9 items from 2016
On the eve of the Efm, the industry veteran has joined the company as evp of international marketing.
Stx Entertainment president of international sales John Friedberg announced the hire on Wednesday.
Friedenson most recently served as head of international marketing at StudioCanal and previously served as svp of international marketing at Paramount Pictures/ Paramount Vantage.
The executive will immediately begin working on Stx’s upcoming features including the untitled female comedy directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore and starring Mila Kunis; interplanetary adventure The Space Between Us with Gary Oldman; and Toronto hit Hardcore Henry, produced by Timur Bekmambetov.
She began her international film marketing career at Lionsgate working on campaigns for Monster’s Ball, Amores Perros, 3:10 to Yuma and the Saw films.
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
The next generation of Mexican filmmakers, Julio Chavezmontes of Piano Films, and Moises Cosio of Detalle Films, executive producer of Atom Egoyan’s “Remember," Jodorowsky’s “The Dance of Reality,” and Apichatpong Weersethaku’s “Cemetery of Splendor,” are premiering "We Are The Flesh” ("Tenemos la carne") in Iff Rotterdam’s Bright Future Section.
The directorial debut by 25-year-old Emiliano Rocha Minter has the support of Academy Award-winning directors Alejandro González Iñárritu (“Amores Perros”) and Alfonso Cuarón (“Gravity), with Cannes-winning director Carlos Reygadas ("Silent Light", "Post Tenebras Lux”) involved as a co-producer. This makes "Tenemos la carne"/ "We are the Flesh" the first Mexican film, let alone a feature debut, to receive the endorsement of three of the most important directors working today. That is a film to see! It will also be on offer at the Berlinale’s Efm by its international sales agent, Reel Suspects.
In addition to Reygadas, Mexican director Sebastian Hofmann, of the Sundance New Frontier film "Halley," Yann Gonzalez, French director director of Cannes Critics’ Week Special Screening “You and the Night,” and Splendor Omnia’s Natalia Lopez, are co-producers of the film. Mexican associate producers are Simplemente’s Rune Hansen, Monica Reina and Celia Iturraga. "We Are The Flesh" was supported by the Mexican Film Institute's (Imcine) Foprocine fund.
"We Are the Flesh" takes place in a post-apocalyptic Mexico in which a brother and sister find their way into one of the last remaining buildings after years of wandering. Inside, they find a man who makes them a dangerous offer to survive in the outside world. You can view the trailer below:
- Sydney Levine
Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan ("Once Upon a Time in Anatolia," "Winter Sleep") and Russian filmmaker Alexsandr Sokurov ("Faust," Russian Ark") have been confirmed as Masters for the Doha Film Institute’s second edition of Qumra, set to take place from March 4-9, 2016.
Following the huge success of its inaugural edition, the two acclaimed filmmakers join previously announced Qumra Masters Naomi Kawase and Lucrecia Martel for the second edition of the new initiative, which debuted in March 2015 to support the development of emerging filmmakers from Qatar, the region and around the world
Ceylan and Sokurov are both masters in world cinema whose work has received the highest accolades at the world’s most prestigious film festivals including the Berlin Film Festival, the Cannes Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival.
Fatma Al Remaihi, CEO of Doha Film Institute said: “We are proud to welcome Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Alexsandr Sokurov to Qumra. They have each created a distinctive body of work and a cinematic legacy for generations to come. They are an inspiration, not only to the emerging filmmakers whose work will be mentored through Qumra, but to us all.”
In their role as Qumra Masters, Ceylan and Sokurov will participate in a series of masterclasses, and one-on-one advisory sessions with participating Qumra projects and industry professionals from around the world, with a selection of the Masters’ films being screened for Doha audiences during the event. Qumra is presented by the Doha Film Institute and was developed with the guidance of Artistic Advisor, Elia Suleiman who participated as a Master in the inaugural edition.
In addition to representatives from the 30 projects from Qatar, the Mena region and around the world whose projects are mentored through the initiative, members of the local and regional creative industries are also invited to participate in Qumra, where they will have the opportunity to attend a series of networking events, Qumra Master Classes, and daily screenings of films by the Qumra Masters and recipients of funding from the Institute, followed by question-and-answer sessions.
Online accreditation is now open for local film industry delegates to register for Qumra 2016. Film and media industry professionals can visit www.dohafilminstitute.com to register their interest and and will receive a confirmation of accreditation after February 21, 2016. Capacity is limited and applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Nuri Bilge Ceylan was born in Istanbul and after graduating from the Department of Electrical Engineering at Istanbul's Boğaziçi University, he studied cinema at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University for two years.
After making the short film "Cocoon" (1995), his first two feature-length films, "Small Town" (1997) and "Clouds of May" (1999) were screened at the Berlin International Film Festival.
His subsequent films 'Distant' (2002), won the Grand Jury and Best Actor Prizes at the Cannes Film Festival; "Climates" (2006) which took the Fipresci Prize at Cannes; "Three Monkeys" (2008), for which he was named Best Director at Cannes; and "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia" (2011), which gave him his second Cannes Grand Jury Prize.
