Kleber Mendonça Filho Named to This Year’s Cannes Film Festival Jury

Kleber Mendonça Filho is on the jury…

Organizers for the 74th Cannes Film Festival have unveiled the nine-person jury group, which includes 52-year-old Brazilian film director, screenwriter, producer and critic.

Kleber Mendonça Filho

In addition to Filho, the jury includes president Spike Lee, French-Senegalese actor-director Mati DiopOscar nominated actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, French actress Mélanie Laurent, Austrian filmmaker Jessica Hausner and French singer Mylène Farmer.

Rounding out the jury are French actor Tahar Rahim and South Korean actor Song Kang-Ho.

Filho’s first movie, Neighboring Sounds, made its world premiere at the Rotterdam International Film Festival in 2012 and was Brazil’s entry in the race for the Oscars. His second feature film, Aquarius, starring Sonia Braga, played in competition at the 69th Cannes in 2016 before being nominated for a César and an Independent Spirit Awards. In 2019, Bacurau, which Filho co-directed with Juliano Dornelles, screened in competition in Cannes was awarded the Jury Prize.

All together, the jury will watch 24 films in competition during the delayed film festival from July 6-17. The jury will announce its winners on the last day of the festival.

Catalina Sandino Moreno to Star in Epix’s Contemporary Sci-Fi Horror Series “From”

Catalina Sandino Moreno has landed an Epix role…

The 40-year-old Colombian Oscar-nominated actress has been cast as a lead opposite Eion Bailey and Harold Perrineau in FromEpix’s contemporary sci-fi horror series created by John Griffin.

Catalina Sandino Moreno

The series is produced by Midnight Radio — the producing team of Josh Appelbaum, André Nemec, Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg — as well as Joe & Anthony Russo’s AGBO.

From
 unravels the mystery of a nightmarish town in Middle America that traps all those who enter. As the unwilling residents fight to keep a sense of normalcy and search for a way out, they also must survive the threats of the surrounding forest – including the terrifying creatures that come out when the sun goes down.

Moreno plays Tabitha Matthews, who, along with husband Jim (Bailey), is struggling in the aftermath of a personal tragedy and suddenly finds herself and her family trapped in the town. Together they must find a way to keep their children safe, struggling to come to terms with this new reality even as they desperately search for a way back home.

From
 commences production this month in Halifax, NS, with an eye toward a 2022 premiere on Epix.

Moreno received a leading actor Oscar nomination for her performance as the title character in HBO Films’ 2004 drama Maria Full of Grace. She won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Actress as well as the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival for the role.

She recently starred in indie feature The Quarry opposite Michael Shannon and Shea Wigham and soon will be seen in the independent feature Barbarians, opposite Iwan Rheon and Tom Cullen.

She was a series regular in Showtime’s The Affair and was recently seen as the lead in an episode of the Duplass brothers’ HBO Anthology series Room 104.

Rodrigo Prieto Awarded Vilcek Prize in Filmmaking by Vilcek Foundation

Rodrigo Prieto is a trailblazer…

The 55-year-old Mexican Oscar-nominated cinematographer is the recipient of the 2021 Vilcek Prize in Filmmaking, according to the Vilcek Foundation.

Rodrigo Prieto

The award is part of the Vilcek Foundation Prizes, which are bestowed in a range of categories each year, in celebration of the outstanding contributions of immigrant trailblazers, within the arts and sciences.

Prieto, a Mexican native, has established himself over the years as one of Hollywood’s most sought-after DPs. Boasting credits including Amores Perros and Brokeback Mountain, he’s known for his collaborations with renowned directors including Martin Scorsese, Ang Lee, Julie Taymor, Oliver Stone and Alejandro González Iñárritu.

A three-time Academy Awards nominee most recently recognized by the Academy for his groundbreaking work on Scorsese’s The Irishman, Prieto has also received accolades for his work from BAFTA, the American Society of Cinematographers and the Independent Spirit Awards.

