Sundance 2019 Juries Include Jane Campion, Damien Chazelle, Tessa Thompson, and More – IndieWire

Sundance 2019 Juries Include Jane Campion, Damien Chazelle, Tessa Thompson, and More – IndieWire

When the Sundance Film Festival kicks off next week, the annual event will flood Park City, Utah with plenty of high-powered talent, and it seems that this year’s jury members might offer up as much notoriety and star power as the people on the big screen. The Sundance Institute has announced the “20 celebrated and revered expert voices across film, art, culture, and science” who will make up this year’s juries, designed to award feature-length and short films shown at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival with 12 prizes. Those names include filmmakers Jane Campion, Damien Chazelle, Yance Ford, Rachel Grady, Ciro Guerra; screenwriters Phyllis Nagy and Sev Ohanian; actors Tessa Thompson, Sheila Vand, and Corey Stoll; and many more.

All this year’s winners, save for the short film awardees (which are announced at a separate ceremony on January 29), will be announced at a ceremony on February 2 that will be lives​treamed at ​​ and on YouTube. Award-winning filmmaker (and Sundance alum!) Marianna Palka will host the ceremony. Palka previously screened her “Good Dick” and “Bitch” at the festival, and her latest film, “Egg,” will hit theaters later this year.

The awards, which recognize standout artistic and story elements, are voted on by each of seven section juries. The NEXT Innovator’s Award will be awarded by a jury of one: lauded artist and filmmaker Laurie Anderson. Festival audiences also vote on the Audience Awards, which recognize five films in the U.S. Competition, World Competition, and NEXT categories. Festival audiences will also vote on a Festival Favorite film across categories, which will be announced the week following the Festival.

One award has already been announced: the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize was awarded to Chiwetel Ejiofor’s feature directorial debut, ​”The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind​.” The film will premiere at the festival before hitting Netflix and select theaters on March 1.

This year’s Sundance Film Festival takes place January 24 – February 3 in Park City, Utah.

Check out the full list of this year’s Sundance jury members, with all biographies provided by Sundance.

U.S. Dramatic Jury

Desiree Akhavan

Desiree Akhavan is the co-writer and director of ​The Miseducation of Cameron Post​, which won the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Her first film, ​Appropriate Behavior​, premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for the Film Independent Spirit Award for best first screenplay. Most recently, she created the Hulu original series ​The Bisexual​, which premiered in the fall. She has a BA from Smith College and an MFA from NYU’s graduate film program.

Damien Chazelle

Academy Award winner Damien Chazelle most recently directed ​First Man​, about Neil Armstrong and NASA’s mission to land a man on the moon. Previously, he wrote and directed the critically acclaimed films ​La La Land (2016) and ​Whiplash ​(2014). Chazelle made his first feature, ​Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench​, as an undergraduate student at Harvard University.

Dennis Lim

Dennis Lim is the director of programming at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, where he serves on the selection committees for the New York Film Festival and New Directors/New Films and oversees the year-round repertory and festival programming. He was previously the editorial director for the Museum of the Moving Image and the film editor of the Village Voice. The author of a critical biography on David Lynch (​David Lynch: The Man from Another Place, 2015​), he has contributed to the​ New York Times​, the ​Los Angeles Times,​ ​Artforum​, ​Film Comment,​ ​Cinema Scope,​ and other publications, and taught film studies at Harvard University and arts criticism at New York University and The New School. He was awarded the Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters in 2018.

Phyllis Nagy

Phyllis Nagy is a writer and director whose latest screenplay, ​Carol​, was awarded the New York Film Critics Circle Award for best screenplay and received nominations for an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, and a Writers Guild Award for best adapted screenplay. Mrs. Harris, an HBO film Nagy wrote and directed, received 12 Emmy nominations, including two nominations for Nagy herself: Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie, or a Dramatic Special, and Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie, or a Dramatic Special. Her next project is ​So Much Love​, a film about a week in the life of the iconic British singer Dusty Springfield that Nagy will write and direct.

