Oscar Eve Party Report: Rami Malek, Spike Lee, Melissa McCarthy and Glenn Close With Her 4-Legged Date (Photos)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

When planning out the weekend rolling into Oscar Sunday, top talent had to make key choices when it came to which Academy Awards pre-event to go to first, how long to stay, what to wear (naturally), how many to hit in a single night and is the venue dog-friendly?

Here’s a look at some of the most coveted invites from the weekend.

Jeffrey Katzenberg, Glenn Close, Regina King, Rami Malek and George Clooney attend MPTF’s ‘The Night Before’ The Oscars at Fox Studio Lot on Feb. 23. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for MPTF)

As every Hollywood player knows, you’re only as good as your last picture in this town; and you never know when your career might take a downturn. That’s why the Motion Picture and Television Relief Fund’s annual “Night Before” fundraiser is always the place to be on the Saturday evening before the Oscars, as it reveres and raises cash for the venerable service organization that supports members of the entertainment industry in time of need, be it for social services, retirement care or financial desperation.

It’s a behemoth, the one party that seems to get bigger every year; these days it has outgrown the town’s ballrooms and now happens at Fox Studios, where it raised $5 million for the fund by the end of this year’s 17th annual star-studded party. Look one way, there was MPTF Foundation chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg along with Glenn Close, Regina King, Rami Malek and George Clooney posing for a photo op (above).

Look another and earlier Oscar winners Leonardo DiCaprio, Viola Davis and Helen Mirren were in the crush, too, along with current nominees like Amy Adams, Spike Lee, Yalitza Aparicio, Adam Driver, Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen.

And they kept on coming, more nominees in the stars-everywhere-you-turned crowd were Sam Elliott, Richard E. Grant and Willem Dafoe and past winners popped up, too, including Allison Janney and Octavia Spencer. Even Taylor Swift turned up: She stars in the Universal’s upcoming film version of “Cats.”

Also Read: Oscar Week Party Report: Glenn Close, Allison Janney, LaKeith Stanfield and More Hit the Scene (Photos)

Glenn Close and Pippi at Sony Pictures Classics annual Oscar Nominees Gala Dinner sponsored by Maestro Dobel at STK LA.
(Photo by Michael Simon/startraksphoto.com)

Saturday began with the Independent Spirit Awards and after party, where smaller indie films are celebrated. Glenn Close was triumphant as best actress for her work in “The Wife,” and that party gal kept right on going after a quick outfit change to the Sony Pictures Classics’ Pre-Oscar dinner at STK Los Angeles to celebrate the win.

She brought her daughter Annie Starke (who co-stars in the movie) and her little dog, too. Sir Pippin of Beanfield had quite the day on the red carpet (above) — and even went on stage during the Spirit Awards, too.

Also chowing down on steak, cod and a celebratory flourless chocolate cake at STK were Sony Pictures Classics’ other Academy Award nominees, best foreign language contenders Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (“Never Look Away”) and Nadine Labaki (“Capernaum”) and best cinematography hopeful Caleb Deschanel (“Never Look Away”), who brought his actress daughter Emily to the party.

Rami Malek and Brian May are seen as Vanity Fair and Genesis celebrate the cast of “Bohemian Rhapsody” on Feb. 22 in L.A. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)

Dinner at Cecconi’s on Friday night was all about “Bohemian Rhapsody,” as 20th Century Fox joined up with Vanity Fair and Genesis automobiles to toast that Freddie Mercury/Queen biopic with Belvedere Vodka and Hennessy XO (and to nibble those fabulous Cecconi truffle flatbreads, too).

Stars Rami Malek (above, with Queen guitarist Brian May), Lucy Boynton, Mike Myers, Ben Hardy and Allen Leech joined original Queen members May and Roger Taylor, along with singer Adam Lambert, who takes on Freddie’s vocals with the band these days. That power trio will perform at the Oscar show on Sunday.

Also Read: Oscar Parties 2019: All the A-List Events Happening in Hollywood

Friday night was awash with talent agency bashes, too, as CAA, UTA and WME all honored their nominees and clients. Naturally, the stars made sure to at least stop in for a photo op with their reps.

At the CAA Pre-Oscar Party sponsored by Heineken, best actress nominee Melissa McCarthy brought hubby Ben Falcone (above; both are in that agency’s stable) to check out the new San Vicente Bungalows in WeHo. Also along for the dance-filled bash were some of CAA’s biggest wattage stars, including more 2019 nominees (Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga), as well as Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx, Gerard Butler and Mick Jagger.

Over at the Sunset Tower, UTA pulled in their team of nominees, too — everyone from animation geniuses Brad Bird (“Incredibles 2”) and Phil Lord with Christopher Miller (“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”) to “Roma” breakout star Marina de Tavira. Ethan and Joel Cohn made the scene, too, along with Joel’s wife Frances McDormand, who took home last year’s best actress trophy. Kate Beckinsale, Tracee Ellis Ross, Elizabeth Banks and Nicholas Hoult stopped into this one as well, which went off to the dancing tunes spun by DJ Spider.

Meanwhile, WME’s Friday night celebration was at a private home, where client and best actor nominee Rami Malek was the center of attention. Other WME loyalists who stepped out to that party were Liam Hemsworth, Gal Gadot, Serena Williams, Rebel Wilson and Ginnifer Goodwin.

Christoph Waltz greets Olivia Colman at the ICM Partners 2019 Oscar Party held at a private residence in Beverly Hills, CA on Thursday, February 21, 2019 (photo: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)

A bit ahead of the weekend’s packed party schedule, ICM held its bash on Thursday at partner Hildy Gottlieb’s Beverly Hills home. Her hubby, director Walter Hill, co-hosted the event for the seriously talented crowd, including 2019 client nominees Olivia Colman (above, with past winner Christoph Waltz), Regina King, Spike Lee, Sandy Powell, Fiona Crombie and Guy Nativ.

