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Los Cabos – In one of the biggest strategic developments of the year in Mexico, Monica Lozano, producer of milestone Mexican films – Eugenio Derbez’s “Instructions Not Included,” Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu’s “Amores Perros” – is launching Alebrije Distribution, a new pan-American distrib operation.
Based out of Mexico City, Alebrije Distribution will acquire rights to movies for not only Latin America, an increasingly frequent practice among ambitious Latin American players, but also North America. It will direct distribute in Mexico.
Taking rights to all the Americas, Alebrije will roll off the potential allies, experience and market knowledge that Lozano has accumulated over the years, she said at this week’s Los Cabos Festival in Mexico.
That knowledge of the North American market was seen in the $44.5 million U.S. gross for “Instructions,” distribbed by Pantelion Films, a movie that Derbez and Lozano purposefully designed as a crossover title for Latin and North America. »
- John Hopewell
CAA’s co-head of film finance and sales Micah Green was talked into going to the first Los Cabos Film Festival in Cabo San Lucas three years ago mostly as favor for an actor client who was working with the founders to try to make sure the first edition had a decent turnout.
Though Cabo is still recovering from the big hurricane Odile, with scaffolding everywhere and several major resorts still undergoing repairs, the festival continuing full-steam ahead with the hopeful hashtag #unstoppable much in evidence.Three years later, he’s such a convert that he’s brought a delegation of about 30 assorted agents, producers and financiers to the five-day long festival based in the Mexican resort town.
Discovering or meeting with the talent showcased at screenings of some 40 features is one major part of why Green is here; the other is his belief that it’s the ideal place »
- Pat Saperstein
Fox’s big romantic drama “The Mountain Between Us” has had a few bumps along the way. Gerardo Naranjo (Mexico's Best Foreign Language Film entry with “Miss Bala" in 2011) was scheduled to direct and Michael Fassbender was set to star alongside “The Wolf Of Wall Street” actress Margot Robbie. But a lot has changed since those original announcements. Robbie is still on board, but most of the other principals have changed. Michael Fassbender has dropped out of the project, and replacing him is “Pacific Rim” star Charlie Hunnam. That’s not a trade up, but on the flipside, two-time Academy Award-nominee, Israeli-born Palestinian film director Hany Abu-Assad ("Paradise Now," “Omar”) has taken over the director’s chair. It’s now a radically different project in our minds, but it’s still one to watch. The film is a harrowing tale of survival and a love story, where a plane crash strands the two leads. »
- Edward Davis
Mexican David Pablos’ “Las Elegidas,” “Domestic Animals,” from Colombia’s Andres Baiz, and “Franco’s Night,” by Bernardo Arellano, also from Mexico, will feature at the San Sebastian Fest’s 3rd Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum.
Event will be energized by a Focus on Canada, organized with Telefilm Canada, which will see 12 Canadian producers attending the Forum.
Rapidly positioning as San Sebastian’s centerpiece industry event – 365 meeting were held in 2012 at the co-pro mart, 461 in 2013 – the Forum runs Sept. 22-24, parallel to San Sebastian’s Films in Progress pix-in-post strand, fest’s other big industry lure..
Select projects will be invited by Cannes Marche du Film and Argentina’s Incaa Film Institute to attend Ventana Sur, which these two entities co-organize, and then Cannes’ Market next May. Projects will compete this year as last for an Egeda Award, granted by the Madrid-based Audiovisual Producers Rights Management Assn., which comes with a $10,000 cash prize. »
- John Hopewell
Fox Intl. Prods. has inked a two-picture pact with Mexican producer-scribe Eduardo Cisneros in a bid to further expand its commitment to Latin American and Mexican cinema.
“(Mexican filmmaking) presents the most exciting opportunity because of its crossover potential,” said Fip prexy Sanford Panitch.
Cisneros worked in close collaboration with helmer-thesp Eugenio Derbez to co-develop, produce and pen Spanish-language box office hit “Instructions Not Included,” a Pantelion Films/Lionsgate release that grossed a record-busting $44.5 million in the U.S.
Cisneros, who has been part of Derbez’s production team for more than a decade, has recently set up base in Los Angeles although he’ll be shuttling between Mexico and the U.S., as will Derbez.
- Anna Marie de la Fuente
Mexican stars Gael García and Diego Luna need your help. For almost a decade now, they have been known in Mexico not only for their acting but also as film producers and distributors. Together with Pablo Cruz, García and Luna founded in 2005 the film company Canana and the traveling documentary film festival Ambulante, which has brought to several Mexican states, during its latest editions, such docs as Searching for Sugar Man, Blackfish, and The Square. Canana itself has produced movies like Miss Bala and this year's Cesar Chavez, as well as been responsible of theatrical and home distribution in Mexico for such films as Only God Forgives and The Master. Now García and Luna are heading to Kickstarter, trying to expand their duties to...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Elizabeth Olsen is rapidly becoming a more widely known talent thanks to her performance in Legendary’s Godzilla, and this summer she’ll be back in a starring role for the indie drama Very Good Girls, alongside Dakota Fanning. The film premiered at Sundance 18 months back and it’s been gathering dust ever since, but Tribeca Film and Well Go Entertainment are finally unveiling it this summer, with an iTunes release followed by a next-day theatrical run. Now, the first trailer for Very Good Girls has hit the web.
