Actor Michael B. Jordan received a special mention from members of the star-studded jury at the Zurich Film Festival for his turn in Fruitvale Station. Jordan was praised at the annual event in Switzerland for his portrayal of Oscar Grant, Jr., a 22 year old who was shot dead on the platform of Fruitvale Station in Oakland, California in 2009 after a cop pulled his gun instead of his Taser following an altercation between the pair.
The panel of judges, which included director Marc Forster and actress Melissa Leo, also named Mexican movie La Jaula De Oro (The Golden Cage) the winner of the Golden Eye for best film.
Other winners included Finsterworld, which picked up the Critics Choice Award and the German-Language Feature Film Competition.
Australian actor Hugh Jackman received the festival's Golden Icon Award at a special ceremony last week (28Sep13).
Hugh Jackman is set to be honoured with the Golden Icon Award at the 2013 Zurich Film Festival and the Donostia Award at the San Sebastian Film Festival next month (Sep13). The X-Men star will receive the Global Icon Award at a ceremony on 28 September (13) and will also present his new film Prisoners in the Gala Premieres section of the Swiss festival.
A statement from Zurich Film Festival Director Karl Spoerri reads, "Hugh Jackman is in a class by himself as a multi-talented entertainer with a global following. There is nothing he can't do and he proves this time and time again with every project he's involved in. We're honoured to recognise his brilliant career at the Zurich Film Festival."
Past honourees include Sean Penn, Michael Douglas and Morgan Freeman.
Jackman will also be feted with the Basque festival's Donostia Award for lifetime achievement on 27 September (13), along with Spanish actress Carmen Maura, at the San Sebastian Film Festival.
Past recipients include Oliver Stone, Ewan McGregor, Tommy Lee Jones, John Travolta and Dustin Hoffman.
The veteran moviemaker accepted the event's tribute award at the ceremony in Paris, where his political thriller, starring Pierce Brosnan, scooped the night's top film prize.
The Ghost Writer shared the honour with Xavier Beauvois' drama Of Gods and Men, while Polanski also received an award for direction and another for screenwriting, jointly with co-writer Robert Harris.
The Rosemary's Baby director was shooting the movie when he was arrested in Zurich, Switzerland in September 2009 over a sex charge dating back to the 1970s. He was released in July (10) after Swiss officials refused to extradite him to the U.S. and he returned to his adopted homeland of France.
Other big winners at the ceremony included Kristin Scott Thomas, who took home a best actress honour for her role in Sarah's Key, and Of Gods and Men star Michael Lonsdale, who was named best actor, according to Variety.
"I love those festivals and it would have been a real treat to go. I was greatly honoured that Danny went in my place. But I was sorry that I couldn't go there myself. It was just one of the things I had to cancel." Cancer-stricken actor MICHAEL DOUGLAS was upset he had to miss the Zurich Film Festival in Switzerland last month (Oct10). His pal DANNY DeVITO picked up his award for him.
The diminutive funnyman, who teamed up with Douglas in Romancing the Stone and Jewel of the Nile, jetted to the festival in Switzerland to take part in a tribute to Douglas, who is undergoing chemotherapy to beat cancer.
DeVito collected the Golden Icon Award at the festival on Sunday (03Oct10) at the final awards ceremony attended by Oliver Stone, Bob Geldof and Czech-American director, Milos Forman.
But DeVito managed to maintain a lively atmosphere during the heartfelt tribute, making lighthearted references to his pal's performance in Stone's Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, which closed the festival the same day.
He told the crowd: "Michael is so strong. He gets better and better with every movie he makes. So that's why I tell him to work more."
Forman was also presented with a career achievement honour at the event by Courtney Love.
The actor, who teamed up with Douglas in Romancing the Stone and Jewel of the Nile, will jet to the Zurich Film Festival in Switzerland to take part in a tribute to Douglas as the star undergoes chemotherapy for a throat tumour.
DeVito will accept the Golden Icon Award at the festival on 3 October (10), according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The film festival hit the headlines last year (09) - Roman Polanski was arrested there by Swiss police as he arrived to pick up a lifetime achievement award.
The director is currently under house arrest in Switzerland following his arrest in Zurich in September (09).
U.S. lawmakers want Polanski returned to America so he can be handed his punishment for having unlawful sex with a minor in 1977. He fled the country on the eve of his sentencing.
On Tuesday (11May10), several moviemakers showed their support for Polanski by signing a petition at the Cannes Film Festival in France, with stars including Jean-Luc Godard, Agnes Varda, Bertrand Tavernier and Olivier Assayas calling on Swiss officials to reject pressure from America to extradite Polanski.
Douglas admits that although he has a lot of admiration for the Rosemary's Baby director, he won't sign the petition - as Polanski should face the consequences of his actions.
In an interview with French radio station RTL, Douglas insists it would be "unfair" for him to sign a petition for "somebody who did break the law" and "jumped bail," adding Polanski had been given "some bad advice" when the scandal broke.
Top Story: Don Johnson Says He's Not a Money Launderer
Don Johnson vehemently denies any involvement in a money laundering ring, Reuters reports. The Miami Vice star, 53, told Reuters there is absolutely no truth to reports that the actor says have caused him "irreparable damage" including the closing of two of his bank accounts. A story originating in Germany and picked up by news organizations around the world claimed customs officials found some $8 billion in cash, bonds and share certificates in Johnson's Mercedes when he was stopped at the Swiss/German border last November. The actor says he was on his way back from a film financing meeting in Zurich and had some bank statements and resumes in a briefcase. A German customs spokesman confirmed to Reuters on Wednesday that there was no criminal investigation underway. "The only thing I can do is to deny these charges, show there is no truth in them and let people know I am not going to sit idly back and be slandered," Johnson said.
