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Buffalo 8 to Launch Digital Distribution Division (Exclusive)

  • Variety
In a pre-American Film Market move, Buffalo 8 has launched a new distribution division with digital distribution veterans Sean Thomas Flanagan and Jake Coburn.

The company’s new division will oversee distribution, aggregation and strategic consultation for filmmakers with finished projects who are seeking to enter the market place.

Flanagan and Coburn were previously with Visual Data Media Services and Premiere Digital, overseeing hundreds of films through the theatrical, digital and physical marketplace, from independent filmmakers to industry veterans including Film Rise, Sundance Institute, Paradigm and Revolution Studios.

The pair have also broken into the festival circuit to educate filmmakers on the new opportunities that await them in the ever expanding world of digital distribution, with appearances including San Diego Comic Con, New Orleans Film Festival and Austin Film Festival.

“Filmmaker education is the one component that seems to be missing from film schools and the general marketplace,” Flanagan said.
See full article at Variety »

Cinema Management Group finds Us buyers for 'Solis', 'The School' (exclusive)

Blue Fox Entertainment, Vertical Entertainment set October 26 releases.

Edward Noeltner’s Los Angeles-based Cinema Management Group (Cmg) has closed Us deals on Tiff sales titles Solis and The School.

Goldfinch Studios’ sci-fi Thriller Solis from Carl Strathie will get a release through Blue Fox Entertainment on October 26. Steven Ogg and Alice Lowe star in the tale of an astronaut in an escape pod hurtling towards the sun who tries to communicate with the commander of his main ship in a race for survival.

Cmg launched sales in Berlin and has struck deals for Germany (Capelight), China (Wing Sight), France and
See full article at ScreenDaily »

‘At Eternity’s Gate’ Trailer Previews Willem Dafoe’s Career-Best Performance

Last year, Willem Dafoe earned a great deal of acclaim for his tender supporting turn in The Florida Project. The venerable actor’s streak will continue this fall in his leading role in At Eternity’s Gate, a Vincent Van Gogh biopic directed by The Diving Bell and the Butterfly helmer Julian Schnabel. Also starring Mads Mikkelsen, Emmanuelle Seigner, Amira Casar, Niels Arestrup, and Oscar Isaac, CBS Films has now released the first trailer ahead of a North American premiere as the Closing Night of New York Film Festival and a theatrical release starting in November.

Declaring Dafoe’s latest role as a career-best performance, Rory O’Connor said in his review, “As I braced for At Eternity’s Gate world premiere in Venice, I kept thinking about Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman’s 2017 Loving Vincent, an ambitiously animated biopic that followed the Dutch painter’s life by recreating a
See full article at The Film Stage »

Venice Review: ‘At Eternity’s Gate’ is a Transfixing and Visceral Vincent Van Gogh Biopic

When Vincent Van Gogh stares at the flat southern France landscape in Julian Schnabel’s contemplative At Eternity’s Gate, what does he see? Cemeteries of dead sunflowers, fields of wheat, solitary trees standing calligraphic on the horizon, but in Willem Dafoe’s awestruck eyes and Benoît Delhomme’s spellbinding cinematography, the horizon becomes “nothing but eternity,” an early line that sets the elegiac and lyrical tone permeating the rest of Schnabel’s work. At Eternity’s Gate is a film made by an artist (“plates painter” Schnabel) less concerned with a painter, more with the way a painter saw the world. In its rupture from traditional biographical narratives, it does not merely stand out as unconventional biopic–it also comes close to resuscitating the idea of cinema as moving pictures.

Co-written by Schnabel and Jean-Claude Carrière (Luis Buñuel’s legendary scribe), At Eternity’s Gate opens in medias res.
See full article at The Film Stage »

At Eternity's Gate review – Willem Dafoe shines in Julian Schnabel's portrait of Van Gogh

Schnabel’s biopic frames the last years of the artist’s troubled life admirably, highlighting his fiercely painful friendship with Gauguin

Julian Schnabel has made a heartfelt if straightforwardly reverent film about the last years in the life of Vincent van Gogh – acted by Willem Dafoe with all the integrity and unselfconscious ease that you would expect from this great actor.

It is a film that strives to capture the ecstatic presentness, the immersion in the moment and the blazing, almost athletic certainty with which Van Gogh painted, and there are some outstanding moments when Schnabel contrives to let us see his canvases standing alone, in situ, in fields or orchards, the paint almost scintillating – competing with the sunlight itself. Wordless passages show Van Gogh striding through the landscape, transfixed and almost stupefied by what it offers, and Schnabel uses declamatory piano chords on the soundtrack – the secular equivalent, perhaps,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

‘At Eternity’s Gate’ Review: Willem Dafoe Is an Inspired Van Gogh in Julian Schnabel’s Impressionistic Masterwork — Venice

  • Indiewire
‘At Eternity’s Gate’ Review: Willem Dafoe Is an Inspired Van Gogh in Julian Schnabel’s Impressionistic Masterwork — Venice
You hear him speak before you see him paint. The screen black, Vincent Van Gogh tells us what he wants — desires big and small, like earning the respect of his peers and eating a sandwich. It’s a bold way of opening a film about the iconic painter, which is expected with Willem Dafoe in front of the camera and Julian Schnabel behind it in an unconventional biopic that, at its best, is a masterwork worthy of Van Gogh.

