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How One NYC Event Can Turn Promising Ideas For New Indies Into a Reality

Our bi-weekly Film Festival Roundup column explores notable stories and news updates from the circuit.

Long before Barry Jenkins or Laura Poitras won their first Oscars or Robert Eggers made one of 2016’s highest-grossing indies, or Denis Villeneuve graduated to Hollywood’s A-list, they were still just independent filmmakers with a dream — a dream that needed to be packaged, sold, and produced. Enter Ifp Film Week, home of one of the world’s most forward-thinking film markets, and the U.S.’s only market that presents new works across all platforms, all the better to serve their creator’s visions.

This year’s 2017 Ifp Film Week, presented by the Independent Film Project, has unveiled its slate for this year’s film project section. The lineup includes 110 narrative and documentary projects in development from over 15 countries. Curated by Ifp’s Deputy Director/Head of Programming Amy Dotson and Senior Director of Programming Milton Tabbot,
See full article at Indiewire »

Casey Affleck Talks Working With Rooney Mara on ‘A Ghost Story’: She Doesn’t Need a ‘Ton of Dialogue’

Casey Affleck Talks Working With Rooney Mara on ‘A Ghost Story’: She Doesn’t Need a ‘Ton of Dialogue’
The creative team behind “A Ghost Story,” which received its European premiere at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival this week, has developed a sympatico relationship they intend to return to again, says Oscar-winning actor Casey Affleck, director David Lowery and the producer duo behind the idiosyncratic film and their next venture, “Old Man and the Gun.”

After finding their groove with 2013’s laconic western noir “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” the group, including producers Toby Halbrooks and James M. Johnston, was determined to return to small films, working as close colleagues.

“Everything I do is very personal,” Lowery says. “I don’t really think too much about why it is.”

Inspired by the true story of a bank robber with an incredible string of successful heists — and jail escapes — the group brought the “Old Man” script to Robert Redford and the project recently wrapped filming, with Elisabeth Moss, Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover and Keith Carradine.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

A24, Picturehouse partner for UK release of 'A Ghost Story'

  • ScreenDaily
A24, Picturehouse partner for UK release of 'A Ghost Story'
Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck supernatural drama set for August.

Us distributor A24 is partnering with Picturehouse Entertainment for the UK release of David Lowery’s A Ghost Story.

The supernatural drama, which stars Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck, has been set for August 11.

A24 picked up the film ahead of its premiere at Sundance in January. There, Screen’s review called it a “small, simple story told with exquisite precision and control”.

The film stars Mara as a recently bereaved widow whose husband, played by Affleck, returns to their suburban home as a white-sheeted ghost.

Toby Halbrooks, James M. Johnston and Adam Donaghey produced. David Maddox was an executive producer.

A statement from A24 said that the company was “extremely extremely excited to be getting directly involved in UK distribution”.

“The UK is a vibrant and sophisticated market for cinema, and our films have consistently resonated with audiences there,” the statement read.

Clare Binns, Picturehouse
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Fox Searchlight boards ‘Old Man And The Gun’

Fox Searchlight boards ‘Old Man And The Gun’
Film is based on article in The New Yorker magazine.

Fox Searchlight Pictures has acquired North American and UK rights to David Lowery’s Old Man And The Gun.

Endgame Entertainment financed and produced the crime drama that just wrapped production in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Old Man And The Gun is based on the true story of Forrest Tucker, from his escape from San Quentin at the age of 70 to an unprecedented string of heists that confounded authorities and enchanted the public.

Wrapped up in the pursuit are detective John Hunt, who becomes captivated with Forrest’s commitment to his craft, and a woman who loves him in spite of his chosen profession.

Lowery wrote and directed the film based on a short story by David Grann that appeared in The New Yorker.

The film stars Oscar winners Robert Redford, Casey Affleck and Sissy Spacek, alongside Danny Glover, Tom Waits and Tika Sumpter.

Endgame Entertainment’s [link
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Robert Redford’s Heist Thriller ‘Old Man and the Gun’ Lands at Fox Searchlight

Robert Redford’s Heist Thriller ‘Old Man and the Gun’ Lands at Fox Searchlight
Fox Searchlight has acquired North American and UK rights to Robert Redford’s heist thriller “Old Man and the Gun.”

The Endgame Entertainment production just wrapped in Cincinnati, Ohio. The film is written and directed by David Lowery (“Pete’s Dragon”) based on a short story by David Grann for The New Yorker, published in 2003.

The film also stars Casey Affleck, Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover, Tom Waits and Tika Sumpter. Producers are Endgame Entertainment’s James D. Stern, Condé Nast Entertainment’s Dawn Ostroff and Jeremy Steckler, Wildwood Enterprises, Identity Films’ Anthony Mastromauro, Sailor Bear’s Toby Halbrooks and James M. Johnston and Bill Holderman.

