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2019 Oscar nominations: ‘A Star Is Born’ and ‘Roma’ to vie for best film

The Oscar nominations were announced today in Hollywood, with blockbusters like "A Star of Born" and "Black Panther" up for a swag of major awards. But "Roma" and "The Favourite" topped the nominations with 10 each. Presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for films in 24 categories, nominations for the 91st Oscars saw Ryan Coogler's superhero epic "Black Panther:; Alfonso Cuaron's Mexican drama "Roma", English period comedy drama "The Favourite", Deep South drama "Green Book" and musical "Bohemian Rhapsody" all joining "A Star is Born" as multiple award contenders. "Roma" and "The Favourite" were nominated for 10 awards each. Netflix received its first best picture nomination with "Roma," which was released exclusively through the streaming service. All in all there were eight nominees for best picture, the others including "A Star Is Born," "Green Book," "The Favourite," "Black Panther," "BlacKkKlansman," "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Vice," which won eight nominations. German film "Never Look Away," inspired by the life of artist Gerhard Richter, was nominated for best foreign language film and best cinematography. Star power While award season kicked off with controversy when the host chosen initially for the 2019 ceremonies, Kevin Hart, was forced to withdraw due to previous homophobic tweets — a replacement is yet to be announced — the Academy is celebrating a host of fan and critic favorites. Hot Oscar tip "A Star Is Born," which has already taken in $400 million (€352 million) worldwide at the box office, garnered nine nominations despite faring poorly at the Golden Globes, where it only won best song. Stars Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper are both up for best acting awards on February 24 and the pop star drama will also be a frontrunner for best picture. The film is likewise in contention for best song and best screenplay adaptation. Meanwhile, blockbuster Freddie Mercury biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody," a film that has been panned by critics, is also up for best film after it reigned at the Golden Globes — where it won best film and best actor for Rami Malek. Spike Lee was nominated for best director for the first time since 1989 for "BlacKkKlansman" — which is also contending for best film. Other best director nominees include Alfonso Cuaron for "Roma" (also in the running for best original screenplay), Poland's Pawel Pawlikowski for "Cold War," Adam McKay for political drama "Vice" and Yorgos Lanthimos for "The Favourite." No women were on the list in 2019 after Greta Gerwig last year became only the fifth female nominated for best director. Marvelous breakthrough Other films in the running for film's most prestigious prize include Ryan Coogler's superhero epic "Black Panther." While comic book adaptations are generally shunned by the Academy, the Marvel comics work was both a massive box office hit and was also praised by critics. "Black Panther's" seven nominations also included best production and best song. Another comic book adaptation, "Avengers: Infinity War", which was the highest grossing film of 2018, was also nominated for best visual effects. Meanwhile, Wes Anderson favorite "Isle of Dogs" was nominated for best animated feature. The Oscars award ceremony will be held on February 24, 2019 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles.

The Oscar nominations were announced today in Hollywood, with blockbusters like “A Star of Born” and “Black Panther” up for a swag of major awards. But “Roma” and “The Favourite” topped the nominations with 10 each. Presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for films in 24 categories, nominations for the 91st Oscars saw Ryan Coogler’s superhero ... Read More »

