Cassian Elwes To Tyro Scribe Matthew Hickman: You’re Going To Sundance!

By | Thursday December 19, 2013 @ 11:32am PST
Mike Fleming

cassianEXCLUSIVE: Indie producer Cassian Elwes and The Black List chief Franklin Leonard have chosen screenwriter Matthew Hickman to attend the 2014 Sundance Film Festival as the recipient of the inaugural Cassian Elwes Screenwriting Fellow. Elwes, whose producing credits just this year include Dallas Buyers Club, All Is Lost, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints sundance-2014__131210193644__131217201040and Lee Daniels’ The Butler, hatched this plan in October for aspiring scribes who are agent-less and haven’t made more than $5000 writing. The scripts were chosen from among those displayed on the Black List service. The winner gets their trip paid for, and will be mentored by Elwes as he makes his way around the slopes for the films he will undoubtedly be talking up at Sundance. Hickman was chosen from among 10 finalists for his script An Elegy For Evelyn Francis. That work was described by the Black List’s evaluation as “a script that never lets up; it constantly plows through the consequences of every action, raising the dramatic tension and emotional stakes at every level.”

Elwes wants to make this an annual event. Who knows where Hickman ends up, but aspiring writers need a leg up and this seems a worthy gesture, as did the one I wrote about yesterday, in which neophyte scribe Tasha Huo got a blind script deal through a program initiated by Warner Bros’ movie chief Greg Silverman and The Black List. Hey, you never know. Read More »

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AFM: Cassian Elwes And Cohorts Launch Bridge-Financing Service Lifeboat Capital

By | Tuesday November 12, 2013 @ 9:01am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: e2b Capital’s Robert Ogden Barnum and Cassian Elwes have teamed with Windy Hill Pictures’ Buddy Patrick to form Lifeboat Capital, a service that will provide bridge financing to makers of indie films. The trio will manage … Read More »

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Cassian Elwes, Black List’s Franklin Leonard Will Take A Wannabe Scribe To Sundance

By | Tuesday October 29, 2013 @ 10:39am PDT
Mike Fleming

Producer Cassian Elwes and Black List founder Franklin Leonard have created the Cassian Elwes Independent Screenwriting Fellowship. They will send one writer who doesn’t have an agent and hasn’t made more than $,5000 from scribbling to the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. They’ll cover the trip’s cost, and Elwes will mentor the scribe. The portal of entry is Leonard’s Black List. Writers with scripts on the service since October 15, 2012, can opt into consideration. They’ll tally a shortlist after December 1 and pick a winner. The plan is to make this an annual deal.

Related: Warners Turns To Black List To Find Scribes In Underserved Demos
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Cannes: Cassian Elwes, Robert Ogden Barnum Launch e2b Capital

LOS ANGELES, CA (May 17, 2013) – It was announced today that independent film producers Cassian Elwes and Robert Ogden Barnum have launched e2b Capital, a new entertainment company for independent filmmakers and financiers seeking financing and global distribution expertise.

Elwes and Barnum will serve as co-heads of the Los Angeles-based operation. Backed by a growing group of financiers, e2b will arrange financing for commercially viable, fiscally responsible independent films. Working collaboratively with producers, talent agencies and foreign sales companies, e2b offers equity, gap and debt solutions through strategic partnerships, in addition to bringing strong relationships in the global marketplace. e2b expects to work on 10-12 films annually.

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New Law Could Boost Crowdsourcing As Viable Film Finance Option: Panel

By | Thursday October 18, 2012 @ 9:16am PDT

David Bloom is a Deadline contributor.

Crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo so far have been only moderately useful for most independent filmmakers trying to finance their next movie, but that could change significantly under the federal JOBS Act passed earlier this year, said members of a panel at the Digital Hollywood conference, which wraps today in Marina del Rey.

Under previous rules, crowdsourcing sites couldn’t offer equity stakes to contributors. Instead they receive modest tokens of appreciation such as T-shirts or tickets to screenings — in other words, they get nothing more than the satisfaction of helping a movie get started. The new law will allow intermediaries such as crowdsourcing sites to sell members modest equity stakes in films, up to $10,000 or 10% of each user’s income. The project must set a fundraising goal and if it doesn’t raise at least 60% of that, no money would change hands. “There are many more opportunities to come and we’re just seeing the start of this,” said Keri Putnam, executive director of the Sundance Institute, which has raised $3 million on behalf of 85 films through Kickstarter. The SEC is currently establishing regulations under the new law. Read More »

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Cassian Elwes Preps Herzog’s ‘Queen Of The Desert’; Weinstein Selling ‘Bodies’

EXCLUSIVE: Wind and rain have been sweeping the Croisette but Cassian Elwes says, “I feel like I’m on fire.” The former WMA head of independent film who’s now producing and packaging indies has skin in the game in Cannes with … Read More »

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Cassian Elwes And Mark Burg Start Evolution Independent To Fund Films

By | Wednesday February 22, 2012 @ 3:04pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Cassian Elwes, who two years ago transitioned from WMA independent film head to producer and packager of indies, has made a partnership deal with Evolution Entertainment. Elwes and Evolution principal Mark Burg will team for Evolution Independent. While Evolution … Read More »

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Freestyle To Release Sarah Palin Doc ‘You Betcha!’

Mike Fleming

Days before its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, Nick Broomfield’s hot-button expose documentary Sarah Palin: You Betcha! has been acquired by Freestyle Releasing. The plan is to open in New York and Los Angeles on Sept. 30 and … Read More »

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CANNES: Weinstein Company Near Deal For ‘Wettest County’ While Distribs Fret Over Buying Pics Sight-Unseen

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: The Weinstein Company, already on a Cannes acquisition spree, has emerged as the clear frontrunner for  domestic distribution rights on The Wettest County in the World, after another all-night bargaining session between Harvey Weinstein’s acquisition team and CAA. I’m … Read More »

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Sundance: Anchor Bay Acquires Dito Montiel’s ‘The Son Of No One’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Anchor Bay has acquired U.S. distribution rights to the Dito Montiel-directed cop drama The Son Of No One, which was the 2011 Sundance Film Festival’s final premiere last Friday. I’m told the deal was in the $2 million minimum … Read More »

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Sundance: ‘Son Of No One’ Sales Agent Cries Foul Over Trade’s Hatchet Job

Mike Fleming

Cassian Elwes, who’s selling distribution rights to Dito Montiel’s The Son of No One, is crying foul over a barbed trade story about the film’s first Sundance screening. The piece reported that a multitude of buyers were in attendance, and … Read More »

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Sundance: ‘Margin Call’ To Roadside Attractions And Lionsgate

Mike Fleming

The JC Chandor-directed drama Margin Call sold to Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate after an all night bargaining session. The film stars Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Mary McDonnell and Stanley Tucci. That cast … Read More »

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