In the film, directed by Naomi Foner, Olsen and Fanning star as college-bound friends who, after making a pact to lose their virginity over the summer, fall in love with the same street artist (Boyd Holbrook) and find themselves in conflict for the first time. Reviews out of Sundance weren’t terrible but also weren’t exactly warm, so this one »
- Isaac Feldberg
Madrid – Making its first high-profile Mexican pick-up and Cannes market debut, Lucia Meik’s start-up sales agency Meikincine Entertainment has acquired “Alice in Marialand,” starring Mexican small and big screen idol Barbara Mori (“My Brother’s Wife,” “Kites”).
Further key cast in the love triangle-come-psychological thriller are Stephanie Sigman, the breakthrough lead of the Canana-Fox backed “Miss Bala” more recently seen in FX series “The Bridge,” and Mexican theater/TV thesp Claudio Lafarge, best known for Mexican serial “Xy.”
Mexico’s Sobrevivientes Films produces “Alice.”
Since launching at December’s Ventana Sur, near all Meikincine’s early titles have been first or second features. In another step-up for Meikin, “Alice” marks the fourth directorial outing from Mexican Jesus Magana, a partner at Sobrevivientes.
Another embodiment of his hallmark fantasy-romance-thriller mix – like “Abolition of Property,” a Guadalajara best screenplay winner in 2012, and Magana’s second movie, 2007’s “Once Upon a Time Maria, »
- John Hopewell
Dakota Fanning has signed on to star in an upcoming movie adaptation of Brain On Fire.
Based on a memoir by Susannah Cahalan, the film will tell the story of a 24-year-old woman's battle with a severe form of encephalitis.
In the book, Cahalan details how the disease caused violent seizures, and also made her paranoid and delusional during a one-month stay in a hospital.
Charlize Theron is producing Brain On Fire through her company Denver and Delilah.
She will next be seen in the drama Effie Gray.
Watch the trailer for Night Moves below: »
Written and directed by Sean Gullette
An SUV drives across the Moroccan border, packed with drugs hidden from plain view. Two girls, Malika (Chimae Ben Acha) and Amal (Soufia Issami), smuggle the drugs across terrorist lines with little to lose. Malika, the newest recruit, is nervous but shows no sign of worry with her deadpan looks. Amal, although experienced in the trafficking game, has a poor poker face. With every passing mile, Amal looks at Malika with a profound sense of caution. Malika, on the other hand, approaches each mile with a sharp sense of focus. She just wants to finish the job and get back to her normal life. Whether she can get back to her life, and avoid the backlash of her boss Samir (Mourade Zeguendi), is another question. But it’s a question she’s willing to fight for. After a few tension-filled moments, Amal »
- Christopher Clemente
Panama City – Already a sales and fest hit, Chilean Sebastian Lelio’s fourth feature “Gloria” won picture at the first Platino Ibero-American Film Awards, held Saturday in Panama City.
In what was probably the closest to a shoo-in for an award, “Gloria’s” Paulina Garcia nabbed actress for her turn as a 58-year-old divorcee searching for love and affection. Garcia already took best actress at Berlin last year for the same perf.
Sebastian Lelio and Gonzalo Maza, his regular co-scribe, scooped the first Platino in history with best screenplay for “Gloria,” “a real attempt to connect [with audiences],” Lelio told Variety of his dramatic comedy.
For auteurs, the road to a real audience connection is littered with corpses, but “Gloria,” bucking the trend and sold by Funny Balloons, was one of the biggest sales stories at last year’s Berlin, deals including a Roadside Attractions U.S. pick-up. It now has three Platino Awards under its belt. »
- John Hopewell
He premiered a pair of films at Tiff this past September, of course his latest film Enemy works in twos, and a rarity in the film news cycle, two lead actresses (Amy Adams with Story Of Your Life) are now attached to his next next two film projects. Variety reports that Emily Blunt (who worked with Quebecois confrère Jean-Marc Vallee on The Young Victoria) is the first person to potentially star in Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario. Production is set to begin this summer.
Gist: Written by Taylor Sheridan, this focuses on the murky legal loophole that allows mercenaries to breach the border of Mexico to corral drug kingpins, as long as they are accompanied by a legitimate law officer. In this case, a female cop from Tucson accompanies two delta force-type rangers across the border to apprehend a drug lord. Once across the border, the cop finds she has stepped »
- Eric Lavallee
If you’re looking for proof that Hollywood is building ties to the rapidly growing Mexican film industry, one of the most vibrant in Latin America, look no further than the 29th Guadalajara Festival, which unfolds March 21-30 in the Jalisco city.
