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Chili’s Restaurant, Fans Pay Tribute to Vine Star Adam Perkins...
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Adam Perkins, the former Vine star best known for his viral “Welcome to Chili’s” clip, is being remembered by fans — and even Chili’s itself — after news of his death broke on Wednesday. Perkins, who died on Sunday at age 24, was best known for his 2015 Vine in which he simply walked into a bathroom in his boxers and said, “Welcome to Chili’s!” At the time, Perkins captioned the video, “I’m really proud of this one,” and it went on to accumulate more than 25 million loops. Chili’s posted a tweet on Wednesday that read, “We are saddened by the news of Adam Perkins passing. He brought laughter to so many of us and will always be remembered and cherished. Rest in Peace, Adam.” Also Read: Adam Perkins, 'Welcome to Chili's' Vine Creator, Dies at 24 We are saddened by the news of Adam Perkins passing. He brought laughter to so many of us and will always be remembered and cherished. Rest In Peace, Adam.https://t.co/Yx6u6JA0Ya — Chili's Grill & Bar (@Chilis) April 14, 2021 In addition to being a Vine star, Perkins went on to release his own music. His twin, Patrick Perkins, announced on Wednesday that he’ll be releasing his late brother’s album “Latch Relay” via limited edition vinyl in his honor. Fellow musician Ricky Montgomery and former Vine creator Jeremy Cabo were among those who paid tribute to Adam Perkins on Twitter. Crediting Perkins as “one of the coolest creators on Vine,” Montgomery noted, “I wish we could see what other things he’d end up creating. Gone far too soon.” RIP Adam Perkins. one of the coolest creators on Vine. i credit him and his friends with being the first people to really start using the zoom in feature well, and now it’s just completely normal. I wish we could see what other things he’d end up creating. Gone far too soon — ricky montgomery (@rohmontgomery) April 14, 2021 rip Adam Perkins. the humor he created will go on for a generation. thinking of his loved ones today. — jeremy (@jeremycabo) April 14, 2021 You can read more fan tributes to Adam Perkins below. Rest in peace to a legend. Adam Perkins, forever welcoming us to Chili’s. You will be deeply missed pic.twitter.com/nHMNwXAhZ9 — Izzy (@LilMsIzz) April 14, 2021 The “Welcome To Chili’s” vine guy just died RIP Adam Perkins. Hope ur headed up to the great big Chili’s in the sky......
Diane Warren on Which of Her 12 Oscar-Nominated Songs She Absolutely Thought Would Win...
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This story about Diane Warren first appeared in the Down to the Wire issue of TheWrap’s awards magazine. When she landed a nomination this year for writing the song “Io sì (Seen)” from “The Life Ahead,” Diane Warren extended her own record for Oscar success: She’s now been nominated for songwriting 12 times over five different decades, from 1987 to 2021, albeit without ever winning. “How cool is it that the greatest composers and songwriters on the planet choose my songs to be in the top five, you know?” she said. “It’s a big deal, and I don’t take it for granted for a second.” A pause. “Would I like to win? Yeah, that would be really nice.” Warren gave TheWrap a guided tour to all 12 of her Oscar nominations. “Mannequin” / 20th Century Fox 1987: “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” from “Mannequin” Written with: Albert Hammond Performed by: Starship Lost to: “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” from “Dirty Dancing” Warren had a few pop hits before writing this theme for the comedy about a young man (Andrew McCarthy) who falls for a department-store mannequin that comes to life. It became her first No. 1 hit. “My first nominated song is basically about a guy who f—s a mannequin. How about that? But he does marry her, so he makes an honest mannequin out of her. I wrote it with my friend Albert Hammond, and the idea was to write a big wedding anthem for the end of the movie. So we went to some department stores, and I left Albert alone with the mannequins… No, just kidding. “But the movie became kind of a guilty pleasure, and the song lived on, too. I wonder how many mannequins have gotten married to it by now.” Also Read: Oscars Song Contenders on 'Common Thread' Through Their Songs: 'A Need to Be Heard and Seen' (Video) “Up Close and Personal” / Disney 1996: “Because You Loved Me” from “Up Close and Personal” Performed by: Céline Dion Lost to: “You Must Love Me” from “Evita” Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer have a May-December romance in Jon Avnet’s drama set in the world of TV journalism. “At the end of the movie he dies and she’s talking about what he meant to her. And I thought, ‘Let me write a song about somebody who saw something in you that nobody else saw and really lifted you up.’ It was a chance for me to thank my dad, because he really believed in me when I decided to be a songwriter. My mom was like, ‘What are you doing? Can you take your songs to Ralphs and get groceries?’ But my dad was more of a dreamer, and he always believed — he got me a subscription to Billboard and would take me to publishers and encourage me. It’s become a big wedding song for a lot of father-daughter dances, and also a big funeral song. “It was one of the two times I went to the Oscars thinking I was going to win, and I remember being bummed out when I didn’t.” “Con Air” / Touchstone 1997: “How Do I Live” from “Con Air” Performed by: Trisha Yearwood (and LeAnn Rimes) Lost to: “My Heart Will Go On” from “Titanic” The Michael Bay movie produced by Jerry Bruckheimer was Warren’s first time working with that team. It was not a smooth experience. “I guess there were a lot of people writing songs for ‘Con Air,’ and I had written ‘How Do I Live.’ I ran into LeAnn Rimes at a restaurant when she was 14 and had just won Best New Artist at the Grammys. I said, ‘Hey, I wrote a song — do you want to hear it and demo it? She loved the song and recorded it and did a big expensive video. And then I played it for Jerry Bruckheimer, and he didn’t like the production. It was too country, I guess, for the movie. But LeAnn’s dad, Wilbur, was like, ‘I’m not changing nothing for them Hollywood people!’ He wouldn’t budge. “So Jerry took the song to Trisha Yearwood and asked me if that was OK. I said, ‘Yeah, as long as LeAnn can put the record out, too.’ He said yeah, but then he suddenly said, ‘No, you have to pull it from LeAnn.’ I couldn’t do that, and everybody kind of hated me. Jerry Bruckheimer hated me and Trisha hated me and the LeAnn record wasn’t even going to come out. “I called Curb Records and talked them into putting it out, and the two records came out at exactly the same time. And people stopped hating me because they both became hits. Trisha had a No. 1 country record and won a Grammy, and LeAnn’s was the biggest record ever by a female artist. Jerry Bruckheimer told me, ‘I’m never going to work with you again.’ And then he worked with me again the next year.” Also Read: Jerry Bruckheimer's Longtime Paramount Deal Will Not Be Renewed Diane Warren and Steven Tyler / courtesy of Diane Warren 1998: “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” from ‘Armageddon’ Performed by: Aerosmith Lost to: “When You Believe” from ‘The Prince of Egypt’ Bruckheimer and Bay turned to Warren once again for the love theme to a global-disaster epic starring Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler, whose rock-star dad, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, handled the vocals. “The music supervisor on the movie, Kathy Nelson, said, ‘I’m going to get Aerosmith to do this.’ I was like, ‘No, you’re not — there’s no way they’ll want to do a song I wrote.’ I thought I was writing it for a female artist. But Steven loved the movie and loved the song. “I remember sitting at the piano next to him when he was singing the song, and what an amazing feeling that was. I could never have imagined it, but there was just something about a guy singing those lyrics (“I could stay awake just to hear you breathing…”). If a girl sings it, it almost sounds too needy. But guys aren’t usually that vulnerable, and to have macho rock star Steven Tyler singing those words was just perfect.” “Music of the Heart” / Miramax 1999: “Music of My Heart” from “Music of the Heart” Performed by: Gloria Estefan and N Sync Lost to: “You’ll Be in My Heart” from “Tarzan” Horror director Wes Craven changed course for this drama about a real-life music teacher who founded a school of music in Harlem; Meryl Streep played the teacher, with Gloria Estefan playing another teacher and singing the title song with a hot boy bad. “I wanted to write a song that was about these kids thinking about a teacher who changed their lives. It’s a good thing if you can tap into something personal when you write a song like that — but I thought back on my life, and there weren’t a lot of teachers like that for me, because I was a horrible student and got kicked out of school all the time. “But I did remember a counselor from a camp who was really kind to me. So I tapped into that when I wrote the song, kind of like I did with my dad before. The movie originally had a different title, but they changed it to match the title of the song.” Also Read: Oscar's Longest Losing Streaks: 12 People With 10-Plus Nominations and No Wins (Photos) “Pearl Harbor” / Touchstone 2001: “There You’ll Be” from “Pearl Harbor” Performed by: Faith Hill Lost to: “If I Didn’t Have You” from “Monsters, Inc.” Warren’s third nomination for a Bruckheimer/Bay collaboration found her losing to Randy Newman, who won his first Oscar after 15 song and score nominations without a win. “Jerry Bruckheimer made me rewrite that song 20 times. It was driving me crazy, but finally Michael Bay loved it and then Jerry couldn’t say anything else. Faith did a great job on it, and it’s another of those songs that has become a big funeral and in-memoriam song. The movie is obviously the first and most important place that a song has to work, but I’m happy that they get these other lives, too. “And I lost to Randy Newman. I remember writing him a note, going, ‘Well, if I had to lose to somebody, congratulations.’ I was really happy for him.” “Beyond the Lights” / Relativity 2014: “Grateful” from “Beyond the Lights” Performed by: Rita Ora Lost to: “Glory” from “Selma” After a 13-year absence from the Oscar race, Warren came back with a song from the romantic drama directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Nate Parker. It began a streak of six nominations in the next seven years. “I wrote the song for what the characters were going through. I loved the message of it — that you gotta be grateful for all the bad stuff you go through because it gets you where you are and it makes you stronger. But I was really shocked that it got nominated. It was a great movie, but nobody really saw it. But the people that did see the movie really loved it, and they must have loved the song as well.” Lady Gaga and Diane Warren at the Oscars / Getty Images 2015: “Til It Happens to You” from “The Hunting Ground” Written with: Lady Gaga Performed by: Lady Gaga Lost to: “Writing’s on the Wall” from “Spectre” Warren went into the Oscars as the prohibitive favorite to finally win for this powerful song written from her own experience with sexual abuse — but a few minutes after co-writer Lady Gaga brought the house down at the Oscars singing it while surrounded by abuse survivors, the song inexplicably lost to Sam Smith’s forgettable James Bond ditty “Writing’s on the Wall.” “I remember writing that song and thinking, ‘Oh, my God, this is definitely one of my best songs.’ The movie is about sexual assault on campus, but I always thought the song could be bigger than that, so in the lyrics I never said what the It was. It’s whatever you’re going through when people say, ‘It’s going to get better, just give it time.’ But when you’re in it, you’re like, ‘You don’t know how it feels until it happens to you.’ “And then I called Gaga, because I had heard that she had said something on Howard Stern that she’d been raped. I thought, ‘I’m just going to take a chance and play her the song. And if she’d gone through that, it’s going to connect with her. I played her the song and she was sobbing on the phone. “But nobody wanted that song to come out. The label, management, nobody wanted it to come out. So I called my friend, (director) Catherine Hardwicke, she listened to the song and said she’d do a video, I put in some of my own money, she put in some of hers, the actors worked for free, she made this brilliant video and then we leaked it out and it blew up. “At the Oscars, that performance was just stunning on every level. That was one of the best performances I’ve ever seen. People were sobbing in the audience, and then there was a commercial break and they came back and said, ‘And the winner is…’ and I thought, ‘What just happened?’ That was my memory of the night: I just kept saying, ‘What just happened?'” Also Read: Lady Gaga, Catherine Hardwicke, Diane Warren Team Up to Spotlight Sexual Assaults on College Campuses (Video) “Marshall” / Open Road Films 2017: “Stand Up for Something” from “Marshall” Written with: Lonnie R. Lynn (a.k.a. Common) Performed by: Andra Day and Common Lost to: “Remember Me” from “Coco” The second in Warren’s string of inspirational, soul-based nominated songs came from a biopic of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. “I loved the script, and I scribbled ‘It all means nothing if you don’t stand up for something’ on it. Before I wrote the song, I listened to ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ over and over again — not that I ripped it off, but I wanted it in my system as I wrote the song, to get inspired and go back to that era of soul protest anthems. “And then I thought it’d be great to get a rapper to bring these two eras together. I went to Sundance, and Common was sitting behind me on the plane — so when he was a captive audience, I said, ‘I have something really great for you.’ He told me to send it to him, and when he heard it he was so excited that the next time I checked my phone, I had nine missed calls from him.” “RBG” / Magnolia 2018: “I’ll Fight” from “RBG” Performed by: Jennifer Hudson Lost to: “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born” Warren went back-to-back with judge movies for a song from the Ruth Bader Ginsburg documentary, then ran into an Oscar-night buzzsaw in the form of old pal Lady Gaga’s “Shallow.” “I was like, ‘Cool, another Supreme Court justice!’ I just wanted to create an anthem for her. She was very soft-spoken, but she was loud because she changed the world. So I thought, ‘She needs a diva voice. Who is her avatar? How about Jennifer Hudson?’ “I played the song for Jennifer and she loved it. But I was under no illusions of winning that year, because it was going up against ‘A Star Is Born.’ I just thought, ‘Well, let’s just have a fun time.'” Also Read: Diane Warren, JoJo Call Upon Voters to Be 'The Change' in Song for New Biden-Harris Ad “Breakthrough” / Fox 2019: “I’m Standing With You” from “Breakthrough” Performed by: Chrissy Metz Lost to: “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from “Rocketman” The faith-based drama “Breakthrough” was one of the smallest movies Warren has written for, and she resisted the idea of letting lead actress Chrissy Metz handle the vocals until she heard Metz sing. “Chrissy Metz on the Oscars, that was pretty cool. I loved the movie and it inspired the song. And some pretty amazing things have happened with it. Sharon Farber did a video at the beginning of lockdown where singers and musicians from every continent played and sang on it, and it raised millions of dollars for United Nations COVID relief. The song really took on a life outside the film. I even did a rewrite during the pandemic: “Whatever you go through, I’m standing six feet away from you.” “The Life Ahead” / Netflix 2020: “Io sì (Seen)” from “The Life Ahead” Written with: Laura Pausini Performed by: Laura Pausini Her current nomination, which comes for the Sophia Loren film “The Life Ahead,” is the 10th Oscar-nominated song in a language other than English, and the first such song for Warren. “I wrote it in English as ‘Seen,’ thinking it was going to be in the movie in English. But when they put it against the movie, it didn’t work. But (director) Edoardo Ponti loved the song, and he wanted it to work. And the way to get it to work was to translate it into Italian. “The cool thing about the song, and what’s unusual for me, is that Edoardo actually took out dialogue from the movie to make the song be the dialogue. They literally changed the movie to fit the song.” Read more from the Down to the Wire issue here. Related stories from TheWrap:Harvey Weinstein Accuser Writes #MeToo Stage Musical With Diane Warren (Exclusive)'Da 5 Bloods' Composer Terence Blanchard Proposes Blind Auditions for Film Scoring to Boost Diversity (Video)Oscars 2021: Harrison Ford, Halle Berry and Rita Moreno Among First Batch of Presenters......
