Danielle Renfrew Behrens - News Poster

News

Independent Spirit Award nominations announced

Just a few moments ago, the 2017 Film Independent Spirit Award nominations were revealed to the public, continuing on with Phase One of the awards season. This precursor marks another new point in the race, as many of these movies nominated today will be contending for Oscar attention as well. Removed from the Academy Award race though, this is just a great precursor because of what it nominates. The films are small in budget and often need a leg up, so this is a spotlight on what the viewing public should be searching out in theaters and at home on Blu-Ray or VOD. Congrats to the nominees and read on to see who and what they were… You’ll see all of the nominees below, but as you’ll be able to tell, it appears to be a race between Call Me By Your Name, The Florida Project, Get Out, and Lady Bird,
See full article at Hollywoodnews.com »

How Sundance Is Trying to Make Smaller Films Profitable With Self-Distribution

How Sundance Is Trying to Make Smaller Films Profitable With Self-Distribution
Producer Danielle Renfrew Behrens was never under the illusion that her quiet indie “Columbus” would spark a bidding war after it premiered at Sundance. But when popular video-essayist-turned-filmmaker Kogonada’s directorial debut became one of the best reviewed films at the 2017 festival, she did assume there would be distribution offers that, at the very least, would make her investors happy.

Read MoreSundance 2017 IndieWire Critics Poll Results: Best Film

It didn’t quite work out that way. “We did get offers, but they didn’t make sense for us,” said Behrens in an interview with IndieWire. “The film would have had a respectable release, but we wouldn’t have recouped based on that offer.”

That experience led “Columbus” to become one of two inaugural recipients of the Creative Distribution Fellowship, the Sundance Institute’s new workshop for completed films seeking help with marketing and distribution. The other recipient is “Unrest,” a documentary that also premiered at Sundance in January 2017. The fellowship comes with a sizable grant – the biggest Sundance has ever handed out – to support the costs of self-distribution.

This was never part of the plan. Behrens — who has been producing moderately-priced indies (“The Queen of Versailles,” “Grandma”) for close to 20 years and whose company Superlative Films raised the financing for “Columbus” — admits that she was caught off-guard. Not only were distributors offering lower-than-expected money upfront, but she also lacked faith that bidders would put the resources behind “Columbus” to make sure it found its audience.

“I’ve had success selling films and have been happy with the marketing of them,” said Behrens. “But for this film to be successful, it needs a team that will get under the hood and do a lot of outreach and really target it to [potential] niche audiences.”

The financial side of independent film is always a gamble, but in the case of “Columbus,” Behrens believed the risk was if Kogonada could deliver on his unique vision with his first feature film. Once he did, the producer was confident “Columbus” was a strong candidate to tap a few different niche audiences that went beyond the arthouse film crowd responding to the great reviews.

Read MoreSupercut Guru Kogonada: How He Leapt from Small Screens to Sundance Next with the Mysterious ‘Columbus

The film is set against the unlikely modern architecture mecca of Columbus, Indiana, which Kogonada fully incorporated into his script and concise geometrical framing. With proper marketing, Behrens assumed, the film could be a must-see for followers of modern art, architecture and design. Additionally, at a time when audiences are hungry for more diverse storytellers, “Columbus” was a breakout debut from an Asian American filmmaker that featured an Asian American character as its lead, played by John Cho.

“Koganada is so specific and I felt like I owed it to him to feel like the marketing and positioning of the film was done with as much precision and passion as he made the film,” said Behrens. “I’m not ready to walk away from it and give it to someone else unless I feel like I know they are going to care about it as much as I do.”

All signs pointed to the producer taking on the responsibility of self-distribution, but the costs were steep. The approach would involve laying out even more money for publicity and advertising, but it also meant that Behrens would have to delay her plans for future projects.

“For me, it was a little bit of a risk, because it’s me telling my investors we have offers that weren’t going to be amazingly lucrative, but they were going to be money in our pocket very quickly and I would be onto the next thing,” said Behrens. That’s when Sundance’s Creative Distribution Initiative came into play.

