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Sundance Review: ‘Generation Wealth’ is a Detached Examination of Modern Hedonism

Photographer Lauren Greenfield started her career documenting native tribes, but soon found a different focus, one which would occupy her for the next 25 years. She applied her anthropological lens to the wealthy and privileged, and has been doing variations on that idea ever since, with photo series on Hollywood youths, women’s body issues, conspicuous consumption, new money in China and Europe, and more. Greenfield then compiled these series into a retrospective, Generation Wealth, both as a book and an exhibition which began touring last year. Generation Wealth the documentary is a companion of sorts to the book and exhibition, chronicling both Greenfield’s development over her career and how her subjects have been affected by gaining, having, spending, and/or losing so much money.

The results are, predictably, both infuriating for the extreme societal inequality these people embody and depressing for all the ways their money has failed to give them any lasting satisfaction.
See full article at The Film Stage »

“I Am Not There to Call Attention to My Lighting:” Dp Tom Hurwitz on Shooting Studio 54

Veteran cinematographer Tom Hurwitz has shot more than 100 documentary features and TV series since 1974, when he helped shoot The Grateful Dead, a concert film of the eponymous band live in San Francisco. Hurwitz has worked on such seminal series as Nova, Frontline and American Masters, while his feature doc work includes Wild Man Blues, The Queen of Versailles and last year’s Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold. Having worked on Valentino: The Last Emperor in 2008, Hurwitz again teams up with director Matt Tyrnauer for Studio 54, a doc on the legendary New York nightclub. Studio 54 makes its debut […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Sundance Film Review: ‘Generation Wealth’

Sundance Film Review: ‘Generation Wealth’
Lauren Greenfield is on to something. The sociographic photo-essayist best known to moviegoers for her documentary portraits “Thin” and “The Queen of Versailles” has spent a quarter-century chronicling excess in all its forms: luxury living, hyper-consumerism, substance abuse, plastic surgery, child beauty pageants, spoiled celebrity kids, strippers, escorts, and trophy wives. With “Generation Wealth” — first her oeuvre-encompassing exhibition, then the blinged-out coffee-table book, and now this unexpectedly personal documentary of the same name — she makes a compelling argument for a society on the brink of precipitous decline, choosing to interpret the runaway vanity and rampant materialism observed in her own work as harbingers of our imminent destruction, while serving up Kim Kardashian and Donald Trump as case-in-point examples.

It’s a convenient thesis, since it so nicely fits a career spent documenting what one talking head calls “ultra-decadence,” albeit a bogus one, as if Diane Arbus looked back over her life’s work, only to conclude
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Documentary Patrons Impact Partners Make Splashes at Sundance

Michelangelo had Pope Julius II and the Medici family. And socially minded documentary filmmakers have Impact Partners.

While they aren’t popes or an Italian dynasty, Impact Partners’ 43 members are patrons of the arts. Specifically they are 43 high-net-worth individuals — multi-millionaires, and in some cases, billionaires — who seek to promote social change through nonfiction film. For the past 11 years the group has provided millions of dollars in equity money to more than 90 documentaries, including the Academy Award-winning “The Cove” as well as 45 Sundance titles such as “The Queen of Versailles,” “The Hunting Ground” and last year’s “Trophy.”

This year Impact is behind four Sundance documentaries, including “Our New President,” about Trump’s newfound Russian supporters, and Mister Rogers doc “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?,” which Focus Features acquired in November.

“The only thing that unites all of the films we have worked on is that we think each and every one is a great piece of entertainment
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Here’s What’s Leaving Netflix in December 2017

Although Netflix is adding a solid selection of titles in December, the changing of the months means we also have to say good-bye to some shows, whether their licenses have run out, if they’re moving to a new streaming service, or if they’re just being temporarily removed. In December, Netflix will lose Black Snake Moan, Terriers, Young Frankenstein, Nightcrawler, The Queen of Versailles, Amores Perros, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, and 11 seasons of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia among others. If you were planning to watch or rewatch any of …
See full article at Collider.com »

