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Sony Classics acquires Cannes title 'The Rider'

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Chloe´ Zhao’s film premiered in Directors’ Fortnight.

Sony Pictures Classics have acquired North America, Latin America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Eastern Europe rights to The Rider at Cannes.

Written and directed by Chloé Zhao, the film premiered in Directors’ Fortnight at this year’s festival and stars Brady Jandreau.

Jandreau plays as a once rising star of the rodeo circuit warned that his competition days are over after a tragic riding accident. Tim Jandreau, Lilly Jandreau, Lane Scott and Cat Clifford also star.

Chloé Zhao said: “The films Sony Pictures Classics has distributed throughout the years have been of great inspiration to me. I’m very excited to find such a great home for The Rider.”

The Rider is produced by Zhao’s Highwayman Films, Bert Hamelinck and Sacha Ben Harroche of Caviar Films, and Mollye Asher. Caviar’s Michael Sagol and Jasper Thomlinson serve as executive producers.

The deal was »

- orlando.parfitt@screendaily.com (Orlando Parfitt)

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Helsinki to preview 'Iron Sky 2', 'Guardian Angel'

1 hour ago

New projects selected for Helsinki scheme.

Helsinki International Film Festival – Love and Anarchy will celebrate its 30th anniversary with the September 2017 edition, and has confirmed a new CEO, Anna Möttölä, who takes the reins from former CEO Sara Norberg.

Möttölä formerly worked at the National Audiovisual Institute and was a film critic for Finland’s biggest newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat.

The industry programme, Finnish Film Affair (Sept 19-21) has confirmed a few of its works in progress selections.

The confirmed titles so far are:

Iron Sky: The Coming Race, the anticipated sci-fi sequel by Timo Vuorensola, Stupid Young Heart, the sophomore feature by Little Wing director Selma Vilhunen, Guardian Angel by Princess director Arto Halonen and starring Pilou Asbæk and Josh Lucas’ Untitled new project directed by Klaus Haro of Golden Globe nominated The Fencer.

In addition to around ten Works in Progress projects, Finnish Film Affair will present around ten works in development and around 15 completed films.

Möttölä »

- wendy.mitchell@screendaily.com (Wendy Mitchell)

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Jayne Mansfield doc heads to America

3 hours ago

Exclusive: Film focuses on a bizarre episode of Mansfield’s personal life.

Gunpowder & Sky have acquired Us rights for Jayne Mansfield doc Mansfield 66/67 fromStray Dogs.

The film, directed by Todd Hughes and P. David Ebersole, follows the last two years of the movie star’s life and her association with notorious Hollywood satanist Anton Lavey, with whom she was rumoured to have had an affair.

Kenneth Anger, John Waters and Marilyn feature.

The Ebersole Hughes Company produced. Jake Hanly negotiated the deal on behalf of Gunpowder & Sky.

Read more:

The latest Cannes news, reviews and features »

- orlando.parfitt@screendaily.com (Orlando Parfitt)

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Wolfgang Peterson's 'Four Against The Bank' scores key deals

3 hours ago

Exclusive: Das Boot director’s first film since 2006’s Poseidon.

Picture Tree International has pre-sold Wolfgang Peterson (Das Boot) comedy Four Against The Bank, starring Til Schweiger, to Cis (Voxell Media), China (Beijing Shangzhou Media), Spain (Twelve Oaks), Poland (Monolith), Former Yugoslavia (Blitz), Taiwan (Av Jet) and airlines (Global Eagle).

The film marks Petersen’s first film as director since 2006’s Poseidon.

The crime comedy stars Til Schweiger, Matthias Schweighoefer, Michael ‘Bully’ Herbig and Jan Josef Liefers as four men, betrayed by a bank, who unite to take revenge. The cast also features Alexandra Maria Lara and Anje Traute.

Warner Bros. Germany released the film in German-speaking markets on Christmas Day last year, generating €9.1 million ($9.5 million) in Germany.

