First Trailer for Aki Kaurismäki’s ‘The Other Side of Hope,’ Premiering at Berlinale 2017

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Jordan Raup

Finnish cinema is back in a major next year as Aki Kaurismäki will soon debut his first feature since 2001’s Le Havre. Set for a world premiere at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival in early February, we’ve been anticipating The Other Side of Hope for some time now and the first trailer has finally arrived today.

Starring Sakari Kuosmanen and Sherwan Haji, the story follows a poker-playing restauranteur and former traveling salesman who befriends a group of refugees newly arrived from Finland. While there’s no subtitles, a good amount of the dialogue is in English, which gives us a strong sense for what to expect for the film, hopefully picking up U.S. distribution soon.


Talking Pictures Added to Palm Springs Conversation

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Talking Pictures

This series of special programs is devoted to exploring the careers and creative choices of some of the top talents in the world of film. Oscar®-caliber directors, actors, screenwriters and other creative talents engage with leading entertainment journalists and audiences in a conversation about contemporary cinema. Each program begins with a screening of our guest’s latest film, which is followed by an in-depth conversation hosted by a moderator. For information on additional Talking Pictures visit the Palm Springs International Film Festival website.

Viggo Mortensen
Captain Fantastic

Tuesday, January 37:45 pm
Annenberg Auditorium
118 Minute Running Time



In CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, Ben Cash (Viggo Mortensen) is raising his six children in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest, putting them through both vigorous physical and intellectual exercises in the mountains’ fresh air. Far away from Snapchat and Snapple, the kids develop a unique sense of themselves and their family identity. But Cash’s tough homeschooling challenges conventional ideas about family and childhood. Ben has given up the outside world and whatever personal ambitions it held for him to devote his life to being the best father he thinks he can be. The question becomes: is he the best father in the world or the worst? Is what he’s doing insane or insanely great?
Viggo Mortensen and Writer/Director, Matt Ross will be present for an onstage discussion of the film following the screening.

To purchase tickets click HERE.


‘Singin’ in the Rain’ was first stop in Debbie Reynolds’ unsinkable career

Posted by Larry GleesonBy Sharon Eberson / Pittsburgh Post-GazetteUnfolding memories of all that Debbie Reynolds brought to the stage, screen and celebrity fascination of our lives would read like a chronicle of Hollywood history, starting in 1952. That’s when a 19-year-old went toe-to-toe with Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor in “Singin’ in the Rain,” the American Film Institute’s No. 1 movie musical of all time.Ms. Reynolds died Wednesday at 84, just one day after the death of her daughter, actress, writer and mental health activist Carrie Fisher.

In recent years, Ms. Reynolds appeared on screen mostly as matriarchs, with Albert Brooks in the title role of the 1996 film “Mother” and as Debra Messing’s mom in the sitcom “Will & Grace.” She also provided the voice of the nurturing spider in “Charlotte’s Web,” Nana Possible in the animated TV series “Kim Possible” and Lulu Pickles for “Rugrats.”

The 1973 Broadway musical “Irene” earned her a leading actress Tony nomination and her lone Academy Award nomination was for her favorite role — “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.” Earlier this year, Ms. Reynolds was honored with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Oscars ceremony.

Ms. Reynolds gave us many more memories in seven decades as a public figure, but if she had done nothing else in her career, she would still be remembered simply for being in “Singin’ in the Rain,” Mark Olsen wrote in his Los Angeles Times appreciation.

The actress had four credited movie roles when she was cast opposite Mr. Kelly, a Pittsburgh native, and Mr. O’Connor.

“She noted at the British Film Institute in 2011: ‘I wasn’t sexy, I wasn’t beautiful, I wasn’t cute and I couldn’t dance. Why would they take me?’

“One only has to see her pop out of a cake to dance and sing to ‘All I Do Is Dream of You’ to answer the question. Her exuberance, the sheer attack with which she approached the part, made her undeniable,” Mr. Olsen writes.

“You know, I was so dumb,” she said to the American Film Institute in 2012, “that I didn’t feel you could fail.”