1 of Your Favorite Disney Movies Is Disappearing From Netflix Next Month

  • BuzzSugar
December is the month of giving, but that hasn't stopped Netflix from taking away some of our favorite shows and movies. While there are some great titles heading our way next month, we'll also have to part ways with a number of classics, namely those scary movies you binge-watched in October. See what's leaving below. Related46 New Titles Are Coming to Netflix in November to Help You Survive Thanksgiving Dec. 1 All I Want For Christmas Bedazzled Black Snake Moan Compulsion Cousin Bette Hoffa La Viuda Negra, season one Picture Perfect Practical Magic Rebelde Scary Movie 2 Scary Movie 3 Super Size Me Terriers, season one The Crucible The Gospel Road: A Story of Jesus The Man from Snowy River Touch, season two Toys Two Girls and a Guy Waking Life Young Frankenstein Yu-Gi-Oh! Bonds Beyond Time Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal, seasons one-two Dec. 5 Holes Dec. 9 It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, seasons 1-11 Dec.
See full article at BuzzSugar »

Hollywood Sexual Assault Documentary Coming from Hunting Ground Directors

Hollywood Sexual Assault Documentary Coming from Hunting Ground Directors
Directors Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, who previously directed the college sexual assault documentary The Hunting Ground, are teaming up again for a project currently known as the Hollywood Sexual Assault Documentary, which will delve into the rampant sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein and many others that have come to light in recent weeks. Here's what Kirby Dick had to say about the documentary in a statement.

"Documentaries, more than any other medium, bring an intensely moving investigative lens to controversial subject matter. What our film will capture, especially at this pivotal turning point in Hollywood history, is the underlying current of abuse and manipulation at the hands of power. Our film will also underscore the courage it takes to come forward and be a catalyst for change."

Director Amy Ziering revealed that this project has been in various stages of development for the past five years, when she
See full article at MovieWeb »

‘Hunting Ground’ Filmmakers Working on Hollywood Sexual Assault Documentary

‘Hunting Ground’ Filmmakers Working on Hollywood Sexual Assault Documentary
Academy Award nominees Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering have begun work on an untitled documentary about sexual assault in Hollywood.

The exposé will examine abuse and cover-ups within the entertainment industry and focus on the behavior of “predatory perpetrators,” such as Harvey Weinstein. The project will also explore the culture that enables and protects them, provide a safe place for survivors to share their stories, and profile the many emerging voices for change.

An Oct. 5 New York Times report detailed Weinstein’s settlements in at least eight harassment cases, leading to multiple accusations of sexual misconduct and launching criminal investigations. Weinstein’s reps have denied that the sexual activity was non-consensual.

Dick received Academy Award nominations for 2005’s “Twist of Faith” and 2012’s “The Invisible War.” Ziering was nominated for an Oscar for producing “The Invisible War,” which deals with sexual assault in the military. Dick and Ziering then teamed on the 2014 campus rape documentary “The Hunting Ground.”

“Documentaries
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Exclusive: ‘Queen of Versailles’ Star Jackie Siegel Brings ‘Flipping Out’ Gang Into Her ‘Sex Room’ -- Watch!

Exclusive: ‘Queen of Versailles’ Star Jackie Siegel Brings ‘Flipping Out’ Gang Into Her ‘Sex Room’ -- Watch!
Jeff Lewis and the whole Flipping Out team have flipped coasts and landed in Florida to handle their biggest makeover yet: Jackie Siegel’s Orlando palace.

The massive estate, featured in the 2012 documentary The Queen of Versailles, is one of the largest single-family homes in the country -- and features some, well, interesting rooms. Et has your exclusive first look at Thursday night’s episode, which finds Jeff and co. exploring one of those spaces, which Siegel calls a “dance room.”

The alcove is hidden behind a pair of gold curtains, which open to reveal a window, which Siegel claims people dance behind at parties. But when the group, including former Real Housewives of Miami star Lea Black, start poking around, they notice some interesting items… like sex toys and a collection of lingerie.

