While most folks are focused on next week’s Cannes Film Festival, that’s not stopping the Venice Film Festival from churning out the announcements. Last week, the fest said it would honor William Friedkin with a Lifetime Achievement Golden Lion and today it’s set Bernardo Bertolucci as jury president for the 70th anniversary run. This is the second time Bertolucci will head the panel; his first was back in 1983. Bertolucci has been to Venice several times with his own movies including 1962′s The Grim Reaper, 1968′s Partner, 1970′s The Spider’s Strategum, 1979′s Luna and 2003′s The Dreamers. His 2012 film, Me And You, screened out of competition in Cannes.
Following some controversy on awards night in Venice last year, the festival today outlined the rules for competition prizes. Last year Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix shared an acting Volpi Cup for The Master, which also took the directing Silver Lion, making for an unprecedented three prizes. At the time, it was understood that the jury originally wanted to give the top prize Golden Lion to The Master, but the panel was hampered READ MORE »
Veteran French Connection and Exorcist helmer William Friedkin will receive the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Film Festival later this year. Friedkin has a history with the festival where his 1995 thriller … Read More »
Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
Only a handful of new specialty movies opened during the early part of 2013, but spring has brought an onslaught of indies and foreign titles. The Weinstein Company opens the Cannes debut The Sapphires this weekend, while two titles from last year’s SXSW, Hunky Dory starring Minnie Driver and Gimme The Loot from Sundance Selects, bow in select locations. Thriller Come Out And Play makes its way to theaters after a very unconventional production. Paladin’s My Brother The Devil enjoyed the support of Sundance but faced riots during its filming in London. Entertainment One brings a French-Canadian comedy that has already landed an English-language remake deal, and Well Go USA will launch New World, hoping once again to capitalize on past successes with Korean thrillers.
Director: Wayne Blair
Writers: Tony Briggs, Keith Thompson
Cast: Chris O’Dowd, Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy, Shari Sebbens, Miranda Tapsell
Distributor: The Weinstein Company
TWC picked up the biographical comedy/drama ahead of its Cannes Film Festival premiere in the Official Selection last year, picking up U.S. rights and other territories for low seven figures. “It’s a really, really strong film with great performances,” said TWC president of theatrical distribution & home entertainment Erik Lomis. “Chris O Dowd is terrific”, said Lomis. Set against a backdrop of racial strife in Australia in the late ’60s, the film centers on four Australian Aboriginal girls who form a group and head out to entertain U.S. troops in Vietnam, escaping the tensions and limitations of their rural community. “It plays well to an audience and hopefully will crack the formula,” said Lomis. “It’s not a four-quadrant movie, but it’s has appeal across the spectrum. It’s an audience pleaser and it has scored through the roof.”
TWC tested the feature in New York and in the Midwest where Lomis said audiences in both regions responded well. “The trick is getting them in,” he noted. “We’re hoping word-of-mouth will propel its theatrical run.” The Sapphires will have a traditional first weekend opening in New York and LA, playing at two locations in each city before expanding.
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To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the Telluride Film Festival will extend its usual four-day run to five days, it was announced today. The 2013 edition will run August 29 to September … Read More »
Brian Brooks is Managing Editor of MovieLine.
Quartet crooned atop the specialty newcomers for its opening in two theaters. Tribeca Film’s Struck By Lightning starring Glee‘s Chris Colfer and Phase Four Films’ The Baytown Outlaws with Billy Bob Thornton and Eva Longoria have yet to report their numbers, but if/when they do, they’ll have stiff competition from Quartet which also happens to be Dustin Hoffman’s official feature directing debut. In a pair of runs in NYC and LA, the film averaged a solid $25,017. Zeitgeist had a tougher time with its foreign-language release Let My People Go! The boutique distributor opened the film about a French-born Jewish man who ends up back with his zany family in Paris after a quarrel with his Finnish boyfriend at a single NYC venue that took in an estimated $2,299 for the weekend weekend.
Quartet had a short awards-qualifying run last month, but came into its theatrical own in the second weekend of the New Year at the Paris Theater in New York and the Landmark in Los Angeles. Quartet star Maggie Smith gave a little jab to the film establishment last year in the wake of one of her last big screen success, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, saying Hollywood treats cinema-goers like “5-year-olds.” TWC said its core audience would be “mature” for Quartet and the film had a good rollout. Downton Abbey‘s Dowager Countess knows best. Quartet‘s next expansion will be to 75 markets and about 350 locations January 25.
