All posts by HollywoodGlee

I’m a veteran of several film festivals including the Newport Beach Film Festival, the Berlin International Film Festival, the American Film Institute's AFIFest Hollywood and AFI DOCS, the famed Venice International Film Festival, the San Luis Obispo SLO Film Fest, and the Santa Barbara International Film Festival's family of festivals including the SBIFF, the SBIFF Wave Festivals and the SBIFF Showcase Film Series. To date I’ve written and published over 100 film reviews and have work posted on four sites including sbccfilmreviews.org, imdb.com. I have also been published in Classic Film Images magazine. In addition to writing reviews and covering film festivals, I am currently seeking distribution for new films. I have contacts in several major markets including Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, and Cannes, France. So when you’re looking for your film to get noticed, remember HollywoodGlee can help. We have professional marketers, respected critics and the most knowledgeable contacts on what film festival and/or distribution channel is right for you and your film. See you at the movies!

AFI FEST Interview: JUST MERCY Director/Co-Writer Destin Daniel Cretton

Posted by Larry Gleeson

JUST MERCY plays as a Special Screening at AFI FEST sponsored by Audi on Saturday, November 16 at the TCL Chinese Theatres in Hollywood.

Writer/director Destin Daniel Cretton is an indie darling with credits, including the award-winning drama SHORT TERM 12 and THE GLASS CASTLE — an adaptation of Jeannette Walls’ 2005 bestselling memoir. This spring Marvel came calling, enlisting Cretton to helm SHANG-CHI, the first Asian-led superhero film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise.

And this fall, he’ll release his third film, JUST MERCY, a powerful, true story about acclaimed civil rights defense attorney, Bryan Stevenson, as he recounts his experiences and details the case of Walter McMillian, a condemned death row prisoner whom he fought to free. The film stars Jamie Foxx and Michael B. Jordan and follows the release of the documentary, TRUE JUSTICE: BRYAN STEVENSON’S FIGHT FOR EQUALITY, which had its world premiere at AFI DOCS in June.

We spoke with Cretton about collaborating with Bryan Stevenson, assembling an A-list cast for the film and the story’s relevance in light of today’s political climate.

AFI: What initially drew you to make JUST MERCY and to tell Bryan Stevenson and Walter McMillian’s story? 

DDC: I read Bryan’s book, “Just Mercy,” and it honestly floored me. I felt like my heart was torn to shreds and put back together. One would think reading a book about the unfairness of our criminal justice system would leave you feeling defeated and cynical about the state of our world. But Bryan believes that hopelessness is the enemy of justice and that hope allows you to work toward the things that you cannot see. As soon as I finished his book, I had no idea how, but I knew I wanted to find any way to help him tell this story.

AFI: How closely did you work with Bryan before and during filming?

DDC: Andrew Lanham and I worked very closely with Bryan throughout the entire screenwriting process. Before we put any words to the page, we visited Bryan in Montgomery to see the work he does first-hand, alongside his staff at the Equal Justice Initiative. Bryan was an extraordinary collaborator on this project, guiding us throughout to make sure we got it right, while allowing the space for the writing process to organically come together. He was also an invaluable source for all of our department heads during production to make sure the sets, costumes and props all reflected the work they were doing at the time.

AFI: How did Bryan react to seeing the final version of the film?

DDC: I didn’t realize how nervous I was until I left Bryan in a theater at the Warner Brothers lot to watch the film. It was the most stressful two hours of my life. When he came into our editing suite after seeing the movie, he smiled, gave me a hug and said thank you for taking care of his story and the people he cares so much about. I almost fainted out of pure relief.

AFI: What do you think makes this story so topical right now? 

DDC: It was interesting to hear some of the hateful rhetoric coming from politicians or the media while we were shooting this movie. It was very clear that in many ways, we haven’t come very far since 1989. For every nine people executed in this country, one person has been found innocent and released from death row. That’s a pretty staggering rate of error that exists right now.

Director/Co-writer Destin Daniel Cretton

AFI: You have Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, Brie Larson and many other amazing actors and actresses in this film. What was it like collaborating with all of these talented people? 