Spike Lee and Cedric The Entertainer attend the ICM Partners 2019 Oscar Party held at a private residence in Beverly Hills, CA on Thursday, February 21, 2019 (photo: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)

They enjoyed cocktails and canapés with former Oscar winners like Waltz and Kathy Bates. Former Academy Award nominees on the talent-filled scene were Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, Jacki Weaver and Jeff Goldblum. Spike Lee and Cedric the Entertainer shared a moment (above); we’re guessing Cedric still wants to know why he didn’t get a role in “BlacKkKlansman”!

Also Read: The Scene at TheWrap’s Oscar Party Honoring Women and Inclusion (Photos)

Richard E. Grant and Michael Howells, British Consul General, attend a reception for U.K. Oscar nominees at British Consul General’s Residence on Feb. 22. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Friday night was also a night for Hollywood’s ex-pats to make merry, at least those from Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany, that is. Those proud countries hosted special pre-Oscar revelries to single out their citizens, beginning with the U.K. Film afternoon bash at the British Consul’s residence in Hancock Park.

There, with tea and scones (and some gin thrown in for good measure), best supporting actor nominee Richard E. Grant joined Michael Howells, the British Consul General in Los Angeles (in the photo below), for a champagne toast to all the nominees from across the pond.

Shamier Anderson, Canadian Consul General Zaib Shaikh and Stephan James at a pre-Oscar celebration for Canadian Oscar nominees. (Photo: George Pimentel)

A few blocks away, at the residence of the Consul General of Canada, a big crowd celebrated everything short, since the Canadians own “five of the 10 short film nominations this year,” as Consul General Zaib Shaikh told the cheering Canucks gathered in his back yard.

He also shouted out to TeleFilm Canada and the National Film Board of Canada for their ongoing financial and creative support of Canadian filmmakers. Nominees on hand included Alison Snowden, David Fine, Domee Shi, Jeremy Comte, Marianne Farley, Marie-Helene Panisset and Trevor Jimenz. Some of Canada’s favorite Hollywood actors — Nia Vardalos, Maxim Roy and brothers Shamier Anderson and Stephan James (the star of the 2019 best picture nominee “If Beale Street Could Talk”) — joined in the late afternoon fete. Anderson and James flank Shaikh in the photo below.

Oliver Masucci, Tom Schilling, Saskia Rosendahl and Sebastian Koch attend the German Oscar reception at The Villa Aurora on Feb. 23 (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images)

Over at The Villa Aurora in the Pacific Palisades, Germany also had their own Friday afternoon “die Feier” (celebration) to honor that country’s nominees, with accolades for Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, director of the best foreign film “Never Look Away,” and his stars Oliver Masucci, Tom Schilling, Saskia Rosendahl and Sebastian Koch (pictured above).

Also Read: Oscar Nominees Celebrate Most Inclusive Year Yet at TheWrap-WanderLuxxe Party

Glenn Close and Yalitza Aparicio attend the Women in Film Oscar Nominees Party at Spring Place on February 22, 2019. (Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images for Women In Film)

Taking over the newest party space in Beverly Hills, Women in Film made Friday night their own. At Spring Place (on Wilshire and Spaulding), traffic backed up and females poured out of chauffeur-driven rides to make their way up to the 12th annual WIF Oscar Nominees Party.

Everyone came to support the idea of empowering women in every aspect of film, from current nominees including Regina King, Sandy Powell and Marina de Tavira to Glenn Close and Yalitza Aparicio (below), who both dressed in suffragette white.

Kate Bosworth at the Women In Film Oscar Nominees Party at Spring Place on Feb. 22 (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Chloe Wine Collection)

Actress and producer Kate Bosworth led the rest of the talented crowd — Angela Bassett, KiKi Layne, Connie Britton, Lake Bell, Eva Longoria, Felicity Huffman and WIF head Cathy Schulman among lots of others — in launching a new initiative aimed at female directors. Chloe Wine Collection launched the “She Directed” contest in conjunction with WIF and Bosworth, with plans to provide four women both mentorship from established Hollywood veterans as well as funding for a future project.

“It’s a very important initiative,” Bosworth (above) told The Wrap amid the din of the party. “It’s important to continually strive to put women at the center of the story. It’s frustrating that women still have to fight so hard to direct in this industry. It’s frustrating. It really is beyond frustrating. Women in general are some of the most ferocious energies on this planet and I think it’s about harnessing that ferocity. I get frustrated, I sometimes just want to upturn the entire table. But it’s about making enough noise that you get a seat at that table.”

Nominees toast onstage during the 12th annual Women in Film Oscar Nominees Party Presented by Max Mara with additional support from Chloe Wine Collection, Stella Artois and Cadillac at Spring Place on Feb. 22. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Chloe Wine Collection)

Women garnered 61 Oscar nominations this year, a record number, as Cathy Shulman told the appreciative crowd. “We are at the height of gender parity in Hollywood right now, since we started Women in Film 12 years ago. But gender parity is still the issue. Only 25 percent of this year’s Oscar nominees are women. We still need to keep fighting!”

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Women In Film’s ‘#GotStamped: Gender Parity Success Stories’: Watch Deadline’s Sundance Series Panel Livestream

Read on: Deadline.

As part of the Stella Artois & Deadline Sundance Series, Nisha Ganatra, Bruna Papandrea, and Cathy Schulman sat down for special Women in Film panel titled “#GotStamped: Gender Parity Success Stories” moderated by Amanda N’Duka.
Ganatra colla…

Cathy Schulman & Jeff Gaspin Developing TV Series Adaptation Of ‘Mr. Nice Guy’ Novel With ‘FOTB’s Laura McCreary

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EXCLUSIVE: Oscar winning producer Cathy Schulman (Crash) and former NBCUniversal TV Entertainment chairman Jeff Gaspin and his Gaspin Media have acquired the rights to Jennifer Miller and Jason Feifer’s just-published novel Mr. Nice Guy, to devel…

Hollywood Agents, Producers on Industry Misogyny: ‘We Have to Be the First People’ to Make Change

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Producers and agents behind the success of films like the Best-Picture winning “Crash,” 2005’s “Thank You For Smoking” and actors like Liam Neeson, Daniel Craig and Emily Blunt came together at the TheWrap’s Power Women Summit to get serious about men joining the fight against misogyny in Hollywood.

