Indie News

Ben Stiller to Direct Jonah Hill in Adaptation of Sundance-Winning Documentary ‘We Live in Public’ — Sundance 2018

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Ben Stiller to Direct Jonah Hill in Adaptation of Sundance-Winning Documentary ‘We Live in Public’ — Sundance 2018
Ondi Timoner’s 2009 Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning documentary, “We Live in Public,” will become a feature film directed by Ben Stiller and starring Jonah Hill as Josh Harris, the dot-com millionaire who carried out a surveillance experiment with 150 residents at a Manhattan hotel amid Y2K panic.

Bold Films will finance the project, which Timoner will produce with Stiller’s Red Hour Films. Timoner announced the project during an interview at a January 20, Dell-sponsored panel, “Life After Sundance — Building a Career in Indie Filmmaking.”

Timoner also briefly discussed “Mapplethorpe,” her just-completed biopic of Robert Mapplethorpe with “The Crown” star Matt Smith in the lead. She said Sundance accepted the film for the 2018 festival, but it hit “a bump” that prevented its screening.

Read More: Portraying Chaos: Ondi Timoner’s “We Live In Public” (Sundance ’09)

Red Hour Films CEO Nicky Weinstock told IndieWire that “We Live In Public” will be penned
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Sundance Scene and Heard: Black Eyed Peas, Issa Rae, Joaquin Phoenix and More (Photos)

Sundance Scene and Heard: Black Eyed Peas, Issa Rae, Joaquin Phoenix and More (Photos)
Ethan Hawke deserved to kick back after making the rounds for two films at Sundance Friday night, “Blaze,” which he wrote and directed, and “Juliet, Naked,” which he stars in. But Lena Waithe and Issa Rae did anything but that at Showtime’s party at the IMDb Studio for Waithe’s new series “The Chi.” How is Nic Cage so cool? Remember, he is a Coppola. Before a midnight screening of “Mandy,” on Friday night (Jan. 19), Cage and Kevin Smith held the early lead for one of the top shots of the festival so far. What are the Black Eyed Peas doing...
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‘Sorry to Bother You’ Star Tessa Thompson: Hollywood Hesitates to Cast Black Actors in Magical Realism Films — Sundance 2018

‘Sorry to Bother You’ Star Tessa Thompson: Hollywood Hesitates to Cast Black Actors in Magical Realism Films — Sundance 2018
Tessa Thompson was at Sundance four years ago for the premiere of “Dear White People,” a film that slingshotted her career — she’s now a veteran of blockbusters (“Creed,” “Thor: Ragnarok”), a Best Picture nominee (“Selma”), a HBO hit (“Westworld”), and a Jay-z music video (“Moonlight”). Now she’s returning to Park City with another feature tackling race, Boots Riley’s “Sorry to Bother You,” in which a black telemarketer (Lakeith Stanfield) suddenly prospers when he learns to mimic a white person’s voice. Thompson will see the finished product for the first time at the January 20 premiere.

Over a fireside chat with Oscar-winning producer (“Crash”) and Women in Film, Los Angeles president Cathy Schulman, the actress, songwriter, and Time’s Up volunteer explained what drew her to the role. “I’ve long wanted to work in this space of magical realism in film,” she said. “I feel like for
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Sundance: Why Ruth Bader Ginsburg Could Be the Toast of the Fest

Sundance: Why Ruth Bader Ginsburg Could Be the Toast of the Fest
RBG, the documentary about her life and legacy that first screens at Sundance on Jan. 21 — could be the toast of the fest. "Millennials are big fans of hers," says Julie Cohen, who directed the film along with Betsy West. "What they love about her is the contrast between her seriousness of purpose and her lighter side."

Having embraced the hip-hop moniker Notorious Rbg (originally bestowed upon her by an NYU law student), Ginsburg doesn't shy away from the notoriety...
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'American Animals', Blindspotting' among early Sundance buzz

'American Animals', Blindspotting' among early Sundance buzz
Saturday premieres bring Colette, Leave No Trace, Yardie, among others.

While the industry awaits the first big on-site deal in Sundance, where the much-fancied American Animals is expected to close soon, buzz is starting to emerge on several other titles heading into the first weekend.

Juliet, Naked, Blindspotting, Monsters And Men, and The Catcher Was A Spy were all in play on Saturday ahead of a cluster of anticipated premieres that includes Colette, Leave No Trace, Sorry To Bother You, Yardie, and Wildlife.

