Mandalit del Barco

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

For 44 years, the Sundance Film Festival has celebrated independent features and documentaries. The festival starts today and, like much of life right now, will be virtual. NPR's Mandalit del Barco gives us a preview.

Fashion journalist and icon André Leon Talley died at a hospital in White Plains, New York, Tuesday. He was 73.

For decades, he was the larger-than-life creative director and editor-at-large of Vogue magazine, considered the fashion bible.

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Sing 2, like its 2016 predecessor, Sing, features a menagerie of singing cartoon animals auditioning for a show—only this time, the stakes are much higher. In the new animated feature, which opens in theaters December 22, the troupe lands a gig at a larger-than-life Vegas-style venue by recklessly promising to enlist a reclusive superstar, Clay Calloway, whose leonine growl is provided by U2 singer Bono.

Ashli St. Armant is a singer and educator best known as Jazzy Ash, performing New Orleans-style jazz for children far and wide. She's also written and narrated audiobooks for young people. And to get her many fans into the holiday spirit, she's recorded some Christmas tunes, including "Zat You Santa Claus," a classic tune associated with Louis Armstrong.

The death of singer Vicente Fernández — nicknamed "El Chente" — hit hard for Mexicans around the world, particularly for the older generation. He was known to his many fans as El Rey — the King — of Ranchera, a musical style rooted in the values and traditions of rural Mexico.

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Updated December 12, 2021 at 5:20 PM ET

Since 1944, the Golden Globes have been the casual, boozy celebration that kicked off Hollywood's awards season. Celebrities from film and television sat at tables toasting each other's wins. Unlike the Oscars, you could bump into a glamorous star primping in the restroom, or take a selfie with them in the hallway.

Updated December 2, 2021 at 4:32 PM ET

The Beverly Hills Police Department has arrested 29-year-old Aariel Maynor in connection to the fatal shooting of philanthropist Jacqueline Avant. She was shot early Wednesday morning at her home, and died shortly afterwards in a hospital.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Disney has released its 60th animated movie. It's a musical featuring a little girl who lives with her family in a fictional village in Colombia.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "COLOMBIA, MI ENCANTO")

Updated November 19, 2021 at 1:56 PM ET

I went to Mike Mill's bungalow in L.A.'s Echo Park neighborhood to ask him about what I think is the most public radio movie ever. Long before I reached his house, I had my headphones on, my microphone ready, and my recorder rolling to capture our greeting and the barking sounds of his dog McGee.

"I knew what you were doing," Mills tells me. That's because he's a big public radio listener, especially of shows like This American Life, hosted by Ira Glass.

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Updated November 12, 2021 at 9:11 AM ET

A crew member on the set of Rust claims safety negligence led to the accidental shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins last month.

The bullet that killed her "narrowly missed" the film's chief lighting technician Serge Svetnoy, according to allegations in a civil lawsuit he filed in Los Angeles Superior Court. It's believed to be the first lawsuit related to the incident.

Updated October 29, 2021 at 5:55 PM ET

At a press briefing Wednesday, District Attorney for Santa Fe County, Mary Carmack-Altwies, said it's too early for any charges in the investigation into the Rust film shooting that left cinematographer Halyna Hutchins dead, but she added that "no one has been ruled out at this point."

She cautioned against jumping to conclusions about the case. Interviews are ongoing and investigators are sending evidence found on set to the FBI crime lab in Quantico, Virginia.

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Updated October 16, 2021 at 9:58 PM ET

Hollywood crew members and major studios have averted a nationwide strike that would have shut down much of film and TV production. The tentative agreement must still be ratified by the union's members.

Hollywood film and TV productions could soon shut down if contract negotiations aren't resolved. Production staff in the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, or IATSE, voted to authorize a strike Monday over disputes with studio producers about their schedules, pay and work conditions. The threat of an actual strike could be leverage during any future negotiations, which could happen this week as the two sides sit down again for talks.

Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki is renowned for creating enchanting worlds in his animated films.

For the first time outside of Japan, his work is being featured in a major retrospective at the brand-new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles. This week, the organization that hosts the Oscars unveiled the museum devoted to cinema.

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NOEL KING, HOST:

A judge suspended Jamie Spears' conservatorship of his daughter's estate yesterday. And outside of the LA courtroom, Britney's fans cheered. NPR's Mandalit del Barco was there.

(CHEERING)

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LEILA FADEL, HOST:

Updated September 29, 2021 at 9:06 PM ET

Pop star Britney Spears has been living under a legal conservatorship that has controlled every aspect of her life since 2008. For much of that time, all decisions about her personal, medical and financial affairs have been completely controlled by her father, Jamie Spears, who initiated the conservatorship 13 years ago — and whom the singer has accused of exploiting her.

Updated September 28, 2021 at 7:26 PM ET

Alex Rivera and Cristina Ibarra share an whimsical, avant-garde sensibility to filmmaking. Individually and as a power couple, they've created fresh, experimental cinema. And this year, they are each getting their own MacArthur fellowships, otherwise known as "genius grants," making them the first married couple to each win the prestigious award at the same time.

Social justice, anti-racism and joy: These are the themes of a collection of original songs written by family musicians Dan and Claudia Zanes. Smithsonian Folkways has just released their first duo album, Let Love Be Your Guide. It's filled with uplifting messages.

"It's an anthem of love and joy and possibility and community," Claudia says, speaking from their home in Baltimore.

For years, people of color have struggled to break into Hollywood. One reason? The film industry is built on relationships, and many of those relationships often begin in film school, where the right connections can open important doors. Now, the country's top film schools are trying to foster those connections for people of color by creating a pipeline to the industry for filmmakers whose work remains underrepresented.

Comedian Norm Macdonald, a beloved Saturday Night Live cast member in the 1990s, has died. His management company confirmed that the 61-year-old had battled cancer for nine years.

Nearly 40 years since they last made music together, the members of ABBA are back. The Swedish pop group has announced an upcoming "hologram" concert in London and its first studio album in four decades.

"We took a break in the spring of 1982, and now we've decided it's time to end it," the band announced in a news release. "They say it's foolhardy to wait more than 40 years between albums, so we've recorded a follow-up to The Visitors."

This week at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Hollywood studios debuted their upcoming fall releases to theater owners and industry press. The three-day convention known as CinemaCon, offered a sneak peak of upcoming fall and Christmas blockbusters in waiting, like the new superhero movie, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and Matrix 4: Resurrections.

Tina Tchen has resigned from her position as president and CEO of Time's Up, an organization whose mission is to protect women from harassment. It was the latest fallout from charges that Times' Up leaders privately consulted with then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has denied accusations by 11 women that he sexually harassed them.

After 17 days of competition at the Tokyo Olympics, the United States finished with the most medals won overall and the most gold medals, with its 39 golds just barely beating out China, which won 38.

On the last day of the Games, the U.S. women's volleyball team secured the 39th gold medal, beating out Brazil to win the country's first gold in the sport.

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