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Ida wins top Les Arcs prize

21 December 2013 12:35 AM, PST

Pawel Pawlikowski’s Polish nun drama adds to a growing haul of prizes. Other winners include Starred Up and Of Horses and Men

Ida picked up the Crystal Arrow at the 5th Les Arcs European Film Festival (Dec 14-21) in the French Alps last night.

The Best Actress Prize was jointly awarded to Ida’s Agata Trzebuchowska and Agata Kulesza. Trzebuchowska, who plays the titular role, collected the trophy at the awards ceremony

They are the latest in a string of top awards for the film, directed by Paweł Pawlikowski, which tells the story of a novitiate nun in 1960s Poland who is on the verge of taking her vows when she discovers a dark family secret dating back to the Nazi occupation.

It marks the first Polish-language film for Warsaw-born British filmmaker Pawlikowski, best known for The Last Resort and BAFTA-award winning My Summer of Love.

The film has picked up prizes at festivals around the world »


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

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Academy selects foreign shortlist

20 December 2013 10:16 AM, PST

Nine features advance to the next round of voting in the foreign language film category for the 86th Academy Awards from the original pool of 76 submissions - but Iran’s The Past, Saudi Arabia’s Wadjda and Israel’s Bethlehem are among the shock omissions.

The films listed in alphabetical order by country are:

Belgium, The Broken Circle Breakdown, dir Felix van Groeningen;

Bosnia and Herzegovina, An Episode In The Life Of An Iron Picker, dir Danis Tanovic;

Cambodia, The Missing Picture, dir Rithy Panh;

Denmark, The Hunt, dir Thomas Vinterberg;

Germany, Two Lives, dir Georg Maas;

Hong Kong, The Grandmaster, dir Wong Kar-wai;

Hungary, The Notebook, dir Janos Szasz;

Italy, The Great Beauty, dir Paolo Sorrentino;

Palestine, Omar, dir Hany Abu-Assad.

The Phase I committee comprising several hundred Los Angeles-based Academy members screened the original submissions in the category between mid-October and December 16. 

The group’s top six choices, augmented by three »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Belle to open Palm Springs

20 December 2013 9:00 AM, PST

Top brass at the upcoming 25th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (Psiff) have announced the complete line-up.

A bumper crop includes the Us premiere of Amma Assante’s opening night film and closing night selection Le Week-End by Roger Michell.

All in all 187 films from 60 countries make the cut, of which eight are world, 22 are North American and 47 are Us premieres. The Psiff is set to run from January 3-13 2014.

“This year’s line-up is particularly diverse in theme and content, encompassing vintage work by established directors alongside auspicious debuts by a vast number of newly emerging talents,” said festival director Darryl Macdonald. “The overall quality of the films vividly reflects the banner year we’ve seen in cinema worldwide, with a trend towards more personal, character-driven stories that defy easy genre labels, making for a much richer, more satisfying cinematic experience.”

“We launch our 25th anniversary edition with Amma Asante’s entertaining and inspiring [link=tt »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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XLrator picks up The Scribbler

20 December 2013 8:30 AM, PST

The distributor plans an autumn 2014 release after acquiring North American rights to the sci-fi action thriller.

The Scribbler stars Katie Cassidy as a young schizophrenic who embarks upon an experimental cure known as The Siamese Burn.

Michelle Trachtenberg, Eliza Dushku, Gina Gershon, Sasha Grey, Garret Dillahunt, Michael Imperioli and Billy Campbell round out the cast.

XLrator Media and Traction Media negotiated the deal. »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Park Circus to rep Exclusive library

20 December 2013 7:11 AM, PST

Deal covers 900 titles including Hammer and Icon films.

Repertory specialist distributor Park Circus has signed a deal to represent theatrical and non-theatrical licensing of the library of films controlled by Exclusive Media.

The deal covers almost 900 titles including films from the Hammer film library and from the recently acquired Icon Entertainment library.

They include new restorations of Terence Fisher’s The Mummy and The Curse of Frankenstein (now playing in the BFI Gothic season), plus titles such as Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V and Donnie Darko.

Nick Varley, Co-Founder and Managing Director said, “We are pleased to be working with Peter Naish and the team at Exclusive to bring this valuable and diverse range of films back to cinema audiences around the world. In addition to the many wonderful films this agreement allows us to make available to the public, as a long standing fan of the Hammer studio »


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

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Sundance-bound UK short to be developed into feature

20 December 2013 6:30 AM, PST

Exclusive: Notes on Blindness, a short docudrama screening at Sundance in January, is being developed into a feature film.

Into Darkness will examine the true-life journey into blindness by academic John Hull, recorded in his autobiographical account Touching the Rock: An Experience of Blindness. The directors were given exclusive access to the audio tapes Hull recorded in the early 1980s as he struggled to deal with his condition, and these will form the narration and structure for the film along with archive footage, verbatim reconstructions and dramatic interpretation.

The film will be produced by Alex Usborne for 104 Films, which has credits including We Are The Freaks, and Jojo Ellison for Archer’s Mark, which recently completed production on its debut feature War Book starring Sophie Okonedo and Anthony Sher.