McCartney is Rock's Richest Guy
According to Rolling Stone magazine, Paul McCartney ranked as the top moneymaker in the world of music for 2002. The former Beatle took in approximately $72 million, due in large part to his first world tour in nine years. The Rolling Stones, who brought in $44 million, were runners-up.
Michael Jackson is Zoned Out
Adding to his growing list of troubles, Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch may now be in violation of zoning regulations after the former King of Pop claimed a tax break for preserving agricultural land, Santa Barbara County officials told The Associated Press. Officials plan to visit Jackson's home in the Santa Ynez Valley in the next month to determine whether he's surpassed the development limit for those claiming the credit, AP reports.
The Osbournes DVD Top Draw
With the recent TV-to-DVD boom, The Osbournes: The First Season is on its way to becoming the best-selling television series on DVD ever, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The DVD collection, which features America's favorite dysfunctional family in new interviews, as well as a blooper reel, sold more 650,000 units in its first six days. The current record holder is The Simpsons: The First Complete Season, which has sold 1.6 million box sets.
Chris Rock Gets a Star!
The Hollywood Walk of Fame has honored prickly comedian Chris Rock with his own star. "I think I'm as qualified to walk over as anybody else," Rock joked Wednesday before a crowd of about 300 people that included actor David Spade, his former Saturday Night Live colleague, AP reports.
ABC News Goes 24 Hours
On Wednesday Walt Disney Co.'s ABC News launched its own 24-hour online service, which includes live feeds for those with high-speed Internet connections as well as coverage of all world and domestic events, Reuters reports. "We are definitely trying, over the course of the next 18 months to 2 years, to take small steps in creating an Internet news channel," Bernard Gershon, senior vice president and general manager of ABCNEWS.com, told Reuters.
Armed Forces To Make War Film Shorts
If there is a war against Iraq, the U.S. Navy and the Marine Corps. are planning to document the frontline action and bring back stories of the soldiers to movie audiences in video shorts, Reuters reports, harkening back to the old Movietone film reels shown in theaters during World War II. "It's intended to fulfill the Navy and Marine Corps' obligation to maintain a strong tie to the public, to let them know what we're doing," Marine Lt. Colonel James Kuhn explained to Reuters.
Role Call: Dance and Romance
From Variety: We knew Jennifer Lopez had to jump on the musical bandwagon at some point. She is now poised to join Richard Gere in the remake Shall We Dance?, playing a dance instructor who helps a working man learn ballroom dancing, among other things… meanwhile, according to The Hollywood Reporter, steely Vin Diesel will try his hand at the romantic thing (good luck), in the Revolutions Studios comedy NY Giant, tackling the role of a hotheaded football player who has to deal with an uptight female etiquette expert or risk losing his lucrative endorsement contract.
Role Call Part Deux:
Variety reports two Daughters are vying to be first at theaters. Pop singer Mandy Moore will go in front of the cameras again in First Daughter for Regency Enterprises, in which she plays the President's 18-year-old daughter who slips away from bodyguards to embark on a road trip. A competing project, also called First Daughter, is to be directed by Forest Whitaker for Alcon Entertainment and distributed by Warner Bros., in which the President's college-aged daughter falls for a Secret Service agent hired to guard her.
Liza Minnelli has an exciting new year waiting for her, as she prepares for a wedding and a television tribute in March.
Minnelli plans to wed producer David Gest in New York, whom she met in Spetember when she appeared on Gest's production of Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Special, Gest's publicist Warren Cowan told The Associated Press. Jackson will reportedly serve as one of Gest's best men. It will be Minnelli's fourth marriage and Gest's first. "I am the happiest I've ever been,'' Minnelli, 55, said in a statement. "Everything I've been through was worth it to find David.'' In addition, Minmelli will star on her own television tribute, which was planned before Minnelli and Gest decided to marry and will feature Jackson and Minnelli in a dance number.
Ben Stiller has been named the "sexiest funnyman," according to People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive 2001" poll. "It's quite an honor to be in that subdivision of the not really sexy man but sexy funny man. It's almost sexy,'' Stiller, told Reuters. The actor next stars in Wes Anderson's upcoming comedy-drama, The Royal Tenenbaums, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Gene Hackman and Bill Murray.
American-born pop singer Melanie Thornton, vocalist for the dance group La Bouche, died on Saturday night in a plane crash near Zurich."It is true that Miss Thornton was on the passenger list. She is not among the survivors,'' Zurich police spokesman Karl Steiner told Reuters. Nine people survived out of the 33 aboard the Crossair jet, and police said the remaining 24 were presumed dead. Among Thornton's biggest singles were "Sweet Dreams," "Falling In Love" and " Be My Lover." Thornton, 34, was on tour to publicize her solo album "Ready to Fly." Her latest single, " Wonderful Dream'' is the song for a new Coca-Cola commercial and was due in stores Monday.
Jazz promoter, producer and manager Norman Granz, who recorded most of the major names in jazz including Louie Armstrong, Count Basie and Billie Holiday, died Thursday in Geneva, Switzerland, of complications from cancer, Virginia Wicks, a Los Angeles-based publicist, told Reuters. He was 83. "To Norman it wasn't the color, it was the music that mattered," Wicks said. "We would have less than half of the jazz music that we have today if it hadn't been for Norman Granz." Granz is survived by his wife Greta.
Comedian Rodney Dangerfield had a heart attack on Thursday, his publicist, Warren Cowan, has confirmed with AP. His heart attack comes one day after his appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, who dedicated a show to the comedian and taped birthday greetings from actors and fellow comics. According to Dangerfield's publicist, he will undergo an x-ray of the blood vessels on Monday, when doctors will determine what treatment he requires.