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BFI appoints Harriet Finney to key policies role

2 hours ago

Finney’s remit includes navigating Brexit for the film sector.

The British Film Institute (BFI) has appointed Harriet Finney to the role of director of external affairs, with one of her key remits being to navigate a smooth Brexit for the British film sector.

Harriet previously held the position of deputy CEO at the Creative Industries Federation, where she led on the organisation’s post-referendum Brexit report.

Finney joins the BFI’s executive board and will guide the policies, strategies and public affairs aims set out by BFI 2022, the organisation’s five year film plan.

Her priorities will include delivering the BFI’s new skills strategy, promoting the BFI Diversity Standards initiative to the wider industry, and devolving more funding across the UK’s regions.

Finney will move into the position in September - the role was previously held by Fiona Cookson, who left the BFI last year.

Finney commented on her appointment: “I’m delighted to be joining »

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Goldcrest makes key creative hire

4 hours ago

Exclusive: Colourist Jet Omoshebi joins TV team.

Filmed entertainment company Goldcrest has hired award-winning colourist Jet Omoshebi to spearhead its high-end TV department.

She joins Goldcrest as senior colourist in January 2018.

Omoshebi was previously senior colourist at Deluxe’ Encore Post in London where she graded television series including Fortitude, The Night Manager, Da Vinci’s Demons and Luther.  She has also worked at Mpc, Svc, Rushes and Digital Film Lab.

She won the Rts Craft Award for picture enhancement for Life On Mars and was named no.1 colourist in a Televisual VFX Artists poll.

Goldcrest has recently completed new production facilities to accommodate work on episodic drama.

Omoshebi said: “You only have to look at the enormously high-profile titles and outstanding quality of the work Goldcrest is doing to see this is a really exciting time to be joining. The team is truly exceptional and I’m looking forward to working with them.”

Managing director »


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

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'Brooklyn' director John Crowley to helm TV series for See-Saw

4 hours ago

Exclusive: High-end drama from See-Saw Films is based on Rupert Thomson’s cult novel.

John Crowley, director of the Bafta-winning Brooklyn, is set to direct new TV series Dreams Of Leaving, based on the novel by Rupert Thomson.

The high-end drama is expected to run for six to eight episodes and is being produced by See-Saw Films.

Award-winning playwright Nick Payne has written the script and the project will shoot next year. A broadcaster is not yet attached.

It is expected that Crowley will direct all the episodes in the first series. He is currently working on feature The Goldfinch, based on Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer prize-winning novel.

Dreams Of Leaving is set in the fictional English village of New Egypt; an idyllic haven of traditional values and attitudes. However, by resisting change with an iron fist it has secretly made prisoners of its inhabitants. Moses is one villager who escaped the village as a boy and »


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

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'Brooklyn' director John Crowley to helm TV series 'Dreams Of Leaving'

4 hours ago

Exclusive: High-end drama from See-Saw Films is based on Rupert Thomson’s cult novel.

John Crowley, director of the Bafta-winning Brooklyn, is set to direct new TV series Dreams Of Leaving, based on the novel by Rupert Thomson.

The high-end drama is expected to run for six to eight episodes and is being produced by See-Saw Films.

Award-winning playwright Nick Payne has written the script and the project will shoot next year. A broadcaster is not yet attached.

It is expected that Crowley will direct all the episodes in the first series. He is currently working on feature The Goldfinch, based on Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer prize-winning novel.

Dreams Of Leaving is set in the fictional English village of New Egypt; an idyllic haven of traditional values and attitudes. However, by resisting change with an iron fist it has secretly made prisoners of its inhabitants. Moses is one villager who escaped the village as a boy and »


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

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'Valerian' secures China release date

5 hours ago

EuropaCorp counting on China to after soft Us opening.

Chinese authorities have set an August 25 release date for Luc Besson’s sci-fi epic Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets.

The film’s Chinese backer, Fundamental Films, confirmed the date to Screendaily today. It will be one of the first imported movies released in China following the summer blackout period, designed to protect local films.

The EuropaCorp production will be released one week before Dunkirk, directed by Christopher Nolan who has a loyal following in China, opens on September 1.

However it will be entering a fairly crowded weekend, during which Cars 3 and Baby Driver are also opening, along with a slew of local films including Love Is A Broadway Hit, starring Wang Likun and Godrey Gao, and Huayi Brothers’ Explosion with Duan Yihong.

Other upcoming Hollywood films following the blackout period include Spider-Man: Homecoming on September 8 and War For The Planet Of The Apes on September »


- lizshackleton@gmail.com (Liz Shackleton)

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'Dunkirk' blasts to top of UK buzz chart

5 hours ago

Christopher Nolan’s latest dominates weekly chart.

Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk dominated the last week of UK social media buzz ahead of its second week in cinema screens.

