15 items from 2017
The American Film Institute (AFI) has announced the films that will be featured in their New Auteurs and American Independents sections at the upcoming AFI Fest 2017 presented by Audi. Selections include a number of lauded features from around the festival circuit, including Cannes offerings like “I Am Not a Witch,” SXSW favorites like “Gemini” and “Mr. Roosevelt,” the Sundance breakout “Thoroughbreds,” and Joseph Kahn’s Toronto Midnight Madness favorite “Bodied,” among others.
Highlighting first- and second-time feature film directors, New Auteurs is designed as the festival’s platform for upcoming filmmakers from all over the world to showcase their new films. This year, the section includes 11 films, nine of which come from female directors. Similarly, AFI Fest’s American Independents section aims to represent the best of this year’s independent filmmaking. Pushing boundaries of form and content across narrative and documentary cinema, this section includes 11 films from both fresh »
- Kate Erbland
A trailer for “The Tribes of Palos Verdes” kicks off with a toast — “to new beginnings, to us.” “It was always my father’s dream to move to California — that we could start a whole new life,” explains Medina (Maika Monroe, “It Follows”). So they pack their bags and resolve to do just that.
What begins on an optimistic, idyllic note, complete with picture-perfect California weather, slowly transforms into a nightmare throughout the course of the spot. The trouble is, the “whole new life” Medina’s father (Justin Kirk, “Modern Family”) has been dreaming of apparently doesn’t involve his wife (Jennifer Garner).
“I’ve met someone. I’ve fallen in love,” Medina’s dad announces, after his wife has left everything behind to make his California dreams come true. Heartbroken and lonely, she seems to go down an emotional spiral. And Medina’s twin brother (Cody Fern, “Christmas Eve, 1914”) uses drugs as a coping mechanism as he watches his family fall apart. “Caught in the middle of it all, Medina must rely on her inner strength to become the stabilizing force in her family, while finding refuge in a new passion: surfing,” the film’s synopsis details.
Trailer Watch: Jennifer Garner’s Family Falls Apart in “The Tribes of Palos Verdes” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Laura Berger
For the love of Jon Hamm, there’s been a sizable data dump for the upcoming season of “Black Mirror.” The dystopian hit, created by Charlie Brooker and picked up by Netflix after a two-year run in the U.K., spilled some key details about its fourth season on Friday. In step with the Edinburgh TV Festival, Netflix announced that Rosemarie DeWitt, Jesse Plemmons, Andrea Riseborough, “Black Panther” star Letitia Wright, “Westworld” star Jimmi Simpson and more have been cast in the next round of episodes. Also Read: How 'Black Mirror's California Dreams Put Dystopian Netflix Series in »
- Matt Donnelly
Keep up with the always-hopping film festival world with our weekly Film Festival Roundup column. Check out last week’s Roundup right here.
– The American Film Institute (AFI) has announced the full slate of films for AFI Docs 2017, a five-day documentary celebration in the nation’s capital. Each year, the festival is committed to providing artists with the opportunity to present powerfully told, artfully constructed stories — and to connect audiences and filmmakers with policy leaders. AFI Docs 2017 runs June 14 – 18 in Washington, DC, and Silver Spring, MD.
“The 2017 slate of films reflects AFI Docs’ mission to celebrate powerfully told stories and the people at the heart of them,” said Michael Lumpkin, Director, AFI Docs. “Documentaries continue to play an important role in our country regardless of partisan lines. No matter your background, these human stories have the power to inform and inspire. We look forward to another year of dynamic nonfiction cinema. »
- Kate Erbland
Amazon has swept up streaming rights to 40 films that screened the 2017 SXSW Film Festival — including “Most Beautiful Island,” the Grand Jury Award winner for narrative feature — saying it will pay out at least $1.9 million in upfront cash bonuses for the titles.
The ecommerce giant snagged the SXSW selections through Amazon Video Direct’s Film Festival Stars program, designed to be a streamlined, no-haggle way for independent filmmakers to get paid for digital distribution. Amazon acquired 15 films from this year’s Sundance Film Festival under the program; it extended a similar offer to entrants in the Tribeca Film Festival and plans to take it to the Toronto International Film Festival, too.
Since Amazon launched Avd a year ago, the company says users have streamed “billions of minutes” of content distributed through the program and Amazon has paid “tens of millions” of dollars in royalties to distributors, filmmakers and content creators across genres including independent films, »
- Todd Spangler
If you can’t trust the talking cat — or perhaps the question should be if you can — whom do you trust? Such are brain-frying quandaries viewers may face deep into the darkness of “Animals,” a deliciously unhinged, blood-laced adult fairy tale from Swiss-Polish writer-director Greg Zglinski. Setting out with real-world levels of macabre nastiness as it wittily probes the marital faultlines between a bourgeois Viennese couple attempting a restorative Alpine getaway, the film takes a smooth, almost imperceptible left turn into Lynchian realms of illogic that will leave adventurous audiences both rapt and dazed, dreamily uncertain of where exactly they lost the plot. Unraveling this cat’s-cradle isn’t half as important or pleasurable as getting entangled in it to begin with; Zglinski’s espresso-dark humor and icy formal precision may nod to a host of expert cinematic mind-gamers, from Polanski to von Trier, at different intervals, but “Animals” gleefully »
- Guy Lodge
“Chavela,” directed by Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi, follows the life of the iconic singer Chavela Vargas, who ran away from Costa Rica to Mexico City in her early teens and began singing in the streets. She became successful during the 1950s and challenged mainstream Mexican morals, by her life and her art, especially by singing searing love songs originally intended for men wooing women.
She also became a muse to filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar. Vargas died in 2012.
