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8 items from 2016

Kimberly Fox to launch MadRiver sales arm

6 hours ago | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Megan Ellison’s sales chief is joining Marc Butan’s MadRiver Pictures as a partner and will launch the international sales arm in Berlin.

The new division will handle sales on all MadRiver films and those from Christopher Woodrow’s Vendian Entertainment, which has made a strategic investment in MadRiver Pictures following the $30m revolving equity investment it committed to when the company launched last May.

MadRiver’s upcoming slate includes Burr Steers’ new release Pride & Prejudice & Zombies starring Lily James, John Hillcoat’s imminent crime thriller Triple 9 with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Casey Affleck and Woody Harrelson, and James Gray’s The Lost City Of Z starring Charlie Hunnam.

The company is in pre-production on Peter Landesman’s Felt, which was announced during the Afm last November and stars Liam Neeson. Sierra/Affinity handles sales on that title.

Fox will continue to run the Annapurna International label, whose titles include Richard Linklater’s upcoming SXSW opener [link=tt »

- (Jeremy Kay)

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Santa Barbara Film Fest: All 5 Oscar-Nominated Directors to Appear on Panel, Collect Awards

29 January 2016 10:12 AM, PST | Scott Feinberg | See recent Scott Feinberg news »

By Scott Feinberg

The Hollywood Reporter

The same five filmmakers who have been nominated for the best director Oscar — Room‘s Lenny Abrahamson, The Revenant‘s Alejandro G. Inarritu, Spotlight‘s Tom McCarthy, The Big Short‘s Adam McKay and Mad Max: Fury Road‘s George Miller — have been named Outstanding Directors of the Year by the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. They will be celebrated, individually and then collectively, at Santa Barbara’s historic Arlington Theatre on Feb. 11, the fest announced Thursday.

“These directors have each made their mark on the film canon and have solidified their standing as some of the best directors of our time,” said Sbiff executive director Roger Durling. “The fact that these films come on the heels of already illustrious and established careers makes this honor even more special.”

This particular event — which I am very excited to moderate for the second year in »

- Patrick Shanley

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All Five Oscar-Nominated Directors to Receive Santa Barbara Film Festival Award

28 January 2016 11:00 AM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Lenny Abrahamson ("Room"), Alejandro G. Iñárritu ("The Revenant"), Tom McCarthy ("Spotlight"), Adam McKay ("The Big Short"), and George Miller ("Mad Max: Fury Road") — the Oscars' final five — will all receive the Santa Barbara International Film Festival's Outstanding Director of the Year Award. (Check out our interviews with the five Oscar nominees for Best Director at the links above.) Read More: "Oscar Predictions 2016" The individual honors, to be handed out February 11 at Santa Barbara's Arlington Theater, will be followed by a conversation among the directors. Past recipients include Oscar winners Laura Poitras ("Citizenfour"), Kathryn Bigelow ("The Hurt Locker"), and Danny Boyle ("Slumdog Millionaire"), as well as Oscar nominees Richard Linklater ("Boyhood"), David O. Russell ("American Hustle"), Bennett Miller »

- Matt Brennan

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‘A Gathering of Saints’ Movie in the Works With ‘Foxcatcher’ Exec Producer

25 January 2016 2:34 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Catch & Release Films is developing a movie based on the book “A Gathering of Saints: A True Story of Money, Murder and Deceit” about a pair of 1985 bombing murders in Utah.

Catch & Release principals Tom Heller and Frank Hall Green will produce the movie through their shingle, which acquired the rights to “A Gathering of Saints” from New York Times reporter Robert Lindsay, who also authored “The Falcon and the Snowman.”

Heller executive produced “Foxcatcher” after discovering the source material for the story in 2004, acquiring life rights to Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz and bringing the material to director Bennett Miller. He also has credits on “Precious,” “127 Hours,” “Win-Win” and “Mud.”

