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Trump Table of Four: President and First Lady to Dine at Eiffel Tower with French Leader

Trump Table of Four: President and First Lady to Dine at Eiffel Tower with French Leader
Red (raspberries), white (wine) and blue (lobster) — and possibly, by special request, one very well done faux filet steak — will be on order tomorrow when French President Emmanuel Macron takes the Trumps out to dinner.

Instead of a state dinner inside the Elysées Palace, the two presidents and their wives will dine informally at chef Alain Ducasse’s Le Jules Verne, People has learned.

The President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania are escaping to Paris – just a few days after returning to the U.S. from Germany for the G20 summit – amid growing controversy over Donald Jr.’s 2016 meeting
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Industry Week at the Champs Elysees Film Festival

Industry Week at the Champs Elysees Film Festival
June 20–22, 2017‘The heart of Paris beats for film industry’

Industry Week is the professional part of the Champs-Elysées Film Festival.

This label includes the Us in Progress and Paris Coproduction Village. Together they offer 24 film projects at different stages, from development to post production. More than 200 professionals from the industry, producers, international sellers, distributors, etc. are welcomed

Paris Coproduction Village Unveils Its Selection

Organized by Les Arcs European Film Festival within the frame of the Champs-Elysées Film Festival Industry Week, Paris Coproduction Village is made up of professional meetings and is also a financing platform for feature projects selected worldwide.

For its fourth edition, which will take place June 20–22, 2017 in Paris, the following projects have been selected:

“Amparo” by Simón Mesa Soto; 2016 — short film

Madre” Official Competition Cannes, AFI Iff, Chicago Iff; 2014 — short film

Leidi” Golden Palm Cannes, Best UK Short Award London Short Ff, Chicago Iff, Edinburgh Iff) produced
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

'Elle', 'Frantz', 'Slack Bay' lead France's César Award nominations

'Elle', 'Frantz', 'Slack Bay' lead France's César Award nominations
Paul Verhoeven’s thriller Elle and François Ozon’s period drama Frantz scored the most nominations.Scroll Down For List Of Nominees

France’s Academy of Cinema Arts and Sciences has unveiled the nominations for this year’s César Awards.

Paul Verhoeven’s thriller Elle and François Ozon’s post-First World War drama Frantz, followed by Bruno Dumont’s quirky crime caper Slack Bay, lead the contenders for the 42nd edition of the event.

The nominations were revealed at the César’s traditional press conference held at Le Fouquet’s restaurant on the Champs-Elysées on Wednesday morning (Jan 25).

Elle clinched 11 nominations including best film, best director and best actress for Isabelle Huppert. Frantz scored the same number - both films will vie for best film, best director and best adaptation. Slack Bay has nine.

Surprise shut-outs included Bertrand Bonello’s Nocturama, Stéphane Brizé’s A Woman’s Life and Olivier Assayas’s Personal Shopper. Alain Guiraudie’s Staying
See full article at ScreenDaily »

'Elle', 'Slack Bay' lead France's César Award nominations

'Elle', 'Slack Bay' lead France's César Award nominations
Paul Verhoeven’s Oscar-nominated thriller Elle leads the pack with 11 nods.Scroll Down For List Of Nominees

France’s Academy of Cinema Arts and Sciences unveiled the nominations for this year’s César Awards today (Jan 25).

Paul Verhoeven’s thriller Elle, followed by Bruno Dumont’s quirky period drama Slack Bay, led the nominations for 42nd edition of the Cesar Awards.

France’s Academy of Cinema Arts and Techniques revealed the nominations at its traditional conference at Le Fouquet’s restaurant on the Champs-Elysées on Wednesday morning.

Elle clinched 11 nominations including best film, best director and best actress for Isabelle Huppert.

The awards have been overshadowed by controversy this year after Roman Polanski turned down an offer to preside over the 42nd edition of the award after a public outcry.

Alongside calls for a boycott, a petition demanding his removal from the role drew some 60,000 signatures.

A number of women’s rights groups had called for a demonstration
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Paris attacks: cinemas reopen, Disneyland remains shut

Paris attacks: cinemas reopen, Disneyland remains shut
Bridge of Spies, Jane Got a Gun, Steve Jobs junkets cancelled.

