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Deadline’s Best Film Stories Of The Week

The Toronto International Film Festival kicked off this week, Telluride and Venice wrapped up and Fifty Shades of Grey got its leads. If you missed these and Deadline’s other top film stories this week, here’s your chance to check them out now:

Toronto 2013: Will Deals Take Back Seat As Buyers Focus On Fest Oscar Hopefuls?
By Mike Fleming Jr - The Toronto Film Festival got underway last night with the Gala premiere of the Bill Condon-directed DreamWorks Julian Assange film The Fifth Estate.

Vin Diesel’s ‘Riddick’ Opens Weak Weekend
By Nikki Finke - Welcome to one of the slowest weekends at the domestic box office. The movie season is off to a weak start – just $70M total filmgoing

Dakota Johnson Lands ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ Role
By Mike Fleming Jr - EXCLUSIVE: The coveted role of Anastasia Steele has gone to Dakota Johnson in the Universal Pictures and Focus Features adaptation of Fifty Shades Of Grey.

Related: Charlie Hunnam Cast As Christian Grey In ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ Read More »

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Deadline’s Best Film Stories Of The Week

It may be the last week of summer but Hollywood was buzzing with news from LA to Telluride to Venice, China and in the courts too. Check out this week’s top film stories:

Steven Spielberg’s Cannes Jury Duty Leads DreamWorks To Remake Deal On ‘Like Father, Like Son’
By Mike Fleming Jr – EXCLUSIVE: Who says jury duty is a waste of time? DreamWorks is negotiating right now with Fuji TV for remake rights to the Japanese film Like Father, Like Son (Soshite Chichi Ni Naru).

R.I.P. Talent Manager J.J. Harris
By Nikki Finke - Motion picture and television talent agent/manager J.J. Harris died of what is believed to be natural causes on Friday afternoon and was found today in her Beverly Hills home by her staff. She was 62

MPAA Wins Hotfile Copyright Lawsuit
By Dominic Patten - Nearly two years and a half years after first filing their suit on behalf of several studios, the MPAA today scored a victory against file-sharing service Hotfile.

Venice Film Festival: Will The Lido Shuffle Biz Into Awards Season?
By Nancy Tartaglione - The Venice Film Festival kicks off tomorrow, and with it a renewed second outing for fest chief Alberto Barbera.

Labor Day Box Office: ‘One Direction’ Winning 3-Day Weekend But Will ‘The Butler’ Take 4-Day Holiday?
By Nikki Finke - This is too close to call right now. And film order is up in the air as well. Every Hollywood studio except Sony seems certain that Lee Daniels’ The Butler from The Weinstein Company will threepeat for #1 at the end of the 4-day Labor Day holiday. Read More »

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Drafthouse Acquires Kim Ki-Duk’s ‘Pieta’

By | Tuesday October 9, 2012 @ 11:50am PDT

The distribution unit of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has picked up all North American rights to the 2012 Golden Lion winning film, it was announced today. The first Korean movie to ever win the top prize at the Venice International Film Festival, Pietà profiles the relationship between a loan shark and the woman who claims to be his long-lost mother. The Kim Ki-Duk-directed film is also South Korea’s entry for Best Foreign Language Film for the 2013 Academy Awards. Tim League and James Emanuel Shapiro on behalf of Drafthouse Films and Youngjoo Suh of Finecut on behalf of the film’s producers negotiated the Pietà deal. Drafthouse plans a limited theatrical release as well as a multi-platform VOD release for 2013.

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Venice: Terrence Malick To Remain Filmdom’s Most Famous Recluse?

It’s been confirmed to me by a knowledgeable source that Terrence Malick will not be in Venice OR Toronto for screenings of his latest film, To The Wonder, which debuts Sunday on the Lido. While that’s not really such a wonder, the notoriously reclusive director did come to Cannes a little more than a year ago when Tree Of Life screened — and ultimately won the Palme d’Or. That year, people were practically taking bets on whether he’d show for the movies’s official launch. He didn’t come to the press conference at the time, it was said, because he wanted the film to speak for itself. True enough. If Malick had been there that would have been the story — Brad Pitt’s presence notwithstanding. But later that day in 2011, I sat down in Cannes president Gilles Jacob’s office for a chat and it turned out Malick had been keeping my seat warm for me. Jacob told me the director had just sat for two hours in the same chair as they discussed all and sundry. At the time, Jacob said the director would likely not do the Tree Of Life red carpet since he suffered from “extreme timidity.” However, Malick ended up making a split-second appearance in Cannes’ Lumière theater that night, it was reported at the time. Can we expect something similar for this festival circuit? As one person who knows Malick well put … Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Zurich Master Classes, Oliver Père To Arte France

