Posted by Larry Gleeson

LOS ANGELES (November 25, 2019) – Saban Films announced today that they have acquired North American rights to Martin Owen’s (Killers Anonymous, L.A. Slasher) Twist.  From a script penned by John Wrathall (Good, The Liability), the modern take on Charles Dickens’ classic Oliver Twist stars Academy Award® Winner Michael Caine (The Quiet American, The Dark Knight series), Golden Globe® Award nominee Lena Headey (“Game of Thrones,” Fighting with My Family), Rita Ora (Pokémon Detective Pikachu, Fifty Shades of Grey franchise), Raff Law (Repo Men) and Sophie Simnett (“The Lodge,” “Daybreak”).  Twist is produced by Noel Clarke and Jason Maza for Unstoppable along with Pure Grass Films’ Ben Grass and Knuckle Sandwich’s Matt Williams.  The film is co-produced by Sky. Saban Films will release the film theatrically Q1 of 2021.

Set in contemporary London, Twist follows a gifted graffiti artist who is lured into a street gang headed by a father figure, Fagin, who plans a series of audacious art thefts.

Hamilton Arclight
Gary Hamilton

Arclight Films’ Chairman Gary Hamilton states, “Twist boasts a really fantastic cast that crosses all generations so we are thrilled for new audiences young and old to enjoy this wonderful interpretation on Oliver Twist’s classic story. We are overjoyed to be working with our friends at Saban again – they are the perfect partner to bring this film to US audiences.”



Bill Bromiley
Bill Bromoley

Saban Films’ Bill Bromiley commented, “Martin Owens seamlessly transports Charles Dickens’ timeless characters into the present with this ensemble cast, who injects a new energy into the classic tale.”


Bill Bromiley and Jonathan Saba negotiated the deal for Saban Films along with John Fremes from Arclight Films.  Arclight Films is handling worldwide rights.  Financiers include MEP Capital, Blue Rider, Arclight and Lipsync Productions.

This marks Saban Films’ fourth acquisition during the American Film Market with previous titles including Nicol Paone’s Friendsgiving with Malin Akerman, Kat Dennings, Chelsea Peretti, Jane Seymour, and Aisha Tyler; Jason Lei Howden’s Guns Akimbo starring Daniel Radcliffe; and John Suits’ Breach starring Bruce Willis.

Saban Films continues to grow its presence in the industry, remaining active in the acquisition, production and distribution space. The company’s successes have run the gamut from critically acclaimed theatrical films such as The Homesman starring Hilary Swank, to two of the biggest Fathom events with horror icon and heavy metal mastermind Rob Zombie’s 31 in 2016 and 3 From Hell earlier this month, as well as Kevin Smith’s highly successful Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, the sequel to the 2001 comedy Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back which the company partnered on after coming on board at script stage. Its upcoming slate includes Steven C. Miller’s Line of Duty; Will Forbes’ John Henry starring Terry Crews and Ludacris and executive produced by Matthew Antoun; and Darren Lynn Bousman’s Death of Me starring Maggie Q and Luke Hemsworth.


About Saban Films

Saban Films, an affiliate of Saban Capital Group (“SCG”), is a film acquisition and distribution company that acquires high-quality, feature films to distribute in North America.  Focusing on commercial, talent driven films, the company looks at projects in all stages of production for release across multiple platforms, including a day and date theatrical/VOD release strategy. Based in Los Angeles, Saban Films was established by Haim Saban, SCG Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer, and is led by Bill Bromiley who serves as President, Shanan Becker, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer and Ness Saban, Vice President of Business Development.




Arclight Films is one of the world’s leading international sales companies for theatrical, television and home entertainment.  Arclight Films has sold over 300 motion pictures including the Best Picture Oscar® winner Crash, Golden Globe® Best Picture Nominee Bobby and Lord of War starring Nicolas Cage, Jared Leto and Ethan Hawke and the recent Oscar® nominated feature First Reformed (for Best Original Screenplay).

 Arclight Films’ slate includes the Australian the action thriller Long Gone Heroes starring Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce, and Maggie Q, Twist currently in production and starring Michael Caine and Here are the Young Men starring Travis Fimmel, Dean Charles Chapman, Finn Cole and Anya Taylor-Joy, the true-life prison break story, Escape From Pretoria, starring Daniel Radcliffe and Daniel Webber, the sci-fi thriller Possessor starring Andrea Riseborough, Christopher Abbott, Sean Bean, Jennifer Jason Leigh, directed by Brandon Cronenberg, the 2019 Berlin Film Festival official selection Öndög from Berlin Golden Bear winning director Wang Quan’an, and the big-budget Chinese co-production Killer 10 to be directed by Phillip Noyce.

The company’s recent films include the highly anticipated Hotel Mumbai starring Armie Hammer, Dev Patel, Nazanin Boniadi, Anupam Kher, and Jason Isaacs, directed by Anthony Maras released in the US by Bleecker Street on March 22nd, the powerhouse actioner Triple Threat starring Chinese stars Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais and Tiger Chen, and the Vietnamese action thriller Furie both films released by Well Go USA in March 2019, and the successful biopic Jungle starring Daniel Radcliffe released by eOne.

