17 items from 2014
Twenty years ago, one million Rwandans were killed in one of the worst genocides in recorded history. The sheer magnitude of the horrors committed are nearly impossible to fathom. How can you adequately pay tribute to the lives lost in one of mankind's worst transgressions? "Kinyarwanda," winner of the World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, is an effort in empathy. Weaving together six different tales into one grand narrative, it's a complex and realistic portrayal of life and resilience during the genocide. "I thought I knew something about Rwanda, but I didn't really know very much," Roger Ebert said of the film. "I was moved by 'Hotel Rwanda,' but not really shaken this deeply. Not like this.... Here is a powerful film." Watch "Kinyarwanda," streaming below for free on SnagFilms, Indiewire's parent company. Do your part to keep the memory of the victims alive. »
- Emily Buder
The life and works of activist Cesar Chavez were remembered both on the big screen and through the testimonies of those who knew him at the Los Angeles premiere of helmer Diego Luna’s biopic “Cesar Chavez.”
In addition to cast members Michael Peña, America Ferrera and Rosario Dawson, Luna was also joined Thursday at the Tcl Chinese Theatre by Chavez’s son Paul and 83-year-old Dolores Huerta, who founded the National Farmworkers Assn. with Chavez.
Paul Chavez said this film, produced by Mexico’s Canana Films, distributed by Pantelion Films and co-financed by Participant Media, was made after 30 years of searching for the right opportunity to tell his father’s story of standing up for the rights and dignity of migrant workers.
“Shortly after my father passed away, we were approached by people that knew my father, marched with him and loved him. But for different reasons it didn’t happen, »
- Andrea Seikaly
CBS is rounding out the cast for its untitled Wall Street pilot. Treme's David Morse and Hotel Rwanda Oscar nominee Sophie Okonedo have been tapped to co-star in the drama from executive producer John Cusack, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. From Justified writers Taylor Elmore and Ben Cavell, the drama is set in the world of Wall Street money and power. Boardwalk Empire's Charlie Cox toplines the drama as Jackson, a smart and sophisticated Wall Street hedge fund trader who served his country in Iraq and has the integrity and desire to do good. Lost's Maggie Grace also co-
- Lesley Goldberg
When the award-winning documentary What Matters? Screened at the St. Louis International Film festival in 2011 (under its original title Give A Damn?), Travis Keune reviewed it here at We Are Movie Geeks and wrote:
“When considering the scale of the experiment, taken on by three guys with virtually no budget and even less understanding of what they’re getting into, Give A Damn? is a tremendous accomplishment.” (read all of Travis’ review Here) http://www.wearemoviegeeks.com/2011/11/give-a-damn-sliff-review/
Since then, the film has gone through a series of edits (in addition to the retitling) and contains a new sound mix, new scenes, and more for its current general release format. The feature length documentary focuses on 3 friends from St. Louis (two idealistic activists and one skeptic) who attempt to live on $1.25 a day, the world’s standard for extreme poverty, as they journey across 3 continents. Their adventure takes an unexpected »
- Tom Stockman
A passion project about a passionate man takes surprisingly flat form in “Cesar Chavez,” demonstrating that however effective the tactic may be in real life, starving oneself for social justice doesn’t necessarily make for the most compelling screen entertainment — but then, preaching the virtues of nonviolence has never been cinema’s strong suit. Recognizing that Chavez’s victory in earning equal rights for migrant workers remains scandalously under-taught in classrooms, director Diego Luna responds with a biopic that feels more polite than political, counting on the worthiness of his subject and the participation of a well-meaning ensemble to galvanize mostly Latino auds.
Too young (or young-looking) to play Chavez himself, Luna cast sterling character actor Michael Pena in a rare leading role — the sort of opportunity that ought to mark a turning point in his career. However, while playing Chavez may sound like an irresistible opportunity for any Mexican-American actor, »
- Peter Debruge
London — U.K. distrib Icon Film Distribution has unveiled its new slate following its re-launch last fall with the backing of New Sparta. Pics include “Kill the Trumpet Player,” Don Cheadle’s helming debut about jazz musician Miles Davis, and Lynn Shelton’s comedy “Laggies,” starring Keira Knightley.
