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Plus: Production wraps in Canada on ‘The Stakelander’; and more…
“We are truly pleased and excited that our friends at Warner Bros. Pictures and Warner Bros Italy have chosen to screen three of their most important summer releases at Ischia Global,” said festival founder Pascal Vicedomini.
Revolution has acquired from Dallas-based Tango Films worldwide rights to five titles produced by Gk Films: Hugo, The Tourist, Edge Of Darkness, The Rum Diary, and The Young Victoria.The National Association Of Latino Independent Producers will present their annual Nalip Latino Media Awards on June 26 at the Nalip Media Summit in Hollywood. Oscar-winning director Juan José Campanella, who won the »
- email@example.com (Alec Govi)
The 3rd Platino Ibero-American Film Awards will fete Argentine star Ricardo Darin with a Lifetime Achievement Prize during its July 24 awards ceremony at Uruguay’s Punta del Este.
With this recognition, the Platino Awards‘ steering committee “aims to praise the honesty, talent and charisma with which (Darin) has brought stature to some of the most recognized Latin American films of the last three decades.”
The Buenos Aires-born thesp, one of Latin America biggest marquee draws, starred in Juan Jose Campanella’s 2010 Oscar-winning “The Secret in Their Eyes,” which Sony Pictures Classics distributed in the U.S., and also toplined Damian Szifron’s 2014 Cannes hit and Oscar-nominee “Wild Tales,” another Sony Pictures Classics pickup which grossed $44 million worldwide, a standout result for a Spanish-language movie.
The Platino Awards organizers highlighted Darin’s “acting versatility and undeniable »
- Emiliano De Pablos
The Argentinian star will collect the lifetime achievement award during the third annual awards gala at the Punta del Este Conventions Centre in Uruguay on July 24.
The awards recognise talent in the cinematic arts in Spanish and Portuguese-language films and according to the selection committee Darin’s hallmarks are the “commitment and hard work of a true craftsman in the art of acting.”
Darín launched his career in El Mismo Amor, La Misma Lluvia in 1999, for which he won the Condor de Plata. The actor earned his second Condor for the Oscar-nominated Son Of The Bride in 2001.
A fruitful collaboration with Juan José Campanella brought international celebrity through a starring role in 2010 best foreign-language Oscar-winner The Secret In Their Eyes, which garnered Darín’s first Premio Sur for best actor from the Argentinian Motion Picture Academy.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Academy Award-nominated “Embrace of the Serpent,” from Colombia’s Ciro Guerra, and “Ixcanul,” directed by Nicaragua’s Jayro Bustamante, lead nominations for the 3rd Platino Ibero-American Film Awards, whose 13 category candidates were unveiled at simultaneous ceremonies in Los Angeles and Buenos Aires Thursday.
Highlighting 2015’s best movies from Latin America, Spain and Portugal, the 3rd Platino award ceremony will take place at Uruguay’s Punta del Este on July 24.
Two multi-prized films of Latin American tragic realism, depicting how indigenous peoples have been plundered and decimated by the so-called modern world, “Ixcanul” and “Serpent” both vie for eight Platino plaudits. Of Latin stars, Penelope Cruz has scored an actress nomination for Spaniard Julio Medem’s “Ma Ma,” where she plays a star-crossed mother; Argentina’s Ricardo Darin, star of Oscar-winning “The Secret in Their Eyes,” shares with fellow “Truman” star Javier Camara, a best actor nom for his perf in friendship drama, »
- John Hopewell
“At the End of the Tunnel,” a Warner Bros. release in Argentina and Spain, is clinching early major territory and regional sales.
A bank heist thriller starring Leonardo Sbaraglia (“Wild Tales”) and Claro Lago (“Spanish Affair”), “Tunnel” is produced by Spain’s Tornasol Films and Argentina’s Haddock Films (Juan Jose Campanella’s “The Secret in Their Eyes”).