Mr. Kelly’s widow, Patricia Ward Kelly, on Thursday told BBC Radio that Ms. Reynolds, Mr. Kelly and Mr. O’Connor “are like comets that flash through the air once in a lifetime. And we are ever so grateful.”

On Facebook, Mrs. Kelly debunked what she called “a tall tale” about Ms. Reynolds as a young dancer. She quoted NPR’s Neda Ulaby as saying Ms. Reynolds “had studied gymnastics, but for the movie, she practiced tap dancing for up to 14 hours at a time.”

Mrs. Kelly said production records are very clear on the subject. For example, “on April 25, 1951, the report indicates that Gene arrived on set at 10 a.m., had one meal and departed at 5:15 p.m. ‘Debbie Reynolds same.’” She also notes, as Ms. Reynolds has said, that her rehearsal time was three months, “which says a lot about Debbie and the remarkable assistants who taught her to dance.”

There has been much speculation about the cause of the seemingly unsinkable Ms. Reynolds’ death. The entertainer suffered two strokes in 2015 but seemed to make a full recovery.

No cause of death has been disclosed for mother or daughter, but some are blaming Ms. Reynolds’ passing on broken heart syndrome, known medically as stress-induced cardiomyopathy. In the scant space between her daughter’s death and her own, Ms. Reynolds told her son, Todd Fisher, ‘I want to be with Carrie,’” according to the Associated Press.

“A ‘broken heart’ really is an event where the heart ceases to function normally and is prone to heart rhythm abnormalities,” Dr. Mark Creager, past president of the American Heart Association, told the AP. “That term is used to explain a very real phenomenon that does occur in patients who have been exposed to sudden emotional stress or extremely devastating circumstances.”


The documentary “Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds” will premiere at 8 p.m. Jan. 7 on HBO. The film chronicling the sometimes rocky mother-daughter relationship was shown at the Cannes Film Festival in May and was originally set to air on HBO in March.


The Hollywood Reporter called it “a tender tribute to two iconic women whose Hollywood history spans from ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ through ‘Star Wars’ and whose intimate connection is no less singular.”

In the meantime, viewings of “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” and “Singin’ in the Rain” would seem to be in order.


Super Saban: Young distributor takes it slow and steady with nimble release strategy

Posted By Larry Gleeson

By Rebecca Payle

It’s the year 2017, and a one-size-fits-all approach to movie distribution just plain doesn’t work anymore…if it ever did. Outside of your major studio releases—superheroes, explosions, giant robots, probably a third act where a giant sky portal opens up, you know the drill—there are dozens of mid-level films every month competing for limited audience attention and even more limited theatre space. Barring millions upon millions to spend on advertising costs, how do you compete? How do you stay afloat when there’s a glut of content and your average moviegoer only gets out to the theatre a handful of times per year? It’s a tough road, but Saban Films has figured out a way to walk it.

Launched in mid-2014, Saban Films is an acquisition and distribution outfit set up under the umbrella of Saban Capital Group, which in turn is run by billionaire producer Haim Saban. Even before getting into the distribution business, the Saban name was a big one in the entertainment industry. Saban brands include the Japanese franchises “Digimon” and “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” the latter of which has a big-budget film adaptation slated for this March through Lionsgate.

Saban Films, clarifies president Bill Bromiley, has nothing to do with Power Rangers, which is the result of a partnership between Lionsgate and Saban’s brands division. In fact, Saban Films has its own partnership with Lionsgate, with which it releases in the neighborhood of ten to twelve films a year. That slate runs the genre gamut—from westerns (The Homesman) to fish-out-of-water drama (A Hologram for the King) to blood ’n’ guts horror (31). It’s a diverse lineup, and one that results from Bromiley’s curatorial approach to film acquisition. Simply put: quality over quantity.

