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French film industry bemused by Netflix Cannes announcement

1 hour ago

Netflix statement said it was “exploring theatrical distribution” for their Cannes Competition titles.

The French film industry has reacted with bemusement, and scepticism in many quarters, to Netflix’s announcement this week that it is mulling a limited theatrical release in France for Okja [pictured, top] and The Meyerowitz Stories, its first ever titles to make it into Official Selection in Cannes.

The inclusion of Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-Ho’s Netflix-backed action adventure Okja and the streaming giant’s recent acquisition The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) in the main competition at Cannes has drawn the ire of French exhibitors and also reignited a long-running debate about France’s strict media chronology laws.

Read more:

First English trailer for Philippe Garrel’s Cannes title ‘Lover For A Day’

In a statement put out on Wednesday, the company said it was “exploring theatrical distribution” for the two films in France “for a limited theatrical run, day and date »

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Netflix woos Emmy voters with FYSee event

13 hours ago

Kevin Spacey to kick off May event with House Of Cards on-stage conversation in Beverly Hills.

Netflix is preparing an invite-only month-long celebration of its biggest series at an undisclosed venue in Beverly Hills as Emmy voters prepare to cast their ballots.

FYSee will combine programming from the likes of House Of Cards, The Crown, and Orange Is The New Black with on-stage conversations with creators and actors.

Kevin Spacey will kick things off with a conversation on May 8 ahead of the May 30 launch of the fifth season of House Of Cards.

Panels and exhibitions will cover Narcos, Master Of None, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Black Mirror, Marvel’s Luke Cage, Dear White People, and 13 Reasons Why.

Documentary programming includes Five Came Back, 13th, Amanda Knox, Chef’s Table, and The Keepers.

The event, which Netflix said would will take place at a “multi-level, 24,000 square foot experiential” space in Beverly Hills, will be open »

- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Mister Smith boards Dionne Warwick doc 'Don’t Make Me Over'

16 hours ago

David Garrett to show footage in Cannes; film currently in post.

Mister Smith Entertainment has acquired international sales rights in the run-up to Cannes to Don’t Make Me Over.

Dave Wooley and David Heilbroner are directing the documentary about the legendary singer who broke racial and gender barriers and rose from her roots in New Jersey gospel choirs to attain global superstardom.

Wooley also wrote the screenplay and is a music industry entrepreneur who has produced and directed television and tours and concerts for Warwick, Stevie WonderTony Bennett, Bb King, James Brown, and Queen Latifah.

Mister Smith CEO David Garrett will unveil footage to Don’t Make Me Over on the Croisette. The project is currently in post and features untold stories from former Us President Bill Clinton, Quincy Jones, Burt Bacharach, Clive Davis, Gladys Knight, Cissy Houston, Smokey Robinson, and others. 

The film will feature such Warwick hits as Walk On By, Do You Know »

- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Paramount Television, Anonymous Content option 'The Vampire Chronicles'

16 hours ago

Book series spawned iconic character of Lestat.

Paramount Television and Anonymous Content have optioned Anne Rice’s bestselling series The Vampire Chronicles.

Christopher Rice will write the series and serve as executive producer alongside his mother Anne Rice, and Anonymous Content’s David Kanter and Steve Golin.

Rice has written more than 30 novels. Her first, Interview With The Vampire, was published in 1976 and was adapted into the 1994 film starring Tom Cruise

Paramount TV and Anonymous Content have a first-look production deal for scripted television programming and collaborated on Epix series Berlin Station, Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, the upcoming 10-episode series Maniac that Cary Fukunaga will direct for Netflix starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill, ordered by Netflix

“It is undeniable that Anne Rice has created the paradigm against which all vampire stories are measured,” Amy Powell, president of Paramount TV, said.

“The rich and vast world she has created with The Vampire Chronicles is unmatched and sophisticated »

- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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'Toni Erdmann' triumphs at Germany's Lolas

18 hours ago

Maren Ade named best director as female filmmakers flourish.