Arclight’s past films include 2016 Official Cannes Directors’ Fortnight selection Dog Eat Dog starring Nicolas Cage and Willem Dafoe, The Confirmation starring Clive Owen and Maria Bello, directed by Academy Award-winner Bob Nelson (Nebraska), 2016 Sundance Official Selection Frank & Lola starring Imogen Poots and Michael Shannon, Predestination starring Ethan Hawke released through Sony Pictures, Last Knights starring Clive Owen and Morgan Freeman, Paper Planes starring Sam Worthington, and Shangri-La Suite starring Emily Browning and Luke Grimes.

Arclight Films additionally encompasses subsidiary labels Darclight Films, the edgy genre-driven division of the company whose films include the worldwide horror hits Wolf Creek, Wolf Creek 2 and action thriller Bait 3D (the highest-grossing Australian film in the history of Chinese cinema), and Easternlight, a specialty arm showcasing Asian cinema with the largest film library of any non-Asian-based indie film label. Films sold under the Easternlight banner include the worldwide blockbuster Forbidden Kingdom starring Jackie Chan and Jet Li, 14 Blades starring Donnie Yen, and legendary auteur Chen Kaige’s Sacrifice.

The latest additions to Easternlight includes Guardians Of The Tomb starring Kellen Lutz and Bingbing Li, Snow Girl And The Dark Crystal starring Bingbing Li, Wolf Warrior starring Wu Jing (which opened #1 at the Chinese Box Office, earning more than $32.5M in one weekend) Outcast starring Nicolas Cage, Special Id Starring Donnie Yen, and Badges Of Fury.

Arclight Films maintains a presence at all major motion picture and television festivals and markets with offices in Los Angeles, Sydney, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Toronto.

About Sky

With 24 million customers across seven countries, Sky is Europe’s leading media and entertainment company and is proud to be part of the Comcast group. Our 31,000 employees help connect our customers with the very best of Sports, News, the arts and to our own local, original content. Following the success of Sky originals like Chernobyl, Patrick Melrose, Das Boot and Gomorrah we launched Sky Studios and now plan to more than double our investment in original drama and comedy over the next five years.

Our technology allows customers to watch what they want, when they want, how they want, and as we connect millions of families to the content they love, it is our responsibility to do it safely – that’s why we offer services like Sky Broadband Buddy and the Sky Kids app. And our online streaming service, NOW TV, brings viewers all the enjoyment of Sky with the flexibility of a contract-free service.

We also believe that a company of our scale has a responsibility that goes beyond our business, and into the community. Our Sky Ocean Rescue campaign has reached millions across Europe, we’re on track to be free of single-use plastic by 2020, we’re investing £25million over five years in ocean-saving tech and we’re a proud employer – recognized by The Times and Stonewall for our approach to inclusivity.



Highlights at AFI FEST 2019 Presented by Audi

Posted by Larry Gleeson

C C Queen



On Thursday night, November 14th, 2019, AFI FEST presented by Audi opened with the star-studded World Premiere of QUEEN & SLIM, a modern re-telling of Bonnie & Clyde. Check out the AFI FEST recap of interviews with the film’s director, writer and stars on a blazing hot red carpet!


On Friday afternoon at the AFI Summit inside the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Eva Longoria and Dr. Stacy Smith, founder of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, had a frank and illuminating conversation on the erasure of Latinx in film and discussed a solutions-driven path forward. This is a must-see dialogue! A short-take read is HERE.


On Friday night, legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese screened his latest film, THE IRISHMAN, at the TCL Chinese Theatre. The packed audience greeted the acclaimed master of storytelling with a standing ovation. Watch the interview!


Royalty descended on AFI FEST Saturday night, November 16th. Olivia Colman, Helena Bonham Carter, Gillian Anderson and Jon Lithgow were among the stars who celebrated THE CROWN series creator and playwright Peter Morgan.

Lithgow Anderson

On Sunday, AFI FEST presented by Audi held a special screening of THE SONG OF NAMES, a film that spans generations and features a transcontinental journey in search of a beloved friend. We spoke with the film’s director François Girard, famed composer Howard Shore and Clive Owen on the red carpet.


Aldis Alfre

CLEMENCY director Chinonye Chukwu and stars Alfre Woodard, Aldis Hodge and Alex Castillo also walked the red carpet at AFI FEST!



In addition, on Sunday, the above Indie Contenders panelists shared stories about their latest films and the importance of festivals and independent filmmaking. “Film festivals are about story, and they’re about loving film.” Watch the full conversation now.

Jada Hala


Monday brought HALA. On the red carpet for HALA, executive producer Jada Pinkett Smith, writer/director Minhal Baig and actors Geraldine Viswanathan and Jack Kilmer spoke about breaking down stereotypes and finding identity. Watch the interviews!

THE TWO POPES convened at AFI FEST this past week as well. Director Fernando Meirelles, writer Anthony McCarten and stars Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce joined the congregation on the red carpet. See the interviews here!


