18 items from 2014
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
The 2014 Toronto Film Festival, which begins Sept. 4, added seven Galas and 17 Special Presentations to its lineup, including a semi-serious Adam Sandler project from Tom McCarthy, the director of The Station Agent and The Visitor. In The Cobbler, Sandler plays a man who has the unique ability to walk in his customers’ shoes. The movie features Dustin Hoffman, who also stars in Boychoir, François Girard’s tale of an orphan’s steep learning curve at a prestigious music school. In Welcome to Me, Kristen Wiig plays a mentally unstable woman who wins the lottery and decides to sink her winnings into a talk show. »
- Jeff Labrecque
Expect to see a bevy of stars on the red carpet at the Toronto International Film Festival this September. Today, more Gala and Special Presentation titles were announced, with some star-studded projects in the mix. Now, Escobar: Paradise Lost, starring Benicio del Toro as the infamous drug lord, will have its world premiere at Tiff, as will The Forger, with John Travolta, Christopher Plummer and Tye Sheridan.
Other promising projects newly announced to be screening at Tiff are Win Win director Thomas McCarthy’s The Cobbler, which finds Adam Sandler taking on a rare dramatic role; Clouds of Sils Maria, which stars Juliette Binoche as an aging actress who confronts the young starlet (Chloe Grace Moretz) taking on the role that made her famous decades earlier; and Gemma Bovery, starring Gemma Arterton as the sensual object of a French food critic’s affection. Check out the full list of new »
- Isaac Feldberg
An orphaned 12-year-old boy is sent to prestigious music school where he struggles to join an elite group of world-class singers. No one expects this rebellious loner to succeed, least of all the school’s relentlessly-tough conductor who wages a battle of wills to bring out the boy’s extraordinary musical gift. Starring Dustin Hoffman, Kathy Bates, Josh Lucas, Kevin McHale, Eddie Izzard, Debra Winger and Garrett Wareing.
Marseille, 1975. Pierre Michel, a young police magistrate with a wife and children, has just been transferred to help crack down on the city’s organized crime. He decides to take on the French Connection, a Mafia-run operation that exports heroin all over the world. »
- Mike Fleming Jr
The Toronto International Film Festival added more than 100 features to its 2014 slate today, with pics starring Dustin Hoffman, Kristen Wiig, Benicio del Toro, Diane Keaton, John Travolta, Keira Knightley, Adam Sandler, Jennifer Connelly and Arnold Schwarzenegger among the two-dozen titles joining the Gala and Special Presentations programs.
Contemporary World Cinema adds 51 (22 world preems), City to City shines the spotlight on Seoul with eight pics (two world preems), and Wavelengths delivers 46 titles, including 13 features.
Gala world preems “Boychoir,” which marks the return of Quebec helmer Francois Girard (“Silk”) to the big screen and stars Hoffman as the tough conductor of a world-class music school, as well as Italian multi-hyphenate Andrea Di Stefano’s feature bow “Escobar: Paradise Lost,” starring del Toro as the notorious Colombian drug lord.
- Jennie Punter
Locarno –Designing a brace of novel industry initiatives that may well be taken on board by other major international film powers, Gallic promotion org UniFrance Films is forging ahead with new industry alliances.
Banner focuses feature novel exhibition link-ups, a play for young target groups, a presence in key and underserved markets and a constant lobby presence in Brussels, tne seat of the E.U.’s all-powerful Commission.
Delivered at the Locarno Festival by Jean-Paul Salome and Isabelle Giordano, UniFrance president and managing director, the drill-down on UniFrance policy comes as Luc Besson’s “Lucy” powers toward $100 million Stateside and France accounts for 13 of the 50 movies playing Locarno’s main three sections – a reminder of France’s central position in both mainstream and arthouse filmmaking in Europe.
“What we’re really pleased about is the diversity of the French presence, »
- John Hopewell
The 71st Venice Film Festival announced its lineup this morning, highlighted by films from American directors, including David Gordon Green, Barry Levinson, Peter Bogdanovich, Lisa Cholodenko, Andrew Niccol, and James Franco. As had been previously announced, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman, starring Michael Keaton and many others, will be the opening film when the festival begins on Aug. 27.
Click below for the entire list of 55 films playing in Venice.
A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence, directed by Roy Andersson
Starring Holger Andersson, »
- Jeff Labrecque
Paris — As classic Gallic comedies drive France’s box office, European film-tv group Studiocanal is reteaming with director Jean-Pierre Ameris, production house Pan-Europeenne and star Benoit Poelvoorde on French-language romcom “Famille a louer.”