Read More: Willem Dafoe as Vincent Van Gogh in ‘At Eternity’s Gate’: Julian Schnabel Gives Us An Exclusive First Look

The first real scene of “At Eternity’s Gate” is shot with a handheld camera hovering just inches from a woman’s face, as though we’re meant to be seeing her through Van Gogh’s eyes, our field of vision blurred at the edges. Just as the dialogue alternates between French and English,
See full article at Indiewire »

Brazil’s Animated ‘Tito and the Birds’ Fights Fear Through Different Artistic Techniques

The Brazilian animated feature “Tito and the Birds,” which makes its North American premiere at Tiff, has been picked up for distribution by Shout! Studios (“Big Fish & Begonia”) for Oscar consideration.

This exquisite-looking movie, about a 10-year-old boy who saves the world from an epidemic of fear, was created by Split Studio in Brazil with oil paintings (like last year’s innovative “Loving Vincent”), digital drawings, and graphic animation.

“Tito and the Birds” was directed by animation newcomer Gustavo Steinberg (the live-action “End of the Line”), Gabriel Bitar (“Cidade Cinza”), and André Catoto (“Say I Am Only Seventeen”). In addition, it features an original score by Gustavo Kurlat and Binho Feffer (the Oscar-nominated “The Boy and the World”). The producers are Daniel Greco, Felipe Sabino, and Brenda Wooding.

“Tito and the Birds” tells the story of the titular boy and his two friends confronting a pandemic created by fear
See full article at Indiewire »

Palm Springs Intl. Animation Festival to Kick Off Sophomore Year

  • Variety
For the second annual Palm Springs Intl. Animation Festival and Expo, attendees will have a truly immersive experience, as the event will partner with Comic Con Palm Springs and add interactive elements to the screenings.

Festival director Brian Neil Hoff says the idea was to take what fascinates him about animation — the multiple styles and new technologies that bring characters to life — and incorporate that into his festival though virtual reality and spaces that connect to the films. He hopes these additions help the film-loving community in Palm Springs learn more about the animation industry and movies and shorts from around the world.

Following the Psiaf’s debut in 2017, Hoff met with Christopher Spellman, Comic Con Palm Springs founder and executive producer, and the two decided to collaborate — Hoff would select the films while Spellman managed combining his Comic Con with the animation event. Spellman calls the collaboration a “geeky
See full article at Variety »

An Artist Unearths the Horrors of an Urban Legend in First Trailer for Michael Tully’s ‘Don’t Leave Home’

Earlier this year news broke that Good Deed Entertainment – the distribution company behind the Oscar-nominated Loving Vincent and others – will launch a genre-oriented label called Cranked Up, which will focus on select pieces of horror and sci-fi cinema. Michael Tully’s newest horror-thriller picture Don’t Leave Home marks the inaugural release for the new company. Following its premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival, Cranked Up has now released the first trailer for the film.

Don’t Leave Home centers on American artist Melanie Thomas who, after being contacted by legendary priest and artist Father Alistair Burke, is asked to create an “original sculpture” while she visits his Irish manor. Having obsessed with Father Burke’s body of work, Melanie of course accepts his invitation. However, as she arrives, Melanie begins to realize that things aren’t quite right, as she expresses in the trailer: “The other day,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Cmg Closes Robust Pre-Sales on Gullane, Salles’ ’Noah’s Ark’ (Exclusive)

  • Variety
Annecy, France — Produced by Gullane, Walter Salles’ Videofilmes, Felipe Sabino and Daniel Greco’s Nip and Globo Filmes and sold by Edward Noeltner’s Cinema Management Group, Sergio Machado’s “Noah’s Ark,” a flagship for the high artistic and commercial ambitions of Brazilian animation, has struck eye-catching pre-sales across the whole of Latin America and Asia.

News of the pre-sales come as Financial Film Services, a thirty year-old investment banking firm, is in negotiations to take an substantial minority equity stake in “Noah’s Ark,” also bringing on board a Canadian animation studio to join as a partner.

Domestic distribution in Brazil will be handled by Imagem Films, one of the country’s – and indeed Latin America’s – top independent movie distributors, another sign of the perceived market potential of the movie.

