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‘Citizenfour’ Review: Jeremy Gerard On Chilling Edward Snowden Documentary

1 hour ago

Watch my video review of Citizenfour, the chilling documentary by Laura Poitras about Edward Snowden, the former Nsa contractor who leaked tens of thousands of pages of classified documents about vast U.S. spying operations at home and abroad. The impact of those leaks continues to reverberate around the world.

Poitras, a filmmaker and journalist, previously was nominated for an Oscar for her film My Country, My Country. Here, she records the process that led to revelations she and colleague Glenn Greenwald published in the Guardian after Snowden anonymously contacted her under the online pseudonym of citizenfour. The resulting leaks helped Poitras win several awards for investigative journalism, while Snowden fled to Russia, where he remains in hiding.

The film debuted at the New York Film Festival earlier this month, and is distributed by Radius, HBO Films and Participant Media.

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- Jeremy Gerard

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Jeremy Sisto & More Join ‘Love Is All You Need,’ Kea Ho Gets ‘Urge’

2 hours ago

Exclusive: Reverse gay-bullying drama Love Is All You Need? has bolstered its cast as filming continues in La. Suburgatory‘s Jeremy Sisto, Ugly Betty‘s Ana Ortiz, Deception‘s Katherine La Nasa, Trophy Wife‘s Jenica Bergere, and Drumline‘s Leonard Roberts have joined Briana Evigan, Emily Osment, and Kyla Kennedy in the film set in a world where being gay is the norm and heterosexual persons are bullied. Director Kim Rocco Shields has also tapped Pretty Little LiarsTyler Blackburn for a lead role playing Ryan, the journalist who strikes up a forbidden romance with Evigan’s star quarterback. The feature is based on the provocative short film of the same name that scored over 45 million hits on YouTube. Blackburn, Ortiz, and Sisto are repped by The Gersh Agency. La Nasa is repped by Paradigm. Bergere is repped by Innovative. Roberts is repped by Michael Greene.

Hawaiian model and »


- Jen Yamato

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Napa Valley Film Festival Hoping Quake Damage Doesn’t Shake Up Show

3 hours ago

It’s white-knuckle time for the Napa Valley Film Festival’s organizers, filmmakers and fans, with a key venue and two hotels still fixing earthquake damage ahead of the Nov. 12 opening night. The post-quake craziness comes just as the four-year-old event is getting traction in Hollywood for its Oscar Season-adjacent timing, with companies setting encore screenings and star appearances, to tout awards contenders from earlier in the year.

The festival bills itself a mix of film, food and, of course, wine, with its own wine director pouring bottles from 150 of the region’s best-regarded vineyards. A recent Los Angeles event spotlighting the festival featured The Weinstein Co. President David Glasser, who said his company will use it to push awareness of several TWC awards contenders. Among those projects: The Imitation Game, with festival appearances scheduled for director Morten Tyldum and cast members for the biopic about martyred cryptography pioneer Alan Turing. »


- David Bloom

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IFC Nabs Al Pacino Drama ‘Manglehorn’

7 hours ago

IFC Films is taking U.S. rights to Manglehorn, the Al Pacino starrer helmed by David Gordon Green that premiered last month in Venice and Toronto. Pacino stars along with Holly Hunter, Harmony Korine, and Chris Messina in the drama about a reclusive small town locksmith (Pacino) torn between mourning the love of his life and moving on via a new cautious friendship with a local woman.

Manglehorn was one of the hot titles left unbought at the close of Tiff, where CAA was repping sales. The Worldview Entertainment and Dreambridge Films production is produced by Green, Lisa Muskat, and Derrick Tseng and executive produced by Melissa Coolidge, Brad Coolidge, Todd J. Labarowski, Danny McBride and Jody Hill.

Green, who’s known to veer between character-driven dramas (All The Real Girls, George Washington) and lower-brow comedies (Pineapple Express, Your Highness, The Sitter), most recently directed the indie dramedy Prince Avalanche »


- Jen Yamato

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Is Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Happy New Year’ The Next Bollywood Blockbuster? (Video)

7 hours ago

Bollywood stars have been having a good run at the international box office over the past year, from Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif‘s current release Bang Bang to Salman Khan in Kick this summer. Next up is arguably the best-known global Bollywood hitmaker, Shah Rukh Khan, in Happy New Year (see trailer below). Set for day-and-date release on Friday in India, North America, Australia, the UK, UAE and elsewhere, the heist pic reunites Khan with his Om Shanti Om and Chennai Express co-star Deepika Padukone, and Om Shanti Om helmer and Chennai Express choreographer Farah Khan. Add to those ingredients the strategic release falling during the Diwali holiday period and this confection could do mega-business at home and across the diaspora.

