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Italian Producer Fabio Conversi Preps New TV Projects, Including ‘The Boy Who Granted Dreams’ (Exclusive)

Italian producer Fabio Conversi is ramping up TV production with a raft of projects following his first series, “The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair,” which will open the inaugural edition of the CanneSeries festival. Among the works in development are adaptations of the soon-to-be-published new book by “Harry Quebert” author Joel Dicker and the bestselling novel “The Boy Who Granted Dreams.”

The Paris-based Conversi, who for years co-produced films by top Italian directors such as Paolo Sorrentino and distributed them in France, says he has now put film distribution on “stand-by” in order to ride the wave of high-end shows mostly based on books such as “Harry Quebert,” which is by bestselling Swiss author Joel Dicker.

Conversi’s latest literary rights acquisition is Italian author Luca di Fulvio’s “The Boy Who Granted Dreams,” which blends romance, crime and historical saga. It begins with a young Sicilian girl named Cetta who, after being raped,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Record-Breaking Italian Comedy ‘Quo Vado’ Set for French Remake (Exclusive)

Rome – “Quo Vado,” the Italian comedy about job security that became the country’s all-time highest grosser, is getting a French remake.

French comedy specialist Fabien Onteniente, known for the hit “Camping” franchise, is set to direct the redo of the movie about an Italian slacker – played in the original by comic sensation Checco Zalone – who is hell-bent on holding on to his parasitic government job. The screenplay is being written by Guy Laurent (“Qu’est-ce qu’on a fait au Bon Dieu ?”). French distributor Snd is on board. The plan is for cameras to roll in April 2019.

The still-untitled adaptation is among projects in advanced stages announced by prominent Italian producers Pietro Valsecchi and Camilla Nesbitt, who have launched a Paris-based company, Medset, that will handle the bulk of their film productions. Medset is an outpost of their TaoDue film and TV shingle, which is fully owned by Mediaset.

Tapping into Italy’s national psyche,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Italy's Cinecittà Studios set for expansion after €37m government investment

Famed studios to be refurbished and have an expanded remit.

Italy’s famed production house Cinecittà Studios is set for a major relaunch.

Source: Cinecittà Studios

In 2016, the famous Rome studios - where Us productions such as Ben-Hur and Gangs Of New York filmed as well as many Italian masterpieces from Federico Fellini to Nanni Moretti - returned to state ownership after 20 years’ of private management.

Now, a €37m investment from Italy’s Ministry of Culture will see the studios expand in terms of its facilities and its wider cultural remit, becoming a creative hub for all audiovisual production, including videogames.

The refurbishment will span the next three years. The aim is for the business to break even by the end of that period. Currently, 60% of the studio’s budget is covered by earnings.

“We are going to build two new soundstages, one of which will be the biggest in Cinecittà,” announced Roberto Cicutto, president
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Watch: Berlin Film Festival’s ‘Genesis’ Trailer Launches (Exclusive)

Watch: Berlin Film Festival’s ‘Genesis’ Trailer Launches (Exclusive)
Variety has been given exclusive access to the trailer for “Genesis,” which world premieres in Panorama Special at the Berlin Film Festival. Arpad Bogdan’s film is backed by the Hungarian National Film Fund, which also supported 2017 Berlin Golden Bear winner and Oscar nominee “On Body and Soul.”

Genesis,” starring Anna Marie Cseh and Milan Csordas, “provides a dramatic depiction of sin, catharsis and rebirth,” according to a statement. It centers on “a young Roma boy, whose childhood reaches a sudden and drastic end when he loses his family in a tragic and brutal attack.”

A young lawyer, under pressure from her superiors, takes on the defense of one of the men facing trial for the part he allegedly played in this series of racist murders. It is while researching the case that she comes into contact with the young boy, called as a witness, and “this chance meeting changes both their lives forever.” A teenage
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Netflix, Rai Fiction Order Second Season of Italian Series ‘Suburra’

Rome – Netflix has ordered up a second series of mob show “Suburra: Blood on Rome,” its first Italian original co-financed with Italy’s state broadcaster Rai and produced by ITV-owned shingle Cattleya.

