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Trailer Watch: A Prayer Before Dawn

Director Jean-Stephane Sauvaire, whose 2008 debut feature, Johnny Mad Dog, was a thrillingly immersive journey into the world of African child soldiers, makes his long-awaited return to theaters with another picture — A Prayer Before Dawn — set within a violent community: Thai kickboxers in the country’s infamous Bang Kwang Central Prison. Wrote Guy Lodge at Variety upon the film’s Cannes premiere: Competition is stiff for the title of cinema’s most violently harrowing prison drama, and tougher still for the all-time most pummeling boxing movie. Gutsily, Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire’s A Prayer Before Dawn”comes out fighting for both, landing a number of […]
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Cannes Film Review: ‘A Prayer Before Dawn’

Cannes Film Review: ‘A Prayer Before Dawn’
Competition is stiff for the title of cinema’s most violently harrowing prison drama, and tougher still for the all-time most pummeling boxing movie. Gutsily, Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire’s “A Prayer Before Dawn” comes out fighting for both, landing a number of clear knockouts in the process. At once exhausting and astonishing, this no-holds-barred adaptation of British junkie-turned-pugilist Billy Moore’s Thai prison memoir is a big, bleeding feat of extreme cinema, given elevating human dimension by rising star Joe Cole’s ferociously physical lead performance. For French director Sauvaire, it’s a return to the hungry, technically dazzling form of his unshakeable 2008 child-soldier study “Johnny Mad Dog,” as well as a testament to his suitability for an international range of hard-genre projects.

A24 has already scooped the U.S. rights to “A Prayer Before Dawn,” appropriately premiered at Cannes as a midnight screening — the right slot for a film that
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘A Prayer Before Dawn’: Film Review | Cannes 2017

‘A Prayer Before Dawn’: Film Review | Cannes 2017
Lying just on the cusp between stylized arthouse exoticism and pulpy genre thrill ride, Thai-prison-set boxing movie A Prayer Before Dawn is exactly the sort of film one would expect in a midnight slot at a festival. Lo and behold, that’s exactly where it’s premiering, as a special screening in the official selection at Cannes. French director Jean-Stephane Sauvaire’s third feature (his second was the made-for-tv Punk) shares a lot of aesthetic and thematic DNA with his previous work, especially his dazzling, disturbing study of African child soldiers Johnny Mad Dog from 2008. Like Johnny, Prayer dwells with almost swooning rapture on the bodies of young men as they mete out brutal violence on one...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Wild Bunch reveals 'Prayer Before Dawn' director's next project

Exclusive: Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire set to direct Addicted To Violence.

Wild Bunch is unleashing sales on French director Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire’s Addicted To Violence, an English-language project about a young photojournalist who develops a deadly obsession with hardcore situations during an assignment in Central America.

It will be Sauvaire’s third narrative feature after 2008 debut Johnny Mad Dog, which premiered in Un Certain Regard, and kick-boxing thriller A Prayer Before Dawn [pictured], which bows in Midnight Screenings tonight (May 19) after going down a storm in early Cannes screenings.

“He is the hot new director to sign,” commented Wild Bunch head of sales Vincent Maraval.

Wild Bunch is producing and handling world sales in all territories apart from North America, where the project is represented by CAA, which is also financing and casting the film. No actors have been confirmed yet.

Further titles

Wild Bunch is also kicking off sales on Lorenzo Mattotti’s The Bears’ Famous Invasion Of Sicily
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Wild Bunch launches 'Prayer Before Dawn' director's next project

Exclusive: Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire set to direct Addicted To Violence.

Wild Bunch is unleashing sales on French director Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire’s Addicted To Violence, an English-language project about a young photojournalist who develops a deadly obsession with hardcore situations during an assignment in Central America.

It will be Sauvaire’s third narrative feature after 2008 debut Johnny Mad Dog, which premiered in Un Certain Regard, and kick-boxing thriller A Prayer Before Dawn [pictured], which bows in Midnight Screenings tonight (May 19) after going down a storm in early Cannes screenings.

“He is the hot new director to sign,” commented Wild Bunch head of sales Vincent Maraval.