This article continues on the next page.

Related storiesSundance-Backed Political Documentary Caught in Censorship Nightmare'Columbus' Trailer: Discover Why This John Cho Drama Is One of the Great Indie Debuts of 2017Sundance Institute Announces 8 Projects for Annual Documentary Edit and Story Lab
See full article at Indiewire »

Magnolia Pictures Cannes-bound with 'Permanent'

  • ScreenDaily
Magnolia Pictures Cannes-bound with 'Permanent'
Exclusive: Company plans Us release later this year.

Magnolia Pictures will launch international sales in Cannes on the comedy Permanent starring Patricia Arquette and Rainn Wilson.

Colette Burson wrote and directed the 1980’s-set coming-of-age story about a young teenager who desperately wants a perm to make a fashion statement at school.

When her clueless parents take her to a hairdressing academy to save money, things go wrong. Newcomer Kira McLean rounds out the key cast.

Magnolia head of worldwide sales Scott Veltri and director of international sales Lorna Lee Sagebiel-Torres will introduce Permanent on the Croisette.

Magnolia plans a Us release later this year for the 2929 production in partnership with Park Pictures and Washington Square Films.

Mary Ann Marino, Haroula Rose, Sam Bisbee, and Joshua Blum produced the film.

Executive producers are Todd Wagner, Mark Cuban, Ben Cosgrove, Jackie Kelman Bisbee, Lance Acord, and Danielle Renfrew Behrens.
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Magnolia Pictures acquires 'Lucky'

  • ScreenDaily
Magnolia Pictures acquires 'Lucky'
Separately, Kino Lorber takes Dawson City: Frozen Time, and Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World.

Magnolia Pictures has picked up Us and international rights from Xyz Films to John Carroll Lynch’s directorial debut Lucky.

Magnolia head of worldwide sales Scott Veltri and director of international sales Lorna Lee Sagebiel-Torres will represent international rights in Cannes.

The comedic drama about mortality, loneliness, spirituality, and human connection stars Harry Dean Stanton, David Lynch, Ron Livingston, Ed Begley Jr. and Tom Skerritt.

Lukcy premiered at SXSW and Magnolia plans a theatrical release later in the year on the story about a 90-year-old atheist’s spiritual journey.

Danielle Renfrew BehrensSuperlative Films produced along with Greg Gilreath, Adam Hendricks, and John Lang of Divide/Conquer. Ira Steven Behr, Richard Kahan, Sumonja, and Sparks. Jason Delane Lee served as executive producers.

Lucky is an uplifting, beautifully crafted paean to one of the most iconic actors of any era,” Magnolia President
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Magnolia Nabs ‘Lucky’ Starring Harry Dean Stanton (Exclusive)

Magnolia Nabs ‘Lucky’ Starring Harry Dean Stanton (Exclusive)
Magnolia Pictures has acquired U.S. and international rights to the comedic drama “Lucky,” John Carroll Lynch’s directorial debut.

Lynch is an in-demand character actor who has played showy roles in the likes of “Fargo” and “Zodiac.” “Lucky” follows a 90-year-old atheist who goes on an unexpected journey toward enlightenment. The film boasts a star turn by Harry Dean Stanton of “Paris, Texas” and “Big Love” fame. The cast includes David Lynch, Ron Livingston, Ed Begley Jr., and Tom Skerritt.

In a rave review, Variety’s Joe Leydon wrote, “an unassumingly wonderful little film about nothing in particular and everything that’s important.”

Related

SXSW Film Review: ‘Lucky

Lucky,” which world premiered at SXSW, will be released theatrically by Magnolia later this year.

