9 items from 2014
Exclusive: Xyz Films and General Film Corporation has sold North American rights of the Toronto Film Festival film The Dead Lands to Magnet Releasing. The New Zealand-set action-thriller was directed by Toa Fraser, scripted by Glenn Standring and produced by Matthew Metcalfe and Standring. James Rolleston, Lawrence Makoare, Te Kohe Tuhaka, Xavier Horan, George Henare and Rena Owen star. Magnolia’s Magnet will release in theaters next year and the deal was brokered by Magnet’s Peter Van Steemburg and Xyz’s Nate Bolotin.
Pic was shot in Auckland and the central North Island of New Zealand. Rolleston stars as a Maori chieftain’s teenage son who must avenge his father’s murder in order to bring peace and honor to the souls of his loved ones after his tribe is slaughtered through an act of treachery. Vastly outnumbered by the band of villains, Hongi’s only hope is to »
- Mike Fleming Jr
Exclusive: Toa Fraser’s action-thriller sells to UK, Germany and China, among others.
Rights have also gone to Ascot Elite for Germany, Movies Inspired for Italy, Fabula Films for Turkey, Falcon for the Middle East and Hgc for China. The Jokers previously acquired rights for France.
The film was shot on location in Auckland and the central North Island of New Zealand and follows a chieftan’s son who sets out to avenge his father’s murder.
Ian Dawson at [link »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
How does a film that features some of the most gorgeous landscapes on earth, buff, exotic warriors, and dollops of Aboriginal mysticism end up being a dull viewing experience? I’m not sure I can put my finger on a precise answer, but the makers of The Dead Lands manage to pull it off.
After the men in his village including his chieftain father are slaughtered, teenager Hongi (James Rolleston), despite being inexperienced and inept in the ways of warfare, sets out after the treacherous rival tribesmen responsible for the deed. Hongi learns of a place called the Dead Land, an ostensibly evil realm from which no one returns, which is occupied by a monster who kills and eats all who dare enter it. Conferring with the spirit of his dead grandmother (Once Were Warrior’s magnificent Rena Owen), he decides to enter the Dead Land to solicit the assistance »
- Ian Gilchrist
and personnel — in “The Dead Lands.” This irst action movie for helmer Toa Fraser after the gentler seriocomic likes of “Dean Spanley” and “Naming Number Two” certainly doesn’t lack vigor, even if its thundering brutality and ultra-macho atmosphere do eventually grow a bit monotonous. Pic boasts spectacular Kiwi scenery and the novelty of being smong warring pre-colonial Maori tribes to attract attention. More adventuresome fans of brutal hand-to-hand-combat might be thrilled, though the presence of Maori dialogue (subtitled) and mysticism may strand this well-crafted item between arthouse and mainstream territory in some markets. Home-format sales should be fairly hale.
Sixteen-year-old Hongi (James Rolleston, also in Toronto title “The Dark Horse”), not unkindly considered “no warrior” by tribal chieftain father Tane (George Henare), is observing an apparent peacekeeping mission between two clans when he observes something else: Trailing the other side’s representative, he sees Wirepa (Te Kohe Tuhaka) deliberately »
- Dennis Harvey
The 39th Toronto International Film Festival has announced its initial slate of galas and special presentations, which includes 37 world premieres and several films with Oscar ambitions. The Judge, which stars Robert Downey Jr. as a big-city lawyer who reluctantly returns home and ends up defending his revered father (Robert Duvall) against criminal charges, will have its world premiere in Toronto. His Avengers pal, Chris Evans, will unveil his own directorial debut in Toronto, titled Before We Go.
- Jeff Labrecque
The Toronto International Film Festival has announced over 40 titles — a mix of awards contenders, star-powered indies, and international art-house fare — screening in its Gala and Special Presentations program this September, including Denzel Washington’s “The Equalizer,” a pair of Reese Witherspoon projects and closing night film “A Little Chaos,” Alan Rickman’s period pic starring Kate Winslet as a landscape gardener assigned to construct the garden at Versailles.
World-preeming Galas announced this morning at the Tiff Bell Lightbox also include “Pawn Sacrifice,” Ed Zwick’s biopic on the legendary Cold War-era chess match between Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire) and Boris Spassky (Liev Schreiber), and “Black and White,” Mike Binder’s tale of a grieving widower (Kevin Costner) in a custody battle, as well as WB fall releases “The Judge” (Robert Downey Jr.) and Shawn Levy’s dysfunctional family comedy-drama “This Is Where I Leave You.”
International titles world-preeming on the »
- Jennie Punter
The Toronto International Film Festival announced its initial wave of 2014 premieres and galas this morning and it features some familiar awards titles, some big stars and some unexpected studio titles. Among the major studio films, David Dobkin's "The Judge" with Robert Downey Jr. and Antoine Fuqua's "The Equalizer" each received gala slots and should premiere over the festival's opening weekend. Other announced galas so far include Bennett Miller's acclaimed "Foxcatcher," which debuted at Cannes, and Mike Binder's "Black and White" starring Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer and Anthony Mackie. Toronto has also scheduled special gala screenings for David Cronenberg's "Map to the Stars" with Julianne Moore and Robert Pattinson, François Ozon's "The New Girlfriend," Ed Zwick's "Pawn Sacrifice" with Tobey Maguire, Lone Scherfig's "The Riot Club," Jean-Marc Vallée's "Wild," Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano's "Samba" and Shawn Levy's "This is Where I Leave You »
- Gregory Ellwood
In a post-apocalyptic world you have to do whatever it takes to survive against its many dangers. Need an example? Check out this exclusive clip from Tom Hammock's (You're Next, V/H/S/2, The Guest) new flick, The Well.
From the Press Release
At the edge of an expansive barren valley, all that remains of The Wallace Farm for Wayward Youth is a few hollowed-out husks of buildings. Seventeen-year-old Kendal (Haley Lu Richardson) can barely recall when the Oregon valley was still lush.
It's been a decade since the last rainfall, and society at large has dried up and blown away. Kendal and the few others that remain barely scrape by, while dreaming of escape. When a greedy water baron lays claim to what little of the precious resource remains underground, Kendal must decide whether to run and hide or bravely fight for the few cherished people and things she has left. »
- Steve Barton
The Xyz Films principals told ScreenDaily they expect The Dead Lands to raise the profile of Maori hand-to-hand combat in the way their action franchise The Raid has done for the southeast Asian Silat martial art.
Glenn Standring wrote the screenplay about the vengeful son of a Maori chieftain who must enter the forbidden Dead Lands and forge a pact with the mysterious “Warrior” to avenge his slain tribe.
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
9 items from 2014
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