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ICM Partners Signs Belgian Actress Veerle Baetens

By | Wednesday February 12, 2014 @ 11:20am PST

image001EXCLUSIVE: One of the leads in the Best Foreign Language Oscar nominated film The Broken Circle Breakdown has signed on with ICM Partners, I’ve learned. Veerle Baetens, who plays tattoo artist and grieving mother Elise Vandeveld in the film, will be repped by the agency in all areas. As well as being an Oscar nominee this year, Broken Circle Breakdown, directed by Felix van Groeningen has been a blockbuster in Belgium and spawned the best selling soundtrack in the nation’s history. Additionally, Baetens herself won the Best Actress award at both the 2013 European Film Awards and Tribeca Film Festival last year for her performance. The singer and actress, who also starred in the Starz/BBC drama The White Queen, will continued to be repped in Europe by Rosalie Cimino at UBBA.

Related: CAA Signs Felix Van Groeningen

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OSCARS: Foreign Language Film Nominations Shut Out Wong Kar Wai – Again

Oscar Foreign Film NominationsWhat does Wong Kar Wai have to do to get an Oscar nomination? The veteran Hong Kong filmmaker was shut out of the Foreign Language Oscar category today after reaching the shortlist for the first time with The Grandmaster. His only other shot at an Oscar came in 2000 when his haunting period love story, In The Mood For Love, was the submission from his home country. It did not advance. To be fair, Grandmaster did pick up two nods today, one for Phillipe Le Sourd’s cinematography and one for William Chang Suk Ping’s costume design. But the Academy chose to forgo the Martin Scorsese-endorsed film in a race in which it was widely expected to figure. WKW on Grandmaster set

Related: OSCARS: Who Got Snubbed By Academy?

Indeed, people I talked to today were very surprised. When I recently spoke with Harvey Weinstein, whose Weinstein Co has the movie in several countries, I wondered if The Grandmaster‘s box office could be an issue since it was the highest-grossing film of all the contenders, and since commercial movies aren’t normally the ones the Academy sidles up to in this category. It’s familiar territory for Weinstein who was on the shortlist with French juggernaut The Intouchables last year. That film did not make the jump to a nomination and Weinstein told me in December that it had been a victim of its own success. One watcher today suggested Grandmaster may have suffered a similar fate. There was also a spot of controversy over the Chinese version being cut down for the U.S. – although the U.S. version is the same as the one submitted by Hong Kong. Weinstein told me last month that the adjustments were made to avoid confusion over some cultural elements and that Wong did them himself, rather than Weinstein and exec producer Megan Ellison as had been suggested. “People think it was us,” Weinstein said, adding, “As presumptuous as I can be, I’m not presumptuous enough to tell Kar Wai” what to do.

Related: Foreign Language Preview: A Long List Of Contenders For Such A Short List Read More »

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Year-End: UK Tax Breaks Too Much Of A Good Thing? Tasty Danish Offerings; French Film Biz Blues; Germany, Russia, Italy, Spain

YearEnd2013_badge__131227212819__131230220451The UK emerged in 2013 as an increasingly attractive location destination with new and expanded tax credits – but can it stand the bulge? Hollywood has cozied up to Britain, not only bringing its films there to shoot, but now its TV programs while it also continues to plumb it as a source of original drama to be remade in the U.S. Across the Channel, after a wake-up call in the waning days of 2012 by France‘s influential Vincent Maraval of Wild Bunch, the local industry spent 2013 debating its rich subsidy system that’s spent big (too big?) on talent. Germany‘s local share of the box office is expected to be down for 2013, only slightly, but it’s been fertile ground for the studios working in local language. Meanwhile, Olympics host Russia is seeing its star rise while Italy and Spain are still undergoing financial woes. And yet, nothing seems rotten in the state of Denmark where the box office is top heavy with local films and a new drama series could be the Danes’ answer to Downton Abbey. Here’s a look back at 2013 and some glimpses of what 2014 may hold:

ukflagThe British government has strongly backed the film and television business by increasing tax breaks this year. But in so doing, has it backed the industry into a corner? Arguably one of the biggest stories out of the UK in … Read More »

