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Spain’s Julio Medem Dips Toe Into High-Profile TV Drama with ‘Jai-Alai’ (Exclusive)

Spain’s Julio Medem Dips Toe Into High-Profile TV Drama with ‘Jai-Alai’ (Exclusive)
Julio Medem, one of Spain’s preeminent film directors (“Vacas,” “Sex and Lucia,” “Ma Ma”), is dipping his toe into high-profile TV fiction arena with Miami-set Basque ball game, crime series “Jai-Alai.”

The in-development project, whose first season will consist of 10 episodes, has also attached to direct award-winning Mexican filmmakers David Pablos (“Las elegidas”) and Gabriel Ripstein (“600 Miles”).

Based on an original idea by Medem and Mexican producer Eva Ruiz de Chávez, the series will take place over three decades. From the ’70s, when the Basque ball became one of the most profitable sports in the U.S. and the Miami Jai Alai, an excellent way to launder money from trafficking cocaine; its ’80s decline and its end in the ’90s.

With “The Godfather” as one of its major sources of inspiration, “Jai-Alai” will tell the story of Xalba, the patriarch of a pelotari dynasty who transfers control of his crime empire to Ategi, his reluctant
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Film Review: ‘Acts of Vengeance’

Film Review: ‘Acts of Vengeance’
Revenge for the death of family members is a frequent boilerplate hook for mid-budget action movies, and that formula could hardly get a more perfunctory recycling than in “Acts of Vengeance.” This slick-enough mediocrity will pass the time tolerably for less discriminating genre fans. But it’s a little sad to see Antonio Banderas reduced to a B movie with grade-c material, even if you’re curious to see him, at age 58, rise to the occasion of the requisite training montage and kick-boxing moves that martial arts-oriented helmer Issac Florentine serves up here.

Frank Valera (Banderas) is a high-powered corporate defense lawyer who lives for his wife and daughter, but unfortunately has little time for them. Typically, he’s stuck at the office, then in downpour-stalled traffic long enough to miss his child’s talent-show recital. (Unfortunately, the audience catches her singing performance.) Remorse turns to concern when the duo don’t return home that night. Later
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Isaac Florentine & Antonio Banderas team for ‘Acts of Vengeance’

If you’re one of the many, many people who bought and enjoyed Security, the Die Hard-esque actioner starring Antonio Banderas – be prepared for even greater things from Banderas’ latest action flick, Acts of Vengeance.

Why? Well this time round the direction comes from Isaac Florentine – he of Savate, Cold Harvest, Us Seals 2, Undisputed 2 and 3, Ninja, Ninja: Shadow of a Tear and Close Range fame…. Yeah, quite the action-orientated CV right? Florentine is one of those action directors whose films I, personally, will watch sight unseen, knowing that I’m in for a fantastic fight-filled time. If you aren’t versed in the ways of Florentine yet I urge you to rectify that Asap!

Not only am I excited to see Banderas and Florentine teaming up, but Acts of Vengeance, which sees a fast-talking lawyer (Banderas) take a vow of silence, not to be broken until he finds out who
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

Poster and trailer for action thriller Acts of Vengeance starring Antonio Banderas and Karl Urban

Saban Films has debuted a poster and trailer for the upcoming action thriller Acts of Vengeance. Directed by Isaac Florentine, it stars Antonio Banderas, Karl Urban, Paz Vega, Robert Forster, and Johnathon Schaech; take a look below…

A fast-talking lawyer transforms his body and takes a vow of silence, not to be broken until he finds out who killed his wife and daughter and has his revenge.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Antonio Banderas & Karl Urban in First Trailer for 'Acts of Vengeance'

"I had been punishing the wrong person..." Saban Films has debuted an official trailer for an action thriller titled Acts of Vengeance (originally titled Stoic), about a lawyer who goes for revenge after his wife and daughter are killed. Yes, we've heard that exact emotional plot description 100 times before, so here's yet another vengeance movie for those who want it. Starring Antonio Banderas as Frank Valera, with a cast including Cristina Serafini as his wife, plus Karl Urban, David Sakurai, Paz Vega, Robert Forster, Lillian Blankenship, and Clint Dyer. This film is obviously all about the action, and the act of getting vengeance (hence the title) though I doubt it has much more to offer. Check it out below if you're interested. Here's the first trailer (+ poster) for Isaac Florentine's Acts of Vengeance, direct from YouTube: A fast-talking lawyer (Antonio Banderas) transforms his body and takes a vow of silence,
See full article at FirstShowing.net »

