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WGA Awards: ‘Spotlight’ & ‘The Big Short’ Take Marquee Film Honors; ‘Mad Men’, ‘Veep’ & ‘Mr. Robot’ Top TV – Full List
Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy took the Original Screenplay honor tonight for Spotlight and Charles Randolph and Adam McKay won the trophy for Adapted Screenplay for The Big Short at the 2016 WGA Awards. Alex Gibney took the Documentary Screenplay honor for Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief for HBO Documentary Films. On the TV side, AMC’s Mad Men took the Drama Series trophy, HBO’s Veep the Comedy Series nod. USA Network’s Mr. Robot won the best New Series… »
Ryan Reynolds’ ‘Deadpool’ Set to Smash Box Office Records With $47 Million Friday
Ryan Reynolds‘ ultra-violent “Deadpool” blew away expectations, rivals and records with a $47.5 million first day Friday, making a bloodbath of the Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day weekend box office race. The R-rated saga of the sardonic and foul-mouthed Marvel Comics superhero — a mercenary who develops super healing powers, a scarred mug and a very cynical attitude after a failed operation to cure his cancer — was on pace for an eye-popping $130 million over the four-day holiday for Twentieth Century Fox. That would obliterate the records for a three-day February opening ($85 million) and Presidents Day weekend ($93 million) set last year »
- Todd Cunningham
Rudd, Coogan To Play A Married Couple
Rudd and Coogan play a bickering couple with an extravagant life, Coogan's a celebrity while Rudd is his hesitant partner. When the grandson of Coogan's character shows up and has nowhere to go, the couple reluctantly decide to take him in.
Source: THR »
- Garth Franklin
Deadpool looking at $170 million plus global opening weekend
20th Century Fox’s Deadpool has been rolling out this week, with the film opening in the UK on Wednesday and making its way across the Pond to North America today.
Early tracking had suggested the film would be looking at a $55 million domestic opening weekend, but it looks like the Merc with a Mouth is set to blow that figure out of the water; it pulled in $12.7 million on Thursday previews, a record for an R-rated film, and is looking at around $30 million on Friday, with a four-day weekend of $90 million or more predicted.
Internationally, Deadpool could pull in a further $80 million; it is performing well in all 42 markets, and here in the UK it has given Fox its biggest ever opening day »
- Gary Collinson
Berlin: Liam Neeson’s ‘Operation Chromite’ Lands Multi-Territory Deals
Splendid acquired rights for Germany, Austria and the Benelux region from Finecut, the Seoul-based sales company handling global rights.
Finecut’s early business at the European Film Market also included sales for ex-Yugoslavia to Discovery Film & Video and for Taiwan to Moviecloud.
Neeson plays General Douglas MacArthur who led a seemingly impossible marine landing at Incheon in the company of a South Korean lieutenant and seven soldiers from the covert Klo intelligence unit. Korean heart-throb Lee Jung-jae plays the lieutenant.
Production got underway in December — Neeson has now completed his scenes – and will wrap next month.
Direction is by John H. Lee, who previously made award-winning Korean War film “71: Into The Fire” with the same producer and Finecut on board in 2010 .
“Operation Chromite” is »
- Patrick Frater
Debbie Harry Joins ‘I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House’ – Berlin
Singer and all-round pop culture fave Debbie Harry (Hairspray) has joined the cast of Osgood Perkins' I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, joining Ruth Wilson (The Affair), Bob Balaban (The Grand Budapest Hotel), and Sundance breakout Lucy Boynton (Sing Street). Netflix will be the exclusive streaming home of the thriller, which Perkins wrote and will be directing. Principal photography is set to begin in Ottawa on February 16th. The project is part of… »
Lars von Trier Announces New Film, 'The House That Jack Built,' Starts Shooting This Fall
It was three years ago that Lars von Trier dropped his two-part "Nymphomaniac," and after releasing the picture, the director focused on his next project: himself. The filmmaker started going to AA, and cleaning up, however, he feared that not being under the influence would diminish his creativity, and suggested he may never direct again. “Who the hell cares about Rolling Stones when you don’t have a sense that they’ve just emptied a bottle of Jack Daniels? That’s nonsense," von Trier said in 2014. "Or Jimi Hendrix without heroin or whatever he was on. That’s rubbish; we can’t be bothered with that. We don’t want that, because we want their special approach through something mysterious, which is still somehow connected to various intoxicants, right? But when I work, I’ll miss the intoxication, or rather, I may come to miss it. That’s the point. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Berlin Film Review: ‘Much Ado About Nothing’
Based on a recent Chilean scandal in which the son of a right-wing senator managed to maneuver his way out of a drunk-driving fatality while his friends took the fall, Alejandro Fernandez Almendras’ “Much Ado About Nothing” recreates both the night in question and the sordid aftermath from the p.o.v. of the “backseat driver.” In what might as well be Chile’s Chappaquiddick incident, the case ruffled enough feathers that one would expect a more indignant satire, whereas Almendras indulges his indifferent characters their youthful folly, acknowledging how a night of carefree drinking can have life-changing consequences. The fact that “Much Ado” doesn’t take a more overtly moral stand could backfire on the film back home, though such a blase attitude has been quite fashionable of late on the festival circuit, where this clumsily subtitled offering should acquit itself well.