On Wednesday, Hollywood stars came out in support of the world premiere of RICHARD JEWELL, the latest film from AFI Life Achievement Award recipient and Academy Award® winner Clint Eastwood.

Clint Carpet

Watch AFI FEST’s red carpet interviews and highlights from the evening.

On Thursday, November 21st, 2019, he critically acclaimed film MARRIAGE STORY closed out AFI FEST 2019 presented by Audi.

Marriage Story

Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Noah Baumbach directed the incisive and compassionate look at a marriage coming apart and a family staying together. Baumbach and Dern delivered colorful remarks before the screening.

L Dern


Next year’s AFI FEST 2020 Will Take Place October 15-22. Until then, I’ll see you at the movies!



Posted by Larry Gleeson

Festival Announces Audience and Jury Award Winners 

AFI FEST 2020 Will Take Place October 15-22

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Los Angeles, CA, November 22, 2019 — AFI FEST 2019 presented by Audi announced today the films that received this year’s Jury and Audience awards. The Grand Jury Award winners for Live Action and Animated Short will be eligible for the 2020 Best Live Action Short and Best Animated Short Academy Awards®. The Shorts jury was comprised of filmmakers Katrelle Kindred, Hannah Peterson and Davy Rothbart.

Highlights of the festival include Conversations with Peter Morgan and Martin Scorsese; the Indie Contenders and Doc Roundtables; a conversation with Eva Longoria and Dr. Stacy Smith on the Erasure of Latinx in Film; and a conversation with Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer, and Susan Ruskin, Dean of the AFI Conservatory and EVP of the AFI Institute.






AFI FEST 2020 will open on October 15 and close on October 22. World premieres, galas and special screenings reflecting the best in global cinema will take place at iconic theaters in Los Angeles.

Audience Award – Feature
I AM NOT ALONE (DIR Garin Hovannisian)

Capturing the fury, emotion, and spontaneous expressions of freedom that overtook the streets of Armenia in 2018, Garin Hovannisian’s fascinating eye-witness documentary affords a unique glimpse into a revolution-in-the-making by offering unprecedented access to the grassroots movement that dared to challenge an entrenched regime, as well as the regime’s leaders themselves.

Audience Award – Short

LOST & FOUND (DIR Orlando Von Einsiedel)

A determined man, armed only with a megaphone, his determination, and an unshakeable smile, sets out to reunite lost children with their families in the Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh, which now houses over 600,000 Rohingya Muslims.

Grand Jury Award – Live-Action Short

EXAM (DIR Sonia K. Hadad)

Jury Statement: “We are so excited to award the Grand Jury Prize to Sonia K. Hadad’s EXAM. EXAM stood out from the other films for its bold directorial style, anchored by a stunning lead performance. The result is a tense portrait that reaches past its specificity into the universal.”

A teenage girl delivers a package of cocaine to a client and gets caught in a weird cycle of events.

Special Jury Prize—Live Action

MTHUNZI (DIR Tebogo Malebogo)

Jury Statement: “Centered on a chance encounter, MTHUNZI gives an intimate and powerful glance into the intricacies of unconscious bias. Beautifully captured, grounded performances and daring choices on behalf of the filmmaker left the jury stirred by this gentle narrative.”

Mthunzi becomes caught up in a world he does not belong to while walking home from the shops.

Special Jury Prize—Live Action

LIBERTY (DIR Faren Humes)

Jury Statement: “First-time actors deliver breakthrough performances under the steady guidance of director Faren Humes in this absorbing and exquisite short. The jury was impressed by its kinetic energy, its economic storytelling, and its probing yet compassionate tone.”

Alex and Milagros deal with great life upheaval as they prepare to dance at their community’s redevelopment groundbreaking ceremony.

 Grand Jury Prize—Animation

SOMETHING TO REMEMBER (DIR Niki Lindroth von Bahr)

Jury Statement: “We’re pleased to give the Grand Jury Prize in Animation to SOMETHING TO REMEMBER for its tender yet critical response to the world around us, and its perfect execution. This irresistible short transforms bittersweet anxieties into a modern lullaby — we couldn’t take our eyes off of it.”

 A lullaby before the great disaster.

Grand Jury Prize—Documentary (tie)

A LOVE SONG FOR LATASHA (DIR Sophia Nahli Allison)

Jury Statement: “We are honored to award the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary filmmaking to A LOVE SONG FOR LATASHA. It’s haunting and poetic exploration of a young woman’s life cut tragically short allows its audience to experience an injustice long hidden by time and politics. This film is a portrait framed by beautiful imagery, loving recollection and astonishing storytelling that will linger with the audience long after the credit roll.”

A dreamlike archive in conversation with the past and the present reimagines a more nuanced narrative of Latasha Harlins by excavating intimate and poetic memories shared by her cousin and best friend.

Grand Jury Prize—Documentary (tie)

THE CLINIC (DIR Elivia Shaw)

Jury Statement: “A gripping, harrowing peek into one corner of a vast epidemic, Elivia Shaw’s THE CLINIC is striking for the sensitivity and nuance with which it treats its subjects — both the people who come to Dr. Marc Lashner’s mobile needle exchange looking for help, and the scrappy team of volunteers who do what they can to offer it.”

