Alain Guiraudie was named best director in the Un Certain Regard sidebar at last month’s Cannes Film Festival for his roundly-lauded thriller L’Inconnu Du Lac (Stranger By The Lake). During the festival, the sexually explicit gay-themed tale of summer love and murder was picked up by Strand Releasing for a U.S. release later this year. But on the eve of its release in France, where expressions of sexuality are de rigueur and where gay marriage was recently legalized, the film’s advertising (left) proved too much for some. In the Parisian suburbs of Versailles and Saint-Cloud, a series of promotional posters was pulled at the request of the individual town halls, ad agency JC Decaux told AFP. The mayor’s office in Saint-Cloud said it had been “harassed” by phone calls and emails about the poster since it went up last week. Versailles says it did not contact JC Decaux, but a rep told French media it was understandable that the image “could shock people who find themselves disarmed by posters in the street that address sexuality.”
Chinese media entrepreneur Bruno Wu in his recent interview with me touts ”a next-generation entertainment company that’s lean and mean and scalable. Building an ecosystem for the …
Alison Thompson, co-president of Focus Features International (FFI), announced multi-territory sales on director Asif Kapadia’s (Senna, The Warrior) untitled documentary on five-time Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse. FFI also saw strong sales on seven-time Academy Award-nominated writer/director Mike Leigh’s (Another Year, Vera Drake, Secrets & Lies) J.M.W. Turner film, which stars Timothy Spall (Harry Potter, Secrets & Lies).
FFI has secured the following territories and respective distributors on behalf of Asif Kapadia’s Amy Winehouse documentary: France – Mars Films; Germany – Prokino; Benelux – Cineart; Greece – Odeon; Iceland – Sena; Israel – Lev Cinema; Middle East – Italia Film; Portugal – Lusomundo Audiovisuals; Turkey – D Productions; Hong Kong – Edko Films; India – PVR Limited; Singapore – Shaw Renters; Thailand – IPA Pacific; Australia/NZ – eOne; and South Africa – Ster-Kinekor. Focus Features International is currently fielding multiple offers for the UK, CIS, and Italy.
EXCLUSIVE: WME came back from Cannes with a trio of offshore directing talents, as the agency signed Jorge Dorado, Erik Skjoldbjaerg, and Mikkel Norgaard. Dorado made his feature directing debut with the psychological thriller Mindscape for Studio Canal starring Mark Strong, Brian Cox and Taissa Farmiga and produced by Jaume Collet-Sera. The film is slated for a fall 2013 release. Warner Bros is distributing foreign and domestic will be sold shortly. Dorado has directed many award-winning shorts including La Guerra, which won 47 awards at festivals around the world. He has also been assistant director on more than 20 films by the likes of Pedro Almodovar, Baz Luhrmann, and Guillermo del Toro. He is managed by Tom Drumm.
Norgaard is the director of Klown, the 2012 pic that became the highest-grossing Danish film of all time. He is currently in post on Keeper Of Lost Causes, a film that screened in Cannes for distributors. The film is based on the bestselling series of novels that Nik Arcel adapted as a trilogy. The movie will be released in October and the sequel, also written by Arcel for Norgaard to direct, will shoot in September.
Borgman was the first Dutch film in the Cannes Film Festival‘s competition lineup in almost 40 years when the Dutch thriller from director Alex van Warmerdam hit the Croisette earlier this month. Now Drafthouse Films has picked up North American rights in a deal with Fortissimo Films, with a U.S. theatrical and VOD/digital release planned for 2014. Films We Like will handle Canadian distribution.
Borgman is an allegorical tale exploring the nature of evil in unexpected places. A vagrant enters the lives of a typical but arrogant upper-class family, igniting a descent from darkly comic dream to maddening psychological nightmare. Annet Malherbe and Eva van de Wijdeven, two regulars in van Warmerdam’s films, stars along with Jan Bijvoet. Graniet Film (Netherlands) produced.
