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Show Dogs movie review: everything is awful

MaryAnn’s quick take… Embarrassingly bad CGI; pratfalls; genital humor; denigration of cat ladies; horrible clichés and stereotypes. This is the cinematic equivalent of stepping in dog poop. You know, for kids! I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto) women’s participation in this film

(learn more about this)

Miss Congeniality, but for dogs. Did we need this? We did not. Director Raja Gosnell has previously perpetrated two Smurfs movies and two Scooby-Doo movies, and I guess he felt that he needed to even out the ranks of his terrible talking-dog “comedies” since he only had the one, Beverly Hills Chihuahua. “Nobody makes talking dog movies anymore,” one of the talking dogs in this talking-dog movie explains. And yet here we are.

These are indeed dark times.

It’s funny cuz there’s a dog wearing sunglasses.
See full article at FlickFilosopher »

Film Review: ‘Show Dogs’

Film Review: ‘Show Dogs’
In the cornball kiddie tradition of his “Scooby-Doo,” “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” and “Smurfs” films, director Raja Gosnell’s “Show Dogs” combines live-action actors with real and CGI talking creatures in service of groan-worthy comedic adventure. The hero in question here is Max, an NYPD police pooch (voiced by Chris “Ludacris” Bridges) who’s forced to partner with Will Arnett’s FBI agent while going undercover as a pageant contestant. Think of it as “Miss Congeniality” for dogs, replete with the sort of slapstick humor, puerile gags and for-adults-only pop-culture references required of such endeavors. Its frantic pace should make it a mildly amusing diversion for the younger set, but its juvenile imagination (or lack thereof) is likely to drive anyone over the age of 7 barking mad.

During a Manhattan sting operation gone awry that puts him in direct conflict with federal agent Frank (Arnett), street-wise Rottweiler Max fails to save
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Peter Dinklage Asks Game Of Thrones Fans To Stop Buying Huskies

Fans across the country can’t get enough of Game of Thrones, but the show has sparked an alarming trend — an increased demand for huskies because of their physical similarities to direwolves.

Adoring viewers are buying the dogs from pet stores and breeders (often naming them after their favorite characters), then — after realizing how much work and commitment are required to care for them — dumping them at shelters already bursting at the seams with homeless dogs. Now, series star Peter Dinklage is teaming up with PETA to remind fans that dogs should be acquired only as family members and need to be looked after for a lifetime, and he’s urging those who are serious about expanding their family to adopt, never buy.

“Please, to all of Game of Thrones’ many wonderful fans, we understand that due to the direwolves’ huge popularity, many folks are going out and buying huskies,
See full article at Look to the Stars »

The Weekend Warrior 1/27/17: Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, A Dog’s Purpose, Gold

Welcome back to the Weekend Warrior, your weekly look at the new movies hitting theaters this weekend, as well as other cool events and things to check out.

This Past Weekend:

As per my Thursday update, M. Night Shyamalan’s thriller Split ended up winning the weekend but with way more than anyone, including myself, predicted, with more than $40 million for its opening weekend. That’s pretty impressive, and his first movie to open at that level since 2010’s The Last Airbender. Meanwhile, Vin Diesel’s sequel xXx: The Return of Xander Cage ended up making around where I predicted, taking second place with $20.1 million, not a great sign for the continuation of that franchise. Michael Keaton’s The Founder ended up right around where I predicted with $3.4 million, ending up just outside the Top 10. Hidden Figures, La La Land and Sing continued to do well with minimal drop-offs.

This
See full article at LRM Online »

Us Briefs: TWC kicks off 'The Founder' awards run

  • ScreenDaily
Us Briefs: TWC kicks off 'The Founder' awards run
The Weinstein Company has moved up the qualifying run of its Michael Keaton starrer.

The Founder opened in Los Angeles on December 7 for one week ahead of nationwide roll-out on January 20.

John Lee Hancock directed the story of McDonald’s entrepreneur Ray Kroc and will take part with the cast in a week-long series of Q&A’s as Harvey Weinstein pushes for awards.

The film also stars Laura Dern as Kroc’s first wife Ethel; Linda Cardellini as his second wife Joan Smith; John Carroll Lynch as Mac McDonald and Nick Offerman as Dick McDonald.

The 16th annual Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival will run from January 13-26 at Tiff Bell Lightbox in Toronto before touring select cities. The line-up showcases the best Canadian features, shorts and student shorts in 2016 selected by a panel of seven filmmakers and industry professionals. Zacharias Kunuk’s Maliglutit (Searchers) opens the programme, which includes
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Will Arnett, Natasha Lyonne to Star in Family Comedy ‘Show Dogs’

Will Arnett, Natasha Lyonne to Star in Family Comedy ‘Show Dogs’
Will Arnett and Natasha Lyonne are starring in Open Road’s live-action family comedy “Show Dogs” with a voice cast that includes Ludacris, Stanley Tucci, Alan Cumming, Gabriel Iglesias, and Shaquille O’Neal.