Call to come up with a State education policy...
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Emphasising the need for the State government to evolve a State education policy which will address the educational needs of the people, the State Pla......
Evolve policy on education for State, government told...
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Emphasising the need for the State government to evolve a State education policy which will address the educational needs of the people, the State Pla......
Review: The Nemesis DLC for Stellaris is a glorious add-on for horrible people...
The Next Web
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The much-anticipated Nemesis expansion for Stellaris launches tomorrow alongside the game’s free 3.0 patch. I managed to get my hands on a review copy so I could “be the crisis,” and I have some early impressions. First things first: Nemesis is primarily an end-game enhancing DLC. But its accompanying free update has a little something for everyone including much-needed improvements to early game scenarios such as making first contact with alien species and a wonderfully-implemented version of Europa Universalis IV’s espionage system. What’s good: The biggest changes with Nemesis occur during the end game. Players will have several new options in…This story continues at The Next Web......
'No one is safe': Bilawal assails govt for leaving citizens 'helpless' in face of TLP violence...
The Dawn News - Home
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PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Wednesday lashed out at the government for allegedly leaving citizens "helpless" during three days of violent protests staged across the country by Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) activists following their leader's arrest. In a statement, Bilawal "strongly condemned" the deadly violence seen in many parts of the country this week after Saad Hussain Rizvi was taken into custody. "Such kind of torture, abductions, occupation of state and private properties and attacks on police personnel by enraged mobs cannot be allowed," the PPP leader said, according to a series of tweets by his party. Editorial: Pandering to demands by reactionary forces only emboldens them further Demanding that action be taken against the people involved in the violence as per the law, Bilawal said the government could not be permitted to "avoid fulfilling its responsibility". Starting on Monday, charged TLP activists blocked roads across the country, damaged public properties, clashed with police and even held some law-enforcement personnel hostage, videos of which were widely shared on social media. At least two policemen were killed and more than 300 injured in the violence. Although the government avoided any major crackdown against the violence for the first two days, it announced on Wednesday that it will move a summary to ban the TLP under the anti-terrorism law. Earlier today, law enforcement agencies and officials also moved to clear TLP activists from roads in different cities as protests entered a third day. "The incidents of violence this week show that the selected government has pushed the country into a quagmire — a dangerous quagmire where nobody is safe," Bilawal alleged in his statement. He said even police "appears in need of protection" in the tenure of the PTI-led government. "The government has left the people helpless," he added. While conveying condolences for the police personnel and citizens killed in the violence, Bilawal called upon the government to ensure the injured are provided with proper treatment facilities. On Tuesday, four people were killed, hundreds of protesters and policemen were injured and thousands of TLP activists and supporters were arrested and booked for attacking law enforcement personnel and blocking main roads and highways. Why is TLP protesting? The TLP is protesting against the arrest of their leader Rizvi and blasphemous caricatures published in France. They have demanded that the French ambassador be sent home and import of goods from that country banned. The government had reached an agreement with the TLP on Nov 16 to involve the parliament to decide the matter in three months. As the Feb 16 deadline neared, the government had expressed its inability to implement the agreement and sought more time. The TLP had agreed to delay its protest by two-and-a-half months to April 20. On Sunday, the party chief, in a video message, had asked the TLP workers to be ready to launch the long march if government failed to meet the deadline. It had prompted the government to arrest him. Police had swooped on Rizvi at around 2pm on Wahdat Road in Lahore on Monday where he had gone to attend a funeral. Outraged, the TLP had issued a call for countrywide protests.......
