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Unstable Ground, Federgreen, Raven Banner, Uncork’d plot 'Lifechangers'

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Exclusive: Partners to gather at Frontières Co-Production Market this week.

Justin McConnell of Unstable Ground is at the Frontières Co-Production Market in Montreal this week with distribution and sales partners to strategise on horror-thriller Lifechangers ahead of a late October start.

McConnell has joined forces with Canadian producers Federgreen Entertainment, Us distributor Uncork’d Entertainment, and Toronto-based Canadian distributor and global sales agent Raven Banner Entertainment.

McConnell will direct from his own screenplay, which he described to Screen as “a murderous shape-shifter on a blood-soaked mission to make things right with the woman he loves”. His directing credits include Broken Mile and documentary Skull World.

Avi Federgreen and McConnell are producing, while Keith Leopard of Uncork’d and Raven Banner’s Michael Paszt, James Fler and Andrew Hunt serve as executive producers with Pasha Patriki of 9 Light Entertainment.

George Mihalka (My Bloody Valentine), Adam Mason (The Devil’s Chair) and Serena Whitney (Mark Of Kane) are on board »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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German sales outfit boards int'l co-pro 'Black Sun'

30 minutes ago

Exclusive: Ireland-Finland-Germany drama set to shoot later this year.

Berlin-based sales outfit Pluto Film has boarded international sales rights to Ireland-Finland-Germany co-production Black Sun from Finnish writer-director Maria Ruotsala (Apeiron).

The English-language drama, currently in pre-production, is aiming to shoot in Ireland, Latvia and Finland during late 2017 and early 2018.

Set shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union in a former satellite state, the film follows a small band of idealists who seek to establish an artists’ retreat.

Producers are Finnish company Greenlit Productions (War/Peace), Irish film and TV outfit Abú Media Film Productions (TV series An Klondike) and German partners Cornelsen Films (Berlin Dance Battle 3D), marking the first co-production between the three countries.

Attached cast includes Chloé Farnworth (Soy Nero), Nicolas Fagerberg (Imperial Blue) and Johan Hwatz.

Around 65% of the €1.3m budget is in place with funders including the Finnish Film Fund and Finnish national broadcaster Yle. The production »


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

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'Bright' director David Ayer: Netflix let you be a filmmaker

11 hours ago

Streaming giant stages first film panel at Comic-Con in support of Bright, Death Note.

Bright director David Ayer unsurprisingly enthused over the freedom Netflix grants directors during a lively and opinionated session on Thursday afternoon.

Tough guy actor Terry Crews hosted Netflix’s first Hall H session and introduced Ayer, who reunites on the upcoming supernatural crime thriller with his Suicide Squad star Will Smith. They were joined on stage by Joel Edgerton and Noomi Rapace, Con debutants Edgar Ramirez and Lucy Fry, as well as producers Eric Newman and Bryan Unkeless.

The session kicked off with a first-look at the new trailer, which sets the scene of a Los Angeles where humans live side-by-side with magical creatures. Smith’s Lapd officer teams up with an orc police officer played by Edgerton as they get involved in the hunt for a magic wand with devastating power. Max Landis wrote the screenplay.

“This isn’t some »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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'Bright' director David Ayer on Netflix: 'They let you be a filmmaker'

11 hours ago

Streaming giant stages first film panel at Comic-Con in support of Bright, Death Note.

Tough guy actor Terry Cruise hosted Netflix’s first Hall H session and introduced Bright director David Ayer and his cast in a lively and opinionated session.

The supernatural thriller that shot in Los Angeles reunites Will Smith with his Suicide Squad director David Ayer, who were joined on stage by Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace, Edgar Ramirez, Lucy Fry, and producers Eric Newman and Bryan Unkleless.

The session kicked off with a first-look at the new trailer. “This isn’t some bullshit standard issue PG-13 studio move,” Ayer, whose directing credits include Fury, said. “I was able to do my shit… You haven’t seen this before.”

The director reserved special praise for Netflix and the company’s well documented support for filmmakers. “They let you be a filmmaker. They said, ‘What’s the best place to shoot this?’ and they gave »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Comic-Con: Netflix brings 'Bright', 'Death Note'

11 hours ago

Streaming giant stages first film panel in San Diego.

Actor Terry Cruise moderates the panel, which marks Netflix’s first Hall H session, and introduced Bright director David Ayer and his cast.

The supernatural thriller reunites Will Smith with his Suicide Squad director Ayer, who were joined on stage by Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace, Edgar Ramirez, Lucy Fry, and producers Eric Newman and Bryan Unkleless.

The session kicked off with a montage of footage. “This isn’t some bullshit standard issue PG-13 studio move,” Ayer said. “I was able to do my shit… You haven’t seen this before.”

