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Indiewire's annual Cannes wish list isn't so much about officially predicting the lineup, but rather a survey of films we hope are finished in time and considered good enough to make the cut. We're not including films that have zero chances of being ready in time -- or, for that matter, the one film we officially know will be there: "Mad Max: Fury Road" (which is screening out of competition). Among the candidates are celebrated filmmakers such as Jacques Audiard, Woody Allen, Arnaud Desplechin, Cary Fukunaga, Todd Haynes, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Naomi Kawase, Yorgos Lanthimos, Terrence Malick, Jeff Nichols, Gaspard Noé, Paolo Sorrentino, Joachim Trier, Gus Van Sant and Apichatpong Weerasethaul, among many others. Films that don't get a spot in Cannes (and there will definitely be a few) will immediately become hot topics for a fall festival slot in Venice and/or Toronto. But that's then; this is now. »
There are still three weeks to go before the Cannes Film Festival unveils its official-selection lineup, but so far, the latest Pixar 3D animated extravaganza and new films from Woody Allen, Todd Haynes, Jeff Nichols, Denis Villeneuve and Arnaud Desplechin appear to be securing their positions in the event’s 68th annual edition (May 13-24).
In keeping with his longtime habit of avoiding festival accolades, Allen will likely receive an out-of-competition berth for his 45th feature, “Irrational Man,” starring Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone (who starred in the director’s “Magic in the Moonlight”). Among other U.S. fare, Cannes will get an early start on the summer blockbuster season with Disney/Pixar’s feature toon “Inside Out,” marking a second trip to the Croisette for director Pete Docter (who co-helmed with Ronaldo Del Carmen) after his “Up” opened the festival in 2009. As already announced, George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road, »
- Justin Chang and Elsa Keslassy
New Cnc figures confirm 2014 was a tough year for the French film production sector.
Investment in French film production fell by 20% in 2104 to hit a 13-year low, according to new figures released by France’s National Cinema Centre (Cnc).
According to the Cnc’s annual production report released on Tuesday (Mar 24), the body approved 258 films in 2014, 12 less than 2013.
Within this figure, 203 were films-of French-initiative and 55 were majority foreign co-productions.
Nearly all French productions need to seek Cnc approval in order to tap into selective and automatic funding supports so the resulting data is a good indication of what is going on in France’s film production sector.
The new figures revealed that investment in “films-of French-initiative” dropped by 21.7% to €799m ($876m), against €1.02bn ($1.2bn) in 2013.
Overall investment, including co-productions, fell by 20.2% to €994m ($1bn), against €1.2bn ($1.3bn) in 2013.
Breaking these the latest figures down, the Cnc said French investment fell by 19.2% to €753.2m ($825m).
Foreign investment, meanwhile »
Gazing into the crystal ball, Screen rounds up its Cannes predictions.
With the unveiling of Cannes Film Festival’s Official Selection now exactly three weeks away buzz over the titles that Thierry Fremaux and his team will select for the 68th edition is hitting fever pitch.
Earlier the week, Cannes unveiled its poster featuring Ingrid Bergman to mark the centenary of the late big screen’s birth and it was announced that Stig Bjorkman’s documentary Ingrid Bergman – In Her Own Words would show in Cannes Classics as part of the commemorations.
For the rest of the Official Selection, except perhaps the opening film which is traditionally revealed in advance, Cannes watchers will have to wait for the announcement press conference in Paris on April »
Italian media went pazzo over the weekend with rumors that Jude Law was being lined up as a fictional Italo-American pontiff in Paolo Sorrentino’s upcoming mini The Young Pope. A source confirms the British actor is in negotiations for the titular part, but says it’s early days. The Young Pope is an eight-episode series to be written by the Oscar-winning Great Beauty helmer along with Umberto Contarello and Stefano Rulli for Sky Italia. Italy’s Wildside is producing. The… »
With the world’s most prestigious film festival just around the corner, cineastes have been lasciviously salivating about what’s going to show up at Cannes, with wish lists appearing almost immediately after Berlin (a fest that had one of their most impressive line-ups ever) announced their awards. The remainder of the 2015 fest circuit looks to be a plentiful, diverse porridge, with many of the world’s most renowned auteurs’ sporting brand new titles. While many prognosticators will be sharing the same lists, more or less, hopes are incredibly high for a handful of sure bets, and a gaggle of hopefuls. The main competition always seems easier to postulate, though Thierry Fremaux always throws a few curves, (After the Battle in 2012, The Hunt in 2013 or last year’s Timbuktu, which won the Cesar for Best Picture recently, are a couple ready examples of under-the-radar titles).
Italy seems primed for saturation at the fest. »
- Nicholas Bell
Sources have confirmed Italian media reports that Jude Law is in talks to play the American pope in Paolo Sorrentino's first-ever television series: The Young Pope. The series revolves around a fictional American pope who becomes the most conservative one the Vatican has ever seen. The show is in the works at a time when Pope Francis is widely considered the most open-minded pope in recent times. The series is set in the U.S. and the Vatican. The Young Pope is being produced by Wildside's (1992) Lorenzo Mieli and Mario Gianani in collaboration with Sky Italia. John Lyons, former Focus Features president
- Ariston Anderson
Jude Law is reportedly in advanced negotiations to play the lead role in Italian Oscar-winning director Paolo Sorrentino’s high-concept TV series, working-titled “The Young Pope,” about an imaginary pontiff who is the first Italian-American pope in history.
