From India to France, YouTube Continues International Expansion of Original Content

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

YouTube is working feverishly to expand its slate of original content across the globe, with its latest target being France.
The Google-owned company launched its first two shows in the country via its subscription video on demand (SVOD) service YouTub…

Cicely Tyson, Kathleen Kennedy Among 2018 Honorary Oscar Winners

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Legendary actress Cecily Tyson and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy are among this year’s Honorary Oscar winners, the film academy announced Wednesday.

Tyson (“Fried Green Tomatoes,” “The Help”), who is 93, will receive the AMPAS prize along with publicist Marvin Levy and composer Lalo Schifrin.  Prolific film producers and husband-and-wife team Kennedy and Frank Marshall will receive the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award.

For the 10th year, the Academy governors will hold the honorary ceremony prior to the official Oscars telecast, this year on Nov. 18 at Hollywood and Highland’s Dolby Ballroom.

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The award, an Oscar statuette, is given “to honor extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy,” an announcement said.

The Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, which is not an Oscar statue but a bust of the motion picture executive, is presented to creative producers “whose body of work reflects a consistently high quality of motion picture production.”

Read career highlights for this year’s honorees:

Levy began his career in publicity working for MGM in New York City before joining Columbia Pictures in Hollywood, where he guided the advertising for films including “The Deep” and “Kramer vs. Kramer.” His work for the 1977 film “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” marked the beginning of a four-decade-long partnership with Steven Spielberg. Levy has held positions at Amblin Entertainment, DreamWorks Studios and Amblin Partners, and has worked on publicity campaigns for such films as “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial,” “Back to the Future,” “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” “Schindler’s List,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “American Beauty,” “Gladiator” and “Lincoln.” Levy is the first publicist to receive an honorary Oscar.

Born and raised in Argentina, Schifrin studied classical music and jazz in France before beginning to compose for film in Buenos Aires in the mid-1950s. He has written scores for more than 100 films, including “The Cincinnati Kid,” “Bullitt,” “Dirty Harry,” “Enter the Dragon” and “Rush Hour.” His memorable theme for the television series “Mission: Impossible” has been a hallmark of the recent film series. He has received six Oscar® nominations, for the original scores for “Cool Hand Luke” (1967), “The Fox” (1968), “Voyage of the Damned” (1976) and “The Amityville Horror” (1979), the original song “People Alone” from “The Competition” (1980) and the adaptation score for “The Sting II” (1983).

Raised in Harlem, Tyson began her career as a model and a theater actress, appearing both on Broadway and Off-Broadway. After playing small roles in feature films and television, she was cast as Portia in “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter” in 1968. Four years later, she received an Academy Award® nomination for her leading performance in “Sounder.” Her other notable film credits include “The River Niger,” “Fried Green Tomatoes,” “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” “The Help,” “Alex Cross” and “Last Flag Flying.”

The Kennedy/Marshall producing partnership, formed in 1991, has generated Best Picture nominations for “The Sixth Sense” (1999), “Seabiscuit” (2003), “Munich” (2005) and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (2008). Kennedy/Marshall Company productions also include “Congo,” all five “Bourne” films, and “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.” Prior to forming Kennedy/Marshall, the duo co-founded Amblin Productions with Steven Spielberg, sharing a Best Picture nomination for “The Color Purple” (1985). Additionally, Marshall received a Best Picture nomination for “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981), while Kennedy was nominated in the same category for “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” (1982), “War Horse” (2011) and “Lincoln” (2012). Kennedy is the first woman to receive the Thalberg Award.

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Gerard Depardieu Denies Rape and Sexual Assault Accusation

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A woman has accused French actor Gerard Depardieu of rape and sexual assault, a judicial official told one of the nation’s national news networks on Thursday.

The actor’s lawyer denied the accusations in several interviews.

According to the French official cited, a woman filed a complaint on Monday near Aix-en-Provence in southern France; on Wednesday, the case was handed over to prosecutors in Paris.

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Reports said the incidents occurred on August 7 and 13 at Depardieu’s home, and that his accuser was a dancer and actress seeking professional advice.

Known for roles in “Cyrano de Bergerac,” “The Man in the Iron Mask” and recently the Netflix global original series “Marseille,” the actor’s attorney said he “absolutely denies any rape, any sexual assault, any crime.”

Depardieu recently wrapped production on an Italian fantasy film called “Creators: The Past,” alongside William Shatner. He’s also attached to star in a biopic about the life of German composer Johann Sebastian Bach.

Wes Anderson is making a musical about post-war France, which he somehow hasn’t done yet

Read on: The A.V. Club.

Wes Anderson has made a movie about a wacky/sad family, a fantastic fox, and some dogs that may have been guilty of cultural appropriation, but he inexplicably has gone his entire filmmaking career without making a musical set in post-World War II Fran…

Facebook Catches Effort to Meddle in 2018 Election

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Facebook has spotted a series of pages and accounts suspected of working to politically manipulate users, the social media giant announced Tuesday. The social network is ramping up its efforts to stop election meddling heading into the 2018 U.S. midterms.

