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Will New Oscar Voters Be Bold Enough to Embrace Popular Films?

Will New Oscar Voters Be Bold Enough to Embrace Popular Films?
Everyone is curious about how Oscar voting will be affected by the Academy’s new members, with 1,700 individuals (or 23%) invited in the past three years.

For me, there’s only one important issue: Do they like popular movies?

Careful, this is a trick question, because “popular” is hard to define, especially when it comes to Oscar.

This year, worldwide box office was led by “Beauty and the Beast,” which earned $1.2 billion. The global top 20 also includes awards possibilities like “Logan,” “Dunkirk” and “Wonder Woman.” There are other 2017 films that make you feel better at the end than you did at the start, including “The Big Sick,” “The Disaster Artist,” “Downsizing,” “Call Me by Your Name” and “Get Out.”

But what are their Oscar chances? In the past 15 years, Oscar voters have leaned toward dark material.

For most of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ 90 years, popular films got regular Oscar attention. Among the many
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Former Canal Plus Exec Joins Echo Studio, Launches Politically-Engaged Projects

Echo Studio, the production company that launched at Cannes and has first-look deals with Walt Disney France and sales outfit Charades, is developing several topical film and documentary projects, including Gregoire Gosset’s “America’s Last Guests” (working title) and Rodd Rathjen’s Australian drama “Buoyancy.”

Produced by Madness Films, “America’s Last Guests” follows the journey of African refugees — a family and a single man — who travel from Uganda to the United States as part of a United Nation program. The documentary, now in production, chronicles the lives of these refugees as they settle in and a year later.

“America’s Last Guests” illustrates Echo Studio’s mandate to develop and produce timely fiction and non-fiction films and series that carry political, social and environmental themes and are meant to have a global appeal, in a similar vein as Participant Media, explained Philippe de Bourbon, the former commissioning editor of documentaries at Canal Plus. He
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Morgan Freeman To Be Honored With 2017 SAG Life Achievement Award

Morgan Freeman – Academy Award winning actor, producer, voice actor and activist – has been named the 54th recipient of SAG-aftra's highest tribute: the SAG Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment.

Freeman will be presented the performers union’s top accolade at the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards,which will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018 at 8 p.m. (Et), 7 p.m. (Ct), 6 p.m. (Mt) and 5 p.m. (Pt). Given annually to an actor who fosters the “finest ideals of the acting profession,” the SAG Life Achievement Award will join Freeman’s exceptional catalog of preeminent industry and public honors, which includes a Screen Actors Guild Award, an Academy Award, HFPA’s Cecil B. DeMille Award, an AFI Lifetime Achievement Award, seven Image Awards, a Silver Berlin Bear, several Obies, a Kennedy Center Honor, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
See full article at Look to the Stars »

Morgan Freeman to Receive SAG Life Achievement Award

Morgan Freeman to Receive SAG Life Achievement Award
Morgan Freeman has been named the 54th recipient of the SAG Life Achievement award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment.

Freeman will be presented the accolade at the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Jan. 21 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The award is given annually to an actor who fosters the “finest ideals of the acting profession.”

Freeman has won a Screen Actors Guild Award, an Academy Award, HFPA’s Cecil B. DeMille Award, an AFI Lifetime Achievement Award, seven Image Awards, a Silver Berlin Bear and a Kennedy Center Honor. SAG-aftra made the announcement Tuesday.

“I am thrilled to announce Morgan Freeman as this year’s recipient of the SAG Life Achievement Award,” said SAG-aftra President Gabrielle Carteris. “Some actors spend their entire careers waiting for the perfect role. Morgan showed us that true perfection is what a performer brings to the part. He is innovative, fearless
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Documentaries Double-Dip for Emmy and Oscar Consideration

Documentaries Double-Dip for Emmy and Oscar Consideration
In the past decade, half of all documentaries nominated for an Academy Award went on to receive a Primetime, News and Doc or Intl. Emmy nomination.

