Movie News

James Gray’s ‘Armageddon Time’ takes early lead on Screen’s Cannes jury grid

James Gray’s ‘Armageddon Time’ takes early lead on Screen’s Cannes jury grid
Jerzy Skolimowski’s ’Eo’, Tarik Saleh’s ’Boy From Heaven’ and Arnaud Desplechin’s ’Brother and Sister’ also land on the jury grid.

James Gray’s Armageddon Time has taken the early lead on Screen’s Cannes jury grid with an average of 2.8 (with one score incoming), whilst the first scores for Jerzy Skolimowski’s Eo, Tarik Saleh’s Boy From Heaven and Arnaud Desplechin’s Brother And Sister are also in.

Period drama Armageddon Time, which stars Jeremy Strong, Anthony Hopkins and Anne Hathaway, received fours (excellent) from Le Monde’s Mathieu Macheret and Time Magazine’s Stephanie Zacharek.
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Three Thousand Years of Longing review – Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba in Mad Max: fairy overload

Three Thousand Years of Longing review – Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba in Mad Max: fairy overload
George Miller’s belated followup to 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road is a consciously unfashionable fantasy about a wary academic and a chatty genie that may leave you wishing for more

Grant the Mad Max fans a magic wish and they’d conjure up a new film from George Miller, right here and right now, not a moment to lose. It’s probably what they’ve been wanting since Fury Road trundled off into the desert back in 2015. Now their prayers have been answered, God help them, as Miller arrived at the Cannes film festival to uncork a picture he describes as “the anti-Mad Max”: a loquacious Arabian Nights-style fantasy about the relationship between an ancient genie and a London academic. These people really should have read the small print. Every magic wish comes with a consequence, a cost.

Adapted from a 1994 As Byatt novella, Three Thousand Years of Longing
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

REinvent Scores Deals on ‘Leave,’ ‘Comedy Queen’ (Exclusive)

REinvent Scores Deals on ‘Leave,’ ‘Comedy Queen’ (Exclusive)
REinvent Intl. Sales has scored sales across its slate, including Alex Herron’s horror film “Leave” and Sanna Lenken’s “Comedy Queen.”

“Comedy Queen,” which world-premiered at Berlin and won the Crystal Bear in the Generation section, has sold to Benelux (In the Air), France (Les Films Du Preau), Spain (Yoda Films), Poland (Vivarto), Hungary (Ads Service), Lithuania (Scanorama) and the former Yugoslavia (Fivia).

“Comedy Queen” follows Sasha, a 13-year-old girl who dreams of becoming a stand-up comedian. She lives with her father, who can’t get over the death of her mother. She secretly writes a list of everything she has to do to survive, including shaving her hair, stop reading books, saying no to the world’s cutest puppy and become a comedy queen.

Lenken previously won the Berlinale Generation best film prize for her debut feature, “My Skinny Sister.”

“Comedy Queen,” which has been sold to 21 countries worldwide,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Hannah Kent’s ‘The Good People’ Sets Adaptation at Australia’s Aquarius Films, Ireland’s Port Pictures (Exclusive)

Hannah Kent’s ‘The Good People’ Sets Adaptation at Australia’s Aquarius Films, Ireland’s Port Pictures (Exclusive)
Busy Australian production company Aquarius Films has partnered with Irish production company Port Pictures to produce the feature film, “The Good People.” The film is based on the award-winning novel by Hannah Kent, who also wrote the adapted screenplay.

The Good People” is set in 19th century Ireland at a time when the Catholic church was waging war against pagan beliefs. It sees three women conspire to free a young boy from evil spirits.

The Good People” is an examination of absolute belief and superstition. It depicts a series of actions that are both tender and harsh and raises questions about belonging, understanding and acceptance.

The film is to be produced by Angie Fielder and Polly Staniford of Aquarius Films, and Martina Niland of Port Pictures. The film will be executive produced by Aquarius Films’ Miranda Culley. The film has received development funding from Screen Australia.