“Maybe once a year, I am deluged after a premiere with texts and emails to the effect of ‘this is such a Drafthouse movie,’” says Drafthouse Films founder and CEO Tim League, “Its strange, disturbing, hysterical and utterly unique. Borgman is the quintessential Drafthouse film of Cannes. We can’t wait to share it with audiences in North America.”
Listen to (and share) episode 28 of our audio podcast Deadline Awards Watch With Pete Hammond a special wrap-up episode from the just-concluded Cannes Film Festival. Deadline’s Awards Columnist talks with host David Bloom about the festival’s winners, led by Blue Is The Warmest Color, a three-hour lesbian love story that captured the Palme D’Or. They also talk about Jerry Lewis’ return to the Cannes spotlight 18 years after his last film, and this week’s notable releases, including the indie coming-of-age tale The Kings Of Summer and the magicians caper movie Now You See Me.
It was announced today by IM Global CEO Stuart Ford and the picture’s financiers Emmett/Furla Films, Paul Breuls’ Corsan Films and Len Blavatnik’s AI Film that IM Global has made a number of important territorial sales on Martin Scorsese’s SILENCE during the past fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival. IM Global is handling foreign sales alongside AI Film.
Key deals closed included Metropolitan for France, Concorde for Germany, Gaga for Japan, RAI for Italy, Gussi for Latin America, Transmission for Australia, Mis Label for Scandinavia, Paradiso for Benelux, JMD Entertainment for South Korea, Aqua for Turkey, Lusomundo for Portugal, United King for Israel, Golden Scene for Hong Kong, Spentzos for Greece, Padora for Ex-Yugoslavia, Catchplay for Taiwan, Apsara for India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand and MVP for Singapore.
Scorsese came to Cannes to help pitch the project and performed a 45 minute presentation in front of more than 300 international distributors on stage with Ford. He also completed select one-on-one meetings with distributors.
IM Global Founder and CEO Stuart Ford has signed a multiple year extension to his CEO service contract it was announced today by a company spokesperson. The 43 year old executive founded the company with a launch at Cannes in 2007 and IM Global has since gone on to become one of the most visible and active companies in the independent sector.
The company had eight new films in the Cannes Market and played host to Martin Scorsese, who was in town to help IM Global promote his longtime passion project “Silence”. On the opening day of the Festival Ford and Scorsese combined to give a presentation to 300 foreign distributors in one of the Croisette’s most high profile events of the opening week.
An international sales powerhouse, the company customarily brings 15-18 new projects a year into the market across its unique structure of four separate sales labels handling mainstream commercial, arthouse, genre and foreign language films.
They’ve announced it and it’s in the trades. Deadline broke the story Saturday. Here’s the official word:
The Weinstein Company (TWC) today announced that it has acquired US rights for Number 9 Films CAROL from HanWay Films. Producers Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley simultaneously announced that Academy Award nominee Todd Haynes (I’m Not There, Far From Heaven) has come on-board to direct.
Carol is a love story about pursuit, betrayal and passion that follows the burgeoning relationship between two very different women in 1950s New York. One, a girl in her twenties working in a department store who dreams of a more fulfilling life, and the other, a wife trapped in a loveless, moneyed marriage desperate to break free but fearful of losing her daughter in the process.
Hammond On Cannes: Spielberg And Jury Award France’s Sizzling, Sexy And First Gay Palme d’Or Winner; Is Oscar Next?
