15 items from 2016
Titles backed by Film4 this year have a total of 15 Oscar nominations including a Best Picture and Best Director nomination and three of the five Oscar Best Actress Nominees: Cate Blanchett, Brie Larson, Charlotte Rampling. The total tally of Film4’s awards nominations and wins across the Academy, BAFTA, critics groups, guilds, etc. in 2015 to date is: 181 wins out of a total 581 nominations (95% of which were in the U.S.) across 11 films - “Room”, “Carol”, “Suffragette”, “Youth”, “The Lobster", "Ex Machina", "45 Years”, “Amy”, “Macbeth”, “Slow West”, and “Dark Horse”.
Film4 has already had two Academy Best Picture wins in recent years with "Slumdog Millionaire" and "12 Years A Slave" amid other Academy Award nominations, so we can declare they are a force to be reckoned with.
This year again they have more nominations than most Hollywood Studios! The New York based Distribution and Production Company A24 has seven nominations, and people are talking about them as serious players in the Oscar race, so let’s talk about Film4.
Film4 is known for working with the most distinctive and innovative, both new and established, talent. It develops and co-finances films and is well known for its involvement with “The Last King of Scotland” (2006), “Slumdog Millionaire” (2008), “This is England” (2006), “Seven Psychopaths” (2012), “12 Years a Slave” (2013) as well as its most recent crop of successes in the current awards season which has also already garnered a record number of BAFTA nominations this year - 22 in all.
Sue Bruce Smith is the head of distribution and brand strategy at Channel 4’s feature film division, Film4. She supports the building and financing of projects from the U.K. broadcaster. She works in some capacity across most of the Film4 slate but has been particularly associated with films like “Room”, “The Lobster”, “Slumdog Millionaire”, “The Last King of Scotland”, “Tyrannosaur”, “The Imposter” and “Le Weekend”,
Sue has been at Film4 over 12 years. Prior to this she has worked variously in U.K. distribution, broadcaster investment in film, international sales and independent production at Palace Pictures, BBC Films, Littlebird and Film4.
Sl: Can you define what exactly you do at Film4?
Sue Bruce Smith: What I do varies quite a bit from film to film. Some of the seasoned producers are more adept at finding partners and don’t need much in the way of help putting their finance together. However, we also work with emerging producers and directors who require more guidance so I am on hand to help them access the right co-production or distribution partners to ensure the film is built in the best possible way. Once the film is completed, I again get involved in the strategy for the launch of the film and I oversee the distribution activity. Protecting and maximizing the strength of our Film4 brand is a key consideration in everything I do. We are also the only free-to-air channel dedicated to film in the U.K. so this really helps define our strong brand.
Sl: How are productions greenlit at Film4?
Sue Bruce Smith:The creative and commercial team within Film4 will guide a project through development to final greenlight. David Kosse, Director of Film4 is a key part of the whole progression of the film and his final decision, based very much on the soundings he gets from his senior team, also obviously draws heavily on his valuable experience and understanding of film investment and the international marketplace. The Film4 team is a very inclusive team of about 23 people working across development, production, finance and distribution. it is also able to draw upon additional resources within the Channel4, most specifically in marketing and press.
Sl: Do you do co-productions?
Sue Bruce Smith: If you mean financial co-productions, yes lots. These tend to be U.S. set financial co-productions or they might come out of Europe. But official co-productions are relatively rare as it is more difficult and takes longer to set up. “Room”, however, was an official co-production with Telefilm Canada and “The Lobster” was the result of a wonderful collaboration of over five different European co-producers.
Sl: What sort of budget parameters do you work with?
Sue Bruce Smith: We span from the very low to sometimes quite high. We try not to limit ourselves and allow the project to find its optimum level. When we developed “Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk” with Ink Factory, in the course of looking for partners we found a fan in Tom Rothman who at that time was in the process of rebuilding production at TriStar and we have ended up, as a result, being involved in an Ang Lee film! However these are the exceptions and the range is usually between Us $3m to Us$15m.