“‘Lucky’ is an uplifting, beautifully crafted paean to one of the most iconic actors of any era,” Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles said. “John has truly captured
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Visit films to sell Berlinale selections 'the bomb', 'Dayveon'

  • ScreenDaily
Visit films to sell Berlinale selections 'the bomb', 'Dayveon'
Exclusive: Ryan Kampe arrives at the Efm with a sales roster that includes Sundance premieres Family Life and Columbus, Rotterdam entries X500 and Rat Film, and Oscar-nominated Tanna.

Kevin Ford, Smriti Keshari, and Eric Schlosser’s Berlinale Special selection documentary the bomb screens on Friday and explores the power and fascination of nuclear weapons. the bomb premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last year as a multimedia installation.

Amman Abbasi’s feature directorial debut Dayveon premiered at Sundance last month and screens in Forum on Friday. Newcomer Devin Blackmon plays the eponymous 13-year-old grieving the loss of his older brother who falls in with a local gang. FilmRise acquired North American rights after the premiere in Park City.

Alicia Scherson and Cristián Jiménez’s Family Life premiered at Sundance before going to the Rotterdam Film Festival. Jorge Becker, Gabriela Arancibia, Blanca Lewin and Cristián Carvajal star in the story of a lonely fabulist who concocts a tale
See full article at ScreenDaily »

John Cho, Parker Posey Starring in Drama ‘Columbus’

John Cho, Parker Posey Starring in Drama ‘Columbus’
John Cho, Parker Posey, Haley Lu Richardson, Michelle Forbes, and Rory Culkin are starring the Indiana-set drama “Columbus.”

“Columbus” marks the feature directorial debut of Kogonada, who has been noted for his visual work and film criticism commissioned by the Criterion Collection and Sight & Sound.

The movie is being produced by Superlative Films and Depth of Field in association with Nonetheless Productions. Chris Weitz, Andrew Miano, Danielle Renfrew Behrens, Aaron Boyd, Ki Jin Kim, and Giulia Caruso serve as producers. Superlative Films is financing the pic.

The film is currently shooting in Columbus, Ind., which the director said inspired him due to its modern architecture.

“After visiting the town, I felt an immediate sense for a film that would take place there, which would implicitly explore the promise of modernism (an ongoing quest for me),” he said. “The story revolves around a man and young woman from opposite sides of the world,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Patricia Arquette, Rainn Wilson Starring in ’80s Comedy ‘Permanent’

Patricia Arquette, Rainn Wilson Starring in ’80s Comedy ‘Permanent’
Patricia Arquette and Rainn Wilson are starring in the coming-of-age independent comedy “Permanent,” which just started shooting in Virginia.

The film also stars Michael Greene and 12-year-old newcomer Kira McLean. Colette Burson, the creator and executive producer of HBO’s “Hung,” is directing from her own script.

2929 Productions is financing in partnership with Park Pictures and Washington Square Films. Mary Ann Marino, Haroula Rose, Sam Bisbee, and Joshua Blum will produce. Executive producers are Todd Wagner, Ben Cosgrove, Jackie Kelman Bisbee, Lance Acord, and Danielle Renfrew Behrens.

Set in a small town in 1983, “Permanent” follows the misadventures of an idiosyncratic family that yearns to feel more confident and artistic.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to work with two incredibly strong and funny women like Colette Burson and Patricia Arquette on ‘Permanent,'” Wilson said. “I also couldn’t be more thrilled to be wearing a toupee and dressing exactly
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Butterfield, Wolff Enter A "House of Tomorrow"

Asa Butterfield and Alex Wolff have joined the film adaptation of Peter Bognanni's 2011 coming-of-age novel "The House of Tomorrow" at Superlative Film and Water's End Productions.

The story follows a teenage boy who lives in a geodesic dome with his eccentric grandmother, who has spent the last eleven years homeschooling him on the teachings of futurist, architect and inventor R. Buckminster Fuller.

When his grandmother has a stroke, he's forced to leave the dome and discover what it means to live a normal life. Ellen Burstyn, Nick Offerman, Maude Apatow and Michaela Watkins also star.

