‘Precious’ wins big at NAACP Image Awards

LOS ANGELES – It was a winning night for ”Precious” at the 41st NAACP Image Awards.

The heart-wrenching tale of an illiterate and abused teen who finds hope in a Harlem classroom was named outstanding motion picture and outstanding independent film at Friday’s ceremony. Stars Mo’Nique and Gabourey Sidibe, screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher and director Lee Daniels also won.

Daniels excitedly accepted the best-picture prize, surrounded by his cast and fellow producers.

”No one in Hollywood told me they wanted to see a movie about a 350-pound black woman with HIV,” he said.

Sidibe objected, and Daniels corrected himself: ”She’s not 350 pounds. This was before you were hired.”

Presented by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Image Awards honor diversity in the arts and outstanding achievements in film, television, music and literature.

Sidibe cried as she accepted the award for outstanding actress in a motion picture for her starring turn as Precious, the overweight, twice-pregnant teen who discovers her self-worth through reading and writing.

”It’s so awesome to win! I love winning,” said the Oscar nominee, who made her acting debut with this film. ”I want to thank my God for ordering my steps, for everything that my life was and everything that it is now.”

Other winners Friday included Keri Hilson, Maxwell, ”Brothers” star Daryl ”Chill” Mitchell and Chris Rock.

Hilson was named outstanding new artist, Maxwell won for male artist, Mitchell won for actor in a comedy series and Rock accepted the documentary award for his film ”Good Hair.”

Concert benefits Tibetan culture

 

NEW YORK – Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Regina Spektor and many others contributed to a potent sonic cocktail that rocked Carnegie Hall at the 20th Annual Benefit Concert for Tibet House US, a nonprofit organization charged with preserving Tibetan culture.

An avid fan of Tibetan art since his teen years, Pop says the world cannot afford to lose it.

”(Tibetans have) been getting kind of a bum deal for like 50, 60 years now sort of losing their spot on Earth,” said Pop.

Tibet is ruled by China. China insists Tibet has been part of its territory for four centuries and has governed the Himalayan region with an iron first since communist troops took control there in 1951.

But many Tibetans say they were effectively independent for most of their history.

‘Hurt Locker’ producer’s e-mail dig at ‘Avatar’ breaks Academy rule

LOS ANGELES – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is considering action against a producer of ”The Hurt Locker” who sent multiple e-mails urging academy members to vote for his movie in the Oscar best-picture race and ”not a $500 million film” — an obvious reference to close-competitor ”Avatar.”

The e-mails by Nicolas Chartier, one of four nominated producers for ”The Hurt Locker” and who put up the financing to make the front-running film, violated the academy’s rule against sending mailings that ”attempt to promote any film or achievement by casting a negative light on a competing film or achievement,” according to academy spokeswoman Leslie Unger.

”Hurt Locker” distributor Summit Pictures said in a statement it was ”completely unaware of any e-mails that were sent until we were alerted by the academy earlier this week.”

Chartier, after being confronted by Summit executives, worked with the studio and the academy to craft an apology for his actions, said Summit spokesman Paul Pflug.