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First Pond Entertainment acquires 'Arctic Superstar'

1 hour ago

Documentary follows indigenous Samí rapper Nils Rune Utsi.

First Pond Entertainment announced on Friday that it has acquired world rights to the Norwegian documentary Arctic Superstar and plans an autumn release.

The film premiered at the Tromso International Film Festival in Norway and has screened at Bergen International Film Festival, the International Documentary Film Festival (Dok.fest) and the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, among others.

Director Simen Braathen’s documentary follows the indigenous Samí rapper Nils Rune Utsi, known as SlinCraze, who lives with his mother in Máze, a nearly abandoned town in the Arctic Highlands of Norway.

Utsi’s dream is to make a living from his music and perhaps become world famous. The only problem is that less than 20,000 people speak his endangered language.

Braathen followed SlinCraze for almost four years, going on tour to Murmansk, New York, Tromso, Karasjok and his hometown, Masi.

Stig Andersen produced for Indie Film and Carsten Aanonsen served »


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Shailene Woodley, Eli Roth projects selected for Tribeca online showcase

5 hours ago

Festival strand highlights online storytelling.

The Tribeca Film Festival (April 19-30) has revealed its N.O.W. Showcase, Special Screenings and Creators Market, including projects from Eli Roth and Shailene Woodley.

The N.O.W. Special Screenings series features content curated by Tribeca from leading online networks and talent.

Academy Award-nominated Josh Fox and James Spione will premiere Awake, A Dream From Standing Rock, executive produced by Shailene Woodley, and co-directed by Myron Dewey.

Eli Roth’s Crypt TV will premiere Monster Madness, a series of character shorts from the digital brand’s scaremakers.

Op-Docs, The New York Times’ award-winning forum for short, opinionated documentaries, will screen three films at the festival.

Online studios Dust, Adaptive Studios, and Stage 13 will present work from Nicole Delaney, Vera Miaob and Arkasha Stevenson. Conversations will follow each screening with the creators, talent, and special guests.

The N.O.W. Showcase is a selection of 10 independent online creators’ work that celebrates »


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Emma Thompson: Donald Trump asked me out on a date

5 hours ago

British actress shares story about the Us president on Scandinavian talk show.

Emma Thompson has said that Donald Trump once asked her out on a date.

The Oscar-winning actress and writer was talking on Norwegian-Swedish talk show Skavlan.

Discussing Trump with host Fredrik Skavlan, she said: “He asked me out once.”

Thompson revealed that when she was filming Primary Colours in 1998, the day after her divorce to Kenneth Branagh was finalised, she received a phone call in her trailer.

She continued: “So I lift up the phone - ‘Hi, it’s Donald Trump here.’ And I said, ‘Really? Can I help you?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, I just wondered if I could offer you some accommodation in one of my Trump Towers. They’re really comfortable.”

She asked why he was offering her somewhere to stay. “Well, I think we would get along very well - maybe have dinner sometime,”, Trump replied »


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

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'Beauty And The Beast' retains UK social buzz lead

6 hours ago

Disney remake scores more than 85,000 comments.

Beauty A The Beast, Disney’s live-action remake of the animated classic, received the most buzz on UK social media for the second week in a row, garnering almost four times more comments than all of the other films included in analysis combined.

The Emma Watson-starring musical received 86,940 comments, 12,959 of which indicated an intent to view, between March 16-23. The other films listed on the UK buzz chart, supplied by analysis firm Way to Blue, received 22,270 total comments.

Power Rangers garnered 928 intent-to-view comments out of 9,496 total and moved up one spot to second in social media buzz this week ahead of its March 23 premiere.

Jordan Peele’s Horror-comedy Get Out received the third most comments with 4,114 and Ghost in the Shell, which stars Scarlett Johansson, ranked fourth with 2,887 comments.

