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Bert Fields Memorial: Jeffrey Katzenberg, Tom Cruise, Elaine May And Dustin Hoffman Say Goodbye To A Fearless Friend

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Hollywood powerbrokers past and present officially said goodbye to one of their own Sunday.

Bert Fields, who died August 8 at the age of 93, was celebrated today by clients, family and colleagues at a memorial service in Santa Monica. Jeffrey Katzenberg, Dustin Hoffman, Susan Estrich and Michael Ovitz paid tribute to the Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP partner and industry consigliere in front of a well-heeled crowd that included Fields’ widow Barbara Guggenheim, Leslie Moonves and Julie Chen Moonves, Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy, uber-producer Jerry Bruckheimer and David Geffen among many others.

Individually, Katzenberg, Hoffman and Ovitz remembered a man who was clearly as much their friend as he was their lawyer.

“Like the greatest of gladiators, he loved to take on formidable foes,” said Katzenberg of Fields, who represented him in the late 1990s during Katzenberg’s multimillion-dollar payout battle against Disney. Calling the attorney a “kind, loyal and generous friend,” and a “superhero,” the former DreamWorks Animation boss got a chuckle from the packed crowd at the Eli and Edythe Broad Stage by noting Fields’ “wicked sense of humor.”

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Later, an emotional Hoffman spoke of Fields’ “fearless” nature — a quality that was repeated again and again this afternoon. The Oscar winner called Fields “a man who I will always think of…forever in his prime.”

Longtime Fields clients Tom Cruise and hilariously heartfelt Elaine May appeared virtually during the three-hour memorial of mostly masked attendees to offer their condolences and memories of the man.

The Mission: Impossible star spoke of meeting Fields for the first time through Hoffman during the making of Rain Man. Declaring that he was “grateful” for Fields’ friendship, Cruise called the attorney “the most fascinating person I’ve ever met.” Cruise went on to add that Fields was “a person I knew I could always count on.”

“He loved Davids, he hated Goliaths,” said former CAA chief Ovitz to the audience.

Starting out with a clip from an old Dragnet episode featuring a matinee idol-like Fields playing a courtroom attorney, the memorial Sunday began with a video tribute to the attorney’s life, career, family and sense of the absurd.

Also speaking today at the memorial emceed by Rich Eisen were Fields’ colleagues, his god-daughter Ali Hoffman, and other relatives including the attorney’s grandchildren Michael and Annabelle Fields.

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But the remarks that clearly owned the day belonged to Fields’ widow Guggenheim. In loving, tearful, Shakespeare-referencing and rollicking but always poised remarks, Guggenheim closed out the memorial with an intimate overview of the life of the man to whom she was married for more than three decades.

“He was always so kind to everyone,” she said in a speech that often saw her voice break with emotion. Giving insight into Fields’ writings of the lives of Richard III, Shakespeare and Elizabeth I among other books he wrote, Guggenheim also had some news for the crowd. She said before he died, Fields completed a final work, about William the Conqueror and the history of the house of Plantagenet.

Praising her prolific husband’s “fighting spirit in all aspects of life,” Guggenheim promised the work would be released.

A natural-born bon vivant and raconteur as much as he was an attorney, Fields took pride in his literary endeavors as well as his litigation — a fact that only enhanced his reputation in high-profile circles when you consider that Fields kneecapped Disney and Michael Eisner to win a $250 million payout for former studio boss Katzenberg back in the late 1990s. Mythologized over the decades as a Jeffrey vs. Goliath face-off, Fields’ systemic legal methodology and somewhat prophetic embracing of technological prospects for the entertainment industry, left Disney lawyers reeling.

Other clients included Cruise, the now pariahs Harvey and Bob Weinstein, Avatar kingpin James Cameron, Madonna, Hoffman, Warren Beatty (against Paramount over cuts to the acclaimed Reds), the Beatles, Michael Jackson, The Godfather author Mario Puzo and his estate, Star Wars creator George Lucas, Bruckheimer and Steven Spielberg.

However, never hesitant to take off the white gloves, Fields was also drawn into the underbelly of Hollywood. Specifically, the attorney’s association with disgraced P.I. Anthony Pellicano, who served a decade-long stint behind bars and was released in 2019, proved problematic. In 2008, Fields testified in the FBI’s case against Pellicano, who he had hired on numerous occasions. Ultimately, Fields’ skill on the stand and Teflon skin left him relatively unstained by the courtroom drama and Pellicano’s actions.

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While those events were mentioned fleetingly during the memorial, today’s gathering of heavyweights made it clear those dark days are now but a footnote in Fields’ career. 