"'Winter Sleep" (2014), his most recent film, received the Palme d’Or, the most prestigious award of the Cannes Film Festival.
Alexander Sokurov was born in 1951 in the former Ussr. While a student of history at Gorky University, he began working in television and, at the age of 19, he produced several films and live television programmes. In 1975, he began studies at Vgik in Moscow and at the time of his graduation, Andrei Tarkovsky, impressed by Sokurov’s first feature, ‘The Lonely Voice of a Man’ (1977; released 1987) lent the younger director his support and the two went on to become lifelong friends.
In 1980 Sokurov went to work at Lenfilm, while at the same time working at the Leningrad Studio for Documentary Films. He has won numerous awards over the course of his career and in 1995, the European Film Academy listed Sokurov as one of the best 100 directors of world cinema.
He found international acclaim in 1997, with the release of "Mother and Son," which received the Silver St. George award at the Moscow International Film Festival and six years later ‘Father and Son’ (2003), took the Fipresci Prize at the Festival de Cannes. His "Russian Ark" (2002), remarkable for being composed of a single shot taken in the Winter Palace of the Russian State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, won the Visions Award at the Toronto International Film Festival.
His extensive filmography also includes numerous documentaries, and a tetralogy of films that are a meditation on power. ‘Moloch’ (1999), won the Best Screenplay Award at Cannes; "Taurus" (2001); "The Sun" (2004) and "Faust" (2011) which premiered at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the Golden Lion, the festival’s most prestigious prize.
Most recently, "Francofonia" (2015), Sokurov’s consideration of the Louvre Museum, premiered in Venice, where it won the Mimmo Rotella Award. Currently, he is in the process of founding Bereg, a film studio for non-commercial films.
Previous Qumra Masters include Mexican actor, director and producer Gael Garcia Bernal ("Amores Perros;""No;" "Deficit"), Mauritanian director Abderrahmane Sissako ("Timbuktu" - nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2015 Academy Awards); Romanian auteur and Palme d’Or winner Cristian Mungiu ("4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days;" "Beyond the Hills"); and Bosnian writer/director Danis Tanović ("An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker;" "Tigers," "No Man’s Land" - winner of Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2001). »
- Sydney Levine
“The Revenant” director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu and Carlos Reygadas, whose 2002 debut “Japan” brought down the flag on a new generation of filmmakers that have revolutionized filmmaking in Mexico, are backing horror thriller “Tenemos la carne” (We Are the Flesh), a flagship title from another new wave of Mexican producers and directors.
Broadening its portfolio of envelope-pushing genre titles, Matteo Lovadina’s Paris-based sales company Reel Suspects has acquired world sales rights to “We Are the Flesh.” It will world premiere Feb. 2 at the Rotterdam Fest’s Bright Future section, with Reygadas on board as a co-producer and Inarritu committing to talk up the title to Mexico’s press. Post-production work was carried out at Reygadas’ Splendor Omnia ranch-facility nestling in the Mexican hills one-hour’s drive south of Mexico City. Apart from Reygadas, Splendor Omnia’s Natalia Lopez and Splendor Omnia take co-producer credits.
Mexican Emiliano Rocha Minter’s first feature, »
- John Hopewell
Oscar-nominated revenge drama The Revenant is out in the UK. We talk to its director about its ice-cold shoot, modern filmmaking and more.
Freezing sleet stinging the tips of the ears. Icy north wind like sandpaper against the nipples. A problem with the underground left your humble writer traipsing in the grim January weather to meet Alejandro G Iñárritu, the lauded director of such award-winning films as Amores Perros, Birdman, and now a powerful survival-revenge drama, The Revenant.
The tribulations of Iñárritu and his cast and crew during The Revenant’s production make walking through sleet sound like a positive joy. This was, after all, a movie that saw filming take place in sub-zero temperatures, with lead actor Leonardo DiCaprio suffering from repeated bouts of illness. Last July, an anonymous crewmember told The Hollywood Reporter that the shoot - which took place in remote parts of Canada and Argentina, »
He may've just won Hollywood's attention by snagging the coveted trophy for best actor in a television series, comedy or musical, but Gael García Bernal has long been an indie darling. Though it's his first Golden Globe win, it definitely wasn't the actor's first impressive performance. Wondering where you've seen Mozart in the Jungle's intense New York Symphony maestro before? Here's a primer on the Mexican heartthrob making headlines this awards season. 1. He revved our engines in The Motorcycle Diaries.Bernal made a lasting impression in the 2004 biopic The Motorcycle Diaries, where he played the young Che Guevara on »
- Diana Pearl
An icy chill blows through Alejandro Iñárritu’s period drama The Revenant, and it’s not just from the horrendous weather. In The Revenant’s bitter world of head lice, scalpings, casual murder and revenge, there is little kindness to be found - much less forgiveness.
The easy synopsis might go thus: Leonardo DiCaprio’s expert tracker and marksman, Hugh Glass, is mauled by a bear and left for dead by his comrades, not least the treacherous, flea-bitten John Fitzgerald (an almost unrecognisable Tom Hardy). Hauling himself across the icy north-western wilderness, Glass miraculously survives his injuries and resolves to find the man who left him behind.