Executive producers on the film are Julie Goldstein, Lucas Smith, Patrick Newall and Tango Entertainment’s Tim Headington.

Redford portrays Forrest Tucker, who escaped from San Quentin at the age of 70 and pulled off an unprecedented string of heists that confounded authorities. Affleck plays a
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Casey Affleck to Be Honored at 52nd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

Casey Affleck to Be Honored at 52nd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
Fresh off his Oscar win for “Manchester by the Sea,” the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival has announced that actor Casey Affleck will be the recipient of The Festival President’s Award. At the 52nd edition of Kviff later this summer, Affleck will also be on hand to introduce a screening of his latest film, “A Ghost Story,” along with writer and director David Lowery and producers Toby Halbrooks and James M. Johnston.

The Festival President’s Award is a special honor given to actors, directors, and producers who have contributed in a fundamental way to the development of contemporary world cinema.

Read More: ‘A Ghost Story’ Review: Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara Star in David Lowery’s Best Movie

“We are very glad that Casey Affleck is accepting the Karlovy Vary Iff President’s Award and will present David Lowery’s new picture ‘A Ghost Story’ at our 52nd edition,
See full article at Indiewire »

Casey Affleck to Receive Festival President’s Award at Karlovy Vary

Casey Affleck to Receive Festival President’s Award at Karlovy Vary
Oscar-winning actor Casey Affleck is set to receive the Festival President’s Award at this year’s 52nd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, the festival announced Monday. The award is a special honor given by the Czech festival to an actor, director or producer who is considered to have contributed in a fundamental way to the development of contemporary world cinema.

Affleck, who won the Academy Award this year for his leading role in Kenneth Lonergan’s “Manchester by the Sea,” will introduce a screening of David Lowery’s “A Ghost Story” at the festival, in which he stars.

“We regard Casey Affleck as one of the most intriguing actors in contemporary American film,” said Jiří Bartoška, president of the festival. “We are very glad [he] is accepting the Karlovy Vary President’s Award and will present ‘A Ghost Story’ at our 52nd edition.”

A Ghost Story” reteams Affleck with Lowery
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Karlovy Vary Festival to Honor Casey Affleck

Karlovy Vary Festival to Honor Casey Affleck
Oscar-winning actor Casey Affleck is to be honored with the Festival President's Award at the upcoming 52nd edition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

Affleck — who picked up the best actor Oscar earlier this year for his leading role in Manchester by the Sea — will present a screening of David Lowery's new film A Ghost Story, in which he plays a recently deceased man who returns home as a white-sheeted ghost desperate to reconnect with his still-living wife.

Affleck will be joined at the fest by Lowery and producers Toby Halbrooks and James M. Johnston.

...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Celluloid Dreams boards Sundance comedy 'Person To Person'

Exclusive: Paris-based company to launch sales on Sundance title during Cannes.

Paris-based Celluloid Dreams has taken on world sales of writer-director Dustin Guy Defa’s off-beat comedy Person To Person following a number of New Yorkers over the course of one day.

Described as a love letter to New York, the film follows four slice-of-life stories set in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, involving a record collector, his heartbroken room-mate, a teenager accompanying a friend on a date and a rookie reporter sent to cover a murder case.

The ensemble cast features Michael Cera, Abbi Jacobson, Philip Baker Hall, Michaela Watkins, Tavi Gevinson, Olivia Luccardi, Ben Rosenfield, George Sample III, and newcomer Bene Coopersmith.

It is Defa’s second film after his 2012 work Bad Fever.

The new work grew out a short film of the same name which premiered at Sundance in 2014 and also screened at SXSW, AFI Fest and the Berlin Film Festivals, where it won
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Magnolia swoops on 'Person To Person'

Magnolia swoops on 'Person To Person'
Sundance premiere will close new Directors/New Films in New York.

Magnolia Pictures announced on Friday it has acquired North American rights to Person To Person, writer-director Dustin Guy Defa’s second feature, which he also edited.

The film premiered this year at Sundance and will receive its New York premiere o n March 25 as the closing night selection of New Directors/New Films 2017, a presentation of the Museum Of Modern Art and the Film Society Of Lincoln Center.

Person To Person stars Michael Cera, Abbi Jacobson and Tavi Gevinson and tells the story of a record collector who hustles for a big score while his heartbroken roommate tries to erase a terrible mistake.

Meanwhile, a teenager bears witness to her best friend’s new relationship, and a rookie reporter, alongside her demanding supervisor, chases the clues of a murder case involving a world-weary clock shop owner.