Noeltner made full use of Bordeaux’s Cartoon Movie and Hong Kong’s FilmArt to not only
See full article at Variety »

Second Annual Women in Animation World Summit Unspools in Annecy

  • Variety
Annecy, France— Women in Animation (Wia) and Les Femmes s’Animent (Lfa) will celebrate the second annual Women in Animation World Summit in partnership with the 2018 Annecy International Animation Festival and Mifa Market. The event will take place on Monday, June 11 at the Impérial Palace hotel.

Wia will also receive the 2018 Mifa Animation Industry Award. It’s the first time such acknowledgment has been granted to an organization or institution.

The day-long symposium features panels and discussions. The first panel will be devoted to “Inclusion and Intersectionality.” Moderated by Julie Ann Crommett, VP of multicultural engagement at Walt Disney Studios, the event will include input from head of studio, Ellation, and Wia president Marge Dean, Corinne Kouper, director of development at TeamTO and Lfa president, and Mickaël Marin, managing director of Citia, which organizes the Annecy Festival.

A second panel will be also hosted by Crommett, which will focus on
See full article at Variety »

Kanopy: The Free Netflix Alternative Adds 100 Classic Paramount Titles — Exclusive

Educational distributor Kanopy has struck a deal with Paramount Pictures, adding 100 classic films from the studio’s library to the on-demand streaming service. Twenty-five of those titles – including “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” “Harold and Maude,” “Sunset Boulevard,” and “Saturday Night Fever” — are available to stream now. The other 75 titles will be added in the coming weeks and months. (The full list is at the bottom of this article.)

Kanopy has been a pioneer in the educational market, first in its move away from physical media and toward a streaming app that is available on Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV, Amazon Fire Tablet, and iOS and Android devices. Last year, they also expanded beyond universities and institutions and started to aggressively strike deals with public libraries making Kanopy available to a far wider percentage of the population. Now those with a public library card can access the free streaming service in a number of major cities,
See full article at Indiewire »

Annecy-bound Triggerfish, Cmg tempt buyers with 'Seal Team' (exclusive)

Cinema Management Group concludes raft of pre-sales.

Annecy-bound South African animation house Triggerfish Animation Studios has begun production on the action-comedy Seal Team, which Edward Noeltner’s Cinema Management Group (Cmg) has licensed in a raft of pre-sales.

Triggerfish and Cmg partnered on Adventures In Zambezia (2012) and 2013 Annecy International Animated Film Festival contender Khumba, two of the highest grossing South African productions of all time with combined worldwide box office exceeding $50m.

Cape Town-based Triggerfish has a strong presence at this year’s Annecy (June 11-16), where its short film Belly Flop will receive its world premiere screening at the closing ceremony,
See full article at ScreenDaily »

‘Tito and the Birds’ Director Gustavo Steinberg on his Animation Debut

  • Variety
“Tito and the Birds” has been buzzing around Annecy for years now, and will premiere there in June. Just last month, France’s Indie Sales announced it had picked up the international sales rights to the film, which fits nicely into a catalog that includes other arthouse-mainstream hybrid animated projects like “My Life as a Zucchini” and “Another Day of Life.” This week. the film is in Cannes hosting market screenings looking to secure international distribution.

The film is an impressionist-inspired examination of fear, and how it can infect society. In it, Tito and his friends must harness the power of pigeons to fuel his father’s invention, which may be the only way to cure to a pandemic of fear sweeping across their world.

Producer-director Gustavo Steinberg talked with Variety about the film, the state of animation in Brazil and what’s next for Tito and his birds.

With
See full article at Variety »

Cold War Review – Cannes 2018

  • HeyUGuys
Well, there were great expectations for Pawel Pawlikowski’s follow-up after the beautiful and pluri-award-winning Ida (2013). To say he has satisfied them is an understatement. Cold War is a masterclass in filmmaking and is a reminder of what made many of us fall in love with cinema in the first place.

The story is about two musicians: Wiktor, who is a composer, pianist and debonair man about town (Tomasz Zot) and Zula (Joanna Kulig), who is a beautiful young singer with a complicated past. But not as complicated as their country’s recent past or present, for the action begins in Poland in 1949. Wiktor and his team, comprised of Irena (Agata Kulesza) and Kaczmarek (Borys Szyc), are touring the countryside looking for traditional folk songs to record. After glimpses of rural life that look more like something from Bruegel than the twentieth century, the team head to a country mansion
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Film News Roundup: ‘Rogue One’ Screenwriter Tony Gilroy Wins Austin Festival Award

  • Variety
Film News Roundup: ‘Rogue One’ Screenwriter Tony Gilroy Wins Austin Festival Award
In today’s film news roundup, Dan Gilroy is honored by the Austin Film Festival, CBS Films moves forward on its ship cruise comedy, and Good Deed buys SXSW title “Shotgun.”

