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Meryl Streep as 'Florence Foster Jenkins', first look

12 hours ago

First still released of Meryl Streep and Hugh grant in Stephen FrearsFlorence Foster Jenkins.

Pathé today released the first still of Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant in Florence Foster Jenkins. The film is currently shooting in the UK.

The image depicts Meryl Streep as Florence Foster Jenkins with Hugh Grant as her partner St Clair Bayfield.

The film is the true story of the legendary New York heiress and socialite who obsessively pursued her dream of becoming a great opera singer. The voice she heard in her head was beautiful, but to everyone else it was awful.

Her “husband” and manager, St Clair Bayfield, an aristocratic English actor, was determined to protect her from the truth. But when Florence decided to give a public concert at Carnegie Hall in 1944, St Clair knew he faced his greatest challenge.

Florence Foster Jenkins is directed by Stephen Frears from a screenplay by Nicholas Martin. The cast also »


- michael.rosser@screendaily.com (Michael Rosser)

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Belgian's Cyborn joins animated 'Ploey'

12 hours ago

Iceland’s GunHil signs co-pro agreement with Belgian animation studio.

Icelandic production company GunHil and Belgian-based Cyborn animation studio have signed a co-production agreement on Ploey - You Never Fly Alone.

The film, previously titled Ploe: You Never Fly Alone, will be a joint production between the two companies and is scheduled for release in 2017. Cyborn specialises in 3D animation and CGI.

The animation tells the story of a chick whose family migrates to warmer climates before he has learned to fly. He deals with the harsh winter by making new friends.

Ploey is being sold by Arri Worldsales and has already been sold to more than 20 countries worldwide, including Russia, the Baltics, Finland, Turkey, Poland, Middle East and South Korea.

GunHil has developed the film, which will be directed by Árni Ólafur Ásgeirsson (Brim) and co-directed by Gunnar Karlsson.

The story and screenplay is written by Fridrik Erlingsson (Legends of Valhalla). Producers are Hilmar Sigurdsson and Haukur »


- michael.rosser@screendaily.com (Michael Rosser)

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'Night Will Fall' scoops two Focal Awards

12 hours ago

Night Will Fall, a feature-length production about the filming of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps, picked up two awards at last night’s Focal International Awards.

It won in the Best Use of Footage in a History Production and in the Cinema Production categories.

The Imperial War Museum’s work in restoring, preserving and completing the work that Sidney Bernstein started on the German Concentration Camps Factual Survey, which formed the bulk of the archive clips in Night Will Fall, received a surprise Special Award for its contribution to the film.

The Focal awards honour the work of those working in the fields of archive and restoration. Focal’s international jury sifted through 265 submissions from 24 countries to select the winners.

The ceremony was hosted by former chief news reporter for the BBC and presenter of Radio 4’s From Our Own Correspondent Kate Adie, who spoke about the importance of capturing events on film and preserving »


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Handling: Toronto's Platform to give 'bump' to int'l films

14 hours ago

Toronto International Film Festival director and CEO has revealed further details of Toronto’s new Platform section, which will be the festival’s first competitive section.

Platform will kick off this year with 10 to 12 international features selected, and a jury of three international experts deciding on one ‘best film’ winner who will receive a $25,000 prize.

The festival said the selection for Platform will be films of “high artistic merit that demonstrate a strong directorial vision by significant international filmmakers”.

The films are expected to not have North American distribution already in place.

Handling explained to Screen: “It’s our 40th anniversary, so that’s time to take stock, it’s a real opportunity to position yourself for the future, position yourself in the landscape and the market.”

The section will essentially aim to garner more attention - from the industry, local audiences and press - on the international auteur works by mid-career film-makers who can sometimes not get »


- wendy.mitchell@screendaily.com (Wendy Mitchell)

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Cannes: ‘Embrace of the Serpent’ wins at Directors’ Fortnight

14 hours ago

Other winners include Arnaud Desplechin’s My Golden Days and Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s Mustang.

