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John Heyman, Distinguished Financier and Producer, Dies at 84

Film producer and financier John Heyman, who founded influential British agency International Artists and the World Group Companies, died Friday in New York, his family told Variety via statement. He was 84.

John Heyman passed away in his sleep today, Friday the 9th of June,” the statement read.

His son, David Heyman, is the producer of the Harry Potter films, among many others.

Heyman’s World Film Sales pioneered the foreign pre-sales of films on a territory by territory basis.

John Heyman produced films including “The Go-Between” (1971), family sci-fi film “D.A.R.Y.L.” (1985) and “The Jesus Film” (1979). He was also an uncredited executive producer on David Lean’s 1984 E.M. Forster adaptation “A Passage to India.”

Over the course of his career he arranged financing of more than $3 billion to co-finance films including “Awakenings” and “The Odessa File” (at Columbia), “Edward Scissorhands,” “Home Alone” and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (Fox), “Victor/Victoria” and
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Trailer Watch: The Queen Rediscovers Her Love of Life in “Victoria & Abdul”

“Victoria & Abdul”

The trailer for “Victoria & Abdul” sees Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) tired of her royal duties and her life. She falls asleep at extravagant state dinners. She’s uninterested in the Prime Minister (Michael Gambon) and his “terribly depressing” briefings. And she sounds more weary than proud when she rattles off her accomplishments: “I’m 81 years of age and have almost a billion citizens. I’ve been in office 62 years, making me the longest-serving monarch in history.”

As Queen Victoria tells her servant turned new friend and confidant, Abdul (Ali Fazal), she doesn’t feel she has a purpose anymore. “No one really knows what it’s like to be queen,” she tearfully confesses. “Everyone I love has died and I just go on and on. What is the point?”

Luckily, the queen’s outlook seems to change as her trust in Abdul grows and their friendship deepens. Abdul — who comes to England from India to present the queen with a special coin and ends up staying on as her personal servant — introduces Queen Victoria to new languages, food, and culture. Soon enough, the monarch rediscovers her passion as a ruler. When her son questions her mental state and threatens to usurp the throne, the queen is back to her usual fiery self. “I am cantankerous, greedy, fat,” she emphasizes. “I am, perhaps, disagreeably attached to power. But I am anything but insane.”

“Victoria & Abdul” sees Dench reuniting with her “Philomena” and “Mrs. Henderson Presents” director Stephen Frears. The Oscar winner previously portrayed Queen Victoria in 1997’s “Mrs. Brown.” The John Madden pic saw Dench playing the monarch as a newly bereaved widow. Similar to “Victoria & Abdul,” the film depicted how a new friendship, with John Brown (Billy Connolly) in that case, helped alleviate her depression and get back to her job.

“Victoria & Abdul” hits theaters September 22.

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Trailer Watch: The Queen Rediscovers Her Love of Life in “Victoria & Abdul” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Judi Dench Shines In First Trailer And Poster For Victoria & Abdul

Up until a few years ago, Queen Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Empress of India, was the longest reigning monarch. That is until Queen Elizabeth II, her great-great granddaughter surpassed her in September 2015. Elizabeth has been Queen since 1952.

With a reign of 63 years, seven months and two days, Victoria was the longest-reigning British monarch and the longest-reigning queen regnant in world history.

Focus Features has released the first poster and trailer for the upcoming Victoria & Abdul, from director Stephen Frears (The Queen,” “Philomena,” “Mrs. Henderson Presents”). The cast features Judi Dench, Ali Fazal, Adeel Akhtar, Simon Callow, Eddie Izzard, Ruth McCabe, Tim Pigott-Smith, Julian Wadham, Olivia Williams, Fenella Woolgar and Michael Gambon.

Many fans of the 1997’s Mrs. Brown wanted more of the story of a bereaved Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) and her relationship with a Scottish servant, John Brown (Billy Connolly), and the subsequent uproar it provoked.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Focus Features Presents ‘The Beguiled,’ ‘Victoria and Abdul,’ ‘Darkest Hour,’ and Its 15th Anniversary

Focus Features Presents ‘The Beguiled,’ ‘Victoria and Abdul,’ ‘Darkest Hour,’ and Its 15th Anniversary
Focus Features used CinemaCon to celebrate its 15th anniversary with a celebratory luncheon. Judging by its show reel, Focus plans to spend the year doing what it knows best: Making movies designed for awards-season release.