Saban Films Acquires Us Distribution Rights to Remake of George A. Romero’s Day Of The Dead

  • DailyDead
Featuring arguably the most beloved zombie ever put to film, George A. Romero's Day of the Dead is a seminal standout in the horror genre that has grown a diehard fanbase in the thirty-plus years since its release. New takes on Romero's groundbreaking 1985 film were featured in 2005's Day of the Dead 2: Contagium and 2008's Day of the Dead, and now Saban Films has acquired the Us rights to Millennium Media's new Day of the Dead reimagining, with a release expected late this year:

Press Release: Toronto – September 9, 2017 – Saban Films has acquired the U.S. distribution rights to a slate of films from Avi Lerner’s Millennium Media. The trio of titles includes Isaac Florentine’s Acts of Vengeance starring Antonio Banderas, Karl Urban, Robert Forster and Paz Vega; Paul Solet’s Bullet Head (formerly Unchained) also starring Banderas, John Malkovich and Adrien Brody; and Day of the Dead
See full article at DailyDead »

Day of the Dead Remake Gets a 2017 Release Date

  • MovieWeb
Day of the Dead Remake Gets a 2017 Release Date
Saban Films has acquired the U.S. distribution rights to a slate of films from Avi Lerner's Millennium Media. The trio of titles includes Day of the Dead, a remake of George Romero's Day of the Dead directed by H&#232ctor Hern&#225ndez Vicens and starring Sophie Skelton, Johnathon Schaech, and Marcos Vanco; Paul Solet's Bullet Head (formerly Unchained) starring Antonio Banderas, John Malkovich and Adrien Brody; and Isaac Florentine's Acts of Vengeance also starring Banderas with Karl Urban, Robert Forster, and Paz Vega. The three films will be released in Q4 2017. Here's what Saban Films President Bill Bromiley had to say in a statement.

"Avi Lerner has long become synonymous with widely appealing action thrillers with marquee names like Antonio Banderas, John Malkovich, and Adrien Brody and films with the pedigree of Day of the Dead. This is perfectly in line with our acquisition strategy.
See full article at MovieWeb »

Toronto: Saban Films Nabs Rights to Three Millennium Titles (Exclusive)

Saban Films is making waves at the Toronto market by nabbing U.S. rights to a trio of films from Avi Lerner’s Millennium Media. The three films are: Isaac Florentine’s Acts of Vengeance, starring Antonio Banderas, Karl Urban, Robert Forster and Paz Vega; Paul Solet’s Bullet Head (formerly titled Unchained) also starring Banderas, John Malkovich and Adrien Brody; and Day of the Dead, a remake of George Romero’s horror classic that will be directed by Hector Hernandez Vicens and star Sophie Skelton.

Saban is eyeing a theatrical release for all three films later this year.

Avi Lerner has long become synonymous...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Monica Bellucci, Agnès Varda to Receive Donostia Awards at San Sebastián

Monica Bellucci, Agnès Varda to Receive Donostia Awards at San Sebastián
Barcelona — Italian actress Monica Bellucci and French Nouvelle Vague icon Agnès Varda will be honored at the 2017 San Sebastián Film Festival with Donostia Awards for career achievement. John Malkovich will serve as the president of the main competition jury.

The awards and jury president announcements come as the Spanish Festival has announced that festival guests include Arnold Schwarzenegger, voicing “Wonders of the Sea 3D,” Javier Bardem, Bérénice Bejo, Steve Coogan, Penélope Cruz, and Jean-Pierre Léaud. Also attending: Benoît Magimel, Paz Vega, winner of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Prize to Latin Cinema, and Alicia Vikander-

Of directors, Darren Aronofsky, Raymond Depardon, Ildikó Enyedi, Robert Guédiguian, Todd Haynes, Aki Kaurismäki, Hirokazu Koreeda, Ruben Östlund, Lynne Ramsay, Carlos Saura, Wim Wenders, Michael Winterbottom and Frederick Wiseman will present their latest films. Boasting a dazzling beauty which evokes Italian divas such as Sofía Loren and Claudia Cardinale, Bellucci has demonstrated her range and language abilities in such noteworthy works as Giuseppe Tornatore’s
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Manolo Caro’s ‘Tales of an Immoral Couple’ Gets U.S. Debut (Exclusive)

Manolo Caro’s ‘Tales of an Immoral Couple’ Gets U.S. Debut (Exclusive)
Fledgling U.S. Latino distribution company Hola Mexico is releasing Manolo Caro’s romcom “Tales of an Immoral Couple” in the U.S.