The second series announcement comes shortly after the first 10 episodes of the show launched on the streaming giant last October in more than 190 countries, following a world premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September.

Set in contemporary Rome, where corruption runs rampant, “Suburra” is considered Italy’s answer to “Narcos” and revolves around the Vatican, the mob, and local politicos vying for control of Ostia, the seaside town just outside the Italian capital that is being developed into a gambling paradise. The first season featured plenty of color-saturated violence, intrigue, and a scene in which a high-ranking priest has a heart attack during a cocaine-fueled orgy.

Netflix said in a statement that the show would be back with “more action, drama and power
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Michael Haneke, ‘Deutschland 83’ Producer Prep Dystopian Series ‘Kelvin’s Book’

Michael Haneke, ‘Deutschland 83’ Producer Prep Dystopian Series ‘Kelvin’s Book’
Acclaimed Austrian director Michael Haneke’s first TV series project will be “Kelvin’s Book,” a 10-part series produced by Germany’s Ufa Fiction, the makers of “Deutschland 83.”

“After 10 TV movies and 12 films, I wanted to tell a longer story for once,” the double Palme d’Or- and Oscar-winning screenwriter and director said.

Ufa, which is part of production and distribution giant FremantleMedia, is behind German-language hit “Deutschland 83” and its upcoming second season, “Deutschland 86,” but Haneke’s project will be in English. The high-concept series will tell the story of a group of young people in a dystopian near future who, during a flight, are “forced to make an emergency landing outside of their home and are confronted with the actual face of their home country for the first time,” a press statement said.

Nico Hofmann and Benjamin Benedict will serve as executive producers for Ufa Fiction on the series.

“No contemporary
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Natpe: Mediapro, Nickelodeon Latin America to Co-Produce New Scripted Gaming Series ‘N00Bees’

Natpe: Mediapro, Nickelodeon Latin America to Co-Produce New Scripted Gaming Series ‘N00Bees’
Spain’s Mediapro Group, co-producers of Paolo Sorrentino’s HBO hit “The Young Pope,” has teamed up with Viacom’s Nickelodeon Latin America to create new scripted gaming series “N00Bees.”

Created by Enrique Pérez from Mediapro Group’s production company 100Balas, the 60 one-hour episodes will be produced in Spanish for Nickelodeon auds in Latin America and adapted to Portuguese for Nick viewers in Brazil.

The series will be shot in Bogota, Colombia at Mediapro facility Televideo where teen hits “Chica Vampiro” and Nickelodeon Latin America’s “Yo Soy Franky” have also been produced.

The upcoming series will include images from Mediapro’s Professional Videogames League (Lvp), the biggest e-sports league in Spain and host of major online and offline tournaments for such hit games as “League of Legends” and “Call of Duty.”

“Mediapro’s experience in the e-sports industry, along with the series’ innovative storyline, engaging characters and on-trend gaming theme is certain to make an
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Unseen Pleasures: My 20 Most Unmissable New Films of 2018

  • MUBI
Below is a strictly personal, unapologetically idiosyncratic list of the twenty films I'm most looking forward to in 2018 and which have so far yet to be seen by any paying audiences. Among those seriously considered but ultimately excluded on the basis that they're more likely to be ready next year are Ad Astra (James Gray), Blessed Virgin (Paul Verhoeven), The Fire Next Time (Mati Diop), Late Spring (Michelangelo Frammartino), the particularly-dynamite-on-paper Martin Eden (Pietro Marcello), Mektoub, My Love: Canto Due (Abdellatif Kechiche) and Motorboats (Yuri Ancarani). I also reluctantly discarded a couple of highly tantalising projects whose status, at the time of writing, was frustratingly unclear, namely Tijuana Bible (Jean-Charles Hue) and the worryingly long-in-gestation You Can't Win (Robinson Devor). Omitted because they're made primarily for TV rather than cinemas: Martin Scorsese's The Irishman (Netflix) and Bruno Dumont's Coincoin and the Extra-Humans (Arté). Finally, Joanna Hogg's The Souvenir: Part I
See full article at MUBI »

