19 items from 2016
The teaser begins with idyllic shots of the ocean and happily family times before revealing a deadly plot that plagues the characters played by Kidman, Witherspoon and The Secret Life of the American Teenager‘s Shailene Woodley.
So many shows on the Top 100 list got axed before their time, from Deadwood to My So-Called Life, from Freaks and Geeks to Party Down. These also could have been contenders, had they a little more time to find the audience. We present the best of the gone-too-soon bunch that didn't make our list.
Josh Whedon goes into outer space with the crew of the Serenity in the year 2517, starring Nathan Fillion as the rebel captain. Fifteen years after Fox cut the Serenity loose, the Firefly fanbase keeps growing »
“Brad’s Status” is produced by White, Dede Gardner and David Bernard in association with Plan B and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment. White is directing from his own script with Stiller portraying a father who contemplates what might have been on the roads not traveled in his own life while taking his son on a tour of colleges.
Abrams will play the role of Brad’s only son and the repository of his father’s hopes and dreams, whose academic and artistic talents make him a shoe-in at the best universities in the country, including Harvard.
Stiller came on board the project in January. Producers plans to shoot in Montreal and Massachusetts.
- Dave McNary
Chris Kelly is having a big week; he’s starting up his sixth season on “Saturday Night Live,” having just been named co-head-writer with Sarah Schneider – the pair is responsible for the Larry David-as-Bernie-Sanders sketches that highlighted last season, including the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” hybrid “Bern Your Enthusiasm.” And this Friday, his feature film debut as writer-director, “Other People,” hits theaters.
The film, which premiered at Sundance this year, tells the story of David (Jesse Plemons), a gay writer who moves home to Sacramento to care for his ailing mother Joanne (Molly Shannon) in the final stages of her cancer. In addition to Shannon, whose stellar performance has earned awards buzz, the impressive ensemble cast features Bradley Whitford as David’s conservative father and Zach Woods as his ex-boyfriend. The film itself has been praised for expertly blending comedy and tragedy, finding laughs in unexpected places – particularly impressive considering »
- Jenelle Riley
Beatriz At Dinner is in the very earliest stages of coming together as a movie, but it is already starting to sound like an intriguing prospect – albeit one with a premise that is, perhaps, a little familiar. The script comes from Mike White, who co-created the television drama Enlightened. The project also has White’s frequent collaborator Miguel Arteta in the director’s chair, who really began to draw attention in 2002 when he directed the Mike White-scripted film The Good Girl.
It comes as no surprise then, to find that their latest work revolves around a woman finding herself in a tricky situation. According to Deadline, the outline of the story is a fish-out-of-water tale.
“The story follows a holistic medicine practitioner who finds herself a fish out of water when her car breaks down at a wealthy client’s house, and she joins a celebratory dinner party.”
- Sarah Myles
Top of the Lake co-director Garth Davis has two films in the works, one in post and one in pre-production. While Lion will see a release this fall, the latter, Mary Magdalene, has just gotten some great news as Chiwetel Ejiofor is in talks to star opposite Rooney Mara, along with Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus Christ, Deadline reports. Ejiofor would play one of Jesus’ 12 apostles, Peter, who was also his lead disciple and denied Jesus three times before being forgiven after the Resurrection. Mary Magdalene is being produced by See-Saw films, with a script penned by Helen Edmund and Philippa Goslett. Before then, Ejiofor will play a role in Marvel’s Doctor Strange.
In comedy news, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Plan B Entertainment are set to produce Mike White‘s new feature Brad’s Status, THR reports. Ben Stiller is in final talks to star in the film following Brad, »
- Mike Mazzanti
It’s been almost a decade since we’ve seen Mike White direct a feature film. Of course, the screenwriter behind The Good Girl and School of Rock has been busy since Year of the Dog. Most notably, he created and wrote HBO’s Enlightened, a beautiful, often heartbreaking show that didn’t last long enough. He directed six episodes of the series, but now he […]
- Jack Giroux
The paths of Ben Stiller and writer/director Mike White (“School Of Rock,” “Enlightened“) have criss-crossed in the most curious of ways. The actor has made cameo appearances in “Orange County” and the “Freaks & Geeks” episode “The Little Things,” which both have writing credits by White (and were both directed by Jake Kasdan, incidentally) but nothing […]
- Kevin Jagernauth
White will direct from his own script. The film is set to begin shooting this September.
