The First Grader (2010) - News Poster


Deaf Couple to Adopt Second Deaf Child from China After Miscarriages: ‘We Have So Much Love to Give’

Deaf Couple to Adopt Second Deaf Child from China After Miscarriages: ‘We Have So Much Love to Give’
Catrina and William Nowrey can’t wait to expand their family of three.

The Ewing, New Jersey, couple — who are both deaf — initially opened up their hearts and home to Ramona, 6, in June 2016. The first grader, who was born in China, is also deaf and “quickly” adapted to her new life, learning American customs and Asl with help from her parents.

Now, the family is ready to adopt again, and are working to bring 5-year-old Cody, also deaf, to the U.S. from China.

“We wanted another child from China, because we believe it is important for Ramona to explore her culture with someone,
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This Brother Taking His Sister to a Father-Daughter Dance After Their Dad Abandoned Them Will Warm Your Heart

This Brother Taking His Sister to a Father-Daughter Dance After Their Dad Abandoned Them Will Warm Your Heart
Aaannddd best big brother award goes to 17-year-old Mohammad Hasher!

On Saturday, the teen’s “heart literally melted” when he saw his 6-year-old sister Noor Sabah sitting on a couch in their Portage, Michigan, home — all dolled up in a dress, but looking sad.

“I said, ‘Noor, what’s wrong?’ ” Mohammad, a senior at Portage Northern High School, tells People. “She told me there was a father-daughter dance at school and that she couldn’t go.”

Mohammad and his mother, Sadia Karamat, say they haven’t heard from his father since he and Sadia divorced six months ago.

“There was no hesitation on my end,
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Bifa Honoree Naomie Harris on ‘Moonlight,’ Bond, Artistic Responsibility

Bifa Honoree Naomie Harris on ‘Moonlight,’ Bond, Artistic Responsibility
Naomie Harris has always maintained a certain degree of accidental balances throughout her decade-long film acting career. For every giant blockbuster like “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” or “Skyfall,” there have been such tiny indies as “The First Grader,” “Explicit Ills,” and this year’s breakout “Moonlight.” And for every Hollywood venture, like next month’s “Collateral Beauty,” there is an equal and opposite reaction on her own side of the Atlantic, with her filmography full of such fundamentally British fare as this year’s “Our Kind of Traitor” and her filmic breakthrough “28 Days Later.”

As the recipient of the Variety Award at the BIFAs, designed to honor an actor or producer who has “helped to focus the international spotlight on Britain,” Harris says she never found she had to take any particular steps to champion her homeland’s industry.

“I can’t say I’m conscious of trying to do that,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The Exchange to sell 'The Lady And The Panda'

  • ScreenDaily
The Exchange to sell 'The Lady And The Panda'
CEO Brian O’Shea announced the new signing on Monday ahead of next week’s Afm in Santa Monica.

Justin Chadwick will direct The Lady And The Panda, a UK-China co-production that Laura Bickford and Europe China Picture Group CEO Michelle Qi are producing.

The story centres on 1930s New York socialite Ruth Harkness, who ventured into the Chinese interior after the death of her explorer husband and rescued an orphan panda.

Production is scheduled to begin in November all over the Sichuan region in the foothills of the Himalayas in China.

Chadwick, Bickford and Holly Gent Palmo wrote the screenplay based on Harkness’ detailed correspondence.

Joe Simpson of Miscellaneous Entertainment, Andrew Mann and Fiona Druckenmiller serve as executive producers.

Chadwick directed the upcoming Tulip Fever, as well as Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, The First Grader and The Other Boleyn Girl.

The Exchange’s sales line-up includes documentary Gleason, A Street
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Justin Chadwick to Direct ‘Lady and the Panda’ Movie About Ruth Harkness (Exclusive)

Justin Chadwick to Direct ‘Lady and the Panda’ Movie About Ruth Harkness (Exclusive)
Justin Chadwick will direct the historical adventure “The Lady and the Panda” about Ruth Harkness, the first person to bring a live panda from China to the United States.

Filming is expected to begin next month in China in the Sichuan region in the foothills of the Himalayas. The Exchange is launching sales at the American Film Market next month.