Local movies in India make up about 90% of the market share and Bollywood A-listers are so popular that each release is an event at home and abroad. Shah Rukh Khan, »


- Nancy Tartaglione

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FilmLA: TV Production Surges In Q3, Features Steady With 2013

8 hours ago

The newly signed big $330 million expansion of California’s $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit Program doesn’t take effect until next year, but the production sun is starting to really shine in La – at least in TVland. FilmL.A. today released its Q3 2014 report with overall TV Production rising 31.1% over the same period last year. That’s not just good, but part of a trend as it nearly matches the 33.7% rise that TV Production had in Q2 2014 over Q2 2013. In terms of features, which had a surging Q1, things were not on the upswing but pretty stable with a mere 4.0% dip from Q3 2014. While it might be small consolation to many, it is at least an improvement on the 5.3% that features slipped in Q2 2014 from Q2 2013.

“While we are still trying to reclaim our share of television production, we’re encouraged by dramatic television producers’ interest in filming in Los Angeles, »

- Dominic Patten

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SXSW 2015 Sets Mark Duplass Keynote, First Wave Of Film Panels

8 hours ago

Cyrus and Jeff, Who Lives At Home filmmaker Mark Duplass will return to South by Southwest to keynote the 2015 edition of the annual Austin film conference, organizers announced today. Like 2014’s popular keynote speaker Lena Dunham, Duplass is making a homecoming of sorts to SXSW where he launched his career in 2005 by winning the SXSW Audience Award with brother Jay for The Puffy Chair. Last year at SXSW he and director/co-writer/co-star Patrick Brice debuted their microbudget horror Creep which Radius-twc and Blumhouse Tilt jointly acquired.

Also stopping by the Austin fest held from March 13-21, 2015 will be Bollywood actor and director Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth, The Four Feathers), who will lead a Conversation session. Over 150 keynotes, conversations, panels, and mentor sessions are in the works for the annual confab, which has yet to announce its full lineup.

As for film panels, I’ll be talking shop at “So You »


- Jen Yamato

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Warner Bros Shifts ‘San Andreas’ Release To May 29

9 hours ago

Warner Bros is moving its earthquake actioner San Andreas up a week to May 29, 2015 from its previous slot of June 5. The Dwayne Johnson-starrer will now face off against Sony/Columbia’s Untitled Cameron Crowe, Focus Features’ horror pic Insidious Chapter 3 and Paramount’s animated Monster Trucks. The New Line- and Village Roadshow produced film initially was up against Fox’s animated B.O.O.: Bureau Of Other Worldly Operations on June 5. The pic will open in 3D and 2D.

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- The Deadline Team

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Michaela Conlin Joins Kate Beckinsale In ‘The Disappointments Room’

9 hours ago

Exclusive: Bones actress Michaela Conlin is the latest to enter Relativity’s The Disappointments Room, the psychological thriller currently filming in North Carolina under director DJ Caruso. Wentworth Miller (Prison Break) scripted the Shining-esque ghost story “inspired by true events” about Dana (Beckinsale), who moves with her 5-year-old son into a rural dream house and accidentally unlocks unimaginable horrors in the attic.

Conlin will play Jules, one half of a privileged Manhattan couple who doesn’t quite understand Dana’s predicament.

The Bones regular’s film credits include The Lincoln Lawyer and the upcoming indie Baby, Baby, Baby from director Brian Klugman. She’s repped by Evolution Entertainment.

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- Jen Yamato

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James Wan Back At New Line For ‘The Conjuring 2′ And Overall Producing Deal

10 hours ago

Exclusive: James Wan has closed a big two-pronged deal with New Line Cinema. He will return to direct The Conjuring 2, with shooting to begin next summer. In addition, the hit-making Australian who had a major hand in launching the Saw and Insidious franchises and The Conjuring and most recently Annabelle, has made a first-look producing deal with the Warner Bros-based film label. The directing deal follows New Line taking The Conjuring sequel off its October 23, 2015 slot and moving it to 2016, which gives Wan time to promote the film he just finished, Fast & Furious 7. Universal releases that film April 3, 2015 after moving it from summer 2014 following the tragic death of star Paul Walker.

At New Line, Wan will develop and produce modest budget films in the science fiction, horror, and comedy genres through his Atomic Monster production banner. The overall deal comes after the latest hit for New Line, Annabelle, which Wan produced. »


- Mike Fleming Jr

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‘Game Of Thrones’ Natalie Dormer Heads To ‘The Forest’

11 hours ago

Game Of Thrones and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay star Natalie Dormer will lead the David Goyer-produced supernatural thriller The Forest, about an American woman who ventures into Japan’s legendary Aokigahara forest in search of her missing twin sister. Jason Zada is directing from a script by Sarah Cornwell and Nick Antosca, based on a Goyer idea. Goyer is producing for Phantom Four alongside Lava Bear Films, whose Tory Metzger is overseeing for the company.