Dame Judi Dench, who earned two of her seven Oscar nominations in Stephen Frears movies, reunites with her “Philomena” and “Mrs. Henderson Presents” filmmaker on lush period drama “Victoria and Abdul” (from Oscar factory Working Title), a true story about the elderly Queen Victoria, who, bored being the world’s longest-serving monarch, formed an unlikely friendship with Abdul Karim (Ali Fasal), who she makes her Indian Secretary. It’s written by the Oscar-nominated Lee Hall (“Billy Elliott”).

See More‘Blade Runner 2049’: Sony Comes Out Swinging With New Footage at CinemaCon

Dench introduced the first-look footage via video. Clearly the movie falls inside the same Academy sweet spot as Frears’ Meryl Streep Oscar vehicle
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Focus Features Presents ‘The Beguiled,’ ‘Victoria and Abdul,’ ‘Darkest Hour,’ and Its 15th Anniversary

Focus Features Presents ‘The Beguiled,’ ‘Victoria and Abdul,’ ‘Darkest Hour,’ and Its 15th Anniversary
Focus Features used CinemaCon to celebrate its 15th anniversary with a celebratory luncheon. Judging by its show reel, Focus plans to spend the year doing what it knows best: Making movies designed for awards-season release.

Dame Judi Dench, who earned two of her seven Oscar nominations in Stephen Frears movies, reunites with her “Philomena” and “Mrs. Henderson Presents” filmmaker on lush period drama “Victoria and Abdul” (from Oscar factory Working Title), a true story about the elderly Queen Victoria, who, bored being the world’s longest-serving monarch, formed an unlikely friendship with Abdul Karim (Ali Fasal), who she makes her Indian Secretary. It’s written by the Oscar-nominated Lee Hall (“Billy Elliott”).

See More‘Blade Runner 2049’: Sony Comes Out Swinging With New Footage at CinemaCon

Dench introduced the first-look footage via video. Clearly the movie falls inside the same Academy sweet spot as Frears’ Meryl Streep Oscar vehicle
See full article at Indiewire »

Michael Gambon, Olivia Williams Join Stephen Frears’ ‘Victoria and Abdul’

Michael Gambon, Olivia Williams Join Stephen Frears’ ‘Victoria and Abdul’
Michael Gambon, Olivia Williams and Simon Callow have joined the cast of Stephen Frears’ “Victoria and Abdul,” which has started filming in Britain.

The period drama sees Judi Dench return to the role of British monarch Queen Victoria opposite Bollywood actor Ali Fazalas playing Abdul Karim. Dench first played the long-serving 19th-century queen on the big screen in 1997’s “Mrs. Brown.”

Victoria and Abdul” tells the true story of the queen’s unexpected friendship, in the later years of her reign, with a young Indian clerk who had traveled to Britain to participate in the queen’s 1887 Golden Jubilee celebrations. Written by Lee Hall (“Billy Elliot”), the film is based on Shrabani Basu’s novel “Victoria and Abdul: The True Story of the Queen’s Closest Confidant.”

Dench received the first of her seven Oscar nominations for “Mrs Brown.” (She won a supporting-actress Oscar the following year playing another queen,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Stephen Frears Hits All the Right Notes with Florence Foster Jenkins

Totally relaxed in his Ritz-Carleton suite on Central Park South, his arms spread wide on a rather tasteful couch, Stephen Frears held court not at all like the monarch in his biggest success, The Queen, (2006). His press conference for his latest effort, Florence Foster Jenkins, will take place one hour later with about 40 journalists in attendance. His stars -- Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, and The Big Bang Theory’s Simon Helberg -- would then be asked 95% of the questions. Not surprising. Directors, for the most, part do not drive traffic to web sites, sadly, even ones as near legendary as Frears.