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OSCARS: A Crowded Field Vying For Directing & Writing Noms

By | Thursday December 26, 2013 @ 10:19am PST
Pete Hammond

From Gravity’s Alfonso Cuaron to American Hustle’s David O. Russell to Inside Llewyn DavisJoel and Ethan Coen, writer-directors seem to dominate this season. And with so many in the race, there’s likely to be at least some overlap when Oscar nominations in the screenplay and directing categories are announced January 16. But these two categories can also be sources of surprise.

Last year saw the directors branch come up with one of the most astonishing twists of fate in Oscar AwardsLine.LogoBWhistory by trading Bens—Ben Affleck for Benh Zeitlin. Affleck was considered a frontrunner for Argo, but he was completely snubbed by his fellow helmers. Instead, the directing branch threw a curve ball into the race by nominating Zeitlin, the director of the indie darling Beasts Of The Southern Wild. Although Argo did go on to win best picture (and Affleck received a statuette for that as a producer), it became only the second film in modern times to achieve that feat without a directing nom, the other being Driving Miss Daisy in 1989. It makes you wonder what the quirky branch has in store this year.

Related: OSCARS Q&A: ‘Llewyn Davis’ Helmers Joel & Ethan Coen
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OSCARS: Nine Films On Foreign Language Shortlist; ‘The Past’, ‘Wadjda’ Miss Cut

oscarLast weekend, I profiled 15 films that had a lot of heat ahead of the Foreign Language Oscar shortlist unveiling today. Of those 15 (plus a handful of wildcards), seven have ended up among the Academy’s nine selections that will move on to the second round of voting. As with many of the Oscar categories this year, this was a field jam-packed with strong contenders and the ultimate shortlist reflects that. Among the films that were roundly expected to make the cut, Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty out of Italy, and Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt from Denmark, are both in. But in one of the biggest surprises, 2011 Foreign Language Oscar winner Asghar Farhadi did not make the cut with this year’s The Past. That film, as with the other two above, has a Golden Globe nomination, and it won the Best Actress prize for Bérénice Bejo this year in Cannes. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia did not benefit from beginner’s luck. The first entry from the kingdom, the roundly lauded Wadjda, is not on the list. Both of those films are with Sony Pictures Classics which had last year’s winner, Amour. Another shocking omission is Gloria, Sebastien Lelio’s Chilean feature about a 58-year-old divorcée looking for love. That had received tons of advance buzz. Of the other pics chosen to advance by the Academy, Wong Kar Wai’s The Grandmaster probably has the highest profile, and is the most profitable of the bunch, and Belgium’s Broken Circle Breakdown was a prize winner in Berlin, Tribeca and at the recent European Film Awards.

Oscar Foreign Language Preview: Long List Of Contenders For Such A Short List
‘The Grandmaster’s Wong Kar Wai On China’s Growth, Kung Fu, Oscar Contenders & Bruce Lee

The Academy’s shortlist was whittled down from a record 76 entries. The next heat will see an uber-committee of 30 high-profile members choose the ultimate five nominees after viewing the finalists over the weekend of January 10-12. They will be unveiled with the rest of the nominees on January 16th. Here are the titles that advanced to the next stage: Read More »

