Circumstance (2011) - News Poster

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Turkey's Meetings on the Bridge unveils 2019 project selection

Mohamed Siam, Emre Akay and Myriam El Hajj will be among the filmmakers heading to Turkey.

Mohamed Siam, Emre Akay and Myriam El Hajj will be among the filmmakers heading to Turkey for the 14th edition of the Meetings on the Bridge project meeting, running April 11-12 within the framework of the 38th Istanbul Film Festival (April 5-16).

Egyptian documentarian Mohamed Siam, whose last feature Amal opened the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (Idfa) in 2017, will present his first fiction feature project, Blood And Honey (Carnaval).

Siam describes it as comedy mixing ingredients from Amal – which followed a young female revolutionary
See full article at ScreenDaily »

‘Viper Club’ Review: A Kinder, Gentler Desperate-Mother Melodrama

‘Viper Club’ Review: A Kinder, Gentler Desperate-Mother Melodrama
Both an arthouse model of an old-school Lifetime movie and an unexpectedly tender take on A-list social-issue melodramas, Maryam Keshavarz’s Viper Club starts with Susan Sarandon’s frazzled, desperate mother looking directly into the camera. Or rather, “a” camera — one being held by folks out of frame, coaching her on how to properly address terrorists. She’s filming a ransom video to the men who have her grown son. He’s a war videographer, documenting the ongoing civil war in Syria; he’s also been taken hostage. So she
See full article at Rolling Stone »

‘Viper Club’ Film Review: Susan Sarandon Spy Drama Packs a Punch

  • The Wrap
‘Viper Club’ Film Review: Susan Sarandon Spy Drama Packs a Punch
The poster and trailer for “Viper Club” makes it look like a hard-driving thriller about a mother (Susan Sarandon) doing anything she can to free her journalist son from terrorists in Syria. That’s understandable from a marketing standpoint, but “Viper Club” is actually a low-key, elegantly structured drama about the price you need to pay in order to save people’s lives or ease their suffering.

Director Maryam Keshavarz (“Circumstance”), along with co-writer Jonathan Mastro, begins her film with a title that dedicates it to conflict journalists and human aid workers in war zones, and that same earnestness has gone into the film itself, which takes it time to set up Sarandon’s lead character, Helen, who works as an emergency-room nurse.

When the film begins, Helen’s son Andy has been missing for two and a half months. She is meeting with the FBI and trying to go
See full article at The Wrap »

Toronto Film Review: ‘Viper Club’

  • Variety
Toronto Film Review: ‘Viper Club’
An empathetic turn by Susan Sarandon as an anxious mother whose journalist son is being held hostage by overseas extremists is enough to hold together “Viper Club.” But it’s not quite enough to render this subject as compelling as it should be; the intimacy of the protagonist’s viewpoint also results in an isolated and monotonously apolitical look at a narrow civilian aspect of turbulent global politics.

YouTube Originals and Roadside Attractions plans a U.S. theatrical release on Oct. 26, and an awards campaign for the star could stir some interest. Yet this earnest drama, a second narrative feature for director/co-scribe Maryam Keshavarz (following 2011’s Iran-set “Circumstance”) feels like it would be most at home on the small screen.

Helen Sterling (Susan Sarandon) is a longtime ER nurse at an upstate New York hospital. She’s such a pro that she can handle her everyday duties and even
See full article at Variety »

'Viper Club': Film Review | Tiff 2018

'Viper Club': Film Review | Tiff 2018
If there’s one thing abundantly clear in Viper Club — which, despite a similar-sounding name, has absolutely nothing to do with the Los Angeles nightspot once owned by Johnny Depp — it’s that, in the event your child is ever kidnapped in Syria, the last thing you should do is rely on the U.S. government to get them out of there.

That’s the main take-away from this heartfelt if rather generically made drama from writer-director Maryam Keshavarz, whose provocative debut feature, Circumstance, was a sleeper hit back in 2011. This more mainstream sophomore effort stars Susan Sarandon ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

YouTube, Roadside Attractions partner on 'Viper Club'

YouTube Premium to air drama in 2019 after theatrical release.

YouTube has partnered with Roadside Attractions on the theatrical release of Susan Sarandon drama Viper Club, which receives its world premiere in Toronto next month.

Iranian-American Maryam Keshavarz directed the film, which also stars Matt Bomer, Lola Kirke, Adepero Oduye, Sheila Vand and Edie Falco.

Viper Club will open theatrically on October 26 and will be made available on YouTube Premium in 2019.