A Journal of the Weirdest Awards Season Ever, From Streams to Vaccines and Everything in Between...
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Illustrated by Chris Morris A version of this story first appeared in the Down to the Wire issue of TheWrap’s awards magazine. The Oscars have been delayed and disrupted before, but there has never been an awards season like the one that will end on April 25 at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. Starting soon after last year’s Oscars on Feb. 9, 2020, the world changed, first with a global pandemic and then with a long-delayed reckoning with institutional racism. The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 and 2021 caused the deaths of more than 500,000 people in the United States and close to 3 million around the world and led to significant cultural and economic turmoil. It also had a profound impact on the entertainment industry and the business of awards — changing the way films are distributed, hastening a move from theaters to streaming, and forcing awards groups to redefine what constitutes a motion picture and reconsider how to hand out awards without bringing people together. It turned this year’s awards season into the strangest, most tumultuous one ever and left us with huge questions about when Hollywood would return to normal if it ever really would. Here’s how it played out. Illustration by Chris Morris 2020 JANUARY By the time the Sundance Film Festival begins on January 23, many people have heard about a virus that is spreading in China, with the first confirmation of a case in the U.S. coming two days before the festival begins. But the crowds in Park City aren’t particularly concerned. “Minari” and “Promising Young Woman” premiere to good notices — but with only seven Sundance films going on to Best Picture nominations over the past decade, nobody is thinking that far ahead. Adele Haenel leaves the Cesar Awards / Getty Images FEBRUARY The Academy Awards go on as scheduled on February 9 and draw the lowest ratings in history. In-person shows continue to take place and theaters remain open. At the end of the month, a stormy Cesar Awards in Paris ends with “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” director Céline Sciamma and actor Adèle Haenel leaving the theater when Roman Polanski wins the best-director award, with Haenel shouting “Bravo, pedophilia!” on her way through the lobby. MARCH The virus slams into Hollywood. On March 6, the South by Southwest festival is canceled on orders from the city of Austin, Texas. Before theaters close, Pixar’s “Onward” scores the final big opening weekend of the year with $40 million. But the release of the James Bond movie “No Time to Die” is delayed from April to November over coronavirus concerns, and Sony Pictures closes its offices in London, Paris and Gdynia, Poland out of what it says is “an abundance of caution.” On March 11, things get real: Tom Hanks, who is filming in Australia, announces that he and his wife, Rita Wilson, have contracted the virus. In short order, sporting events are suspended, theme parks close, Broadway theaters go dark and TV networks cancel their upfront presentations. The Tribeca Film Festival is postponed, then the Cannes Film Festival. In mid-March, the mayors of Los Angeles and New York City announce that all theaters in those cities must close. AMC and Regal become the first cinema chains to shut down their theaters nationwide. U.S. box-office figures fall to their lowest level in more than 20 years. Film Independent announces that films selected by SXSW, Tribeca and other festivals will still qualify for Spirit Awards even though those festivals aren’t taking place. The Golden Globes allow films that have lost their theatrical releases to still qualify. The Television Academy delays Emmy voting and bans all in-person “for your consideration” events. The Tony Awards are delayed indefinitely. Universal makes “Trolls World Tour” available for digital rental on the day of its theatrical release, March 20, while Disney+ drops “Frozen 2” onto the service three months ahead of schedule. Studios and exhibitors lay off or furlough thousands of workers, and production essentially stops. Nielsen reports a major spike in television viewing. The Netflix series “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” becomes the first pandemic sensation. “Artemis Fowl” / Disney APRIL One by one, virtually all spring and early summer films are delayed. Disney pulls “Artemis Fowl” off its release schedule and schedules a Disney+ premiere instead. Universal decides to skip theaters and take Judd Apatow’s “The King of Staten Island” straight to VOD, and Warner Bros. does the same with its animated film “Scoob!” WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey says the company is “rethinking our theatrical model.” At the end of the month, the Motion Picture Academy bows to the inevitable and changes Oscar rules to allow films that premiere on streaming or VOD to qualify for Oscars for this year only. Michael B. Jordan at #BlackLivesMatter protest / Getty Images MAY Following the decision to allow streaming premieres to qualify for the Oscars, the Television Academy issues a reminder that any Oscar-nominated streaming films will be disqualified from Emmy consideration. More films, including Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton” and the Tom Hanks movie “Greyhound,” move from theatrical to digital releases. Cannes admits a physical festival is impossible but says it’ll release a list of “Cannes 2020” films that it would have shown if it could. The Oscars put Cannes on a list of festivals that can be used to qualify documentaries, even if those festivals don’t happen; the new rules instantly qualify more than 90 