Companies set to attend the fest include Mundial, a joint venture between Canana and Hollywood-based indie Im Global; Ag Studio, which has companies in Los Angeles, Mexico City and now Brazil and Colombia; and U.S.-based Fox Intl. Channels, said festival market and industry director Estrella Araiza, who added that European shingles including Global Screen (Germany), Imagina (Spain) and Elle Driver (France), also will be on hand.
There’s good reason for the interest. In 2013, Mexican box office shot up 11.5% to $901.6 million, per Ihs Screen Digest, making Mexico the 10th largest theatrical market in dollar grosses in the world, fueled by a new phenomenon — local blockbusters, led »
- John Hopewell
Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 13 Mar 2014 - 05:44
Our voyage through history's underappreciated films arrives at the year 2011, and a great year for lesser-seen gems...
Even a cursory glance at the top 10 grossing films of 2011 reveals something strange: nine of the entries are sequels. Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 brought the fantasy franchise to a close with a staggering $1.3bn haul. Transformers: Dark Of The Moon wasn't too far behind with just over $1.1bn. On Stranger Tides continued the Pirates Of The Caribbean series' wave of success, despite mixed reviews.
Elsewhere in the top 10, you'll find another Twilight, a fourth Mission: Impossible, a second Kung Fu Panda, a fifth Fast, another Hangover, and further Cars. Standing alone on the list is The Smurfs, the adaptation of Peyo's Belgian comic strip. In fact, 2011 saw the release of no fewer than 28 sequels - the most we've yet seen in any given year. »
Director: Pablo Fendrik
Writer(s): Pablo Fendrik
U.S. Distributor: Rights Available
In terms of visibility and breaking out, we’re betting that Pablo Fendrik’s third feature film (debut in the English language) will raise his profile much like Miss Bala did for Gerardo Naranjo. The auteur Argentinian filmmaker who paired with actor Arturo Goetz on distinctly antagonistic items such as The Mugger (2007) and Blood Appears (2008) has been cooking up this environmental-thriller for a while now.
Gist: Gael Garcia Bernal portrays a mysterious man who emerges from the Argentinean rainforest to rescue the kidnapped daughter (Alice Braga) of a poor farmer after mercenaries murder her father and take over his property.
Release Date: Seeing that both of his debut films screened in Cannes, this logically should be included in the »
- Eric Lavallee
Zoe Kravitz joins Jeremy Allen White, Caleb Landry Jones, Frank Dillane, and star Dakota Fanning in Gerardo Naranjo’s currently untitled feature project that centers on a punk-rock roadie (played by Fanning) who finds herself during a cross-country band tour in the 1980′s. No word currently on what role Kravitz has signed up to play. Alex Orlovsky, Hunter Gray and Chris Ramirez will produce. Naranjo's last feature directorial effort was the acclaimed crime/drama Miss Bala, in 2011. Kravitz last appeared in last year's After Earth, with Will Smith and star Jaden Smith, and will next be seen in Lionsgate adaptation of the popular Ya novel Divergent. »
- Tambay A. Obenson
Village Voice is Frozen the first Disney movie about girls rather than for them?
The New Yorker asks Richard Brody, film critic, to explain himself. Cute video but omg his desk is cramped
The Dissolve has a piece about the toxicity of twitter and its effects on intrafeminist battles. Really interesting and ties into what's been going on with the Dylan Farrow letter I think
Vf George Clooney's advice for posing on the cover of Vanity Fair
- NATHANIEL R
• Tom Hiddleston (Thor: The Dark World) is attached to star in High-Rise, an adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s 1975 novel about a luxury residential unit. Hiddleston would play Robert Laing, a doctor who loves the idea of the tower, becomes obsessed with the architect, and gets embroiled in the complex mess surrounding the building. In the book, the building isolates the residents from the outside world and societal niceties soon devolve as residents segregate themselves by class and eventually regress to a primitive hunter/gatherer culture. Ben Wheatley (Doctor Who) is set to direct. [Variety]
- Lindsey Bahr
Dakota Fanning, Frank Dillane (“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”), Jeremy Allen White (“Shameless”) and the “X-Men: First Class” duo of Zoe Kravitz and Caleb Landry Jones are set to star in the untitled English-language debut of “Miss Bala” director Gerardo Naranjo, it was announced Wednesday. Hunter Gray and Alex Orlovsky of Verisimilitude and Chris Ramirez of Lola Pictures will produce the film, which is fully financed and will start production in Nevada in late March. Naranjo wrote and will direct the movie, which is a co-production between Verisimilitude and Lola Pictures, the latter of which is also financing. Also »
- Jeff Sneider
“Harry Potter” actor Frank Dillane, Jeremy Allen White (“Shameless”) and “X-Men: First Class” thesps Zoe Kravitz and Caleb Landry Jones are also starring in the film, with Naranjo (“Miss Bala”) directing from his own script.
Fanning will portray a roadie on a journey of self-discovery while on tour with a punk band in the 1980s.
CAA arranged the financing, and Preferred Content negotiated the deal on behalf of the financiers. Domestic distribution rights will be represented by CAA and Preferred Content.
- Dave McNary
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