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19 items from 2016

Fortissimo Films Goes Bankrupt: 3 Reasons the Respected Arthouse Distributor Lost Its Groove

23 August 2016 11:03 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Sales agent Fortissimo Films’ bankruptcy last week represented a major loss for members of the independent film industry that had worked with the company, based in Amsterdam and Hong Kong, for 25 years. A pioneer in the Asian and art house movie world, Fortissimo represented narrative films from acclaimed directors like Wong Kar-wai (“In the Mood for Love”), Tsui Hark (“Seven Swords”) and Jim Jarmusch (“Mystery Train”). It also handled sales for documentaries like Andrew Jarecki’s “Capturing The Friedmans,” Robert Kenner’s “Food Inc.,” Morgan Spurlock’s “Super Size Me” and Martin Scorsese’s “Shine a Light.”

Fortissimo was known for its impeccable taste that shunned mainstream titles, landing recent award-winners like writer-director Yi’nan Diao’s 2014 crime-drama “Black Coal, Thin Ice,” which won Berlin’s Golden Bear award, and Naji Abu Nowar’s adventure-drama “Theeb,” which earned Nowar the Best Director award at the 2014 Venice Film Festival. Though awards »

- Graham Winfrey

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Fortissimo Films files for bankruptcy

17 August 2016 6:19 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

Sales agent Fortissimo Films has filed for bankruptcy.

As first reported by Variety, the company filed for bankruptcy yesterday in Amsterdam, shuttering its offices in Hong Kong, London, Amsterdam and Beijing..

The sales agent began in 1991, founded by Wouter Barendrecht and Helen Loveridge. Michael Werner joined the company four years later and led it from 2009, becoming a partner in the company and producing films such as.Shortbus.and.Mysterious Skin.

Fortissimo specialised in the Asia-Pacific region and was increasingly run out of Hong Kong.

The company's library has over 300 titles, including Scorsese's Shine a Light, Wong Kar Wai.s Chungking Express, Morgan Spurlock.s Super Size Me, Sydney Pollack.s Sketches Of Frank Gehry,.Andrew Jarecki.s Capturing The Friedmans and the film that made a star of Jennifer Lawrence, Debra Granik's Winter's Bone.

Australian titles include Sue Brooks' Looking for Grace and Leon Ford's Griff the Invisible. »

- Staff Writer

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Fortissimo Films Enters Into Bankruptcy After 25-Year Run

17 August 2016 10:42 AM, PDT | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

Fortissimo Films, the sales agent that has been in business since 1991 and has offices in Hong Kong, London, Amsterdam and Beijing, is entering into bankruptcy, Deadline has confirmed. The company has built up a library of films over the years including Shine A Light from Martin Scorsese, Mystery Train and Coffee And Cigarettes by Jim Jarmusch, Wong Kar Wai’s Chungking Express and documentaries including Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me, Sydney Pollack’s Sketches Of Frank G… »

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Sales Agent Fortissimo Films to Close on Quiet Note

17 August 2016 8:52 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Hong Kong- and Amsterdam-based sales agent Fortissimo Films is to close its doors after more than 20 years as a pioneer of Asian and art-house cinema.

The company filed for voluntary bankruptcy Tuesday in The Netherlands. The filing was accepted by the court and notification posted. Separate filings need to be made for individual subsidiaries.

The court has appointed an administrator, known as a ‘curator’ according to the Dutch system. The curator will decide the next moves. These could range from a refinancing, to the sale of the company to a third party, or its breakup.

Staff have been informed of the situation by the existing management. The curator is expected to meet with the Amsterdam-based employees this week.

Fortissimo has represented titles by auteurs including Wong Kar-wai, Jim Jarmusch, Peter Greenaway, Tsai Ming-liang, Hal Hartley, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Brillante Mendoza, Tsui Hark and Pen-ek Ratanaruang. Its catalog spans some 300 titles.

