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Female-Led WWII Spy Thriller from Lydia Dean Pilcher and Sarah Megan Thomas in Development

Vera Atkins: alchetron.com

Another female-led spy thriller is on the way, this one based on a true story. Set in WWII, the pic tells the story of spy recruiter Vera Atkins. The as-yet untitled project will be written by Sarah Megan Thomas (“Equity”) and directed by Lydia Dean Pilcher (“Radium Girls”), The Hollywood Reporter confirms. Both will produce.

Set to begin shooting this spring, the film is currently being cast. Atkins is “known for recruiting, training, and supervising the British secret agents who parachuted into France to sabotage the Nazis during World War II,” the source details. “She was widely believed to have inspired the James Bond character of Miss Moneypenny.” The story follows Atkins as “she selects two of the first women of the Special Operations Executive, also known as Winston Churchill’s ‘secret army’ — a pacifist of Indian descent and a daring American who is challenged, but undaunted,
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Female-Driven WWII Spy Thriller in the Works From 'Equity,' 'Queen of Katwe' Producers (Exclusive)

Female-Driven WWII Spy Thriller in the Works From 'Equity,' 'Queen of Katwe' Producers (Exclusive)
The story of Vera Atkins is headed to the screen.

The spy recruiter is at the heart of a new female-driven World War II spy thriller, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively. Sarah Megan Thomas — who created, produced and starred in the story of last year's Wall Street thriller Equity — wrote the project's script and will produce the real-life drama with Lydia Dean Pilcher, who will direct. Casting is currently underway, and principal photography is set to begin in the spring.

Based on true events, the as-yet untitled pic tells the story of Atkins, known for recruiting, training...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Film News Roundup: Bill Nighy, Jack Lowden to Star in Comedy ‘Made in Italy’

Film News Roundup: Bill Nighy, Jack Lowden to Star in Comedy ‘Made in Italy’
In today’s film news roundup, Bill Nighy and Jack Lowden join “Made in Italy,” a new distributor named Anerke launches with a focus on films for minorities and women, Jeffrey Tambor gets an award and the Sloan Summit announces its panelists.

Castings

Bill Nighy and “Dunkirk” star Jack Lowden have signed up for the comedy “Made in Italy,” James D’Arcy’s feature directorial debut.

Developed by London based CrossDay Productions, the film is produced by Pippa Cross and Sam Tipper-Hale with co-producer Nicola Serra for Italian production entity Palomar. HanWay’s Gabrielle Stewart and CrossDay’s Janette Day are executive producers.

D’Arcy previously wrote and directed the short film “Chicken/Egg,” starring Hayley Atwell and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, which screened at the 2017 Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Made in Italy” is set in Tuscany with Nighy as a bohemian London artist who returns to Italy with his estranged son (played by Lowden) to make a quick
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Women in Cannes

Women in Cannes
Anna Serner, Filminstitutet. Foto: Fredrik Sandberg/ScanpixAnna Serner, CEO of the Swedish Film Institute (Sfi) has been leading the way for gender equality on a global scale for at least the past five years and has become a sort of godmother to all the woman striving and thriving in Cannes.

She not only encouraged the collection of statistics of women filmmakers in Sweden and abroad which could then be used to calculate public funding to create parity but as been the preeminent global lobbyist. In 2016, 64% of the Sfi’s production funding when to female directors which means that from 2013–2016, Sfi funding was 50% female and 50% male. In 2017 the Sfi funding is expecte to be 40% for female directors.

50/50 by 2020 — Global Reach was held in Cannes for the second year, hosted by Sfi, Wift Nordic and the Marche and included talk with such filmmakers a Agnieszka Holland and Jessica Hausner, a presentation by
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

Sweden hits 64% female director funding in 2016

  • ScreenDaily
Sweden hits 64% female director funding in 2016
Exclusive: Sfi to host gender equality event in Cannes.

Anna Serner, CEO of the Swedish Film Institute and the pre-eminent global lobbyist on gender equality in film, has confirmed that in 2016, 64% of the Swedish Film Institute’s production funding went to female directors.

That means for the period 2013-2016, the Sfi funding was exactly 50% female and male.

Now, 2017 is the first year of its next four-year cycle that will end in 2020. Serner expects the percentage of funding to female directors by the Sfi this year to be 40%. But she added: “It can change, and that is totally accurate that we should be going up and down year by year. I’m happy with that.”

The Swedish Film Institute is for the second year in a row hosting a Cannes seminar about gender equality. 50/50 by 2020-Global Reach will be hosted Saturday (May 20) at 14.00 in Palais K by the Sfi, Wift Nordic and the Marche.

