Frank Darabont, Michael Shamberg, Pietro Scalia Set For Zurich Master Classes
The Zurich Film Festival today announced this year’s headliners for its Master Class series. Instructors will include writer-director Frank Darabont (The Green Mile, The Walking Dead); producer Michael Shamberg (Pulp Fiction, Erin Brockovich); editor Pietro Scalia (Gladiator, Black Hawk Down), producer Greg Shapiro (The Hurt Locker), screenwriter Asghar Farhadi (A Separation, About Elly); director Daniel Espinosa (Safe House, Easy Money), director Benh Zeitlin (Beasts Of The Southern Wild) and UTA’s David Flynn. Additionally producer Jerry Weintraub (the Ocean’s Eleven series, among others) will lead a session as well as receive a career achievement award. Espinosa, Shamberg and Scalia also will be on the fest’s fiction jury of which Darabont will serve as president. Richard Gere will receive the fest’s Golden Icon award and John Travolta will be honored with the Golden Eye award at the opening night screening of Oliver Stone’s Savages. Fest runs September 20-30.

Italy’s Eagle Acquires Venice Opener ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’
Eagle Pictures has snapped up Italian rights to director Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist ahead of its world premiere Wednesday at the Venice Film Festival. K5 International is handling international sales. The movie is also screening at Toronto on September 8th. Based on the novel by Mohsin Hamid, it stars Kate Hudson and Riz Ahmed (Four Lions, Trishna) plus Kiefer Sutherland, Liev Schreiber, Martin Donovan and Om Puri (Singularity, East is East). Bart Walker at Cinetic and Hal Sadoff for the Doha Film Institute are handling the film’s North American rights.

Oliver Père Leaving Locarno For Arte France Cinema
The Locarno Film Festival’s artistic director Olivier Père is leaving the festival circuit to become the general director of Arte France Cinema. The festival board of governors is expected to decide on a successor on September 4. Festival president Marco Solarier expressed his thanks to Père “for his work and major achievements. Père said he was “very sad to be leaving the festival but am also immensely satisfied with what has been achieved” solidifying Locarno’s standing in international cinema.