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2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

15 items from 2016


Star Wars: Rogue One characters unveiled

23 June 2016 1:37 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

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The new issue of Entertainment Weekly has the low-down on the characters we'll meet in Star Wars: Rogue One...

Nb: The following contains character and small plot details for Star Wars: Rogue One. Look away now if you want to stay completely spoiler-free.

Long before the Battle of Yavin, there was the battle to acquire the plans to the Death Star. That story will be told for the first time on the big screen in Star Wars: Rogue One, out in December. Up until now, we've heard lots of things about the style and tone of the film - no Jedi, no Force ghosts, more shades of grey than black-and-white good-and-evil, director Gareth Edwards says. But what about the ensemble cast? Why haven't we seen Mad Mikkelsen in any promo material yet? Where does Ben Mendelsohn's villain sit in the Empire's heirarchy? Just »

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Movie Review – Remainder (2015)

21 June 2016 11:30 PM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Remainder, 2015.

Directed by Omer Fast.

Starring Tom Sturridge, Cush Jumbo, Ed Speleers, Arsher Ali, Shaun Prendergast and Laurence Spellman.

Synopsis:

A London man attempts to reconstruct his memory after being struck by a falling object.

Memory.

1. The faculty by which the mind stores and remembers information.

2. Something remembered from the past.

3. A potentially faltering and problematic thing with the capacity to occlude and confuse.

In Remainder, the feature film debut from Omer Fast, an intricately woven web of ideas and codes is constructed, both on-screen and off. The viewer is lured into a perplexing thriller that brings philosophical vision into a detailed run through of noir-ish themes and psychological horror plays. Adapted from Tom McCarthy’s cult novel, the movie shares the disturbing nature of films as diverse as Memento, Mulholland Drive, Pi and Spellbound. 

Fast is an acclaimed visual artist well versed in the mind’s potential for playing tricks on an individual. »

- Robert W Monk

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The Invitation Blu-ray / DVD Release Details & Cover Art

16 June 2016 1:59 PM, PDT | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

On July 26th, Drafthouse Films invites viewers to attend an unnerving dinner party with their Blu-ray / DVD combo pack (including Digital HD) release of Karyn Kusama’s The Invitation, complete with an audio commentary, a booklet, and more:

Press Release: Dubbed “the best horror film of the year” by Maxim, the stylish chiller The Invitation will arrive in a Blu-ray + DVD combo pack on July 26, 2016, from Drafthouse Films. In this taut psychological thriller from award-winning director Karyn Kusama (Girlfight, Jennifer’s Body), the tension is palpable when Will (Logan Marshall-Green, Prometheus) shows up to a dinner party hosted by his ex-wife Eden (Tammy Blanchard, Into the Woods) and new husband David (Michiel Huisman, “Game of Thrones”). The estranged divorcees’ tragic past haunts an equally eerie present; amid Eden’s suspicious behavior and her mysterious house guests, Will becomes convinced that his invitation was extended with a hidden agenda. Unfolding over one dark evening in the Hollywood Hills, The Invitation blurs layers of mounting paranoia, mystery, and horror until both Will-and the audience-are unsure what threats are real or imagined.

Kusama’s thriller opened the Midnight section of the 2015 SXSW Film Festival before receiving wide acclaim during the nationwide theatrical release. For Kusama, who first made her mark with the breakout 2000 hit Girlfight, The Invitation boasts a triumphant return to her independent roots, as well as an impressively-crafted script written and produced by screenwriting duo Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi (Crazy/Beautiful, Ride Along). Also starring isEmayatzy Corinealdi (Miles Ahead, “Roots”) and John Carroll Lynch (“American Horror Story,” Zodiac).

Special features on the Blu-ray and DVD of The Invitation include audio commentary with Kusama, Hay and Manfredi, “The Making of The Invitation,” music videos for original songs by Craig Wedren and Benjamin Newgard, the theatrical trailer, a HD digital copy of the film and booklet featuring an original essay by critic Britt Hayes.

