8 items from 2017
Kaplan will be based in New York and report to Gravitas president Michael Murphy, licensing new releases and library titles to international buyers.
“We see traditional international sales as complementary to our global licensing business,” Murphy told Screen. “We want to be able to give our filmmakers the best of both worlds to maximize revenue and exposure.”
Kaplan most recently served as senior vice-president of global sales at Gunpowder & Sky Distribution, and served in the same capacity at FilmBuff, which Gunpowder & Sky acquired last year.
“In addition to having great sales acumen, Scott brings a critical expertise to our team,” Murphy said. “He has a great eye for global acquisitions. In the last few years we’ve seen strong international growth and with the addition of Scott we’re going to step on the gas to further increase global awareness.”
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
The official lineup for the 70th Cannes Film Festival, which will run from May 18–28, was announced April 13. While a few more screenings will undoubtably be added as we creep nearer to the festival, the selections announced feature a lot worth getting excited over — including, for the first time, two television shows (Twin Peaks and Top of the Lake) and a virtual reality film (Carne y Arena). Also, considering that The Killing of a Sacred Deer and The Beguiled are both in the main competition, there is, assuming equal probability, an 11.1% chance that a film starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell will take home the top prize. Considering
- Ciara Wardlow
The man behind the Guggenheim Museum’s solid-gold toilet, Maurizio Cattelan has been described as a prankster, a fraud, an imitator, an innovator, a genius, a xylophone, and “quite possibly the most infuriating smart-ass on the contemporary art scene.” Actually, I have no idea whether any of that previous sentence is true, but it sounds plausible, which is good enough for director Maura Axelrod. A hard-hitting news reporter who took a break from covering international danger zones (like Rio favelas and Afghan front lines) to make the softball art doc “Maurizio Cattelan: Be Right Back,” Axelrod plays along with her eccentric subject’s insouciant attitude vis à vis his own identity to mostly delightful effect.
Like so many recent films about contemporary artists, the movie functions more as publicity than portrait, reminding viewers within its first two minutes that Cattelan’s work sells at auction for $10 million — as if that »
- Peter Debruge
England’s elusive graffiti master, painter, activist and “Exit Through the Gift Shop” filmmaker Banksy has a new project: the Walled Off Hotel, an art hotel and gallery located in the West Bank town of Bethlehem. The hotel has nine rooms that were customized by Banksy, Palestinian artist Sami Musa and Canadian artist Dominique Pétrin.
The hotel also has a piano bar, which features a mechanical piano that is controlled remotely. According to the hotel’s website, every night, the piano will play back a concert recorded exclusively for it. Elton John performed via the remote-controlled piano at the grand-opening party (see video below). Massive Attack’s 3D will be the first artist in residence. Upcoming performers include Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, Flea and Hans Zimmer.
Read More: »
- Yoselin Acevedo
Marc Schiller’s Bond/360, whose team were behind breakthrough films like “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” “Senna” and “The Imposter,” has acquired the exclusive U.S. and Canadian rights to Chang-Yong Moon’s Buddhist documentary film “Becoming Who I Was.”
The distributor, whose recent releases include “An Art that Nature Makes,” “Notes on Blindness” and “Strike a Pose,” will premiere the pic in New York City in the fall, followed by a nationwide release on Bond’s new Karma Cinema label, followed by a digital, educational and DVD release later in the year.
“The film follows Padma Angdu, who is no ordinary boy,” according to a statement. “In a past life he was a venerated Buddhist master. His village already treats him like a saint as a result. The village doctor, who has taken the boy under his wing, prepares him to be able to pass on his wisdom.”
- Leo Barraclough
Lili Fini Zanuck, the Oscar-winning producer of “Driving Miss Daisy,” is to direct documentary feature “Eric Clapton: A Life in 12 Bars,” partnering with producer John Battsek, whose credits include Oscar-winners “One Day in September” and “Searching for Sugar Man.”
Altitude Film Sales is handling international sales, and Altitude Film Distribution has taken U.K. rights. First footage will be unveiled to buyers at Berlin’s European Film Market.
“Clapton’s music is the foundation of our film. His commitment to the blues, its traditions and originators, is absolute from his earliest days,” said Zanuck, who previously directed 1991 crime drama “Rush.” “He was also forever restless in his search of a suitable vehicle to shape and grow his artistic voice, often bewildering fans and the media with sudden changes in musical direction, bands, songs, guitar style, tone and physical appearance.”
The film will also examine Clapton’s personal life, which »
- Leo Barraclough
Industry veteran Una Morera has been named director of distribution for indie film distributor and documentary specialist Bond/360, Variety has learned exclusively.
The hire was announced Thursday on the opening day of the Sundance Film Festival. Morera will be responsible for executing cross-platform communications strategy for Bond/360 releases.
Before joining Bond/360, Morera served as director of programming for Lionsgate’s Tribeca Shortlist Svod in New York. She had also worked as senior content programmer for Gaia.com Svod in Colorado since 2005.
Morera has produced and directed documentary shorts and worked as a development executive for Jane Berliner and Handprint Entertainment.
“Una Morera is an experienced documentary marketing professional,” said Bond/360 COO Elizabeth Sheldon. “She has a deep knowledge of the documentary landscape and an unrelenting passion to connect audiences with films across platforms. »
- Dave McNary
Bidding wars have already begun for the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Buyers snapped up six titles in the days leading up to the fest, including one that A24 purchased sight unseen: David Lowery’s “A Ghost Story,” starring Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara. Other movies acquired in the past two weeks are “Berlin Syndrome” (Netflix), “Call Me By Your Name” (Sony Pictures Classics), “Casting JonBenet” (Netflix), “Cries From Syria” (HBO for television rights) and “Long Strange Trip” (Amazon).
Read More: Sundance 2017: Netflix, Vertical Acquire ‘Berlin Syndrome’
With 120 features playing at Sundance, there are plenty of hot titles remaining for acquisition executive, though it will be tough for any film to exceed last year’s $17.5 million purchase of “The Birth of a Nation” by Fox Searchlight, the biggest deal in the festival’s history.
Which movies are likely to have buyers lining up in the cold this year? Here are 14 hot »
- Graham Winfrey
8 items from 2017
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