Mediawan acquires EuropaCorp’s TV business

Mediawan acquires EuropaCorp’s TV business
Mediawan says it also plans to acquire 60% stake in Mon Voison Productions.

Luc Besson

Burgeoning audiovisual content platform Mediawan has acquired three French production companies including Storia Television, the new outfit created to take over the activities of EuropaCorp TV excluding its Us series.

The Paris-based company – founded by French producer Pierre-Antoine Capton, telecom tycoon Xavier Nils and investment banker and venture capitalist Mathieu Pigasse in 2015 – announced the deal on Monday afternoon (January 15).

The platform also revealed it was in exclusive negotiations to buy a majority stake in Makever, an umbrella group comprising six independent production studios.

Their shows include Kaboul Kitchen; the International Emmy Award-winning telefilm Don’t Leave Me, about a mother’s struggle to de-radicalise her jihadi bride daughter; and Captain Sharif.

Mediawan said it was also planning to acquire a 60% stake in Mon Voison Productions (Mvp). The production house set up by former talent agent-turned-producer and actor Dominique Besnehard and producer Michel Feller is best known
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Mediawan Acquires EuropaCorp’s French TV Biz, Holds Talks With Makever, Mon Voisins Productions

Mediawan, a special-purpose acquisition company headed by media industry veterans Xavier Niel, Matthieu Pigasse and Pierre-Antoine Capton, has acquired EuropaCorp’s French TV business and is holding exclusive talks to take a majority stake in major French drama production companies Makever and Mon Voisin Productions.

EuropaCorp’s French TV division has produced a number of high-profile series such as “Xiii,” “No Limit” and “Taxi Brooklyn.” Makever is behind original shows such as “Cherif” and “Kaboul Kitchen,” which were ratings success on French pubcaster France Televisions and pay-tv Canal Plus, respectively. And Mon Voisin, the banner created by Dominique Besnehard and Michel Feller, is best known for producing “Call My Agent!”

With a majority share in these three companies, Mediawan would become France’s biggest producer of television fiction content. The three banners’ combined annual revenue reached more than €50 million ($61.4 million) in 2017. Mediawan plans on fast-tracking the companies’ volume of production, distribution capacities
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Kubrick, Cary Grant docs set for Cannes Classics

Kubrick, Cary Grant docs set for Cannes Classics
Strand will focus on the history of Cannes for the festival’s 70th anniversary.

Cannes Film Festival (May 17-28) has unveiled the line-up for this year’s Classic programme, with 24 screenings set to take place alongside five documentaries and one short film.

Documentaries about cinema including Filmworker - which focuses of Stanley Kubrick’s right hand man Leon Vitali, who played a crucial role behind the scenes of the director’s films - as well as Cary Grant doc Becoming Cary Grant, are set to feature.

This year’s selection is also set to focus on the history of the festival itself, with prize-winning films such as Michelangelo Antonioni Grand 1966 Prix winning film Blow-Up and Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Le Salaire de la peur (The Wages of Fear) from 1952 screening.

Nagisa Oshima’s 1976 film Ai No Korîda (In The Realm Of The Senses/L’Empire Des Sens), Luis Buñuel’s 1967 classic Belle De Jour (Beauty Of The Day
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Cannes Classics 2017 Line-Up Includes ‘The Wages of Fear,’ ‘All That Jazz,’ ‘L’Atalante’ & More

While Cannes Film Festival premieres some of the best new films of the year, they also have a rich history of highlighting cinema history with their Cannes Classics line-up, many of which are new restorations of films that previously premiered at the festival. This year they are taking that idea further, featuring 16 films that made history at the festival, along with a handful of others, and five new documentaries. So, if you can’t make it to Cannes, to get a sense of restorations that may come to your city (or on Blu-ray) in the coming months/years, check out the line-up below.

From 1946 to 1992, from René Clément to Victor Erice, sixteen history-making films of the Festival de Cannes

1946: La Bataille du Rail (Battle of the Rails) by René Clément (1h25, France): Grand Prix International de la mise en scène and Prix du Jury International.