Known for his comedies that have consistently perched among the top 10 highest-grossing pics in Mexico over the past three years, Caro’s fifth feature film revolves around a couple who meet again 25 years after their first romantic entanglement.

A comedy of errors ensues as they both try to maintain their facades, and the true reasons why they split up the first time are eventually revealed. Shot on location in Mexico’s picturesque San Miguel de Allende, “Tales of an Immoral Couple” was distributed by Cinepolis in Mexico where it bowed in November and became one of the top-grossing Mexican films of 2016.

The cast is led by Cecilia Suarez, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, and Paz Vega.

This marks the first U.S. theatrical distribution of a film by the Guadalajara-born Mexican film and theater helmer-scribe who saw
See full article at Variety - Film News »

DirecTV Latin America Nabs Mediaset España’s Drama ‘Forgive Me God’

DirecTV Latin America Nabs Mediaset España’s Drama ‘Forgive Me God’
Confirming its growing bet on Spanish TV fiction, DirecTV has acquired Latin American pay TV rights to Mediaset España’s drama “Perdóname Señor” (“Forgive Me God”), starring Paz Vega (“Spanglish,” “All Roads Led to Rome”).

The At&T-owned paybox, with more than eight million subscribers, will launch “Forgive Me” via OnDirecTV channel in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay, Perú, Puerto Rico and Venezuela, among other countries in the region, Mediaset España said in a statement.

Mediaset España’s most successful TV fiction to date this year, “Forgive Me” averages a strong 19% audience share and 2.9 viewers after seven episodes, broadcast Wednesdays primetime on Me’s core channel Telecinco. Mini-series’ eighth and last episode airs July 19 in Spain.

Created by Frank Ariza at Madrid-based Gossip Events Productions, the Andalusia-set social melodrama turns on Lucía Medina, a socially-committed nun – played by Vega- who decides to come back to her homeland to solve matters related with delinquency and drug dealing. She
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Colombia’s 11:11 Films & TV Expands International Reach (Exclusive)

Colombia’s 11:11 Films & TV Expands International Reach (Exclusive)
Colombia’s 11:11 Films & TV, founded by the Cardona brothers, has scored an unprecedented coup with the premiere of three of its original TV series and one film in four different countries this July.

First out the gate is season two of hit psychological thriller series “La Hermandad” (“The Brotherhood”) which debuts July 4 in Mexico and two days later across Latin America on Carlos Slim-owned streaming video service Claro Video. Actor-producer Manolo Cardona stars as a forensic psychologist who seeks to avenge the murders of his wife and daughter at the hands of a vigilante group within the police force, the “Brotherhood.” Cardona leads a cast in the 12-episode series that includes Paz Vega, Paola Nunez and Gustavo Sanchez Parra. “La Hermandad” is the first original series commissioned by Claro Video, which has sought to take on Netflix in Latin America’s growing Svod marketplace.

The Cardona brothers, comprised of actor-producer Manolo, director-producer
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The Academy Continues to Diversify with 774 New Members

Leslie Jones, seen here in “Ghostbusters,” has been invited to join the Academy: Hopper Stone/Columbia Pictures

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, best known as the body behind the Academy Awards, has invited 774 new members to join its ranks — topping last year’s record-setting 683 invitations. This new high reflects the Academy’s commitment to diversifying its organization as well as the films it honors every year at the Oscars.

The new roster continued last year’s large inclusion of international members. The new members represent 57 different countries, comparable to 2016’s 59 nations. As the La Times observes, the new class shows that the Academy “is figuring out what it means to have standards in the first place: namely, by fostering a membership that can genuinely be described as world class.”

While the Academy’s attempt to think globally is admirable, this year’s raw numbers are something of a let down after the 2016 class. Women represent 39 percent of the new class, as compared to last year’s 46 percent. Thirty percent of the new members this year are people of color, while 2016’s class was 41 percent non-white.