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Netflix & Paramount+ To Profile ‘Strip Search Caller’ ; TVOKids Spotlights Down Syndrome With Toon Series; ‘One Piece Film Red’ London Takeover — Global Briefs

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Netflix & Paramount+ UK To Profile ‘Strip Search Caller’

Netflix and Paramount+ have struck a first of its kind-of-deal over a true crime documentary telling the story of the strip search caller in the U.S. Paramount+ has taken UK rights to Pervert: The Hunt for the Strip Search Caller and Netflix has rest of world on the doc, which it will be calling Don’t Pick Up the Phone. The deal is believed to be the first time two streamers have worked in such a way in the UK and rest of world. The doc tells the shocking story of a hoax caller who targeted fast food restaurants across the U.S. – posing as a police officer investigating a theft, the caller instructed managers to strip-search the young female employees he said were suspects. For many victims, what began as a humiliating strip search escalated into sexual abuse.

Canada’s TVOKids Spotlights Down Syndrome In Animated Series ‘Griffin And Turner’

EXCLUSIVE: Ontario, Canada’s TVOkids and Big Jump Entertainment are working on 2D-animated series Griffin and Turner. Based on real Canadian brothers who a significant online following, the show follows the supportive pair as they, their friends and family undertake personal challenges but focus on the journey rather than winning. Turner has Down syndrome, and TVOKids executive producer Kirsten Hurd noted the series has been developed in consultation with the Down syndrome community. Producer Big Jump is behind shows such as Shutterbug and Big Words, Small Stories.

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London Gets ‘One Piece Film Red’ Takeover After Record Haul

To celebrate the record-breaking haul of One Piece Film Red in the UK, the Straw Hat Pirates are set for a takeover of iconic London locations on November 26. Via local distributor Anime Limited and Toei Animation, the cast and memorable scenes from the series will be projected onto the County Hall of London, opposite the London Eye as well as other key locations. One Piece Film: Red has grossed over £800,000 in the UK and Ireland since it released earlier this month, making it the biggest of the long-running franchise. A phenomenon in Japan, One Piece Film Red has grossed $162M to date worldwide 



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‘All Quiet On The Western Front’, ‘Belfast’ Top 2022 EFA Arts & Crafts Awards

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Edward Berger’s All Quiet On The Western Front and Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast top the European Film Academy’s Excellence Awards honoring achievement in the arts and crafts categories, the winners of which were announced on Wednesday.

Belfast won best European Production Design for Jim Clay, whose credits include Children Of Men, for which he won a Bafta in 2006, and Murder On The Orient Express.

The drama, set against the backdrop of the beginnings of “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland in 1969, also won best European Costume Design for Charlotte Walter (Blithe Spirit, Misbehaviour)

Netflix-backed German WWI drama All Quiet On The Western Front won best European Make-up & Hair for Heike Merker, and Best European Special Effects for Frank Petzold, Viktor Müller and Markus Frank.

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 In other categories, best European Cinematography was won by Kate McCullough for her work on Colm Bairéad’s Irish-language drama The Quiet Girl.

Best European Editing went to Özcan Vardar and Eytan İpeker for Turkish director Emin Alper’s drama Burning Days.

Polish composer Paweł Mykietyn won best European Original Score went for Jerzy Skolimowski’s EO.

Best European Sound went to Simone Paolo Olivero, Paolo Benvenuti, Benni Atria, Marco Saitta, Ansgar Frerich & Florian Holzner for Michelangelo Frammartino’s cave exploration drama The Hole.

The winners, which are decided by a special expert jury, will receive their awards at the European Film Awards ceremony on 10 December in Reykjavík.

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Jennifer Lopez’s Social Media Mysteriously Goes Dark

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EXCLUSIVE: The actress, producer and top-selling performing artist’s social media channels including Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter have suddenly gone dark in their featured/cover images.

Reps for Jennifer Lopez were unavailable for comment, but we hear from others that The Hustlers and Marry Me actress is on the verge of announcing a new project.

Here’s a look at her Instagram tonight:

While Lopez’s Instagram had erased all posts, a trail of her previous postings remained on Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter. Across all four social media portals, Lopez counts close to 347M followers, the majority of that coming from her Instagram.

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Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions in June 2021 signed a multi-year first-look deal with Netflix spanning feature films, TV series and unscripted content, with an emphasis on projects that support diverse female actors, writers and filmmakers. Lopez co-runs Nuyorican Productions with her producing partner Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas.

Lopez scored her best opening for a live-action movie at the domestic box office with STX’s 2019 stripper caper Hustlers which debuted to $33.1 million, and grossed $105M stateside, $157.6M worldwide.  As a recording artist, Lopez has sold over 70 million albums, with J.Lo became her bestselling album with 3.8M copies sold in the U.S. and 12M global. Her Netflix thriller The Mother from director Niki Caro is set to debut in May. Her romantic comedy Shotgun Wedding with Josh Duhamel will hit Prime Video on Jan. 27.

On Facebook, one of her followers, Steffany Merino wrote, “What’s happened? Hope you and your wonderful family are ok. I’ll pray for your health and safety.”

Again, we hear something special is in the works in the next few days.



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