The film centers around Brad who, despite a good career and happy family, is obsessed with the better fortunes of his old friends from school. While escorting his son on an East Coast tour of colleges, Brad is forced to confront his friends and his feelings of failure.
Ske is currently discussing the project with potential domestic distribution partners.
“Mike White’s bold comedic voice echoes throughout this terrifically funny, and often poignant story about family, friends and the curveballs life throws our way, »
- Dave McNary
The project is set in the wake of a hotly contested presidential election, as America finds itself plunging into a modern-day Civil War. Murciano will play Speaker of the House Juan Reyes, the Republican candidate for Potus.
Ready for more of today’s newsy nuggets? Well…
As the main topic of this year’s festival, Docaviv will feature a select group of thought-provoking films about a world that is changing with the collapse of physical and social boundaries, growing economic disparities, the waves of refugees and immigrants, civil wars, international terrorism, and the ultimate undoing of social solidarity.
Within the framework of this theme the program does not only include documentaries about terror and refugees, but also about a fragmented society which is losing its solidarity. Both in Israel and elsewhere the gap between the haves and the have-nots is widening, and so are the frustrations and the unrest. Israeli and international titles correlating to these themes can be found throughout the entire festival program:
A tense, minute-by-minute, Rashomon-style account of a tragic day. On October 18, 2015, a terrorist armed with a gun and a knife entered Beersheba’s bus terminal. Within 18 minutes Omri Levy, a soldier was killed and Abtum Zarhum, Eritrean immigrant asylum seeker, was lynched after being mistaken for a terrorist.
A far-reaching, comprehensive look at the Jewish settlement enterprise in the West Bank. It examines the origins of the settlement movement and the religious and ideological visions that propelled it, while providing an intimate look at the people at the center of the greatest geopolitical challenge now facing Israel and the international community. (Isa Contact: Cinephil)
“Town on a Wire” - premiered at Cph: Dox Dir: Uri Rosenwaks
While Tel Aviv is thriving, just ten minutes away lies the town of Lod, right in the backyard of Israel’s bustling urban center. Unlike its affluent neighbor, Lod is a city that suffers from the blight of racism, crime, and sheer desperation. Can it be saved? Is there some way to bring hope to Lod’s Arab and Jewish residents?
“Foucoammare”/ “Fire at Sea” - by Gianfranco Rosi - winner of Golden Bear, Berlinale 2016 -every day the inhabitants of the Italian Island Lampedusa are confronted with the flight of refugees to Europe . These people long for peace and freedom and often only their dead bodies are pulled out of the water. (Contact Isa: Doc & Film Int’l. U.S.: Kino Lorber)
“Between fences” – by Avi Mograbi -. In an Israeli detention center asylum-seekers from Eritrea and Sudan can’t be sent back to their own countries, but have no prospects in Israel either thanks to the country’s policies. Chen Alon and Avi Mograbi, initiate a theatre workshop to give these people the opportunity to address their own experiences of forced migration and discrimination and to confront an Israeli society that views them as dangerous infiltrators.