For an explanation of the Way to Blue chart and its methodology, which tracks ‘overall buzz’ and important ‘intent to view »


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'Handsome Devil' starring Andrew Scott sets UK release date

8 hours ago

Drama directed by John Butler also stars Fionn O’Shea and Nicholas Galitzine.

Icon Film Distribution has announced that the UK release date for Handsome Devil starring Andrew Scott is April 28. It will be released a week earlier in Ireland on April 21.

The film, premiering tonight (March 24) at the BFI Flare Festival, is directed by John Butler (The Stag).

Scott plays an inspirational English teacher who befriends Ned (Finn O’Shea), a gawky youngster who is sent to a macho Irish boarding school. Ned is bullied and lonely until he strikes up an unlikely friendship with new roommate Conor (Nicholas Galitzine), a star player for the school rugby team.

Radiant Films International is handling international sales, with Breaking Glass Pictures acquiring Us rights.

It was produced by Rebecca O’Flanagan and Rob Walpole for Treasure Entertainment (The Stag, Viva), with support from Irish Film Board.

The film recently opened the Glasgow Film Festival and was awarded best Irish »


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

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France chooses Lille as home for Cannes-style TV festival

9 hours ago

France pushes on with state-backed TV festival which could take place in April.

France has chosen Lille as the host city for a state-backed Cannes Film Festival-style event dedicated to television series.

The northern France city was among five locations to bid for the event in November alongside Paris, Cannes, Bordeaux and Nice.

The choice was made in consultation with a number of film and TV professional bodies and broadcasters overseen by the National Cinema Centre (Cnc).

“The location unanimously agreed on by the professionals is Lille,” said the body in a report detailing the decision.

The Cnc said the aim was to launch the festival as early as 2018.

“France needs to position itself quickly with regards to such an event because international competitors are establishing themselves elsewhere,” said the Cnc report.

“The festivals of Berlin and Toronto are trying to position themselves [in the drama domain], without real success until now, while lighter events like C21 in London and La »


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Syria doc 'City Of Ghosts' secures Nordic, Baltic deals

9 hours ago

NonStop Entertainment strikes deal for Matthew Heineman’s film about Isis-controlled Syria.

Scandinavian distributor NonStop Entertainment has acquired Nordic and Baltic rights for Syrian war documentary City Of Ghosts at Cph: Dox.

The film is in competition at the Danish doc festival and tells the story of citizen journalists based within Islamic State controlled Syria who risk their lives to bring footage of terrorist atrocities to the wider world.

NonStop will distribute the film in the Nordic and Baltic territories, with Miracle Films partnering on Danish distribution.

The theatrical release will be early autumn. Amazon, who have worldwide rights, are releasing the film theatrically in the Us on July 14.

City Of Ghosts is directed by Matthew Heineman, whose previous film Cartel Land was nominated for an Oscar.

Other recent NonStop documentary acquisitions are:

Devils’s Freedom - from Films Boutique for Scandinavia and the BalticsDina - from Dogwoof for Scandinavia and the BalticsDries - from Dogwoof for Scandinavia »


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

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'British films need more support', says Lionsgate UK CEO

9 hours ago

Star Wars is not a British movie, says Lionsgate UK boss, who is concerned about Brexit impact and blockbuster saturation.

The British independent film sector needs more help from public and private investors, Lionsgate UK & Europe CEO Zygi Kamasa has said in an interview today [Mar 24].

Speaking on BBC radio, the La La Land distributor, known for backing successful UK films including Saoirse Ronan drama Brooklyn and Noel Clarke’s Brotherhood, renewed calls first made to Screen for adjustments to the UK tax credit and cinema ticket prices to favour British films.

“There are ways the government can look at improving and enhancing investment in British productions,” he said.

“I’m not sure the one size fits all tax credit is the best system. Culturally it is very important that British independent films are helped in a greater way. That extra revenue [from a revised tax credit] could help it.”