Presented by Ina.
See full article at The Film Stage »

MipTV: Headline Pictures, ‘Veep’s’ Georgia Pritchett Team on ‘Call my Agent’s’ U.K. Remake (Exclusive)

MipTV: Headline Pictures, ‘Veep’s’ Georgia Pritchett Team on ‘Call my Agent’s’ U.K. Remake (Exclusive)
Headline Pictures, the London-based company whose recent credits include Amazon Prime’s “The Man in the High Castle,” has optioned the English-language remake rights to “Call My Agent!,” the hit comedy series chronicling the ups and downs of a tight-knit and dysfunctional team of Parisian talent agents.

Headline’s production topper Christian Baute has enlisted critically-acclaimed British writer Georgia Pritchett, who notably created “Life of Riley” and penned episodes of “Veep” and “The Thick of It.” Pritchett is currently writing the English-language pilot, whose working title is “In Good Company.”

Headline is producing the series with TF1 Studio, and collaborating with Harold Valentin at Mother Production and Mon Voisin Productions, the Paris outfit of famed French talent agent Dominique Besnehard, who created the show.

Co-written by Fanny Herrero, the French series portrays the agents’ relationships with each other and with their clients as well as depicting the political game they must play to get contracts, while
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Mipcom: French TV Producers Join TV’s Golden Age of Production

Mipcom: French TV Producers Join TV’s Golden Age of Production
Once dominated by U.S. TV imports, France has now jumped into the golden age of TV in a big way, powered up by France’s top film and television players who have internationalized the local TV drama landscape and turned it into a major growth business.

The drive of France’s top film companies and media groups — notably Gaumont, Studiocanal, Lagardere, Wild Bunch TV, and EuropaCorp — to embark on the production and distribution of high-profile TV drama has allowed for the emergence of upscale French and European shows that cross borders.

“In the last 10 years, the export of French fiction programs has gone up by 100% (to $46 million in 2015), thanks to the rising quality of TV drama as well as the boom of multi-territory streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, local VOD platforms as well as TV and cable channels,” says Mathieu Bejot, managing director of TV France Intl., which
See full article at Variety - TV News »

TF1 Intl. Scoops ‘Bonne Pomme’ With Gerard Depardieu, Catherine Deneuve (Exclusive)

TF1 Intl. Scoops ‘Bonne Pomme’ With Gerard Depardieu, Catherine Deneuve  (Exclusive)
Paris — TF1 International has boarded “Bonne Pomme,” a comedy reuniting French cinema legends Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu.

Bonne Pomme” is written and directed by Florence Quentin, who notably co-wrote the screenplay of three cult French comedies directed by Étienne Chatiliez: “Tatie Danielle,” “Life Is a Long Quiet River” and “Happiness Is in the Field.”

Now shooting in Flagy, a small village near Paris, “Bonne Pomme,” will be distributed in France by Arp Selection, while TF1 International is handling worldwide sales.

The film is being produced by Dominique Besnehard et Michel Feller’s Paris-based outfit Mon Voisin Productions and Christine Gozlan’s Thelma Film.

Depardieu stars as Gerard, an affable mechanic who is fed up of his mediocre life and his cheating girlfriend, and decides to quit everything on a whim. Gerard moves to a remote village, but his plans to live a tranquil life are turned upside down
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Colcoa French Film Festival Taps Into Zeitgiest With Issue-Driven Movies

Colcoa French Film Festival Taps Into Zeitgiest With Issue-Driven Movies
The Colcoa French Film Festival (April 18-26), otherwise known as City of Lights, City of Angels festival, turns 20 this edition with a lineup rich in socially minded films reflecting the turmoils that France has faced in the past year.

The French-language showcase’s opening film, Roschdy Zem’s “Monsieur Chocolat,” a Belle Epoque biopic of Cuban artist Rafael Padilla, will set the tone. The Gaumont pic stars Omar Sy as Padilla, the first celebrated black clown in France and who faced prejudice his entire life, leading to his downfall.