UTA Independent Film Group represents Us rights to American Animals, Bart Layton’s Us Dramatic Competition entry that impressed in its Friday night premiere and features Barry Keoghan (The Killing Of A Sacred Deer) in the tale of four youngsters who attempt an art heist. Sierra/Affinity handles international sales on Layton’s dramatic debut and first feature since the acclaimed Sundance 2012 documentary The Imposter.

Jesse Peretz’s Nick Hornby adaptation Juliet, Naked, a three-header
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Sundance: Sony Pictures Worldwide Nabs Foreign Rights to ‘Hearts Beat Loud’

Sundance: Sony Pictures Worldwide Nabs Foreign Rights to ‘Hearts Beat Loud’
Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has acquired all international rights to Brett Haley’s “Hearts Beat Loud” in advance of its Sundance Film Festival premiere.

The tender drama about a father (Nick Offerman) trying to convince his daughter (Kiersey Clemons) to form a band premieres on the festival’s last night. It marks Haley’s third Sundance film in four years — he previously debuted “The Hero” and “I’ll See You in My Dreams” at the mountainside gathering. It’s a showy role for Offerman, allowing an actor best known for his comedic turn on “Parks & Recreation” to flex some dramatic muscles.

The deal excludes North American rights and was negotiated on behalf of the filmmakers by Endeavor Content. Sony’s Michael Helfand, Joe Matukewicz, and Jon Freedberg negotiated the deal for the studio.

The film co-stars Ted Danson, Sasha Lane, Blythe Danner, and Toni Collette, with original music by Keegan DeWitt, and is set
See full article at Variety - Film News »

How First Time Sundance Director Idris Elba Packed Lessons From His Life Into Jamaican Crime Tale ‘Yardie’

How First Time Sundance Director Idris Elba Packed Lessons From His Life Into Jamaican Crime Tale ‘Yardie’
To make his directorial debut on an adaptation of Yardie, the 1992 Victor Headley novel about the collision of Jamaican culture in London, Idris Elba put into it many of the pieces of his life and career. The career spans his seminal TV series turns Luther and The Wire, movies like Beasts of No Nation, American Gangster, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, Thor: Ragnarok and Molly’s Game, as well as his second career as Big Driis the Londoner, an accomplished DJ. There is even…
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‘Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot’ Film Review: Joaquin Phoenix Shines in Disjointed Drama

‘Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot’ Film Review: Joaquin Phoenix Shines in Disjointed Drama
The last time a Gus Van Sant movie premiered at a major film festival, the film was “The Sea of Trees” and the festival was Cannes, where the movie was booed unmercifully at its first screening. So it’s with a degree of relief that we can report that Van Sant’s new film, “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot,” was met with nothing but applause when it premiered on Friday night at the Sundance Film Festival. And to be sure, “Don’t Worry” is a far better movie than the inert “Sea of Trees.” Originally in the works not long after...
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‘Get Out’ Producers Wanted Jordan Peele to Play TSA Agent Rod

‘Get Out’ Producers Wanted Jordan Peele to Play TSA Agent Rod
“Get Out” producer Sean McKittrick says he failed to convince writer-director Jordan Peele to take a pivotal role in his $250 million-grossing debut. “We tried to force him — not force him, but we tried to encourage him to play the part of Rod that was ultimately played by Lil Rel [Howery],” said McKittrick during a panel at the Producers Guild of America Nominees Breakfast on January 20.

Read More:Producers Guild Nominations Snubs and Surprises: ‘Wonder Woman,’ ‘I, Tonya’ Make the Grade, ‘Phantom Thread’ Doesn’t

Peele, then best-known for his work on the Comedy Central series “Key and Peele,” declined, stipulating, “‘The moment the audience sees my face, they’re not going to take [the film] seriously,'” said McKittrick, a partner at QC Entertainment. “He knew from the get-go how to keep the tone, which was very thin-ice throughout, it could veer off at any moment.”

In the film, Tsa agent Rob rescues his
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Sundance 2018 Indie Episodic Preview: The Most Anticipated TV Pilots and Premieres at This Year’s Festival

Sundance 2018 Indie Episodic Preview: The Most Anticipated TV Pilots and Premieres at This Year’s Festival
Don’t let the title fool you: The Sundance Film Festival has been featuring television programs for years, be it the slew of documentaries that end up on HBO, Showtime, and Netflix or pilots that earn a special showcase like “Animals.” did in 2015.