Amidst a devastating opioid epidemic, a needle exchange and free clinic operate in the shadows of Fresno, California.

This year’s festival showcased the best in global cinema due to the visionary support of Audi — now in its 16th consecutive year as Presenting Sponsor of the festival.

The complete AFI FEST program included 143 titles (81 features, 1 episodic, 40 shorts, 21 AFI Conservatory Showcase Shorts) of which 51% were directed by women. This year’s program represented 52 countries and included 8 official International Feature Film Oscar® submissions as well as 3 World Premieres. The total film breakdown by section was: Galas (6), Tributes (5), Special Screenings (9), New Auteurs (24), World Cinema (16), Midnight (2), Cinema’s Legacy (5), Documentary Films & Encore Screenings (15), Short Films (40) and AFI Conservatory Showcase (21).

The many highlights of the festival include Conversations with Peter Morgan and Martin Scorsese; the Indie Contenders Roundtable with Awkwafina (THE FAREWELL), Sterling K. Brown (WAVES), Cynthia Erivo (HARRIET), Jimmie Fails (THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO), Jon Hamm (THE REPORT), Florence Pugh (FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY and MIDSOMMAR), Kerry Washington (AMERICAN SON) and Alfre Woodard (CLEMENCY); the Doc Roundtable with filmmakers Alex Gibney (CITIZEN K), Eva Orner (BIKRAM: YOGI, GURU, PREDATOR), Steven Bognar (AMERICAN FACTORY), Roger Ross Williams (THE APOLLO), Feras Fayyad (THE CAVE), Waad Al-Kateab (FOR SAMA), Lauren Greenfield (THE KINGMAKER) and Nanfu Wang (ONE CHILD NATION); a conversation with Eva Longoria and Dr. Stacy Smith on the Erasure of Latinx in Film and a conversation with Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer, and Suan Ruskin, Dean of the AFI Conservatory and EVP of the AFI Institute, exclusively for the AFI Fellows.

Additional guests and artists who attended the festival included Mahershala Ali, Gillian Anderson, Kathy Bates, Noah Baumbach, Beyoncé, Helena Bonham Carter, Simone Boyce, James. L. Brooks, Chinonye Chukwu, Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Olivia Colman, Gabriela Cowperthwaite, Laura Dern, Mati Diop, Snoop Dogg, Erin Doherty, Clint Eastwood, Flea, Harrison Ford, François Girard, Tom Harper, Paul Walter Hauser, Aldis Hodge, Joshua Jackson, Daniel Kaluuya, Jack Kilmer, John Lithgow, Melina Matsoukas (AFI Class of 2005), Fernando Meirelles, Tobias Menzies, Josh O’Connor, Edward James Olmos, Clive Owen, Dev Patel, Natalie Portman, Rob Reiner, Rihanna, Sam Rockwell, Evan Ross, Tracey Ellis Ross, Kelly Rowland, Howard Shore, Molly Sims, Jada Pinkett Smith, Bryan Stevenson, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Chuck Todd, Maryam Touzani, Jodie Turner-Ross, Lena Waithe, Tallulah Belle Willis, and Zendaya.

Audi was the exclusive presenting sponsor of AFI FEST 2019. Additional top sponsors included Apple, AT&T and American Airlines, the official airline of AFI.

 About the American Film Institute (AFI)

Established in 1967, the American Film Institute is the nation’s non-profit organization dedicated to educating and inspiring artists and audiences through initiatives that champion the past, present, and future of the moving image. AFI’s pioneering programs include filmmaker training at the AFI Conservatory; year-round exhibition at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center and at AFI Festivals across the nation; workshops aimed at increasing diversity in the storytelling community; honoring today’s masters through the AFI Life Achievement Award and AFI AWARDS; and scholarly efforts such as the AFI Catalog of Feature Films that uphold film history for future generations.  Read about all of these programs and more at and follow us on social media at,, Film and

About AFI FEST presented by Audi

Now in its 33rd year, AFI FEST presented by Audi is a world-class event, showcasing the best films from across the globe to captivated audiences in Los Angeles. With a diverse and innovative slate of programming, the eight-day festival presents screenings, panels and conversations, featuring both master filmmakers and new voices. World premieres, Galas and other special events take place at iconic LA locations, such as the historic TCL Chinese Theatre and the glamorous Hollywood Roosevelt. This year’s edition takes place November 14-21, 2019. Additional information about AFI FEST is available at Connect with AFI FEST at, and

About Audi

Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands, delivering about 1.812 million vehicles globally in 2018. In the U.S., Audi of America sold nearly 224,000 vehicles in 2018. 2019 marks 50 years for the brand in the U.S. Visit or for more information regarding Audi vehicles and business topics.