The company said it spotted 32 “inauthentic accounts” on both Facebook and Instagram as part of its investigation. Facebook hasn’t tied the accounts to the Internet Research Agency — the Kremlin-linked troll factory that leveraged the platform to spread misinformation before the 2016 presidential election — but said their actions are “consistent” with the IRA. Facebook said it doesn’t know who is behind the coordinated accounts.

“It’s clear that whoever set up these accounts went to much greater lengths to obscure their true identities than the Russian-based Internet Research Agency (IRA) has in the past,” said Facebook in a blog post. “We believe this could be partly due to changes we’ve made over the last year to make this kind of abuse much harder.”

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One of the bogus pages, dubbed “Resisters,” was helping lead a protest against an upcoming “Unite the Right” rally in Washington, D.C. The page had created an event that attracted 2,600 “interested” users, including 600 who said they would be attending to protest the white supremacist rally between August 10 and August 12. Facebook said it would be notifying those users today that the “Resisters” page is an inauthentic account.

At least one of the accounts worked to coordinate a protest against the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to Alex Stamos, Facebook’s chief security officer, on a call with reporters on Tuesday.

Altogether, more than 290,000 users followed the nefarious accounts, according to Nathanial Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity. The accounts ran 150 advertisements, for about $11,000, in the last 15 months.

“These bad actors have been more careful to cover their tracks, in part due to the actions we’ve taken to prevent abuse over the past year,” said Gleicher. “For example they used VPNs and internet phone services, and paid third parties to run ads on their behalf.”

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Gleicher added that Facebook has been working with law enforcement and Congress on its investigation.

Facebook has proclaimed in recent months that its increased focus on blocking political meddling has paid off — pointing to 2017 elections in Germany and France as examples of its improved defense efforts. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said last fall he is “dead serious” about stopping election manipulation moving forward. The social network has hired thousands of ad moderators in the meantime, and added more layers of verification for those looking to run political ads.

Tuesday’s revelation follows a difficult week for Facebook. The company’s stock has been hit hard since reporting its Q2 earnings last Thursday, with the company missing on revenue projections for the first time in three years. The miss — despite the company posting its best quarterly sales in its history — have tanked Facebook shares 21 percent, as Wall Street grows concerned over slowing user and revenue growth. The company’s work to weed out malicious accounts has become a top priority, with Zuckerberg saying “protecting our community is more important than maximizing profits.”

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France-Croatia World Cup Final Coverage on Fox Gets Deflated Audience of Under 12 Million

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

France’s 4-2 victory over Croatia in the World Cup Final was as sweet as a dessert crepe, though the match didn’t exactly net Fox’s TV ratings goal in the states.

Fox drew 11.3 million TV viewers for its coverage of Sunday’s final, which was down 20 percent from the 14.1 million that watched ABC’s coverage in 2014 of Germany’s 1-0 win over Argentina. Those numbers include the pre- and post-match coverage, which can deflate the overall viewership.

On Sunday, Fox Sports brought in another 500,000 viewers via streaming, on average.

Four years ago, ABC pulled in 17.3 million during just the match time frame. Fox did not provide comparable figures.

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An additional 9.2 million watched on Univision in 2014, bringing the total to 26.5 million viewers in America. Telemundo, who took over Spanish-language rights from Univision, did not have ratings for Sunday’s final at press time.

Though 11.3 million viewers is still a nice broadcast television audience haul in general — especially on a Sunday morning — none of this tournament went as well as the network would have hoped when Fox shelled out $425 million for the World Cup rights, outbidding incumbent ESPN.

Leading up to Sunday’s game, Fox had been trending nearly 40 percent lower than 2014’s average viewership, so the final closed the gap a bit.

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Fox was already facing a tall order to come anywhere close to the record soccer TV ratings that ESPN and ABC pulled in four years ago from Brazil. Brazil was just one hour ahead of the U.S. east coast, which meant most of those matches aired around primetime, whereas Russia was seven hours ahead. And when the United States failed to qualify for the tournament, it made things even worse.

The next World Cup in 2022 will be held from Middle East country Qatar, and moved to the winter to avoid the unbearably hot summer temperatures in the Gulf. But Fox did have one major celebration and it came before the tournament even started. The 2026 tournament, the last under Fox’s TV rights deal with FIFA, will be held in North America, with most of the matches emanating from the U.S.

All of this could have been worse, of course: Fox executives could be getting treated like members of Pussy Riot right now.

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France’s World Cup Final Victory Hits Ratings High For Fox; Down From 2014

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Twenty years after winning their first World Cup final, France claimed FIFA’s biggest prize again yesterday in a 4-2 victory over Croatia that prompted a now famous leap and fist pump by President Emmanuel Macron up in the VIP box, cheers and tears in …

England World Cup Semifinal Defeat Scores Top 5 Ratings For Fox; Best Streaming Results Ever

Read on: Deadline.

Fifty-two years after England last won the World Cup, the Three Lions dream of playing in the final of the 2018 FIFA tournament came to an end yesterday with a 2-1 loss to Croatia in extra time. As close as it felt that football really could be coming,…