“Chavela” premiered in February at the Berlin Film Festival, where it won the second place Panorama Audience Award. Jay Weissberg said in his review for Variety that the film was “a justifiably laudatory love letter to a woman whose voice drew forth a song’s every emotion, and whose life as »
- Dave McNary
The Spanish film also took home the Grand Prix of the Generation Kplus section for young people’s cinema in Berlin. It recently screened at the Malaga Film Festival of Spanish-Language Cinema, where it won the Golden Biznaga for best Spanish film. Oscilloscope will release the film theatrically in late 2017.
“Six-year-old Frida looks on in silence as the last objects from her recently deceased mother’s apartment in Barcelona are placed in boxes. Although her aunt, uncle, and younger cousin Anna welcome her with open arms, it’s only very slowly that Frida begins to get used to her new home in the countryside,” according to a statement.
“Punctuated by moments of youthful exuberance and mature ruminations, this coming-of-age drama, set amongst summery hues, »
- Leo Barraclough
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[Read the whole post on screenanarchy.com...] »
At 28, model and actress Zoe Kravitz has scaled TV series, studio tentpoles, and small indies. She stopped by SXSW this week with her drama “Gemini,” a film noir in which she portrays an A-list celebrity caught up in a whodunit that involves her assistant. On HBO’s mini-series “Big Little Lies,” she plays a housewife in the outer circle of a group of suburban California women. In J.K. Rowling’s “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” she’s Leta Lestrange, a witch who befriends our protagonist (played by Eddie Redmayne).
Kravitz, the daughter of rock singer Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet, has also been vocal on social media about the 2016 election. After backing Bernie Sanders and then Hillary Clinton, she’s criticized President Donald Trump’s policies and participated in women’s marches. She spoke to Variety about her projects and politics.
- Ramin Setoodeh
Hollywood is known as the place where all the magic happens, where stars are born, and where dreams come true…or at least that’s what the movies they produce love to have us believe. As anyone who’s actually tried to move there and make it as a model/actress/musician will tell you, however, the everyday hustle of pursuing your fantasy career is anything but the glamorous fairytale we’ve been taught it to be. But then again, sometimes all of your California dreams really do come true, just ask Amber Rose who celebrated the city that helped her swift rise to celebdom, »
- Emily Kirkpatrick
The movie tracks the friendship and love affair between Virginia Woolf (Green) and Vita Sackville-West (Arterton), which formed the inspiration for Woolf’s novel “Orlando.”
Button commented: “Focusing on the time in 1927-8 during which Woolf wrote ‘Orlando,’ the novel their relationship inspired, ‘Vita & Virginia’ will be a visceral love story, a vivid exploration of creativity, and an energized perspective on one of our most iconic writers.”
Button added: “We so often associate women of the past with oppression, bound by the duties of marriage, propriety and domesticity; but what ‘Vita & Virginia’ offers is an example of a relationship where bold, brilliant women bent these institutions to their will at great personal cost.”
Button, who made her feature debut in 2015 with “Burn Burn Burn, »
- Variety Staff
SXSW made the announcement Tuesday. Franco directed “The Disaster Artist,” based on the making of Tommy Wiseau’s incomprehensible “The Room,” which some describe as the “’Citizen Kane’ of bad movies.” Franco also stars along with sibling Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Josh Hutcherson, Ari Graynor, Jacki Weaver and Alison Brie.
The program is also attempting to set up a screening of the original “The Room,” which first screened in 2003.
The festival, which is heading into its 24th year, will open March 10 in Austin with the previously announced Terrence Malick movie “Song to Song” with Rooney Mara, Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, and Natalie Portman. It announced most of the lineup a week ago, including world premieres of “Baby Driver” and “The Ballad of Lefty Brown.”
The new announcement includes the SXSW Midnighters section of 10 genre films, »
- Dave McNary
Vicente Canales’ Film Factory Entertainment has acquired worldwide sales rights outside Spain to Javier Calvo and Javier Ambrossi’s offbeat musical comedy “Holy Camp!,” the film adaptation of hit stage play “La llamada.”
One of the top sales agents in the Spanish-speaking world, Film Factory will be presenting “Holy Camp!” and showing its first teaser promo to international buyers at the upcoming Berlin European Film Market.
Produced by Enrique López Lavigne (“The Impossible,” “A Monster Calls”) and Toni Carrizosa and Kike Maíllo (“Barcelona Summer Night”), “Holy Camp!” production teams Madrid-based outfit Apache Films with Barcelona’s Sábado Películas.
Currently in post-production, the film will be released by DeAPlaneta this year in Spanish cinemas.
Described by Film Factory as “a zany, romp coming-of-age musical comedy that brings to mind Almodovar at his funniest,” the film centers on María and Susana, two rebellious teens who spend their summer in a catholic camp, »
- Emiliano De Pablos
Embankment Films is launching worldwide sales at Berlin’s European Film Market on “McQueen,” a feature-doc about Alexander McQueen, “the working-class boy who rose from Savile Row tailor’s apprentice to become the most celebrated and controversial fashion designer in the world,” according to a statement.
The film is directed by Ian Bonhote, director of international campaigns for brands including Gatorade, Puma, Nike and Pepsi, and music promos for artists including Mumford & Sons, Morcheeba, Tom Jones and Jamie Cullen.
Bonhote has directed films for fashion designers Matthew Williamson and Hussein Chalayan, and partnered with model Lily Cole for her film “Perfection.” His latest fashion industry film, “La Lucha,” won multiple awards at La Jolla Intl. Fashion Film Festival, the Miami Fashion Film Festival and the Bruxelles Intl. Fashion Film Festival. Bonhote recently directed his first feature film, “Alleycats,” starring Eleonor Tomlinson and Sam Keeley.
Bonhote said: “I moved to London »
- Leo Barraclough
15 items from 2017
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