Shooting began on Nov. 28 at Pinewood Studio Wales in the United Kingdom. Raja Gosnell, whose credits include “The Smurfs,” “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” and “Scooby-Doo,” is directing from a script by Max Botkin.

Open Road International, through its partnership with FilmNation Entertainment, will handle international sales on “Show Dogs” with Riverstone Pictures, Wales Screen (advised by Pinewood Pictures), and Pinewood Films providing financing.

Production companies are Riverstone Pictures and Open Road Films in association with Kintop Pictures and Alive Entertainment. Producers are Deepak Nayar and Philip von Alvensleben. Tom Ortenberg, Nik Bower, Max Botkin, Raja Gosnell, and Scott Lambert are executive producers, with Yu-Fai Suen and Robert Norris.

Ludacris will voice a rugged, lone-wolf Rottweiler NYPD police dog partnered with Arnett.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Will Arnett to Star in Family Comedy ‘Show Dogs’

  • The Wrap
Will Arnett to Star in Family Comedy ‘Show Dogs’
Will Arnett is starring in the live-action family comedy “Show Dogs.” The film is being co-produced and co-financed by Open Road Films and Riverstone Pictures. Raja Gosnell (“The Smurfs,” “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” “Scooby Doo”) is directing. Also Read: Will Arnett's 'Flaked' Gets Season 2 Renewal at Netflix Natasha Lyonne (“Orange Is the New Black”) is co-starring. The film also features a star-studded voice cast for various canine characters: Ludacris, Stanley Tucci, Alan Cumming, Gabriel Iglesias and Shaquille O’Neal. Filming began on Nov. 28 at Pinewood Studio Wales in the United Kingdom. Through its partnership with FilmNation Entertainment, Open
See full article at The Wrap »

Depp and Heard's biosecurity thriller ends in lo-fi hostage video – review

What began as a tense international relations drama/dog movie fuelled by breakthrough performances from Pistol and Boo leaves the audience searching for answers in cryptic denouement

Hollywood A-lister Johnny Depp has delivered a startling fall-from-grace character portrait in the final act of the legal/biosecurity thriller nobody expected: one part intrepid dog movie and two parts international relations drama, like The International by way of Beverly Hills Chihuahua, with a dash of Midnight Express thrown in.

Related: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard record awkward video apology over dogs

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

Depp and Heard's biosecurity thriller ends in lo-fi hostage video – review

What began as a tense international relations drama/dog movie fuelled by breakthrough performances from Pistol and Boo leaves the audience searching for answers in cryptic denouement

Hollywood A-lister Johnny Depp has delivered a startling fall-from-grace character portrait in the final act of the legal/biosecurity thriller nobody expected: one part intrepid dog movie and two parts international relations drama, like The International by way of Beverly Hills Chihuahua, with a dash of Midnight Express thrown in.

Related: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard record awkward video apology over dogs

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

Early Footage From Jon Favreau's The Jungle Book Blew Me Away

A few weeks ago, I was invited to attend an early press day for Jon Favreau’s upcoming adaptation of The Jungle Book. Just to let you know up front where I was coming from in regards to this movie: I didn’t go to D23 last year, so up until this point I hadn’t seen any footage aside from what was in the first trailer — and to be frank, I wasn’t super impressed with that. I recently rewatched the 1967 Disney animated movie for the first time in probably 20 years, and even though I enjoyed it as a kid, I found it to be a lot less engaging than I remembered. So you can understand whey I went into this presentation with incredibly low expectations, and even thinking it might be a waste of time.

But what I saw blew me away.