Oprah for president? How the idea anchored within a day

It was jokingly suggested during Golden Globes night, then came an electrifying speech by the talk show queen: Within 24 hours, "Oprah Winfrey for president" turned into an actual possibility. Here's how. In a way, "Saturday Night Live" host Seth Meyers pushed Donald Trump to run for president. To compensate, he might have launched Oprah Winfrey's candidacy as well. Hired as a comedian for the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2011, Meyers slammed billionaire reality TV star Trump, also present at the event, jokingly implying that he was as qualified to become president as an old rusty bird cage. The merciless jokes at Trump's expense allegedly contributed to his decision to run for president. Hosting the Golden Globes Awards 2018 ceremony on Sunday, Meyers referred to his prescient humor: "Some have said that night convinced him to run. So, if that's true, I just want to say: Oprah, you will never be president! You do not have what it takes. And Hanks! Where's Hanks? You will never be vice president. You are too mean and unrelatable. Now we just wait and see." That night, receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award honorary Golden Globe Award for her lifetime achievement, Oprah Winfrey's powerful speech demonstrated that she had the eloquence it takes to move the public. Even Ivanka Trump was touched by Oprah's "empowering & inspiring speech." The tweet by the president's daughter, however, drew a lot criticism from other Twitter users. A new day on the horizon In any case, Oprah Winfrey's Golden Globes call, "a new day is on the horizon," was readily turned into a campaign slogan. A tweet posted by the NBC network posted a picture of Oprah, stating, "Nothing but respect for OUR future president." The tweet was a reference to a meme that developed following Twitter user Makenna's cleaning of Donald Trump's star: Not everyone found it funny; NBC deleted the controversial tweet after it had already been retweeted and liked by thousands. Meryl Streep also contributed to the hype by telling the Washington Post, "She launched a rocket tonight. I want her to run for president. I don't think she had any intention [of declaring]. But now she doesn't have a choice." Other celebrities, including pop superstar Lady Gaga, contributed to the social media wave. Fame, the only way to a US presidency? If some political observers smirk at the prospect that yet another TV megastar is suddenly seen as the only hope for the US, Winfrey's name is meanwhile spreading in serious political circles as well. Brad Anderson, the Iowa state director for President Barack Obama's re-election, tweeted that Oprah should give him a call: Dan Pfeiffer, former senior adviser to President Obama and CNN contributor wrote that the "Oprah thing isn't that crazy." Pfeiffer added in another tweet that "he didn't know if Oprah would be a good President, but she would definitely be a better President than Trump." Trump's first choice Although Donald Trump and Oprah Winfrey share TV stardom, unlike Trump, hers is an actual rags-to-riches story. As a self-made billionaire, Oprah has always used her own story of overcoming abuse to inspire others to seek a better life. As such, she is perceived as an upgrade to the current president, despite her lack of experience in politics. Ironically, in 1999, Donald Trump had suggested himself that he would see Oprah as his first choice for vice president if he were to run for president: "Americans respect and admire Oprah for her intelligence and caring. She has provided inspiration for millions of women to improve their lives, go back to school, learn to read, and take responsibility for themselves," Trump wrote in his book, as pointed out CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski. Although Oprah had always previously denied that a presidential run was an option, "two close friends" told CNN that she was "actively thinking" about it now.

It was jokingly suggested during Golden Globes night, then came an electrifying speech by the talk show queen: Within 24 hours, “Oprah Winfrey for president” turned into an actual possibility. Here’s how. In a way, “Saturday Night Live” host Seth Meyers pushed Donald Trump to run for president. To compensate, he might have launched Oprah Winfrey’s candidacy as well. Hired ... Read More »

‘Mechanic: Resurrection’: German filmmakers take on Hollywood

Plenty of German filmmakers have tried their luck in Hollywood. Some have made blockbusters; others went back home. Now, Dennis Gansel is throwing his hat in the ring with "Mechanic: Ressurection." It's got popular US stars, exciting backdrops, a fast-paced storyline, and a hero with a dark side that seems clean and does everything he can to save his girlfriend from the bad guys. "Mechanic: Resurrection," which opens Friday in US cinemas, has everything you'd expect from a typical Hollywood action film. With its restless jumps from one exotic location to the next, it even seems a bit like a James Bond film - an association that wasn't coincidental. Hollywood hasn't lost its pull The $40-million film received some funding from France and was directed by German filmmaker Dennis Gansel. Born in 1973 in Hanover, Gansel is the latest young German director to try his luck in Hollywood: The movie capital hasn't lost its magnetic power. Gansel is in good company. The number of German-speaking filmmakers that have gone to Hollywood over the decades is impressive. However, not all of them came voluntarily; some were forced to flee the Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s. Not all of them found happiness and were fortunate in Los Angeles. Many were artistic, sensitive characters that later decided to turn their back on Hollywood. Others, like Roland Emmerich, managed to establish themselves and rise to fame. It's not surprising that Dennis Gansel was also drawn to Hollywood. After completing his studies at the University of Television and Film Munich, he made six films in Germany, trying his hand at a variety of genres. Dennis Gansel has talent in many genres His debut film, "Das Phantom" (The Phantom), was a fast-paced police-terror thriller made for television. He followed it up in 2001 with a money-making teen comedy called "Mädchen, Mädchen" (Girls, Girls). Three years later came a Nazi drama, "Before the Fall." In 2008, Gansel made the sociopolitical thriller "The Wave," which also enjoyed success in cinemas. Although his 2010 vampire film "We Are the Night" was a box-office flop, he showed that he was capable of understanding the popular horror genre. In 2012, "The Fourth State" was a media and political thriller set in Moscow. Despite its poignantly current theme - terrorism and the East-West conflict - Gansel had difficulty financing the film. Entertainment and action don't go over well with Germany's film sponsorship authorities. It looks like a James Bond film, but it's not So it's not surprising that Dennis Gansel, who's more than proven his technical directing skills, looked around for other options. In 2014, he began extensive filming for "Mechanic: Resurrection" - in Thailand, Brazil, Australia and Bulgaria. In addition to Jason Statham and Jessica Alba in the leads, Gansel was able to get stars like Tommy Lee Jones and Michelle Yeoh on board as well. Even though his Hollywood debut has gotten off to a good start, Dennis Gansel - who recently married his girlfriend Ann-Kristin - doesn't want to settle down in the US permanently. His next project, a polit-thriller based in Brussels, is already in planning. He is also working on the project "Berlin, I Love You," with directors and conductors like Oren Moverman, Marjane Satrapi, Giuseppe Tornatore and Ai Weiwei. Gansel also has yet another film in the works - a family fantasy tale based on the famous children's book series, "Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver." Shirly MacLaine has been cast in the lead. Filming for the puppet classic will start in October, in Berlin and Munich. After that, Hollywood will certainly come knocking on Gansel's door again.