Sponsor Audi

(Source: AFI FEST press release)

Joaquin Phoenix to receive the Chairman’s Award at Palm Spring Film Festival

Posted by Larry Gleeson


Palm Springs, CA (November 14, 2019) – The 31st annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Joaquin Phoenix with the Chairman’s Award for his performance in Joker at its annual Film Awards Gala. The award will be presented by Joker co-writer/director/producer Todd Phillips. The event, presented by American Express, sponsored by AT&T and Entertainment Tonight and hosted by Mary Hart, is scheduled for Thursday, January 2 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The festival runs January 2-13, 2020.

Harold Matzner

“Joaquin Phoenix mesmerizes audiences in Joker with a performance that elicits empathy and reminds society on the whole that we can be better,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “For this performance, another in his arsenal of unforgettable characters, we are honored to present Joaquin Phoenix with this year’s Chairman’s Award.”


Past recipients of the Chairman’s Award include last year’s Academy Award winner for Best Supporting Actress, Regina King, along with Amy Adams, Jessica Chastain, George Clooney, Richard Gere, Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman, and Reese Witherspoon. Phoenix joins this year’s previously announced honoree Renée Zellweger.

Directed, co-written and produced by Todd Phillips, the Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures and BRON Creative film is an origin story infused with, but distinctly outside, the characters’ more traditional mythologies. Phillips’ exploration follows Arthur Fleck, a Gotham City man longing for any light to shine on him, who tries his hand as a stand-up comic but finds the joke always seems to be on him. Caught in a cyclical existence between apathy and cruelty and, ultimately, betrayal, Arthur makes one bad decision after another that brings about a chain reaction of escalating events in this gritty, allegorical character study.

Phoenix is a three-time Academy Award-nominated actor who earned his first Oscar nod in 2000, for Best Supporting Actor in Ridley Scott’s Oscar-winning Best Picture, Gladiator. Phoenix received his second Oscar nomination, for Best Actor, in 2006 as legendary singer-songwriter Johnny Cash in James Mangold’s biopic Walk the Line. For his performance, he also won the Golden Globe as Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical, as well as nominations for BAFTA, SAG, BFCA and Chicago Film Critics’ awards. He received his third Oscar nod, for Best Actor, for his work in the Paul Thomas Anderson film The Master. Phoenix also earned the Volpi Cup at the Venice Film Festival and was nominated for a Golden Globe and a BAFTA.  More recently, Phoenix was awarded Best Actor at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival for his role in the Lynne Ramsay-directed feature You Were Never Really Here, and starred in Gus Van Sant’s Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, both for Amazon.  His additional film credits include Her, Inherent Vice, Irrational Man, 8mm, The Village, Hotel Rwanda, We Own the Night, The Immigrant, U-Turn, Inventing the Abbotts, To Die For; and Parenthood.

About The Palm Springs International Film Festival

The Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) is one of the largest film festivals in North America, welcoming 136,000 attendees last year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries. The Festival is also known for its annual Film Awards Gala, a glamorous, black-tie event attended by 2,500, presented this year by American Express and sponsored by AT&T and Entertainment Tonight. The Film Awards Gala honors the year’s best achievements in cinema in front of and behind the camera. The celebrated list of talents who have been honored in recent years includes Javier Bardem, Cate Blanchett, Mary J. Blige, Sandra Bullock, Jessica Chastain, George Clooney, Bradley Cooper, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Gal Gadot, Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman, Regina King, Rami Malek, Matthew McConaughey, Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, Brad Pitt, Eddie Redmayne, Julia Roberts, Saoirse Ronan, Meryl Streep, Charlize Theron and Reese Witherspoon. Call 760-969-7533 for Gala tickets or tables, 760-778-8979 or 800-898-7256 for Film Festival information or visit


(Source: Palm Springs Film Festival news release)


Posted by Larry Gleeson

Relive the Academy Award-winning best visual effects and best cinematography film on the big screen with Dolby Cinema.

Blade Runner 2049

November 22 & 23
FRI, SAT: 9:00pm

Officer K (Ryan Gosling), a new blade runner for the Los Angeles Police Department, unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. His discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former blade runner who’s been missing for 30 years.

Directed By Denis Villeneuve
Written By Hampton Fancher, Michael Green
Starring Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Carla Juri, Lennie James, Dave Bautista, Jared Leto
163 minutes

Get tickets HERE


Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver Tabbed for SBIFF Outstanding Performers of the Year Award

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Santa Barbara Film Festival Outstanding Performers of the Year Award honoring Scarlett Johansson & Adam Driver

Santa Barbara International Film Festival announced today that Tony Award winner Scarlett Johansson and Tony and Academy Award nominee Adam Driver will receive the Outstanding Performers of the Year Award for their critically acclaimed work in Noah Baumbach’s MARRIAGE STORY, which will be released in theaters and on Netflix December 6, 2019. Johansson and Driver will be honored at the Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara, CA on Friday, January 17th.

Roger Durling, SBIFF’s Executive Director.

“Scarlett and Adam have had such admirable arcs to their careers – making smart choices between independent films and big Hollywood franchises. They both are such lyrical performers, imbuing their acting with keen sensitivity and intellect. Together in Baumbach’s MARRIAGE STORY they regaled us with their best work to date,” says Roger Durling, SBIFF’s Executive Director.