Embrace Of The Serpent (El Abrazo de la Serpiente) picked up the Art Cinema Award at the 47th Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes this evening (May 22).

Review: Embrace Of The Serpent

Anticipation surrounded Guerra’s return to the Croisette after the Colombian director’s acclaimed 2009 Un Certain Regard entry The Wind Journeys.

His new film chronicles the friendship between an Amazonian shaman and two scientists and claims to be the first film to shoot in the Colombian jungle in three decades. Sales are handled by Films Boutique.

Screen Future Leader Cristina Gallego of Colombia’s Ciudad Lunar produced with Venezuela’s NorteSur and Mc Producciones and Buffalo.

Screen revealed last week that Gallego is to reunite with Guerra on Birds Of Passage (Pajaros de Verano), set in an arid region of Colombia where a rare rainstorm leaves a trail of devastation. Shooting is set »


- michael.rosser@screendaily.com (Michael Rosser)

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PalmStar, The Bridge Finance renew deal

15 hours ago

Exclusive: PalmStar Media and Zurich-based The Bridge Finance Company announced during Cannes that they have renewed their strategic partnership.

Under the relationship PalmStar helps The Bridge Finance Company source and manage film investments. The parties have already collaborated on such films as Shelter, American Ultra, We’ll Never Have Paris, Celeste and Jesse Forever.

The Bridge Finance Company recently formed a Luxembourg-based investment vehicle backed by debt and private equity targetting four to six single-film investments a year budgeted up to $20m each.

PalmStar partner Ankur Rungta said the new investment vehicle would offer “capital to films on attractive terms. We look forward to sourcing quality content for Tbfc to invest in.”

The Bridge Finance Company CEO Steffen Aumueller, who announced the renewal today with PalmStar Media CEO Kevin Frakes, added, “Having access to PalmStar’s expertise and relationships will enable us to quickly put money to work in premium projects at attractive terms.” »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Cannes 2015: Cinéfondation winners revealed

17 hours ago

Timbuktu director Abderrahmane Sissako led the jury.

The Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury headed by Abderrahmane Sissako and including Cécile de France, Joana Hadjithomas, Daniel Olbrychski and Rebecca Zlotowski, has awarded the 2015 Cinéfondation Prizes during a ceremony held in the Buñuel Theatre, followed by the screening of the winning films.

The Cinéfondation Selection consisted of 18 student films, chosen out of 1,593 entries coming from 381 film schools around the world.

First Prize:

Share directed by Pippa Bianco

AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women, Us

Second Prize:

Locas Perdidas directed by Ignacio Juricic Merillán

Carrera de Cine y TV Universidad de Chile, Chile

Joint Third Prize:

The Return Of Erkin directed by Maria Guskova

High Courses for Scriptwriters and Film Directors, Russia

Joint Third Prize:

Victor Xx directed by Ian Garrido López

Escac, Spain

The awarded films will receive €15,000 for the First Prize, €11,250 for the Second and €7,500 for the Third.

The First Prize winner is also guaranteed that her »


- michael.rosser@screendaily.com (Michael Rosser)

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Cannes: Screen Jury Grid gets new joint leader

18 hours ago

With only one more film to screen at Cannes 68 – Macbeth – the Screen International team of jurors are tied for their lead film.

International critics have voted Hou Hsiao Hsien’s wuxia wonder The Assassin into the joint lead alongside Todd HaynesCarol, both tying at 3.5 (out of a possible 4).

Films such as Youth, by Paolo Sorrentino, and Mountains May Depart, from Jia Zhangke, scored strongly across the board as well, but not enough to assail either Carol or The Assassin.

Final titles including Valley of Love and Chronic, by Michel Franco, failed to sway our international jury, which include representatives from the UK (The Times, Sight & Sound), France (Positif, Liberation), Germany (Der Tagesspiegel), Italy (Il Messaggero), the Us (The Village Voice), Thailand (Bangkok Post) and Australia (The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald).

