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Elizabeth Wood’s feature directorial debut “White Girl” dropped more than a few jaws when it premiered earlier this year at Sundance, where its unflinching look at female sexuality, life in the big city and raw human desire shocked audiences.
The bold film follows Morgan Saylor as Leah, a college kid who unexpectedly falls for Blue, played by Brian “Sene” Marc, a bad boy who is hardly her typical love interest. When a wild night of partying pulls them apart, Leah sets out to win him back, no matter what the price or the consequences.
The film has been hailed as being “explosive,” “shocking” and “sexy as hell,” all adjectives and descriptors that are front and center on the film’s first poster which is, dare we say it, perhaps a bit Nsfw? It’s also bold, »
- Kate Erbland
A funny thing happened on TV while the adults were busy having affairs and plotting political coups. Their kids slowly took over their shows.
Until recently, whether they were used as writers’ ploys to delve deeper into another character — think a doe-eyed Meadow Soprano asking her mob boss dad the question he’s been dreading — or straight-up stupid (“24’s” not-so-epic battle between Kim Bauer and a mountain lion), teen characters on dramas geared toward adults rarely commanded respect.
“I found that depictions of teenagers in television tend to be pretty weak. And it tends to be pretty obvious and very clear that these are characters being written by, usually, men in their 40s or 50s and it creates not-interesting characters,” says Connor Jessup [“Falling Skies”], who stars as Taylor Blaine on the second season of ABC’s anthology series “American Crime,” created by John Ridley.
Jessup’s character was at the center »
- Whitney Friedlander
Marvel appears to be establishing a clear formula for the creative roster attached to and sought for its feature adaptation of the one-time Ms. Marvel property, and misters need not apply. Recent developments in Marvel Studio’s process of vetting prospective directors for its 2019-slated Captain Marvel seem to reinforce suspicions that they’re intent on selecting a largely untapped female filmmaker to helm the project.
While several news outlets speculated on the studio approaching Emily Carmichael in early May, our sources are telling us that a private meeting was held last week between Marvel representatives and independent filmmaker Elizabeth Wood in order to discuss potential directorial duties. It’s believed that the meeting was brokered by Wood’s producer-husband, Gabriel Nussbaum, with whom Wood has worked on all her professional projects.
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For those who aren’t familiar with Wood, she’s garnered a considerable »
- Josh Wilding
The film had its world premiere in Tribeca, which is where FilmRise discovered it.
Wendt said, “We are very exited to work with FilmRise on Magnus. They have done a really great job with Janis: Little Girl Blue and with the enthusiasm they have shown for Magnus we are convinced that they will do a great job here as well.”
“Magnus is an unforgettable portrait of a remarkable prodigy that truly shows real life can be more fascinating than fiction,” said Fisher. “We are beyond thrilled to announce our acquisition of Benjamin Ree’s film, and cannot »
- email@example.com (Wendy Mitchell)
Exclusive: The Rob Reiner-directed Being Charlie comes out from Paladin on Friday. Financed and produced by Jorva Entertainment Productions, the film was co-scripted by Reiner’s son Nick and Matt Elisofon about Nick’s personal battle with addiction. The clip features Cary Elwes as a candidate for California governor and Susan Misner as his wife — the parents of an addict (Nick Robinson) who have a heated argument about how they are dealing with their son. Morgan Saylor… »
After a string of hits in the 80s and 90s, director Rob Reiner has struggled to achieve the same success. Some of his projects post-2000 have made money and some have provided laughs, but none found staying power. It’s not all his fault. The best film during this period didn’t even garner a wide release and it was a real shame because Flipped held a worthwhile kinship to the likes of Stand By Me. So it comes as no shock to discover his latest worthwhile feature also harkens back to the coming-of-age drama with the trials and tribulations of youth. The difference is that this one isn’t about nostalgia. Being Charlie is instead about pain, family, and survival. It’s also about him.
Yes, it isn’t a coincidence that co-screenwriter Nick Reiner shares Rob’s last name — he is his son. Unlike growing up in the »
- Jared Mobarak
Killer Films, headed by Christine Vachon and Pamela Koffler, remains an autonomous unit focusing on entertainment content. Killer Content now is the umbrella org for films, entertainment and branded content while the newly created Killer Impact is dedicated to investing in media properties that promote or advocate for social issues and concerns.
The launch of Killer Impact was announced Sunday at San Francisco’s Yth Live conference, a gathering of youth, health and technology advocates, by actress Morgan Saylor (“Homeland”). Saylor stars in Killer Films’ drama “White Girl,” which screened at Sundance this year. Killer Impact said it will invest 25% of net revenues from various projects with relevant charitable orgs.
- Cynthia Littleton
The drama, which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, presents a portrait of drug and sex-fueled youth in New York City, while confronting issues of racial privilege and gender inequality. “White Girl” is exec produced by Killer Films’ Christine Vachon, whose credits include “Kids” and “Carol.”