Saban Films President, Bill Bromiley (Photo via Saban Films)

“We’re not about trying to create a library of titles. We’re trying to create a library of quality titles,” he explains. There has to be a “cast, director or story that is appealing to each film.” To that end, a key component of Saban Films’ strategy is going after films with “A-list talent,” whether it’s Tom Hanks in A Hologram for the King or Tommy Lee Jones, Hilary Swank and Meryl Streep in The Homesman. “In the case of, say, A Hologram for the King, even if that doesn’t work theatrically, you still have a Tom Hanks film,” Bromiley explains. That’s a far easier sell in ancillary markets than even a well-regarded indie with no real household names to speak of. To that end, upcoming Saban releases feature the talents of Forest Whitaker and Eric Bana (The Forgiven), Al Pacino (Hangman), John Cusack (Misfortune) and Glenn Close (The Girl with All the Gifts).

Saban’s decision to attach itself to quality talent extends to behind the camera as well as in front of it. John Michael McDonagh, director of critical hits The Guard and Calvary, helmed Saban’s pitch-black comedy War on Everyone, starring Alexander Skarsgård and Michael Peña as a pair of corrupt New Mexico cops. That one debuts on DirecTV in the first quarter of 2017 in advance of a theatrical release. A Hologram for the King had Tom Tykwer, previously of Run Lola Run and Cloud Atlas (with the Wachowski sisters), in the director’s chair, while Tommy Lee Jones himself directed and co-wrote The Homesman. In production now is The Forgiven, starring Forest Whitaker as anti-apartheid activist Desmond Tutu and directed by Roland Joffé, two-time Oscar nominee for The Mission andThe Killing Fields.

Up-and-comers are in the mix, too. Zack Whedon, whose writing credits include “Southland,” “Halt and Catch Fire” and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (directed by brother Joss), made his directorial debut with 2016 Saban release Come and Find Me, starring Aaron Paul and Annabelle Wallis. And early 2017 brings The Girl with All the Gifts, from director Colm McCarthy (TV’s “Peaky Blinders”). An “elevated genre film,” to use Bromiley’s phrase, The Girl with All the Gifts was adapted by Mike Carey from his own novel about the state of the post-zombie apocalypse world. One difference from your typical “Walking Dead” fare: The Girl with All the Gifts is told from the perspective of a young girl named Melanie (Sennia Nanua) who is herself a zombie (or “hungry”), albeit one who is mysteriously able to talk and form attachments and boasts a genius-level IQ. That film, out on DirecTV on Jan. 26 in advance of a theatrical/VOD bow on Feb. 24, is the one that Bromiley estimates he’s gotten “more calls about…than anything since we’ve started. We bought into it early on, which is our strategy. I would say that half of the product that we buy and distribute, we’re onboard early. That can be a pre-buy off a script, it can be during production, or it can be during post-production.”

Bromiley admits that, being a genre film, The Girl with All the Gifts is something of a “tricky” release. “The horror space is really, really difficult, unless you can spend $20 million-plus in P&A. If you want to be in that game, you can’t do it on one title. You need to make it a business. You have to have four or five titles and go to bat multiple times, like Jason Blum [of Blumhouse Productions] does.” But “tricky” doesn’t deter Saban, which prides itself on eschewing a fixed method of film distribution in favor of a more tailored approach. “Each film we treat individually, and that’s the allure of us,” Bromiley explains. “We have to be flexible in our distribution strategies.”

Though every Saban Films release goes out theatrically “in a minimum of ten markets,” the majority of its business comes from premium VOD; Bromiley estimates an 80/20 split. All the same, “personally, I think that the theatrical business, regardless of whether it’s Saban product or not, is going to be around forever,” he argues. “I think that is the driving force of our business, and it will continue to be the driving force.”

Though a longtime proponent of premium VODBromiley got into that game early at Image Entertainment (now RLJ Entertainment) before moving over to Saban—he’s skeptical of its applicability to big studio releases. “There are a lot of things you’ve got to do to get a consumer to want to pay that kind of money at home for the movies they’re talking about”—we’re probably looking at around $50 per movie, if the big studios’ occasional feints into the premium VOD landscape ever take off—“and you also lose the experience of seeing the movies in the theatre.” Saban, being a mid-range distributor, is more “flexible” in terms of pursuing premium VOD (today defined as a VOD release going day-and-date with theatrical), but that doesn’t mean theatrical isn’t a vital component of their release strategy.