Unlike “Moonlight,” “Spotlight” and “12 Years a Slave,” nonfiction feature Oscar winners including “CitizenFour,” “Taxi to the Dark Side” and “Born Into Brothels” can also tout an Emmy win.

Why? Because documentaries are by and large a product of television or digital platforms and not film studios. Without funding from small-screen distributors such as HBO, PBS, A&E and streaming services including Netflix and Amazon, the Oscar feature documentary category wouldn’t exist.

But docu filmmakers, similar to narrative filmmakers, want the same thing: for their film to be seen in a movie theater with an audience. So outlets, including HBO and PBS, have selectively facilitated that desire for primarily two reasons: to please directors and perhaps more importantly, to qualify for an Academy Award, which
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Documentaries Double-Dip for Emmy and Oscar Consideration

Documentaries Double-Dip for Emmy and Oscar Consideration
In the past decade, half of all documentaries nominated for an Academy Award went on to receive a Primetime, News and Doc or Intl. Emmy nomination.

Unlike “Moonlight,” “Spotlight” and “12 Years a Slave,” nonfiction feature Oscar winners including “CitizenFour,” “Taxi to the Dark Side” and “Born Into Brothels” can also tout an Emmy win.

Why? Because documentaries are by and large a product of television or digital platforms and not film studios. Without funding from small-screen distributors such as HBO, PBS, A&E and streaming services including Netflix and Amazon, the Oscar feature documentary category wouldn’t exist.

But docu filmmakers, similar to narrative filmmakers, want the same thing: for their film to be seen in a movie theater with an audience. So outlets, including HBO and PBS, have selectively facilitated that desire for primarily two reasons: to please directors and perhaps more importantly, to qualify for an Academy Award, which
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Film Republic Picks Up Karlovy Vary Competition Title ‘The Line’ (Exclusive)

Film Republic Picks Up Karlovy Vary Competition Title ‘The Line’ (Exclusive)
London-based sales agency Film Republic has picked up the international rights, excluding Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Ukraine, to the Slovak-Ukrainian coproduction “The Line,” which has its world premiere in the competition selection at the Karlovy Vary Intl. Film Festival.

The first official co-production between Slovakia and Ukraine, “The Line” tells the story of a head of a family whose business — smuggling cigarettes across the Slovak-Ukrainian border — is jeopardized by the imminent extension to the Schengen Area border. It is the fourth feature by Slovakia’s Peter Bebjak, a regular on the festival circuit, whose past titles are “Apricot Island” (2011), “Evil” (2012), and “The Cleaner” (2015).

The Line” is produced by Wanda Adamik Hrycova from Wandal Production in Slovakia, whose credits include “Colette” (2013, Czech Republic/Slovakia, directed by Milan Cieslar), coproducer Andrey Yermak from Ukrainian production outfit Garnet Intl. Media Group, with the participation of executive producer Ilann Girard from Paris’ Arsam Intl., whose credits include “Renaissance,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Samuel L. Jackson likely to co-star with Brie Larson in Captain Marvel

Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been entirely absent of Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury thus far, but it looks like the latter of half of Marvel’s upcoming slate of films will feature the eye-patch-wearing former S.H.I.E.L.D. director more prominently, especially if a new report is to be trusted.

While Jackson has already signed on to make his McU return with next year’s superhero extravaganza Avengers: Infinity War and will likely pop up in the untitled Avengers film set to follow it, months ago the actor teased that Fury might have a role in Marvel’s first solo female-led film, Captain Marvel. Now, Christopher Marc of Omega Underground has revealed on Twitter that Jackson wasn’t lying, as it looks like he will be co-starring alongside Brie Larson’s titular superhero in the 2019 film.