Wild Bunch is producing and handling world sales in all territories apart from North America, where the project is represented by CAA, which is also financing and casting the film. No actors have been confirmed yet.

Further titles

Wild Bunch is also kicking off sales on Lorenzo Mattotti’s The Bears’ Famous Invasion Of Sicily
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Wild Bunch launches 'A Prayer Before Dawn' director's next project

Exclusive: Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire set to direct Addicted To Violence.

Wild Bunch is unleashing sales on French director Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire’s Addicted To Violence, an English-language project about a young photojournalist who develops a deadly obsession with hardcore situations during an assignment in Central America.

It will be Sauvaire’s third narrative feature after 2008 debut Johnny Mad Dog, which premiered in Un Certain Regard, and kick-boxing thriller A Prayer Before Dawn [pictured], which bows in Midnight Screenings tonight (May 19) after going down a storm in early Cannes screenings.

“He is the hot new director to sign,” commented Wild Bunch head of sales Vincent Maraval.

Wild Bunch is producing and handling world sales in all territories apart from North America, where the project is represented by CAA, which is also financing and casting the film. No actors have been confirmed yet.

Further titles

Wild Bunch is also kicking off sales on Lorenzo Mattotti’s The Bears’ Famous Invasion Of Sicily
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Altitude picks up Joe Cole thriller 'A Prayer Before Dawn'

  • ScreenDaily
Altitude picks up Joe Cole thriller 'A Prayer Before Dawn'
Exclusive: Cannes Midnight Screenings title gets UK deal.

Altitude Film Distribution has acquired UK distribution rights to A Prayer Before Dawn, Jean-Stephane Sauvaire’s Muay Thai boxing thriller that stars 2011 Screen Star of Tomorrow Joe Cole (Peaky Blinders, Green Room).

The film is set to premiere at Cannes Film Festival next month as part of the Midnight Screenings programme.

Screenplay is by Jonathan Hirschbein and Nick Saltrese and is from Billy Moore’s book, which is based on his own experiences.

This is director Sauvaire’s second feature after Johnny Mad Dog, which premiered at Cannes in 2008.

The UK-France co-pro was produced by Rita Dagher’s Senorita Films along with Nicholas Simon, Sol Papadopoulos and Roy Boulter.

Three-time Oscar nominee James Schamus was an executive producer and helped to close finance through his company Symbolic Exchange’s production deal with China’s Meridian Entertainment.

HanWay Films is handling sales on the title. The UK deal
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Joe Cole thriller 'A Prayer Before Dawn' gets UK deal

  • ScreenDaily
Joe Cole thriller 'A Prayer Before Dawn' gets UK deal
Exclusive: Altittude moves for Cannes Midnight Screenings title.

Altitude Film Distribution has acquired UK distribution rights to A Prayer Before Dawn, Jean-Stephane Sauvaire’s Muay Thai boxing thriller that stars Joe Cole (Peaky Blinders, Green Room).

The film is set to premiere at Cannes Film Festival next month as part of the Midnight Screenings programme.

Nick Saltrese adapted the screenplay from Bobby Moore’s book, which is based on his own experiences. This is director Sauvaire’s second feature after Johnny Mad Dog, which premiered at Cannes in 2008.

The British-French co-pro was produced by Rita Dagher, Sol Papadopoulos, Roy Boulter and Nicholas Simon. Three-time Oscar nominee James Schamus was an executive producer and helped to close finance through his company Symbolic Exchange’s production deal with China’s Meridian Entertainment.

HanWay Films is handling sales on the title. The UK deal was stuck between Altitude’s Will Clarke and HanWay Films’ Gabrielle Stewart.

A24 previously
See full article at ScreenDaily »

James Schamus talks Muhammad Ali movie

  • ScreenDaily
Former Focus Features CEO James Schamus also discussed the “bloodbath” of awards season at Sundance Film Festival London.

At a Sundance Film Festival London panel held in association with Screen International, writer, producer and former Focus Features head James Schamus said that Ang Lee’s film about the iconic ‘Thrilla in Manila’ 1975 boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier will push cinematic imagery to new levels.