“You need new storytellers, you need new energy,” co-head of motion picture literacy at talent agency ICM Partners Harley Copen told the crowd at the “Reframe: Male Allies Leaning In on Gender Equity” panel on Friday at the Intercontinental hotel in downtown Los Angeles. “We have to start from our perspective as agents as the first line of helping learn how people think about projects. We have to start the change. We have to be the first people.”

“Edge of Seventeen” producer and Women in Film founder Cathy Schulman moderated the panel between Copen, agent/producer Kevin Iwashina, agent/producer Cassian Elwes and CAA agent Chris Andrews. While each has had success individually, together they make up part of the 50 studio heads, agency partners, executives and talent who have partnered with Women in Film and the Sundance Institute to join men and women to fight gender disparity in Hollywood. That group calls themselves ReFrame.

Also Read: Emily Ratajkowski Says ‘Feminism Is Great for Everyone, Misogyny Is Bad for Everyone’

For each of the panelists, breaking down the barriers between men and women in Hollywood is a three-step approach. First: challenge the cultural bias. While TV has lead the way to show that women and men are equal, Andrews said, many men behind major films are unconsciously sticking to the status quo.

And that doesn’t have to just mean straight men. Iwashina, who started out his career in the mailroom of UTA and has now worked on films such as the Academy-award nominated “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,”  spoke about his own experience correcting his own bias as an Asian, gay male.

“As a gay male population, I think there is always a very unconscious misogyny. It just exists,” he said. “By supporting women I think i’m a much more well-rounded, well-informed person.”

Also Read: 4 Female Emmy-Nominated Directors on Being Outnumbered by Men 10-to-1: ‘What the Hell?’ (Video)

The second step is challenging the marketplace perceptions that men consume the most mainstream media. Part of what’s great in the post-#MeToo era, Copen said, is that someone like a Kathryn Bigelow can make action or even sci-fi films for not only men but the women who enjoy the genres as well.

“We don’t need a man making a Mars movie. Not many people have that experience as far as I know,” Copen joked.

Schulman said the third step is challenging the Hollywood pipeline. Schulman asked, “Where are the women? And if they are there why can’t we find them?”

Andrews recalled various times in his career when he heard of a mediocre male director getting another shot to make a film because agents and executives didn’t want to “sway the ship.” Andrews says this mentality only hurts any kind of progress for women in the industry.

“If you don’t join [the movement], you’re an idiot,” he said. 

Also Read: Jason Blum Apologizes for ‘Dumb Comments’ About Lack of Female Directors

To incentivize diversity on film projects ReFrame has begun issuing ReFrame stamps of approval. The stamps, Schulman said, are a mark that tells audiences that the production is gender-balanced.

Just a few days before the U.S. midterm elections, the focus of the panel and the rest of the Power Women Summit is to achieve gender equity in Hollywood, with the theme: The Road to 50/50 By 2020.

The Summit is the largest gathering ever assembled of the most influential women in entertainment and media, attended and supported by studios, news organizations and non-profits across the entertainment industry landscape. It is presented by the WrapWomen Foundation, a division of TheWrap News.

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Female Filmmakers Share War Stories, From Breast Feeding on Set to Male Insubordination

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Female filmmakers have faced many challenges over the year, but few experienced the outright hostility of their government, as Wanuri Kahiu did on her film, “Rafiki.” a lesbian love story.

Speaking at TheWrap’s Power Women Lunch at the Toronto Film Festival on Saturday, Kahiu related how Kenya’s censorship board complained that her lesbian love story was too “hopeful” in a country where homosexuality is banned — and that her film could only be released there if she changed her ending.

Homosexuality is banned in Kenya, and so was Kahiu’s film. She said the censorship board complained that her film was too “hopeful,” and that they would allow its release if she changed the ending.

“The [Kenya Film Commission] asked if I had an ending that showed my lead as more remorseful. I said ‘No,’” she told a packed room of top women in the film industry. She also said she had decided to sue the Kenyan government next week to force the release of the film.

Also Read: Elle Fanning Film ‘Teen Spirit’ Nabbed by Mickey Liddell

Other international filmmakers shared their experiences as women behind the camera, from breast-feeding on set to battling male subordinates who seek to undermine their leadership.

“I had a Netflix rider in my contract that there had to be a cooler with ice for breast milk,” Chai Vasarhelyi (“Free Solo”) told moderator Sharon Waxman, the founder and CEO of TheWrap. “I was obsessed with it.”

“I breast-fed during shots,” said Patricia Rozema, whose film “Mouthpiece” is an abstract study of two different versions of the same woman, one inspired and confident and the other decidedly not.

Also Read: Toronto Film Festival Organizers Commit to Gender Parity in Their Ranks

“It’s extremely important that our children see the work we do,” Rozema said. “It’s absurd that we have these precious creatures and put them all in one building to be raised by someone else.”

The panelists, who also included Nadine Labaki (“Capernaum”), agreed that women also face perception problems on set due to the historical lack of leadership opportunities they have received.

“I’ve had people approach me thinking I was with craft services or a unit publicist,” said Molly McGlynn, who directed the feature “Mary Goes Round” and attended the event as ambassador for Share Her Journey, the TIFF nonprofit group aimed at uplifting women in the film business.

Many of those individuals were men, she said, and McGlynn said she deliberately decided to “hold eye contact longer than I should, not to shame them but address the nature of that very question of why I’m there.”

Also Read: Film Critics’ Gender Gap: Men Write 78 Percent of Reviews, Study Finds

Panelists also agreed that women needed to stop asking permission to tell their stories. “The onscreen women we have been learning from are male creations. Everything we say and do are reactions to that gender creation … it’s self-sabotage,” Rozema said.