The talk will
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Norman Lear, John Wells, Bruce Cohen Join Produced By Conference as Speakers

Norman Lear, John Wells, Bruce Cohen Join Produced By Conference as Speakers
The Producers Guild of America has added Norman Lear, John Wells and Bruce Cohen as speakers at its ninth annual Produced By Conference.

The event will be held on June 10 and 11 at the Fox studio lot in Los Angeles. Damien Chazelle, Jordan Peele, Oprah Winfrey, Ava DuVernay, Shawn Levy, and Ted Sarandos have been announced previously as speakers.

The panels will include “Conversation With: Oprah Winfrey, Ava DuVernay and Bruce Cohen,” “Conversation With: Jordan Peele and Norman Lear,” and “Conversation With: Damien Chazelle and John Wells.”

Cohen won the Academy Award for Best Picture for “American Beauty.” Wells is an executive producer on “Shameless” and “The West Wing.” Lear was the creator of “All in the Family” and “One Day at a Time.”

Additional speakers include Doug Belgrad, Janet Brown, Gloria Calderon-Kellett, Bob Eicholtz, DeVon Franklin, Carolyn Giardina, Mitch Gross, Pete Hammond, Jeffrey Hirsch, Pearlena Igbokwe, Matt Kaplan, Jody Kelley,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Listen: Podcast with “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” Executive Producer Lydia Dean Pilcher

“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”

“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” uncovers important history that’s gone largely unwritten. We should all know the name Henrietta Lacks. The African-American tobacco farmer’s cells helped the medical community advance research in cloning, chemotherapy, and in vitro fertilization — but her cells were used without her consent. Told from the perspective of Deborah Lacks (Oprah Winfrey), Henrietta’s daughter, the HBO film explores the story of how Henrietta (Renée Elise Goldsberry, “Hamilton”) changed the world — and the fact that her own family wasn’t even aware of her contributions.

I talked to Lydia Dean Pilcher, who served as executive producer on the project. We discussed why she’s so dedicated to getting female stories out in the world, the effect of The Ms. Factor toolkit, a collaboration between the PGA Women’s Impact Network and Women and Hollywood that makes the case for female-driven content, and her involvement in ReFrame, an initiative from a group of Hollywood powerhouses dedicated to achieving gender parity in the entertainment industry.

“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” premieres on HBO this Saturday, April 22. The film is based on Rebecca Skloot’s 2010 book of the same name.

Listen below via SoundCloud. You can also listen on iTunes here. Please be sure to rate and review the podcast on iTunes.

https://medium.com/media/9ac5248e088f7f9408b632a35e7ac981/hrefhttps://medium.com/media/dd2f4f61a00b9ba12c0532a3c7656823/href

Listen: Podcast with “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” Executive Producer Lydia Dean Pilcher was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Wamg Giveaway – Win Disney’s Queen Of Katwe on Blu-ray

Home audiences will cheer for Disney’s Queen of Katwe, which has earned widespread critical acclaim. Based on the vibrant true story of a young girl (Madina Nalwanga) from the streets of Uganda whose world changes when she is introduced to the game of chess, and, as a result of the support she receives from her family and community, is instilled with the confidence and determination she needs to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion. It is a remarkable story of perseverance against all odds that will leave viewers feeling humbled and inspired. According to director Mira Nair, “The triumph of the human spirit is not to weep for what we don’t have but to focus on what we do have and allow that to take us to a place we never imagined possible.” Disney’s heartwarming and triumphant tale arrives home on Digital HD on Jan.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Matt Damon, Cheo Coker Among Featured Speakers At Produced By New York 2016

The Producers Guild of America has announced additional speakers for the 2016 edition of Produced By: New York Conference. New speakers for the event include M. Blair Breard, Cheo Hodari Coker, Matt Damon, Donna Gigliotti, Julie Goldman, William Horberg, Jon Kilik, Brian Koppelman and David Levien, Franklin Leonard, John Lyons, Lori McCreary, Chris Moore, Lydia Dean Pilcher, Joshua Safran, Allyn Stewart, among others. The conference has also announced additional panels…
See full article at Deadline TV »

Matt Damon, Cheo Coker Among Featured Speakers At Produced By New York 2016

  • Deadline
Matt Damon, Cheo Coker Among Featured Speakers At Produced By New York 2016
The Producers Guild of America has announced additional speakers for the 2016 edition of Produced By: New York Conference. New speakers for the event include M. Blair Breard, Cheo Hodari Coker, Matt Damon, Donna Gigliotti, Julie Goldman, William Horberg, Jon Kilik, Brian Koppelman and David Levien, Franklin Leonard, John Lyons, Lori McCreary, Chris Moore, Lydia Dean Pilcher, Joshua Safran, Allyn Stewart, among others. The conference has also announced additional panels…
See full article at Deadline »

Tina Fey, Chris Rock Set as Speakers at Produced By: New York

Tina Fey, Chris Rock Set as Speakers at Produced By: New York
The Producers Guild of America has selected Tina Fey and Chris Rock as featured speakers at Produced By: New York 2016, set for Oct. 29.

