IMAX president Richard Gelfond told the Israeli Presidential Conference today that the experience of going to the movies will always appeal despite the proliferation of mobile devices. “People are social animals and I don’t think they want to be chained to their couches, mobile devices and tablets. They want to go out,” Gelfond said, according to Reuters. “They recognize the fact that Steven Spielberg and James Cameron may be better at telling a story than a 16-year-old over the Internet. I think they can exist side by side.” Also on Thursday, IMAX and Germany’s largest exhibitor CineStar Cinemas said they would partner to put an IMAX theater at the CineStar Sony Centre in Berlin. The giant Potzdamer Platz multiplex hosts big film premiers and is familiar to Berlin Film Festival regulars. The new theater will eventually transition to IMAX’s next-generation laser digital projection system which boasts greater brightness and clarity, a wider color gamut and deeper blacks. IMAX EMEA president Andrew Cripps noted that Germany is an under-penetrated market for the company where it is looking to expand.
Global Showbiz Briefs: IMAX In Israel, BSkyB Scores, FIFA Reviews World Cup In 3D, ‘Summer In February’ Lines Up International & More
Downton Abbey alum Dan Stevens has been booking roles of late that mark a departure from the hit period series, including Wikileaks movie The Fifth Estate and thriller A Walk Among The Tombstones. Summer In February, which Stevens exec produced, sees him firmly back in period drama. Dominic Cooper also stars with Emily Browning in the CrossDay Productions/Apart Films title. Christopher Menaul directed the adaptation by Jonathan Smith from his own novel that’s set at an Edwardian artists’ colony on the Cornish coast of England before the start of WWI. Metrodome releases in the UK on June 14. Here’s the trailer:
Global Showbiz Briefs: Oscar Nominees ‘War Witch’ & ‘Buzkashi Boys’ In LA, New 007 Novel, French Critics ♥ ‘Amour’, & More
‘War Witch’ Actress Granted Visa For Oscars
Rachel Mwanza, who won best actress prizes in Berlin and Tribeca last year for her lead performance in War Witch, has been granted a visa to travel from Congo to North America in order to attend the Oscars on Sunday and other awards shows. War Witch is nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Mwanza was a non-pro when she was discovered living on the streets of Kinshasa and was cast in the movie about a 12-year-old girl who is kidnapped by African rebels, forced to kill her parents at gunpoint and then fight as a child soldier against the government. According to Tribeca Film, which acquired War Witch for North America, the filmmakers continue to provide her with a caregiver and oversee her education. The film is directed by Kim Nguyen is also nominated as Best International Film at Saturday’s Independent Spirit Awards, has 12 nominations for Canadian Screen Awards on March 3 and 9 nominations for Québec’s Jutras on March 17. Tribeca is platforming the film starting March 1 in New York, then March 8 in Los Angeles and in select cities thereafter. It will be available VOD from February 26.
Afghan ‘Buzkashi Boys’ Arrive In LA For Oscars
After an Internet campaign raised money for expenses and Turkish Air Lines donated tickets for them and a shaperone, the two teenage stars of the Oscar-nominated short film from Afghanistan arrived in Los Angeles today. The 28-minute film is the first to be produced by the Afghan Film Project, a non-profit that aims to train filmmakers in Afghanistan. It focuses on two children growing up in Kabul who dream of becoming Buzkashi riders, horsemen who compete in the dangerous Afghan national sport similar to polo in which riders try to carry a headless goat across a goal line. The film earned U.S. director Sam French a nomination for Best Live Action Short Film. Producers said they launched the campaign because they lacked a travel budget for Fawad Mohammadi and Jawanmard Paiz, who will attend the Oscars Sunday night.
Summer In February
Speranza13 Media, the new sales company run by Camela Galano, has taken on international rights to Summer In February starring Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens along with Dominic Cooper and Emily Browning. Janette Day and Pippa Cross of CrossDay Productions are producing with Jeremy Cowdrey of Apart Films. Sales will start next week in Cannes on the period love triangle shot in Cornwall, England and directed by Christopher Menaul.
Richard Ayoade’s comedy will start principal photography May 20. The Submarine director’s second film is inspired by Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novella. Ayoade and Avi Korine wrote the script about an insignificant man driven to near breakdown by the appearance of his doppelganger. Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn, Yasmin Paige, Noah Taylor and James Fox star. Amina Dasmal and Robin Fox of Alcove Entertainment are producing. Protagonist is handling international sales. Studiocanal has already acquired UK rights. Mars has France, Golden Scene has Hong Kong, Rialto has Switzerland and Lusomundo has Portugal.
When the UK feature Summer In February was originally announced in December, Dominic Cooper and Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens were to form a love triangle in the film with Ophelia Lovibond. Now comes word from the production that Sucker Punch‘s Emily Browning has stepped in for Lovibond. The CrossDay Productions/Apart Films title is directed by Christopher Menaul and adapted by Jonathan Smith from his own novel set at an Edwardian artists’ colony on the Cornish coast of England before the start of WWI. Principal photography starts Sunday. CrossDay’s Pippa Cross and Janette Day and Apart Films’ Jeremy Cowdrey are producing. Stevens is exec producing, a first for the actor. When I saw him last month in London at the screening of the Downton Abbey Christmas Special, he told me he was looking forward to the experience — if not the cold weather in Cornwall.
Devil’s Double star Dominic Cooper, Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens and Mr Popper’s Penguins’ Ophelia Lovibond are set to hook up for Summer In February. Adapted by Jonathan Smith from his own novel, the film is a love triangle set at an Edwardian artists’ colony on the Cornish coast of England in the early 20th century. Cooper will play Alfred Munnings, Stevens is Gilbert Evans and Lovibond is Florence Carter-Wood. Christopher Menaul is directing the film, which will begin principal photography in January. The CrossDay/Apart Films production is produced by Pippa Cross and Janette Day of CrossDay and Jeremy Cowdrey of Apart Films. Bob Benton and Dan Stevens are executive producers.