Besides helming six of his past female leads to Academy-Award-nominated performances (Michelle Pfeiffer and Glenn Close in Dangerous Liaisons, Anjelica Huston and Annette Bening in The Grifters, plus Judi Dench in both Philomena and Mrs. Henderson Presents) and one Oscar win (Helen Mirren as the aforementioned queen), Frears has
See full article at CultureCatch »

Stephen Frears to receive honorary Sarajevo award

  • ScreenDaily
Stephen Frears to receive honorary Sarajevo award
British director’s latest film, Florence Foster Jenkins, to screen at the festival’s open air theatre.

Stephen Frears, the British director of The Queen and Philomena, is to receive the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award at the 22nd Sarajevo Film Festival (Aug 12-20).

Frears, who was previously the subject of the festival’s tribute programme in 2002, will have his latest film - Florence Foster Jenkins starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant - screened as part of Sarajevo’s Open Air programme.

Previous recipients of the honorary award have included Angelina Jolie, Gael Garcia Bernal, Mike Leigh and last year Benicio del Toro.

Frears breakthrough as a feature film director came with the low budget hit My Beautiful Laundrette in 1985 and made his Hollywood debut with Dangerous Liaisons in 1989, which received six Oscar nominations.

His first Oscar nomination as best director can in 1991 for The Grifters, produced by Martin Scorsese, while his 1998 western
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Dame Judi Dench To Star In Stephen Frears’ Victoria And Abdul

Mrs. Brown

Academy Award winner Judi Dench will star as Queen Victoria and Academy Award nominee Stephen Frears (The Queen) will direct Working Title Films’ Victoria And Abdul, to which Focus Features will hold worldwide rights as part of the company’s renewed global initiative. The movie is slated to go into production this year for a 2017 release. Focus will release the movie domestically and Universal Pictures International will distribute the film around the world. Victoria And Abdul is being co-financed by Focus in association with BBC Films.

The screenplay of Victoria And Abdul is by Lee Hall, an Academy Award nominee and Tony Award winner for Working Title’s Billy Elliot; and is based on Shrabani Basu’s book Victoria & Abdul: The True Story of the Queen’s Closest Confidant.

Victoria And Abdul was developed by Beeban Kidron and Lee Hall at Cross Street Films with BBC Films, and is being produced by Ms.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Judi Dench to Star in Stephen Frears’ ‘Victoria and Abdul’ for Working Title

Judi Dench to Star in Stephen Frears’ ‘Victoria and Abdul’ for Working Title
Judi Dench will star as Queen Victoria and Stephen Frears will direct Working Title Films’ “Victoria and Abdul,” to which Focus Features will hold worldwide rights.

The movie is slated to go into production this year for a 2017 release. Focus will release the movie in the U.S., and Universal Pictures Intl. will distribute the film around the world. “Victoria and Abdul” is being co-financed by Focus in association with BBC Films.

The screenplay is by Lee Hall, based on Shrabani Basu’s book “Victoria & Abdul: The True Story of the Queen’s Closest Confidant.” Hall was Oscar nominated for “Billy Elliot.”

“Victoria and Abdul” was developed by Beeban Kidron and Hall at Cross Street Films with BBC Films, and is being produced by Kidron, Tracey Seaward (“The Queen”), and Working Title’s co-chairs Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner. Bevan and Fellner have produced several Working Title movies for Focus release,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Tune Into the 40th Annual Olivier Awards!

London theater is gearing up for its biggest celebration of the year! This Sunday, April 3 at 10 p.m. BST, the 40th annual Laurence Olivier Awards will be held at Covent Garden’s iconic Royal Opera House, hosted by two-time Olivier winner Michael Ball. For the first time ever, you can watch the ceremony be broadcasted live on the awards’ YouTube channel. Among the acting nominees for the 2015–16 London theater scene are such stage vets as Kenneth Branagh, Benedict Cumberbatch, Judi Dench, Preeya Kalidas, Nicole Kidman, Adrian Lester, and Mark Rylance. Also nominated are Lara Pulver, Dan Burton, Peter Davison, and Imelda Staunton, stars of this year’s most nominated production, the Jonathan Kent–directed revival of “Gypsy” at the Savoy Theatre. For a full list of Olivier nominees, visit olivierawards.com. Staunton will open the ceremony with a number from the musical; the casts of the other nominees for best musical revival,
See full article at Backstage »

'Carol' costume designer Sandy Powell on being inspired by director Todd Haynes [Podcast]