Pete Middleton and James Spinney will direct the feature from their own script, and Gerry Floyd will serve as director of photography.

With the full »


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Hobbit, Anchorman battle for UK buzz

20 December 2013 4:48 AM, PST

Anchorman 2 leads new openers in Way to Blue’s UK buzz chart this week, while The Hobbit is still leading overall chart.

For an explanation of the chart and its methodology, which tracks ‘overall buzz’ and important ‘intent to view’ buzz, click here.

To view the chart in pdf format click here.

Way To Blue UK Buzz Chart Dec 20

»


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Hobbit, Ron Burgundy battle for buzz in UK

20 December 2013 4:48 AM, PST

Anchorman 2 leads new openers in Way to Blue’s UK buzz chart this week, while The Hobbit is still leading overall chart.

For an explanation of the chart and its methodology, which tracks ‘overall buzz’ and important ‘intent to view’ buzz, click here.

To view the chart in pdf format click here.

Way To Blue UK Buzz Chart Dec 20

»


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Uncut Nymphomaniac Vol I to premiere at Berlinale

20 December 2013 3:02 AM, PST

The Berlin International Film Festival will present the world premiere of Volume I of the longer, uncut version of Nymphomaniac, out of competition.

“Berlinale audiences will be the first to see the long uncut version of Nymphomaniac Volume I. Lars von Trier, a guest of the Berlinale for the first time in 1984, returns to the festival with this film. The aesthetic he has created in Nymphomaniac is impressive and radical,” said Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick.

The shorter four-hour version of the film will open worldwide in Danish cinemas on December 25, followed by release in early 2014 around the globe. The longer version’s two parts are estimated to have a running time of 5.5 hours. It is not yet known when Vol II of the longer version will be launched.

TrustNordisk said: “The screening in Berlin will be the only screening of the long version of volume 1, until the long version of volume 2 will premiere sometime later in 2014.” 

For »


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

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Australia's Dendy launches VOD service

20 December 2013 2:51 AM, PST

Australian exhibitor Dendy Cinemas is launching a new video on demand service, Dendy Direct.

It will launch in April 2014.

The platform will have movies to rent and own in addition to TV content available to purchase. The Dendy customer will be able to watch their content on a variety of devices: desktop/PC, tablet, mobile (iOS and Android) and through an app on Samsung Smart TVs.

Greg Hughes, CEO of Dendy Cinemas, said: “Dendy is a strong brand with a loyal community. Dendy Direct, our new video on demand service, will enable us to meet more of the Dendy customer’s entertainment needs, whether that be cinema or home entertainment content. With the addition of Dendy Direct, our brand proposition will encompass transactions across a broad spectrum of product types and lifecycles”.

The offering is created in partnership with Massive Interactive. »


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

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Slave leads Women Film Journalists awards

20 December 2013 2:20 AM, PST

Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave leads the winners for this year’s award from the The Alliance of Women Film Journalists (Awfj), winning six trophies including best film.

Cate Blanchett won best actress for Blue Jasmine, Matthew McConaughey won best actor for Dallas Buyers Club, while the supporting awards went to Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years a Slave (she also won best breakthrough performance) and Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club.

Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell won best documentary and Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt won best non-English-language film.

Nicole Holofcener won best female director and best woman screenwriter for Enough Said.

This Year’s Outstanding Achievement By A Woman In The Film Industry recognition went to Wadjda director Haifaa Al-Mansour from Saudi Arabia.

The Awfj includes female critics, writers and editors in the Us, Canada and the UK.

Full list of winnersAWFJ Eda ‘Best Of’ Awards

Best Film 12 Years a Slave

Best Director 12 Years »


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

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Slave leads awards from Women Film Journalists

20 December 2013 2:20 AM, PST

Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave leads the winners for this year’s award from the The Alliance of Women Film Journalists (Awfj), winning six trophies including best film.

Cate Blanchett won best actress for Blue Jasmine, Matthew McConaughey won best actor for Dallas Buyers Club, while the supporting awards went to Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years a Slave (she also won best breakthrough performance) and Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club.

Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell won best documentary and Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt won best non-English-language film.

Nicole Holofcener won best female director and best woman screenwriter for Enough Said.

This Year’s Outstanding Achievement By A Woman In The Film Industry recognition went to Wadjda director Haifaa Al-Mansour from Saudi Arabia.

The Awfj includes female critics, writers and editors in the Us, Canada and the UK.

Full list of winners below.

Awfj Eda ‘Best Of’ Awards

Best Film 12 Years a Slave

Best »


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

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Vladar plots 2014 schedule

19 December 2013 1:14 PM, PST

Exclusive: Hot on the heels of Afm sales for Generation Iron, New York-based The Vladar Company has lined up its slate for the coming year.

The French Executioner based on the Cc Humphreys novel is one of two feature projects that co-founder Edwin Mejia has put on the fast track.

The story centres on a skilled swordsman brought to England to execute Anne Boleyn who vows to the condemned woman that he will bury her six-fingered hand at a sacred crossroads. Mark Huffam will produce.

