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Kino Lorber, Zeitgeist Films board 'The Divine Order'

22 hours ago

Film marks initial acquistion following distribution alliance.

Kino Lorber and Zeitgeist Films have acquired all Us rights from TrustNordsk to Petra Volpe’s The Divine Order.

The film centres on Nora, a submissive young housewife living in a small village in Switzerland in 1971, as the rest of the world is changing and women there still don’t have the right to vote.

After Nora experiences unfamiliar stirrings of dissatisfaction with her place in society, she begins to stand up to the closed-minded townsfolk of both sexes in her village. Despite obstacles and backlash Nora becomes a hero as she overthrows the status quo.

The Divine Order is the first co-acquisition since both companies announced their strategic alliance this week. 

The film will open at New York’s Film Forum on October 27, before a national rollout in autumn.

Zeitgeist films co-presidents Nancy Gerstman and Emily Russo said: “We couldn’t be more excited that The Divine Order will be »


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Well Go USA acquires North American rights to 'Once Upon A Time'

23 June 2017 12:31 PM, PDT

Distributor plans an August theatrical release followed by digital, home video release.

Well Go USA Entertainment has acquired North American rights to Zhao Xiaoding and Anthony Lamolinara’s Once Upon A Time from Im Global.

The film is based on the novel Three Lives Three Worlds, Ten Miles Of Peach Blossoms, which also spawned the television series Ten Miles Of Peach Blossoms, also known as Eternal Love, earlier this year. 

Once Upon A Time follows Bai Qian, a goddess and monarch from the heavenly realms, who is sent to the mortal world to undergo a trial to become a high goddess. There, she meets Ye Hua with whom she falls in love and marries. However, when an old enemy reappears in her life, everything she holds dear is threatened.

Yang Yang, Yikuan Yan, Jin Luo, and Chun Li star in the film produced by Zhang Yibai and Ali Pictures.

Once Upon A Time will have its North »


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BAFTA announces 2017 Student Film Award winners

23 June 2017 10:22 AM, PDT

Special jury prize awarded to Daphne Matziaraki for documentary 4.1 Miles.

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has announced the winners of the 2017 Student Film Awards.

In a gala ceremony in Los Angeles there was a tie in the first ever BAFTA Student Film Award for Animation presented by Laika between Alicja Jasina for Once Upon A Line  (USC) and Kal Athannassov, John McDonald and Echo Wu for The Wishgranter (Ringling College of Art & Design).

The BAFTA Student Film Award for Documentary was awarded to Daphne Matziaraki for 4.1 Miles (USC), which also won the special jury prize.

The BAFTA Student Film Award for Live Action was awarded to Jimmy Keyrouz for Nocturne In Black (Columbia University).

This year, the BAFTA Student Film Awards underwent an international expansion, resulting in more than 400 submissions from 15 countries.

The BAFTA La Access For All campaign has benefited from the expansion and will drive funds towards the organisation’s scholarship »


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'The Strange Ones' wins at Champs-Elysées Film Festival

23 June 2017 5:31 AM, PDT

Business as usual for festival unfolding on famous Paris avenue hit by two terror attacks in recent weeks.

Lauren Wolkstein and Christopher Radcliff’s thriller The Strange Ones has scooped the top prize at the sixth edition of France’s Us-focused Champs-Elysées Film Festival, which wan June 15-22.

The feature, starring Alex Pettyfer and James Freedson-Jackson as two brothers on a mysterious trip into the wilderness, premiered at SXSW earlier this year.

The American Independent Jury Prize comes with a €10,000 cash award for the French distributor of the film but, as it has yet to be acquired for France, the »


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Woody Allen on Donald Trump: "We have chaos in the capital"

23 June 2017 5:15 AM, PDT

“I still don’t know why he wanted the job.”

Woody Allen’s review of Donald Trump’s presidency so far? 0 stars.

The Oscar-winning filmmaker, who directed Trump in 1998 comedy Celebrity, has called the Us president’s tenure to date “chaos” during an interview with BBC radio this morning.

The director expressed puzzlement at his fellow New Yorker’s campaign to become president in the first place.

“I still don’t know why he wanted the job. I never felt it was up his alley,” commented Allen, who said that he used to bump into Trump every now and then at sporting and cultural events. »


- andreas.wiseman@screendaily.com (Andreas Wiseman)

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Emily Dickinson drama wins at Champs-Elysées fest's Us in Progress

23 June 2017 5:01 AM, PDT

Wild Nights With Emily, about an illicit romance, scoops €50,000 top prize.

Us playwright and director Madeleine Olnek’s Wild Nights With Emily, inspired by the secret love life of Us poet Emily Dickinson, has won the sixth edition of Us in Progress in Paris.

Taking place June 20-22 as part of the industry wing of the Champs-Elysées Film Festival, the event showcased five independent Us feature productions at the rough-cut stage.

It is a joint initiative between the festival and the American Film Festival in Wroclaw, Poland.

