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2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010

9 items from 2016


‘The Night Manager’: Hugh Laurie, Tom Hiddleston Put New Spin on Cunning Spy Tale

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

Introducing the “worst man in the world.” That dubious honorific is bestowed on Hugh Laurie in AMC’s new six-part limited series “The Night Manager,” as he masterfully embodies Richard Onslow Roper, a charming yet cunningly ruthless international businessman.

Lifted straight from the 1993 John Le Carré novel on which the spy thriller is based, that line “is the sort of thing a child might say,” concedes executive producer Stephen Garrett. “With the people around the world we read about in newspapers on a daily basis, that’s quite a high bar.”

Yet perhaps even more daunting was the idea of adapting a 20-year-old spy thriller for modern audiences. Two previous efforts at translating the novel to the screen had failed. But this time out, Le Carré’s sons, Simon and Stephen Cornwell, with the help of screenwriter David Farr, tried a new approach: updating the Cold War action to the present day. »

- Debra Birnbaum

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'God's Own Country' cast revealed as shoot begins

22 March 2016 11:00 PM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Exclusive: Boardwalk Empire’s Ian Hart and Sense and Sensibility’s Gemma Jones join rising stars Josh O’Connor and Alec Secareanu.

Principal photography has started in Yorkshire on romantic drama God’s Own Country, the debut feature of writer-director Francis Lee.

The cast includes acting veterans Gemma Jones (Sense and Sensibility, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger) and Ian Hart (Urban Hymn, Boardwalk Empire) alongside rising talent Josh O’Connor, whose credits include festival favourite Bridgend, Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella and Stephen FrearsThe Program, alongside upcoming Romanian actor Alec Secareanu.

Director Lee, whose award-winning shorts have screened at the BFI London Film Festival, Slamdance Fand Sheffield Doc/Fest, has explored what might have happened if he had stayed in his local community in rural Yorkshire and begun to farm instead of leaving to study at drama school.

God’s Own Country is the story of farmer’s lad Johnny (O’Connor) who has shut »

- michael.rosser@screendaily.com (Michael Rosser)

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Paddy Considine Starts Shooting His Next Directorial Effort 'Journeyman' In March

12 February 2016 7:33 AM, PST | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Cornerstone Films announced this week that multi-talented writer, director, and actor Paddy Considine has found his next filmmaking gig, the boxing drama “Journeyman.” Considine directed the excellent and underrated BAFTA-Award winning “Tyrannosaur,” and his second feature continues his collaboration with producing partner Diarmid Scrimshaw of Inflammable Films. Currently in pre-production and shooting in early March, Considine wrote the screenplay, will direct it and will also star. Jodie Whittaker (“One Day”), Faraz Ayub (“Honor”), Tony Pitts (“War Horse”) and Paul Popplewell (“’71”) will form the main members of the supporting cast. Here’s the official synopsis: Journeyman is a powerful and beautiful story about loss and, ultimately, triumph. It's about our identity, and how in life we sometimes have to dig deep into our soul to discover who we really are. Matty Burton is the middleweight boxing champion of the world. Now, coming towards the end of his career, »

- Edward Davis

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Charlotte Rampling Adapting Jane Austen, Daniel Radcliffe Sets ‘Jungle’ Adventure, and More

10 February 2016 9:14 AM, PST | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Coming off her well-deserved Oscar nomination for 45 Years, Charlotte Rampling has found a new project. Screen Daily reports that she’ll be leading an adaptation of Jane Austen‘s Sanditon, the first time it will come to the screen. Directed by Jim O’Hanlon and scripted by Simon Reade, it follows a summer at a sea bathing resort in which society can be seen at play. Production is set to kick off this summer for a likely 2017.

We’ve been patiently waiting for Paddy Considine (Hot Fuzz, Macbeth) to follow up his impressive directorial debut Tyrannosaur with another feature and now it looks like he’s finally settled on one. THR reports he’ll direct and write Journeyman, a boxing drama starring himself as a world middleweight boxing champion who takes on one last fight and succumbs to a coma, but is then awakened and must deal with the repercussions. »

- Jordan Raup

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Paddy Considine boxing drama gets sales deal

10 February 2016 3:25 AM, PST | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Cornerstone boards Journeyman, which will also star Jodie Whittaker.

Paddy Considine is re-teaming with producer Diarmid Scrimshaw on his second feature as a director, boxing drama Journeyman.

The project is being financed by Film4 [who announced a funding increase to $36m last night] with the BFI, Screen Yorkshire and the Wellcome Trust. Studiocanal is on-board to handle the UK release, while Cornerstone will oversee international sales.