Peter Livolsi helms and shooting is currently underway in Minnesota. Tarik Karam and Danielle Renfrew Behrens will produce.

Source: Variety
See full article at Dark Horizons »

Asa Butterfield, Alex Wolff to Star in ‘House of Tomorrow’ Adaptation (Exclusive)

Asa Butterfield, Alex Wolff to Star in ‘House of Tomorrow’ Adaptation (Exclusive)
Asa Butterfield and Alex Wolff are starring in Superlative Film’s coming-of-age drama “The House of Tomorrow,” based on Peter Bognanni’s novel.

Ellen Burstyn, Nick Offerman, Maude Apatow and Michaela Watkins also star in the movie, which marks Peter Livolsi’s directorial debut. Filming is currently underway in Minnesota.

The pic is being produced by Tarik Karam and Superlative Films’ Danielle Renfrew Behrens, in association with Water’s End Productions. Executive producers include Burstyn, Offerman and Tom Dolby.

The House of Tomorrow” tells the story of futurist, architect and inventor R. Buckminster Fuller through two teens hoping to get laid, become punk gods and survive high school. The novel, published in 2011, is set in Iowa, where a teenage boy lives in a geodesic dome with his eccentric grandmother, who has spent the last 11 years homeschooling him on the teachings of Fuller. When his grandmother has a stroke, he’s
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘The House of Tomorrow’: Ellen Burstyn, Nick Offerman and Maude Apatow Join Film Adaptation of Award-Winning Novel

‘The House of Tomorrow’: Ellen Burstyn, Nick Offerman and Maude Apatow Join Film Adaptation of Award-Winning Novel
Peter Livolsi’s big screen adaptation of Peter Bognanni’s award-winning novel “The House of Tomorrow” has added a slew of impressive new cast members. The film, which has already started shooting in Minnesota, is set to star Ellen Burstyn, Nick Offerman, Asa Butterfield, Alex Wolff, Maude Apatow and Michaela Watkins.

The film follows “futurist, architect, and inventor R. Buckminster Fuller’s incredible story through two teens hoping to get laid, become punk gods, and survive high school.” The book was published in 2011.

Read More: Watch: Academy Award Winner Ellen Burstyn and Danny Glover Team Up in Exclusive ‘About Scout’ Trailer

The film is Livolsi’s feature debut, and he is set to serve as both writer and director on the project. He previously participated in the 2016 Sundance Screenwriters Lab and the project was a recipient of the Tribeca Film Institute Sloan Grant.

Of the news, Livolsi commented, “Peter Bognanni
See full article at Indiewire »

Harry Dean Stanton, David Lynch Join John Carroll Lynch’s Drama ‘Lucky’

Harry Dean Stanton, David Lynch Join John Carroll Lynch’s Drama ‘Lucky’
Harry Dean Stanton is starring in John Carroll Lynch’s directorial debut “Lucky,” currently shooting in Los Angeles.

David Lynch will also appear in the film, which adds to the list of projects he and Stanton have worked on together, including “Wild at Heart” and “The Straight Story.” Stanton is also expected to appear in Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” reboot.

Superlative Films is the production company. John Carroll Lynch is directing from a script by Stanton’s longtime friends Logan Sparks and Drago Sumonja.

“Lucky” follows the spiritual journey of a 90-year-old atheist — played by Stanton — and the quirky characters that inhabit his off-the-map desert town. He finds himself at the precipice of life, thrust into a journey of self-exploration.

The cast includes Ed Begley Jr. (“Better Call Saul”), Ron Livingston and Tom Skerritt, along with Barry Shabaka Henley, Beth Grant, Yvonne Huff Lee, Hugo Armstrong and James Darren.“

Producers are Logan Sparks,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

'Grandma' with Lily Tomlin Goes to Sony Pictures Classics

'Grandma' with Lily Tomlin Goes to Sony Pictures Classics
Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they acquired worldwide&#160rights to Grandma. The film, written and directed by Paul Weitz, premieres Friday at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and stars Lily Tomlin, Julia Garner, Marcia Gay Harden, Judy Greer, Laverne Cox and Sam Elliott. Grandma is produced by Andrew Miano, Weitz, Paris&#160Kassidokostas-Latsis&#160and Terry Dougas and executive produced by Stephanie Meurer, Dan Balgoyen and Danielle Renfrew Behrens.