Most Paris cinemas were due to reopen their doors on Monday in the aftermath of terror attacks on the French capital that killed at least 132 people and left 350 injured, 99 severely.

In a campaign to mark France’s three days of national mourning, which entered its final day on Monday, the National Federation for French Cinemas (Fncf) announced it was making available a silent, seven-minute Dcp showing the “Peace for Paris” symbol and suggested cinemas played the clip ahead of screenings.

“Cinema theatres are among the most important places of culture in the heart of the city… Cinema must participate actively in fostering social links and national unity during this moment of mourning and solidarity,” said Fncf president Richard Patry.

The design incorporating the Eiffel Tower into the peace symbol, created by French graphic designer Jean Jullien in the wake of the attacks, has become
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Paris attacks: cinemas re-open, Disneyland remains shut

Paris attacks: cinemas re-open, Disneyland remains shut
Bridge of Spies, Jane Got a Gun, Steve Jobs junkets cancelled.

Most Paris cinemas were due to reopen their doors on Monday in the aftermath of terror attacks on the French capital that killed at least 132 people and left 350 injured, 99 severely.

In a campaign to mark France’s three days of national mourning, which entered its final day on Monday, the National Federation for French Cinemas (Fncf) announced it was making available a silent, seven-minute Dcp showing the “Peace for Paris” symbol and suggested cinemas played the clip ahead of screenings.

“Cinema theatres are among the most important places of culture in the heart of the city… Cinema must participate actively in fostering social links and national unity during this moment of mourning and solidarity,” said Fncf president Richard Patry.

The design incorporating the Eiffel Tower into the peace symbol, created by French graphic designer Jean Jullien in the wake of the attacks, has become
See full article at ScreenDaily »

'Fort Bliss' - Not Another War Film

Avoiding the clichés one might expect to abound in a film about a beautiful young mother who enlists not once but twice to serve in Afghanistan, this is a feat of expert script writing and filmmaking.

Between the two stints in the Army, decorated U.S. Army medic and single mother Maggie Swann must renew her relationship with her five-year old son, adjust to her ex-husband’s new live-in and establish a new romance with a blue-eyed Mexican car mechanic, played by Manolo Cardona, who played Santiago in “Contracorriente” (“Undertow”) and is heart-throbbingly gorgeous. And she suffers from recurring memories of her stint in Afghanistan which don’t allow her to sleep much.

Michelle Monaghan who played Maggie Swann reminded me a little too much of Sandra Bullock though she is a good actress, playing the two ends of the emotional spectrum so well that I actually cried with her. Returning home and to Fort Bliss in Houston Texas after a horrendous stint in the army where she served as a medic, unable to sleep much and determined to take back her son, she plays the stoic decorated U.S. Army medic that she has become and yet, to win back her son and establish any other loving relationship, she must (and does) allow her emotions to rule in the end.

The director, Claudia Myers, who also wrote the screenplay was at the screening answering numerous questions afterward in both English and French. She is American but grew up in France. She worked extensively with the military making training movies and wanted to write a story about a woman with a career and family. This extreme situation of a career in the military also appealed to her because the woman had to play such emotional extremes, from not showing emotion in the worst circumstances of war to allowing her emotions for her son and for her lover to have free reign. This is the second feature she has directed after the 2006 Showtime movie, “ Kettle of Fish”.

The film premiered at Toronto Film Festival 2013 and is being sold internationally by Voltage who has sold it for Showgate for Japan and Umbrella for Australia, and Phase 4 for North America. “Fort Bliss” won the Audience Award at the Champs Elysees Film Festival this past June.

If only there were a family-friendly version, I would take my young grandson and his mother to see this as I think a child would empathize with the little boy, played marvelously by Oakes Fegley, if two very hot (and very meaningful) sex scenes were edited out for a family-friendly version.

The sex scenes, however, were great in that each showed the psychological needs of a long emotionally-suppressed military woman and latter the sad and determined lust of her and her lover. That was one cliché less: instead of showing the usual dreamy and loving sex motives of most films, sex revealed the emotional states of people under pressure.