Known for his unconventional camerawork, and his remarkably detailed, evocative compositions, the DP grew up with a visual artist for a mother and an aeronautical engineer for a father. Thus, in his own career, he would come to balance technology with artistry, aiming with each new project to create a distinctive and visceral, cinematic experience. “That combination…is something that I have in my DNA,” Prieto says, “utilizing technology and different techniques to create art.”

Established in 2006, as a means of championing diverse perspectives—thereby advancing the arts and sciences—The Vilcek Foundation has thus far awarded over $5.8 million to immigrants from 56 different countries.

“As leaders in the arts, we have a responsibility to promote diversity by making space, providing access, and amplifying the artistic contributions of marginalized groups and individuals,” Vilcek Foundation President Rick Kinsel says. “The Vilcek Prizes in the arts and humanities enable us to speak to the value of immigration for our society in a non-politicized way.”

This year, other prize recipients include geneticist Ruth Lehmann, chemical biologist Mohamed Abou Donia, entrepreneur (and former presidential candidate) Andrew Yang, and a number of filmmakers—among them, Juan Pablo González, Miko Revereza and Nanfu Wang.

González has been awarded the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Filmmaking for the artistic rigor and deep emotional engagement that he brings to his immersive and intimate explorations of his hometown in rural Mexico.

Up next for Prieto is Scorsese’s sprawling crime drama, Killers of the Flower Moon. Set in 1920s Oklahoma, the Apple Original Film centers on an investigation into a string of brutal murders within the Osage tribe. Eric Roth wrote the script, adapting an acclaimed work of nonfiction by David Grann.

Sonia Braga to Star Opposite Jennifer Lopez in Lionsgate’s “Shotgun Wedding”

Sonia Braga is reporting for Mom duty…

The 70-year-old Brazilian actress has been cast in Lionsgate’s Jennifer Lopez-led film Shotgun Wedding.

Sonia Braga

Braga will portray J.Lo’s mom in the film, which also stars Josh Duhamel and Jennifer Coolidge.

“We couldn’t be happier for our bride and groom of this Shotgun Wedding,” said Erin Westerman, president of production for the Lionsgate Motion Pictures Group. “We know Josh and Jennifer will make a compelling and sexy on-screen couple and they will be fun sparring partners as their dream destination wedding erupts into a memorable nightmare. We are also thrilled to bring Jennifer and Sonia on to our cast as Mothers of the Bride and Groom. Their acting and comedic talents will add another fun layer to this already-rich action-comedy.”

Logline: Darcy (Lopez) and Tom (Duhamel) gather their lovable but very opinionated families for the ultimate destination wedding just as the couple begin to get cold feet. And if that wasn’t enough of a threat to the celebration, suddenly everyone’s lives are in danger when the entire party is taken hostage. “Til Death Do Us Part” takes on a whole new meaning in this hilarious, adrenaline-fueled adventure as Darcy and Tom must save their loved ones — if they don’t kill each other first.

Braga, known for her Golden Globe nominated role in The Kiss of the Spider Woman, most recently starred in the Independent Spirit Award nominated Brazilian film Bacurau, from director Kleber Mendonça Filho.

Her feature credits include Wonder, The Milagro Beanfield War, as well as the miniseries Streets of Laredo, Luke Cage and The Burning Season.

Salma Hayek to Star in the Comedy “Limited Partners”

There’s a new partnership in Salma Hayek’s future…

The 52-year-old Mexican actress will star alongside Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne in Limited Partners, the Paramount Pictures comedy that Miguel Arteta will direct from a script by Sam Pitman and Adam Cole-Kelly.

Salma Hayek

Haddish and Byrne play two hard-charging best girlfriends who build a juggernaut company and find their relationship tested when they are made a big buyout offer. Suddenly all the differences that made them the perfect odd-couple partners put them at war, threatening their business and personal relationships.

Hayek plays the executive who makes the buyout offer, and becomes the corporate puppet master pulling the strings in creating acrimony among the partners. That drives the duo into a display of a one-upsmanship fued that gives the comedy shades of Superbad meets Bridesmaids.