Distributing in France, Studiocanal will finance, co-produce and handle international sales. Pan-Europeenne lead produces.
In a Gallic example of one of Studiocanal’s bedrock philosophies – creating and growing talent relationships with key producers and directors in the U.S., Europe and beyond – the European powerhouse partnered with Ameris and Pan-Europeenne, run by Philippe Godeau and Nathalie Gastaldo Godeau, on 2011’s “Romantics Anonymous,” starring Poelvoorde as a chronically but comically shy chocolate factory owner, which grossed €7.4 million ($10.1 million) in France.
In “Famille a louer” (literally, “Family For Rent”), which Ameris co-wrote with Murielle Magellan, Poelvoorde plays another oddball yearning for love: Paul-Andre, who is rich but timid, open to love but alone.
He decides that the solution is to get a family fast. »
- John Hopewell and Elsa Keslassy
Exclusive: UK distributor acquires Kornel Mundruczo’s Un Certain Regard winner.
Metrodome’s Cannes haul includes Kornel Mundruczo’s Un Certain Regard winner White God, which the company acquired from The Match Factory.
The deal was negotiated by Metrodome head of acquisitions Giles Edwards and The Match Factory’s head of sales Brigitte Suarez.
Mundruczo’s critically admired drama - which racked up a raft of deals for Tmf - charts how a girl’s separation from her dog leads to a canine uprising.
Metrodome’s Cannes pick-ups also include Xavier Dolan’s well-received Jury Prize-winner Mommy; Gerard Johnstone’s horror-comedy Housebound, from Films Distribution; and Elle Driver’s romantic-drama Three Hearts,starring Benoit Poelvoorde as a man who unwittingly falls in love with two sisters, played by Chiara Mastroianni and Charlotte Gainsbourg. »
- email@example.com (Andreas Wiseman)
Exclusive: Benoit Jacquot’s upcoming drama 3 Heartshas been finding plenty love with buyers on the back of first images.
Paris-based sales company Elle Driver has sold 3 Hearts into several territories including the UK (Metrodome), Canada (Métropole), Portugal (Leopardo Filmes), Cis and Baltics (Russian Report), Latin America (HBO Olé), Brazil (Mares Filmes), Spain (Golem), Switzerland (Agora Films), Australia (Madman) and Italy (Bim)
The picture stars Benoit Poelvoorde as a man who unwittingly falls in love with two sisters, played by Chiara Mastroianni and Charlotte Gainsbourg. Catherine Deneuve also features in the cast as their mother.
Elle Driver has also done good business on Audrey Dana’s French Women - starring an ensemble cast featuring Isabelle Adjani, Laetitia Casta, Vanessa Paradis and Sylvie Testud - which it is world premiering in the market at Cannes.
Territories to have picked up the film include Brazil (Mares Filmes), Cis (Premium Films), Switzerland (Filmcoopi), Spain (Vertigo Films) and Germany/Austria (Wild Bunch Germany »
The Brand New Testament
Catherine Deneuve has joined the cast of Jaco Van Dormael's surreal comedy "The Brand New Testament" which begins filming in July. Comedian Benoit Poelvoorde plays God while Yolande Moreau plays his wife.
In the story, God currently lives in Brussels where he's an odious man disliked by his family. When his daughter runs away from home, God takes to the streets to find her and discovers the horrors of a world he created himself. [Source: Screen]
- Garth Franklin
The original story, co-written by Van Dormael and Thomas Gunzig, portrays God as an odious character who is disliked by his family.
His daughter, Ea, decides to run away from home but first hacks her father’s computer and lets everyone in the world know the date when they are going to die. God takes to the streets to find Ea and discovers the horrors of a world he created himself.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
A belated festival premiere for Bennett Miller’s “Foxcatcher” and a powerhouse showing for British filmmakers including Mike Leigh and Ken Loach — plus appearances by other usual suspects such as David Cronenberg, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nuri Bilge Ceylan and the Dardenne brothers — are among the strong possibilities hovering over the lineup of the 67th annual Cannes Film Festival.