“I’ve learned to fight, and to speak up, and not be silenced,” Kahiu said.

A second panel on women breaking ground in the tech industry included producer Miranda Bailey, who just launched a women-focused media review website called CherryPicks; Jodi Kovitz of gender-parity nonprofit Move the Dial; and Ashleigh Gardner of the Canadian-based user-generated story website Wattpad Studios.

The event directly followed the festival’s Share Her Journey rally outside festival headquarters in downtown Toronto, which featured top leaders promoting the advancement of women in the film business. Share Her Journey was an official partner on the luncheon.

Others in attendance included Sundance executive director Keri Putnam, Women and Hollywood founder Melissa Silverstein, producer and Women in Film head Cathy Schulman, USC associate professor Stacy Smith, veteran film marketing executive Marian Koltai-Levine and Canadian officials like L.A. Consul General James Villeneuve.

TheWrap’s Power Women series is connecting and inspiring the leading influential women of entertainment, media, technology and brands in the key cities where those women work, create, gather, network and connect.

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Patricia Arquette, Angela Bassett In Negotiations To Star In Netflix’s Feature Comedy ‘Otherhood’

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EXCLUSIVE: Angela Bassett and Patricia Arquette are in negotiations to star in the feature comedy Otherhood which Cindy Chupack (Modern Family, Sex In The City) is directing for Netflix. The project was adapted by Chupack and Mark Andrus from the William Sutcliffe novel Whatever Makes You Happy. The production is currently looking to cast one other top star in the film which will go for five weeks in New York on June 11.
Producing the film will be Jason Michael Berman…

ReFrame Initiative By WIF, Sundance, 50 Industry Leaders Sets Steps For More Inclusive Hollywood Hiring

Read on: Deadline.

EXCLUSIVE: Two days after Best Actress winner Frances McDormand led a handful of female Oscar nominees and winners to stand as she urged for more inclusion in Hollywood, the ReFrame initiative has generated a handbook with numerous key proposals its organizers believe will help promulgate meaningful reform and diverse hiring practices in the film and TV businesses.
A group of 50 industry leaders including studio heads, producers, network execs and top agents have come up…

Oscar Parties 2018: The Top Invites, Events and Nominee Gatherings

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

This preview focuses on private, invite-only events aimed at a professional industry audience of stakeholders in the Academy Awards.

As soon as Oscar voting closes on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 5 p.m. PST, the Academy’s prohibition on “non-screening events” ends. Party season begins again. Here’s a first look at the top gatherings of nominees and creative ensembles before and after Jimmy Kimmel hosts the big show on Sunday, March 4.

Also Read: Academy to Eliminate Paper Balloting at Next Year’s Oscars

The Oscar Concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic
Walt Disney Concert Hall

Logline: The great Michael Giacchino (an Oscar-winning Academy Governor) led a team making fresh arrangements of this year’s nominated scores. The L.A. Phil will perform them live with film clips.

Tickets: Unlike everything else from here down, this is open to the public. Tickets start at $43.

Vanity Fair, Barneys New York, and Sony Pictures Classics’ Cocktail Party
Chateau Marmont

Logline: Cocktail with one of the season’s buzziest films, “Call Me by Your Name,” while servicing one of the mag’s many advertising clients touching Oscar week.

Global Green’s 15th Anniversary Oscar Party
Neuehouse Hollywood

Logline: The CEO of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation will be honored but the Oscar-winning environmentalist himself is not expected. Stepping into the spotlight instead: Sophia Bush, Elisabeth Röhm, Sharon Lawrence and Ed O’Neill.

Thursday, March 1

Cadillac Celebrates the 90th Academy Awards
Chateau Marmont

Logline: Michael Patrick’s soiree always draws a mix of familiar faces (Zoe Saldana, Christoph Waltz, Naomi Watts, Joel McHale) and some news ones (Angela Sarafyan, Jay Ellis) at one of the most social industry gatherings of the week.

Connection: As the Academy’s official wheels, Cadillac will be shuttling nominees and presenters across town all week to many of the events listed below.

Gersh Oscar Party
Chateau Marmont Penthouse

Logline: The agency and Tequila Don Julio 1942 will raise a glass to the agency’s nominees Allison Janney, Sam Rockwell and Richard Jenkins.

Lookout: I don’t envy the elegant face of the Chateau, Anya Varda, and her team that night. March is coming in like a lion.

Also Read: ‘Faces Places’ Director JR Explains Agnes Varda Cardboard Cutout at Oscars Luncheon (Video)

Vanity Fair and Lancôme Paris Toast Women in Hollywood
Soho House

Logline: Oscar week doubles as a debut for Graydon Carter’s successor, new top editor Radhika Jones. The high-end cosmetics brand will make a donation to Time’s Up on behalf of the guests, who include Ava DuVernay.

Universal, Focus Features and DreamWorks Animation Oscar Nominee Celebration Dinner
Spago

Gary Oldman and Leo DiCaprio buddied up at the Chateau at a party for “Darkest Hour” earlier this awards season. (Focus Features)

Logline: There’a pile of nominees and nominations here with Focus having a banner year (“Darkest Hour,” “Phantom Thread,” and “Victoria & Abdul”).  A year ago, Universal was not scheduling Oscar week plans for “Get Out,” but after Jordan Peele’s commercial and critical hit took off, that all changed.

Friday, March 2

British Consul General Michael Howells’ Film is Great Reception
British Consul General’s Residence in Hancock Park

Logline: Don’t tell the ultra-nationalist xenophobes. The foreigners are already here.

There are U.K.-born nominees in 17 of the 24 Oscar categories and representation in five of the top races: Best Picture (“The Darkest Hour,” “The Phantom Thread,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”), Best Actress (Sally Hawkins), Supporting Actress (Lesley Manvill), Best Actor (Daniel Kaluuya, Daniel Day Lewis, Gary Oldman), and Director (Christopher Nolan).

