The eighth Rome Film Festival closed last night and unveiled its winners naming Scarlett Johansson Best Actress for Spike Jonze’s Her, in which Johansson voices a Siri-like Operating System but doesn’t appear onscreen. That’s a nice early accolade for Warner Bros., which releases the romance in limited release December 18 before expanding in January. And it’s the first step in what Deadline’s Pete Hammond predicted could be a groundbreaking awards season coup for Johansson’s voice-over performance in the pic. Also nabbing top honors out of Rome were Kiyoshi Kurosawa, who won Best Director for Sebunsu kodo (Seventh Code), and Dallas Buyers Club, which landed Matthew McConaughey the Best Actor prize and also won the Audience Award. Scott Cooper’s Out of the Furnace was named best first or second feature. Scroll down for full winners:
Rome Film Festival: ‘Her’s Scarlett Johansson Named Best Actress For V.O. Performance; ‘Dallas Buyers Club’, Matthew McConaughey Also Nab Awards
Global Showbiz Briefs: New Vision For BBC Worldwide’s Future; UK Culture Secretary Meets With U.S. Execs; More
CEO Tim Davie Reveals Vision For Future Of BBC Worldwide
In an address to employees, BBC Worldwide CEO Tim Davie today unveiled a new vision to build the BBC’s brands, audiences and commercial returns around the globe. It includes a £200M investment in premium content, the launch of three new core consumer brands propositions – spanning the genres of premium factual, factual entertainment and drama — and a greater focus on digital innovation to extend the company’s reach and routes to market. “BBC Worldwide has a good track record of taking British content to the world, benefiting international audiences, license fee payers and the wider industry alike,” he said. “But the time has come for a step-change, reflecting the rapid development in our markets.”
UK Culture Secretary Spends The Week Meeting With U.S. Showbiz Execs
During a visit to the U.S. this week, UK Culture Secretary Maria Miller met with senior executives at Disney, Warner Bros and other showbiz companies to discuss collaboration and hear suggestions on how UK filming conditions could be made more attractive to American productions. She also sought reaction to the UK’s recent extension of tax credits and talked with HBO about its Game of Thrones production model and with Lucasfilm about its plan to shoot the new Star Wars film in the UK and whether there could be other ways to help support the local film industry.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Rome Fest Adds Four To Competition Lineup; ‘The Returned’ Sells To Canada, Australia; More
Rome Fest Adds ‘Dallas Buyers Club,’ 3 Others To Competition Lineup
The Rome Film Festival last week scored a Continental premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and now has added four high-profile indie titles to its competition roster. Isabel Coixet’s Another Me, Matthew McConaughey starrer Dallas Buyers Club, Spike Jonze’s Her and Scott Cooper’s Out Of The Furnace are the first films to be unveiled in the competition section. Rome runs from November 8-17.
Zodiak Sells ‘The Returned’ To Canada, Australia
Zodiak Rights has closed new deals for its popular French supernatural series The Returned (aka Rebound). Canada’s Bell Media has taken broadcast rights to the drama that first aired on France’s Canal Plus. Also picking it up is SBS in Australia, where it will air at the end of the year. Universal Pictures just released the DVD in the UK. Produced by Haut et Court, The Returned was the highest-rated original drama of all time on Canal Plus. Since then, it has aired in the UK on Channel 4 and recently was acquired for the U.S. by Sundance Channel and Music Box. It’s also getting an English-language remake courtesy of Paul Abbot.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Jonathan Demme’s ‘Fear Of Falling’ To Premiere At Rome Fest; ‘We Are The Best!’ Lines Up Sales; More
Jonathan Demme’s ‘Fear Of Falling’ To Premiere At Rome Fest
Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme‘s Fear Of Falling will have its world premiere at the eighth annual Rome Film Festival in November. The film is based on a theater production — performed only a few times to friends — created for the stage by the actor-filmaker André Gregory, based on Henrik Ibsen’s The Master Builder, translated and adapted by actor-playwright Wallace Shawn. Gregory and Shawn also star in the film. Fear of Falling is produced by Rocco Caruso. The Rome fest runs November 8-17.
TrustNordisk Sells ‘We Are The Best!’ In Australia, Italy, Taiwan
TrustNordisk has closed multiple deals on Lukas Moodysson’s We Are The Best!, which premiered at Venice premiere and screened at Toronto. The Swedish teen punk film has sold to Australia (NewVision Films), Italy (Bim Distribuzione) and Taiwan (Maison Motion), with talks ongoing for other territories. We Are The Best! revolves around three young outsiders in 1980s Stockholm who find unity in music and form a punk band without having any instruments. Lars Jönsson for Memfis Film produced the film, which bows October 11 in Sweden.