The Outstanding Performers of the Year Award recognizes select individuals who have distinguished themselves with exceptional performances in film this past year. Past recipients of the award include Rami Malek, Margot Robbie and Allison Janney, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, Brie Larson and Saoirse Ronan, Steve Carell, Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lawrence, Viola Davis, James Franco, Colin Firth, Penelope Cruz, Angelina Jolie, Helen Mirren, Heath Ledger, Kate Winslet and Charlize Theron.

The 35th Santa Barbara International Film Festival will take place on January 15th through 25th, 2020.



Sundance Institute Announces Future of Culture Initiative

Posted by Larry Gleeson


Collaborations with Johns Hopkins and Stanford Universities, Produced by Institute’s New Frontier Lab Program, Include New Artists Residencies and Cross Disciplinary Summits on Arts and Technology

Los Angeles, CA — Sundance Institute today announced the Future of Culture Initiative, an action plan that includes partnerships with Johns Hopkins University and Stanford University in order to implement key recommendations from a two-year global field scan that analyzed strategies for improving equity and inclusion in emerging media. The initiative puts artists in discourse with technologists, scientists, policymakers, advocates and business leaders to imagine and design for the future of culture.

“New Frontier is dedicated to creating, advancing and deepening partnerships that put ‘artists at the table’ in sectors where their voices could be transformative but, historically, haven’t been heard,” interim Director, New Frontier Lab Programs, Ruthie Doyle said of the program. “By collaborating with experts across a range of sectors and institutions, we hope to further critical conversations about social impact and inclusivity when it comes to the application of science and new media technologies across a wide range of evolving practices.”

The field scan, funded by the Ford Foundation and supported by Sundance Institute, is titled Making a New Reality. Authored by Kamal Sinclair, Sundance Institute Senior Consultant and former director of the New Frontier Labs Program, it features interviews with more than 100 media experts and practitioners and investigates strategies for achieving equality and justice in emerging media, highlighting the need to break down barriers between tech, arts, media, science, policy and commerce in order to promote intersectional perspectives and values, mitigate bias and blind spots, and advance equity and inclusion.

In response, Sundance Institute’s New Frontier Lab Programs has formed unique collaborations with two trailblazing university research centers and arts programs: Johns Hopkins University’s Immersive Storytelling & Emerging Technology (ISET) concentration, and Stanford University’s Office of the Vice President for the Arts and the new Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (Stanford HAI). Artists’ residency programs are at the core of both collaborations, with cross-disciplinary summits on arts and technology to bring together thought leaders in the field to catalyze further action.

“Connections between immersive art and science have the ability to create new ways of learning and seeing the world. Universities are uniquely positioned to forge inclusive and diverse partnerships between technology, science, and immersive filmmaking,” said Beverly Wendland, James B. Knapp Dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins University.

“At Stanford HAI, we believe technology should improve the human condition, said Fei-Fei Li, Co-Director of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (Stanford HAI). If we want technology to serve humanity, the creators and users of technology need to be representative of humanity. Interdisciplinary collaboration is central to all of our work at HAI.”

Participating Artists, Already Hard at Work

Diego Galafassi (2019 Talent Forum Fellow and grantee) began working in residence at Johns Hopkins University ISET in Spring 2019. His project, Breathe (in collaboration with Jess Engel, 2016 New Frontier Story Lab Fellow and Phi-Centre), is a mixed-reality application that utilizes the Magic Leap headset to enhance understanding of climate change by inviting viewers to break free from their bodies in order to experience themselves as a cohesive part of the greater living world.

Joining Diego at Johns Hopkins ISET this fall is Penelope Jagessar Chaffer (2019 grantee), who is working on Toxic, a documentary app based on her TED Talk that uses artificial intelligence to piece together a variety of personalized data sources in order to present an interactive non-fiction story about the effects of environmental pollution on children.

“At Johns Hopkins ISET we believe storytelling merged with emerging technologies—like VR, AR, and AI—brings new perspectives and possibilities for technology’s role in shaping our relation to the world, to others and ourselves,” Added Founding Director of Johns Hopkins’ ISET, Gabo Arora. “Storytellers are what will change dominant status quo narratives, values and perspectives, and show the humanizing potential for a future that is more equitable and just.”

Earlier this fall, Stephanie Dinkins (2018 New Frontier Story Lab Fellow and grantee) was in residency at Stanford University. Dinkins is developing her project, Not the Only One, a multigenerational memoir of one black American family told from the “mind” of a social artificial intelligence with an evolving intellect. The artist will be returning in the Spring.

“So much of the discussion about technology today is narrowly focused on algorithms,” Li continues. “We need a broader discussion — something deeper that is linked to our shared future. We are proud to host a residency for Stephanie Dinkins and support the New Frontier Lab Programs in the hope that it helps to bring more people into the discussion and expand our collective mindset.”

