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Angelina Jolie, Javier Bardem, Helen Mirren Leading Talks at Toronto Film Festival

33 minutes ago

Javier Bardem, Gael García Bernal, Angelina Jolie and Helen Mirren will headline a series of public conversations about their careers as part of this year’s Toronto Film Festival.

Many of these actors and filmmakers aren’t just trekking to Canada to take a jaunt down memory lane. They’re also on hand to launch new films. Bardem stars in “mother!,” Darren Aronofsky’s upcoming horror film, and “Loving Pablo,” both of which will debut at the festival. Jolie is bringing “First They Killed My Father,” a drama about the Cambodian genocide that she made for Netflix, to the gathering. Mirren is appearing opposite Donald Sutherland in “The Leisure Seeker,” another festival entry. And Bernal will be seen in “If You Saw His Heart,” which will screen at the event.

In addition, the festival also unveiled its 2017 Discovery program lineup. It boasts 45 first and second

feature films by up-and-coming filmmakers from around the world. The »


- Brent Lang

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Lionsgate Promotes Kerry Phelan to President of Global Franchise Management

1 hour ago

On the heels of announcing a massive South Korean theme park, Lionsgate has promoted marketing veteran Kerry Phelan to the newly created post of president of global franchise management.

Tim Palen, the studio’s chief brand officer and president of worldwide marketing, made the announcement Tuesday. Phelan, who has been an exec VP of global franchise management and strategic partnerships, reports to Palen.

Lionsgate said that since Phelan came on board in 2014, she has helped leverage the company’s portfolio of film and television properties across multiple platforms and created significant new incremental business for the studio.

Film properties including “The Hunger Games,” “Twilight,” and “Now You See Me” franchises are being exploited at the Lionsgate Movie World outdoor theme park in Korea, the Lionsgate Entertainment World indoor theme park currently in development in China, and multiple indoor Lionsgate Entertainment City centers planned for high-traffic consumer destinations in the U.S. »


- Dave McNary

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Sanfic: Alicia Scherson’s Adapts Roberto Bolaño’s ‘Third Reich’ in ‘1989’ (Exclusive)

2 hours ago

Santiago De Chile — Teaming up with producer Isabel Orellana at Araucaria Cine (“Nunca vas a estar solo”), Alicia Scherson (“Family Life,” “Il Futuro”) is tackling the world of men for the first time in her second adaptation of a Roberto Bolaño novel after “Il Futuro,” her 2013 screen adaptation of the Chilean novelist’s “Una Novelita Lumpen.”

“Most of my films have displayed a more female perspective; it was a challenge to immerse myself in the world of a male, one obsessed with war games, to boot,” said Scherson.

After struggling with the script for a year, changing the original setting from Spain in Bolaño’s novel “The Third Reich” to Chile made all its disparate elements fall into place.

Scherson’s “1989” takes place in Chile during a time of transition after military dictator Augusto Pinochet has stepped down but before a democratic government has established itself.

“It’s a time of great uncertainty, the »


- Anna Marie de la Fuente

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San Sebastian: Features by Rory Kennedy, Jennifer Peedom Play Savage Cinema

2 hours ago

Madrid  —  “Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton,” by Oscar-nominated docu filmmaker Rory Kennedy (“Last Days in Vietnam”) and Australian Jennifer Peedom’s documentary “Mountain” figure among the six titles playing at San Sebastian Festival’s 5th Savage Cinema sidebar.

A pioneering initiative to profile many of the year’s best action sports/adventure productions at an A-grade festival, Savage Cinema was launched in 2013 by San Sebastian, in partnership with Red Bull Media House. During the upcoming 65th San Sebastian edition, Savage Cinema will focus on the exceptional lives of surfers Laird Hamilton and Kai Lenny, the discovery of Desert Point, and the fascination of climbing summits.

