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‘The Imitation Game’ To Open London Film Festival In European Premiere

‘The Imitation Game’ To Open London Film Festival In European PremiereThe 58th BFI London Film Festival will kick off October 8 with the European premiere of Morten Tyldum’s Alan Turing drama The Imitation Game. The selection will guarantee a starry opening night with Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley in attendance at the Odeon Liecester Square. The screening will also be simulcast to cinemas across the UK. Cumberbatch plays Turing, the genius British mathematician, logician, cryptologist and computer scientist who led the charge to crack the German Enigma Code that helped the Allies win World War II. The film is a nail-biting race against time by Turing and his brilliant team at Britain’s top-secret Bletchley Park code-breaking center. Matthew Goode, Mark Strong, Rory Kinnear, Charles Dance, Allen Leech and Matthew Beard also star. The Weinstein Co famously paid $7M for the film in a record-breaking deal at last February’s EFM in Berlin. It will release on November 21 in the U.S., and Studiocanal is releasing in the UK on November 14.

This is billed as a European premiere, so the film is expected to turn up at one of the fall festivals — two of which, Toronto and Venice, are announcing lineups this week. Last year, the London fest scored the Euro premiere of Captain Phillips as opener and the world premiere of Saving Mr Banks for the closing night. It’s a key venue for potential awards-season contenders to get out in front of all of those BAFTA voters, … Read More »

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Pawel Pawlikowski’s ‘Ida’ Wins BFI London Film Festival

By | Saturday October 19, 2013 @ 5:28pm PDT

Top honors at the 57th BFI London Film Festival went to Pawel Pawlikowski‘s Poland-set Holocaust drama Ida, adding to the FIPRESCI International Critics’ Award the pic collected at Toronto. Pawlikowski previously won the BAFTA for his Last Resort and My Summer Of Love. Last month Music Box Films picked up North American rights to Ida, which will hit theaters in early 2014. Here’s the full list of 2014 BFI Film Festival winners: 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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NYFF: ‘12 Years A Slave’ Star Chiwetel Ejiofor Hits Fest Circuit, Stirs More Oscar Talk (Video)

Pete Hammond

EXCLUSIVE: Ever since its debut at the Telluride Film Festival over the Labor Day weekend, Fox Searchlight‘s 12 Years A Slave has been annointed, at least by some eager-to-call-the-race-early media members, as the movie that could take it all at the Oscars. Though it is far too early to say that with any conviction (it doesn’t open in theaters until next week and hasn’t even played its official Academy screening yet), it continues to register strongly on the Fest circuit. It hit the New York Film Festival Tuesday night where the cast led by Chiwetel Ejiofor, director Steve McQueen and other key creative players received a standing ovation, just as they did in Telluride and Toronto. Next week the film hits the BFI London Film Festival on October 18th, home turf for its British star and director,  but telling a very American story. Searchlight clearly would be more comfortable not to be shackled with the front-runner label before the movie is able to catch its boxoffice wind. It’s always a perilous position as there is nowhere to go but down (just ask Social Network about that), but the film has drawn critical raves wherever it’s played and early audiences are clearly moved. The subject matter however is not easy, often gut-wrenching to watch, and needs to be carefully nurtured by Fox Searchlight which plans a slow rollout beginning next Friday. Read More »

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British Film Institute Unveils VOD Platform For New Films & Massive Archive: Video

By | Wednesday October 2, 2013 @ 6:34am PDT

Putting its stamp of approval on streaming, the British Film Institute is getting into the VOD business. Its new BFI Player will offer both day-and-date releases and a selection of the vast archives at its disposal. Seven channels will showcase different themes including the best of British cinema, Edwardian Britain, gothic films, cult cinema, Sight and Sound’s greatest hits and movies about moviemaking. The service is available across the UK from October 9th with playback available to computers and tablets. The offer is a mix of free and PPV and will be expanded with new content partners in a phase two effort in early 2014. The first day-and-date releases are Directors’ Fortnight title The Selfish Giant on October 25th and the BFI restoration of The Epic Of Everest, which is debuting at the London Film Festival, on October 18th. The latter is a record of the doomed 3rd expedition of George Mallory and Andrew Irvine in 1924 and is considered to be a treasure of the BFI national film archive. Here’s a look:

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‘Philomena’ Gets Gala Slot At BFI London Film Festival

By | Friday August 30, 2013 @ 8:56am PDT

Stephen Frears’ Philomena starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan is set for a high-profile Gala slot October 16 at the BFI London Film Festival, which runs from October 9-20. The relationship drama about a mother’s search for her long-lost child was the subject of one of the biggest bidding battles of this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Harvey Weinstein eventually won out on the pic, based on the 2009 novel The Lost Child of Philomena Lee by BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith. The BFI date will mark the UK premiere, with the pic opening in the territory November 1. It currently has a competition slot at Venice before heading to Toronto.

