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Film Acquisition Rundown: Bleecker Street Buys ‘The Man Who Invented Christmas,’ Grasshopper Gets New Jem Cohen and More

Film Acquisition Rundown: Bleecker Street Buys ‘The Man Who Invented Christmas,’ Grasshopper Gets New Jem Cohen and More
Keep up with the wild and wooly world of indie film acquisitions with our weekly Rundown of everything that’s been picked up around the globe. Check out last week’s Rundown here.

– Bleecker Street has announced it has acquired U.S. and select territory rights to “The Man Who Invented Christmas,” to be directed by Bharat Nalluri. The film will start shooting next month and is targeting a holiday 2017 release date.

The cast includes Dan Stevens as Charles Dickens, Christopher Plummer as Scrooge and Jonathan Pryce as Dickens’ father. The Solution is handling rights for the rest of the world. The script is written by Susan Coyne and is based on the book “The Man Who Invented Christmas” by Les Standiford, published by Crown. The film recounts how Charles Dickens created the classic holiday fable, “A Christmas Carol.”

– Exclusive: Gravitas Ventures has announced it has acquired exclusive distribution rights
See full article at Indiewire »

North American briefs: Tom Hanks to receive Palm Springs Icon Award

  • ScreenDaily
The double Oscar winner – in contention again this season for his lead role in Sully – will collect the honour at the 28th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival awards gala on January 2.

Past recipients of the Icon Award include Michael Douglas, Robert Duvall and Meryl Streep. Hanks received the Festival’s Chairman’s Award in 2014.

The star plays the commercial airline pilot Chelsey Sullenberger, whose heroic act saved the lives of everyone on board a stricken Us Airways flight when he landed on the Hudson River off Manhattan in January 2009.

Warner Bros releases the film, which has grossed $123m in North America and $185m worldwide.

monterey media has acquired North American rights from Visit Films to Matthew Saville’s dramedy A Month Of Sundays starring Anthony Lapaglia, Julia Blake, Justine Clarke and John Clarke. The film premiered in Toronto and Monterey plans a January release.Paris-based VOD distributor Under The Milky Way has acquired Red Zeppelin Productions
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Drive-In Dust Offs: Patrick (1978)

With the massive success of Carrie (1976), telekinesis was quickly added to horror filmmakers’ arsenal as a new weapon to terrify audiences. The immense power of the film left some reticent to tackle the subject for fear of falling short; however Brian DePalma stepped up to the plate with The Fury (1978), and that same year fledgling Australian filmmaker Richard Franklin made Patrick, a suspenseful, darkly humorous tale of a nurse and the psychokinetically disposed comatose patient that loves her.

Released on its native soil October 1st, 1978, Patrick was bought up for distribution by over 30 countries after a successful screening at the Cannes Film Festival, easily earning back its $400,000 Aud budget (half of which was chipped in by the Australian Film Commission). More good news followed as Patrick was well received by critics, and rightly so – it’s a tense little beaut with an emphasis on character and scattered shocks throughout.

The
See full article at DailyDead »

A Month of Sundays podcast: midlife crises and the mental health of men

  • The Guardian - Film News
Recorded live in Melbourne, Guardian Australia’s film critic Luke Buckmaster discusses Australian film A Month of Sundays with writer and director Matthew Saville, stage and screen actor Julia Blake, and Steve Biddulph, one of the world’s best-known authors on parenting. Together, they examine the themes of the film: society’s expectations of men, the changing role of fathers, and where women fit into all this

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Bo Report: Civil War dominates as Mother's Day, A Month of Sundays debut

Captain America: Civil War.

Disney's Captain America: Civil War debuted on 283 screens last week, grossing a whopping $13.8 million to leave studio stablemate The Jungle Book in the dust..

In its third week, The Jungle Book dropped sixty percent to take $2.3 million over the weekend, bringing its total earnings to $24.3 million so far.

Eddie the Eagle dropped fifty-one percent in week two, ringing up $1.2 million on 276 screens over the weekend. The Hugh Jackman-starrer has now brought in $5.5 million.

Other than Civil War, the highest-grossing debut was Mother's Day, starring Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston and Kate Hudson, which rang up $1.5 million on 253 screens..

That film may have poached some ticket-buyers from Melissa McCarthy's The Boss, which dropped sixty-five percent in its third week, bringing its total to $5.6 million off 241 screens.

Meanwhile Disney's Zootopia dropped seventy-one percent in its seventh week for weekend earnings of $492,527, and has now made $27.3 million.

eOne's
See full article at IF.com.au »

Aftrs IP forum tackles copyright in the digital age

Nick Batzias at the World IP Day forum.

