7 items from 2015
If you’re looking for a comprehensive overview of the not so distant future in American indie film, a reliable sampling is usually found in the bi-annual Sffs / Krf Filmmaking Grants finalist (and future winners) lists. Grants will be awarded next month, but this finalists’ list overviews a look into the 2016-17 pool of talent and feature films. Among the trio of items that are in various stages of production and we’re keeping tabs on, we have Ian Olds (docu helmer of Fixer: The Taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi) who moved into fiction feature filmmaking with The Fixer. Produced by Caroline von Kuhn (Camden Int. Film Fest Managing Director and docu field expert), this is said to include supporting players in the shape of Melissa Leo and James Franco. And speaking of Franco…, Travis Mathews from Interior. Leather Bar. fame has Oscillate Wildly next in line. Beasts of the Southern Wild »
- Eric Lavallee
Anchor Bay Entertainment has signed a three-year distribution agreement with Gravitas Ventures, covering Blu-ray and DVD distribution rights in North America to a dozen titles a year, Variety has learned exclusively.
Among the first releases included in the agreement are “Manny,” a Manny Pacquiao documentary; “Always Woodstock,” starring Ryan Guzman, Brittany Snow and Katey Sagal; and “Lovesick,” starring Matt LeBlanc, Ali Larter and Chevy Chase.
Clark told Variety that the deal reflects Anchor Bay’s strategy of acquiring slates rather than single titles. The company, a subsidary of Starz, already has long-term distribution agreements in place for select programming with the Weinstein Co., AMC Networks and Radius.
Clark said the moves reflect his bullishness about the overall home entertainment business despite an 11.9% decline in DVD revenues in the fourth quarter to $4.74 billion, »
- Dave McNary
Rodney Ascher took us on a tour of the secluded and ominous Overlook Hotel like never before in Room 237, a documentary about various theories on what hidden messages or themes could exist in Stanley Kubrick's film adaptation of Stephen King's The Shining. With The Nightmare, Ascher returns to the big screen with another documentary on a scary subject, one that's all too familiar for some folks: sleep paralysis. Tormented by "shadow people" and other eerie entities while unable to move their bodies, people plagued by sleep paralysis have their stories recreated in Ascher's The Nightmare (showing tonight at the SXSW Film Festival), and North American audiences can see these nighttime terrors brought to life onscreen soon, as Gravitas Ventures has acquired The Nightmare and will release it in theaters and on VOD early this summer:
"El Segundo, CA (March 13, 2015) – The Nightmare, the unique horror documentary from director »
- Derek Anderson
At a panel in Rotterdam, the ‘next wave’ of festival programmers from across the globe debated topics such as how much to programme audience-friendly films while championing more challenging work.
As Thure Munkholm from Copenhagen’s Cph:pix asked succinctly: “How do we get the audience to take a chance with us to screen what is new? That is getting harder and harder.”
He said it’s important to develop with an audience, not just impose a festivals ideas on them. “There is an actual audience that we want to evolve with. In order to push the boundaries, you have to communicate with the audience. “
Michelle Carey of the Melbourne Film Festival said: “I don’t believe in looking down on the audience and pandering down to the lowest common denominator.”
She paid tribute to Iffr for programming medium-length films, something that’s hard for more traditional festivals to find homes for. “If you ask »
- email@example.com (Wendy Mitchell)
Eric Lavallee: Name me three of your favorite “2014 discoveries”…
Lavallee: I Used to Be Darker, Ping Pong Summer, and now Entertainment — you’ve had a trio of films featured in the Next section. Using this cross-section of films, could you describe what kind of DNA is needed for you to throw your weight behind a given film as a producer.
Zacarias: I think I gravitate towards projects (and filmmakers) that have a bit of a skewed sensibility. I tend to find stuff that focuses heavily on image, whether its observing a character, the atmosphere of the location, or photographic movements (or stillness). I’d rather you tell me your story through imagery and tone, than force your way through with a bunch of nonsensical dialogue to make me understand. I kinda of lose interest at that point. »
- Eric Lavallee
CreativeLive, an online learning platform founded in 2010, has signed Michael Gottwald to teach their first live-streamed course as a part of their new education channel. Gottwald's course, "Producing An Indie Film From The Grassroots, Up" aims to teach its students how to produce with optimum proficiency, and it will to cover everything from source material, to modes of fundraising, to careful production planning, all the way to distribution and marketing. Read More: What the Obama Campaign Can Tell Us About Grassroots Film Outreach Gottwald has considerable experience and great success in the area: "Beasts of the Southern Wild," which he produced, won the Camera d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for four Academy Awards. He also produced "Ping Pong Summer," which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, and is currently producing new cycles of the hit web series "High Maintenance." His latest project, »
- Rosie Narasaki
Gravitas Ventures has made a series of key hires and promotions to its sales and acquisitions team in advance of the Sundance Film Festival, hiring Griffin Gmelich as senior vice president of sales and business development.
He will oversee sales of Gravitas’ films, documentaries, series and specials across North American video on demand, subscription video on demand, and ad sponsored video on demand platforms as well as television.
Gmelich will also advise on distribution opportunities and film pickups at festivals and will be part of the team representing Gravitas at Sundance.
Gmelich joins Gravitas following three years at Hulu where he led film content acquisitions efforts. Prior to Hulu, Gmelich was the head of domestic sales for Entertainment One, vice president of sales for Universal-Vivendi and held several positions at Warner Home Video in sales and communications.
- Brent Lang
7 items from 2015
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