Tessa Thompson

Tessa Thompson is a critically acclaimed, award-winning actress whose career spans a remarkable array of roles and genres. She has recently appeared in the hit blockbuster ​Thor: Ragnarok,​ the indie titles​ Sorry to Bother You (2018 Sundance Film Festival) and ​Little Woods​ (2018 Tribeca Film Festival), the sci-fi thriller ​Annihilation​, and the HBO drama series ​Westworld.​ Thompson’s credits also include the Academy Award–winning ​Selma ​and the off-Broadway play ​Smart People.​ Her performance in​ Dear White People l​ anded her a Gotham Award for breakthrough actor, as well as a nomination for outstanding actress in a motion picture at the NAACP Image Awards. Thompson will next be seen in ​Creed II​ and in Sony’s new ​Men in Black​ spin-off.

U.S. Documentary Jury

Lucien Castaing-Taylor

Lucien Castaing-Taylor is an anthropologist, artist, and filmmaker who works in the Sensory Ethnography Lab at Harvard University and in Paris, France. His works include ​Leviathan (​ 2012), a collaboration with Véréna Paravel that is part of the four-piece project ​Canst Thou Draw Out Leviathan with a Hook?​ (2012–2016); ​Ah humanity! (2015), with Ernst Karel and Paravel; and ​Sweetgrass ​(2009), with Ilisa Barbash. In 2017, he co-directed three more video and film projects with Paravel: ​somniloquies a​ nd ​Commensal​, both commissioned by documenta 14, and ​Caniba.​ His work is in the permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and has been exhibited at the Tate Modern, the Whitney Biennial, MoMA, and elsewhere.

Yance Ford

Yance Ford is an Academy Award–nominated, Emmy-winning director based in New York City. A graduate of Hamilton College and the Third World Newsreel Production Workshop, Ford is a fellow of both Sundance Institute and MacDowell Colony. The Root 100 named Ford among the most influential African Americans of 2017, and he was honored with the IDA Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award. His debut film, ​Strong Island,​ won the Sundance Film Festival’s U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for storytelling, in addition to multiple other awards elsewhere, including the IFP Gotham Award for best documentary. At Cinema Eye Honors, it became the first nominee to ever win best in direction, debut, and feature. Ford made history as the first transgender director nominated for an Oscar.

Rachel Grady

Co-owner of New York’s Loki Films, Rachel Grady is the co-director of ​Jesus Camp​ (Academy Award nominee), The Boys of Baraka​ (Emmy nominee), ​12th & Delaware​ (Peabody Award winner), ​Detropia​ (2012 Sundance Film Festival; Emmy winner), and ​Freakonomics: The Movie​. In 2016, Grady co-directed ​Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You,​ which was the opening-night selection at the Sundance Film Festival, ran as an episode of PBS’s American Masters, and was nominated for an Emmy alongside American Masters. More recently, Grady and co-directorHeidiEwingspentthreeyearson​OneofUs,​ whichistheirsixthfeature-lengthdocumentary collaboration together. Grady is currently working on a documentary series for Showtime. She resides in Brooklyn, New York.

Jeff Orlowski

Jeff Orlowski is an Emmy-winning filmmaker and the founder of Exposure Labs. At Exposure Labs, he creates film projects that pair compelling stories with powerful impact campaigns. He utilized his scuba-diving skills to direct the Emmy-winning Netflix Original ​Chasing Coral​, which documents divers, scientists, and photographers on an underwater mission to explore the disappearance of coral reefs. This work continues the momentum of Orlowski’s Academy Award–nominated and Emmy-winning directing debut, ​Chasing Ice​. In 2016, Orlowski was named the inaugural Sundance Institute Discovery Impact fellow for environmental filmmaking. His films won the U.S. Documentary Audience Award and Excellence in Cinematography Award at the Sundance Film Festival. They have screened for the U.S. Congress, for the United Nations, and on all seven continents.