Considine, who has also penned the project’s script, will star alongside Jodie Whittaker (One Day), Faraz Ayub (Honour), Tony Pitts (War Horse) and Paul Popplewell (’71).

The plot follows Matty Burton (Considine), the middleweight boxing champion of the world, who begins to suffer from memory loss and personality changes after a devastating punch in a bout leaves him in a coma.

Pre-production is underway and shooting will begin in early March in the North of England.

Considine’s debut feature Tyrannosaur won him a BAFTA for Outstanding Debut, as well as three BIFAs including for star Olivia Colman.  

Scrimshaw commented »

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Paddy Considine to direct and star in boxing drama

10 February 2016 3:25 AM, PST | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Film4, BFI, Screen Yorkshire and Wellcome Trust are backing Journeyman, which will also star Jodie Whittaker.

Paddy Considine is re-teaming with producer Diarmid Scrimshaw on his second feature as a director, boxing drama Journeyman.

The project is being financed by Film4 [who announced a funding increase to $36m last night] with the BFI, Screen Yorkshire and the Wellcome Trust. Studiocanal is on-board to handle the UK release, while Cornerstone will oversee international sales.

Considine, who has also penned the project’s script, will star alongside Jodie Whittaker (One Day), Faraz Ayub (Honour), Tony Pitts (War Horse) and Paul Popplewell (’71).

The plot follows Matty Burton (Considine), the middleweight boxing champion of the world, who begins to suffer from memory loss and personality changes after a devastating punch in a bout leaves him in a coma.

Pre-production is underway and shooting will begin in early March in the North of England.

Considine’s debut feature Tyrannosaur won him a BAFTA for Outstanding Debut, as well as »

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Paddy Considine And Producer Diarmid Scrimshaw Re-Teaming On ‘Journeyman’, StudioCanal To Release in UK- Berlin

10 February 2016 1:34 AM, PST | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

Multi-hyphenate Paddy Considine is re-teaming with his Tyrannosaur producing partner Diarmid Scrimshaw on Journeyman, a drama about an ageing boxer. The project is being financed by Film4, the BFI, Screen Yorkshire, and the Wellcome Trust. Leading indie StudioCanal will release in the UK with Cornerstone Films selling international. The film is currently in pre-production and will start shooting in the North of England in early March. Paddy is writing and directing and… »

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Berlin: Paddy Considine, Diarmid Scrimshaw Reteam on ‘Journeyman’

9 February 2016 11:37 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Berlin — Writer-director-actor Paddy Considine is continuing his collaboration with his “Tyrannosaur” producing partner Diarmid Scrimshaw of Inflammable Films on “Journeyman,” which is being financed by Film4, the BFI, Screen Yorkshire and the Wellcome Trust. Studiocanal is on board to handle the U.K. release and Cornerstone Films will oversee international sales and distribution.

Considine and Scrimshaw won a BAFTA for outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer

for “Tyrannosaur” in 2012.

Journeyman” is in pre-production and will start shooting in the North of England in early March. Considine is not only writing and directing the film but also starring, alongside Jodie Whittaker (“One Day”), Faraz Ayub (“Honour”), Tony Pitts (“War Horse”) and Paul Popplewell (“’71″).

The film centers on Matty Burton, the middleweight boxing champion of the world. Now, coming toward the end of his career, he knows that he must make his money and get out of the game. »

- Leo Barraclough

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FILM4 is the Company with 15 Academy Award Nominations Nobody is Talking About but Should Be

9 February 2016 4:04 PM, PST | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

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".

Forthcoming releases include; Ben Wheatley’s "High-Rise" and "Free Fire", Ang Lee’s "Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk", Benedict Andrews’ “Una" and Andrea Arnold’s "American Honey".

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.

3 of 5 Oscar Best Actress Nominees – Cate Blanchett, Brie Larson, Charlotte Rampling

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:

Carol

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

Room

Best Motion Picture of the Year: Ed Guiney

Achievement in Directing: Lenny Abrahamson

Actress in a Leading Role: Brie Larson

Adapted Screenplay: Emma Donoghue

Ex Machina

Original Screenplay: Alex Garland

Achievement in Visual Effects: Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington and Sara Bennett

“45 Years”:

Actress in a Leading Role: Charlotte Rampling

Youth

Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original song): Simple Song # 3, music and lyrics by David Lang

Amy

Best Documentary Feature: Asif Kapadia, James Gay-Rees

  »

- Sydney Levine

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2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010

9 items from 2016


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