmaker has been nominated with his father in the original screenplay category, for writing their blockbuster hit Gravity.

It’s one of the whopping 11 nominations the 3D sci-fi film earned from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, including Best Film and Best British Film.

Cuarón’s father also earned a Best Editing and Best Director nod, the latest nomination in that category for one of Entertainment Weekly’s 2013 Entertainers of the Year. He’s up against 12 Years A Slave’s Steve McQueen, American Hustle’s David O. Russell, Captain PhillipsPaul Greengrass and The Wolf Of Wall Street’s Martin Scorsese in the director field.

Meantime, Cuarón’s longtime collaborator, Mexican cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, earned a Best Cinematography nod for his work on Gravity.

Lastly, Rush star Daniel Brühl continues to earn awards recognition for portraying real-life racing legend Niki Lauda in Ron Howard‘s Formula One racing drama. Following his SAG Award and Golden Globe nods, the 35-year-old half-Spanish actor will take on Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips), Matt Damon (Behind the Candelabra), Michael Fassbender (12 Years A Slave) and Bradley Cooper (American Hustle) in the race for the best supporting actor trophy.

The British Academy Film Awards will take place on February 16 at the Royal Opera House in London, with the ceremony broadcast exclusively on BBC One in the U.K. and in all major territories around the world.

Here’s the complete list of BAFTA nominations:

BEST FILM
12 YEARS A SLAVE
AMERICAN HUSTLE
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
GRAVITY
PHILOMENA

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
GRAVITY
MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM
PHILOMENA
RUSH
SAVING MR. BANKS
THE SELFISH GIANT

OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER
COLIN CARBERRY (Writer), GLENN PATTERSON (Writer) Good Vibrations
KELLY MARCEL (Writer) Saving Mr. Banks
KIERAN EVANS (Director/Writer) Kelly + Victor
PAUL WRIGHT (Director/Writer), POLLY STOKES (Producer) For Those in Peril
SCOTT GRAHAM (Director/Writer) Shell

FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
THE ACT OF KILLING Joshua Oppenheimer, Signe Byrge Sørensen
BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOUR Abdellatif Kechiche, Brahim Chioua, Vincent Maraval
THE GREAT BEAUTY Paolo Sorrentino, Nicola Giuliano, Francesca Cima
METRO MANILA  Sean Ellis, Mathilde Charpentier
WADJDA Haifaa Al-Mansour, Gerhard Meixner, Roman Paul

DOCUMENTARY
THE ACT OF KILLING Joshua Oppenheimer
THE ARMSTRONG LIE Alex Gibney
BLACKFISH Gabriela Cowperthwaite
TIM’S VERMEER Teller,Penn Jillette, Farley Ziegler
WE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS Alex Ginny

ANIMATED FILM
DESPICABLE ME 2 Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin
FROZEN Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
MONSTERS UNIVERSITY Dan Scanlon

DIRECTOR
12 YEARS A SLAVE Steve McQueen
AMERICAN HUSTLE David O. Russell
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS Paul Greengrass
GRAVITY Alfonso Cuarón
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET Martin Scorsese

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
AMERICAN HUSTLE Eric Warren Singer, David O. Russell
BLUE JASMINE Woody Allen
GRAVITY Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
NEBRASKA Bob Nelson

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
12 YEARS A SLAVE John Ridley
BEHIND THE CANDELABRA Richard LaGravenese
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS Billy Ray
PHILOMENA Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET Terence Winter

LEADING ACTOR
BRUCE DERN Nebraska
CHIWETEL EJIOFOR 12 Years a Slave
CHRISTIAN BALE American Hustle
LEONARDO DICAPRIO The Wolf of Wall Street
TOM HANKS Captain Phillips

LEADING ACTRESS
AMY ADAMS American Hustle
CATE BLANCHETT Blue Jasmine
EMMA THOMPSON Saving Mr. Banks
JUDI DENCH Philomena
SANDRA BULLOCK Gravity

SUPPORTING ACTOR
BARKHAD ABDI Captain Phillips
BRADLEY COOPER American Hustle
DANIEL BRÜHL Rush
MATT DAMON Behind the Candelabra
MICHAEL FASSBENDER 12 Years a Slave

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
JENNIFER LAWRENCE American Hustle
JULIA ROBERTS August: Osage County
LUPITA NYONG’O 12 Years a Slave
OPRAH WINFREY The Butler
SALLY HAWKINS Blue Jasmine

ORIGINAL MUSIC
12 YEARS A SLAVE  Hans Zimmer
THE BOOK THIEF John Williams
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS Henry Jackman
GRAVITY Steven Price
SAVING MR. BANKS Thomas Newman

CINEMATOGRAPHY
12 YEARS A SLAVE Sean Bobbitt
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS Barry Ackroyd
GRAVITY Emmanuel Lubezki
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS Bruno Delbonnel
NEBRASKA Phedon Papamichael

