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‘Wonder Woman’ Director Patty Jenkins: ‘Just Trying to Make a Badass’

2 hours ago

On Thursday, Wonder Woman — the final of DC Comics trinity (the others being Superman and Batman) — finally held the world premiere of her first movie at the Pantages theater.

Gal Gadot revealed at the premiere that one of the things she’s most looking forward to about the films release is a new kind of role model.

“Growing up I had Superman and Batman to look up to. All the girls and all the boys, that’s what we had,” she said. “I think that it’s so important that we also have strong female figures to look up to, and Wonder Woman is an amazing one. It’s great that after 75 or 6 years she finally gets her own movie.”

#WonderWoman star @GalGadot: "Growing, I had Superman and Batman to look up to." pic.twitter.com/TAWZybsidb

— Variety (@Variety) May 26, 2017

Although Gadot has already been seen as Wonder Woman, in »


- Jacob Bryant

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Cannes Film Review: ‘Visages Villages’

3 hours ago

There was once a time — it now sounds ageist and sexist — when something would get written off as “an old man’s movie.” That meant a film created by a director at an age where just watching it, you could feel a certain stiffness in the joints, a too-slowed-down-for-its-own-good pace, a nagging (as opposed to enlightening) stillness of gaze. Examples of old man’s movies would be Alain Resnais’ “Wild Grass,” Elia Kazan’s “The Last Tycoon,” and — to me, though many would consider this opinion blasphemous — Akira Kurosawa’s “Ran.” But has there ever been a director who gives the lie to the old-man’s-movie trope like Agnès Varda? She’s 88, and makes films like she’s 28. Her movies are the opposite of old wo(man’s) movies. They’re a tonic — just watching them makes you feel younger.

Her new one, “Visages Villages” (which does indeed take place in villages, »


- Owen Gleiberman

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Germany’s Culture Minister Launches Second Edition of Face to Face with German Films in Cannes

4 hours ago

In Cannes this week Germany’s minister of culture Monika Gruetters helped launch the second year of “Face to Face with German Films,” a campaign that celebrates German cinema success internationally.

She was joined at the event, staged at the elegant Villa Rothschild, by actors Ronald Zehrfeld, Louis Hofmann, Volker Bruch and Alexander Fehling, who are among those leading the campaign this year. German Films, which promotes German movies worldwide, organizes the campaign, and was represented at the event by managing director Mariette Rissenbeek, and chairman Peter Herrmann.

Among the guests were several who had films in the festival including directors Fatih Akin, whose revenge drama “In the Fade” is in competition, Valeska Grisebach, whose Western genre movie “Western” is in Un Certain Regard, and Ali Soozandeh, whose animated feature “Tehran Taboo” is in Critics’ Week. “In the Fade’s” cinematographer Rainer Klausmann also attended.

Others at the event included actor Franz Rogowski, »


- Leo Barraclough

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Cannes Facetime: Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania

8 hours ago

Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania is the only Arab auteur in the Cannes official selection this year. Her first full-fledged feature, “Beauty and the Dogs,” which screens in Un Certain Regard, is centered around the rape of a young woman by policemen outside a beachfront nightclub in Tunisia, based on a true case that sparked plenty of outrage. Ben Hania spoke to Variety about the challenges of bringing to the screen a story that is symbolic of Tunisia after the Arab Spring.

“Beauty and the Dogs” seems a natural transition from your previous works, “Imams Go to School,” “Challat of Tunis” and “Zaineb Hates the Snow,” which, simply put, are about social issues. What drew you to this subject? 