Alissa Wilkinson

Alissa Wilkinson joined Vox in 2016 as a staff writer and film critic. Before Vox, she spent a decade writing criticism and essays for a wide variety of publications, including​ Rolling Stone​, ​Vulture​,,
the​ Washington Post​, the ​Atlantic​, the ​Los Angeles Review of Books​, ​Christianity Today,​ and many others. Wilkinson has also appeared as a commentator on many radio and TV programs. Wilkinson is an associate professor of English and humanities at The King’s College in Manhattan, where she teaches criticism, film studies, and cultural theory. She is a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and was a writing fellow with Sundance Institute’s 2017 Art of Nonfiction Initiative.

World Cinema Dramatic Jury

Jane Campion

Jane Campion is the only female director to receive the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival (1993) and the second of only five women to be nominated for best director at the Academy Awards. Campion went on to win best screenplay. Campion’s first short film, ​Peel (​ 1982), won the Short Film Palme d’Or in 1986 at the Cannes Film Festival. Campion directed her first feature ​Sweetie ​in 1989; this was followed by ​An Angel at My Table (1990), ​The Piano​ (1993), ​The Portrait of a Lady​ (1996), ​Holy Smoke​ (1999), ​In the Cut​ (2003), and ​Bright Star (2009). Campion’s six-hour miniseries ​Top of the Lake​ (2013) screened at the Berlin International and Sundance Film Festivals, receiving eight Emmy nominations and two Golden Globe nominations. Due to her success, Campion created the sequel,​ Top of the Lake: China Girl​ (2017).

Charles Gillibert

Charles Gillibert developed CG Cinéma in 2013 as a mainstay of innovative French film production. The company works to identify and support new directors, restore auteur cinema to the center of the industry, and build bridges between countries and languages. CG Cinéma films have been widely acclaimed at festivals. In 2016, ​Mustang w​ on four César Awards and was nominated at the Academy Awards. That same year, ​Personal Shopper​ by Olivier Assayas won the Prix de la Mise en Scène at the Cannes Film Festival and ​Things to Come​ by Mia Hansen-Løve won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the Berlin International Film Festival. In 2016 and 2017, CG Cinéma was ranked among the top ten exporters of French film.

Ciro Guerra

Ciro Guerra is a writer and director from Colombia. His first two feature films,​ La Sombra Del Caminante (​The Wandering Shadows​) in 2004 and ​Los Viajes Del Vento​ (​The Wind Journeys​) in 2009, have screened in many international film festivals, including the Cannes Film Festival (in the Un Certain Regard section), Toronto International Film Festival, San Sebastián International Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Festival del film Locarno, and Tribeca Film Festival. His third feature, ​El Abrazo de La Serpiente ​(Embrace of the Serpent), won the Art Cinema Award at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival Directors’ Fortnight and became the first Colombian film nominated for the best foreign language film at the Academy Awards.

World Cinema Documentary Jury

Maite Alberdi

Director Maite Alberdi is known for her documentaries that offer intimate portraits of everyday life. Her films, which include the features ​The Lifeguard​, ​The Grown-Ups​, and ​Tea Time​, have received dozens of international awards, plus nominations for the 2016 Goya Award for Best Ibero-American Film (​Tea Time​) and European Short Film 2016 (​I’m Not From Here)​ . She also produced ​Sex Life of Plants​, ​Los Reyes​, and ​They All Come Back​. An active educator, Alberdi regularly offers documentary-production and project-development workshops to students and professionals, both in Chile and abroad. In 2012 Alberdi was selected as a “Global Shaper” by the World Economic Forum, and in 2018 she became a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Nico Marzano

Nico Marzano is the film curator and head of film distribution at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts and founder and director of FRAMES of REPRESENTATION (FoR), a laboratory and film festival founded in 2015 to promote and support the presentation, production, and distribution of new visions of cinema. Marzano has served on numerous international film festival juries and led workshops at the Cannes Film Festival, CPH:DOX, and elsewhere, and he frequently contributes film reviews and essays to Film Ireland and academic film journals. A regular guest lecturer at universities around the United Kingdom, Marzano currently sits on the advisory board of the MA in film studies, programming, and curation at the National Film and Television School in London.