Speaking to moderator Wendy Mitchell, Schamus stated: “The film will be 3D, shot at 120 frames per second, in 4K. Our actors in the ring will be matched with digital avatars and single-set edited. It will be a whole leap in sensorial [experience].”

However, as is the case with Lee’s upcoming Billy Lynn’s Long Half-Time Walk, cinemas will need to upgrade their venues to show the film as the director intends it to be seen.

“There is no theatre in the world except Ang’s editing room in which you can
See full article at ScreenDaily »

James Schamus talks Ang Lee's Muhammad Ali movie

  • ScreenDaily
Former Focus Features CEO James Schamus also discussed the “bloodbath” of awards season at Sundance Film Festival London.

At a Sundance Film Festival London panel held in association with Screen International, writer, producer and former Focus Features head James Schamus said that Ang Lee’s film about the iconic ‘Thrilla in Manila’ 1975 boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier will push cinematic imagery to new levels.

Speaking to moderator Wendy Mitchell, Schamus stated: “The film will be 3D, shot at 120 frames per second, in 4K. Our actors in the ring will be matched with digital avatars and single-set edited. It will be a whole leap in sensorial [experience].”

However, as is the case with Lee’s upcoming Billy Lynn’s Long Half-Time Walk, cinemas will need to upgrade their venues to show the film as the director intends it to be seen.

“There is no theatre in the world except Ang’s editing room in which you can
See full article at ScreenDaily »

James Schamus, China's Meridian board 'A Prayer Before Dawn'

  • ScreenDaily
James Schamus, China's Meridian board 'A Prayer Before Dawn'
Exclusive: Finance secured for Thai boxing feature starring Joe Cole; first-look image.

Chinese financier Meridian Entertainment, through its production deal with James SchamusSymbolic Exchange, has boarded finance on action film A Prayer Before Dawn, starring rising actor Joe Cole (Peaky Blinders, Green Room).

Principal photography got underway in Thailand last week on the sophomore feature from director Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire, whose debut Johnny Mad Dog premiered in Un Certain Regard in 2008.

Former Wild Bunch exec Rita Dagher (Soy Nero), Sol Papadopoulos and Roy Boulter (Sunset Song) and Nicholas Simon are producing. HanWay handles international sales, CAA reps the Us.

Former Focus CEO Schamus (Brokeback Mountain) will executive produce with Meridian’s Jennifer Dong and Woody Mu, along with Hanway’s Thorsten Schmuacher. Writer is Jonathan Hirschbein (Bad Country), based on a prior draft by Nick Saltrese.

Cole will star as Billy Moore, whose autobiography is the basis for the film, which tells the
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Hurricane whips up storm with Berlin slate

  • ScreenDaily
Hurricane whips up storm with Berlin slate
Exclusive: A Quiet Passion producer is working on an Emily Dickinson documentary.

Hurricane Films, the UK production company behind Terence DaviesEmily Dickinson biopic A Quiet Passion, which is premiering in Berlin today (Feb 14), has revealed details of its forthcoming slate.

To accompany A Quiet Passion, Hurricane is now preparing Phosphorescence, a documentary about Dickinson to be directed by Solon Papadopoulos, the co-owner and founder of Hurricane Films.

Another Hurricane project is The Route, the first feature project from TV writer Joe Ainsworth, which is in advanced development.

The film is about an elderly man who makes an epic journey from John O’Groats, the most northerly point of mainland Britain, to Land’s End, the most westerly point.

The man travels by public buses all the way, using his old age pensioner pass. “It’s a beautifully observed piece about old age but also about the country,” observed Hurricane’s other co-founder Roy Boulter.

The company
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‘Peaky Blinders’ Star Joe Cole Boards Thai Kick-Boxing Thriller ‘Prayer Before Dawn’

‘Peaky Blinders’ Star Joe Cole Boards Thai Kick-Boxing Thriller ‘Prayer Before Dawn’
London – “Peaky Blinders” star Joe Cole (“The Secret in Their Eyes,” “Green Room”) is attached to star in true-life Thai kick-boxing prison thriller “A Prayer Before Dawn” with Jean-Stephane Sauvaire (”Johnny Mad Dog”) on board to direct.

