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Fsc bulks up Hot Docs slate with 'Forbidden Games', 'This Cold Life'

just now

Exclusive:Both documentaries to receive world premieres in Canada.

Film Sales Company president Andrew Herwitz has added two films to his Hot Docs slate as the festival gets underway in Toronto.

Adam Drake and Jon Carey directed Forbidden Games, which centres on the life of Justin Fashanu, the talented and first openly gay British footballer who rose to fame in the 1980s.

Unlike his brother and fellow professional John, who learned how to navigate the media and thrived, Justin Fashanu’s life was marked by struggle and ended in tragedy.

This Cold Life by Darren Mann focuses on Longyearben, the northernmost town in the world, where inhabitants must rally together in the face of environmental changes.

Herwitz holds worldwide rights to both films.

As previously reported, the Film Sales Company will premiere 32 Pills at Hot Docs, as well as SXSW selection Spettacolo, which Herwitz just licensed to Grasshopper Film for the Us, and Berlinale »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Lionsgate expands output deal with Central Partnership in Russia

33 minutes ago

Deal builds on preview Summit-only arrangement.

Lionsgate has expanded its output deal with Central Partnership in Russia for Lionsgate and Summit films.

Central Partnership previously distributed only Summit titles in the territory, including La La Land, John Wick: Chapter 2, Now You See MeNow You See Me 2, and the Divergent franchise.

The new agreement will encompass Otto Bathhurst’s Robin Hood starring Jamie Foxx and Taron Egerton, and the action thriller Granite Mountain featuring Josh Brolin, Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges and Taylor Kitsch.

Other films include Lionsgate and CBS FilmsAmerican Assassin with Michael Keaton and Dylan O’Brien, supernatural crime thriller Kin starring Jack Reynor, James Franco and Zoë Kravitz, and Chaos Walking, based on the Ya book trilogy and starring Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland.

Lionsgate Motion Picture Group chairman Patrick Wachsberger and international COO Andrew Kramer announced the deal with Gpm Kit’s CEO Rafael Minasbekyan and Central Partnership’s CEO »


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Grasshopper Film acquires 'Spettacolo'

50 minutes ago

Documentary about unique theatre group in Tuscany premiered at SXSW.

Grasshopper Film has acquired Us rights to Spettacolo, the follow-up to the 2010 documentary Marwencol from Jeff Malmberg and producer Chris Shellen.

Spettacolo premiered at SXSW and will open theatrically in the autumn followed by VOD and home video release.

The film centres on the 50th anniversary of a unique theatre group in Tuscany whereby villagers depict themselves on stage as a way of working through their issues.

As the village’s aging population and the rise of the Facebook generation threatens the group’s existence,members of Teatro Povero di Monticchiello prepare a performance about the end of the world.

Grasshopper Film founder and president Ryan Krivoshey distributed Marwencol when he was at The Cinema Guild.

Spettacolo is a wonder,” Krivoshey said. “The story of a tiny Italian village that for the past half-century has created an alternate world to deal with their own.

Seven years after first »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Hyde Park International boards 'The Seagull'

1 hour ago

Exclusive: Annette Bening, Saoirse Ronan star in Chekhov classic.

Ashok Amritraj’s Hyde Park International has taken international sales on The Seagull in the run-up to Cannes next month.

Annette Bening and Saoirse Ronan star in the adaptation of the Anton Chekhov play that is in the final stages of post-production. Wme and CAA jointly represent North American rights.

The Seagull cast includes Corey Stoll, Elisabeth Moss, who is riding high on rave reviews for Hulu’s adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale, and newcomer Billy Howle.

Stephen Karam adapted the play, which centres on eight people – all in love with the wrong person – and explores the dangerously seductive nature of narcissism.

Michael Mayer directs and is best known as the Tony Award-winning director of hit Broadway musicals Spring Awakening, American Idiot, and Hedwig And The Angry Inch as well as feature A Home At The End Of The World

Producing are [link »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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'Baahubali 2: The Conclusion' premiere cancelled after Vinod Khanna's death

5 hours ago

Legendary Indian actor and producer passed away aged 70.

The Mumbai premiere of Indian blockbuster Baahubali: The Conclusion has been cancelled as a mark of respect to Indian actor Vinod Khanna.

The revered Bollywood star, producer and politican died today (April 27) aged 70 from bladder cancer.

Producer Karan Johar, whose Dharma Productions is distributing the Hindi version of the film, said on Twitter: “As a mark of respect to our beloved Vinod Khanna the entire team of Baahubali has decided to cancel the premiere tonight.”

He added: “His screen presence is unparalleled even today… his super star swag is what we grew up on… Rip #VinodKhanna… thoughts and prayers…”

Khanna, known for his good looks, was one the biggest Indian film stars of the 70s and 80s.

