IFC Films has acquired U.S. rights to Welcome To The Punch, the British thriller written and directed by Eran Creevy. Mark Strong stars as a former criminal forced to return to the underworld, … Read More »
Originally titled Predisposed when it was snapped up by IFC Films after its Sundance premiere, Why Stop Now is about a piano prodigy (Jessie Eisenberg) and his mother (Melissa Leo), who struggles with drug addiction. When she plans to enter rehab the day of her son’s … Read More »
IFC Films’ Your Sister’s Sister trumped the weekend’s openers in a generally quiet weekend in the specialty box office. The Lynn Shelton-directed feature debuted in 13 theaters, grossing $117K for a respectable $9K average. An IFC Films spokesperson said, “It was a solid opening weekend for the film as we will open the top 30 markets this coming weekend.” Sundance doc Marina Abramovic The Artist Is Present bowed in two theaters, grossing just under $11K for a middling $5,495 average. HBO Films came on board for the project after seeing its installation at New York’s Museum of Modern Art and Music Box Films is handling theatrical. Fellow Sundance doc Something From Nothing: The Art Of Rap directed by Ice-T bowed in 157 theaters, grossing $150K for a paltry $955 average.
Read More »
Ben Wheatley’s Sightseers has been picked up just before its premiere Wednesday in the Cannes Film Festival‘s Directors’ Fortnight section. IFC Films has acquired North American rights to the dark comedy, a StudioCanal, Film4 and BFI Presentation … Read More »
The Cannes Film Festival is in full swing and at least two distributors are bowing their Cannes cache this weekend. Zeitgeist Films is debuting Elena in the U.S. The film won awards in Cannes and elsewhere before its long (and somewhat bizarre) road to the screen. Sundance Selects, meanwhile will roll out French César and Cannes winner Polisse in theaters and day-and-date VOD using some of its past offerings as a distribution template. Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black’s directorial debut Virginia opens in limited release and documentary Never Stand Still starts its rollout in New York before heading to other cities.
Director Andrei Zvyagintsev
Writer: Oleg Negin
Cast: Nadezhda Markina, Andrey Smirnov, Aleksey Rozin
Distributor: Zeitgeist Films
Elena started as an English-language project spearheaded by a British producer who had an idea for a film about the Apocalypse. Four directors from four continents were attached, with Zvyagintsev set to represent Europe, but the project fell through. The director didn’t want to give up and pitched it to a number of Russian producers who declined, but finally met producer Alexander Rodnyansky. “It took me one night to read the script, call him back and say that I am ready to produce and finance it,” said Rodnyansky told Deadline. “It has been a very rewarding experience both from the creative and financial points of view.”
With Russian financing set and a Russian-language script, Zvyagintsev cast relative newcomer Nadezhda Markina as the lead, which was a risk. “She’s not a celebrity so to speak,” said Rodnyansky. “In fact, her filmography list is rather short — some minor roles in a few films or TV series.” But the choice turned out well, Rodnyansky said, praising her “nuanced” and “multi-dimensional” approach to the role, which also garnered her some acting nods including the Durban International Film Festival and the Festival Nouveau Cinema Montreal. Also in the cast is Andrey Smirnov, a big name in Russia, having directing some Soviet-era classics. Forced to take a hiatus from filmmaking, he took up acting and appeared in Elena, though even that almost come together due to a conflict with his own return behind the camera after a nearly three decade absence. After a latenight persuasion session aided by a bottle of Calvados, Zvyagintsev along with his wife and son convinced the director/actor to stay on board. “They managed to arrange a special shooting schedule for Smirnov so that he could have fewer shooting days and not to have a long break in his editing,” noted Rodnyansky. Read More »
IFC Films acquired North American rights to the Michael Mohan-directed romantic comedy Save The Date. The pic, scripted by Mohan and graphic novelist Jeffrey Brown and Egan Reich, stars Lizzy Caplan, Alison Brie, Martin Starr, Geoffrey Arend, and Mark Webber. Jordan Horowitz, Michael Roiff, and Michael Huffington produced the project, with Gary Gilbert executive producing. The film premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Read More »
The weekend’s big box office news is of course Lionsgate’s monolithic Hunger Games, but new specialty rollouts managed to have the odds favor them as well, most notably Samuel Goldwyn Films’ October Baby and Sony … Read More »
This weekend’s specialty offerings are comparatively light compared to last week’s openings. A few of this week’s new limited releases are forgoing the typical New York and Los Angeles showings, with Music Box’s The Deep Blue Sea … Read More »
Cherry stars Ashley Hinshaw, Dev Patel, Heather Graham, and James Franco and premiered this year in the Panorama Section at the Berlin International Film Festival. IFC Films has acquired North American rights to the film, which … Read More »
Most indie films struggle financially in the production stage, but the challenges don’t stop when it’s finally time to head into release. Good word of mouth, of course, can be a holy grail in terms of box office for these films, including this week’s spotlight of specialty releases. IFC Films hit the festival circuit with their Belgian feature The Kid With A Bike by auteurs the Dardenne brothers. Robbie Pickering is opening his multiple SXSW ’11 winner Natural Selection, while Tribeca Film is rolling out Detachment. Indie filmmakers the Duplass brothers had a bit more in terms of resources for Jeff Who Lives At Home, though they used their DIY roots to keep costs low, while British filmmakers David Conolly and Hannah Davis sold their home when unexpected expenses came their way on The Understudy.