“The Lady and the Panda” is a U.K./Chinese co-production, produced by Laura Bickford (“Traffic,” “Beasts of No Nation”) and Michelle Qi, CEO of Europe China Picture Group. The executive producers are Joe Simpson of Miscellaneous Entertainment, Andrew Mann, and Fiona Druckenmiller (“Beasts of No Nation”).

Harkness was a New York socialite whose wealthy explorer husband died unexpectedly in 1936. She took over his expedition to China, joined forces with Chinese guide Quentin Young, and traveled into the uncharted Himalayas, where, against all odds, they rescued an orphaned baby panda.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Cannes: Elle Driver boards all-female feature 'Below Her Mouth'

Exclusive: All-female production stars Canadian actress Natalie Krill and Swedish model Erika Linder.

Elle Driver has acquired world sales to all-female production Below Her Mouth, about a passionate, unexpected fling between two women that changes their lives forever.

It is the latest production from Toronto-based Serendipity Point Films, which previously produced Atom Egoyan’s Remember, Oscar-nominated Barney’s Version and Being Julia, and is made in association with South African outfit Distant Horizon.

The film, which was shot with an all-female crew, stars Canadian actress Natalie Krill and Swedish model Erika Linder in her first acting role. Serendipity’s Melissa Coghlan is lead producer.

Actress and director April Mullen directs from a screenplay by Stephanie Fabrizi.

Described by its producers as a “bold, uninhibited drama”, the feature kicks off with a steamy, weekend affair between two women: Dallas, a roofer, and Jasmine, a fashion editor. But the powerful connection they ignite derails their lives.

Linder is known
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Judi Dench And Matthew Morrison Will Get Tulip Fever

Justin Chadwick has shown a love of delving into history to tell riveting true tales in his past films, The Other Boleyn Girl, The First Grader and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. All three of those efforts were excellent, which makes us excited that he’s going back in time to the 17th century for his next movie, titled Tulip Fever. Now, we have even more reason to be excited about the project, with news that Skyfall actress Judi Dench and Glee star Matthew Morrison have signed on for supporting roles, along with model Cara Delevingne and Cressida Bonas.

The actors join an already promising cast which includes Alicia Vikander, Dane DeHaan, Jack O’Connell, Holliday Grainger, Christoph Waltz and Zach Galifianakis. Set in 17th century Amsterdam, Tulip Fever tells the story of a married woman (Vikander) who, upon falling for the man (DeHaan) contracted to paint her portrait, begins a passionate affair with him.
See full article at We Got This Covered »

'Borat' Director Larry Charles Takes on 'The Man Who Sued God'

'Borat' Director Larry Charles Takes on 'The Man Who Sued God'
It was revealed today that Larry Charles (Borat, The Dictator, TV's Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm) will write a reimagined version of the cult Australian hit The Man Who Sued God for New Films International (Nfi) with an eye toward directing.

Nfi founder and President Nesim Hason and Mace Neufeld (The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, Sony's upcoming The Equalizer with Denzel Washington) are producing the new project with Sixth Sense Productions principals Richard Harding and Sam Feuer (The First Grader).

Charles' take on The Man Who Sued God is expected to veer from the original premise, which involves a former lawyer who had found happiness with a simpler life and career - until a natural disaster strikes and he is denied insurance money because it was 'an act of God'. He re-registers as a lawyer and sues the insurance company and the church under the guise of God, defending himself.
See full article at MovieWeb »

Tsr Exclusive: ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ Interview w/ Director Justin Chadwick

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is the long-gestating feature project about the famous South African leader Nelson Mandela and his wife, Winnie, each who played significant roles in their country’s revolution against apartheid. Boasting the biggest budget for a film to come from South Africa, the film (as directed by Justin Chadwick), features spirited embodiments from Idris Elba and Naomie Harris (playing Nelson and Winnie, respectively) in its life-encompassing presentation of their heroic efforts.

Chadwick previously directed the Eric Bana, Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman drama The Other Bolelyn Girl, along with the 2010 drama The first Grader (set in Kenya).

I sat down with Chadwick in an exclusive interview to discuss the film, its strength in extras, his disinterest in making the film “spinach,” and more.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom opened in Chicago on December 25.