In “Take Every Wave,” Kennedy, who also won an Emmy Award in 2007 with “Ghosts of Abu Ghraib,” tells the story of the iconic American athlete Laird Hamilton, who changed the sport of big wave surfing forever. Transcending the surf genre, the docu marks an in-depth portrait of a hard-charging »


- Emiliano De Pablos

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Asghar Farhadi Begins Filming ‘Everybody Knows’ With Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz in Spain

3 hours ago

Asghar Farhadi, the Oscar-winning Iranian director of “A Separation” and “The Salesman,” has kicked off principal photography on “Everybody Knows” (“Todos Lo Saben”), his psychological thriller starring Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz and Ricardo Darin.

Budgeted at 10 million euros ($11.8 million), the Spanish-language film is being produced by Alexandre Mallet-Guy at Paris-based Memento Films Production and Alvaro Longoria at Spanish outfit Morena Films.

Written by Farhadi, “Everybody Knows” follows the journey of Carolina as she travels with her family from Buenos Aires to her hometown in Spain for a celebration. Meant to be a brief visit, the trip is disturbed by unforeseen events that will completely change the lives of Carolina and her family.

“Everybody Knows,” which has started shooting near Madrid, is being sold worldwide by Memento Films International.

“Everybody Knows” marks the third collaboration between Farhadi and Mallet-Guy after “The Salesman” and “The Past,” which Memento Films produced and distributed in France. Before »


- Elsa Keslassy

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‘Dunkirk’ Helps Push U.K. Cinema Admissions Past 100 Million by End of July

3 hours ago

Christopher Nolan’s depiction of the events at “Dunkirk” has helped rescue the U.K. box office in 2017 after a mid-year slump. A strong July performance, boosted by “Dunkirk’s” July 21 opening, has taken British cinema admissions for the year to more than 100 million – the first time since 2010 that that number has been exceeded after the first seven months of the year.

Overall U.K. cinema admissions reached 102 million by the end of July, a 6.6% rise compared to the same period in 2016 and the best performance since 2009, when 103.5 million ticket were sold in the same period.

At the end of July, “Dunkirk” had already earned £28.4 million ($37 million) at the U.K. box office, ranking eighth among all titles for the year despite only being on release for 11 days, according to comScore. Admissions for individual titles are not available in the U.K.

Nolan’s spectacular war film has since gone on to surpass “Despicable Me 3,” July »


- Robert Mitchell

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Norwegian Director Mikkel Brænne Sandemose’s ‘The Ash Lad: In the Hall of the Mountain King’ – First of a Movie Trilogy (Exclusive)

4 hours ago

Norwegian director Mikkel Brænne Sandemose, whose latest feature, 2013’s “Ragnarok,” received two Amandas, Norway’s national film prize, will open “The Ash Lad: In the Hall of the Mountain King” (“Askeladden – i Dovregubbens hall”) in Norwegian cinemas on Sept. 29 as the first of a trilogy about the Norwegian national hero.

Credited with such titles as Norwegian director Petter Næss’ 2001 “Elling,” more recently Rasmus A Sivertsen’s “The Christmas of Louis and Luca” and Arild Fröhlich’s “Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder” (2014), will invest $22 million in the three features about the fictional Norwegian character.

A family picture, “The Ash Lad: In the Hall of the Mountain King,” is co-produced by the Czech Republic’s Sirene Film and Ireland’s Subotica Entertainment on a $7 million budget.

“Obviously we are not only targeting Norwegian cinema-goers, but also international audiences,” said Maipo producer-ceo Synnøve Hørsdal, who decided on a new trilogy after the “Louis & Luca” series was picked up worldwide, mainly »


- Jorn Rossing Jensen

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Haugesund: Norway’s Thomas Aske Berg on His Pioneering ‘Vidar the Vampire’

4 hours ago

Haugesund, Norway — Norwegian actor-writer-composer-director-producer Thomas Aske Berg’s feature debut “Vidar the Vampire” (“VampyrVidar”) is most probably the least expensive entry in the main program at the Norwegian Intl. Film Festival in Haugesund- It was produced without public support, on a Nok 500,000 ($54,000) budget, “from heritage, savings, mum and dad investments and endless hours of free work from the UFOh! production crew,” Aske Berg explained.