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Foreign Language Oscar Preview: A Long List Of Strong Contenders For Such A Shortlist Of Possible Nominees

oscarLast year, I offered up a preview of the 15 films that had the most buzz going into the unveiling of the Foreign Language Oscar shortlist. Somehow this year, with a record 76 entries (last year it was 71), I whittled down another 15 films that have a shot at the shortlist which is expected to be finalized later this week. This was not an easy task in one of the strongest fields for foreign film in recent years. While 2012′s eventual winner Amour seemed like a foregone conclusion, this year has any number of possible outcomes. Movies that started their careers in Berlin and Cannes are represented below, but so are others that didn’t make it to those high-profile events. I spoke with the directors of each film about their inspirations and expectations, and in some cases with the U.S. distributor about what gave them the confidence to acquire. Notably, Harvey Weinstein clarifies the controversy surrounding an edit of Wong Kar Wai’s Hong Kong entry The Grandmaster. There’s also a lot more here from folks like Paolo Sorrentino, Thomas Vinterberg and Sebastian Lelio, among many others. The rules for selecting the final winner have changed this year with the entire Academy voting body able to weigh in without proving they have seen the films in a movie theater. But the regs for establishing the shortlist remain the same: The Phase I committee determines six of the nine films on the shortlist. The other three titles will be determined by the select Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee. Those three extra titles might have international renown but been somehow overlooked by the larger committee (wink, wink City Of God, 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days and others). After that, an uber-committee of 30 higher profile members chooses the ultimate five nominees after viewing the finalists over the course of a long weekend. Below (in alphabetical order by title) are profiles of the 15 films that I believe have a shot at the first stage: Read More »

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Global Showbiz Watch 18 – The EFA BIFA Winning Time Podcast

Global Showbiz Watch podcast 18Deadline’s International Editor Nancy Tartaglione talks in this week’s podcast with host David Bloom about winnin’ time on the Continent, as the prizes are handed out in the British Independent Film Awards and the European Film Awards, including wins for Oscar contenders The Act Of KillingThe Great BeautyPussy Riot: A Punk PrayerThe Broken Circle Breakdown and Metro Manila.

Separately, David and Nancy take a look at just-unveiled British tax credits that should be a boon to film projects of all budget sizes and also may entice more overseas visual effects work to the country’s post-production houses. They also applaud the innovative new interactive trailer the BBC has trotted out to tout the imminent return to air of Sherlock, with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, two years after its last episode aired.

Global Showbiz Watch episode 18 (.MP3 version)
Global Showbiz Watch episode 18 (.M4A version) Read More »

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UPDATE: International Box Office: ‘Catching Fire’, ‘Frozen’ Strong; It’s ‘About Time’ In Korea + Regional Analysis

cinemaworld1UPDATE: TUESDAY PM: Welcome to Deadline’s first dedicated international box office round-up, with me as your host. After last night’s snapshot (below), here’s a look at the past weekend and an overview of what’s going on at the turnstiles in various overseas territories. Feedback, as always, is appreciated:

Internationally, this weekend was down on the comparable frame last year when films like Skyfall, Rise Of The Guardians and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 were in the mix. The top 10 titles this weekend saw a drop to about $118M from the Thanksgiving period that scored abroad with $182.7M, according to industry data. The actual holiday isn’t a factor overseas, but it does bring big movies to market. Overall, some European territories are off – to varying degrees – versus the first 11 months of 2012, while Latin America and Asia remain hot spots. This weekend’s big pictures overseas continued to be Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire which added $42.9M for a $340.6M cume and Disney’s animated Frozen which added an estimated $30.6M for an international total of $55.9M.

gravityThe place that’s highest on execs’ minds is China where “we’re all looking forward to a boom,” one tells me. Catching Fire and Warner Bros’ Gravity are still playing on the Mainland with respective cumes of $26.8M and $63.7M. But both films will taper off as the local industry ramps up a series of homegrown movies for the remainder of December. With quotas filled for 2013, Hollywood will wait until 2014 for the next debut which will be Universal’s Despicable Me 2 on January 10th. As the Chinese box office rolls along on its way to a potential $3.5B tally for 2013, the current top film is local 2D action-road trip pic No Man’s Land. Co-produced by DMG, it opened at No. 1 on December 3rd and won the week with $23.7M through Monday. It came just ahead of another local hit, The Four 2. The rest of the year will see a big push for local films as the territory continues an aim to up its local market share, which is currently at 55%.

