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'Great Directors' Film Series on TCM & 'A Promise to the Dead' Academy Screening

Jeanne Moreau, Henri Serre, Oskar Werner in Jules and Jim
Jeanne Moreau, Henri Serre, Oskar Werner in François Truffaut's Jules et Jim

In June, Turner Classic Movies' month-long series “Great Directors” will be celebrating the efforts of 52 films directors, from past and present, from Hollywood and overseas (though, as to be expected, mostly Hollywood).

Among TCM's “greats” are, inevitably, Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Billy Wilder, Steven Spielberg, and John Ford, but also Jacques Tourneur, Mervyn LeRoy, and Budd Boetticher.

Akira Kurosawa, Federico Fellini, Carol Reed, and Ingmar Bergman are four of the non-Hollywood filmmakers who have been included in the series.

Each weekday of the “Great Directors” series will feature two directors – one during the day; the other at night.  The daytime lineup includes Victor Fleming (June 2), Fritz Lang (June 8), John Huston (June 11), Jacques Tourneur (June 12), Robert Wise (June 16), Blake Edwards (June 19), Otto Preminger (June 23), David Lean (June 26) and Sidney Lumet (June 29).

Weeknight primetime directors include John Ford (June 1), Frank Capra (June 2), Ingmar Bergman (June 4), Steven Spielberg (June 5), Preston Sturges (June 10), Akira Kurosawa (June 11), Woody Allen (June 12), Orson Welles (June 16), François Truffaut (June 18), Martin Scorsese (June 19), Stanley Kubrick (June 24), Federico Fellini (June 25), Norman Jewison (June 26) and Cecil B. DeMille (June 29).

Each Saturday and Sunday, TCM will present 24 hours of one director's work. The filmmakers in questions are William Wyler (June 6), Michael Curtiz (June 7), Billy Wilder (June 13), Howard Hawks (June 14), Mervyn LeRoy (June 20), Vincente Minnelli (June 21), Alfred Hitchcock (June 27) and George Cukor (June 28).

Academy screenings

A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman

Neil Leifer's Portraits of a Lady and Peter Raymont's A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman will be screened as part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 27th annual Contemporary Documentaries series on Wednesday, April 29, at 7 p.m. at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood. Admission is free.

Portraits of a Lady takes a look at the work of 25 artists who participated in a painting session with former US Supreme Court judge Sandra Day O'Connor in 2006. Following the screening, Leifer and co-producer Walter Bernard will take questions from the audience.

A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman

A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman examines the life of Ariel Dorfman, the Chilean author who wrote numerous novels, plays, poems and essays in both Spanish and English.

All films will screen at the Linwood Dunn Theater at the Academy's Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. All seating is unreserved.

The Linwood Dunn Theater is located at 1313 Vine Street in Hollywood. Free parking is available through the entrance on Homewood Avenue (one block north of Fountain Avenue). For additional information, visit www.oscars.org or call (310) 247-3600.

Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting

The deadline for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 24th annual Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting competition is May 1, 2009. Entries must be postmarked by May 1 or submitted online by 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on May 1.

As per the Academy's press release, "the program is open to screenwriters who have not earned more than $5,000 writing fictional work for film or television. Entry scripts must be feature length and the original work of a sole author or of exactly two collaborative authors. The scripts must have been written originally in English. Adaptations and translated scripts are not eligible. Up to five $30,000 fellowships are awarded each year."

Several past Nicholl fellows have gone on to successful screenwriting careers, including Doug Atchison (Akeelah and the Bee), Ehren Kruger (Reindeer Games, Scream 3), and Andrew Marlowe (Air Force One).

Returning as Nicholl Committee Chair is 1992 Nicholl fellow Susannah Grant, who wrote the The Soloist, opening nationwide on Friday. Grant also wrote and directed Catch and Release (2007), shared writing credit on Charlotte's Web (2006), adapted In Her Shoes (2005), and in 2000 received an Academy Award nomination for Erin Brockovich. Grant's writing credits also include 28 Days, Ever After and Pocahontas.
Since the program's inception in 1985, 108 fellowships have been awarded.

Application information is available now on the Academy's Web site at www.oscars.org/nicholl.

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