Going forward, we are keen to be bolder in how Film4 invests especially when we feel a film is a potential break out. We operate a cross subsidy model where the bigger, more commercial investments allow us to generate revenue that then supports the new emerging talent. It is worth noting that absolutely everything we earn from our films goes straight back into more development and film investment.
Sl: Do you have special “strands” for particular types of films?
Sue Bruce Smith: We don’t really distinguish films in strands we just work across many levels and genres. First time filmmakers tend to have smaller budgets - around Us$3m and they are built in a slightly different way. For our larger projects I’d say our sweet spot is $10 – 15 million.
Sl: How do you find projects?
Sue Bruce Smith:: We are constantly scouting for interesting new talent, watching shorts like “Robots of Brixton” where we found Kibwe Tavares, culling talent from our TV arm (like Yann Demange who worked with us on the TV series “Top Boy” before making “'71”) from theater (Lucy Kirkwood who we are making a short film with and developing a feature), the arts (which is where Steve McQueen originated and is still very active) and writing (Alex Garland who adapted “Never Let Me Go” for us and went on to make his striking debut “Ex Machina”)
Sl: I notice you don’t do international sales like you used to in the 80s.
Sue Bruce Smith: Yes we shed the international sales division and the U.K. Distribution arm back in 2002 and brought the focus back to our core development and co-financing activities. We currently work with a wide range of sales agents like Protagonist, Hanway, Cornerstone, FilmNation, Westend, Pathe, Studio Canal, Independent and others.
Sl: In the early days in the 1980s operations were different.
Sue Bruce Smith: David Rose, in 1982, was the real visionary behind Film4. He decided Channel4 would be different from all other TV channels. Channel4 was the first U.K. broadcaster, through its film arm, Film on Four, to develop and co-finance films and, crucially, to allow these films to play in cinemas before their television transmission on Channel4. Our theatrical model became Film on Four and HBO, Sbs and Arte followed this lead. “Walter” by Stephen Frears followed this route in 1982. Frear's next film “My Beautiful Laundrette” followed shortly after in 1985
(An aside here by Sydney Levine):
If my readers will indulge me for a little history lesson in how films change with technological change, I want to point out that in the early days of home video, in 1985, Sue and I (a couple of the pioneer women in the modern business) shared in the good fortune resulting from the shift in the movie and TV business.
Working for the biggest TV production house in U.S. in the days of “Dallas”, I came to Lorimar to buy for home video, the fastest growing new technological distribution tool yet. We put up $175,000 advance to acquire home video rights to the Film4 feature “My Beautiful Laundrette” for U.S. $75,000 of that was to be used as P&A by theatrical distributor Orion Pictures Classics’ platform theatrical release – to platform first in N.Y. and L.A for critical reviews, and then, if profitable, to expand across the nation. It was the first British film to come to U.S. in many a year (except of course for the James Bond franchise). Orion Classics was headed by Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and Donna Gigliotti who paid no advance but used the P&A allotment wisely and well. It was a happy association that we shared a couple of more times before they moved on to form Sony Pictures Classics and I moved on to Republic Pictures, reconstructed by Cnb’s Russell Goldsmith, former CEO of Lorimar. This Film4 picture, “My Beautiful Laundrette” was by complete unknowns in the U.S. and was a first for us all. We did not know it would go on to gross $7 million at the box office (a huge amount at that time for an independent film) and would sell 75,000 video units (at $50 wholesale a piece = $3,750,000). We at Lorimar made a $1 million profit and overages of $1 million went to Channel 4 and $1 million went to Working Title. I got a $100 bonus, and we were all delighted. My association with Film4 was followed by many loyal and loving years and reunions, but that is another lesson.