Favreau came out on stage at
See full article at GeekTyrant »

Why Jon Favreau made his ‘Jungle Book’ crew watch ‘Beverly Hills Chihuahua’

  • Hitfix
Why Jon Favreau made his ‘Jungle Book’ crew watch ‘Beverly Hills Chihuahua’
Jon Favreau’s Jungle Book is part of a big Disney effort to remake several of their animated classics into live action films — though in the case of The Jungle Book, much of the new film is an animated, motion-captured visual effects marvel. To craft a believable CG jungle and the animals that inhabit it, Favreau’s team of VFX artists had to figure out how to make their Bagheera and King Louie and all the other creatures as realistic as possible. Essential to making them look real, they realized, was avoiding having their animals maneuver in a way they wouldn’t in reality — the physics had to be real. The one major exception: These animals talk. Just about everything else about these animals’ physicality aims for reality, except for their ability to speak English words. At a press event for the film last month, I asked Favreau and VFX supervisor Rob Legato about that.
See full article at Hitfix »

Heitor Pereira’s Collaborators Cite His Restless Curiosity

Heitor Pereira’s Collaborators Cite His Restless Curiosity
In a small room off to the side of Heitor Pereira’s spacious, comfortable Santa Monica studio are Pereira’s many guitars and hundreds of smaller instruments, mostly unusual percussion contraptions he’s collected from around the world.

It’s almost like a child’s playroom, which is perhaps fitting for the composer’s relentlessly upbeat attitude regardless of deadlines, endless recuts or difficult directors.

Producer-arranger Stewart Levine, who effectively “discovered” Pereira playing for Ivan Lins in Brazil in 1988 and added him to Simply Red, says, “He’s the most curious musician I know. He’s got a restless musical mind.”

“He would listen to everything, from rave music to Debussy, South African music to Russian choral music. There was nothing he didn’t find interesting or exciting. He exposed himself to the whole universe of music.”

When they met, Levine recalls, “he reminded me of Peter Pan. His childlike enthusiasm was so contagious.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Heitor Pereira Coaxes Emotion Out of Music

Heitor Pereira Coaxes Emotion Out of Music
When Heitor Pereira was a boy growing up in rural, heavily forested Brazil, his grandfather — an avid birdwatcher — used to tell him, “Listen to the symphony of the birds and the life around us. Can you imagine a day without these melodies?”

Nowadays Pereira honors that memory within the context of moving pictures, whether mimicking nature or underscoring character and story.

“Melody is still where I start,” says the composer of such animated features as “Despicable Me” and “Minions,” and live-action films like “If I Stay” and “It’s Complicated.” “Even if it’s a birthplace for the score and then becomes textural. If I do that, I never get lost, because melodies have meaning. They are a musical conclusion of a conversation that we may have about a character.”

Pereira is among a long line of film composers — including Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer and Trent Reznor — who established themselves in the pop realm.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Where are the cast of Coyote Ugly now? Here's what happened to Piper Perabo, LeAnn Rimes and the coyotes

Where are the cast of Coyote Ugly now? Here's what happened to Piper Perabo, LeAnn Rimes and the coyotes
15 years ago today, the doors of the Coyote Ugly saloon swung open, turning a low-key Jerry Bruckheimer-produced coming of age film into a beloved cult hit.

But what happened to coyotes Piper Perabo, Tyra Banks and the rest of the movie's cast? To mark the movie's birthday we find out what they've all been doing in the 15 years since Coyote Ugly.

Piper Perabo

Since playing aspiring singer Violet Sanford in Coyote Ugly, Piper Perabo's career has veered from the sublime (2005's The Prestige) to the ridiculous (2008's Beverly Hills Chihuahua).

The film roles have kept on coming, but recently she's been best known as the lead in TV series Covert Affairs, which ran for five seasons on the USA Network between 2010 and 2014.

Adam Garcia

A star of the West End stage, Adam Garcia hot-footed from Saturday Night Fever to Coyote Ugly as Violet's love interest Kevin.

Garcia later

Where are the cast of Coyote Ugly now? Here's what happened to Piper Perabo, LeAnn Rimes and the coyotes

Where are the cast of Coyote Ugly now? Here's what happened to Piper Perabo, LeAnn Rimes and the coyotes
15 years ago today, the doors of the Coyote Ugly saloon swung open, turning a low-key Jerry Bruckheimer-produced coming of age film into a beloved cult hit.

But what happened to coyotes Piper Perabo, Tyra Banks and the rest of the movie's cast? To mark the movie's birthday we find out what they've all been doing in the 15 years since Coyote Ugly.

Piper Perabo

Since playing aspiring singer Violet Sanford in Coyote Ugly, Piper Perabo's career has veered from the sublime (2005's The Prestige) to the ridiculous (2008's Beverly Hills Chihuahua).

The film roles have kept on coming, but recently she's been best known as the lead in TV series Covert Affairs, which ran for five seasons on the USA Network between 2010 and 2014.

Adam Garcia

A star of the West End stage, Adam Garcia hot-footed from Saturday Night Fever to Coyote Ugly as Violet's love interest Kevin.