Plenty of German filmmakers have tried their luck in Hollywood. Some have made blockbusters; others went back home. Now, Dennis Gansel is throwing his hat in the ring with “Mechanic: Ressurection.” It’s got popular US stars, exciting backdrops, a fast-paced storyline, and a hero with a dark side that seems clean and does everything he can to save his girlfriend ... Read More »

Will Bollywood lure Germans?

A new TV channel is bringing Indian films packed with singing and dancing, as well as flamboyant TV shows, to German viewers. But it's unclear if the channel will be able to entice Germans into watching its programs. For most Germans, the word Bollywood is associated with Indian films featuring colorful costumes, lavish musical numbers and extravagantly choreographed dances. One of India's largest TV networks, Zee TV, now aims to bring these films and other Indian programs into the living rooms of Germany. Zee, which claims to have viewers in over 165 countries, is starting a new channel from Thursday, July 28, in the European country. The channel - which will be available for free via cable and satellite - is broadcast round the clock, and it is part of the network's strategy to expand its presence internationally. Talking to DW earlier this year, Zee TV chairman Subhash Chandra said the channel's programming would primarily be made up of Bollywood content. "However, it will be specifically tailor-made for the German market and adapted for the country," he noted. Germany already boasts a vast number of TV channels and has a reputation as a difficult market for foreign media content. Still, Chandra remains confident viewers in Germany would want to watch Zee TV as "the positioning of our content is happy and celebratory, and it caters to people of all ages." The channel particularly wants to target women audiences in the 19-59 age group, who it believes would be more receptive to Bollywood, filled with emotional drama involving elaborate stories of love and longing as well as dance sequences and songs. Growing presence Few German TV channels and cinemas currently show Indian movies. However, a few years ago, Germany witnessed a surge in interest for Bollywood films when a private German TV station, RTL II, began airing them on a regular basis. At present, Germany is considered to be the second-biggest market in Europe for the films, trailing only the UK. And Indian movie personalities such as Shah Rukh Khan enjoy a significant fan base in cities like Berlin. In 2012, for instance, when Khan was due to arrive for the premiere of his film "Don 2" in Berlin, a crowd of over 1,000 people waited passionately in freezing temperatures outside the Friedrichstadtpalast in the German capital to catch a glimpse of the actor. But overall, the number of Germans interested in watching Indian films continues to remain very limited, as many are not excited by the prospect of watching three-hour long emotional sagas interrupted by dance numbers. Friederike Behrends, CEO of the new channel in Germany, told the DPA news agency that Germans have so far known only a very small part of Bollywood. But it's actually one of the largest film industries in the world, boasting a wide variety of offerings, she stressed, adding: "And that is what we want to offer our audience in Germany." Bollywood vs Hollywood Bollywood, a term that apes Hollywood, refers to the Hindi-language film industry based in the western Indian city of Mumbai (previously called Bombay). Films are also produced in other parts of the country in various languages like Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. Overall, India produces more films than any other country in the world, with the South Asian nation estimated to churn out about 2,000 films a year, nearly four times that of Hollywood. However, when it comes to box office revenue, the Indian film industry lags far behind its American counterpart, with US films earning around five times as much as the total revenue of Indian movies. Nevertheless, over the past several years, Bollywood has been following in Hollywood's footsteps when it comes to doing business, striving to push for more professionalization and corporatization of the industry. It's also increasing efforts to expand the sources of revenue with the help of in-cinema advertising, merchandising and the sale of cable and satellite rights. At the same time, there has been growing interest from Hollywood studios to co-produce films in India and partner with Indian production houses. In recent years, Bollywood has also focused more on expanding its worldwide presence, with attempts to woo foreign viewers in overseas markets to watch its films. 'A difficult market' As a result of these developments, Bollywood films have become more popular outside of the Indian subcontinent, and Indian celebrities are making their presence felt at international film events. Overseas revenue collection for Indian movies rose as high as 11.5 percent last year, according to the FICCI-KPMG Indian Media and Entertainment Industry Report 2016. However, the growth is predominantly driven by Indian expatriates, who are ferocious consumers of Indian entertainment products, including films. This is where the challenge for Zee TV lies on the German market - because unlike a country such as the US, where over 2 million Indians live, Germany has a far smaller Indian community, which stood at around 80,000 in 2014. That means in order to succeed, Zee will have to win over the German audience and cannot rely solely on Indians living in the country. Chandra, the network's chairman, underlined that they are aware of the likes and dislikes of the German viewers and "we will select interesting content for them." "Germany is very important, because it is a difficult market for foreign media content. Hence, we feel that if we can succeed in this market, then we can succeed in any other market across the world." Additional reporting by Murali Krishnan from New Delhi.