nonfiction films. The Producers Guild and Directors Guild also change their rules to allow streaming releases to qualify for film awards. On May 25, George Floyd is killed when Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneels on his neck for more than eight minutes after a store clerk claims that Floyd passed a counterfeit $20 bill. #BlackLivesMatter protests consume the U.S. and spread around the world, while increased scrutiny turns to Black representation in Hollywood. AMPAS JUNE The Academy postpones the 93rd Oscars from Feb. 28 to April 25, 2021, the latest date the show has been held since a November show in 1932. It also extends the eligibility period from Dec. 31, 2020 to Feb. 28, 2021, giving the 2020 Oscars a 14-month year. BAFTA and the Spirit Awards immediately adjust their own dates, and in subsequent weeks so do all other awards shows. The Academy also invites more than 800 new members, meeting the goals it set during the #OscarsSoWhite protests in 2016 to double the number of female and nonwhite members by 2020. At the same time, a task force headed by producer DeVon Franklin works on what it says will be “new representation and inclusion standards for Oscar eligibility.” After holding onto its July 17 release date for months, Warner Bros. finally bumps the release of “Tenet,” the Christopher Nolan movie that some have envisioned as the blockbuster that will restart the theatrical experience, to July 31. A couple of weeks later, it moves the film to August 12. The Toronto International Film Festival unveils a smaller lineup of films than usual and says the festival will involve a combination of drive-in, virtual and socially distanced screenings and events in its usual early-September time slot. California film production, which fell by 97% in the second quarter, rises to about one-third of normal over the summer under strict new guidelines. “The Trial of the Chicago 7” / Netflix JULY Netflix picks up Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” from Paramount, which could not guarantee that it would be able to give a theatrical release before the November U.S. presidential election to the drama about anti-government protests in 1968. The Venice, Telluride, Toronto and New York film festivals announce that they will work together to showcase films rather than competing with each other for premieres. Less than a week later, Telluride cancels its festival but says it will release the list of films it would have shown. Netflix sets a new record with 160 Emmy nominations. “Tenet” is delayed again. AUGUST A federal judge throws out rules that have prevented film studios from owning theater chains for the past 71 years. Given the precarious state of theatrical exhibition, no studios rush to buy theaters. The Emmys decide to present awards in five separate, virtual Creative Arts ceremonies, followed by the Primetime Emmys telecast. “Tenet” opens overseas, earns $53 million in its first weekend and leaves most reviewers puzzled. Back in the USA, theaters begin to reopen and the brutal Russell Crowe thriller “Unhinged” becomes the first big(ish)-budget release, opening to a paltry $5 million and eventually earning $20 million. Less than three months after appearing in “Da 5 Bloods” and two months before the release of his starring role in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Chadwick Boseman dies of colon cancer after keeping his diagnosis secret. By the end of the month, about half the theaters in the U.S. have reopened. Frances McDormand at the drive-in premiere of “Nomadland” / Getty Images SEPTEMBER The pandemic drags on, but on Sept. 4, “Tenet” becomes the first mega-budget, major-studio film to open theatrically. The film opens to just $9.3 million, and goes on to gross $57 million in the U.S. (a fraction of Nolan’s usual business). The same day, “Mulan” is made available on Disney+ for an extra charge of $30 on top of the subscription price. The Venice and Toronto Film Festivals take place in scaled-down versions, with Venice happening in person and Toronto mixing outdoor and distanced indoor screenings with a virtual screening room for the industry and press. Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland” premieres at both festivals simultaneously, as well as in a Los Angeles drive-in screening sponsored by Telluride. It then wins the jury prize in Venice and the audience award in Toronto, becoming the default Oscar front runner. “One Night in Miami,” “The Father” and “Pieces of a Woman” are among the other festival premieres, although Netflix opts to keep its entire slate — “Chicago 7,” “Mank,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and several others — off the festival circuit. The Academy announces new inclusion and diversity standards for Best Picture eligibility. Patterned after standards used by BAFTA and the British Film Institute, they will require films to submit demographic data and to meet certain standards in two of four different areas: onscreen representation, themes and narratives; creative leadership and project team; industry access and opportunities; and audience development. Some people criticize the standards for being too stringent, while others say they’re not strict enough. On Sept. 20, the Emmys take place in a largely virtual format, with messengers in hazmat suits delivering awards to the winners. For the first time ever, the majority of acting winners are Black. The show is the lowest-rated Emmys ever. BAFTA changes its voting rules to increase the diversity of its nominations. The Spirit Awards add television categories. “The Trial of the Chicago 7” premieres on Netflix to favorable reviews around the same time that Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” remake is pushed into 2021. The New York