But Aske Berg had another challenge: “My dream was to star in a vampire movie – I have always been fascinated by the vampire genre; the problem is they hardly exist in Norway, so [I had to ] make the film myself,” he said.

Then came the question of content and style: How can you achieve a fairly fresh and original approach with the plethora of vampire movies out there?

“”Vidar the Vampire” is primarily a naturalistic comedy with horror elements, where the main character is in a surreal fantasy universe. It »


- Jorn Rossing Jensen

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Japan Box Office: ‘High & Low the Movie 2’ Opens on Top

5 hours ago

“High & Low the Movie 2 End of Sky,” the third film in a multi-media project featuring the all-male dancing and singing group Exile Tribe, opened atop the Japanese box office. For the Aug. 19-20 weekend the film made $3.2 million on 266,000 admissions from 314 screens, with Shochiku distributing.

The score was 27% weaker than the opening weekend of the first “High & Low” actioner about warring street gangs, which finished with $19 million following its July 2016 release. But it was 18% better than the second film, which earned $11 million in Oct. 2016.

Toho-Towa’s “Despicable Me 3,” which had held the number one spot for four weekends, fell to number two with $2.5 million. The film passed the $48 million lifetime figure of “Despicable Me” and is forecast to finish around $70 million.

Opening in third was “Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or The Bottom?,” an animation by Akiyuki Shinbo based on a 1993 made-for-tv film by Shunji Iwai. Distributed by Toho on 301 screens, »


- Mark Schilling

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Martin McDonagh’s ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ to Close London Film Festival

6 hours ago

Martin McDonagh’s darkly comic drama “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” will be the closing-night film of the 61st BFI London Film Festival. 

The film, which stars Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell, will receive its U.K. premiere Oct. 15 at London’s Odeon Leicester Square. McDonagh, McDormand and Rockwell are all expected to attend.

The Oscar-winning British filmmaker’s third feature, “Three Billboards” marks McDonagh’s second to appear at the festival following “Seven Psychopaths” in 2012. “I’m excited to bring this film back to my hometown for its U.K. premiere,” McDonagh said in a statement. “I’m more than proud of it, and if there are any fans of ‘In Bruges’ still out there, I don’t think they’ll be disappointed.”

The film sees McDormand’s Mildred Hayes call out her town’s revered chief of police (Harrelson), after months without a culprit being found in her daughter’s murder, by »


- Robert Mitchell

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Haugesund: Nordic Countries Plan New Pan-Regional Fund to Support Nordic Film and TV

8 hours ago

Haugesund, Norway — Norwegian culture minister Linda Hofstad Helleland has announced that the Nordic countries are planning to set up a new pan-regional fund to support Scandinavia film and TV, which will be administered by the Nordisk Film & TV Fond.

The announcement was made at Bridging the Nordic Market, the Haugesund Festival’s main seminar, held Monday at the Norwegian festival to debate how to strengthen Nordic content in a digital age.

Taking place at Haugesund’s Scandic Maritim Hall, the seminar discussed new business models which can secure a diverse and high-quality Nordic film and TV series content for the public, ensuring that funds are being plowed back into new productions.

“The initiative comes from the Nordic film institutes, which discussed it with us, and it is great to hear of political interest so soon,” said CEO Petri Kemppinen, of the Oslo-based Nordisk Film & TV Fond.

The five Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, »


- Jorn Rossing Jensen

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‘La La Land,’ ‘Stranger Things’ Among 2017 World Soundtrack Award Nominees

10 hours ago

The World Soundtrack Academy has announced the first wave of 2017 World Soundtrack Award nominees.

