5 items from 2016
Windowseat Entertainment is fully financing. Written and to be directed by Kurt Voelker, the feature film is produced by Matthew Baer, George Parra and Windowseat Entertainment’s Joseph McKelheer and Bill Kiely.
Fortitude International is handling foreign rights and will handle sales at the upcoming European Film Market at the Berlin Film Festival. The Gersh Agency and CAA are representing North American rights.
Simmons will portray a widower, hoping for a fresh start, who moves with his 17-year-old son from a small northern California town to Los Angeles, where a new job, a new school, a wry old friend and two extraordinary women play a transformative role in the reshaping of their lives.
Delpy has been nominated for two original screenplay Oscars for “Before Sunset” and »
- Dave McNary
“Southside With You” is a low-key romance with one heck of a hook, following a up-and-coming corporate lawyer named Michelle Robinson as she spends one summer day in Chicago in 1989 with one of her firm’s interns: Harvard student Barack Obama. The whole “two people walk around a city and fall in love” plot has been done — most notably by Richard Linklater with his “Before Sunrise”/“Before Sunset”/“Before Midnight” trilogy — but by making his young lovers into the future President and First Lady of the United States, writer-director Richard Tanne easily clears one of the biggest hurdles facing anyone trying to grab an audience. No one can reasonably ask, “Why should I care about these two schmoes?” Still, don’t underestimate the degree of difficulty to what Tanne’s attempting here. Not only did he have to cast a credible Barack and Michelle, he also had to know that »
- Noel Murray
The Sundance film festival kicked off during a pivotal time in Hollywood, just as backlash over the lack of diversity among this year’s Oscars nominees led to calls to boycott the ceremony. Even in the mountains of Park City, Utah, the aftershocks could be felt.
Festival founder Robert Redford stressed Sundance’s devotion to different voices, and said of diversity: “It’s a word I operate from. … If you’re independent-minded, you’re going to do things different than the common form: That’s something we’re genuinely proud of — how we show diversity — because it’s tied to the fundamental word of ‘independent.’” But, Redford added, it’s up to artists, not the festival, to explore the theme. “We don’t take a position of advocacy.”
While mainstream Hollywood still struggles to hire black writers and directors, and few women helm big-budget films, Sundance has always been refreshingly diverse. »
- Brent Lang and Ramin Setoodeh
Frustration over Hollywood’s diversity debate bubbled over at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, as actress and writer Julie Delpy said she felt muzzled by the industry and added that there’s “nothing worse than being a woman in this business.” Delpy, who was Oscar-nominated as a writer both for “Before Midnight” and “Before Sunset,” said that she said she has raised the issue of how few women were members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and was shut down. “Two years ago, I said something about the Academy being very white male, which is the reality, »
- Sharon Waxman
Here is a first clip from "Southside With You," the "Before Sunset"-style film which takes place entirely in one day, set during the summer of 1989, when one Barack Obama (then a first-year Harvard Law student) took his future wife, Michelle Robinson (an associate at a Chicago law firm), out on a first date, which included a tour of Chicago’s South Side. The future couple also caught a screening of Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing" - something the president has talked about previously. I assume that moment in time will be incorporated into the script. The film, which is directed by Richard Tanne, from his own screenplay »
- Tambay A. Obenson
5 items from 2016
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