Garcia later
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Max Review

Between the heady empathy of Pixar’s latest, the ripped from the feel-good-headlines documentary Batkid Begins, and the Marine mutt melodrama Max, June has provided an oasis of fresh squeezed tears amidst the usual dry heat of summer blockbuster season. Batkid has heartwarming facts in his pint-sized utility belt, and Inside Out has Pixar. Against that competition, even an adorable animal vehicle like Max might seem grossly overmatched. But there’s a surprising spryness to this old chestnut of a family picture that makes Max more than just a delivery system for cute and patriotic imagery, roughly in equal measure.

The film stars the e-paw-nymous Max (Carlos), a Belgian Shepard and Usmc service animal. It’s his doggy duty to run point for his handler, Kyle Wincott (Robbie Ammell), a fellow Marine stationed in Kandahar. Thanks to his heightened senses and rigorous training, Max, like other service animals, gives American
See full article at We Got This Covered »

Hilary Duff, George Lopez Join Search for Missing Beverly Hills Dog

Hilary Duff, George Lopez Join Search for Missing Beverly Hills Dog
A few stars are using their celebrity status to help their friend, Julia Cohen, find her missing Maltese dog, Charlie.

A surveillance video saw the pup allegedly being taken by a child and a woman in yellow, who witnesses say was pregnant.

Photos: Stars With Their Pets

Charlie's owner "just wants him back" and is offering a $2,000 reward for his safe return. Meanwhile, Cohen's famous friends are helping in the search for the pup.

"Please Help Us Find Charlie!!!! He is missing," Hilary Duff Instagrammed on Wednesday. "Last seen being picked up by a pregnant woman and her son. White Maltese. Red collar. Please call!!(310) 860-1650! Or contact @switchboutique."

Beverly Hills Chihuahua star George Lopez also put his weight behind the efforts to find Charlie, tweeting to his 2 million followers: "No questions asked, please if anyone has any information, please call!"

No questions asked , please if anyone has any information , please call ! http://t.co/rAr5HohAhy
See full article at Entertainment Tonight »

Los Cabos Film Festival: Interview with Reese Witherspoon

Premiering at Los Cabos International Film Festival in a red-carpet gala, "Wild", produced by and starring Reese Witherspoon gave us all much to laud about Reese. Opening Wednesday January 3 in U.S., we’ll see if it equals the gross of Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours” (U.S. gross $18,335,230, offshore $ $42,403,567) or Sean Penn’s “ Into the Wild” whose U.S. gross was $18,352,454 and offshore gross was $37,900,786.

I had first heard of Wild when author Cheryl Strayed spoke at Madelyn Hammond’s first annual Motion Picture & Television Fund’s Women’s Conference, “Deal with It”. She spoke about her experience and handed out signed copies of the book.

In keeping with Los Cabos’ mission of creating the Canadian-u.S.-México connection, the movie is directed by Canadian director Jean-Marc Vallée (“Dallas Buyers Club”) who has created a name for himself in Hollywood which is taking him next into “Demolition” to star Jake Gyllenhaal and “Get It While You Can” the long gestating biopic of Janis Joplin to star Amy Adams with his producing partner Nathan Ross who was, his agent at ICM and switched roles after seeing “C.R.A.Z.Y.” at Toronto, and Robert Katz, known for “Gettysburg” and “Selena” exec producing.

Laura Dern who plays Reese’s mother in the film may be nominated as best supporting actress for her role. The film has been a call to action to other women to gear up and lean in. With this and her other newly produced film “Gone Girl”, Hollywood has been knocking on -- if now down -- her door asking Reese about what her next films are, and she has many films in development.

In her interview with Los Cabos director Alonso Aguilar-Castillo, who saw the film in Telluride and got the Latin American premiere told her how much Cabo loves the film and that a portion of the ticket bought will go toward feeding the children of the city.

She said it was the most difficult film she ever made, actually taking the 1,100 mile walk across desert, through snow, shooting every day. Emotionally it was also very intense as the character was very close to her. The author, Cheryl Strayed, sent her the book in November 2011 and she read it in 24 hours and cried. It was very cinematic as well. She called her the next day. The deal was closed with Jean-Marc Vallée last year at Cabo when “Dallas Buyers Club” was making its Latin American premiere, so it has made a full circle.

When Alonso sat next to a 50 year old man in the audience who was sobbing, he knew this film connected with the audience. Reese responded that it is most important to build a bridge to the audience with her work; that is what artists do, they build bridges.

When he asked what her dream role might be she said that this film fulfills many parts that she would never have a chance to play otherwise. But she has so many ideas and likes to grow with her audience. She does like fantasy and thinks of “Snow White and The Huntsman”.

A Mexican journalist asks, “You have two very strong women in this film; men are like shadows. Did you think about this when you made the film?”