Feature: Host Michael Howells gave one of the best speeches of this awards season at BAFTA’s Golden Globes weekend Tea Party. Take note and shut up when he addresses his backyard.

Also Read: Royal Wedding Chatter at BAFTA: Hollywood-Royal Merger ‘Is Great News’ (Photos)

Pours: Even the bar is British. Sponsors include Silent Pool Gin, Aberlour Whiskey, Chapel Down (English Sparkling Wine), Seedlip (non-alcoholic spirit) and Fever Tree tonics.

Emma Stone hosts Women in Film’s Celebration of the 2018 Female Oscar Nominees
Crustacean, Beverly Hills

Power Women: Emma Stone and Patty Jenkins in a Party Report file photo from the AFI Life Achievement Award. (Michael Kovac/Getty Images)

Logline: The reigning Best Actress winner (and in the famous flub, also announced as the Best Picture winner) joins Women in Film president Cathy Schulman and the community of female nominees from both sides of the camera.

The industry’s reckoning of institutionalized gender inequality and systemic sexual assault engulfed Hollywood, and Schulman’s been sounding the alarm for years. How WiF addresses the state of the industry on its biggest weekend will set the tone for what happens as as we turn the page to a new “industry year.”

Also Read: ‘Crashing’ Star Jamie Lee on Comedy in the #MeToo Era: ‘Things Are Not That Funny Right Now’ (Video)

WME
Friday evening, Private Residence

Who’s Who: Kobe Bryant, the champ of this year’s Oscars gatherings, should be there. Add nominees Denzel Washington, Octavia Spencer, Laurie Metcalf, Guillermo del Toro, Dee Rees, Christopher Nolan, Luca Guadagnino, Hans Zimmer, James Mangold and Michael Green to the list and call it a top crowd.

Bonus: The agency will also raise a glass to nominated projects “Call Me by Your Name,” “Mudbound” and “The Square,” all of which hail from Endeavor Content.

Saturday, March 3

Film Independent Spirit Awards
A Tent on the Beach: 1550 Pacific Coast Highway Lot 1 North Santa Monica

(Mikey Glazer)

Logline: The industry’s booziest daytime bash of the year. Everyone heeds Film Independent President Josh Welsh’s mantra to “leave the thank-you notes at home,” adding to a celebratory day that begins in the lounges outside the main tent as early as 11 a.m.

Sony Pictures Classics Annual Oscar Nominees Dinner
Nordstrom Local on Melrose Place in West Hollywood

January 2017 at Sundance: Luca Guadagnino, Michael Stuhlbarg, Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer, Walter Fasano (TheWrap)

Why they will be smiling: This is the finish line. The “Call Me by Your Name” troika — Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer, and director Luca Guadagnino — end the 14-month promotional tour that started back at Sundance 2017.

Other Nominees: SPC will also toast its two foreign language nominees, “A Fantastic Woman” (from Chile) and “Loveless” (from Russia).

MPTF’s Annual “Night Before”
Fox Studios

Logline: The MPTF is where the gatekeepers and power brokers in the industry convene on the night before the Oscars. This is an invite worth fighting for. Make a big donation and step in to Jeffrey Katzenberg’s circle.

Sign of the times: YouTube joins the list of blue-chip corporate sponsors.

Oscars Viewing Parties on Sunday, March 4

*Top Invite* – 2018 Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party
Custom built complext in West Hollywood Park

Logline: The most choice invite if you’re not seated in the first 15 rows of the Kodak Theatre itself.

Do: drink top-shelf champagne and feast on cuisine from a Michelin three-star restaurant in Spain with a great cross section of Hollywood.

Don’t: Don’t try to take any pictures of Sir Elton or stand too close to his head table. You may be excused for asking frequent guest Robert Kraft what happened in the Super Bowl. By 8:45 or so, trophy winners start pouring in as the telecast on screen comes to you.

Charity Component: Contributing to the EJAF mission, presenting sponsor BVLGARI is donating a 13 carat white gold diamond necklace, the “BVLGARI DIVISSIMA” to the live auction.

Wow Booking: Greta Van Fleet. This is a return to prime form for the EJAF, welcoming a big up-and-coming band heralded as a savior of guitar rock, not a nostalgia act. Because all 42 of the headlining dates on their first U.S. tour sold out in advance and they’re headed to Coachella, the four Michigan boys are a choice dessert on the evening.

Byron Allen’s Second Annual Entertainment Studios Gala
Beverly Wilshire

Logline: Katy Perry and Jamie Foxx will perform at the benefit for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Last year’s inaugural event raised $1 million, and “Byron hopes to raise even more again this year,” a rep for Entertainment Studios tells the Party Report.

Also Read: Oscars Box Office: Can Best Picture Contenders Turn Nominations Into Big Bucks?

IMDb Live Viewing Party
Neuehouse in Hollywood

Logline: This is part party, part live broadcast. Dave Karger, Kevin Smith and other IMDb talent will provide live commentary on the show that will stream across IMDb platforms.

Guests: About 300 industry types.

Notables: Last year, Issa Rae and Aisha Tyler were among the crowd about a mile away from the actual show.

Mercedes-Benz Viewing Party
Four Seasons, Beverly Hills

Logline: The Four Seasons is an Oscars week base camp, so this is sort of like watching the golf tournament from the clubhouse. Last year was a mixed bag of names from Housewives (Kandi Burruss) to 1980s basketball star Ralph Sampson, to ESPN’s man in L.A., Stan Verrett.

Also Read: Syria Blocks ‘Last Men In Aleppo’ Producer and Subject from Attending Oscars

Nordstrom Local Oscar Viewing Party for the Fashion Industry
Nordstrom Local on Melrose Place in West Hollywood

Logline: With New York’s fashion week two weeks in the rearview mirror, the style set can kick back here before hitting the after parties.