Top 100 Most Anticipated American Indie Films of 2018: #85. Paul Dano’s Wildlife

Wildlife

We’ve been charting his perfs well before the likes of Reichardt and PTA brought him in as a supporting character, Paul Dano who has given us the riches of Michael Cuesta’s L.I.E., Little Miss Sunshine and So Yong Kim’s For Ellen. Based on the novel by Richard Ford, Dano teamed with his partner Zoe Kazan to adapt the project, and production took place in the fall of 2016 in Montana and Oklahoma.

Jake Gyllenhaal, Carey Mulligan and Ed Oxenbould take on the three-legged tale centering around 14-year-old Joe, who is the only child of Jeanette and Jerry—a housewife and a golf pro—in a small town in 1960s Montana. Nearby, an uncontrolled forest fire rages close to the Canadian border, and when Jerry loses his job—and his sense of purpose—he decides to join the cause of fighting the fire, leaving his wife and son to fend for themselves.
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Italy’s love affair with cinema cools as film fans turn to TV

Piracy and online distributors such as Netflix keep audiences in armchairs at home

From Paolo Sorrentino’s 2014 Oscar-winner The Great Beauty to Call Me By Your Name, the highly acclaimed gay love story directed by Luca Guadagnino, Italy still has a flair for making films that create a global buzz. But that doesn’t mean to say that Italians are such great fans of their homegrown productions – at least when it comes to taking themselves off to the cinema to watch them.

According to dismal data released by film associations Anec and Anica, box office sales for Italian films were down by over 46% compared with 2016, while takings fell by around 44%.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

New films showcased completely online at 2018 MyFrenchFilmFestival

French and Francophone films are set to be shown online as part of MyFrenchFilmFestival.

Available from 19 January to 19 February, the festival has been organised into six thematic sections with features and shorts offering a wide range of material. A mixture of new works playing alongside classic films such as Man Bites Dog and The Last Metro, the festival has built up a reputation for appealing to a fresh new audience.

There is a competitive element in the festival, with directors Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty, Youth) and Julia Ducouranau (Raw) part of the filmmakers’s jury. There are also awards decided on by the press and the online viewing audience.

Here’s details of how the festival is shaping up.

What The F…Rench!?

Absurd and at times crazy situations featuring endearing heroes

Struggle for life, Antonin Peretjatko, Long feature in competition

Rock’n Roll, Guillaume Canet, Long feature in
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Fellini's "8 1/2" 55Th Anniversary Screenings

  • CinemaRetro
Fellini’s 8½ Screenings In Los Angeles with Barbara Steele In Person at Royal Screening

By Todd Garbarini

Federico Fellini’s 1963 film 8½ (Otto e Mezzo) will be shown in special 55th anniversary screenings at three of Laemmle's theatres in Los Angeles. Starring Marcello Mastroianni, Claudia Cardinale, Anouk Aimee, Sandra Milo, and Barbara Steele, the film, lauded by Roger Ebert as the greatest film ever made about filmmaking and the winner of the Best Foreign Language Oscar for that year, runs 138 minutes and is being showcased on the big screen in a rare opportunity.

The film will be shown at the following locations:

Royal, 11523 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90025

Phone: (310) 478-0401

Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at 7:00 pm

Please Note: Actor and film historian Douglas Dunning, longtime friend of actress Barbara Steele, announces that Barbara Steele is scheduled to appear in person for a Q & A prior to the screening at the Royal theatre.
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Former Focus executive Isabelle Stewart joins Protagonist (exclusive)

Stewart will lead on acquisitions and report to CEO Dave Bishop.

