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Cph:dox reveals competition line-up

27 minutes ago

The documentary festival is also launching a fifth competition strand at its 2017 edition.

Scandi documentary festival Cph:dox (Mar 16-26) has unveiled the films in its usual four competitions as well as introducing a new competition section.

World premieres announced across the competitions include Bridgend director Jeppe Rønde’s The John Dalli Mystery [pictured], a Kafkaesque story with Mikael Bertelsen and Mads Brügger; Do Donkeys Act?, a film about unruly donkeys narrated by Willem Dafoe; Accidental Anarchist, about the British former diplomat Carne Ross who has transformed into an anarchist; Sigrid Dyekjær’s A Modern Man, about violinist and model Charlie Siem; and Ben Rivers’ Urth, about the failed ecosystem Biosphere 2.0 in Arizona.

Other high profile documentaries to screen at the event include Matthew Heineman’s Cartel Land follow up City Of Ghosts.

New competition Next:wave is launched to highlight international emerging talents “who have the courage to take chances and stand out.”

The festival »


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

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Croatian filmmakers protest against 'political influence and control'

35 minutes ago

Industry figures have issued a rallying cry to protect their autonomy in the face of perceived government interference.

Following the surprise resignation of Hrvoje Hribar, the chief executive of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (Havc), during this month’s Berlin Film Festival, the Croatian film industry is banding together to face what it considers to be unwelcome political interference in the country’s film industry.

An initiative founded by the Croatian Producers Association and the Croatian Film Directors’ Guild - dubbed ‘Puk’o nam je film’ (Croatian slang for ‘We’ve Had Enough’) – issued a statement earlier this week saying that it had been founded to “protect Croatian cinematography from political influence and control”.

The move comes in response to a recent paper published by Croatia’s State Audit Office that looked into the activities of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre.

According to various news reports, the Audit states that any film production supported by Havc with more than »


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

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Number of films with female leads reaches record high in 2016

1 hour ago

Study shows that 29% of films in 2016 had a woman as the lead character.

Last year was a record year for the number of films with female leads, according to a new study.

The research, carried out by San Diego State University’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, found that 29% of the top 100 grossing films of 2016 in the Us featured a female protagonist.

This is 7% up on the previous year, and a recent historical high (the research goes back to 2002). 54% of films featured a male protagonist, with 17% of films ensembles.

The study defined a protagonist as the “character from whose perspective the story is told”.

In 2016, the study found that women played 37% of major characters, a 3% increase and another historical high. Major characters had to appear in more than one scene and be instrumental to the action of the story.

However, the percentage of female characters in speaking roles (major and minor) was 32%, down »


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

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Netflix closing in on Martin Scorsese's 'The Irishman'

7 hours ago

Stars align as streaming giant eyes its latest notable acquisition target.

In what was shaping up on Tuesday night to be a significant development, the digital titan was understood to be closing in on Martin Scorsese’s upcoming mob feature.

According to insiders, Netflix is negotiating to acquire worldwide rights to The Irishman in a deal believed to be in the $100m range.

It is understood the budget has shot up as Scorsese plans to use costly effects to render a younger version of his cast, which includes old collaborator Robert De Niro.

Stx International reportedly paid $50m last summer for international sales rights, while Paramount currently holds Us rights.

However the studio’s leadership issues may have weakened its hand, and disappointing Us box office on Scorsese’s erstwhile awards hope Silence will have given Netflix further ammunition in a bid for all rights.

Furthermore the role of Gaston Pavlovich, the film’s »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Netflix in talks for worldwide rights to 'The Irishman'

7 hours ago

Stars align as streaming giant eyes its latest notable acquisition target.

In what was shaping up on Tuesday night to be a significant development, the digital titan was understood to be closing in on Martin Scorsese’s upcoming mob feature.

According to insiders, Netflix is negotiating to acquire worldwide rights to The Irishman in a deal believed to be in the $100m range.

