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Official Oscar® Submission for Best Foreign Language Film from Kazakhstan: ‘The Road to Mother’

What begins as a fascinating look at the collectivization of formerly privately owned cattle in a small mountain village in Kazakhstan ends as an epic journey of a boy into manhood and even old age before he finds his way back to his mother.

The Road to Mother is set during one of the most tragic periods in the history of the former Ussr Republic of Kazakhstan. Director Akan Satayev tells a story of the power of a mother’s love which endures challenges of the turbulent times. The storyline covers a timespan from the 1930s to the present day with key elements of collectivization, war and postwar years for the Kazakh people.

The director was inspired by what his parents told him when he was a child.

According to Kazakhstan’s tradition, all legends are passed from the older generation to younger generation orally. It is the story of a lonely mother,
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

‘Hellboy’ Whitewashing Controversy: 5 Japanese Actors Who Could Take on the Embattled Role

‘Hellboy’ Whitewashing Controversy: 5 Japanese Actors Who Could Take on the Embattled Role
Early last week, white British actor Ed Skrein joined the cast of Neil Marshall’s upcoming “Hellboy” reboot, a casting choice that was immediately derided for its whitewashing of Skrein’s character, a Japanese-American Marine named Ben Daimio (whose family tree includes no less than a famous Japanese spy and war criminal, who also appears in the John Arcudi and Mike Mignola comic book series). In short order, Skrein did something wholly remarkable: he dropped out of the project after learning about Daimio’s heritage.

Read More:‘Hellboy’ Whitewashing: Ed Skrein Steps Down From Playing Japanese-American Comic Character

In an official statement, the actor made it clear that he believed the choice was what was “right,” noting that portraying the part in “a culturally accurate way” was clearly important for audiences (Skrein also pointed to his own “mixed heritage” family in the statement, which you can read here). In a
See full article at Indiewire »

Sergei Bodrov to Direct ‘White Rajah’ Based on James Brooke’s Adventures (Exclusive)

Sergei Bodrov to Direct ‘White Rajah’ Based on James Brooke’s Adventures (Exclusive)
Sergei Bodrov, who earned Oscar nominations for best foreign-language films for “Mongol” and “Prisoner of the Mountains,” is set to direct “White Rajah” for Margate House Films.

The movie is based on the true adventures of Sir James Brooke in 1840s Borneo.

The real-life inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s “The Man Who Would Be King” and Joseph Conrad’s “Lord Jim,” Brooke was an English adventurer who sailed to Borneo in 1839 and earned the title of “White Rajah” after defeating pirates in Sarawak. Brooke fell in love with the beauty, wildlife, and people of Borneo and embarked on a lifelong crusade against slavery, piracy, and headhunting. Queen Victoria knighted him for bravery. Brooke resisted British imperialism, so Parliament put him on trial for murder and piracy. Brooke fought back, founding a dynasty of Brooke Rajahs, who ruled a jungle kingdom larger than England for 100 years, until the eve of WWII.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Oscars 2017: How Asghar Farhadi Could Make History With a Second Win For Best Foreign Language

The Salesman’ (Courtesy: Habib Majidi)

By: Carson Blackwelder

Managing Editor

It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but we’re well on our way to seeing how the best foreign language film race will shape up at the Oscars in 2017. Leading the pack of the shortlist is The Salesman from Iran, which could land filmmaker Asghar Farhadi a rare second win in the category. How often do we see someone with more than one win in this worldwide competition?

The shortlist of nine films — more about those here — will, on January 24, be trimmed down to the official five nominees that will eventually face off at the Oscars on February 26. This site’s namesake, The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg, lists the current frontrunners as: Germany’s Toni Erdmann (written and directed by Maren Ade), Denmark’s Land of Mine (written and directed by Martin Zandvliet), Sweden’s A
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

The Overlook: Oh, Brother: Russia’s beloved and troubling no-budget hit man movie

In The Overlook, A.V. Club film critic Ignatiy Vishnevetsky examines the misfits, underappreciated gems, and underseen classics of film history.

Brother, the little $50,000 Russian hit man movie that could, is a true piece of junk art, equal parts crude and sophisticated, a faux-naïve crime myth with a protagonist as indelible as Travis Bickle. It made a lot of money in 1997, turning writer-director Aleksei Balabanov into one of the country’s most famous filmmakers and cementing the stardom of the charismatic and gifted Sergei Bodrov Jr., who would be killed in an avalanche five years later at the height of his fame. It was imitated, it was parodied, and it spawned one of the most deranged sequels in all of filmdom, Brother 2.

To this day, Brother remains the most popular film to come out of the Yeltsin years. It tapped something that went deeper than an ...
See full article at The AV Club »

Sarajevo fest unveils competition line-up

  • ScreenDaily
Sarajevo fest unveils competition line-up
Radu Jude’s Scarred Hearts among titles; In Focus strand also revealed.