EDITING
12 YEARS A SLAVE Joe Walker
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS Christopher Rouse
GRAVITY Alfonso Cuarón, Mark Sanger
RUSH Dan Hanley, Mike Hill
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET Thelma Schoonmaker

PRODUCTION DESIGN
12 YEARS A SLAVE Adam Stockhausen, Alice Baker
AMERICAN HUSTLE Judy Becker, Heather Loeffler
BEHIND THE CANDELABRA Howard Cummings
GRAVITY Andy Nicholson, Rosie Goodwin, Joanne Woodlard
THE GREAT GATSBY Catherine Martin, Beverley Dunn

COSTUME DESIGN
AMERICAN HUSTLE Michael Wilkinson
BEHIND THE CANDELABRA Ellen Mirojnick
THE GREAT GATSBY Catherine Martin
THE INVISIBLE WOMAN Michael O’Connor
SAVING MR. BANKS Daniel Orlandi

MAKE UP & HAIR
AMERICAN HUSTLE Evelyne Noraz, Lori McCoy-Bell
BEHIND THE CANDELABRA Kate Biscoe, Marie Larkin
THE BUTLER Debra Denson, Beverly Jo Pryor, Candace Neal
THE GREAT GATSBY Maurizio Silvi, Kerry Warn
THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Peter Swords King, Richard Taylor, Rick Find later

SOUND
ALL IS LOST Richard Hymns, Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor, Micah Bloomberg, Gillian Arthur
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor,Mike Prestwood Smith, Chris Munro, Oliver Tarney
GRAVITY Glenn Freemantle, Skip Lievsay, Christopher Benstead, Niv Adiri, Chris Munro
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS Peter F. Kurland, Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff
RUSH Danny Hambrook, Martin Steyer, Stefan Korte, Markus Stemler, Frank Kruse

SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS
GRAVITY Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk, Neil Corbould, Nikki Penny
THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, Eric Reynolds
IRON MAN 3 Bryan Grill, Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Dan Sudick
PACIFIC RIM Hal Hickel, John Knoll, Lindy De Quattro, Nigel Sumner
STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Ben Grossmann, Burt Dalton, Patrick Tubach, Roger Guyed

BRITISH SHORT ANIMATION
EVERYTHING I CAN SEE FROM HERE Bjorn-Erik Aschim, Friederike Nicolaus, Sam Taylor
I AM TOM MOODY Ainslie Henderson
SLEEPING WITH THE FISHES James Walker, Sarah Woolner, Yousif Al-Khalifa

BRITISH SHORT FILM
ISLAND QUEEN Ben Mallaby, Nat Luurtsema
KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES Megan Rubens, Michael Pearce, Selina Lim
ORBIT EVER AFTER Chee-Lan Chan, Jamie Stone, Len Rowles
ROOM 8 James W. Griffiths, Sophie Venner
SEA VIEW Anna Duffield, Jane Linfoo

THE EE RISING STAR AWARD (voted for by the public)
DANE DEHAAN
GEORGE MACKAY
LUPITA NYONG’O
WILL POULTER
LÉA SEYDOUX

Cuarón Receives First-Ever Directors Guild Award Nomination

It’s a special first for Alfonso Cuarón

The 52-year-old Mexican filmmaker has earned the first-ever Directors Guild Awards nomination of his career from the Directors Guild of America.

Alfonso Cuaron

Cuarón, one of Entertainment Weekly’s Entertainers of the Year in 2013, earned the nod for his critically acclaimed 3D sci-fi thriller Gravity.

The talented director is up against Captain Phillips helmer Paul Greengrass, 12 Years a Slave‘s Steve McQueen, American Hustle’s David O. Russell and Martin Scorsese, who received his 11th DGA nom for his current film, The Wolf of Wall Street.

The nominees in the TV and commercials categories will be announced Thursday, while the documentary nominees are set to be unveiled Monday.

The winners will be announced at the 66th annual DGA Awards ceremony, taking place January 25 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles. Glee’s Jane Lynch is set to host.

Cuarón Earns First-Ever Producers Guild Awards Nomination

Alfonso Cuarón is defying gravity this awards season…

The 52-year-old Mexican director has earned his first-ever Producers Guild Awards nomination, specifically the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures.

Alfonso Cuaron

Cuarón earned the nod for his critically acclaimed hit film Gravity, which has earned him recognition in the director category from several film organizations, including the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the London Critics Circle.

Cuarón, who wrote the film with his son Jonah, is credited as a producer alongside David Heyman on the 3D sci-fi thriller starring  Sandra Bullock.

Other films nominated by the Producers Guild include American Hustle, 12 Years a Slave, Blue Jasmine, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Her, Nebraska, Saving Mr. Banks and The Wolf of Wall Street.

The winners will be announced on January 19, three days before the Oscar nominations are unveiled. The victors will be feted at a gala taking place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.