15 items from 2017
Cannes’ biggest achievement is that it’s the most important festival in the world while San Sebastián remains the highest-profile festival in the Spanish-speaking world. The festival has maintained its staple sections while constantly innovating. From a bigger Basque presence to TV series, here are 10 not-to-be-missed 2017 novelties, events and trends.
Arnold Schwarzenegger presents “Wonders of the Sea 3D,” which he narrates. He leads a strong star presence including Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz (“Loving Pablo”), Alicia Vikander (“Submergence”), Glenn Close (“The Wife”), James Franco (“The Disaster Artist”), Todd Haynes and jury head John Malkovich. Also attending will be Donostia honorees Ricardo Darin, Monica Bellucci and Agnès Varda, her prize representing a drive to “open up the Donostia Awards to cineasts we love, but who perhaps don’t have the glamor of stars,” says San Sebastian director José Luis Rebordinos.
High-end TV goes high-profile at San Sebastián: Alberto Rodriguez’s 1580 Seville-set serial killer thriller »
- John Hopewell
The independent film world can be brutal and there’s a high mortality rate for companies looking to break into the movie business. Over the past year, the likes of Broad Green, Alchemy, and Relativity Media have either scaled back their operations or shut off the lights entirely.
But Bold Films, the producer of “Nightcrawler” and “Whiplash,” believes that betting on auteurs is the key to its longevity. Now in its 14th year, it has inked “first look” deals with Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Productions and Jake Gyllenhaal’s Nine Stories Productions, and it’s preparing to unveil its most ambitious slate yet, a series of films featuring the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Keira Knightley, and Dev Patel.
Over the past two years, Bold has moved from buying packages, the industry term for films that agents cobble together with scripts and talent attached, to ramping up its in-house productions.
“The package market is thin, »
- Brent Lang
Cannes grand prix winner 120 Beats Per Minute in selection for the European Parliament’s Lux Prize Photo: Courtesy of Karlovy Vary International Film Festival With the aim of ensuring European films receives as wide a showing as possible in cinemas all over the continent, the organisers of the 11th edition of the Lux Prize revealed the nominees for this year’s accolade at the 52nd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
The official selection includes the much admired Cannes Competition entry and grand prix winner 120 Beats Per Minute by Robin Campillo from France; Amanda Kernell's indigenous drama Sámi Blood; and migrant story The Other Side of Hope, by Finland’s Aki Kaurismaki.
The Prize is bestowed every year by the European Parliament to cast “a spotlight on the diversity of European cinema and its importance in building social and cultural values”.
The selection was unveiled last night (July 2) in the »
- Richard Mowe
Samuel Goldwyn Films has snagged the U.S. rights to “The Queen of Spain,” a comedy that sees Oscar winner Penélope Cruz playing a film star. ScreenDaily reports that a VOD launch is planned for August 29.
A follow-up to 1998’s “The Girl of Your Dreams,” “The Queen of Spain” centers on Macarena Granada, “who flees Hollywood in the 1950s and returns to her roots in Spain where she signs on to star in an epic film as Queen Isabella of Spain,” the source summarizes. “The Girl of Your Dreams” depicts Macarena earlier in her career when she’s invited to film a project in Nazi Germany’s Ufa Studios.
“This movie captures the era in the middle of ’50s where we see the encounter of Spanish Cinema (under Franco) with American Films (at McCarthy times),” said the director. “It’s a comedy that is a tribute to classical comedy, it’s my love letter to movies and its people.”
“The Queen of Spain” screened at the Berlinale back in February.
Cruz won an Oscar in 2009 for “Vicky Christina Barcelona.” She also scored nods for “Nine” and “Volver.” She’ll play fashion designer Donatella Versace in the upcoming season of “American Crime Story,” set to debut next year.
Penélope Cruz-Starrer “The Queen of Spain” Acquired by Samuel Goldwyn Films was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Laura Berger
Cruz stars as the famous movie star Macarena Granada, who flees the glamour of 1950s Hollywood to return to her roots in Spain where she has signed on to star in an epic film as Queen Isabella of Spain. Elwes plays an American movie star cast opposite Cruz’s character in the film.