Head Smash is an adaptation of Vlad Yudin’s graphic novel that takes place in a lawless future where a young warrior becomes a pawn in a crime lord’s game.

Generation Iron has grossed more than $780,000 in the Us through The Vladar Company and follows three bodybuilding hopefuls as they bid for the tile of Mr Olympia.

Ksm Film will release in Germany, Madman in Australia and New Zealand, Probiotica in Brazil »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Final Draft unveils finallists

19 December 2013 11:41 AM, PST

The screenwriting software company announced its finallists on December 19 ahead of the ninth Final Draft Annual Awards to be held on January 7 2014.

Woody Allen for Blue Jasmine, the Coen brothers for Inside Llewyn Davis, Alfonso and Jonás Cuarón for Gravity, Spike Jonze for Her and Bob Nelson for Nebraska will vie for the original screenplay prize.

The adapted screenplay nominees are John Ridley for 12 Years A Slave, Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke for Before Midnight, Billy Ray for Captain Phillips, Steve Coogan (pictured) and Jeff Pope for Philomena and Terence Winter for The Wolf Of Wall Street.

Nancy Meyers was previously announced as this year’s inductee into the Final Draft Hall Of Fame Award, which will also be presented at the Final Draft Annual Awards. »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Fox to remake Orient Express

19 December 2013 11:27 AM, PST

Fox has struck a deal with Rlj Entertainment’s UK-based rights holder and production arm Acorn Productions for film rights to Murder On The Orient Express.

Agatha Christie’s famous 1934 novel features super sleuth Hercule Poirot as he investigates a crime on the iconic transcontinental train.

Ridley Scott, Mark Gordon and Simon Kinberg will produce the remake, which is out to writers and cast. Albert Finney starred in the 1974 film version that Sidney Lumet directed.

Acorn Productions managing director Hilary Strong and Wme negotiated the deal for Rlj Entertainment.

Rlj Entertainment acquired a majority share of Agatha Christie’s literary estate in February 2012. »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Open Road sets Green Inferno release

19 December 2013 11:10 AM, PST

Open Road will release Eli Roth’s cannibal horror film on September 5 2014.

The Green Inferno received its world premiere in the Midnight Madness strand of the Toronto International Film Festival last September.

Meanwhile, Focus Features has set the 2014 date of Jason Bateman’s directorial debut Bad Words following the $7m worldwide rights acquisition in Toronto. Bad Words will open in limited release on March 14 2014, expand a week later and remain wide on March 28.

In other distribution news, Factory 25 has picked up world rights to Joel Potrykus’s Ape, winner of the best emerging director prize in Locarno where it also earned a special mention for best first feature. »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Focus Features sets Bad Words release

19 December 2013 11:10 AM, PST

Focus Features has set the 2014 date of Jason Bateman’s directorial debut following the $7m worldwide rights acquisition at September’s Toronto International Film Festival.

Bad Words will open in limited release on March 14 2014, expand a week later and remain wide on March 28.

In other distribution news, Factory 25 has picked up world rights to Joel Potrykus’s Ape, winner of the best emerging director prize in Locarno where it also earned a special mention for best first feature. »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Focus sets Bad Words release

19 December 2013 11:10 AM, PST

Focus Features has set the 2014 date of Jason Bateman’s directorial debut following the $7m worldwide rights acquisition at September’s Toronto International Film Festival.

Bad Words will open in limited release on March 14 2014, expand a week later and remain wide on March 28.

In other distribution news, Factory 25 has picked up world rights to Joel Potrykus’s Ape, winner of the best emerging director prize in Locarno where it also earned a special mention for best first feature. »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Sundance to explore failure

19 December 2013 10:13 AM, PST

The Free Fail conference on January 20 2014 during the 30th anniversary festival will feature panels, workshops and events.

Announcing the conference on the Sundance blog, festival director John Cooper called failure “an always feared, often denied, but most vital aspect of the creative process.”

Events will include accounts of failure by film industry luminaries, a day of hands-on participatory workshops and the centerpiece panel Exploratory Detours.

In typical self-deprecating style Cooper also mentioned how the festival ‘failed’ to screen Wes Anderson’s 1996 debut feature, Bottle Rocket (pictured).

For further details read Cooper’s blog here. »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Black digital creator awards revealed

19 December 2013 7:12 AM, PST

The winners of the inaugural Screen Nation Digital-iS Media Awards for short films and other online content were announced this week at Google HQ in London.

The awards presented on Dec 17 honoured the best black online content creators from the UK and internationally and worked in conjunction with the Vox Africa TV channel. Sponsorship came from Google and Afrinolly.

Types of media rewarded included short films, web series, music promos, blogs, magazines and social networks.

The award for Favourite short film, voted for by viewers on the day of the awards, went to Sebastien Thiel’s Illegal Activity. The film follows Winston, a drug dealer on a rough housing estate whose trade has devastating effects on the area.

Favourite actor went to Zephryn Tate for his work in webseries Brothers With No Game, which follows the failed social and romantic lives of four twenty-somethings and also won Favourite ensemble.

The Favourite actress award was won by [link »


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