Film Festival takes place largely virtually, though with drive-in showings in New York’s five boroughs, and draws a record 70,000 viewers. “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” / Amazon Studios OCTOBER The James Bond movie “No Time to Die” is pushed from November to 2021. After the announcement is made, Regal Cinemas says that it will close 543 theaters in the U.S. that had previously reopened, citing the lack of major releases. The Academy’s Board of Governors loosens the rules for Oscar eligibility again, and recognizes drive-ins as commercial theaters for the purposes of Oscar qualifying. The AFI Fest takes place virtually and showcases far fewer Oscar-contending films than usual for the Hollywood crowd. AMC begins offering private movie theater rentals starting at $99 for up to 20 people. “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” one of many movies that pushed to finish before the U.S. presidential election, premieres on Amazon Prime on Oct. 23. Most of the attention goes to a scene in which young Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova, playing the daughter of Sacha Baron Cohen’s character, finds herself in a room with Rudy Giuliani, who flirts with her and then sticks his hands down his pants (or tucks in his shirt, depending on whom you believe). The following week, David Fincher’s “Mank” has its first virtual screenings, and immediately leaps near the top of many Oscar prediction lists, particularly in the below-the-line categories. Joe Biden election celebration in West Hollywood / Getty Images NOVEMBER Joe Biden is declared winner of the U.S. presidential election over Donald Trump. Hollywood, for the most part, rejoices. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” screens and results in huge Oscar buzz for Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis. By the middle of the month, more than 80 films have paid $12,500 to be in the Academy Screening Room, meaning that online showcase for Best Picture contenders has earned the Academy more than $1 million. Theatrical distribution on any kind of large scale remains almost impossible. After months of saying that she will not accept a streaming premiere for her film “Wonder Woman 1984,” director Patty Jenkins goes along with Warner Bros.’ plan to debut the film on HBO Max on Christmas Day. “At some point you have to choose to share any love and joy you have to give, over everything else,” she says. “News of the World” / Universal Pictures DECEMBER With coronavirus cases surging and the lame-duck president showing little interest in taking steps to stop it, more theaters close. Sundance Film Festival announces that its 2021 edition will be largely virtual but will also include drive-in or socially distanced events in cities around the country. Warner Bros. reveals plans to release its entire 2021 slate of films — 17 movies, including “The Suicide Squad” and “Matrix 4” — simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max. Christopher Nolan says he is in “disbelief” over the hugely controversial move. Theatrical movies “are being used as a loss leader for the streaming service…without any consultation,” he says. Jesse Collins, Stacey Sher and Steven Soderbergh are named producers of the 93rd Academy Awards. In a statement, they describe themselves as “thrilled and terrified in equal measure.” “Another Round” sweeps the European Film Awards, which take place in a largely virtual format. On December 18, the New York Film Critics Circle, who’ve declined to stretch the eligibility year into 2021 the way most awards bodies did, names Kelly Reichardt’s austere indie “First Cow” the year’s best movie. Two days later, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association says that 2020’s best film is Steve McQueen’s “Small Axe,” which is actually five different made-for-television movies that are running on Amazon and BBC and have been entered for awards consideration as a limited series, not movies. Universal opens Paul Greengrass’s “News of the World” in theaters on Christmas Day. “There’s a cost to that — creatively to me, financially to the studio,” Greengrass says of releasing the film when many theaters aren’t open. “But as an expression of faith in our business, faith in the healing power of the movies, I think that what we gain is beyond measure.” The film grosses just $12.6 million, though it does receive four Oscar nominations. “Wonder Woman 1984” also opens in select theaters in addition to its HBOMax release, earning $16.7 million in the largest opening weekend since the pandemic began. Almost $2 million of that total comes from fans booking private screenings for themselves and their friends. Sundance Film Festival drive-in screening in Nashville / Getty Image 2021 JANUARY The Recording Academy moves the Grammy Awards, which were scheduled to take place in late January, to March 14. This does not please SAG-AFTRA, since the Screen Actors Guild Awards have been scheduled for March 14 for months. SAG moves its show to Easter Sunday, April 4. The National Society of Film Critics, who like other influential critics’ groups have stuck to the calendar-year eligibility, name “Nomadland” the best film of 2020. Three days later, that film also wins the Gotham Award. A remarkable 238 films qualify in the Oscars Best Documentary Feature category, shattering the previous record of 170 and showing just how dramatically the new qualifying rules expanded the doc field. The Oscars’ Best International Feature Film race sets a record of its own with 93 contenders. Because of concerns about the security of Zoom meetings, the Academy eliminates the executive committee “saves” and expands the shortlist from 10 to 15 films. On Jan. 20, Joe Biden is inaugurated and vows to vaccinate 