But 2018 is special. This year, Sundance is dedicating an entire section to episodic programming, including short-form series, docu-series, traditional pilots, and more experimental premieres. It’s all coming together under the Indie Episodic banner, and it’s all designed with one clear mission:

“There is no clear path to series if you’re trying to do it independently — if you’re going to try and shoot your own pilot, and then try and get picked up,” Sundance programmer Charlie Sextro told IndieWire. “There’s a clear way [in] making an independent film: It gets picked up at Sundance, and then it gets out to the world. It’s
See full article at Indiewire Television »

'Lizzie': Film Review | Sundance 2018

After innumerable plays, books, films, made-for-tv series and specials, and even an opera and a musical, you would think popular culture would have exhausted all the options for telling the story of Lizzie Borden, the New England woman who was tried and acquitted for the ax murders of her father and stepmother in 1892. But such is the fascination with Borden and the enigmatic story around her, a gory tale chock-full of intriguing timeline gaps and baffling stray details, that artists keep finding ways to reinterpret it to suit different times and tastes.

The elegantly lurid but compelling Lizzie, written...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Juliette Binoche Receives UniFrance’s French Cinema Award

Juliette Binoche Receives UniFrance’s French Cinema Award
Following the footsteps of Isabelle Huppert, critically-acclaimed French actress Juliette Binoche received UniFrance’s French Cinema Award during a ceremony hosted at France’s Culture Minister in Paris.

Binoche, who’s just wrapped the shoot of Olivier Assayas’s “Non Fiction,” was celebrated by UniFrance’s new president Serge Toubiana and managing director Isabelle Giordano and several filmmakers she has worked and bonded with over the years, such as Claire Denis, Jean-Jacques Rappeneau and Danièle Thompson.

The actress was honored for her contribution to making French cinema shine abroad. Binoche remains one of the rare French actresses who have earned global recognition, including in the U.S. where she won an Oscar for her performance in “The English Patient” and earned an Oscar nomination for “Chocolat.” A passionate and thoughtful actress, Binoche has been praised for making consistently good career choices and taking roles that push out of her comfort zone, such as [link
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Shape of Water’ And ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Take Top Honors At 2018 PGA Awards

The 2018 PGA Awards were handed out Saturday night in Los Angeles and the two big winners were “The Shape of Water” and “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Guillermo del Toro‘s period fantasy took the theatrical prize giving it a key guild win which is considered historically necessary to win the Oscar for Best Picture. The past two years the winner of this honor did not end up winning the Academy Award (“La La Land,” “The Big Short”), but it won the previous eight years beginning with “No Country For Old Men” in 2008.

Continue reading ‘Shape of Water’ And ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Take Top Honors At 2018 PGA Awards at The Playlist.
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Producers Guild Awards 2018: ‘The Shape of Water’ Seizes Oscar Momentum

Producers Guild Awards 2018: ‘The Shape of Water’ Seizes Oscar Momentum
“The Shape of Water” is rapidly becoming the Best Picture Oscar favorite after winning the 29th PGA Awards Saturday night, with producers Guillermo del Toro and J. Miles Dale taking home the top Darryl F. Zanuck prize. That’s two in a row for del Toro’s adult fairy tale of love and inclusion after topping the Critics Choice Awards, with momentum heading into Tuesday’s Oscar nominations.

Del Toro, though, winner of the Golden Globe for Best Director, was unable to attend. He was in Mexico with his ailing father. “The Shape of Water” co-star Richard Jenkins read a note on del Toro’s behalf, dedicating the award to both his parents.

For the first time, thanks to a tie, the PGA had a record 11 nominees, with “The Shape of Water” beating Golden Globe winner, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (both from Fox Searchlight). But “Three Billboards” is the
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Sundance Review: ‘Leave No Trace’ Is A Rock-Solid Coming-of-Age Story from ‘Winter’s Bone’ Director Debra Granik — Sundance 2018

Sundance Review: ‘Leave No Trace’ Is A Rock-Solid Coming-of-Age Story from ‘Winter’s Bone’ Director Debra Granik — Sundance 2018
Debra Granik is drawn to stories about survivors — stories about people who don’t fit into the one that America likes to tell itself, but are no less valuable for that. They live in the margins, far removed from the capitalistic power of what Ken Kesey once called the Combine. Some of them, like the destitute 17-year-old Jennifer Lawrence played in “Winter’s Bone,” were simply born there. Others, like the tender but troubled Vietnam vet at the heart of Granik’s 2014 documentary “Stray Dog,” have been too close to the big machine, and can’t stomach the idea of going anywhere near it again.