'Flipping Out' Star Jenni Pulos on Life as a Bravo-lebrity: The Countess, Her Cast-Mates and an Original 'Et'

“I’m starting
See full article at Entertainment Tonight »

Hail to the Queen! Flipping Out's Jeff Lewis Agrees to Help Jackie Siegel Finish Her Infamous 'Versailles' House

Hail to the Queen! Flipping Out's Jeff Lewis Agrees to Help Jackie Siegel Finish Her Infamous 'Versailles' House
Jackie Siegel, “didn’t have any intentions of building the largest home in America.” But when you want a Benihana in your basement, square feet start to add up.

Construction on Siegel’s grandiose Florida mansion, featured in the documentary The Queen of Versailles, has been stalled for over a decade after the financial crisis upended her and husband David’s plans to build a re-creation to outshine the original French palace. Now she’s turning to Flipping Out’s Jeff Lewis and Real Housewives of Miami’s Lea Black to help her move forward with the 90,000-square-foot project.

“What
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

How Sundance Is Trying to Make Smaller Films Profitable With Self-Distribution

How Sundance Is Trying to Make Smaller Films Profitable With Self-Distribution
Producer Danielle Renfrew Behrens was never under the illusion that her quiet indie “Columbus” would spark a bidding war after it premiered at Sundance. But when popular video-essayist-turned-filmmaker Kogonada’s directorial debut became one of the best reviewed films at the 2017 festival, she did assume there would be distribution offers that, at the very least, would make her investors happy.

Read MoreSundance 2017 IndieWire Critics Poll Results: Best Film

It didn’t quite work out that way. “We did get offers, but they didn’t make sense for us,” said Behrens in an interview with IndieWire. “The film would have had a respectable release, but we wouldn’t have recouped based on that offer.”

That experience led “Columbus” to become one of two inaugural recipients of the Creative Distribution Fellowship, the Sundance Institute’s new workshop for completed films seeking help with marketing and distribution. The other recipient is “Unrest,” a documentary that also premiered at Sundance in January 2017. The fellowship comes with a sizable grant – the biggest Sundance has ever handed out – to support the costs of self-distribution.

This was never part of the plan. Behrens — who has been producing moderately-priced indies (“The Queen of Versailles,” “Grandma”) for close to 20 years and whose company Superlative Films raised the financing for “Columbus” — admits that she was caught off-guard. Not only were distributors offering lower-than-expected money upfront, but she also lacked faith that bidders would put the resources behind “Columbus” to make sure it found its audience.

“I’ve had success selling films and have been happy with the marketing of them,” said Behrens. “But for this film to be successful, it needs a team that will get under the hood and do a lot of outreach and really target it to [potential] niche audiences.”

The financial side of independent film is always a gamble, but in the case of “Columbus,” Behrens believed the risk was if Kogonada could deliver on his unique vision with his first feature film. Once he did, the producer was confident “Columbus” was a strong candidate to tap a few different niche audiences that went beyond the arthouse film crowd responding to the great reviews.

Read MoreSupercut Guru Kogonada: How He Leapt from Small Screens to Sundance Next with the Mysterious ‘Columbus

The film is set against the unlikely modern architecture mecca of Columbus, Indiana, which Kogonada fully incorporated into his script and concise geometrical framing. With proper marketing, Behrens assumed, the film could be a must-see for followers of modern art, architecture and design. Additionally, at a time when audiences are hungry for more diverse storytellers, “Columbus” was a breakout debut from an Asian American filmmaker that featured an Asian American character as its lead, played by John Cho.

“Koganada is so specific and I felt like I owed it to him to feel like the marketing and positioning of the film was done with as much precision and passion as he made the film,” said Behrens. “I’m not ready to walk away from it and give it to someone else unless I feel like I know they are going to care about it as much as I do.”

All signs pointed to the producer taking on the responsibility of self-distribution, but the costs were steep. The approach would involve laying out even more money for publicity and advertising, but it also meant that Behrens would have to delay her plans for future projects.