The real rape case that happened in 2012 in Tunis made a big impression on me. I was struck by the courage of this girl who persisted in suing the policemen [who raped her] and »


- Nick Vivarelli

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Cannes: ‘The Summit’s’ Santiago Mitre on Fiction in Politics, Politics in Fiction

8 hours ago

Cannes — World premiering in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard, the third feature from Argentine Santiago Mitre (“The Student,” “Paulina”) follows an Argentine President (Ricardo Darín) at a Latin American summit, who is conflicted on a political and personal level. Dolores Fonzi (“Paulina”) plays his daughter, Elena Anaya an Oriana Fallaci-ish journalist, Christian Slater a U.S. diplomat. Sold internationally by Film Factory Ent., “The Summit” is produced by  K & S (Pablo Trapero’s “The Clan”), La Union de los Rios (“Paulina,” “The Student”) Spain’s Mod Producciones (Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “Biutiful”) and France’s Maneki Films (Pablo Trapero’s “White Elephant”).  “The Summit” marks a step-up into a far higher-profile production from the Cannes 2015 Critics’ Week winner and co-writer of “White Elephant”. “The Summit” will be released in the U.S. in August via Warner Bros. Pictures.

What drive you to make “The Summit,” a political thriller-drama, what interests you about politics? »


- Emilio Mayorga

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Cannes: Latido Films Acquires Burning Blue, Dynamo Production ‘Siete Cabezas’

8 hours ago

Cannes — Latido Films has acquired international rights to into-the-woods thriller “Siete Cabezas,” produced by Dynamo, Colombian producers of Netflix mega-hit “Narcos,” along with Burning Blue, headed by Diana Bustamante.

Burning Blue has, for five consecutive years, had films participating at Cannes with titles such as Argentine Diego Lerman’s 2014 drama “Refugiado,” and Colombian César Augusto Acevedo 2015 feature “Land and the Shade,” which took home four awards, including Cannes Camera d’Or.

The company has a history of producing riskier cinema intended for an international audience, frequently participating in international co-productions across the globe.

In addition to heavy involvement in “Narcos,” Dynamo, one of Colombia’s biggest film producers, has produced titles such as Sebastian Cordero’s “Rabia,” and 2010 Sundance Audience Award winner “Undertow.”

Cine Colombia, the largest distribution and exhibition company in Colombia, will handle domestic distribution on “Siete Cabezas.”

Helming the project is Colombia’s Jaime Osorio Marquez whose 2011 writing and directorial debut, »


- Jamie Lang

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BAFTA Announces Student Film Award Finalists

12 hours ago

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts announced the nine finalists for the 2017 BAFTA Student Film Awards. BAFTA’s Student Film Awards competition expanded internationally this year, with the final films having been selected from four countries. Awards will be announced at a gala ceremony June 22 at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles.

The finalists were selected from over 400 submissions by students at film schools internationally.

Film schools across the globe were able to submit up to nine films for consideration for four top prizes including the BAFTA Student Film Award for Animation presented by Laika, the Student Film Award for Documentary, the Student Film Award for Live Action Film and the Special Jury Prize, selected by the event’s panel members. Special Jury members for 2017 have not been announced yet.

This year’s contenders for animation include “Adam,” directed by Evelyn Jane Ross of Rhode Island School of Design; “Once Upon a Line, »


- Rebecca Rubin

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Universal Developing World War II Disaster Drama ‘Salt to the Sea’

12 hours ago

Universal Pictures is developing a movie based on Ruta Sepetys’ historical novel “Salt to the Sea,” and set up the project with “Transformers” producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura.

The studio won the rights in an auction. Sepetys is repped by UTA, Steven Malk at Writers House, and attorney Judith Karfiol.

“Salt to the Sea,” a New York Times bestseller published last year by Philomel/Penguin Young Readers Group, centers on four individuals — a Lithuanian nurse, a Prussian apprentice, a 15-year-old Polish girl, and an eager German who adheres to Adolf Hitler’s propaganda — who perished on the Mv Wilhelm Gustloff. The German military transport ship was sunk in January, 1945, by a Soviet submarine in the Baltic Sea while the ship was  evacuating German civilians, Nazi officials, and military personnel from Gdynia.

By one estimate, 9,400 people died, making it the largest loss of life in a single ship sinking in history — more »


- Dave McNary

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Oren Uziel Discusses Directorial Debut ‘Shimmer Lake,’ ‘God Particle’ Joining ‘Cloverfield’

13 hours ago

There’s death. Men on the run. Multiple betrayals. Then, a heist.