It’s a reteaming for Hayek with Arteta, who directed her in the critically acclaimed film Beatriz at Dinner, which earned her an Independent Spirit Awards nomination for Best Female Lead.

Production begins in October.

Hayek, who earned an Academy Award nomination for her starring role in Frida, recently starred in The Hummingbird Project and will reprise her role in The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, the sequel to The Hitman’s Bodyguard.

Leto Wins His First-Ever Independent Spirit Award for “Dallas Buyers Club”

Jared Leto has the spirit (award)…

The 42-year-old part-Spanish American actor/singer picked up the first Independent Spirit Award of his career on Saturday, winning the Best Supporting Actor prize for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club.

Jared Leto

In what’s being called as one of the most memorable acceptance speeches of all time, Leto thanked just about everyone when he claimed his prize, including Justin Bieber and his “future ex-wife Lupita Nyong’o .

Wayne Gretsky, Baby Jesus, River Phoenix, Kurt Cobain, as well as “all the women I’ve been with and all the women who think they’ve been with me” were also on his list of thanks.

It’s the latest award for Leto, who earned an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of a male-to-female transgender character addicted to drugs and dying of AIDS in the Jean-Marc Vallee-directed film.

Leto has previously claimed his first-ever SAG Award from the Screen Actors Guild in January,

He also won his first-ever Golden Globe and a Critics’ Choice Movie Award for the role.

Leto Discusses His Award-Winning Role in “Dallas Buyers Club” Featurette

He’s serious Oscar buzz for his portrayal of a male-to-female transgender character addicted to drugs and dying of AIDS in Jean-Marc Vallee‘s Dallas Buyers Club…

Now Jared Leto is offering special insight into his critically-hailed role in “Making Rayon Real,” a featurette about the character.

Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club

In the video, courtesy of the film’s distributor Focus Features, the 42-year-old part-Spanish actor/singer – a best supporting actor hopeful – discusses what drew him to playing the character, what she taught him about himself, how he came to admire her and what he went through to bring her to life.

Among other things, Leto shed 40 pounds, waxed his body, altered his voice pitch and spoke with a dialect.

The video also features Leto’s costars Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner describing their experience working on the film with the actor — whom, they say, they only ever met as Rayon, and who remained in-character throughout the indie’s shoot.

Leto has already nabbed best supporting actor Independent SpiritCritics’ ChoiceGolden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award nominations for the role and he won the New York and Los Angeles film critics’ corresponding prize.

Peña Cast in Fox’s Drama Pilot “The List”

Michael Peña is officially on The List at Fox

The 37-year-old Mexican American actor has landed the lead role in Fox’s drama pilot The List.

Michael Pena

The project, from Paul Zbyszewski, Ruben Fleischer and 20th Century Fox Television, revolves around an intense deputy U.S. Marshal who must hunt down the person who stole “the list,” a file with the identities of every member of the federal witness protection program, when people on that list start getting picked off.

Peña’s character is described as a ruggedly attractive, oddly charismatic man, a notoriously quirky maverick who often gets into trouble with the bureaucracy.

Peña, who earned a 2013 Independent Spirit Award nomination for End Of Watch and starred opposite Ryan Gosling in Gangster Squad, recently wrapped up work with Ed Harris on the border drama Frontera.

He’ll next be seen portraying Cesar Chavez in the Diego Luna-directed film Chavez.

Hayek to Guest-Star on “30 Rock” Series Finale

Salma Hayek is planning to return to 30 Rockefeller Plaza for one last hurrah…

The 46-year-old Mexican actress – one of the best-dressed Latinas at this year’s Golden Globes – will return as a guest-star on the series finale of NBC’s 30 Rock, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Salma Hayek

Hayek, who was recently named co-chair of the Independent Spirit Awards, previously guest-starred on the long-running series as Jack Donaghy’s (Alec Baldwin) love interest Elisa, a fiery nurse who murdered her ex-husband.

The Frida star appeared in her multi-episode arc in season three.