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By Robert W. Welkos Joey Berlin, who co-founded the Broadcast Film Critics Assn. in 1995 and continues to oversee its day-to-day operations and its televised Critics’ Choice Movie Awards each year, likes to say that his membership seems to be satisfied with the job he’s doing because he’s been repeatedly re-elected every two years as its president. The nonprofit group’s latest tax filings show that Berlin also is handsomely paid for his work. The Bfca’s latest IRS Form 990 tax filing shows that Berlin Entertainment, Inc., a company 100 percent owned by Berlin, received $859,077 for production services in 2012, a jump from $376,270 listed on tax forms the previous year. To read article about Crackpot Of The Month – David Poland – Bfca Between 2009 and 2012, Berlin Entertainment was paid a total of $1,851,347, according to federal tax documents filed by the nonprofit. Meanwhile, Berlin’s base compensation and benefits totaled $478,350 in 2012, according to the IRS filing. »
- Robert W. Welkos
On paper, it all looked so promising. After his triumphant, Oscar-winning "The Artist," Michel Hazanavicius pivoted toward serious drama and arrived at Cannes this year with "The Search," a loose remake of Fred Zinneman's 1948 film of the same name. The war drama stars Berenice Bejo and Annette Bening in the tale of an Ngo worker who bonds with a young boy in war torn Chechnya. The ingredients were there for something powerful, and the 2 hour and 40 minute runtime suggested something epic. But the result was, as our critic put it, "one of the more prominent disappointments of the festival, and indeed of the year as a whole." Reviews out of Cannes were largely negative, but Hazanavicius has gone back to the editing room to try fix the film. We missed the report last month during the crush of festival coverage, but La Parisien reported that Hazanavicius snipped 17-minutes from the film. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Paris– Chicago-based Music Box Films and U.K.’s Soda Pictures have acquired Anne Fontaine’s “Gemma Bovery,” a romantic comedy toplining British rising star Gemma Arterton, on the heels of its Special Presentation premiere at Toronto.
Sold and co-produced by Gaumont, “Gemma” was warmly received at Toronto where it steered a standing ovation and proved one of the fest’s arthouse crossover highlights. A satirical take on Gustave Flaubert’s classic novel “Madame Bovary,” “Gemma” also sparked two offers from Australian buyers.
“Gemma” stars Arterton as a passionate young British woman who moves with her husband to a small Norman town where she meets a quirky French baker, played by popular Gallic thesp Fabrice Luchini.
- Elsa Keslassy
Three years ago Jean Dujardin became the first French actor ever to win a Best Actor Oscar, for The Artist. That charming film, meticulously designed in the style of a late-1920s black-and-white silent film, was transformed from an ingenious stunt into something more by Dujardin’s brilliance as a swashbuckling Hollywood star circa 1928. A pastiche performance, yes, particularly paying homage to Douglas Fairbanks, but nonetheless one with delicacy and emotional depth. Few Americans heard of him before The Artist’s sleeper triumph. Fewer still of its writer-director Michel Hazanavicius. Yet they were already something of a signature creative duo in France, on the basis of two movies that got just moderate arthouse exposure in the U.S. but were big commercial hits abroad. Some of us who had seen them enjoyed The Artist very much—but semi-guiltily still preferred the brassier, vulgar, laugh-out-loud joys of Oss 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies (2006) and its sequel, »
The 16th edition of the Mumbai Film Festival announced its line-up in a press conference today.
Here is the complete list of films which will be screened at the festival:-
Dir.: Zeresenay Berhane Mehari (Ethiopia / 2014 / Col / 99)
History of Fear (Historia del miedo)
Dir.: Benjamin Naishtat (Argentina-France-Germany-Qatar-Uruguay / 2014 / Col / 79)
With Others (Ba Digaran)
Dir.: Nasser Zamiri (Iran / 2014 / Col / 85)
The Tree (Drevo)
Dir.: Sonja Prosenc (Slovenia / 2014 / Col / 90)
Next to Her (At li layla)
Dir.: Asaf Korman (Israel / 2014 / Col / 90)
Dir.: Alex Sampayo (Spain / 2014 / Col / 87)
Dir.: Raphaël Neal (France / 2014 / Col / 81)
Dir.: Chaitanya Tamhane (India (Marathi-Gujarati-English-Hindi) / 2014 / Col / 116)
Dir.: Sudabeh Mortezai (Austria / 2014 / Col / 98)
India Gold Competition 2014
The Fort (Killa)
Dir.: Avinash Arun (India (Marathi) / 2014 / Col / 107)
Unto the Dusk
Dir.: Sajin Baabu (India (Malayalam) / 2014 / Col / 118)
Names Unknown (Perariyathavar)
Dir.: Dr. Biju (India (Malayalam) / 2014 / Col / 110)
Buddha In a Traffic Jam
Once again today I’m going to be taking a look back at a recent Oscar lineup and explaining what my vote would have been in each of the big eight categories we all follow so intently each season. I previously mentioned that potentially I could do this once a week with previous Academy Award ceremonies, and while I’m going to be truing to do that, time will still tell. Again, if nothing else, this gives you an interesting look into my cinematic tastes. Over the course of the year you can sort of get a feel for what my current favorites are, but now we can look to the past a bit more. Alright, here goes nothing: Best Picture – Moneyball The nominees here for this ceremony were The Artist, The Descendants, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Help, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, and War Horse. »
- Joey Magidson
By Anjelica Oswald
Some pictures headed to the Toronto International Film Festival already with a domestic distributor — such as, The Judge (Warner Bros.) and Nightcrawler (Open Road Films) — but others are hoping to garner some bids and make some deals during the 11-day festival.