Focus has domestic rights and has set a January 8, 2016 release while Good Universe and Lava Bear sell international.

Dormer is repped by UTA, Untitled Entertainment, United Agents in the UK and attorney Karl Austen.

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- Jen Yamato

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‘Drug Lord: The Legend Of Shorty’ Docu Set For Fall Release

11 hours ago

Drug Lord: The Legend of Shorty made its world premiere earlier this year at the SXSW Film Festival and its European premiere at the Biografilm Festival in Italy. Now Gravitas Ventures, PBS’ Frontline and Submarine Deluxe are teaming up to release the docu this fall. Submarine release theatrically on November 14,with Gravitas handling VOD day and date. PBS will broadcast the Frontline film in 2015.

Directed by BAFTA and Emmy winner Angus Macqueen and Guillermo Galdos and produced by Simon Chinn (Searching For Sugar Man) and Andrew Mackenzie-Btty (Thriller In Manila), Drug Lord: The Legend Of Shorty chronicles the hunt for the notorious Mexican drug lord El Chapo (Aka Shorty). Shorty had been on the run for over a decade, during which time more than 80,000 Mexicans were murdered as a result of narco drug wars.

Drug Lord: The Legend of Shorty is a Twofour, Ronachan Film and Red Box Films »


- The Deadline Team

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Meryl Streep & Hugh Grant Tune Up For Stephen Frears’ ‘Florence’ – AFM

12 hours ago

Philomena director Stephen Frears is reteaming with Pathé for another project about an eponymous real-life female protagonist. Currently in pre-production, Florence is the true story of Florence Foster Jenkins, a New York heiress and socialite who coveted a career as a great opera singer, but who lacked any real ability. Meryl Streep is attached to play the title role with Hugh Grant also attached for the role of her partner and manager St Clair Bayfield. Bayfield was an aristocratic English actor who was determined to protect Florence from the truth that while the voice she heard in her head was beautiful, to everyone else it was hilariously awful.

Baz Bamigboye at the Daily Mail first tipped the news and Pathé International, which will begin sales at the AFM next month, has now confirmed details. The film has a script by Nicholas Martin which will tell Foster Jenkins’ story through to »


- Nancy Tartaglione

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Well Go USA, Rumble Board Halle Berry Thriller ‘Kidnap'; China Rights Set

20 October 2014 6:36 PM, PDT

Exclusive: With cameras rolling soon in New Orleans, Well Go USA and Rumble Entertainment have come aboard as producers/financiers on the Halle Berry starrer Kidnap. Luis Prieto (Pusher) is directing the action-thriller from a Knate Gwaltney script about a mother who will stop at nothing to save her abducted son.

Rumble Entertainment’s Gregory Chou is joining Di Bonaventura PicturesLorenzo di Bonaventura and Erik Howsam and Joey Tufaro of Gold Star Films as producer. Well Go USA’s Doris Pfardrescher will executive produce alongside Colin Bates and Todd Trosclair of Gold Star and Lotus Entertainment’s Bill Johnson, Jim Seibel, D.J. Gugenheim and Ara Keshishian. Berry is also exec producing with Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas for their 606 Films banner.

Last month Relativity inked a deal in Toronto to distribute Kidnap stateside. In addition to producing and financing the film, Texas-based Asian and genre distributor Well Go USA will release it »


- Jen Yamato

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‘John Wick’ Review: Pete Hammond on Keanu Reeves’ Killer Film

20 October 2014 5:45 PM, PDT

Watch my video review above of Keanu Reeves’s new action film, John Wick, where he plays a one-time hit man goaded back into action by (as I mentioned in an earlier column) the heinous acts of some completely expendable (and soon-to-be expended) Russian mobsters.

Reeves, now 50, returns to the action genre years after his heyday in The Matrix trilogy, and he’s in fine form. I think fans will love his work here. That said, I’m less certain about the rest of the movie, which also stars Willem Dafoe, Michael Nyqvist and Alfie AllenIan McShane, Bridget Moynahan and John Leguizamo also appear.

The R-rated film is distributed by Lionsgate, directed by David Leitch and Chad Stahelski, from a screenplay by Derek Kolstad.

Are you looking forward to the film? Let us know what you think if you’ve seen it.