For an example of Saban Films’ outside-the-box thinking regarding theatrical exhibition, take a look at their strategy for 31, from horror stalwart Rob Zombie (House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects). Horror might be tough to break into, but “Rob’s a brand, and we knew that.” So prior to 31’s premium VOD release, Saban Films partnered with Fathom Events for a limited theatrical engagement on 400 or so screens. “It did real revenue—like $750,000 in one night, one stream,” Bromiley recalls. “We ended up doing an encore presentation as well… Exhibitors were happy. We were happy. It was creative, it was different. We’re constantly trying to milk the most we can out of these films, and we always have the theatrical distributor in mind while doing so.”

In the future, Saban Films plans do more 31-type event releases, with the caveat that “you can’t just throw any old film into an event like that. It has to have a hook.” Outside of that, Bromiley plans for slow and steady growth for Saban: “We’re going to be very cautious. We don’t want to necessarily jump into the wide-release theatrical business right away, because that’s very risky and puts you out of business quickly. I see part of our growth coming from the theatrical world and doing smaller platform releases.” After all, one big misstep—a large investment in a film that doesn’t end up delivering, an overzealous P&A spend—could have huge financial repercussions. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Saban Films is only a year and a half old, and Bromiley is determined to stay in the game by applying pinpoint strategy.


Strong LGBTQ roster at the Palm Springs Int’l Film Festival

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By thepridela

BY DAN ALLEN  |  The eagerly anticipated ABC miniseries When We Rise will have its North American premiere at the 2017 Palm Springs International Film Festival, which opens next Thursday (January 5) in the desert metropolis and runs through January 15.

When We Rise is an upcoming American docudrama miniseries written by Dustin Lance Black.
When We Rise is an upcoming American docudrama miniseries written by Dustin Lance Black.

The festival’s unique timing—at the start of every new year, just before both the Sundance Film Festival and the Academy Awards—gives it an important place on the international film calendar, and its consistently excellent roster of new global cinema—including a big selection of exciting gay titles—makes it one of Southern California’s most important annual film events.

“Gay films have always been a very important part of the festival,” says longtime movie critic David Ansen, who’s now in his second year as PSIFF’s lead programmer.

“There’s of course a sizable gay community in Palm Springs—we’ve even had a couple of gay mayors—so there’s definitely an audience for gay films here and across Southern California.”

Highlighting the LGBTQ slate at PSIFF this year will be the North American premiere of Dustin Lance Black and Gus Van Zant’s highly anticipated When We Rise, a seven-part miniseries set to debut on ABC in February.

Chronicling the history of the LGBTQ rights movement as seen through the prism of three connected characters, the miniseries stars Guy Pearce, Mary-Louise Parker and Rachel Griffiths, and features cameos from the likes of Rosie O’Donnell and Whoopi Goldberg.

As part of its annual Gay!La evening within the festival on January 12, PSIFF will be showing the miniseries’ first extended episode, which is directed by Van Zant (who’ll be attending, along with Black, Pearce and Griffiths).

“The whole miniseries covers many decades, but each part stands on its own,” says Ansen. “The first part is largely set in San Francisco in the ‘60s, where the three main characters sort of converge from different places. Cleve Jones, who was an assistant to Harvey Milk, came from Arizona, where his father was a shrink who disapproved of his being gay.

One of the characters is a black Navy guy who’s coming back from Vietnam and encounters a fair amount of racism within the gay community—the show doesn’t shy away from a lot of stuff. The third character is a sort of initially closeted woman from Boston who gets very involved in the women’s movement, and then realizes that within the women’s movement there’s a lot of anti-gay sentiment, which of course there was. And their paths all cross in San Francisco.”

Another debut at PSIFF will be the American premiere of the stylishly quirky German film Center of My World, directed by Jacob M. Erwa. “The simplest way to describe it is a coming-of-age movie, but it’s one with many facets,” says Ansen. “The heart of it is a sort of love story between two teenage boys. The main character comes back to his family’s retreat in the forest, where he lives with his mother—a very interesting character, the mother, who’s a sort of expatriate American living in Germany, who won’t tell him who his father was. She’s had a lot of affairs. And he has a sister that he was close to who has mysteriously gotten sort of removed and detached, and there’s a lot of family secrets that come out in the course of the movie. It’s both sexy and complex.”