There is, however, far more to Iñárritu’s film than a straight, cathartic revenge tale. The film’s whole »
Most filmmakers spend the duration of a career emphasizing one walk of life over the infinite others, but occasionally there is an artist who seeks the truth through universality: the common thread that unifies a Mexican intersection, a Moroccan village, or an American theatre into a snapshot of what it truly means to be alive. Director Alejandro González Iñárritu is one such artist, pursuing the crevices of the human soul for nearly twenty years, and doggedly striving to capture fear, hope, and mortality on the silver screen. Some label it pessimistic cinema, but in the words of Iñárritu idol Oscar Wilde, “A pessimist is nothing but a well informed optimist.”
Starting his own production company in the 1990s, the Mexico City native would spend much of the decade churning out advertisements and short films – many of which, including Detras del Dinero (1995) and El Timbre (1996), provided glimpses of the director’s penchant for humanized drama. »
- Danilo Castro
Sergio Arau: Filmmaker, musician, band leader, song writer and visual artist.
I met him recently at the terrific Loft Film Festival in Tucson Az along with his wonderful charming and smart wife Yareli Arizmendi.
To get this out of the way, his dad is the famous Director Alfonso Arau. In addition to directing "Like Water for Chocolate"/ "Como agua para chocolate" (1992), his directing credits include "A Walk in the Clouds" (1995) with Keanu Reeves and "Picking Up the Pieces" (2000) with Woody Allen.
Sergio the son was born in Mexico City. His wife -- they met on the set of "Like Water For Chocolate" -- is the amazing Yareli Arizmendi. They are partners in "life and film".
Their first production was a cabaret show in Mexico. "Penny Envy" was the name of it and it satirized the Us-Mexico "free trade agreement" of 1992. Yareli wrote and performed the monologues while Sergio wrote the songs, sang and played the music. The show played both in the Mexico and the United States through the Performance Art Network. The show was in universities in California, NYC and Boulder.
Sergio attended Cuec Film School from 1976 to 1980. There he directed short films, one of which went to the Film Festival in Havana. He graduated with a feature script about kids in San Luis Potosi who kidnap the Virgin of Guadalupe. He was going to make it but then in 1982 the Us $ vs the Mx Peso had a 20 times increase and his budget went away.
His "day job" during film school was as a political cartoonist for two papers, La Jornada and Uno Mas Uno.
He stopped playing music all together after the infamous mass government killings of students in 1968 when the Mexican government tried to stop all protest rock n roll, so the music went underground. In 1983 he formed the band, Botellita de Jerez.
In 1985 the band opened Rockotitlan which to this date is recognized as the breaking ground and breathing room for the 80's rock scene and important contemporary Mexican bands such as Cafe Tacvba and Caifanes amongst others. The club had two unalienable rules: Music played must be original and compositions must be in Spanish.
He began in 1990 to make music videos of his songs. He did the concept, the visuals and music. He then began to direct for other groups and other genres.
In 1998 MTV awarded him best rock video award for the Cafe Tacvba version of "Alarmala de Tos" one of Sergio's original songs.
In 1992 he moved to San Diego and by 1994 was disconcerted by the the anti-immigrant sentiment whipped up by Governor Wilson's Proposition 187.
Yareli, as a way to deal with California's blind spot, came up with "A Day Without a Mexican." The idea that if California or the nation experienced one day without a single Latino, the reality of the valuable contribution and interdependence of all would sink in.
He and Yareli were financially backed in 1997 by the Fine Arts Center Museum of Chicago to secure the premiere of the short film "A Day Without a Mexican" in 1998.
At the Guadalajara Film Fest 1998, the short won the Audience Award. It was there that Alta Vista Films (producer of Iñarritu's "Amores Perros") approached the team to work on the feature-length version. Written by both, directed by Sergio and starring Yareli, the film, with a Us $2 million budget, was released in the U.S. May 14, 2004 and six months later in Mexico. It was Mexico's highest box office for that year. The film was Televisa's first distribution experience it in the U.S., where a limited release in California, Texas, Chicago yielded Us $4.5 million in theaters, and more than 500,000 DVD were sold.
Their teaser campaign consisted of a billboard in the heart of Hollywood that read: "On May 14 there will be no Mexicans in California." People reacted strongly to the message calling radio and TV stations. Viacom, owner of the billboard space, took it down after 3 hours fearing riots. As a result there was huge U.S. national press coverage including the Wall Street Journal featured story on page one and Dan Rather Evening news.
In 2007 he shot "Naco es Chido"/ "Kitsch is Cool", a Mexican "Spinal Tap" featuring his band, Botellita de Jerez. As a distribution strategy, he took the film on the road, screening it and following it up with a live concert with the band. This lasted for 3 years, 2010-2012.
He is currently working on the sequel: "Another Day Without a Mexican: This Time It's Personal." »
- Peter Belsito
9 items from 2016
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