The event will be held for the third consecutive year at Time Warner Center in New York. The conference will present a pair of in-depth discussions — “Triple Threat: Conversation with Tina Fey” and “Dying is Easy. Comedy is Hard.” with Rock and Red Hour FilmsStuart Cornfeld.

Speakers at the 2015 edition of Produced By: New York included Michael Moore, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Effie Brown, Barbara Hall, John Hoffman, Navid Khonsari, Robert & Michelle King, Michael London, Tom McCarthy, Lydia Dean Pilcher, Peter Saraf, Darren Star, and Christine Vachon.

Tina Fey and Chris Rock are each living proof that you can be an excellent producer while being the funniest person in the room,” said PGA presidents Lori McCreary and Gary Lucchesi. “The PGA is thrilled to welcome two of the city’s most practiced and proven
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Tina Fey, Chris Rock Set as Speakers at Produced By: New York

Tina Fey, Chris Rock Set as Speakers at Produced By: New York
The Producers Guild of America has selected Tina Fey and Chris Rock as featured speakers at Produced By: New York 2016, set for Oct. 29.

The event will be held for the third consecutive year at Time Warner Center in New York. The conference will present a pair of in-depth discussions — “Triple Threat: Conversation with Tina Fey” and “Dying is Easy. Comedy is Hard.” with Rock and Red Hour FilmsStuart Cornfeld.

Speakers at the 2015 edition of Produced By: New York included Michael Moore, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Effie Brown, Barbara Hall, John Hoffman, Navid Khonsari, Robert & Michelle King, Michael London, Tom McCarthy, Lydia Dean Pilcher, Peter Saraf, Darren Star, and Christine Vachon.

Tina Fey and Chris Rock are each living proof that you can be an excellent producer while being the funniest person in the room,” said PGA presidents Lori McCreary and Gary Lucchesi. “The PGA is thrilled to welcome two of
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Rose Byrne Teams With Oprah For HBO

Rose Byrne is set to star opposite Oprah Winfrey in HBO's upcoming feature "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks".

Based on Rebecca Skloot's nonfiction best-seller of the same name, the biopic tells the story of Henrietta Lacks (Winfrey), a poor black woman who died of cervical cancer in 1951.

Without her consent, pieces of the tumor that killed her were removed and used for medical exploration and to build a billion-dollar research industry.

Byrne will play Skloot, a young journalist who formed a close bond with Henrietta's charismatic yet complicated daughter Deborah as part of her effort to tell the story of Henrietta's 'immortal' cells.

Winfrey, Alan Ball, Peter Macdissi, Carla Gardini and Lydia Dean Pilcher will executive produce. George C. Wolfe ("Lackawanna Blues," "Angels in America") wrote the screenplay and will direct the film which begins production this summer.

Source: The Live Feed
See full article at Dark Horizons »

Lupita Nyong’o’s ‘Queen of Katwe’ to Make European Debut at London Film Festival

Lupita Nyong’o’s ‘Queen of Katwe’ to Make European Debut at London Film Festival
Mira Nair’s “Queen of Katwe,” which stars David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong’o and newcomer Madina Nalwanga, will receive its European premiere Oct. 9 in the Gala section of the 60th BFI London Film Festival. Oyelowo, Nyong’o and Nalwanga will be on the red carpet with Nair.

Walt Disney Studios’ movie is the true story of a girl, Phiona Mutesi (Nalwanga), selling corn on the streets of rural Uganda, whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess by Robert Katende (Oyelowo), a soccer player turned missionary. As a result of the support she receives from her mother Harriet (Nyong’o), family and community, Phiona is “instilled with the confidence and determination she needs to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion,” the festival said in a statement.

Oyelowo commented: “’Queen of Katwe’ beautifully illustrates a thing I know to be true but rarely see in films.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Mira Nair's 'Queen of Katwe' to get European bow at London Film Fesival

Mira Nair's 'Queen of Katwe' to get European bow at London Film Fesival
Disney and Espn collaboration starring Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo will get a gala screening.

Mira Nair’s (Monsoon Wedding) drama biopic Queen Of Katwe will get its European premiere at the BFI London Film Festival (October 5-October 16) where it will screen on Sunday 9 October at the Odeon Leicester Square in the festival’s headline gala section.

Queen of Katwe is the true story of a young girl who sells corn on the rural streets of Uganda until her world is turned upside down when she is introduced to the game of chess.