“A Syrian Love Story” – by Sean McAllister -You can’t be Che Guevara and a mother Amer tells Raghda, but maybe she can't do it any other way. After years of struggle, life without her homeland and the revolution has no meaning for her. It is hard to determine what is more demanding in this bold film: the revolution, or the search for inner peace. (Contact Isa: Cat & Docs)
“Homo Sapiens” – by Nikolaus Geyrhalter - what does humanity leave behind when its gone? It sometimes seems as if the mark that humans leave on this planet will last forever. The truth is that the iron, bricks, cement, and steel – the human traces everywhere abandoned and forgotten – are erased by the forces of nature. This unusually beautiful film may lack people and words, but that leaves even more room for thought.(Contact Isa: Autlook)
“Land of the Enlightened” – Premiered at Sundance Ff 2016. Shot over seven years on evocative 16mm footage, first-time director Pieter-Jan De Pue paints a whimsical yet haunting look at the condition of Afghanistan left for the next generation. As American soldiers prepare to leave, we follow De Pue deep into this hidden land where young boys form wild gangs to control trade routes, sell explosives from mines left over from war, making the new rules of war based on the harsh landscape left to them. (Contact Isa: Films Boutique)
“Flickering Truth” - Premiered at Toronto Ff 2015. Director Pietra Brettkelly (The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins) directs this harrowing, compelling film about the power of cinema to preserve our history and in so doing potentially change our futures. (Contact Isa: Film Sales Company)
“Requiem for the American Dream” - Directed by Peter D. Hutchison, Kelly Nyks, Jared P. Scott. In ten chilling but lucid chapters, Noam Chomsky, one of the great intellectuals of our time, analyzes the “system,” which allows wealthy capitalists to seize the reins of government and turn those without wealth into a passive herd, willing to forego power, solidarity, and democracy itself. (U.S.: Gravitas. Contact Isa: Films Transit)
The festival will open with a first film by Israeli director Roman Shumunov
“Babylon Dreamers” Directed by Roman Somonob. An intimate report about a troupe of immigrants from the former Soviet Union, from one of Ashdod’s poorest neighborhoods; they struggle to survive facing harsh conditions - poverty, mental illness, and broken families. They channel their anger and cling to their dream of attending and winning the International Breakdance Championship.
Some 70 Israeli films produced over the last year were submitted out of which 13 films have been selected for the Israeli Competition. They will be competing for the largest cash prize for documentary filmmaking in Israel 70,000 Nis (Us$ 15,000). Other awards in the competition include the Mayor’s Prize for the Most Promising Filmmaker, the Prize for Editing, the Prize for Cinematography, the Prize for Research, and the Prize for Original Score.
"The Wonderful Kingdom of Papa Alaev," directors Tal Barda, Noam Pinchas -Tajikistan’s answer to the Jackson Family. A modern-day Shakespearean tale about a famous Tajik musical family, controlled by their charismatic patriarch-grandfather - Papa Alaev.
"A Tale of Two Balloons" by Zohar Wagner - The tale of a women who thought a pair of perfect breasts would help her find true love. But when that love came along, those perfect breasts had to go.
"Aida's Secrets," director Alon Schwarz - At 68, Izak learns he has a brother he never knew about. As part of the discoveries about the family, the film uncovers the story of the Displaced Persons camps- the vibrant and often wild social life that flourished immediately after WW2.
"Child Mother" by Yael Kipper and Ronen Zaretzky - The story of elderly women born in Morocco and Yemen, who were married off when they were still little girls. Only now, as they enter the final chapter of their lives, do they openly face their past and the ways it still affects them and their families.
"The Last Shaman" directed by Raz Degan - Inspired by an article he read, James decides to travel to the Amazon rainforests, in search of a shaman whom he thinks can save him from a clinical depression that haunts him.
"The Patriarch's Room" by Danae Elon -The bizarre imprisonment of the former head of the Greek Orthodox Church in a tiny monastic cell in Jerusalem’s Old City leads to a fascinating journey in search of the truth, penetrating the remote world of the priesthood. The complex and unfamiliar picture that emerges is revealed here, on camera, for the very first time.
"Poetics of the Brain" by Nurith Aviv –weaving associative links between her personal biographical stories and neuroscientists’ accounts of their work. They discuss topics such as memory, bilingualism, reading, mirror neurons, smell, traces of experience.
"Shalom Italia," by Tamar Tal Anati (winner of Docaviv for Life in Stills) -Three Italian Jewish brothers set off on a journey through Tuscany, in search of a cave where they hid as children to escape the Nazis. Their quest, full of humor, food and Tuscan landscapes, straddles the boundary between history and myth, both of which really, truly happened.