With »

- Patrick Frater

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Redford Center Grants Program Backs Features with Environmental Bent

28 July 2016 12:04 PM, PDT | Filmmaker Magazine - Blog | See recent Filmmaker Magazine news »

Last month, The Redford Center announced the launch of Redford Center Grants, a grant program aimed at supporting the production of films that seek to raise global awareness of environmental issues. Funded by The New York Community Trust, The Redford Center Grants program will support filmmakers with feature-length projects that are in early stages of development and that are focused on driving awareness, education and action on environmental topics. Though there is no specification that the films must be non-fiction, on the list of Films We Love, The Redford Center highlights documentaries such as Super Size Me, Gasland, Virunga, The Cove, and […] »

- Paula Bernstein

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Morgan Spurlock To Direct Biopic Of Hollywood Superagent Sue Mengers

6 July 2016 10:23 AM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Right from the start with “Super Size Me,” Morgan Spurlock announced himself as a documentary filmmaker for whom no gimmick would be too slight to base a movie on. Unfortunately, this had led a string of mostly forgettable flicks including “Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden?” (the title is self-explanatory, and spoiler, he didn’t […]

The post Morgan Spurlock To Direct Biopic Of Hollywood Superagent Sue Mengers appeared first on The Playlist. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Fed Up – The DVD Review

3 July 2016 5:47 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

I have an eating disorder. I have fought for years to try and keep my weight down. I am one of those people who have gained and lost the same 50 to 75 pounds so many times it is now very difficult to lose the weight at all. Yet I am determined to get my weight down to a healthy level and keep it there. I always thought I was doing something wrong, well obviously I have been, but I have had no help from the food industry in these United States. Along with recent documentaries about the unhealthy food we have available in our grocery stores and restaurants such as Food Inc, Super Size Me and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead you can, and should, see Fed Up, an infuriating look at the processed foods we all have access to in our grocery stores.

Fed Up is definitely one sided, but for reasons that are obvious. »

- Sam Moffitt

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Morgan Spurlock puts superagent Sue Mengers on screen

29 June 2016 4:16 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Talent agent who ‘took over the boys’ club of Hollywood’ in the 70s and guided careers of Streisand, Dunaway and more gets biopic from Super Size Me director

Super Size Me director Morgan Spurlock is set to direct a biopic of pioneering Hollywood superagent Sue Mengers, it has been announced.

According to Deadline, Spurlock’s production company has acquired rights to Brian Kellow’s Mengers biography Can I Go Now?, and the director is working on a script that may become his first dramatic feature.

Continue reading »

- Andrew Pulver

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Morgan Spurlock to Direct Sue Mengers Biopic

28 June 2016 4:35 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Super Size Me” director Morgan Spurlock will produce, direct and write a movie about Sue Mengers, Hollywood’s first female super-agent.

Mengers, who died in 2011 at the age of 79, was a dominant force in the New Hollywood of the ’70s with a powerhouse client list including Sidney Lumet, Peter Bogdanovich, Brian De Palma, Mike Nichols, Michael Caine, Cher, Steve McQueen, Ali MacGraw, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman, Burt Reynolds, Candice Bergen and Barbra Streisand.

Spurlock’s Warrior Poets has acquired rights to Brian Kellow’s biography “Can I Go Now: The Life of Sue Mengers.” Warrior Poets chief operating officer Jeremy Chilnick and Richard Arlook are also producing.

Chilnick will team with Spurlock on the script about Mengers, who had a high-powered personality and worked at Cma, ICM and Wma. Bette Midler portrayed Mengers in John Logan’s one-person Broadway show “I’ll Eat You Last.”

Spurlock’s credits include »

- Dave McNary

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Morgan Spurlock To Direct Film About Talent Agent Sue Mengers

28 June 2016 2:38 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Morgan Spurlock is set to direct, write and produce a film about the life of talent agent Sue Mengers.

According to Deadline, Spurlock’s company Warrior Poets acquired the rights to Brian Kellow’s bestselling biography “Can I Go Now: The Life of Sue Mengers, Hollywood’s Superagent.” The story will follow Mengers as she crashed the boys club that was Hollywood agenting, her star-studded clientele and the ups and downs she faced in her career. 

“I’m a fan of big personalities, great characters, and she is both. More than that, I love people who buck the trend and do things that haven’t been done before and go into spaces unheard of, whether it be of gender or race,” said Spurlock. “Sue Mengers took over the boys club of Hollywood and did something groundbreaking. She proved not only that she could be part of this world; she »

- Liz Calvario

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‘Hillary’s America’: Why It Could Make a Big Impact on the Box Office (and the Election) — Reality Checks

21 June 2016 8:00 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Right wing conservatives finally have their answer to Michael Moore — with the box-office numbers to prove it.

