Gold Derby nuggets: Cannes Film Festival chief blasts 'anti-award' to 'Anti-Christ' | Sugarland vs. Kid Rock for CMT's top prize | Tonys dump bean counters
• Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Fremaux denounced the bestowal of an "anti-award" to Lars von Trier's "Anti-Christ" as a "ridiculous decision that borders on a call for censorship." It was doled out by an Ecumenical Jury, which hands out a prize every year to the movie that it believes best celebrates spiritual values. This year's recipient of the inspirational accolade was Ken Loach's "Looking for Eric," but the jury was so offended by "Anti-Christ" that it created a special new anti-award to express its outrage. Read The Envelope's report on the controversial film. Agence France Presse
• Sugarland leads with the most nominations (five) for the Country Music Television Awards, which will be bestowed on June 16. You can cast your vote at the CMT website and watch the videos of tunes in the contest. Most curious match-up: Sugarland ("All I Want to Do") competes for best video of the year against Kid Rock ("All Summer Long")! Other rivals: Kenny Chesney and the Wailers ("Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven"), Rascal Flatts ("Every Day"), Toby Keith ("God Love Her"), Carrie Underwood ("Just a Dream"), Lady Antebellum ("Lookin' for a Good Time"), Taylor Swift ("Love Story"), Brad Paisley ("Waitin' on a Woman") and Trace Adkins ("You're Gonna Miss This"). In case you're interested, Gold Derby just voted for "Love Story." CMT Awards
• Being nominated for Tonys helped boost Broadway ticket sales for shows such as "Billy Elliott" and "Shrek," but best-musical contender "Next to Normal," experienced a huge jump: 24%. Curiously, some shows that fared poorly in the bids also experienced significant box office hikes, like "9 to 5." Variety
• Give your regards to Broadway, Lutz & Carr. The small Manhattan accounting firm that has tallied votes for the Tonys for more than half a century just took its final bow. It's been upstaged by the glitzy giant firm KPMG — or, rather, booted off stage by the two organizations that produce the awards: the American Theatre Wing and the Broadway League. "The change was made in the hopes of bringing a higher profile to the Tony Awards telecast," according to Alan Wasser, one of the two general managers of Tony Awards Productions, which produces the kudofest. "When we came on board, we decided that we wanted a Big Four firm." Bloomberg News
• Does three-time Emmy usurper James Spader ("Boston Legal") have an automatic Tony Award waiting for him in June 2010? He just signed up to make his Broadway debut in David Mamet's next new play, "Race," which begins previews at the Ethel Barrymore Theater on Nov. 17, opening Dec. 6.
• Gold Derby isn't the only source denouncing the Drama Desk Awards for being outrageously unfair. A Drama Desk member recently blasted the group for staging a boring awards show that's rigged against off-Broadway nominees. "Why force them to go through an awards ceremony that is so obviously and harshly pitted against them in the odds?" asks Matt Windman of AMNewYork. For all concerned, "Showing up was a chore," he adds. "The Drama Desk awards ceremony has turned into yet another pointless and meaningless awards season event."
• The shanty home of the 9-year-old girl who portrayed young Latika in "Slumdog Millionaire" was torn down by Indian police, who reportedly beat her father so severely that he had to be taken to the hospital. " 'Slumdog Millionaire' won eight Oscars and brought in more than $326 million, but it has done little so far to improve the lives of the film's two impoverished child stars," adds the AP.
Photos: IFC Films, Tony Awards