Weekly Roundup: Apted remembered, the rise of hybrid dramas, and the art of playing an icon

Your handy one-stop-shop for film news, interviews, articles, and videos from the week that was.

Shortly after our weekly roundup was posted last week, news broke that esteemed documentarian Michael Apted had passed away. VIFF staff will fondly remember Michael’s visits to the festival, including 2019 when he conducted a Q&A after 63 Up and delivered an invaluable masterclass.

As one would expect, many tributes thoughtful tributes have been penned, including RogerEbert.com’s Matt Zoller Seitz praising Apted’s versatility and The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw citing the director’s uncommon understanding of how class shapes individuals. Yesterday, The New York Times’ Joe Coscarelli asked the question on many people’s minds: what happens next with the Up project?

The Gotham Awards kicked off what’s set to be a protracted 2021 awards season on Monday by declaring Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland their Best Picture. Other winners included VIFF alums Fourteen (Best Screenplay) and Time (Best Documentary). The Gotham Film & Media Institute also used the occasion to announce a new Joel Schumacher Mentorship Award intended for 2SLGBTQ+ and BIPOC filmmakers.

This latest accolade for Zhao’s film also offers us a chance to belatedly point readers in the direction of Pat Mullen’s December piece for Point of View Magazine that examines the new wave of hybrid dramas. As he writes, “An emerging trend sees filmmakers cast people as themselves in stories dramatizing their experiences… New evolutions in hybrid film employ the power of self-representation to move audiences with the drama of our increasingly fragmented world.”

At long last, Regina King’s directorial debut One Night in Miami is available to stream on Amazon Prime. In an extended video interview over at IndieWire, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Leslie Odom Jr., Aldis Hodge and Eli Goree discuss King’s process as a director and the daunting prospect of playing Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, Jim Brown and Muhammad Ali, respectively.

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