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Lifetime and NeueHouse to Launch Luminaries Screening Series With ‘Flint’
1 hour ago
Lifetime has partnered with NeueHouse Madison Square Women’s Forum on a screening and panel series that will showcase the network’s upcoming movies from “Flint” to “I Am Elizabeth Smart.” Dubbed the “Luminaries” screening series, the goal is to showcase a slate of films that celebrate women and their impact on today’s world.
“Women are powerful storytellers and the female perspective needs to be amplified,” said Jamie Singer, CEO Ussie and head of the NeueHouse Madison Square Women’s Forum. “Lifetime has brought together some of the most inspiring women in Hollywood to share their stories. I am honored that we get to support them with NeueHouse as well as learn from them privately through this partnership.”
The screening series will debut on Oct. 23 with “Flint” starring Queen Latifah, Jill Scott, Betsy Brandt and Marin Ireland, followed by “I Am Elizabeth Smart” with Skeet Ulrich, Deirdre Lovejoy and Alana Boden on Nov. 13. Other films in »
- Rebecca Rubin
A TV Executive Sexually Assaulted Me: A Critic’s Personal Story
1 hour ago
I told a lie in 2015. A lie to save my life.
I wrote a post in May of that year telling people I was taking two months off to deal with family issues. It wasn’t entirely a falsehood. My father had died about a year earlier and my mother was dying (she passed away last fall). The last few years were a difficult, grindingly draining time that changed me enormously.
Still, my parents’ illnesses and deaths didn’t break me. The television executive who sexually assaulted me in 2014 broke me.
And that was the real reason I took that leave in 2015: I needed to heal, mentally and spiritually, and I had to think about whether I even wanted to stay in this industry.
I look around at what occurred with Harvey Weinstein (and Cosby, and Ailes, and so on), and I have agonized over whether I made the right decision.
In the summer »
- Maureen Ryan
Women Powered Summer Box Office Successes, New Data Shows
2 hours ago
Women and millennial men were two key audience segments responsible for the summer’s most successful films, according to a new study released by marketing data analytics firm Movio.
Although the summer season overall was one of the worst in recent history — a 14.6% drop in domestic grosses from last summer — the study focused on the summer films that performed the best, rather than those that flopped. There were, after all, several major successes, including “Wonder Woman,” Christopher Nolan’s smash hit “Dunkirk,” and comedy breakout “Girls Trip.”
The Movio research examined those who go to the movies fewer than four times a year (deemed “infrequent moviegoers”) who typically make up about 14% of a movie’s audience. Many of the summer’s most successful films, it found, pulled in a larger percentage. For example, the audience for “Girls Trip” — which grossed $115 million domestic off a relatively low budget — was 25% infrequent moviegoers.
More specifically, »
- Seth Kelley
Magnolia Nabs Worldwide Rights to Obama Documentary ‘The Final Year’ (Exclusive)
2 hours ago
Magnolia Pictures has acquired worldwide rights to “The Final Year,” a behind-the-scenes look at Barack Obama’s foreign policy team, Variety has learned. The HBO documentary was directed by Greg Barker. It unfolds during the 44th president’s last year in office, following America’s top diplomats and political advisors as they grapple with the rise of Isis, try to hammer out a nuclear deal with Iran, and attempt to bring attention to the issue of global warming. The film profiles several key members of Obama’s staff, including Secretary of State John Kerry, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, Deputy National Security Adviser and presidential confidant Ben Rhodes, National Security Adviser Susan Rice, and President Obama himself.
The movie had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival before screening at the BFI London Film Festival. It will next show as the opening night selection of Doc NYC on Nov. 9. Magnolia plans to »
- Brent Lang
Lumière Festival: Le CiNéMa Club’s CEO Marie-Louise Khondji on Financing a Free VOD Player and Online Collection Curation
9 hours ago
Lyon – In town for a panel on VOD and streaming platforms at this year’s Lumière Festival is Le CiNéMa Club, www.lecinemaclub.com, a web-based streaming-platform for classic and under-represented films.
A streaming-platform at a festival is not necessarily anything to write home about, but this site is rare , particularly when it comes to its cost – a royal $0 annually.
Le CiNéMa Club uploads one film a week each week, and takes it down the next. Each film streamed can be watched at anytime, from nearly anywhere on the planet with a WiFi signal.
The screened films feature articles with extensive background information on the film and its director. The selected films vary in genre, length and format, but frequently showcase new filmmakers or less-known works from established directors. Typically short films are showcased, but in the past the site has also streamed documentaries, features and on occasion experimental cinema.