Similar to, yet not nearly so stylistically »
- Peter Debruge
'Spotlight' & 'The Big Short' Take Top Prizes At WGA Awards
If there is one thing clear about the Oscars, it's that this year, it won't be dominated by any single picture. 2015 saw the love spread out with "Birdman" and "The Grand Budapest Hotel" leading the way with four wins each, and it's looking like the same scenario will play out this year. The guild and precursor awards have seen the momentum shift between a handful of pictures, and last night at the WGA Awards, two underdogs emerged as the big victors of the night. "Spotlight" and "The Big Short" added to their awards season bonafides, taking prizes for Original Screenplay and Adapted Screenplay, respectively. The win for "Spotlight" certainly indicates they could have some sleeper wins in a couple of weeks. As for "The Revenant," while eligible for Adapted Screenplay, was not nominated here, nor at the Oscars, so if you've got a pool going, you might want to place »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Berlin: Protesters Oppose Political Meddling at Busan Festival
Senior executives and filmmakers from many of the world’s top film festivals showed their support Sunday in Berlin for the beleaguered Busan Intl. Film festival in South Korea. At a protest brunch, held at the Sony Centre in Potsdamer Platz, they waved placards, made statements and posed for group photographs.
Those in attendance in Berlin include Alberto Barbera from the Venice festival, Nashen Moodley from Sydney, Charles Tesson from Cannes Critics’ Week, former Rotterdam chief Simon Field and Berlin festival section heads Wieland Speck and Christoph Terhechte. Also attending were French producer Isabelle Glachant, critic Jean-Michel Frodon, Martin Schweighofer from the Austrian Film Commission, and Jennifer Jao from the Taipei Film Commission.
The Busan Festival has been battered by political forces since October 2014 when it took the decision to show activist documentary “Diving »
- Patrick Frater
Berlin Review: Mia Hansen-Løve's Simple, Sublime 'Things To Come' Starring Isabelle Huppert
Here's what is great about Mia Hansen-Løve's "Things to Come," apart from everything: In a fit of pique, recently separated philosophy professor Nathalie, played with immaculate transparency by Isabelle Huppert, goes to throw away a bunch of flowers too big to fit in her kitchen bin. The messy and now rather crumpled arrangement is unceremoniously stuffed into one of those bright blue Ikea bags instead which Nathalie huffily crams into the big industrial trash can in her building's basement. She slams the lid shut with finality and leaves. Two seconds later, she comes back for the bag. Read More: Watch: First International Trailer And 2 Clips For Mia Hansen-Løve's 'Things To Come' Starring Isabelle Huppert It's a tossed-aside moment that is nothing and also everything — certainly to anyone who's ever found it hard to part with a sturdy carrier bag. And the catching of that little tic demonstrates Hansen-Løve's refreshing approach. »
- Jessica Kiang
Berlin: Drama ‘The Confessions’ Starring Toni Servillo Closes Global Deals
True Colours, the new Italian sales outfit founded by Lucky Red and Indigo Film, has sealed a slew of sales at Efm for Italo helmer Roberto Ando’s political thriller “The Confessions,” toplining Toni Servillo (“The Great Beauty”) and boasting a stellar international cast.
True Colours’ topper Catia Rossi has sold “The Confessions” to Spain (Wanda); Latin America inluding Brazil (Cdi with Mares); South Korea (JinJin Pictures); Benelux (Imagine); Greece (Danaos); Hungary (Cinenuovo); former Yugoslavia (Stars-Media); and Taiwan (Swallow Wings).
Servillo plays a mysterious monk called to a high-powered G8 meeting by the International Monetary Fund head, played by Daniel Auteuil, to receive his confession. Cast also comprises Connie Nielsen, Lambert Wilson, Marie-Josee Croze, Pierfrancesco Favino and Moritz Bleibtreu.
Pic, believed to be a meditation on power and wealth inspired by “The Confessions of St. Augustine,” is an Italian-French co-production with Angelo Barbagallo’s Bibi Film, Gaul’s Barbary Film and Italy’s Rai Cinema. »
- Nick Vivarelli
Berlin Braced for Benjamin Netanyahu
Berlin will be on security alert Monday as the city awaits the official visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu. He is expected to head a ministerial delegation for talks on Tuesday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and members of her cabinet.
The festival expects to be stirred but not shaken. The heart of the festival at Potsdamer Platz is barely a mile away from the Reichstag, key ministries and the Chancellor’s offices. That means the possibility of temporary roadblocks and increased security service personnel on the city streets.