“A Gathering of Saints” investigates the three separate bombings, which killed two individuals and seriously injured a third, by Mark Hofmann — a disillusioned Mormon who used his talents to blackmail the Mormon Church by releasing forgeries of documents about the »

- Dave McNary

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Movie Review: The Big Short

18 January 2016 2:03 PM, PST | CinemaNerdz | See recent CinemaNerdz news »

Default swaps, synthetic Cdo, and subprime loans are not the first things that come to mind when watching a star-studded Hollywood drama. In fact, unless one happens to be a Wall Street stock advisor, these terms sound like nothing more than a superfluous runaround to ensure that the men in charge stay in charge – at least, that’s how narrator Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling) sells it. As the eyes, ears, and big mouth of the audience, smooth trader Vennett takes viewers by the hand and leads them down the parade of corruption, stupidity, and denial that went into the stock market crash of 2008. He also finds time to define all of the previously mentioned terms, so us simple folk can keep up and focus on the terrible events that transpired.

Adapted from Michael Lewis’ 2010 novel of the same name, The Big Short is about as comical as tragedy can get. »

- Danilo Castro

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‘Room’s’ Surprise Oscar Nominee Lenny Abrahamson Tried Not to Read the Predictions

15 January 2016 12:42 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Jet-lagged and still on Los Angeles time in Dublin yesterday morning, “Room” director Lenny Abrahamson woke up in the afternoon, sauntered downstairs and figured he’d watch the nominations announcement and show some love for star Brie Larson, who was a favorite to be mentioned. He didn’t figure on too much support from the Academy besides, because, like any artist new to the awards circuit, he couldn’t help but pay attention to the punditry.

“It’s very hard not to look,” Abrahamson says. “The way I describe it is if you’re sitting at a restaurant and you realize the people in the next booth are talking about you and they don’t know you’re there, of course it’s almost impossible not to listen. I managed for quite a period of time not to look. And it became more pleasant, to do your thing and let it happen in the background. »

- Kristopher Tapley

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Steve Carell Receives His Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

6 January 2016 10:00 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

There’s a notable lineage in cinematic history of gifted comedic actors who have gone on to achieve great commercial and critical success as dramatic players. Perhaps the most famous example is Robin Williams, whose career began with his now-iconic role as a wacky, displaced alien on “Mork & Mindy” before giving way to parts with considerable heft, from the titular lead in “The World According to Garp” to his revelatory turn in “The Fisher King” to his Academy Award-winning performance as Matt Damon’s therapist in “Good Will Hunting.”

And there are scores of other comedians, from Jackie Gleason to Michael Keaton to Bill Murray, all three of whom received Oscar nominations for their dramatic work in “The Hustler,” “Birdman” and “Lost in Translation,” respectively.

And now there’s Steve Carell, who rose from a “senior correspondent” on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” to loner workaday hero Michael Scott »

- Malina Saval

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NYFCC: Kristen Stewart Is Relieved to Get an Award Not from MTV

4 January 2016 9:19 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The New York Film Critics Circle gala usually offers its share of highbrow speeches (just ask presenter Tony Kushner gushing over “Carol’s” screenplay), but this year’s celebration included an unexpected reference — to the MTV Movie Awards. One of the early winners at the dinner at Tao Downtown was Kristen Stewart. No, she hasn’t made another “Twilight.” The Nyfcc recognized her as best-supporting actress for her turn in the little-seen Cannes drama “Clouds of Sils Maria,” where she plays an assistant.

“I’ve received a lot of MTV Popcorns and stuff like that,” Stewart said. “This is a little different.” Her speech — which began with a laid-back salutation (“hey guys”) — was characteristically short. “The movie is thoughtful and quiet and kind of diagonal and not extreme in any way,” she said. “It came out a year ago. This is nuts.”

Stewart was introduced by her “Still Alice” co-star Julianne Moore, »

- Ramin Setoodeh

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