Véréna Paravel

Véréna Paravel is an anthropologist, artist, and filmmaker who works in the Sensory Ethnography Lab at Harvard University and in Paris, France. Her works include ​Leviathan ​(2012), a collaboration with Lucien Castaing-Taylor that is part of the four-piece project ​Canst Thou Draw Out Leviathan with a Hook?​ (2012–2016); ​Ah humanity! (2015), with Ernst Karel and Castaing-Taylor; and ​Foreign Parts​ (2010), with J. P. Sniadecki. In 2017, she co-directed three more video and film projects with Castaing-Taylor: ​somniloquies ​and ​Commensal​, both commissioned by documenta 14, and ​Caniba.​ Her work is in the permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and has been exhibited at the Tate Modern, the Whitney Biennial, MoMA, and elsewhere.

Short Film Jury

Young Jean Lee

Young Jean Lee has written and directed ten shows with Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company and toured her work in over thirty cities around the world. Her play ​Straight White Men ​premiered on Broadway in 2018. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two Obie Awards, a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a prize in literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a PEN Literary Award, and a United States Artists Fellowship. Her short films have been presented at the Sundance Film Festival, the Festival del film Locarno, and BAMcinemaFest. She is currently working on a screenplay commission for Cinereach.

Carter Smith

Carter Smith is a writer, director, and fashion photographer who splits his time between New York City and a tiny island in Maine. His first short film, ​Bugcrush,​ won the Jury Prize for short filmmaking at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and went on to disturb way more people than he ever imagined possible. He then directed ​The Ruins​ for DreamWorks Pictures before writing and directing ​Jamie Marks Is Dead,​ which premiered in dramatic competition at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

Sheila Vand

Sheila Vand most recently starred as “Ma” in the critically acclaimed ​We the Animals​ (2018 Sundance Film Festival NEXT Innovator Prize) and alongside Susan Sarandon in ​Viper Club​ (Toronto International Film Festival 2018). Her extensive filmography includes the anthology hit ​XX ​(2017 Sundance Film Festival), Paramount’s Whiskey Tango Foxtrot​ (opposite Tina Fey), the Sundance hit​ A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night​, and the Academy Award–winning film ​Argo.​ Other notable credits include her Broadway debut opposite Robin Williams in Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo​ (Pulitzer Prize finalist), ​Sneaky Nietzsche​ (her original theatrical experience at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art), and an ongoing visual art collaboration with TED-fellow Alexa Meade. She will star in TNT’s upcoming series ​Snowpiercer​.


Laurie Anderson

Laurie Anderson is one of America’s most renowned creative pioneers, a writer, director, visual artist, and vocalist whose groundbreaking works have spanned the worlds of art, theatre, and experimental music. Her recent projects include audiovisual installations and a high-definition film for Japan’s Expo 2005; a premiere at Vancouver’s 2010 Cultural Olympiad; dramatic and virtual reality films that have screened at the Venice and Toronto International Film Festivals; collaborations with Chien-Chen Huang and the Kronos Quartet; and a fifteen-year rotating exhibition at Mass MoCA’s B6. She has received the Dorothy & Lillian Gish Prize (2007), Pratt Institute’s honorary Legends Award (2011), and Yoko Ono’s Courage Award for the Arts (2016), and in 2002 she was appointed the first artist-in-residence at NASA.

Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize Jury

Mandë Holford

Dr. Mandë Holford is as an associate professor in chemistry at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of CUNY, with scientific appointments at the American Museum of Natural History and Weill Cornell Medicine. Her research goes from mollusks to medicine, combining chemistry and biology to discover, characterize, and deliver novel peptides from venomous marine snails as tools for manipulating cellular physiology in pain and cancer. Her awards include Young Scientist by the World Economic Forum, the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, and an NSF CAREER Award. She was also featured on “Breakthrough: Portraits of Women in Science,” a short film anthology from ​Science Friday​ and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She is co-founder of the award-winning, which uses games to advance scientific learning in K-12 classrooms.

