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4 items from 2016


WestEnd Closes Raft of Deals on Ballet Documentary ‘Dancer’ (Exclusive)

1 April 2016 4:43 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

London — WestEnd Films has closed a raft of deals on the documentary about ballet star Sergei PoluninDancer,” directed by Academy Award nominee Steven Cantor and produced by another Oscar nominee, Gabrielle Tana (“Philomena”).

Rights on the film have gone to Universum (Germany), TF1 Video (France), Teodora (Italy), Smile (Scandinavia), Karma (Spain), Praesens (Switzerland), Vendetta (Australia and New Zealand), Pnw (Canada), Uplink (Japan), At9 (Korea), DDDream (China), Edko (Hong Kong) and United King (Israel), in addition to the U.S. rights deal signed with IFC/Sundance Selects announced recently.

Dancer” offers “an immersive personal portrait” of Polunin, the youngest principal dancer ever at the British Royal Ballet. The film includes the exclusive clip “Take Me to Church,” directed by David Lachapelle, which reached over 14 million views. “Dancer” itself is directed by Cantor, who was Oscar nominated with Peter Spirer in 1993 in the documentary (short subject) category for “Blood Ties: The Life and Work of Sally Mann »

- Leo Barraclough

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Women to Watch: Wendy Lidell, Kino Lorber's New Senior VP, Theatrical Distribution and Acquisitions

24 February 2016 12:31 PM, PST | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

Congratulations to Wendy Lidell, whom we have known during her outstanding career spanning over 25 years, for being appointed as the Kino Lorber'snew Senior Vice President, Theatrical Distribution and Acquisitions.

 

As the head of Kino Lorber’s theatrical division, Ms. Lidell will oversee and manage all aspects of the company’s theatrical and non-theatrical slate, over 25 films per year, reporting directly to CEO Richard Lorber. Reporting to her are the company’s current team: Jonathan Hertzberg, Director of Theatrical Sales (who will continue to handle film bookings nationwide), Sylvia Savadjian, Director of Marketing, and Rodrigo Brandão, VP of Marketing and Publicity. 

In addition to her new duties, Lidell will work directly with Richard Lorber to drive new business opportunities for the company, including identifying new content acquisitions and strategic growth areas.

She previously worked with Richard Lorber when he acquired International Film Circuit in 1998, to become the theatrical division of his company Fox Lorber. While at Fox Lorber, which later became Wellspring Media, Lidell released six to eight titles per year, including Alexander Sokurov’s "Russian Ark", François Ozon’s "Under the Sand", starring Charlotte Rampling, "Yi Yi“ by Edward Yang (named Best Film of the Year by the National Society of Film Critics), and "On the Ropes" (nominated for a documentary Academy Award). 

 

After returning to International Film Circuit in 2004, Lidell released dozens of films, including "Don't Move," starring Penelope Cruz, "Darwin's Nightmare," which earned her a second documentary Academy Award nomination, and "Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg, "which joined the elite group of documentaries that have grossed over $1 million theatrically. Other notable successes included "My Perestroika," "The Waiting Room," Nancy Spielberg’s "Above and Beyond" and "Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness."

 

“It’s a very happy opportunity for Kino Lorber and me, personally, to work with Wendy again,” said Kino Lorber CEO Richard Lorber. “She has distinguished herself as a brilliant forward thinking film executive and passionate entrepreneur in our challenging environment, regularly acquiring and bringing to screen films of exceptional quality and commercial promise. In all my earlier years working with her, she never disappointed me – while her eye for quality and intelligence of execution never failed her. We couldn’t be more pleased to have her lead our theatrical team into the future. “

“It will be an enormous pleasure to join the Kino Lorber team,” wrote Wendy Lidell. “There are few film companies that combine a passion for great cinema with the business acumen required to navigate the challenges of a rapidly changing distribution landscape.  Together, I hope we can continue for many years to bring more great films to bigger and more diverse audiences.”

 

Current and upcoming released from Kino Lorber include Amos Gitai’s "Rabin, the Last Day,  Jia Zhangke’s "Mountains May Depart," Jayro Bustamante's "Ixcanul," and "Sons My Brother Taught Me. "

  »

- Sydney Levine

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NatGeo Greenlights Documentaries on the L.A. Riots, Jane Goodall

21 January 2016 4:51 PM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

The National Geographic Channel has greenlit two new documentaries that will chronicle the research of beloved British primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall and the proceedings of Los Angeles’ infamous 1992 race riots, the network announced Thursday.

Brett Morgen, known for the Emmy-nominated doc “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck” and Oscar-nominated film “On the Ropes,” is set to direct, produce and write the untitled Jane Goodall biopic, which will feature never-before-seen video archives from Goodall’s findings at Tanzania’s Gombe National Park in the 1960s. Now, over fifty years later, the recently re-discovered video footage of her early chimpanzee research will be unveiled.

“While Jane’s story has been told before, our hope is that this film will invite viewers to experience the joy, exhilaration, and thrill that Jane herself experienced in Gombe,” said Morgen. “This promises to be a truly immersive cinematic experience.”

The project will be produced for the »

- Alyssa Sage

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‘Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck’ Filmmaker to Direct Jane Goodall Doc

21 January 2016 2:14 PM, PST | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Brett Morgen is partnering with the National Geographic Channel to create a documentary on Dr. Jane Goodall, the network announced Thursday. Morgen, known for the Emmy-nominated documentary “Cobain: Montage of Heck” and the Academy Award-nominated movie “On the Ropes,” will direct, produce and write the untitled feature biopic about the world’s most beloved primatologist. The director will draw on recently re-discovered archived film from Dr. Goodall’s early research at Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania during the 1960s. The documentary will have a theatrical release followed by a global television premiere on the National Geographic Channel in 171 countries and 45 languages. »

- Joe Otterson

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4 items from 2016


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