“It is such a bizarre world,” Smith said, adding, “[This film] was the hard grime of Training Day “smashed with Lord Of The Rings.” Noting how his character teams up with an orc police officer, Smith said this was an opportunity for an Lapd officer “to find something else to be racist against.”

“Driving down La »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Cassian Elwes, Anna Serner in Tiff Conference schedule

11 hours ago

Programme reflects cross-border uncertainty in time of Trump.

Co-production opportunities between Canada and the Us will come under the spotlight as part of the Tiff Industry Conference that runs from September 8-13.

A panel of legal experts will discuss cross-border relations and the uncertainty that hovers over joint ventures between the neighbouring countries in the time of the Donald Trump administration.

The Tiff Moguls sessions feature producer and former packaging agent Cassian Elwes, and Swedish Film Institute CEO Anna Serner, who will talk about fostering gender parity.

New to the conference is Foundations, a programming strand for up-and-comers that will include workshops, talks, and trade shows focused on creative and business development.

The six days encompass networking opportunities through an expanded Breakfast At Tiff series, with events hosted by agencies such as Telefilm Canada, South Africa’s Nfvf, German Films, New Zealand Film Commission, Caribbean Tales, CinemaChile, Unifrance and Sodec.

The Connections »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Dick Van Dyke to receive Britannia award

12 hours ago

Comedian ‘apologises’ for Cockney accent in Mary Poppins.

Dick Van Dyke will receive the Britannia Award For Excellence In Television from BAFTA La in October.

The celebrated actor and comedian will collect his honour at the 2017 Amd British Academy Britannia Awards on October 27 in Beverly Hills.

The 91-year-old entertainer has earned five Emmys, a Tony, a Grammy, the SAG Lifetime Achievement Award, and induction into in Television Hall of Fame in a career spanning more than seven decades.

Television credits include The Dick Van Dyke Show, Jake And The Fatman, and Diagnosis Murder. In film he famously appeared in Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, as well as Dick Tracy, and more recently the Night At The Museum films. He won a Tony for Bye Bye Birdie.

“I appreciate this opportunity to apologise to the members of BAFTA for inflicting on them the most atrocious Cockney accent in the history of cinema,” Van Dyke said »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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'Scaffolding', Hong Sang-soo triumph in Jerusalem

15 hours ago

Festival reveals the award winners from its 34th edition.

Scaffolding has won the best Israeli feature film prize at the 34th edition of the Jerusalem Film Festival.

The debut feature from director Matan Yair – produced by rising Israeli production outfit Green Productions – takes home a prize worth $28,000 (100,000 Ils).

Scaffolding also scooped the best actor prize for debutant Asher Lax and an honorary mention in the best cinematography category for DoP Bartosz Bieniek.

A jury consisting of Elle producer Saïd Ben Saïd, artist Yael Bartana, cinematographer Agnès Godard and Cíntia Gíl, director of film festival Doclisboa, said of the film: “For a film that combines the reality of a group of teenagers and the will of questioning cinema and the role of filmmaking. For its capacity of capturing the tenderness sometimes behind these kids’ violence, their capacity for love, their surprising imagination, in a society that places them in a marginal role forever.”

The festival »


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

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Comic-Con: Halle Berry downs 'whiskey' on 'Kingsman' panel

15 hours ago

Oscar winner accepts challenge at San Diego convention.

Halle Berry appeared to drink a large glass of whiskey in one go at Thursday morning’s Comic-Con panel for Fox’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle.

The Oscar winner, who plays logistics officer Ginger Ale at Kingsman’s Us sister operation Statesman in the upcoming action sequel, accepted a dare rather than answer an audience question about whether Kingsman or James Bond represented the definitive British spy.

Earlier cast members had poured small glasses of a dark liquid in recognition of the fictitious liquor business that serves as a front for Statesman’s operation.

When panel host Jonathan Ross urged her to “chug it”, Berry downed her glass of liquid in one gulp and theatrically fell off her seat on stage. As the panel wore on she got laughs for looking increasingly bamboozled.

Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Channing Tatum, and Jeff Bridges were among the talent on show at »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Comic-Con: Halle Berry downs glass of 'whiskey' on 'Kingsman' panel

15 hours ago

Oscar winner accepts challenge at San Diego convention.

Halle Berry appeared to drink a large glass of whiskey in one go at Thursday morning’s Comic-Con panel for Fox’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle.

The Oscar winner, who plays logistics officer Ginger Ale at Kingsman’s Us sister operation Statesman in the upcoming action sequel, accepted a dare rather than answer an audience question about whether Kingsman or James Bond represented the definitive British spy.

Earlier cast members had poured small glasses of a dark liquid in recognition of the fictitious liquor business that serves as a front for Statesman’s operation.