Starring in the movie as the young main character Phil is 19-year-old German actor Louis Hofmann, who also stars in the Danish film Land of Mine, which is currently shortlisted as a Best Foreign Language Oscar nominee.

Center of My World is one of two European coming-of-age movies at PSIFF this year—the other is Iceland’s Heartstone, directed by Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson. “This is a beautiful Icelandic film,” says Ansen. “It also deals with the difficulty of growing up gay in a very small-town remote environment. It’s beautifully done.”

Chile’s Rara is a coming-of-age story of a different kind, following 13-year-old Sara and her younger sister as they adjust to life with their mother and her first female partner. Also from Chile is musician Alex Anwandter’s first film, You’ll Never Be Alone, which shows the cold and uncaring social aftermath faced by the father of a savagely beaten gay teenager.

PUSHING DEAD: James Roday AND DANNY GLOVER STAR IN A comedy about the challenges faced by HIV survivors
PUSHING DEAD: James Roday AND DANNY GLOVER STAR IN A comedy about the challenges faced by HIV survivors

On a lighter note—though it may not seem like it at first glace—is the American film Pushing Dead, directed by Tom E. Brown. “Pushing Dead is a kind of low-key comedy set in San Francisco about a guy who’s HIV-positive and is reliant on lots of AIDS drugs. But such is the bureaucracy that when he gets a birthday check from his mom, it puts his bank account like $60 over what he’s supposed to have, so his medications are no longer covered by his insurance. That’s sort of the starting point for what is surprisingly a comedy, with a lot of interesting characters. He works with Danny Glover, who’s having problems with his wife. He lives with Robin Weigert (Concussion), who’s the sister of his ex-lover, who died. And all of this sounds heavy, but it’s done with a light touch. It has a lot of charm to it. It’s kind of a surprising unexpected comedy. And it’s about creating your own family—as we all know in the gay world, your family isn’t necessary the one who were born into.”

It’s Only the End of the World is a 2016 Canadian-French drama film written, edited and directed by Xavier Dolan.
It’s Only the End of the World is a 2016 Canadian-French drama film written, edited and directed by Xavier Dolan.

Also dealing with HIV—though it’s never clearly spelled out as such in the film—is the latest from Canadian director Xavier Dolan, It’s Only the End of the World. Based on a French play, it’s the story of writer Louis, who returns home from Paris to provincial France after many years away to tell his estranged and extremely dysfunctional family that he’s dying. It’s another of the nine films currently shortlisted as potential nominees for the Best Foreign Language Oscar.

For the true cinema lover comes Portuguese filmmaker João Pedro Rodrigues’s The Ornithologist, the gorgeous myth-like tale of an incredibly hunky birdwatcher (French actor Paul Hamy) who gets lost in the wilderness and encounters a series of bizarre characters as his journey increasingly mirrors that of Saint Anthony. “This is the art film, the cineaste’s gay film, by an openly gay filmmaker,” says Ansen. “I think it’s Rodrigues’s most accessible movie really. There’s some very erotic sequences in it, where the main character encounters this young deaf shepherd.”

Even more out there is the truly bizarre Mexican film The Untamed, from Cannes Best Director winner Amat Escalante. “The Untamed is the wildest of these movies,” says Ansen. “It’s not a gay film in the obvious sense, but has a very strong gay component, and certainly deals a lot with macho Mexican society and homophobia. There’s a character in it who’s a married macho guy who’s having an affair with his wife’s brother. But it has this whole other kind of science fiction element to it, which is also a sexual element, which is quite—once you see it, you won’t be able to forget it. There’s an alien creature who gets ‘involved’ with several of the characters. I’ll say no more. But visually it’s going to gross a lot of people out, I’m sure. It’s a very controversial movie. Not for the faint of heart.”

Another film with a less overt LGBTQ theme is Israel’s In Between, directed by Maysaloun Hamoud. “It’s the story of three Palestinian women, one of whom is a lesbian, living in Tel Aviv,” says Ansen. “It’s a first film by a very talented woman director, and has three terrific characters. It reminds me of last year’s Gay!La film, the documentary Oriented, which featured three gay Palestinian friends also living in Tel Aviv.”