In Grandma, Lily Tomlin is Elle Reid.&#160Elle has just gotten through breaking up with her girlfriend when Elle's granddaughter Sage unexpectedly shows up needing $600 before sundown. Temporarily broke, Grandma Elle and Sage spend the day trying to get their hands on the cash as their unannounced visits to old friends and flames end up rattling skeletons and digging up secrets.

The deal was negotiated by Wme Global and&#160Alex Kohner of Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner & Gellman. Michael Barker and
See full article at MovieWeb »

Spc acquires Paul Weitz’s Grandma

  • ScreenDaily
Sundance: Sony Pictures Classics acquires worldwide rights to comedy starring Lily Tomlin.

Worldwide rights to Paul Weitz comedy Grandma have been snapped up by Sony Pictures Classics.

The film, written and directed by Weitz, receives its premiere on Friday (Jan 30) in the Premieres section of the Sundance Film Festival.

The cast includes Lily Tomlin, Julia Garner, Marcia Gay Harden, Judy Greer, Laverne Cox and Sam Elliott.

Producers are Andrew Miano, Weitz, Paris Kassidokostas-Latsis and Terry Dougas. Executive producers areStephanie Meurer, Dan Balgoyen and Danielle Renfrew Behrens

Tomlin is Elle Reid, a self-described misanthrope whose 18-year-old granddaughter shows up needing help. The two of them go on a day-long journey that causes Elle to come to terms with her past and Sage to confront her future.

The deal was negotiated by Wme Global and Alex Kohner of Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner & Gellman. 
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Sundance: Sony Classics Buys Lily Tomlin Comedy ‘Grandma’ for $2 Million

  • The Wrap
Sundance: Sony Classics Buys Lily Tomlin Comedy ‘Grandma’ for $2 Million
[Updated 10:25 p.m. with confirmation from Sony Pictures Classics.]

Sony Pictures Classics has confirmed it has acquired worldwide rights to Paul Weitz’s road trip movie “Grandma,” which stars comedy legend Lily Tomlin in performance that is already garnering awards buzz. Insiders peg the deal at roughly $2 million.

In “Grandma,” Tomlin is Elle Reid, who has just finished breaking up with her girlfriend when her granddaughter Sage unexpectedly shows up needing $600 bucks before sundown. Temporarily broke, Grandma Elle and Sage spend the day trying to get their hands on the cash as their unannounced visits to old friends and flames end up rattling skeletons and digging up secrets.

Julia Garner
See full article at The Wrap »

What’s Up Doc?: Latest from Psihoyos & Ross Bros. Lead Sundance Charge (December 2014)

The holidays are winding down and that means we at Ioncinema.com are gearing up for our annual pilgrimage to Park City where an A-list of documentaries is now set to premiere. Earlier this month Tabitha Jackson and the Sundance doc programming team let the cats out of the bag, unsurprisingly announcing much anticipated Us Doc Competition titles such as the Ross Brothers’ Western, Louie PsihoyosRacing Extinction, Marc Silver’s 3 1/2 Minutes and Lyric Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe’s (T)Error, along with some surprises like Bryan Carberry and Clay Tweel’s bizarro Kickstarted doc Finders Keepers (see trailer below). Having been produced by the fine folks behind The King of Kong and Undefeated, the film bears all the markings of its well regarded pedigree, yet appears to be of even odder ilk, following the story that unfolded when a severed human foot was discovered in a grill bought at a North Carolina auction.
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

