News Roundup: Jan. 13

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The tragedy of Sept. 11 was clearly remembered Saturday as the Sundance Film Festival showcased five documentaries revolving around the terrorist attacks on New York’s World Trade Center. The shorts dealt with a wide range of topics, from death to survival to dealing with hate crimes against Muslims to protests against the U.S. war effort.

Made by New Yorkers in the days following the collapse of the Twin Towers, the films left audiences gasping, weeping and even singing at the end of one film, We Are Family, about how celebrities raised money for victims’ families.

“It’s not a program about what happened that day,” Geoffrey Gilmore, artistic director of the famed independent film festival, told Reuters. “That’s something that’s going to happen over the next couple of years.”

In General

Even though Survivor winner Ethan Zohn was pretty excited about winning a million dollars, fewer viewers seemed to be. The ratings for CBS’ Survivor: Africa finale were far below the previous two installments, only taking in 27.3 million viewers compared to 51.7 million and 36.4 million, for the first and second Survivor shows, respectively.

Adoring couple Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston settled their $50 million federal lawsuit against Italian jewelry designer Silvia Damiani, after accusing the jeweler of marketing copies of the wedding ring Pitt designed for his lady love on the Internet and using the stars’ names and faces for publicity. Apparently, it was all just a big misunderstanding and now Pitt has agreed to design an exclusive line of jewelry for Damiani while Aniston will peddle it in advertisements. Well, glad that was cleared up.

Yet another twist in the Oscar race…A Beautiful Mind was picked as the year’s top movie by the Broadcast Film Critics Association. Other accolades for the film went to Russell Crowe for best actor, Jennifer Connelly as best supporting actress and Mind director Ron Howard, who tied with Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge) for best director. Sissy Spacek took another nod for best actress for her turn in In the Bedroom and Ben Kingsley won best supporting actor for Sexy Beast.

The late R&B singer Aaliyah, who died tragically in plane crash in August, topped the British singles charts with her song “More Than A Woman.” It was the first British No. 1 for the American singer/actress, as she ousted UK newcomer Daniel Bedingfield’s debut “Gotta Get Thru This.”

Jurassic Park and ER creator/writer Michael Crichton has filed for divorce from his fourth wife, Anne-Marie Martin, after 14 years of marriage. Crichton moved out of the couple’s Bedford, N.Y. home and now lives in California with their 12-year-old daughter, Taylor.

NBC late-night talk show host and funny guy Conan O’Brien said “I do” Saturday at the St. James Cathedral in Seattle, Wash. to Liza Powel, a Seattle ad executive. He met her when she appeared on his show in a skit about advertising.

Muhammad Ali got the greatest star of all on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles on Friday–but not where people could walk all over him. He insisted his star be installed on the wall of the new Kodak Theater complex instead of joining the other 2,188 famous people on the famed Hollywood Boulevard.

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