Marc did clarify that the casting news isn’t official,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Todd Fisher on ‘Bright Lights’ and Wrangling Debbie and Carrie

Todd Fisher on ‘Bright Lights’ and Wrangling Debbie and Carrie
As the son of Debbie Reynolds and brother of Carrie Fisher, Todd Fisher was the perfect choice to produce the documentary “Bright Lights,” which aired on HBO in January shortly after their passing. The film gave viewers a close-up look at the humorous and loving relationship between the legendary mother and daughter. Fisher has taken over managing his mother’s expansive collection of movie memorabilia, including costumes from her classic movies.

“Bright Lights” was a big success and I have to imagine you have enough footage to continue the story.

We have the material to do it, we have discussed it. When we made “Bright Lights,” it was challenging because there were many directions this thing could have gone. It took on a life of its own because of how Carrie and Debbie were responding to having the cameras around. What they were saying was steering the movie.

You obviously had unparalleled access.

If
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Cannes: All Rights Scores Fan Bingbing’s ‘Portrait’

Cannes: All Rights Scores Fan Bingbing’s ‘Portrait’
Paris- and Hong Hong-based All Rights Entertainment is handling international sales on “The Lady in the Portrait,” the historical romantic drama that Cannes recently added to the festival program as a tribute to Chinese jury member Fan Bingbing.

Fan plays the 18th century Chinese empress Ulanara at the moment she meets Jesuit Jean Denis Attiret (played by Melvil Poupaud) one of the official painters to the imperial court. The film plays on the romantic tensions between the two, the rigid court etiquette and the most extreme cultural differences between East and West.

“Portrait” was directed by Charles de Meaux (“Stretch,” “Shimkent Hotel”) and written by de Meaux and Michel Fessler (“March of the Penguins,” “Ridicule”). It will play in Cannes on May 24. Production was by Evergrande Pictures, Sfdc and Anna Sanders Films, in association with Back Up Films.

All Rights has enjoyed initial Cannes success with sales of “Hostiles,” an
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Micah Green new venture staffs up

  • ScreenDaily
Tristen Tuckfield, Adam Paulsen reunite with CAA colleague.

Weeks after announcing his new venture with Imperative Entertainment owner Dan Friedkin, Micah Green (pictured) has announced further additions to his fledgling team.

Green’s former CAA film finance and sales group associates Tristen Tuckfield and Adam Paulsen have come on board.

The development comes a week after the arrival of Dan Steinman, the former Black Bear Pictures co-president and COO and Elevation CEO with whom Green worked at CAA and with John Sloss.

In addition to Tuckfield and Paulsen, CAA’s Katie Anderson joins as an executive.

Over the course of three years at CAA, Tuckfield has brokered distribution deals for such films as Brooklyn, Anomalisa, The Lobster, Neruda, American Honey, and March Of The Penguins 2.

She co-represents Sean Baker’s Cannes Directors’ Fortnight selection The Florida Project.

Paulsen serve nearly five years at CAA and been involved in packaging, financing, and selling
See full article at ScreenDaily »

New to Hulu in April: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ ‘The Usual Suspects,’ and Many More Film and TV Titles

New to Hulu in April: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ ‘The Usual Suspects,’ and Many More Film and TV Titles
Hulu has announced the new titles that will be available to stream on the platform during the month of April. Leading the pack is the new original series “The Handmaid’s Tale,” based on Margaret Atwood’s classic novel of the same name and starring Elisabeth Moss. The series premieres April 26.

Read More: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Trailer: New Teaser Reminds Us Elisabeth Moss’ Story Is Ours

Also available to stream next month are a handful of modern classics, such as “Robocop,” “Days of Thunder,” “Thelma & Louise,” “The Usual Suspects,” “Election,” “JFK,” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” as well as indie favorites like “Short Term 12,” “The Babadook,” “In a World,” and “Hello, My Name is Doris.”

Find the list of all titles coming to Hulu in April below.