The second cliché avoided was the emotional bond between mother and son. It was a film even a child could respond too, much the way children respond to the story of “Bambi” on film, and yet it avoided any sappiness. And the Army wants to see this story told, despite it showing troubling subject matter like Ptsd, reintegrating into society and sexual assault -- but to their credit they have supported it and helped the film get made in terms of accuracy.

The credits offered thanks to the 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss,American Legion, American Red Cross, Joint Forces Training Base Los Alamitos, CA, Patriot Guard Riders, U.S. Army Public Affairs, Union Editorial and the United Service Organizations (Uso).

Fort Bliss” stars Michelle Monaghan (“True Detective”, “Source Code”), Ron Livingston (“Boardwalk Empire,” “Office Space”), Manolo Cardona (“Undertow”, “Beverly Hills Chihauhua”), Gbenga Akinnagbe (“The Wire”), Emmanuelle Chriqui (“Entourage”) and Pablo Schreiber (“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Orange is the New Black”).

Producers are John Sullivan, Adam Silver, Patrick Cunningham, Claudia Myers, and Brendan McDonald. Executive Producer is Matt Chessé. Cinematography is by Adam Silver with editing by Matt Chessé and Carsten Kurpanek. Original music by Asche & Spencer.

• Winner: Best Narrative Feature at the GI Film Festival

• Winner: Audience Award for "Best Feature - Independent American Film” at the Champs-Elysées Film Festival

• Winner: Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking Honors at the 2014 Newport Beach Film Festival

1 Hour, 49 Minutes / Not Yet Rated

"Fort Bliss" will play day-and-date in theaters and on VOD September 19 and will come out on DVD October 14. This is a film you want to see.
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

Halle Berry Is Married: Photos

  • PEOPLE.com
Halle Berry Is Married: Photos
Never say never. Halle Berry is a bride once more. The expectant Oscar-winner, 46, wed French film star Olivier Martinez, 47, Saturday at the Chateau des Conde in Vallery, France, her rep officially confirms to People. The ceremony took place in a small chateau, where, in accordance with French law, a civil union was held (at 4 p.m.), followed by a religious ceremony at 5:30 at the chapel in the village. Among the 60 people, mostly close friends, in attendance were the groom's mother Rosemarie and brother Vincent. Dinner was held under an arbor, and there was a fireworks display. Six years ago the Oscar winner told InStyle,
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Halle Berry and Olivier Martinez: Getting Ready to Wed!

Halle Berry and Olivier Martinez: Getting Ready to Wed!
Halle Berry and Olivier Martinez are about to say "I do!" The couple, who revealed their engagement in March 2012, are planning to get married this weekend, a source confirms to People. They boarded a flight to Paris Tuesday with Berry's daughter, 5-year-old Nahla. With rumors flying of an impending wedding, whether they remain in Paris or travel further afield - Martinez loves the Mediterranean - remains a mystery. But the pair have had their eye on summer nuptials for some time, several sources say. Berry, 46, and Martinez, 47, who are expecting their first child together in early fall, are frequent visitors to the City of Light.
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Us indies hit the Champs-Elysees

Us indies hit the Champs-Elysees
Us in Progress initiative to showcase five features by independent Us filmmakers.

Austin, Texas-based filmmaker Michael Tully’s [pictured] coming-of-age-vacation comedy Ping Pong Summer kicks off the latest edition of Us in Progress on Thursday.

The Us in Progress initiative, hosted by the Champs Elysées Film Festival, will showcase five features by independent Us filmmakers over the coming two days to some 30 European buyers.

Set against the Maryland beach resort of Ocean City, Ping Pong Summer combines a cast of unknown adolescent actors with established big screen stars Susan Sarandon and John Hannah.

The picture was among six recipients last year of a $300,000 grant from the San Francisco Film Society and the Kenneth Rainin Foundation. Other projects in that selection included Fruitvale and Short Term 12.

Tully’s previous films include Cocaine Angel, Silver Jew and Septien.

Also screening on Thursday is New York director Leah Meyerhoff’s I Believe in Unicorns about a teenager who runs
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Women to Watch: "I am a Real Blond and My Name is Sophie"

So begins my interview with Sophie Dulac, President of the Champs Élysées Film Festival, film distributor, exhibitor and producer. The first edition of the Festival, co-presided by actors Lambert Wilson and Michael Madsen reached an audience of 15,000 people in Paris, June 6 – 12, 2012.