“The tax credit is great. I wouldn’t want to deter film companies »


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

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Finecut closes sales on 'House Of The Disappeared'

10 hours ago

Sales agent also announces deals on One Step, The Age Of Shadows, The Wailing and Operation Chromite.

South Korean sales company Finecut has announced a raft of deals from the European Film Market (Efm) and Hong Kong Filmart led by Yunjin Kim-starrer House Of The Disappeared pre-selling to major Asian territories including Japan (New Select) and the Philippines (Viva Communications).

Other titles that Finecut has closed sales on include One Step, The Age Of Shadows, The Wailing, Operation Chromite, The Net, Misbehavior and The World Of Us.

Lim Dae-woong’s mystery thriller House Of The Disappeared, which also stars K-pop group 2Pm member Ok Taec-yeon, also pre-sold to Taiwan (Long Shong International), Vietnam (Red Pictures) and Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei (mm2 Entertainment). The film is still in post-production with a local release set for April 5.

Directed by Juhn Jai-hong (Poongsan, Beautiful), music drama One Step starring K-pop group 2NE1 member Sandara Park locked deals to Thiland »


- hjnoh2007@gmail.com (Jean Noh)

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Brett Ratner says Rotten Tomatoes is 'the destruction of our business'

12 hours ago

Batman v Superman producer says popular site stops people from seeing films.

Director/producer Brett Ratner has fiercely criticised reviews aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes, calling it the “destruction of our business”.

Ratner, who directed Rush Hour and X-Men: The Last Stand, and produced The Revenant and Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice through his RatPac Entertainment label, was talking at last weekend’s Sun Valley Film Festival.

“The worst thing that we have in today’s movie culture is Rotten Tomatoes,” he said, according to Entertainment Weekly.

“I think it’s the destruction of our business. I have such respect and admiration for film criticism. When I was growing up film criticism was a real art. And there was intellect that went into that. And you would read Pauline’s Kael’s reviews, or some others, and that doesn’t exist anymore.”

Rotten Tomatoes tracks all the reviews for a film, then calculates »


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

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Sundance hit 'Menashe' scores UK deal

13 hours ago

Exclusive: Vertigo snaps up rights to drama set in ultra-orthodox Jewish community.

Vertigo has snapped up UK rights to Sundance and Berlin hit Menashe from Mongrel International.

Joshua Z Weinstein’s debut feature, starring Menashe Lustig, was shot covertly within the New York Hasidic community in Borough Park, Brooklyn over two years.

The film follows the life of actor Menashe Lustig, a loving but hapless single father who tries to maintain custody of his son in a tradition-bound culture that requires a mother present in every home.

The Yiddish-language feature was the first foreign language film picked up by Us distributor A24, which also secured Chinese rights to the film.

As previously revealed by Screen, the film recently sold to France, Australia and Canada.

Weinstein wrote the script with Alex Lipschultz and Musa Syeed.

Alex Lipschultz, Traci Carlson, Danny Finkelman, Weinstein and Yoni Brook produced, with Danelle Eliav, Adam Margules, Chris Columbus and [link »


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

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Janus Metz shows first footage from 'Between Two Worlds' at Cph:dox

13 hours ago

At Cph:Forum, Eurimages Award goes to Maria Back’s Psychosis in Stockholm; 31 projects pitched.

Cph:dox expanded its industry offerings this year by adding a Work-in-Progress session on the eve of its Cph:forum for six Nordic documentaries currently in production or post-production.

Short presentations including footage was shown for projects including:

The Acali Experiment (Swe/Den/Ger/Us), dir Marcus Lindeen, prod Erik Gandini

The story will examine what happened when Mexican anthropologist Santiago Genovés tried a unique experiment in 1973, putting 10 people on a raft for a 101-day voyage to study human behaviour. Lindeen brought the participants together for the first time in 43 years to talk about Genoves’ manipulative behaviour. “I wanted make a reunion and let them talk about their memories of what happened on the raft,” he said. “We let the subjects make a study of the scientist.” The team aims to deliver the film in the autumn.

