The News Selected by Ray Pride See All


"With Toronto, Telluride, Ven­ice, New York and other key fests opening amid an overcrowded field that includes films postponed from 2020, the acclaim, buzz and dis­tinction festivals bestow on award contenders is more important than ever — especially for spec­tacles such as Dune, which lose impact on the small screen in hybrid streaming/theatrical releases. Yet the surging Delta variant now threatens to derail premieres, star appearances, in-person screenings and the press, the public’s and Oscar vot­ers’ willingness to attend them.

"On August 27, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sci­ences postponed all screenings and in-person events for 2021. And on August 30, despite the U.S. having around 60 times as many COVID-19 cases as Canada and a much lower vaccination rate over the previous four weeks, per Johns Hopkins University data, the U.S. State Dept. advised Americans to “reconsider travel to Canada due to [a high level of] COVID-19” there.

“There’s nothing conclu­sive right now, and everyone is not quite sure how to proceed because of the nature of the COVID pandemic,” says Sony Pic­tures Classics co-president Tom Bernard. “Telluride and Toronto have changed what they are going to do dramatically in the last few weeks, putting in a lot more proto­cols. The New York Film Festival is to be determined—what are they and AFI Fest going to do? Running a festival is like trying to [control] an oil tanker. You can’t just stop it, [and most events] don’t have festival insurance where you can say, ‘COVID shut us down, we gotta get paid.’ It brings up a lot of questions that are really difficult to answer.”

"It wasn’t supposed to be this way..."

Variety | September 9, 2021


“A coalition of some of the nation’s most powerful labor unions is pressuring the Federal Trade Commission to put the brakes on Amazon’s $8.45 billion gambit to buy MGM as the agency decides whether to approve the would-be takeover.”

Twitter | August 11, 2021


Ethan Coen Quits?

Twitter | August 3, 2021

LA Times

Crisis Consultant Tells HFPA: “Consider what will happen if you do not pass the bylaws… Some of you may wish for an alternate future but the reality is totally different. As journalists, you understand what the headline will be if you do not pass these bylaws.”

LA Times | July 26, 2021

Ty Burr Moves House From The Globe To Substack

July 25, 2021

LA Times

"A subsidiary of South Korean entertainment company HYBE in April acquired Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings for $1.05 billion. Seoul-based CJ Entertainment and Merchandising invested in studio Skydance last year, as part of a $275 million strategic funding round with other investors."
South Korea Wants A Hollywood Footprint: JTBC Studios Acquires Majority Stake In Content Arm Of CAA

LA Times | July 25, 2021

The Staff And Board of The Canyon Cinema Foundation Address SFMOMA On Planned Elimination of Film Program

"SFMOMA’s recent decision to eliminate its Film Program (among other vital, inclusive, and community-focused programs) is a stunning disavowal of its own history. Moreso, it is a shocking divestment from SFMOMA’s stated commitment to “exhibiting film as an essential medium of modern and contemporary art” and to fostering a vibrant film culture in San Francisco. Following the renovation of its state-of-the-art Phyllis Wattis Theater in 2016, SFMOMA has demonstrated the ability, and financial willingness, to present film at the highest quality. Combining excellent film curation and world-class projection, SFMOMA has become a flagship of cinema exhibition in the Bay Area, which makes the decision to cut its Film Program especially puzzling. It is disappointing and disheartening to learn that a museum that claims to be a center for “the most innovative and challenging art of its time,” now holds the medium of film and the projected moving image in such low regard..." [More here]

July 24, 2021


“Comments from WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar on AT&T’s July 22 quarterly earnings call made it clear that the studio’s tentpoles will no longer be having a dual-release plan. Kilar did say that Warner Bros. will produce 10 or more movies exclusively for HBO Max for 2022.”

Variety | July 22, 2021


Grazer-Howard Imagine Entertainment Joins Hello Sunshine, SpringHill, A24 And Others In Rush For Billions-Dollar Valuation And Buyout

Variety | July 20, 2021


Toronto International Film Fest To Benefit From Canada Lifting Pandemic Travel Restrictions

Deadline | July 20, 2021


NATO Mighty Angry At Disney Black Widow Rollout

Variety | July 19, 2021


AMC Networks Reach $200 Million Settlement in "The Walking Dead" Profit-Participation Lawsuit

Variety | July 18, 2021

LA Times

Hollywood Foreign Press Association Members Rebel: “Our members — imagine how diverse we are. We’ve got Muslims and Jews and Catholics.... We want to change. We want to do good things, but it doesn’t have to be this drastic... Let’s not be overly woke.”

LA Times | July 14, 2021


How Many Billions Would You Pay For A24?

Variety | July 13, 2021

Erika Dilday, Exec Director of American Documentary: "I don’t see this as a Ken Burns problem. I see this as a blind spot that has gone throughout leadership, which I think is changing now. Sylvia Bugg, PBS chief programming executive and general manager, general audience programming, and PBS president and chief executive officer Paula Kerger, who had a conversation with the Beyond Inclusion team are really looking to change this. I do agree that in the past, probably the right people were not in the room to make the right decisions. But this is far more nuanced than just numbers. It’s far more nuanced than making sure that you have this many people of color, BIPOC people, Latino or Hispanic people, women or gender non-identifying people making films. It’s about content and impact and really digging in and saying, ‘How do we make this landscape reflective of our country, the world and people with different perspectives and points of view?’ I don’t want to just count numbers. I really don’t. I want us to dig deeper. I want us to try harder. We owe a debt to our audiences to bring them content that stretches them, that enriches them and that sometimes will make them a little uncomfortable. But that takes the trust that they put in us to deliver information and ideas that they might not normally get in their arm chairs, and bring them something that really does reflect what’s going on in this country that’s informed by voices that maybe they would never hear."

July 10, 2021