Read our review of ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

You’ve said previously
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Interview: Director Justin Chadwick of ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’

Chicago – When South African freedom fighter Nelson Mandela died on December 5th, there was a sense in the media that yes, he was a “great man,” but how he affected social change seemed lost in platitudes. Director Justin Chadwick fills in those gaps in his film adaptation of “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.”

Chadwick, and Mandela’s daughters, were at the London premiere of the film when they got the word that the great man had passed. There was speculation with the production company and distributor that the film release might be rescheduled. As Chadwick describes below, it was the children of Nelson Mandela that insisted that the film debut should go on, because of the stellar portrayal of Mandela – by actor Idris Elba – and the precise storytelling of his life by Justin Chadwick.

Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela in ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Photo credit: The Weinstein Company
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'Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom' Director on Adapting the Life of the South African Icon (Q&A)

'Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom' Director on Adapting the Life of the South African Icon (Q&A)
Editor's note: The Hollywood Reporter spoke with Justin Chadwick before Nelson Mandela's death. A former actor who has cut his teeth on high-end U.K. television shows such as Bleak House, starring Gillian Anderson and Carey Mulligan and highly-acclaimed spy thriller Spooks, Justin Chadwick made his feature debut in 2008 with The Other Boleyn Girl, a costume drama boasting Natalie Portman, Eric Bana and Scarlett Johansson among its stars. Just over a year later, Chadwick shot The First Grader in Kenya, a film that proved the filmmaker's metal for making movies in Africa. Photos: Nelson Mandela and Apartheid:

read more
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Naomie Harris interview: 'Playing Winnie is the hardest thing I've done'

Naomie Harris became a global star as the Bond girl in Skyfall, but her biggest challenge yet has been playing the controversial figure of Nelson Mandela's wife in the new biopic. Luckily, she says, her co-star was Idris Elba

The first time I met Naomie Harris was in 2010 in a noisy cafe in Portobello Road, London. I thought then that she was the sort of girl you would have wanted to make your best friend if you had met her at school: warm, talkative, not at all puffed up and not dressed up either. I don't remember what she wore but it wasn't aiming to be memorable. The cafe was noisy so she suggested we talk in her nearby flat. She was best known then for her role in Pirates of the Caribbean and for television dramas (Clara in White Teeth, Hortense in Small Island). She was about to pull into the fast lane,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Review: A South African Perspective On 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom'

  • Indiewire
Review: A South African Perspective On 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom'
South African producer Anant Singh's 20-year struggle to realize "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" has been compared with Richard Attenborough's lengthy quest to make "Gandhi." Their biographies are similar: Both chart the revolutionary course of an iconic political figure after being schooled as a lawyer, only to campaign for freedom against a "colonial" government, with a message of peaceful political reform. Singh has produced several anti-Apartheid films over the last 30 years, including "Place of Weeping," "Sarafina!" and "Cry, The Beloved Country." Nelson Mandela himself called him "a producer I respect very much…a man of tremendous ability" when he granted him the film rights to his autobiography, "Long Walk to Freedom." Together with "Sarafina!" screenwriter William Nicholson, best known for "Gladiator," and "The First Grader" director Justin Chadwick, Singh has willed a grand and sprawling adaptation of "Long Walk to Freedom" to life. Raising the $35 million in...
See full article at Indiewire »

Nelson Mandela Reacts to Idris Elba’s Portrayal: ‘Is That Me?’

Nelson Mandela Reacts to Idris Elba’s Portrayal: ‘Is That Me?’
It was a long time coming—22 years, to be exact—for biopic “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” to be released, but the film finally made its L.A. premiere Nov. 11 at the Arclight Cinerama Dome.

The film stars Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela and chronicles the leader’s life from childhood to becoming the first democratically elected president of South Africa. It was such a huge project that director Justin Chadwick turned it down at first, but after realizing that he could make the movie intimate and show the world a different side of Mandela, he decided to take it on.