The story centres on a veteran ER nurse who discovers a clandestine community of journalists, philanthropists and advocates who might be able to help her free her war correspondent son
See full article at ScreenDaily »

YouTube, Roadside Attractions Partner on Theatrical Release of Susan Sarandon’s ‘Viper Club’

  • The Wrap
YouTube and Roadside Attractions will partner up to theatrically release “Viper Club” starring Susan Sarandon, Matt Bomer, Edie Falco and Lola Kirke.

Viper Club” will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and will be released in theaters on Oct. 26, as well as being available on YouTube Premium next year.

The theatrical partnership is a left turn — and a traditional one — for the service, as only a year ago they were prepared to disrupt the release window with a splashy $3.5 million Sundance acquisition, TheWrap previously reported.

Also Read: Susan Sarandon Among 575 Arrested in Washington DC at Protest of Trump Immigration Policy

YouTube Red bought Morgan Spurlock’s “Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken,” with the intent to stream the film exclusively on their service for 6 months, then split profits down the middle with Spurlock for Svod and international deals. Plans were scrapped after Spurlock posted a complicated account of a
See full article at The Wrap »

YouTube Partners With Roadside Attractions To Launch Susan Sarandon Thriller ‘Viper Club’ Theatrically

  • Deadline
YouTube is to launch Susan Sarandon-fronted thriller Viper Club theatrically after partnering with Roadside Attractions.

The Google-owned company has struck a deal with the Manchester By The Sea and Winter’s Bone distributor to launch Maryam Keshavarz’s drama in theaters on October 26 ahead of its debut on its YouTube Premium service in 2019.

The move marks a slight shift in strategy for YouTube, which has previously focused on launching titles online. While, for instance, it booked short runs for the Barbara Kopple doc This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous that it picked up, it had previously dismissed full theatrical runs for acquisitions.

Written by Iranian-American filmmaker Keshavarz and Jonathan Mastro, Viper Club, which has its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, stars Sarandon alongside Matt Bomer (Normal Heart), Lola Kirke (Gone Girl), Adepero Oduye (The Big Short), Sheila Vand (Argo) and Edie Falco (The Sopranos).

The film,
See full article at Deadline »

YouTube’s ‘Viper Club’ Starring Susan Sarandon to Get Theatrical Release by Roadside Attractions

  • Variety
YouTube inked a pact with Roadside Attractions to release “Viper Club,” Maryam Keshavarz’s drama starring Susan Sarandon, in U.S. theaters this fall — as Google sets its sights on a potential Oscar or Golden Globes win.

The film will debut at the Toronto International Film Festival (which runs Sept. 6-18) and will be released in theaters on Oct. 26, 2018. “Viper Club” will become available on YouTube Premium, the $9.99 subscription service, in 2019.

It’s the first YouTube original film to get a theatrical release. Roadside hasn’t set specific rollout plans for “Viper Club” (only in the U.S.) but the film will be positioned to take advantage of the awards-season corridor.

The film was previously called “Vulture Club” and the name was changed to “Viper Club” in the last few weeks. Asked why the title changed, a YouTube rep said only that the former was a working title.

Co-written by Keshavarz and Jonathan Mastro,
See full article at Variety »

Susan Sarandon and Edie Falco Starring in Maryam Keshavarz’s “Vulture Club”

Sarandon

Susan Sarandon is swapping Bette Davis’ Old Hollywood glamour for ER scrubs. The “Feud” actress is toplining “Vulture Club,” a film about a veteran nurse desperate to rescue her journalist son after he’s captured by a terrorist group. According to a press release, the film will hit theaters later this year, followed by a release on YouTube Red.

The film’s synopsis reads, “After running into roadblocks with government agencies, [Helen] discovers a clandestine community of journalists and advocates who might be able to help her.” Among them are Charlotte (Edie Falco), another mother of a reporter, and journalist Sam (Matt Bomer, “American Horror Story”).

From Maryam Keshavarz (“Circumstance”), the film co-stars Lola Kirke (“Mozart in the Jungle”), Adepero Oduye (“Pariah”), and Sheila Vand (“Whiskey Tango Foxtrot”). Keshavarz wrote “Vulture Club” with Jonathan Mastro.

The project’s producers include Anna Gerb (“A Most Violent Year”).

“‘Vulture Club’ follows the
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

YouTube Red Shifts Feature Strategy, Says It Will Release Susan Sarandon-Starring ‘Vulture Club’ in Theaters

YouTube Red is taking a tentative step toward becoming more like Amazon Studios with the announcement of an in-house production that it says will see a theatrical release.