To quote Adam P. Davies, the writer of the U.K. Film Finance Handbook 2005/6: How to Fund Your Film:
Stephen Frears’s 1985 “My Beautiful Laundrette” signalled a change in direction for the industry in that TV backed film investment started to feed local productions. The Channel4 film encouraged the broadcasters to increase investment in filmmaking over the late 80s and also launched Working Title, initially run by Tim Bevan and Sarah Radcliffe (who left in 1992 to run her own company) and later Eric Fellner, with whom Bevan runs the company today [in a longstanding deal with Universal-Focus]. Video distributor and producer Palace Pictures, run by Nik Powell and Stephen Woolley, followed the success in 1985 of Neil Jordan’s “Company of Wolves” with “Mona Lisa” in 1986. The British Film Commission launched in 1992 [when “The Crying Game” had its world success].
Sue was at Palace Productions when I was at Lorimar and Republic and our paths crossed many times and so I was quite eager to share the latest good fortune of the 2016 Academy Awards at a time when the Academy is being besieged by negative publicity. At that time, back in ’85, I suggested to Michael and Tom that they put up Daniel Day Lewis for Best Actor Nomination and as I recall, they told me British films or British actors in British films were not acceptable to the Academy, and so neither he nor the film was put up for nomination.
“My Beautiful Laundrette” obviously had Asian actors; it was about a gay skinhead and a Pakistani. Diversity was at its core, but it did not get past the British line of demarcation the Academy had drawn in ’85. Its ethnic boundaries might have existed if anyone had tried to test them but that was not even an issue in 1985. “Diversity” in those days did not exist as a word one used and the very idea of diversity was even more limited than today.
Film4 has had a key role in proactively promoting different voices and stories since the 1980s. And today diversity is a crucial consideration in the decisions Film4 makes about its developments and productions with the aim of increasing diversity across all areas of the business. They have several films currently in development with Bame writers and directors and are successfully working with many female directors such as Andrea Arnold, Debbie Tucker Green, Susanna White, Clio Bernard, Sarah Gavron and Lynne Ramsay.
In January last year parent company Channel4 launched the 360 Degree Diversity Charter which is all about a commitment to implementing diversity on and off screen and to measuring its progress. It is tied to Project Diamond, an industry-wide diversity monitoring system. Its results will be published in the next few months.
Film4 has developed and co-financed many of the most successful U.K. films of recent years, Academy Award-winners such as Steve McQueen’s "12 Years a Slave", Danny Boyle’s "Slumdog Millionaire", Phyllida Lloyd’s "The Iron Lady” and Martin McDonagh’s "In Bruges" in addition to critically-acclaimed award-winners such as Mike Leigh’s "Mr. Turner", Chris Morris’ "Four Lions", Shane Meadows’ "This is England", Ben Wheatley’s “Sightseers", Clio Barnard’s "The Selfish Giant" Jonathan Glazer’s "Under the Skin" and David Mackenzie’s "Starred Up".
Film4’s recent releases include; Lenny Abrahamson’s “Room", Todd Haynes’ “Carol", Sarah Gavron’s “Suffragette", Justin Kurzel’s “Macbeth", Yorgos Lanthimos’ "The Lobster", Asif Kapadia’s box office record breaking documentary “Amy", Andrew Haigh’s "45 Years", Alex Garland’s "Ex Machina", Paolo Sorrentino’s “Youth", Peter Strickland’s "The Duke of Burgundy", Daniel Wolfe’s "Catch Me Daddy" and John Maclean’s "Slow West".
For further information visit www.film4.com/productions, but for now, here is the Cheat Sheet on Film4’s 2016 Total Oscar Nominations numbering 15. It will be at my side as I watch the Awards on February. Parenthetically, I am also looking forward to watching the fashions before the show, and inside the show, to catching that one loose cannon who will deliver the only inspirational speech in a rather inspirationless, basically boring, but still worthy traditional show.
