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17 items from 2017

Rai Com Sales Chief Mattia Oddone Joins New Italian Production Company Propaganda Italia (Exclusive)

16 October 2017 8:15 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Cannes — The head of international sales at Italy’s prominent Rai Com company, Mattia Oddone, has stepped down to become managing director of  Propaganda Italia, a new Italian production company which has a slate of film and TV projects for the international market in various stages.

These include an ambitious revenge crimer toplining Italian A-lister Toni Servillo (“The Great Beauty”).

Propaganda Italia was set up in 2014 as a separately operated spin off of the Italian subsidiary of global entertainment marketing firm Propaganda Gem by Italian media exec Marina Marzotto who has also served as CEO of Italian distributor Moviemax.

Besides his managerial role Oddone is boarding Propaganda Italia as an investor in the company.

They have plans for three feature films in the Euros 3-5 million range over the next three years and also a bigger Euros 15-20 million project for which they have acquired the script, which is still being kept under wraps, for which they »

- Nick Vivarelli

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Hot Shots!: the last great spoofs

10 October 2017 10:41 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Robb Sheppard Oct 13, 2017

The Hot Shots! movies were the peak of spoof cinema in the 1990s. We take a look back...

Spoof. Say it aloud. Feels like a dirty word doesn’t it?

Aside from even sounding slightly smutty, the spoof movie genre has, of late, been sullied by (five!) Scary Movies, Meet The Spartans and - oh, the irony - Disaster Movie. Transitory, devoid of wit and with the lowest common denominator in their crosshairs, these movies aimed for the tittering teenager, the cheap thrill-seeker and the perpetually stoned.

Perhaps the above seems like a sweeping generalisation, but it’s with good cause. Where these movies and even the term spoof itself have since been eschewed, there remains a series of films which occupy a place of fondness in the heart of - including yours truly, obvs - many a film fan: the Zaz movies.

The writing, directing and producing partnership of David Zucker, »

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‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ ‘Custody,’ ‘Under the Tree’ to Compete in Zurich

14 September 2017 1:04 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Xavier Legrand’s “Custody” and Hafsteinn Gunnar’s “Under the Tree” are among the 15 feature films set to compete at the 13th Zurich Film Festival.

“Three Billboards,” a darkly comic drama with Peter Dinklage and Frances McDormand, and “Custody,” a French drama exploring domestic strife, both world-premiered at the Venice Film Festival and won best screenplay and best director awards, respectively. “Custody” also picked up the Lion of the Future for best first film.

“Under the Tree” is an Icelandic dramedy which world-premiered in Venice and is playing in Toronto, where it was just acquired by Magnolia for North American distribution.

Zurich’s competition lineup also includes Joshua Z. Weinstein’s “Menashe,” Justin Chon’s “Gook,” Cecilia Atán and Valeria Pivato’s “The Desert Bride,” Julia Solomonoff’s “Nobody’s Watching,” Kirsten Tan’s “Pop Aye,” Constantin Popescu’s “Pororoca,” Matan Yair’s “Scaffolding” and Jaron Albertin’s “Weightless »

- Elsa Keslassy

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Silvio Soldini’s ‘Emma’ Lures Buyers Ahead of Venice’s World Premiere (Exclusive)

3 September 2017 2:04 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Venice, Italy — In the run up to its world premiere at Venice Film Festival, Silvio Soldini’s Italian drama romance “Emma” (“Il Colore Nascosto delle Cose”) has been picked up in a raft of territories.

Represented in international markets by Celluloid Dreams, “Emma” has been acquired by Impacto Cine (Latin America), Palace Films (Australia), Mancy’s Entertainment (Japan), DDDream (China), Joint Entertainment (Taiwan) and Cherry Pickers (Benelux).

Celluloid Dreams will be doing a private screening for buyers only on Sept. 4 ahead of its world premiere out of competition at Venice. Videa will be releasing the film in Italy on Sep.8.

The film toplines Italian star Valeria Golino as Emma, a recently-divorced pretty and vibrant woman who has been blind since the age of 16 and managed to become an osteopath. The film revolves around Emma’s relationship with Teo (Adriano Giannini), a womanizer and work-obsessed creative at a trendy ad agency who unexpectedly falls in love with her »

- Elsa Keslassy

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Italy’s Alice Rohrwacher Shooting ‘Lazzaro Felice,’ Match Factory Takes World Sales (Exclusive)

7 August 2017 2:10 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Locarno, Switzerland – Italian director Alice Rohrwacher (“The Wonders”) has started principal photography on “Lazzaro Felice,” about a man living on the margins of society who travels through time. The film’s European A-list ensemble cast comprises Sergi Lopez (“Pan’s Labyrinth”) of Spain and Alba Rohrwacher (“I Am Love”) and Nicoletta Braschi (“Life Is Beautiful”) of Italy.