It is a tense time in Cannes Competition as Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth plays the festival out and the jury, led by the »


- halliganfinn@gmail.com (Fionnuala Halligan)

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'The Lobster' bookies favourite to win Cannes Palme d'Or

22 hours ago

Son of Saul and Carol also strong contenders.

Yorgos LanthimosThe Lobster is the hot favourite to snap up the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday (May 24), according to Paddy Power.

The surreal drama, starring Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz, is facing competition from Holocaust drama Son of Saul and Todd HaynesCarol, starring Cate Blanchett in the tale of a lesbian affair in the 1950s.

Having faced some harsh criticism during the festival, Gus Van Sant’s The Sea of Trees starring Matthew McConaughey is a long 20/1 to clinch the top prize, with Maiwenn’s Mon roi bringing up the rear at 40/1.

Click here for Screen’s Cannes reviewsPlame d’Or Winner 2015The Lobster 5/2Saul Fia 5/1Carol 5/1La giovinezza 11/2Chronic 6/1Shan He Gu Ren 6/1Nie Yin Niang 6/1Il racconto dei racconti 7/1Louder Than Bombs 9/1Valley of Love 10/1Umimachi Diary 10/1Dheepan 12/1Sicario 12/1Mia Madre 14/1Macbeth 14/1The Sea of Trees 20/1La loi du marche »


- michael.rosser@screendaily.com (Michael Rosser)

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Durban Filmart selects 19 projects

22 May 2015 4:30 AM, PDT

Durban FilmMart, which runs in Durban, South Africa from July 17-20, has announced its project selection for this year.

The 6th Durban FilmMart has selected the 19 docs and features from more than 120 submissions from African filmmakers.

Dfm is a joint initiative between the Durban Film Office and the Durban International Film Festival (July 16-26).

“This year, we are pleased to welcome projects from a diverse range of countries on the continent, including Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa,” said Toni Monty of the Durban Film Office.

“The Dfm has become an important springboard for projects that have been conceptualized by African filmmakers, to support them as the projects move from the idea to exhibition.

“Over the last five years we have seen many projects go on to be awarded further opportunities to develop at various other markets, and eventually be screened in cinemas and festivals around the globe.

“In previous »


- wendy.mitchell@screendaily.com (Wendy Mitchell)

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Durban selects 19 projects for FilmMart

22 May 2015 4:30 AM, PDT

Durban FilmMart, which runs in Durban, South Africa from July 17-20, has announced its project selection for this year.

Durban FilmMart is in its sixth edition, and selected the 19 docs and features from more than 120 submissions from African filmmakers.

Dfm is a joint initiative between the Durban Film Office and the Durban International Film Festival (July 16-26).

“This year, we are pleased to welcome projects from a diverse range of countries on the continent, including Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa,” said Toni Monty of the Durban Film Office. “The Dfm has become an important springboard for projects that have been conceptualized by African filmmakers, to support them as the projects move from the idea to exhibition. Over the last five years we have seen many projects go on to be awarded further opportunities to develop at various other markets, and eventually be screened in cinemas and festivals around the globe. In previous »


- wendy.mitchell@screendaily.com (Wendy Mitchell)

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Melbourne's Premiere Fund gets government renewal

22 May 2015 4:25 AM, PDT

Victoria government pledges $900,000 renewal.

The State Government of Victoria is to renew the Melbourne International Film Festival’s Miff Premiere Fund to the tune of $900,000, to provide strategic minority co-financing to new Australian films that then go on to premiere at Miff.

“The Miff Premiere Fund’s continuation is clear evidence of the Victorian Government’s commitment to supporting Victorian screen culture,” said Miff chair Claire Dobbin.

“The Fund’s continuation is important for Miff, audiences, local filmmakers, and the State’s creative economy.

“It generates a pipeline of world premieres for Miff, and screenings for the Miff Premiere Regional Showcase, and the Premiere Fund helps Miff remain the Southern Hemisphere’s leading film event.”

Miff industry director and premiere fund executive producer Mark Woods added: “Together with Miff 37ºSouth Market & Accelerator, the Miff Premiere Fund reinforces Melbourne’s position as a creative industries capital.