After many years of conservative stumbles at the movies — i.e. “Michael Moore Hates America,” “Celsius 41.11,” “Cool It,” “Occupy Unmasked” — author-turned-filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza has blazed a trail of anti-progressive film propaganda that’s unmatched. In the last five years, D’Souza has scored the top two highest-grossing non-concert, non-Disney documentaries at the U.S. box office, 2012’s “Obama’s America” ($33.5 million) and 2014’s “America: Imagine the World Without Her” ($14.4 million). (Third place: Last year’s “Amy,” which earned $8.4 million.)

Read More: The Curious Saga of Dinesh D’Souza’s ‘America’ Continues

Put aside for a moment that D’Souza’s work has been called “fact-twisting, error-laden paranoia [and] the worst kind of smear journalism” (Columbia Journalism Review), a “laughable embarrassment” (Salon) and a “national disgrace” (The New York Times); in today’s challenging theatrical movie business, »

- Anthony Kaufman

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Aubrey Plaza and Her ‘Pistol Shrimps’ Team Explain How Ragtag Basketball (And a Doc) Brought Them Together

16 June 2016 12:09 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

If you don’t know who the Pistol Shrimps are, you’re going to want to very soon.

Brent Hodge’s new documentary “The Pistol Shrimps” follows the eponymous all-women recreational basketball team, led by players like Aubrey Plaza, model/actress Melissa Stetten, comedian Molly Hawkey (who you may know as “‘The Bachelor’s oldest-ever contestant”) and many other incredible players just might be one of the funnest and funniest films of the year. During the film’s Los Angeles premiere, the laughs never slowed, but it also became apparent that this documentary isn’t about basketball. It’s about what basketball means and can do for these women as individuals and as a group of friends, empowering them, inspiring them, encouraging them and much more.

After screening Wednesday night at The Theatre at Ace Hotel, the Shrimps, their coaches, their announcers and director Hodge sat down for a Q&A. Like their team name implies — and they would suggest to look up what a pistol shrimp is — each woman’s personality popped like the crack of a pistol shrimp claw. They laughed at many of the high jinks that unfolded the season depicted in the doc, but also got real about how, no matter the small scale, the team is vastly important to them. That’s something that’s also evident in the documentary, as the film makes sure to highlight many of the team members, their personalities and how the team affects their lives.

Read More: SXSW: 10 Totally Random Minutes with Aubrey Plaza

The team itself came together in a rather interesting way. According to the film, it was a bit tough to get the league together, as there wasn’t really a league at all before they came along. In the Q&A, Shrimp Amanda Lund explained how the struggles of making a web series sparked the idea in the first place. “I remember the moment when Maria [Blasucci] realized she needed to start a sports team. We had made this web series ‘Ghost Ghirls’ that no one was watching. So we made our own flyers and started flyering in the streets, saying, ‘You got ghosts? Watch this web series.’ So we were handing out these flyers and Maria was like, ‘This is so fun being out and doing an activity.’ And then she was like, ‘I’m going to start a sports team.’”

But why basketball? Recounting a rather momentous and crazy achievement in her early life, Shrimp founder Blasucci said, “I used to play in grade school and one time, I was dribbling the ball in the park league on the Pacific Palisades Sparks and I lost my shoe at halfcourt as I was dribbling the ball. And I went to shoot the basket and I made it, but my shoe was still at halfcourt. It was a real whirlwind.” 

Unfortunately, the ragtag group didn’t start off with success, with only a few members ever having played the sport, let alone in an organized way, and others not entirely knowing how the sport works. Originally, they came together with a shared sense of trash talking and putting down their haters to offset this lack of success. But during the documented season, the Shrimps went on to win the championship.

This did, however, come at a cost to their original skills. One of the Shrimps said, “I think it goes to the root of self confidence and when you don’t have a lot of self confidence, it’s very easy to talk trash. So when we finally got the skills, the trash talking went away. It’s like when you don’t dress for the job you have, you dress for the job you want and so we talked trash when we couldn’t play basketball.”