“He was a fighter, a boxer,” he explained. “He loved cars, he loved women. He was flawed, and that just made him all the more extraordinary and what he did was all the more extraordinary. The backstory is the hundred-year history that his life represents of apartheid, but at
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Donovan Marsh ('iNumber Number') Will Write & Direct Adaptation Of S. African Sci-Fi Novel 'Zoo City'

In late 2011, after winning several literary awards and garnering global acclaim for its clever originality, South African author Lauren Beukes' science-fiction novel, Zoo City, saw its film rights awarded to producer Helena Spring (Red Dust, Yesterday, The First Grader), a fellow South African. 2 years later, in an interview with Smart Monkey TV, published yesterday, Donovan Marsh, whose South African crime drama iNumber Number was just optioned by Universal Pictures for a Hollywood remake, reveals that he's attached to write and direct the film adaptation of Zoo City. Zoo City's story revolves around a character named Zinzi December, a black South African woman. ...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Telluride 2013: Most Anticipated Films

Every Labor Day weekend, cinephiles journey out to a small town nestled in a remote corner of southwest Colorado’s San Juan mountain range for the Telluride Film Festival. Production staff are hard at work building state-of-the-art theaters for more than a month before the event and readying for a sudden influx of dedicated filmgoers. Veteran pass holders, staff, and volunteers make the trip largely out of faith in the festival’s superb programming that’s famously kept completely secret up until the day before it begins. The shroud of mystery, the breathtaking scenery of a box canyon and the fact that there are no press lines, competitions, or paparazzi lend a sanctified awe to this complete cinematic immersion. Venturing deep into uncharted storytelling territory with old or new friends make the cost of getting out here and the intensive labor involved with putting it all together worth it each and every time.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Netflix Streaming Pick Review - 'The First Grader' Is Well-Meaning But Lacks Context & Drama Force

Inspiring and heart-warming are words that will easily be pegged to the description of The First Grader. The story of an 84 year old Kenyan man enrolling in primary school is, after all, the sort of feel-good thing you expect to hear after all the bad news has been dispensed with, the sort of story that puts a smile on your face and helps you forget about all that terribly depressing stuff until the next news bulletin. With a solid performance from Oliver Litondo, a former TV news anchor, playing Kimani Maruge, the illiterate old man on a quest for education; an earnest performance from Naomie Harris as Teacher Jane, ardent champion of Maruge’s cause; and a school full...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Watch: First Trailer for 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,' Starring Idris Elba

Watch: First Trailer for 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,' Starring Idris Elba
The first trailer for Justin Chadwick's "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" has landed, starring Idris Elba in the title role as the former South African president and anti-apartheid revolutionary. Naomie Harris ("Skyfall") also stars as Mandela's wife of 39 years, Winnie.  The Weinstein Company snapped up the title back in February. An Oscar-friendly release date is set for November 29. The film is based on Mandela's autobiography of the same title, adapted by Oscar-nominated scribe William Nicholson ("Les Miserables," "Gladiator"). Director Chadwick has previously helmed "The First Grader" and "The Other Boleyn Girl." Meanwhile, a rival biopic is also set to hit theaters this fall: "Winnie Mandela," starring Jennifer Hudson in the title role, with Terrence Howard playing Nelson Mandela.
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Watch: Full trailer for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

  • Cineplex
"Shall we begin?" asks Idris Elba in the South African accented voice of Nelson Mandela.

The handsome British actor is front and centre in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, which follows Mandela as a younger man when he was, as the first full trailer tells us, public enemy #1 and feared by the government leading up to his arrest and imprisonment as he fought for freedom, racial equality and human rights for South Africans of colour.

The biopic is directed by Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl, The First Grader) and co-stars Naomie Harris (Skyfall) as Mandela's second wife Winnie Mandela, a social worker and political activist in her own right who tells Nelson: "I heard you had a lot of girlfriends. I'm different."

Watch the first trailer for this Oscar shoe-in right now.
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Watch: Idris Elba Fights For His Rights In New Trailer For 'Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom'

Listen, we know you have to sell this intense drama about the struggle to end apartheid to a mass audience. But can we call a moratorium on using "Wavin' Flag" by K'naan for...well, anything...for about a decade? The official song for the 2010 World Cup (yes, which was held in South Africa, hence relevance) has been played to death and lost any innocence and impact it had. At least for now. Okay, with that off our chest, here's the new trailer for "Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom." As you know, Idris Elba goes from the fake apocalypse of "Pacific Rim" to the very real story of the freedom fighter who fought an entire system and way of thinking to bring justice to his land and people. It really is a remarkable tale, but this first trailer makes it look like Biopic 101, with Justin Chadwick ("The First Grader," "The Other Boleyn Girl
See full article at The Playlist »
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