When panel host Jonathan Ross urged her to “chug it”, Berry downed her glass of liquid in one gulp and theatrically fell off her seat on stage. As the panel wore on she got laughs for looking increasingly bamboozled.

Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Channing Tatum, and Jeff Bridges were among the talent on show at »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Comic-Con: 'Kingsman: The Golden Circle' cast toast Hall H

15 hours ago

Fox session kicks off film presentations at annual San Diego convention.

Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Channing Tatum, Halle Berry and Jeff Bridges took to the Hall H stage to talk up the action comedy sequel in Thursday’s first film session of Comic-Con.

Jonathan Ross hosted the panel at the San Diego Convention Center and director Matthew Vaughn kicked off proceedings by introducing the opening sequence of the film from London, where he is in the final stages of editing.

The footage showed Egerton in the lead role as Eggsy eluding would-be assassin and failed Kingsman applicant Charlie in a high-speed cab chase through London.

Joining the aforementioned stars on stage were Pedro Pascal, screenwriter Jane Goldman, and comic book co-creator Dave Gibbons.

“I seem to do a lot of shaving but that’s really all I can say,” Firth, who reprises his role as dapper senior spy Harry Hart, said of his »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Comic-Con: Halle Berry and 'Kingsman: The Golden Circle' cast amuse Hall H

15 hours ago

Fox session kicks off film presentations at annual San Diego convention.

Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Channing Tatum, Halle Berry and Jeff Bridges took to the Hall H stage to talk up the action comedy sequel in Thursday’s first film session of Comic-Con.

Jonathan Ross hosted the panel at the San Diego Convention Center and director Matthew Vaughn kicked off proceedings by introducing the opening sequence of the film from London, where he is in the final stages of editing.

The footage showed Egerton in the lead role as Eggsy eluding would-be assassin and failed Kingsman applicant Charlie in a high-speed cab chase through London.

Joining the aforementioned stars on stage were Pedro Pascal, screenwriter Jane Goldman, and comic book co-creator Dave Gibbons.

“I seem to do a lot of shaving but that’s really all I can say,” Firth, who reprises his role as dapper senior spy Harry Hart, said of his »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Comic-Con: 'Kingsman: The Golden Circle' panel

15 hours ago

Fox session kicks off film presentations at annual San Diego convention.

Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Channon Tatum, Halle Berry and Jeff Bridges took to the Hall H stage to talk up the action comedy sequel in the first film session of Comic-Con.

Jonathan Ross hosted the panel at the San Diego Convention Center and Matthew Vaughn kicked off proceedings by introducing the opening sequence of the film from London, where he is in the final stages of editing.

The footage showed Taron Egerton in the lead role as Eggsy eluding would-be assassin and failed Kingsman applicant Charlie in a high-speed taxi cab chase through London.

Joining the aforementioned stars on stage were Pedro Pascal, screenwriter Jane Goldman, and comic book co-creator Dave Gibbons.

“I seem to do a lot of shaving but that’s really all I can say,” Firth, who reprises his role as dapper senior spy Harry Hart, said of his »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Ifp unveils 2017 Ifp Film Week film and series line-up

18 hours ago

July 20 Update: Ifp’s 39th Film Week takes place September 17-21 in Brooklyn, New York.

The Independent Filmmaker Project (Ifp) has announced more than 110 narrative and documentary features and 35 television, digital, web and app-based series to be presented at the 39th annual Ifp Film Week.

Films include Franka Potente’s directorial debut Home and Clea DuVall’s Layne in the No Borders Intrenattional Co-Production Market. Narrative Lab entries include Cubby by Mark Blane and Ben Mankoff, and Cathy Yan’s Dead Pigs.

Of the narrative selections, 70% of the entries are directed by “diverse creators” and 30% by women. The film selection was curated under the guidance of Ifp deputy director / head of programming Amy Dotson and senior director of programming Milton Tabbot.

The slate for Ifp’s Project Forum includes both scripted and non-fiction series (limited, mini and full season) in all formats and genres. 

This year’s serialised content slate includes scripted long-form series likeThe Commons, which »


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Wild Bunch inks Us deal for Cannes title '12 Days'

22 hours ago

Exclusive: Documentary capturing French psychiatric system premiered at Cannes.

Distrib Films Us has acquired Us rights to Raymond Depardon’s documentary 12 Days (12 Jours), capturing the stories of vulnerable psychiatric patients hospitalised against their will through the special court-room hearings deciding their fate.

The company’s founding co-chief François Scippa-Kohn did the deal with Eva Diederix, head of sales at Wild Bunch which is handling international sales. The film is being lined up for an autumn release.

Under a new French law introduced in 2011, any hospital admitting a person against their consent has 12 days to submit a detention application to a special judge. Before the introduction of the law psychiatrists handled the decision.