As well as helming “Kill the Trumpet Player,” Cheadle (“Crash,” “Hotel Rwanda”) also stars in the project, playing Davis, alongside Ewan McGregor and Zoe Saldana. Cheadle co-wrote the script with Steven Baigelman (“Feeling Minnesota”).
It tells the story of a few dangerous days in the life of Davis as he bursts out of his silent period and conspires with a Rolling Stone writer (McGregor) to steal back his music.
The film, which is in pre-production, is being sold by Im Global. »
- Leo Barraclough
As we continue to celebrate and push for more diversity in front of the camera, across the globe there continues to be a rising number of women behind the camera calling the shots. Bridget Pickering, the Namibia born and South Africa-based producer of “Hotel Rwanda,” “Taste Of Rain” the top audience rated television drama series “Redemption Usindiso,” and “Dreamworld,” a successful series based on Shakespeare's “Mid Summers Nights Dream,” is a rising powerhouse in African cinema, and has her eyes set on a global audience.“I have always been disturbed by how Africa is portrayed in media and film,” says the Syracuse University graduate.African creatives like Bridget are unpacking and »
- Karen Marie Mason
In a move that is surely going to get everyone involved with the project a first class ticket to Heaven, a biopic of Mother Teresa is in the works. Titled I Thirst — really, if they had gone with I, Thirst it would have made the I, Frankenstein comparison jokes so much easier — the biopic isn’t so much a look at the charitable nun’s life from birth to death, but rather a focus on her rise to notoriety in Calcutta during the 1950s. Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta after hearing a call from the Lord to start helping the poorest citizens of India. Naturally, one doesn’t ignore a message from God when they receive it, so she got to work right away tending to the sick and needy. The film will center upon this portion of her life, when she started the order. Making a movie about this time will prove »
- Samantha Wilson
We have a small golden circle of writers who do everything, in effect closing the door on Britain's rich diversity of talent
A meeting I attended this week, chaired by the culture minister Ed Vaizey in the House of Commons, was in many ways a ground-breaking event. For the first time, representatives from film, television and the performing arts came together to acknowledge that representation among black, Asian and ethnic minorities across the television and film industry – most significantly behind the camera – has fallen from 7.4% in 2009 to 5.4% in 2012, and is continuing to decrease, and that it is not an acceptable state of affairs in a vibrant democracy which boasts a rich diversity of cultures. Most important, we recognise it is our job collectively to reverse this trend by ensuring that the inequalities faced by ethnic minority talent become a thing of the past.
Many options and possibilities for changing the »
- Lenny Henry
The first authorised Mother Teresa biopic I Thirst has been announced.
"Keir's presentation and his Oscar-nominated script of Hotel Rwanda and his sensitive script for Chavez made him the perfect choice," said Krantz in a statement.
"I Thirst is the first and only authorised film about the life of Mother Teresa on the big screen. We couldn't be more excited for this movie about a woman who stood for total commitment, faith, charity and love."
Mother Teresa - who has been set on the path to sainthood but also remains a controversial figure - died in 1997 at the age of 87. »
Hotel Rwanda screenwriter Keir Pearson must be very pleased that he got tapped to write the Mother Teresa biopic I Thirst, and we're all proud of him, but let's cut to the chase: Who is going to portray Mother Teresa? Who can you see as a deeply religious Albanian Nobel Peace Prize recipient? Of course, casting will depend on the tone of the film. Sir Richard Attenborough directed what most consider the definitive Mother Teresa film, but there is still plenty of room for interpretation. »
- Halle Kiefer
The story will focus on Mother Teresa’s work in Calcutta during the 1950s when she founded the Missionaries of Charity after hearing a call from the Lord to begin ministering to the poorest of India’s poor. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and by the time of her death in 1997, the order had grown to more than 4,000 sisters running orphanages, hospices and charity centers.
