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Modern VideoFilm Under New Management As Corporate Restructuring Veterans Step In

1 hour ago

Deloitte Corporate Restructuring Group, which specializes in reorganizing troubled companies, has taken over day-to-day operation of Modern VideoFilm. Scott Avila, a principal of Deloitte Crg, has been named CEO of the postproduction facility. He replaces Moshe Barkat, the company’s founder, who was ousted as CEO and President by the board of directors in September. Cooper Crouse, a director of Deloitte Crg, has been named President of Modern Video/Film.

Avila and Crouse’s previous job for Deloitte Crg, a subsidiary of the giant professional services and accounting firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd, was to manage the affairs of the financially distressed Culver Studios before its sale to Hackman Capital Partners this year. Roxanna Sassanian, a former financial officer at the Culver Studios, has been named Modern Video/Film’s CFO, replacing the ousted Hugh Miller.

Asked about Deloitte Crg, Avila told Deadline: “I can’t comment on that. I »


- David Robb

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Matthew McConaughey Gets A ‘Stellar’ Tribute From American Cinematheque

1 hour ago

How ironic it was that American Cinematheque, this bastion of all things honoring the history of film, would choose to give Matthew McConaughey its highest honor at a warm, funny and revealing tribute last night at the Beverly Hilton. Because among other things, McConaughey revealed he had actually only even seen two movies — ever — before the age of 18:  King Kong and Orca. And though this non-cineaste didn’t specify which King Kong, I would be willing to bet it was the 1976 remake rather than the 1933 classic.

But as the evening proved, McConaughey — whom the star’s Interstellar director Christopher Nolan referenced as “the new Paul Newman” — more than meets the Cinematheque’s definition of this award for a distinguished mid-point career of excellence and contribution to cinema.

Of course there were many mentions of what is now known as the “McConaissance,” his recent spate of career-changing film choices beginning with The Lincoln Lawyer, »


- Pete Hammond

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Alcon Worldwide Marketing President Richard Ingber To Exit

1 hour ago

Alcon marketing exec Richard Ingber is departing his post after 14 years with the WB-based company and seven years as its President of Worldwide Marketing & Distribution. Ingber, who also produced Alcon’s family hit Dolphin Tale, will resume his eponymous Richard Ingber Entertainment marketing firm while staying on as consultant on Alcon’s Hillsong – Let Hope Rise and their Point Break reboot.

Ingber first joined Alcon as a marketing consultant in 200 on family pic My Dog Skip. He assumed the marketing and distribution President title in 2007. During his run with Alcon and Warner Bros. he led campaigns for films including P.S. I Love You, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Christopher Nolan’s Insomnia, The Blind Side, The Book Of Eli, and Prisoners. Earlier this year Alcon took a huge hit on the Johnny Depp sci-fier Transcendence, which opened in April at #4 with just $10.8 million domestic.

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- Jen Yamato

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Plagues Be Damned: Ridley Scott’s Moses Movie ‘Exodus’ Seeks Egyptian Release

3 hours ago

Exclusive: Where Noah failed, Moses is trying to get past Egyptian censors. Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods And Kings might be facing a tough fight with Egypt’s highest religious authority Al-Azhar to get approved ahead of the film’s planned December release in the Arab world’s most populous country, but help could be at hand from an unlikely ally.

Minister of Culture Gaber Asfour is leading the charge to ensure that the film is released in Egyptian cinemas despite objections from religious authorities. A well-respected critic and professor of Arabic literature, Asfour was appointed minister in June. He had served as Culture Minister for one week during the 2011 Egyptian revolution before resigning for health reasons.

Asfour’s support for passing Exodus is being seen as a key test of whether the minister can impose a more liberal agenda on the country’s conservative religious establishment.

“The minister wants »


- Ali Jaafar

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‘The Gambler': Mark Wahlberg In Remake’s First Redband Peek

3 hours ago

Mark Wahlberg has a few Nsfw words for John Goodman in Paramount’s first reveal of The Gambler, the remake of the 1974 drama that nabbed James Caan a Golden Globe nomination and jumpstarted screenwriter James Toback’s career. Given his reaction a few years back when the remake was announced, Toback might share the sentiment. This Gambler stars Wahlberg as a college professor struggling with a crippling gambling addiction, with Goodman, Brie Larson, Michael K. Williams and Jessica Lange rounding out the cast.