Another feature »
- Jamie Lang
France’s UniversCine Offers Much More Than Standard Streaming and Disc-in-a-Box DVDs
9 hours ago
Lyon — In 2015, vinyl sales went up 53% to hit a 25-year-high, whatever the low base, while this year physical book sales have overtaken digital. In the world of film, there are still plenty of people who want physical copies of their content, especially if it’s packaged the right way. France’s UniversCine has come up with a new way of satisfying that sector of the market, while continuing to cash in on digital.
In Lyon to represent the company at the Lumière Festival are UniversCine and Blaq Out CEO Jean-Yves Bloch, and head of editions Charles Hembert. The two sister-companies are looking to update the ways that French audiences access classic, arthouse, documentary, short-form and animated films.
In the digital distribution business for nearly 15 years, UniversCine has navigated the ever-changing markets facing digital distributors.
“We’ve spent the last three years renovating and updating our platforms, because we’ve seen a shift in the digital market from transactional »
- Jamie Lang
‘Wonderstruck’ Director Todd Haynes Emphasizes Importance of Film’s Score: It’s ‘Almost a Character’
9 hours ago
Todd Haynes’ latest film “Wonderstruck” opened at the Los Angeles Theatre in Downtown L.A. Tuesday. The unusually warm October evening was graced by director Haynes, as well as star Oakes Fegley, screenwriter Brian Selznick, executive producer and costume designer Sandy Powell, and composer Carter Burwell. Julianne Moore and newcomer Millicent Simmonds, who also star in the film, were unable to attend.
Based on the novel also written by Selznick, “Wonderstruck” flips between two narratives in separate eras — the 1920s and 1970s. Simmonds and Fegley portray Rose and Ben (respectively), two deaf children who embark on distinctive, personal journeys in New York City. The Los Angeles Theatre was decorated to reflect both eras, with ushers dressed as either flappers or ‘70s socialites. Kettle corn and old fashioned sodas were also served during the screening.
Seldom does Hollywood see screenplays adapted from a novel written by the novelist himself. However, Selznick got the ball rolling on the project »
- Arya Roshanian
Lumière Festival: Bertrand Tavernier on His Lifelong Love of Classic Westerns
10 hours ago
This year’s 9th Lumière Festival includes a section dedicated to classic American Westerns, selected by French helmer Bertrand Tavernier (“The French Minister”), who is also curating a collection of books dedicated to the genre, published by Actes Sud.
The fourteen films to be screened span the period between 1943 and 1962, including titles such as William A. Wellman’s “The Ox-Bow Incident” (1943), John Ford’s “My Darling Clementine” (1946), Howard Hawks’ “Red River” (1948), Delmer Daves’ “Broken Arrow” (1950), King Vidor’s “Man Without a Star” (1955) and John Ford’s “The Man who Shot Liberty Valance” (1962).
Tavernier will personally present each film. He has been a fan of American Westerns since he was a teenager and became an avid reader of Western novels as soon as he learned how to read English, in his early twenties.
Through this section and also a book collection published by Actes Sud, Tavernier is paying his own personal tribute to this quintessentially American genre. He is »
- Martin Dale
Elizabeth Olsen, Jane Rosenthal Demand Justice for Sexual Assault Victims at Chanel Tribeca Lunch
13 hours ago
“So I don’t know about all of you, but I’m having a Howard Beale moment,” said Tribeca Enterprises’ Jane Rosenthal to the women in film who gathered at Locanda Verde on Tuesday for the third annual Tribeca Chanel Through Her Lens Women’s Filmmaker Program lunch. “Like the character Peter Finch plays in ‘Network,’ I’m mad as hell.”
And, as an increasing number of women come forward with stories of sexual assault and misconduct by Harvey Weinstein and other males in the industry, Rosenthal isn’t alone in her anger.
“I was surprised and not as surprised,” Elizabeth Olsen, who’s volunteered at the Rape Treatment Center, told Variety, “because I’m around women and children who’ve been sexually assaulted every week. I think we have a really insane epidemic, and it’s amazing to hear women who feel comfortable or safe enough to speak out.” She hopes it »
- Jasmin Rosemberg
Bill Pullman Doubles His Treasure at the Woodstock Film Festival
15 hours ago
During the Woodstock Film Festival’s Maverick Awards ceremony on Saturday night (Oct. 14), actor Bill Pullman graciously received an honorary award for Excellence In Acting and, as if on cue, allowed the trophy to fall to the floor and break in half. Holding up the pieces of his broken prize, Pullman quipped, “Oh my God, I’ve got two awards tonight!”