Oscars After-Parties

The Academy’s Governors Ball
Dolby Ballroom above the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood and Highland

Logline: They have a lot of “make-up” homework to do after last year’s Governors Ball drowned in the surreal wake of the Oscars envelope flub.

Vanity Fair Oscar Party
Wallis Annenberg Center in Beverly Hills

Radhika Jones (Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

Logline: It’s the first outing for new Editor-in-Chief Radhika Jones (above). She steps into the bridge of a ship that Graydon Carter built and is already making waves. On Feb. 15, a round of layoffs included Jane Sarkin and Beth Kseniak, two founding mothers of VF Oscar night that has been the “toughest invite in town” over the past 24 years.

Also Read: Editor Purge at Vanity Fair, Glamour: More Than 15 Ousted

On the brighter (or sadder?) side of “recently separated” news, single Jennifer Aniston should be there. Forget the Brad Pitt sequel rumors. Please, let her show up with Angelina Jolie.

Details on other late night soirees to come.

Please send invites, updates, and details to the party and event contributor Mikey Glazer here.

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STX President Sophie Watts Exits Over CEO Robert Simonds’ Alleged Harassment (Exclusive)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

STX Entertainment President Sophie Watts is leaving her role at the entertainment company after complaining of harassment by her boss CEO Robert Simonds, according to two individuals with knowledge of the situation.

Watts has been absent from STX since at least December, but her official resignation was expected imminently.

Reached for comment, Watts said, “I can’t comment on any of this.”

Also Read: Katie Couric Breaks Silence on Matt Lauer: ‘This Was Not the Matt We Knew’

TheWrap attempted to reach Simonds by email and phone, with no reply. Company spokeswoman Patti Rockenwagner also did not respond to multiple emails and phone calls ahead of publication seeking response.

Update: 30 minutes after the publication of this story, STX sent a press release announcing Watts’ departure to Variety. It was she would “focus on new business opportunities.”

The situation is highly unusual in that Watts, one of the top women executives in Hollywood, is openly gay. Simonds, who is married and heterosexual, is accused by Watts, his subordinate, of systematic harassment.

Simonds’ relationship to Watts, who co-founded the company with him in 2012, was described by the two individuals with knowledge of the situation as “obsessive.”

From left: Producer Suzanne Todd, Sophie Watts, Susan Sarandon

“It became an unhealthy obsession of his,” said one former employee. “It was common knowledge. They had some kind of friendship that was peculiar to everybody, because it made no sense why she was being anointed the way she was. He refused to let her have her own office. They had two desks facing each other. They traveled everywhere together…  [In meetings] he complimented her every second — and inappropriately so — even if she hadn’t said a word or wasn’t there.”

Also Read: Warner Bros Leadership Shake-Up: Toby Emmerich to Run Studio, Sue Kroll Steps Down

Both individuals with knowledge of the relationship said that Simonds insisted that Watts keep her desk in his office. When she asked to move, no other space was made available except on another floor, where she was cut off from meetings and the information flow until she moved back to Simonds’ space, one of the individuals said.

Watts complained repeatedly about the unwanted attention, according to both individuals. In September 2016, an outside attorney was brought in who recommended that a bodyguard be present when the two were alone in the office, and that they not fly to Asia together without others present, one of the insiders said.

Neither recommendation was followed, the insider said, and Watts again found herself alone on 15-hour private flights to China with Simonds.

The two individuals also said that Simonds’ wife, Anne, believed the CEO and Watts were having sex. “Bob’s wife would call and scream, ‘Get Bob on the phone, or is he with Sophie? Is she under the desk sucking his d—?’” one former employee said. The second individual cited the same comment by Simonds’ wife.

Neither insider said they knew of a sexual relationship between Simonds and Watts.

Also Read: STX Entertainment Struggles With Flops, Executive Exits and a Shift in Strategy (Exclusive)

STX was founded by Simonds, Watts and Bill McGlashan of TPG Growth in 2102.

The fledgling company landed the Chinese film company Huayi Brothers as a co-production and slate-financing partner, raising $1 billion to spend on acquisition titles and mid-budget original films in an industry increasingly reliant on tentpole films.

STX Chairman and CEO Bob Simonds

In media appearances, the untested Watts was touted as a sharp young visionary paired with Simonds, an experienced finance professional. In early meetings, Simonds boasted about his young charge  — and he showed off their shared office to demonstrate the progressive company culture.

Said a third person, a former STX employee with knowledge of their dynamic: “They were super close. They relied on each other in a business sense. The psychological thing was — Sophie came in without a lot of experience. Bob would listen to her opinion. And people would think: ‘What does she have on him? Why would he listen to her above people who have experience in this field?’”

The studio struggled initially, with pricey flops like Matthew McConaughey’s “Free State of Jones” and the $60 million tween sci-fi film “The Space Between Us,” which grossed only $8 million in the U.S. The studio’s lone  true hit was the 2016 Mila Kunis-Kristen Bell comedy “Bad Moms,” which took over $180 million worldwide on a $20 million budget.

STX has seen a series of high-profile executives depart, including president of production Cathy Schulman and president of marketing Jack Pan. Before him, president of digital Kathy Savitt remained in the position for less than a year. Chief content officer Oren Aviv was demoted to a producer on the family franchise “Ugly Dolls.”

One of the two people who said Watts felt harassed by Simonds spoke to Watts in October at a women’s leadership event, and said she was distraught.

“She said it was horrible and she had to leave,” the individual said. “She said, ‘I can’t have a life without him. He ruins every relationship I have.’”

But the final straw appears to have occurred at Variety’s Power of Women event on Oct. 13. One witness said Watts showed up and was seated next to Simonds, although men do not typically attend the event. Watts looked pained and left abruptly, the witness said.

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Women Lead The Charge Toward A Gender Balance Not Seen In The History Of Entertainment — Deadline Disruptors

Read on: Deadline.