It is understood the budget has shot up as Scorsese plans to use costly effects to render a younger version of his cast, which includes old collaborator Robert De Niro.

Stx International reportedly paid $50m last summer for international sales rights, while Paramount currently holds Us rights.

However the studio’s leadership issues may have weakened its hand, and disappointing Us box office on Scorsese’s erstwhile awards hope Silence will have given Netflix further ammunition in a bid for all rights.

Furthermore the role of Gaston Pavlovich, the film’s »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Han Solo 'Star Wars' feature starts production

12 hours ago

Principal photography has begun at Pinewood Studios in London on the untitled stand-alone Star Wars prequel starring Alden Ehrenreich in the lead role.

Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the force behind 22 Jump Street and 2014 hit The Lego Movie, are directing from a screenplay by Lawrence and Jon Kasadan.

The film will explore the adventures of beloved characters Han Solo and Chewbacca before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope and will include early encounters with Lando Calrissian.

Disney has scheduled a May 25, 2018, release for Lucasfilm’s untitled feature.

They include Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke from Game Of Thrones, Atlanta creator and star Donald Glover as Calrissian, Westworld star Thandie Newton, and Fleabag creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge, with Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca.

Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy produces alongside Allison Shearmur and Simon Emanuel. Lawrence Kasdan and Jason McGatlin serve as executive producers.

“Watching such inspired people from all over the world, with such unique »


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Film and TV production company Penchant Entertainment launches

16 hours ago

Initial slate includes The Scrawl and The Mean Tide.

Film and television executives and producers Erin Eggers, Chase Hudson (pictured top) and Matthew Porter announced their full-service feature and television development and production company on Tuesday.

La-based Penchant Entertainment has a mandate to produce two to three features per year for multiple platforms and two to four scripted TV projects for network and non-traditional outlets.

Penchant’s first scripted project is The Scrawl, written by Oscar-nominated writer of The Arrival Eric Heisserer and WGA award-winner Zach Craley (Heroes Reborn).

The Scrawl is a one-hour drama that explores what happens when collective negativity gives birth to an actual monster. Penchant developed the supernatural thriller and serve as executive producers along with Cj Entertainment, whose South Korean film Killer Toon inspired the series.

The feature slate will kick off with The Mean Tide, a dramatic thriller written by Liska Ostojic and Justin Partridge from a screenplay by Mark DeGaetani »


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True Colours strikes deals for 'It's The Law', 'One Kiss and 'Monolith'

18 hours ago

Exclusive: Brisk business for Italian sales outfit at Efm.

Rome-based sales company True Colours struck multiple deals at this year’s European Film Market (Efm) for It’s The Law (pictured), One Kiss and Monolith.

Comedy duo Ficarra and Picone’s hit It’s The Law, about a village in Sicily that elects a straight-arrow professor as mayor, will be distributed in Latin America by Sun Distribution, in China by Hy Media, in Greece by Seven Films and in Bulgaria by Film Vision.

True Colours is also handling international remake rights for the film, which was produced by Tramp Limited and distributed in Italy by Medusa Film.

Ivan Cotroneo’s adult dramedy One Kiss, about three high school outsiders, was sold to Japan Italy Films and to Portugal’s Il Sorpasso. There were already deals in place for USA, UK (Tla), France (Optimale) and Germany (Pro-fun).

True Colours has also inked deals for English-language Italian thriller [link=tt »


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Berlin Film Festival 2017: Screen's top 11 movies

20 hours ago

Screen critics recommend the top films at this year’s Berlinale.

Read more:

Berlin Film Festival 2017: winners revealed

A Fantastic Woman

Dir: Sebastián Lelio

Our critic said: “Driven by a powerhouse performance by mesmerising transgender actress Vega, the fifth feature from Sebastián Lelio combines urgent naturalism with occasional flickers of fantasy to impressive, and wrenchingly emotional effect.”