“The Queen of Spain” was theatrically released in Spain by Universal. The film was nominated for five Goya Awards, including a nomination for Cruz as best actress.
Trueba said, “This movie captures the era in the middle of ’50s where we see »
- Dave McNary
Madrid — Santiago Segura, creator and star of the “Torrente” movie series and one of the Spanish-speaking world’s most popular comedians, is directing his first non-“Torrente” movie, a Spanish version of Nicolas Lopez’s Chilean smash-hit “No Filter.”
Spanish actress Marbel Verdú (“Belle Epoque,” “Y Tu Mama Tambien,” “Pan’s Labyrinth”) stars. The production, “Empowered,” went into production in Madrid this Monday and will shoot for seven weeks in the Spanish capital.
Segura and long-time producing partner Maria Luisa Gutierrez will produce out of Bowfinger Intl. Pictures, in co-production with Atresmedia Cine, the film arm of Spanish broadcast network Atresmedia. The film will also use a tax vehicle, Sin Filtro La Pelicula Aie. Movistar + has acquired Spanish pay TV rights; Warner Bros. Pictures International España will distribute in Spain.
Guido Rud’s FilmSharks Intl. has acquired international sales rights to Segura’s “Empowered.”
The deal comes as FilmSharks, which »
- John Hopewell
Stephane Brize, whose 2016 film “The Measure of a Man” competed at Cannes and earned its star Vincent Lindon a prize, is re-teaming with Lindon for “Un autre monde.”
MK2, which previously handled Brize’s “Une vie,” an adaptation of Guy de Maupassant’s classic novel, and “The Measure of a Man,” has acquired international sales on “Un autre monde.”
Christophe Rossignon and Philip Boeffard at Nord-Ouest Films are producing the film; it had produced “The Measure of a Man.”
“Un autre monde” stars Lindon as an union leader representing workers who are facing layoffs because their factory is closing. As the closing of the factory becomes more highly publicized, Lindon’s character quickly becomes a prominent figure in the media.
“The script of ‘Un autre monde’ is one of the most powerful I’ve read — it’s both political and humanistic in the subtle way that it portrays each side. »
- Elsa Keslassy
Maverick French director Bruno Dumont returns after Slack Bay with this baffling, deliberately disconcerting musical that won’t have your toes tapping
One of the Cannes film festival’s favourite aging enfant terribles, especially since Lars Von Trier seems to be still banned for life, Bruno Dumont returns to the Croisette this year with his latest assiette de wackitude, Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc. Hopefully, distributors outside of France will see sense and drop the formality of the subtitle and just rename this Jeanette! – because it is, of all things, a musical about young Jeanne d’Arc and everyone knows musicals are better with exclamation points.
Having dipped a toe into more commercial waters with his last two outing – miniseries Li’l Quinquin and the star-led feature Slack Bay, both black but broad comedies – Dumont returns to more familiar sombre, avant-garde territory with this adaptation of a play »
- Leslie Felperin
The Hollywood News was lucky enough to be invited to the after party for Todd Haynes’ superb new film Wonderstruck at Nikki Beach Cannes yesterday evening. The stars of the film, including Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams, Millicent Simmonds and Jaden Michael made it down to the beach front in front of the iconic Carlton Hotel on the Croisette, along with Haynes himself. It was such a fun event with plenty of 1920s-themed music fused with chilled-out beach beats.
Wonderstruck will be released in cinemas later in the year, but for those interested in our thoughts can head over to our spoiler free review that we posted just before the premiere on Thursday afternoon.
Here are some images from the Nikki Beach Cannes after party for Wonderstruck.
- Paul Heath
Presided by Kirk D’Amico, Myriad will introduce “Shadow Girl” to buyers at the Cannes Film Market which kicked off yesterday.
Targeting a still underserved Ya and adult female audience which has made a large hit of such titles as “Me Before You,” “Shadow Girl,” marks a move towards the mainstream for Claudia Myers who broke through to attention with “Fort Bliss” – a “solid, affecting drama,” Variety said.