Maverick gestures aside, Pullman was also in Woodstock for the featured film “The Ballad of Lefty Brown,” an old-fashioned western drama, in which he stars. It screened at the Woodstock Playhouse for an enthusiastic crowd.
For the 2017 edition of the self-declared “fiercely independent” fest, currently in its 18th year and held Oct. 10 through 15, the programming was eco-friendly, class-conscious, gender-aware and racially sensitive — a fitting environment for the handful of host towns surrounding the area.
- Mitch Myers
Bob Weinstein Harassment Claim: The Scandal Spreads (Analysis)
15 hours ago
It was another rough day at the Weinstein Co. As Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment and assault scandal continues to worsen as more and more victims come forward, his brother Bob Weinstein has become ensared with troubles of his own. With his older brother being fired from the indie company they co-founded, Bob Weinstein had hoped to retain a leadership role if the Weinstein Co. is sold to Colony Capital.
Those ambitions have been complicated after Amanda Segel, an executive producer of the “The Mist,” revealed in an interview with Variety that Weinstein repeatedly made unwanted romantic overtures to her while she worked on the Spike TV series. The Weinstein Co. produced the show.
The story comes days after Bob Weinstein said in a Hollywood Reporter Q&A that he was surprised and unaware of the extent of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged harassment. It also raises questions about Bob Weinstein’s own future with the company given that »
- Brent Lang
Film Academy Won’t Be ‘Inquisitorial Court,’ Oscars President Says
16 hours ago
The president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, John Bailey, sent a letter today to members of the organization titled “In the Matter of H. Weinstein…and Beyond,” condemning Harvey Weinstein’s behavior and urging the need for a safer space for women in the film industry. However, he also stressed that “The Academy cannot, and will not, be an inquisitorial court.”
Bailey began the letter with a lengthy reference to Carl Dreyer’s classic 1928 film “The Passion of Joan of Arc,” stressing the power of Maria Falconetti’s performance as the Maid of Orleans. He emphasized that beyond its status as a visual landmark of the silent movie era, the film, which he describes as “a deeply disturbing portrait of a young woman’s persecution in the face of the male judges and priests of the ruling order,” and the wrenching memory of Falconetti’s career trajectory, have haunted »
- Taryn Nobil
Vanessa Hudgens Joins Jennifer Lopez in Romantic Comedy ‘Second Act’
16 hours ago
The movie is in the vein of “Maid in Manhattan” and “Working Girl.” Lopez will play a big-box store employee who reinvents her life and her lifestyle, and gets the chance to prove to Madison Avenue that street smarts are as valuable as a college degree.
Hudgens will play a young executive at a consumer goods company. She’s currently filming Ken Marino’s “Dog Days,” and most recently starred in the NBC series “Powerless.” Her additional credits include “Spring Breakers,” “Gimme Shelter,” “Machete Kills,” the Broadway revival of “Gigi,” and as Rizzo in “Grease: Live” in 2016.
- Dave McNary
Film News Roundup: ‘Bridge of Spies’ Writer Matt Charman Producing Survival Novel ‘Ruthless River’
17 hours ago
In today’s film news roundup, Matt Charman is developing “Ruthless River,” runaway slave story “Never Caught” is in the works as a movie, Cynthia Addai-Robinson is starring in “Always & Forever,” and “Kedi” gets a one-day release.
The story centers on FitzGerald and her husband, setting out on a yearlong honeymoon adventure backpacking around the world. Five months into the trip, their plane crash lands in Peru at a penal colony walled in by jungle, and their blissfully romantic journey turns into a terrifying nonstop labyrinth of escape and survival. They ultimately end up on a four-log raft that separates them from the piranha-and-caiman-infested water until they finally realize that there is no way out but to swim.
Charman, who received an Academy Award nomination for his “Bridge of Spies” screenplay, is also attached »
- Dave McNary
Tyler Perry Hopes ‘Boo 2!’ Can Help Bring Laughter to Nation’s ‘Darkness’
18 hours ago
Cast members descended upon the Regal Cinema at L.A. Live on Monday night as the theater played host to the spooky Halloween comedy “Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween.”
The latest film in the franchise features the fan favorite character Madea traveling to a haunted forest full of chainsaw murderers, ghost girls, and frat boys.