The Second World War drama amassed 37,128 comments on social media, news forums and blogs, with 4,025 registering an intent to view, according to analysts Way to Blue.

Behind Dunkirk in second place was comedy Girls Trip, starring Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith and opening this week, with 6,490 comments and 683 of those showing an intent to view.

Further behind was Luc Besson’s space opera Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets, garnering 6,031 comments with 370 of those showing an intent to view.

For an explanation of the Way to Blue chart and its methodology, which tracks ‘overall buzz’ and important ‘intent to view’ buzz, click here. »


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Bleecker Street boards Rosamund Pike, Jon Hamm thriller 'High Wire Act'

14 hours ago

New York-based distributor picks up thriller written by Tony Gilroy.

Bleecker Street has secured Us rights to director Brad Anderson’s High Wire Act starring Jon Hamm and Rosamund Pike.

The political thriller centres on a top Us diplomat who leaves Lebanon in the 1970s after his wife is killed. Ten years later, he gets called back to a war-torn Beirut by CIA operatives with a mission only he can accomplish. 

The film also stars Dean Norris, Mark Pellegrino, Larry Pine, Shea Whigham, Alon Moni Aboutboul, Idir Chender, and Jonny Coyne.

Mike Weber of Radar Pictures, Gilroy, and Shivani Rawat and Monica Levinson of ShivHans Pictures produced the film. Ted Field and Steve Saeta served as executive producers.

Bleecker Street collaborated with ShivHans Pictures on the release of Captain Fantastic, Trumbo, and Danny Collins..

“Brad’s film is the kind of adult thriller a smarthouse audience craves,” Andrew Karpen, CEO of Bleecker Street, said. “It’s »


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Bleecker Street boards Rosamund Pike, Jon Hamm thriller

14 hours ago

Bleecker Street has secured U.S/ distribution rights to director Brad Anderson’s High Wire Act, which was written by Tony Gilroy.

The political thriller centres on a top diplomat (Jon Hamm) who leaves Lebanon in the 1970s after his wife is tragically killed.

10 years later, he gets called back to a war-torn Beirut by CIA operatives (Rosamund Pike, Dean Norris) with a mission only he can accomplish.

The film also stars Mark Pellegrino, Larry Pine, Shea Whigham, Alon Moni Aboutboul, Idir Chender and Jonny Coyne.

Mike Weber of Radar Pictures, Gilroy, and Shivani Rawat and Monica Levinson of ShivHans Pictures produced the film. Ted Field and Steve Saeta served as executive producers.

Bleecker Street previously collaborated with ShivHans Pictures on the release of the Oscar-nominated films Captain Fantastic and Trumbo, and Danny Collins.

“Brad’s film is the kind of adult thriller a smarthouse audience craves,” Andrew Karpen, CEO of »


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Nick Offerman to star in musical 'Hearts Beat Loud'

18 hours ago

Ted Danson, Sasha Lane, Blythe Danner and Toni Collette to co-star.

Park Pictures, Burn Later Productions and Houston King Productions have announced that Nick Offerman will star in Brett Haley’s Hearts Beat Loud

The film, co-written by Haley and Marc Basch, is the story of Frank and Sam, a father and daughter who form an unlikely songwriting duo in the last summer before the daughter leaves for college. 

This marks Offerman’s first leading role as he reunites with Haley after the two collaborated on The Hero.

Ted Danson, Sasha Lane, Blythe Danner and Toni Collette will also join the previously announced Kiersey Clemons.  

Haley’s film The Hero starring Sam Elliott is currently in theatres. The Hero and Haley’s previous film I’ll See You In My Dreams, both co-written with Basch, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

Offerman is an actor, writer, and woodworker best known for his role as Ron Swanson on NBC »


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TNT orders Chris Pine, Patty Jenkins drama straight-to-series

19 hours ago

Wonder Woman director Jenkins set to direct pilot, potentially more.

TNT has ordered drama One Day She’ll Darken straight-to-series. 

One Day She’ll Darken tells the story of Fauna Hodel who was given away by her teenage birth mother to a black restroom attendant in a Nevada casino in 1949.

As Fauna begins to investigate the secrets to her past, she follows a trail that swirls ever closer to an infamous Hollywood gynaecologist who may be involved in the ‘Black Dahlia’ murder of Elizabeth Short in Los Angeles in 1947.

Patty Jenkins, fresh of the success of Wonder Woman, is attached to direct the pilot and potentially additional episodes, and will serve as an executive producer. 

Chris Pine reunites with his Wonder Woman director, and is attached to star in all six episodes, while Author Sam Sheridan is set to write the series, inspired by the autobiography of Fauna Hodel. 

Turner’s Studio T is producing the series »


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Showtime picks up Matt Damon, Ben Affleck drama pilot 'City On A Hill'

20 hours ago

Gavin O’Connor to direct 1990s-set project based on “Boston Miracle”.