Katie Mack

Dr. Katie Mack is a theoretical astrophysicist who studies the universe from beginning to end. Throughout her career, she has explored a range of questions in cosmology, including black holes, dark matter, galaxy formation, and the very early universe. She currently holds the position of assistant professor of physics at North Carolina State University, where she is a member of the Leadership in Public Science faculty cluster. Alongside her academic research, she is an active science communicator and has been published in a number of popular publications such as ​Scientific American​, S​ late,​ and ​Sky & Telescope.​ She is also a columnist at ​Cosmos Magazine.

Sev Ohanian

Sev Ohanian is a screenwriter and producer native to Los Angeles. His most recent film, ​Searching​, which he co-wrote and produced, screened at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, where Ohanian won both the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize and the Sundance Institute | Amazon Studios Producers Award for Feature Film. That same year, ​Searching ​was released by Sony Screen Gems, and it grossed over $70 million worldwide. He’s currently in production on a film titled ​Run f​ or Lionsgate, starring Sarah Paulson. He will next serve as executive producer on ​Space Jam 2​ for Warner Brothers.

Lydia Dean Pilcher

Lydia Dean Pilcher is a founder of Cine Mosaic, a New York-based production company specializing in international co-productions, with expertise in the U.S., Europe, India, Turkey, Africa, and the Middle East. She is inspired by themes of cultural perception and social justice. She has produced over 35 feature films, including 11 in a longstanding collaboration with director Mira Nair. She recently​ d​ irected ​ Liberté–A Time to Spy​. Before that she​ p​ roduced​ The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks​ for HBO Films and the upcoming ​Radium Girls, ​which she also co-directed with Ginny Mohler. Pilcher is a National Chair of PGA Green, a sustainable film task force. She is a longtime environmental activist and a believer in the power of stories to create change.

Corey Stoll

Best known for his Golden Globe-nominated portrayal of Congressman Peter Russo in the Netflix series ​House of Cards​, Corey Stoll has made a priority of seeking out varied roles in film, television and theater. In 2019, he will star in the John DeLorean biopic ​Driven​ and appear in Scott Z. Burns’s T​ he Report​ opposite Adam Driver. Previous roles include Buzz Aldrin in Damien Chazelle’s ​First Man,​ Ernest Hemingway in Woody Allen’s ​Midnight in Paris​ (for which he received a Film Independent Spirit Award nomination), and supervillain Yellow Jacket in Marvel’s ​Ant-Man.​ Theatre credits include Lynn Nottage’s award-winning ​Intimate Apparel​, a Public Theater revival of ​Plenty​, and Gregory Mosher’s Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s ​A View from the Bridge.​

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Fort Mason Is Really Two Institutions in One – January 17, 2019 – SF Weekly

Fort Mason Is Really Two Institutions in One – January 17, 2019 – SF Weekly

Unlike nearby Fort Point, which was militarily obsolete almost from the moment it was built, Fort Mason functioned as a garrison and point of embarkation for nearly a century. And while Fort Point is a relic better known from its Vertigo cameo than for large gatherings, Fort Mason is arguably more dynamic than even when it operated as the jumping-off point for the entire Pacific theater of World War II.

It’s all because an earlier generation had the gift of foresight about the site, which is really two institutions in one. The parklike Upper Fort Mason, which the National Park Service manages, contains former officers’ houses, some of which are rental units — plus a youth hostel and a venue for weddings and other events. Lower Fort Mason, officially known as the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, contains the piers, a few bars and restaurants, a historic firehouse, a parking lot with lots of railroad tracks embedded in the asphalt, and a tunnel that may become an extension of the F-Market streetcar. It’s home to weekly food truck jamboree Off the Grid (whose season starts up in early spring). It’s still a work-in-progress.

“There were people here smart enough to think this old army base should be an arts center,” spokesperson Nick Kinsey tells SF Weekly. “We’ve been up and running for 41 years, so while we don’t know that we’ll ever be fully built out, it’s not exactly as if we have a lot of openings for tenants.”