FilmRise plans to release the movie in late summer or early fall.
The story follows a college sophomore who falls head-over-heels for her neighborhood drug dealer, played by Brian Marc. When a night of partying goes wrong, she must go to wild extremes to get him back.
- Dave McNary
FilmRise has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Elizabeth Wood’s controversial Sundance drama “White Girl,” the company announced Monday. Wood’s semi-autobiographical film has drawn comparisons to Larry Clark’s “Kids,” as it presents a seductive and incendiary portrait of drug and sex-fueled youth in New York City while openly confronting issues of racial privilege and gender inequality. Executive produced by Killer Films’ Christine Vachon (“Kids”), the film will be released in theaters in late summer/early fall. Also Read: 'White Girl' Director on Breaking Race, Gender Stereotypes: 'Women Can Have Sex and Do Drugs Too' (Video »
- Jeff Sneider
Visaaranai and Parched were awarded top feature film honours as the 14th Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles came to a close at the weekend.
Visaaranai (Interrogation) was awarded the grand jury prize for best feature and the corresponding short film award went to Playgrounds.
Sanjay Mishra was presented with the best actor award for his performance in Masaan, and the best actress award honoured the cast of Parched, namely Tannishtha Chatterjee, Radhika Apte, Surveen Chawla, and Lehar Khan.
Iffla Audience awards went to Parched, and Daaravtha (The Threshold). For more information click here.
FilmRise has acquired Us rights from CAA to Elizabeth Wood’s Sundance selection White Girl starring Morgan Saylor and Brian Marc. Killer Films’ Christine Vachon is executive producer and the film will open theatrically in late summer / early autumn.Italian opera promoter All’Opera has struck a Us distribution deal with »
Elizabeth Wood's "White Girl" shocked the Sundance Film Festival last month with its extreme coming-of-age storyline, and now the well-reviewed drama has been picked up by Netflix. The company has acquired worldwide streaming rights to the film, which stars Morgan Saylor, Brian "Sene" Marc, Justin Bartha, Chris Noth, India Menuez and Adrian Martinez. No theatrical distributor has been announced yet. Read More: White Female Gaze: How This Year's Sundance Confronted Racial Tensions in America (and Beyond) The official Sundance synopsis: "Equipped with platinum blonde hair and a winning smile, college girl Leah (Saylor) seeks out pleasure in any form. She has two weeks before fall semester, and in between getting high with her roommate and snorting lines with her boss, she finds time to hit it off with a handsome, young Puerto Rican drug dealer named Blue. Within days, the two are selling dime bags to her affluent white colleagues, »
- Zack Sharf
The Sundance Film Festival ended more than two weeks ago, but Netflix and Amazon continue to buy. The two streaming giants have closed deals on the ground in Berlin at the European Film Market for a pair of splashy Sundance titles. Netflix picked up worldwide Svod rights to Elizabeth Wood's edgy drama White Girl. Starring Morgan Saylor (aka Dana Brody to fans of Homeland) in a breakout performance, the film centers on a hard-partying college girl who falls for a Puerto Rican drug dealer (Brian "Sene" Marc). When he gets arrested, she is left with a cache of cocaine. A
- Tatiana Siegel
Yesterday, Nicholas Bell and I issued our Top 10 New Voices, and now we launch into our New Faces. They range in age, amount of screen time, and in this year’s batch of New Faces made memorable turns in supporting or principle character roles. Narrowly breaking into our top ten list we have names such as Sand Storm‘s Lammis Ammar and Spa Night‘s Haerry Kim. Here is our top ten countdown.
Move over Creed. The youngest featured actress to be profiled in our ten set was embraced in Park City as the next “it” personality and for good reason. In Anna Rose Holmer’s debut, Royalty Hightower’s Toni has a lot of volume – she physically inhabits a character who is at odds with her burgeoning teenagehood (a transition that is not always welcomed) in a performance that empathically comes across as non-actingly natural. »
- IONCINEMA.com Contributing Writers
Testing the patience and sanity of its audience, White Girl plays like one of those nights where a friend lets their freak flag fly while you’re the sober one explaining why what they are about to suggest is not a great idea and will probably get you arrested. We’ve all been there before, usually around sophomore year of college, which is where Leah (Morgan Saylor) finds herself.