DDC: Honestly, it often feels like I have a front row seat to the best live performance in town. It’s a dream to work with actors of this caliber, who are all telling this story because they believe in it with everything in them. It was a really special thing to witness.

AFI: You screened your short film SHORT TERM 12 at AFI FEST in 2009. How does it feel to be back at the festival with JUST MERCY as a Special Screening?

DDC: True story…my short film, SHORT TERM 12, played at AFI FEST, where it was seen by a producer, Asher Goldstein, who wrote me an email saying how much he liked the short and asked about any feature ideas. Asher ended up producing the feature of SHORT TERM 12, and also produced JUST MERCY. So, if it wasn’t for AFI FEST, I might never have met Asher or done another movie for the rest of my life.

AFI: What would you like audience members at AFI FEST to take away from JUST MERCY?

DDC: In Bryan’s book, his grandmother tells him that you can’t understand the most important things from a distance. You have to get close. I hope this movie allows an audience to get a little closer to the people who are affected by a very real problem in this country. I also hope the audience feels closer to the very real hope and solution to that problem through the life and work of Bryan Stevenson.

AFI: You were a thesis mentor at the AFI Conservatory. What was that experience like for you?

DDC: I always find it so inspiring to be around film students, to be reminded of the pure joy of this medium. There really is no other experience quite like it.

Tickets to all films in the AFI FEST program lineup are available here.

JUST MERCY opens in a limited release on December 25. Watch the trailer below:

(Sourced from AFI.com)

 

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AFI and Audi debut “Changing the Chairs” #AFIFEST2019

Posted by Larry Gleeson

AFI and Audi continue to champion female directors in films and television through the campaign “Changing the Chairs.”

51% of the films at AFI FEST 2019 presented by Audi are directed by women.

Making its debut at this year’s AFI FEST presented by Audi, “Changing the Chairs” will celebrate, embrace and recognize the change happening now within the industry – more women directing big budget films, more women in leadership positions and more opportunities for women to share their perspective.

To share the #ChangingTheChairs campaign with all audiences during the festival, AFI and Audi are lifting up female directors and sharing their responses to a very important question: “What changes when a woman sits in the director’s chair?” From increasing underrepresented voices to creating more complex storytelling, the answers show the transformative effects of having a woman in the director’s chair.

“Having a woman sit in the director’s chair will inspire generations of little girls to conquer that chair one day too. Having many WOMEN taking these seats, will guarantee equality and diversity in storytelling perspectives and representation.” – Oran Zegman, Director (MARRIAGE MATERIAL, THE MUSICAL!)

“Everything. Everything changes when a woman sits in a director’s chair.  A female director provides female characters with depth and a refreshing and accurate depiction of how life is lived. Women need to be in the director’s chair because we’re in a time where women need to be heard, represented and defended. – Isabella Issa, Director (YELLOW GIRL AND ME)

 

Changing Chairs
“Changing the Chairs” art exhibit inside the Roosevelt Hotel Lobby at the 2019 AFI FEST sponsored by Audi. (Photo credit: Larry Gleeson)

51% of the films at AFI FEST 2019 presented by Audi are directed by women.

 

In 2018, 4.5% of the 100 top-grossing films were directed by women.

In 2019, upwards to 14% of the 100 top-grossing films this year will be directed by women.

 

Sponsor Audi

(Sourced from AFI.com)

 

Eva Longoria and the Erasure of LatinX

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Actor/Director/Producer/Activist (ad infinitem), Mexican-American, businesswoman Eva Longoria, took the stage with Dr. Stacy Smith, an Associate Professor of Communication, Annenberg School at the University at Southern California, for an insightful and informative talk on the culturally relevant issue of film’s role in shaping LatinX stereotypes at the The Erasure of LatinX as part of this year’s AFI SUMMIT at the Roosevelt Hotel Ballroom, Friday, November 15th. AFI FEST, presented by Audi, is in its 33rd year.