HanWay Films will sell international rights at the American Film Market, where the company expects it to “resonate with buyer’s appetite for commercial crossover genre fare in the vein of ‘Drive’ and ‘The Raid.’” Creative Artists Agency will co-represent the film’s U.S. distribution rights with HanWay.

Sauvaire has found an abandoned prison in Thailand where shooting will commence on April 4, 2016, with Cole already in training for the Muay Thai sequences with Billy Moore, the author of the book, whose experiences in Thailand the film is based on. Producers are Sol Papadopoulos and Roy Boulter of Hurricane Films, who previously optioned the material. The screenplay is by Johnny Hirschbein and Nick Saltrese,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Afm: Joe Cole replaces Charlie Hunnam in Thai kickboxing thriller

  • ScreenDaily
Afm: Joe Cole replaces Charlie Hunnam in Thai kickboxing thriller
HanWay Films to sell A Prayer Before Dawn at Afm; shoot to begin April 2016.

Peaky Blinders star Joe Cole is to replace Charlie Hunnam (Pacific Rim) in true-life Thai kick-boxing prison thriller A Prayer Before Dawn.

Cole is a former Screen Star of Tomorrow and has recently completed filming independent feature Woodshock, alongside Kirsten Dunst. Currently filming season three of Peaky Blinders, Cole will next be seen in Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room and Billy Ray’s The Secret In Their Eyes with Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

A Prayer Before Dawn, produced by the UK’s Hurricane Films, is directed by Jean-Stephane Sauvaire (Johnny Mad Dog) and was first announced ahead of last year’s American Film Market (Afm).

HanWay Films will return with the film at this year’s Afm (Nov 4-11) to sell international rights.

Creative Artists Agency (CAA) will co-represent the film’s domestic distribution rights with HanWay.

Sauvaire has found
See full article at ScreenDaily »

59th BFI London Film Festival Review – Beasts of No Nation (2015)

Beasts of No Nation, 2015

Directed by Cary Fukunaga

Starring Idris Elba, Ama K. Abebrese, Abraham Attah, Grace Nortey, David Dontoh, and Opeyemi Fagbohungbe

Synopsis:

Agu, a boy in an unnamed West African country, falls into the clutch of a murderous child soldier army led by a passionate and influential leader.

Beasts are fearsome. Creatures of the night perhaps; fangs glaring in the light and eyes ablaze. Uncontrollable and without remorse. The extension from beast to devil makes sense. During the opening of Cary Fukunaga’s outstanding Beasts of No Nation, a cracked old lady reprimands a young group of boys. “Beasts” and “little devils”, she calls them. Their small trick, placing a large branch to block the road to beg drivers for money, is a far call from the brutal lifestyle of a child soldier.

Based on the book of the same name by Uzodinma Iweala, Beasts of No Nation
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Beasts of No Nation review – harrowing and heartbreaking

Idris Elba is terrifyingly charismatic in this Oscar-tipped tale of a child soldier

Adapted from Uzodinma Iweala’s 2005 novel about an African boy recruited to a rebel militia, this Oscar-tipped production gets a brief UK theatrical outing prior to its high-profile Netflix release on 16 October. Newcomer Abraham Attah is a revelation as Agu, the playful youngster forced into horrifying acts of war after his father and brother are killed. Following in the footsteps of 2009’s extraordinary Johnny Mad Dog and 2012’s Oscar-nominated War Witch, Cary Joji Fukunaga’s uncompromising film leads us through a cycle of violence in which childhood is buried and kids are traumatically reborn as child soldiers.