'Carol' costume designer Sandy Powell on being inspired by director Todd Haynes [Podcast]
Costume designer Sandy Powell is no stranger to Oscar. She’s one of the most rewarded veterans in her field, having won three statuettes for her work on “Shakespeare in Love” (1998), “The Aviator” (2004) and “The Young Victoria” (2009). And she has reaped bids for “Orlando” (1992), “The Wings of the Dove” (1997), “Velvet Goldmine” (1998), “Gangs of New York” (2002), “Mrs. Henderson Presents” (2005), “The Tempest” (2010) and “Hugo” (2011). She’s back in the running this year with Todd Haynes’s period romance “Carol,” and spoke about her work in our exclusive audio chat. Listen to our podcast below. -Break- Predict Best Costume Design Oscar: Sandy Powell could win for dressing Cate Blanchett in 'Cinderella' or 'Carol' Set in 1952, “Carol” tells the story of a shopgirl, Th...
See full article at Gold Derby »

Mrs. Henderson Presents to transfer to the West End

Following a sell-out season at the Theatre Royal Bath this summer, Mrs Henderson Presents will open at the Noel Coward Theatre on Tuesday 9 February 2016..

Mrs Henderson Presents will star Tracie Bennett as Laura Henderson, Ian Bartholomew as Vivian Van Damm and Emma Williams as Maureen who all reprise the roles they played in Bath. Full casting will be announced shortly.

Based on the film Mrs Henderson Presents – original screenplay by Martin Sherman, the musical has a book and is directed by the multi-award winning Terry Johnson. Lyrics are by the Oscar, Tony and Golden Globe winning Don Black with music by Oscar nominated George Fenton and Simon Chamberlain, who both collaborated on the original film. It is choreographed by Andrew Wright, has set design by Tim Shortall, costume design by Paul Wills and lighting design by Ben Ormerod. Wig, hair and make-up design is by Richard Mawbey, orchestrations are by
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Isaacs, Newell on UK Jewish Ff jury

Jewish Film Festival launches inaugural best debut feature prize; competition titles include Son Of Saul and Labyrinth Of Lies.

The 19th UK Jewish Film Festival (Nov 7-22) is to present a best debut feature award for the first time.

The jury, headed by Nfts (National Film and Television School) director Nik Powell, comprises actor Jason Isaacs (The Patriot), director Mike Newell (Donnie Brasco), producer Michael Kuhn (Being John Malkovich), actress Kerry Fox (The Dressmaker) and actress Sarah Solemani (Mrs Henderson Presents).

The winner, which will be announced at the festival’s closing gala on Nov 21, will be selected from a shortlist of five films: Son of Saul; Orthodox; The Farewell Party; Labyrinth Of Lies; and 5 To 7.

This year’s festival programme has also been revealed.

The opening film will be Nae Caranfil’s Closer To The Moon, the comedy drama starring Vera Farmiga and Mark Strong that won multiple prizes at this year’s Gopo Awards, Romania
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Indie Spotlight: The Void, Hayride 2, Paralysis

We return with another edition of the Indie Spotlight, highlighting the recent independent horror news sent our way. Today's feature includes screening details on Avenged and Serpent's Lullaby, a new Hayride 2 trailer, concept teaser and production details for The Void, first details on short film Paralysis, and more:

Details on Q&A Screenings of Avenged: "Avenged is showing at the Arena Cinemas in Hollywood from March 6. Uncork’d Entertainment will release the critically acclaimed Avenged at Arena Cinemas Hollywood on March 6, 2015.

As part of the opening night celebrations, the 10:15 Pm screening on Friday March 6 will be followed by a Q&A with cast and crew - including star Amanda Adrienne and director Michael S. Ojeda.

A second Q&A session will be held after the Sunday March 8 6:30 Pm screening.

These two Q&A sessions are Exclusive to Los Angeles. A lethal injection of scares, thrills, romance,
See full article at DailyDead »

Sean Bean Cast in ‘The Frankenstein Chronicles’ Mini-Series

  • DailyDead
He’s faced off against many movie characters over the years, including an army of Orcs and James Bond, and soon prolific actor Sean Bean will face another formidable foe in The Frankenstein Chronicles, a six-part miniseries set to air on ITV Encore. Bean will play Inspector John Marlott in the 1800’s-set show, a man assigned to capture a killer who melds body parts together in a manner reminiscent of Victor Frankenstein.