The documentary lineup at this year’s PSIFF includes another Israeli film, Who’s Gonna Love Me Now?, which follows an HIV-positive former army paratrooper living in London as he returns home to Israel to reconcile with his religious family. No Dress Code Required tells the story of Mexicali, Mexico couple Víctor and Fernando, who face continued legal obstacles as they prepare for their wedding. (“It’s infuriating how difficult they make it for them,” says Ansen. “Just when they think they’re going to go forward, they keep finding more and more outrageous ways to deny them the chance to get married.”) Rounding out this year’s LGBTQ docs is Jewel’s Catch One, which reveals the fascinating and fantastic history of the Los Angeles nightclub of the same, and its amazing founder Jewel Thais-Williams—who’s expected to be in attendance at the film’s screening, as is director C. Fitz, and perhaps Sharon Stone, who frequented the club and is interviewed in the documentary.

The festival’s star-studded Awards Gala will be held especially early this year on January 2, three days before the festival’s official Opening Night, so as not to compete with the Golden Globes the following weekend. Unlike most film festivals, PSIFF’s awards honor talent not from its own current-year films, but from all movies released during the previous year—making it a keen predictor of Oscar nominations.

This year’s honorees include Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Natalie Portman (Jackie), Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea), Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge), Amy Adams (Arrival), Tom Hanks (Sully), Emma Stone and the cast of La La Land, Ruth Negga (Loving), Nicole Kidman (Lion), Taraji P. Henson and the cast of Hidden Figures, and Annette Bening.

The 28th Palm Springs International Film Festival runs from January 5 to 15, 2017. Most films will screen more than once, at various venues around the greater Palm Springs area. Tickets are available via the festival’s website,


“Banking on Bitcoin” Film to Hit Theatres on January 6, 2017 Accompanied by VOD Release

Posted by Larry Gleeson

December 28, 2016, California, USA – “Banking on Bitcoin” a feature film on Bitcoin, its history and future is set to be released on January 6, 2017. Produced by Gravitas Ventures, the film will be launched at select theatres and will also be made available on VOD.

The “Banking on Bitcoin” film covers the most disruptive digital invention since the Internet. It follows the ideological battle underway between fringe utopists and mainstream capitalism. An in-depth coverage of key players in the space including Charlie Shrem, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, Barry Silbert, Erik Voorhees, Nathanial Popper, Alex Winter and more gives an insight into how they think this revolutionary cryptocurrency technology will shape our lives.

Writer/Director David Guy Levy (Photo via LinkedIn)

“Our production has excelled in more ways than we could ever have anticipated,” Said David Guy Levy. He added, “With the material we’ve managed to produce, and the interviews we’ve procured, we hope that the audience will find the final piece as engaging and thought-provoking as we do,”

Bitcoin is one of the controversial creations of technology that is set to change the world. Its early pioneers sought to blur the lines of sovereignty and the financial status quo that has been around for ages. After years of underground development, Bitcoin grabbed the attention of curious public — as well as the ire of the regulators the technology had subverted. Yet after landmark arrests of prominent cybercriminals. Bitcoin, which surged on election night and recently peaked at over $900 per BTC, still faces its most severe adversary; the very banks it was built to destroy.

Considering the subject of film and the personalities featured in it, the film’s director is available for an interview by media houses and publications to clarify the vision and purpose behind the making of “Banking on Bitcoin”. The production team is also willing to entertain requests for an interview with the Winklevoss twins. The “Banking on Bitcoin” film’s trailers can be watched on Gravitas Ventures’ YouTube channel and the film us already available to pre-order on iTunes.


About Gravitas Ventures

Gravitas Ventures is a leading all rights distributor of independent cinema. Founded in 2006, Gravitas connects independent filmmakers and producers with distribution opportunities across the globe. Working with more than 500 content partners, Gravitas Ventures has distributed thousands of films into over 100 million homes. Their most recent releases include Jonathan Hock’s “Fastball,” Colin Hanks’ “All Things Must Pass,” “Being Evel” from Academy Award® winning director Daniel Junge and producer Johnny Knoxville, “Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of,” director Adam Nimoy’s documentary, “For The Love of Spock,” Richard Branson’s harrowing tale, “Don’t Look Down,” and Katie Holmes’s feature directorial debut, “All We Had.”