About a decade into its lease, which extends for another 54 years, Fort Mason has acquired tenants like the San Francisco Art Institute, whose graduate campus is on Pier 2. Restoring that pile-supported structure required some $50 million, and the next task on its capital-improvement wish list is to restore Pier 1, the only two-story pier in San Francisco.

“We’re working in partnership with the National Park Service,” Kinsey says. “We hope in the next 10 to 20 years we accomplish much of that deferred maintenance.”

One issue the site faces is that people who attend Eat Drink SF, the Friends of the Library book sale, or a theatrical production at the Cowell Theatre may regard Fort Mason as simply a place for large-scale annual events of that magnitude. In reality, it’s busy almost every day of the year, from beer-and-brats palace Radhaus to the newly reopened vegetarian restaurant Greens (whose Greens to Go counter is also up and running) to the Interval.

Having been home to exhibits like the Isaac Julien parallel-video installation Playtime, the Fort Mason Center will see two big, concurrent openings this coming week. One is the U.S. premiere of Joan Jonas: They Come to Us without a Word, a multimedia show that opened at the 2015 Venice Biennale and now comes to Gallery 308, and the other is the sixth annual Fog Design+Art, possibly the closest thing San Francisco has to Art Basel. Jonas will perform her oceanic paean, “Moving Off the Land,” while amateur astronaut and wild-eyed lunar enthusiast Tom Sachs — whose 2016 show at YBCA, Space Program: Europa, was one of the best things we saw all that year — discusses the moon shot with Mythbusters’ Adam Savage. Not a bad second act for a glorified wharf where nervous sailors smoked their last cigarettes before heading to Guadalcanal.

Read more from SF Weekly’s Marina issue:

The Marina: The Neighborhood Everyone Loves to Hate
But is that fair?

Have a Cow, Man, at Marlowe’s Newest Spinoff
Sneak away for a bit of opulence at Cow Marlowe, which fits the neighborhood hand-in-glove.

Yacht Rocks: The Unsung History of the Marina District Lighthouse
A stone landmark that doesn’t get the respect it deserves.

What’s Happening With That Giant Building Behind the Palace of Fine Arts?
The city has struggled to find a purpose the Exhibition Center, one of the largest single-story structures in San Francisco.

Will the Marina Say Yes to Muni This Time?
Neighbors have opposed several transportation projects, but they’re hearing out preliminary plans to extend the Central Subway their way.

This 104-Year-Old Theater in Laconia Needs Restoration Help – NH1 News

This 104-Year-Old Theater in Laconia Needs Restoration Help – NH1 News

This 104-Year-Old Theater in Laconia Needs Restoration Help

As cost of the Globe soars to £20m, council is asked ‘will that be final bill?’ – Teesside Live – Teesside Live

As cost of the Globe soars to £20m, council is asked ‘will that be final bill?’ – Teesside Live – Teesside Live

Fresh questions have been raised over whether Stockton’s Globe Theatre will cost any more for taxpayers.

It was revealed work to renovate the theatre had spiralled to more than £20m last year after the council uncovered structural defects and problems with the roof, walls and drainage.

An update came on the theatre at the latest executive scrutiny committee meeting – with the papers restating the aim to re-open the site in spring 2020.

Additional costs of £2.5m for the repairs have been lined up which will require £135,000 of extra borrowing at the authority.

Cllr Matthew Vickers asked whether the council was offering extra support above capital spending.

Artist's impression of The Globe theatre in Stockton after its refurb
Artist’s impression of The Globe theatre in Stockton after its refurb

The Conservative member for Hartburn said: “It’s costing more to do and when it opens we’ll be paying more into the mix to support this.”

But Julie Danks, deputy chief executive, said the money earmarked was just for the capital works and had been approved through cabinet and the council.

The full cost to Stockton Council is expected to be £15.75m with the remaining £4.5m coming from Heritage Lottery Fund

Ms Danks said the council had faced structural issues when the Grade II listed Art-Deco building had been “undressed”.

The council confirmed solutions, which include structural works, a new roof, the installation of steel frames and a new drainage system had added £2.5m to the final cost.