“ ‘Chocolat’ is in line with the rest of the selection, which is meant to initiate Colcoa audiences to a variety of topics that are shaping French society today,” says Francois Truffart, Colcoa programmer and its longtime exec producer/artistic director. “Although it is a period film, ‘Chocolat’ addresses the presence and representation of minorities in the arts, which is a current
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Colcoa Announces 20th Anniversary Line-Up

The Franco-American Cultural Fund, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, has announced the program for the 20th Colcoa French Film Festival that will run April 18-26 at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles. The festival will showcase a record 70 films and television series - among them 64 in competition for Colcoa Awards - including four World Premieres, seven International Premieres, 19 North American or U.S. Premieres, 17 West Coast Premieres - and 21 new shorts. Colcoa, is now the world's largest event dedicated to French films and television.

"This 20th anniversary deserves a spectacular, strong program that reflects the diversity of French production, as well as the creativity and dynamism of French filmmakers and producers," stated François Truffart, Colcoa Executive Producer and Artistic Director. "More than ever, we are about to involve audiences in a journey that will stir them, make them laugh, cry, tickle their curiosity, and help them remain optimistic, while recognizing the urgent world zeitgeist."

 "20 years is an achievement for any film festival in Hollywood. This would not have been possible without the commitment of the Franco-American Cultural Fund - a unique partnership of the DGA, the Mpa, la Sacem and the WGA West - creator of the festival in 1996 and supporter of its subsequent development. We also salute French sales companies, official supporters, sponsors, and U.S. distributors, whose loyalty and trust have given the festival its continuing excellence," he added.

Colcoa will open Monday, April 18th with the North American Premiere of "Monsieur Chocolat," a biopic about the first French black clown, co-written by Cyril Gely, Olivier Gorce, Gérard Noiriel, Roschdy Zem, directed by Roschdy Zem, and starring Omar Sy and James Thiérrée. The film will be presented in association with Gaumont, which celebrates its 120th anniversary.

The festival will close its competition on Monday, April 25th with the World Premiere of "Up For Love," the new romantic comedy written and directed by Laurent Tirard, starring Academy Award winner Jean Dujardin and Virginie Efira. "Call My Agent" (Season 1), the most popular French TV series of the year, about a talent agency with actors playing their own roles, will close the Colcoa TV Competition.

Two other TV series, shown for the first time in North America, will be part of the program, presented in association with TV France International and Titrafilm: "The Disappearance," a drama co-written by Marie Deshaires and Catherine Touzet and directed by Charlotte Brändström; and "The Secret of Elise," a supernatural drama written by lsa Marpeau, Marie Vinoy, Marie Deshaires, and Catherine Touzet and directed by Alexandre Laurent, Samir Boitard, Mathieu Simonet, and Mehdi Meskar. The first two episodes of each series will be shown to the Colcoa audience.

To complete the competition, five TV movies will premiere at Colcoa: the North American Premiere of "Borderline," a thriller co-written and directed by Olivier Marchal, the International Premiere of "Carpets and Chaos," a comedy co-written and directed by Nader Takmil Homayoun, the International Premiere of "Stolen Babies," a drama written by Julie Jézéquel and directed by Golden Globe winner Alain Berliner; the International Premiere of "The Wall-Crosser," a fantasy written and directed by Dante Desarthes, based on Marcel Aymé's book; and the North American Premiere of "Woman Under the Influence," a drama written and directed by Claude-Michel Rome

The feature film selection (40 features and documentaries and 21 shorts), will feature exclusive presentations. "Fanny's Journey," an epic drama written and directed by Lola Doillon, starring Cecile de France, is also a World Premiere. The U.S. Premiere of the thriller "Made in France," written and directed by Nicolas Boukhrief, is a film which did not have theatrical release in France because of sensitivity following the recent terrorist attacks in Paris.  Colcoa also will present the U.S. Premiere of Robert Guédiguian's provocative film about the Armenian genocide, "Don't Tell Me the Boy Was Mad." The U.S. Premiere of Oscar ® winner Claude Lelouch's new film "Un plus Une," starring Jean Dujardin and Elsa Zylberstein, will screen, in addition to another U.S. Premiere of "All Gone South," the comedy sequel co-written and co-directed by Nicolas Benamou and Philippe Lacheau, two years after the success of Babysitting at Colcoa in 2014.