A new TV channel is bringing Indian films packed with singing and dancing, as well as flamboyant TV shows, to German viewers. But it’s unclear if the channel will be able to entice Germans into watching its programs. For most Germans, the word Bollywood is associated with Indian films featuring colorful costumes, lavish musical numbers and extravagantly choreographed dances. One ... Read More »

#OscarsSoWhite: Is Hollywood part of a much bigger problem?

After an onslaught of criticism from Hollywood stars and film fans over lack of diversity at the Oscars, the Academy promised to reform itself. But critics say the changes don't go far enough in addressing racism. "Enough is enough," said Frederic Kendrick, communications professor at Howard University in Washington, D.C. "We've had it up to here." That once again black actors are missing from the nomination rosters at the 88th annual Academy Awards is, for Kendrick, just the tip of the iceberg. "The US has a lot of problems when it comes to race and culture." That's a sentiment many have shared over the last six weeks, ever since the nominations were announced. The Oscars, scheduled to be awarded on February 28, unleashed fury towards Hollywood's Academy - a group of 6,261 prominent members of the film industry - and comprised, for the most part, of older white men. #OscarsSoWhite The hashtag #Oscarssowhite started by editor and public speaker April Reign first began appearing just hours after the nominations were announced in mid-January. A glance at social media platforms shows that the outrage hasn't cooled since then. "If a white man were to play Michael Jackson, he'd be guaranteed an Oscar," according to numerous sarcastic tweets in response to Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson in "Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon." The short British comedy sees the King of Pop joining Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando on a road trip together in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in New York. The protest, which counts director Spike Lee and actress Jada Pinkett Smith as two of the most vocal early adopters, has also been taken up by the "New York Times," which claims that Hollywood has a "race problem." In a statement, President Barack Obama went one step further, asking whether the discrimination against black actors is part of a larger problem. "Are we doing everything to ensure that everyone gets a fair chance?" he asked rhetorically. The good old (white) boys club For many blacks and other minorities in the US, the answer to that question is no. Despite the election of a black president, not much has changed for the better. For some, Hollywood plays a role in this discriminatory system. Author Earl Ofari Hutchinson told DW that he sees Hollywood as a "skewed and deeply-rooted, party of white boys," whose only role in life is to defend privilege. "Hollywood has repeatedly seen to it that white talent not be excluded," says Hutchinson, whose widely-acclaimed books include, "A Colored Man's Journey Through 20th-Century Segregated America." Just how great a disparity between roles for white and black actors exists is something that media students at Howard University wanted to know. That's the impetus behind "Truth Be Told," a fact-checking project aimed at uncovering whether those criticisms against Hollywood and the Academy are fair. At first glance, the numbers don't look good: In the 87-year history of the Oscars, just 32 of the winners were black. A discriminatory dynamic With two Oscars, Denzel Washington is the exception to the rule. "Blacks weren't envisaged when Hollywood was founded," said Kendrick, the professor who started the project. He refers specifically to the silent film "Birth of a Nation," which was produced in 1915 by one of Hollywood's founding fathers. In it, blacks are portrayed in a negative light and practices of the white-supremacy group Ku Klux Klan are glorified. Many Americans believe their country has already arrived in a "post-race era," but they are getting ahead of themselves, says Kendrick. The "Hollywood dynamic" is evidence of the opposite. In the eyes of the critics, last year should have been a banner year for blacks with several very good films produced featuring black actors in the lead. As examples, they cite the roles played by Will Smith in "Focus" and Michael B. Jordan in "Creed." Despite being considered as top-notch quality and successes at the box office, neither of the films gained nominations. Reforms in the wings In the meantime, the uproar has led the Academy to promise that the number of minority members in its midst be incrementally increased in order to promote diversity. It's too little, too late, however, says Earl Ofari Hutchinson. "That's not a dramatic shift," added the author, whose role as president of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtables has him lobbying for filmmakers. In his statements, one hears a bit of a warning: If the Academy stays so stubborn, the changing tide will roll over their heads. Their glitzy exterior and influence could soon be history. Robert Redford, who was awarded an Oscar for his life's work, has not paid the critics much mind. He's interested, he says, "only in the work" and the on-screen results. "The elite good old boys, who want to secure their position of power," criticizes Hutchinson. An online protest for diversity And so the discussion about Hollywood's race problem carries on. Is it, as Frederic Kendrick of Howard University has said, just one element in a larger debate? Either way, protestors have already declared a massive anti-Oscar campaign on social media for Sunday night. It may just be that these online activists steal the spotlight from the stars on the red carpet.