Contact: gandini@fasad.se

[link »


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

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Karl Urban, Sofia Vergara, Andy Garcia sign on to Ambi’s 'Bent'

21 hours ago

Production on revenge thriller set to commence this month in Rome.  

Ambi Media Group co-heads Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi announced the development on Thursday and are producing with Joseph O’Donnell’s Deadly Codes Productions.

Bobby Moresco, who produced Crash, will direct from his screenplay based on characters created by O’Donnell. 

The revenge thriller centres on a disgraced narcotics detective who is released from prison and discovers a high-stakes treason plot when he sets out to find the person who framed him and killed his partner.

Vergara will play a seductive government agent, while Garcia is a retired police officer and the protagonist’s mentor. Joe Pacheco also stars.

“Bent delivers on the best of film noirs – a main character driven by revenge, who is forced to choose between the truth he knows, the evidence against that truth, and the woman he loves most in the world,” Iervolino said.

“Karl, Sofia »


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G. Grant Machum appointed vice-chair of Telefilm Canada board

22 hours ago

New incumbent replaces Elise Orenstein, whose mandate ended in December.

Telefilm Canada has announced that G. Grant Machum, chair of the nominating, evaluation and governance committee, has been named vice-chair of its board.

Hailing from Halifax, Machum is a partner at Stewart McKelvey, an Atlantic Canada law firm and previously served as the head of the labour and employment group.

He is also a member of the Nova Scotia Barristers Society, the Law Society of New Brunswick and the Law Society of Upper Canada. He represents clients from across Canada and has expertise in board governance.

“I couldn’t be more honoured,” Machum said. “This year, Telefilm Canada celebrates its 50th anniversary, and over these last five decades, the Canadian audiovisual industry has matured into a vital sector of activity at home and abroad. I am proud of the work we do to grow and support this industry, both today and in the future.”

“We are delighted »


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G. Grant Machum named to Telefilm Canada’s board

22 hours ago

New incumbent replaces Elise Orenstein, whose mandate ended in December.

Telefilm Canada has announced that G. Grant Machum, chair of the nominating, evaluation and governance committee, has been named vice-chair of its board.

Hailing from Halifax, Machum is a partner at Stewart McKelvey, an Atlantic Canada law firm and previously served as the head of the labour and employment group.

He is also a member of the Nova Scotia Barristers Society, the Law Society of New Brunswick and the Law Society of Upper Canada. He represents clients from across Canada and has expertise in board governance.

“I couldn’t be more honoured,” Machum said. “This year, Telefilm Canada celebrates its 50th anniversary, and over these last five decades, the Canadian audiovisual industry has matured into a vital sector of activity at home and abroad. I am proud of the work we do to grow and support this industry, both today and in the future.”

“We are delighted »


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Voltage Pictures hires producer Ara Keshishian

22 hours ago

The former Lotus president of production will produce features, television series and mini series for the company. CEO Nicolas Chartier (pictured) and president and COO Jonathan Deckter announced the hire.

At Lotus, Keshishian produced the Lionsgate/Roadside release Maggie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, as well as the upcoming November Criminals with Ansel Elgort and Chloe Moretz based on Steve Knight’s screenplay.  

He oversaw production and served as executive producer on the Roadside Attractions release Z For Zacharia starring Margot Robbie, Chris Pine, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, as well as the upcoming thriller Kidnap starring Halle Berry, and the sci-fi thriller Replicas with Keanu Reeves for producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura.

“I have known Ara for many years since his days as an agent,” Chartier said. “We are incredibly excited to have him join the team. His taste, track record and relationships will be a great compliment to our existing team.”

“I am excited to be joining Nic, Jonathan and the »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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IFC Films acquires 'Wakefield'

22 hours ago

Bryan Cranston and Jennifer Garner adaptation screened in Telluride and Toronto last autumn.