Neither a director nor
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Brazil’s Caru Alves de Souza Wins Pop-Up Residency Prize, Backed by Projeto Paradiso (Exclusive)

Brazil’s Caru Alves de Souza Wins Pop-Up Residency Prize, Backed by Projeto Paradiso (Exclusive)
Brazilian writer-director Caru Alves de Souza, whose second feature, “My Name Is Baghdad,” won the Crystal Bear for best film at Berlin’s 2020 Generation 14plus sidebar, has been selected for the Pop Up Film Residency 2022 program.

Alves de Souza will use the Residency to develop “Lonely Hearts,” her new fiction feature.

The award was announced Saturday at Cannes Marché du Film by Josephine Bourgois and Rachel do Valle, executive director and program director at Brazil’s Projeto Paradiso, which is backing the prize, and former Cannes Critics’ Week programmer Matthieu Darras, creator of Pop Up.

Alves de Souza will participate in the mentoring program for the development of a fiction feature, which runs over three weeks, in August, in Vilnius, Lithuania. She will receive a Paradiso Scholarship and travel support in the amount of Reais 5,000, in addition to becoming part of the Paradiso Talent Network.

Alves de Souza impressed with “My Name is Baghdad,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

As Production Booms, Top Hungarian Projects Head to Cannes

As Production Booms, Top Hungarian Projects Head to Cannes
The Hungarian film industry is booming, with a record 241 domestic productions — including feature films, shorts, documentaries and TV series — produced in 2021. Here’s a selection of top projects in the pipeline or being sold during the Cannes Market:

As Long as the Grass Grows

Director: Áron Gauder

Producer: Réka Temple (Cinemon Entertainment)

Annecy main prize winner Gauder (“The District”) spins an alternative creation myth, in which mankind is but one of many creatures in the animal kingdom, and offers a hopeful story that it’s not too late to correct course and save the planet.

Blockade

Director: Ádám Tősér

Producer: Tamás Lajos (Film Positive Productions)

Based on the true story of the country’s first democratically elected prime minister, the film follows József Antall’s journey from a freedom fighter during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 to the infamous 1990 taxi blockade that shook the nation.

Sales: Nfi World Sales

The Game
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Amid Rightward Turn Under Viktor Orbán, Hungarian Filmmakers Look to a ‘Heroic Past’

Amid Rightward Turn Under Viktor Orbán, Hungarian Filmmakers Look to a ‘Heroic Past’
On the outskirts of Budapest, a big-budget period drama is recreating the fateful day that sparked the Hungarian war of independence in 1848. Construction is underway at the state-owned Mafilm studio complex on a massive set that will stand in for the Hungarian capital in the 19th century. With 100-plus shooting days planned through September, director Balázs Lóth describes “Now or Never!” as “the most ambitious Hungarian film ever made.”

That ambition is being matched by Hungary’s National Film Institute, which awarded “Now or Never!” a 12.5 million production grant — the largest amount given to a feature film since the fall of communism in 1989.

It’s the second big swing on a splashy historical drama taken by the Nfi in the past year, after it awarded 29 million to “Rise of the Raven,” an epic drama series produced by Robert Lantos’ Serendipity Point Films (“Crimes of the Future”) and Beta Film (“Gomorrah
See full article at Variety - Film News »

As Local Biz Blossoms, Estonian Producers Take Top Projects to Cannes

As Local Biz Blossoms, Estonian Producers Take Top Projects to Cannes
Riding the high of a production-servicing boom, Estonia’s domestic industry has likewise shown no signs of slowing down. Here’s a roundup of top local productions in the pipeline, from producers who are searching for international partners in Cannes:

The Invisible Fight

Director: Rainer Sarnet

Producers: Katrin Kissa, Homeless Bob Production (Estonia), Alise Gelze, White Picture (Latvia), Amanda Livanou, Neda Film (Greece), Helen Vinogradov, Helsinki-filmi (Finland)

Sarnet, whose fantasy-drama “November” played at Tribeca in 2017, returns with a ‘70s-set kung-fu comedy about a guard on the Soviet-Chinese border who, after surviving a deadly attack, decides to become a monk but must continually prove along the way that he’s capable of becoming the enlightened man he set out to be.