Italian media is abuzz with unconfirmed news that Sorrentino has found his pope and Law is on board. Wildside, the Italian shingle that is producing the skein, has issed a “no comment.”
Law would play a hard-line conservative American pontiff recruited by a Vatican fed up with liberals, co-scribe Tony Grisoni recently told Variety. “No one, even at the Vatican, is prepared for how hard-line this American pope really is,” he said.
- Nick Vivarelli
Rupert Murdoch’s recently reconfigured Sky paybox looks to have the makings to become a new force in the international TV drama landscape as it begins to flex its pan-European muscles.
At its foundation are 24 million subscribers and $16.7 billion in revenues created through the 2014 merger of the U.K.’s BSkyB and its sister companies in Italy and Germany. It has adopted a multiterritory release strategy, a la Netflix, for certain high-end (and pricier) projects and, to compete in international TV’s current scripted-content arms race, it has greenlit more complex productions aimed to travel.
“There are budgetary, logistical and temporal hurdles to be overcome before the new Sky can be viewed in the same way as an HBO or an AMC can,” cautioned London-based TV analyst Anna Stuart of research firm Ihs Technology, noting that the company still faces challenges as it seeks to become a major player. “But »
- Nick Vivarelli
Rome – The Rome Film Festival has a new team in place, headed by its onetime artistic director Piera Detassis who has been appointed president of the foundation that oversees the event, which now appears to be entering a new phase.
Antonio Monda, a multihyphenate with ties to the U.S. film and literary world, is widely expected to be appointed Rome’s artistic director on Monday, replacing Marco Mueller who exited last year, following a turbulent three-year mandate.
Monda is a high-powered New York-based Italo journalist with a flair for PR who has also dabbled in film and held Q&A sessions during the Rome fest. He appears in brief cameos in Wes Anderson’s “The Life Acquatic” and Paolo Sorrentino’s “This Must Be The Place.”
Detassis, who prior to Mueller had been artistic director at Rome and has been in prominent roles there since its inception, underscored the »
- Nick Vivarelli
Berlin –Launching its biggest promo push in the last 15 years, the Italian film industry is driving into Latin America, kick-starting its surge with a multifaceted and mass presence at March’s 30th Guadalajara Film Festival. This will play out through sections, tributes and an important market presence.
Highlights at Guadalajara, which runs March 6-15, include the award of a its International Mayahuel Award to Bernardo Bertolucci, who will attend the festival. Honor recognizes Bertolucci’s contribution to world cinema and acknowledged influence on many of Latin America’s most important filmmakers.
Also on the agenda: a Bruno Bozzetto retrospective, a 34-pic recent Italian cinema panorama, and a major Guadalajara market attendance of producers, institutions and sales agents of Italian films. Among the latter are Rai Com, Rai Cinema, Adriana Chiesa Enterprises, Intramovies, The Match Factory, Domenico Procacci’s Fandango Distribuzione, Hengameh Panahi’s Celluloid Dreams, Doc & Film, The Open Reel, »
- John Hopewell
Even before the Berlin festival is over, and the Oscars remain under wraps, the thoughts of many executives have turned to Cannes.
At this stage, the selectors of Cannes different sections have seen very little, so there is no such thing as a certainty.
Following some of the chatter and looking at which films might have the right credentials comes up with a strongly international selection for Thierry Fremaux and his team to choose from.
Fellow Italian, and previous Palme d’Or-winner Nanni Moretti, has “My Mother” (aka “Mia Madre”) while Paolo Sorrentino’s Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel-starrer “Youth” (aka “La Giovinezza,” aka “In the Future”) is also a strong competition contender.
Buzz is strong for “The Lobster,” the English-language »
- Patrick Frater
The halls are starting to hum softly here in Berlin as the European Film Market swings into gear. The first deals were announced yesterday before the event officially opened, with The Weinstein Co notably boarding Im Global’s The Man Who Made It Snow. This morning, FilmNation unveiled a series of offshore output deals for titles from Open Road, which will kick off with the Jamie Foxx/Michelle Monaghan-starrer Sleepless Nights.
Though it’s not likely to be a frenzy, and with currency concerns in the market internationally, Berlin should see more action in the coming days. Distributors are looking for product for 2016 and beyond, and some memorable buys have emerged here in recent years. In 2014, The Weinstein Company made a record-setting $7M deal for The Imitation Game which has now made about $140M worldwide and has an armful of Oscar nominations to boot.