DiegoDiego Galafassi is a visual artist and sustainability scientist from Brazil living in Stockholm. He holds a Ph.D. from Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University where he studied the role of co-creation of knowledge and artistic practices in transformations towards sustainability. He is a writer, producer and director of documentaries as well as experimental film and performance.


PenelopePenelope Jagessar Chaffer is a BAFTA-nominated director and producer whose credits include BBC’s Shakespeare’s Stories, as well as the BBC4 documentary Me and My Dad, which followed her on a trip to Trinidad to confront her father, a former magistrate jailed for bribery and corruption.


Stephanie Dinkins is a transmedia artist who creates platforms for dialogues about artificial intelligence as it intersects race, culture, aging and future histories. She is drawn to work with communities of color with an eye toward creating inclusive and ethical artificial intelligence ecosystems. She earned an MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art and is an alumna of the Whitney Independent Studies Program.


Arts and Technology Summits Complete the Comprehensive Initiative

In addition to the artists residency program, the Future of Culture initiative is collaborating on two cross-disciplinary summits on arts and technology and holding a Sundance Impact Intensive for selected Sundance-supported film, theatre and emerging media artists.

  • The Future Imagination Summit— which took place November 7 and 8, 2019—hosted by New York University’s Tisch Future Imagination Fund and presented by the Guild of Future Architects in collaboration with the Co-Creation Studio at MIT Open Documentary Lab and Sundance Institute, with support from Ford Foundation.
  • On April 6, 2020, a joint Sundance-Stanford symposium will bring together Stanford faculty and students, with international artists, researchers, technologists, and Silicon Valley industry to explore the intersections of artificial intelligence with identity and culture. Immediately following, on April 7, 2020, a Sundance Impact Intensive will allow up to six Sundance artist fellows to workshop their film, theatre or emerging media projects exploring similar themes, and plan impact distribution strategies.


Sundance Institute New Frontier Program

The Sundance Institute New Frontier Program is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Cindy Harrell Horn and Alan Horn, Dell, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Oculus from Facebook, Unity Technologies, The Walt Disney Company, PlayStation, YouTube VR, Adobe, and IMAX.

Sundance Institute

Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, and media to create and thrive. The Institute’s signature Labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new work, take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally. Sundance Co//ab, a digital community platform, brings artists together to learn from each other and Sundance Advisors and connect in a creative space, developing and sharing works in progress. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences and artists to ignite new ideas, discover original voices, and build a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Sundance Institute has supported such projects as The Farewell, Late Night, The Souvenir, The Infiltrators, Sorry to Bother You, Eighth Grade, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Hereditary, RBG, Call Me By Your Name, Get Out, The Big Sick, Top of the Lake, Winter’s Bone, Dear White People, Little Miss Sunshine, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, State of the Union, Indecent, Spring Awakening, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Fun Home. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Johns Hopkins University Department of Immersive Storytelling and Emerging Technologies (ISET)

Johns Hopkins University Department of Immersive Storytelling and Emerging Technologies (ISET) is designed and led by Founding Director Gabo Arora along with the industry’s award-winning creative pioneers. Its mission is to utilize and contextualize dominant emerging technologies – including virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence – for artistic expression and social impact.

Stanford HAI

Stanford HAI is committed to studying, guiding and developing human-centered AI technologies and applications. It was founded on a belief that AI should be collaborative, augmentative and enhancing to human productivity and quality of life. HAI leverages the university’s strength across all disciplines, including business, economics, education, genomics, law, literature, medicine, neuroscience, philosophy and more, and complementing Stanford’s tradition of leadership in AI, computer science, engineering and robotics.


Posted by Larry Gleeson



Making Apes will be available on-demand Q1 2020.

CLEVELAND (November 19, 2019) — Gravitas Ventures, a Red Arrow Studios company, has acquired North American rights to the documentary feature MAKING APES: THE ARTISTS WHO CHANGED FILM. The film, which premiered at the 2019 Santa Barbara International Film Festival, will be available on-demand January 2020.

MAKING APES: THE ARTISTS WHO CHANGED FILM is an epic 50-year story of the make-up artists who created the iconic simians featured in the original science fiction masterpiece Planet of the Apes (1968) and subsequently defined special effects for generations to come.

This fascinating, poignant, funny and heartfelt story is told through the eyes of make-up
legend Thomas R. Burman, who along with Academy Award-winning artist John Chambers helmed the creation of Planet of the Apes’ now-famous make-up design.
Interviews include Guillermo del Toro, Richard Donner, John Landis, Joe Dante, Rick Baker, VeNeill, Greg Nicotero, Leonard Maltin, Bobby Porter and numerous other award-winning filmmakers and make-up artists.

The film details the history of special make-up effects from the earliest days to modern
effects, framed by the creation of the Planet of the Apes simians. A highlight moment is
an original Planet of the Apes actor Lou Wagner being transformed back into his character 50 years later by Thomas R. Burman, Bari Dreiband-Burman and Vincent Van Dyke.

“I am honored to know that this incredible journey is finally being told. John Chambers,
myself and an incredible team of artists came together, many of us for the first time, and
broke ground in Hollywood.” Burman says. “We changed film forever, and it’s fantastic to know that audiences will finally experience our story.”