Public screenings at the Zoo Palast theater will continue, though the festival has avoided programming major premieres at the venue for the two days of the Netanyahu visit. “Since we had been informed in time about the visit we already took it in account when scheduling premiers. Therefore we don’t have to modify our planned programming,” the festival told Variety. »
- Patrick Frater
Pekka Strang to lead Karukoski’s 'Tom Of Finland'
Finnish production outfit Helsinki-Filmi is producing the project in co-production with Sweden’s Anagram Väst, Denmark’s Fridthjof Film and Germany’s Neutrinos Productions.
The cast were revealed during a press conference at the Berlinale, at which director Karukoski stated: “It’s incredible to think that this person from a small country like Finland could change the world.
“When Aleksi said we should do Tom of Finland - I started reading about him, talking to people who knew him, and for me »
Shepherds and Butchers review – death penalty drama runs out of rope
South Africa’s record on executions is put in the dock by Steve Coogan in this forthright Berlin premiere, though its courtroom clashes cannot match the chilling spectacle of the scaffold
Shepherds, because the prison guards of 1980s Pretoria feed, wash and exercise their inmates. Butchers, because then they escort them to the gallows. They march them in groups of seven to a room where they’re placed between a floor that will drop and a rope that will break them.
In 1987, 164 South Africans (the majority black) were killed in this way. One three-day stretch saw 21 people executed. All that death takes its toll. In South African director Oliver Schmitz’s drama, which is based on real events, one guard, Leon Labuschagne (Garion Dowds), is left to pay the cost. Seventeen years old, fresh on the job with no training or counselling, Leon soon becomes party to multiple executions. After enough of them he snaps, »
- Henry Barnes
Berlin: German Producer Philipp Kreuzer Says Direct Relationships Key to Success
German producer Philipp Kreuzer and his partner Jorg Schulze recently launched Munich and Berlin-based Maze Pictures, which is making its Efm debut after joining forces with Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp Television on thriller TV series “The Crimson Rivers” and several film projects. Kreuzer is a lawyer and former top exec at Bavaria Film Intl.
There is a digital-driven wave of consolidation sweeping the European film and TV industry, with bigger players like Fremantle snapping up smaller companies and dictating new business models. How is this affecting the market?
What we see overall is the pressure on the distribution chain. Today’s consolidation and convergence means there are more direct relationships between networks and producers, more multi-territory deals. While having close ties with the creative talent is key, it becomes much more important as a producer to have the direct relationship with a network and the digital players. You also have to think more European, »
- Nick Vivarelli
The case of Saba Qaiser and the film-maker determined to put an end to 'honour' killings
In 2014, Saba Qaiser was shot in the head by her father and dumped in a river. She survived. Now Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy wants her Oscar-nominated film about Saba to expose the shameful crime Pakistan has ignored for too long
Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy is a documentary film-maker whose 2012 film about acid violence, Saving Face, made her the first Pakistani to win an Academy Award. This year, she is nominated again for A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, which tells the story of 19-year-old Saba Qaiser, from the Pakistani province of Punjab, whose father and uncle shot her in the face and threw her in a river because she had married without her family’s consent. Because she had tilted her head at the last minute, Saba survived the shooting and managed to get to a petrol station for help. But although her father and uncle were subsequently arrested, »
- Alex Clark
Berlin: 'Fire At Sea' tops early Screen Jury Grid
The first scores are in, and it’s Gianfranco Rosi’s documentary about the immigration crisis that leads.
Gianfranco Rosi’s Fire At Sea - his documentary about the migrant crisis set on the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa - is the early frontrunner on this year’s Berlinale Jury Grid, comrpised of scores from Screen’s jury of international critics.
Five of the critics awarded Fire At Sea the maximum four-star rating, while Jan Schulz-Ojala bucked the trend by awarding the film a solitary star.
Screen’s review described the film as “shocking and intensely human”.
TrustNordisk inks deals on four titles
Magnus, The Model, Pyromaniac [pictured] and Devil’s Bride have all sold to multiple territories.
Scandinavian sales powerhouse TrustNordisk has closed deals on four titles at the Efm.
Magnus, Benjamin Ree’s documentary about chess player Magnus Carlsen featuring high profile grandmasters including Garry Kasparov, has sold to Germany (Nfp), Hong Kong (Edko films Ltd), former Yugoslavia (Discovery Film) and Benelux (September Film Rights).
The film is produced by Sigurd M. Karoliussen for Moskus Film in co-production with Vgtv, Nordisk Film Production and Main Island Production.
The Model, directed by Mads Matthiesen, has sold to Latin America (California Fil ms), China (Hgc Entertainment), Russia Cis (Voxell Media), Hungary (Vertigo Media), Turkey (Ozen Film), Estonia (Estin Film), Lithuania (Incognito Film) and Former Yugoslavia (2i Film d.o.o.).
TrustNordisk previously »
'Spotlight', 'The Big Short' in WGA wins
The Writers Guild Of America bestowed its annual prizes on Saturday night in Los Angeles and lauded two awards season front-runners.
The Bafta ceremony takes place in London tonight and the Academy Awards are on February 28. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
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