Much of the pre-buy buzz »
- Nancy Tartaglione
Marco Risi (“Fortapasc”) has made a few good movies, which is why nothing quite prepares viewers for the train wreck that is “Three Touches.” Rampant homophobia may be the worst of its sins, but there are plenty others to choose from: absence of tone, a lousy script, overwrought situations, misogyny, etc. Designed as an insightful look into the lives of six struggling thesps (each character bears the first name of the actor), brought together via friendly soccer matches, the pic is little more than a ludicrous explosion of testosterone. Italo audiences stayed away during its brief late November run.
Given some of the talent involved, especially among the cameos (which even include Paolo Sorrentino, basically as himself), far more was to be expected. Yet right from the start, with feverish recitations of the Lord’s Prayer, the viewer’s first instinct is to shout: “Calm down!” Max (Massimiliano Benvenuto), one of the more agitated reciters, »
- Jay Weissberg
Grisoni talked about what he was up to in Goteborg where he participated in a TV seminar.
Grisoni, who is based in London, revealed plot details to Variety following his presentation of “The Red Riding” trilogy and “Southcliffe”.
“Sorrentino’s show is about an hardline conservative American pope ‘recruited’ by the Vatican because they’re fed up of liberals. But no one, even at the Vatican, is prepared for how hardline this American Pope really is,” Grisoni told Variety, adding that the series is expected to start shooting later this year.
The writer also said he was penning the adaptation of China Mieville »
- Elsa Keslassy
Goteborg: Left Bank CEO Andy Harries and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas writer Tony Grisoni revealed details about upcoming projects during keynotes at TV Drama Vision, the Gothenburg Film Festival’s TV event.
“I’m writing a single drama for TV, which I hope to direct,” he said.
The London-based writer is also adapting the China Mieville novel The City & The City as “a four-part drama for the BBC.”
British author Mieville’s well-received novel is part ‘weird fiction’, part police procedural, following an inspector’s hunt for the killer of young student.
During his keynote Grisoni spoke candidly about his disagreement with the ‘auteur theory’.
“Film is a social act. I’m a screenwriter so of course I’m against the auteur »
- email@example.com (Andreas Wiseman)
Sean Penn: Honorary César goes Hollywood – again (photo: Sean Penn in '21 Grams') Sean Penn, 54, will receive the 2015 Honorary César (César d'Honneur), the French Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Crafts has announced. That means the French Academy's powers-that-be are once again trying to make the Prix César ceremony relevant to the American media. Their tactic is to hand out the career award to a widely known and relatively young – i.e., media friendly – Hollywood celebrity. (Scroll down for more such examples.) In the words of the French Academy, Honorary César 2015 recipient Sean Penn is a "living legend" and "a stand-alone icon in American cinema." It has also hailed the two-time Best Actor Oscar winner as a "mythical actor, a politically active personality and an exceptional director." Penn will be honored at the César Awards ceremony on Feb. 20, 2015. Sean Penn movies Sean Penn movies range from the teen comedy »
- Steve Montgomery
Paris – Lyon’s Institut Lumière is teaming with France’s Cnc film agency to organize Lumiere! Le Cinéma Inventé, a major Paris exhibition-restoration initiative marking the 120th anniversary of the invention of cinema – or at least cinema as we have known it over nearly all of the last 120 years.
Not just a commemoration, however, Lumière! will attempt to deliver a corrective to the legend of two technical geniuses of little vision, ignoring the importance of their invention, and of little art.
Presented Monday night in Paris by Thierry Fremaux – Institut Lumière director as well as Cannes Fest head – and Cnc president Frederique Bredin – the Lumière! exhibition will run March 27 to June 14 at Paris’ Grand Palais, site of its 1900 Universal Exhibition, whose stars included Louis and Auguste Lumière, presenting their five-year-old invention, thanks to which France was to dominate world cinema until World War I.
Exhibition’s bow coincides with the »
- John Hopewell
Rome – Yearly box office in Italy dropped 7 percent in 2014 to $666 million, as both local and Hollywood pics lost market share. But 2015 has kicked off strong largely thanks to Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper,” which has now cumed more than $18 million on Italian screens since making a killer opening as the year started.
“Exodus” bowed this weekend in Italy at $3 million of 649 screens via Fox; “Everything” took $1.5 million from 308 via Universal.
“Sniper,” which launched in Italy on January 1, prior to any other country on the planet, is being cited by a Warner Bros. statement as testimony that Italy remains an important movie market. Since the start of 2015 Italo box office intake and admissions are both up more than 10 percent year-on-year.
After smashing all previous »
- Nick Vivarelli
I've already listed my top ten most anticipated blockbusters of the new year and now I'll take a look at the rest of the field as I've done my best to whittle things down to an even twenty films. So before you get in a huff that your favorite franchises aren't listed, just remember you can view all my anticipated blockbusters right here, I simply didn't know how to write the headline other than to just say these were my most anticipated movies without any further distinction. That said, I think I have a nice rounded list for you here. Obviously several from the major studios, but also a few overseas entries to spice things up. Plenty of Tom Hardy and Jake Gyllenhaal and a couple starring Rachel Weisz along with several of my favorite directors coming with new films for the new year. If you're wondering where films such »
- Brad Brevet
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