IFC Films announced on Thursday that it has acquired Us rights from UTA to Wakefield and plans a limited theatrical release beginning on May 19 in New York, followed by VOD on May 26.

Robin Swicord’s adaptation of E.L. Doctorow’s short story stars Cranston as a successful suburbanite who hides in the attic of his carriage house garage, from where he observes the lives of his wife children and neighbours. 

The man slowly realises he has not in fact left his family – he has left himself. Jason O’Mara and Beverly D’Angelo also star.

Julie Lynn, Bonnie Curtis, Wendy Federman, Carl Moellenberg and Elliot Webb produced.   »


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Jake Gyllenhaal, 'Life' director Daniel Espinosa reunite on Isis drama

23 March 2017 2:08 PM, PDT

Life star and director team up for Middle East true story.

Ninestories’ Jake Gyllenhaal and Riva Marker in association with Bold Films have optioned Seth Harp’s ‘Rolling Stone’ article ‘The Anarchists vs Isis.’

Daniel Espinosa will direct the adaptation and produce through his new production company Bozi alongside Gyllenhaal and Marker, and Bold Films chairman Michel Litvak.

Gyllenhaal, who starred for Espinosa in Sony’s sci-fi Life that premiered in SXSW and opens this week, is expected to star.

The Anarchists vs Isis tells of a group of American volunteers, socialists and outcasts who join the Kurdish militia in the fight against Isis in Syria.

Bold CEO Gary Michael Walters will is on board as executive producer. 

Bloom Hergott negotiated the deal on behalf of Ninestories and Gyllenhaal, with Wme on behalf of Ninestories, Gyllenhaal and Espinosa, and UTA on behalf of Alex Jacobs at Elyse Cheney Associates for Seth Harp.  »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Jake Gyllenhaal, Daniel Espinosa reunite on Isis drama

23 March 2017 2:08 PM, PDT

Life star and director team up for Middle East true story.

Ninestories’ Jake Gyllenhaal and Riva Marker in association with Bold Films have optioned Seth Harp’s ‘Rolling Stone’ article ‘The Anarchists vs Isis.’

Daniel Espinosa will direct the adaptation and produce through his new production company Bozi alongside Gyllenhaal and Marker, and Bold Films chairman Michel Litvak.

Gyllenhaal, who starred for Espinosa in Sony’s sci-fi Life that premiered in SXSW and opens this week, is expected to star.

The Anarchists vs Isis tells of a group of American volunteers, socialists and outcasts who join the Kurdish militia in the fight against Isis in Syria.

Bold CEO Gary Michael Walters will is on board as executive producer. 

Bloom Hergott negotiated the deal on behalf of Ninestories and Gyllenhaal, with Wme on behalf of Ninestories, Gyllenhaal and Espinosa, and UTA on behalf of Alex Jacobs at Elyse Cheney Associates for Seth Harp.  »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Steve Carell, Amy Schumer, Nicole Kidman to star in OddLot’s 'She Came To Me'

23 March 2017 1:52 PM, PDT

Rebecca Miller to direct and produce comedic drama.

Steve Carell, Amy Schumer and Nicole Kidman will star in She Came To Me based on Miller’s screenplay.

The story of family and the complexities of modern life weaves together love stories and plays out against the world of contemporary opera and tugboats.

Miller will producethrough her Round Films with producing partner Damon Cardasis, alongside OddLot founder Gigi Pritzker and Rachel Shane.

Miller has written and directed Maggie’s Plan, The Private Lives Of Pippa Lee, The Ballad Of Jack And Rose, Personal Velocity, and Angela.

OddLot Entertainment recently co-produced and co-financed Taylor Sheridan’s Hell Or High Water.

The slate includes recent Sundance selection Landline, and National Geographic Channel’s first scripted series Genius, the Albert Einstein drama that receives its world premiere in Tribeca next month. »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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