Pawel Pawlikowski‘s Ida follows a young nun in 1960s Poland who’s on the verge of taking her vows but discovers a dark family secret dating back to the Nazi occupation. Agata Trzebuchowska and Agata Kulesza star in the film, which won the international critics’ FIPRESCI Prize at Toronto and Best Film at the BFI London Film Festival last year. Ida is Polish-born Pawlikowski’s first film set in his homeland following his breakthrough films The Last Resort and BAFTA-winning My Summer Of Love. Ida opens May 2 in Los Angeles at Laemmle’s Royal. Have a look at the trailer:
Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s psychological thriller Penance (Shokuzai) first aired on Japanese TV early last year as a serial drama. Music Box Films will release it theatrically in summer 2014 after snagging distribution rights for the U.S., Canada, UK and Ireland, followed by DVD and digital rollouts. It’s the latest addition to Music Box’s slate of foreign TV acquisitions joining Sweden’s Wallander, Germany’s Generation War and France’s The Returned. Penance begins when a mysterious stranger approaches a group of young girls, then kidnaps and brutally murders one of them. Wracked with grief, the victim’s unhinged mother demands that the four survivors identify the killer or face a penance of her choosing. They grow up in the shadow of that tragic debt. Music Box president William Schopf negotiated the deal with Miyuki Takamatsu of Free Stone Productions on behalf of Japanese network WOWOW.
The latest drama from the director of My Summer Of Love and Last Resort is coming to North America via Music Box Films. Pawel Pawlikowski‘s Ida follows a young nun in 1960s Poland who’s on the verge of taking her vows but discovers a dark family secret dating back to the Nazi occupation. Agata Trzebuchowska and Agata Kulesza star in the film, which won the international critics’ FIPRESCI Prize at Toronto this monthand also played fests including Telluride and London. Music Box plans a winter/spring North American festival campaign followed by a theatrical release late in the second quarter of 2014.
Roger Michell’s bittersweet Le Week-End is making the festival rounds this month. It’s already played Toronto and San Sebastian, and next heads to Rio before sreening at the New York Film Festival on September 29th. Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan play a couple visiting Paris on their 30th wedding anniversary as long-established tensions spill out in humorous, and painful, ways. Jeff Goldblum also stars as an old friend. Hanif Kureshi wrote the script. Le Week-End goes out in the UK on October 11th via Artificial Eye. Music Box Films is releasing in the U.S. in February next year:
Sundance Channel has acquired U.S. broadcast rights to the eight-part French supernatural drama The Returned from Music Box Films. The series, created by Fabrice Gobert and distributed by Zodiak Rights, is based on the feature film Les Revenants by Robin Campillo. It will premiere on Sundance Channel on Halloween, October 31, and air every Thursday night at 9 PM. “We decided to take zombies to a new and utterly original level — we made them French!” stated Sarah Barnett, President of Sundance Channel. In an idyllic French mountain town, a seemingly random collection of people find themselves in a state of confusion as they attempt to return to their homes. What they don’t know yet is that they have been dead for several years, and no one is expecting them back. Their arrival also coincides with a series of gruesome murders which bear a chilling resemblance to the work of a serial killer from the past. The Returned was a breakout hit for France’s Canal Plus when it premiered last fall and also did very well on UK’s Channel 4, drawing an average of 1.5 viewers. A second season of eight episodes goes into production in France in early 2014. The Sundance acquisition comes on the heels of Zodiak selling The Returned‘s U.S. rights to Music Box, which announced a VOD/DVD release set for January. There also is an English-language adaptation in the works.
The Returned (Les Revenants) originally aired in France on Canal Plus last fall. Since then, the UK’s Channel 4 broadcast the first series, renamed Rebound, drawing an average 1.5 million viewers each week. A second season of eight episodes goes into production in France in early 2014. Zodiak is handling international and has sold all U.S. rights on the first season to Music Box Films for a VOD/DVD release in January. This will follow an as-yet undisclosed U.S. TV debut in October. Created by Fabrice Gobert and produced by Caroline Benjo, Jimmy Desmarais and Carole Scotta of Haut et Court, the show centers on a group of people in a small Alpine village who find themselves in a state of confusion, trying to return to their homes. What they don’t know is that they’ve been dead for several years, and no one is expecting them back. Anne Consigny, Clotilde Hesme, Celine Sallette, Frederic Pierrot, Samir Guesmi and Guillaume Gouix star. (Separately there is an English-language adaptation in the works, to which Shameless creator Paul Abbott was previously attached.) Music Box and Zodiak previously collaborated on the release of the film adaptations of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy and of Swedish series Wallander.
