Word has just gone out internally that Focus Features International is shuttering in December. There were 16 people who worked there, most of them will be out of jobs, and the London office is closing by year’s end. This …
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.
Focus Features International will sell worldwide rights to the untitled biopic that Julien Temple will direct with Rent and Law & Order‘s Jesse L. Martin starring as the iconic soul singer with the sweet voice and troubled personal life. Script is by Matthew Broughton, and In Bruges‘ Brendan Gleeson will play the role of Freddy Cousaert, who met Marvin Gaye in 1981 in the Belgian fishing village of Ostend when the singer was battling everything from drug problems to the IRS. Cousaert helped the singer regain his mojo, leading to a comeback that included hits like Sexual Healing. Vicky Krieps (Hanna) also stars and Dwight Henry (the bakery owner who played Hushpuppy’s father in Beasts Of The Southern Wild) will play Gaye’s father, who silenced his son with a gunshot.
London (April 24, 2013) – Focus Features International (FFI) will handle worldwide sales on director Asif Kapadia’s (Senna, The Warrior) untitled documentary on five-time Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse. Using unseen archive footage, the film will show through her own words, the genius in Amy’s art and the moving and tragic story of this young woman from London.
James Gay-Rees (Senna, Exit Through the Gift Shop) will produce through Playmaker Films, Gay-Rees and Kapadia’s new production entity, and the film will be co-produced by Universal Music. Gay-Rees and Kapadia collaborated on their acclaimed documentary Senna, which won numerous awards including two BAFTA Awards for Best Documentary and Editing in 2012. Focus Features International will introduce the project to buyers in Cannes.
October 31, 2012 – Academy-Award nominated director and producer Ridley Scott (Prometheus, Blade Runner) and Scott Free London are partnering with Orchard Media and Focus Features International on a slate of six genre low-budget feature films over a period of three years. Ridley Scott will executive produce and present the slate which will be focused primarily on horror, thriller and science fiction. The films will be in association with Northern Ireland Screen and will shoot primarily in Northern Ireland using resident crew, cast, services and facilities. Focus Features International will handle world-wide sales.
Ridley Scott said: “Our target is to create a structure that enables filmmakers to push boundaries and to excite audiences. Our proposed model of filmmaking allows us to give directors the opportunity to really innovate through narrative, production techniques and distribution strategies.”
Focus Features International’s Alison Thompson commented: “There’s an appetite and market for high-concept low budget films – that combined with Ridley Scott’s pedigree will be very attractive to international buyers.”
London (August 13, 2012) – Focus Features International will handle sales on Woody Allen’s next and currently untitled film starring Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, Louis C.K., Bobby Cannavale, Andrew Dice Clay, Michael Emerson, Sally Hawkins, Peter Sarsgaard, Max Casella and Alden Ehrenreich. Principal photography on the film will begin in San Francisco and New York City this month.
Focus Features International handled sales on Allen’s last film, To Rome with Love starring Allen, Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penélope Cruz, Judy Davis, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig and Ellen Page.