Meanwhile, Picture Tree’s Welcome To Germany has gone to China (Hua Shi), Japan (Cetera), Eastern Europe (HBO) and Poland (Tvp). Italy’s Draka has bought Tiger Girl and biopic Egon Schiele. »

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

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mk2 acquires Danielle Lessovitz's Cannes title 'Port Authority'

3 hours ago

Exclusive: Danielle Lessovitz was a “key artistic collaborator” on Directors’ Fortnight title Mobile Homes.

Paris-based mk2 has acquired world sales rights on Danielle Lessovitz’s debut feature Port Authority, a tragic love story set against the backdrop of the Bronx which is due to shoot this autumn.

The $2m production will be the debut feature of San Francisco-born, New York-based Lessovitz, who is described as a “key artistic collaborator” on Vladimir de Fontenay’s Mobile Home, which premieres at Directors’ Fortnight this year.

The deal was struck between mk2 films and the film’s lead producer Virginie Lacombe of Madeleine Films. Netherlands production house Keplerfilm is co-producing.

The story revolves around Paul, a teenager living in a youth shelter in NYC, who meets Wye who belongs to the “ball community” and expresses herself through “voguing” - a queer dance style inspired by the poses struck by fashion models.

When Paul realizes Wye was born a boy he »

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'Borg/McEnroe' star Sverrir Gudnason joins 'Imagine Murder'

3 hours ago

Exclusive: Nordic noir inspired by infamous real-life Icelandic murder case.

Sverrir Gudnason, the actor who plays Bjorn Borg in Janus Metz’s sports drama anticipated Borg/McEnroe, is attached to star in Nordic noir feature Imagine Murder.

The film will shoot in Iceland in 2018 and is inspired by the true story of an infamous Icelandic murder case from 1974, when a young couple was accused of murdering two disappeared men and were systematically broken down by the police until they confessed. The case recently inspired the documentary Out Of Thin Air.

Thorsteinn Bachmann (Trapped) will also star.

Eagle Egilsson, whose credits include The Blacklist and CSI Miami, will direct.

Producers are Icelandic veterans Ingvar Thordarson and Julius Kemp, whose credits include box office hit Life In A Fishbowl and Bothersome Man. 

Deals already done include to Pandastorm for Germany and to Scanbox for Scandinavia. »

- wendy.mitchell@screendaily.com (Wendy Mitchell)

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Benedict Cumberbatch mindfulness documentary scores key deals

3 hours ago

Exclusive: Us, Germany, Australia, Latin America among deals for ‘Walk With Me’.

WestEnd Films has closed key deals on Benedict Cumberbatch-narrated mindfulness documentary Walk With Me, which premiered at SXSW.

The Speakit Films’ title is directed by Marc J. Francis (Black Gold) and Max Pugh (The Road to Freedom Peak).

Rights have gone to the Us, as part of a co-acquisition between Gathr Films and Kino Lorber, to Benelux (Cinemien), Germany, Austria and Switzerland (Dcm), Australia and New Zealand (Village Roadshow), Latin America (Energia), Italy (Feltrinelli), Japan (Gaga), China (Jetsen Huashi Wangju Cultural Media Co), Hong Kong (Cinehub), Korea (Tcast), Taiwan (Encore) and Thailand (Doc Club).

Shot over three years, Walk With Me goes deep inside a Zen Buddhist community which practices the art of mindfulness with their famous teacher Thich Nhat Hanh.

Footage of the monastic life is paired with Cumberbatch reading from insights from Thich Nhat Hanh’s early journals.

The Revenant and Birdman »

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

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Iñárritu shines in Cannes Vr push

3 hours ago

Carne y Arena was the highlight of this year’s Vr crop at the festival.

Alejandro González Iñárritu’s lauded Carne y Arena was the star of Cannes’ Vr offering this year but the Marche’s innovation hub Next also offered up plenty of debate and experiences.

Among companies to showcase Vr compilation experiences were Arte, Telefilm Canada, Cnc and China’s Polyhedron Vr Studio.

San Francisco-based operation Penrose Studios screened the first episode of Arden’s Wake, an immersive 15-minute experience, which tells the story of a young girl living with her father in a lighthouse.

The experience was created with Penrose’s software Maestro, which allows their development team to fully collaborate in a virtual space.