“Securing finance for independent Australian films is always a challenge and the »


- wendy.mitchell@screendaily.com (Wendy Mitchell)

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Metrodome takes Sundance title 'The Overnight' for UK

22 May 2015 3:00 AM, PDT

Taylor Schilling (Orange Is The New Black) stars in the comedy about sexual frustration and parenthood.

Metrodome Distribution has snapped up Sundance hit The Overnight for the UK & Eire. It plans a theatrical release on June 26.

Writer/director Patrick Brice’s second feature is billed as a funny take on thirtysomething sexual frustration and parenthood. It stars Taylor Schilling, Adam Scott, Jason Schwartzman, and Judith Godrèche.

It is produced by Gettin’ Rad and the Duplass Brothers.

The film received its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

Brice previously acted as director, writer and actor in his debut feature Creep. »


- michael.rosser@screendaily.com (Michael Rosser)

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Cmg takes Cannes opener 'Standing Tall' for Us

22 May 2015 12:00 AM, PDT

Emmanuelle Bercot became the first female director to open the festival since 1987.

Cohen Media Group has acquired all Us distribution rights to this year’s Cannes Film Festival opening night feature, Standing Tall (La Tête Haute) from French filmmaker Emmanuelle Bercot.

The film, which is the second ever female-directed feature to open the festival, stars Catherine Deneuve and newcomer Rod Paradot

Cmg plans a theatrical release in early 2016.

The distribution agreement was negotiated by Cmg svp John Kochman and Adeline Fontan Tessaur, co-founder and international sales director of Paris-based sales and acquisition firm Elle Driver.

The film follows juvenile delinquent Malony from childhood to adulthood, as a children’s judge and social worker try to save him from a life of crime.

Standing Tall received its world premiere in Cannes - out of competition - on May 13 and was released in French cinemas the same day. »


- michael.rosser@screendaily.com (Michael Rosser)

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Broad Green acquires 'The Infiltrator' for Us

21 May 2015 5:01 PM, PDT

Brad Furman’s crime thriller stars Bryan Cranston and Diane Kruger.

Broad Green Pictures has acquired Us rights to Brad Furman’s adaption of Escobar crime thriller The Infiltrator.

The deal, struck during the Cannes market this week, will see Broad Green add the film to its 2016 slate.

The agreement was brokered on behalf of the filmmakers by Wme, while Dylan Wiley, president of specialty releasing and Chris Tricarico, evp business affairs handled for Broad Green.

Based on a true story, The Infiltrator is set amidst the lavish excess of the 1980s and tells the story of undercover agent Robert Mazur.

Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston plays Mazur, a customs and excise agent who went undercover as Robert Musella and traded on mob connections to become the confidant to scores of the international underworld, and the bankers who enabled them.

In an elaborate sting, the operation reeled in key players in a chain stretching all the way »


- michael.rosser@screendaily.com (Michael Rosser)

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Cannes: ‘Paulina’ leads Critics’ Week winners

21 May 2015 12:52 PM, PDT

Two Latin American films take home top awards.

Argentine director Santiago Mitre’s Paulina (Patota) has won the Nespresso Grand Prize at the 54th Critics’ Week – the Cannes Film Festival sidebar devoted to first and second features.

The film stars Dolorès Fonzi as a promising young lawyer who ditches a hot shot career in Buenos Aires to teach in an impoverished town on the border with Brazil and Paraguay. Brutally attacked by a group of youths shortly after her arrival, she has to decide whether to continue with her mission. 

Mitre won the €10,000 prize, which has previously been awarded to Guillermo del Toro, Gaspar Noe and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu among others.

Paulina marks Mitre’s second film after The Student, which won Locarno’s special jury prize in 2011.

Land and Shade (La tierra y la sombra), from Colombian filmmaker César Augusto Acevado, won the France 4 Visionary Award, which rewards “outstanding creativity and innovation” and includes a prize »


- michael.rosser@screendaily.com (Michael Rosser)

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Cannes chief talks approach to female filmmakers

21 May 2015 12:04 PM, PDT

At his highly-anticipated talk for the Kering Women In Motion series at the Majestic Hotel, Cannes festival director Thierry Fremaux kicked off proceedings with the statement, “This debate makes me furious.”