Sony Pictures Classics widened its Oscar Best Picture and Best Foreign-Langue Film nominee Amour to 15 theaters after three weeks with hefty runs in only three locations. The film, which was honored last night at the LA Film Crtitics Association event in Century City, held strong with an $18,038 average vs last weekend’s $21,199. Lionsgate moved The Impossible into 236 additional runs in its 4th weekend for a PTA of $3,156 across 808 cinemas. In 572 theaters last weekend the film averaged $4,852.
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Director Gus Van Sant has lent his support as executive producer to Xavier Dolan’s third movie Laurence Anyways. The film debuted in the Un Certain Regard sidebar at the Cannes Film Festival where Suzanne Clement garnered a best actress … Read More »
This vision of San Francisco under seige in Pacific Rim uses a string of TV news reports to reveal brief glimpses of giant Kaiju aliens. Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Ron Perlman, Rinko Kikuchi and Charlie Day head the cast. Warner Bros opens Guillermo Del Toro‘s latest movie on July … Read More »
Brian Brooks is Managing Editor of MovieLine.
Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren’s potential Oscar candidate Hitchcock hits theaters this weekend in limited release. The AFI Fest opener will launch a platform release before expanding nationally. A possible non-fiction awards contender, The Central Park Five, made news recently as New York City attorneys sought footage in connection with pending litigation. And previous Best Actress Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard won acclaim along the festival circuit for Rust And Bone which debuted last May in Cannes and Thanksgiving weekend.
The Central Park Five
Directors – Writers: Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, David McMahon
Subjects: Anton McCray, Kevin Richardson, Kharey Wise, Angela Black, Calvin O. Butts III, David Dinkins Jim Dwyer, Ronald Gold
Distributor: IFC Films
CP5 received a flurry of news coverage recently when New York City lawyers subpoenaed outtakes for their defense of a civil suit filed by five men who were wrongly convicted of raping a woman in Central Park in 1989. “From the minute we saw the film we felt moved and inspired, and we’ve been consistently gratified as we’ve introduced it at festivals that audiences have been too,” said IFC Films’ Ryan Werner. “It was also the opportunity to work with one of the world’s great filmmakers Ken Burns on his first theatrical documentary in 25 years along with his daughter Sarah Burns and her husband David McMahon.”
Central Park Five opens Friday in New York at Lincoln Plaza, IFC Center and the Maysles Cinema in Harlem. The NuArt will open the film in Los Angeles the following weekend with additional select markets on tap for December. It is also available via VOD. Werner said “Media attention will hopefully raise the profile with segments on CBS Morning News, The View, David Letterman, Colbert and Charlie Rose to name a few”.
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Larry Clark’s Marfa Girl took the award for Best Film today at the Rome Film Festival. The audience nod went to Gabriel Polsky and Alan Polsky’s The Motel Life, which also won best screenplay for Noah Harpster and Micah Fitzerman-Blue. Best directer was Paolo Franchi for E La Chiamano Estate (And They Call For Summer). Best Actor was Jérémie Elkaïm in Main Dans La Main (Hand In Hand), and the Best Actress award went to Isabella Ferrari for E La Chiamano Estate.
Marfa Girl features Adam Mediano, Drake Burnette, Jeremy St. James, Mary Farley, Mercedes Maxwell and Indigo Rael. E La Chiamano Estate stars Isabella Ferrari, Jean-Marc Barr, Luca Argentero, Filippo Nigro, Eva Riccobono and Anita Kravos. The Motel Life stars Stephen Dorff, Emile Hirsch, Dakota Fanning and Kris Kristofferson.
Complete list of honorees follows:
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Brian Brooks is Managing Editor of MovieLine.
More Oscar contenders are lined up at the specialty gate this weekend, most notably The Weinstein Company’s The Silver Linings Playbook, whose strategy has evolved in the run-up to Friday’s launch. The title will start with a handful of bookings before expanding gradually into wide release. Focus Features’ hopeful Anna Karenina will also hit the same number of cinemas in its initial outing, targeting women and the art-house crowd. Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney’s Mea Culpa Maxima: Silence In The House Of God will open in NYC and LA before HBO takes it to the network. Also opening is IFC Films’ Parker Posey starrer Price Check which IFC picked up last spring, and Rialto is spearheading a relaunch of the digitally restored 1951 classic, The Man In The White Suit.