Toni Erdmann continued its triumphant run at the German Film Awards on Friday night, taking home six coveted Lola statuettes in an evening dominated by strong women filmmakers.

Maren Ade’s tragicomedy received the Golden Lola for Best Feature Film as well as double honours for Ade herself as director and screenwriter, plus statuettes for her lead actors Sandra Hüller and Peter Simonischek, and a Lola for the film’s editor Heike Parplies.

Handled internationally by The Match Factory, Toni Erdmann began winning the hearts of critics and audiences around the globe following its premiere in Cannes’ Official Competition last year.

It picked up five European Film Awards in Poland’s Wroclaw last December – in the same categories as the Lolas except for editing – as well as Golden Globe and Oscar nominations.

Hours before Friday night’s ceremony in Berlin, the film’s distributor Nfp marketing & distribution* announced »

- screen.berlin@googlemail.com (Martin Blaney)

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Odeon & Uci chief operating officer Ian Shepherd exits

19 hours ago

Shepherd is also leaving his position at the Nfts.

Odeon & Uci Cinema chief operating officer Ian Shepherd has exited the major European exhibitor.

Shepherd was at Odeon for three years, initially as group chief commercial officer. He took up the position of COO in December 2016.

Ian Shepherd

He is replaced by Jan Bernhardsson, formerly president and CEO of Nordic Cinema Group, which AMC acquired in a $929m deal earlier this year.

Last month, Bernhardsson was promoted to COO at Odeon and executive vice president of AMC Europe. He will be in charge of all the AMC controlled theatres across 14 countries in Europe, and will report to Mark Way, managing director of Odeon Cinemas and president, AMC Europe.

A spokesperson for Odeon sent Screen the following statement: “Ian told us earlier this year that although he wanted to work with us to ensure that our transition into AMC was a success, his longer »

- tom.grater@screendaily.com (Tom Grater)

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Gemma Arterton to star in Jessica Swale's 'Summerland'

20 hours ago

Exclusive: Embankment launches sales on Second World War drama.

Gemma Arterton will lead the cast of Summerland, the directing debut of Olivier Award-winning playwright Jessica Swale.

Swale has also penned the screenplay of the feature, which is set during the Second World War and stars Arterton in the lead role of Alice.

When an evacuee boy arrives out of the blue and is placed in her care, Alice resolves to be rid of him. Yet, as the young boy opens her heart, allowing her to unlock the secrets of her past, Alice begins to realise that sometimes imagination really can set you free.

Swale won Bafta’s Jj Screenwriting bursary for the project in 2012.

Her theatre credits include Blue Stockings, which premiered at London’s Globe theatre in 2013, and Nell Gwynn, starring Arterton, which won her the Olivier Award for best new comedy in 2016.

Guy Heeley of Shoebox Films, whose credits include Locke, is producing »

- tom.grater@screendaily.com (Tom Grater)

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Palm Springs sets 2018 dates

21 hours ago

California film festival reveals initial schedule for 29th edition.

Palm Springs International Film Festival has revealed the dates of its 29th edition.

The festival will run January 2-15 in 2018.

It will kick off with the annual film awards gala on Jan 2, which this year featured the likes of Amy Adams, Andrew Garfield and Mahershala Ali.

Palm Springs will host a ‘Power of Words: Book to Screen’ focus on Jan 3, with the screening portion of the festival running Jan 4 – Jan 15 next year.

The 2017 edition saw Toni Erdmann win the Fipresci prize, while Gus Van Sant’s When We Rise won the audience award. »

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Directors UK appoints chair

22 hours ago

Steve Smith replaces Beryl Richards on UK organisation’s board.

Directors UK, the professional association for British screen directors, has appointed Steve Smith as the new chair of its board.

Smith replaces the outgoing Beryl Richards, who is stepping down after two and a half years in the post.