In addition, there hasn’t been a significant change in the macro sense. The number of all female Academy members has shifted from 25 percent in 2015 — before the greater push for gender equality and diversity — to 28 percent this year. Similarly, non-white members have only slightly increased from 2015’s eight percent to 2017’s 11 percent. It’s progress, but there’s obviously still a long way to go.

In the directing branch, 18 of the 64 new members are women — about 28 percent. That’s makes for total of 109 female filmmakers in the Academy’s directing branch, so women represent approximately 19 percent of its directors overall. Among the new class are Sharon Maguire (“Bridget Jones’s Diary”), Jocelyn Moorhouse (“The Dressmaker”), Emmanuelle Bercot (“Standing Tall”), Patricia Cardoso (“Real Women Have Curves”), Jessica Hausner (“Amour Fou”), Joanna Hogg (“Archipelago”), Ann Hui (“A Simple Life”), and Cate Shortland (“Berlin Syndrome”).

Kristen Stewart (“Personal Shopper”), Elle Fanning (“The Beguiled”), Leslie Jones (“Ghostbusters”), Janelle Monaé (“Hidden Figures”), Betty White (“The Proposal”), Naomie Harris (“Moonlight”), and Sanaa Lathan (“Love & Basketball”) are among the new U.S. members of the Academy’s acting branch. International performers like Gal Gadot (“Wonder Woman”), Fan Bingbing (“I Am Not Madame Bovary”), Golshifteh Farahani (“Paterson”), Charlotte Gainsbourg (“Melancholia”), Rinko Kikuchi (“Babel”), and Paz Vega (“Sex and Lucía”) are also on the 2017 roster.

While it looks like the Academy is sincere in its attempt to increase the number of non old, white men, it still has a lot of work to do.

Go to The Hollywood Reporter to check out the full list of new Academy members.

The Academy Continues to Diversify with 774 New Members was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Emmy Contenders 2017: Guest Actress in a Drama

Emmy Contenders 2017: Guest Actress in a Drama
As two-time winner Margo Martindale was promoted to the supporting actress race for her work on “The Americans,” the category is free to crown a new winner. But it’s still likely to be a previous Emmy winner or nominee. Laverne Cox and Cicely Tyson have all been nominated for their roles here before; look for repeats. Khandi Alexander in particular enjoyed a fantastic turn in the “Scandal” finale, complete with memorable Mama Pope monologues. Carrie Preston has actually won for playing quirky lawyer Elsbeth Tascioni on “The Good Wife,” but now she’s moved to its spinoff “The Good Fight.” If enough voters caught the show on CBS All Access, she should be a lock for a nom. Alison Wright and Kim Dickens could earn their first nominations for their work on “The Americans” and “House of Cards,” shows they’ve been a part of for some time now. New
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Mip: Spanish TV Producers Amp Up Original Drama

Mip: Spanish TV Producers Amp Up Original Drama
As streaming video on demand sweeps the world, the number of new TV operators in Spain looking for drama has risen sharply, led by the unprecedented bet of Telefonica paybox Movistar Plus on original series production.

Free-to-air broadcasters Atresmedia, Mediaset España and state-owned Rtve — the longtime driving forces of Spain’s TV fiction industry — now have a weighty rival.

Meanwhile, Spain’s limited size as a TV market is encouraging some producers, most prominently the giant Imagina-Mediapro — a partner on HBO’s drama “The Young Pope” — to seal co-production alliances with international players.

Bringing to the table a €70 million ($75 million) annual investment in original TV fiction, Movistar Plus is launching its first four original series in October. They are “La Zona,” from the Sanchez-Cabezudo brothers, and Alberto Rodríguez’s “La Peste,” both thrillers; melodrama “Velvet Colección”; and Enrique Lopez-Lavigne’s comedy “Verguenza.” Some 10 new releases will arrive in 2018.

Netflix has also commissioned its first original TV
See full article at Variety - TV News »

TV Review: Netflix’s ‘The Oa’

TV Review: Netflix’s ‘The Oa’
It is hard to take “The Oa” seriously.

That statement can be applied both to the new Netflix drama, a mystery-soaked excursion through time and space, and its titular character, the Oa — played by executive producer and writer Brit Marling. The Oa, who once went by the more average name Prairie Johnson, reappears after seven years with mysterious scars, a confusing story, and — strangest of all — the ability to see after years of blindness. Now back home, she finds a cadre of unlikely companions and tries to explain to them what has happened to her.