“Keir’s presentation and his Oscar nominated script of ‘Hotel Rwanda’ and his sensitive script for ‘Chavez’ (the story of Cesar Chavez to be »
- Dave McNary
Tony Krantz’s Flame Ventures has partnered with Origin Entertainment and The Mother Teresa Center on “I Thirst,” the first-ever authorized biopic of Mother Teresa, which will be written by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Keir Pearson (“Hotel Rwanda”), it was announced Thursday. “Keir’s presentation and his Oscar nominated script of ‘Hotel Rwanda’ and his sensitive script for ‘Chavez’ (the upcoming movie about Cesar Chavez) made him the perfect choice,” explained Krantz. “’I Thirst’ is the first and only authorized film about the life of Mother Teresa on the big screen. We couldn’t be more excited for this movie about a woman who stood for. »
- Jeff Sneider
Tony Krantz, the former head of Imagine Entertainment's television division and executive producer on shows such as 24, has teamed up with Origin Entertainment and the Mother Teresa Center to bring the story of Mother Teresa to the big screen with a biopic titled I Thirst. Keir Pearson, the Oscar-nominated scribe who co-wrote Hotel Rwanda, has been tapped to pen the script telling the story of the Albanian-born Catholic sister whose work with the poor in India made her a worldwide icon. Krantz, whose credits also include NBC's Dracula, Felicity and Sports Night, will produce the project
- Borys Kit
New York, NY (January 22, 2014) – An incredible line-up of presenters has been confirmed for the 66th annual Writers Guild Awards New York Ceremony on Saturday, February 1, 2014 at the Edison Ballroom in New York City. This year, awards will be presented by an eclectic mix of writers, producers and actors, including Fred Armisen (Portlandia), Robert Carlock (30 Rock), Raúl Esparza (Law & Order: Svu), Terry George (Hotel Rwanda), Kate Mulgrew (Orange Is The New Black), Lawrence O’Donnell (The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell), Steve O’Donnell (Late Show with David Letterman), Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife), Matthew Rhys (The Americans), Frank Rich (Veep), Keri Russell (The Americans), Danny Strong (Lee Daniels’ The Butler) and Beau Willimon (House of Cards). Dee Rees, the screenwriter and director of Pariah, will present James Schamus with the Evelyn F. Burkey Award for bringing honor and dignity to writers. Schamus co-founded Focus Films, produced the Oscar®-nominated Brokeback Mountain, »
- THE DEADLINE TEAM
We've seen an initial trailer for the biopic on labor activist Cesar Chavez, and the film was given the somewhat self-important title of Cesar Chavez: An American Hero. However, it seems the marketing department found out that title was doing too well, because the film is now just going by Cesar Chavez in the new trailer. It's Crash and American Hustle star Michael Pena in the lead as the famed civil rights leader and labor organizer torn between life as a husband and father and a commitment to getting a living wage for farm workers. John Malkovich, America Ferrera and Rosario Dawson also star in the film. Here's the new trailer for Diego Luna's Cesar Chavez, originally from Yahoo: Cesar Chavez is directed by Diego Luna (director of Abel, star of The Terminal, Y Tu Mamá También) and written by Keir Pearson (Hotel Rwanda). Michael Peña (Crash) leads the »
- Ethan Anderton
The new trailer is now online for the upcoming biopic about civil-rights activist and labor organizer Cesar Chavez, titled Cesar Chavez. The film stars Michael Pena, America Ferrera, Rosario Dawson, John Malkovich, Jacob Vargas, Michael Cudlitz, John Ortiz, Wes Bentley, Julian Sands, Gabriel Mann, Kevin Dunn, Yancey Arias, and Mark Moses.
Chronicling the birth of a modern American movement, Cesar Chavez tells the story of the famed civil rights leader and labor organizer torn between his duties as a husband and father and his commitment to securing a living wage for farm workers. Passionate but soft-spoken, Chavez embraced non-violence as he battled greed and prejudice in his struggle to bring dignity to people. Chavez inspired millions of Americans from all walks of life who never worked on a farm to fight for social justice. His triumphant journey is a remarkable testament to the power of one individual’s ability to change the world. »
- Kellvin Chavez
17 items from 2014
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