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- Pete Hammond

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Michelle Williams Exits CAA For Wme

20 October 2014 5:30 PM, PDT

On the heels of CAA’s $225 million majority-stake deal with Tpg, three-time Oscar nominee and client Michelle Williams has jumped to Wme, signing with the rival agency in all areas. The Oz the Great and Powerful and Take This Waltz star earned her Oscar nods for acclaimed turns in Brokeback Mountain, Blue Valentine, and most recently My Week With Marilyn, in which she played the iconic Marilyn Monroe. She’s currently on Broadway playing Sally Bowles in Cabaret for Rob Marshall and Sam Mendes. Her next film, the WWII drama-romance Suite Française, is set to be distributed by The Weinstein Co. Williams is also repped by Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal Laviolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman.

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- Jen Yamato

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Safety For Sarah: Local 600 Launches Own App For Reporting Unsafe Sets

20 October 2014 4:06 PM, PDT

The death of Midnight Rider camera assistant Sarah Jones continues to spark a safety movement in Hollywood. Today the International Cinematographers Guild (Icg, Iatse Local 600) launched their own “Icg Safety” app designed to help members anonymously report unsafe working conditions on film and TV sets across the world. Jones, who was killed at the age of 27 in February in a train accident on set in Georgia, was an Icg member.

Like the “Set Safety” app released earlier this month by a group of anonymous industry professionals, the Icg’s app provides access to safety bulletins and guidelines as well as a quicklist of industry safety hotlines. Users can report safety concerns without revealing their identities, which is particularly essential in the production industry where crew members are often afraid of losing their jobs if they speak out.

Related: The Death Of Sarah Jones: Safety Concerns Raised Over ‘Midnight Rider »


- Jen Yamato

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Renee Zellweger Set For ‘Same Kind Of Different As Me’

20 October 2014 3:15 PM, PDT

Exclusive: Renee Zellweger has boarded Paramount’s faith-based drama Same Kind Of Different As Me, adapted from the 2006 nonfiction best-seller about the unlikely friendship between wealthy white art dealer Ron Hall and former sharecropper-turned-drifter Denver Moore. Introduced by Hall’s wife Deborah, the two men from opposite walks of life met at a homeless shelter where Hall was volunteering. Their self-published book Same Kind Of Different As Me: A Modern-Day Slave, An International Art Dealer, And The Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together was picked up by Thomas Nelson and went on to hit No. 8 on the New York Times bestseller list. Zellweger will play Deborah, whose higher calling to serve others brought Hall and Moore together before she succumbed to cancer in 2000.

The project is in the works at Paramount with Mary Parent producing alongside Darren Moorman (Marilyn Hotchkiss’ Ballroom Dancing & Charm School, Unconditional), a former exec at faith-based Sky Angel. »


- Jen Yamato

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Int’l Box Office Final: ‘Guardians’ Now 3rd Biggest Marvel Movie Ever

20 October 2014 2:45 PM, PDT

3rd Update, 2:45 Pm (Pt): Finals are in for Guardians Of The Galaxy, the No. 1 Bollywood movie this year stateside Bang Bang, director David Fincher’s thriller Gone Girl (which passed $100M stateside), the Denzel Washington action/drama The Equalizer, the animated The Boxtrolls, the Ya hit The Maze Runner, Luc Besson’s Lucy, Universal’s Dracula Untold, Fox’s sequel Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, Ice Age: The Meltdown In 3-D which debuted in China this weekend to $3.2M on 2,800 plays, and also its buddy comedy Let’s Be Cops. In addition, Warner Bros.’ just reported for its horror film Annabelle and the courtroom drama starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Robert Duvall The Judge, and lest we forget Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (which debuted strong in the UK this weekend) and Hercules which are still playing in 17 markets. Final tallies for stateside newcomers Fox »


- Nancy Tartaglione

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Final: ‘Fury’ Wins Box Office War With $23.7M; ‘Book Of Life’ At $17M; ‘Gone Girl’ $100M+; ‘Best Of Me’ $10M – B.O. Final

20 October 2014 1:32 PM, PDT

Final Update, 1:32 Pm: Fury ended the weekend at $23.7M for Sony and Qed, so it underperformed all the tracking (gee what a surprise), social media metrics, and expectations just a little. But it will likely still make money all in after its domestic, international and home entertainment run. I understand that there were significant profit participations on this one. Fox and Reel FX’s The Book Of Life closed the weekend on the high end of our estimate with $17M and will have some playtime again over the next two weekends as no new offerings are in the family zone until Big Hero 6 bows from Disney on November 7. The other newbie, Relativity’s The Best Of Me, was soft with $10M. Gone Girl is now sitting pretty at $106.7M after three weeks in release for Fox and New Regency.

The more exciting news was really in the specialty »


- Anita Busch

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