Everything is delayed, canceled, or on hold at the moment due to the coronavirus COVID-19, which means that film festivals are having to make some tough choices. Cannes is postponed. SXSW was canceled, but they recently announced they would try to put together an online film festival with Amazon Prime Video. TIFF has yet to make a decision one way or another, but festival runners Joana Vicente and Cameron Bailey mentioned last week that they were considering a potential digital festival. Digital film festivals are a distinct possibility in several locations, but there’s one fest that has flat-out refused to go digital: the Venice Film Festival.
With the coronavirus continuing to upend film festivals across the globe, some are wondering if virtual, online film festivals might be the solution for the time being. And while some fests – SXSW, TIFF – are open to this idea, the Venice Film Festival isn’t having it. Speaking with Variety, a Venice spokesperson said: “The Venice Film Festival cannot be replaced by an online event,” adding that “there is obviously the possibility that we use technology for some initiatives, [but] it’s too early for this to be decided.”
The Venice Film Festival is supposed to run in September, and as of now, everyone involved with the fest is still operating under the assumption that the festival is still on. Organizers have put out a call for “projects for its Final Cut in Venice co-production workshop dedicated to supporting works from the Middle East and Africa, currently scheduled to be held during the fest.”
Venice artistic director Alberto Barbera was quoted as saying he and his team “are working just the same as in past years” and that they “cannot provide specifics about the future.” The only thing they can confirm is that no matter what happens, the festival will not go digital. While some are more than happy to accept the idea of a digital festival – no travel fees! – not everyone is okay with the idea. For one thing, if a film without distribution were to debut digitally and then immediately be pirated, it would hurt its chances at eventual purchase. Plus, many filmmakers and producers long for that festival buzz that can only be achieved by screening titles for a live audience.
But we remain in uncharted territory for the moment, and it’s unclear just when the coronavirus situation will end. As of now, Italy remains in strict lockdown, and if that continues into the fall, there’s very little chance the Venice Film Festival will go off as planned....
In honor of Women’s History Month, Lionsgate has given us digital download codes for movies featuring some of the studio’s favorite leading ladies, and we’re passing them along to you. You could always use more things to watch during this time of self-isolation, right? Read on to find out how to win copies of Bombshell, Judy, The Hunger Games, A Simple Favor, and The Spy Who Dumped Me.
One lucky winner will win a bundle prize containing a digital download code for each of these films. To enter, send us an e-mail at [email protected] with the words “Lionsgate Giveaway” in the subject line. And since this giveaway is honoring Women’s History Month, we want to hear about your favorite performances from the women who play prominent roles in these movies. So in the body of the email, explain what your favorite performance is and why! from Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, Renée Zellweger, Jennifer Lawrence, Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Mila Kunis, or Kate McKinnon. If you’re bored and looking for something to do to kill some time, feel free to write about more than one of them. We’ll choose the answer we like best, and email the winner with their winning codes. The contest begins now and ends at midnight PST on Wednesday, March 25, 2020.
First up is Bombshell, director Jay Roach‘s 2019 film about the sexual harassment scandal that took down Fox News chief Roger Ailes. The movie won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling for the incredible work the team did, transforming actress Charlize Theron into the spitting image of Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly. Read our review here.
Next up is The Hunger Games, Gary Ross‘s 2012 dystopian action film that launched Jennifer Lawrence to the next level of her career. This movie kicked off one of Lionsgate’s biggest franchises, and continued the trend of YA adaptations that dominated much of the 2000s and 2010s. Read our review here.
Then there’s A Simple Favor, director Paul Feig‘s sexy, funny mystery thriller starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively from 2018. This is an underrated and underseen movie, and now is the perfect time to catch up with it. Read our review here.The Spy Who Dumped Me Giveaway
And finally, we’re also giving away five copies of Susanna Fogel‘s The Spy Who Dumped Me, the goofy 2018 spy comedy starring Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon. Read our review here.
The 2006 Oscars will forever be remembered as the infamous ceremony where “Crash” beat “Brokeback Mountain” for Best Picture. Ang Lee’s groundbreaking gay romance was the critical favorite and it won three of the eight Oscars it was nominated for that year: Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score. Headlining actors Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal both earned Oscar nominations for their performances. The actors were asked to present during the 2007 Oscars telecast, but Gyllenhaal revealed in a recent interview with Another Man magazine via NME that Ledger turned down the opportunity because it would mean making jokes at the expense of the gay “Brokeback” love story.
“I mean, I remember they wanted to do an opening for the Academy Awards that year that was sort of joking about it,” Gyllenhaal said. “And Heath refused. I was sort of at the time, 'Oh, okay... whatever.' I'm always like, ‘It's all in good fun.’ And Heath said, 'It's not a joke to me — I don't want to make any jokes about it.’”
Gyllenhaal, “That's the thing I loved about Heath. He would never joke. Someone wanted to make a joke about the story or whatever, he was like, 'No. This is about love. Like, that's it, man. Like, no.'”
Ledger was nominated in the Best Actor category but lost to “Capote” star Philip Seymour Hoffman. Gyllenhaal lost to George Clooney in “Syriana” for Best Supporting Actor. “Brokeback Mountain” marked the first Oscar nominations for both actors. Ledger would go on to be nominated and win his Oscar in the Best Supporting Actor race for his role as the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight.” Ledger received the Academy Award posthumously. “Brokeback” remains Gyllenhaal’s sole Oscar nomination to date.
Gyllenhaal has previously spoken about Ledger’s disdain for “Brokeback Mountain” jokes, but this is the first time the actor has revealed his late co-star turned down the Oscars. Gyllenhaal told “Today” in July 2019 that “Brokeback” marked a pivotal moment in his career. “It opened tons of doors,” he said. “It was crazy. It was amazing. It's defined my career in different ways. [But the film] is bigger than me...It has become not ours anymore. It's the world's.”
Read Gyllenhaal’s latest interview in its entirety on the Another Man website.