Read: ‘The Revenant’ director Iñárritu’s Cannes Vr project: report

Meanwhile, Zach Richter of Within screened an immersive 360 rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, using Lytro’s Immerge camera.

In the booked-out interactive effort Ximoan, part of the »

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Jane Mansfield doc heads to America

3 hours ago

Exclusive: Film focuses on a bizarre episode of Mansfield’s personal life.

Gunpowder & Sky have acquired Us rights for Jane Mansfield doc Mansfield 66/67 fromStray Dogs.

The film, directed by Todd Hughes and P. David Ebersole, follows the last two years of the movie star’s life and her association with notorious Hollywood satanist Anton Lavey, with whom she was rumoured to have had an affair.

Kenneth Anger, John Waters and Marilyn feature.

The Ebersole Hughes Company produced. Jake Hanly negotiated the deal on behalf of Gunpowder & Sky.

Read more:

The latest Cannes news, reviews and features »

- orlando.parfitt@screendaily.com (Orlando Parfitt)

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Tallinn Black Nights initiative Storytek gets government backing

3 hours ago

Up to 20 projects to be selected for programme at November festival.

Storytek, the content, media and tech incubator that was pilot launched by Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival at last year’s Cannes, is gearing up to select its first projects after receiving backing from the Estonian government.

Also funded by private investors and backed by the festival itself, the initiative is headed up by Black Nights’ head of development and special projects Sten-Kristian Saluveer. Its aim is to support the emergence of alternative storytelling and projects can be features, shorts, television, or web series.

A maximum of 20 projects will be selected for a 10-week incubator programme held at the Estonian festival later this year. They will go on to receive up to three years’ residency in the initiative, including year-round sales and PnA support.

Selected producers will also benefit from complimentary access to the Estonian e-residency program.

Mentors on the inaugural programme will include Michael Favelle from Australian »

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

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Ile de France fetes bumper Cannes presence

3 hours ago

Regional funding body celebrates 14 films at the festival this year.

French politician and president of the Regional Council of the Ile de France Valérie Pécresse arrives in Cannes today as part of her drive to make the Paris region Europe’s premier audiovisual pole and shooting destination.

She will be coming in to celebrate 14 Cannes titles supported by the region’s funds this year, including Palme d’Or contenders Redoubtable, Bpm (Beats Per Minute) and Rodin as well as Un Certain Regard opening film Barbara [pictured].

The region increased its funding for cinema and audiovisual production by 20% this year to an annual €20m.

“As well as ring-fencing 25% of the funding for auteur films, we’ve also created new funding strands aimed at medium-budget films around the €6m mark, big budget pictures as well as support for TV series and web-series,” explained Pécresse ahead of her visit.

“We want to become the first region in Europe in terms of welcoming »

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FilmDoo acquires VoD rights to Raya Martin's back catalogue

3 hours ago

Exclusive: How To Disappear Completely and Now Showing included in deal.

UK-based streaming platform FilmDoo has acquired global VoD rights to the back catalogue of Filipino filmmaker Raya Martin.

The non-exclusive deal was negotiated with producer Arleen Cuevas of Manila-based Cinematografica Films. FilmDoo is also in talks with Cuevas about acquiring the back catalogue of Adolfo Alix Jr., another leading indie filmmaker from the Philippines.

Martin titles acquired by FilmDoo include How To Disappear Completely (2013), Next Attraction (2008), Now Showing [pictured] (2008), Autohystoria (2007), A Short Film About The Indio Nacional (2005) and documentary The Island At The End Of The World (2005).

Now Showing premiered in Cannes Director’s Fortnight in 2008 and How To Disappear Completely premiered at Locarno.

FilmDoo has also acquired VoD rights to Martin’s Buenas Noches Espana (2011) for Southeast Asia and for the Philippines only to Independencia (2009), which premiered in Cannes Un Certain Regard in 2013.

Martin said: “I’m excited to partner with FilmDoo to showcase Filipino »

- lizshackleton@gmail.com (Liz Shackleton)

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Security and Netflix row dominate Cannes 2017

3 hours ago

The festival was forced to react to anger over the inclusion of Netflix titles, then the Manchester terror attack.