What’s Up Doc?: Crocodile Gennadiy Among Top Sundance Hopefuls (November 2014)

Turkey or no turkey, these next couple of days lucky filmmakers who’ve been selected to screen as part of the Sundance Film Festival will get the invitation notice straight from John Cooper and the Park City programming team, and thus, those that we’re betting have made the cut have also inched up the list a bit. One of those that seem an obvious choice to premiere at the fest is director Steve Hoover and producer Danny Yourd’s Crocodile Gennadiy. Following up their Grand Jury Prize winning Blood Brother with incredible turnaround time, our new most anticipated film tracks the delicate operations of Gennadiy Mokhnenko, a Ukrainian activist, orphanage manager and savior of countless children whose addict parents favor injected cold medicine and alcohol over them. Part heartwrenching domestic drama, part sleuth thriller, the film looks to use the Ukrainian uprising as a backdrop to highlight its protagonist
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Uni takes int’l on Kurt Cobain doc

  • ScreenDaily
Uni takes int’l on Kurt Cobain doc
Universal Pictures International Entertainment Content Group will handle the release outside the Us on Kurt Cobain: Montage Of Heck prior to the HBO broadcast in 2015.

Brett Morgen wrote, directed and produced the documentary chronicling the life and times of the feted former Nirvana frontman who committed suicide 20 years ago.

Cobain’s daughter Frances Bean Cobain serves as executive producer on the first documentary to be made with the cooperation of Cobain’s family.

Kurt Cobain: Montage Of Heck includes access to hitherto private recordings, songbooks, personal archives, film footage and artwork.

Danielle Renfrew Behrens served as producer alongside Morgern and Sara Bernstein. Larry Mestel, David Byrnes and Sheila Nevins are executive producers alongside Frances Bean Cobain.

“I started work on this project eight years ago,” said Morgen. “Like most people, when I started, I figured there would be limited amounts of fresh material to unearth.

“However, once I stepped into Kurt’s archive, I discovered
See full article at ScreenDaily »

The Queen of Versailles Goes to Magnolia Pictures

The Queen of Versailles Goes to Magnolia Pictures
The Wagner/Cuban Company's Magnolia Pictures announced today they have acquired North American distribution rights to The Queen of Versailles, an outrageous, timely and moving film that premiered last night to a sold out crowd at the Eccles theater as this year's opening night film at the Sundance film festival. Television and international rights are still available.

From acclaimed filmmaker and photographer Lauren Greenfield (Thin, Kids + Money; named one of the top 25 most influential photographers of our time by American Photo), The Queen of Versailles is a prescient, wildly entertaining documentary about billionaires Jackie and David Siegel, who are constructing what will be the largest house in America-a 90,000 square foot behemoth modeled after the palace of Versailles.

When the financial market collapses in 2008, their extravagant dreams are put on hold. David's massive time-share business runs into difficulties, and the filmmaker is there to capture the Siegel's truly uncanny turn of fortune.
See full article at MovieWeb »

Josh Goldin's Wonderful World

In Wonderful World, which premiered at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival, Matthew Broderick stars as Ben Singer, a misanthropic pot-smoking single dad whose only friend is his Senegalese roommate Ibu, played by Michael K. Williams (The Wire, The Road). When Ibu falls ill, his beautiful sister Khadi (Sanaa Lathan) comes to visit and Ben finds his worldview slowly shifting. Tribeca sat down with Wonderful World writer and director Josh Goldin recently, where he talked about working with his longtime friend Broderick, chipping away at negativity, and his upcoming project with Jay Baruchel. Goldin's unnamed movie, which stars Baruchel as a stand-up comic in love, will be produced by Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa (Little Miss Sunshine, Little Children, Hamlet 2) and Danielle Renfrew (Waitress). Goldin wrote the script and will also direct. Tribeca Film: You wrote on the Huffington Post that the character of Ben is a combination of ...
See full article at Tribeca Film »
loading
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Credited With | External Sites