Wild Nights With Emily revolves around Dickinson’s hushed-up affair with her brother’s wife Susan Dickinson, »


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Madeleine Olnek's Emily Dickinson drama wins Us in Progress in Paris

23 June 2017 5:01 AM, PDT

Wild Nights With Emily, about an illicit romance, scoops €50,000 top prize.

Us playwright and director Madeleine Olnek’s Wild Nights With Emily, inspired by the secret love life of Us poet Emily Dickinson, has won the sixth edition of Us in Progress in Paris.

Taking place June 20-22 as part of the industry wing of the Champs-Elysées Film Festival, the event showcased five independent Us feature productions at the rough-cut stage.

It is a joint initiative between the festival and the American Film Festival in Wroclaw, Poland.

Wild Nights With Emily revolves around Dickinson’s hushed-up affair with her brother’s wife Susan Dickinson, »


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Johnny Depp makes Trump 'assassination' remarks at Glastonbury

23 June 2017 3:34 AM, PDT

Update: White House condemns Depp comments.

Update: The White House has issued a statement condemning remarks regarding Us president Donald Trump made by Pirates Of The Caribbean star Johnny Depp.

The actor made a series of provocative comments referencing an “assassination” at Glastonbury musical festival yesterday.

President Trump has condemned violence in all forms and it’s sad that others like Johnny Depp have not followed his lead,” the White House statement read, as reported by ABC News.

“I hope that some of Mr. Depp’s colleagues will speak out against this type of rhetoric as strongly as they would if his comments were directed to a Democrat elected official,” it continued.

Appearing on stage prior to a screening of his 2004 film The Libertine, Depp said: “Can you bring Trump here?”

After receiving boos from the crowd the actor went on to say: “You misunderstand completely. When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?”

Depp »


- tom.grater@screendaily.com (Tom Grater)

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'Transformers: The Last Knight' tops UK social media buzz

23 June 2017 2:00 AM, PDT

The fifth instalment in Michael Bay’s franchise dominated UK social chatter this week.

Transformers: The Last Knight topped the UK social media buzz chart over the last week, according to analysis firm Way to Blue. The film is being released in cinemas today (June 23).

The Michael Bay-directed action film amassed 9,120 comments across social media, news, forums and blogs over the last seven days, with 1,350 of those registering intent to view.

Looming large behind Transformers is Gifted, about a single man (Chris Evans) raising a child prodigy.

Released in the UK on June 16, the film garnered 803 comments, with 65 registering intent to view. »


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London Screenings 2017: which films stood out?

23 June 2017 12:00 AM, PDT

Buyers expressed optimism over a handful of titles amid London security concerns.

Despite at least one distributor cancelling their trip to the 13th edition of The Film London London Screenings (19-22 June) due to the recent UK terror attacks, organisers and buyers expressed optimism about this year’s lineup.

In the sweltering heat of one of the hottest months of June in recent memory, distributors watched films represented by British sales agents in the air-conditioned sanctuary of the BFI Southbank.

Around 150 delegates (roughly 125 international buyers and a number of UK distributors, festival directors and programmers) attended the event, which showcases »


- geoffrey@macnab.demon.co.uk (Geoffrey Macnab)

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'Becks', 'The Night Guard' among La Film Festival winners

22 June 2017 4:19 PM, PDT

Five competition sections drew 42% female, 40% non-white directors.

Becks (pictured) directed by Elizabeth Rohrbaugh and Daniel Powell won the U.S. Fiction Award. Lena Hall and Mena Suvari star in the drama about a singer-songwriter who moves in with her ultra-Catholic mother after a break-up and strikes up an unexpected friendship with the wife of an old nemesis.

Mexico’s The Night Guard (El Vigilante) by Diego Ros earned the World Fiction Award and tells of a security guard who becomes embroiled in a mystery surrounding a crime at the construction site he is paid to patrol. Leonardo Alonso, Ari Gallegos, »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Ron Howard confirmed as director on Han Solo feature

22 June 2017 3:24 PM, PDT

Director assumes reins following departure of Phil Lord, Christopher Miller.

Lucasfilm has confirmed Ron Howard will take over as director on the untitled Han Solo film and production will resume on July 10 after a brief hiatus.

The development comes two days after Lucasfilm fired directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller from the Star Wars spin-off due to what was understood to be creative differences.

The film, which had begun production in the UK, will still open on May 25, 2018. Alden Ehrenreich plays Solo in the origins story. The cast includes Thandie Newton, Woody Harrelson, Donald Glover, Emilia Clarke, and Fleabag creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge. »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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First Pond Entertainment plots 'Superpowerless' release

22 June 2017 12:06 PM, PDT

Exclusive: Company lines up North American launch; closes deals for UK, Germany.

First Pond Entertainment will distribute the drama Superpowerless in North America and has earmarked a late summer slot.

The company holds worldwide rights and has licensed the UK, Asia, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and Scandinavia to 108 Media.