"And I work with another real blond and her name is Isabelle” [Svanda, General Manager], she adds.

Champs Elysees Film Festival

We are sitting in the outdoor restaurant of Fouquet’s Barriere Hotel, Paris. Also with us are Astrid de Beauregard who has handled all the 50 industry-ites converging on the festival to view four well curated U.S. indie films for the second edition of U.S. in Progress. Maxine Leonard, the festival's publicist and Matthew Akers, the director and cinematographer of Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present are also present. Little did I know he was going to win the Audience Prize for a feature length film from the U.S.

The Festival ended for me with current French resident, with white hair and beard, Donald Sutherland presenting Klute by Alan J. Pakula and starring Jane Fonda, and then giving a A Hollywood Conversation in his American accented but fluent French in a good humored atmosphere. I could write an entire blog on what that film and all that he and Jane meant to me at the very beginning of my career in the film business, but I won’t do that here. He was subsequently post-film appointed Commandeur des Arts & Lettres by Frédéric Mitterrand.

My interview with Sophie is the summit of my experience so far as a "blogger". After all I am not a journalist, nor do I pal around with the glitterati or the “elite” folks in the film business. I knew I was entering a rare atmosphere strolling everyday along the Rue de Montaigne to the Champs Elysees. And now, I was going to talk to the granddaughter of one of France's most illustrious citizens. (and no slouch herself! What a truly lovely, amazing woman!!)

U.S. in Progress

The night before, we, the jury of 9, presented the winners of the 2nd edition of U.S. in Progress with their prizes of post production services. First Prize went to a film worthy of a Cannes slot in Un Certain Regard or Fortnight or Critics Week, A Teacher by Hannah Fidell ♀, whose about-to-turn-thirty protagonist is forced to acknowledge her sin of having an affair with a student. The film's affect upon us women was overwhelmingly cathartic. Receiving an Honorable Mention, I Am I, a Sundance-worthy film, well executed very interesting story, well acted by the extremely professional first-time director Joceyln Towne ♀ with additional casting by Ronnie Yeskel ♀, one of the top indie film casting agents. Julie Bergeron, one of the nine-member jury loved Desert Cathedral, a man's quest for peace after an increasing estrangement from his life. She liked its combination of documentary depiction of the desert and the fictional story about a contemporary and universal dilemma faced by too many people today. I want to see more of the three actors, Lee Tergesen is a young and handsome William Macy type and Chaske Spencer, a charismatic First Nation descendant of Lakota (Sioux) Nation, and Petra Wright. The fourth film Michael Bartlett's House Of Last Things is Bonnie Darko meets Twin Peaks, a paean to the Maestro, David Lynch. More than 50 distributors and sales agent watched these films with us.

As part of the selection, the winner of U.S. in Progress from the 1st edition in Wroclaw, Poland last November, Not Waving But Drowning directed by Devyn Waitt and produced by Nicole Emanuele was also showing and Nicole was accompanied by the star, her boyfriend Steven Farneth from Cinetic, the godmother of the movie and other "family" members. Nicole is now working with Google and YouTube in Content Partnerships, Film/ TV while contemplating her next moves in the business.

Created by Sophie Dulac, the Festival programmed some 50 films enabling Parisian audiences to discover the variety of productions available from France and the United States, in the 5 cinema theaters of the Champs Elysees, the most beautiful avenue in the world: the normally rival cinemas Le Balzac and Le Lincoln, the rivals Gaumont Champs-Elysées and Ugc George V, and the Publicis Cinéma.

This success was thanks to an inquiring public which appreciated the simplicity of organization, the fact that projections started on time, and also the quality of programming, with a special heartfelt interest for the 10 independent films from the U.S. in the official selection.

What Makes Sophie Run?