Several established writers/directors return and other known artists have been selected: Academy Award nominee Christian Carion ("Come What May"- with Cohen Media Group), Anne Fontaine ("The Innocents" - with Music Box Films), Vincent Garencq ("Kalinka"), Academy Award nominee Jean-Paul Rappeneau ("Families"), Christian Vincent ("Courted"), Maïwenn ("My King" - with Film Movement)

Every year, the Colcoa program is dedicated to a new generation of talent, many of whose films are included in Colcoa's French NeWave 2.0 Series: Samuel Collardey ("Land Legs"), Clément Cogitor ("Neither Heaven Nor Earth" - with Film Movement), Philippe Faucon - the writer/director of the 2016 César Best film winner ("Fatima" - with Kino Lorber), Emmanuel Finkiel ("A Decent Man"), Eva Husson ("Bang Gang" - with Samuel Goldwyn), Laurent Larivière ("I am a Soldier"), and Orelsan and Christophe Offenstein ("Uncompleted Song").

The After 10 Series at Colcoa invites audiences to explore new frontiers with an exclusive program, including the French-Belgian co-production from writer/director Bouli Lanners ("The First, the Last"), the new dark comedy from Benoît Delépine, Gustave Kervern, starring Gérard Depardieu ("Saint Amour"), and Frédéric Schoendoerffer ("Past Convoy").

Two anticipated films about women in Muslim countries will be part of theWord Cinema Produced by France Series: the Franco-Moroccan co-production, "Much Loved," written and directed by Nabil Ayouch, premiered at the Director's Fortnight in 2015, and remains banned in Morocco; and, "As I Open My Eyes," a Franco-Tunisian film from female writer/director Leyla Bouzid (with Kino Lorber). The Argentine film, "Eva Doesn't Sleep," written and directed by Pablo Agüero will complete the series.

Two documentaries focusing on significant environmental issues will premiere at Colcoa: the closing film of the last Cannes Film Festival, "Ice and the Sky" (with Music Box Films) from Academy Award winner Luc Jacquet (March of the Penguins), and a special presentation following the United Nations screening of the 2016 Cesar winner for Best Documentary, "Tomorrow," written and directed by Cédric Dion and Mélanie Laurent. "The Frankenstein Complex," a tribute to the creators of big screen creatures, written and directed by Gilles Penso and Alexandre Poncet, will complete this high profile documentary series.

All other Colcoa series are back in 2016: the Colcoa Classics Series with an exclusive program of digitally restored premieres (see February 19th press release); the Happy Hour Talks PanelSeriesin association withVariety (April 19-25); the Short Film Competition (Sunday, April 24 -  March press release); the Focus on a Filmmaker, this year with writer/director Jean-Paul Rappeneau (Thursday, April 21); and the Focus on a Producer will be with Dominique Besnehard (Saturday, April 23).

Animation, an important part of the French film industry, will be shown at Colcoa with the premiere of Rémi Chayé's new film: "Long Way North" (with Shout Factory).

 As is Colcoa tradition, comedieswill join the program almost every day, including the romantic comedy "Love at First Child," co-written and directed by Anne Giaffieri, starring Patrick Bruel and Isabelle Carré, Benoît's Graffin's "Hopefully," with Sandrine Kiberlain and Edouard Baer, Jean-Francois Richet's "One Wild Moment," starring Francois Cluzet and Vincent Cassel, and the new French hit "One Man and His Cow," written and directed by Mohamed Hamidi.