He left showbiz to follow spiritual teacher Osho Rajneesh in 1982 before returning to acting five years later.  

Later, he became a politician, representing Gurdaspur constituency in Punjab four times for the ruling »


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

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Salon Pictures plots documentary about cannabis farm run by nuns

6 hours ago

Exclusive: Breaking Habits tells the story of California’s Sisters of the Valley.

UK production outfit Salon Pictures has kicked off principal photography on Breaking Habits, a feature documentary about a commune of nuns who run an illegal cannabis farm in the Us.

The collective, called the Sisters of the Valley, operate their business in Merced, California. They were founded by former financial worker Sister Kate, who quit the business and became an activist, adopting the nun persona after dressing in a habit for the 2011 Occupy Wall Street protest.

According to a 2016 Guardian interview, they claim not to follow any traditional religion, and say they are attempting to make the production of a marijuana a “healing industry”.

Breaking Habits

Salon has provided equity financing and worldwide rights are currently available. Paul Van Carter and Nick Taussig of Salon produce.

Rob Ryan, whose credits include Human Race with the BBC, is directing the feature. Filming has begun »


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

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Sc Films launches family animation 'Around The World In 80 Days'

6 hours ago

Exclusive: The Reef 2 team band for adaptation of Jules Verne novel.

London-based sales outfit Sc Films International, which specialises in family animation, has begun production on its latest project, Around The World In 80 Days, and will launch the title in the market at Cannes.

The animated feature is a loose adaptation of Jules Verne’s classic novel, which has been adapted for the big screen on numerous occasions, including notably in 1956 starring David Niven, and in 2004 starring Jackie Chan.

The latest version will be a 3D underwater adventure based on the characters from Sc Films’ previous productions The Reef: Shark Bait and The Reef 2: High Tide [pictured].

In the new film, a young fish sets off on an adventure guided by a wise old turtle. Along the way, he must learn to trust his instincts and his newly formed friendships to navigate his way through the chills of the Atlantic, the ships of »


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

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Visions du Réel round-up: deals for 'Taste Of Cement', 'The Village'

6 hours ago

Also in Nyon: Gloria Films projects; Docs in Progress

Wide House is to handle international sales on veteran French director Claire Simon’s latest feature documentary The Village which she presented at the Pitching du Réel during the Doc Outlook - International Market (Docm) in Switzerland’s Nyon this week.

The €604,000 production by Petit à Petit Production centres on a documentary film festival held in the village of Lussas in South Ardeche that has created an internet TV platform and production studio for independent documentaries, and on the resistance to this from the local farming community.

Simon, whose previous feature documentary The Graduation (Le Concours) was also handled by Wide House and won the Documentary Award at last year’s Venice Film Festival, explained that The Village is being conceived as a double format with a documentary series and a feature film.  France’s Ciné plus has already come onboard as a partner for the 7 x 26 minute »


- screen.berlin@googlemail.com (Martin Blaney)

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Altitude picks up Joe Cole thriller 'A Prayer Before Dawn'

7 hours ago

Exclusive: Cannes Midnight Screenings title gets UK deal.

Altitude Film Distribution has acquired UK distribution rights to A Prayer Before Dawn, Jean-Stephane Sauvaire’s Muay Thai boxing thriller that stars 2011 Screen Star of Tomorrow Joe Cole (Peaky Blinders, Green Room).

The film is set to premiere at Cannes Film Festival next month as part of the Midnight Screenings programme.

Jonathan Hirschbein adapted the screenplay from Billy Moore’s book, which is based on his own experiences. The script was based on a previous draft by Nick Saltrese.

This is director Sauvaire’s second feature after Johnny Mad Dog, which premiered at Cannes in 2008.

The UK-France co-pro was produced by Rita Dagher’s Senorita Films along with Nicholas SimonSol Papadopoulos and Roy Boulter.

Three-time Oscar nominee James Schamus was an executive producer and helped to close finance through his company Symbolic Exchange’s production deal with China’s Meridian Entertainment.

HanWay Films is handling »


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

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Joe Cole thriller 'A Prayer Before Dawn' gets UK deal

7 hours ago

Exclusive: Altittude moves for Cannes Midnight Screenings title.

Altitude Film Distribution has acquired UK distribution rights to A Prayer Before Dawn, Jean-Stephane Sauvaire’s Muay Thai boxing thriller that stars Joe Cole (Peaky Blinders, Green Room).

The film is set to premiere at Cannes Film Festival next month as part of the Midnight Screenings programme.

Nick Saltrese adapted the screenplay from Bobby Moore’s book, which is based on his own experiences. This is director Sauvaire’s second feature after Johnny Mad Dog, which premiered at Cannes in 2008.

The British-French co-pro was produced by Rita Dagher, Sol Papadopoulos, Roy Boulter and Nicholas Simon. Three-time Oscar nominee James Schamus was an executive producer and helped to close finance through his company Symbolic Exchange’s production deal with China’s Meridian Entertainment.

