Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
Roadside Attractions will open its Matthew Fox-Tommy Lee Jones starrer Emperor in more than 200 theaters this weekend, making it the largest rollout among new specialty releases. The distributor will follow the previously successful pattern it followed for previous releases Arbitrage and Friends With Kids, although the strategy is not without risk. Cinedigm will attempt to cash in on its doc Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey, which chronicles the rise to fame of a YouTube star into the rock mainstream. Also joining the limited release fray this weekend are two films shot overseas, including Romania’s Beyond The Hills and Germany’s thriller The Silence. And Magnolia genre label Magnet Releasing will open The ABCs Of Death, which it financed. The film shot in over a dozen locations around the world.
Director: Peter Webber
Writers: Vera Blasi, David Klass, Shiro Okamoto
Cast: Matthew Fox, Colin Moy, Tommy Lee Jones, Kaori Momoi, Takataro Kataoka
Distributor: Roadside Attractions
Roadside Attractions first saw Emperor last summer ahead of its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival. It centers on U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur (Jones) who must decide what to do with Japan’s wartime monarch, Hirohito. “People don’t know he was considered a potential war criminal,” noted Roadside chief Howard Cohen. “The Nuremberg Trials are a very well-known post-war event [in Europe], but the end of the war in Japan is less known.” Similarly to Roadside’s recent midsize rollouts, Emperor will open in 259 theaters this weekend. Read More »
Cannes Film Festival stalwarts Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne are likely to be in the main competition again this year for producing Cristian Mungiu’s Beyond The Hills, a near-certain lock for a slot. In the meantime, Jean-Pierre and a jury of 5 will judge the Cinéfondation and short films in selection. Cinéfondation pics hail from film school students and three are awarded prizes that come with a purse of €15,000, €11,250 and €7,500 respectively. The short-film competition has in the past discovered such directors as Jane Campion, Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Lynne Ramsay. Along with his brother, Dardenne is a multiple Palme d’Or winner. The Belgian directing, screenwriting and producing partners have shared 4 Cannes awards in recent years, most recently in 2011 for The Kid With A Bike, which took the Grand Prize. Prior to that, they won the Palme d’Or in 1999 for Rosetta and in 2005 for The Child. They also took the screenwriting award for Lorna’s Silence in 2008. Cannes runs from May 16-27.
UPDATE, SATURDAY AM: IFC’s sister label Sundance Selects has acquired U.S. rights to Mungiu’s film, which now has a title: Beyond The Hills. The official announcement was made today. The release follows the original exclusive below.
PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, FRIDAY PM: IFC has acquired U.S. rights to Cristian Mungiu’s upcoming untitled film that’s expected to turn up as an official selection in Cannes. The Romanian director’s first feature since 2007′s Palme d’Or winner 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days centers on a young woman’s descent into madness at an Orthodox convent. Wild Bunch, which is co-producing and handling international sales, also concluded deals in Spain, France, Greece, Israel, Mexico and Colombia at the European Film Market. IFC has also acquired Wild Bunch’s Hélène Fillières-directed Tied, which stars Benoît Poelvoorde and Laetitia Casta as a banker and his mistress in a sadomasochistic relationship. That film sold in the UK to Momentum along with several other territories including Switzerland, Russia, Israel, South Korea, Singapore and Turkey. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Wild Bunch is reteaming with Cristian Mungiu for the 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days helmer’s first feature effort since his 2007 Palme d’Or winning drama. Along with repping sales on the new film, Wild Bunch is producing with France’s Why Not and Mungiu. Set in an Orthodox convent in Romania, the story centers on a young woman’s descent into madness, her subsequent exorcism and the police investigation it sparks. Wild Bunch’s Vincent Maraval tells me the genre film has elements of 4 Months, but with a much more intense twist. Wild Bunch will commence pre-sales in Berlin and is eyeing a Cannes delivery date. Also on Wild Bunch’s Berlin sales slate are a series of titles likely to see play in the official selections at Cannes including West Beyrouth director Ziad Doueiri’s The Attack, a film that was previously in development at Focus. Based on the best-selling book by Yasmina Khadra, the film is about a Palestinian doctor who discovers uncomfortable truths about his wife following a suicide bombing attack. Wild Bunch has also boarded Broken, stage director Rufus Norris’ feature debut starring Tim Roth, Cillian Murphy, Rory Kinnear and Bill Milner. Adapted from Daniel Clay’s novel, story follows the turmoil a young girl faces after witnessing a violent attack. Maraval says the film could be a contender Read More »