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14 items from 2017


The Match Factory boards Israeli drama

10 August 2017 5:52 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Exclusive: German sales outfit boards Hagar Ben-Asher film set in the days following WWII.

The Match Factory is reuniting with Israeli filmmaker Hagar Ben-Asher for her third feature film The War Has Ended.

The Cologne-based company will handle world sales on the film while managing director Michael Weber will co-produce the film through his Pola Pandora Filmproduktion outfit in Berlin alongside Poland’s Madants and Israel’s Transfax Film Productions.

Pitching the €3.5m project at this week’s Polish Days in Wroclaw, Madants’ Beata Rzezniczek said the planned Polish majority production - which received development funding from the Polish-German Fund at the beginning of 2017 - is set to begin shooting at locations in Poland from late 2018.

Set in the days following the Second World War, The War Has Ended sees a marionette puppeteer rescuing a 13-year-old girl from verge of death and subsequently teaching her the art of puppeteering. Their lives become intertwined through circumstances and the »

- screen.berlin@googlemail.com (Martin Blaney)

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Eurimages Chief Roberto Olla on How a Netflix Acquisition Can Be ‘Kiss of Death’ for a European Art Film (Exclusive)

3 August 2017 10:32 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Roberto Olla, executive director of the Council of Europe’s Eurimages co-production fund, is concerned that as Netflix starts acquiring Eurimages-supported European art films, the type of global deals the streaming giant is doing can force these films to largely bypass theatrical and festival circuits, which are an integral part of Eurimages’ raison d’être. He spoke to Variety during the Locarno Film Festival’s StepIn Initiative, the prime European forum where the disruptive effect of global streaming platforms on the indie film industry is being discussed.

How is Netflix impacting what Eurimages does?

What we are seeing at Eurimages — and I think everyone is seeing this — is that producers are increasingly finding themselves in a bind. Let me describe it with  the following scenario: They’ve had their project co-financed; the film has been released theatrically in the territory of the majority co-producer but is struggling to get released in the minority co-producer’s territory and »

- Nick Vivarelli

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Match Factory picks up Anup Singh's 'The Song Of Scorpions'

2 August 2017 4:31 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Exclusive: Rajasthan-set drama will receive its world premiere at the upcoming Locarno film festival.

The Match Factory has picked up international rights to Anup Singh’s third film, The Song Of Scorpions, which will receive its world premiere in a Piazza Grande screening at the upcoming Locarno film festival.

Starring Golshifteh Farahani and Irrfan Khan, the film follows a carefree, independent tribal woman who is learning the ancient art of healing from her grandmother, a revered scorpion-singer.

A camel trader in the Rajasthan desert hears her sing and falls in love, but before they get to know each other, she is poisoned by a treachery that sets her on a perilous journey to avenge herself and find her song.

Produced by Swiss production company Feather Light Films, founded by Saskia Vischer and Shahaf Peled, and Michel Merkt’s Monaco-based Knm, the Swiss-French-Singapore co-production also stars Waheeda Rehman, Shashank Arora and Tillotama Shome.

It was produced »

- lizshackleton@gmail.com (Liz Shackleton)

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Locarno: Sales Agent Pick-Ups, Expansion, Digital Drive Early Industry Agenda

2 August 2017 12:03 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Locarno, Switzerland — Memento Films Int., Films Boutique, Luxbox, Wide Management, Stray Dogs, and New Europe Film Sales have all swooped on titles in the run-up to the 70th Locarno Festival, Europe’s biggest mid-Summer film event, as two issues look set to dominate its early industry agenda: Further Locarno Fest overseas expansion, as festival reshape as year-long industry service and development orgs; the vast, multi-dimensional impact of digital disruption on traditional industry models, the subject on the table at Locarno’s annual Stepin, a think tank discussion forum, on Aug. 3.

Kicking off on Aug. 4 with the Gaumont’s “Tomorrow and Every Other Day,” directed France’s Noémie Lvovsky, Locarno runs through Aug. 12.

Of recently announced deals on Locarno movies, Memento Films Intl.’s Artscope has boarded Bulgarian Ilian Metev’s eagerly-awaited “3/4,” his follow-up to “Sofia’s Last Ambulance,” which won the France 4 Visionary Award at the 2012 Cannes Critics’ Week. Berlin-based Films Boutique will hit Locarno with two »

- John Hopewell

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Munich: Zvyagintsev, Pinho and Lass among winners

3 July 2017 3:20 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Cannes competition title Loveless wins best international film.

Films by Andrey Zvyagintsev, Pedro Pinho and Tom Lass were among the winners at the 35th Filmfest München which came to a close on Saturday evening with a gala awards ceremony before the German premiere of Lone Scherfig’s Their Finest with actor Bill Nighy and producer Stephen Woolley in attendance.