Monday’s night’s devastating attack in Manchester cast a pall over the final throes of a sluggish Cannes market and a festival selection that has lacked exuberance heading into its final stretch.

Flags flew at half-mast on Tuesday and there was a minute’s silence out of respect to the victims of the atrocity.

Swift messages of condolences came from the festival and the local mayor while Pixar cancelled a Cars 3 media event.

Security was never far from the agenda in Cannes. Heavily armed police were a constant presence and Cannes’ heightened state of alert kicked into action on Saturday when an ultimately harmless suspect package resulted in an evacuation of the Debussy during a press screening of Michel Hazanavicius’ Redoubtable.

The sudden death, aged 57, of Busan deputy director Kim Ji-seok at the start of the »

- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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‘Hanna’ TV adaptation ordered straight-to-series by Amazon

9 hours ago

The TV adaptation is based on the 2011 film starring Saoirse Ronan.

London-based NBCUniversal International Studios has announced that Amazon Studios has greenlit a straight-to-series order of Hanna.

David Farr, who co-wrote the Focus Features 2011 film of the same name, and most recently adapted John Le Carre’s The Night Manager for BBC and AMC, is set to write the adaptation. 

Hanna the TV series is described as equal parts a high-concept thriller and coming-of-age drama which follows the journey of an extraordinary young girl as she evades the relentless pursuit of an off-book CIA agent and tries to unearth the truth behind who she is. 

Marty Adelstein and Becky Clements will serve as executive producers alongside Scott Nemes, and JoAnn Alfano for NBCUniversal International Studios. Scott Herbst and Tom Coan will serve as co-executive producers.

Michael Edelstein, president at NBCUniversal International Studios said: “From the moment JoAnn Alfano and I saw Hanna it was evident that the »

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Elisabeth Moss producing ‘Fever’ miniseries for BBC America

9 hours ago

The Handmaid’s Tale actress will also star in the series being produced by Annapurna Television.

Elisabeth Moss is teaming with BBC America and Annapurna Television to develop a limited series adaptation of Mary Beth Keane’s novel Fever.

Moss, who holds the rights to the novel, will star and serve as executive producer on the period drama.

Fever centres on the first known healthy carrier of typhoid fever, known as “Typhoid Mary”, as she spread typhoid across the burgeoning metropolis of early twentieth century New York.

Moss acquired the original rights to Keane’s book and first sent the material to Phil Morrison (Enlightened, Junebug), who has signed on as director and executive producer. Robin Veith (The Expanse, True Blood) is currently set to pen the adaptation and will also serve as an executive producer alongside Moss, Morrison, and Annapurna’s Sue Naegle and Megan Ellison.

“I’m so honoured to be working with the incredible »

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Ifp announces 2017 Ifp Filmmaker Labs selections

9 hours ago

The year-long fellowship is designed to nurture first-time documentary feature directors.

The Independent Filmmaker Project (Ifp) has announced the 10 documentaries selected for the 2017 Ifp Filmmaker Labs.

Ifp Filmmaker Labs support first-time feature directors with projects in post-production as they complete, market and distribute their films.

The selected projects and their attending Lab Fellows for the 2017 Ifp Documentary Lab are:

The Area David Schalliol (director, producer, Dp), Brian Ashby (producer, editor), Peter Galassi (editor)

Baato Lucas Millard (director, writer, producer, Dp), Kate Stryker (director, writer, 2nd camera)

¡Las Sandinistas! Jenny Murray (director, writer), Sarah Winshall (producer)

Leave the Bus Through the Broken Window Andrew Hevia (director, writer, producer, Dp), Carlos Rivera (editor)

Personal Statement Juliane Dressner (director, producer, dp), Edwin Martinez (co-director, Dp, editor), Beth Levison (co-producer)

A Photographic Memory Rachel Elizabeth Seed (director, producer, Dp), Danielle Varga (producer)

Shadow of His Wings Lucas Habte (director, producer, Dp), Isidore Bethel (writer, producer, editor »

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AFI Docs to honour Laura Poitras

9 hours ago

The Oscar and Peabody award-winning documentarian will be receive the Charles Guggenheim award on June 16.