Sarajevo Film Festival (Aug 12-20) has unveiled its competition and in focus titles ahead of the launch of its 22nd edition next month.

The eight features in competition include two world premieres: Ivan Marinović’s debut The Black Pin; and Lukas Valenta Rinner’s A Decent Woman.

The Black Pin, from Montenegro director Marinovic, centres on a priest who finds himself at odds with the other inhabitants of his small, rural parish when he opposes a large property sale. Serbian Vladimir Vasiljević is co-producing.

Austrian filmmaker Rinner, whose Parabellum won the special jury prize at Jeonju and was up for Rotterdam’s Tiger Award in 2015, returns with A Decent Woman, the story of a housemaid working in an exclusive gated community on the outskirts of Buenos Aires who embarks on a journey of sexual liberation at a nudist swingers club.

After winning
See full article at ScreenDaily »

'Mongol' director Bodrov boards UK action-thriller 'Knuckledust'

  • ScreenDaily
'Mongol' director Bodrov boards UK action-thriller 'Knuckledust'
Exclusive: Knuckledust comes from Euro production collective The Project and Featuristic Films.

Mongol director Sergei Bodrov will serve as executive producer and consultant on English-language UK action-thriller Knuckledust.

The UK-France co-production comes from Featuristic Films and The Project with shoot due to get underway in early 2017 from second-time writer-director James Kermack (Hi-Lo Joe).

The whodunnit, in the process of casting is set in a hyper realistic version of underground London.

Bodrov is also working on his sequel to Oscar-nominated Mongol, which will be a Us-China-Germany co-production.

Featuristic Films and The Project will be in Cannes meeting sellers to finalise representation for their next feature The Sonata, which is due to shoot in December 2016.

Bodrov said: “Knuckledust is a smart and gritty film that has the potential to become an iconic reference of the action-thriller genre. I am really excited to be involved from an early stage and making sure that the film gets my creative expertise and the
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Watch: New Diplo Powered Teaser Trailer For Terrence Malick's 'Knight Of Cups'

His output is presently as prolific as it's ever been, but has Terrence Malick's work lost some of its focus as a result? That's one question many have been asking, as his films encounter more mixed reviews and less excitement than his previous efforts. Read More: Our Review Of Terrence Malick's 'Knight Of Cups' Plus Over 30 New Images From The Film And More So goes the unusually tepid reception for "Knight Of Cups," which opens this week and now has a new teaser powered by Diplo's "Express Yourself" —you know, for the kids! To recap, Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Brian Dennehy, Antonio Banderas, Wes Bentley, Isabel Lucas, Teresa Palmer, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Freida Pinto, Cherry Jones, Joe Manganiello, Haley Bennett, Imogen Poots, Ryan O’Neal, Joel Kinnaman, Jason Clarke, Shea Whigham, Jocelin Donahue, Sergey Bodrov, Nick Offerman and Ben Kingsley comprise the massive ensemble in a film that follows a.
See full article at The Playlist »

Watch: Christian Bale Searches For Himself In 3 Clips And More From Terrence Malick's 'Knight Of Cups'

"Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice" and "Captain America: Civil War" may be the big spectacles of the spring, but Terrence Malick's "Knight Of Cups" is sort of an arthouse parallel to those films, bringing its own massive star power to the movie about one man's searching for meaning in the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. Read More: New International Poster For Terrence Malick's 'Knight of Cups' Starring/featuring Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Brian Dennehy, Antonio Banderas, Wes Bentley, Isabel Lucas, Teresa Palmer, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Freida Pinto, Cherry Jones, Joe Manganiello, Haley Bennett, Imogen Poots, Ryan O’Neal, Joel Kinnaman, Jason Clarke, Shea Whigham, Jocelin Donahue, Sergey Bodrov, Nick Offerman and Ben Kingsley, this movie will have more celebrity drive-bys than "Zoolander 2." Here's the synopsis: Knight of Cups follows Rick (Christian Bale), an uninspired screenwriter living on the...
See full article at The Playlist »

Watch: There's Joy, Lust, & Hope In New Promo Clips And Images For Terrence Malick's 'Knight Of Cups'

There are few directors who could get Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Brian Dennehy, Antonio Banderas, Wes Bentley, Isabel Lucas, Teresa Palmer, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Freida Pinto, Cherry Jones, Joe Manganiello, Haley Bennett, Imogen Poots, Ryan O’Neal, Joel Kinnaman, Jason Clarke, Shea Whigham, Jocelin Donahue, Sergey Bodrov, Nick Offerman and Ben Kingsley, into the same movie, but then again, there are few directors like Terrence Malick. And his upcoming "Knight Of Cups" is just over the horizon and a few more peeks at the picture have been revealed. Read More: Berlin Review: Terrence Malick's 'Knight Of Cups' Starring Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett & Natalie Portman ComingSoon has a new batch of photos, along with a couple of new promo videos of Broad Green Pictures, which tease the ethereal picture, about one man's searching for meaning in Hollywood. Here's the official synopsis: Knight of Cups follows Rick (Christian Bale), an.
See full article at The Playlist »

Helkon Media Resurrected by Dutch Investor

The German film industry is about to get a blast from the past: Helkon Media, the once high-flying German producer-distributor that went belly up in 2002, has risen again.