Music Box Films acquired U.S. rights to the Mark Mori-directed Bettie Page Reveals All, the documentary about the pinup queen who shattered taboos in her time and helped usher in the sexual revolution. Music Box Films will open the pic theatrically in New York and Los Angeles November 29, and roll out from there. The film is based on interviews Mori taped with Page before her death in 2008. She went from poverty in the South to a career as a scandalous 50s pin-up model. The film also uncovers previously unknown details about Bettie’s many torrid affairs, told from both her and her lovers’ perspectives, and an abrupt retirement in 1957 from modeling. There are broken marriages, born-again Christianity, and bouts of mental illness involved, before she resurfaced in the 90s, oblivious to her cult status. Music Box president William Schopf negotiated the deal directly with the filmmaker.
Mads Mikkelsen, last year’s Cannes best actor winner – and TV’s Hannibal – plays the titular Michael Kohlhaas in the Arnaud des Pallières drama. Chicago-based Music Box Films has acquired all U.S. and Canadian rights in what is the first North American deal on a Competition title since the fest started on Wednesday (Worldwview picked up Jimmy P. ahead of the proceedings). The film is freely adapted from the 1811 Heinrich von Kleist novel which served as the inspiration for E.L. Doctorow’s Ragtime. It’s being sold by longtime Michael Haneke collaborator Les Films du Losange, whose chief, Margaret Ménégoz, produced Amour. The story follows a prosperous and honest 16th century horse merchant who falls victim to an injustice and raises an army to restore his rights. Produced by Les Films d’Ici (Waltz With Bashir), the movie sold ahead of its first market screening. This is des Pallières’ first film to secure U.S. distribution. The cast also includes Bruno Ganz, Sergi Lopez and Holy Motors‘ Dennis Lavant. The deal was negotiated by Music Box consultant James Brown and Films du Losange’s Agathe Valentin. Music Box plans a 4th quarter 2013 theatrical release.
Chicago, IL…Music Box Films has acquired all US rights to AUGUSTINE, the debut feature film from French writer-director Alice Winokou starring Vincent Lindon, Soko and Chiara Mastroianni.
AUGUSTINE is an examination of the real case story and unusual relationship between Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot, the pioneering 19th century French neurologist and his star teenage patient. The film had its international premiere in Critics’ Week of the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, and will make its U.S. debut in Rendez Vous With French Cinema this March. Music Box Films plans a spring 2013 release.
Hyde Park On Hudson director Roger Michell‘s Le Weekend is currently in post-production after wrapping a Paris shoot at the end of last year. Music Box has taken U.S. rights on the film that stars Jim Broadbent, Lindsay Duncan and Jeff Goldblum. Broadbent and Duncan play a married couple who visit the City of Lights to revitalize their marriage. There, they run into an old friend (Goldblum) who gives them a new way to look at life and love. Hanif Kureshi wrote the script. Michell and producing partner Kevin Loader’s Free Range Films produced in association with Le Bureau for Curzon Film Rights, Film4 and the BFI Film Fund. Sue Bruce Smith is exec producer for Film4 with Curzon’s Philip Knatchbull & Louisa Dent. Bertrand Faivre is co-producer for Le Bureau. International sales are handled by Embankment Films which has also sold Le Weekend in more than 20 territories including Italy (Lucky Red), Germany (Prokino), Australia (Transmission) and the UK (Artificial Eye).
The 1970s-set drama stars Alan Cumming and Garret Dillahunt as a gay couple who take on a biased legal system in a fight to adopt a mentally handicapped teenager they’ve rescued from a bad home. Travis Fine directed and co-wrote Any Day Now with George Arthur Bloom, and Music Box acquired it in September after it shared the Audience Award this spring at Tribeca. It’s due out December 14.
Chicago, IL…Music Box Films has acquired all US and Canadian rights to ANY DAY NOW, directed by Travis Fine, written by Fine and George Arthur Bloom, and starring Alan Cumming and Garret Dillahunt. The film will be released theatrically in North America beginning this December.
Inspired by a true story, ANY DAY NOW tells of a gay couple in the 1970s that takes in an abandoned mentally handicapped teenager and becomes the family he’s never had. When their unconventional living arrangement is discovered by the authorities, the men must fight a biased legal system to adopt the child they have come to love as their own. While touching on legal and social issues that are more relevant now than ever, ANY DAY NOW also addresses universal themes of love and acceptance.
The deal was negotiated by Preferred Content’s Christine D’Souza and Kevin Iwashina with Music Box Films’ William Schopf and Ed Arentz.