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Global Show Briefs: Venice Fills Out Its Lineup; ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ To Close London Fest; More

Venice Film Festival Rounds Out Lineup, Adds Carrie Fisher To Jury
The 70th Venice Film Festival’s lineup is complete with the addition of five titles including Une Promesse, writer-director Patrice Leconte drama starring Rebecca Hall, Alan Rickman, and Richard Madden, which will screen Out of Competition. The fest also announced that the collective film Venezia 70 – Future Reloaded — composed of 70 short films lasting 60 to 90 seconds made by 70 directors from all over the world to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the festival — will be the second opening film at the inaugural ceremony. Also, Carrie Fisher and Mexican director Amat Escalante have been added to the International Jury. The fest runs August 20 to September 7.

‘Saving Mr. Banks’ Set For Closing Night At BFI London Film Festival
The 57th BFI London Film Festival will close with the European premiere of Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks. Tom Hanks stars as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers in John Lee Hancock’s drama about the effort to bring Mary Poppins to the screen. The fest, which runs October 9-20, will open with the continental bow of another Hanks film, the Somali pirate drama Captain Phillips from director Paul Greengrass. Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: GAP2000 Sets ‘Retardation’; ‘Captain Phillips’ To Open 57th BFI London Film Fest

Gap2000 Partners With Vladar On ‘Retardation’
Former recruitment exec Premila Puri Makh was born in Mumbai, grew up in the Netherlands and now lives in London, which she uses as a production base for a burgeoning slate of feature projects from her GAP2000 Films and Ariana Entertainment companies. Via GAP2000, which Premila built with her brother, writer-director Sameer Puri, she’s producing Retardation, a psychological suspense thriller about a man who wakes up with no memory and has to figure out where he comes from. GAP2000 has just partnered with NY-based The Vladar Company (Head Smash) to develop the project which they will shoot in India – and in English – in February 2014. Sameer Puri wrote the script and will direct. Partners are circling including a major U.S. sales company. The movie is being cast with well-known Indian actors from the indie scene and Premila has locked New York City rock band Deadbeat Darling for music. GAP is focusing on Indian films that will decidedly stray from the western vision of Bollywood cinema. Read More »

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Harvey Weinstein Talks Politics, Gives Film Refresher Course In Wide-Ranging Keynote

“This won’t be political — in case you’re writing that down, Deadline Hollywood,” Harvey Weinstein said from the stage during his jam-packed London Film Festival keynote address this evening. But the mogul, fresh from a trip to Cannes to hype his company’s TV slate at MIPCOM, did make several politically charged comments during a wide-ranging speech and Q&A that touched on everything from Mitt Romney and fundraising for President Obama to criticizing government regulators, Google and Apple and piracy, and Hollywood studios over their penchant for remakes and sequels.

Suggesting that regulators are not being smart enough to deal with issues of consolidation — “Six companies will end up owning” a 500-channel universe, creating a “Central Bureau” with fewer content buyers — the Obama supporter said there was a need for “smart guys — like the ones who do Mitt Romney’s taxes.” He then riffed about the Republican presidential candidate’s lack of transparency when it comes to his 1040s. “Fourteen percent! How can he pay that? Why is he not showing 10 years of taxes?” Noting how Romney’s father made a dozen years of returns available when he ran for president, Weinstein said Romney the younger “doesn’t even listen to his dad.” And when a sports film journalist posed a question, Weinstein asided that he loved Clint Eastwood’s baseball movie Trouble With The Curve but couldn’t resist adding, “I don’t like Clint’s politics, but I love his movies. I love him, he’s just a little misplaced right now. Maybe they should have called it ‘Trouble With The Chair’.” Read More »

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Tim Burton & Helena Bonham Carter To Be Honored As London Film Festival Begins

The 56th BFI London Film Festival, which kicks off tonight in the British capital, is set to honor Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton with the BFI Fellowship. The highest award bestowed by the British Film Institute goes to individuals in “recognition of their outstanding contribution to film or television culture.” Burton’s Frankenweenie is the opening-night film at the fest. The BFI also announced the juries for this year’s festival, which runs through October 21. Director David Hare is president of the Best Film jury, with producer Nansun Shi, director Pablo Trapero, producer Victoria Pearman and actress Romola Garai also on the panel. The jury for the Sutherland Award, which recognizes new talent, will be overseen by former director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival Hannah McGill and fellow jurors Harry Potter director David Yates, novelist Sebastian Faulks, producer Robin Gutch, and actress Louise Brealey. The Best British Newcomer Award jury will be headed by Harry Potter producer David Heyman with actors Tom Hiddleston and Olivia Colman, author Kazuo Ishiguru and director Eran Creevy in support.