The American Film Institute (AFI) has announced that AFI Docs will pay tribute to Laura Poitras.

The director of Risk and Citizenfour will be the festival’s 2017 Charles Guggenheim Symposium honouree.

The symposium will take place at the Newseum on June 16 and will include an in-depth conversation with Poitras along with clips from her films. 

Poitras’ latest film Risk, a six-year project following WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, was released by Neon earlier this month and will air on Showtime this summer. 

Poitras’ documentary catalogue also includes The Oath, Flag Wars, which was Emmy nominated and won a Peabody Award, and My Country, My Country, which was nominated for a best documentary feature Oscar.

In 2015, Poitras won the Academy Award for Citizenfour. That same year, Poitras co-founded Field of Vision, an entity that commissions and creates original short-form nonfiction films about global events »

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Lat Am buzz movie 'The Desert Bride' scores key deals in Cannes

14 hours ago

Exclusive: Road-movie drama stars Gloria actress Paulina Garcia.

Raphael Berdugo’s Cité Films has closed key deals on buzzed-about Cannes Un Certain Regard drama The Desert Bride.

Deals have closed in Spain (Golem), following interest from multiple parties, Switzerland (Filmcoopi), Benelux (Cineart), Greece (Strada), Brazil (Imovision) and China (Time In Portrait Entertainment).

Multiple Us buyers have expressed strong interest. Memento previously acquired rights in France.

Cité generally only handles sales on its own in-house titles but made the call to board the project for sales ahead of the market.

The film marks the feature debut of Argentine directorial duo Cecilia Atán and Valeria Pivato.

Producers are Atán, Pivato, Chile’s Ceibita Films and, from Argentina, Eva Lauria, Raul Aragon and El Perro en La Luna.

Paulina Garcia, the best actress winner at Berlin 2016 for Sebastian Lelio’s Gloria, stars as a 54-year-old live-in-maid in Buenos Aires who mundane life is tuned upside down when she loses her job »

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

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Long-time Soda head Eve Gabereau to step down

15 hours ago

Exclusive: Co-founder of UK distributor, Thunderbird Releasing, departs after 15 years.

Eve Gabereau is exiting Thunderbird Releasing, the company she founded as Soda Pictures in 2002.

During her 15 years at the UK distribution outfit she amassed a library of more than 350 films, including Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson and Maren Ade’s Oscar and BAFTA nominee Toni Erdmann.

In 2014, Soda was acquired by Canadian production company Thunderbird Entertainment, and the UK distribution arm re-branded as Thunderbird Releasing in April.

She retains a stake in the Thunderbird Entertainment group.

Gabereau’s co-managing director Edward Fletcher will remain as MD of Thunderbird Releasing.

Future plans

Speaking to Screen in Cannes, where she is attending with Directors’ Fortnight pick I Am Not A Witch, on which she is an executive producer, Gabereau said she had several projects on her radar and would also be taking some time out.

Those include her programmer and consultancy role at the Prince Edward Island Film, Food & Ideas »

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

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Focus picks up Lenny Abrahamson, Domhnall Gleeson ghost story 'The Little Stranger'

18 hours ago

Production scheduled for this summer in the UK.

Focus Features has picked up worldwide rights to Lenny Abrahamson’s upcoming The Little Stranger, starring Charlotte Rampling, Domhnall Gleeson, Ruth Wilson and Will Poulter.

The deal excludes the UK, France and Switzerland, where Pathé will distribute.

Abrahamson, who earned a best directing Oscar nomination for Room, will direct the ghost story this summer in the UK in time for a 2018 release.

The Little Stranger takes place in a remote English village after the end of the Second World War as a doctor attends to an ailing parlourmaid at a family estate haunted by a malevolent ghost.

Lucinda Coxon, who adapted The Danish Girl for Focus, adapted The Little Stranger from Sarah Waters’ novel of the same name.

The Little Stranger is a Focus Features, Pathé, and Film4 presentation in association with Ingenious Media and the Irish Film Board of a Potboiler production in association with Element Pictures.

[link »

- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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