She responded “Yes, it is called a ‘woman’s movie’ but if it were about a man, it would never be called a ‘man’s story’. It is really a universal story. And her encounters with men are all very positive. It’s about humanity. She learned that she was ultimately safe in the world.”

“I don’t see many complex, dynamic women’s films and so it is important to me that this and ‘Gone Girl’ are successful.”

“How did this film land at 20th Century Fox?” I asked her.

“This was made with private equity, there was no studio money involved. We presented it to all the studios in one day and the second day we received four offers from four studios. I said that I would not change a single word of writer Nick Hornby’s and we chose 20th Century.”

Reese answered a question about what she thought about working with Eugenio Derbez and she responded that she had asked him to be in her movie, but he was busy. But she was still talking to Eugenio Derbez and hoped they would make a movie together. The audience loved hearing that!

I later spoke of this to Ben Odell, now partners with Eugenio at 3Pas Studios). He said that actually that would be a great idea but they had not spoken about it. However, they are both represented by CAA, so it would seem like a natural and really exciting pairing.

After all (I say here), aren't "Legally Blond" and "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" the same film? She is certainly on a role as a producer with "Wild" and David Fincher's "Gone Girl" as Eugenio is with his U.S. career, riding high on the $100 million dollar-grossing “Instructions Not Included” and his first look deal with Pantelion which also seems to be poised to become part of the Chinese giant competitor of Amazon, Alibaba.

Now is the time for women, Latinos and all the diverse populations to lift their voices, lean in, make movies!!

Thank you Reese Witherspoon for taking up the banner!

"Wild" open today December 3rd.
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

Los Cabos International Film Festival: Fun and Financing

Los Cabos International Film Festival took place this month of November. It was a brave move to keep it going after Cabo had been so hard hit by Hurricane Odile with winds of 125mph less than a month earlier. The vast destruction in our part of town was quickly being repaired though traces remained visible and repairs still to be done necessitated cutting the normal invitation list by half and doubling up hotel rooms for a few unlucky journalists. That being said, there were 15,000 attending the festival. Volunteers wore the worthy words on their t-shirts: #Unstoppable, and they were that.

For all the infrastructure problems of the city in the midst of rebuilding itself, the festival seemed to thrive with all sorts of invitees showing up from all over the world. It seemed like gala events, panels, master classes, coproduction meetings, works in progress, screenings and interviews were constantly taking place. It was a great team and we all felt part of it.

The festival is overseen by the executive board members Eduardo Sánchez Navarro, Alfonso Pascal Barcenas, Scott Cross and Sean Cross (who also founded Vail Film Festival) and is organized by the festival team of Alonso Aguilar (General Director), Alejandra Paulin (General Coordinator) - who was a great market director in Guadajalara before coming here, Maru Garzon (Head of Programming), Ana Molinar Trujillo (Communication Manager), and Monica Herrera (Film Programmer). My friend from Guadalajara, normally an English teacher, Fabian Cruz was also there working for the festival.

When Eduardo Sánchez Navarro Redo remembers how he first came to Los Cabos, there is no doubt in his mind that destiny and luck played an important part. When he married his wife 30 years ago, he decided to travel along the entire Pacific Coast, from Acapulco to Mazatlan, where he crossed over to La Paz eventually driving to Los Cabos. The beauty of the area impressed him and it was during this trip that he and his wife decided to buy a vacation home in Los Cabos, thus beginning a distinguished career as a principal player and developer of what is Los Cabos today. Over the course of more than 20 years, his company, Grupo Questro, has emerged as one of the most highly respected developers in all of Mexico. He, together with Juan Gallardo Thurlow, Scott Cross, and Sean Cross, founded the festival in 2012.

My job as a journalist was to explore and write, hard to do when you are having such fun 24/7. We journalists were all in one hotel where we were given space and time to bond. Travel writers mixed with trade writers: from Film Journal David Noh, whose article is worth sharing here, my colleagues Peter Rainer from NPR and Christian Science Monitor, Anne Thompson from Thompson on Hollywood on Indiewire, Godfrey Cheshire of RogerEbert.com and many others met and mixed. Also Ira Deutchman of Colombia University Film School and Emerging Pictures and Robin Brock of Creative Coalition were there with time to share dinners.

The filmmakers, in another hotel, mixed by day and at the communal lunches and parties. I will write more on them in an upcoming blog! After all, filmmakers are the backbone of our industry. Without them, we have nothing!