The €50,000 Arri/Osram award for the best international film in the CineMasters sidebar went to Zvyagintsev’s Cannes competition film Loveless which opened in Russian cinemas through Wdssr on June 1 and will be released in Germany by Wild Bunch.

Producers Alexander Rodnyansky and Serguey Melkumov accepted the award in Munich from the hands of the international jury comprising German director Valeska Grisebach (whose latest feature Western premiered in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard in May), producer Markus Zimmer, and actress Nastassja Kinski.

This is the second time Zvyagintsev received the Munich award after his previous feature Leviathan had won »

- screen.berlin@googlemail.com (Martin Blaney)

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Strand Releasing acquires Sundance title 'The Nile Hilton Incident'

15 June 2017 3:51 PM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Strand plans an autumn release for the film set just before the 2011 Egyptian revolution.

Strand Releasing has acquired all North American rights to Tarik Saleh’s political thriller The Nile Hilton Incident from The Match Factory at its launch at the Seattle International Film Festival. 

The film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and won the Grand Jury Prize for a Dramatic Film in the World Cinema section. 

Based on a true story set weeks before the 2011 Egyptian revolution, the film centres on Noredin, a police officer in Cairo’s corrupt system, who investigates the murder of a famous club singer at the Nile Hilton Hotel. 

What initially seems to be a crime of passion turns into something that concerns the very power elite of Egypt. Upon realising this, Noredin decides to break the rules in order to obtain justice, colliding not only with the system but also with himself.

Saleh also wrote »

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Sundance Winner ‘Nile Hilton Incident’ Picked Up by Strand Releasing for U.S. (Exclusive)

15 June 2017 9:41 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Strand Releasing has acquired all North American rights to Tarik Saleh’s political thriller “The Nile Hilton Incident,” which won the grand jury prize for a dramatic film in the world cinema section at Sundance.

Strand made the deal with The Match Factory at the movie’s launch at the Seattle International Film Festival. The distributor plans a fall release.

The Nile Hilton Incident” takes place weeks before the 2011 Egyptian revolution, with a Cairo police office (played by Fares Fares), investigating the murder of a famous club singer at the Nile Hilton Hotel. What initially seems to be a crime of passion turns into something that involves the power elite of Egypt, so the officer decides to break the rules in order to obtain justice.

Variety’s Nick Shager gave the film a strong review, writing: “Swedish writer-director Tarik Saleh’s crime drama about a cop investigating the murder of »

- Dave McNary

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Universal Wins ‘Salt To The Sea’ Auction: Neustadter & Weber To Write

25 May 2017 3:22 PM, PDT | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

Exclusive: Universal Pictures beat out other bidders to land the Ruta Sepetys book Salt to the Sea, with scribe team Scott Neustadter & Michael Weber writing and Lorenzo di Bonaventura attached to produce. The author is a bestselling writer of historical fiction and here tells the survival struggle by three refugees from East Prussia at the end of WWII. They believe their way to safety is on the ship the Wilhelm Gustloff. Just when freedom seemed in their grasp, tragedy… »

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Carmine Street Guitars doc instigated by Jim Jarmusch in the works

20 May 2017 11:00 PM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Exclusive: Ron Mann directs film featuring legendary custom guitar maker Rick Kelly.

The Match Factory has begun worldwide sales in Cannes on Carmine Street Guitars, a documentary about Greenwich Village guitar store Carmine Street Guitars.

Toronto-based documentarian Ron Mann of Sphinx Productions, who is in acquisitions mode in Cannes wearing his other hat as head of Canadian distributor Films We Like, will direct and produce the project.

Carmine Street Guitars is home to the legendary custom guitar maker Rick Kelly, who handcrafts guitars using 100-year-old wood salvaged from historic New York buildings.

Mann will shoot a series of vignettes featuring household names who drop by Carmine Street to talk guitars and perform. Kelly’s customers over the years have included music legends such as Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Patti Smith and Bo Diddley.

Principal photography is scheduled to begin in New York on May 29 and the project is scheduled for delivery in spring 2018.  

Jim Jarmusch instigated Carmine »

- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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‘Elle,’ ‘Toni Erdmann’ Producer Michel Merkt Back in Cannes With More Eclectic Titles

18 May 2017 8:15 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Michel Merkt’s moviemaking credits reflect the vision of a clear-headed nonconformist with the courage of his convictions and a global reach that is unique for an indie producer of his generation: The total opposite of the isolationism you might expect from a Swiss producer based in the tiny principality of Monaco.

While deliberately keeping a low profile, Merkt, who will be honored with Variety’s Creative Producer Award at Cannes, has been crucial to bringing an eclectic batch of some 50 titles to the big screen in less than 10 years.