Among the contenders: Academy Award winner Justin Hurwitz (“La La Land”), and Academy Award nominees Mica Levi, Nicholas Britell, Dustin O’Halloran and Jóhann Jóhannsson. As previously announced, the lifetime achievement award will be presented to composer David Shire (“The Conversation,” “All the President’s Men”) as part of the #WSAwards celebration of jazz.

Related

Sting and Wayne Shorter Awarded Polar Music Prize; Annie Lennox, Esperanza Spalding Perform in Their Honor

Following the award ceremony, a selection of Terence Blanchard’s work (“Mo’ Better Blues,” “Malcolm X,” “25th Hour”) will be recorded and performed by Brussels Philharmonic and additional jazz soloists, conducted by Film Fest Gent’s music director Dirk Brossé.

The Academy will announce the nominees mid September for discovery of the year, best original score for a Belgian production, and the composition competition.

Said Film Fest Gent’s artistic director Patrick »


- Rebecca Rubin

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Locarno Film Review: ‘The Poetess’

13 hours ago

For a Western audience, there are several arresting elements to Stefanie Brockhaus and Andreas Wolff’s engaging, accessible documentary “The Poetess”: The first is that although we come to know its subject, Saudi writer Hissa Hilal, very well, and though she’s in almost every shot, we never see her face. The second is that the reason for her fame is a TV show called “Million’s Poet” which airs across the Arab world to regular audiences in excess of 70 million people, and yet it’s likely that those from outside that region will not have heard of it.

In format and layout, “Million’s Poet” is similar to any number of Western-style reality contests, from the flashy neon color scheme, bombastic music and dramatic spotlights, to the telegenic, glassy-eyed hosts, the panel of poker-faced judges and the noisy, participative studio audience. It’s “American Idol” by way of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” and »


- Jessica Kiang

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‘Do It Like an Hombre’ Is Mexico’s Highest-Grossing Local Film of the Year

16 hours ago

Some new Mexican box office history has been made as the comedy “Do it Like an Hombre” followed its 68.7 million Mexican pesos ($3.89 million) opening weekend with a two weekend total of $130.3 million pesos ($7.4 million), giving it the highest Mexican movie box office total of 2017, according to comScore.

In its first weekend, including a Thursday first-day bow, the film was the country’s second-highest Mexican release ever after the 2013 smash-hit “Instructions Not Included,” which holds the top spot, though off a Thursday rather than Friday opening. 2016’s “Que Culpe Tiene el Nino”? earned a three-day 65.6 million pesos ($3.7 million), according to comScore.

The recent success of local hits in Mexico has helped in recent years to justify a massive growth in the number of theaters across the country. It may also suggest a shift away from the near absolute choke-hold that Hollywood blockbusters, especially animated movies, have held on the region’s box offices for years. At »


- Jamie Lang

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Former Google Marketing Exec Andrew Hotz Joins Warner Bros.

16 hours ago

Former Google marketing executive Andrew Hotz has been named executive vice president of worldwide digital marketing for Warner Bros. Pictures.

Jp Richards, the studio’s exec VP of worldwide marketing and chief data strategist, made the announcement on Monday. Hotz will oversee the division’s domestic and international digital teams, working with the broader marketing team on the design and deployment of digital campaigns to support releases from Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema. Hotz will report directly to Richards.

“Digital marketing provides us new opportunities to reach audiences in sophisticated ways at scale,” Richards sad. “With our strategic partnerships, technology and data, Warner Bros. can reach and interact with entertainment consumers like never before. Andrew has an incredible background in digital marketing, and we’ll look to him to help us refine and further our digital campaigns, realizing the full potential of our marketing organization as well as the world-class films we market.”

Hotz »


- Dave McNary

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Amazon Studios Buys ‘Cold War’ From Oscar Winner Paweł Pawlikowski (Exclusive)

17 hours ago

Amazon Studios has acquired “Cold War,” a period romance from Oscar-winning director Paweł Pawlikowski.

