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Last week I reported on the 2015 lineup of the Stanley Film Festival and gave a detailed rundown on why you should absolutely attend. But Stanley is more than just screenings, scavenger hunts, and parties - there's also plenty to learn from some of the top horror filmmakers in the business. People like Karyn Kusama (Jennifer's Body, The Invitation) and Leigh Whannell (writer of Saw and director of Insidious: Chapter 3) will be onhand along with producers of films like V/H/S and development execs from Blumhouse. Check out the panel details below. Also, this year's visionary award will be presented to Tom Quinn, the co-president of RADiUS-twc. Having had a hand in films like It Follows, Let the Right One In, Snowpiercer and House of the Devil, it's safe to say Quinn knows a thing or two about horror as well. You can get tickets and rooms for the Stanley Film Festival here. »
- Evan Dickson
Gotham’s Gamechanger Films has already proved it has game. Launched in August 2013, the equity financing fund for female-helmed fiction features came out of the gate with Martha Stephens’ co-directorial debut, “Land Ho!” The Iceland-set road comedy premiered at Sundance in 2014. Picked up by Sony Pictures Classics, it went on to win the Film Independent John Cassavetes Award. And at the recent SXSW, Gamechanger-backed “An Invitation,” above, from Karyn Kusama and “Fresno” from Jamie Babbit premiered. Drafthouse Films just picked up “Invitation.”
Not bad for the first round of funding from 36 equity partners that underwrote a five-film slate.
According to Gamechanger president Mynette Louie: “Our primary challenge is that when the industry and filmmakers hear ‘film fund for women,’ they assume that we make ‘chick flicks’ — not that there’s anything wrong with those, in spite of what most film critics (80% of whom are men) think. There are a »
- Thelma Adams
We're less than two weeks away from the start of the Stanley Film Festival and it's been officially announced that Tom Quinn will be the recipient of their Visionary Award. We also have details on the festival's panels and jurors:
April 20, 2014 (Denver, Co) - The Stanley Film Festival (Sff) produced by the Denver Film Society (Dfs) and presented by Chiller, announced today it will honor Tom Quinn, co-president of RADiUS-twc as its 2015 Visionary Award Winner. Quinn is behind this year’s breakout horror title It Follows as well as other genre heavy hitters such as Snowpiercer, Blue Ruin and Only God Forgives. The Visionary award is given to a figure in contemporary horror who is making forward-thinking contributions that elevate the genre and provides a platform for new, innovative artists to create work. Previous recipients include Daniel Noah, Josh C. Waller and Elijah Wood, co-founders of SpectreVision (2014) and Eli Roth (2013). Quinn, »
- Jonathan James
Having made a huge impression when it screened at the SXSW Film Festival last month, the worldwide rights to psychological thriller The Invitation have been secured by Drafthouse Films – a move that will enable wider audiences to experience the story. The film is the fourth feature from director Karyn Kusama (Girlfight, Aeon Flux, Jennifer’s Body) and is written by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi (Clash Of The Titans).
The Invitation centres on Will, a man who once enjoyed a happy family life with his wife, Eden, and their young son. This happiness ended, however, when tragedy befell their child and Eden subsequently disappeared. When she reappears, suddenly, after a two year absence, Eden brings with her a new husband, a new group of friends, and what seems to be an entirely new sense of self. At Eden’s invitation, Will attends a dinner party at her home, gradually coming »
- Sarah Myles
People don't always change for the better, and at a dinner party thrown by his ex-wife and her new husband, Will suspects that the former love of his life has changed in a twisted way. An evening get-together could have something sinister on the menu in The Invitation, the new movie from Karyn Kusama (Jennifer's Body) that premiered in the Midnighters section at this year's SXSW Film Festival and has now been picked up by Drafthouse Films for a worldwide release (likely in 2016):
Press Release - "Beating out several other distributors, Drafthouse Films has secured worldwide rights to Karyn Kusama’s acclaimed thriller The Invitation, which opened the Midnight section of the 2015 SXSW Film Festival. The film has been well received by critics and audiences alike, landing on several “Best of SXSW” lists.