About Drafthouse Films

Drafthouse Films, the film distribution arm of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, is a curated brand of provocative, visionary and artfully unusual films new and old from around the world. Following the earnestly simple motto of “sharing the films we love with widest audience possible,” Drafthouse Films debuted in 2010 with the theatrical release of Four Lions, which was named of Time Magazine’s “Top 10 Films Of The Year.” Their diverse and unique slate includes Joshua Oppenheimer’s highly-acclaimed, Oscar® nominated documentaries The Act Of Killing and The Look of Silence, produced by Errol Morris and Werner Herzog, Michel Gondry’s surrealist romance Mood Indigo starring Audrey Tautou, Midnight Movie sensations Miami Connection and The Visitor and rediscovered classics Wake In Fright, Ms. 45 and Roar (in conjunction with Olive Films).

Recent and upcoming releases include Anders Thomas Jensen’s dark comedy Men & Chicken, starring Mads Mikkselsen; and the documentary Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made, the true story of three eleven-year-old boys who filmed a shot-for-shot adaptation of Spielberg’s classic during the 1980s..

Drafthouse Films distributes films theatrically, through home video, VOD and their direct-to-consumer platforms integrating into the ever-growing Alamo Drafthouse entertainment lifestyle brand, which along with Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas includes: Mondo, the collectible art boutique; Fantastic Fest, the largest international genre film festival in the Us; and the pop culture website Birth.Movies.Death.

The post The Invitation Blu-ray / DVD Release Details & Cover Art appeared first on Daily Dead. »

- Derek Anderson

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Adam McKay to direct Irredeemable, an evil superhero movie

5 May 2016 4:15 PM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

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Coming off The Big Short and Ant-Man, Adam McKay is now directing an adaptation of Mark Waid's Irredeemable!

Last year, Adam McKay made The Big Short, one of the best films of 2015 and a dizzyingly complex comedy-drama-turned tragedy about the 2000s housing market crash. It snagged McKay an Oscar too, for Best Adapted Screenplay. Having also written the final draft for Marvel StudiosAnt-Man, many expected his next film might be of the superhero variety. And yes it is, but not in the way you may expect.

Representing McKay stepping away, at least for the time being, from Marvel, he's partnering with 20th Century Fox to make a superhero movie with nary a mutant or X-Man in sight. Indeed, pulling from Boom! Comics, Fox is looking to diversify its masked men portfolio with an entirely separate superhero franchise based around the Irredeemable comic series.

McKay will »

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Adam McKay to direct Irredeemable, an evil superhero movie

5 May 2016 4:15 PM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

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Coming off The Big Short and Ant-Man, Adam McKay is now directing an adaptation of Mark Waid's Irredeemable!

Last year, Adam McKay made The Big Short, one of the best films of 2015 and a dizzyingly complex comedy-drama-turned tragedy about the 2000s housing market crash. It snagged McKay an Oscar too, for Best Adapted Screenplay. Having also written the final draft for Marvel StudiosAnt-Man, many expected his next film might be of the superhero variety. And yes it is, but not in the way you may expect.

Representing McKay stepping away, at least for the time being, from Marvel, he's partnering with 20th Century Fox to make a superhero movie with nary a mutant or X-Man in sight. Indeed, pulling from Boom! Comics, Fox is looking to diversify its masked men portfolio with an entirely separate superhero franchise based around the Irredeemable comic series.

McKay will »

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Daniel Battsek Takes Over as Director of Film4

14 April 2016 3:50 PM, PDT | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

Channel 4 Chief Executive David Abraham has announced that Daniel Battsek will join the corporation as Director of Film4, following the news that David Kosse is to step down to join Stx Entertainment.

Battsek will join Film4 in July, relocating to the UK from New York after fulfilling his contract as President of Cohen Media Group - where he has overseen the acquisition and release of projects including back-to-back Oscar® nominees "Timbuktu" and "Mustang," as well as a development and production slate of films that includes John Williams’ renowned novel Stoner, a co-production with Film4.   Prior to this role Daniel was President of National Geographic Films, and before that President, Filmed Entertainment at Miramax Films.

David Kosse will continue working for Film4 during the transition period on a consultancy basis until October.

Battsek will inherit the increased spend announced by David Abraham and David Kosse in February 2016 of £25 million for the year, with the ambition of maintaining similar increased levels of Film4 funding in future years.