100 million Americans in his first 100 days in office. MGM nonetheless moves “No Time to Die” again, changing its release date from April to October over fears that vaccinations will not happen quickly enough. Other studios follow suit with their spring releases. Cannes is postponed until July, though a subsequent European surge makes even that date seem questionable. The Sundance Film Festival takes place as a largely virtual event. Because of the extended Oscar eligibility date, a handful of films use Sundance as a launching pad for awards campaigns, foremost among them Shaka King’s “Judas and the Black Messiah.” By the end of the month, more than 200 movies are in the Academy Screening room, which means the Academy has made $2.5 million on the platform. “Tenet” is not one of those movies. Golden Globes protest / Getty Images FEBRUARY It starts to finally feel like awards season as Golden Globe and SAG nominations are announced on Feb. 3 and 4, respectively. While the Globes slate includes some landmarks, including three women in the Best Director category for the first time ever, it almost completely ignores Black-led films in the best-picture categories. Netflix completely dominates, with 35% of the nominations. SAG, meanwhile, gives a little boost to “Minari” by nominating it for the ensemble award, bypassing “Nomadland” (a film with mostly nonprofessional actors) in that category. The Oscars announce shortlists in nine categories. Most of them go as expected, though the international category includes a couple of surprises, Tunisia’s “The Man Who Sold His Skin” and Hong Kong’s “Better Days.” The Academy also announces that 366 films have qualified for Best Picture, the largest number in 50 years. “Mank” and “Minari” lead the Critics Choice Awards nominations while “The Trial of the Chicago 7” leads the BAFTA longlists. But the stream of nominations feels half-hearted, and Golden Globes weekend at the end of the month is missing its usual stream of events: No AFI Awards lunch, no Spirit Awards Nominees Brunch, no BAFTA tea party. Throw in no in-person screenings with Q&As and receptions, no junkets at the Four Seasons and opportunities for voters to chat and lobby for their favorites, and it’s an awards season without a real means for generating buzz. On Feb. 28, the Golden Globes hold a ceremony with in-person presenters but virtual acceptance speeches. The widely derided show is the lowest-rated Globes ever, though the ratings and the winners (“Nomadland” and “Borat”) are overshadowed by an L.A. Times story detailing the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s ethical lapses and its lack of a single Black member. Getty Images MARCH “Nomadland” wins the Critics Choice Awards and the Scripter Award. AMC Theatres announces that it lost $4.6 billion in 2020 and then says its theaters will reopen in Los Angeles on March 19. New York is also cleared to reopen. Oscar nominations are announced on March 15, with a record number of nonwhite acting nominees and the first-ever Best Director lineup that contains more than one woman. The Academy cancels the Oscar Nominees Luncheon and the Governors Ball and says the Oscars will take place at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, with only nominees, presenters and one guest each in attendance. Later that same day, 104 top Hollywood PR agencies sign a letter saying they will withhold their clients from HFPA press conferences and events until the organization makes significant changes. The HFPA promises it will, beginning by admitting at least 13 Black members to bring the total membership to above 100. Later in the week, the Oscar show producers send an email to all the nominees promising a safe, in-person show. They also insist that nominees who chose not to attend will not be able to participate via Zoom or video links. Less than a week later, they add European hubs for nominees who can’t travel. The Writers Guild Awards take place on March 21 and the Producers Guild Awards on March 24; “Borat” and “Promising Young Woman” win at the former show, “Nomadland” at the latter. Both ceremonies are virtual, with all the nominees pre-taping acceptance speeches in case they win. Those speeches are understandably short on excitement or giddiness, though the shows are a lot more streamlined and quicker than usual. “Tenet” finally shows up in the Academy Screening Room. Pamela Chelin for TheWrap APRIL The pre-taped SAG Awards give their film awards to Chadwick Boseman, Carey Mulligan, Daniel Kaluuya, Yuh-Jung Youn and the cast of “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” That last film gets a little boost at a time when everybody’s trying to figure out if anything can rally to beat “Nomadland” by the time this loooong season ends. A week after the SAG Awards, the Directors Guild Awards and BAFTA’s EE British Academy Film Awards take place, both staged in in-person/virtual hybrids. “Nomadland” quickly seizes back any momentum it may have lost at SAG, winning the top prize at both shows. More movie theaters open… but just as Los Angeles is approved to increase the attendance in its theaters to 50%, Pacific Theatres announces that it will not reopen its ArcLight Cinemas and Pacific Theatres locations. The news that the showcase Hollywood ArcLight location would close prompted an outpouring of cinephile anguish on Twitter from Barry Jenkins, John Chu, Adam McKay, Rian Johnson, Lulu Wang and others. More awards shows take place virtually. The Oscars continue to try to figure out what they can do safely. And everybody wonders if Emmy season, which will be well underway by the time the Oscars take place, will look more normal. Read more from the Down to the Wire issue here. ......
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