“For me, it was a little bit of a risk, because it’s me telling my investors we have offers that weren’t going to be amazingly lucrative, but they were going to be money in our pocket very quickly and I would be onto the next thing,” said Behrens. That’s when Sundance’s Creative Distribution Initiative came into play.

This article continues on the next page.

Related storiesSundance-Backed Political Documentary Caught in Censorship Nightmare'Columbus' Trailer: Discover Why This John Cho Drama Is One of the Great Indie Debuts of 2017Sundance Institute Announces 8 Projects for Annual Documentary Edit and Story Lab
See full article at Indiewire »

Hulu Inks Deal With Magnolia Pictures for Pay-tv Window Streaming Rights, After Netflix Pact Expires

Hulu reached a new multiyear output-licensing agreement with indie film distributor Magnolia Pictures, under which Hulu will obtain pay-tv window streaming rights to films to future releases starting in the second half of 2017.

The deal comes after Netflix’s output deal with Magnolia recently expired after three years. Under Hulu’s pact with Magnolia, films will become available to stream exclusively on Hulu following their theatrical run; the companies did not say how long the agreement will run.

“As we continue investing in the most valued and sought-after content, films are essential to that mix,” Craig Erwich, Hulu’s senior VP and head of content, said in a statement. “Magnolia Pictures continuously releases thought-provoking and award winning titles that we know our viewers will love.”

Magnolia Pictures president Eamonn Bowles added, “We are very proud and excited to have struck such a meaningful partnership with a great company like Hulu.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Sundance: Documentary ‘City of Ghosts’ Wins Candescent Award (Exclusive)

Sundance: Documentary ‘City of Ghosts’ Wins Candescent Award (Exclusive)
Matthew Heineman’s documentary “City of Ghosts” has won this year’s Candescent award at the Sundance Film Festival.

The Candescent award was created by actress-producer Lilly Hartley in partnership with the Sundance Institute documentary film program. The award goes to a powerful social-issue film that has been supported during production by the Dfp and premieres at the Sundance Film Festival.

Heineman, whose credits include the Academy Award-nominated “Cartel Land,” followed the journey of a handful of anonymous activists who banded together after their homeland was taken over by Isis in 2014. “City of Ghosts” centers on a group of citizen journalists — dubbed “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently” — as they face the realities of life undercover, on the run, and in exile, risking their lives to stand up against Isis. Raqqa is an Isis stronghold in Syria.

“City of Ghosts” premieres in the U.S. documentary competition on Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Why Not a Documentary for Best Picture?

Why Not a Documentary for Best Picture?
Ava DuVernay’s “Selma” follow- up, “13th,” opened the New York Film Festival on Sept. 30 and immediately situated itself as one of the year’s best films. Why, then, is it a foregone conclusion that we won’t be talking about it in terms of best picture?

No documentary has ever received a nomination for Hollywood’s top prize, despite true landmarks of the form — like “Shoah” and “Hoop Dreams” (the latter controversially snubbed in the doc category as well) — making strong cases.

In 2013 and 2015, a pair of documentaries by Joshua Oppenheimer — “The Act of Killing” and “The Look of Silence” — topped many critical assessments of the years’ best cinema, but nobody expected noms for best picture. In 2005, “March of the Penguins” became a cultural event that did bang-up box office, but it couldn’t break out of the documentary feature category at the Oscars.

And talk about cultural events: A year earlier,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Why Having the Right Agent Could Make or Break Your Movie

  • Indiewire
Why Having the Right Agent Could Make or Break Your Movie
While we often see headlines about spec script inciting studio bidding wars, the reality is most screenplays don’t sell themselves. Attracting financiers to help turn screenplays into actual movies usually requires one or more agents who are highly skilled in the art of packaging — the process of attaching actors, directors or other essential ingredients to a project.

Read More: Ifp Film Week Announces Public Events, Including Chats With ‘Hamilton’ Cast, ‘High Maintenance’ Stars and More

During a panel conversation at Ifp Film Week on Monday, two film agents and one sales agent shared examples of how packaging movie ideas or completed screenplays with other elements helped get projects off the ground fast.