about timeElsewhere in Asia, romantic comedy About Time had a strong No. 1 opening in Korea this weekend with $4M at 289 dates and 28% of the market. Director Richard Curtis has said this would be the last film he helms. It comes squarely 10 years after the movie he’s perhaps most associated with directing, Love Actually. About Time’s opening in Korea is double what that film did there. The low-budget time travel romcom with Rachel McAdams, Domnhall Gleeson and Bill Nighy has had pretty significant legs for Universal. It was first released in the UK in September and now has a cume of $48.3M. Summit’s Escape Plan – the actioner that teams Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger – has now muscled its way into 41 international markets, adding Korea this weekend for $925K and a No. 5 slot on 287 screens. Its international total is now $95.9M out of a worldwide gross of $120.5M. This was a slow weekend for local films in Korea despite the territory’s overall strength. Its box office growth in the first 11 months of the year is understood to be at about 7.6% and I’m told the homegrown market share could top out at 60%. Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ Opens To Spectacular $100K-Plus PSA

By | Sunday December 8, 2013 @ 9:54am PST

Specialty Box Office: Inside Llewyn DavisIt was predictable that Inside Llewyn Davis would rule over the Specialty Box Office this weekend, but the question mark was how big the numbers would be for the CBS Films release. Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen and starring Oscar Isaac, folk music drama grossed a spectacular $402K in four theaters, giving the feature a knock out $100,500 per screen average. Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine opened slightly higher earlier this year with a $102,011 PSA, but the weekend’s numbers far outpace the Coens’ previous non-studio release A Serious Man, which had a $41,890 PSA from 6 theaters when it opened in October, 2009. CBS Films reported that the Cannes Grand Prix winner bowed Friday with a $123,340 gross, jumping 29% on Saturday to $159,324. It is estimating a 25% drop for Sunday to $119,336.

Related: BOX OFFICE: ‘Frozen’ Catches Heat And Fire To Lead The Weekend

Inside Llewyn DavisNoted CBS Films Sunday morning touting Llewyn Davis‘ numbers: “Looking at the past decade (and excluding the El Capitan live show premium) this puts Inside Llewyn Davis in the #7 slot for PSA on opening weekend. Above There Will Be Blood in two locations ($95,370 PSA) and Midnight In Paris in six locations ($99,834 PSA).” Inside Llewyn Davis will expand December 20 but will remain in limited runs before going nationwide in January.

“As excited as we were to get the film back in February and with the reviews and award at Cannes,” said Steven Friedlander, EVP, Theatrical Distribution at CBS Films Sunday. “There’s nothing that beats theater managers telling us about repeat sell out shows. We’re thrilled with the early word of mouth and look forward to weeks of fans finding themselves lost in funny, beautiful and completely unique world of the Coens.” Read More »

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2013 European Film Awards: Paolo Sorrentino’s ‘The Great Beauty’ Dazzles With Wins For Best Film, Director & Actor

efaThe 26th European Film Awards ceremony just concluded tonight in Berlin. Last year, on its road to a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar win and a Best Picture nomination, Michael Haneke’s Amour won four prizes including Best European Film. This year, Italy’s Oscar entry The Great Beauty was the big winner with nods for film, director, lead actor, and a previously announced prize for editing. Paolo Sorrentino’s love letter to Rome, as seen through the eyes of a 65-year-old man, was a Cannes competitor earlier this year. Sorrentino was not on hand at the ceremony. The movie had four nominations tonight, The-Great-Beauty1losing out only in the screenwriting category where the prize went to France’s François Ozon for In The House. The most-nominated film this evening was Felix van Groeningen’s Berlin and Tribeca prize-winner, The Broken Circle Breakdown. Out of five nominations, the Oscar entry from Belgium walked away with one, for actress Veerle Baetens. Other major winners announced tonight included Ari Folman’s best animated feature The Congress. In what was an overriding theme of the night – collaboration between film industries – the Israeli director pointed out that nine different nations and 270 animators had contributed to the movie.

