Ben Friedman Joins UK’s Icon Film Distribution As Acquisitions Manager

iconThe UK’s recently relaunched Icon Film Distribution has appointed former Weinstein Co exec Ben Friedman as Acquisitions Manager. The hire is the latest in IFD’s renewal since it received backing from investment firm New Sparta to return to distribution … Read More »

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Berlin Briefs: Protagonist Selling ‘The Legend Of Shorty’; Icon Returns To UK Distribution With Big Slate; Content Has ‘He Who Dares’ Sequel; Memento Is ‘Energized’

berlinaleofficialposterProtagonist Pictures is launching international sales at the EFM this week on Angus Macqueen and Guillermo Galdos’ feature documentary The Legend Of Shorty. The film world premieres at SXSW in the Documentary Spotlight section in March. Submarine is co-repping the film for North America with Protagonist. Produced by Simon Chinn (Searching For Sugar Man, Man On Wire) and Andrew Mackenzie-Betty (Thriller In Manila), the film focuses on ‘El Chapo’, aka Joaquin Guzman, the most powerful drugs lord in history – and one of the world’s most wanted men. The near mythical figure has evaded capture for over 10 years, and is alternately described as a brilliant business visionary, an amoral and ruthless murderer, a revolutionary hero and a latter-day Robin Hood. The Legend Of Shorty is produced by Red Box Films, Twofour and Ronachan Films, with funding from Film4, WGBH Frontline, Discovery Latin America and BFI. Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Prix Louis Delluc To ‘Blue Is The Warmest Color’; Sergio Leone Heirs Launch Leone Film Group IPO; More

‘Blue Is The Warmest Color’ Nabs France’s Prix Louis Delluc
Blue Is the Warmest ColorFrance’s prestigious Prix Louis Delluc has gone to Blue Is The Warmest Color. The Cannes Palme d’Or winner directed by Abdellatif Kechiche is famously not France’s Oscar entry this year due to the timing of its release, but just nabbed a Golden Globe nomination and has an Indie Spirit nom as well as a handful of critics’ prizes. Cannes President Gilles Jacob oversees the jury for the Delluc award, which was established in 1937. Last year’s winner was Benoit Jacquot’s Farewell, My Queen. The best first film Delluc went this year to Vandal by Hélier Cisterne.

Sergio Leone Estate Launching IPO Of Leone Film Group
alamogoodbadugly_8The heirs of spaghetti Western maestro Sergio Leone are planning an IPO of the Leone Film Group to kick off Wednesday. The company is eyeing a listing on Milan’s small-cap market and, according to The Wall Street Journal, is hoping to raise about €17M with a sale of a 20% stake. The move is designed to help expand the company’s 400-title film library, its own production output and to sign more distribution agreements with U.S. filmmakers. The group has a deal with DreamWorks and also has picked up such recent titles as Ron Howard’s Rush and Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf Of Wall Street. Leone’s heirs, Andrea and Raffaella, are also looking to pitch their father’s brand to a younger audience. The pair has bought back rights to most of Leone’s movies and is now looking to make deals for spaghetti western-style areas in U.S. theme parks, the Journal report says. Read More »

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