“With Person To Person, Dustin has crafted
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Casey Affleck’s ‘A Ghost Story’ Picked Up By A24

  • The Wrap
Casey Affleck’s ‘A Ghost Story’ Picked Up By A24
Two weeks ahead of Sundance 2017, A24 has acquired the worldwide distribution rights to Casey Affleck’s “A Ghost Story,” an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap. Affleck stars alongside Rooney Mara in writer-director David Lowery’s film, which will premiere later this month as part of the festival’s Next section. Mara and Affleck previously starred in Lowery’s film titled “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” which debuted at the 2013 Sundance festival. Adam Donaghey, Toby Halbrooks, James M. Johnston and Liz Franke produced the film, while Lowery also wrote the script. Also Read: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams to
See full article at The Wrap »

Sundance: Casey Affleck’s ‘A Ghost Story’ Sells to A24 (Exclusive)

Sundance: Casey Affleck’s ‘A Ghost Story’ Sells to A24 (Exclusive)
With less than two weeks until the launch of Sundance 2017, another movie has already sold. A24 has scooped up worldwide distribution rights to David Lowery’s “A Ghost Story,” Variety has learned.

The spooky drama reunites Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara, who starred in Lowery’s “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” which debuted at Sundance in 2013. “A Ghost Story” will premiere as part of the festival’s Next section. A24 had such confidence in the film, they bought it sight unseen, according to sources with knowledge of the deal.

The movie is produced by Adam Donaghey, Toby Halbrooks, James M. Johnston, and Liz Franke. Lowery, who previously directed Disney’s 2016 remake of “Pete’s Dragon,” also wrote the script.

Just a year ago, Casey Affleck went to Sundance with “Manchester by the Sea,” the Kenneth Lonergan drama that sold to Amazon Studios for $10 million. Since then, that indie has grossed
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Michael Cera, Tavi Gevinson, Abbi Jacobson Starring in ‘Human People’

Michael Cera, Tavi Gevinson, Abbi Jacobson Starring in ‘Human People’
Abbi Jacobson (“Broad City”), Michael Cera and Tavi Gevinson are starring in Dustin Guy Defa’s ensemble drama “Human People.”

Production is underway in New York City about a variety of New York characters navigating personal relationships and unexpected problems over the course of one day. Also starring are Isiah Whitlock, Michaela Watkins, Ben Rosenfield, Buddy Durress, George Sample III, Bene Coopersmith and Philip Baker Hall.

Cera and Gevinson previously appeared together in a recent Broadway production of Kenneth Lonergan’s “This Is Our Youth.”

Jacobson, along with Ilana Glazer, is a co-creator, writer and star of “Broad City,” and will be seen in the Universal feature “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising.”

Defa’s credits include “Bad Fever” and short films including “Person To Person,” “Lydia Hoffman Lydia Hoffman,” “Declaration of War” and “Family Nightmare.” The Film Society of Lincoln Center screened a retrospective of his short films this year.

“Human
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Michael Strahan Exec Producing TV Adaptation of SXSW Short ‘Melville’

Michael Strahan Exec Producing TV Adaptation of SXSW Short ‘Melville’
Melville,” the SXSW short film about a man resurrecting his dreams for hip-hop stardom after a life-threatening illness, is being developed as a TV series.

The project is executive produced by “Live with Kelly and Michael” co-host Michael Strahan and his partner, Constance Schwartz of Smac Entertainment. It centers on Marcus, a distracted and quiet owner of a coffee shop in Fort Worth, Texas who spends his days withdrawn from life and his nights unable to fall asleep. When he runs into an old friend from his past, Marcus begins to reflect on his youth, when he never had a problem expressing anything.

James M. Johnston, who directed and wrote the short, is writing the pilot. He is also exec producing, as are Red Entertainment’s Red Sanders and Derek Brown.

Johnston and Smac Entertainment are both repped by Wme.
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Watch: Exclusive 'Melville' Short Film is a Stunning Collision of the Past and Present

Watch: Exclusive 'Melville' Short Film is a Stunning Collision of the Past and Present
Read More: Attention, Filmmakers: Essential Short Film Tips Texas filmmaker James M. Johnston wowed audiences at this year's SXSW Film Festival with "Melville," a 15-minute character study that explores a man's unremarkable present and expressionistic past.  The narrative short is Johnston's latest turn as writer and director after "Knife," "Receive Bacon" and "Merrily, Merrily." Johnston also produced the acclaimed indies "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" and "Listen Up Philip." Starring Rodney "F.Stokes" Lucas, Big Cliff Watkins, Ammie Leonards and Phyllis Cicero, the short centers around Marcus (Lucas), a distracted and quiet adult who spends his days withdrawn from life, lashing out at strangers and unable to sleep. When he runs into an old friend from his past, Marcus begins to reflect on his better days when he never had a problem expressing anything. Johnston's "Melville" is also headed...
See full article at Indiewire »

SXSW ’15: Short film and Midnight Movie Lineup announced

Following the recent announcement of their full film lineup that includes Trainwreck, Get Hard, and Spy, South by Southwest has revealed their lineup of Midnight movies and short films to screen during the festival. Chief among them is the Sundance 2015 hit Turbo Kid (read our review here) and the Sundance ’15 winner of the Short Film Prize World of Tomorrow. SXSW runs from March 13-21. View the full Midnighters and Shorts lineup below via the SXSW website.