"Week 23" by Ohad Milstein - Rahel, the daughter of a Swiss bishop, is coping with a difficult pregnancy in Israel. One of the identical twins she is carrying has died in utero, and now poses an almost certain threat to its sibling. The doctors are unequivocal about it. They tell Rahel that she should abort the surviving fetus and end her pregnancy.
The Members of the selection committee included Sinai Abt, artistic director of the Docaviv Film Festival; director Reuven Brodsky, winner of Docaviv in 2012 for his film Home Movie and of Honorable Mention at Docaviv in 2015 and film editor Ayelet Ofarim.
Twelve films have been selected for the International Competition, which will open with the The Happy Film by Stefan Seigmeister. Also competing are Jerzy Sladkowski’s Don Juan, winner of the Idfa Award; Author: The J.T. LeRoy Story about the imaginary cult figure who became the darling of New York society and nightlife, picked up by Amazon at Sundance as its first doc title. Another festival favorite is A Flickering Truth and Sean McAllister's daring award winning documentary A Syrian Love Story.
The Depth of Field Competition will open with LoveTrue by director Alma Har’el, who will be a juror for the Israeli Film Competition. This is the Competition’s third year, held in conjunction with the Film Critics’ Forum that will award films for an outstanding and daring artistic vision. Other films that will be screened as part of the competition include Sundance winners Kate Plays Christine by Robert Greene, and Pieter-Jan De Pue’s hybrid documentary The Land of the Enlightened; other titles that will be shown are Hotel Dallas by wife and husband artist duo Livia Ungur and Sherng-Lee Huang, The Hong Kong Trilogy by noted cinematographer Christopher Doyle , and the musical- turned into documentary London Road by Rufus Norris and Alecky Blythe.
The Masters Section, a new category in the festival, highlighting new films by world renowned directors will be opened by Fire at Sea by director Gianfranco Rosi, winner of the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlinale. Avi Mograbi’s Between Fences will be accompanied by a play by the Holot Legislative Theater, with a cast of actors that includes Israelis and African asylum seekers.
Other films in this section include amongst others Junun, Paul Thomas Anderson’s portrayal of a musical project involving Shye Ben-Tzur and Jonny Greenwood, Homo Sapiens by director Nikolaus Geyrhalter, Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine by director Alex Gibney, To the Desert by director Judd Neeman, Unlocking the Cage by directors D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, De Palma by co-director Noah Baumbach and He Named Me Malala by David Guggenheim.
The Panorama selection of films will include amongst others the moving Strike a Pose, by Ester Gould and Reijer Zwaan about the dancers who accompanied Madonna on her “Blond Ambition” tour, Roger Ross Williams ‘Life, Animated depicting the remarkable story of an autistic boy, who learned how to communicate with his surroundings through Disney films, Those Who Jump about an African refugee who films attempts by other refugees to jump the barbed wire border fence in North Africa and Louis Theroux: My Scientology Film.
This year’s Arts Section will include Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble by Academy Award winner Morgan Neville; I Don’t Belong Anywhere: The Cinema of Chantal Akerman, which was produced shortly before her tragic death, Listen to Me, Marlon, which tells the story of Marlon Brando through the audio recordings he made throughout his life, Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict, the salacious story of art collector Peggy Guggenheim, Koudelka Shooting Holy Land, Gilad Baram’s film about famous Czech photographer Josef Koudelka’s travels along the Separation Fence, and more.
Seven films produced by the top film schools in Israel were selected to compete in the annual Student Film Competition. The prize for the competition was donated by the Gottesman family in memory of Ruti Gottesman, a leading supporter of Docaviv and of documentary.
The Members of the selection committee included Karin Ryvind Segal, programming director for Docaviv, Hila Avraham, curator and expert on film and audiovisual media preservation and screenwriter Danny Rosenberg, whose work includes the films My Father’s House , Susia and the television series Johnny and the Knights of the Galilee.