Blue Is The Warmest Color (La Vie D’Adele – Chapitre 1 & 2) is only the second purely French film in this most French of festivals to win the Palme d’Or in the past 46 years. The film has had the …
Sundance Selects acquired U.S. rights to Japanese writer-director Kore-eda Hirokazu’s Jury Prize Winner Like Father, Like Son from Wild Bunch. With a screenplay by Kore-eda, the film stars Fukuyama Masaharu, Ono Machiko, Maki Yoko, and Lily Franky, and was produced by Kameyama Chihiro, Hatanaka Tatsuro, and Tom Yoda. …
We are at the end of a long Cannes, and jury members have had the opportunity to see all 20 films in the main competition. But who wins the Palme d’Or? I have learned that jury president Steven Spielberg has specifically instructed his colleagues to remain tight-lipped and not provide any clues. Cannes juries anyway are notoriously hard to predict and critical reaction through the festival doesn’t necessarily mean anything. But, jumping into the shark-infested waters of predictions, I would say frontrunners for the Palme d’Or are likely Joel and Ethan Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis, Italian director Paolo Sorrentino’s stunning The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza), Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue Is The Warmest Color (thanks to buzz), and possibly Iranian director Asghar Farhardi’s The Past which was shot in Paris and mostly in French. I also would throw in the wonderfully heartfelt Japanese entry Like Father, Like Son, a truly moving film from director Kore-Eda Hirokazu. It’s a long-shot but human emotion goes a long way with juries. I could have picked J.C. Chandor’s All Is Lost with a virtuoso performance from Robert Redford but for some reason it was shown out of competition and not eligible. Otherwise it would have been in the top tier of contenders. Watch for a possible sleeper with the Chinese entry (their first in a few years) ,A Touch Of Sin from director Jia Zhangke who is overdue. Reaction was mixed overall to the overlong four-segment story that examines China today warts and all in some cases. Plus it has some pretty extreme violence. But he could win a prize as a statement supporting more honest and open China filmmaking which this seems to represent. Further down the list are Alexander Payne’s Nebraska and James Gray’s beautifully realized period piece The Immigrant, at least in terms of Palme d’Or buzz for both very American directors. The wild card is likely Steven Soderbergh’s Behind The Candelabra since he said it’s his last film for the forseeable future. But that could be hampered by the fact it premieres on HBO in the U.S. tomorrow and most think it is more likely to win for its acting, specifically Michael Douglas.
The last three days of the festival saw the sun come out on the Croisette and the quality of films particularly impressive. High profile contenders holding premieres included Nebraska, The Immigrant, and the much touted by critics 3-hour French teen lesbian drama Blue Is The Warmest Color. Followed by Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive, Roman Polanski’s Venus In Fur had its official premiere Saturday night. This entertaining French language adaptation of the hit Broadway play stars his wife Emmanuelle Seigner in an actress audition that turns into a sexual game of cat and mouse with her director portrayed by Mathieu Amalric (who looks uncannily like a younger Polanski – likely on purpose).
The acting categories will provide the most Solomon-like decisions for the jury. Michael Douglas may receive a prize alone or add his equally fine co-star Matt Damon. The actor race is impossibly crowded and also includes the magnificent Toni Servillo of Great Beauty, Oscar Isaac in Inside Llewyn Davis, Bruce Dern and Will Forte of Nebraska, and Amalric of Venus In Fur. And if the jury is watching closely there’s a truly moving performance from Masaharu Fukuyama as the flawed parent in Like Father, Like Son. I would also give a shout-out to the excellent Souleymane Deme as Grigris in a film that didn’t get a lot of traction. On the women’s side, Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux could be honored together or apart for brave and explicit work in Blue Is The Warmest Color.
The 2013 Un Certain Regard prizes were handed out by Thomas Vinterberg’s jury this evening in Cannes. Cambodian director Rithy Panh won the top award for his first-person story The Missing Picture. The Jury Prize was given to the well-liked Omar by Oscar nominee Hany Abu-Assad. Alain Guiraudie won the Directing Prize for the controversial but acclaimed erotic thriller Stranger By The Lake which Strand Releasing picked up this week. The Un Certain Talent award was given to the ensemble of actors from Spanish director Diego Quemada-Diez’ The Golden Cage. And Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station was honored with the Prize of the Future. His film, which won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award in Sundance, held a berth in UCR that’s usually reserved for movies that made a name in Park City. Eventual Oscar nominee Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts Of The Southern Wild ran in UCR last year.