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Sean Durkin To Direct, Tony Grisoni To Script Channel 4 Mini ‘Southcliffe’

In an interesting pairing, Martha Marcy May Marlene helmer Sean Durkin will make his British TV debut with Channel 4 drama Southcliffe, based on a script by Tony Grisoni, who wrote the Red Riding trilogy for the net in 2009. Warp Films is producing the four-part Southcliffe to be aired in 2013.

Following a raft of shootings in a fictional English market town, the story is told through the eyes of a journalist and the tragedies’ victims. Grisoni calls it an “anthem to ordinary people’s ability to reinvent themselves in the face of ultimate darkness.” His similarly-themed neo-noir Red Riding crime trilogy achieved cult status in 2009. It was released theatrically by IFC in the U.S.

Durkin, who won the Best Director prize in Sundance with Martha Marcy, is also directing the feature indie, Joplin, next year. The $20M pic looks at the last 6 months in the singer’s career and has Tony-winning actress Nina Arianda lined up to star. Southcliffe‘s cast has yet to be set. Derrin Schlesinger is producing Soutchliffe with Peter Carlton exec producing for Warp Films. Sophie Gardiner exec produces for Channel 4.

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London Film Festival Sets Program As George Clooney Global Tour Continues

Mike Fleming

The 55th BFI London Film Festival has set its slate for the 16-day festival that runs Oct. 12-27. It’s composed mostly of the high-profile films that will have made their debuts at the Venice, Telluride, Toronto and New York film festivals. The festival previously announced Fernando Meirelles’ 360 as its opener, and other highlights include George Clooney’s The Ides of March as well as The Descendants, the Alexander Payne film that stars Clooney. Lynne Ramsay’s We Need to Talk About Kevin, Michael Winterbottom’s Trishna, Roland Emmerich’s Anonymous, Madona’s W.E., Steve McQueen’s Shame, David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method and Michel Hazanavicius’ celebrated silent film The Artist are all on the docket for the Gala Premiere section.

The Film on the Square program includes the Roman Polanski-directed Carnage, Gus Van Sant’s Restless, the Paolo Sorrentino-directed Sean Penn-starrer This Must Be the Place, Oren Moverman’s Rampart, Dee Rees’ Pariah and Sean Durkin’s Martha Marcy May Marlene.

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Sundance: Fox Searchlight Buys ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene’

Mike Fleming

PARK CITY, UT January 24, 2011 – Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula announced today that the company has acquired worldwide rights to the suspenseful drama MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE. Written and directed by Sean Durkin, MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE stars Elizabeth Olsen, Sarah Paulson, John Hawkes and Hugh Dancy. Maybach Cunningham and FilmHaven entertainment present a Borderline Films Production in association with This Is that. The film was produced by Josh Mond, Antonio Campos, Chris Maybach and Patrick Cunningham. Ted Hope, Matt Palmieri, Saerom Kim, Saemi Kim and Alexander Schepsman are executive producers with Andrew Corkin as co-producer. The film is scheduled to be released in 2011.

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Sundance: Screenings Start Very Sloooow; Buyers Circle ‘The Guard’ With Don Cheadle

Mike Fleming

On the second day of Sundance, buyers were beginning to get antsy. The first screenings generated moderate interest, but buyers haven’t loved anything and only liked a few films. So far, the consensus is that the unveiled crop of films can’t be released on a high screen count. Deals will be made on these initial films, but not rich ones. The most promising reaction so far came opening day for John Michael McDonagh-directed Irish film The Guard, which stars Brendan Gleeson as a cranky village cop who’s mismatched with a visiting FBI agent (Don Cheadle) because the drug smuggling ring the fed was chasing had taken up residence in the Irish town. By Friday night, three buyers were circling the film. The director is the brother of In Bruges helmer Martin McDonagh. The Guard isn’t quite In Bruges (which also starred Gleeson) but it is a crowd-pleaser.

Several buyers said that Margin Call, the JC Chandor-directed drama about the financial meltdown of 2008, was compelling but long.

The pic Martha Marcy May Marlene has the buying crowd talking about its star, Elizabeth Olsen, who’s the younger sibling of the infamous Olsen Twins and also appears in Silent House, the thriller directed by Open Waters team Chris Kentis and Laura Lau. But respect for a performance doesn’t necessarily mean a buy. Silent House is a haunted house story told in one continuous shot, which meant the cast had to perform it all the way through, like a … Read More »

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