Weekly Roundup – Spike gets prickly, the 2021 doc field takes shape, and female directors break Oscar records

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

Pushing ahead with plans for a July edition, Cannes announced this week that Spike Lee had (once again) agreed to serve as the head of their competition jury. Spike also made his feelings known about Da 5 Bloods – which was originally intended to premiere at the 2020 edition of Cannes – receiving but one Oscar nomination by singing the praises of Delroy Lindo and putting on a “We Wuz Robbed” poster sale.

With Sundance and SXSW now in the books, Hot Docs will mark the first major 2021 festival to unfold on this side of the border. They’ve just announced their second round of Special Presentation titles, which include a few imports from Sundance. Meanwhile CPH:DOX – one of the first festivals to migrate online last spring – have just unveiled their competition lineups. Nanfu Wang’s In the Same Breath – which investigates COVID-19’s origins – can be found on both lists.

With Islands, his debut feature, premiering at SXSW, Toronto’s Martin Edralin spoke to Filmmaker Magazine’s Aaron Hunt about bringing Filipino culture to the screen and assembling his cast. As he details, “We just went as deep as we could into the community. We knew we wouldn’t find professional actors, the pool is so small. Besides ethnicity, the age: middle age and seniors. Even if you’re casting white, age is difficult. So we started on social media and then we went to Filipino stores and restaurants with casting posters or handed out flyers.”

Suffice it to say, Promising Young Woman’s Emerald Fennell was considerably more satisfied with the recent Oscar nominations. This, of course, is the first year that two women are in the running for Best Director. (In total, there are a record 70 women with 76 Oscar nominations.) Fennell and star Carey Mulligan talked to The Guardian’s Amy Fleming about releasing the film in the UK against a backdrop of protests over violence against women. Fennell suggests, “The thing that I feel that is happening right now is that conversation is really happening. It’s such an uphill struggle for things to be taken seriously; it has always felt so relentless. But over the past few years it feels as if we are able to more publicly have a conversation – and to communicate our fear and our anger and our distress. And, for the first time ever, it feels perhaps as if people are willing to listen.”

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