Last year, all it took was a hashtag, #OscarsSoWhite, to re-energize an important conversation. Twelve months later, Moonlight director Barry Jenkins made history by becoming the first African-American filmmaker to be nominated for Best Director, Picture and Screenplay at the Academy Awards. And, as everyone knows, his film went on to take the Best Picture Oscar—literally—from the hands of the favorites, the makers of La La Land. Meanwhile, a similar conversation about…

STX Entertainment Struggles With Flops, Executive Exits and a Shift in Strategy (Exclusive)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

One year after unveiling an ambitious slate at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, STX Entertainment is returning on Tuesday despite struggling with a series of creative and business setbacks.

After promising an aggressive push into producing 12-15 movies per year, Robert Simonds’ upstart indie studio has made only six original productions in the past two years, with the rest of its releases coming from acquisitions. Movies like “Edge of Seventeen” and “The Space Between Us” with mid-range budgets that were supposed to be the company’s focus have failed at the box office, the latter taking in only $8 million after a $60 million spend on production and marketing.

Meanwhile, a series of exits of top executives — including the elimination of postproduction head David Candiff’s job last week — appear to be a sign of cost-cutting, while two individuals said that the role of Chief Content Officer Oren Aviv had been reduced to overseeing a new family-friendly franchise based on “Ugly Dolls” plush toys, an effective downsizing announced at a staff meeting last week.

The situation is putting the studio under rising pressure, insiders said, especially since the team has not yet delivered on its promise to upend Hollywood with a new, smarter way of doing business. At CinemaCon last year, STX President Sophie Watts introduced Sylvester Stallone (hot off his Oscar campaign for “Creed”) and announced a multi-film development deal with the actor-filmmaker — which fell apart in November.

“The reason they’re not making movies is they can’t get the best scripts, and they’re trying to turn not-great scripts into great movies,” said one executive with knowledge of the studio’s inner workings. “I don’t believe stars will sign on at a studio where the marketing is not proven to work, when they don’t have foreign participation for the actors and they’re not a worldwide distributor.”

Also Read: Sylvester Stallone Exits STX Entertainment Thriller ‘Godforsaken’

In a statement to TheWrap, STX Chief Communications Officer Patti Rockenwagner disputed that the studio was struggling. “STXfilms absolutely still believes mid-range films with talent in signature roles is our sweet spot,” she said. “We veered from our strategy and moved forward with some projects that did not fit into our model and in the process built up our distribution and marketing arms, which resulted in our three-year deal with Europacorp. We’re in 2.0 now and returning to the mid-range model.” She did not specify what projects she felt veered from strategy

Regarding Aviv, she said: “We tasked Oren to quarterback the incredibly important Ugly Dolls franchise, which is more than just a movie.”

CEO Robert Simonds arrived on the scene in Hollywood three years ago with a mission to revive mid-budget, character-driven movies and touted a billion-dollar investment from China’s Huayi Brothers to spend on a production slate of 12-15 movies annually.

But a spending spree on star executives like former Universal film chief Adam Fogelson, Aviv, Cathy Schulman, Yahoo’s Kathy Savitt, marketing veteran Jack Pan and others has failed to produce many hits beyond “Bad Moms,” the comedy starring Mila Kunis and Kristen Bell that earned an impressive $123 million domestically on an estimated production budget of $20 million. (The film earned a more modest $66 million overseas and spawned a sequel planned for this November.)

Also Read: STX Eliminates Postproduction Head Position, David Candiff Out (Exclusive)

Aside from Fogelson, most of those prime executives are gone, in many cases replaced with more junior (less expensive) people.

In the past year, production president Cathy Schulman stepped down and was replaced by New Line’s Sam Brown. Distribution VP Jim Amos left at the same time, preceded by the ouster of marketing head Jack Pan. Former Yahoo CMO Kathy Savitt lasted eight months as President of Digital.

Meanwhile, the studio is burning through an estimated $70 million in overhead annually, according to one person familiar with the company. A studio insider disputed that figure. Rockenwagner pointed out that the studio’s backer TPG named STX its portfolio company of the year in 2016. Chinese holding company Tencent made a minority investment for ancillary divisions like VR and Short-Form film programming. And this weekend the Huayi Bros. said it was seeking to renew and expand its ties to STX Entertainment.

Also Read: Sean Parker’s Screening Room Returns to CinemaCon With ‘Refined’ Security Plan for Movies at Home (Exclusive)

“STX Entertainment is more than just a movie studio,” Rockenwagner said. “In the last year, we built out STXtv (scripted and unscripted), acquired a VR company (which this year were nominated for a Shorty and an Emmy), debuted ‘Number One Surprise,’ the very first U.S./China co-production (which became the No. 1 show in China with over 1 billion views), and opened a full-service international film distribution company with direct distribution in the U.K. and Ireland and a network of first class partners distributing STX content in the rest of the world.”

But the budding studio has struggled in its core business. “The bigger problem here is they bombed the movies,” one insider said.

In its total of 10 wide releases, STX only has only two clear winners: “Bad Moms” and its first film, Joel Edgerton’s 2015 thriller “The Gift,” which earned nearly $55 million on a $5 million production budget.

“The Boy,” a $10 million-budgeted thriller about a possessed doll, performed respectably but the rest of STX’s stable have been disappointments — some staggering, like the teen sci-fi romance “The Space Between Us,” made for $30 million and grossing just $7.8 million domestically. The Asa Butterfield film did not have an international release.

Also Read: Luc Besson’s Sci-Fi Epic ‘Valerian’ Heads to STX in New EuropaCorp Distribution Deal

Bob Simonds, STX Chairman and CEO

Matthew McConaughey’s 2016 awards hopeful “Free State of Jones” never made it into the Oscar conversation, cost $50 million and only brought in $25 million worldwide. Hailee Steinfeld’s “The Edge of Seventeen” got a major awards push this past year, but failed to resonate and made $14.5 million on a $9 million budget.

The 2015 remake of Brazilian cop drama ‘The Secret in Their Eyes,” starring Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman and Chiwetel Ejiofor, cost $20 million and made $25 million worldwide.