After an onslaught of criticism from Hollywood stars and film fans over lack of diversity at the Oscars, the Academy promised to reform itself. But critics say the changes don’t go far enough in addressing racism. “Enough is enough,” said Frederic Kendrick, communications professor at Howard University in Washington, D.C. “We’ve had it up to here.” That once again black ... Read More »

Screen Actors Guild awards highlight Hollywood’s diversity

The Screen Actors Guild showcased Hollywood's ethnic diversity during its annual awards ceremony. It was a sharp contrast to the much-criticized, all-white nominees for this year's Oscars. The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards showcased Hollywood's multiethnic talents Saturday night. The racial and gender diversity of winners and nominees was in sharp contrast to the upcoming Academy Awards, which have come under fire for failing to nominate a single actor of color for the second year in a row. The actors guild cast a clear vote for diversity, and the beneficiaries included Queen Latifah, Uzo Aduba, Viola Davis and Idris Elba, who won two awards. "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to diverse TV," said Elba in his third trip on stage as a presenter. His first two were to accept awards for his supporting performance in the Netflix child soldier drama "Beasts of No Nation" and for his lead performance in the BBC miniseries "Luther." The night's top honor, Best Ensemble in a Film, went to the newspaper drama "Spotlight," which entered the ceremony as a definitive underdog. The ensemble award essentially came down to "Spotlight" or Adam McKay's high finance tale "The Big Short," which last week won the Producers Guild's top award, and seemed set to collect the SAG award, too. One "Spotlight" star, Mark Ruffalo said, "No way," upon hearing that the ensemble had taken top honors. He credited the writer-director Tom McCarthy and co-writer Josh Singer for their commitment to accuracy in recreating the journalistic process behind "The Boston Globe's" reporting on sexual abuse by Catholic priests. The two, he said, "took every single opportunity to tell the truth. They didn't take any cheap way. It was always the truth." Hollywood in an uproar Hollywood has been in an uproar the past two weeks since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this year's all-white Oscar nominees. The controversy seemed to cast a pall over attendees in Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium on Saturday night. Accepting the most outstanding ensemble award, comedy series, for "Orange Is the New Black," co-star Laura Prepon gestured to the cast of the prison comedy standing behind her. "Look at this stage," said Prepon. "This is what we talk about when we talk about diversity." Last week the Academy announced sweeping changes to its 6,200 strong membership , of which only 7 percent are people of color and 24 percent are women. Members who haven't been active in decades - mostly white, mostly male - will be stripped of their voting rights, according to the Academy's Chief Executive Dawn Hudson. "It's not about political correctness, it's about building the best team, the best institution, the best artists," Hudson told "The Hollywood Reporter." "Unless you have the best artists voting on the Academy Awards, you don't have a real reflection of the best of our film culture."