Special Guests attending the Festival:
Award winning Director Ondi Timoner, will be attending the Israeli premiere of her film Russell Brand: A Second Coming. Her Sundance-winning film Dig! will be among the music documentaries screened at the Tel Aviv Port. In conjunction with the Film Department of Beit Berl College, Timoner will also be conducting a special master class for students, professionals, and amateurs.
This year’s festival will include a special tribute to acclaimed director Nikolaus Geyrhalter who will be attending the festival with his recent Homo Sapiens. This year’s festival will also include two previous films of his, Our Daily Bread and Abendland,.
International jury members attending the festival include:
Adriek van Nieuwenhuyzen, Director of the Idfa industry office; Gary Kam, producer of Planet of Snail; film director Alma Har’el (Bombay Beach; LoveTrue) ; Nilotpal, Director of Docedge Kolkata, Sascha Lara Bleuler, Director of the Human Rights Film Festival in Zurich, and film director Tatiana Brandrup.
The Israeli jurors include:
Around town. A record number of twelve screening venues spread out across Tel Aviv will offer free screenings. These are: Habima Square, the Beit Danny Community Center, the Hatikvah neighborhood, the Arab-Jewish Community Center in Jaffa, the rooftop of Tel Aviv City Hall, WeWork, Levinsky Park, Bar Kayma, Beit Romano, the Nalaga’at Center, Picnic Little Italy-Sarona Tel Aviv, and Artport.
Outdoors. The Tel Aviv Port will continue to host the festival this year, with outdoor screenings of music films with guest deejays from KZRadio. Films to be screened at the port include Janis: Little Girl Blue, The Reflektor Tapes about the band Arcade Fire, P.T Andersoan’s Junun about the musical collaboration between Shye Ben Tzur, Jonny Greenwood, Nigel Godrich, and a dozen Indian musicians.
Festival Firsts. DocaviVR: a collaboration between Docaviv and Steamer, Israel’s first Interactive and Virtual Reality Film Festival, presents original documentary projects from Israel and around the world, created especially for viewing with Vr gear. The event will take place at Beit Romano. A cinema will pop up in one of Tel Aviv’s trendy hubs, with 25 stations equipped with Vr gear.
The Docommunity conference aims to promote dcomentary across the country by bringing together cultural coordinators and artistic directors from across the country to introduce them to the latest documentary films from Israel and around the world.
The Platform for Alternative Documentation at Artport art space: A performative piece that brings together film artists, social activists, and researchers studying the various aesthetic, social, and philosophical aspects of documentation. Curated by Laliv Melamed and Gilad Reich.
Young audiences. For the first time, films from The Next Doc will be screened, a special initiative of Docaviv, the Second Channel, and the New Fund for Film and Television, which led to the production of three films created especially for a teenage audience.
Docaviv will also be hosting the final event of Docu Young, at which films by students in residential schools, who participated in film workshops , will be screened.
The Docyouth Competition will feature the best documentary films produced by students in high school film programs throughout the country. For the first time, voting for this year’s competition will be held online and open to high school students across the country.
Among the Screenings of docs for kids are Victor Kosakovsky’s “Varicella”, and “Landfilharmonic”.
Over the course of the festival, 110 films will be screened.
- Sydney Levine
The Astronaut Wives Club actress will play an upbeat young doctor named Zoe in Jason Katims’ CBS drama pilot, our sister site Deadline reports.
The potential series from the Friday Night Lights and Parenthood executive producer follows a young Silicon Valley tech titan (The Borgias‘ Augustus Prew) who enlists a veteran surgeon with a controversial past (Enlightened‘s Dermot Mulroney) in starting a hospital with a cutting edge, “new school” approach to medicine.
If it gets picked up, Bunker Hill »
RelatedPilot Season ’16: Scoop on This Fall’s (Possible) New Shows, Who’s In Them
The potential series follows a young Silicon Valley tech titan (The Borgias‘ Augustus Prew) who enlists a veteran surgeon with a controversial past in starting a hospital with a cutting edge, “new school” approach to medicine.
