Global Showbiz Briefs: Éclair Group Raises $16.6M; OWN Heads To Oz; Depardieu Breaks Silence; LoveFilm Streams Dis Pics

By | Monday June 17, 2013 @ 9:00pm PDT

France’s Éclair Group Raises $16.6M Digital Switch, Development
Here’s some good news for France’s troubled postproduction sector. The Éclair Group has raised €12.4M ($16.6M) to complete its digital transition and speed up development across all of its businesses. The recapitalization was financed by the company’s current management, France’s Fonds de Consolidation et Développement des Entreprises, and by Tarak Ben Ammar’s Quinta Communications. (Ben Ammar had acquired 43% of Éclair back in 2007 and was keen to merge it with his LTC Laboratories but was blocked by the competition authority at the time.) Éclair will also use the funds to strengthen its restoration business and to equip French cinemas in partnership with Deluxe and HP.

OWN Programming Heading Down Under
OWN and Discovery Networks International are planning a weekly block of OWN programming for Discovery Home & Health in Australia. Starting August 4, Aussie viewers will have access to shows that include Oprah’s Next Chapter, Super Soul Sunday, America With Lisa Ling and The Oprah Winfrey Show: Behind The Scenes. The Australia bow will follow the recent UK launch of OWN programming on TLC. Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Iran Disses ‘Argo’ After Oscar Win, ‘I Want Your Love’ Banned In Oz, HBO Go Launches In Asia, Depardieu In Chechnya & More

By | Monday February 25, 2013 @ 9:00pm PST

Iran Dismisses ‘Argo’ As “Anti-Iran”, Pro-CIA
Iran’s culture minister blasted Argo, day after it won the Best Picture Oscar, calling it anti-Iranian and weak artistically. Iran’s state TV also called the movie “an advertisement for the CIA.” “This anti-Iran film lacks any artistic aspects and it is a very weak film from an artistic perspective and we don’t expect anything else from the enemy,” Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Mohammad Hosseini said, according to the semi-official Mehr news agency and reported by Reuters. Mehr called the Oscar “politically motivated” because first lady Michelle Obama joined Jack Nicholson via video link from Washington to help present the best picture award. Argo has not screened in any Iranian theaters but the movie has been widely available on bootleg DVDs in the black market in Tehran. The Iran hostage drama also won best film editing and best adapted screenplay. Read More »

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Global Showbiz: Gérard Depardieu (Again), Oz’s ‘Reckoning’, Nine, ‘Doctor Who’

By | Thursday January 3, 2013 @ 8:39pm PST

Gérard Depardieu Embraces Russia Citizenship Offer
Actor Gérard Depardieu has hailed Russia’s decision to grant him citizenship following a tax spat with the government of his native France. In an open letter broadcast on Russian TV Depardieu said, “I filed a passport application and I am pleased that it was accepted. I love your country, Russia — its people, its history, its writers. I love your culture, your intelligence.” The actor said he had spoken to French President Francois Hollande and told him Russia was “a great democracy, and not a country where the prime minister calls one of its citizens shabby” — referring to how French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault described Depardieu’s decision to leave the country. Depardieu’s tax feud began last year after Hollande moved to raise taxes to 75% for those earning more than €1M ($1.6M). The actor accused the new socialist government of punishing “success, creation and talent” and announced in early December he would move to Belgium. Wonder how he feels about Wild Bunch film sales exec Vincent Maraval’s remarks accusing French actors of abusing the nation’s generous film subsidy system and getting “rich from public funds”.