Nomination tally by film:
“Room” – 4 - Picture, Actress, Director, Best Adapted Screenplay
“Carol” – 6 –Actress, Supporting Actress, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Costume Design, Original Score
“Ex Machina” – 2 –Original screenplay, Visual Effects
“Amy” – 1 – Documentary Feature
“45 Years” – 1 – Actress
“Youth” – 1 – Original Song
Film4-backed films Oscar® nominations in full:
Actress in a Leading Role: Cate Blanchett
Actress in a Supporting Role: Rooney Mara
Adapted Screenplay: Phyllis Nagy
Achievement in Cinematography: Ed Lachman
Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original score): Carter Burwell
Achievement in Costume Design: Sandy Powell
Best Motion Picture of the Year: Ed Guiney
Achievement in Directing: Lenny Abrahamson
Actress in a Leading Role: Brie Larson
Adapted Screenplay: Emma Donoghue
Original Screenplay: Alex Garland
Actress in a Leading Role: Charlotte Rampling
Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original song): Simple Song # 3, music and lyrics by David Lang
- Sydney Levine
The stage is set for a David vs. Goliath battle at the 88th academy awards.
In one corner are the Goliath box office hits that Oscarcast viewers have heard of — and maybe even seen: This year’s top three on the nominations tally are Fox’s “The Revenant” (12 noms), Warner Bros.’ “Mad Max: Fury Road” (10) and Fox’s “The Martian” (seven).
Together, they’ve amassed over $1.2 billion at the global box office.
In the other corner are the likes of Fox Searchlight’s “Brooklyn,” which was acquired at Sundance and had a production budget of $11 million, and A24’s “Room,” which is the first best picture nominee for the emerging studio.
Together, they’ve made just over $40 million at the domestic box office (though neither one is close to finished, especially with three weeks to go until the Oscars).
Blockbuster Oscar winners such as “Rocky” and “Titanic” have given way »
- Geoff Berkshire and Tim Gray
Saturday evening’s 22nd Annual SAG Awards proved that we have a real race on our hands for best picture. The night’s biggest prize, the best ensemble award, which has been awarded to 10 of the last 20 best pic winners, went to Spotlight.
Director Tom McCarthy’s drama about Boston Globe reporters investigating the Catholic Church’s child molestation scandal is led by performances from best supporting actor Oscar nominee Mark Ruffalo, best supporting actress nom Rachel McAdams, and best actor nom last year, Michael Keaton. The film previously won the Critics’ Choice award for best picture.
Rival contenders The Big Short and The Revenant, took home best picture honors at the PGA Awards and Golden Globes, respectively, with The Martian also winning a best picture award (in the comedy/musical category) at the Golden Globes.
So, what does a best ensemble win at SAG »
- Patrick Shanley
Lenny Abrahamson ("Room"), Alejandro G. Iñárritu ("The Revenant"), Tom McCarthy ("Spotlight"), Adam McKay ("The Big Short"), and George Miller ("Mad Max: Fury Road") — the Oscars' final five — will all receive the Santa Barbara International Film Festival's Outstanding Director of the Year Award. (Check out our interviews with the five Oscar nominees for Best Director at the links above.) Read More: "Oscar Predictions 2016" The individual honors, to be handed out February 11 at Santa Barbara's Arlington Theater, will be followed by a conversation among the directors. Past recipients include Oscar winners Laura Poitras ("Citizenfour"), Kathryn Bigelow ("The Hurt Locker"), and Danny Boyle ("Slumdog Millionaire"), as well as Oscar nominees Richard Linklater ("Boyhood"), David O. Russell ("American Hustle"), Bennett Miller »
- Matt Brennan
Our countdown of the top 100 films of the 21st Century (so far) concludes here with the top 25.