This last film will also be shown to the 3,000 students and teachers who will attend the now five High School Screenings (April 19-25) as part of the Colcoa Educational Program presented in association with Elma (European Languages and Movies in America). Two master classes for college and university students will complete the program.

For the ninth year, Lafca will partner with Colcoa Cinema for the Critics' Awards. The complete recipients list of the 2015 Awards - including the U.S. distributor winner of the Colcoa Coming Soon Award, presented in association with Kpcc, will be announced on Wednesday, April 27. Colcoa Awards are presented in association with Titrafilm, TV5 Monde USA, and Air Tahiti Nui.
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

‘Trepalium’ Tops Biarritz Confab’s Most-Watched Programs

‘Trepalium’ Tops Biarritz Confab’s Most-Watched Programs
Lagardere Entertainment Rights’ dystopian drama skein “Trepalium” was the most-watched show at the 21th Rendez-Vous TV confab in Biarritz.

Organized by TV France International, the three-day event, which wrapped on Sep. 10, gathered 260 buyers from 70 countries. The number of French participants was on the rise with nine first-time attendees: #Edith Paris, About Premium Content, Dandelooo, Federation Entertainment, Fighting Spirit, Ladies First Distribution, Philippe Vaillant, Orange Studio and Studiocanal.

Commissioned by Arte, “Trepalium” is set in Paris, in a near future where 80% of people are unemployed, while the remaining 20% are living in luxurious conditions but are alienated by their jobs. The stylized series was presented by its director, Vincent Lannoo, during a dedicated evening event at the mini-market.

Documentaries proved popular at the Biarritz Rendez-Vous. Six docus ranked in the top 10, notably Dominique Hennequin’s “+/- 5 mètres” from Terranoa, Only Lifestyle’s series “Les explorateurs du goût,” Newen Distribution’s “Produits alleges
See full article at Variety - TV News »

‘Memories’ to Open Focus on French Cinema Festival

‘Memories’ to Open Focus on French Cinema Festival
Focus on French Cinema has scheduled eight premieres for its five-day festival, starting March 27 in Connecticut with the U.S. premiere of Jean-Paul Rouve’s family dramedy “Memories” (Les Souvenirs).

The closing night film will be comedic thriller “Number One Fan” (Elle l’adore).

The festival, now in its 11th year, will include U.S. premieres of “The Little Queen,” which is based on the true story of a young cyclist who became embroiled in one of Canada’s biggest sports scandals; “I Kissed a Girl,” a comedy about a gay man who discovers he may be a closeted heterosexual; Swiss romantic drama “Pause”; “The Clearstream Affair,” a thriller about an investigative journalist who uncovered Luxembourg’s financial scandal; and the animated comedy “Asterix: Le Domaine des dieux.”

The festival will also host the world premiere of the documentary “The Pursuit of Endurance … On the Shoulders of Shackleton,” which follows
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Mipcom: Cecile de France, Nathalie Baye and Audrey Fleurot Join Cast of ‘Call My Agent!’ (Exclusive)

Mipcom: Cecile de France, Nathalie Baye and Audrey Fleurot Join Cast of ‘Call My Agent!’ (Exclusive)
Cannes– ‘Call My Agent!,” the comedy mini-series marking French helmer Cedric Klapisch’s smallscreen debut, has attracted a top-notched cast of Gallic talent.

Cecile de France (“Hereafter,” pictured above), Nathalie Baye (“Catch Me If You Can”), Audrey Fleurot (“The Intouchables”), have joined the cast of show, which is being shopped by TF1 International at Mipcom. Cast also boasts Joey Starr (“Polisse”), Laura Smet (“Eden”), François Berléand (“Transporter, The Series”) and Julie Gayet (“Profilage”).

A Paris-set six-part mini-series, “Call My Agent!” was created by vet French talent agent Dominique Besnehard and Fanny Herrero.

The show centers around a tight-knit and dysfunctional team of Parisian talent agents who battle to get contracts for important clients, while juggling their personal lives.