New York, NY (May 16, 2012) – Music Box Films announced today that the company is acquiring all North American rights to Sean Baker’s STARLET, a provocative showcase for newcomer Dree Hemingway (great granddaughter of Ernest and daughter of Mariel). STARLET premiered in competition at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival, where it was one of the most buzzed about and risqué titles.
STARLET explores the unlikely cross-generational friendship between 21 year-old Jane (Hemingway), and the elderly Sadie (Besedka Johnson), two women whose worlds collide in California’s San Fernando Valley. After a confrontation between the women at Sadie’s yard sale, Jane uncovers a hidden stash of money inside a relic from Sadie’s past. Jane attempts to befriend the caustic older woman in an effort to solve her dilemma and secrets emerge as their relationship grows.
Cate Shortland’s debut, Somersault, premiered in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes in 2004 and starred the then-relative newcomer Abbie Cornish and a pre-Avatar Sam Worthington. Shortland picks up that film’s theme of the coming of age of a young girl with her second effort, Lore, based on the book The Dark Room by Rachel Seiffert. Set in 1945 Germany at the end of the war, the story follows five children whose Nazi parents have been taken into custody by the Allies. The kids set out across the country to find their grandmother and along the way are exposed to the reality and consequences of their parents’ actions. When they meet a young Jewish refugee, the eldest girl, Lore, is transfixed by her fear of the young man, but in order to survive must trust the one person whom she has always been taught is the enemy. After screening footage in Berlin, Music Box has now snapped up US rights from French sales outfit Memento Films International. The deal was negotiated by Music Box’s William Schopf and Memento’s Tanja Meissner. Lore is produced by Germany’s Rohfilm, Oz’s Porchlight Films and Scotland’s Edge City Films. Shortland and Robin Mukherjee wrote the script. Pic will be ready for Cannes and is one of two titles Memento could have in selection. The company is also handling Laurent Cantet’s English-language Foxfire, the director’s first feature since Palme d’Or-winner The Class, which Memento also … Read More »
With all eyes focused on Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games this weekend, not many will notice Music Box Films’ quiet limited (NY, LA, Miami) launch of their 2011 Toronto Film Festival pickup The Deep Blue Sea. It’s the first narrative film in over a decade from British director Terence Davies — his last was 2000′s The House Of Mirth – and stars Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz in another Oscar-bait role. Davies did do a highly regarded 2008 documentary, Of Time And The City, in the long interim between narrative projects.
With an impressive 84% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes and major raves today from the NY and LA Times among others, Weisz and the film are winning the kind of top reviews that Oscar voters usually notice. In fact, Music Box was toying with the idea of opening the heavy relationship drama for a week in December in order to qualify for the last Oscars but finally decided it was not in the film’s best interests to rush it out there — especially with such a competitive Best Actress race already going on. Plus, Weisz had another potential awards role with the August release The Whistleblower, so it might have just confused things, though as it turned out the Samuel Goldwyn Co did not end up campaigning Whistleblower in any significant way. A March opening for Deep Blue Sea is a tough time for releasing Oscar contenders and hoping they will be remembered. Nevertheless Weisz’s emotionally naked performance as a 1950′s-era woman caught in an unsatisfying marriage and embarking on a torrid affair with a younger man (played by War Horse’s Tom Hiddleston) is the kind of thing actors crave, and it’s certainly one of the few female roles of any real substance to surface at this early point in the year. 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 heading to both cities and some suburban locations in those metropolitan areas as well as south Florida. Likewise Paladin’s Musical Chairs will roll out in south Florida and will hold off on L.A. until the second weekend. Sony Classics will take The Raid: Redemption to 10 “exclusive runs” this weekend after screening the film at recent festivals this year hoping to build momentum. IFC Films, meanwhile, is hitting NYC and LA with its sci-fi fantasy 4:44 Last Day On Earth with Willem Dafoe.
The Deep Blue Sea
Director: Terence Davies
Writers: Terence Davies, Terence Rattigan
Cast: Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston and Ann Mitchell
Distributor: Music Box Films
Director Terence Davies (The House Of Mirth) proved to be the big financing draw getting The Deep Blue Sea off the ground, producer Sean O’Connor told Deadline. Davies had not directed a narrative feature in a decade, but getting him behind the camera made fund raising surprisingly easy. “It’s a period movie made for 2.4 million pounds,” O’Connor said. “Financing was much more straightforward than I thought it would be, I was surprised by how straightforward it was. But Terence was the main draw.” There was … Read More »