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Sony Sets ’50/50′ Team For Chess Drama ‘Brooklyn Castle; One Of Three Pics For Scott Rudin And Seth Rogen’s Point Grey

Mike Fleming

seth-rogen-evan-goldbergEXCLUSIVE: Scott Rudin Productions’ Scott Rudin and Eli Bush and Point Grey’s Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver have together set up a trio of feature collaborations. Two of the films are based on documentaries and will be made for Sony, where Rudin has his deal. All three will be produced by Rudin and Eli Bush along the the Point Grey trio.

brooSony Pictures has just set 50/50 writer Will Reiser and that film’s director Jonathan Levine to craft a feature from Brooklyn Castle, based on the Katie Dellamaggiore-directed docu about the trials and tribulations of the junior unbeatable champion chess team at I.S. 318. That’s an inner-city junior high school where more than 65% of students come from homes with incomes below the federal poverty level and where budget cuts threaten to derail its chessboard dominance. The docu won the Audience Award at SXSW, and it was around the time that Rudin first acquired the remake rights. Rogen starred for Levine in the touching cancer scare drama/comedy 50/50, and he and Goldberg produced the film. Reiser’s repped by UTA and Thruline, Levine by CAA.

hedRudin Productions and Point Grey have also set Console Wars at Sony, a film about the battle for video game dominance between Sega and Nintendo in the 1990s that Rogen and Goldberg … Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: ‘The Sessions’ Tops Debuts; ‘Holy Motors’, ‘Brooklyn Castle’, ‘The Flat’ Solid

By | Sunday October 21, 2012 @ 9:40am PDT

Brian Brooks is managing editor of MovieLine.

Fox Searchlight’s highly anticipated The Sessions starring John Hawkes, Helen Hunt and William H. Macy debuted with a robust $30,100 average in its four-theater run in New York and Los Angeles, by far topping newbies in the specialty arena, in another crowded field of newcomers. Three other titles debuted with fairly solid showings. Producers Distribution Agency’s Brooklyn Castle bowed with an $11,061 average in two New York theaters, placing it second in per-theater average among the newcomers, but whether the homegrown pic will exhibit legs in other cities. Sundance Selects’ doc The Flat averaged over $10K in two NYC venues, while Cannes/NYFF surreal feature Holy Motors also bowed in two Gotham theaters, averaging $9,744.

“It was quite an impressive weekend. It exceeded our expectations a bit,” said Searchlight’s SVP Distribution Frank Rodriguez. “We thought it would come in in the $20K-25K per screen range, so we were very happy. Read More »

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PDA Signs On To Release SXSW Winning Docu ‘Brooklyn Castle’

By | Thursday July 19, 2012 @ 8:30am PDT
Mike Fleming

Brooklyn Castle MovieEXCLUSIVE: Producers Distribution Agency has signed on to release the SXSW Audience Award-winning documentary Brooklyn Castle. PDA is the releasing arm hatched by Cinetic Media’s John Sloss and Bart Walker that selectively takes on art house fare. Brooklyn Castle marks its fourth release, after the successful docus Senna and Exit Through The Gift Shop and the Emilio Estevez-directed drama The WayBrooklyn Castle will be released October 19, and once again, Abramorama’s Richard Abramowitz and Bond Strategy’s Marc Schiller will guide the marketing and distribution of the Katie Dallamaggiore-directed film. Read More »

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SXSW Announces Audience Awards

By | Saturday March 17, 2012 @ 12:10pm PDT

SXSW Film FestivalThe film portion of SXSW wraps today and the festival has unveiled its Audience Awards. They follow Tuesday’s jury awards that saw Adam Leon’s Gimme The Loot take the top narrative feature honor. The fest’s final awards will be announced tomorrow. The winners list unveiled Friday night includes the doc Brooklyn Castle, which received a rousing response after its SXSW premiere screening last weekend. It centers on I.S. 318, an inner-city school where more than 65% of students are from homes with incomes below the federal poverty level. It also happens to have the winningest junior high school chess team in the country. Sony Pictures and producer Scott Rudin snapped up remake rights during the fest. Here’s the full list of winners:

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE SPOTLIGHT
Brooklyn Castle; director: Katy Dellamaggiore

NARRATIVE FEATURE SPOTLIGHT
Fat Kid Rules The World; director: Matthew Lillard

24 BEATS PER SECOND
Under African Skies; director: Joe Berlinger

EMERGING VISIONS
Low & Clear; directors: Kahlil Hudson, Tyler Hughen

MIDNIGHTERS
Citadel; director: Ciaran Foy

SXGLOBAL
Her Master’s Voice; director: Nina Conti

FESTIVAL FAVORITES
Chasing Ice; director: Jeff Orlowski

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Sony Pictures, Scott Rudin Acquire Remake Rights To Doc ‘Brooklyn Castle’: SXSW

By | Monday March 12, 2012 @ 12:30pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Brooklyn Castle SXSW Scott RudinEXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures and producer Scott Rudin have snapped up remake rights to Brooklyn Castle, the documentary that premiered at SXSW yesterday. The film, which got a rousing response after its Sunday bow, is about I.S. 318, an inner-city school where more than 65% of students are from homes with incomes below the federal poverty level. It also happens to have the winningest junior high school chess team in the country. While chess has transformed the school from one cited in 2003 as a “school in need of improvement” to one of New York City’s best, public school budget cuts put the program and its accomplishments in jeopardy. The remake deal was made by Cinetic Media, which is also shopping distribution rights on the film. Rudin also previously produced the chess-themed Searching For Bobby Fischer, which Steve Zaillian wrote and directed.

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