Penned by Klapisch, Lola Doillon and Antoine Garceau, “Call My Agent!” will go into production in November and has been commissioned by pubcaster France Televisions. It’s produced by Mon Voisin Production and Mother Production.
See full article at Variety - TV News »

TF1 Intl. Sells Harlan Coben’s First TV Skein ‘No Second Chance’ (Exclusive)

TF1 Intl. Sells Harlan Coben’s First TV Skein ‘No Second Chance’ (Exclusive)
Paris– TF1 International, the sales arm of France’s top commercial network, is upping the ante on original drama series with the acquisition of two high-profile projects: “No Second Chance” and “Call My Agent!” which will be shopped at Mipcom.

“No Second Chance” is an action/thriller mini-series based on Harlan Coben’s eponymous bestseller. Coben is set to showrun “No Second Chance” with Francois Velle (“Bones”) on board to direct. The project marks the first French TV adaptation of a book by Coben. It’s also the author’s first time as showrunner.

The American writer is no stranger to France. He co-wrote Guillaume Canet’s hit thriller “Tell No One” based on his own novel. Back in the States, one of his recent crime novels, “Six Years,” is currently being adapted by Jonathan Stokes for Paramount.

Produced by Sydney Gallonde at Vab Production, “No Second Chance” stars Alexandra Lamy
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Roman Polanski Gives Rare Interview About Career, Retirement and 'Venus in Fur' (Clips)

Roman Polanski Gives Rare Interview About Career, Retirement and 'Venus in Fur' (Clips)
Never one to do much press, Roman Polanski offers Variety a rare interview in which he talks about his new film "Venus in Fur," working with his actress-wife Emmanuelle Seigner and his storied -- and stormy -- cinematic career. Adapted from a 2010 play by David Ives and starring Seigner and Mathieu Amalric, "Venus in Fur" is a two-hander about an actress attempting to convince a director why she's perfect for a role in his upcoming production. "I just thought it was a terrific text. First, the humor of it. But then the sort of anti-macho spirit of it, and the richness of the allusions," Polanski tells Variety scribe Scott Foundas. The film played in the Main Competition section of last year's Cannes Film Festival. Polanski and Seigner met in 1985 during the troubled pre-production days of "Pirates," starring Walter Matthau. Polanski and casting director Dominique Besnehard were scouting in Paris, at a drag cabaret,
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Roman Polanski Talks His Life and Career, ‘Venus in Fur’ and Retirement

Roman Polanski Talks His Life and Career, ‘Venus in Fur’ and Retirement
Roman Polanski revels in recounting the story of how he met his wife, actress Emmanuelle Seigner, to whom he has been married for 25 years, and who is the mother of his two children. The year was 1985, and Polanski was in pre-production on “Pirates,” the problem-plagued, big-budget adventure comedy that remains the greatest critical and commercial failure of his career. With his casting director, Dominique Besnehard, he planned to attend a Paris drag cabaret in search of a female impersonator to play a role in the film. Besnehard asked if he could bring along a young French model who had recently filmed a small part in Jean-Luc Godard’s “Detective” but claimed to have no interest in an acting career. Polanski instantly replied, “Bring her.” The model turned out to be Seigner.

“That was the best casting of his entire career,” Polanski says with a laugh. “It’s funny that I
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Entourage’ A La Française? Famed Former Agent To Produce Comedy Series ’10%’

  • Deadline TV
Inspired by the two-decade agenting career of Dominique Besnehard at France’s biggest talent house Artmedia, the six-part comedy 10% will shoot this summer for national broadcaster France 2. Besnehard is a former casting director and prolific actor who went on to be arguably the best-known agent in the local business. At one time or another, he represented such talent as Isabelle Adjani, Juliette Binoche, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Eva Green, Jacqueline Bisset, Michael Vartan, Alain Chabat, Rupert Everett, Eric Cantona, Jean-Louis Trintignant, François Ozon and Claire Denis. I’m told the series is currently casting for three principal roles and promises a big-name guest star inserted each week to play themselves. While I’m not convinced this is a series that could travel — it’ll depend on the execution and how inside baseball the comedy is — it could be an interesting look at the cultural differences in the French agency business compared to
See full article at Deadline TV »

Top of the Lake and Two Mothers to screen at Sundance Film Festival

Jane Campion.s first TV series Top of the Lake and Australian-French co-production Two Mothers have been selected to screen at the Sundance Film Festival.