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Tim Burton’s ‘Frankenweenie’ To Open London Film Festival On Oct. 10

The European premiere of Frankenweenie will officially be held at London’s Leicester Square Odeon cinema. But, in a first-of-its-kind move for the BFI London Film Festival, the premiere screening will be simultaneously transmitted to 30 moviehouses around the UK when it kicks off the event on Oct 10. Tim Burton’s 3D stop-motion animation about a boy and his dog is the feature adaptation of his own 1984 short and was produced in London at 3 Mills Studios. The voice cast includes Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau and Winona Ryder. Disney will release it in the UK a week after the premiere, on Oct 17. The festival has also just announced it will host The Art of Frankenweenie exhibition from Oct 17-21 at the BFI’s Southbank Centre Festival Village. The exhibition will be a look inside Burton’s stop-motion animation process replete with sketches, props, sets and puppets. The 56th edition of the London Film Festival runs from Oct 10-21.

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David Cronenberg, Ralph Fiennes To Get BFI Fellowships

The British Film Institute will award David Cronenberg, director of A Dangerous Method, and Ralph Fiennes, director of Coriolanus, a BFI Fellowship each. It’s the highest award the BFI can offer. Previous fellows include Clint Eastwood, Elizabeth Taylor and David Lean. This year’s ceremony will take place at LSO St Luke’s on October 26. A Dangerous Method and Coriolanus will both screen at this year’s London Film Festival, which runs October 12-27.

Meanwhile, the BFI has announced which films are in the running for the Best Film Award. 360, The Artist, The Deep Blue Sea, The Descendents, Faust, The Kid With A Bike, Shame, Trishna and We Need To Talk About Kevin will all be competing. Director John Madden (The Debt) will chair the Best Film Award jury, whose other members are actress Gillian Anderson, writer/director Asif Kapadia, producer Tracey Seaward, writer Andrew O’Hagan and director Sam Taylor Wood. Jury members on other panels include producers Andy Harries (The Lady) and Stephen Woolley (Made In Dagenham) and Andrew Eaton (Trishna).

London – 4 October 2011: The 55th BFI London Film Festival is delighted to announce the shortlists and juries for the 2011 Festival Awards, supported by MontBlanc, which will take place at LSO St Luke’s on 26 October.

At this year’s ceremony, the BFI will bestow its highest honour, the BFI Fellowship, on David Cronenberg and Ralph Fiennes. The original and provocative Canadian

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London Film Festival Sets Program As George Clooney Global Tour Continues

Mike Fleming

The 55th BFI London Film Festival has set its slate for the 16-day festival that runs Oct. 12-27. It’s composed mostly of the high-profile films that will have made their debuts at the Venice, Telluride, Toronto and New York film festivals. The festival previously announced Fernando Meirelles’ 360 as its opener, and other highlights include George Clooney’s The Ides of March as well as The Descendants, the Alexander Payne film that stars Clooney. Lynne Ramsay’s We Need to Talk About Kevin, Michael Winterbottom’s Trishna, Roland Emmerich’s Anonymous, Madona’s W.E., Steve McQueen’s Shame, David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method and Michel Hazanavicius’ celebrated silent film The Artist are all on the docket for the Gala Premiere section.

The Film on the Square program includes the Roman Polanski-directed Carnage, Gus Van Sant’s Restless, the Paolo Sorrentino-directed Sean Penn-starrer This Must Be the Place, Oren Moverman’s Rampart, Dee Rees’ Pariah and Sean Durkin’s Martha Marcy May Marlene.

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‘Deep Blue Sea’ To Close BFI London Fest

BFI London Film Fest Opens With ’360′ From Fernando Meirelles
The Deep Blue Sea starring Rachel Weisz (who also stars in the festival’s opening-night film, 360), Tom Hiddleston, and Simon Russell Beale will close the 55th BFI London Film Festival on October 27th. This will be the UK premiere of the drama adapted and directed by Terence Davies (Distant Voices, Still Lives), marking his return to fiction features. Set in post-war Britain, this is an adaptation of Terence Rattigan’s classic play The Deep Blue Sea – a study of forbidden love, suppressed desire, and the fear of loneliness. Davies said: “”As a British filmmaker, to get into the BFI London Film Festival at all is bliss — to get a closing-night film is sheer heaven! The festival is now, rightly, seen as one of the major European and world film festivals; championing not only British but world cinema.” The Deep Blue Sea opens in UK cinemas on November 25th.

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