More than 100 film and television students have joined Madman head of production Nick Batzias and copyright law experts to explore issues surrounding the future of screen IP in the digital age.

The event was held to mark World IP Day, a Un initiative established in 2000, to celebrate the role of intellectual property in creativity and innovation..

Aftrs chief executive, Neil Peplow, A Month of Sundays.producer Batzias and copyright law specialist Caroline Verge shared insights on the value of creative content, making Australian films and TV and managing change in the digital age.

While the Australian Screen Association.s newly appointed executive chairman, Paul Muller, joined with executive director of creative content Australia, Lori Flekser, to host the World IP Day event at Hoyts Cinemas at the Eq precinct.

Peplow said the emphasis was the ownership of IP..

.I think it.s
See full article at IF.com.au »

A Month of Sundays duo Anthony Lapaglia and Matthew Saville in conversation

Justine Clarke, Anthony Lapaglia and Matthew Saville on-set.

Palace Cinemas will host actor Anthony Lapaglia and director Matthew Saville for preview screenings of their new film, A Month of Sundays, at Palace Norton Street in Sydney (April 19) and Palace Cinema Como (April 21) in Melbourne.

Screenings will be followed by a Q&A with the pair.

Lapaglia plays Frank Mollard, a divorced Adelaide real-estate agent with a teenage son who strikes up a friendship with an elderly stranger, played by Julia Blake.

This is Saville's third film after Noise and Felony. The filmmaker also has a long resume on TV, including Graham Kennedy TV movie The King, The Secret Life of Us, We Can Be Heroes and Please Like Me..

Tickets for the preview screenings can be purchased here.
See full article at IF.com.au »

Seniors film festival Young at Heart unveils line-up, expands to Brisbane

Young at Heart,.Australia.s only film festival programmed for film lovers aged 60 and up,.will roll out in April to Palace Cinemas across Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and, for the first time in 2016, Brisbane..

For its eleventh incarnation, the Young at Heart program will include ten new feature films, new Australian short films starring seniors, filmmaker Q&As and a digital print of 1951's A Streetcar Named Desire.

.This year.s program takes a particular look at the modern family, celebrating the unconventional, complex and ever-changing relationships that bind us together., Festival Director Mathieu Ravier said..

The program features Louder than Bombs, starring Isabelle Huppert, Jesse Eisenberg and Gabriel Byrne; Fathers and Daughters with Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried and Jane Fonda; Mia Madre, from Italian director Nanni Moretti and starring Margherita Buy and John Turturro; Grandma, starring Lily Tomlin; and Madman's A Month of Sundays, starring Anthony Lapaglia, Justine Clarke,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Radha Mitchell to walk red carpet at Looking for Grace premiere

  • IF.com.au
Australian actor Radha Mitchell will walk the red carpet at the Melbourne premiere of Sue Brooks. new film Looking For Grace at the Astor Theatre on November 24.

La-based Mitchell (The Waiting City, High Art, Finding Neverland) will be joined by Brooks (Japanese Story) in her home city, along with fellow cast members Odessa Young, Terry Norris and Julia Blake when the film is screened to Melbourne audiences for the first time.

In the film, Mitchell stars as Denise, the mother of eponymous Grace (Young) and wife of Dan (Richard Roxburgh), whose quiet suburban lives are thrown into turmoil when their daughter absconds with a large amount of money from their family safe.

It was only Australian film of the year to be selected In Competition for both Venice and Toronto International Film Festivals, where it had its World and North American Premieres in September.

The film had its Australian premiere
See full article at IF.com.au »

Film Review: ‘A Month of Sundays’

Film Review: ‘A Month of Sundays’
Life is a housing auction, or at least a prolonged bargaining effort, in “A Month of Sundays,” a contrived coping drama from Australian TV and film director Matthew Saville (“Noise”, “Felony”) in which a sad-sack housing broker learns to appreciate life from an older woman who reminds him of his mother. Delicate performances by Anthony Lapaglia and Julia Blake go a long way toward making the trite plotting seem sophisticated from moment to moment, but commercial prospects are as mild as the movie itself.