International sales: Funny Balloons contact@funny-balloons.com

Read the full review Here

Have A Nice Day

Dir. Liu Jian

Our critic said: “Liu Jian’s stunning animation is both a visceral thriller and astute political statement about China’s place in the modern world.”

International sales: International sales: Memento Films International sales@memento-films.com

Read the full review Here

Summer 1993

Dir. Carla Simón

Our critic said: “Entered in the Berlinale’s Generation Kplus sidebar but winner of the festival’s overall best first feature award, Catalan director Carla Simon’s debut is both tender and determined as it relates »


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Berlin Film Festival 2017: Screen's top 12 movies

20 hours ago

Screen critics recommend the top films at this year’s Berlinale.

Read more:

Berlin Film Festival 2017: winners revealed

A Fantastic Woman

Dir: Sebastián Lelio

Our critic said: “Driven by a powerhouse performance by mesmerising transgender actress Vega, the fifth feature from Sebastián Lelio combines urgent naturalism with occasional flickers of fantasy to impressive, and wrenchingly emotional effect.”

International sales: Funny Balloons contact@funny-balloons.com

Read the full review Here

Have A Nice Day

Dir. Liu Jian

Our critic said: “Liu Jian’s stunning animation is both a visceral thriller and astute political statement about China’s place in the modern world.”

International sales: International sales: Memento Films International sales@memento-films.com

Read the full review Here

Summer 1993

Dir. Carla Simón

Our critic said: “Entered in the Berlinale’s Generation Kplus sidebar but winner of the festival’s overall best first feature award, Catalan director Carla Simon’s debut is both tender and determined as it relates »


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Berlin Film Festival 2017: the best-reviewed films

20 hours ago

Screen critics recommend the top films at this year’s Berlinale.

Read more:

Berlin Film Festival 2017: winners revealed

A Fantastic Woman

Dir: Sebastián Lelio

Our critic said: “Driven by a powerhouse performance by mesmerising transgender actress Vega, the fifth feature from Sebastián Lelio combines urgent naturalism with occasional flickers of fantasy to impressive, and wrenchingly emotional effect.”

International sales: Funny Balloons contact@funny-balloons.com

Read the full review Here

Have A Nice Day

Dir. Liu Jian

Our critic said: “Liu Jian’s stunning animation is both a visceral thriller and astute political statement about China’s place in the modern world.”

International sales: International sales: Memento Films International sales@memento-films.com

Read the full review Here

Summer 1993

Dir. Carla Simón

Our critic said: “Entered in the Berlinale’s Generation Kplus sidebar but winner of the festival’s overall best first feature award, Catalan director Carla Simon’s debut is both tender and determined as it relates »


Permalink | Report a problem


Berlin Film Festival 2017: the best films

20 hours ago

Screen critics recommend the top films at this year’s Berlinale.

Read more:

Berlin Film Festival 2017: winners revealed

A Fantastic Woman

Dir: Sebastián Lelio

Our critic said: “Driven by a powerhouse performance by mesmerising transgender actress Vega, the fifth feature from Sebastián Lelio combines urgent naturalism with occasional flickers of fantasy to impressive, and wrenchingly emotional effect.”

International sales: Funny Balloons contact@funny-balloons.com

Read the full review Here

Have A Nice Day

Dir. Liu Jian

Our critic said: “Liu Jian’s stunning animation is both a visceral thriller and astute political statement about China’s place in the modern world.”

International sales: International sales: Memento Films International sales@memento-films.com

Read the full review Here

Summer 1993

Dir. Carla Simón

Our critic said: “Entered in the Berlinale’s Generation Kplus sidebar but winner of the festival’s overall best first feature award, Catalan director Carla Simon’s debut is both tender and determined as it relates »


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Paramount chief Brad Grey departure said to be imminent

22 hours ago

After a year of flops, executive committee takes helm at the studio.