April 1

1408 (2007) (*Showtime)

A Horse Tale (2015)

Agent Cody Banks (2003)

Affliction (1998)

Almost Famous (2000)

America’s Sweethearts (2001) (*Showtime)

Bad Company (1995) (*Showtime)

Bangkok Dangerous (2008) (*Showtime
See full article at Indiewire Television »

New to Hulu in April: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ ‘The Usual Suspects,’ and Many More Film and TV Titles

  • Indiewire
New to Hulu in April: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ ‘The Usual Suspects,’ and Many More Film and TV Titles
Hulu has announced the new titles that will be available to stream on the platform during the month of April. Leading the pack is the new original series “The Handmaid’s Tale,” based on Margaret Atwood’s classic novel of the same name and starring Elisabeth Moss. The series premieres April 26.

Read More: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Trailer: New Teaser Reminds Us Elisabeth Moss’ Story Is Ours

Also available to stream next month are a handful of modern classics, such as “Robocop,” “Days of Thunder,” “Thelma & Louise,” “The Usual Suspects,” “Election,” “JFK,” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” as well as indie favorites like “Short Term 12,” “The Babadook,” “In a World,” and “Hello, My Name is Doris.”

Find the list of all titles coming to Hulu in April below.

April 1

1408 (2007) (*Showtime)

A Horse Tale (2015)

Agent Cody Banks (2003)

Affliction (1998)

Almost Famous (2000)

America’s Sweethearts (2001) (*Showtime)

Bad Company (1995) (*Showtime)

Bangkok Dangerous (2008) (*Showtime
See full article at Indiewire »

'March of the Penguins 2: The Call': Film Review

'March of the Penguins 2: The Call': Film Review
Returning to the land of his 2006 Oscar-winning box office smash, and this time with more powerful cameras, state-of-the-art diving gear and, if such a thing were possible, an even cuter cast of birds, French director Luc Jacquet offers up another look at life on the Antarctic ice in March of the Penguins 2: The Call (L’Empereur).

Not exactly a sequel to the first film, which grossed $127 million worldwide and turned emperor penguins into a brief national phenomenon (with some pundits claiming that their supposed monogamy could serve as a model for family values), this impeccably shot exposé revisits...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

'March Of The Penguins 2', 'Lumiere!' head to Benelux

  • ScreenDaily
Exclusive: Septmber Films has inked deals for multiple titles.

Benelux distributor September Films has confirmed details of its latest acquisitions.

One of the most eye-catching new pick-ups is Luc Jacquet’s March Of The Penguins 2 [pictured], again narrated by Morgan Freeman and sold by Wild Bunch. September boss Pim Hermeling confirmed that the film will be released in Belgium nest month and then at a later date in the Netherlands.

Showing its cinephile tendencies, September has also picked up Lumiere! The Adventure Begins, Cannes director Thierry Frémaux’s documentary about early film pioneers, Louis and Auguste Lumière, which is also sold by Wild Bunch.

September continues to handle selected Dutch titles, among them International Film Festival Rotterdam (Iffr) competition entry Quality Time and the forthcoming portmanteau pic, Rotterdam, I Love You. It is also boarding projects at an earlier stage, for example coming on board The Wife Of The Pilotfrom director Anne Zohra, which was recently
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Cats on Camera: How to Shoot Feral Felines and Make Them Into Stars, According to the Director of ‘Kedi’

  • Indiewire
Cats on Camera: How to Shoot Feral Felines and Make Them Into Stars, According to the Director of ‘Kedi’
Plenty of directors have gleefully disregarded W.C. Fields’ old movie adage – “never work with children or animals” – but documentary filmmaker Ceyda Torun all but tossed it out the window when it came time to make her feature debut. With “Kedi,” Torun is all about the animals, specifically an adorable series of Turkish street cats that happily make their homes on the streets of Istanbul. The result is a wonderfully unique and deeply charming look at feral felines and the many humans who love and care for them, all told from a distinctly cat’s eye view.