Some 90,000 French citizens are sectioned in this way every year. Veteran French photographer and filmmaker Depardon filmed 72 such hearings, focusing on 10 of the cases he witnessed for the documentary.

12 Days premiered in a special screening at the Cannes Film Festival this year to strong reviews »


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Antalya Film Festival appoints Mike Downey as artistic director

23 hours ago

Producer Downey will curate new international competition strand.

The International Antalya Film Festival in Turkey has appointed Mike Downey as its new artistic director ahead of its 54th edition (which runs 21-27 October).

Downey (pictured) is an independent European film producer who has made more than 60 films, including Return To Montauk starring Stellan Skarsgård and recent Karlovy Vary title Dede.

Mirsad Purivatra, festival director of the Sarajevo Film Festival, also joins the Antalya team as a strategic consultant.

The festival will feature an international competition strand for the first time, which will be curated by Downey.

Once again, the event will support the Antalya Film Forum which connects film professionals in Turkey. It will be directed by Zeynep Atakan, producer of Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Palme D’or winning film Winter Sleep.

It will also feature gala screenings, a children and family section, a culinary section featuring four films on gastronomy and a retrospectives profiling films from two »


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

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'Game Of Thrones' creators reveal details about next series

23 hours ago

HBO announces Us series Confederate from David Benioff and D.B. Weiss

Game Of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have revealed that their next series will be HBO drama Confederate, an alternative history story chronicling the events leading up to Third American Civil War.

The series will chart a world in which the southern states have successfully seceded from the Union, giving rise to a nation in which slavery remains legal and has evolved into a modern institution.

The story is set to follow a broad collection of characters on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Demilitarized Zone — freedom fighters, slave hunters, politicians, abolitionists, journalists, the executives of a slave-holding conglomerate and the families of people in their thrall.

The series will be written and created by Benioff and Weiss, who will also serve as showrunners on the series.

Partnering with them as executive producers and writers will be Nichelle Tramble Spellman (The Good Wife) and [link=nm »


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

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BBC warns of talent pay inflation

20 July 2017 3:01 AM, PDT

Corporation says it could lose stars to ITV, Sky, Netflix and Amazon.

The BBC has warned that the forced disclosure of star salaries will have a widespread inflationary impact on top-tier talent pay (reports Broadcast).

Director general Tony Hall said that revealing the pay for inhouse, on-screen talent earning more than £150,000 could result in the corporation losing stars to commercial rivals such as ITV, Sky, Netflix and Amazon.

Read more:

Highest paid actors at the BBC revealed

Poachers’ charter

He branded the measure, insisted on by the government as part of the BBC’s charter renewal process, a “poacher’s charter”. “We’ve always said that giving names could be inflationary and in the end it will drive up salaries by setting benchmarks and raising expectations,” said Hall. “It’s pushing wages up at a time when we’re bringing down costs, and undermining the competitiveness of the BBC.”

However, Hall said the »


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Marketing companies Intermission, Think Jam make first joint exec hire

20 July 2017 1:46 AM, PDT

Exclusive: Former Substance marketing director Andrew Timms appointed.

Marketing agency Think Jam and video content specialists Intermission have announced their first joint executive hire, with Andrew Timms appointed as executive producer.

The role will see Timms, who has 15 years experience in digital marketing, work with both teams to ensure delivery of video content for clients.

Timms starting at Icon Film Distribution before moving to Substance Global in 2004, where he worked for 11 years, becoming a board member. Their campaigns included those for Avatar, Inception and The Lego Movie.

His new role starts 24 July and he will be based at both Intermission and Think Jam’s London offices, working across all clients.

Screen announced in February that Think Jam and Intermission joined forces through an equity partnership that saw both company’s take a stake in each other.

London, Birmingham, and La-based Think Jam specialises in digital campaigns for big name clients. The agency »


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

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Marketing companies Think Jam, Intermission make first joint exec hire

20 July 2017 1:46 AM, PDT

Exclusive: Former Substance marketing director Andrew Timms appointed.

Marketing agency Think Jam and video content specialists Intermission have announced their first joint executive hire, with Andrew Timms appointed as executive producer.

The role will see Timms, who has 15 years experience in digital marketing, work with both teams to ensure delivery of video content for clients.

Timms starting at Icon Film Distribution before moving to Substance Global in 2004, where he worked for 11 years, becoming a board member. Their campaigns included those for Avatar, Inception and The Lego Movie.

His new role starts 24 July and he will be based at both Intermission and Think Jam’s London offices, working across all clients.

Screen announced in February that Think Jam and Intermission joined forces with an equity partnership that saw see both company’s take a stake in each other.

London, Birmingham, and La-based Think Jam specialises in digital campaigns for big name clients. The agency »


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

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