The agents, mostly from CAA, were placed in another hotel, luxurious and far away. As someone said, Cabos is like Cannes, only in November. If so, perhaps they were at the Eden Roc in Cap d’Antibes. (Actually they were at Hacienda Beach Club & Residences) CAA has always been an honored part of this festival. I have heard that that is because someone with lots of money from Mexico invests it in cinema through CAA and even started the festival. That is, however, pure conjecture. Under the guidance of CAA agent, Micah Green, people can be assured that the directions he sees and the decisions he makes about investing private individuals' capital into filmed entertainment is priceless. I could think of no one I would trust more --in this untrustworthy business we are in-- than Micah.

At least two other agents – Bec Smith and Rena Ronson from UTA -- were also there. Rena and Micah were on the Film Financing Panel moderated by Variety’s expert in all things Iberoamerican and my idol, John Hopewell. Other participants on the Film Finance Panel were Jonathan King, Evp of Production at Jeff Skoll’s Participant Media whose partnership with Canana formed Participant PanAmerican production fund. “No” by Pablo Lorrain was their first investment. Pp also financed "El Ardor" which played in Cannes and “Cesar Chavez”, directed by Diego Luna. Also on the panel were Mark Musselman of Canada’s 10X2yinc, the exec producer of “Eastern Promises” and most recently of “Remember” by Atom Egoyan which was also produced by Robert Lantos and son, also in Los Cabos. It went into production in 2014 and is tipped for Cannes. Other panelists included Raul Del Alto of Mexico’s Ag Studios (Itaca Films Mexico, Itaca Films USA, Itaca Films Colombia and Itaca Filkms Brazil, and Rena Ronson of UTA who, like Micah Green of CAA focuses on global film finance, distribution and marketing strategies for Independents and co-financed features and is fluent in Spanish because of her long time experience with Latin America.

At one point I looked up and found the European fund chiefs there as well, Laufey Gudjonsdottir from Iceland (where Interstellar was filmed), Katriel Schory from Israel Film Fund and Edith Sepp-Dallas from the Estonian Film Institute. They were there for Bpx. Best Practice Exchange is an initiative that brings together the leaders of film funding agencies from across the world to take part in high-level-workshops – one or two each year – designed to promote new standards of excellence in the provision of public funding for the support of film production, development and distribution. The aim of Bpx is to ensure that policies and procedures adopted by film funding agencies will act together, positively and proactively, to stimulate and sustain practices of international coproduction and cofinancing worldwide.

Triggered by the situation in which filmmaking outside the main production centers of Hollywood and Bollywood now finds itself, Bpx was created by Simon Perry, president of Ace (Ateliers du Cinéma Européen), in collaboration with Katriel Schory, executive director of the Israel Film Fund. It held its first workshop in February 2013 in Israel, and two further workshops in Toronto (September 2013) and Berlin (February 2014) and this was the third! Bravo!

Among the Mexican, Canadian and U.S. films that showed, the winners were as follow:

Mexico First

Mexico First winning film was ¨Llevate mis amores” ("All of Me") by Arturo Gonzalez. The film narrates the story of the generosity of the women of Las Patronas who feed the immigrants who ride La Bestia. The director was awarded a cash Prize of Usd $15,000. This film made me cry. I thought of it again when reading the L.A. Times article about the murder of Adrian Rodriguez and his assistant, Mexican good Samaritans who dedicated their scarce resources to feeding Central American migrants passing by on La Bestia, which is what the women in this movie do. And one of the women was at the festival too.

Los Cabos Competition

The Los Cabos Competition winner was “Güeros” by Alonso Ruizpalacios, also a winner at the Berlinale, Jerusalem Film Festival, Tribeca, Toronto and San Sebastian. Being sold internationally by Mundial, the joint venture of Canana (again!) and Im Global, the film has sold to Kino Lorber for U.S., Cannibal for Mexico, Dreams Hill for Italy, Noori for So. Korea and Maison Motion for Taiwan … "Güeros" is the undeniable triumph of a nouveau director who dares to pay homage the French New Wave on a wild detective hunt through Mexico City. In light of the 43 murdered students, this film, about students on strike, strikes a chord within the watcher. The film´s producer won a Usd $15,000 cash prize.

Work In Progress Mexico

The second Work in Progress Mexico prize was awarded to "Los Herederos," by Jorge Hernandez, a film that describes adolescent effervescence and idleness through a group of friends who spend their vacations adrenaline-seeking through parties, sex and alcohol. The winner received a Usd $10,000 cash prize.