For Kusama, who first made her mark with Girlfight, the film represents a return to her independent roots. »
- Derek Anderson
Karyn Kusama's The Invitation, which debuted last month at SXSW, has been acquired for worldwide distribution by Drafthouse Films, according to Variety. Logan Marshall-Green stars as a man who accepts an invitation to a reunion of old friends at the house where he once lived. Once there, he becomes suspicious of the motivation of the invitees -- his ex-wife and her new beau -- and the evening becomes more intense as time wears on. The film received mostly positive critical notices, though my own review (linked below) was a bit less positive. Kusama, who previously directed Girlfight and Jennifer's Body, takes chances on a different type of narrative, and the performances are uniformly fine, though I had qualms about how things played out. Still it's...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Xyz Films holds international rights. »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
Good news for fans anxious to see Jennifer’s Body director Karyn Kusama’s new film, The Invitation (review)! After making a splash as a SXSW Midnighter the flick has scored distro! Read on for details. From the Press Release: Beating out… Continue Reading →
- Steve Barton
Director Karyn Kusama returns this year with The Invitation, which impressed the hell out of me when it debuted in the Midnight program at the recent SXSW film festival. The film watches as a couple (Logan Marshall-Green and Emayatzy Corinealdi) heads to a dinner party thrown by the guy’s former wife and her new partner […]
The post Drafthouse Films Will Release Excellent SXSW Thriller ‘The Invitation’ appeared first on /Film. »
- Russ Fischer
Drafthouse Films beat out several other distributors for the worldwide rights to Karyn Kusama's thriller "The Invitation," which opened the Midnight section of the 2015 SXSW Film Festival. Read Also: SXSW Women Directors: Meet Karyn Kusama - "The Invitation" Logan Marshall Green ("Prometheus") stars as a haunted man attending a dinner party at his former home. Paranoia sets in as the night wears on because the man thinks his ex-wife and her new husband have a treacherous agenda. The film also stars Tammy Blanchard ("Into the Woods"), Michael Huisman ("Game of Thrones"), Emayatzy Corinealdi ("Middle of Nowhere") and John Carroll Lynch ("American Horror Story"). "'The Invitation' has remained under our skin since we first saw it and we're honored that we'll be able to share with audiences everywhere," said Drafthouse COO James Emanuel Shapiro. The film marks Kusama's ("Girlfight") »
- Helen Z. Carefoot
Following its strongly-received SXSW World Premiere, Karyn Kusama’s terrific, somber thriller The Invitation will see release through Drafthouse Films. The distributor, which currently has the great monster romance Spring in release, has acquired worldwide rights to The Invitation, The Wrap reports. In the moody thriller, a man (Logan Marshall-Green) returns to his old home for…
The post Drafthouse Films Takes Kusama’s Thriller, The Invitation appeared first on Shock Till You Drop. »
- Samuel Zimmerman
Drafthouse Films has acquired worldwide rights to Karyn Kusama's The Invitation, which had its world premiere at this year’s SXSW Midnight section. The deal for the Girlfight director’s latest pic was low seven figures. No release date plans have been announced. Logan Marshall-Green (Prometheus) stars in the thriller as a haunted man attending a dinner party at the house he once called home, who becomes gripped with paranoia that his ex-wife and her new husband are… »
In a competitive situation, Drafthouse Films has secured worldwide rights to Karyn Kusama’s well-received thriller “The Invitation,” which opened the Midnight section of the 2015 SXSW Film Festival. Logan Marshall-Green (“Prometheus”) stars as a haunted man attending a dinner party at the house he once called home, who becomes gripped with paranoia that his ex-wife and her new husband are harboring an insidious agenda. Tammy Blanchard (“Into the Woods”), Michiel Huisman (“Game of Thrones”), Emayatzy Corinealdi (“Middle of Nowhere”) and John Carroll Lynch (“Zodiac”) also star. For Kusama, who first made her mark with “Girlfight,” the film represents a return to. »
- Jeff Sneider
“The Invitation” is written and produced by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi. Other producers are Martha Griffin along with Nick Spicer of Xyz Films. The movie is financed by Gamechanger Films in association with Lege Artis, with Mynette Louie overseeing for Gamechanger and Anthony Mancilla overseeing for Lege Artis.
Logan Marshall-Green (“Prometheus”) stars as a haunted man attending a dinner party at the house he once called home, when he becomes gripped with paranoia that his ex-wife and her new husband are harboring an insidious agenda. Tammy Blanchard, Michiel Huisman (“Game of Thrones”), Emayatzy Corinealdi and John Carroll Lynch also star.
Variety‘s Justin Chang gave the film a strong review, calling it “teasingly effective.”
