Check Out Our New Look

Cannes Film Festival: Producers To Watch

The past year has seen the emergence of producers from varied backgrounds who are working on high-profile projects with major talent. This year in Cannes, a constantly heard refrain is that there is an abundance of quality product. Below are some of the key producers responsible:

Megan Ellison: The daughter of Oracle founder Larry Ellison has deep pockets and good taste that have put her at the forefront of today’s hot producers via her Annapurna Pictures. She’s also respected for what one distributor says is her “strategy of working only with strong directors.” Of the official selection films in Cannes, she produced John Hillcoat’s Lawless. Last year at Cannes, she won a bidding war for the rights to make 2 more Terminator installments. On her upcoming roster are Kathryn Bigelow’s hunt for Bin Laden pic, being sold by the sales company she’s backing, Panorama Media. There’s also Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths (sold by Hanway), Paul Thomas Anderson’s upcoming The Master, which the Weinsteins have and Inherent Vice starring Robert Downey Jr as well as Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher with Steve Carell and Channing Tatum and also via Panorama. Deadline also recently reported a big deal is in the works for Ellison and Annapurna to fully fund American Bullshit, the drama that has David O Russell attached to direct, with Christian Bale also attached and Bradley Cooper in talks.

Red Granite: When Red Granite Pictures launched its international sales division in Cannes last year, they did so in style. You can tell a lot about a company from the way it throws a party and Red Granite’s last year is one people still talk about. Kanye West performed with Jamie Foxx joining him to duet on Gold Digger while Leonardo DiCaprio, Jon Hamm and Jennifer Westfeldt rocked out on the beach. In 2011, Red Granite’s first production, Westfeldt’s Friends With Kids, was released and the company has steadily been building its roster of impressive product including Wolf Of Wall Street with DiCaprio and directed by Martin Scorsese and Out Of The Furnace starring Christian Bale, Zoe Saldana and Casey Affleck which Scott Cooper is directing. Red Granite is also selling those pictures. Exec Joe Gatta tells me the company’s vision is to “make quality movies first and foremost. It’s a tough business; we have a lot of competition and we want to stand out as a company that’s getting the movies made.” Gatta says Red Granite wants to “grow, but grow steadily.” That could “in the future” include distribution, but the company will definitely grow its sales division under Danny Dimbort, the former Millennium/Nu Image partner who Gatta calls “the best in the business.” The goal for Red Granite is to be doing 3-5 productions per year with some third party pick-ups in the mix. Read More »

Comments (2)

Robert Rodriguez Wielding ‘Machete Kills’ With AR Films’ Alexander Rodnyansky

By | Monday February 6, 2012 @ 5:52pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE:Robert Rodriguez is teaming with producer Alexander Rodnyansky to hatch a sequel to the 2010 action film Machete. Titled Machete Kills, the film is the second in a planned trilogy with what, for my money, is the best ever trailer tag line: “This time, they fucked with the wrong Mexican!” The film will be produced and financed by Alexander Rodnyansky, whose Hollywood expansion plans include a $120 million film fund with Media Talent Group’s Geyer Kosinski. AR Films U.S. is a new partnership between AR Films and Aldamisa Entertainment, whose Sergei Bespalov will manage worldwide sales of Machete Kills in Berlin.

“The fan response to the Machete character has been fanatical since his first appearance,” Rodriguez said. “Machete is truly a super hero and Machete Kills will be bigger and more ambitious than the first time.”

An April production start is being eyed. Talks are underway for Danny Trejo to reprise the title role. Rodriguez expects many of the original cast to return, at least those who didn’t end up sliced and diced in the first film by Trejo. The film is a Quick Draw Production, produced by Rodriguez, Rodnyansky, and Quick Draw’s Aaron Kaufman and Iliana Nikolic, and Sergei Bespalov and Rick Schwartz. A script has been written by Kyle Ward, and developed by Rodriguez and Marcel Rodriguez. The aim is to get Trejo back into a signature role that … Read More »

Comments 41

Geyer Kosinski And AR Films Launch $120 Million Film Fund

By | Thursday January 19, 2012 @ 2:02pm PST
Mike Fleming

Los Angeles – (19 JANUARY 2012) – Producer Alexander Rodnyansky’s AR Films and Geyer Kosinski’s Media Talent Group have announced their formation of a $120 million fund to develop and produce up to six motion pictures in the United States over the next two years.

Rodnyansky and Kosinski have already produced two films. The first, JAYNE MANSFIELD’S CAR, is co-written by Academy Award-winner Billy Bob Thornton and Tom Epperson, directed by Thornton and stars an ensemble cast including Thornton, Robert Duvall, John Hurt, Kevin Bacon, Ray Stevenson and Ron White. It will make its world premiere in competition at the Berlinale on February 13. The second film, THE GOATS (working title), is directed by DJ Caruso, who also adapted the classic young adult novel for the screen. THE GOATS stars Chandler Canterbury, Annalise Basso, Val Kilmer and Radha Mitchell.

AR Films was founded by Rodnyansky in 2009. Through AR Films, Rodnyansky controls one of the biggest film licensing and distribution corporations in Central and Eastern Europe, A-Company; the Russian film production company Non-Stop Production; a major distributor of independent films in Russia, Cinema Without Frontiers; and the most important film festival in Russia, Kinotavr.

Rodnyansky, a renowned documentary director, is also one of the most successful movie producers in Russia. His films have received critical acclaim from the leading international film festivals; the latest – ELENA, directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev — received

Read More »

Comments (1)