So unfolds “Shimmer Lake,” the feature directorial debut from Oren Uziel, a stylish thriller that ups the ante by telling its story backwards. Available on Netflix beginning June 9, the film begins on the last day of the tale, then proceeds to go back and show what happened each day before, until the day of the robbery. And if it sounds like a gimmick, don’t be fooled: Uziel’s smart script only works when told in reverse, revealing secrets and confidences at just the right times. “The problem with a lot of these movies that don’t work is it’s just a gimmick,” Uziel concurs. “Here, there’s no movie if it’s not told this way.” The film is also bolstered by fantastic performances from a cast that includes Benjamin Walker as a small-town lawman and »


- Jenelle Riley

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Eddie Redmayne’s ‘Early Man’ to Be Released by Lionsgate in North America

13 hours ago

Lionsgate has acquired U.S. rights to Aardman Studios’ upcoming prehistoric comedy adventure “Early Man,” starring Eddie Redmayne.

Directed by Nick Park from a script by Mark Burton and John O’Farrell, the stop-motion movie is co-financed by the U.K.’s Aardman and France’s Studiocanal. It’s a re-team of the companies following 2015’s “Shaun the Sheep.” Lionsgate also handled the domestic distribution for “Shaun the Sheep.”

Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer made the announcement during Thursday’s earnings call with Wall Street analysts. “Early Man” opens in the U.K. on Jan. 26 and in the U.S. on Feb. 16.

The film will be released by the Lionsgate’s Summit Entertainment label. Lionsgate will also represent licensing and merchandising for the film in the U.S.

Redmayne was the first cast member who boarded the toon, set at the dawn of time when prehistoric creatures and woolly mammoths roamed the earth. »


- Dave McNary

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STXfilms Boards Amy Schumer Comedy ‘I Feel Pretty’

14 hours ago

STXfilms has landed distrib rights to the Amy Schumer comedy “I Feel Pretty,” the directorial debut of successful screenwriters Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein.

The studio will distribute the comedy in the United States. The pic is the second film Stx has boarded in as many weeks involving Kohn and Silverstein, having also come on to distribute an untitled comedy from the writing duo starring Anne Hathaway.

Wonderland Sound and Vision’s McG and Mary Viola will produce “Pretty” with Voltage PicturesAlissa Phillips, Dominic Rustam, and Nicolas Chartier. Schumer will also produce. Kevin Kane, a frequent collaborator of Schumer’s, will co-produce. Jonathan Deckter will executive produce for Voltage.

Related

Steve Carell, Amy Schumer, Nicole Kidman to Star in Dramedy ‘She Came to Me’

In the comedy, an ordinary woman who struggles with feelings of insecurity and inadequacy on a daily basis wakes from a fall believing she is »


- Justin Kroll

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‘Boss Baby 2’ Dated for March 2021 With Alec Baldwin Returning

15 hours ago

DreamWorks Animation is moving forward on a sequel to its box office hit “The Boss Baby” and dated the film for March 26, 2021.

Alec Baldwin is returning to voice the title character with Universal Pictures distributing.

The sequel brings back the creative team from the sleeper hit for a new adventure based on award-winning author Marla Frazee’s picture-book series.

The Boss Baby” opened this past March and has since grossed $469 million worldwide, including $167 million domestically. It topped the box office with $49 million when it opened in early April, being the movie to finally dethrone the dominating “Beauty and the Beast” in its fourth weekend.

Directed by Tom McGrath, the story follows a suit-wearing, briefcase-carrying baby that pairs up with his seven-year-old brother to stop the dastardly plot of the CEO of Puppy Co. The voice cast also included Miles Christopher Bakshi, Tobey Maguire, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Steve Buscemi, and ViviAnn Yee. »


- Justin Kroll

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Disney CEO Bob Iger: Hacker Threat About Stolen Movie Was a Hoax

16 hours ago

Disney chief Bob Iger confirmed the company received a threat from cybercriminals who claimed to have stolen the digital copy of a movie — but that the studio believes the claims were false.

