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Quick Takes: A tie at Gotham Film Awards

November 29, 2011

Mike Mills' semi-autobiographical drama "Beginners," about a young man whose widower father comes out of the closet, and Terrence Malick's mystical family epic, "Tree of Life," tied for best film of 2011 at the 21st annual Gotham Film Awards given out Monday evening in New York City.

"Beginners," which stars Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer, also won for best ensemble cast. Felicity Jones took home the breakthrough actor award for her role as a lovestruck British woman in "Like Crazy." Breakthrough director honors went to Dee Rees for "Pariah." The best documentary prize went to "Better This World."

Besides the competitive awards, career achievement awards were given out to actors Charlize Theron and Gary Oldman, director David Cronenberg and co-chairman and CEO of Fox Film Entertainment Tom Rothman. The Gotham Awards are presented by the Independent Filmmaker Project. It is one of two key awards given to independent films. Nominations for the other, Film Independent's Spirit Awards, will be announced on Tuesday.

— Susan King

Tribeca snaps up Cannes veteran

The Tribeca Film Festival has named the Cannes Film Festival veteran Frederic Boyer to its newly created position of artistic director. Boyer had previously run Cannes' directors' fortnight program, serving as its artistic director and head of programming.

Tribeca's move comes in the wake of the departure of its longtime director of programming, David Kwok, earlier this month. As part of the reshuffling, the organization has promoted senior programmer Genna Terranova to the director of programming position. In announcing the Boyer hire, it also said that Geoff Gilmore, the Sundance veteran who for the past several years has served as chief creative officer of Tribeca's parent company Tribeca Enterprises, will now "take on a more active role in overseeing the [Tribeca] program."

Tribeca takes place every spring in New York and showcases a range of documentary and feature programming. Boyer is expected to bring a world-cinema bent to the slate.

—Steven Zeitchik

Wyclef Jean defends charity

Wyclef Jean is defending his Yéle Haiti charity after a New York Post article questioned the use of donations for emergency efforts following 2010's catastrophic earthquake in his native Haiti.

The Post reported that out of the $16 million Yéle Haiti collected in 2010, less than a third went to relief with $1 million of that paid to a Florida firm that doesn't appear to exist. Jean denied the allegations.

"We made decisions that enabled us to provide emergency assistance in the midst of chaos and we stand by those decisions," he wrote in a lengthy statement. "I am proud of the way that Yéle handled the crisis on the ground in 2010."Jean founded the charity in 2005 and stepped down from the board after entering politics last year. Yéle Haiti previously faced criticism for alleged fund mismanagement after failing to file IRS reports.

—Gerrick D. Kennedy

L.A. Phil reels in Phish frontman

Trey Anastasio, the frontman for the band Phish, is teaming up with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for a one-night concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The performance, scheduled for March 10, will feature "orchestrations of classic Phish tunes and solo Anastasio compositions," the L.A. Phil announced.

The rock musician has worked with the New York Philharmonic and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in the past to perform "Time Turns Elastic," a concerto for electric guitar and orchestra.

Scott Dunn will conduct the L.A. Phil and Anastasio. Dunn is the associate conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.

—David Ng

'Occupy' album in the offing

Those cynics who told the incessant drummers of Occupy Wall Street in New York not to quit their day jobs might be reconsidering — they've gotten a record deal (of sorts).

Acts including Third Eye Blind, Lucinda Williams, Ladytron and a smattering of the Zuccotti Park drum circle regulars have contributed tracks to "Occupy This Album," a full-length compilation to benefit the Occupy Wall Street group recently evicted from its base camp in lower Manhattan.

Proceeds will be split between the main New York group and other OWS-affiliated groups that apply for grants. Musician Jason Samel, who curated the effort, said a digital-only release is set to launch first this winter, with plans for a physical product still up in the air.

—August Brown

Finally

Young and wealthy: "Harry Potter" star Daniel Radcliffe topped a Heat magazine list of the richest, young British entertainers, retaining his No. 1 position in the ranking of people under 30. Keira Knightley remained second, with Robert Pattinson in third.

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