Germany’s The Match Factory will be selling “Lazzaro” internationally outside Italy.

Cameras started rolling Monday in the central Italian countryside near Civita di Bagnoregio, a scenic ancient village perched on an eroding tufa rock plateau.

Rohrwacher is collaborating with her regular director of photography, Helene Louvart, who is also known for work with auteurs such as Wim Wenders, Agnes Varda and Claire Denis.

The director wrote the screenplay last year while she was the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Jaeger-LeCoultre’s filmmaker in residence. Details of the story are being kept under wraps beyond the fact that it »

- Nick Vivarelli

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“Sworn Virgin” Director Laura Bispuri Announces Next Film

15 May 2017 11:01 AM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

Laura Bispuri:

Laura Bispuri will examine the complex relationships between mothers and daughters as well as adoptive and biological parents in her next film. Per Variety, the “Sworn Virgin” director is set to helm “Daughter of Mine,” a drama about a 10-year-old girl caught between her adoptive and biological mothers. “Sworn Virgin” star Alba Rohrwacher and Valeria Golino (“Respiro”) will topline the project.

“Daughter of Mine” will be presented via three different perspectives: the daughter’s, the adoptive mother’s (Golino), and the biological mother’s (Rohrwacher). “It’s a triangle between these three women whose lives are inextricably tied,” Bispuri told Variety. “A journey of mutual understanding and acceptance and also of changing female identities, which are themes that are dear to me.”

Bispuri made her feature film debut with “Sworn Virgin,” the story of a young Albanian woman maintaining her virginity and living as a man — named Mark — in order to enjoy Albanian men’s rights. The film follows Mark and his decision to travel to Italy and live as a woman again. “Sworn Virgin” won the Nora Ephron Prize at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival.

“I advise sincerity when you choose a story, a personal adherence to the project,” Bispuri recommended to female directors in an interview with Women and Hollywood. “I also advise trying to deepen the female characters because for too many years, they have been relegated to the margins of the story.” Happily, Bispuri is following her own advice and bringing three distinct female characters front and center in “Daughter of Mine.”

Principal photography for the film will kick off in Sardinia in early June and production company The Match Factory will initiate international pre-sales at Cannes. Vivo Film — the company behind “Sworn Virgin” — will produce alongside Colorado Film, The Match Factory, and Bord Cadre Films. Rai Cinema is financing “Daughter of Mine,” as is Italy’s culture ministry and the Sardinia Film Commission.

“Sworn Virgin” Director Laura Bispuri Announces Next Film was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Rachel Montpelier

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Cannes: Im Global Adds Chinese, Korean Titles to Anthem Slate

11 May 2017 9:00 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Anthem, the specialist arm of sales and finance company Im Global, has added six Asian titles to its Cannes sales lineup. Four are sourced from China’s Enlight Pictures.

New Enlight movies include animated adventure “The Guardian” (aka “Da Hu Fa”,) directed by Fan Bu Si. The fantasy quest, aimed at both adults and children, is told using a mix of Chinese ink painting and original hand-drawn animation. Enlight’s documentary “Return to the Wolves,” directed by Yi Feng, recounts the story of a painter, Li Weiyi, who lived in the wild for nine months in order to save an orphaned wolf cub in the grasslands of Sichuan.

They join two previously announced Enlight titles: romantic drama “All About Secrets,” directed by Lien Yi-chi and adapted from Rao Xueman’s bestseller of the same title, about a family and friends whose secrets threaten to overwhelm them; and comedy drama “City of Rock, »

- Patrick Frater

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Cannes: Chinese-Backed U.K. Producer BB88 Unveils ‘GiantLand’

11 May 2017 12:30 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Young British outfit BB88 is one of the early beneficiaries of the ongoing diversification of the Chinese film industry.

That’s because, while the big money has been flowing, somewhat unevenly, between China and Hollywood, some smart money is looking at building China’s film relations with Europe.

BB88 – when pronounced in Chinese fashion means someone who is very noisy – is pulling the wraps off its first Chinese-backed production slate in time for Cannes.