Source: Protagonist Pictures

Isabelle Stewart

Protagonist Pictures has appointed Isabelle Stewart as head of acquisitions with immediate effect.

Reporting to CEO Dave Bishop, Stewart will oversee acquisitions and attend major festivals and markets for the company.

Stewart joins Protagonist from Focus Features, where she was director of acquisitions and production and worked on titles including Andrea Arnold’s American Honey, Damien Chazelle’s La La Land, Andrew Haigh’s Lean on Pete and Paolo Sorrentino’s Loro.

Prior to her post at Focus, she held acquisitions roles at Universal Pictures International Productions and Studiocanal.

In 2017, she joined Protagonist’s director of international sales George Hamilton as one of Screen’s Future Leaders in sales and acquisitions.

Protagonist’s current slate includes Sean Baker’s The Florida Project, William Oldroyd’s debut feature Lady Macbeth, and Francis Lee’s God’s Own Country, all three of which
See full article at ScreenDaily »

‘Rock ’N Roll,’ ‘Ava,’ ‘Into the Forest’ Compete at 2018 MyFrenchFilmFestival

‘Rock ’N Roll,’ ‘Ava,’ ‘Into the Forest’ Compete at 2018 MyFrenchFilmFestival
Paris — Guillaume Canet’s mid-life crisis faux documentary “Rock ’N Roll,” Léa Mysius’ “Ava,” a coming-of-age drama-thriller, and Gilles Marchand’s eiree family psycho-thriller “Into the Forest” are among 10 features competing at the 8th MyFrenchFilmFestival.

This year’s edition runs online from Jan. 19 through Feb. 19.

Launched in 2011 by French film promotion org UniFrance to target a primarily young millennial audience – more than half Mfff’s viewers are under 40 – Mfff focuses primarily on emerging directorial talent from France: There is also a large emphasis on short films from almost inevitably little or unknown young directors.

That said, the most common characteristic of the movies presented Tuesday morning in Paris by UniFrance president Serge Toubiana and managing director Isabelle Giordano is their robust diversity.

“We want to show young French cinema in all its diversity,” said Simon Helloco, Mfff co-director with Quentin Deleau.

MyFrenchFilmFestival is screening to an ever-wider audience. earning 560,000 film views in 2015, but 6.4 million in 2016 and 6.7 million
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The thing about evil by Anne-Katrin Titze

Roberto Andò on Connie Nielsen's character Claire: "I based her on someone like J.K. Rowling but also on others who have become hugely wealthy through their writing" Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

At his hotel on Central Park South, director Roberto Andò discussed with me the connections to Alfred Hitchcock's I Confess and Torn Curtain in his latest film, which character was inspired by Jk Rowling, the majestic location where he filmed, and how "evil serves no purpose."

The Confessions (Le Confessioni), co-written by Angelo Pasquini, shot by Maurizio Calvesi, and starring Toni Servillo (Paolo Sorrentino's Oscar-winning The Great Beauty and Andò's Viva La Libertà) has an exceptional ensemble cast including Connie Nielsen (Patty Jenkins's Wonder Woman), Marie-Josée Croze (John Michael McDonagh's Calvary), Daniel Auteuil (Michael Haneke's Caché), Moritz Bleibtreu (Tom Tykwer's Run Lola Run), Lambert Wilson (Jérôme Salle's L'Odyssée), Pierfrancesco Favino (Roger Michell
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2018: #22. Paolo Sorrentino’s Loro

Loro

Paolo Sorrentino has quickly become one of the most notable Italian auteurs over the past decade. Competing six times at Cannes (he won the Jury Prize for Il Divo in 2008 and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury for his 2011 English language debut This Must Be the Place), his 2013 title The Great Beauty (read review) translated into a win for Best Foreign Language film at the Oscars, which led to the high-profile English language follow-up in 2015’s Youth (read review) and the well-received HBO mini-series “The Young Pope” in 2016.