Showtime has picked up announced a new one-hour drama pilot called City On A Hill that Ben Affleck and Matt Damon will support as executive producers.

In the early 90s, Boston was rife with violent criminals emboldened by local law enforcement agencies in which corruption and racism was the norm, and then it all suddenly changed. City On A Hill is a fictional account of what was called the “Boston Miracle.” 

At the centre is an African-American district attorney who comes in from Brooklyn advocating change and the unlikely alliance he forms with a corrupt yet venerated FBI veteran who is invested in maintaining the status quo. 

Together they take on a family of armoured car robbers from Charlestown in a case that grows to encompass and eventually upend Boston’s city-wide criminal justice system.

The pilot will be written by Chuck MacLean, and directed »


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Amazon Studios to self-distribute Woody Allen's 'Wonder Wheel'

20 hours ago

Update: Move signals broader transition likely to take effect in 2018.

In its first and long-awaited foray into self-distribution, Amazon Studios has set a December 1 release for Woody Allen’s New York Film Festival closing night drama Wonder Wheel.

The move is a precursor for Amazon Studios’ broader plan to self-distribute full-time, which has been the subject of speculation for many months and Screen understands will occur in 2018.

Up until now the company has partnered on the theatrical component of its releases with established distributors like Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate, and Magnolia Pictures.

Amazon Studios has been quietly building up its distribution team and sources said while the initial focus will remain on arthouse films, the infrastructure could grow to accommodate wider releases.

Bob Berney serves as head of movies marketing and distribution and his credits include breakout successes like The Passion Of The Christ, My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Pan’s Labyrinth.

The Film Society »


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Sarajevo Film Festival reveals documentary competition titles

20 hours ago

Four world premieres set for competitive strand.

The 2017 Sarajevo Film Festival (Aug 11-18) has revealed the titles set to feature in its documentary competition this year.

The programme includes 14 films in total, seven less than last year, focusing on a variety of topics including sexuality, family, love and survival.

Alongside four world premieres - all from Bosnia - there are several high-profile regional premieres that have bowed at other festivals.

City Of The Sun (Mzis Qalaqi) premiered at the Berlinale and had its UK bow at Sheffield Doc/Fest (winning the Art Doc prize), where fellow Sarajevo title Mr Gay Syria [pictured] had its world premiere.

Avec L’Amour premiered at HotDocs in Canada, while the Iggy Pop-narrated In Praise Of Nothing will premiere at Locarno.

Line-up

World premieres

Guidance Through the Black Hole (Vodic Kroz Crnu Rupu)

Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, United Kingdom, 2017, 76 min.

Directors: Aleksandar Nikolić, Zlatko Pranjić

Home (Dom)

Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina »


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Woody Allen's 'Wonder Wheel' to close New York Film Festival

20 hours ago

Wonder Wheel will have its world premiere on October 14.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center has announced that Woody Allen’s Wonder Wheel will be the closing night selection of the 55th New York Film Festival.

The film will have its world premiere on October 14.

Amazon Studios will release Wonder Wheel on December 1, 2017, and will be the first film the studio will distribute independently.

Set in Coney Island in the 1950s, a lifeguard (Justin Timberlake) tells a fantastical story about a middle-aged carousel operator (James Belushi) and his beleaguered wife (Kate Winslet), who eke out a living on the boardwalk and are visited by his estranged daughter (Juno Temple) - a situation from which layer upon layer of human complications develop. 

Wonder Wheel’s selection marks the third time the New York Film Festival has showcased Allen’s work, following 1994 Centerpiece Bullets Over Broadway and 1998 opening night selection Celebrity.

Earlier this summer »


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Sarajevo selects 2017 CineLink Drama projects

21 hours ago

Six projects selected for second edition of festival industry event.

Returning in 2017, Sarajevo Film Festival’s CineLink Drama strand has selected six projects for its second edition.

Showcasing television series in development, the aim of the initiative is to bolster regional TV production.

The projects will be shown to European and regional broadcasters, VoD and SVoD Operators, and will include an open pitch session followed by one-on-one meetings.

This year will also see the introduction of a new development award - a €10,000 cash prize sponsored by Film Centre Serbia.

The jury awarding the prize will consist of Meinolf Zurhorst, Tatjana Andersson and Giacomo Durzi, who will select the most promising project out of the six chosen.

Jovan Marjanović, Sarajevo’s head of industry, commented: “We were excited to get so many submissions for the new drama series. The projects that have been selected promise to bring a new chapter to regional screens. The potential »


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Venice Film Festival line-up offers big names and big surprises

27 July 2017 7:30 AM, PDT

Aronofsky, Clooney and del Toro are heading to the Lido; Alberto Barbera reveals the ones that got away.