The slate of his Knm shingle — the letters are an acronym for Kate (his wife) and Michel — boasts the creme de la creme of recent European arthouse hits, “Elle” and “Toni Erdmann”; pics from David Cronenberg and Xavier Dolan; Walter Hill’s “The Assignment”; plus some of the hottest auteur pics out of Latin America, including “Aquarius” by Brazil’s Kleber Mendonça Filho, »

- Nick Vivarelli

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Cannes: The Match Factory Picks Up Three Directors Fortnight Titles (Exclusive)

20 April 2017 5:36 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Michael Weber’s The Match Factory has acquired international sales rights to three films selected for Cannes’ Directors Fortnight — Abel Ferrara’s “Alive in France,” Roberto De Paolis’ “Pure Hearts” (Cuori Puri), and Leonardo Di Costanzo’s “Intruder” (L’Intrusa).

As previously announced, the company also has two films in Cannes’ Competition section, Fatih Akin’s “In the Fade” and Kornél Mundruczó’s “Jupiter’s Moon,” and one film in Un Certain Regard, Mohammad Rasoulof’s “Dregs.”

“Alive in France” is a documentary centering on a series of concerts in France dedicated to songs and music from Ferrara’s films, including “Bad Lieutenant” and “The King of New York.” Directors Fortnight artistic director Edouard Waintrop described the film as a self-portrait in which Ferrara explores his relationship with cinema and music; the pic has lush cinematography by d.p. Emmanuel Gras, Waintrop said.

“Pure Hearts,” De Paolis’ debut feature, is »

- Leo Barraclough and Elsa Keslassy

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Mexican Horror Movie ‘The Untamed’ Picked Up by Strand Releasing (Exclusive)

12 April 2017 2:15 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Strand Releasing has acquired all North American rights to Amat Escalante’s horror-fantasy “The Untamed” on the eve of its screening at the San Francisco International Film Festival.

The Untamed,” titled “La Region Salvaje” and set in Guanajuato, had its world premiere at the 2016 Venice Film Festival and was then screened at the Toronto International Film Festival. Escalante won the Silver Lion at Venice for Best Director. Strand is planning a late-summer release.

The movie was inspired by two tragic incidents that Escalante read in the papers in Guanajuato, leading to a strange unique tale that intertwines the bits of true crime with an other worldly experience.

The deal was done between Jon Gerrans and Marcus Hu of Strand Releasing and Michael Weber of The Match Factory.

“We are thrilled to work once more with long-time partners in the Us and bringing Amat Escalante, such a great, talented filmmaker of »

- Dave McNary

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Berlinale: The Match Factory Reps Five Berlin Titles (Exclusive)

26 January 2017 3:53 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Confirming its status as one of the go-to art-fare companies at the 2017 Berlin Film Festival, Michael Weber’s The Match Factory has acquired international sales rights to five Berlinale world premieres, three of them in competition, including Finnish icon Aki Kaurismaki’s “The Other Side of Hope.”

When the dust settles on the pickups of titles selected for this year’s Berlinale, few if any sales agents from whatever country are likely to own a larger slice of Berlin competition real estate than The Match Factory.

Of new pickups, the company will represent “Bright Nights,” from German 1990s new wave writer-director Thomas Arslan, marking his follow-up to 2012 Berlin competition hit “Gold,” a latter-day Klondike-set Western. Produced by Germany’s Schramm Film Koerner & Weber and Norway’s Mer Film, “Bright Nights” returns Arslan to the rugged wild – remote north Norway – in what The Match Factory describes as a touching father-son drama. »

- John Hopewell and Leo Barraclough

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The Match Factory to sell Sundance title 'Axolotl Overkill'

16 January 2017 2:49 PM, PST | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Exclusive: Helene Hegemann’s debut feature will receive its world premiere in Park City on Friday in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition.

The Match Factory holds world rights excluding Germany to Axolotl Overkill, based on 24-year-old Hegemann’s German bestseller Axolotl Roadkill that she wrote and published aged 17.

The film stars Jasna Fritzi Bauer as a reckless 16-year-old who surrounds herself with adults of questionable character on the Berlin party scene following the death of her mother.

The Match Factory managing director Michael Weber and his team will commence sales at Sundance. Constantin Film will distribute in German-speaking territories.

“We are thrilled to be handling world sales on Helene’s debut feature,” said Weber. “I strongly believe in this powerful new voice in filmmaking and can’t wait to see audiences in Sundance discover her talent.”

Hanneke van der Tas of Vandertastic produced Axolotl Overkill with Alain de la Mata in co-production with Constantin Film Produktion, rbb and »

- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007

14 items from 2017


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