Lioness

Director: Liina Trishkina-Vanhatalo

Producers: Ivo Felt (Estonia), Guntis Trekteris (Latvia)

The sophomore feature from Trishkina-Vanhatalo, whose debut “Take It or Leave It” was Estonia’s submission for the international feature Oscar,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Streaming: Ali & Ava and other great films set in Yorkshire

Streaming: Ali & Ava and other great films set in Yorkshire
From Billy Liar to My Summer of Love, the county’s moors and mill towns have been fertile ground for film-makers. Clio Barnard’s Bradford romance is no exception

Claire Rushbrook and Adeel Akhtar are the middle-aged lovers defying familial prejudice and cultural barriers in Ali & Ava (arriving on major VOD platforms on Monday), but that’s only one of the romances unfolding in British director Clio Barnard’s gentle, sentimental film. More metaphorically, Ali & Ava extends Barnard’s ongoing devotion to the Yorkshire city of Bradford, not far from her own home town of Otley.

It’s her third film set in the once-booming beneficiary of the Industrial Revolution, and while she doesn’t over-romanticise Bradford’s mixture of Victorian grandeur and contemporary poverty, a palpable affection for its physical and social geography softens the edges of its realism. More so than in Barnard’s previous Bradford-set films,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Scandi Drama, 30 Cash Rebate Boost Estonia’s Growing Screen Biz

Scandi Drama, 30 Cash Rebate Boost Estonia’s Growing Screen Biz
Estonia received a splashy introduction to the limelight in 2019, when it played host to Christopher Nolan’s time-bending sci-fi drama “Tenet.” The biggest production to shoot in the Baltic nation to date, Warner Bros.’ 200 million blockbuster landed Estonia squarely on the map for international film and television productions.

Though the coronavirus pandemic arrived not long after principal photography wrapped, the industry hasn’t skipped a beat since, with both domestic and international production — drawn by a cash rebate of up to 30 —continuing apace. This year, says Estonian Film Institute CEO Edith Sepp, there are no signs of slowing down.

“The Estonian cash rebate has been booming more than ever in the first half of this year,” she says. “In the whole of 2021, we had seven projects using the cash rebate scheme, but by January this year, we already had eight projects lined up for the rebate and the year had barely started.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘The birthplace of hostage negotiation’: inside a groundbreaking 1973 standoff

‘The birthplace of hostage negotiation’: inside a groundbreaking 1973 standoff
In compelling new film Hold Your Fire, a siege that pitted black robbers against white US police led to an unlikely outcome

Films about hostage situations rarely play out like Hold Your Fire, where both the captives and captors don’t die.

Stefan Forbes’s riveting documentary revisits a real life 47-hour standoff in Brooklyn following a botched sporting goods store robbery; the kind that makes you wonder why they never made a movie about that before. In January 1973, four Black men led by Shu’aib Raheem were planning to steal guns from John and Al’s Sporting Goods in Bed-Stuy and were pitted into a loaded and intense confrontation with an overwhelmingly white police force that brought barricades, snipers and a tank.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Agavia, Jalisco Team with Blood Window on 25,000 Script Award (Exclusive)

Agavia, Jalisco Team with Blood Window on 25,000 Script Award (Exclusive)
Guadalajara’s Agavia Studios, the Film Commission of the State of Jalisco and market Ventana Sur’s Blood Window are launching Oscura Tinta, a screenplay competition for fantasy/horror features carrying a 25,000 cash prize.

Agavia will give the award in exchange for copyright to the work. Agavia will produce the winning screenplay, moving into production this year 2022, CEO Gustavo Castillón told Variety at Cannes.