Bowing April 21 in Argentina, and climbing to No 2. in its second week in theaters in a sign of good word-of-mouth, “Tunnel” is the second-highest-grossing release for WB, Hollywood fare included, of 2016, tracking at $1.1 million after 17-days, and ranking No. 3 in charts in its third weekend. But in a classic Hollywood studio/overseas sales agent split, Warner Madrid-based sales agent Latido has world sales rights and has and has clinched pre-sales for Japan (The Klockworks) and with Sinema TV for Turkey, as well as with with HBO Eastern Europe and another regional pay TV channel, »
- John Hopewell
Once made up of almost pure-play Spanish film vendors, Spain’s sales sector is diversifying to survive.
One reason: the number of Spanish star-driven pics with high production values has plunged as average Spanish movie budgets dropped from $3.4 million in 2009 to $2.0 million in 2015.
Despite some exceptions, local films have followed the trend of foreign-language fare the world over and sell abroad at lower prices than 10 years ago. International buyers are becoming increasingly selective in foreign-language acquisitions and struggle ever more to open them theatrically.
International business is also polarizing. Per Canales, “There’s practically no middle ground: Either you make good sales on films with a theatrical opening or small sales for other release windows.”
Latido Films CEO »
- Emiliano De Pablos
In news coming out of Cannes, it has been announced that The Weinstein Company has acquired the international rights to animated film The Guardian Brothers.
Deadline is reporting that the film, which was released in China earlier in the year as The Little Door Gods, is set to have an eclectic voice-cast including Oscar winners Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins) and Nicole Kidman (The Secret in their Eyes) as well as Mel Brooks (Hotel Transylvania) and Zendaya (Spider-Man: Homecoming).
On the deal, Harvey Weinstein said: “I’ve loved working with our Beijing partners Light Chaser Animation. I’m determined to build our animation division for film and television. This is going to be a huge area for our company and The Guardian Brothers is just the beginning of our plan to bring the caliber of film associated with TWC to animation.”
Gary Wang, the film’s director, also said: “We »
- Scott J. Davis
The story of a cancer patient’s final months is an effective tearjerker, featuring outstanding and nuanced performances
Tomas (Javier Camara, best known for Pedro Almodóvar’s Talk to Her) flies from Montreal to Madrid to see his best friend Julian (the Argentinian actor Ricardo Darin, from the original The Secret in Their Eyes). Chemotherapy has failed to stop Julian’s cancer from spreading, so he’s chosen to live out his last months without hospitals or further treatment, a choice Tomas reluctantly respects.
Continue reading »
- Leslie Felperin
Paris — In a key sales and door-opening strategic move, Wild Bunch TV has sold exclusive first-run, first-season Svod rights to “Medici: Masters of Florence” – co-created by Frank Spotnitz (“The X-Files,” “The Man in the High Castle”) and starring Dustin Hoffman and Richard Madden (“Game of Thrones”) – to Zive, the newly launched VOD service of Sfr Play, part of Patrick Drahi’s Altice Group. Deal takes in France, Luxembourg and French-speaking Belgium.
Crucially, Wild Bunch and Zive also now envisage broadening their partnership, notably to include future original series initiated by Zive, Zive and Wild Bunch TV said in a Wednesday press statement. That signals that Altice looks set to get into the premium TV drama business as a buyer, investor and originator. Zive will drive into “exclusive first-run original series, starring French and European talents,” company said Wednesday.
Licensing pact is a pioneering deal for both companies. Launching Sept. 2015, Wild Bunch TV, »
- John Hopewell and Elsa Keslassy
Veteran business, finance and studio executive Michael Joe has joined Stx Entertainment as chief operating officer of the motion picture group.
The hire was announced Tuesday by Adam Fogelson, chairman of the Stx Motion Picture Group. The two-year-old company said Joe’s recruitment to Stx signals the company’s focus on rounding out the motion picture group team while the parent company expands into other lines of business.