Mexico-usa-canada Co-production Forum

The winner of the first Mexico- USA- Canada Co-production Forum was also announced: "Afronauts" by Frances Bodomo, based on the real life story of the Academia Nacional de Ciencias, Investigación Espacial e Investigación Astronómica of Zambia. Writer- Director Frances Bodomo received a Usd $8,000 cash prize. It also received funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Mexico First: Fox +

In its second year running the México Primero: Fox+ chose one of the films that participated to have its distribution rights pre-bought for the Latin American and Caribbean (Except Brazil) markets. The México Primero: Fox+ prize consists of Usd $40,000 and was awarded to Isaac Ezban´s "El Incidente" ("The Incident"), two M.C. Escher-maze-like parallel stories about characters trapped in illogical endless spaces: two brothers and a detective locked on an infinite staircase, and a family locked on an infinite road… for a very long time. The international sales agent, Shoreline, will be showing the film at Ventana Sur December 3rd at 17:00 at Cinemark 3.

Work In Progress Mexico Fox +

In its second year running as well, Work in Progress México Fox+ selected a participating film to have its distribution rights pre-bought for the Latin American and Caribbean (Except Brazil) markets. The Usd $30,000 prize was awarded to Katina Medina Mora’s "Sabras que hacer conmigo" aka "En Contraluz", produced by Gerardo Gatica and Alberto Muffelmann.

Work In Progress Mexico Chemistry

This Third edition of the Festival also witnessed the first Work In Progress México –Chemistry award. Chemistry post-production studios granted the winner, Jorge Hernandez’s "Los Herederos", $45,000 Usd in color correction services.

Mexico – USA – Canada Splendor Omnia Mantarraya Co-production Forum

On its first year running, the Coproduction Forum Mexico- USA- Canada Splendor Omnia – MANTArraya will be granting a $30,000 Usd equivalent prize worth 40 hours of color correction, 40 hours of sound mixing, as well as a paid stay in Tepoztlan Morelos, site of their studios, to the winner "Afronauts" by Francez Bodomo (U.S.).

The key phrase to understanding Cabo is "Seeing what the neighbors do" as the festival and market connects Canada, U,S, and Mexico in showing of films and exploring coproduction. And the mixing of filmmakers and journalists from all three Americas was exciting in the possibilities it offered to everyone.

As for the hard-core business done there:

Mark Kassen will be directing "Criminal Empire for Dummies" written by Cliff Dorman. Kassen will also be producing the film along with James Gibb of Cutting Edge Group and Greg Hajdarowicz of Gremi Films. The deal took place at the exclusive resort Hacienda Beach Club & Residences and was reported by Variety.

Actor and producer Luis Gerardo Mendez ("Nosotros Los Nobles") signed a representation agreement with Paradigm. Reported by Variety. So I guess Paradigm also sent agents to Los Cabos.

Pat Saperstein of Variety also attended Los Cabos and scooped a story, that “Wolverine Hotel” from director Patricia Chica who was participating in the Coproduction Forum, is closing in on production with a "recent financing commitment from Jean-Guy Després, who will serve as exec producer. The edgy crime thriller is produced by Canada-based Byron Martin. Looking to cast a Latino actor as co-star, Chica met with rising Mexican thesp Luis Gerardo Mendez ('We Are the Nobles') during Afm though he has not yet been attached. 'A Latino star opens up a market', said Martin."

Celebrated producer Monica Lozano announced the launch of Alebrije Distribución. She has had her hand in 23 productions since her first film, "Amores Perros". "Instructions Not Included" the Us$ 5.5 million film that grossed Us$ 100 million worldwide was also her production. With this Pan-American initiative, the company will acquire distribution rights for the Latin and North American markets. Reported by Variety again!! You would think John was the only real reporter there. Pinske should be proud of him! Most of us got no scoops, but then, I guess we have to prove ourselves worthy - which I am not because at heart, I am not a reporter hunting for news, but rather a gatherer of information and a writer.

Speaking of Monica Lozano, the Germany-based international sales agent, Media Luna, acquired world rights to Internet Junkie, directed by Alexander Katzowicz and produced by Monica Lozano. Variety reports on this again!

"Yamaha 300", a participating project of the 1st Mexico – USA- Canada Coproduction Forum, produced by Valerium Arts (Mayra Espinosa y Jorge Michel Grau, producer and writer-director of the horror hit "Somos lo que hay" respectively, and Grau, the writer of the remake "We Are What We Are") and Uncorked Productions (Andrew Corkin, the producer of the horror film "What We Were"), will be one of the first projects to receive the development stage and postproduction support offered by The Good Film Fund, an initiative of Media Darling (Amy Darling) and The Chatanooga Film Festival. See Variety.