Billed as a magical love story and from an original screenplay by Myers which also has coming of age elements, “Shadow Girl” stars Mamet as a girl, Holly, who has literally faded with the death of her mother until near invisible – until she meets Shane, a disgraced Mma champ, who can make her out. But Holly discovers she bears more responsibility than she imagined for Shane »
- John Hopewell
Penélope Cruz rescues this frequently silly comedy, set on a 1950s film set in Franco’s Spain, as a larger-than-life actor in an entertaining, at times exasperating story
There’s a kind of excitable silliness in this disposable, film-within-a-film comedy from Fernando Trueba, starring Penélope Cruz – to whom Trueba gave her big break in his 1992 film Belle Epoque. In fact, it’s maybe the nearest thing that this year’s Berlin film festival has to a Carry On. There are one or two groans and finger-drumming moments of impatience, due to its sentimentality, perverse nostalgia and knowingly retro sexual politics. But it also has a kind of puppyish excitability, one or two laughs, and a lovely song, when Cruz sings Granada on a movie set. In fact, Cruz saves the film. The cinephilia and movie-studio fetishism are picturesque, though Almodóvar has given us the same thing with more intensity and feeling. »
- Peter Bradshaw
Queen Of Spain review
Told primarily in its native tongue, but with some English, mostly coming from the American actors in the picture, Trueba’s film is set in 1950s Spain where returning actress Macarena Granada (Cruz) is welcomed home to shoot a Hollywood-financed historical production. We’re introduced to the actress and via reels of archived footage from the day, some real, some enhanced with Cruz’s likeness skillfully inserted. We’re painted an instant picture of Granada’s life up-to-now, both private and professional before quickly shifting to the then present-day and the character of Blas Fontiveros (Antonio Resines), who has also returned home after a long period of time missing. »
- Paul Heath
Myriad will introduce the family film to buyers at the upcoming Berlin European Film Market.
Reuniting the creative team behind the original “Red Dog” – writer Daniel Taplitz (“Chaos Theory”), producer Nelson Woss (“Ned Kelly”) and director Kriv Stenders (“Kill Me Three Times”) – “Red Dog: True Blue” had its U.S. premiere at the Sundance Festival. It will now screen Friday as the opening film at the Berlin International Film Festival’s Generation Kplus, one of the two sections at the world’s biggest fest focus for children, youth and family movies.
“Red Dog: True Blue” was greeted enthusiastically by critics in its Australian homeland, where it has grossed more than $5 million to date, a solid result. It also received an upbeat reaction at Sundance, »
- John Hopewell
Mediaset España, Spain’s No. 1 broadcast network, and Filmax, one of its top film-tv producers, have rolled out first sales on “I Know Who You Are,” a crime drama directed by Pau Freitas, a writer-director on “The Red Band Society,” one of the highest-profile of Spanish TV series this decade.
The licensing deals form part of a push into international sales by Mediaset España as it seeks to grow additional revenue outside its hugely successful core advertising business which drives one of the highest operating profit margins in Europe: 26% through September last year.
“I Know Who You Are” also shows the network, controlled by Italy’s Mediaset, linking to some of Spain’s iconic movie production houses: Filmax, the driving force behind modern genre production in Spain (“[Rec]”), and Mod Producciones, co-producers of Mediaset España’s four-part period miniseries, “Hidden Behind Her Eyes” and whose heads – Fernando Bovaira and Simon de Santiago – produced Alejandro Amenabar’s “The Others” and »
- John Hopewell
Paris — “Just saw this so wonderful masterpiece for competition this year in Cannes,” announced Thierry Fremaux, as on Friday he bounded into a theater at the Gaumont Capucines, just down from the Place d’Opera in Paris.
Fremaux, as so oftenin public, was of course joking. He was at the cinema wearing his other cap as the director of Lyon’s Lumière Institut, to present and provide live commentary to “Lumière!” an omnibus feature film of shorts shot by Louis Lumière and his operators between 1895 and 1905. Some distributors who caught the presentation instanced it as a highlight of the UniFrance Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, of which it formed part.
As Fremaux commented in Paris presenting “Lumière!” most people can name around five Lumière shorts, with “Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory” and “The Arrival Of A Train At La Ciotat Station” near the top of the list. A few might be »
- John Hopewell
15 items from 2017
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