Related: James Toback On ‘The Gambler’ Remake: “Not Possible… Rudeness And Disrespect”

The Gambler begins its awards run next month by opening AFI Fest before hitting theaters on December 19. Oscar nominated twice, for his supporting turn in The Departed and for producing The Fighter, Wahlberg is gunning for Best Actor in the starring role originally inspired by Toback’s own experiences. Rupert Wyatt directs from a William Monahan adapted script, »


- Jen Yamato

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Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp Closes $450M Credit Facility, Triples Financing Ability

4 hours ago

EuropaCorp, the French mini-major co-founded by Luc Besson in 2000, signed a five-year, $450M credit facility during the Cannes Film Festival in May to finance a slate of English-language films. At the time, the studio said it also had a $100M accordion that would be used to finance its existing credit facility of $132.8M. Today, the studio says it has closed on a $400M credit line, plus a $50M second credit facility and a $150M accordion. The existing credit facilities of about $160M have been fully repaid, increasing Europa’s financing ability threefold (fourfold with the accordion), the studio says.

Along with financing its English-language movies, the facility will be used to fund marketing and distribution costs related to the new productions that will be distributed in the U.S. through its joint venture with Relativity, Relativity EuropaCorp Distribution (aka Red), which was formed this year. The first film on the »


- Nancy Tartaglione

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Constantin, Dark Horse Team For ‘Polar’ Graphic Novel Adaptation

5 hours ago

Constantin Film and Dark Horse Entertainment have pacted on noir spy revenge tale Polar, adapted from the celebrated Dark Horse Comics graphic novel Polar: Came From The Cold by Victor Santos. The action-thriller follows a master assassin named Black Kaiser who’s forced out of retirement by an assassination attempt by a crew of younger hitmen. Constantin sprung for a script by Jayson Rothwell (Malice In Wonderland, Silent Night) and with Dark Horse are now eyeing directors for a spring 2015 shoot.

The stylized Polar originated as a free “silent” web comic before Dark Horse published it as a graphic novel in 2013, adding dialogue. Constantin’s Robert Kulzer will produce with Jeremy Bolt (Resident Evil) and Dark Horse Entertainment’s Mike Richardson and Keith Goldberg. Rothwell is repped by Wme.

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- Jen Yamato

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Joshua Oppenheimer’s ‘The Look Of Silence’ Documentary: Hot Trailer

8 hours ago

Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Look Of Silence is the follow-up to 2013’s Oscar-nominated The Act Of Killing. It won the Grand Jury Prize in Venice this year and was jointly acquired by Drafthouse Films and Participant Media on the eve of that fest. At the time, I posted a clip from the film and above is the first trailer.

Act Of Killing, which had a Best Documentary Oscar nomination and won the BAFTA in the same category, saw Indonesian death squad leaders re-enact assassinations they committed in anti-communist purges after the military coup of 1965. The new movie examines one man’s journey as he searches for, and confronts, his brother’s killers. Both The Look Of Silence and The Act Of Killing were made under circumstances that required most of the crew to be credited as “anonymous” because anyone involved was at grave risk if their identities were revealed. The soft-spoken, »


- Nancy Tartaglione

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BAFTA Names Emma Baehr To New Director Of Awards Post

9 hours ago

As film awards season gets underway, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts has created a new post overseeing all five of its London-based prize ceremonies.

Previously the Acting Head of Film, Emma Baehr has been named Director of Awards and will be responsible for the ongoing development of the British Academy’s kudos, including the BAFTA Film Awards that fall just ahead of the Oscars in February. She is charged with ensuring that output reaches a wide and diverse audience; increasing engagement with the film, television and games industries; and identifying strategic partnerships. Baehr will also join BAFTA Chief Exec Amanda Berry on the senior management team.

Jim Bradshaw, who is currently Head of Membership, will become Acting Head of Film with responsibility for the film awards and will be supported by Awards Officer Bradley Down.

“The Director of Awards role is a key one for BAFTA,” Berry said. »


- Nancy Tartaglione

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

20 hours 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’

21 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

22 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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‘Penguins Of Madagascar’ Will Hit China Before Opening Stateside

23 hours ago

Exclusive: Kids in China will be seeing Penguins Of Madagascar nearly two weeks before kids in America get a chance to see the spinoff of DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar franchise. The film opens in China on November 14 – two days before its red carpet premiere in New York and 12 days before the film debuts in U.S. theaters November 26. That’s because the Chinese government sets the dates for all movie openings there.

Oriental DreamWorks, which works with the Chinese government, will distribute the film in China. DreamWorks Animation is a minority stakeholder in Oriental DreamWorks.

The film features the voices of Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom McGrath, Chris Miller and John Malkovich, but some Chinese audiences will not be hearing them. Some screenings there will feature their voices with Chinese subtitles, while others will feature the penguins’ voices dubbed in local languages.

Madagascar 3, which opened in China in 2012, grossed $33 million there, making »


- David Robb

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IFC Nabs Al Pacino Drama ‘Manglehorn’

21 October 2014 1:15 PM, PDT

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)

21 October 2014 1:13 PM, PDT

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

21 October 2014 12:05 PM, PDT

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

21 October 2014 12:00 PM, PDT

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

21 October 2014 11:30 AM, PDT

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’

21 October 2014 10:58 AM, PDT

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

21 October 2014 10:08 AM, PDT

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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