“Star Wars: Episode VIII” has added Laura Dern (“Jurassic Park,” “Enlightened”) to its ensemble cast. Additionally, Disney has confirmed the casting of Benicio Del Toro, which TheWrap previously reported way back in August. It sounded back then like Del Toro would be playing the film’s villain. Finally, newcomer Kelly Marie Tran is set to join the galaxy, which will also be inhabited by returning actors Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, and Andy Serkis. The December 15, 2017 release is written and directed by Rian Johnson »
- Tony Maglio
A new project being developed at HBO centered around death row inmates has found its lead actress in Laura Dern. Written and directed by Alex Gibney (Steve Jobs: The Man In The Machine), the series is currently untitled and in very early stages of development.
Dern will star as a court-appointed psychiatrist who must navigate the twisted psyches of death row inmates to fully determine whether or not each criminal is sane enough to be killed by the state.
The untitled series is a return to HBO for both Gibney and Dern. Gibney directed the Emmy-winning documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief last year, while Dern’s short-lived but much-loved Enlightened ran on the network for two seasons.
“I am thrilled to be embarking on this dramatic journey with Laura and Jayme,” Gibney said. “It’s an opportunity to shine a light on a dark and brutal »
- Mitchel Broussard
Showtime has released the official trailer for its highly-anticipated, new music series Roadies, the first television series written, created, directed and executive produced by Oscar winner Cameron Crowe. The one-hour ensemble comedy will premiere on Sunday, June 26th at 10 p.m. Et/Pt on air, on demand and over the internet. Starring Luke Wilson (Old School, Enlightened) and Screen Actors Guild Award nominee Carla Gugino (San Andreas), Roadies gives an insider's look at the reckless, romantic, funny and often poignant lives of a committed group of "roadies" who live for music and the de facto family they've formed along the way.
The series chronicles the rock world through the eyes of music's unsung heroes and pays homage to the backstage workers who put the show on the road while touring the United States for the successful arena-level group, The Staton-House Band. This first look at Roadies features the song "Hard Sun »
Showtime is amping up anticipation for its forthcoming comedy Roadies.
The network on Friday announced that the music-infused project from Oscar-winning writer Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous) will premiere on Sunday, June 26 at 10 pm. J.J. Abrams serves as an executive producer.
RelatedPenny Dreadful Gets Season 3 Premiere Date at Showtime
Per the official logline, Luke Wilson (Enlightened) and Carla Gugino (Wayward Pines) lead an ensemble effort about the “reckless, romantic, funny and often poignant lives of a committed group of ‘roadies’ who live for music and the de facto family they’ve formed along the way.”
The cast also includes Imogen Poots, »
HBO is developing a drama series project written and directed by Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney that has Laura Dern attached to star and executive produce. The untitled drama centers on a court-appointed psychiatrist (Dern) who must determine from her twisted yet humanizing diagnostic exchanges with death row inmates if they are sane enough to be killed by the state. Gibney is executive producing with Dern, while Jayme Lemons (Enlightened) serves… »
Good news, Twin Peaks fans, Blue Velvet fans, Enlightened fans, fans of high quality art of all kinds: Laura Dern has joined the cast of Showtime’s Twin Peaks revival. According to TVLine, which first reported the news, Dern has a “pivotal role” in the upcoming series, which is set for release in summer 2017. According to one rumor, she may play Diane, the woman at the receiving end of Agent Dale Cooper’s voice memos who may or may not actually exist. Point being, we may get to see Laura Dern discuss the quality of coffee and donuts onscreen, which is the most can ask from American cinema.Dern first worked with David Lynch in his 1986 film Blue Velvet, where she played good girl Sandy Williams across from Twin Peaks star Kyle Maclachlan. The actress later collaborated with the director in Wild at Heart (1990) and Inland Empire (2000). Maclachlan is currently »
- Jackson McHenry
19 items from 2016
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