Among the recent acquisitions is The Last 5 Years, which was picked up by the Weinstein Co.’s RADiUS label.
Here are 10 acquisition titles to keep an eye on as of Monday morning:
While We’re Young
Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts, along with Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried, play two sets of New York couples who become unlikely friends in Noah Baumbach’s new film. These couples have similar interests — both Stiller and Driver are documentary filmmakers — but live vastly different lifestyles. The older couple is more intune with the modern world, whereas the younger couple are into the hipster lifestyle, obsessed with vinyls and vintage. »
- Anjelica Oswald
Michel Hazanavicius will take on Toronto armed with a new version of his Chechnya-set drama The Search. After receiving mixed reviews in Cannes, the Artist Oscar winner shaved 17 minutes off what he characterizes as an “angrier” version. “When we went to Cannes, the movie was not 100 percent ready,” he tells The Hollywood Reporter. “So the press was mixed — we had some good reviews and some bad reviews. But when I saw the movie, I wanted to recut it. I knew that the editing process was not completely done, and the reviews helped me to find
- Rhonda Richford
If the acquisitions frenzy and precedent-setting deals struck in Berlin and Cannes is going to continue, it will surprise many of the sellers who’ve come to the Toronto Film Festival to fill slots in their 2015 slates. Maybe it’s because there were so many spectacular deals this year, of perhaps it’s because Toronto 2014 is so stocked with studio films that star the likes of Robert Downey Jr, Bill Murray and Denzel Washington. Whatever the reason, acquisition titles seem to be lower key than last year, when Can A Song Save Your Life and Bad Words prompted overnight auctions and $7 million deals, and just about every movie that played here found distribution.
The deal action got underway yesterday and today with Relativity’s acquisition of The Woman In Black 2 and Saban Entertainment’s deal for fest title Tracers. All the ingredients for a continued buying surge seem to be there, »
- Mike Fleming Jr
Name change follows move into co-production among other developments
Wild Bunch Benelux has been renamed September Film Distribution, effective today (Sept 1).
The film distribution company, founded nearly six years ago by Paris-based Wild Bunch and Pim Hermeling, has since become a leading arthouse distributor with titles such as The Hunt, Melancholia, The Broken Circle Breakdown and Nymphomaniac.
The distributor ended its collaboration with the French company in 2010 but retained the name.
However, several development at the firm have led to the decision to rebrand.
September Film Distribution will continue to focus on the acquisition of director-driven films and release arthouse productions theatrically and on DVD, VOD and other platforms.
But it recently set up a film distribution office in Belgium; purchased the Cartoons movie theatre in Antwerp; and developed large arthouse cinema complex Da Kade in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
It has also set up a production company and has a growing slate of films including Nicole van Kilsdonk’s Ventoux »
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
As we look in the rearview mirror of the summer blockbusters, September heralds the start of the fall movie season. Filled with Hollywood heavyweights and A-listers, here’s our Big list of the most anticipated movies coming to cinemas this autumn and during the holidays.
Our exhaustive list includes films that are playing at the upcoming Toronto Film Festival as well the ones that already have a theatrical release date. With the awards season on the horizon, we also added a few bonus films at the end to keep your eye out for in the months ahead.
Pull up a chair, grab a pen and paper and get ready for Wamg’s Guide to the 100+ Films This Fall And Holiday Season.
We kick it off with what’s showing in Toronto at the film festival that runs September 4 – 14.
- Movie Geeks
As shrinking public funding makes for fewer French films, Cofiloisirs, one of Gaul’s top two lending institutions, is seeking to reach out to filmmakers beyond French borders.
In the past year, the two men behind the money — Herve Digne, who in 2012 was tapped president of Cofiloisirs at the same time that Jean-Baptiste Souchier was appointed managing director — have made a name for themselves in independent film circles, backing such upscale, cast-driven foreign productions as the Julianne Moore-Kristen Stewart starrer “Still Alice,” making its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in a few weeks; and Anton Corbijn’s spy thriller “A Most Wanted Man,” with Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Rachel McAdams, which has grossed $10 million Stateside via Roadside Attractions.
- Elsa Keslassy
Acclaimed French actress Bérénice Bejo, who received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nom for her breakout role as Peppy Miller in The Artist, has joined Cosmopolis star Robert Pattinson in the upcoming post-wwi biopic The Childhood of a Leader.