White Girl is a more than simple voyeurism, watching a pretty junky’s downfall as she does things the patriarchy would loudly object to. The lessons along the way are not quite learned as Leah adapts to street life using her sexuality and drug stash to get herself in and out of trouble. White Girl presents a bleak picture even if it offers some liveliness along the way; it’s not all doom and gloom, rather there’s a real love story at its core. »
- John Fink
Justin Chang: Well, I called it. Then again, who didn’t? Nate Parker’s “The Birth of a Nation” cemented its standing as the sensation of Sundance 2016 by winning the grand jury prize and audience award on Saturday night — an outcome that was hardly surprising, in light of recent double winners like “Precious,” “Fruitvale Station,” “Whiplash” and “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” as well as the undeniable cultural weight that a film about slavery, featuring a black hero and told from a black filmmaker’s perspective, now carries. Later this year, when Fox Searchlight launches its not-so-secret weapon to prevent another #OscarsSoWhite, there will be plenty of opining (as there is already) that “The Birth of a Nation” is a cultural landmark but a far-from-great movie, one whose import and relevance overshadow some of its artistic shortcomings.
I’ve written plenty about Parker’s film, which strikes me »
- Justin Chang, Peter Debruge and Guy Lodge
After Saturday's awards and yesterday's final screenings, the book has now been closed on Sundance 2016. So what should we take away from this annual Utah cinematic retreat? One possible lasting impression: Women once again made some vital and lasting contributions to this year's slate. Whether it was in front of the camera or as a director, writer, producer, editor or documentary subject (like Laura Albert, pictured above, from "Author: The Jt LeRoy Story"), Sundance 2016 brought a variety of women to the attention of the film world. As part of our annual Indiewire Portrait Studio at the Chase Sapphire Lounge, we had the good fortune to feature some of these talented individuals. Read More: Sundance 2016: Group Portraits from the Festival's Top Titles and More [Photos] As with our previous Sundance portraits, all photos below were taken by photographer Daniel Bergeron. Narges Rashidi (Under The Shadow) Elizabeth Wood and Morgan Saylor (White Girl)Molly Shannon (Other. »
- Steve Greene
Sundance has always served as a springboard to launch the careers of under-the-radar actors — just ask Michael B. Jordan (“Fruitvale Station”), Carey Mulligan (“An Education”), Paul Dano (“Little Miss Sunshine”) and Ryan Gosling (“The Believer”) — and the 2016 edition of the festival was no exception. Variety’s critics Justin Chang, Guy Lodge and Geoff Berkshire and film reporters Ramin Setoodeh and Brent Lang weighed in on their favorite breakthrough performances at this year’s Sundance.
(1) Narges Rashidi, “Under the Shadow”
Babak Anvari’s wartime creeptacular has already drawn well-deserved comparisons to another Sundance-premiered horror hit, “The Babadook,” and along similar lines, Rashidi’s intense yet fine-grained work here deserves to be spoken of in the same lofty tones as Essie Davis’. As a fiercely intelligent, progressive-minded Iranian woman infuriated by the direction of her country since the Islamic Revolution, Rashidi plays her character like a musical instrument going slowly out of »
- Variety Staff
“White Girl” is a movie you can’t easily shake off, not even days after you’ve seen it. It’s beyond brash, playing like “The Diary of a Teenage Girl” gone off to college and hooked on coke. The film is not a self-reflective melodrama, choosing instead to follow its lead character through a series of horrific crashes and burns on the unsympathetic streets of New York City. Leah (Morgan Saylor) is an easy-going, thrill-seeking sophomore in college. Like many newcomers to NYC, she's barely getting by, holding down a magazine internship and little else. Outside of routine work and thinly-veiled sexual harassment from her editor (Justin Bartha), Leah spends much of her free time in search of her next high. This leads her to an unlikely romance with Blue (Brian 'Sene' Marc), her corner dealer in Queens. The sensitive Puerto Rican pusher with a heart of gold is »
- Monica Castillo
Exclusive: The film and TV veteran heads to the Efm with his new worldwide sales and distribution venture, kicking off with two projects.
First up on the Bob’s Your Uncle slate is Being Charlie directed by Rob Reiner, about the troubled son of an actor-turned-politician forced to take control of his life. Nick Reiner and Matt Elisofon wrote the screenplay.
The film from Castle Rock Entertainment and Jorva Entertainment Productions was made in association with Defiant Pictures and premiered in Toronto last autumn. Reiner produced with Johnson Chan, Stephanie Rennie and Simon Goldberg.
DuBow has scheduled market screenings in Berlin on February 12 and 16.
The Ozpix Entertainment Production is produced by Craig A. Kocincki, [link »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
The Wrap has the scoop, revealing that news broke mere hours before Bell’s Carnage Park made its bow at Sundance Film Festival. Joining the likes of Melissa Leo, Dianna Agron and Margaret Qualley for Novitiate, which is a term used to describe the process of spiritual training before becoming an active member of a religious institution, it’s understood that Bell will step into the graceful shoes of Sister Margaret.
Set against the 1960s, Maggie Betts’ first foray as a director weaves a story about the personal pressures associated with a life of pure devotion to the Catholic church, the sacrifices it entails, and ultimately how it impacts a woman’s ability to love. One of the main driving forces of the drama, though, is when Qualley »
- Michael Briers
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