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‘Tis the season for filmmakers to pull out the stops for awards consideration.
Howard Weiner, a 72-year-old neurology professor at Harvard Medical School, sent out screeners of his film about senior sex lives, Abe & Phil’s Last Poker Game, along with a note printed on HMS letterhead promoting the “touching last performance from Martin Landau,” who passed away July 15, 2017, months before the film’s January 2018 release. Reached by The Hollywood Reporter, Weiner — who wrote and directed the film which also stars Paul Sorvino — said that while this might be his first film, he’s just getting started: “I am not planning to give up medicine, and I have scripts for more films.
“The tagline of the movie is, ‘It is never too late for life,’ and I truly believe this and acted on it,” he added. As for why he is pushing for awards love, Weiner said: “Martin Landau and Paul Sorvino deserve recognition for their amazing acting performances, and the screenplay deserves recognition.”
Fred Rogers’ widow, Joanne, personally signed letters sent to hundreds of journalists thanking them for supporting Won’t You Be My Neighbor? “and helping share Fred’s message with the world.” She added: “In these times, voices like Fred’s need all the amplification they can get.”
To help turn heads of Hollywood Foreign Press Association members, filmmakers behind Cake General — a film centered on a town drunk and inventor named Hans Pettersson intent on landing a Guinness world record for baking the largest cake in the world — are flying in a real Guinness world record holder.
Directors Filip Hammar and Fredrik Wikingsson will join the world’s tallest living man, 8-foot-3 Sultan Kösen, at a special event on Nov. 19 in Hollywood. “Just by organizing a Swedish party you’re standing on the shoulders of giants, continuing a great, sometimes slightly destructive tradition of making the very most of a Monday night,” said Wikingsson. Added Hammar: “This time of year, Stockholm is engulfed in darkness and despair, so we’re beyond excited to show our film to people not contemplating suicide on a daily basis. We may become rowdy. We may never leave.”
Jonathan Gordon contributed to this story.
A version of this story first appeared in the Nov. 19 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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