- Dave McNary
Quickly becoming the most exciting festival on the Spring fest lineup, Colorado's Stanley Film Fest announced the meat of their program today and it is juicy. The closing night film will be Todd Strauss-Schulson's SXSW hit The Final Girls (pictured) about a girl (Taissa Farmiga) transported into a 1980s scream queen slasher. The rest of the lineup (save the opening nighter) has also been announced and it is packed with fantastic-sounding genre films both new and old. Rodney Ascher's Room 237 follow-up docu The Nightmare, Ted Geoghegan's SXSW-premiering We Are Still Here, Karyn Kusama's Xyz-produced The Invitation, and Jason Lei Howden's rollicking Deathgasm are just a few of the films on offer. The fest will also feature the world premieres of Tim Kirk's Director's Commentary:...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Earlier this week, we gave you details on first wave of special experiences and events taking place at the 2015 Stanley Film Festival. We now have details on their impressive slate of features, short films, and additional special events, including screenings of The Final Girls, Deathgasm, Stung, The Invitation, and We Are Still Here.
We're teaming up with the festival for live coverage and special opportunities for Daily Dead readers, so be sure to check back all month for contests, features, and more.
"April 2, 2014 (Denver, Co) - The Stanley Film Festival (Sff) produced by the Denver Film Society (Dfs) and presented by Chiller, announced today its Closing Night film, Festival lineup and the 2015 Master of Horror. The Festival will close out with The Final Girls. The film, directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson, is the story of a young woman grieving the loss of her mother, a famous scream queen from the 1980s, »
- Jonathan James
After breaking onto the indie scene with her film Girlfight (which also put Michelle Rodriguez on the map), filmmaker Karyn Kusama found herself directing two big-budget films in Aeon Flux and Jennifer’s Body. But the latter was released about 6 years ago, and since her horrific team-up with Megan Fox, she decided to remain out of the cinematic circuit – until now. At this year’s South by Southwest festival, Karyn premiered her new thriller, The Invitation, which is a tense return to her indie filmmaking roots.
I had the opportunity to chat with Karyn before the film’s screening, where we talked not only about The Invitation, but her thoughts on the current state of gender norms in moviemaking. We touched upon if the current success of female horror filmmakers is making a step towards a more equal cinematic culture, the pros and cons of working in the mainstream Hollywood system, »
- Matt Donato
Karyn Kusama is a director I want to see more of. I saw her first film Girlfight when I was 17. I kept renting it at Blockbuster -- this was right when DVD started to phase out VHS -- because I was so fascinated with the story. Perhaps it's because I'm a small guy so I will always love a good underdog story. I didn't give a damn that it was made by a woman and was about a woman fighter, I loved that the filmmaker told a tough against-all-odds story. There's a reason why Girlfight took home the Award of the Youth Foreign Film award at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival, and soon after, studios began knocking at her door. That being her first feature, it's...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
The studios had a strong showing at SXSW this year, as evidenced by the high-profile premieres of “Trainwreck” and “Spy,” as well as a secret screening of Paul Walker’s final performance in “Furious 7.” Happily, outside the big-budget realm, the festival also offered up a remarkably solid lineup of work from first-time filmmakers and emerging talents — a field that included everything from the top prizewinners, “Krisha” and “Peace Officer,” to first-rate thrillers like “Hangman” and “The Invitation,” to standout music docs like “Danny Says” and “Made in Japan.”
Here are the 13 gems that impressed our critics and reporters the most (listed in alphabetical order):
1. “6 Years”
Hannah Fidell’s drama unravels like a sequel to “Like Crazy,” but instead of Felicity Jones and Anton Yelchin, the equally charming Taissa Farmiga and Ben Rosenfield play the bickering mates. The film is shot like a documentary about falling out of love, »
- Variety Staff
The SXSW Film Festival has always been a launching pad for women in Hollywood — it’s where Lena Dunham premiered “Tiny Furniture” in 2010, and “Girls” in 2012; where 2011’s “Bridesmaids” debuted; and where Brie Larson became a star in 2013’s “Short Term 12.”
But this year’s SXSW had more girl power than ever before, from the female-driven comedies “Trainwreck” and “Spy,” to the work of breakout directors like Hannah Fidell (“6 Years”) and Shannon Sun-Higginson (“Gtfo: A Documentary About Women in Gaming”). As Hollywood still has a weak track record of putting women in front of and behind the camera — last year, women directors made only 4.6% of studio films — it’s still a question if emerging talent at festivals like SXSW and Sundance can cross over into the mainstream. “Since the industry is run by men, men have a tendency to want to make stories about themselves,” Sally Field told Variety. »
- Ramin Setoodeh, Justin Chang, Joe Leydon and Dennis Harvey
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