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Midnighters

The Corpse of Anna Fritz (Spain)

Director: Hèctor Hernández Vicens, Screenwriters: Hèctor Hernándes Vicens, Isaac P. Creus

Anna Fritz, a famous and beautiful actress, has died recently. Three young men sneak into the morgue to see her naked. Fascinated by her beauty, they decide to become the last people to have sex with her. Cast: Alba Ribas, Cristian Valencia, Bernat Saumell, Albert Carbó. (World Premiere)

Deathgasm (New Zealand)

Director/Screenwriter: Jason Lei Howden
See full article at SoundOnSight »

SXSW Announces 2015 Midnight and Shorts Lineups

On the heels of last week’s feature program announcement, SXSW has just released their selections for Midnighters and Shorts. In addition to several Sundance holdovers — including Jury Prize winners World of Tomorrow and Oh Lucy! — the several shorts programs feature new work from Leah Shore (Hallway), ornana (All Your Favorite Shows!), James M. Johnston (Melville), and Daniels (Interesting Ball), as well as the latter’s very viral music video Turn Down For What. Find the full list of added features and shorts below. Features Midnighters Scary, funny, sexy, controversial – provocative after-dark features for night owls and the terminally curious. The Corpse of Anna Fritz (Spain) Director: […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Tribeca Film Says Listen Up Philip by Aquiring Film’s North American Rights

  • ShockYa
Tribeca Film has acquired the North American rights to writer-director Alex Ross Perry’s acclaimed dark comedy, ‘Listen Up Philip.’ The dark comedy, which played to rave reviews when it premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, will be released by Tribeca Film in theaters on October 17, and on VOD platforms on October 21. The deal was negotiated for Tribeca Film by Nick Savva, with John Sloss of Cinetic Media on behalf of the filmmakers. The comedy was produced by Katie Stern and Joshua Blum at Washington Square Films, and Toby Halbrooks, James M. Johnston and David Lowery of Sailor Bear. ‘Listen Up Philip’ stars Jason Schwartzman, Elisabeth Moss, Jonathan [ Read More ]

The post Tribeca Film Says Listen Up Philip by Aquiring Film’s North American Rights appeared first on Shockya.com.
See full article at ShockYa »

Jason Schwartzman-Elisabeth Moss Comedy ‘Listen Up Philip’ Gets North American Distribution

Tribeca Film has acquired North American rights to Alex Ross Perry’s dark comedy “Listen Up Philip,” starring Jason Schwartzman and Elisabeth Moss.

Tribeca will release “Philip” theatrically beginning Oct. 17 with video-on-demand platforms following on Oct. 21.

The film, which premiered at Sundance, also stars Jonathan Pryce, Krysten Ritter, Josephine de La Baume, Dree Hemingway and Jess Weixler.

Listen Up Philip” is produced by Katie Stern and Joshua Blum at Washington Square Films and Toby Halbrooks, James M. Johnston & David Lowery of Sailor Bear.

Perry directed from his own script, which centers on a novelist (played by Schwartzman) who awaits the publication of his second novel as he feels pushed out of his adopted home city by the constant crowds and noise and a deteriorating relationship with his photographer girlfriend, portrayed by Moss.

Variety’s Scott Foundas gave “Philip” a strong review, calling it “remarkably achieved.”

The deal was negotiated for Tribeca Film by Nick Savva,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

’12 Years a Slave’ Leads 2014 Independent Spirit Awards Winners

In its 29th annual awards, the Film Independent Spirit Awards once again give film connoisseurs a seemingly more honest precursor to tonight’s Academy Awards. In a ceremony hosted by Patton Oswalt and aired on IFC, the awards once again celebrated “artist-driven filmmaking and the finest achievements in independent cinema.” This year’s big winner was Steve McQueen harrowing drama 12 Years a Slave, which brought home awards for Best Feature, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong’o) and Best Cinematography. Don’t worry, there were other awards, all listed below. Best Feature “12 Years a Slave” Best Director Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave” Best First Feature “Fruitvale Station” Best Screenplay “12 Years a Slave” Best First Screenplay “Nebraska” Best Female Lead Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine” Best Male Lead Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club” Best Supporting Female Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave” Best Supporting Male Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club” Best Cinematography “12 Years a Slave” Best
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »
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