Quentin Tarantino‘s Django Unchained had been rumored as a surprise addition to November’s Rome Film Festival, but it never materialized on the roster. In October, fest director Marco Mueller told Reuters, “You will see Tarantino soon, here. You will see him here soon for a big surprise… You will see that Django will be stepping on the stage of the auditorium.” Fast-forward a couple of months and the fest now plans to honor Tarantino with a Lifetime Achievement Award on January 4 at a gala Django screening. (Although the 7th Rome Film Festival concluded on November 17, the honor will evidently act as an extension of that edition). Composer Ennio Morricone will present the award to Tarantino. A press release follows:
Larry Clark’s Marfa Girl took the award for Best Film today at the Rome Film Festival. The audience nod went to Gabriel Polsky and Alan Polsky’s The Motel Life, which also won best screenplay for Noah Harpster and Micah Fitzerman-Blue. Best directer was Paolo Franchi for E La Chiamano Estate (And They Call For Summer). Best Actor was Jérémie Elkaïm in Main Dans La Main (Hand In Hand), and the Best Actress award went to Isabella Ferrari for E La Chiamano Estate.
Marfa Girl features Adam Mediano, Drake Burnette, Jeremy St. James, Mary Farley, Mercedes Maxwell and Indigo Rael. E La Chiamano Estate stars Isabella Ferrari, Jean-Marc Barr, Luca Argentero, Filippo Nigro, Eva Riccobono and Anita Kravos. The Motel Life stars Stephen Dorff, Emile Hirsch, Dakota Fanning and Kris Kristofferson.
Complete list of honorees follows:
Global Showbiz Briefs: Australia’s FTA Networks Outperform Peers, ‘Back To 1942′ To Screen At Rome Film Festival
Australia’s FTA Networks Outperform International Peers But Pay-TV’s Margins Are World Leaders
Australia’s three commercial free-to-air networks have been zapped by falling revenues and profits and rising costs but collectively are outperforming their peers around the world, according to a Citi survey of FTA broadcasters in 12 developed markets, excluding the U.S. The Seven, Nine and Ten networks will post average pre-tax earnings of 22% this year, above the European average of 19%, Citi found. Australia’s commercial networks command a 69% share of total viewing, higher than every other country surveyed except Italy’s 82%. Citi’s report says Australia’s pay-TV services are the most expensive in the world, with average annual revenue per subscriber of nearly $A1,100 ($1,139), which it believes may explain the low penetration rate of 26% (the pay industry claims it’s 34%). However Citi rates Australian pay-TV operators Foxtel and Fox Sports as world leaders in that category, racking up pre-tax earnings of 38.9%, ahead of Cablevision’s 33%, Comcast’s 32%, DirecTV’s 26% and BSkyB’s 21%. - Don Groves
Global Showbiz Briefs: Rome Fest Lineup, News Corp Bid For Consolidated Clears Hurdle, Cecchi Gori In Deal With Daro
Rome Film Festival Announces 2012 Lineup
The 2012 International Rome Film Festival lineup includes 59 world premieres and 5 international premieres. There also are two surprise films yet to be announced. Roman Coppola’s A Glimpse Inside The Mind Of Charles Swan III starring Charlie Sheen, Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman is competing for the event’s top prize, as is Gabriel and Alan Polsky’s The Motel Life, starring Stephen Dorff, Emile Hirsch, Dakota Fanning and Kris Kristofferson. Also on the competition list are Japanese director Takashi Miike’s thriller Aku No Kyoten, Jacques Dollion’s Un Enfant De Toi, and Enrique Rivero’s Mai Morire. The festival will be held November 9-17 at the Auditorium Parco della Musica. You can read the entire line-up on the festival’s website.
Global Showbiz Briefs: Walter Hill To Be Honored In Rome, SeaWorld Sets Animated Series, FCCE Launches Intl Sales Division
Walter Hill Honored In Rome
Walter Hill will receive the Maverick Director Award at the Rome Film Festival in November. Hill’s latest film, Bullet To The Head, will world premiere at the fest with star Sylvester Stallone in attendance. The new Maverick prize is designed to honor filmmakers who have broken ground in cinema and “consistently stand out from the crowd,” the festival says. Hill’s credits as director include The Warriors, 48 Hrs. and Streets Of Fire. He also produced Prometheus, Alien and wrote the scripts for John Huston’s The Mackintosh Man and Sam Peckinpah’s The Getaway.