New York producer Dodgeville Films ("To Be Takei") will be joining Varios Lobos in Mexico to produce "Ya no estoy aquí", Fernando Frias’s second film, which was also a winner during Gabriel Figueroa Film Fund second edition. This film in the Coproduction Forum was reported on in Variety.

"Siete Horas" ("Seven Hours"), one of the winning projects of the second Gabriel Figueroa Film Fund edition, which will be directed by Chema Rodriguez and produced by Francisco Vargas, the renowned director of the film "El violin", made an alliance with the Spanish production companies Sin un Duro and Noodles Prods to co-produce the project. (Variety)

CineTren closed deals to handle Latin American distribution for Spring, a Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead film, whose Latin American Premiere was held at Los Cabos International Film Festival. Negotiations between Nate Bolotin and Marie Katz fromLos Angeles-based Xyz and Manuel Garcia from CineTren, took place at the Hotel Grand Solmar. Next time, I'll have to visit all the hotels!! See Variety article.

BH5 Group, which participates in the executive production of "Remember" by Atom Egoyan, will be working with Alonso Ruizpalacios, director of Güeros, in his second movie: Museo, a project that participated in the Ist Mexico- USA- Canada Co-production Forum. Even though Variety wrote about this, my blog on the three year old conglomerate of companies, BH5, was more complete:

BH5 Group Makes a Splash with Three Impressive Films at Los Cabos Int'l Film Fest

BH5, a conglomerate of five formerly independent production companies all run by various friends from the same film school, will be working the international markets much more. Besides the Toronto hit, Jodorowsky's "Dance of Reality", they are working with larger companies like Pathe now. Their work in progress, "You Will Know What To Do With Me" ("Sabras que hacer conmigo" aka "En Contraluz") which just won the The Usd $30,000 prize of Fox+, is seeking an international sales agent.

"Entrevero" by Max Zunino, also winner of the Gabriel Figueroa Film Fund second edition, was selected in the development project category by Ibermedia. See Variety.

And though Colombian Ciro Guerra, whose "The Wind Journeys" was produced by our German friends Roman Paul and Gerhard Meixner at Razor Film Production and by Burning Blue's prolific Diana Bustamente -- who is now also heading the Carthagena Film Festival -- showed in 2009 Cannes Un Certain Regard and was sold by Paris’ Elle Driver to 19 countries including Film Movement for U.S., announced to Variety's John Hopewell that his next film, "Embrace of the Serpent" will star U.S. actor Brionne Davis (“Savaged”) and Belgium’s Jan Bijvoet, the lead in Cannes Competition entry “Borgman” a really creepy dark comedy, he did not discuss his next project "Taganga" in the Coproduction Forum. "Taganga" is about a fisherman from a small village by the Colombian coast where many foreign-owned scuba diving centers have been established. A new law requiring local fisherman to change the motors of their boats forces him to earn quick money, so he chooses to dynamite to fish. The owner of the largest scuba diving center opposes this use of explosives. When the fisherman receives a death threat if he continues the dynamiting of fish, he assumes the center's owner is behind the threat. In order to prove it, he begins a series of fateful actions.

Finally, while it seems like Variety wrote all the news, I have one item which no one has reported on. Reese Witherspoon stated at her press conference in Los Cabos, where her film "Wild" premiered in a red carpet gala, that she is talking to Eugenio Derbez ("Instructions Not Included") to make a movie with him. I heard her say it and later spoke of this to Ben Odell (my next blog on Los Cabos features him). Ben (now partners with Eugenio at 3Pas Studios) said, Actually that would be a great idea but they had not spoken about it. However, they are both represented by CAA, so it would seem like a natural and really exciting pairing. After all, aren't "Legally Blond" and "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" the same film? She is certainly on a role as a producer with "Wild" and David Fincher's "Gone Girl" as he is with his U.S. career. The studios are all courting her now, she said. More to come on this...
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

"Rainbow Brite" Set To Get A TV Reboot

"Hannah Montana" actress Emily Osment has revealed that she's set to voice Rainbow Brite in a new animated series based on the classic 1980s Hallmark cards line and subsequent TV series.

The story follows a little girl named Wisp who is brought to a colorless land and must find the Sphere of Light to return color to this world. Along the way she befriends a sprite named Twink, and a white horse named Starlite.

She finds the Color Belt and rescues the 7 Color Kids. After using the belt to defeat the King of Shadows, Wisp is renamed Rainbow Brite and she and the Color Kids live together in Rainbow Land where they are in charge of all the colors in the universe.

Osment, whose previous voice work includes "Family Guy" and two "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" sequels, announced her joining the project through an Instagram post. The surprise wasn't so much the casting,
See full article at Dark Horizons »
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