After weeks of speculation, the studio’s chairman and CEO is on his way out after a disastrous 2016 at the box office, insiders say.

Brad Grey’s tenure at Paramount Pictures had been on shaky ground after a string of releases crashed and burned and now control of the studio is reportedly in the hands of an interim cabal of senior executives until a replacement is found.

The operating committee is understood to comprise Amy Powell, the highly regarded head of TV and digital, film chief Marc Evans, COO Andrew Gumpert, and marketing and distribution supremo Megan Colligan.

The group covers all aspects of the studio and has been given oversight by Bob Bakish, who was appointed CEO of parent company Viacom in December after vice-chairman Shari Redstone and her father Sumner Redstone called off a possible Viacom-CBS merger.

Grey assumed »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Former Pinewood and CinemaNX executive Steve Christian dies aged 53

23 hours ago

Industry veteran, co-producer of Fox’s upcoming untitled A.A. Milne biopic, died suddenly at home last weekend.

UK producer-financier Steve Christian has died unexpectedly at home aged 53.

Former CinemaNX co-founder and chairman Christian, who previously oversaw the development of the Isle of Man’s film investment programme, most recently served as co-producer on Fox Searchlight’s upcoming Untitled A.A. Milne project starring Domhnall Gleeson and Margot Robbie.

Christian, a former accountant, was intrinsic to the development of the Isle Of Man Film Commission, which invested in projects including Lawless Heart, The Libertine and Revolver as well as TV series The Shadow Line.

He launched production and distribution outfit CinemaNX, which was backed by the Isle of Man government, in 2007 alongside producer Marc Samuelson.

The outfit backed titles including Me And Orson Welles, The Disappearance of Alice Creed and Chico & Rita.

Christian joined Pinewood Pictures in 2012 when the studio took over management of the Isle of Man »


- andreas.wiseman@screendaily.com (Andreas Wiseman)

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'Bridge Of Spies' writer to adapt spy novel 'M: Maxwell Knight' for TV

23 hours ago

Forthcoming novel chronicles real life story of the man who was the inspiration for the character M in Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels.

Poldark producer Mammoth Screen is to adapt Henry Hemming’s upcoming non-fiction book M: Maxwell Knight, MI5’s Greatest Spymaster.

The ITV-owned indie optioned the rights to the spy book from Gemma Hirst Associates on behalf of the Jonathan Conway Literary Agency.

Bridge Of Spies writer Matt Charman is adapting the book as a series and the deal includes the option for two further projects.

M tells the story of MI5’s Maxwell Knight, a spymaster who helped break up British fascism during the Second World War.

The character is the inspiration of the agent in Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels, most recently played on screen by Judi Dench in films including Quantum Of Solace and Ralph Fiennes in Spectre.

The book will be published Preface in the UK on 4 May and by »


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Tribeca All Access awards $100,000 in grants to 10 projects

21 February 2017 3:47 AM, PST

Five fiction, five documentary projects from underrepresented voices to receive support.

Tribeca Film Institute (Tfi) has announced the 10 projects selected for the 14th annual Tribeca All Access (Taa) programme.

Tfi’s Artist Programmes team selected the projects from scripted and documentary works-in-progress that represent communities largely underserved in the entertainment industry. 

Five grants will be awarded to the following scripted projects:

Monsters And Men: written and directed by Reinaldo Green;

Selah And The Spades: written and directed by Tayarisha Poe;

The Green Guerrillas: written and directed by Dean Marcial;

The Short History Of The Long Road: written and directed by Ani Simon-Kennedy; and

White: Co-written and directed by A. Sayeeda Moreno. Co-written by Michah Schaffer.

Five grants will be awarded to the following documentary projects:

Bloodthicker: directed by Zachary Manuel;

Border South: directed by Raul Paz Pastrana;

How To Have An American Baby: directed by Leslie Tai;

Jaddoland: directed by Nadia Shihab; and

The Youth: »


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Nfts crowns 2017 student winners

21 February 2017 2:02 AM, PST

Pig Heart Boy writer Malorie Blackman was presented with an honorary Nfts fellowship.

