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IFC Midnight acquires 'Darkness Rising'

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Distributor sets June 30 theatrical and VOD launch.

IFC Midnight has acquired the North American rights to Austin Reading’s Darkness Rising.

The film written by Vikram Weet centres on Madison, a young woman who decides to visit her childhood home when she finds out it is about to be torn down.

When she was a child, her mother killed her baby sister and Madison narrowly escaped with her life. Now, as she tries to confront the demons that have haunted her ever since, Madison, her boyfriend, and cousin find themselves trapped in the house by the forces that may have driven her mother to commit murder.

Katrina Law, Tara Holt, Bryce Johnson, Heather Mazur, Myk Watford and Ted Raimi star. 

Reading’s debut feature film was produced by Storyboard Entertainment’s Jason Potash and Paul Finkel, in association with Compass Entertainment’s Marcus Fuller and Julie S. Fuller, and Daniel Hyman.

IFC will release »


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'Star Wars: Episode IX' gets May 2019 release

1 hour ago

Disney moves Indiana Jones moves back one year to July 2020; Frozen 2 to open November 2019.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures executives have set a raft of release dates, led by Tuesday’s announcement that Star Wars: Episode IX (3D) will open on May 24, 2019.

Scroll To Bottom For 2017-2021 Release Schedule

Untitled Indiana Jones moves back one year from July 19, 2019, to July 10, 2020.

There are big delays for three other films. Gigantic (3D) moves from November 21, 2018, to November 25, 2020, and Untitled Disney Animation (3D) – originally set for November 25, 2020 – moves to November 24, 2021.

Ralph Breaks The Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 (3D) will open on November 11, 2018, and not March 9, 2018, as originally scheduled.

Frozen 2 (3D) is the updated title of Untitled Disney Animation and remains set for November 27, 2019. Untitled Marvel (3D) previously set for July 10, 2020, moves to August 7, 2020, and Untitled Pixar Animation (3D) will open on June 18, 2021.

The live-action Untitled Disney Fairy Tale moves from July 28 this year to August 3, 2018, while A Wrinkle In Time moves »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Seattle festival to honour Anjelica Huston

1 hour ago

June 7 event features on-stage interview, screening of new film, Trouble.

The Seattle International Film Festival (Siff) will honour Anjelica Huston with the Career Achievement In Acting Award at this year’s 43rd edition.

The event will take place on June 7 at the Siff Cinema Egyptian and begin with an on-stage interview with Huston, followed by be the world premiere of her new film Trouble.

Huston reunites with director Theresa Rebeck after they collaborated on the 2012 NBC series Smash.

Trouble also stars Bill Pullman and tells of a feuding brother and sister whose differences entangle the fate of an old friend, played by David Morse. Julia Stiles, Jim Parrack, Brian d’Arcy James, and Victor Williams also star.

Huston serves as executive producer and Rebeck, Rachel Dengiz, Julie Buck, and Jaclyn Bashoff are producers. Wme Global represents North American rights while Gpm handles international rights.

In addition to the tribute event and screening, Siff will present »


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Open Road hires Loren Schwartz, promotes Liz Biber

3 hours ago

Marketing, publicity executives report to Tom Ortenberg.

Open Road Films has named Loren Schwartz president of marketing while Liz Biber has been promoted to president of publicity. 

Schwartz and Biber will report directly to Open Road Films CEO Tom Ortenberg, who made the announcement on Tuesday.

Open Road marketed and distributed Armenian Genocide drama The Promise at the weekend on behalf of Survival Pictures. The film reportedly cost more than $90m and opened on $4.1m in 2,251 theatres.

Schwartz is Open Road’s third marketing chief in 14 months. He replaces Jonathan Helfgot, who only took the place of Jason Cassidy in March 2016 and is understood to be joining Fox as head of theatrical marketing.

Biber has been head of publicity since the company’s inception in 2011.    

Schwartz most recently served as executive vice-president of genre marketing and advertising at Warner Bros.

Prior to that, he was senior vice-president of creative advertising at Columbia Pictures, where he worked »


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Shout! Factory picks up 'The Tiger Hunter'

3 hours ago

Red Sea Media handles international sales.

Shout! Factory has acquired North American rights from Red Sea Media to writer-director Lena Khan’s comedy The Tiger Hunter.

The film centres on Sami Malik, a young Indian who travels to America in the 1970s to become an engineer. 

When Sami’s plans fall through, he takes a low-end job and joins a gang of oddball friends in the hopes of convincing his childhood sweetheart that he is more successful than he truly is, or perhaps ever could be. 

Danny Pudi, Jon Heder, Rizwan Manji, Karen David, Sam Page, Iqbal Theba, and Parvesh Cheena star with Michael McMillan and Kevin Pollak.  

