Los Angeles, CA (February 2, 2011) – Guy East and Nigel Sinclair, Co-Chairmen of Exclusive Media Group (“Exclusive”), announced today that the company has brought Chris Miller on board to serve as President of Film Finance Operations for Exclusive, and as the new President of Spitfire Pictures.
Miller makes the move to Exclusive after spending three years as the Head of Production for National Geographic Films Worldwide. While at National Geographic, Miller worked on several other high profile projects including Peter Weir’s The Way Back, a co-production with Exclusive Films, as well as on The Last Lions, a new Natural History film event by world renowned filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert, to be released in North America next month. Prior to joining National Geographic, Miller in 2001 co-founded Visionbox Media Group and Visionbox Pictures, where he served as president for six years, creating original content in digital formats for the marketplace. Over the six years at Visionbox, Miller and the company had a hand in such film productions as The Cooler, Never Die Alone, Believe In Me, L.A. Riot Spectacular, The Illusionist, The Matador, The Painted Veil, as well as acclaimed documentaries such as Darfur Now and Arctic Tale.
“Chris Miller’s track record in the film industry speaks for itself. We think he is an amazing addition to our team,” say Sinclair and East.
Miller joins Tobin Armbrust and Matt Jackson within the Exclusive production team. Armbrust remains Head of Production with a focus on the Hammer Films slate, and Jackson will continue to focus on the Exclusive Films slate.
Exclusive Media Group’s Hammer Films label is currently in post-production on James Watkins’ The Woman in Black, starring Daniel Radcliffe (of Harry Potter fame) with a screenplay by Jane Goldman (Kick Ass), based on the best-selling novel by Susan Hill. The company also produced Matt Reeves’ Let Me In starring Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloe Moretz, Elias Koteas and Richard Jenkins (produced through the Hammer Films label, and released by Overture Films); and Peter Weir’s The Way Back starring Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess, Saoirse Ronan, Mark Strong and Colin Farrell (which Exclusive’s Newmarket Films distribution label released this month). Exclusive also announced that the company will co-finance and co-produce George Clooney’s THE IDES OF MARCH, based on the award-winning play by Beau Willimon, and starring Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei, and Evan Rachel Wood. The film shoots in February. Additionally, Exclusive announced that the company will produce and fully finance the action comedy SO UNDERCOVER to be directed by Tom Vaughan (What Happens in Vegas) and starring Miley Cyrus in the lead role, as well as Kelly Osbourne, Jeremy Piven and Mike O’Malley.
Beverly Hills, CA – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that seven films remain in competition in the Makeup category for the 83rd Academy Awards.
The films are listed below in alphabetical order:
“Alice in Wonderland”
“The Way Back”
On Saturday, January 22, all
In my September 3rd post about The Way Back’s world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival, I indicated that Newmarket would likely be scheduling a December Oscar qualifying run before a wider release date on January 21st. It was never locked in stone – until today when it was confirmed that director Peter Weir’s epic story of a group of prisoners who escape a Siberian gulag and walk through five different countries to freedom will indeed platform in Los Angeles on December 29th. The film gets a wider release on 500 screens January 21st shortly before the Academy Awards nominations are announced.
TELLURIDE: Peter Weir’s The Way Back is about an epic journey of survival, an appropriate metaphor for the film’s own treacherous journey through the current wobbly state of the movie industry which just didn’t seem to know what to do with this stunning adventure, the kind of movie Hollywood used to make all the time. Finally yesterday, as many were arriving for the Telluride Film Festival, Newmarket announced it will handle the film for U.S. release just after the first of the year. It coincided with Telluride’s career tribute to Weir today and the World Premiere (the only fall festival slot for the film) tonight. My interview with Weir is below.
Produced under the Exclusive Films label (which owns Newmarket) and co-produced by National Geographic Entertainment and Imagenation Abu Dhabi, Weir’s The Way Back is currently planned for a fairly wide break on over 600 screens on January 21, according to Newmarket’s VP of acquisitions John Crye. It’s a particularly aggressive rollout for the indie company whose past distribution successes have included such award magnets as Memento, Monster, Whale Rider, and Mel Gibson’s controversial blockbuster The Passion Of The Christ. With this kind of DNA, it would seem natural that part of the master plan would also include a late December Oscar qualifying run. But both Crye and a PR rep for the film would only say that is a distinct possibility even though they acknowledge the film deserves one.
Perhaps Newmarket is waiting for reaction and reviews out of Telluride. But, c’mon, it’s unheard of to open a prestigious film like this from a 6-time Oscar nominee (4 in the directing category) with a cast including Ed Harris (here in Telluride for the premiere), Colin Farrell, Jim Sturgess, and Saoirse Ronan (Atonement, The Lovely Bones) in the middle of January without trying to get some of Oscar’s fairy dust sprinkled on it. At the very least, the breathtaking and challenging cinematography of longtime Weir collaborator Russell Boyd, already an Oscar winner for Weir’s most recent film, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (nominated for 10 Academy Awards in 2003) would seem a slam dunk. But the film has many other attributes as well, including those actors and Weir’s impeccable direction. Which is why Telluride Fest directors Gary Meyer and Tom Luddy said the film was an obvious choice the minute they saw it.
When I talked to Peter Weir earlier today in advance of his career tribute and the World Premiere tonight, he thought an Oscar run
The Way Back, Peter Weir’s first film since 2003′s Master and Commander, has come off the board as an acquisition title before it screens in Telluride. Newmarket acquired U.S. rights and will distribute the film next January. It doesn’t exactly count as a real acquisition, since Newmarket is owned by …