Directors: Tony Kaye
Writer: Carl Lund
Cast: Adrien Brody, Christina Hendricks, Marcia Gay Harden
Distributor: Tribeca Film
Director Tony Kaye admits a bit of apprehension about how his film Detachment may be perceived in the U.S. Featuring American stars Adrien Brody and Marcia Gay Harden, the film revolves around a substitute teacher who goes to class and discovers a connection to students and teachers with his latest assignment. “There are a lot of people who think it’s a movie about teachers and schools but it’s not,” Kaye told Deadline. “People going in thinking it is will be unhappy about it. Like Star Wars this is not about robots that fight each other. The tricky thing with Detachment is that if you’re going to make a movie about a substitute teacher in an ailing school one would think that’s what the film is about.” What Kaye did make, he explained, is a film about “humanity and people in difficult situations” and how they choose to cope, though without judgment. Kaye added that performance is central to the film, which he said isn’t an “every day occurrence” today and was about getting “great people” to play as many of the roles as possible. Read More »
Once an addendum to the overlapping music event, the SXSW Film Festival solidified itself in the top tier of U.S. film events in the mid-2000s after specialty distributors made it an annual mainstay. And they have been coming back.
SXSW’s not-so-secret trump card may be its overlapping music and tech-centric Interactive events. The throngs of people who attend all three big events certainly exacerbate the annual challenge of finding hotel rooms, making flight reservations and even getting a place to eat in downtown Austin, but the energy of thousands who come to the city has not only been a boon to the festival’s bottom line (it is a for-profit enterprise), but it has developed a creative dynamic that is rarely matched. And clearly so-called Indiewood and beyond have embraced the festival.
“(SXSW) almost always has the most recent innovation and all of a sudden, in the post-Twitter blow up, there were huge groups of people who had never been there going to these three siblings, Music, Film and Interactive,” said Tom Quinn, co-president of new Weinstein Company label Radius. “On any given night it’s hard to tell what is the lifeblood, but from a distributor POV it’s fascinating to see.” Quinn first attended SXSW eight years ago as an exec at Magnolia Pictures, picking up sci-fi feature Monsters at the festival in 2010, one of a number of watershed moments that has kept the event on the map.
Read More »
Predisposed is the bittersweet story of piano prodigy Eli Smith (Jessie Eisenberg) and his mother Penny (Melissa Leo), who despite her cheerful, loving disposition struggles with drug addiction. When Penny plans to enter rehab on the day of … Read More »
IFC Films announced today that it is buying U.S. rights to Mary Harron’s sensual gothic film The Moth Diaries, which played this year at the Toronto and Venice film festivals. Harron also wrote the screenplay, which is based on Rachel … Read More »
IFC Films has acquired North American rights to Bruce Beresford’s dramatic comedy Peace, Love & Misunderstanding, which stars Jane Fonda, Catherine Keener, Chace Crawford, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Elizabeth Olsen and first screened at this year’s Toronto Film Festival. The … Read More »
Joyce McKinney, subject of Errol Morris’ documentary Tabloid, has filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court against the filmmaker and other individuals and associated companies such as Moxie Films, Sundance Select and IFC Films. McKinney alleges among other things misappropriation of likeness, defamation, misrepresentation, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress and breach of contract. McKinney asserts in the suit that she was approached in 2009 and led to believe that her cooperation in a project for a Showtime series would help clear her name in connection with a long-ago scandal. Instead, she claims, the resulting movie held her up to public ridicule and reinforced a false image of her as having kidnapped a Morman missionary in England in 1977 and holding him against his will and repeatedly raping him. She was arrested and British tabloids and TV had a field day with what became known as the “Manacled Mormon” story. McKinney maintains that she was rescuing her fiance from a cult. Read More »
BREAKING: IFC has acquired North American and Latin American distribution rights to Your Sister’s Sister, the Lynn Shelton comedic drama that premiered Sunday at the Toronto Film Festival. At the same time, Studio Canal acquired UK rights and Madman acquired … Read More »