Honor

The Austin Film Festival has named screenwriter Tony Gilroy as the 2018 recipient of the Distinguished Screenwriter Award.

Previous honorees of this award have included Lawrence Kasdan, Kenneth Lonergan, Nancy Meyers, and Caroline Thompson.

Gilroy’s credits include the 2007 thriller “Michael Clayton,” which earned him Oscar nominations for directing and original screenplay; writing the first three Bourne films and co-writing and directing the fourth film in the franchise (“The Bourne Legacy”); co-writing the screenplay for “Rouge One: A Star Wars Story”; and producing and writing the political thriller “Beirut,” starring Jon Hamm and Rosamund Pike.

The festival also announced that “Beverly Hills Cop” writer Daniel Petrie, Jr. will receive the festival’s second Heart of Film Award for his
See full article at Variety »

Cmg heads to Cannes with Us-Mexico border thriller 'Falcon Lake' (exclusive)

Cmg heads to Cannes with Us-Mexico border thriller 'Falcon Lake' (exclusive)
Cranked Up Films plans 2019 Us theatrical release.

Edward Noeltner’s Cinema Management Group (Cmg) has come on board to handle international sales in Cannes the Us-Mexico border thriller Falcon Lake.

Cranked Up Films plans to distribute theatrically in the Us in 2019 and is the genre arm of Good Deed Entertainment, the Us distributor Oscar-nominated animation Loving Vincent, which Cmg licensed internationally.

Adriana Barraza and rising Latino talent Camila Mendes will star as a mother and daughter who run a makeshift motel along the border where they drug their guests and kill them if the money is right.

Manny Perez and
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Good Deed Launches Genre Label Cranked Up Films (Exclusive)

  • Variety
Good Deed Entertainment is launching a new genre-focused label dubbed Cranked Up Films, Variety has learned.

“Don’t Leave Home,” a horror film about an American artist who becomes obsessed with an urban legend, will be the label’s first release. It will debut in late 2018.

Cranked Up Films will specialize in high-concept horror, science fiction titles that are more firmly grounded in reality, and speculative fiction, which typically contains supernatural or futuristic elements. The announcement comes on the heels of Good Deed’s Oscar nomination for the animated hit “Loving Vincent.”

Written and directed by Michael Tully (“Septien”), “Don’t Leave Home” follows its protagonist as his investigation into the origin of the myth leads him to the eerie estate of a reclusive painter in Ireland. The picture was acquired in partnership with Shudder, AMC Network’s genre streaming platform. The film stars Anna Margaret Hollyman (“Sleeping with Other People
See full article at Variety »

‘Amy’ & ‘Moonlight’ Distributor Altitude Reveals ‘Whitney’ Plans, New Movies, Staff Moves

  • Deadline
‘Amy’ & ‘Moonlight’ Distributor Altitude Reveals ‘Whitney’ Plans, New Movies, Staff Moves
Exclusive: One of the most obvious but routinely encountered hazards for a growing distributor is over-reach: buying or marketing beyond your means. So far, that’s a pitfall UK outfit Altitude Films has avoided with aplomb.

Set up by former Optimum Releasing founder Will Clarke in 2012, the carefully managed integrated firm, comprising distribution, sales and production, is coming off its biggest year to date, despite the challenging UK landscape. Four movies crossed $1M for the distribution arm in 2017: Moonlight (which took a company record $6M), Loving Vincent ($1.4M), The Florida Project ($1.3M) and Lady Macbeth (1.1M). Six of the company’s top ten movies have been released in the last 12 months.

Much of the growing distribution slate is made up of rising UK talent (Michael Pearce’s Toronto drama Beast is released in around 70 screens this weekend), festival favorites and commercially-minded documentaries
See full article at Deadline »

BondIt Media Capital Closes $20 Million Credit Facility (Exclusive)

  • Variety
BondIt Media Capital has closed an institutional credit facility of $20 million from Texas-based hedge fund Revere Capital.

BondIt said on Thursday that the facility will leverage its ability to provide financing solutions to the ever-growing number of films, TV series, and media companies in the sector.

In the four years since inception, BondIt Media Capital has provided debt financing to more than 230 feature films and TV shows, resulting in more than $200 million of production spending. Recent BondIt-financed projects include Netflix’s “To the Bone,” starring Lily Collins; “Driven,” with Jason Sudeikis, and the Oscar-nominated animated film “Loving Vincent.”

The deal was structured by BondIt chief financial officer Patrick DePeters, Revere Capital’s Ed Wu and Brian O’Flanagan, and Mark Parsa from Brooklyn Park Asset Management.

“Securing institutional capital to fortify our financing capacity has long been a focus for BondIt’s management team, as the certainty it brings enables
See full article at Variety »
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