Under Battsek’s leadership, Film4 will continue to seek out new partnerships like those announced with Fox Searchlight and Fp Films in February, which allow the company to take a greater stake in certain projects, with a view to seeing more of the returns flowing back to Film4 for investment in the company’s future slate.

Battsek also inherits a development slate which includes new work from Lenny Abrahamson, Yorgos Lanthimos, Andrew Haigh, Steve McQueen, Martin McDonagh, Clio Barnard, Bart Layton, Garth Davis and Mike Leigh. as well as completed or near completed films from Andrea Arnold, Ben Wheatley, Ang Lee, Paddy Considine, Susanna White, John Cameron Mitchell, acclaimed theatre director Benedict Andrews, newcomer Toby Macdonald and Danny Boyle.

Channel 4 Chief Executive David Abraham commented: “Daniel Battsek’s passion for independent, filmmaker driven cinema, and experience in film production, development and distribution at the highest level in both the Us and UK markets, are second to none. He’s a perfect fit for the Film4 brand. We’re thrilled to bring this talented British executive back to the UK.

“As demonstrated by our record breaking year at both the Oscars and the BAFTAs, Daniel will inherit a Film4 business in fine creative and commercial health from David Kosse.  We’re sad he couldn’t have been with us longer but he’s had an incredible impact in the time he has led the division.  Both the exciting upcoming slate and the increased funding for original film we announced earlier this year are testament to the successful strategy implemented by David.   I’m delighted that he will be working alongside Daniel on a smooth transition over the summer and ensuring that it is business as usual for Film4 over this period.”

Daniel Battsek added: "I am hugely honored to have been offered this opportunity. My career began with so many of Film4's early productions and I have retained strong ties with British filmmakers throughout my time in the Us. Joining Film4 feels almost like coming full circle. I look forward to returning to the UK and putting the experience I've gained on both sides of the Atlantic to good use."

David Kosse said: "Film4 is a unique organization and a very special brand and it was a difficult decision to leave, but joining Stx at this stage is an opportunity that I couldn't pass up.  Over almost two years, I'm incredibly proud to have put in place a new strategy for Film4 which has boosted funding for the film industry to a record level and to have introduced an exciting new slate of high quality productions and developments with a diverse group of filmmakers.  David Abraham and the Channel 4 leadership team have been fantastic partners since day one and I look forward to continuing to work with them over the coming months."

Having worked at the cutting edge of the independent sector on three continents, Battsek brings 30 years’ production, development and distribution experience to Film4. For the last three years Battsek has served as President of New York based Cohen Media Group, where he has overseen the acquisition and release of arthouse/crossover releases including back-to-back Oscar® nominees "Timbuktu" and "Mustang," as well as a development and production slate of films that includes John Williams’ renowned novel Stoner, a co-production with Film4. Prior to that he spent 2½ years at National Geographic Films, where as President he acquired projects for development and production including the  Oscar® nominated documentary Restrepo, as well as National Geographic branded large screen and Imax 3D projects.

Battsek relocated from the UK to New York in 2005, where he served for five years as President, Filmed Entertainment at Miramax Films. Projects he greenlit and/or acquired there included Oscar® winners "The Queen," "No Country For Old Men" and "There Will Be Blood" and Oscar® nominees "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" and "Happy-Go-Lucky". From 1991 to 2005, Battsek held the position of Evp and Managing Director, UK Distribution and European Production & Acquisitions at Buena Vista International, UK, where he oversaw all aspects of UK distribution for 18-25 releases per annum from Walt Disney Studios and their partners including Pixar and Miramax Films. At Bvi, Battsek also set up a Comedy Production Label in 2001 which financed and produced three films, including "Calendar Girls" and "Kinky Boots." Prior to that, Battsek spent six years as Managing Director of Palace Pictures, where he was responsible for the acquisition and distribution of quality independent titles from around the world for release in the UK, and he also spent three years as a Sales & Marketing Executive for Hoyts Entertainment in Australia, where he first cut his teeth in distribution.

