Actress Octavia Spencer arrives at the 85th Academy Awards at...

Actress Octavia Spencer arrives at the 85th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Feb. 24, 2013) Credit: AP

WHO Octavia Spencer

THE DEAL The Oscar- winning actress, currently in "Fruitvale Station," may join the cast of Tate Taylor's untitled movie about R&B legend James Brown, according to TheWrap. Taylor, who directed Spencer in her Oscar-winning role in "The Help," is considering reuniting with two other stars from that film, Viola Davis ("Doubt") and Nelsan Ellis (HBO's "True Blood"), though no offers have been made to the actors. Chadwick Boseman, who played baseball legend Jackie Robinson in "42," is set to play Brown.

WHO William Friedkin

THE MOVIE "Sorcerer"

THE DEAL Today marks two milestones for the Oscar-winning director of "The French Connection" and "The Exorcist." He's turning 78 and receiving the Golden Lion for lifetime achievement at the Venice International Film Festival. For the event, the unpredictable director chose to screen a digital restoration of his 1977 flop "Sorcerer," starring Roy Scheider as a truck driver hauling explosives across dangerous terrain. "It's the film I hope to be remembered for," Friedkin told the Los Angeles Times.

THE EVENT The Gold Coast International Film Festival

THE DEAL The festival's third annual installment on the North Shore, including Sands Point Preserve, will take place Oct. 21-27 and will feature a comedy-themed lineup of films and performers titled "Laugh Island." Among the guests scheduled to appear are Susie Essman ("Curb Your Enthusiasm"), "SNL" alum Joe Piscopo, and comic Paul Provenza. Veteran comedy writer and filmmaker Jeffrey Gurian has been tapped to produce the live events. More info is at

THE EVENT The Long Island Film Festival

THE DEAL This festival played catch-up with an edition earlier this year, in February, but is hoping to start afresh with a new home in Hauppauge. The programming will include features and shorts, ending with the closing-night documentary "Milagro Man: The Irrepressible Multicultural Life, Ecological Exploits and Literary Times of John Nichols," about the author of the novel "The Milagro Beanfield War."

INFO Saturday, Sunday and Sept. 6-8 at the Hyatt Regency Long Island at Wind Watch, 1717 Motor Pkwy., Hauppauge; 631-665-4058,

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