Directed by Iranian-American writer-director Maryam Keshavarz (“Circumstance”), “Vulture Club” stars Susan Sarandon as an ER nurse whose co-workers have no idea that her journalist son has been taken hostage by terrorists. The film also stars Julian Morris (“Pretty Little Liars”), Edie Falco, and Matt Bomer. Producers are J.C. Chandor, Anna Gerb, and Neal Dodson.

While YouTube Red announced that principal photography is complete, details on how it plans to release it in theaters are slim.

“We don’t have any news to report on a theatrical partner at this stage, a YouTube Red representative said. “Perhaps later once we identify a partner.”

This would represent a significant strategy shift for the streaming service. Last year, YouTube Red booked its own one-week runs
See full article at Indiewire »

Women In Film La Announces Film Finishing Fund Recipients

“Half the Picture”

Thanks to Women In Film, Los Angeles, over a dozen projects by and about women are on their way to the finish line. The non-profit organization has announced the winners of the 32 annual film finishing fund. “370 feature-length narrative films, documentaries, and shorts were submitted from 22 countries and 16 were chosen as grantees,” Deadline reports.

As the source explains, “The Film Finishing Fund provides cash grants and in-kind production services to complete films that fit the established criteria of being by, for, or about women. The works-in-progress are viewed by a special jury of women in the industry who select the winning films.”

“One of the ways we achieve gender parity is by ensuring that female filmmakers have the resources they need to produce excellent work,” commented Wif Executive Director Kirsten Schaffer. “Women In Film is enormously proud that for 31 years we have enabled talented filmmakers to complete their
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Film Independent Announces Filmmakers Selected For 2016 Producing Lab

Film Independent Announces Filmmakers Selected For 2016 Producing Lab
Film Independent has announced the producers selected for its 16th annual Producing Lab. Participating with a project they’re in the process of producing, the four-week program is designed to help the filmmakers develop their skills as independent producers.

Seven projects and a total of nine producers will participate, and through the Lab will develop a strategy and action plan to bring their project to life, as well as meet professionals who can advise them on their craft and the business of independent producing.

Read More: San Francisco Film Society Announces Fall 2016 Narrative Filmmaking Grant Finalists

This year’s Creative Advisors are Karin Chien (“Circumstance”), Heather Rae (“Tallulah”) and Daniel Wagner (“Miles Ahead”). Guest speakers include Charles Howard, Tri-Star Pictures President Hannah Minghella CAA Agents Maren Olson and Tristen Tuckfield, and Jason Berman (“The Birth of a Nation,” “Mediterranea”).

“We are thrilled to welcome this dynamic group of producers to the Lab.
See full article at Indiewire »

Exclusive: 14 Finalists Compete for $300K in San Francisco Film Society Grants

Exclusive: 14 Finalists Compete for $300K in San Francisco Film Society Grants
The 14 finalists for the Spring 2016 San Francisco Film Society / Kenneth Rainin Foundation Filmmaking Grants highlight a remarkably diverse set of filmmakers, including The Coup vocalist and all-around polymath Boots Riley, making his directorial debut; Iranian American writer/director Maryam Keshavarz, winner of the 2011 Sundance Audience Award for "Circumstance"; and Oscar winner Rob Epstein ("The Times of Harvey Milk," "The Celluloid Closet"). More than $3 million has been awarded through the grant program since its inception in 2009. Winners also receive customized benefits through Filmmaker360, the San Francisco Film Society’s filmmaker services program, including one-on-one project consultations, project feedback, fundraising assistance, resource and service recommendations, and networking opportunities. Past recipients of the grant, awarded twice annually to one of more narrative features at various stages of production that...
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Attention, Filmmakers: Apply to Women in Film Finishing Fund Grants

Attention, Filmmakers: Apply to Women in Film Finishing Fund Grants
Applications for Women in Film's 2015 Finishing Fund grants will be accepted starting June 8 and until August 7, with winners being announced in November.  Wif is a nonprofit organization that aids in efforts to facilitate creative projects by women in order to promote women's equality. Applications can be made for films that are by, for or about women, and can be of essentially any genre, from documentary to narrative, animated to experimental. Films can be of either short or feature length. The grants will be up to $25,000.  Since its inception in 1985, the Fund has awarded more than $2 million worth of grants to over 220 films from around the world, including award-winners Grace Lee's "American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs," Maryam Keshavarz's "Circumstance" and Khadjija Alsalami's "I Am Nojoom, Age 10 and Divorced." The online application can be accessed at...
See full article at Indiewire »

Exclusive Clip: No Hero Complex in Meera Menon’s “Farah Goes Bang”