None of it makes any sense, but it is captivating anyway. She has a long story to tell, and half of her audience’s energy — and ours — is spent in trying to grasp if it is real or just the delusions of a crazy woman. The Oa — both the person and the show — is self-indulgent, maddeningly
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Ventana Sur: Jorge Michel Grau eyes next project

  • ScreenDaily
Ventana Sur: Jorge Michel Grau eyes next project
Exclusive: The Mexican genre auteur, involved in two projects at Ventana Sur, is weighing up his next directing gig for 2017.

Grau, who earned international acclaim with cannibal drama Somos Lo Que Hay (We Are What We Are – also the name of the 2013 English-language remake) directed the recent Mexican release 7:19 (pictured), an earthquake disaster drama that Elle Driver represents for international sales at the Buenos Aires market.

Grau is also producing San Buenaventura, a horror story about a young woman haunted by visions of a murder who begins to suspect everybody at the family ranch, including her father.

Alejandro Mares directs the project, which is one of the selections in the market’s Blood Window genre co-production and pitching sessions, Beyond The Window.

Grau and his Mexico City-based Velarium Arts partner Mayra Espinosa Castro produce alongside Rancho Pictures. The partners have partial backing through Mexico’s Eficine apparatus and are seeking a co-producer.

Meanwhile Grau, represented
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Ventana Sur: Jorge Michel Grau weighs up next projects

  • ScreenDaily
Ventana Sur: Jorge Michel Grau weighs up next projects
Exclusive: The Mexican genre auteur, involved in two projects at Ventana Sur, is lining up his next directing gig for 2017.

Grau, who earned international acclaim with cannibal drama Somos Lo Que Hay (We Are What We Are – also the name of the 2013 English-language remake) directed the recent Mexican release 7:19 (pictured), an earthquake disaster drama that Elle Driver represents for international sales at the Buenos Aires market.

Grau is also producing San Buenaventura, a horror story about a young woman haunted by visions of a murder who begins to suspect everybody at the family ranch, including her father.

Alejandro Mares directs the project, which is one of the selections in the market’s Blood Window genre co-production and pitching sessions, Beyond The Window.

Grau and his Mexico City-based Velarium Arts partner Mayra Espinosa Castro produce alongside Rancho Pictures. The partners have partial backing through Mexico’s Eficine apparatus and are seeking a co-producer.

Meanwhile Grau is
See full article at ScreenDaily »

'Silence' backer Corsan upbeat despite restructure

  • ScreenDaily
Belgian financier of films including Third Person and Killing Season filed for protection from its creditors last month.

Antwerp-based financier, tax shelter specialist and production outfit Corsan has issued a press release expressing optimism about its ability to continue in business, after recently being granted legal protection from its creditors until October 31.

Silence and Third Person backer Corsan asked for protection from its creditors (who include Haacht Brewery) last month and the company is attemping to work out a restructuring plan with them.

The company’s troubles reportedly stem from investors not having received the promised tax certificates for the money they have invested in at least one of Corsan’s films.

Corsan claims in the recently issued press release, quoted in Flanders News, that the delay is due to the tax authorities not issuing the correct certificate in time.

Corsan boss Paul Breuls points out that the company has three international projects in the pipeline and that
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Argos Cine Teams With Bob Yari, Arturo Perez Reverte (Exclusive)

Argos Cine Teams With Bob Yari, Arturo Perez Reverte (Exclusive)
Guadalajara — Mexico’s Argos Cine is teaming with both Bob Yari, producer of “Crash” and “The Illusionist,” to co-produce “Luciérnagas en El Mozote” (“Fireflies at El Mozote”) and with Spain’s Arturo Perez Reverte, author of “Queen of the South,” for a second movie, “The Man From Rome,” an English-language big-screen makeover of Reverte’s Seville-set thriller “La piel del tambor,” in deals that mark out Argos Cine and parent Argos Comunicacion as an ambitious go-to production partner in Mexico for both film and TV.

Moving forward on the series “Burn the Bridge,” Argos Cine struck no fewer than nine co-production deals at Mexico’s Guadalajara Festival, boarding three titles at its Co-production meeting – Chile’s “Another Lake,” Costa Rica’s “Ballroom,” and Mexico’s “Night of July” – and two genre pic projects from Spanish producer Antonia Nava, agreeing to co-produce Ahinoa Menendez’s “Eco” and Gustavo Moheno’s “Melisa.
See full article at Variety - TV News »
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