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Universal Pictures International Says Oui To Trio Of French Films

Setting up its 2013 French release slate, UPI will co-produce and distribute Alexandre Castagnetti’s sophomore feature, Amour Et Turbulences. The Devil’s Double‘s Ludivine Sagnier and The Players‘ Nicolas Bedos star as a volatile former couple who meet up on a NY-Paris flight. Mathieu Robinet and Julien Ralanto at Révérence are producing with Manchester Films and Thelma Films. Shooting starts July 16. UPI has also boarded French-speaking territories on a pair of comedies. Family adventure La Vraie Vie Des Profs is from directors Emmanuel Klotz and Albert Pereira-Lazaro and Persepolis producers Xavier Rigault and Marc-Antoine Robert at 2.4.7. Films. The Intouchables‘ Audrey Fleurot stars with Lucien Jean-Baptiste. A Coup Sur, about a young career woman who sets out to prove she’s the best lover in Paris after some criticism from an ex-boyfriend, is from writer-director Delphine de Vigan. De Vigan wrote last year’s Tu Seras Mon Fils, which UPI also handled. Jean-Pierre Jeunet collaborators Frédéric Brillion and Gilles Legrand at Epithète Films are producing. UPI France is also prepping the October 31 release of Heartbreaker director Pascal Chaumeil’s Un Plan Parfait starring Diane Kruger and Dany Boon. Heartbreaker was a big hit for the distributor, clearing $29.8M at the local box office in 2010.

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Big Drama At Closing Night Of L.A. Film Fest

Pete Hammond

2011 Los Angeles Film Festival Winners

The closing-night film of the 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival, Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark, was designed to scare the crap out of the audience. But who knew the real nightmares would come from the actual screening itself.

Just an hour into the world premiere of the movie Sunday night the Regal L.A. Live theater, the emergency warning system started flashing lights accompanied by a siren-like noise and an announcement that audience members should vacate the premises immediately due to an “emergency in the building.” Everyone got up and marched outside before the all-clear was quickly declared (a false alarm), the auditorium filled again and the film restarted at the crucial point it left off. And you wonder why producers get ulcers.

But THAT was nothing compared to the nightmare end of the movie that surrounded audience members from that screening (and the overflow house upstairs) who simultaneously had to retrieve their cellphones and BlackBerrys that had been seized for fear of piracy when they entered the theater. The crush as final credits rolled was mammoth as theater personnel slowly took claim tickets and acted like they were on a scavenger hunt. The guy searching for my phone finally came back and rather pathetically asked me, ‘Uh, what color is it?’ to which I replied ‘Black,’ like every single other friggin’ one there.

FilmDistrict (which is releasing the film Aug. 26) distribution honcho Bob Berney came over during the forced intermission of the showing to say that co-writer/producer Guillermo del Toro thought the unplanned interruption was the dirty work of Bob Weinstein or the MPAA (which gave his film an unwanted ‘R’ rating for “violence and terror,” particularly since it involved a minor, according to Berney). Read More »

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Cannes Closer Is Christophe Honore’s ‘Les Bien-aimes’

Mike Fleming

Christophe Honore’s Les Bien-aimés (The Beloved) has been selected the Closing Night film of the 64th Cannes Film Festival. The film will screen out of competition on Sunday May 22, 2011, after the prizes are handed out. Honore’s film stars Catherine Deneuve, Ludivine Sagnier, Chiara Mastroiani, Milos Forman, Louis Garrel, Michel Delpech and Paul Schneider. They embody characters that draw us into Prague of the sixties, London of the ’80s, the world of Sept. 11 and Paris of today.

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