Idris Elba brings a terrifying charisma to the role of the Commandant, who tells his young charges: “I am your future!”, but nothing is as distressing as the look on Agu’s face as he learns to kill. Fukunaga’s
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Venice Film Review: ‘Beasts of No Nation’

Venice Film Review: ‘Beasts of No Nation’
The unsentimental education of an African child soldier is captured with savage beauty and matter-of-fact horror in “Beasts of No Nation,” a tough-minded, tough-viewing chronicle of a civil war as seen through the eyes of one of its youngest casualties. Having moved with growing confidence from a slick Mexican gangland saga (“Sin nombre”) to a tony Victorian lit adaptation (“Jane Eyre”) to a crackerjack American crime serial (season one of “True Detective”), writer-director Cary Joji Fukunaga pulls off another chameleonlike turn with this artful, accomplished but not entirely sustained adaptation of Uzodinma Iweala’s 2005 debut novel, never quite finding an ideal cinematic equivalent for the singular spareness and ferocity of the author’s prose. By turns lucid and a bit logy, and undeniably overlong, it’s nevertheless the rare American movie to enter a distant land and emerge with a sense of lived-in human experience rather than a well-meaning Third World postcard.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

How Netflix’s ‘Beasts of No Nation’ Could Change the Movie Business

How Netflix’s ‘Beasts of No Nation’ Could Change the Movie Business
Idris Elba nearly plunged to his death filming Cary Fukunaga’s “Beasts of No Nation.” The indie drama, about an African tyrant known as “the commandant” who recruits an innocent boy into his army of youth soldiers, took Elba into the depths of Ghana’s jungles for a guerrilla-like shoot. One afternoon, as the actor waited for the next scene, he leaned against a tree overlooking a waterfall, lost his footing and fell over the ledge. Luckily, there was a narrow ridge that saved him from a 90-foot drop.

“I remember slipping and catching onto this big branch that was sticking up, and I literally was like, ‘Whoa!’ ” recalls Elba. “It was a moment where I was like, ‘This is the real deal.’ ”

Beasts of No Nation” wasn’t just a high-stakes, death-defying production for its cast and crew. It’s also a dive off the cliff for Netflix, which
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Casting: Charlie Hunnam Says 'A Prayer Before Dawn,' Ricky Gervais & Eric Bana Are 'Special Correspondents' & More

Are you ready for a movie described as a mix of "The Raid" and "Drive"? If the answer is yes, "A Prayer Before Dawn" promises that blend, with Charlie Hunnam signing on for the movie "based on the true-life story of Billy Moore’s incarceration in a barbaric Thai prison, Klong Prem (aka the Bangkok Hilton); he starts to train in the art of Muay Thai Boxing." An adaptation of Moore's book, with Jean-Stephane Sauvaire ("Johnny Mad Dog") directing, filming starts next summer. [Screen Daily] Paz Vega joins Sarah Jessica Parter, the legendary Claudia Cardinale, Rosie Day, and Raoul Bova in the romantic comedy "All Roads Lead To Rome." Currently filming, the story follows "an uptight woman (Parker) and her former Italian lover (Bova) who go on a road trip around Italy to pursue her rebellious daughter (Day)." Ella Lemhagen directs. [Screen Daily] Ricky Gervais and Eric Bana are teaming up for the...
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‘Sons of Anarchy’s’ Charlie Hunnam to Star in ‘A Prayer Before Dawn’

‘Sons of Anarchy’s’ Charlie Hunnam to Star in ‘A Prayer Before Dawn’
Sons of Anarchy” star Charlie Hunnam is attached to head-line in true-life Thai kick-boxing prison thriller “A Prayer Before Dawn” with Jean-Stephane Sauvaire (“Johnny Mad Dog”) on board to direct.

HanWay Films will launch worldwide sales at Afm, where “Prayer” will aim to satisfy the buyer’s appetite for commercial crossover genre fare in the vein of “Drive” and “The Raid.”

Sauvaire has started casting former prisoners who were Muay Thai champions in Thailand, where shooting will start in summer 2015. Hunnam is already in training for the Muay Thai sequences.

The film will be produced by ex-Wild Bunch exec Rita Dagher’s new company Senorita Films and Hurricane Films duo Sol Papadopoulos and Roy Boulter, who previously optioned the material. The screenplay is by Nick Saltrese, based on the book by Billy Moore.

Pic tells the true-life story of Billy Moore’s incarceration in one of Thailand’s most barbaric prisons — Klong Prem,
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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