Opening the show, German comedy star and host of the evening, Anke Engelke, joked it was the first time Michael Haneke “won’t go home with 26 prizes.” … Read More »

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Global Showbiz Watch Episode 14: Rating The Euro Awards

Listen to (and share) episode 14 of Deadline’s audio podcast Global Showbiz Watch With Nancy Tartaglione. Deadline’s international editor talks with host David Bloom about awards season in Europe, with nominations out from both the British Independent Film Awards and the European Film Awards; Doctor Who’s big day becomes a big week at the BBC; and Sweden’s new ratings system to measure sexism on film. Nancy and David also talk about the European perspective on a new study looking at portrayals of violence becoming more common in PG-13 films than in R-rated ones.

Global Showbiz Watch, Episode 14 (MP3 format)
Global Showbiz Watch, Episode 14 (M4a format) Read More »

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‘The Broken Circle Breakdown’ Leads European Film Awards Nominations

The European Film Academy has unveiled the nominees for the 26th European Film Awards. Felix van Groeningen’s Berlin and Tribeca prize-winner, The Broken Circle Breakdown, leads the pack with five nods in each of the top categories. The film is also Belgium’s entry for the Foreign Language Oscar. Paolo Sorrentino’s Cannes competitor, and Italy’s Oscar entry, The Great Beauty, has four nominations. Another film from Italy, Giuseppe Tornatore’s English-language The Best Offer starring Geoffrey Rush, also fared well with the Academy, taking three nominations. Three other films garnered three nods: François Ozon’s In The House; Jan Ole Gerster’s Oh Boy!, which won six Lolas in Germany earlier this year; and Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina. The latter film bagged acting nods for Jude Law and Keira Knightley. Blue Is The Warmest Color was mentioned twice, for Best European Film and Best European Director; although there were no citations for the film’s lead actresses. Naomi Watts also is a nominee for The Impossible. The winners will be announced in Berlin on December 7th. Following is a full list of the nominees: Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: EFA Announces European Documentary Noms; Pathé Lays Off 9, Will Cut Distribution Slate

By | Monday November 4, 2013 @ 10:00pm PST

European Film Academy Unveils European Documentary Nominees
The Act Of Killing, Stop-Over and The Missing Picture are the European Film Academy‘s nominees for Best European Documentary. The Act of Killing is a Denmark-Norway co-production from director Joshua Oppenheimer about Indonesian death squad veterans re-enacting their deeds musical numbers, twisting arms in film noir gangster scenes, and galloping across prairies as yodeling cowboys. Stop-Over (L’Escale) is a Switzerland-France co-prod from Kaveh Bakhtiari that centers on Amir, an Iranian immigrant in Athens whose modest becomes a place of transit for migrants who, like him, have chosen to leave their country. In the France-Cambodia pic The Missing Picture (L’Image Manquante), which won the Un Certain Regard Prize at Cannes, writer-director Rithy Panh addresses his family’s horrifying experiences during the Pol Pot regime’s reign over Cambodia from 1975-79. The winner will be announced during the European Film Awards on December 7 in Berlin. Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Matthew Lewis Joins ‘Bluestone 42′ Cast; ‘Next Top Model’ Done On Sky Living; More

