5 items from 2016
Unified Pictures has reached an agreement with Vancouver-based Look to the Sky Films to join its recently announced slate fund, Variety has learned exclusively.
The fund, which will produce at least three films annually with budgets up to $15 million, was announced in May at the Cannes Film Festival. Lorenzo di Bonaventura is teaming with Unified Pictures on the drama “American Violence” as the first project in the fund with Canadian venture firm Victory Square Labs.
In addition to bringing further capital into the fund, Look to the Sky will provide ongoing production support for films set to shoot in Canada.
“We are very pleased to increase the scope of the fund’s reach with the addition of Look to the Sky, and while not all of the films will be Canadian based, it is comforting to have local support on the films we earmark for Vancouver,” said Unified Pictures founder Keith Kjarval. »
- Dave McNary
The legend of Hugh Glass lives on.
Viewers familiar with the movie not only discussed the performance by DiCaprio, but about the story of Hugh Glass, a fur trapper who was left for dead after a bear mauling in the 1820s.
One of the big contributors to this film will have to be historian Clay Landry, who served as a technical advisor for the film. With his help, he advised on the historical accuracy for the time period on the project. The production staff consulted on the details with him from the weapons, clothing, language and even down to the buffalo meat.
Landry has plenty of stories to tell about the production and his contribution to the project.
In an exclusive phone interview last month, »
- Gig Patta
The film will be directed by commercial director Johnny Hardstaff from a script by Dan Hannon and Scott Sandler. Di Bonaventura will produce alongside Unified topper Keith Kjarval. Unified’s Tyler Jackson will serve as co-producer.
“American Violence” will center on a social recluse who effortlessly dispatches terrorists who have stormed into a chemical plant and taken hostages. In order to return to his beloved everyday routine, he must undergo psychological evaluation by a doctor who’s surprised by his indifference to the events and fearful of his capabilities with a weapon — leading to a deeper investigation than she expected.
The new fund, announced Saturday at the Cannes Film Festival, will finance production of a minimum of three films per »
- Dave McNary
Here's the thing about remakes: even the bad ones can't taint our fond memories of the original. Which is why I'm choosing not to feel any way at all about today's news that Ld Entertainment's Jacob's Ladder "reimagining" will be directed by David M. Rosenthal, who helmed last year's critically-reviled thriller The Perfect Guy (which nevertheless made $60 million at the box office). Before that: A Single Shot starring Sam Rockwell (49% Rotten Tomatoes score) and Janie Jones starring Abigail Breslin (52%). Am I sensing a downward trend here? Joining Rosenthal for the destined-to-be-mediocre effort is his Perfect Guy star Michael Ealy, who is talented and attractive and will likely be wasted in the lead role. All due respect to Rosenthal, but his resume makes it pretty clear what kind of "remake" they're going for here. The original Jacob's Ladder may not be a masterpiece, but it is still a bracing, personal and »
- Chris Eggertsen
Icelandic cinema scored one more victory at the 2016 Harpa Awards, which took place at the Nordic Embassies during Berlinale on February 15, 2016. Composer Atli Örvarsson won the award for Best Film Score for the Icelandic film "Rams," while Johann Johannson took home the Honorary Award.
“The award for Best Film Score goes to a man with a unique sound,” said the jury who consisted of Thomas Robsahm, Konrad Sommermeyer and Christineauf der Haar. “The accordion perfectly matches the loneliness, the nature and the sound of the sheep calling out for each other - the bleating. The music, the atmosphere and the pictures fit perfectly together. It feels as if the director and the composer really are in close contact – and telling their story together.”
Grímur Hákonarson's "Rams" took home the Un Certain Regard Award at last year's Cannes Film Festival and has since screened at numerous festivals around the world charming critics and audiences alike. Cohen Media Group released the film stateside earlier this month.
Read More: 'Rams' Director Grímur Hákonarson on Icelandic Pastoral Life and Casting the Right Sheep
Atli has worked with Hans Zimmer in Los Angeles for a number of years. Since moving back to his original hometown Akureyri in northern Iceland, he has scored a number of Hollywood films and TV series as well as Icelandic films. The film "Rams" was coincidentally shot in the remote countryside village where his mother grew up and is based on a true story about two elderly brothers living on the same farm and leading a very rural countryside life - but have not spoken to each other for many decades. Atli is the son of Iceland´s most distinguished accordionist Örvar Kristánsson who passed away last year. Atli created the score to a large degree using his father’s old accordion which is heavily featured in the score.
Atli’s credits include orchestrating and writing music for some of Hollywood’s biggest projects, including the "Pirates of the Caribbean" series. He has contributed music to films from "Angels and Demons" to "The Holiday. As a composer, Atli Örvarsson displays musical diversity throughout his action-film scores in "The Eagle," "Vantage Point," "Babylon A.D.," the Morgan Freeman caper "Thick as Thieves," "The Fourth Kind," and the Nicolas Cage medieval fantasy "Season of the Witch." Atli’s most recent credits include "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones," the dark and edgy film "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters," the drama/thriller "A Single Shot" starring Sam Rockwell, the hit NBC series "Chicago Fire" and "Chicago Pd," and working with Hans Zimmer to contribute music to the Zack Snyder's Superman reinstallment "Man of Steel."
The Harpa Awards were invented in 2009. The aim was to put a spotlight on Nordic talent, skills and know-how and to promote the great Nordic film talents in music and acting for the international film industry and thereby strengthening the opportunities for cooperation between the Nordic countries and the international film market. More information you can visit http://www.nordicfilmmusicdays.com/
Take a look at Örvarsson on the accordion in the video below.
- Sydney Levine
5 items from 2016
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