Dutch entrepreneur and investor Jasper M. de Gier, CEO of his Luxembourg-based financial investment firm de Gier & Co., founded the new Helkon in Berlin, where it began operations on Monday.

The new Helkon Media Ag will follow in the footsteps of its predecessor: The company aims to develop, produce and distribute feature films and TV series, and will be active in film licensing. Helkon’s current pipeline consists of a number of European films and TV series at different stages of development. It is also looking to expand into other areas, such as music and new media.

While de Gier will manage and monitor the company’s entry into the market, its day-to-day management will be handled by Alec Schulmann, who will serve as head of production,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

No Fear: The Year’S Best Movies

This is definitely the time of year when film critic types (I’m sure you know who I mean) spend an inordinate amount of time leading up to awards season—and it all leads up to awards season, don’t it?—compiling lists and trying to convince anyone who will listen that it was a shitty year at the movies for anyone who liked something other than what they saw and liked. And ‘tis the season, or at least ‘thas (?) been in the recent past, for that most beloved of academic parlor games, bemoaning the death of cinema, which, if the sackcloth-and-ashes-clad among us are to be believed, is an increasingly detached and irrelevant art form in the process of being smothered under the wet, steaming blanket of American blockbuster-it is. And it’s going all malnourished from the siphoning off of all the talent back to TV, which, as everyone knows,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Bodrov, Mokritsky films win development funding

  • ScreenDaily
Bodrov, Mokritsky films win development funding
New projects by Sergei Bodrov and Sergei Mokritsky awarded development funding by Russian Cinema Fund

New films by veteran Russian director Sergei Bodrov and DoP-director Sergei Mokritsky are among 10 projects each awarded up to $76,000 (RUB5m) by the Russian Cinema Fund (Fond Kino) in its new action line of funding at the development stage.

Bodrov (Mongol) has written a screenplay based on Alexey Ivanov’s historical drama Heart of Parma, to be produced by Vlad Ryashin’s Star Media Distribution, which promoted the project at the American Film Film (Afm) earlier this month.

Mokritsky - who had a box-office hit in Russia and Ukraine this year with his Second World War drama Battle For Sevastopol (aka Unbreakable) - is planning an adaptation of Russian fantasy writer Sergei Lukianenko’s novel Chernovik.

Previous novels by Lukianenko - Night Watch and Day Watch - were successfully adapted for the cinema both in Russia and in the Us.

Other supported
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Vin Diesel Addresses Questions Over The Last Witch Hunter Sequel

Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment’s starry supernatural vehicle The Last Witch Hunter is yet to hit theaters – it’s out tomorrow, October 23 – but Vin Diesel has revealed that the studios are already marinating on the possibility of a follow-up.

Indeed, the actor has spoke in the past about his desire to develop Witch Hunter into a new franchise under Summit, and it seems the studio certainly shares that enthusiasm, after Diesel revealed to Complex Magazine that executives approached him on set to present the concept of another adventure for his age-old warrior, Kaulder.

“The top brass of the company were there one day while Michael Caine and I were doing a scene together, and came by the trailer at the end of the day and said, ‘Hey, we want to get started with a sequel right away,'” Diesel told the magazine. “Maybe we should release the film first.”

Opening to good-to-average review scores,
See full article at We Got This Covered »

F4 Box Office: Worst Debut Among Big-Budget Superhero Films in the 21st Century?

'Fantastic Four' 2015: Miles Teller as Reed Richards aka Mister Fantastic. Box office: 'Fantastic Four' 2015 bombs, 'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation' to pass $100 million mark Derided by critics and fans alike, 20th Century Fox's Fantastic Four is about to become one of 2015's domestic box office bombs. After earning a paltry $11.3 million on Friday – including Thursday evening shows – the Josh Trank-directed, Fox-meddled (and -muddled?) Marvel superhero flick will likely gross less than even the most modest, downgraded expectations. In fact, don't be too surprised if the Christopher McQuarrie-Tom Cruise actioner Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation tops the North American box office chart this weekend (Aug. 7-9, '15). Fox's only hope is that Fantastic Four lives up to its name at the international box office – despite the fact that this latest superhero entry is in old-fashioned 2D, whereas audiences in several key overseas markets prefer their
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

‘San Andreas’ Producer Boards ‘Thrifty Time Traveler’s Guide’

‘San Andreas’ Producer Boards ‘Thrifty Time Traveler’s Guide’
New Line and “San Andreas” producer Beau Flynn are developing a movie version of Jonathan Stokes’ upcoming book series “The Thrifty Time Traveler's Guide.”