Matthew Lewis Joins ‘Bluestone 42′; ‘Peaky Blinders’ Renewed
Matthew Lewis, best known for playing Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter movies, has joined the cast of Bluestone 42, the BBC Three comedy/drama about a fictional bomb-disposal detachment in Afghanistan. Lewis will play an ammunition technician from Leeds with a penchant for danger. The second season of Bluestone 42 starts filming later this month and returns to BBC Three with a Christmas special, followed by a six-part series in early 2014. In other BBC News, BBC One has ordered a second season of Atlantis, the fantasy adventure series that has been the biggest new Saturday night drama series launch across all channels since 2006. The 13-part series is co-produced by BBC America and is set in the mythical city of Atlantis where it re-imagines Greek myths and legends for a new generation. It was created by Merlin writer Howard Overman. Also, BBC Two has recommissioned Cillian Murphy starrer Peaky Blinders. The period gangster drama hails from Caryn Mandabach Productions and Tiger Aspect Productions. It has had an average 2.4M viewers across Season 1 and will return in 2014 with six new episodes. Peaky Blinders is created by Steven Knight and also stars Sam Neill and Helen McCrory.

‘Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model’ Off The Sky Living Runway
The CW last week officially said it had ordered a 21st cycle of America’s Next Top Model. But the British version of the competition series will not be returning to Sky Living in the UK. Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model concluded its ninth cycle earlier this year. Sky said today: “After nearly a decade on air, BINTM won’t be returning to Sky Living next year. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of the talent who have been involved in the series, with particular thanks to Thumbs Up Productions, exec producer and host Elle Macpherson and this final season’s judges Dannii Minogue and Tyson Beckford.” Sky Living is not without a model competition show, however. It’s airing the British version of The Face, co-produced by Princess Productions and Shine TV. Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: EFA Reveals Debut-Feature Nominees; ‘Rising Star’ Sold To Nordic Territories; More

EFA Unveils FIPRESCI Nominees For Best First Feature
The European Film Academy has unveiled nominees for the European Discovery 2013 FIPRESCI Prize. The award is presented annually as part of the European Film Awards to a young and upcoming director for a first full-length feature film. This year’s nominees are Sweden’s Eat Sleep Die by Gabriela Pichler, Mikael Marcimai’s Sweden/Norway/Ireland/Finland co-production Call Girl, Italian actress-turned-director Valeria Golino’s Cannes Un Certain Regard title Miele, Germany’s Oh Boy from Jan Ole Gerster, and Spain’s The Plague by Neus Ballús. The nominated films soon will be submitted to the 2,900 EFA Members to select the winner. The prize will be awarded December 7 at the European Film Awards Ceremony in Berlin. Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Pedro Almodóvar Set For Career Honor At EFA Awards; Senator Backs Bille August’s ‘Beware Of Pity; More

Pedro Almodóvar Set For Career Honor From European Film Academy
Pedro Almodóvar will receive the European Achievement in World Cinema award at the 26th European Film Awards in December. The European Film Academy is feting the filmmaker for his body of work, including Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown – his 1988 breakout film – All About My Mother, Talk To Her and this year’s I’m So Excited. “I am very thankful for this award,” Almodóvar said in a statement. “From its creation, the European Film Academy has been very generous with me and my closest collaborators. I share with them the joy of this award.” He will receive the award December 7 at the the EFA Awards in Berlin.

Senator Film To Finance Bille August’s ‘Beware Of Pity’
Germany’s Senator Film is backing the latest feature adaptation of Stefan Zweig’s Beware Of Pity. Danish helmer Bille August will direct. August is reteaming with his Night Train To Lisbon and Goodbye Bafana screenwriter Greg Latter, who is penning the transfer. This will be the second feature based on prolific Austrian author Zweig’s Beware Of Pity. The first was in 1946, starring German actress Lilli Palmer. Published in 1938, the book tells the story of a young lieutenant who takes pity on a paralyzed girl. He cares for her and she falls in love, but he doesn’t share her strong feelings. When she learns the truth, she makes a fateful decision. There is no cast yet, but international talent is expected to join the English-language project. Shooting starts in 2014 in Bavaria, Austria and Hungary. The film will open in Germany in 2015 through Senator. Lars Sylvest and Helge Sasse are producers. French director Patrice Leconte recently adapted Zweig’s A Promise as his first English-language film. That project drew Rebecca Hall, Alan Rickman and Richard Madden. Read More »