“To our knowledge we were not hacked,” Iger said in an interview with Yahoo Finance published Thursday. “We had a threat of a hack of a movie being stolen. We decided to take it seriously but not react in the manner in which the person who was threatening us had required.”

Iger added, “We don’t believe that it was real and nothing has happened.”

According to some reports, the movie in question was Johnny Depp-starrer “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” But piracy-news site TorrentFreak, citing an email exchange with someone purporting to be behind the extortion attempt, reported that the hackers told Disney they stole an incomplete cut of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi. »


- Todd Spangler

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Cannes: Dreamcatchers Acquires Everest Documentary (Exclusive)

16 hours ago

Cannes  — Barcelona-based sales agency Dreamcatchers has taken worldwide rights to an untitled documentary chronicling Spaniard Kilian Jornet’s solo speed ascent of Mount Everest.

The documentary is produced by Barcelona-based Arcadia Pictures, whose credits include Pablo Berger’s “Abracadabra,” as well as Jornet’s own company, Lymbus.

A four-time winner of the Skyrunner World Series and three-time winner of the Mont Blanc Ultra, and a Catalan extreme sports specialist, mountaineer and long-distance runner, 29-year-old Kilian Jornet summited Everest’s on May 22 after a speed ascent made without oxygen or the use of fixed ropes and with minimum equipment.

The Everest ascent forms part of a project, ”The Summits of my Life” taking in seven of highest peaks in the world. Jornet established a record on his Everest ascent, summiting in 26 hours via the classic North Face route from an Everest Base Camp close to the Tibetan Buddhist monastery of Rongbuk. »


- Emilio Mayorga

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Amir Bar-Lev’s ‘Long Strange Trip’ to Making the Definitive Grateful Dead Documentary

16 hours ago

In 2003, Amir Bar-Lev (“Happy Valley,” “The Tillman Story”) had just one film under his belt, “Fighter,” and a lofty idea for his next project: the definitive Grateful Dead documentary. It was a daunting task that would end up taking 14 years, 11 of them trying to get the band’s blessing and the proverbial ball rolling, and another three producing and shooting the film. “Long Strange Trip” finally opens in theaters on May 25 and arrives to Amazon Prime Video on June 2.

Clocking in at just under four hours and divided into six acts, the doc chronicles the Bay Area band’s incredible journey from the early days of the San Francisco Acid Tests to the death of legendary guitarist and co-founder Jerry Garcia.

Related

Film Review: ‘Long Strange Trip

Bar-Lev, a self-described Deadhead, first discovered the Dead’s music as a teenager in Berkeley, California. He is quick to note that 1973 is »


- Jeff Cornell

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Lionsgate Earnings, Revenues Top Wall Street Forecasts

16 hours ago

Lionsgate has reported earnings of $62 million, or 30 cents a share, for its fourth quarter ended March 31 — topping Wall Street forecasts of 22 cents a share and far above year-ago earnings of $10.9 million.

Revenues also came in above expectations at $1.26 billion, while analysts had been forecasting $1.19 billion.

Lionsgate announced the earnings Thursday after the market closed. Shares of the Class A stock rose gained 45 cents to $26 in afterhours trading.

It’s the second earnings report for the studio since its Dec. 8 acquisition of Starz for $4.4 billion. That transaction generated $89 million in restructuring and other costs primarily associated with the acquisition and subsequent integration of Starz.

Lionsgate’s movie operations have been buoyed by its musical comedy-drama “La La Land,” which won six Academy Awards and grossed $443 million in worldwide box office. The whimsical comedy-drama carried a production cost of $30 million.

“We’re pleased to report our first full quarter of financial results »


- Dave McNary

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Roman Polanski Joins Leading Polish Filmmakers at Cannes Celebration

16 hours ago

The Polish Film Institute and the Polish Filmmakers Assn. hosted a party, titled Polish Cinema Opening Night, at the Cannes Film Festival this week to celebrate the achievements of Polish cinema.