Read More: The 22 Most Anticipated Films Of The 2016 Tribeca Film Festival

After seeing the original trash talking chemistry, filmmaker Hodge knew he had to make a movie about them, telling the crowd, “One of my friends went to the games and he was like, ‘Dude, this whole thing’s a film. There’s a coach with a unicorn costume on, you’ve got to film this.’ And then we just started filming.”

He even theorized that the crew is why they won, explaining that “this is the only season you guys have won, so we’re like your lucky charm. And I don’t think we would’ve had a film unless they won.” Shrimp Molly Hawkey pleaded, “I was wondering if you could come out to the rest of our seasons because we didn’t do so well this season.” This past season, the Shrimps won only three games and lost seven.

But it wasn’t always easy for Shrimps. There were a lot of antics and even drama between teams during the season, exemplified in the documentary when Aubrey Plaza tore her Acl playing undercover in a second game on her sister’s team. The recovery, which Plaza described as taking “a couple steps forward, a bunch of steps backwards and I’m trying to just get forward again,” and the taste of the other team led her to test the market.

“I’m going to be playing for the Spice Squirrels in the fall. After my injury, I had a lot of time off and I just decided to test free agency,” she said. “I had to make the best choice for my family and my basketball career. And I just felt like the Spice Squirrels have a lot to offer me.”

Toward the end of the Q&A, founder Blasucci touched on an empowering point about the team, an aspect that was the documentary’s most lasting impression.

“I went to an all girls high school and I learned that girls can be the best of friends if they allow themselves to kind of let go of all the claw,” she said. “You know, ‘Ah, I need to get ahead of you!’ If you could just let that go, you can have such deep relationships with girls and I feel that with all of you girls and I, at no point, ever feel jealous or envious or anything. I just feel 100% support and I feel grateful and it’s wonderful. I suggest any girl out there that doesn’t have a tight group of girlfriends to really search for that, because as hard as it may be, you find these people that are so important to you and I feel that with all of these girls and I’m really grateful.”

Read More: Morgan Spurlock on Why Documentaries Matter More Than Ever

“Pistol Shrimps,” which is the first original feature film released by Seeso, an ad-free comedy streaming service, premieres today, June 16, on The film was shown at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year and was executive produced by Morgan Spurlock, the filmmaker behind “Super Size Me.” Check out the trailer below!

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- Kyle Kizu

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Cannes: Fortissimo Bites Into Child Slavery Documentary ‘Chocolate’

12 May 2016 7:00 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Hong Kong- and Amsterdam-based Fortissimo has expanded its roster of tough food industry documentaries with the pickup of child slavery investigation “The Chocolate Case.”

The film follows three journalists who probe human exploitation within the chocolate industry, try to persuade the large corporations to end the practice, and then develop the first ever “slave-free” chocolate bar called ‘Tony’s Chocolonely’.

Directed by Benthe Forrer, the film is produced by BlazHoffski / Dahl TV, a company which specializes in investigative, food related journalistic programs and is operated by Forre and Maurice Dekkers (“Ants on a Shrimp”.)

It was released theatrically last month in The Netherlands under the title “Tony.” It is expected to have a major international festival premiere later this year.

Fortissimo, which is handling all rights outside of Benelux, previously represented food industry films “Super Size Me” and “Food Inc.” as well as food and beverage appreciation pictures “Ants on a Shrimp, »

- Patrick Frater

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Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock Marries Girlfriend of 8 Years

5 May 2016 6:40 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

That's a wrap! Documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock has married his longtime love Sara Bernstein. The Super Size Me director and his new bride tied the knot in a ceremony at their cabin in the Catskill Mountains in southeast New York. "#Tbt to last Sat when this happened. #shotgunwedding @sarabdocs #ManhattanMeetsDeliverance Photot: @crpweedings," Spurlock, 45, captioned a picture he posted on Twitter on Thursday. The photo features Spurlock and his pregnant bride holding hands in a backyard setting. Bernstein, the Svp of programming for HBO Documentaries, shows off her burgeoning baby bump in a her modern, white wedding dress that hits just below the knee, »

- Naja Rayne, @najarayne

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Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock Marries Girlfriend of 8 Years