The film stars David Oyelowo (Selma), Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years A Slave) and newcomer Madina Nalwanga and is Nair’s seventh film to be presented at the festival.

Nair directed the film from a screenplay by William Wheeler. The film is produced by Lydia Dean Pilcher and John Carls with Will Weiske and Troy Buder serving as executive producers. The film will
See full article at ScreenDaily »

First Trailer for Mira Nair’s ‘Queen of Katwe’ Starring Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo

After breaking out in 12 Years a Slave, we actually haven’t seen Lupita Nyong’o on screen since. Yes, she did motion-capture work for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Jungle Book, but for those hoping for a more substantial role from the actress, it will arrive this year. Mississippi Masala and Monsoon Wedding director Mira Nair recently adapted Tim Crothers‘ book, based on his own article for Espn, with Queen of Katwe and the first trailer has landed today.

The Disney drama follows the true story of Phiona Mutesi, who comes from the slums of Kampala, Uganda and became a chess prodigy as a teenager. The first trailer shows off an authentic, feel-good drama and we imagine it’ll be a strong fit for fall festivals before it hits theaters. Also starring newcomer Madina Nalwanga and David Oyelowo, check out the trailer and poster below.

Queen of Katwe
See full article at The Film Stage »

Oprah to Star in HBO Films’ ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’

Oprah to Star in HBO Films’ ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’
Oprah Winfrey will star in “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” which has been greenlit by HBO Films.

The premium cabler made the announcement on Monday.

Based on Rebecca Skloot’s best-seller, Winfrey will also serve as an exec producer on the film, along with Alan Ball, Peter Macdissi, Carla Gardini and Lydia Dean Pilcher. Skloot will serve as a co-exec producer. George C. Wolfe will direct and wrote the screenplay.

The project has been in the works for years. First announced in 2010 when Winfrey’s Harpo Films acquired the book rights, the media mogul was attached to produce, alongside Ball, for HBO Films. The project has sat in development, but now with Winfrey attached to star, has been put on the fast-track with filming beginning this summer.

“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” tells the true story of Henrietta Lacks, an African-American woman whose cells were used to create
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Oprah Signs For HBO's "Henrietta Lacks"

Oprah Winfrey has signed on for the title role in "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" for HBO Films.

Based on Rebecca Skloot's nonfiction bestseller, the story follows a poor black woman who died of cervical cancer in 1951. Without her consent, pieces of the tumor that killed her were removed and used for medical exploration and to build a billion-dollar research industry.

Both Winfrey and "Six Feet Under" creator Alan Ball have been attached as executive producers for several years, but the project is only now moving forward and will begin shooting this Summer.

George C. Wolfe ("Lackawanna Blues," "Angels in America") wrote the screenplay and will direct, while Peter Macdissi, Carla Gardini and Lydia Dean Pilcher will executive produce.

Source: The Live Feed
See full article at Dark Horizons »

Movies About Women Nearly Impossible to Finance, Say Indie Producers

Movies About Women Nearly Impossible to Finance, Say Indie Producers
Tallulah,” the story of a homeless woman who steals a baby, reunites the “Juno” team of Allison Janney and Ellen Page, but despite the film’s star power, bringing the indie to the big screen was a decade-long struggle.

The reason? Producer Heather Rae pointed the finger squarely at Hollywood’s boy’s club mentality.

“At the time this film was deemed not commercially viable, because it was a woman’s story, and it wasn’t about getting the guy,” Rae said at a private screening on “Tallulah” in New York, noting that executives said as much to her face.

But despite profitability concerns, the film was snapped up by Netflix for $5 million, before it even premiered at Sundance last winter. “Tallulah” will be released on Netflix on July 29, and in select theaters.

Rae was joined at the panel on shifting roles for women in the entertainment industry by two prominent female producers,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Diversity Scandal Overlooks Historic Year for Women at Oscars

By Patrick Shanley

Managing Editor

When it comes to this year’s Academy Awards, no word is more buzzworthy than “diversity”. For the second year in a row the Oscars have nominated only white actors in their four main acting categories, sparking backlash and, as a result, inciting the Academy to announce new changes to tackle its “diversity problem”.

Amidst another year of #OscarsSoWhite trending on Twitter, however, the fact that 2015 has been an exceptionally strong year for women has been largely overlooked. Three of this year’s best picture nominees (Brooklyn, Room, Mad Max: Fury Road) are female-centric and feature strong female protagonists in the center of the action. In fact, even outside of those films and their performances, a number of women are nominated for best picture as producers, as well. Kristie Macosko Krieger is nominated for Bridge of Spies, Blye Pagon Faust is nominated for Spotlight, Dede Gardner
See full article at Scott Feinberg »
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