Brett Rogalsky, Acquisitions Coordinator for Gravitas Ventures is quoted as saying “Making Apes is an exceptional look at the groundbreaking work that went into one of the biggest movies of all time. If you’re a fan of the franchise, or of movies in general, this is a must-watch.”

MAKING APES: THE ARTISTS WHO CHANGED FILM is Executive Produced by Thomas R. Burman & Bari Dreiband-Burman (Academy Award Nominees – Best Make-Up Effects), Directed by William Conlin, Produced by Harlene Conlin, features Cinematography by Gary L. Conlin, an original score by Shawn Patterson (Academy Award Nominee – Best Original Song), edited by Micah Stuart, Post Production Supervisor Maxx Burman and Sound Mixing/Editing by Ellis Burman III.

About Gravitas Ventures
Gravitas Ventures, a Red Arrow Studios company, is a leading all rights distributor of
independent feature films and documentaries. Founded in 2006, Gravitas connects
independent filmmakers and producers with distribution opportunities across the
globe. Working with talented directors and producers, Gravitas Ventures has
distributed thousands of films into over a hundred million homes in North America –
over one billion homes worldwide. Recent releases include Armstrong, directed by
David Fairhead; Above the Shadows starring Olivia Thirlby, Megan Fox and Jim
Gaffigan; The River and the Wall, directed by Ben Masters; Score: A Film Music
Documentary; California Typewriter; Legion of Brothers; Katie Holmes’ feature
directorial debut; All We Had, Colin Hanks’ All Things Must Pass; and Being Evel from
Academy Award-winning director Daniel Junge and producer Johnny Knoxville.
For more information, please visit, and follow @GravitasVOD on
Twitter and @gravitasventures on Instagram.

About Red Arrow Studios
Red Arrow Studios is one of the world’s leading creators and distributors of
entertainment content. Red Arrow Studios is comprised of 20 production companies in
seven territories, including 10 companies based in the United States; world-leading
multi-platform digital network Studio71, based in six countries; and global film and TV
distributors Red Arrow Studios International and Gravitas Ventures.

The group’s significant output includes scripted, non-scripted and formatted content and IP, from TV and film to short-form and branded content, made for an array of global networks and platforms.

Red Arrow Studios is part of ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE, one of Europe’s leading media
groups. For more information, please visit:

Media Inquiries

MaryKate McHugh / (440) 781-4473 /


Indie Contenders Inform and Entertain at AFI FEST 2019

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The AFI FEST sponsored by Audi Summit Indie Contenders took place on Sunday, November 17, 2019, inside the Roosevelt Hotel Ballroom. Presented by The Hollywood Reporter, moderated and created by columnist and blogger Scott Feinberg, the annual panel featured a 90+ minute discussion with major talent from the AFI FEST 2019 lineup and recent releases, including Awkwafina, Jon Hamm, Florence Pugh, and Alfre Woodard.

AFI FEST Director, Michael Lumpkin welcomed the room with brief introductory remarks. Feinberg prepped the audience for the program and warmly introduced each panelist. While the panel focused on its members, a powerful undercurrent pulsed with each film’s potent messaging. Feinberg provided a monetary definition of an indie production of 22.5 million dollars.

Actress Awkwafina, left, addresses the issues of being an American and working on films Crazy Rich Asians and The Farewell, with Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg at the AFI Summit, November 17, 2019, at the Roosevelt Hotel Ballroom in Hollywood, Calif.. (Photo credit: Larry Gleeson)

Each panelist discussed issuers related to working on an independent film and their importance in the age of the massive budgeted “Hollywood blockbuster” studio projects based on comic book narratives steeped with heavy doses of computer-generated imaging. Not surprisingly, the talent present represented some of the year’s most thought-provoking films of the year.

The film’s and talent on this year’s panel were Alfre Woodard (Clemency), Jon Hamm (The Report), Awkwafina (The Farewell), Sterling K. Brown (Waves), Jimmie Fails (Last Black Man in San Francisco), Cynthia Erivo (Harriet), Kerry Washington (American Son), and Florence Pugh (Fighting with Family, Midsommar).

AFI FEST 2019 sponsored by Audi continues through Thursday, November 21, 2019. See for the festival’s full schedule and ticketing.






Today’s Hot Ticket at AFI FEST!

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Emerging Hollywood executives discuss their career paths, current work/creative partnerships and the future of diverse content across entertainment platforms with moderator Brickson Diamond, CEO of Big Answers, LLC and founding board member and chair of The Blackhouse Foundation at today’s AFI FEST sponsored by Audi 2019 SUMMIT.

Panelists include Deniese Davis, Producer at Issa Rae Productions and COO of ColorCreative; Elizabeth Polk, who leads the Original Independent Film Business & Legal Affairs Team at Netflix; Amber Rasberry, Vice President, Development for Paramount Players; and Mark R. Wright, Executive in the film group at MACRO.

Get tickets HERE while they last!

(Source: AFI press room)