He steps up from the role of vice chair, which he has been in for two years.

Smith is a director whose career in television has included stints on The Graham Norton Show on the BBC, as well as The New Paul O’Grady Show and Da Ali G Show.

Richards is departing after reaching the maximum term length of six years on the board.

During her tenure, she spearheaded campaigns on issues such as gender, diversity, pay, copyright and on the importance of training and career development for directors.

Andrew Chowns, Directors UK’s chief executive commented: “I would like to thank Beryl for all her work »

- tom.grater@screendaily.com (Tom Grater)

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Finnish Film Foundation elects new commissioners

22 hours ago

Sarita Koskelin and Kari Paljakka will start in new roles next year.

The Finnish Film Foundation has elected Sarita Koskelin and Kari Paljakka as its new Feature Film Commissioners, starting from Jan 1 2018.

In addition to handling the support for feature films, Koskelin will handle applications for television drama series and Paljakka for minority co-productions.

Koskelin and Paljakka will take over their duties from the current Feature Film Commissioners Hannu Tuomainen and Marjo Valve, who will finish their five-year terms at the end of this year.

Koskelin (formerly Sarita Harma) is a TV producer who is currently executive producer in charge of drama at Finnish MTV Media Company. She has also served on the Finnish Film Foundation’s governing board from 2007 to 2011.

Paljakka is a film director and scriptwriter who has previously served as a Production Consultant at Avek – The Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture from 1998 till 2001 and worked as a film producer at Filmitakomo.

Finnish Film Foundation Managing »

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

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Arp to release Cannes Midnight title 'The Merciless' in France

22 hours ago

Cj strikes French deal for South Korean action film.

South Korea’s Cj Entertainment has sold Cannes Midnight Screenings title The Merciless to French distributor Arp, which will release the film throughout France on June 28.

Directed by Byun Sung-hyun (Whatcha Wearin’), The Merciless stars Seol Gyeong-gu (a.k.a. Sul Kyung-gu, Cold Eyes) as a gangster plotting to take over a criminal organisation who teams up with a fearless newbie in prison, played by boy band Ze:a member Yim Si-wan (The Attorney).

“The Merciless is a very tense thriller, a very clever script, expertly directed, with strong characters, great gunfights and many unexpected twists. We hope that in France, fans of thriller, action and pure entertainment will be as thrilled as we were watching the film,” said Michèle Halberstadt, Arp head of acquisitions.

Arp previously distributed other Korean titles such as Kim Jee-woon’s The Good, The Bad, The Weird and I Saw The Devil, as well as »

- hjnoh2007@gmail.com (Jean Noh)

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Norway backs Marius Holst WW2 film 'Betrayed'

23 hours ago

Project illumates a dark chapter in Norwegian history.

The Norwegian Film Institute has allocated $1.4m (Nok 12m) in production funding for Marius Holst’s next film.

Betrayed is a €5.3 million (Nok 49 million) production by Martin Sundland and Are Heidenstrøm for Oslo’s Fantefilm, whose credits include disaster hit The Wave.

Betrayed - set for release in autumn 2019 — is about a dark chapter of Norway’s World War 2 history “that few Norwegians knew or wanted to acknowledge.”

The historical drama will tell the story of hundreds of Norwegian Jews who were rounded up in the middle of the night of 26 November 1942 and taken to Oslo harbour where they were put on a German cargo ship bound for Auschwitz.

“Prior to Marte Michel’s award-winning book, The Ultimate Crime, the way the Jewish society was treated in Norway during WW2, was part of our history that few people knew about. Even fewer were interested in illuminating it. In this movie »

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

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Men earn 10% more than women at the BBC

28 April 2017 4:12 AM, PDT

Gender pay gap figures revealed.

Men are earning 10% more than their female counterparts at the BBC, according to figures published this week.

The broadcaster revealed, as part of a freedom of information request, that the average level of pay for men is 10.4% higher than for women.