Frank Darabont, Michael Shamberg, Pietro Scalia Set For Zurich Master Classes
The Zurich Film Festival today announced this year’s headliners for its Master Class series. Instructors will include writer-director Frank Darabont (The Green Mile, The Walking Dead); producer Michael Shamberg (Pulp Fiction, Erin Brockovich); editor Pietro Scalia (Gladiator, Black Hawk Down), producer Greg Shapiro (The Hurt Locker), screenwriter Asghar Farhadi (A Separation, About Elly); director Daniel Espinosa (Safe House, Easy Money), director Benh Zeitlin (Beasts Of The Southern Wild) and UTA’s David Flynn. Additionally producer Jerry Weintraub (the Ocean’s Eleven series, among others) will lead a session as well as receive a career achievement award. Espinosa, Shamberg and Scalia also will be on the fest’s fiction jury of which Darabont will serve as president. Richard Gere will receive the fest’s Golden Icon award and John Travolta will be honored with the Golden Eye award at the opening night screening of Oliver Stone’s Savages. Fest runs September 20-30.

Italy’s Eagle Acquires Venice Opener ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’
Eagle Pictures has snapped up Italian rights to director Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist ahead of its world premiere Wednesday at the Venice Film Festival. K5 International is handling international sales. The movie is also screening at Toronto on September 8th. Based on the novel by Mohsin Hamid, it stars Kate Hudson and Riz Ahmed (Four Lions, Trishna) plus Kiefer Sutherland, Liev Schreiber, Martin Donovan and Om … Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Movies Stream From Venice, London Re-Channels Olympics

By | Wednesday August 22, 2012 @ 8:56pm PDT

Venice Film Fest To Stream Horizons Films To Worldwide Audience
Venice is beginning a new tradition in its 69th year. For the first time ever the festival will make films from the Horizons section available for streaming by viewers all over the world at the same time as their official screenings on the Lido. In all, 10 features and 13 shorts from new and young auteurs will be accessible via a virtual online theater. There is a catch, however, only 500 “seats” are available. Online sign-up is at and tickets are 4.20 euros ($5.25) per film. Each film will be available for streaming for 24 hours starting at 9PM Italian time on the day of the film’s official presentation.

London Legacy To Re-Channel Lower-Profile Olympic Sports
UK indie production company Highflyer is looking to capitalize on the recent Olympic Games by launching the London Legacy TV channel, a showcase for less media-saturated Olympic sports. The 24-hour-a-day channel will go up in November and, initially at least, will only be available to BSkyB satellite customers, The Guardian reports. It will air disciplines that include athletics, judo, gymnastics, fencing and wrestling. Highflyer chairman John Fairley told the newspaper there was an “enormous opportunity” to make money from televising minority sports after the success of London 2012. “The amount of athletics on the main channels … Read More »

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Venice Film Festival To Honor Spike Lee With Glory To The Filmmaker Award

The 69th Venice Film Festival is shaping up to be a showcase for a handful of veteran American directors with Terrence Malick, Brian De Palma and Paul Thomas Anderson in the competition mix. Appearing out of competition with his Michael Jackson documentary, Bad 25, Spike Lee will also receive the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker 2012 award. The prize is dedicated to “a personality who has brought great innovation to contemporary cinema,” the fest said today. Alberto Barbera, in his first outing as artistic director at Venice, said, “Spike Lee is a bold creative spirit, the author of daring and corrosive films, often unpredictable and provocative in the best sense of the term. Films that challenge us to rethink our prejudices and our preconceptions.” Lee will receive the tribute on Aug 31 at the festival which runs from Aug 29 to Sept 8. Previous Glory to the Filmmaker recipients include Takeshi Kitano, Abbas Kiarostami, Agnès Varda, Sylvester Stallone, Mani Ratnam and Al Pacino.

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Venice Festival Names New Director

By | Tuesday December 27, 2011 @ 6:54pm PST

Alberto Barbera has been selected to replace Marco Mueller as director of the Venice International Film Festival. The news marks a return to the world’s oldest film festival for Barbera, who headed the Venice affair from 1998 to 2002. His contract runs four years. Barbera has been director of the National Museum of Cinema in Turin since 2004. Mueller successfully headed the festival for eight years. The 69th Venice International Film Festival will run from from August 29-September 8, 2012.