Larrikin Entertainment Boards Australian Thriller ‘The Reckoning’
Greg Coote’s LA-based Larrikin Entertainment has boarded its first Australian film, The Reckoning. Callan McAuliffe, who plays the young Jay Gatsby in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, is set to star. Writer-director John V. Soto’s thriller focuses on a detective racing to find two teenage runaways who have video of a murderer. Filmscope Entertainment’s Deidre Kitcher tells Deadline pre-production will start in Perth in February, and with the rest of the cast to be announced later this month. Lightning Entertainment has worldwide sales rights excluding Australia. Coote and Larrikin partner David Calvert-Jones and exec Robert Lundberg will serve as exec producers. Kitcher raised funds from Screen West, private investors, the 40% producer offset and Lightning. Soto’s most recent pic Needle was released in the U.S. by Lionsgate. – Don Groves
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Gérard Depardieu Given Russian Citizenship By Vladimir Putin

By | Thursday January 3, 2013 @ 7:50am PST

Last month, shortly after Gérard Depardieu publicly declared that he was giving up his French papers, the actor said that Russian president Vladimir Putin had already sent him a passport. Although Depardieu’s comments were taken as a joke at the time, Putin weighed in before the holidays, saying, “If Gérard wants a visa or a Russian passport, it’s settled.” Today, the Kremlin announced that a decree has been signed granting Russian citizenship to Depardieu. Whether the Oscar-nominated actor will accept the new status remains to be seen. He is not, however, expected to change his mind about remaining in France where he has been at the center of a media and political maelstrom ever since deciding to move to neighboring Néchin, Belgium in the face of expected tax increases. The new French government’s plan to impose a 75% tax on people earning more than 1M euros a year ($1.3M) was kiboshed by the Constitutional Council last weekend, but Depardieu said on Sunday that it “changed nothing” for him. Earlier in December, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault called Depardieu’s proposed fiscal exile “pathetic” and the actor shot back in an open letter that he was turning in his French passport. Read More »

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Gérard Depardieu Says He’s Giving Up French Passport After Prime Minister Calls Actor’s Tax Exile “Pathetic”

By | Sunday December 16, 2012 @ 7:13pm PST

Gérard Depardieu has made headlines for things other than his acting before, but his decision to move to Belgium has taken the media – and French political circles – by storm. Although it is unlikely to affect his career, the Oscar nominee, in a letter published in today’s Journal Du Dimanche, says he is returning his French passport after being called “pathetic” by French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. The new French government has imposed a controversial 75% income tax on individuals earning more than 1M euros and Depardieu recently purchased a property across the French border in Néchin, Belgium where taxes are lower. This prompted Ayrault to tell France 2 television last week, “I find it quite pathetic to go just over the border. All this in order to not pay taxes.” Depardieu has inqured about obtaining a Belgian passport, the mayor of Néchin said Sunday, which would normally allow him to continue working in France under European Union rules. The actor is France’s best paid and perhaps most prolific. For 2012 and 2013, there are at least 10 films on his dance card and he may play a French politician embroiled in a sex scandal for Abel Ferrara later this year. Depardieu’s colorful reponse to Ayrault is excerpted below: Read More »

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Abel Ferrara and Gérard Depardieu Team For Dominique Strauss-Kahn Scandal Pic

By | Monday February 6, 2012 @ 10:40am PST

American director Abel Ferrara told France’s Le Monde newspaper that he will make a film about disgraced French politician and former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Gérard Depardieu will play the principal role in the film that will … Read More »

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Gerard Depardieu May Star As IMF Chief As Abel Ferrara Preps Sex Scandal Movie

By | Monday December 26, 2011 @ 12:48pm PST

EXCLUSIVE: Abel Ferrara and screenwriter Christ Zois are indeed working on a feature script partly inspired by this summer’s sex scandal surrounding former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Wild Bunch’s Vincent Maraval has confirmed it. Gérard Depardieu and Isabelle … Read More »

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Anderson Cooper Can’t Stop Giggling Over Poo-Poo Joke

By | Wednesday August 17, 2011 @ 11:54pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

It has been a wild night at CNN. First, Christine O’Donnell walked out on Piers Morgan in the middle of an interview. Then fellow anchor Anderson Cooper channeled his inner toddler when he giggled for about a minute over a poo-poo joke. The instigator was a RidicuList item about … Read More »

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TORONTO: ‘Potiche’ Headed For Music Box

Mike Fleming

Toronto has just gotten underway, but the deals are falling from the sky already. I’m hearing that Wild Bunch is close to making a deal for Music Box to distribute Potiche in the U.S. The Francois Ozon-directed French farce stars Catherine Deneuve … Read More »

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