The terse and wary father in Granik’s latest film most definitely falls into the latter category. In fact, that’s all we really know about him. A man as humble and inscrutably compassionate as the movie around him, Will (Ben Foster) doesn’t like
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Producers Guild Awards 2018: The Complete Winners List, from “The Shape of Water” to “Coco” and “Jane”

Producers Guild Awards 2018: The Complete Winners List, from “The Shape of Water” to “Coco” and “Jane”
The Producers Guild Awards anointed “The Shape of Water” as its Best Picture, the same result as last week’s Critics’ Choice Awards. Guillermo del Toro’s “fairy tale for troubled times” was previously the most-nominated Golden Globes and BAFTA Awards feature, giving Fox Searchlight reason to feel hopeful in ahead of January 23 Oscar nominations.

However, tonight’s event at the Beverly Hills Hilton was more somber and subdued. “Shape of Water” co-star Richard Jenkins read a letter from del Toro: “Life has a way of keeping you in check. So as you sit there tonight, I stand by the side of my father’s bed, in my hometown in Mexico.”

Milestone Award and Visionary Award honorees Donna Langley (Universal Pictures Chairman) and Oscar-winning director Ava DuVernay (“13th,” “A Wrinkle in Time”) respectively used their stage time to remember Allison Shearmur, producer of films like “The Hunger Games” and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,
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‘Bisbee ’17’ Review: Robert Greene’s New Film Is an American Riff on ‘The Act of Killing’ — Sundance 2018

‘Bisbee ’17’ Review: Robert Greene’s New Film Is an American Riff on ‘The Act of Killing’ — Sundance 2018
Located just seven miles from the Mexican border and caught in a self-reflexive time loop that forces it to constantly re-enact its own history, the city of Bisbee, Arizona couldn’t be more ripe for a Robert Greene movie if he had founded the place himself. A Twilight Zone mining town that turned its bottomless copper mine into a tourist attraction shortly after it shut down in the ’70s, Bisbee survives by miming the same work that once made it rich. Someone describes it as “the town too loved to die.” For Greene, whose documentaries (“Actress,” “Kate Plays Christine”) regularly invite their subjects to perform the past in order to humiliate the porous borders between fact and fiction, Bisbee was just waiting for someone to capture it on camera. It would have been a natural canvas for Greene, even if not for the low-key ethnic cleansing that’s haunted the city for the last 100 years.
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Boots Riley’s ‘Sorry To Bother You’ Isn’t Very Funny But It Sure Is Visionary [Sundance Review]

Park City – Even if you are intimately familiar with Boots Riley’s musical career and progressive politics it cannot prepare you for his bold directorial debut, “Sorry To Bother You,” which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival on Saturday night. Even if you read the official synopsis that informs you the film takes place in an alternate reality and it’s classified as “Sci-Fi” and “Fantasy” you are not prepared.

Continue reading Boots Riley’s ‘Sorry To Bother You’ Isn’t Very Funny But It Sure Is Visionary [Sundance Review] at The Playlist.
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“I Literally Shot the Whole Movie with Dolls on a Miniature Set”: Director Nicolas Pesce | Piercing

As you made your film during the increasingly chaotic backdrop of the last year, how did you as a filmmaker control, ignore, give in to or, conversely, perhaps creatively exploit the wild and unpredictable? What roles did chaos and order play in your films? I’m too neurotic for chaos. But there’s always going to be some element of chaos in the process of making any movie. To me, it’s a matter of making sure you encounter as little chaos as possible. As such, I’m a voracious planner in an attempt to try to avoid that inevitable chaos. On my first […]
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“I Am Not There to Call Attention to My Lighting:” Dp Tom Hurwitz on Shooting Studio 54

Veteran cinematographer Tom Hurwitz has shot more than 100 documentary features and TV series since 1974, when he helped shoot The Grateful Dead, a concert film of the eponymous band live in San Francisco. Hurwitz has worked on such seminal series as Nova, Frontline and American Masters, while his feature doc work includes Wild Man Blues, The Queen of Versailles and last year’s Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold. Having worked on Valentino: The Last Emperor in 2008, Hurwitz again teams up with director Matt Tyrnauer for Studio 54, a doc on the legendary New York nightclub. Studio 54 makes its debut […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »
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