5 May 2016 6:40 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

That's a wrap! Documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock has married his longtime love Sara Bernstein. The Super Size Me director and his new bride tied the knot in a ceremony at their cabin in the Catskill Mountains in southeast New York. "#Tbt to last Sat when this happened. #shotgunwedding @sarabdocs #ManhattanMeetsDeliverance Photot: @crpweedings," Spurlock, 45, captioned a picture he posted on Twitter on Thursday. The photo features Spurlock and his pregnant bride holding hands in a backyard setting. Bernstein, the Svp of programming for HBO Documentaries, shows off her burgeoning baby bump in a her modern, white wedding dress that hits just below the knee, »

- Naja Rayne, @najarayne

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A&E IndieFilms Thrives After Decade of Backing Steady Stream of Quality Docs

12 April 2016 10:00 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Tucked into the Manhattan skyscraper that serves as the home base of A+E Networks is a small division that looks like nothing you’d expect to find in a broad corporate portfolio of television holdings: a feature film production company with an emphasis on premium content and robust theatrical releases.

But for 10 years now, A&E IndieFilms, with a dedicated staff of two led by senior VP Molly Thompson, has parlayed an unorthodox business model and a keen eye for story into a low-volume but enduring generator of noteworthy independent features, especially documentaries such as “Cartel Land,” “The Imposter” and “The September Issue.”

“Molly and A&E have an established position in the space, and they have impeccable taste and amazing instincts in terms of finding stories,” says Paul Davidson, senior VP of film and TV at distributor The Orchard. “If we see they’ve got something at a festival, »

- Gordon Cox

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W. Kamau Bell Crosses the Racial Divide in 'Semi-Prominent Negro' Coming to Showtime (Trailer)

30 March 2016 3:28 PM, PDT | ShadowAndAct | See recent ShadowAndAct news »

W. Kamau Bell stars in his first solo stand-up special "W. Kamau Bell: Semi-Prominent Negro" premiering Friday, April 29th at 10 p.m. on Showtime. Directed by Morgan Spurlock ("Super Size Me" and "Freakonomics") and filmed before a live audience at the Roulette Theater in Brooklyn, the film features Bell's uniquely insightful and hilarious views on a host of social and political issues such as gentrification, marriage equality, "mixed-race" children and doing Black children's hair just to name a few. "I have been a huge fan of Kamau for years, and when he approached me about directing his first big time comedy special, I jumped at the »

- Tambay A. Obenson

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Six-Year-Old Photo Of ‘Happy Meal’ Goes Viral

10 February 2016 3:57 PM, PST | Uinterview | See recent Uinterview news »

The perils of fast food have been illustrated in recent documentaries like Super Size Me, which followed director Morgan Spurlock for one month while he consumed only McDonald’s food. Now the world can see how a child’s Happy Meal looks after six years of “rotting,” thanks to Jennifer Lovdahl, the owner-operator of Balanced Health Chiropractic. Lovdahl shared this photo of […]

The post Six-Year-Old Photo Of ‘Happy Meal’ Goes Viral appeared first on uInterview. »

- Crystal Smith

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'Force Awakens' Star Daisy Ridley Signs on to Executive Produce Hot Sundance Doc 'The Eagle Huntress'

22 January 2016 8:22 AM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" actress Daisy Ridley will join Morgan Spurlock ("Super Size Me") as an executive producer on Sundance world premiere "The Eagle Huntress," which also features an original song, "Angel in the Wings," written and performed by Sia.  The film, the first feature from director Otto Bell, is set in the Altai Mountains of remote northwestern Mongolia. Bell follows Aisholpan, a 13-year old Mongolian girl who, with the support of her father and grandfather, strives to become an eagle hunter—an ancient tradition long dominated by men. (Aisholpan and her family will be in attendance for screenings, discussions, and "live eagle demonstrations" in Park City.) "The Eagle Huntress" is produced by Stacey Reiss and Sharon Chang. Morgan Spurlock, Jeremy Chilnick, Dan Cogan, Regina K. Scully, Marc H. Simon, Barbara Dobkin and Susan Maclaury are executive producers, in association with »

- Matt Brennan

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2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004

19 items from 2016, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.

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