Toronto Vs Telluride: Are These Top Festivals Already Preparing For Battle Over NEXT Season’s Oscar Contenders?
The old Toronto vs Telluride rivalry has reared its ugly head again after Indiewire’s Anne Thompson wrote yesterday (and others followed) that Festival Director Cameron Bailey told her last Fall that they would enforce an ironclad rule that any films playing the Toronto International Film Festival’s first four days would have to be World or North American premieres. And that means “premiere” in the purest sense of the word. The World Premieres must be the first time the films are seen publicly anywhere and North American means U.S., Canada and Mexico. Any others would not get slots until the first Monday (traditionally when the heat starts progressively diminishing). This is what TIFF is telling studios and distributors. It is clearly saber rattling towards Telluride which most recently debuted films like 12 Years A Slave, Gravity and Prisoners before Toronto’s “official” World and North American Premieres.
Telluride, unlike Toronto, doesn’t reveal its schedule until the start of the Labor Day weekend fest and does not label any of its films as “premieres”. Sometimes, as in the case of 12 Years and Prisoners they don’t even include them then, and try to serve them up as unannounced sneak previews during the course of the weekend. Gravity was coming from the Venice Film Festival opening night so that was not kept as a secret. Other Telluride pictures, first seen at the Cannes Film Festival in May, were Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska and All Is Lost. They all skipped Toronto entirely after Telluride and headed to the New York Film Festival later in the month.
EXCLUSIVE: Ketchup Entertainment acquired the romantic comedy The Love Punch with Pierce Brosnan, Emma Thompson, Timothy Spall and Celia Imrie. The film, scripted and directed by Last Chance Harvey helmer Joel Hopkins, made its premiere at Toronto last month. Pic’s produced by Process Media’s Tim Perell and Nicola Usborne with Love Punch Limited’s Jean Charles Levy and Radar Films’ Clément Miserez. SND is co-producing, financing and handling worldwide distribution. Ketchup will release next year through Open Road Films. Brosnan and Thompson play a divorced couple whose pension is stolen by a ruthless businessman. They reunite to steal it back, and while they are racing around France, old passions arise. “The film is a perfect fit for the Ketchup slate, and typifies Ketchup’s commitment to ensure we can help bring high-quality independent entertainment to audiences in the US,” said Ketchup CEO Gareth West.
EXCLUSIVE: In what might well be the last major deal for a buzz title that world premiered at last month’s Toronto Film Festival, Dimension and RADiUS-TWC have acquired U.S. rights to Horns, the Alexandre Aja-directed thriller that stars Daniel Radcliffe, Juno Temple, Max Minghella, Joe Anderson, Kelli Garner, Heather Graham, David Morse, Kathleen Quinlan and James Remar. The deal was for multiple millions, rivaling the largest deals made for the other Toronto films.
Keith Bunin wrote the script, based on the novel by comic book author Joe Hill. The logline: After being blamed for the death of his longtime girlfriend (Temple), a small-town guy (Radcliffe) awakens one morning to find a pair of horns growing from his head. The film was produced by Red Granite Pictures founders and producing partners Riza Aziz and Joey McFarland in addition to Mandalay’s Cathy Shulman. Aja is also a producer.
Dimension chief Bob Weinstein and RADiUS-TWC co-presidents Tom Quinn and Jason Janego have been working on this deal since the festival. It was certainly a talked-up title that several distributors pursued. They haven’t figured out the release configuration but are looking at 2014.
EXCLUSIVE: It was a good Toronto Film Festival for Finnish helmer Dome Karukoski. His Heart Of A Lion premiered earlier this month at the fest, and during the run of the event he was tapped to make his English-language debut on Tom Of Finland. All of that action got the major agencies interested, and he just inked with ICM Partners. Heart Of A Lion, written by Aleksi Bardy, centers on the head of a gang of racist skinheads who finds himself questioning his personal prejudices and values after falling for a waitress whose son is of African descent. It bows next month in Karukoski’s native Finland. Tom Of Finland is the biopic of Finnish artist Touko Laaksonen, who revolutionized the image of gay men, paved the way for greater tolerance and openness, and influenced designers like Tom Ford and Jean Paul Gaultier.
If you didn’t read some of Deadline’s Top Film stories this week, here’s your chance today:
‘Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston Will Next Play Blacklisted Scribe Dalton Trumbo
By Mike Fleming Jr – EXCLUSIVE: When he completes his tour de force run in Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston will play the title role in the Jay Roach-directed Trumbo, the fact-based feature of the man who broke the Hollywood blacklist.
‘Prisoners’ Breaks Out For #1 With $21.4M; ‘Battle Of The Year’ #5 For Bleak $4.1M
By Nikki Finke - SUNDAY 1 AM, 4TH UPDATE: With the 65th Emmys broadcasting this weekend, Hollywood is only talking television, television, television.
EXCLUSIVE: RADiUS-TWC, the boutique label of The Weinstein Company, has acquired North American distribution rights to Supermensch: The Legend Of Shep Gordon. The documentary, which premiered in Toronto on September 7 at Roy Thompson Hall, marks the feature directorial debut of Mike Myers. RADiUS co-presidents Tom Quinn and Jason Janego plan to release the film theatrically in the first quarter of 2014. They tell me they see the breakout potential of 20 Feet From Stardom, the acclaimed docu they turned into a prestige film hit this spring after acquiring it at Sundance.
With backing from A&E IndieFilms, Myers devoted the documentary to the life journey of Shep Gordon, who became a music manager after a chance encounter in the 1960s with Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. Specifically, the latter felt bad after punching Gordon in the face the night before after Gordon, concerned she was being attacked, broke up what turned out to be a consensual sexual encounter taking place in the grass outside his hotel room window. From there, he colorfully steered the careers of such musical artists as Alice Cooper, Anne Murray, Teddy Pendergrass and Blondie, and he created the “celebrity chef” culture and became a confidante of the Dalai Lama. Myers, who met Gordon when he was trying to get Alice Cooper to appear in a Wayne’s World scene, interviewed himself and the likes of Michael Douglas, Sylvester Stallone, Willie Nelson, Emeril Lagasse and more. Myers creates a picture of a charming Hollywood mensch whose Midas touch for dealmaking realized the dreams of others, as he put his own happiness on the back burner. I found the Zelig-like subject and the film irresistible.