For more information, please visit, follow @GravitasVOD on Twitter and @gravitasventures on Instagram.

Learn more about Banking on Bitcoin at

Learn more about Gravitas Ventures at –

Watch the Banking on Bitcoin trailer at –

Pre-order Banking on Bitcoin on iTunes –

Media Contact

Contact Name: Melissa Perez

Contact Email:

Contact Phone: 3102662872

Location: California, USA

Gravitas Ventures is the source of this content. Virtual currency is not legal tender, is not backed by the government, and accounts and value balances are not subject to consumer protections. This press release is for informational purposes only. The information does not constitute investment advice or an offer to invest.

#SBIFF The Showcase – Neruda

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Exclusively screening in Los Angeles, New York, and Santa Barbara

The eventful and unorthodox life of the Nobel Prize–winning poet, politician, committed communist, unapologetic hedonist, and Chilean cultural icon Pablo Neruda provides plentiful territory for cinematic exploration. The poet’s early-1950s exile in Procida previously inspired Michael Radford’s Il Postino, a fictionalized story about Neruda’s relationship with a local postman that left few cinemagoers dry-eyed. Now, Pablo Larraín, Chile’s most inventive and provocative contemporary filmmaker, takes a wholly unique approach to his famous countryman’s life and work with Neruda, which is set during the poet’s sojourn underground in the late 1940s.


Joe Morgenstern – The Wall Street Journal

“Grade A – brilliant. Riffs on Neruda’s life in a near-frenzy of visual and narrative inventiveness. Gael Garcia Bernal is outstanding.”
Jessica Kiang – The Playlist

“Thoughtful and provocative. A very beautiful made film.”
Kenneth Turan – LA Times

“An Inventive, incredibly entertaining drama.”
Benjamin Lee – the guardian


Friday, December 30 @ 11:00am
Saturday, December 31 @ 11:00am
Sunday, January 1 @ 2:00pm
Monday, January 2 @ 7:30pm
Tuesday, January 3 @ 5:00pm
Wednesday, January 4 @ 7:30pm
at the Riviera Theatre – 2044 Alameda Padre Serra

Get Tickets Here

Directed by Pablo Larraín
Written by Guillermo Calderón
Starring Gael García Bernal, Luis Gnecco, Alfredo Castro, Michael Silva,  Mercedes Morán,  Pablo Derqui
Runtime: 107 Minutes
Rated R (for sexuality/nudity and some language)


SBIFF’s Year in Review – Roger Durling

Posted  by Larry Gleeson

From SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling

As we head into a New Year and pave our way forward in 2017, I’d like to take pause to recognize our successes of 2016, including our decision to acquire the Riviera Theatre – a major turning point for SBIFF.  Our new home will allow us to expand and to further engage, enrich, and inspire people through the power of film on a year-round basis.


The first quarter of 2016 marked one of the most unforgettable Festivals. SBIFF continues to be an incredible education platform where Oscar-winning and nominated industry leaders, independent filmmakers, fans, and students gather to celebrate and learn.  All of us at SBIFF are honored to provide a world-class festival where thousands of visitors and local residents of all ages participate, right here in our hometown.

We expanded our film series The Showcase, and launched two new education programs: (1) Film Camp – a partnership with the United Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County that teaches filmmaking and film appreciation to middle and high school students; and (2) Programs for Seniors – a partnership with Easy Lift Transportation that provides a fun movie-going experience for transit dependent seniors.


We also had another tremendous year of Cinema Society and treated our community to the latest Hollywood films, and welcomed some of the world’s most talented filmmakers working today: Tom Ford – Nocturnal Animals; Damien Chazelle – La La Land; Jeff Nichols – Loving; Kevin Costner – Hidden Figures; Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water; Pablo Larraín – Jackie, Neruda; and Denis Villeneuve – Arrival.

