HomeNewsFD News: Fest feast; Bjork bites; Cross cross; Facebook flix

FD News: Fest feast; Bjork bites; Cross cross; Facebook flix

Animation Fest launches search for Academy gold; Facebook enters streaming market with ‘Skam’; and David Cross finds himself caught in racism allegations.

FD News: Fest feast; Bjork bites; Cross cross; Facebook flix

Animation Fest launches in search for Academy gold

This weekend sees the launch of Animation Is Film Festival at the historic TCL Chinese 6 Theater on Hollywood Boulevard. Founder Eric Beckman describes the festival as a “highly curated selection of the best feature filmmaking” throughout the world. Hailing from the New York International Children’s Film Festival, Beckman sees this new animation fest as a chance for new audiences to feast their eyes on bold new animated films.

The AIFF launches amid a change in Oscar-voting rules meaning there’s a lot more opportunity for animated features. Films being shown include The Breadwinner (produced by Angelina Jolie), and Mary & The Witch’s Flower. Beckman argues he’s not swayed by the search for Oscar gold – but we think it’s just swell seeing the animated market undergo diversification.

Björk elaborates on sexual harassment comments

Icelandic odd-pop icon Björk expanded on her comments about alleged sexual harassment. Having made only one film with Lars von Trier in the troubled production Dancer in the Dark, the singer alleged today that von Trier had “clear sexual intention” paralleling “Weinstein methods”. Von Trier unequivocally denies all allegations.

Björk’s abuse accusations form part of the developing burst of stories around Hollywood’s history with sexual predatory. The quirky musician being brought into the whirlpool of hideous trauma is utterly sad. Dancer in the Dark not only won a Palme d’Or at 2000’s Cannes Film Festival; Björk picked up the best actress prize that year too. Knowing there’s such a dark story behind the dark film is all the more disturbing.

David Cross caught in criss-cross over racism allegations

David Cross publicly fought back against claims of alleged racism from over a decade ago by actor-writer Charlyne Yi, soon to star in The Disaster Artist. The actress alleged in tweets two days ago that Cross had once made racist comments about her and a friend. On Twitter, Cross dismissed the claims, claiming himself he would never “intentionally hurt someone like that” and arguing it was possible both he and Charlyne were “misremembering” the night, which prompts the question whether anyone at all recalls the naughties.

Cross, soon to star in Arrested Development’s fifth season, hinges his denial on faulty memory, contending he’d never be capable of such speech – while allowing he is “truly sorry” for any hurt he might have caused. This tit-for-tat emerges in tandem with a wider outpouring of scandal amid the Weinstein allegations unleashing universal scrutinization of the working culture within Hollywood.

Facebook barges into streaming market, commissions teen drama. Big whoop.

In tune with Refn-flix and a whole host of other burgeoning streaming empires, Facebook announced today it too is looking for a slice of that fresh extra-large subscription pie. Simon Fuller’s remake of the Scandinavian teen drama series Skam will be launching on the new platform Facebook Watch in the not-too-distant future. Skam is part of Facebook’s own foray into the realm of streaming television, as the media empire continues to expand beyond its social origins.

Skam has run for four seasons in Norway already, following the lives of teenagers in a wealthy borough of Oslo. One assumes this kind of teen drama has obvious potential under the Facebook banner, though some posit streaming service saturation might be becoming acute over the next few years. We’ll see if Skam sticks the landing in its transition to English-speaking audiences.

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Nathan Hardisty is a screenwriting student, 'Blade Runner' obsessive, and all-round consumer of everything even vaguely not-mainstream. He likes to pretend he's not a hipster. When he's not writing about himself in the third person, he's walking his dog or writing a story that goes nowhere.

nathan.hardisty@gmail.com