Continue reading...
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

HBO’s ’Game of Thrones’ and Anti-Netflix Strategy Ruled 2017; Here’s What’s Ahead for 2018

HBO is pondering a post-“Game of Thrones” universe, but it’s been here before. Of course, the TV landscape is a lot more competitive than it was when “The Sopranos” ended a decade ago and left the network hunting for a new hit. But HBO is also much bigger than it was in 2007, with a deeper bench of content and a thriving digital service. That’s why HBO still at the top of its game, despite being beset on all sides by an ever-increasing TV landscape that includes some serious competition from streaming platforms.

In 2017, HBO continued to dominate in ratings and awards, putting its faith in delivering quality shows that have household name recognition as well as critical appeal. In 2018, “Game of Thrones” will likely be on hiatus, but the pay cabler has plenty of fare to fill the void until the final season of George R.R. Martin
See full article at Indiewire »

‘The Path’ Season 3 Trailer: Aaron Paul Feels Conflicted About Leading a Cult That’s ‘Bigger and Stronger’ Than Ever

‘The Path’ Season 3 Trailer: Aaron Paul Feels Conflicted About Leading a Cult That’s ‘Bigger and Stronger’ Than Ever
Aaron Paul is the new President Meyer. Wait. No. That’s not right — “Veep” is an HBO show. But Paul is a leader in the new trailer for “The Path.” And he’s young. A young, religious leader… oh! He’s the new pope! Huzzah, Paolo Sorrentino’s sequel season has finally been revealed! No, wait, that’s another HBO series, and Paul is a cult leader, not a Catholic leader. He’s in the Meyerism cult! Yes, that’s right. Now we’re rolling.

Read More:‘The Path’ Season 3: Freida Pinto Joins the Cast as Hulu Gears Up for a Big 2018

Oh, but wait. It’s not a cult. That’s an important detail to remember from Season 1. Way back when Eddie Lang, Aaron Paul’s lifelong disciple of the Meyerist movement, was struggling with his faith, he famously snapped at a nurse who whispered, “I think he’s in that cult,
See full article at Indiewire »

The Best Twists, Shocking Moments, and Outrageous Scenes of 2017 TV, Ranked

  • Indiewire
The Best Twists, Shocking Moments, and Outrageous Scenes of 2017 TV, Ranked
The best spoilers, twists, and surprises are different experiences on television than any other medium. Some are payoffs years in the making. Others rely on deft serialized storytelling to deliver maximum impact. Still more count on the intimate relationship between viewers and characters.

And yet some twists barely need any time at all. On the list below, there are moments fans have been waiting for since the first episode, as well as scenes pulled directly from the first episode. Some surprises are good for just the one episode in which they’re unveiled. You never know when something big is going to happen on TV, nor do you know how that twist might affect the future.

Read More:The Top 10 TV Shows of 2017

Twists are a big risk so they should be respected accordingly. Because they can irreparably ruin a show or make it come alive, it takes skill and foresight
See full article at Indiewire »

Europe’s Oscar Films Span Spectrum From Serious to Comedies

Europe’s Oscar Films Span Spectrum From Serious to Comedies
“World cinema” may be the official remit of the foreign-language film category, but it’s fair to say Oscar has travelled some parts of the globe more thoroughly than others. However much the voting system is tweaked to expand the branch’s horizons, the award retains a reputation for Eurocentricity: in its 61 years of competitive existence, it has gone to a European production 51 times.

It’s not an inexplicable bias, of course, when you weigh up the number of developed national film industries among continents — after all, European countries account for well over a third of this year’s 92 foreign-language submissions, dwarfing the combined number of entries from Africa, for example. Either way, it’s a dominance that is likely to continue this year, with Europe holding a number of the most hotly fancied contenders in what remains a wide-open race.

Unsurprisingly, France holds the record for scoring the most nominations in the category’s history, with 37. It
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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