The winner will be chosen by a panel of industry figures and genre specialists.

Launched by Blood Window, Ventana Sur’s genre platform, the call for applications runs June 1-Aug. 15. The winner will be announced at Ventana Sur.

Agavia aims to make three features a year, said Castillón. One will now be a genre movie. Genre, a highly exportable film form, will help give an international edge to Jalisco production, he added.

“Screenplays are the ‘philosophers stone’ of filmmaking,” said Daniel de la Vega, at Mexico’s Sofia Films,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Everyone Wants to Be Korean, as the K-wave Sucks in International Talent

Everyone Wants to Be Korean, as the K-wave Sucks in International Talent
Surprising as it may sound, the Korean film industry has had a rough time over the past couple of years. Get ready for a comeback.

Just at a moment when Korean film producers might have expected to capitalize on the unprecedented multi-Oscar success of “Parasite” in 2019 to just KRW173 billion (138 million) in 2021.

The film industry is now hoping for a trickle-down effect from Korea’s other creative sectors — music, TV drama, cosmetics and food — that will speed its revival.

“One of the first things I did after getting the job was to change the industry’s branding. No more ‘Korean Cinema.’ Instead, we should call ourselves ‘K-Movies,’ ” said Korean Film Council (Kofic) chairman Park Ki-yong. “It fits with the times.” Korea’s stand in the Cannes International Village has been appropriately rebadged.

K-Movies’ comeback is also likely to have a more international flavor, as foreign filmmakers come to Korea
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Saudi Arabia’s Fatima Al-Banawi Set For Feature Debut With ‘Basma’ (Exclusive)

Saudi Arabia’s Fatima Al-Banawi Set For Feature Debut With ‘Basma’ (Exclusive)
Saudi Arabian filmmaker, actress and activist Fatima Al-Banawi (“Barakah Meets Barakah”) is set to make her feature film directorial debut with “Basma,” a bold drama that will tackle the theme of mental illness in her country.

The pic, which she also wrote, is set to start shooting in Jeddah in October.

Besides writing and directing “Basma,” Al Banawi will be its titular star, playing the 26-year-old daughter of a man who suffers from paranoid delusions. Upon returning from the U.S. to Saudi Arabia, Basma tries to save him from his spiraling mental instability before being forced to leave her father again.

“I like to work with family dynamics; human relations are something that really attracts me,” said Al-Banawi, who has a psychology degree and also a masters in theological studies from Harvard.

“My entire family are either theologists or psychologists. So there is a deep observation that comes out of that experience,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Kino Lorber Nabs U.S. Rights to Hernan Findling’s ‘Virtual Reality’ (Exclusive)

Kino Lorber Nabs U.S. Rights to Hernan Findling’s ‘Virtual Reality’ (Exclusive)
New York-based Kino Lorber has acquired all North American rights to horror pic “Virtual Reality,” from Argentine director-producer Hernán Findling (“Impossible Crimes”).

Other deals on the pic closed by FilmSharks include Media 4 Fun (Poland), Av Jet (Taiwan) and Laon-i (South Korea). Japan, Latin America, the U.K. and France are under discussion.

“Just a few horror stories attain such a high degree of talent in merging so many different stories within the same feature, incorporating well-known genre cinema classics to make an absolutely new feature. This small-budgeted film has surprised everyone,” FilmSharks CEO, Guido Rud told Variety.

Starring Vanesa González, César Bordón, Christian Sancho and Federico Bal, “Virtual Reality” has screened at Sitges and Bifan. In it, a cast and crew arrive at their director’s house for their film’s first cut screening. They soon find out that he has struck a sinister pact to ensure his career really takes off.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Charlotte Wells on Cannes Critics’ Week Film ‘Aftersun’: ‘I Got More and More of Myself Into Both Characters’

Charlotte Wells on Cannes Critics’ Week Film ‘Aftersun’: ‘I Got More and More of Myself Into Both Characters’
New York-based Scottish filmmaker Charlotte Wells’ feature debut “Aftersun,” premiering at Cannes Critics’ Week, aims to achieve a balance of joy and melancholia in equal measure.