HanWay Films is handling sales on the title. The UK deal was stuck between Altitude’s Will Clarke and HanWay Films’ Gabrielle Stewart.

A24 previously »


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

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EU set-top box ruling gives film industry boost against piracy

8 hours ago

EU court declares that selling set-top boxes with piracy add-ons is illegal.

In a judgement that could have far-reaching implications for film piracy, The European Union’s Court of Justice has ruled that selling set-top boxes with pre-installed software that enables easy film and TV piracy is illegal.

The court ruled in favour of Dutch anti-piracy group Brein against Jack Frederik Wullems, the owner of online store Filmspeler.nl (Movie Player).

Filmspeler had been selling multimedia players that were configured in a way that promoted piracy, declared the ruling.

In a statement published yesterday (26 April), the Court of Justice said: “The sale of a multimedia player which enables films that are available illegally on the internet to be viewed easily and for free on a television screen could constitute an infringement of copyright.”

They added: “The temporary reproduction on a multimedia player of a copyright-protected work obtained by streaming is not exempt from the right of reproduction »

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

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Lgbt thriller 'B&B' starring Paul McGann gets UK deal

8 hours ago

Exclusive: Thriller directed by Trance writer Joe Ahearne and co-stars Tom Bateman and Sean Teale.

London-based distributor Peccadillo Pictures has picked up UK and Ireland rights to Joe Ahearne’s thriller B&B.

Paul McGann (Withnail & I), Tom Bateman (Jekyll & Hyde) and Sean Teale (Reign) star in the story of a gay couple who return to bait the owner of a remote B&B one year after they successfully sued him for not allowing them to share a bed.

However, events take a deadly turn when a guest with even more sinister intentions arrives.

The film premiered at the London Independent Film Festival in April, where it won best Lgbt film. It has also played at the Ecu Independent Film Festival in Paris.

Jayne Chard produced for her banner Hummingbird Films. The project had backing from Creative England, Ffilm Cymru Wales and Pont Neuf Productions. Jon Finn, Ricky Margolis and Simon Graham-Clare were executive producers, Isabelle Georgeaux was a co-producer »


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

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Tupac Shakur biopic sells out for Voltage, Morgan Creek

20 hours ago

Exclusive: Buyers from UK, Australia, France flock to All Eyez On Me.

Voltage Pictures and Morgan Creek Entertainment announced on Wednesday that all major territories have sold out on the Tupac Shakur biopic All Eyez On Me.

The film is in post and scheduled to open in the Us through Lionsgate’s Summit label on June 16.

Deals have closed with Lionsgate for the UK, Village Roadshow for Australia, Constantin for Germany and Switzerland, and Netflix for France.

Rights have also gone in Latin America, Eastern Europe and South Africa (Cdc), Scandinavia (Svensk Filmindustri), Canada (Vvs) Benelux (Dutch FilmWorks), Japan (Parco), and South Korea (Scene And Sound).

Front Row will distribute in the Middle East, Lusomundo in Portugal, United King in Israel, and Gahkal Brothers Entertainment in India.

All Eyez On Me chronicles the life and legacy of the late Shakur, from his rise to superstardom as a hip-hop artist and actor, to his imprisonment »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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M Night Shyamalan prepares 'Split' and 'Unbreakable' sequel 'Glass'

21 hours ago

Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson and James McAvoy to return; January 2019 release set.

M Night Shyamalan is preparing Glass, which will combine the narratives and stars of the global hit Split and 2000 release Unbreakable.

Shyamalan announced the development in a series of tweets on Wednesday, saying: “It was always my dream to have both films collide in this third film.”

Bruce Willis returns as David Dunn alongside Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price, known also by his pseudonym Mr. Glass.

Joining them on Glass are Split star James McAvoy as Kevin Wendell Crumb and his multiple identities, and Anya Taylor-Joy as Casey Cooke.

The plot of Glass will see Dunn pursue Crumb’s superhuman iteration The Beast. In the background is Price, who holds secrets critical to both men.

Shyamalan has completed the screenplay and will produce with Jason Blum, Ashwin Rajan and Marc Bienstock. Steven Schneider is executive producer. »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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M Night Shyamalan prepares 'Glass' mash-up

21 hours ago

Universal unveils name of Split-Unbreakable sequel, sticks with January 2019 release.

M Night Shyamalan is preparing Glass, which will combine the narratives and stars of the global hit Split and 2000 release Unbreakable.

Shyamalan announced the development in a series of tweetson Wednesday, saying: “It was always my dream to have both films collide in this third film.”

Bruce Willis returns as David Dunn alongside Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price, known also by his pseudonym Mr. Glass.

Joining them on Glass are Split star James McAvoy (pictured) as Kevin Wendell Crumb and his multiple identities, and Anya Taylor-Joy as Casey Cooke.