The National Film and Television School (Nfts) has revealed the winners of its 2017 prizes for graduating students.

Presented at the annual Nfts graduate show – taking place at Picturehouse Central in London between February 20-21 – the awards highlight the last 12 months of graduate productions from Nfts students.

The most promising Nfts student prize went to Andrew Oldbury, whose numerous short film credits include Faithful, which was nominated for best short film at the 2016 Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Oldbury also took a prize handed out for health and safety management in film production, shared with Aaron Hillier.

Chris Auty, Nfts head of producing praised Oldbury: “During his time at Nfts, Andrew has been known for his generosity, persistence and willingness to reach out beyond his area doing stellar work across live fiction as well as projects outside his comfort zone including games and television entertainment.”

The »


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

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FilmRise acquires two films from Mundial

20 February 2017 9:29 PM, PST

Both South American titles premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

The distributor has picked up North American rights to Ernesto ContrerasI Dream In Another Language.

Contreras’ film won the audience award in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at this year’s festival in Park City last month.

FilmRise plans a mid-year theatrical release for the story about a researcher who tracks down the feuding and last-surviving speakers of an indigenous language.

CEO Danny Fisher and vice-president of acquisitions Max Einhorn negotiated with Mundial’s Cristina Garza.

The same parties brokered the North American theatrical deal on Don’t Swallow My Heart,

Alligator Girl!, a Romeo And Juliet story about young love on the Brazil-Paraguay border that screened in Generation 14plus at the Berlinale recently.

Felipe Bragança’s drama will be available to stream later this year on Amazon Prime Video after FilmRise opted in to Amazon Video Direct’s Film Festival Stars programme to establish a platform »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Berlin winner 'Summer 1993' heads to France

20 February 2017 4:11 AM, PST

Exclusive: New Europe inked deals on the film for France and Turkey at this month’s Efm.

Sales agent New Europe Film Sales has struck deals with France and Turkey on its 2017 Berlin Film Festival award-winner Summer 1993.

Pyramide has taken French rights, while Filmarti will distribute in Turkey. Previous deals were done with Cinemien for Benelux and Hugoeast for China. Madrid-based Avalon co-produced and will also handle distribution in Spain.

The film premiered in Berlin’s Generation K-Plus programme, where it won a Grand Prix, and it also scooped the festival’s overall best first feature prize at the awards ceremony on Saturday.

The Catalan-language drama marks the feature debut of writer-director Carla Simon. It was developed at the Berlinale Script Station and later presented at the Berlinale Co-Production Market. Valérie Delpierre produced for Spanish outfit Inicia Films.

Set in 1993 Catalonia, the story follows six-year-old Frida, who faces her first summer with her new adoptive family after the »


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

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Berlin Generations title 'Summer 1993' heads to France

20 February 2017 4:11 AM, PST

Exclusive: New Europe inked deals on the film for France and Turkey at this month’s Efm.

Sales agent New Europe Film Sales has struck deals with France and Turkey on its 2017 Berlin Film Festival premiere Summer 1993.

Pyramide has taken French rights, while Filmarti will distribute in Turkey. Previous deals were done with Cinemien for Benelux and Hugoeast for China. Madrid-based Avalon co-produced and will also handle distribution in Spain.

The Catalan-language drama marks the feature debut of writer-director Carla Simon. It was developed at the Berlinale Script Station and later presented at the Berlinale Co-Production Market. Valérie Delpierre produced for Spanish outfit Inicia Films.

Set in 1993 Catalonia, the story follows six-year-old Frida, who faces her first summer with her new adoptive family after the death of her parents.

The film premiered in Berlin’s Generation KPlus competition. Screen’s review described it as “authentic and memorable”. »


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

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