Film4 is Channel 4 Television’s feature film division, which develops and co-finances films and has an established track record for working with the most distinctive and innovative talent in UK and international filmmaking.  Film4 has developed and/or co-financed many of the most successful UK films of recent years - Academy Award-winners such as Steve McQueen’s "12 Years a Slave," Danny Boyle’s "Slumdog Millionaire," Lenny Abrahamson’s "Room," Alex Garland’s "Ex Machina," Asif Kapadia’s Amy, Andrew Haigh’s "45 Years" and Phyllida Lloyd’s "The Iron Lady," in addition to critically-acclaimed award-winners such as Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, Chris Morris’ "Four Lions," Shane Meadows’ "This is England," Martin McDonagh’s "Seven Psychopaths," Yann Demange’s "71," Ben Wheatley’s "High-Rise," Clio Barnard’s "The Selfish Giant," Jonathan Glazer’s "Under the Skin" and David Mackenzie’s "Starred Up." »

- Sydney Levine

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Four Lions Says To Laugh in the Face of Terror

23 March 2016 9:01 AM, PDT | FilmSchoolRejects.com | See recent FilmSchoolRejects news »

Some movies become classics for all the wrong reasons. 2010’s Four Lions, the British terrorist spoof about a crew of bumbling would-be bombers, still rattles in my mind whenever terrorism hits the news. Isil/Isis attacks on Brussels, gunmen in Mali, and continued atrocities in Turkey plague innocent people while those unaffected battle responses ranging from complacent abstractions (“Thoughts and prayers to #Brussels”) to exploitative grandstanding (“Build a wall”). The great strength of Four Lions is its response to extremism: laughter. Successfully wielded in the Ku Klux Klan scene in Quentin Tarantino’s 2012 Western Django Unchained, there is no more effective way to remove the power of hate than by reframing that hate as complete incompetence. Never shying from the dangerous reality – guns and horseback lynch mobs retain their flame-licked horror – Tarantino understands that the true power stems from a fearful response, so he makes his terrorists buffoons with ill-cut hoods. Four Lions »

- Jacob Oller

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Murdered By My Father

3 March 2016 9:36 AM, PST | ScreenTerrier | See recent ScreenTerrier news »

Kiran Sonia Sawar stars as Salma, a 17 year old girl who is the victim of a so-called "honour" killing at the hands of her father in a new BBC Three factual-based drama Murdered By My Father, due to air online later this month.

Murdered By My Father follows the renowned success of BBC Three’s bold dramas based on real-life testimonies, including the critically acclaimed, BAFTA-award-winning Murdered By My Boyfriend and also Don’t Take My Baby.

Inspired by real events, Murdered By My Father is directed by multi-award-winning director Bruce Goodison and written by new screenwriter Vinay Patel, and tells the shocking story of how family love and duty can be turned to violence and murder.

Kiran Sonia Sawar (represented by Polly's Agency) is a graduate of Oxford School of Drama and has previously appeared in American crime series Legends and the BBC’s Holby City.

Salma’s love interest, »

- noreply@blogger.com (ScreenTerrier)

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Mark Herbert to speak at inaugural BAFTA Guru Live

17 February 2016 3:56 AM, PST | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

This Is England producer will participate in the three-day event for budding creative professionals.

BAFTA has revealed the line-up for its inaugural BAFTA Guru Live event, a three-day festival for aspiring film, television and games professionals.

Running from April 30 – May 2 at BAFTA’s Piccadilly venue in London, Guru Live will involve masterclasses, panels and keynote talks from industry figures, including BAFTA-winning producer Mark Herbert (This Is England, Submarine, Four Lions).

Other confirmed speakers include talent agent for film and television Sara Putt, games producer Dan Gray, games writer Meg Jayanth and games creators Luke Whittaker and Katherine Bidwell.

The film sessions include panels on how to produce a debut feature, how to find funding, and how to be a successful freelancer, with further programme details to be announced closer to the time.

Tickets for individual sessions will cost £6, while professionals with at least six months’ experience can purchase one of 150 all-access tickets (£40) that include a day of »

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Berlin: Lionsgate U.K. Acquires British Rights for ‘Ghost Stories’

14 February 2016 10:14 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Lionsgate U.K. has acquired U.K. distribution rights to “Ghost Stories,” based on the Olivier nominated supernatural stage production, co-written and directed by Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman, and set to star Martin Freeman (“The Hobbit” franchise, “Captain America: Civil War,” TV’s “Fargo”) and BAFTA award-winner George MacKay (“Pride,” “Sunshine on Leith”), with Andy Nyman reprising his role as Professor Goodman. Principal photography will start in September.