Khan and Sameer Gardezi wrote the screenplay and the The Red Sea Media production premiered at last year’s 32nd Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. Red Sea Media handles international sales.

Megha Kadakia, Khan and Nazia Khan produced, while Alan Pao, Pudi and [link »


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Will Smith, Jessica Chastain, Maren Ade, Paolo Sorrentino on Cannes jury

5 hours ago

Festival competition jury also features Park Chan-wook, Fan Bingbing, Agnès Jaoui, Gabriel Yared.

The 2017 Cannes Film Festival (May 17-28) has unveiled the jury for its main competition.

American actor and singer Will Smith will be joined by German director Maren Ade, whose Toni Erdmann played in Cannes competition last year.

The jury also features:

South Korean director Park Chan-wook, who has had three films play in competition at Cannes: The Handmaiden, Oldboy, and Thirst.

Italian director Paolo Sorrentino, who has been nominated for the Palme d’Or five times: Youth, The Great Beauty, This Must Be The Place, Family Friend and The Consequences Of Love.

American actress Jessica Chastain, a two-time Oscar nominee who also starred in Terrence Malick’s Palme d’Or-winning The Tree Of Life.

Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, whose credits include Xiaogang Feng’s I Am Not Madame Bovary.

French director, writer and actress Agnès Jaoui, whose 2004 comedy-drama Look At Me played in competition »


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

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AFI to honour cinematographer Frederick Elmes

6 hours ago

1972 alumnus has worked with David Lynch, John Cassavetes, Ang Lee, Jim Jarmusch.

Cinematographer Frederick Elmes will receive the AFI’s 2017 Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal. 

The honour recognises the “extraordinary creative talents of an AFI alumnus or alumna who embodies the qualities of filmmaker Franklin J. Schaffner: talent, taste, dedication and commitment to quality storytelling in film and television.” 

Elmes’s credits include Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Wild At Heart, The Ice Storm, Broken Flowers, and River’s Edge, among others.

The presentation will take place at the AFI Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute to Diane Keaton in Hollywood on June 8.

Elmes collaborated with Keaton on her 1987 directorial debut Heaven and has earned a Primetime Emmy nomination, two Film Independent Spirit Awards and a New York Film Critics Circle Award, among other accolades.

Prior recipients of the Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal include Lynch, Darren Aronofsky, Homeland director Lesli Link Glatter, Wonder Woman director »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Burkini celebration planned for beaches of Cannes during festival

7 hours ago

Cannes was among 30 French resorts banning burkinis on the beach last summer.

French-Algerian businessman Rachid Nekkaz, who spear-headed a campaign against a controversial ban on burkinis on some 30 French beaches last summer, is calling on people to don the full-body swimsuits and hit the beaches of Cannes during the festival this year.

Nekkaz said he was organising the event to celebrate the August 26 ruling of France’s highest administrative court, the Conseil d’Etat, against the burkini beach ban, “guaranteeing freedom to bathe in burkinis on French beaches.”

He announced the event in front of the court in Paris on Tuesday (April 25) via Twitter.

Headlined “Let’s All Wear Burkinis On The Beaches During The Cannes Film Festival”, Nekkaz wants people in burkinis to hit the beaches flanking Cannes’ beachfront Croisette promenade on the afternoon of May 26, the final Friday of the festival.

Cannes was the first resort to bring in the burkini ban and a €38 fine »


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Embankment hires Content exec to head up business and legal affairs

7 hours ago

Exclusive: UK sales outfit makes new hire.

London-based sales outfit Embankment Films has appointed Libby D’Arcy as general counsel to head up the company’s business and legal affairs.

She joins from her role as vice president of business affairs at Content Media, where she spent a total of eight years. Before then, she was head of business affairs at Odyssey Entertainment.

“Libby is most importantly a highly positive personality, a progressive closer, multitasker and deal-maker. Libby sits comfortably in our ambitious, autonomous, and self-determinated team of executives who typify a thorough understanding of financing, filmmaking and distribution,” commented Embankment co-head Tim Haslam.

The hire follows the company’s appointment of former Celsius and Independent exec Calum Gray as its head of sales last month.

Embankment’s slate includes McQueen, a documentary about fashion icon Alexander McQueen that was launched at the Efm, Churchill starring Brian Cox, Breathe starring Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy, Submergence with James McAvoy »


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

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'Mad Max', '45 Years' producers to speak at Bafta Guru Live

8 hours ago

Second edition of event for aspiring creatives reveals line-up.

Bafta has unveiled the line-up for the second edition of its Guru Live Festival, with speakers including Mad Max: Fury Road executive producer Iain Smith and 45 Years producer Tristan Goligher.

The two-day event will take place at Bafta’s Piccadilly venue in London between May 6-7 and Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts on May 6, featuring creatives from the worls of film, TV and gaming.

