News Roundup: Jan. 20

Top Story

Voters at last night’s closing ceremonies of the Sundance Film Festival, Robert Redford‘s annual showcase of independent film, were swayed by women’s endeavors. Personal Velocity, a movie trilogy about three women dealing with life-altering experiences, won the grand jury prize for dramatic feature and best dramatic cinematography and Real Women Have Curves won the audience award for best dramatic feature.

The grand jury prize for best documentary went to Daughter From Danang, which follows an Amerasian child’s search for her natural mother after she was adopted by an American woman. Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony, examines the roles of freedom songs in South Africa’s battle over apartheid and took the audience prize for best documentary as well as the annual freedom of expression award.

In General

Somali-American community leaders have called for a boycott of Black Hawk Down, charging that the film depicts their homeland’s people as savages, The Associated Press reports. Omar Jamal, executive director of the Somali Justica Advocacy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, fears the film could create a backlash against refugees who fled to the United States. Omar cited the death of a Somali man punched at a Minneapolis bus stop in October, which triggered accusations in the Somali and Muslim communities of a hate crime.

Two anti-fur protesters claiming allegiance to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) made their way onto the catwalk at Italian designer Donatella Versace’s haute couture show in Paris on Saturday, Reuters reports. One woman managed to partially unroll a poster that read “Fur Kills. PETA” before being tackled by security. Stunned audience members included Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow, who later exchanged jokes about the incident.

Supermodel Niki Taylor filed a lawsuit on Thursday against Conde Nast (Glamour magazine’s parent company), claiming that representatives of British Glamour manipulated and coerced her into exposing scars from her April 2000 car accident for a photo shoot. Taylor claims the photo’s publications will result in “irreparable harm” to her career, reports.

Singer/songwriter Dido won best album and best newcomer at the music industry’s NRJ awards in Cannes on Saturday. Jennifer Lopez won best female artist, beating out Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Geri Halliwell and Mariah Carey. Michael Jackson won best male star but was not there to accept his award. The gala kicked off the 36th annual Midem music industry festival.

In Who Wants to be a Millionaire news, seven former and one current star of an Aaron Spelling series will be featured on ABC’s Millionaire on Feb. 11, 12 and 13, MediaWeek reports. Scheduled to appear are Shari Belafonte (Hotel), Gabrielle Carteris (Beverly Hills, 90210), Stephen Collins (7th Heaven), Bernie Kopell (The Love Boat), Cheryl Ladd(Charlie’s Angels), William Shatner (T.J. Hooker) and Robert Urich (Vegas).

Harry Potter star Rupert Grint has landed a role in a new British film called Thunderpants, Ananova reports. Rupert, who will play a child genius who invents a special pair of pants to help his friend become an astronaut, called it, “the windiest film ever.”

For the next 7 days, movie fans who had the opportunity to design the official poster for the upcoming movie Resident Evil starring Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez, will have the power to choose the winning entry. Five semi-finalists have been chosen from more than 3000 entries and their artwork is now posted online at

Rapper C-Murder has been arrested in the shooting death of a 16-year-old at a nightclub, the AP reports. Police in New Orleans have accused Corey Miller, 30, of fatally shooting Steve Thomas following an argument on January 12, at the Platinum Club in Harvey, La., but the rapper has not yet been formally charged.