In recent years, festival topper Thierry Fremaux and his selection committee have tended to push their final decisions to the very last minute under a nearly impenetrable veil of secrecy, defying the intense media scrutiny and endless speculation that always swirl around the Cannes lineup at this time of year. Although anything could change between now and April 17, when the official selection is unveiled — there are still enough hotly anticipated titles in the mix to warrant some educated guesswork about what is shaping up to be a promisingly diverse slate of auteurs. »
- Justin Chang and Elsa Keslassy
Director: Benoit Jacquot
Producers: Edouard Weil
U.S. Distributor: Rights Available
Though he’s been working steadily since the mid-70’s, director Benoit Jacquot’s films tend not to get much attention in the Us, even his growing handful of Isabelle Huppert starring titles (The School of Flesh; Keep It Quiet; False Servant; Villa Amalia) don’t get theatrical or DVD releases here. But the 2012 critical success of his 2012 film, Farewell My Queen seems to have snagged him some more international attention. While Lea Seydoux was originally slated to return for this latest film (scheduling conflicts have caused her to be replaced by Mastroianni), the presence of Deneuve and Gainsbourg should make this an undoubted item of interest.
Gist: One night, in the countryside. Marc misses his train to head back to Paris and meets Sylvie. »
- Nicholas Bell
As we’ve seen here in the first few weeks of 2014, the landscape of the horror genre is absolutely flooded with found footage movies, and we primarily have two movies to thank/blame for that; The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity.
While 1999’s Blair Witch Project is often credited as the first horror movie made in the Pov found footage style, such a claim is actually quite untrue. Though Blair Witch is no doubt the movie that popularized the style, and Paranormal Activity the one that re-invented it and brought it into a new decade, there were actually a handful of found footage films that came out well before the horrifying tale of the witch in the woods.
Here are seven of those handheld horror movies, which all predate The Blair Witch Project!
Cannibal Holocaust (1980) - Theatrical Trailer
Cannibal Holocaust – 1980
What’s the very first found footage movie ever made? »
- John Squires
Paris – Bowing Jan.10 at the august Hotel Intercontinental Le Grand, abutting the Place de l’Opera, the 16th Unifrance Rendez-vous with French Cinema in Paris will be one of the biggest market-junkets ever for a national cinema.
Only France, which with the U.K. hosts one of Europe’s two biggest industries, could organize an event of this magnitude or allure.
110 French movies will screen, a Rendez-vous record, at three Gaumont cinema-theaters just across the Square,
Distributors will attend from 50 countries, principally from Europe, but also for the first time officially from Latin America as well.
In hallowed tradition, UniFrance uses its Rendez-vous to announce and analyze in admirable detail the previous year theatrical box office numbers for French films abroad. 2013’s total trawl looks set to be way down on 2012, an all time high when three juggernauts - “Taken 2” (Euros 265.8 million: $354.8 million), “The Intouchables” ($268.9 million) and “The Artist »
- John Hopewell and Elsa Keslassy
Paris – Planting its flag in the mid-ground between high-brow arthouse and popcorn fare – positioning increasing favored by top-echelon sales agents in France – Paris-based Films Distribution has acquired worldwide sales rights to “Not My Type,” “Scouting For Zebras” and Berlin animation player “Wolfy, the Incredible Secret.”
Accompanied by other new acquisitions – femme drama “Weekends in Normandy” and Emanuel Naccache’s espionage comedy “Kidon” – plus screenings of the now complete “The Crocodiles of Botswanga,” helmed by Fabrice Eboue and Lionel Steketee, and “Vandal” (both presented in promo reels at the Afm), the new pick-ups form part of one of the biggest sales slates of market premieres presented by any sales agent at the 16th Unifrance Rendez-vous With French Cinema in Paris, which runs Jan. 10 to Jan. 20.
- John Hopewell
Isabelle Huppert starrer “Paris Follies,” Fabrice du Welz’s noirish cop actioner “Colt 45” and “The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles,” an adaptation of Katherine Pancol’s runaway French bestseller, figure among 52 market premieres at 2014’s Unifrance Paris Rendez-vous.
Its higher-profile titles decidedly eclectic, the Rendez-vous lineup also features star vehicles: Heist caper “The Last Diamond” toplines Berenice Bejo; Pierre Salvadori’s “In the Courtyard” stars Catherine Deneuve; and two films feature Charlotte Gainsbourg: reincarnation thriller “His Wife” and Riad Sattouf’s femme-ruled dystopia satire “Jacky in the Kingdom of Women.”
Other noteworthy pics include post split-up drama “Gazelles” from Mona Achache (“Hedgehog”); love story “Une Rencontre” (Quantum Love), which Pathe Intl. picked up for world sales outside France, Belgium and Switzerland, from Lisa Azuelos (“Lol”); Helier Cisterne’s debut pic, teen drama “Vandal,” a Gallic critical hit; and a purported swan song: Jacques-Remy Girerd’s “Aunt Hilda!” from Folimage, »
- John Hopewell
18 items from 2014
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