The Screen Actors Guild showcased Hollywood’s ethnic diversity during its annual awards ceremony. It was a sharp contrast to the much-criticized, all-white nominees for this year’s Oscars. The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards showcased Hollywood’s multiethnic talents Saturday night. The racial and gender diversity of winners and nominees was in sharp contrast to the upcoming Academy Awards, which have come ... Read More »

Hollywood producer Jerry Weintraub dies at 77

The famed producer of "The Karate Kid" and "Ocean's Eleven," Jerry Weintraub, has died at his home in Santa Barbara, California. Weintraub was 77 and died of cardiac arrest. Jerry Weintraub, Hollywood producer and showman, died of a heart attack at his home in Santa Barbara, California, his publicist said. Weintraub was 77 years old. Actor George Clooney was one of the first to mourn the Hollywood legend. "In the coming days there will be tributes…We'll laugh at his great stories, and applaud his accomplishments," Clooney said in a statement. "And in the years to come, the stories and accomplishments will get better with age, just as Jerry would have wanted it. But not today, today our friend died," he added. Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger tweeted his regrets at the sad news: "Jerry Weintraub is larger than life. He was a giant in Hollywood & his heart was so big it lit up the town. My thoughts are with his family". Former US President George Bush also expressed his condolences. "Jerry was an American original, who earned his success by the sheer force of his instinct, drive and larger-than-life personality. He had a passion for life," Bush said. Weintraub began his career as a talent manager for singers like Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond and John Denver and promoted concerts featuring Led Zeppelin and Elvis Presley. He later moved into film production, creating movies such as The Karate Kid (1984) and the relatively recent Ocean's Eleven trilogy starring George Clooney. His latest venture was a 2014 Emmy award-winning climate change documentary called Years of Living Dangerously. Weintraub was the first producer to have his hand and footprints on the hall-of-fame in the sidewalk of Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

The famed producer of “The Karate Kid” and “Ocean’s Eleven,” Jerry Weintraub, has died at his home in Santa Barbara, California. Weintraub was 77 and died of cardiac arrest. Jerry Weintraub, Hollywood producer and showman, died of a heart attack at his home in Santa Barbara, California, his publicist said. Weintraub was 77 years old. Actor George Clooney was one ... Read More »

Hollywood movie composer James Horner dies in plane crash, aged 61

Celebrated movie composer James Horner has died in a plane crash in California, aged 61. The Oscar-winning musician wrote the scores for numerous box-office hits including "Titantic," "Avatar" and "A Beautiful Mind." The Federal Aviation Administration said on Monday that a single engine Tucano MK1 crashed at 9:30 a.m. local time (1630 UTC) near Cuyama, California. Horner was the only passenger on board his private aircraft. The cause of the crash was not immediately known. Tributes to the Hollywood composer poured in following the news of his untimely death, with many top actors and directors in the film and television world paying tribute to the Oscar-winner on social media websites. Horner's personal assistant, Sylvia Patrycja wrote on Facebook: "We have lost an amazing person with a huge heart, and unbelievable talent. He died doing what he loved. Thank you for all your support and love and see you down the road." The late musician won two Oscars for his work on James Cameron's 1997 blockbuster "Titanic" - one for its theme song "My Heart Will Go On", performed by Celine Dion, and another for the film's score which sold 30 million copies worldwide. Having started learning to play the piano at the age of five, Horner received his first big break in 1982 with the score for "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan." He leaves behind a wife and two daughters.

Celebrated movie composer James Horner has died in a plane crash in California, aged 61. The Oscar-winning musician wrote the scores for numerous box-office hits including “Titantic,” “Avatar” and “A Beautiful Mind.” The Federal Aviation Administration said on Monday that a single engine Tucano MK1 crashed at 9:30 a.m. local time (1630 UTC) near Cuyama, California. Horner was the only ... Read More »

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