Click here for Part 1! (#100-76)
Click here for Part 2! (#75-51)
Click here for Part 3! (#50-26)
The first decade and a half of the 21st century has brought a lot of changes to the landscape of film. The advancement and sophistication of computers has made realistic computer generated effects a mainstay in both big-budget and small-budget films. The internet and streaming technologies have given big Hollywood new competition in films produced independently and by non-traditional means. We went from purchasing films on yards of tape to plastic disks, and now we can simply upload them to the cloud. Advertisements for films have reached a higher, more ruthless level where generating hype through trailers and teasers is crucial for a film’s commercial success. Movie attendance has fluctuated along with the economy, but that hasn »
- email@example.com (G.S. Perno)
Universal City, California, January 21, 2015 – An intimate and revealing portrait of one of the chief architects of the digital age, Steve Jobs is coming to Digital HD on February 2, 2016, and Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, DVD and On Demand on February 16, 2016, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. From Oscar®-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network, Moneyball) and Oscar®-winning director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours), Steve Jobs is an up-close-and-personal look at the founder of Apple, a remarkable creative genius whose vow to put computers in the hands of ordinary people changed the world. A “must-see, one-of-a-kind that cannot be ignored” according to Indiewire’s Anne Thompson, Steve Jobs on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD also comes with a revealing “making-of” documentary and feature commentary by the filmmakers.
Witness the founder of Apple like never before. Steve Jobs paints an intimate portrait of the brilliant man at the epicenter of the digital revolution, »
- ComicMix Staff
The Grammy for Best Visual Media Song awards music from all forms of visual media, but often closely reflects the Oscar race for Best Original Song. The last two winners of this award, "Let It Go" from "Frozen" (2014) and the title song from "Skyfall" (2013), also won Oscars, as did "The Weary Kind" from "Crazy Heart" (2010), "Jai Ho" from "Slumdog Millionaire" (2009) and "Into the West" from "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" (2004) in recent years. -Break- Subscribe to Gold Derby Breaking News Alerts & Experts’ Latest Oscar Predictions But the recording academy doesn't always agree with the motion picture academy. Consider 2012, when the Oscar winner, "Man or Muppet" from "The Muppets," lost this prize to Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars for "Safe and Sound" from the first "Hunger Games" film. The Oscars weren&...' »
The casting branch of the academy is only two years old and doesn't have an Oscar category of its own. However, the Casting Society of America has been handing out the Artios Awards for 31 years and celebrated the best of its members with celebrations on both coasts Thursday. ("Artios" is from the ancient Greek meaning "perfectly fitted.") The prizes recognize achievements in the casting of various genres of film, televison and theater. (See full list of winners below.) At this year's awardsfest at the Beverly Hilton hosted by Greg Grunberg, casting director Bernard Tesley was honored with the Hoyt Bowers Award for his lifetime achievement and Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle ("Slumdog Millionaire") for career contributions. And at the Gotham ceremony at the Hard Rock Cafe presided over by Tituss Burgess, "The Good Wife" star Julianna Margulies presented the show's creators Michelle and Robert King with the Ne...' »
The most athletic hospitality duo on the Internet is set for an action-packed return. Marriott has released the trailer for Two Bellmen Two, an upcoming short film that will serve as a sequel to 2015’s Two Bellmen.
The first Two Bellmen film was one of the first productions we saw out of the Red Bull-esque Marriott Content Studio, which launched in 2014. It was born out of a partnership with creative collective Substance Over Hype and starred Hollywood stuntmen William Spencer and Caine Sinclair as a pair of Marriott hotel employees who will pull out all the stops--including jumps, flips, and intricately-choreographed fistfights--in order to best serve their guests. The film arrived in March 2015 and has since received more than five million views, many of them paid. Viewers who stuck around to watch the whole video were impressed by the high quality of its stuntwork and the charming personalities of its leads. »
- Sam Gutelle
The Broadcast Film Critics Association handed out their Critics’ Choice Awards last evening in Los Angeles and is the first awards ceremony since the Academy released their official nominations last Thursday.
Those looking to the Critics’ Choice Awards in hopes of fleshing out their Oscar predictions will notice a few differences between last week’s Golden Globes and Sunday’s awards in the major categories. Most notably is the fact that Spotlight won best picture after being entirely shut out by the HFPA at the Globes.
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant), Sylvester Stallone (Creed), and Brie Larson (Room) all repeated their Globes success with acting wins, but Swedish actress Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) took home the best supporting actress award in lieu of Kate Winslet’s (Steve Jobs) win the week before.