Both productions will screen as part of the Premieres program, which showcases a range of highly-anticipated dramatic world premieres.

The Top of the Lake series will be screened as a single six-hour film just once during the festival, marking the first time that Sundance has included a scripted long-form series. Top of the Lake follows a detective investigating the disappearance of a 12-year-old pregnant girl who is the daughter of a local drug lord and stars Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men), Holly Hunter (The Piano), Peter Mullan (War Horse) and David Wenham (Public Enemies).

In a Screen Australia statement anouncing the selections, executive producers Emile Sherman and Iain Canning said: .It.s such a thrill to be showing Top of the Lake, See-Saw Films. first foray into television.
See full article at »

Ben Mendelsohn, Sophie Lowe and Gary Sweet join The Grandmothers

Australian actors Ben Mendelsohn, Sophie Lowe and Gary Sweet.have joined the cast of Australian-French co-production The Grandmothers..

They join the principal cast of Naomi Watts, Robin Wright, Xavier Samuel and James Frecheville in a tale about two lifelong friends who fall in love with each other's teenaged sons. Jessica Tovey (Underbelly, Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo) will also make her feature debut in the film.

The Grandmothers has been adapted for the screen by Academy Award-winning writer Christopher Hampton (Dangerous Liaisons, Atonement) from a story written by Nobel Prize for Literature winner Doris Lessing.

The eight-week shoot marks the English-language debut for director Anne Fontaine (Coco avant Chanel) and is due to begin on Monday (February 6) in Sydney.

The film is being produced by Hopscotch Productions' Andrew Mason; Fontaine's long-time collaborator Philippe Carcassonne; as well as French producers' Mon Voisin's Michel Feller and Dominique Besnehard. Hopscotch's Troy Lum
See full article at »

Naomi Watts and Robin Wright Are ‘The Grandmothers’

  • The Film Stage
Don’t worry: You aren’t so old that Jenny from Forrest Gump is now playing a grandmother, nor should you prepare yourself for some bizarre scenario in which Naomi Watts can precede two generations of family. Instead, THR informs us that both Robin Wright and the Australian will lead The Grandmothers, an “erotic tale of misguided love and a celebration of the enduring nature of female friendship” helmed by Anne Fontaine.

A Dangerous Method scribe Christopher Hampton has adapted Doris Lessing‘s original story, which focused on “two lifelong friends who fall in love with each other’s teenage sons.” More than a little creepy, yes — but it’d be silly to expect otherwise from “misguided love.” The only other casting development looks to be for those respective sons, as Animal Kingdom‘s James Frecheville and Twilight actor Xavier Samuel are also in the cast. (The latter may be 28 years old,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Screen Australia invests $17m in features and TV drama

Screen Australia has announced $17m investment across 14 projects including feature films and both adult and children’s television.

The investment is expected to trigger $97m in production.

The list of productions include: black comedy The Mule by co-writers/co-producers Leigh Whannell and Angus Sampson with direction from Tony Mahony about a drug mule caught by authorities and Antony I Ginnane’s remake of Patrick, directed by Not Quite Hollywood’s Mark Hartley.

Also on the list is The Grandmothers, written by Christopher Hampton (A Dangerous Method) and director Anne Fontaine (Coco Avant Chanel) and starring Naomi Watts, Robin Wright, Xavier Samuel and James Frecheville in the adaptation of Doris Lessing’s novel.

For TV, the telemovie Underground by Matchbox Pictures, written and directed by Robert Connolly tells the story of a teenage Julian Assange hacking computer systems; and two TV productions by John Edwards Southern Star, a serialised version of
See full article at Encore Magazine »
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