One night at an extraordinary dinner at the Renault Restaurant on the Champs Elysees, where we sat with Julie Bergeron (of Cannes Marche prominence), Pascal Diot (former Paris based sales agent and now organizer in chief of both Venice and Dubai Ff’s Markets), Adeline Monzier (founder of U.S. in Progress and Europa Distribution), and Producer Christophe Bruncher (whose latest film, If We All Lived Together stars Jane Fonda), I learned about Sophie’s grandfather, Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet,who founded Publicis in 1926 and in effect, invented modern advertising in much the same way that Lucien Barriere invented the resort and the casino. Today Publicis is a French multinational advertising and communications company, headquartered in Paris, France and one of the world's three largest advertising holding companies holding among others, Saatchi & Saatchi and Leo Burnett Worldwide. The company conducts its operations in over 200 cities in 104 countries and has a strategic alliance with Dentsu, Inc. He began it as a young man and the Nazis confiscated it as Jewish property. He fled and fought with The Free French...and worked in the Resistance under the name of Blanchet. When he returned to France, he got back his advertising agency and continued doing the sort of pioneering work he loved the best. He also added Blanchet onto his surname. Publicis' current president is Maurice Lévy who was just in the news for having called for higher taxes on the wealthy and now objecting to France’s new President's pledging that he would tax the rich 75% of their income. Read more about the company here.

One more boast about this family: One of Bleustein-Blanchet’s daughters was a legislator and is responsible for abolishing capital punishment in France.

Aside from being totally impressed by all I was hearing, I was beginning to see what informed the personality of the festival and of Sophie herself who was there and everywhere, meeting and mixing with us all. As Maxine said, in effect, Sophie is a mensch. She is the real thing, feet planted firmly on the ground and real. And yet she seems so idealistic in the choices she makes. To this remark of mine, she responded, that in fact, she is very pragmatic, but one must take pleasure in life.

Her grandfather and grandmother raised her and her brother and half brother after their 27 year old mother died in an automobile accident. Sophie was eight years old at the time.

Her grandfather told her that when he began Publicis as a teenager, he never thought about the money he might make. He did it for pleasure. He thought of how best to do what he loved to do the most. For her too, life is about innovation and being happy. She hopes that in ten years the festival and her film business will continue to inspire and motivate her.

Sophie has three children and she tells them to do whatever they want as she would advise everyone: Do what is inside of you, even if it is not what you end up doing. It will make you a better person. Her first son, whom she had when she was 17 and who is now 24, lived one year in Australia and another year in Canada. He is now working with her at the festival. Her 22 year old daughter whom she had when she was 19, lives in London, and the 19 year old, following in his brother’s footsteps, is spending a year in Australia, alone and exploring on his own.

If she succeeds in the movie business, it is because she was not born into films. She has been in the business of Arthouse film production, distribution and exhibition for ten years. Before that she was a practicing psycho graphologist, counseling people from 16 to 60 years old, male and female. You can know a person totally through the handwriting she says. She also did a stint in PR which she hated, before going into film. Her father was a writer and told her to read and so she can talk of many things, not only of business. At the end of the day, she closes her door and business does not exist (unless of course there is a problem at one of her theaters which she does drop in on on Sundays when she is not expected.) She has no scripts at home and does not watch movies for work at home. She has a well rounded education and is proud not to be 100% business.

Today she is also a sort of guardian of Israeli films in France as well. She even wears a small gold Jewish star.

Film Career

She began her film career in 2003 producing a documentary DÉCryptage which examined the French media coverage of the Arab–Israeli conflictand concludes that the media's presentation of the Arab–Israeli conflict in France is consistently skewed against Israel and may be responsible for exacerbating anti-semitism. That documentary was very successful in France, drawing some 300,000 viewers and it caught the attention of Israeli filmmakers.

Famed Israeli actress Ronit Elkabetz, ♀a friend of hers, suggested she help her produce a film she wrote and wanted to direct and she agreed to make Rendre Femme (aka To Take A Wife ♀ produced by Marek Rozenbaum. When Ronit asked her to produce The Band’S Visit, she did not know what to make of the script. But when she saw the footage, she recognized its great potential and stepped in as producer. Unfortunately it could not qualify for the Academy Award Nomination for Best Foreign Language Film because it was filmed in Hebrew, Egyptian and English. She went on to produce My Father My Lord an implicit critique of ultra-Orthodox dogma by a filmmaker who grew up in a Hasidic community but abandoned it when he was 25 to study film.