As of 31 December 2016, women earned an average of £34,400 at the BBC, while men earned an average of £37,971.

The gender pay gap has closed since 2015, when there was an 11.3% difference, with women earning an average of £33,923, compared to £37,758 for men.

The corporation also revealed that there are almost half as many women earning £75,000 or above, compared to men.

It reported that there were 334 women earning £75,000 or above as of 31 December 2016, compared to 615 men.

The gap has slightly increased over the last twelve months, growing from 44.8% fewer women to 45.7%.

The BBC said: “Pay differences can arise for a number of reasons, such as geographical location, conditioned hours, the application »

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'McKellen: Playing The Part' gets sales deal, first clip released

28 April 2017 3:24 AM, PDT

Exclusive: Independent boards doc about the life and career of acting legend Ian McKellen.

London-based sales and production outfit Independent has boarded feature documentary McKellen: Playing The Part and will introduce the title to buyers at Cannes.

Watch an exclusive first clip below, or click here to watch on mobile.

Joe Stephenson (Chicken) is directing the feature about the life of revered English actor Ian McKellen, whose career has spanned nearly 50 years and has seen him Oscar nominated for roles in Gods And Monsters and The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring.

The film, which is based around an exclusive 14-hour interview with McKellen, will also feature archive material of the actor’s early work, and never-before-seen photography from McKellen’s private collection.

English singer-songwriter Peter Gabriel has written music for the film, which also features the likes of Luke Evans, Frances Barber, Adam Brown, Scott Chambers, Milo Parker and [link »

- tom.grater@screendaily.com (Tom Grater)

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Michael Moore, Kim Longinotto, Dionne Walker projects set for Doc/Fest market

28 April 2017 3:10 AM, PDT

Documentary festival’s MeetMarket will host 65 projects at 2017 edition.

A Michael Moore exec-produced Orson Welles doc and Dan Gordon’s Cuban sports film are among projects to be pitched at Sheffield Doc/Fest’s MeetMarket.

The festival’s flagship pitch event, which takes place on 12-13 June, will host 65 projects selected from more than 500 submissions.

The Mark Cousins-directed Orson Welles: A Portrait Of The Artist will be seeking sales and distribution deals at the market, alongside Kim Longinotto’s Shooting The Mafia, a film about a female photographer’s war against the Mafia.

Hillsborough director Dan Gordon will return to pitch Running For The Revolution with co-producer Julie Goldman, and Bafta-nominated The Hard Stop producer Dionne Walker is to present psychological doc Invisible Woman 2.0, about a couple working the streets of Paris.

Elsewhere, the Laura Poitras exec-produced The Rashomon Effect, directed by Lyric R. Cabral, will look at the differing perspectives of eyewitnesses recalling the shooting »

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First English trailer for Philippe Garrel's 'Lover For A Day'

28 April 2017 2:58 AM, PDT

Exclusive: Stylish, steamy and very French, Garrel’s new feature explores his trademark theme of relationships.

Screen can reveal a first English-language version of the teaser for Lover For A Day, through French producer Saïd Ben Saïd’s Paris-based production and distribution house Sbs, which is also handling international sales.

Watch below, or on mobile Here.

Philippe Garrel may be one of the only representatives of the French New Wave, alongside Agnès Varda, in Cannes this year as the festival marks its 70th anniversary, unless Jean-Luc Godard puts in a real-life appearance which is unlikely.

Garrel will not be premiering his latest work Lover For A Day in Official Selection, however, but rather Directors’ Fortnight.

The director, 69, has been a regular guest at the parallel section ever since attending its first edition in 1969 when it launched as a rebellious counterpoint to the main festival following the student and workers revolt of 1968.

Set in contemporary Paris and shot »

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Stanley Tucci's Giacometti biopic 'Final Portrait' gets UK deal

28 April 2017 2:44 AM, PDT

Exclusive: Vertigo acquires project starring Geoffrey Rush, Armie Hammer and Clémence Poésy.