Director: Joe Wright
Writers: Tom Stoppard (screenplay), Leo Tolstoy (novel)
Cast: Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Distributor: Focus Features
A dozen remakes have tackled Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel of the same title. This one is distinguished with large portions of the action taking place as if on a stage. Director Joe Wright said that he came up with the idea only weeks before the shoot was set to begin. He admitted the decision threw the production into a frenzy but he decided it would be the best course creatively and for the bottom line. “A lot of the budget was being spent on hotels and travel and all this stuff that the audience is never going to get to see … And I thought, if I could set this film in one place, where would it be? I was reminded of Orlando Figes’ book Natasha’s Dance: A Cultural History of Russia, in which he talks about Russian society as if they lived upon a stage.” Read More »
Magnolia has acquired North American rights from TrustNordisk on the Tobias Lindholm-directed A Hijacking. The film premiered at Venice and Toronto. The deal was negotiated between Susan Wendt, Head of Sales at TrustNordisk and Magnolia’s SVP of Acquisitions, Dori Begley.
The … Read More »
The Hamptons International Film Festival will be on the lookout for a new chief as five-year vet Karen Arikian leaves the scene. Her replacement has their work cut out for them. It has been hard for the Hamptons fest to stamp itself as important or singular. Hatched as a way to extend the tourist season for Long Island’s East End when the socialite set shutter their summer homes and head back to Manhattan, the event unfortunately falls between the Toronto and New York film festivals. Those are unbeatable showcases for Oscar-season films and they get all the top films. But the Hamptons is a pleasant festival, and maybe it’s sufficient as just one more stop along the trail for award-season wannabe films. Especially the art house fare that can use all the promotional opportunities they can get. Here’s the release: Read More »
Christy Grosz is editor of AwardsLine
When the production team behind Summit’s The Impossible met with 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami survivor Maria Belon at a quiet coffee shop in Barcelona in the spring of 2008, they weren’t certain that she would agree to have her family’s harrowing story told in a feature film. Producer Belen Atienza knew they were in for an emotional afternoon—she was the one who first heard Belon’s story on the radio, a drama so profound that it left Atienza in tears after it concluded. But Atienza, director Juan Antonio Bayona, screenwriter Sergio Sanchez—who have a shorthand from working together on Bayona’s Spanish-language horror hit The Orphanage—gained Belon’s trust in a simple way: They listened.
“We were all really nervous,” Atienza recalls about the initial meeting. “She talked for three and a half hours. It was exhausting for her and for us. We didn’t open our mouths—we were just listening—and she was extremely thorough.”
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Michael Haneke’s Amour took the Palme d’Or this year at Cannes and went on to screen at Toronto, New York and Telluride. Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva play an elderly couple still very much in love who confront their declining health — particularly the wife’s. The European Film … Read More »
AFI Fest 2012 continued Sunday with the World Premiere of DreamWorks Animation’s holiday biggie and Oscar hopeful, Rise Of The Guardians, and if the buzz generated by this screening is any indication DWA should have a hit on … Read More »
“Good Evening,” AFI president and CEO Bob Gazzale said as he welcomed guests to AFI Fest 2012 with the famous salutation of Alfred Hitchcock. And it did indeed turn out to be a very good evening for both AFI and their opening-night film, Hitchcock. The last of the major fall film festivals, AFI Fest can boast just like other recent fests (Venice, Telluride, Toronto, New York) that it has put another major Oscar contender into play in the ever-increasing list of potential nominees.
With the world premiere of Hitchcock at the Chinese theatre Fox Searchlight has a solid contender in several acting categories along with some below-the-line contests and, depending how things pan out, even Best Picture. Time will tell on that: It’s never easy for showbiz stories to make the Best Picture cut because industry voters don’t always take movies about their own as seriously as loftier subjects, but on the heels of last year’s Best Pic, The Artist maybe that’s changing. And what Hitchcock really is at its core is a remarkable love story. ”Just wait until you see this one,” a smiling and confident 20th Century Fox chairman Jim Gianopulos told me as he grabbed some popcorn before the film rolled. He had reason to be happy. Read More »