Stx is producing and distributing 12-15 major motion pictures a year and is backed by Tpg Growth and China-based Hony Capital. It’s released “The Gift,” its most successful film so far with $43 million in domestic grosses along with “The Boy,” “The Secret in Their Eyes” and “Hardcore Henry”
Joe will be responsible for business operations and strategy for the company’s motion picture group, where he will have oversight of the film studio’s business affairs and film financing activities as »
- Dave McNary
Paris – In many ways, Cuban crime thriller “Four Seasons in Havana,” a four-part mini-series, is a first. The Frank Spotnitz-Nicholas Meyer showrun “Medicis: Masters of Florence” was showcased in three excerpts at early April’s MipDrama Screenings. But, unveiled via its first two 45-minute episodes at Series Mania, “Four Seasons” is the first series from Wild Bunch TV, a new sales-financing division, to receive a world premiere screening.
The first major TV series from Spain’s Tornasol Films, a force in Spanish/Latin American movie production, producer of Juan José Campanella’s Academy Award winning “The Secret in Their Eyes,” “Four Seasons in Havana” is also the first Caribbean Noir. It adapts Leonardo Padura four crime novels published over 1991-98, taking in Cuba’s Special Period, when it was plunged into penury by the break-up of the Soviet Union, and an end to Soviet aid.
Written by Lucia Lopez Coll »
- John Hopewell
Panama City — Arturo Montenegro, director of local comedy “The Check” spoke to Variety at the Iff Panama about his film, that world premiered in the fest to a packed audience in the Teatro Balboa, and will be released this Thursday, April 14 on 22 screens, the country’s biggest ever opening screen-count.
“It’s a wonderful and unique experience, to be here in Iff Panama,” said Montenegro. “Not only because I’m showing my picture, ‘The Cheque’, but also because Panama is increasingly positioning itself as a film capital for the Central American market.”
The helmer admitted that he was nervous about the world premiere, since he had never screened the pic to a wide audience and wanted to know whether the comedy would click with spectators. But he said he was delighted by the response. “The reception from the audience was amazing. Hearing the audience laugh gave us a lot of energy, »
- Martin Dale
The first trailer has arrived online for the upcoming comedy-drama The Family Fang, and we have it for you below…
The Family Fang sees Jason Bateman (The Gift) and Nicole Kidman (The Secret in Their Eyes) as Baxter and Annie, siblings “who are scarred from an unconventional upbringing but return to their family home after an unlikely accident. When their parents (Christopher Walken and Maryann Plunkett) — performance artists famous for elaborate public hoaxes — suddenly go missing under troubling circumstances, Baxter and Annie investigate. Unsure whether it’s foul play or just another elaborate ruse, nothing can prepare them for what they discover.”
Bateman also directs the film, which is based on the novel by Kevin Wilson and adapted by Pulitzer winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire (Oz the Great and Powerful). Starz Digital Media are releasing the film is the Us, which hits cinemas on April 29th.
- Scott J. Davis
The Oscar-winning “The Hateful Eight,” released on disc by Anchor Bay Entertainment, snatched the top spot on the national home video sales charts from Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” the week ended April 3.
The Western mystery, helmed by Quentin Tarantino and featuring an ensemble cast that includes Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Tim Roth and Bruce Dern, earned less than $55 million in U.S. theaters, to nearly $282 million for the fourth “Hunger Games” film, which slipped to No. 2 on VideoScan’s overall disc sales chart and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart.
Two other new releases bowed in the top five. Sony Pictures’ “Concussion,” the controversial biodrama about football players developing brain damage due to repeated concussions, debuted at No. »
- Thomas K. Arnold
Two-year-old Stx touted the expansion of its overseas footprint as marking its strategic push into self-distribution of its content. The hiring of Kosse re-teams him with Stx Chairman Adam Fogelson as both were top executives at Univesral for many years.
Kosse, who is leaving British production company Film4 after two years as film chief, will establish and oversee the new division as president of Stx International, effective June 1. He will be reporting to Stx Chief Operating Officer Thomas McGrath and overseeing international strategy for the marketing and direct theatrical and multi-platform distribution of Stx films worldwide.