Phillip Goodman, professor of psychology and arch-sceptic has his rationality tested to the hilt when he receives a letter apparently from beyond the grave. His mentor Charles Cameron, the “original” TV parapsychologist, went missing 15 years before, presumed dead and yet now he writes to Goodman saying that the pair must meet.

Cameron, it seems, is still very much alive. And he needs Goodman to find a rational explanation for three unsolved cases that have shaken Cameron to his core. As Goodman investigates, »

- Leo Barraclough

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Bradford International Film Festival cancelled

9 February 2016 11:12 PM, PST | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Move by National Media Museum signals concern over regional provision in the UK for the arts.

As a furore brewed in the UK over the decision to move much of the National Media Museum’s photography collection to the Victoria & Albert Museum in London it was also announced by museum director Jo Quinton-Tulloch that the Bradford International Film Festival would not be returning.

The festival, which began in 1995, had slowly carved itself a reputation as a well-regarded event on the national and international circuit. With a number of significant premieres during its history – include a widely publicised UK premiere of Chris MorrisFour Lions in 2010 – the festival also welcomed numerous guests over the years including Kenneth Branagh, Brian Cox, Ken Loach, Richard Attenborough, John Hurt, and Terry Gilliam amongst many others.

The festival was also seen as a key component in helping Bradford being named the very first Unesco City of Film.

Reaction to the »

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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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Adam McKay interview: The Big Short, Four Lions & more

24 January 2016 7:41 AM, PST | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

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Oscar-nominee Adam McKay chats to us about The Big Short, Four Lions, Cabin In The Woods, Ant-Man, screenwriting and more…

I met Adam McKay at some posh hotel, where he’d just done some filmed interviews. As such, when he got to me, he told me he was going to recline on the couch “aggressively”. Which he did. So as the Oscar-nominated director and co-writer of The Big Short made himself comfy, with his film having pocketed a bunch of Oscar nominations, and finally heading into UK cinemas.

I thus began….

You’ve talked to us in the past about there being a purchase point where you commit to a film. That with Anchorman, it was Will Ferrell seeing footage of a sexist 70s real-life anchorman. With The Other Guys, it was a dinner with Mark Wahlberg when you realised he could do comedy.

Yeah, the two »

- simonbrew

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Star Wars: 10 Things You Need To Know About Rogue One

12 January 2016 3:59 AM, PST | Obsessed with Film | See recent Obsessed with Film news »

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Now that Star Wars: The Force Awakens has demolished the global box office, attention turns towards Lucasfilm’s next cinematic offering – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. This one’s – whisper it – a prequel movie. But don’t let that put you off just yet, as early signs suggest this actually could be a pretty interesting take on what the galaxy looked like before A New Hope.

Judging by the only set picture that’s been released, Rogue One is a dark and gritty depiction of what life under a galactic dictatorship would look like. A group of brand new characters will attempt to steal the plans to the original Death Star, which – spoiler alert! – will eventually end up hidden within R2-D2’s rusty innards in Episode IV.

A truly impressive cast has been assembled, including hefty stars Forrest Whitaker and Mads Mikkelsen, alongside cult favourites such as Firefly »

- Rob Leane

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Star Wars: Rogue One - what we know so far

7 January 2016 11:25 AM, PST | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

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We look at what we know so far about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - plus round up some of the juiciest rumours and bits of speculation...

Nb: The following contains potential spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and speculation about Rogue One.

Even the return of cinema's most charismatic fish can't quite match the anticipation surrounding this year's Star Wars spin-off, Rogue One. That's according to a much-shared survey which suggests that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the movie cinemagoers are most looking forward to in 2016 - beating Pixar sequel Finding Dory to second place and superhero face-off epic Batman V Superman into third.

That level of fervour isn't bad going, really, when you consider that: one, Rogue One isn't a full sequel to The Force Awakens, which is still cutting a swathe through multiplexes, and two, we don't really know a huge amount about it yet. »

- ryanlambie

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