South Australia real-estate agent Frank Mollard (Lapaglia) is a bit off his game. Although he’s buddy-buddy with his boss, Phillip (John Clarke), he gets flustered when dealing with clients and perhaps feels a pang of self-loathing at the task of selling properties owned by the recently or soon-to-be deceased. He’s also still getting over a divorce from Wendy (Justine Clarke), an actress who grew
See full article at Variety - Film News »

200 Greatest Horror Films (190-181)

Special Mention: Gojira (Godzilla)

Written and directed by Ishirô Honda

Japan, 1954

Ishiro Honda’s grim, black-and-white post-Hiroshima nightmare stands the test of time. This allegory for the devastation wrought on Japan by the atomic bomb is quite simply a powerful statement about mankind’s insistence to continue to destroy everyone and everything the surrounds us. With just one shot (a single pan across the ruins of Tokyo), Honda manages to express the devastation that Godzilla represents. Since its debut, Godzilla has become a worldwide cultural icon, but very little is said about actor Takashi Shimura, who adds great depth as Dr. Yamane; his performance is stunning. Special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya originally wanted to use classic stop-motion animation to portray Godzilla, but time and budget limitations forced him to dress actors up in monster suits. Despite this minor setback, Tsuburaya’s scale sets of Tokyo are crafted with such great attention to detail,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

First trailer for A Month of Sundays starring Anthony Lapaglia

Ahead of its premiere at Toronto International Film Festival, the first trailer has arrived online for writer-director Matthew Saville’s upcoming comedy drama A Month of Sundays starring Anthony Lapaglia.

Real estate agent, Frank Mollard, won’t admit it, but he can’t move on. Divorced but still attached, he can’t sell a house in a property boom – much less connect with his teenage son. One night Frank gets a phone call from his mother. Nothing out of the ordinary. Apart from the fact that she died a year ago. A Month Of Sundays is about parents, children, regrets, mourning, moments of joy, houses, homes, love, work, television, Shakespeare and jazz fusion: about ordinary people and improbable salvation. Because everyone deserves a second chance. Even a real estate agent.

A Month of Sundays features a cast that includes Julia Blake, Justine Clarke, John Clarke and Gary Sweet.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Visit Films unveils Venice, Tiff slate

  • ScreenDaily
Visit Films unveils Venice, Tiff slate
Exclusive: Ryan Kampe and his New York-based team head into the fall festival season with a raft of new acquisitions led by a worldwide deal excluding Australia/New Zealand on Venice premiere Tanna.

Visit FIlms’ roster encompasses world rights excluding Ireland and Scandinavia to My Name Is Emily, the world excluding Australia/New Zealand to A Month Of Sundays and the world for Lace Crater, all of which will screen in Toronto.

Toronto Vanguard world premiere Lace Crater is a genre-bending horror-comedy produced by Joe Swanberg about a woman who has an affair with a ghost during a stay in the Hamptons. Lindsay Burdge stars in Harrison Atkins’ feature directorial debut.

My Name Is Emily stars Evanna Lynch as 16-year-old who ditches her foster home and embarks on a road trip with her new friend to break her troubled father out of a psychiatric institution.

Simon Fitzmaurice wrote and directed using iris recognition software after he was
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Two more Oz pics selected for Toronto

Matthew Saville.s A Month of Sundays and Jeremy Sims. Last Cab to Darwin will screen in the Contemporary World Cinema program at next month.s Toronto International Film Festival.

It will be the world premiere for Saville.s comedy-drama which stars Anthony Lapaglia as real estate agent Frank Mollard, who is divorced but still attached, can't connect with his teenage son or sell houses in a property boom. One night Frank gets a phone call from his mother, who died a year ago. John Clarke, Justine Clarke and Julia Blake round out the cast.

Produced by Madman.s Nick Batzias, Saville and Kirsty Stark, the film deals with parents, children, regrets, mourning, joy, houses, homes, love, work, television, Shakespeare and jazz fusion. Madman has yet to set a release date.

The Toronto launch steals a march on the Adelaide Film Festival (October 15-25), which had announced A Month of Sundays as a world premiere.
See full article at IF.com.au »

World premieres set for Adelaide

The world premieres of Scott Hicks. documentary Highly Strung and Matt Saville.s comedy/drama A Month of Sundays are among the highlights of this year.s Adelaide Film Festival.

The program includes the debut features from Bangarra Dance Company.s Stephen Page and Windmill Theatre Company.s Rosemary Myers as well as Jocelyn Moorhouse.s The Dressmaker.

A hit at. Sundance this year, Sam Klemke.s Time Machine will have its Australian premiere at the festival, which runs from October 15-25.

Another highlight is the 21st anniversary screening of Rolf de Heer.s Bad Boy Bubby at the Waterside Workers Hall in Port Adelaide on October 17. De Heer said, .It's startling to think that 22 years after Bad Boy Bubby confounded everyone, including me, by winning five prizes at the Venice Film Festival, and 21 years after it was released to an unsuspecting general public, the film is still ticking away,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Saville shoots fast on comedy-drama

DoP Mark Wareham with Matthew Saville with Anthony Lapaglia.