Ahead of the world’s oldest festival, the buzz is palpable once again.

However, the flavour to this year’s Venice line-up is noticeably different from recent editions with an emphasis on internationalism, discoveries and innovation over large canvas studio fare.

If last year’s Venice lineup was a veritable treasure trove of big name Us and international filmmakers, this year’s lineup has a slightly more tempered feel to it, which nonetheless remains full of intrigue.

In the last four years Venice has kickstarted major Oscar runs for four Us movies [Gravity, Birdman, Spotlight and La La Land], however last year, for the first time in three years, it missed out on hosting the best picture winner [Moonlight, which went to Telluride].

Buzzed-about early awards contenders in this year’s 21-strong competition include Alexander Payne’s social satire Downsizing, starring Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig, Guillermo del Toro’s other-worldly »


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

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'Brigsby Bear' producers 3311 line up next projects

27 July 2017 6:23 AM, PDT

The Fifth Official, Sympathy For The Devil in pipeline.

3311 Productions is moving ahead on its next two projects as Cannes and Sundance selection Brigsby Bear opens this week through Spc.

The company will produce Morris From America director Chad Hartigan’s The Fifth Official, and is also lining up Sympathy For The Devil, which has Luke Paradise attached to write and Gerard Johnstone attached to direct.

Mark Roberts and Ross Jacobson’s 3311 is producing The Fifth Official in partnership with Gran Via Productions. The European thriller follows a football referee as he attempts to throw a match.

Hartigan wrote and directed Sundance 2016 entry Morris From America, which won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award and a special jury prize for acting in Park City.

Paradise wrote and is producing Sympathy For The Devil with Tracy Falco. The neo-noir plays out in real time over the course of a car-jacking. Johnstone directed SXSW 2014 premiere Housebound.

Brigsby Bear (pictured »


- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Hammer Films plots immersive cinema event in London

27 July 2017 6:02 AM, PDT

Secret Cinema and Crystal Maze staff hired for October event.

Hammer Films, the iconic British horror production house, is planning an immersive cinema/theatre event that will run in London in October.

Dubbed Hammer House of Horror Live, the newly-commissioned experience will welcome up to 200 visitors a night to Hoxton Hall in east London, with the event running October 3-31.

Based on an original script, the experience will give participants the opportunity to witness a vampiric ritual, including elements of live theatre, immersive film and digital technology.

The event’s production team is being headed up by Anna Söderblom, founder of theatre-focused entertainment company Storia, with production manager Andy Reader, whose credits include three major Secret Cinema productions: Star Wars, Dr Strangelove and 28 Days Later.

Söderblom will direct and has co-written the experience with Oscar Blustin, founder of theatre company Specifiq, who has worked on previous immersive productions including The Crystal Maze.

Stewart Pringle of London »


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

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London Mayor donates £40,000 to Dalston's iconic Rio Cinema

27 July 2017 5:59 AM, PDT

Fundraising campaign supported by Edgar Wright, Luke Evans, Russell Brand and Ed Skrein.

The London Mayors Regeneration Fund donated £40,000 ($52,553) to Dalston’s Rio Cinema to aid its expansion and restoration, it was announced yesterday (July 26).

The cinema received the joint highest donation from the Regeneration Fund, which has funded 25 Spacehive community projects. The donation will help to complete the East London cinema’s RioGeneration campaign.

The cash will help fund a second screen, new facilities and restore the features of the Grade II listed building, including its 1937 entrance. The new facilities include a bar, multi-function community space in the basement and improvements to the foyer.

The Rio Cinema plans to have the second screen finished in time for the release of Blade Runner 2049 (October 6, 2017).

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “The Rio is one of London’s most iconic cinemas and an important cultural asset to the diverse community of Dalston. It’s fantastic »


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'The Other Side Of Hope' to open Sarajevo Film Festival

27 July 2017 5:33 AM, PDT

Aki Kaurismaki’s latest set as festival opener.

Aki Kaurismaki’s The Other Side of Hope will open the 23rd Sarajevo Film Festival on August 11.

The Finnish director’s latest will screen at the National Theatre and the Raiffeisen Open Air Cinema in Sarajevo.

It premiered earlier this year in Berlin, where it won the festival’s Silver Bear award for best director.

Screen’s review claimed that “Kaurismaki fans will not want to miss this one”. It also topped Screen’s 2017 Berlin jury grid.

The Finnish-German production is the director’s first film in six years and follows Khaled, who flees to Finland from war-torn Syria and meets restaurateur Wikstrom, who has recently left his alcoholic wife.

The film is Kaurismaki’s 12th feature and is being touted as the thematic twin to his 2011 picture Le Havre, which opened the 17th Sarajevo Film Festival.

The stars of The Other Side of Hope, actors Simon Al-Boozen »


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