Now in post-production, “GiantLand” is a poignant drama about a boy’s identification of a strange, bearded man as his father. It is written and directed by first time feature film maker Yousaf Ali Khan, who has a pair of BAFTA nominations for earlier work. It stars Goran Bogdan and Hayley Squires as adult protagonists and Mitchell Lawrence Norman as the boy, Ryan.

If that doesn’t sound particularly Chinese, it’s because BB88’s slate »

- Patrick Frater

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Cannes: Valeria Golino and Alba Rohrwacher Set For Bispuri’s ‘Daughter of Mine’; Match Factory Selling (Exclusive)

10 May 2017 10:31 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Rome – Italian A-list actresses Valeria Golino (“Respiro”) and Alba Rohrwacher (“I Am Love”) are set to co-star in “Daughter of Mine” to be directed by Italy’s Laura Bispuri, whose transgender-themed “Sworn Virgin” made an international splash.

Principal photography is scheduled to start on June 5 in Sardinia.

Germany’s The Match Factory will kick off international pre-sales on “Daughter” in Cannes.

Golino, a 2016 Cannes competition jury member, and Rohrwacher, last on the Croisette in 2014 with “The Wonders,” will play the adoptive and biological mothers, respectively, of a 10-year-old girl, whose affection they vie for.

“The story is developed and written from three different points of view,” said Bispuri.

“It’s a triangle between these three women whose lives are inextricably tied – a journey of mutual understanding and acceptance and also of changing female identities, which are themes that are dear to me,” the director noted.

Rome-based Vivo Film, which produced “Sworn Virgin, »

- Nick Vivarelli

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'Elle' star Laurent Lafitte joins Sebastien Marnier thriller 'School's Out'

2 May 2017 6:44 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Exclusive: Emmanuelle Bercot also cast; Celluloid Dreams, Avenue B pact for feature.

Paris-based Celluloid Dreams has boarded French director Sebastien Marnier’s high-school-set thriller School’s Out, featuring Laurent Lafitte and Emmanuelle Bercot in the cast (pictured).

Caroline Bonmarchand of Avenue B is producing. She previously collaborated with Marnier on his well-received debut thriller Faultless (Irréprochable), starring Marina Foïs as a down-on-her-luck estate agent who is hell-bent on getting her old job back at an agency in her provincial home-town, whatever it takes.

For School’s Out, Elle co-star Laurent Lafitte is set to play protagonist Pierre Hoffman, a substitute form tutor, brought in after his predecessor commits suicide by throwing himself out of the classroom window in front of his teenage students.

Actress and film-maker Emmanuelle Bercot will play another teacher in the school. Other cast members will include French rapper Gringe, Pascal Greggory, Greg Montel, Thomas Scimeca and Véronique Ruggia.

Lafitte’s character »

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Will Smith, Jessica Chastain, Maren Ade, Paolo Sorrentino on Cannes jury

25 April 2017 8:28 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Festival competition jury also features Park Chan-wook, Fan Bingbing, Agnès Jaoui, Gabriel Yared.

The 2017 Cannes Film Festival (May 17-28) has unveiled the jury for its main competition.

American actor and singer Will Smith will be joined by German director Maren Ade, whose Toni Erdmann played in Cannes competition last year.

The jury also features:

South Korean director Park Chan-wook, who has had three films play in competition at Cannes: The Handmaiden, Oldboy, and Thirst.

Italian director Paolo Sorrentino, who has been nominated for the Palme d’Or five times: Youth, The Great Beauty, This Must Be The Place, Family Friend and The Consequences Of Love.

American actress Jessica Chastain, a two-time Oscar nominee who also starred in Terrence Malick’s Palme d’Or-winning The Tree Of Life.

Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, whose credits include Xiaogang Feng’s I Am Not Madame Bovary.

French director, writer and actress Agnès Jaoui, whose 2004 comedy-drama Look At Me played in competition »

- (Tom Grater)

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Film Acquisition Rundown: Grasshopper Film Gets ‘Escapes,’ Amazon and IFC Films Date ‘City of Ghosts’ and More

10 March 2017 7:15 AM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Keep up with the wild and wooly world of indie film acquisitions with our weekly Rundown of everything that’s been picked up around the globe. Check out last week’s Rundown here.

– Grasshopper Film has announced the acquisition of all U.S. distribution rights to Michael Almereyda’s new documentary “Escapes,” a dynamic portrait of Hampton Fancher, executive produced by Wes Anderson. “Escapes” will open in theaters this summer followed by a VOD and Home Video release in the fall.