.

On paper the shooting schedule sounded logistically daunting: 20 days for a feature film starring Anthony Lapaglia, Justine Clarke, Julia Blake and John Clarke.

As it turned out, filming comedic drama A Month of Sundays in Adelaide proved relatively easy, much to the surprise of writer-director Matthew Saville.

.Thanks to the cast, crew and logistic simplicity of shooting in Adelaide, it all went very smoothly,. Saville tells If during a break from the editing suite.

Produced by Madman Production Company.s Nick Batzias and Kirsty Stark, the film stars Lapaglia as Frank Mollard, a real estate agent whose life takes an unexpected turn when he receives a call from his dead mother, sending him on a journey of redemption.

Justine Clarke plays Frank.s estranged wife, with John Clarke as his boss/friend and Blake as the woman at the heart of a life-changing new relationship.
See full article at IF.com.au »

Saville set to shoot relationships dramedy

Madman.s Nick Batzias and writer-director Matthew Saville have been keen to work together again since Madman released Saville.s 2003 telemovie Roy Hollsdotter Live and his 2007 crime thriller Noise.

After years of development they.ll start shooting A Month of Sundays, a comedic relationships drama starring Anthony Lapaglia, Justine Clarke, Julia Blake and John Clarke, in Adelaide on January 12.

Lapaglia plays Frank Mollard, a real estate agent whose life takes an unexpected turn when he receives a call from his dead mother, sending him on a journey of redemption. Justine is his estranged wife, with John Clarke as his boss/friend and Blake as the woman at the heart of a life-changing new relationship. Indiana Crowther plays Frank.s teenage son.

Saville, whose last feature was Felony, wrote the screenplay, inspired by his family.s experiences. It.s the first narrative feature from Madman Production Company, produced by Batzias and Kirsty Stark,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Calls for new regime for casting imported actors

Roy Billing.s plea to his union Actors. Equity to ease the restrictions on importing actors for Australian films has triggered a wave of support from producers, directors, writers and other industry figures.

Some believe Equity should have no role in vetoing foreign actors and that producers and directors should be free to cast whoever they think is right for particular roles.

Odin.s Eye Entertainment.s Michael Favelle says, .There should not be any kind of arbiter in respect of who a director, producer and financier need in their movie to make it financially viable and audience friendly..

In a similar vein, producer-distributor Antony I. Ginnane contends, .The industry push should be to take Equity out of the mix completely and leave casting decisions to the producers and investors who are taking the entrepreneurial and financial risks..

Hoodlum Entertainment.s Tracey Robertson, who is in the Us producing the
See full article at IF.com.au »

Roxburgh, Mitchell star in Oz drama

Richard Roxburgh and Radha Mitchell are playing the parents of a 14-year-old runaway who hire a retired detective to help find her in writer-director Sue Brooks. Looking for Grace.

Formerly known as Driving Back from Dubbo, the drama starts shooting this week in Western Australia, produced by Lizzette Atkins, Sue Taylor and Alison Tilson.

Odessa Young (The Moodys, Wonderland) will play the title character who runs away with her best friend (Kenya Pearson) to see her favourite band.

The cast includes Terry Norris as the retired cop, Julia Blake as his wife and Tasma Walton. The plot follows the couple and their helper as they head off on the road to Ceduna to try to retrieve Grace.

Miranda Otto was originally in the frame to play Grace's mother and Sam Neill had been in talks to play the former detective.

The investors include Screen West, Screen Australia, Film Victoria, the
See full article at IF.com.au »

David Pulbrook on Last Dance

Chasing the dream of making your own feature requires time and perseverance as well as, dare it be mentioned, money. Yet, for those who hang in there, the dream is achievable.

There.s no greater example than that of 64 year-old David Pulbrook. After working as an editor for over forty years, he has made his feature directorial debut with the claustrophobic-thriller Last Dance.

.I certainly want to do it again,. he says. .Even at my age, in my declining years, I just look at Clint Eastwood and think there.s hope for all of us..

The idea for the film, a study of the relationship between a Jewish holocaust survivor (Julia Blake) and a young, Palestinian terrorist (Firass Dirani), first came to Pulbrook 25 years ago. However, it wasn.t until eight years ago that he approached scriptwriter Terence Hammond and the first 60 pages were penned.

.It.s taken a long
See full article at IF.com.au »
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