Vertigo Releasing has acquired Final Portrait, a biopic of Alberto Giacometti directed by Stanley Tucci, for the UK and Ireland.

Geoffrey Rush plays the Swiss painter and sculptor with Armie Hammer and Clémence Poésy co-starring.

Adapted from U.S. writer James Lord’s memoir A Giacometti Portrait, the film offers a window into the chaotic life of the artist in 1960s Paris.

Ed Caffrey from Vertigo Releasing and Nicole Mackey of Hanway Films struck the deal.

The film, a labour of love for Beauty And The Beast and Hunger Games star Tucci, premiered at this year’s Berlin Film Festival.

Vertigo are planning a summer 2017 release to coincide with Tate Modern’s Giacometti retrospective and are exploring opportunities to cross promote.

Gail Egan produces for Potboiler alongside Nik Bower for Riverstone Pictures and Ilann Girard for Arsam International. Riverstone Pictures fully financed »

- orlando.parfitt@screendaily.com (Orlando Parfitt)

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Pact proposes 40% UK tax credit for British independent films

28 April 2017 2:44 AM, PDT

UK producers including Andy Paterson and Rebecca O’Brien back the radical proposal.

On the day that Pact-commissioned report The State Of The UK Independent Film Sector is launched, leading British producers have made a radical new proposal for the UK’s film tax credit to be hiked up to 40% for British films in the £2m to £10m budget range.

The Film Tax Relief (Ftr), introduced in 2007, is acknowledged to have helped spending on UK film production to reach record levels (£1.596bn in 2016) but the plight of independent producers remains dire.

The report, put together by consultancy firm Olsberg Spi and focusing on the period between 2007 and 2017, exposes many of the chronic problems now facing the independent sector.

Prime among these is the struggle for producers to make a living yet alone build a sustainable business when (the report calculates) the international market value for UK independent films has plummeted by 50% since 2007 and continues to fall.

“Over »

- geoffrey@macnab.demon.co.uk (Geoffrey Macnab)

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MPAA chief Chris Dodd to step down in September

28 April 2017 1:40 AM, PDT

Former Us assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs Charles Rivkin named as successor.

Christopher Dodd, the former Us senator who has led the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) as chairman and CEO for the last six years, is to step down in September.

Dodd will cease to be CEO on September 4 and relinquish his role as chairman at the end of the year.

The MPAA board will meet on Saturday (29) to name Charles Rivkin, former Us assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs, as Dodd’s successor. 

Rivkin will join the MPAA on September 5 and work with Dodd to effect the transition by the start of 2018.

Dodd proved to be a popular and eloquent lobbyist for Hollywood and is credited with helping to bring the MPAA into the digital age.

Under his tenure, he made content protection a priority around the world and took the fight to large pirate sites like MegaUpload »

- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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'Keep The Change', 'Son Of Sofia' triumph in Tribeca awards

27 April 2017 4:02 PM, PDT

Bobbi Jene among top competition prize-winners at 16th annual festival.

Rachel Israel’s Keep The Change was named best U.S. narrative and Elina Psykou’s Son Of Sofia best international narrative as the Tribeca Film Festival handed out juried awards on Thursday evening.

Bobbi Jene directed by Elvira Lind won the best documentary award. Israel also won the Best new Narrative Director award.

For the fifth year, Tribeca recognised innovation in storytelling through its Storyscapes Award for immersive storytelling, which this year went to Treehugger: Wawona.

Alessandro Nivola won the Best Actor in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film award for One Percent More Humid, while Nadia Alexander received Best Actress in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film for Blame.

Best Screenplay in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film went to Angus MacLachlan for Abundant Acreage Available.

Best Actor in an International Narrative Feature Film went to Guillermo Pfening for Nobody’s Watching (Colombia, Argentina, Brazil »

- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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