The feature directorial debut of Brady Corbet, who appeared in the supporting role of Piers Roaldson in Olivier Assayas’ Clouds of Sils Maria, The Childhood of a Leader takes a look at the early days of a ruler who would rise to power following World War I. Pattinson will play the titular leader.
Bejo will take on the key role of the leader’s mother, replacing Juliette Binoche after scheduling conflicts forced that actress to disembark. Tim Roth and Michael Epp also star in the film. It will be just one more meaty part for Bejo, who has drawn raves for her post-Artist performances in The Past, for which she won »
- Isaac Feldberg
Sometimes life doesn’t play out like in the movies, or rather, sometimes the movies don’t play out like in real life. Actor-director Brady Corbet can fondly look back at Olivier Assayas’ Sils Maria as proof (he plays an author courting the A-lister) that Juliette Binoche was his first choice, but due to scheduling conflicts, a Cosmopolis-like reunion between the actress and Robert Pattinson will have no longer be the case. Variety reports that the matriarch role now goes to Berenice Bejo, the Oscar nominated actress who saw her last film (by hubby Michel Hazanavicius) get panned in Cannes, will next be featured alongside Melanie Laurent and Audrey Tautou in Tran Anh Hung’s Eternity. The Childhood of the Leader is now set for a November shoot in Budapest.
- Eric Lavallee
Juliette Binoche was originally cast in the part, but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. The film, which focuses on the early years of a post-World War I ruler, is the directorial debut of actor Brady Corbet (“Simon Killer”) and co-stars Robert Pattinson and Tim Roth.
Bejo was nominated for a supporting actress Oscar for her breakout role in 2011’s “The Artist,” won the Cannes actress award for 2013’s “The Past” and reteamed with her husband-director, Michel Hazanavicius, in the 2014 war picture “The Search.”
Corbet co-wrote the script with Mona Fastvold. “The Childhood of a Leader” will begin shooting in November in Budapest.
- Ramin Setoodeh
It seems as if the 2014 Toronto Film Festival lineup is more or less set. I'm not expecting any major additions after today's announcement and have taken another look at my current list of most likely films I'll be screening while in town, though this is largely based on title and director alone as I have yet to really dig into the titles unfamiliar to me so it's possible a few may find their way into the mix once all is said and done. That said, if you think there are some I'm missing please let me know... don't want to overlook anything. Note, I will be in Toronto from September 3-10 and expect I'll see about 18 movies maximum while I'm there. Right now the full list below is 48 movies not including the four I've already seen (but have yet to review) and the one I don't think I'll even have a chance to see. »
- Brad Brevet
Michel Hazanavicius had a second chance to make a first impression on Monday night in Sarajevo, and he made the most of it. When Hazanavicius’ ‘The Search” premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May, it met the peculiar fate of a few Cannes movies each year. In the rush to judgment that follows every major Cannes screening, and in the odd echo chamber that is the Croisette, the fact that some journalists booed at the end of its initial press screening became a de facto condemnation of the film. “The Search,” an ambitious and sprawling epic about the Russian abuses. »
- Steve Pond
The Sarajevo Film Festival (Aug 15-24) launched its 20th edition on Friday night and staged a hat-trick of events to mark the occasion.
After the traditional welcome drinks reception on the Festival Square, festival director Mirsad Purivatra took to the stage of the city’s Open Air Cinema in front of an audience of thousands to award Gael Garcia Bernal with the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo.
“Since your appearance in Amores Perros, you have played different characters in many films that have made up part of our programme,” said Purivatra.
“We admire you as an actor, a film director and a person who is trying to change the world. It is an honour to welcome you to Sarajevo and to »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
An additional 7 galas and 17 special presentations will be taking place at the 39th Toronto International Film Festival which will include the latest cinematic efforts of Sophie Barthes, Thomas McCarthy, Johnnie To, Michel Hazanavicius, Olivier Assayas, Benoît Jacquot, Lynn Shelton, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne.
Here are some World Premiere highlights:
A former art prodigy and second generation petty thief buys his way out of prison to spend time with his ailing son. To do so, he must team up with his father for one last job to pay back the syndicate that arranged his release.
Max Simkin »
- Trevor Hogg
The Toronto International Film Festival announced more selections Tuesday for the upcoming 2014 edition of the annual awards season kick-off. The majority of the festival's program was announced last month, but this group includes intriguing world premieres from notable directors such as Todd McCarthy ("The Cobbler") and Gina Prince-Bythewood ("Beyond the Lights"). A number of the titles revealed have screened at other festivals including the underrated "Infinitely Polar Bear" and "Laggies" from Sundance as well as Cannes players "Two Days, One Night," "The Search" and "Clouds of Sils Maria." And yes, the presence of "Sils Maria," which is a favorite of this particular writer, means Kristen Stewart will likely hit one of the festival's many red carpets. As you'd expect for Toronto, the world premieres feature some big names including Josh Hutcherson and Benicio Del Toro in "Escobar: Paradise Lost," Jean Dujardin in "The Connection (La French)," Dustin Hoffman in "Boychoir, »
- Gregory Ellwood
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