New Line and Flynn won the rights in an auction. Flynn will produce through his FlynnPictureCo banner, with Wendy Jacobson, Richard Brener and Andrea Johnston overseeing.

Viking acquired the book rights in March to Stokes’ series, in which a future time-travel agency puts together affordable vacation packages to history’s biggest events. The first books will span Ancient Egypt, the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages and WWII.

Several of Stokes’ scripts have been selected for the Black List — “Blood Mountain,” with Sergei Bodrov directing and Lawrence Bender producing; “Murders and Acquisitions,” which was set up at Warner Bros. with Seth Grahame-Smith and David Katzenberg producing; “Tchaikovsky’s Requiem,” which explores the composer’s seemingly unnatural death; and “Border Country.”

Stokes also wrote the screenplay for
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Seventh Son review: Julianne Moore and Jeff Bridges lead a fantasy flop

Seventh Son review: Julianne Moore and Jeff Bridges lead a fantasy flop
Director: Sergei Bodrov; Screenwriter: Chris Weitz; Starring: Ben Barnes, Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges, Kit Harington, Alicia Vikander; Running time: 102 mins; Certificate: 12A

It's been a rocky year for Oscar winners embracing roles in fantasy blockbusters. Eddie Redmayne delivered a pungent ham and cheese performance in The Wachowskis' Jupiter Ascending, while Julianne Moore turns it up to 11 for her role as an evil witch in this week's Seventh Son.

Moore was years away from even setting foot on the set of Still Alice when she made Seventh Son (it's been trapped in post-production hell for a while), but it does make you wonder if there's some truth to the myth that Oscar winners seem destined for an immediate career stumble. Moore at least seems to be having fun with her role as Seventh Son's Mother Malkin. To say she's chewing the scenery would be a slight misnomer seeing as so
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Second Best Marigold Hotel not second best

  • IF.com.au
The Second Best Marigold Hotel has topped the Australian box office chart over the weekend, shooting up from its debut position of number five.

The sequel to 2011.s surprise hit The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has proved popular with Aussie audiences, raking in $2,631,599 in its second week and bringing its Aus box office total to $8,624,346.

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Con artist caper Focus wasn't far behind, raking in a cool $2,619,751 and $2,662,971 with previews.

The film, penned and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, stars Will Smith as con artist Nicky and Australia.s Margot Robbie as his protégé Jess. After the two become romantically involved, Nicky reluctantly breaks up with Jess, only to bump into years later when she is every bit the conning master mind that he is.

It.s another feather in Robbie.s cap who, after bursting onto our screens in The Wolf of Wall Street, now has a slew
See full article at IF.com.au »

Focus lands on its feet

  • IF.com.au
Con artist caper Focus has topped the Australian box office chart over the weekend, raking in a cool $2,608,006 over 232 screens.

The film, penned and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, stars Will Smith as con artist Nicky and Australia.s Margot Robbie as his protégé Jess. After the two become romantically involved, Nicky reluctantly breaks up with Jess, only to bump into years later when she is every bit the conning master mind that he is.

Distributed by Warner Bros, Focus has so far grossed a total of $2,651,224, according to a report released by Rentrak.

It.s another feather in Robbie.s cap who, after bursting onto our screens in The Wolf of Wall Street, now has a slew of high-calibre projects in the works, including playing opposite Alexander Skarsgård in the upcoming Tarzan as well has having landed the role of Harley Quinn in David Ayer.s Suicide Squad.
See full article at IF.com.au »

Julianne Moore is finally an Oscar winner

  • Hitfix
Julianne Moore is finally an Oscar winner
After five Academy Award nominations and a career's worth of bold, varied performances, Julianne Moore is finally an Oscar winner. The "Still Alice" star was tipped to win the Best Actress prize at the 87th Academy Awards as early as the film's debut at the Toronto Film Festival, where it was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics and set on the fast track for a fall release amplified by an awards campaign. So it was little shock to those in the audience at the Dolby Theater or those watching at home when Matthew McConaughey announced her name. "There is no such thing as Best Actress, as is evidenced by the performances of my fellow nominees," the 54-year-old legend said. "I have been honored to be with you every step of the way." Interesting factoid: Only nine times in the 87-year history of the Academy Awards has a woman over 50 won the Best Actress Oscar.
See full article at Hitfix »
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