One example from Los Angeles-based ICM agent Peter Trinh involved an actor with no writing credits named Scott Cooper who had written a script called “Crazy Heart,” based on the tragic story of an aging country music musician.
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Pigeon Kings’ Follows the Inspirational Stars of the Sport of Pigeon Rolling

  • Indiewire
Here’s your daily dose of an indie film, web series, TV pilot, what-have-you in progress — at the end of the week, you’ll have the chance to vote for your favorite.

In the meantime: Is this a project you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments.

Pigeon Kings

Logline: A group of men in South Central Los Angeles find hope through their dedication to the rare sport of somersaulting pigeons.

Elevator Pitch:

Many have heard about pigeon coops and those raising pigeons in the inner cities of America, but many do not know why this subculture has emerged and what its purpose is. That is what “Pigeon Kings” wants to bring to light.

Through the story of these amazing men who have dedicated their lives to the little known sport of competitive rolling pigeons, we show not only this unique subculture but also a story of a
See full article at Indiewire »

Tickled – Review

Documentaries are often tagged with an unfair “rep’. Lots of people think of them as ultra somber, serious cinema exercises (many dread them as “homework”). So, why is this flick being released right in the middle of Summer, the time for mindless, fluffy entertainment? Well, that’s because it is entertaining, just as funny as many comedies. The shocker is that it’s also as gripping as any number of thrillers, filled with cloak and dagger operations with true threats and deception. Audiences will be surprised almost as much as the film makers were. You see, this is another example of the smaller doc subset, namely the project that begins with one goal or focus, then changes during its production. 2012’s The Queen Of Versailles started as a light-hearted look at the excesses of the rich before making an abrupt turn to economic disaster and family drama. Just a few
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Harry Dean Stanton, David Lynch Join John Carroll Lynch’s Drama ‘Lucky’

Harry Dean Stanton, David Lynch Join John Carroll Lynch’s Drama ‘Lucky’
Harry Dean Stanton is starring in John Carroll Lynch’s directorial debut “Lucky,” currently shooting in Los Angeles.

David Lynch will also appear in the film, which adds to the list of projects he and Stanton have worked on together, including “Wild at Heart” and “The Straight Story.” Stanton is also expected to appear in Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” reboot.

Superlative Films is the production company. John Carroll Lynch is directing from a script by Stanton’s longtime friends Logan Sparks and Drago Sumonja.

“Lucky” follows the spiritual journey of a 90-year-old atheist — played by Stanton — and the quirky characters that inhabit his off-the-map desert town. He finds himself at the precipice of life, thrust into a journey of self-exploration.

The cast includes Ed Begley Jr. (“Better Call Saul”), Ron Livingston and Tom Skerritt, along with Barry Shabaka Henley, Beth Grant, Yvonne Huff Lee, Hugo Armstrong and James Darren.“

Producers are Logan Sparks,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Tribeca: Dogwoof Launching Production Fund for Documentaries (Exclusive)

Tribeca: Dogwoof Launching Production Fund for Documentaries (Exclusive)
Twelve-year-old international sales agent and U.K. distributor Dogwoof is expanding production investment with the launch of TDog Productions, Variety has learned exclusively.

Dogwoof, which primarily handles prestige documentaries, made the announcement Thursday following the opening of the 15th annual Tribeca Film Festival. It’s selling the documentaries “LoveTrue,” executive produced by Shia Labeouf, and “Burden” at the festival.

“This a natural evolution for us to grow the company and move toward making our own content,” said CEO Anna Godas, who’s managing the fund. “Talent has been approaching us to start packaging films so we began exploring this last year.”

Dogwoof has handled international sales and U.K. theatrical distribution on “Blackfish,” “Cartel Land,” “Dior and I,” and “Weiner” and the UK theatrical distribution for “The Look of Silence,” “The Act of Killing,” “The Queen of Versailles,” and “Heart of a Dog.”

The fund is 50% owned by Dogwoof and 50% owned by a private investor.
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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