Josiah Polhemus stars in Superpowerless as Bob, a fortysomething man struggling to navigate his way through life.

The key difference between Bob and other men of his age is he used be Captain Truth, a masked superhero who fought crime in the Bay Area and has seen his powers wan.

The »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Jennifer Lopez to star in, produce 'Second Act' for STXfilms

22 June 2017 11:04 AM, PDT

Company boards latest female-driven project after Bad Moms, Valerian, Molly’s Game.

Jennifer Lopez will star in and produce the rom-com Second Act for STXfilms, it emerged on Thursday.

Peter Segal, whose credits include 50 First Dates, Anger Management and Get Smart, will direct from a screenplay by Justin Zackham and Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas.

Second Act is described as being in the vein of Working Girl and Maid In Manhattan and centres on a big box store employee who reinvents her life and her lifestyle.

When she gets the chance to prove to Madison Avenue that street smarts are as valuable as a college degree, »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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'Downton Abbey' feature film could shoot in 2018

22 June 2017 9:17 AM, PDT

NBCUniversal International president Michael Edelstein confirmed the news.

A Downton Abbey film spin-off is being developed ahead of a potential 2018 shoot.

The news was revealed by NBCUniversal International Studios president Michael Edelstein at an event in Singapore on Wednesday (June 21).

As reported by the Associated Press, Edelstein said, “There’s a movie in the works. It’s been in the works for some time…We are working on getting the script right and then we’ve got to figure out how to get the (cast) together. Because as you know, people go on and do other things. But we’re »


- tom.grater@screendaily.com (Tom Grater)

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'War And Peace' production outfit makes two key hires

22 June 2017 8:53 AM, PDT

ITV Studios, Sky execs join UK outfit.

Lookout Point has hired two drama heavyweights to aid its growth plan – ITV Studios drama exec Francis Hopkinson and Sky’s head of scripted production Louise Mutter.

Hopkinson, who has been with ITV Studios since 2011, has been named executive producer and will be tasked with developing and producing his own slate of original dramas.

He will also produce the company’s forthcoming Andrew Davies-penned adaptation of A Suitable Boy for BBC1.

He will also form part of the senior team at Benchmark Television, the high-end drama venture that Lookout Point established with Danny Cohen’s Access Entertainment. »


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Strand Releasing picks up 'Have A Nice Day'

22 June 2017 8:17 AM, PDT

Chinese neo-noir to open in autumn.

Strand Releasing has acquired all Us rights to Liu Jian’s Have A Nice Day which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival.

The animated neo-noir feature is set in a small town in Southern China as a young driver steals a bag containing $1m to save his fiancee’s failed plastic surgery.

The deal was done between Jon Gerrans of Strand Releasing and Tanja Meissner of the film’s international sales agent Memento Films International.

“We are very excited that Have A Nice Day is coming out theatrically in the Us, Strand is »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Unic launches Women's Cinema Leadership scheme

22 June 2017 7:11 AM, PDT

The programme was launched at CineEurope today.

The International Union of Cinemas (Unic) has today launched the Women’s Cinema Leadership Scheme, a one year pilot mentoring programme for women in cinema exhibition.

The programme will provide six rising female European cinema professionals with the opportunity to network with and receive one-to-one career advice from a group of senior female executives.

Professionals to have joined the scheme as mentors include Edna Epelbaum, Swiss cinema operator and president of the Swiss Cinema Association; Monste Gil, vice-president and general manager of Paramount Pictures Spain; Veronica Lindholm, managing director at Finnkino, and Dee Vassili, »


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UK distributor Trafalgar Releasing reveals structure and growth plan

22 June 2017 5:19 AM, PDT

Theatre moguls launch UK group Trafalgar Entertainment; exclusive interview with distribution CEO.

Fledgling UK distribution outfit Trafalgar Releasing is eyeing growth in the gaming and international distribution markets.

Little has been publicly known about the structure and growth plan of the new player until now but the company is officially launching today after theatre impresarios Sir Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire OBE acquired Lyn Goleby’s Picturehouse distribution assets in a multi-million-pound deal earlier this year.

Former Picturehouse MD Goleby had previously bought out Picturehouse’s distribution assets from Cineworld, taking a number of key staff in the process.

Panter and Squire, »


- andreas.wiseman@screendaily.com (Andreas Wiseman)

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Locarno to honour 'Sicily!' director Jean-Marie Straub

22 June 2017 4:55 AM, PDT

French auteur premiered his most recent feature, Kommunisten, at the festival in 2014.

French director Jean-Marie Straub will be presented with the Leopard of Honor at the 70th Locarno Film Festival (August 2-12).

Born in France but having worked primarily in Germany, Italy and Switzerland, his filmmaking career has spanned more than sixty years.

Straub, who regularly collaborated with his partner Danielle Huillet (who died in 2006), was known for radical and political films, including From The Clouds To The Resistance in 1968 and Sicilia! in 1999, both of which premiered in the Un Certain Regard strand at the Cannes Film Festival.

His full »


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