Currently in set up mode with her sophomore feature, after having premiered at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival and winning the inaugural Nora Ephron Award, Meera Menon’s Farah Goes Bang finally drops on iTunes and VOD next week (April 10th). Set during the pre 2014 United States presidential election era, Nikohl Boosheri (of Maryam Keshavarz’s Circumstance fame) stars in the titular role of Farah. In the exclusive clip below, she meets an enlightened Walter (Lyman Ward) who offers philosophical front porch insight on family, lineage and hope.
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

2015 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Hossein Keshavarz’s Pebble of Love in the Shoe of My Life

There’s an alive indie American-Iranian cinema movement in the Us, and if the Keshavarz name rings a bell it’s because the indie film fest circuit is home to siblings Maryam and Hossein. Maryam, now going by what we imagine is her married name Azadi, broke out in Park City with 2011 Sundance Audience Award Winner Circumstance, and before she made her mark it was her brother who received the limelight with 2011′s Dog Sweat, the “Someone to Watch” Film Independent Spirit Award nominated film that received its premiere at 2010′s Laff. Shot in New York City, his sophomore film, Pebble of Love in the Shoe of My Life was actually shot in the summer of 2013, and has been on a slow, but steady pace towards a ’15 premiere. Benefitting from some Kickstarter coin, Tribeca All Access awards funds, this was recently invited to the Us in Progress Champs-Élysées Film Festival
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Los Angeles Film Festival Reveals 2014 Juries

Los Angeles Film Festival Reveals 2014 Juries
The Los Angeles Film Festival has revealed its jurors for the 2014 summer festival, its 20th, which runs from Wednesday, June 11 to Thursday, June 19 in downtown Los Angeles. The narrative jury:Writer-director Destin Daniel Cretton, whose "Short Term 12" won the Laff Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature in 2013Veteran producer Stuart Cornfeld ("Zoolander," "The Fly") Film critic Ella Taylor (NPR, Elle) The documentary jury:Editor Lynzee Klingman ("Hearts and Minds") Director Margaret Brown ("The Great Invisible," "The Order Of Myths")Film critic and author Justin Chang (Variety) The La Muse jury:Composer-singer-songwriter Kathryn Bostic ("Middle of Nowhere," "Dear White People")Writer-director,-producer Maryam Keshavarz ("Circumstance") Nicole Bernard, Executive Vice President at Laff sponsor Fox Audience Strategy Director Kevin Bray ("Walking Tall") The shorts jury:Writer-actor-director Todd Berger ("It’s a Disaster,"...
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Women Filmmakers: Applications Now Open for $15,000 in Film Finishing Fund Grants

Women Filmmakers: Applications Now Open for $15,000 in Film Finishing Fund Grants
Applications are now being accepted through June 6 for the Women In Film Foundation’s 2014 Film Finishing Fund grants. Women In Film will give up to $15,000 in cash, in-kind and consultation grants for the selected entries. Since its inception 29 years ago, the Film Finishing Fund has awarded more than $2 million worth of grants to over 170 films from all over the world. The Film Finishing Fund has an impressive track record selecting films for completion that went on to win major awards, distribution and network deals, including:-Cynthia Wade’s Freeheld, the 2008 Academy Award-winner for Best Documentary Short Subject-Freida Lee Mock’s Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision, the 1994 Academy Award-winner for Best Documentary-Esther Robinson’s A Walk Into The Sea: Danny Williams and the Warhol Factory, 2007 Teddy Award Winner at the Berlin Film Festival-Maryam Keshavarz’s Circumstance, the 2011 Sundance Audience Award winnerWinners will be announced in October 2014. More info on.
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Selling Fridges to Eskimos; Alistair Banks Griffin’s “Snow The Jones” Receives Coin

He made his splash on the Croisette (2010′s Directors’ Fortnight) with the exquisite, almost dialogue-less Two Gates of Sleep (Brady Corbet and David Call pairing) and now comes word/confirmation that filmmaker Alistair Banks Griffin has two projects in the works. His Therese was part of the 2013 Berlinale Residency (names such as Sebastián Lelio and the talented Elina Psykou also had projects) and Snow The Jones just received coin (which takes care of rent and filling up the fridge for a good year) in the shape of the 2013 San Francisco Film Society/Hearst Screenwriting Grant which was voted on by Tom Grievson (Sffs director of communications), filmmakers Ian Hendrie and Maryam Keshavarz (Circumstance) and Michele Turnure-Salleo (Sffs director of Filmmaker360).

Gist: Snow The Jones is about a teenage vagabond who joins a door-to-door sales crew and discovers. It is described as “an experiential trip into a dark side of the
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »
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