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Brie Larson Takes Best Actress At Locarno Film Festival

By | Saturday August 17, 2013 @ 12:38pm PDT

The Locarno Film Festival drew to a close Saturday night in Switzerland with the top Pardo d’Oro prize going to Story Of My Death. The Spanish film is directed by Albert Serra and imagines the last days of Giacomo Casanova. American actress Brie Larson took the Best Actress prize for Short Term 12, Destin Cretton’s drama about a woman working at a foster care facility. The film also received a special mention. The jury prize went to Joaquim Pinto’s E Agora? Lembra-Me. Best Director was South Korea’s Hong Sang-soo for Our Suhni and Best Actor was Fernando Bacilio for Daniel and Diego Vega’s El Mudo. A complete list of winners follows: Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: European Film Awards, Bollywood, Karlovy Vary, MPA Pitch Competition, Core Media & More

European Film Academy To Honor Comedy
Amour was the big winner at last year’s European Film Awards, and that was no joke. But the European Academy will add a bit of humor to the proceedings in 2013 with a new prize for European Comedy. The award is designed to “pay tribute to a genre which has proven that it is able to unite and entertain audiences across Europe and beyond,” the EFA said. Some of the top-grossing films and crowd-pleasers that have crossed European borders of the past few years have been local comedies including Intouchables and Welcome To The Sticks. A special committee will select three nominees from across Europe and the winner will be voted for by the full membership. The EFA also said today that it is relaunching prizes for European Sound Designer and European Costume Designer. The 26th European Film Awards will take place in Berlin on December 7.

Cut-Uncut Festival To Screen Censored Bollywood Films
A new film festival in New Delhi will celebrate scenes from Bollywood movies that have been deemed too racy for Indian viewers. According to AFP, the Cut-Uncut Festival is an attempt by the ministry of information and broadcasting to bolster a new, more open-minded approach to cinema. Until recently, long kissing scenes, nudity and scenes of rebellion against the government could all be censored, an official told the news agency. “We want to be more liberal, stop enforcing the old rules and instead recognize artistic endeavor,” the person said. The festival runs from April 25-30 and kicks off with a screening of the classic Karma starring Himanshu Rai and Devika Rani, whose onscreen kiss – the first in a Bollywood film – was cut in 1933. Documentary The Final Solution, about Hindu-Muslim religious rioting, will also be shown after it was previously banned. Bollywood is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year with India the country of honor at May’s Cannes Film Festival. Read More »

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OSCARS: ‘Amour’ Wins But Misses Chance To Play Spoiler

By | Sunday February 24, 2013 @ 10:07pm PST

Considered by many a foregone conclusion coming into tonight, the Academy showed its love for Michael Haneke’s Amour with the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. The film was nominated in five categories total, including the rare double bill of a Best Picture and a Best Foreign Language nod (only the fifth film in history to achieve such a feat). Lead actress Emmanuelle Riva, who turned 86 today, was the oldest woman ever to be nominated in the category and would have made further history had she won tonight. Earlier this season, she won the César, the BAFTA and several critics group prizes.

Amour‘s heartrending love story about an aging couple had already won scores of awards before this evening, beginning with the Cannes Palme d’Or when it debuted on the Riviera last May — supporting Haneke in the audience tonight and seated next to Amour producer Margaret Ménégoz was Cannes Film Festival honcho Thierry Frémaux. (Had Amour won Best Picture, it would have been the first film to earn that honor and Cannes’ top prize since 1955′s Marty.) After Cannes, the pic went on to take Best Picture honors from the National Society of Film Critics, the Los Angeles Film Critics, the European Film Awards and France’s Césars plus Foreign Language props from the Broadcast Film Critics, the New York Film Critics, the National Board of Review, the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs and the Indie Spirits, among many others. Read More »

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