- Patrick Shanley
I thought I'd be over Carol's Best Picture snub by now. The Best Actress nominations were so stunning that I figured I'd pile all my hopes there. But no. Carol, to me, is the rarest of treats: a queer movie by a queer director (Todd Haynes) that explores feminine inner-life and feminist personalities of another era while managing to be a stunning period piece sporting exquisitely accurate visual and aural detail. The story of a sophisticated New York housewife (Cate Blanchett) who courts a younger woman (Rooney Mara) while dealing with the dissolution of her marriage to husband Harge (Kyle Chandler) was visually gorgeous and, at least to me, radically real. Over the past few months I've heard certain movie biz types speculate about Carol, and I can't shake the memory of a few strange, yet eerily agreed-upon complaints in that conversation. I've counted up five of them here »
- Louis Virtel
The 2015 Oscar nominations have been announced with The Revenant leading the way with 12 nominations followed by Mad Max: Fury Road with ten. After crunching some numbers we've taken a look at how this year's crop of Best Picture nominees stacks up to prior, pre-nomination box office totals. Have a look at what we found after comparing this year's eight Best Picture nominees to 190 previous Best Picture contenders, going back 33 years to 1982. Note: Before reading on, please be aware this article is specifically comparing pre-nomination grosses (not adjusted for inflation) unless otherwise noted. To begin, Room is the sixth lowest grossing Best Picture nominee (pre-nominations) in the last 33 years with $5.1 million. The five lower grossing films are American Sniper ($3.3M), Letters from Iwo Jima ($2.5M), My Left Foot ($2.1M), The Dresser ($562k) and Amour ($371k). In fact, Room will likely end up as one of the top ten lowest grossing Best »
- Brad Brevet <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sharmill Films will present the opening night of the annual Ted conference in cinemas for the first time.
Ted itself will take place on February 15 in Vancouver, Canada and will screen for Australian cinemagoers on March 2.
Hosted by Ted.s curator Chris Anderson, the theatrical screening of this event will feature Shonda Rhimes, creator of Grey's Anatomy and Scandal, plus composer A.R. Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours), scientist Riccardo Sabatini, entrepreneur and inventor Astro Teller, Prime Minister of Bhutan Tshering Tobgay and dancer-choreographer Bill T. Jones.
Impromptu on-stage interviews, artistic performances and short films will be interspersed throughout the program.
Watch the trailer here. »
- Staff Writer
This Sunday the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will present their picks for best dramatic and comedy/musical picture at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards.
The Globes are the first major indicator for Oscar and since the HFPA honors both dramas and comedies in their dual best picture categories the chances of the Globes’ pick overlapping with the Academy’s is two-fold.
Those interested in predicting this year’s winner for best picture at the Oscars will be paying close attention to the Globes this Sunday, as a number of Golden Globe winners have gone on to take home the statuette for best pic. In a year such as this, with no standout frontrunner in a tight Oscar race, the focus is even sharper on who will win this weekend in hopes that some clearer picture will come into focus.
Here’s a look at how »
- Patrick Shanley
Alexandre Desplat is one of the most prolific film composers currently working, routinely writing multiple film scores per year. His hard work has been rewarded with eight Oscar nominations in just the last nine years, finally prevailing last year for "The Grand Budapest Hotel." Will he continue his successful streak this year with nominations for "The Danish Girl" and "Suffragette," or maybe even another win? -Break- Subscribe to Gold Derby Breaking News Alerts & Experts’ Latest Oscar Predictions Since his first nom in 2006, Desplat has been nominated every year except 2007 and 2011: 2006: "The Queen"; lost to Gustavo Santaolalla ("Babel") 2008: "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"; lost to A.R. Rahman ("Slumdog Millionaire") 2009: "Fantastic Mr. Fox"; lost to Michael Giacchino ("Up") 2010: "The King's Speech"; lost to Tre...' »
15 items from 2016
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