Among the guests at La Plage Du Rado were Polish filmmakers Roman Polanski, Agnieszka Holland, Krzysztof Zanussi and Jerzy Skolimowski. The event followed a screening of Andrzej Wajda’s “Man of Iron” in Cannes Classics.

Other guests included Polish filmmakers Malgorzata Szumowska and Tomasz Wasilewski, Oscar-winning producer Ewa Puszczynska, the European Film Academy’s director Marion Doering, and Piers Handling, director and chief executive officer of Toronto Film Festival.

The hosts were Magdalena Sroka, the general director the Polish Film Institute, and Jacek Bromski, the president of the Polish Filmmakers Assn. They were joined by Andrzej Szumowski, president of the Polish Vodka Assn. and a senior executive at Wyborowa, the event’s sponsors.

Directors Malgorzata Szumowska, Jerzy Skolimowski, and Agnieszka Holland, »


- Leo Barraclough

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Animated ‘Jetsons’ Movie to Lift Off With ‘Sausage Party’ Director

16 hours ago

Warner Bros. has hired “Sausage Party” co-director Conrad Vernon to develop its animated feature “The Jetsons” with an eye to direct.

Vernon’s credits include co-directing “Shrek 2,” “Monsters vs. Aliens” and “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,” in addition to the raunchy “Sausage Party” with Greg Tiernan. “Sausage Party” grossed $140 million worldwide on a $19 million budget. Vernon also voiced the Gingerbread Man in the “Shrek” movies.

Related Content Directors of ‘Zootopia,’ ‘Sausage Party’ and More Animated Films Share Their Biggest Challenges

Warner Bros. has been trying for several years to move forward on “The Jetsons,” hiring Matt Lieberman to write the script in 2015.

The Hanna-Barbera original animated show aired in primetime on ABC in 1962-63. It was set in 2062 and centered on George, Jane, Judy, and Elroy Jetson along with Rosie the Robot. The series was a Space Age counterpart to Hanna-Barbera’s “The Flintstones.”

Warner Bros., which owns the Hanna-Barbera library, »


- Dave McNary

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Cannes: France’s Mpm Film Takes Carolina Jabor’s ‘Liquid Truth’ (Exclusive)

17 hours ago

Cannes — Paris-based production-sales company Mpm Film has acquired worldwide rights outside South America to Carolina Jabor‘s “Liquid Truth.”

The feature marks the second fiction feature directorial outing by producer-director Jabor, who debuted with “Good Luck,” a box office hit, and also directed documentary “O mistério do samba.” One of the fast-rising women art film directors in Brazil, Jabor also has a cachet as a TV director, helming multiple episodes of Conspiraçao’s flagship TV hit, “The Invisible Woman.”

Produced by top Brazilian independent company Conspiraçao Filmes, whose credits include Andrucha Waddington’s “Lope,” omnibus feature “Rio, I Love You,” and Globo Filmes –the film arm of Brazilian media giant Globo, “Liquid Truth” was 100% financed by Globo using its access to Brazilian tax-break money.

The international sales agent deal was brokered by Ricardo Monastier for Mpm and Leonardo Barros for Conspiracao.

Based on a recent stage play by Catalan author »


- Emilio Mayorga and John Hopewell

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Blake Lively to Star in Thriller ‘The Husband’s Secret’ From ‘Big Little Lies’ Author

17 hours ago

Blake Lively is set to star in CBS Films’ thriller “The Husband’s Secret.”

Lively will also executive produce the film, with Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz, and Andrew Miano producing via their Depth of Field production company.

Related

Blake Lively on Women in Hollywood, Directing and Possible ‘Gossip Girl’ Reunion

Based on “Big Little Lies” author Liane Moriarty’s novel, the story follows a wife, mother, and chronic perfectionist who inadvertently discovers that her husband has been keeping a secret from her for years … a secret that leads her to realize that her life is built on a foundation of lies and murder.

Liane Moriarty has established herself as one of the defining voices of the modern woman and Blake Lively’s unique combination of vulnerability, strength, and extraordinary talent makes her the perfect actress to realize Moriarty’s creation,” said CBS Films President Terry Press.

The book was published »


- Justin Kroll

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