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Uday Chopra’s YRF Launches By Funding Jason Bateman Comedy ‘The Longest Week’

By | Tuesday November 22, 2011 @ 7:07am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: YRF Entertainment has launched with this week’s production start of The Longest Week, the Peter Glanz-directed comedy that stars Jason Bateman, Olivia Wilde and Billy Crudup. The film just got underway in New York, and Bateman plays an immature man-child who still lives with his parents in a chic Manhattan hotel but suddenly finds himself evicted, disinherited and hopelessly in love with his best friend’s girlfriend (Wilde).

YRF, which will produce and finance films for U.S. and the international marketplace, was started by Uday Chopra, who came on to fully finance The Longest Week when the film’s original backer dropped out. Chopra is producing with Neda Armian. Jonathan Reiman, Chris Marsh, Stone Douglass and Taylor Materne are executive producers. Reiman is Chopra’s new head of development and production.

Chopra grew up learning the film business Bollywood-style. His father is Yash Chopra, whose Yash Raj Films is a prolific producer and distributor. The 41-year old company will make five to seven Indian films next year. Chopra has done everything from starring in those films to writing them (Love Impossible). His father’s company is backing YRF and Chopra’s ambition to break into Hollywood fare as a producer/financier.

“The decision for me was not based on money but rather my passion to make American movies,” Chopra told me. “I grew up watching American films and television, and I wanted to explore it, even though I … Read More »

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Stars Turn Out For 9/11 Reading

By | Friday July 22, 2011 @ 7:20am PDT
Mike Fleming

To commemorate the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11, a highly distinguished cast of film, TV & stage actors will gather for a benefit reading of Sarah Tuft’s “110 Stories” on September 8th & 9th at The Skirball Center for the Performing Arts i n Manhattan. The illustrious cast – including, subject to availability: Lauren Ambrose, Andre Braugher, Billy Crudup, Edie Falco, Melissa Leo, Aasif Mandvi, Chris Noth, Vincent Piazza, Andre Royo, Susan Sarandon, Stelio Savante, Pablo Schreiber, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Michael Stuhlbarg, Kathleen Turner, Merritt Wever & others TBA – will share first person accounts of the tragedy.

According to 110 Stories’ Playwright/Creative Producer Sarah Tuft, “It’s the human side of history, without politics & agenda, giving voice to those who experienced 9.11 directly.” A love letter to New York City, the play was most recently performed by an esteemed cast at The Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles in 2010 with proceeds going to LA Red Cross for Haiti relief.

The Tenth Anniversary benefit reading of 110 Stories is Executive Produced by Ryan Heil/LIVEStyle Entertainment & Produced by Samira Qureshi, Stelio Savante & Cori Silberman. Proceeds from the event will go to the New York Says Thank You Foundation.

 

 

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TOLDJA! ATO Pictures Acquires ‘Thin Ice’

By | Tuesday July 19, 2011 @ 10:10am PDT
Mike Fleming

Back in March, Deadline broke the story that ATO Pictures was near a deal to acquire US rights to The Convincer, the Karen Sprecher-directed dark comedy that made its debut at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. The distributor has changed the title to Thin Ice, but has just confirmed the deal. Here’s the official announcement:

New York, NY (July 19, 2011) – ATO (Art Takes Over) Pictures announced today that it has acquired U.S. theatrical rights to THIN ICE (formerly titled THE CONVINCER) starring Greg Kinnear, Alan Arkin, Billy Crudup, Lea Thompson, David Harbour and Bob Balaban.

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Sundance Film ‘The Convincer’ Nears ATO Distribution Deal

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: The impressive volume of distribution deals for 2011 Sundance Film Festival fare is about to expand again. I’m told that ATO Pictures is wrapping up a deal for US rights to The Convincer, the Karen Sprecher-directed dark comedy that stars Greg Kinnear, Alan Arkin and Billy Crudup. It’s Fargo-style caper-gone-awry tale in which a conniving insurance salesman (Kinnear) thinks he has found a way to fortify his bank account and get his wife back. He sets out to scam a retired farmer (Arkin) out of a rare violin worth $25,000. A lot goes wrong and blood and dead bodies ensue. Produced by Werc Werk Works, the film was scripted by the director and her sister Jill, who also did Clockwatchers together. CAA is repping the film.  ATO, which was hatched by Johnathan Dorfman, Temple Fennell and musician Dave Matthews, distributed George Hickenlooper’s final film Casino Jack and recently acquired The Woman in the Fifth.

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