The plot of Glass will see Dunn pursue Crumb’s superhuman iteration The Beast. In the background is Price, who holds secrets critical to both men.

Shyamalan has completed the screenplay and will produce with Jason Blum, Ashwin Rajan and Marc Bienstock. Steven Schneider is executive producer. »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Christian Mercuri launches Capstone Group

22 hours ago

Venture targets four to five commercial theatrical films a year; signs deal with Red Granite.

Sales veteran Christian Mercuri is heading to Cannes next month with his new venture, the financing, production and full service international sales company Capstone Group.

The Beverly Hills-based company is backed by private equity, in partnership with Jeanette Zhou of Jaguar Entertainment, and aims to handle an annual roster of four to five big-budget, theatrical films across all genres.

While Mercuri said he was not ready to announce any tiles yet, this will be music to the ears of buyers who fear the impact of disruptors like Netflix and, to a lesser extent, Amazon Studios.

“I’m a traditionalist,” Mercuri told Screen. “There’s a place for cinema and that’s the focus of this company – to make films that have value in the theatrical window and of course bring value on ancillary platforms.”

The executive has also struck a three-year deal to »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Orion Pictures, Samuel Goldwyn take 'Swallows And Amazons'

23 hours ago

HanWay Films handles international sales.

Orion Pictures and Samuel Goldwyn Films have secured North American rights to Philippa Lowthorpe’s Swallows And Amazons.

The film, based on the classic 1930s novel by Arthur Ransome of the same name, stars Rafe Spall, Andrew Scott, and Kelly Macdonald.

Swallows And Amazons centres on four children on summer holiday who find adventure when the camp on an island in the middle of a lake. Andrea Gibb adapted the screenplay.

Harbour PicturesNicholas Barton and BBC FilmsJoe Oppenheimer served as producers.

Swallows And Amazons is a Harbour Pictures Productions in association with HanWay Films, Studio Canal, BBC Films, BFI, Screen Yorkshire, Electric Shadow Company, and Maiden Investments.

“I believe it’s important to bring a good family film to the market, and that’s what I found in Swallows And Amazons,” Peter Goldwyn, president of Samuel Goldwyn Films, said. “The film has a talented cast, and I know »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Bill Block named CEO of Miramax

26 April 2017 10:18 AM, PDT

beIN Media Group and Miramax chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi announces hire of industry veteran.

Miramax on Wednesday announced that industry veteran Bill Block has been appointed the company’s CEO.

Block, the producer, former agent, founder of Qed International and a former president of Artisan Entertainment, will lead efforts to create content across a range of platforms.

The executive and his team will mine the company’s library and source new properties to exploit through film, television, mobile platforms and other channels.

“Bill’s extensive experience across numerous platforms, combined with his deep knowledge of the industry, makes him outstandingly qualified to propel Miramax into this new and transformative world of distribution, content and sales,” Al-Khelaifi said.

Miramax is committed to expand production and acquisitions in film and television and Bill’s strong leadership will surely lead Miramax successfully into the future, and we are thrilled to have him on board.”

Miramax is a storied »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Film industry reacts to Jonathan Demme's death

26 April 2017 9:33 AM, PDT

Martin Scorsese, Edgar Wright, Kevin Smith among those to pay tribute to director.

Following the news that American director Jonathan Demme has died at the age of 73, the film industry has taken to social media to mourn the loss.

Martin Scorsese issued a statement that read: “Whenever I ran into Jonathan, he was filled with enthusiasm and excitement about a new project. He took so much joy in moviemaking. His pictures have an inner lyricism that just lifts them off the ground – even a story like The Silence Of The Lambs.

“I have great admiration for Jonathan as a filmmaker – I love the freshness of his style and his excellent use of music, from Buddy Holly to Miklos Rozsa. There’s so much more to be said, and I hardly know where to begin. I also loved him as a friend, and to me he was always young. My young friend. The idea that »


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

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Film industry mourns Jonathan Demme

26 April 2017 9:33 AM, PDT

Edgar Wright, Kevin Smith, Elijah Wood among those to pay tribute to director.

Following the news that American director Jonathan Demme has died at the age of 73, the film industry has taken to social media to mourn the loss.

Hot Fuzz director Edgar Wright referred to Demme as a “great”, adding that “he could do anything”, in a tweet.

The Lord Of The Rings actor Elijah Wood took to Twitter to simply post that he was “sad to hear that Jonathan Demme has passed.

Tribeca Film Festival’s official account posted a tribute tweet, quoting Demme as saying “The chance to make a film that deals in an imaginative way with stuff you care tremendously about is a real high.”

David Simon, the creator of The Wire, stated that Demme was “a warm, gracious man”, expressing that he wished he’d had the chance to work with the director, though had come close twice.

Clerks director »


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

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