“Escapes” showcases the storytelling talents of Hampton Fancher, flamenco dancer, film and TV actor, and the unlikely producer and screenwriter of the landmark sci-fi classic “Blade Runner,” as well as screenwriter on the upcoming sequel “Blade Runner 2049.”  Fancher’s running commentary – with a little help from Philip K. Dick and Ridley Scott – works in concert with extensive archival footage as Fancher relates death-defying escapades from a remarkable life. »

- Kate Erbland

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Cohen Media Group acquires 'Julian Schnabel: A Private Portrait'

7 March 2017 10:55 AM, PST | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Al Pacino, Bono among talking heads in documentary profile. Separately, The Orchard has picked up Rotterdam premiere Super Dark Times, while Orion Pictures and Samuel Goldwyn Films acquire Tracktown.

The distributor has picked up North American rights to Italian filmmaker Pappi Corsicato’s profile of the artist and filmmaker.

Julian Schnabel: A Private Portrait was created using a blend of material from Schnabel’s personal archives, newly filmed footage of the artist, and commentary from friends, family, actors and artists including Al Pacino, Mary Boone and Bono. Valeria Golino produced.

Cohen Media Group plans a theatrical release in May at the relaunched Quad Cinema in New York.

Charles S. Cohen, chairman and CEO of Cohen Media chairman and CEO Group Charles S. Cohenannounced that Cmg has acquired North American rights to Julian Schnabel: A Private Portrait. The distributor

Julian Schnabel is a brilliant artist and filmmaker and we are thrilled to bring the very personal »

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Cohen Media Group Acquires Documentary ‘Julian Schnabel: A Private Portrait’; Sets Release Date

7 March 2017 10:05 AM, PST | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

Cohen Media Group has acquired all North American distribution rights to the new documentary Julian Schnabel: A Private Portrait and it will receive a theatrical release in May of this year. Written and directed by Italy's Pappi Corsicato and produced by Valeria Golino, the film chronicles the personal life and public career of the celebrated painter and filmmaker Julian Schnabel. Along with Schnabel, those interviewed for the documentary  include Al Pacino, Mary Boone… »

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Art Doc 'Julian Schnabel: A Private Portrait' Nabbed by Cohen Media Group

7 March 2017 9:18 AM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Cohen Media Group has acquired the art doc Julian Schnabel: A Private Portrait for North America.

A Private Portrait follows the life of painter Julian Schnabel, from his upbringing in Texas to his rise in the 1980s New York art scene to his time directing features like 1995's Basquiat.

Italian director Pappi Corsicato helmed the feature, with Valeria Golino producing. 

The doc features interviews with Al Pacino, Mary Boone, Jeff Koons and Bono, among others.

Cmg is planning a limited theatrical release for May 2017 at the newly relaunched Quad Cinema in New York.


- THR Staff

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Lucca Film Festival to Honor Oliver Stone

20 February 2017 1:06 AM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Tuscany’s Lucca Film Festival is expecting an international red carpet come April. Oliver Stone will receive the festival’s main lifetime achievement award, which in previous years has honored directors including David Lynch and William Friedkin.

And this year’s festivities also will honor European directors Aki Kaurismaki and Olivier Assayas and actors Willem Dafoe and Valeria Golino.

The festival will dedicate a complete retrospective of the works of three-time Oscar winner Stone, from Seizure (1974) to Snowden (2016). He’ll be feted with the festival’s spotlight prize and will be on hand to host a master class open to the public.

Finnish »

- Ariston Anderson

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Berlinale: Global Screen Takes World Sales on ‘Julian Schnabel’ Doc (Exclusive)

9 February 2017 9:00 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Munich-based sales company Global Screen has picked up international rights to high-profile documentary “Julian Schnabel – A Private Portrait” by Italian director Pappi Corsicato, which will be introduced to buyers in Berlin at the European Film Market.

Good Films has already picked up “Schnabel” for Italy. A U.S. sale is expected imminently.

Corsicato described the documentary in a statement as “an intimate portrait of the enfant terrible of the art scene and, last but not least, one of the world’s most famous artists.”

This first feature-length Schnabel doc looks at the American painter and Palme d’Or-winning film director (“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”) through both a private and public lens, and includes exclusive footage from Schnabel’s personal archive. It  features his friends Al Pacino, Hector Babenco, Laurie Anderson, Jeff Koons and Bono, among others.

The 90-minute film begins with Schnabel preparing a retrospective at the Brant »

- Nick Vivarelli

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