For the Turkish filmmaker, the indelible cats that roam the various neighborhoods that make up her hometown are more than just subjects, they are cherished friends, and the film finds its true heart when it illuminates the special bonds between the cats and the people who endeavor to make their lives better though food,
See full article at Indiewire »

Robert Redford, Jackie Chan join 'Earth' sequel

  • ScreenDaily
Robert Redford, Jackie Chan join 'Earth' sequel
Exclusive: Redford, Chan to narrate English and Mandarin versions of BBC documentary sequel; Goldcrest handles sales.

Robert Redford and Jackie Chan have been set to narrate the English and Mandarin versions of documentary Earth: One Amazing Day, the sequel to 2007 box office hit Earth.

Directed by Peter Webber (The Girl With The Pearl Earring) and Richard Dale (The Human Body) the film is currently in post-production at the BBC Earth Films’ studio.

Script comes from Frank Cottrell-Boyce (The Railway Man) while score is overseen by Alex Heffes (The Last King Of Scotland).

The Mandarin-language version will be co-directed by Lixin Fan (Last Train); screenwriter Geling Yan (Flowers of War) and music producer Roc Chen (Chinese music consultant on Kung Fu Panda 3) are also on board.

The film will tell the story of one day in the life of the planet, “celebrating the billions of real-life dramas that occur in the natural world every day”.

A co-production between
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Mark Gill Out as President of Millennium Films

Mark Gill Out as President of Millennium Films
Veteran Hollywood executive Mark Gill is exiting the presidency of Avi Lerner’s Millennium Films after six years in the post.

Lerner and Trevor Short will continue to operate Millennium, which was launched in 1996 as a subsidiary of Nu Image.

The most successful Millennium titles during Gill’s tenure included “The Expendables 2” and “The Expendables 3,” which combined for $530 million in worldwide grosses, along with Gerard Butler’s “Olympus Has Fallen” and “London Has Fallen” which took in more than $370 million. Gill also attempted to buy the company but was unsuccesful in making a deal.

Gill joined Millennium in 2011 after his company the Film Department closed down. That company’s top performer was “Law Abiding Citizen,” which grossed $133 million at the worldwide box office.

Gill also served as the founding president of Warner Independent Pictures, which was closed down by Warner Bros. in 2008. In that role, he oversaw “March of the Penguins
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Wild Bunch veteran Carole Baraton launches sales outfit

Top French film sales executives Baraton and Yohann Comte pool skills and contacts to create new company ahead of Efm.

Wild Bunch’s former head of international sales Carole Baraton has joined forced with ex-Gaumont sales executive Yohann Comte to create a new Paris-based international sales and co-production company.

Other Charades partners include Pierre Mazars, who was previously vice-president of international sales at Studiocanal, and Constantin Briest, an entrepreneur and founder of Paris-based co-production and co-distribution company Asuna.

The team will make their market debut at the Efm where they will present the company and also scout for projects with the aim of building a first line-up for Cannes.

The company has the capacity to invest minimum guarantees in select projects.

“Charades will focus on films that are by turn inspirational, entertaining, rousing, disturbing, terrifying and tear-jerking, but always audience-driven. It will service a cross-generational, cross-cultural and cross-border audience,” the partners
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Wild Bunch veteran Carole Baraton unveils Charades

Top French film sales executives Baraton and Yohann Comte pool skills and contacts to create new company.

Wild Bunch’s former head of international sales Carole Baraton has joined forced with ex-Gaumont sales executive Yohann Comte to create a new Paris-based international sales and co-production company.

Other Charades partners include Pierre Mazars, who was previously vice-president of international sales at Studiocanal, and Constantin Briest, an entrepreneur and founder of Paris-based co-production and co-distribution company Asuna.

The new team will make their market debut at the Efm where they will present the company and also scout for projects with the aim of building a first line-up for Cannes.

The company has the capacity to invest minimum guarantees in select projects.

“Charades will focus on films that are by turn inspirational, entertaining, rousing, disturbing, terrifying and tear-jerking, but always audience-driven. It will service a cross-generational, cross-cultural and cross-border audience,” the partners said in a joint statement.

They said the
See full article at ScreenDaily »
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