Iain Smith, whose credits also include Children of Men. will speak at the Glasgow event, while Tristan Goligher, also the producer of Weekend and the upcoming Lean On Pete, will appear in London.

Other speakers confirmed include writer-directors Peter Middleton and James Spinney (Notes On Blindness), and producers Camille Gatin (Girl With All The Gifts) and Oliver Roskill (Under The Shadow).

The events will feature talks on telling stories for film, making a debut feature film, pitching and freelancing »


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Amazon, Facebook & Vevo join Media Summit

9 hours ago

Digital heavyweights to speak at two-day event

Executives from Amazon, Facebook and Vevo will give their take on the future direction of the media industry at next month’s Media Summit.

Amazon Prime managing director Alex Green will offer an insight into the online giant’s strategy in the TV and video space following original commissions including The Grand Tour and The Man In The High Castle.

Elsewhere Vevo’s head of Europe Jon Gisby, a former board member of Channel 4 who helped launch its initial on-demand service 4oD, will also speak.

Gisby will offer insight into the way the music and entertainment platform uses data, premieres, archive and original content to over 21bn video views each month, including one-third of young adults in the UK.

Other highlights include Facebook Emea regional director Rob Newlan, who will explore how branded content is becoming an increasingly important area for brands and businesses and outline his view of »


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Sundance Film Festival: London 2017 line-up revealed

9 hours ago

The festival will close with A Ghost Story, starring Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara.

The line-up for the 5th Sundance Film Festival: London (June 1-4) has been announced.

Scroll Down For Full List

The festival will comprise 14 UK and international feature film premieres from this year’s Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, as well as 15 shorts, including a strand dedicated to new UK shorts.

As previously announced, the festival will open with Miguel Arteta’s Beatriz at Dinner, starring Salma Hayek.

It will close with the UK premiere of David Lowery’s A Ghost Story [pictured], starring Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara.

Other highlights from this year’s programme include Bushwick, starring Dave Bautista and Brittany Snow; true-life crime drama Crown Heights, which won the Us dramatic audience award; jury prize-winning documentary Dina, Michael Almereyda’s Marjorie Prime, starring Jon Hamm and Geena Davis, and Michael Showalter’s The Big Sick, which Amazon »


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

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Cannes: Directors' Fortnight adds Portuguese debut 'The Nothing Factory'

9 hours ago

Comedy-drama added to Cannes sidebar.

Cannes Film Festival’s Directors’ Fortnight sidebar has added Portuguese director Pedro Pinho’s feature debut The Nothing Factory to its 2017 selection.

The comedy-drama (with an occasional music number, according to a Cannes release) will play as a special screening. The majority of the Directors’ Fortnight line-up was revealed last week.

The film was produced by João Matos and Jorge Silva Melo for Portuguese outfit Terratreme. Pinho co-wrote the script with Leonor Noivo, Tiago Hespanha and Luisa Homem.

It follows a group of factory workers who go on strike in an attempt to block the relocation of their workplace by its crooked owners.

Vasco Viana was the cinematographer and the film was shot on 16mm. Cláudia Oliveira was the editor and João Gazua handled sound.

According to a statement from Directors’ Fortnight artistic director Édouard Waintrop, the film “dissects and riffs on the subject of de-industrialization, unemployment, and the »


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

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Karlovy Vary to fete Ken Loach, James Newton Howard

10 hours ago

Kenji Mizoguchi, Jirí Brdecka tributes planned for 52nd edition.

The 52nd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (June 30 - July 8) will present a Crystal Globe for outstanding contribution to world cinema to British director Ken Loach.

The award will be shared with his long-time screenwriter Paul Laverty. The pair have collaborated on twelve feature films and two shorts, including The Wind That Shakes The Barley and more recently the Palme d’Or and Bafta-winning I, Daniel Blake.

Loach has a long and fruitful relationship with the Karlovy Vary festival. In 1968, his feature debut Poor Cow won a special jury prize and best actress for its star Carol White. A year later, his second film Kes won the festival’s Crystal Globe, and he has been a guest at the festival on numerous occasions since.

Poor Cow

Karlovy Vary will also celebrate the work of composer James Newton Howard, whose credits include Pretty Woman, The Sixth Sense, [link »


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

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Annecy unveils 2017 line-up

10 hours ago

Zombillenium announced as opener; China named as guest country, Guillermo del Toro to return.

French animator and illustrator Arthur de Pin’s child-friendly comedy-horror tale Zombillenium (pictured) - set against the backdrop of an amusement-terror park were the staff are a motley crew of vampires, zombies and werewolves - will open this year’s edition of the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, running June 12-17 this year. 

It is among nine special event screenings including Pixar’s Cars 3, which will be proceeded by a presentation of footage from Mexico-set, Day of the Dead-inspired drama Coco in the presence of director Lee Unkrich, producer Darla K. Anderson and co-director Adrian Molina; Despicable Me 3 and The Big Bad Fox And Other Animals.