Press Release - “ITV today confirmed commission of The Frankenstein Chronicles, a thrilling and terrifying re-imagining of the Frankenstein myth as a six-part period crime drama to be produced by Rainmark Films.

Incorporating elements from the investigative and horror genres with an extraordinary hero at its centre, Inspector John Marlott, played by multi-awarding winning leading actor Sean Bean (Game of Thrones, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Accused) will be taken on a terrifying journey in pursuit of a chilling and diabolical foe.
See full article at DailyDead »

Meryl Streep's Set to Sing Off-Key (& Other News)

Manuel here with some Streeptastic news.

Meryl Streep has just signed on to play Florence Foster Jenkins in an upcoming Stephen Frears film. Florence will follow the eponymous protagonist, a New York heiress whose lack of musical talent didn’t stop her from pursuing a career in opera in the early twentieth century. This should be good news for us Streep fans because it means we may get three back-to-back-to-back musically-centered Meryl films in a row. Remember she’s set to play Maria Callas for Mike Nichols’ HBO adaptation of Terence McNally’s Master Class while she’s currently filming Ricky and the Flash, the Diablo Cody-penned Jonathan Demme film about an aging rock-star. More thrillingly, the Frears/Demme/Nichols triple punch is the closest we’ve gotten in a while to Streep committing to working with top-tier directing talent (no offense to David Frankel, Philippa Lloyd and Philip Noyce
See full article at FilmExperience »

Top Ten Oscar Theater Movies Or (The Unexpected Hook of Birdman)

For the concerns in some quarters that Birdman might be too cerebral or idiosyncratic for Oscar, I offer thisfoolproof rebuttal: It's about the theater!

Oscar has a long history of mad love for theater movies from early musicals which were often about vaudeville through biopics about theater giants and on to today's more playful genre hybrids. Even when the Academy doesn't fully commit to its latest greasepaint and footlights suitor, it will often give him a quick kiss in the form of a nomination or three.  Some examples: To Be Or Not To Be (1942 & 1983), Being Julia (2004), Mrs Henderson Presents (2005), The Producers (1967), 42nd Street (1934), and The Bandwagon (1953). While it's true there are exceptions that they completely ignore (Stage Beauty, Waiting for Guffman, Opening Night) it's a subject matter that appeals to showbiz people and showbiz people like congratulating their own.

Oscar's 10 Favorite Theater Movies

Why didn't you include Cabaret, Black Swan or Chicago in this list?
See full article at FilmExperience »

Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant to co-star in Stephen Frears' biopic Florence

  • JoBlo
Stephen Frears has lined up a pretty high profile pair of actors for his next biopic. Based on the life of socialite turned opera singer Florence Foster Jenkins, Florence will star Meryl Streep in the title role with Hugh Grant as her significant other. Frears has become best known in recent years for his political films like The Queen and Philomena, but he also has a background in more comedic fare like High Fidelity and Mrs Henderson Presents. The story of Florence may not be one...
See full article at JoBlo »

Stephen Frears to receive BFI Fellowship

  • ScreenDaily
Stephen Frears to receive BFI Fellowship
Director of The Queen, Philomena and the upcoming Lance Armstrong biopic to receive honour at BFI London Film Festival.

British director Stephen Frears is to receive a BFI Fellowship on Oct 18, ahead of the close of the 58th BFI London Film Festival.

The BFI Fellowship is awarded to individuals in recognition of their outstanding contribution to film or television and is the highest honour bestowed by the organisation.

BFI chairman Greg Dyke described Frears as one of the UK’s most important directors.

“Throughout his extraordinary career, Stephen has produced a body of work which never fails to surprise – from sweeping costume drama to powerful social realism, his films strike a perfect balance between drama, humour and pathos helping to make them a hit with audiences and critics alike,” added Dyke.

Frears said he was “thrilled” to be receiving the honour. “I’ve spent much of my life in the cinema and quite a lot of it at
See full article at ScreenDaily »
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