Cllr Vickers had a final question on the Globe.

He added: “How confident are we that we’re not going to need to put any more money in at a later date and the opening date is not going to slip any further?”

“As confident as we can be.” replied Ms Danks.


Teesside property development firm Jomast began work to restore the Globe in February 2011, with the council initially allocating £1m to a planned £4m joint project.

But after delays in bid funding, Stockton Council took the lead on the stalled restoration scheme in March 2016 and injected £2.1m of taxpayers’ money.

This month it was revealed the Stockton-based firm had boosted its profits more than £13m to almost £20m last year.

Work underway at The Globe Theatre, Stockton High Street
Work underway at The Globe Theatre, Stockton High Street
(Image: PA)

Cllr Sylvia Walmsley wanted to know why Jomast weren’t being approached for more cash now.

She added: “All the money we’re spending on it and Jomast have just announced massive increases in their profits – are we approaching them to see if we can put some more of their money in rather than propping Jomast up?”

Ms Danks said she was not aware of any council approaches to Jomast and the council would “take control of the asset”.

But Cllr Walmsley asked whether the council was “handing the building back to Jomast”.

Ms Danks explained the Globe was on a long term lease and the arrangement would mean there would be an opportunity for the council to buy it back at a “peppercorn amount” in future.

“If we want to at that point, we’ll take that opportunity,” she added.

“So in terms of the benefit to Jomast we’ve covered that off.”

Jomast declined to comment on the meeting’s discussions.

Time Line

The Globe’s decade-long restoration

  1. December 2009

    Property development company Jomast submit a planning application to Stockton Council to bring back the famous Globe as a top live performance and entertainment venue.

  2. February 2011

    Jomast begins work to restore the Globe, with Stockton Council allocating £1m to the £4m joint venture.

    At the time, Jomast managing director Stuart Monk said it was hoped the project would be finished by the end of 2012.

  3. February 2013

    Preliminary work to secure and protect the Grade II-listed building is complete.

    But full refurbishment work stalls while a bid is made for Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) cash.

    A council report suggests the refurbished Globe would not reopen until autumn 2015.

  4. October 2013

    A grant of £4m from HLF is secured to transform the Globe into a “super theatre”.

    Later that month, an impromptu performance by Cattle and Cane makes them the first band to perform on The Globe’s stage since Status Quo in 1974.

  5. June 2014

    The HLF release an initial £401,600 to support the project.

    But Stockton Council say the remaining £3.5m will not be released until fully developed plans are submitted – in Summer 2015.

    The reopening is pushed back to 2017 at the earliest.

  6. March 2016

    It is revealed that a bid for the remaining £3.5m needed was never submitted to HLF due to ongoing “detailed discussions” between Stockton Council and Jomast.

    Stockton Council takes the lead on the stalled restoration and inject an additional £2.1m of taxpayers’ money.

    Six years later than planned, The Globe is expected to be ready by winter 2018.

  7. June 2016

    Modern wall tiles and a supporting false wall are removed from the front of The Globe.

    Council leader Bob Cook said “visible progress” was now being made.

  8. March 2017

    Proposals are submitted for planning and listed building permission.

    The venue is expected to open in winter 2018/19.

  9. May 2017

    Planning permission granted by Stockton Council.

  10. June 2017

    Specialists are drafted in at a cost of £300,000 after a survey uncovered asbestos in The Globe’s roof void.

  11. July 2017

    The HLF confirmed a £4.5m grant to restore The Globe’s art deco glory.

    World leader Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) are appointed The Globe’s operator for the next 25 years.

    The reopening is pushed back yet again to spring 2019.

    Major restoration work is expected to start in the autumn/winter, with a full opening by spring 2019.

  12. February 2018

    It emerges that a further £2.75m is needed for the restoration.

    Problems discovered during work inside the Globe’s roof void has found that an extra £1.75m of funding is required to “future proof” the historic venue.

    A further £1m for a “technical fit out” is also required to enable the Globe’s operator, ATG, to “take occupation of a fully functioning venue”.