Framed as a look back at a father-daughter holiday at a Turkish resort in the late 1990s, with occasional mini Dv footage adding to the period texture, the film is an ode to nostalgia with hints of something far darker.

Wells’ first short, “Tuesday” (2015), was about the loss of her father, which happened when she was a teenager. “I wanted to explore a different period in that relationship, like a young father and his daughter on holiday. Even just visually having a young parent, like a young man and his daughter, it just felt like it could be something interesting and fun and compelling,” Wells told Variety.

The script began in a different form in that it was more conventional and plot-driven, and the more she worked on it,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Anthony Hopkins to play Sigmund Freud in ‘Freud’s Last Session’ for WestEnd, CAA (exclusive)

Anthony Hopkins to play Sigmund Freud in ‘Freud’s Last Session’ for WestEnd, CAA (exclusive)
Matthew Brown to direct.

UK sales outfit WestEnd Films and US-based CAA Media Finance have launched worldwide sales at Cannes on Matthew Brown’s Freud’s Last Session, starring Anthony Hopkins.

Hopkins will play the founder of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud, on the eve of the Second World War as he approaches the end of his life and invites author Cs Lewis over to debate the existence of God.

The drama explores Freud’s relationship with his daughter, and that of Lewis’ romance with his best friend’s mother.

Hopkins has also previously played Lewis, in 1993 film Shadowlands.

The script is
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Cannes Has Record Number of Female Filmmakers, But Lots of Ground to Make Up

Cannes Has Record Number of Female Filmmakers, But Lots of Ground to Make Up
Here’s the good news.

Facing public pressure and mounting outrage over the lack of female representation among the filmmakers it chooses to celebrate, this year’s Cannes Film Festival is making efforts to diversify beyond the cavalcade of many of the same male auteurs. Instead, there will be a record number of women directors in competition.

Now the bad news. That record is a paltry five female filmmakers, out of 21 films overall, representing less than a quarter of all movies vying for Cannes’ top prize, the Palme d’Or. The dearth of women in the lineup puts pressure on the handful of female directors who were tapped to premiere their films in the South of France.

“Because there are so few women in competition, we feel a lot of pressure, as if we had to be symbols,” admits Léonor Serraille, the director of “Mother and Son.” “We ask ourselves a lot of questions.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Cannes indie buyers voice dismay at rising prices of big US projects

Cannes indie buyers voice dismay at rising prices of big US projects
“Films didn’t sell for two years so there is a need to cover past costs and expenses.”

Some buyers in the Cannes Marché are being priced out of acquisitions they would normally expect to make while others are talking of asking prices “30-50” higher than before the pandemic.

One leading Scandinavian head of sales said the asking price for the bigger US packages, such as Lionsgate’s Hunger Games prequel was up to twice what it would have been before the pandemic.

Other titles making buyers’ eyes water include Miramax’s latest Jason Statham picture called The Beekeeper (which
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Parkland Pictures boards art scandal feature ‘Genuine Fakes’ (exclusive)

Parkland Pictures boards art scandal feature ‘Genuine Fakes’ (exclusive)
The drama explores the John Myatt art fraud scandal

UK sales agent Parkland Pictures has acquired worldwide sales rights to Pat Holden’s Genuine Fakes, which chronicles the John Myatt art fraud scandal

It is based on the story of how Myatt, alongside John Drew, masterminded one of the largest art fraud cases of the 20th century. It stars Colin Morgan as Myatt, alongside Peter Firth as Drew. Tara Fitzgerald also stars, with a cameo appearance from Myatt himself.

It is produced by Julie Daly-Wallman of Green Eye Productions Academy and executive produced by Lamia Nayeb-St Hilaire.

Shooting is set to take place in Staffordshire,
See full article at ScreenDaily »
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