The film takes place across Poland, Berlin, Yugoslavia, and Paris, and is set in the 1950s — a time when the forces of democracy and communism were clashing throughout Europe. The terms of the deal are being kept under wraps, but it has been in the works for months. The movie was first presented to buyers at the Berlin Film Festival. »


- Brent Lang and Elsa Keslassy

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‘American Assassin’ Red Band Trailer Shoots Movie to Lead Social Media Buzz

18 hours ago

Dylan O’Brien’s “American Assassin” easily topped social media buzz last week with 59,000 new conversations, according to media-measurement firm ComScore and its PreAct service.

The activity was spurred by the studio holding a social promotion for fans to unlock the new poster online along with the release of a new red band trailer on Aug. 17. The cumulative number of new conversations for “American Assassin” has hit 245,000.

In the movie, Dylan O’Brien plays Mitch Rapp, a CIA recruit whose fiancee is killed in a terrorist attack moments after he’s proposed to her — motivating him to serve in a black ops mission aimed at stopping World War III in the Middle East. He’s trained by deep cover Cold War veteran Stan Hurley, played by Michael Keaton. The film opens on Sept. 15.

Related

Dylan O’Brien, Michael Keaton Spar in ‘American Assassin’ Trailer (Watch)

Disney-Marvel’s “Thor: Ragnarok” produced 21,000 new conversations last week as the studio »


- Dave McNary

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Bryan Singer’s Queen Biopic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Casts Band Members

19 hours ago

Ben Hardy, Gwilym Lee, and Joe Mazzello have joined upcoming biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” about the band Queen, with Rami Malek starring as frontman Freddie Mercury.

Production on the film will begin this fall, with Bryan Singer directing from Justin Haythe’s script. New Regency and Graham King’s Gk Films are the production companies.

The producers are King, Singer, and Jim Beach. Denis O’Sullivan, Arnon Milchan, and Jane Rosenthal are the executive producers. Kira Goldberg is overseeing the project for Fox.

Hardy, whose credits include “X-Men: Apocalypse” and “Mary Shelley,” will play drummer Roger Taylor. Lee (“The Hollow Crown”) will portray lead guitarist Brian May and Mazzello (“The Social Network”) will tackle the role of bass guitarist John Deacon.

King has been trying to get the project off the ground for sometime after originally setting it up at Sony, with Sacha Baron Cohen attached to star at one point. When Cohen dropped out, »


- Dave McNary

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‘Narcos’ Star Pedro Pascal to Play Villain in ‘Equalizer 2’ Opposite Denzel Washington (Exclusive)

19 hours ago

Pedro Pascal is in negotiations to play the antagonist in Sony and Escape Artists’ “The Equalizer 2” starring Denzel Washington.

Antoine Fuqua is returning to direct. Todd Black is producing.

Plot details are currently scarce, other than that Washington will reprise his role as Robert McCall, a former special ops agent who now helps those who can’t defend themselves. Details on Pascal’s character are unknown. »


- Justin Kroll

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‘Mary Magdalene’ Pushed to Easter, ‘Current War’ to Open Over Thanksgiving

20 hours ago

The Weinstein Company is delaying the release of “Mary Magdalene,” its upcoming religious epic, by four months, and moving the premiere of “The Current War,” an Oscar-bait historical drama, into the week of Thanksgiving.

Mary Magdalene” will premiere in theaters March 30, 2018, otherwise known as Easter weekend, which pushes it out of this year’s awards season. It was originally slated to debut on Nov. 24, 2017. “The Current War” will bow in theaters in the slot that “Mary Magdalene” vacated — it was initially supposed to launch on Dec. 22, 2017. The film will screen at this year’s Toronto Film Festival. Both pictures will start their runs in limited release.

Rooney Mara stars as the title character in “Mary Magdalene,” one of Jesus’ followers. Joaquin Phoenix plays Jesus, while Garth Davis, who scored a box office hit with last year’s “Lion,” directs the film.

The Current War” stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Thomas Edison and Michael Shannon as George Westinghouse, and »


- Brent Lang

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