  13. October 2018

    The opening date is pushed back a further year after further structural problems with the buildings are discovered.

  14. December 2018

    It’s confirmed that the overall cost has now climbed to £20.25m – with the council contributing more than £15m.

KEVIN LEININGER: St. Andrew’s Catholic Church needed a miracle to survive — and appears to have been blessed with one – News Sentinel

KEVIN LEININGER: St. Andrew’s Catholic Church needed a miracle to survive — and appears to have been blessed with one – News Sentinel

The Lord, it seems, really does work in mysterious ways. And as a result, an historic Fort Wayne church can look forward to being restored instead of razed.

Back in October I wrote about the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend’s plan to tear down the 108-year-old St. Andrew’s Catholic Church at 2610 New Haven Ave., which since closing due to declining membership in 2003 had become home to about 10 Franciscan brothers and a group of cloistered Poor Sisters of Saint Claire. But the Franciscans are gone now, and with repairs to the church estimated at $2.1 million, the diocese decided to do the sensible thing despite Bishop Kevin Rhoades’ stated regret over the loss of a structure that had been so important to so many people for so long.

That emotional bond became clear when my column generated a flurry of concern, outrage and hope that at least portions of the building could be saved. At least 50 emails, letters and calls were directed at Vicar General Mark Gurtner, and one of them offered what could be called little short of a miracle.

JAGH Preservation of Hilliard, Ohio, formed about three years ago to acquire and restore historically significant buildings, especially those that are endangered. After visiting Fort Wayne, founder Bryan Hamilton signed an agreement with the diocese under which ownership of the church and adjacent rectory will be transferred to JAGH — which will in turn renovate the buildings for continued use by the sisters. The diocese will pay no rent, Gurtner said.

“There are obvious repairs needed to the exterior of the church building,” said Hamilton, who became interested in preservation through his work as a contractor. “Other factors to be considered are the current heating and cooling and electrical systems. The goal is to not only preserve the building but to restore it to historical accuracy to the best of our ability. Reaction to your article regarding the demolition showed a desire by some to preserve the building as a Roman Catholic oratory.”

As an oratory, St. Andrew’s will be designated by the church as a place for prayer and celebration of mass by the sisters and for other related occasions. But restoration of its historical accuracy may take some work and imagination. The original carved reredos were removed years ago, for example, and Gurtner said a replacement could be sought by scouring for remnants of old churches not as fortunate as St. Andrew’s. The memorandum with JAGH would limit the buildings’ use to Catholic events, Gurtner said, and would give the diocese the first right of refusal should JAGH ever want to relinquish control.

“The first step is to just make the buildings safe, then we can talk about more,” Gurtner said.

My first reaction to this fortuitous manna from heaven may also be yours: It all sounds too good to be true. But JAGH is an incorporated not-for-profit organization, and Hamilton said the group “has a standard mode of operation for each project that includes procuring funds for the work and sustainability of the project. Both private funds and donations likely will come into play. The goal is always to preserve the building for it use it was intended for . . . and to rescue and preserve art in all its forms to promulgate a love and understanding for the history art most often captures. JAGH was founded for situations just like this.”

So, yes, it appears JAGH’s work at St. Andrew’s will be accompanied by a certain amount of fundraising. And what’s wrong with that? The reaction to my original column revealed significant interest in preserving the church but at that time there was no mechanism for doing so. Thanks to JAGH, those concerns can now be converted into action (for more information on JAGH or how to contribute, go to

No matter what happens, there’s no risk to the diocese. “We were going to tear it down anyway,” Gurtner said.

But this story deserves a happy ending. Too many of Fort Wayne’s historic structures have passed into oblivion, and too many others — including such irreplaceable gems as the Embassy Theatre — have come perilously close. Instead, as the coming Easter season turns Christians’ thoughts to resurrection, St. Andrew’s imminent doom could likewise give way to rebirth sometime this spring.

This column is the commentary of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of The News-Sentinel. Email Kevin Leininger at [email protected] or call him at 461-8355.

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