“To all of the Academy voters in the room: you ain’t gonna like this s—,” Perry joked when introducing the film. “But to everybody who just wants to laugh at this film, there is so much darkness going on in our country and in our industry that makes you go, ‘Jesus, what is going on?’ I wanted to do a movie that is just 100 minutes of silly, non-stop laughter. »
- Matt Fernandez
Restorations ‘Non-negotiable’ for Video Streaming Deals, Says Gaumont’s Jérôme Soulet
19 hours ago
Lyon, France — With U.S. video streaming platforms advancing across Europe and the rest of the world, restorations are a necessity if French film distributors want to ensure a future for their heritage film libraries, Jérôme Soulet, head of video, television and new media at Gaumont, said in his keynote address at the first day of the Lumière Festival’s International Classic Film Market.
“If you want to sign an agreement with a platform, an HD restoration is necessary, otherwise they won’t do it; it’s non-negotiable,” he added.
Soulet shared his views on the challenges facing heritage film in market increasingly dominated by U.S. Svod platforms.
Despite a rich film history, France’s heritage market is facing an uncertain future due to the country’s dearth of domestic video streaming services, Soulet said.
Soulet, joined by industry analyst Pascal Lechevallier, presented sobering statistics and warned that French distributors needed to take concrete steps to ensure »
- Ed Meza
Reese Witherspoon Says a Director Sexually Assaulted Her When She Was 16
20 hours ago
Reese Witherspoon opened up about her own experience with sexual assault on Monday night.
Speaking at Elle’s Women in Hollywood event in Beverly Hills, the Oscar winner revealed that she had been sexually assaulted by a director when she was just 16 years old. She was also made to feel that “silence was a condition of my employment.”
“I have my own experiences that have come back to me very vividly, and I found it really hard to sleep, hard to think, hard to communicate. A lot of the feelings I’ve been having about anxiety, about being honest, the guilt for not speaking up earlier or taking action,” she said.
“True disgust at the director who assaulted me when I was 16 years old and anger that I felt at the agents and the producers who made me feel that silence was a condition of my employment,” Witherspoon, 41, added. “And I wish I could tell you that »
- Matt Fernandez
Jennifer Lawrence Says Producer Put Her in ‘Naked Lineup,’ Told Her to Lose Weight
20 hours ago
Jennifer Lawrence opened up about a “degrading and humiliating” experience she had working on a film, while speaking at Elle‘s Women in Hollywood event on Monday night.
“A female producer had me do a nude lineup with about five women who were much, much thinner than me. And we all stood side-by-side with only paste-ons covering our privates,” Lawrence said. “After that degrading and humiliating lineup, the female producer told me I should use the naked photos of myself as inspiration for my diet.”
When Lawrence brought this up to a producer, he told her “he didn’t know why everyone thought I was so fat, he thought I was perfectly ‘f—able.'” The actress said that she felt powerless against the directors and producers and didn’t want to become a whistleblower because she was afraid for her career.
“I couldn’t have gotten a producer or a director or a studio head fired »
- Matt Fernandez
Frank Grillo, Jamie Bell to Star in Indie ‘Donnybrook’
20 hours ago
Tim Sutton is writing and directing.
Production starts on Oct. 23 in Cincinnati. Backup Media is fully financing the film. UTA Independent Film Group is representing North American rights.
Adapted from Frank Bill’s 2013 noir novel of the same name, the film follows a man hard up for cash and determined to support his family competes in the Donnybrook, a legendary, bare-knuckle brawl where a $100,000 prize goes to the last man standing.
The film is produced by David Lancaster along with Stephanie Wilcox of Rumble Films, together with Backup Media. This is the third feature in the last two years that the two companies have made together after Fabrice du Welz’s “Message From the King” and Evan Katz’s “Small Crimes.”
Grillo can be seen next in Netflix’s action movie “Wheelman.” Bell was most »
- Justin Kroll
Antalya Festival: Christopher Walken, Juliette Lewis Head Star Lineup
21 hours ago
Turkey’s Antalya Film Festival has boosted the star wattage for its Oct. 21 opening night, with Oscar-winner Christopher Walken, Juliette Lewis and Japanese actor and Jim Jarmusch regular Masatoshi Nagase (“Radiance”) set to attend the seaside event in Turkey.
During the festival, Walken and Lewis will discuss career benchmarks at In Conversation With sessions; Walken will take home an Honorary Golden Orange Award for outstanding contribution to the art of film.
In addition, Oscar-winner Danis Tanovic (“No Man’s Land”) will make his way to the historic resort city for a tribute to his work, along with that of late director Ömer Lütfi Akad, a pioneer of post-war Turkish cinema.
Palestinian filmmaker/provocateur Elia Suleiman will preside over a jury composed of Turkish actress, producer and writer »
- Will Tizard
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