Zombillenium will also compete in the 10-title feature film competition.

Other contenders for Annecy’s Cristal for best feature film include Iranian director Ali Soozandeh’s Tehran Taboo, exploring sexuality »


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Writers in overwhelming strike authorisation vote

15 hours ago

Action will commence on May 2 if no deal in place.

Writers Guild Of America (WGA) membership on Monday voted 96.3% in favour of striking on May 2 should no agreement be in place with studios and networks.

The move came as both sides prepared to return to the negotiating table on Tuesday following a recess and memories of the devastating 2007 strike loomed large.

The current three-year contract with the Alliance Of Motion Picture And Television Producers (AMPTP) expires on May 1.

The WGA is seeking higher payments and a health plan bailout that would amount to an extra $178m from the AMPTP.

The AMPTP released a statement on Monday that read: “The companies are committed to reaching a deal at the bargaining table that keeps the industry working.

“The 2007 Writers Strike hurt everyone. Writers lost more than $287 million in compensation that was never recovered, deals were cancelled, and many writers took out strike loans to make ends meet. We remain »

- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Us writers in overwhelming strike authorisation vote

20 hours ago

Action could commence on May 2 if no deal in place.

Writers Guild Of America (WGA) membership on Monday voted 96.3% in favour of striking - possibly as soon as May 2 — should no agreement be in place with studios and networks.

The move came as both sides prepared to return to the negotiating table on Tuesday following a recess and memories of the devastating 2007 strike loomed large.

The current three-year contract with the Alliance Of Motion Picture And Television Producers (AMPTP) expires on May 1.

The WGA is seeking higher payments and a health plan bailout that would amount to an extra $178m from the AMPTP.

The AMPTP released a statement on Monday that read: “The companies are committed to reaching a deal at the bargaining table that keeps the industry working.

“The 2007 Writers Strike hurt everyone. Writers lost more than $287 million in compensation that was never recovered, deals were cancelled, and many writers took out strike loans to make »

- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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'Soldado', 'Granite Mountain' switch from Lionsgate to Sony in North America

21 hours ago

Differing views over release strategy believed to be cause.

Molly Smith’s Black Label Media has switched North American distributor on its upcoming Soldado and Granite Mountain from Lionsgate to Sony.

It is believed Lionsgate retains the bulk of international sales rights on the projects, which are both in post.

Screen understands the change stems from differing views over release strategy, however neither studio confirmed this.

Soldado is the sequel to crime thriller Sicario (pictured). Stefano Sollima directs the second in a potential trilogy that sees Benicio Del Toro and Brolin reprise their roles.

Joseph Kosinski directs Granite Mountain, which tells the true story of an elite crew of firefighters who battle to save their hometown from a wildfire.

Brolin also stars in this project alongside Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, Taylor Kitsch and Jennifer Connelly.

Neither film was dated at time of writing. Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions executives acquired both titles after Steve Bersch and Michael Helfand negotiated »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Faye Dunaway describes 'guilt' over Oscars gaffe

21 hours ago

Best picture co-presenter breaks silence in NBC interview.

Faye Dunaway said in a broadcast segment on NBC Nightly News on Monday she felt guilty after reading out the wrong best picture winner at the climax of February’s Oscars telecast.

Speaking in the exclusive interview, Dunaway recalled events in which she declared La La Land the winner moments after PwC managing partner Brian Cullinan gave co-presenter Warren Beatty the wrong card.

Moonlight was announced the winner several minutes later when the mistake became apparent.

“[Beatty] took the card out and he didn’t say anything,” Dunaway told interviewer Lester Holt. “He paused, he looked over me, offstage. He looked around, he… and I finally said, ‘You’re impossible.’

“I thought he was joking, I mean Warren’s like that – he holds the power and makes people…” she said, adding after Holt prompted her: “A dramatic pause, you got it. But it’s part of his charm… And I read »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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O-Scope acquires Tribeca premiere 'November'

22 hours ago

Estonia-set folk tale will open later in the year.

Oscilloscope Laboratories has acquired North American rights to Rainer Sarnet’s November ahead of its Tribeca Film Festival premiere on Monday night.

The film is based on Andrus Kivirähk’s folk tale Rehepapp, a 19th century story of an Estonian peasant girl who sets out to win the heart of an infatuated young man while supernatural forces converge around the village.

Katrin Kissa of Homeless Bob Production (Estonia) produced with Ellen Havenith of Prpl (The Netherlands), and Łukasz Dzięcioł of Opus Film (Poland).

Oscilloscope acquired rights from the producers and will open the film theatrically later this year.

The distributor’s credits include Embrace Of The Serpent, We Need To Talk About Kevin, The Vanished Elephant, and The Love Witch. »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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