He then spent much of his talk bopping back and forth between his view that Cannes gets unfairly criticised for the lack of female filmmakers in the programme, while festivals such as Berlin and Venice avoided such reproach, while also claiming to welcome the discussion that has been sparked around the issue of female inequality.

“Yes, there are discriminations, but these issues are widespread across other cultural industries around the world,” said a disgruntled Fremaux.

“People attack us with extreme aggression, but if there is one place where female directors are welcome, it’s here in Cannes.”

Supporting women

Fremaux cited several factors to support his argument that Cannes supports women, including the fact that juries are, in large part, evenly split between »


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'The Closer We Get' to play Edinburgh

21 May 2015 5:02 AM, PDT

European premiere set for Edinburgh film festival.

Documentary The Closer We Get is to receive its European Premiere at the 69th Edinburgh International Film Festival 2015 (June 17-28) on 18 June.

Directed by Karen Guthrie and produced by Guthrie and Nina Pope, it recently won Best International Feature Documentary Award at HotDocs in Toronto.

The Closer We Get is an autobiographical film told by director Guthrie who returns home to looks after her mother Ann after a stroke and is faced with the father who has been separated from Ann for years.

The film was developed with support from the Scottish Documentary Institute, Royal College of Art, Creative England and Sources2 and produced with support by Arts Council England, Creative Scotland, Splice and 333 Indiegogo funders.

The Closer We Get will be released in UK cinemas in September. »


- michael.rosser@screendaily.com (Michael Rosser)

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Cannes: NonStop rounds-up deals

21 May 2015 4:15 AM, PDT

Acquisitions include Cannes Classics title Ingrid Bergman - In Her Own Words.

NonStop Entertainment has secured Nordic rights to documentary Ingrid Bergman - In Her Own Words, playing in Cannes Classics, and Scandinavian rights to Three Generations from Im Global, starring Susan Sarandon, Naomi Watts and Elle Fanning.

Three Generations was recently sold to The Weinstein Company for $6m for North America.

It also has Scandinavia, Iceland and Baltics rights to Josh Mond’s Sundance-selected debut James White from Memento Film Sales and the opener to this year’s Un Certain Regard section, Naomi Kawase´s An, from MK2.

Stig Björkman’s Cannes Classics selected Ingrid Bergman - In Her Own Words from producer Mantaray Film, distributed by NonStop Entertainment in Scandinavia, Iceland, Baltics is set for an August 28 release in the territory, the day before Bergman’s centennial.

NonStop also took Experimenter, the Sundance movie starring Peter Sarsgaard and Winona Ryder about the Standford prison experiments »


- michael.rosser@screendaily.com (Michael Rosser)

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'Moscow Never Sleeps' acquired for Russia

21 May 2015 4:04 AM, PDT

Exponenta Film takes distribution rights to Johnny O’Reilly feature.

Russia’s Exponenta Film has added Russian-language feature Moscow Never Sleeps to its autumn release slate.

The film, which will be released on 500 to 700 prints, is a multi-narrative set on Moscow city Day, the Russian capital’s holiday. The film will be released to coincide with Moscow’s city day at the beginning of September. 

It is the second Russian-language feature by Moscow-based Irish filmmaker, Johnny O’Reilly, after thriller The Weather Station.

Moscow Never Sleeps, directed and produced by O’Reilly, was financed as a co-pro hybrid, combining Eurimages and Irish Film Board funding with private equity financing from a group of Moscow-based investors including Len Blavatnik.

It stars a host of Russian actors, including Alexey Serebriakov, lead actor in Leviathan. 

The official Russian/Irish co-production was financed by Russian private equity funding, the Irish Film Board, the Irish Section 481 Tax incentive, Eurimages and AI »


- michael.rosser@screendaily.com (Michael Rosser)

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