Initial plans call for launching direct distribution in the UK and Ireland in 2017. John Friedberg, president of international sales, will report to Kosse from Stx’s Burbank headquarters. The international group has already put in place 50 output agreements covering the global market. »
- Dave McNary
The fourth and final film in the “Hunger Games” franchise from Lionsgate easily shot to No. 1 on both national home video sales charts its first week of release.
“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2,” which earned $281.7 million in U.S. theaters, was followed at No. 2 on both VideoScan’s overall disc and Blu-ray Disc sales charts by Paramount’s “Daddy’s Home,” although the latest Will Ferrell comedy – with a domestic box office take of more than $150 million – sold only 32% as many discs as the dystopian sci-fi fantasy.
Indeed, “Mockingjay – Part 2” has the distinction of appearing three times in the VideoScan top 10. “The Hunger Games Collection,” consisting of all four films, debuted at No. 9 on the overall disc sales chart, while a two-pack consisting of both “Mockingjay” films, available exclusively at Walmart, bowed at No. 10.
The previous week’s top seller, season five of the highly rated HBO TV series “Game of Thrones, »
- Thomas K. Arnold
Exclusive: Indie stalwart seeks investment or buyer amid challenging climate.
UK distribution firm Metrodome Group is seeking new owners or significant strategic investment, the company has confirmed to Screen.
The indie stalwart, which comprises Metrodome Distribution, Hollywood Classics and Metrodome International, has been in talks with potential investors who are understood to include UK and international media companies.
“We are looking at all options,” Metrodome Group CEO Mark Webster told Screen. “We are looking at a sale or strategic investment. There are a number of conversations going on.”
“The distribution business model is changing. We need more vertical integration and scale and a partner or two on the production side. Owning IP and partnerships are increasingly important.”
Current major shareholders include Atp board member Webster, city broker Charles Peel and Dutch holding and investment company Metrodome Bv.
In business since 1995, the company’s distribution arm has handled hit English-language titles including Donnie Darko and Monster as well »
- email@example.com (Andreas Wiseman)
Juan José Campanella’s Argentinian thriller The Secret in Their Eyes (El Secreto de Sus Ojos) won the Oscar for best foreign language film in 2010, beating off stiff (and indeed superior) competition from Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon and Jacques Audiard’s A Prophet. A tortured tale of love lost and a murder investigation revisited, the film (a huge domestic and solid international hit) hardly needed an English language remake. Yet here we have the writer-director Billy Ray assembling an eye-catching transatlantic cast to transpose key riffs and images from the Argentinian original to Us soil. The result, on which a supportive Campanella takes an executive-producer credit, may have saleable marquee cachet, but rarely rises above the level of humdrum multiplex functionality.
We open in stylish fashion with Chiwetel Ejiofor’s former »
- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic
The project reteams Stx with Aardwolf following the NBC television series “State of Affairs,” starring Katherine Heigl as a CIA officer who becomes the daily briefer to the president, played by Alfre Woodard. NBC cancelled the series in May after a season.
“The Art of Intelligence: Lessons From a Life in the CIA’s Clandestine Service” was published in 2013 and details Crumpton’s work as a 24-year veteran of the CIA, with lessons about what it means to serve as an honorable spy. The book recounts CIA recruiting missions in Africa, the Uav Predator program, post-9/11 missions in Afghanistan and his time heading up all clandestine CIA operations in the U.S.
- Dave McNary
And so, yet another great film gets a pointless and slightly wrong Hollywood remake, and this one tiptoes sheepishly into cinemas while everyone is looking the other way – preparing for the Academy Awards. It does, however, have the remake’s beneficial effect of enhancing the original’s prestige: after all, no self-respecting cinephile ever talks about George Sluizer’s cult chiller The Vanishing without first establishing his or her good taste by attacking the inferior English-language remake that Sluizer himself directed. This will now be the fate of Juan José Campanella’s terrific Argentinian drama-thriller El Secreto de Sus Ojos, or The Secret in Their Eyes. The foreign-language Oscar-winner from 2009 is now given a retrospective connoisseur’s boost by this unsatisfying remake, set in modern-day Los Angeles, with »
- Peter Bradshaw
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