The 11th Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film was the most successful in our history.  We honored legend Warren Beatty and celebrated Kirk Douglas’ 100th Birthday – raising more money than ever to benefit our education programs.


2016’s highlight is undoubtedly SBIFF’s acquisition of the Riviera Theatre in the form of a 30-year lease, to build a 24/7 cultural hub for all things film.  SBIFF’s capital campaign – The Riviera Project – was launched in September to raise the necessary funds to support theatre renovations and expansion of our programs.  Thanks to our generous supporters – in just a few months – we’ve raised $3.7 million of our $5 million goal to be raised by March 2017.

In the coming year, we’re further expanding our many education programs that currently serve 20,000 individuals, families and children – many from vulnerable and underserved populations. The renovation of the Riviera Theatre will enable SBIFF to increase participation in nearly all of our education programs so that they are offered on a year-round basis.

  • Mike’s Field Trip to the Movies will operate year-found and increasing participation by 87% to reach 7,500 Title 1 schools.
  • The Rosebud Program will increase participation by 150%.
  • The AppleBox Family Films will also operate year-round, increasing participation by 43% to 11,500 children and families.
  • The new Programs for Seniors will serve 1,200.
  • To ensure that we fulfill our important educational mission, a full time Education Director will come on board.  Amanda Graves is starting the first week of 2017.


There are many ways to support SBIFF and the Riviera Project – all donations are 100% tax deductible:

– Contact Cindy Chyr, Director of Advancement, at or 805-963-0023 x809.
– View our brochure and opportunities for giving, click here.
– To name a seat, click here.
– Make a general donation to SBIFF programs, click here.

We are so grateful for our community’s support during this transformational time in SBIFF history. Thank you for being a part of our community. We can’t wait to do more together in 2017!

See you at the movies,



Roger Durling
Executive Director

First edition of the Biennale College Cinema – Virtual Reality

Posted by Larry Gleeson
Biennale College Cinema – Virtual Reality is calling for proposals to find nine teams to work on VR projects.
(Photo courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia Cinema)

With the support of experts and international specialists in the field, Biennale College Cinema – Virtual Reality will help existing independent filmmakers and creative professionals from all over the world to appropriate the medium of VR and learn how to adapt their knowledge to VR in a fluid transitional way. In the process participants will acquire the specific know-how around 360° immersive storytelling that will redefine the relationship between story and audience.

Biennale College Cinema – Virtual Reality will select 9 director and producer teams to work on the development of VR projects of between 10-20 minutes duration, at concept stage, helping them to advance their projects covering creative, production, audience/market and financial concerns.
As part of the programme we aim to financially support the production of up to 3 VR projects with € 30,000 each to premiere at the 74th Venice International Film Festival in early September 2017 and to present the other developed projects at the Venice Production Bridge as part of the Gap Financing Market activities.
The Biennale College Cinema – Virtual Reality, realized with the support the Creative Europe – Support for Training, will be collaborating with the Netherlands Film Funds and the TorinoFilmLab.

Deadline for the call for applications is 8th February 2017 and the selection of the 9 teams will be announced on 28th February 2017.

For further information and the submission form:
Biennale College Cinema > COLLEGE CINEMA VR


 (Photos courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia Cinema)
*Featured photo by Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)


Posted by Larry Gleeson

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have announced that 10 films remain in the running in the Visual Effects category for the 89th Academy Awards®.

Actual Oscar statuettes to be presented during the 79th Annual Academy Awards sit in a display case in Hollywood

The films are listed below in alphabetical order:


“The BFG”

“Captain America: Civil War”

“Deepwater Horizon”

“Doctor Strange”

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”

“The Jungle Book”

“Kubo and the Two Strings”


“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”

The Academy’s Visual Effects Branch Executive Committee determined the shortlist.  All members of the Visual Effects Branch will now be invited to view 10-minute excerpts from each of the shortlisted films on Saturday, January 7, 2017.  Following the screenings, the members will vote to nominate five films for final Oscar® consideration.


Nominations for the 89th Oscars® will be announced on Tuesday, January 24, 2017.

The 89th Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.  The Oscars also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.