Sophie produces other world films, including her second American film Benny And The Kids (Go Get Some Rosemary), Argentina’s Little Sky and The Camera Obscura both by Maria Victoria Menis ♀ and others including French films like the upcoming film by Jacques Douvenne.

In Cannes this year, she acquired Room 514 (Isa: Docs & Film) de Sharon Bar-Ziv ♀ which played in l'Acid in Cannes and Les Voisins De Dieu (God’S Neighbors) (Isa: Rezo) de Meni Yaesh which played in La Semaine de la Critique in Cannes as well as Directors’ Fortnight entry Le Repenti and Bence Fliegauf’s Berlin competition entry Just The Wind.

She sees festivals as a place where people can discover new films. Theaters need new ideas, directors, and distributors can take risks only if they own theaters. The triangle of festivals, distributors and exhibitors are complimentary and she finds that having all three allows her to keep selected films longer in theaters or allows for changing theaters (she owns 5 theaters including the famous St. Germain arthouse Harlequin). She recognizes that France has so many subsidies for production and distribution – 12 to 15 new films are released every week – and that gives her films more of a chance to succeed as well.

France also has, after 3 years of discussion, finally, in one year made all its theaters digital. The cost to convert is 1 million Euros. 30% of that is paid by Cnc, the government fund made up of a percentage of box office receipts. The digital norm is 2K and the Vpf (Virtual Print Fee is 5,000 Euros. All distributors must pay this first the first time showing for 4 weeks and then, there are not more VPFs.

When she asks Americans for DCPs, she is surprised to learn that they don’t have them. Even Harvey Weinstein who had a retrospective at the Festival did not have digital prints and he said that to use Blu-Ray or HD was all right with him.

Why Harvey?

Everyone loves a good Harvey story. We had heard that he did not want to travel and I was curious how she had such good luck to get him to Paris. Apparently he flew in, appeared, and flew out again.

“The opening night, with the tribute paid to American producer Harvey Weinstein who accepted, with modesty and as a film enthusiast, a trophy was presented by Sophie Dulac, in the presence of VIP guests: Virginie Ledoyen, Deborah François, Audrey Dana, Thomas Langmann, Olivier Nackache and Eric Toledan.”

What he said at this opening event was that Sophie’s brother is the godfather of his son. And when the Godfather makes a request, he cannot refuse to honor it.

So ended my interview with Sophie. As we all struck out to continue the day, Matthew Akers of Marina Abramovic said, “See you in Sarajevo”. And Sophie responded, “How chic!”
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

George Clooney & Stacy Keibler Enjoy Dinner and a Movie in Paris

George Clooney & Stacy Keibler Enjoy Dinner and a Movie in Paris
It's hard to top a red-carpet premiere on the Champs-Elysées for glamour. But how about introducing your date afterward to two legendary French actresses by the light of the Arc de Triomphe? George Clooney made it a night to remember for Stacy Keibler in Paris on Tuesday. With his new movie The Ides of March opening across Europe, the couple first hit the red carpet together in a rainstorm, with Clooney making sure Keibler was safely inside before he mingled with the crowds. "She came with him, and he watched her step out from the car. She is amazing to
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Paulette Dubost obituary

French actor best known for her role in Jean Renoir's 1939 masterpiece The Rules of the Game

Although Paulette Dubost, who has died aged 100, appeared in far more films than the number of years she lived, most cinemagoers know her best as Lisette, the coquettish chambermaid in Jean Renoir's La Règle du Jeu (The Rules of the Game, 1939), one of cinema's masterpieces. Lisette, who attends the Marquis de la Chesnaye during a lavish weekend party at a country chateau, flirts dangerously with a poacher turned servant (Julian Carette), while her overly jealous gamekeeper husband (Gaston Modot) tries to catch them at it.

Dubost and Carette play a deliciously sly and comic cat-and-mouse game with the absurdly rigid Modot, especially during the after-dinner entertainment, a breathtaking sequence, described by the critic Richard Roud as something from "a Marx brothers film scripted by a Feydeau who suddenly acquired a tragic sense
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

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