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Whit Stillman’s ‘Damsels In Distress’ To Close Venice Film Festival

The Venice International Film Festival announced today that Whit Stillman’s comedy Damsels in Distress will be the closing-night film for the fest’s 68th edition, which opens Aug. 31 with George Clooney’s The Ides of March, which was just tapped for a Gala Presentation spot at the Toronto festival. Stillman’s pic, which stars Greta Gerwig and Adam Brody, will have its world premiere in Venice on Sept. 10 following the festival’s awards ceremony. The full lineup is set to be announced Thursday.

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Al Pacino Brings ‘Wild Salome’ To Venice, Will Receive Glory To The Filmmaker Prize

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: If you’re an Al Pacino fan and are attending the Venice International Film Festival, circle Sunday, Sept. 4 on your calendar. On that day, Pacino will be awarded the Jaeger-Le Coultre Glory to the Filmmaker 2011 Award, presented to an artist who has left an original mark on contemporary cinema. Right after Pacino receives the award, he will preside over the world premiere of the third film he has directed, Wilde Salome. The documentary explores the complexity and Pacino’s passion for the Oscar Wilde play Salome. The film, which will be released in the fall, stars Pacino as Herod, Jessica Chastain as Salome, and Kevin Anderson as John the Baptist. Barry Navidi and Robert Fox produce with Salome Productions. In its five-year history at Venice, the Glory to the Filmmaker Award has been awarded to Takeshi Kitano, Abbas Kiarostami, Agnes Varda, Sylvester Stallone and Mani Ratnam.

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Darren Aronofsky To Head Venice Jury

By | Wednesday April 27, 2011 @ 9:32am PDT

The Venice International Film Festival announced today that director Darren Aronofsky, whose Oscar-nominated Black Swan opened last year’s festival, will be the president of the international jury at the 68th fest, set for Aug. 31-Sept. 10. His jury will preside over the competition films and award the Golden Lion for best film — an honor he took there in 2008 with The Wrestler.

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Sofia Coppola’s ‘Somewhere’ Wins Venice

Mike Fleming

BREAKING NEWS: The Sofia Coppola-directed Somewhere has won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. The film, which stars Stephen Dorff, Michelle Monaghan, and Benicio Del Toro, won by unanimous decison of a jury headed by Quentin Tarantino. Focus Features releases the film in the U.S. Here’s the full list of winners:


Somewhere – Sofia Coppola (U.S.)

The Last Circus “Balada triste de trompeta” – Alex de la Iglesia (Spain, France)

Essential Killing – Jerzy Skolimowski (Poland, Norway, Hungary, Ireland)

Vincent Gallo – Essential Killing

Ariane Labed – Attenberg (Greece)

Mila Kunis – Black Swan (U.S.)

Alex de le Iglesia – The Last Circus “Balada triste de trompeta” (Spain, France)

Mikhail Krichman - Silent Souls “Aleksei Fedorchenko (Russia)

Monte Hellman (U.S.)

Majority – by Seren Yuce (Turkey)

Verano De Goliat – Nicolas Pereda (Mexico, Canada)

The Forgotten Space – Noel Burch, Allan Sekula (The Netherlands, Austria)

Coming Attractions – Peter Tscherkassy (Austria)

Out – Roee Rosen (Israel)

Jean Gentil – Laura Guzman and Israel Cardenas (Dominican Republic, Mexico, Germany)

The External World – David O’Reilly (Germany)

20 Cigarette – Aureliano Amadei (Italy)

L’Oreal Paris Prize
Vittoria Puccini (Italy)

Mani Ratnam (India)

Persol 3-D Prize for most creative 3D film … Read More »

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Venice Confirms ‘Black Swan’ As Opener

Darren Aronofsky’s ballet psychological thriller will open the 67th Venice International Film Festival on September 1. Natalie Portman stars as a ballerina who finds herself locked in a web of competitive intrigue with new rival Mila Kunis. Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey and Winona Ryder also star in the Fox Searchlight release. Aronofsky won the Golden Lion two years ago for The Wrestler. This year’s Venice – reckoned to be one of the top three festivals in the world with Cannes and Berlin – runs from September 1-11.

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