Due to poor performance, the source said, the company is having trouble recruiting top acting and writing talent. In addition, insiders have criticized Simonds’ approach to overseeing the company. “Bob makes every decision, and he’s incredibly slow, is always traveling and hard to reach,” one knowledgeable individual said.

Simonds’ micromanagement often compromises Fogelson and Watts, the person said. Down the totem pole, senior executives have been dwindling and duties are being absorbed by existing junior staff.

Also Read: STX to Release ‘A Bad Moms Christmas’ in November 2017

At its CinemaCon presentation on Tuesday, the studio will have some names worth bragging about. STX has North American distribution rights for Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut “Molly’s Game,” starring Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba. The company has also acquired Luc Besson’s pricey sci-fi movie “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” the Tom Hanks and Emma Watson tech thriller “The Circle” and BBC’s Gemma Arterton drama “Their Finest.”

The company has two original productions in the works — “A Bad Moms Christmas” and Gerard Butler’s “Den of Thieves.” The company is also developing a franchise centered around the plush toys Ugly Dolls, a project that Fogelson brought with him from Universal where it had been in development at Illumination under CEO Chris Meladandri.

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Gerard Butler, 50 Cent Action Thriller ‘Den of Thieves’ Gets Release Date

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The STX action thriller “Den of Thieves” starring Gerard Butler and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson will be released on Jan. 19, 2018, the company announced Friday.

The movie will also star Pablo Schreiber, O’Shea Jackson, Jr. and Evan Jones, directed by Christian Gudegast from his original screenplay written with Paul Scheuring.

Filming began Friday for “Den of Thieves,” which follows an elite crew of bank robbers who set out to pull off the ultimate heist when they realize $120 million in cash is taken out out of circulation daily and destroyed by the Federal Reserve.

Also Read: STX Entertainment Appoints Rich Sullivan COO of STXdigital

Producing are Mark Canton (“300”, “300: Rise of an Empire”, “Immortals”), Tucker Tooley (“We’re The Millers”, “The Fighter”), Butler (“Olympus Has Fallen”, “How to Train Your Dragon”, “300”) and Alan Siegel (“London Has Fallen”, “Olympus Has Fallen”), long-time partners in their production company, G-BASE.

“We are incredibly excited to partner once again with Gerard Butler and to have a very talented cast including Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson, O’Shea Jackson Jr. and Pablo Schreiber,” said Tooley, who had spent more than 10 years developing this project. “‘Den of Thieves’ is a gritty action thriller with broad commercial appeal, and our cast blends perfectly into a world where good and bad often intertwine. STX Entertainment is the perfect partner to bring this modern-day heist story to the big screen.”

Also Read: Former STX Production Head Cathy Schulman Launches Welle Entertainment

Scott Lumpkin, Jamie Marshall and Glenn D. Feig are executive producing. The film is being financed by Diamond Film Productions.  STXfilms is co-financing and distributing the film worldwide.

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Former STX Production Head Cathy Schulman Launches Welle Entertainment

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Former STX President of Production Cathy Schulman has launched a new production and finance company called Welle Entertainment, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

At the same time, Schulman is entering a co-venture with Primary Wave Entertainment, which has been behind films like “Cobain: Montage of Heck” and “Killing Hasselhoff.” The company has partnered with Schulman to provide development funds and initial production financing.

Schulman left STX last September, TheWrap exclusively reported. At the time, an STX spokesperson said Schulman would be handling the launch of “a significant new initiative,” the details of which were not disclosed.

Also Read: Cathy Schulman, Jim Amos Exit STX Entertainment (Exclusive)

Schulman was instrumental in STX’s biggest box office hit, the Mila Kunis romp “Bad Moms.” Schulman’s departure was the third high-profile exit at the fledgling studio in the past year, all of them women. Terry Curtin, the head of publicity, left for DreamWorks Animation, and Kathy Savitt, the former Yahoo marketer who ran digital at STX, lasted a matter of weeks.

Schulman is also the President of Women in Film, a post she has held since 2011. She has also produced various other films, including the Golden Globe nominated feature “The Edge of Seventeen” and “Crash,” which won an Academy Award for Best Picture in 2006.

Welle Entertainment’s first film scheduled for production this summer is a comedy with Mandalay Pictures, which will focus one of the hardest stages in mothering: the empty nest. Cindy Chupack (“Sex and the City”) will direct. The company is also in development on a limited series called “Firelight” and a series called “Evolution’s Captain.”

Also Read: Cathy Schulman Out as STX Production Head, Replaced by New Line’s Sam Brown

Primary Wave Entertainment recently acquired Jeff Gaspin’s production company, Gaspin Media. Gaspin and Schulman’s production houses will closely align under the new co-venture.

“When it comes to producing great storytelling, we are focused on quality and diversity,” said David Guillod and Lawrence Mestel, Co-CEOs of Primary Wave Entertainment, in a statement. “It’s a tremendous opportunity to have a highly respected and commercially successful producer like Cathy boost our original scripted content business with an exciting slate of female-facing productions already in the pipeline for 2017.”

Gaspin added, “We are thrilled to have Cathy add her considerable talent and great taste as we build our content businesses.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

STX to Release ‘A Bad Moms Christmas’ in November 2017

STX Names Patricia Rockenwagner Chief Communications Officer

Sylvester Stallone Exits STX Entertainment Thriller ‘Godforsaken’

Producer Cathy Schulman Launches Welle Entertainment, Co-Ventures With Primary Wave

Read on: Deadline.

EXCLUSIVE: Cathy Schulman, former head of production at STX Entertainment, just launched a new production and finance company called Welle Entertainment. In addition, she has entered into a co-venture with Primary Wave Entertainment and is starting up with several diverse film and television projects already on the slate.
The first Welle film will be a comedy that will go through Mandalay Pictures — where Schulman was once a top exec — to be directed by Cindy Chupack (Sex…