Due to moving pictures allowing for the suspension of disbelief, most viewers come to believe the images on the screen are real-life representations. Dr. Smith, an empirical data specialist on the current trends and the underrepresentation of women and minorities in the Hollywood film industry, argued the representation of the LatinX community has fallen by 4.5% from last year. Longoria added these LatinX representations are mostly sinister characters and are defining LatinX, in conjunction with conservative political rhetoric, to rural and suburban Americans.

This is not a good representation especially if one believes in the dynamics of a free market and the effects of the invisible hand. According to Longoria, as LatinX resists assimilating into society and remains typecast as criminals in Hollywood film, a shift in policy is needed to allow for Hispanics to participate in the American Dream. These are not issues for most laypeople. For Longoria, however, they are career-defining. With a life and career as diverse as any in the lore of Hollywood, Longoria has focused her laser-like acumen into providing a voice for the Mexican-American community with a powerful and dynamic undertaking, UnbeliEVAble Entertainment, based out of Mountain View, Calif. Already deluged with LatinX works from authentic writers, directors, and producers, Longoria envisions a production house showcasing LatinX films centered around family and love.

Steeped in activism and cured with exposure, Longoria, claiming to have an insight into LatinX (no argument here), is driven to succeed. According to IMDb, Longoria possesses 55 actress credits, 22 producer credits, and 12 director credits. Currently, helming and developing two conceptual projects, The Flaming Cheeto, a Horatio-Algereques take on the development of the product bearing the same name and a bigger budgeted, comedy, feature film, 24-7. Greenlighted by Universal Pictures, 24-7, starring Longoria and cohort, Kerry Washington, and written by Sarah Rothschild, tells a tale of a group of accountants banding together against their firm’s male colleagues to solve a fraud case that will save their jobs

One thing I know for sure, it’s an exciting time to be involved in film with talent like Eva Longoria in the room! AFI FEST 2019, presented by Audi, continues through November 21st. Stay tuned for the upcoming Indie Contenders Panel and the Documentary Filmmaker Roundtable. Until then, I’ll see you at the movies!

 

AFI FEST 2019 PRESENTED BY AUDI ANNOUNCES SPONSORS AND CULTURAL SUPPORTERS

Posted by Larry Gleeson

#DriveProgress Large-Scale Art Installation “Changing the Chairs” to Debut at Festival

Tickets and Passes to Screenings Available Online and at Newly Opened AT&T Box Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Los Angeles, CA, November 14, 2019 — The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today the sponsors and cultural supporters for AFI FEST 2019 presented by Audi, which takes place November 14-21 in Hollywood, CA, at the TCL Chinese Theatre, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres and The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Visit FEST.AFI.COM to view this year’s lineup.

Audi returns for the 16th year as the exclusive Presenting Sponsor of AFI FEST, enabling the festival to host the very best of world cinema. Audi and their visionary support reflect a continuing commitment to create opportunities for equality in film and television.

Audi also supports AFI through the Audi Fellowship for Women, a full-tuition scholarship program that supports promising female directors entering the AFI Conservatory. This Fellowship is part of the Audi commitment to drive progress and a landmark investment in the future of the storytelling community. Through their #DriveProgress initiative, Audi will launch their “Changing the Chairs” campaign at AFI FEST which celebrates, embraces and recognizes the change happening now within the industry with more women directing big-budget films, more women in leadership positions and more opportunities for women to share their perspectives.

As part of the campaign, Audi worked with artist Kate Raudenbush to create a large-scale art installation that illuminates the success made by female directors, honors those who helped pave the way and advocates that more stories need to be told by women. The installation will be stationed at the TCL Chinese Theatre beginning the opening night with companion pieces in the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres lobby and The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel lobby. In addition, Natalie Camou, the first Audi Fellow, directed a video content piece for the initiative that will coincide with the installation and the launch of the campaign at this year’s AFI FEST. The piece can be viewed at https://youtu.be/5BLgNjO-ltk.

This year’s Premium Sponsors are Apple and AT&T. AT&T is returning with the AT&T Box Office, and for the first time will be sponsoring the AFI FEST Filmmaker Welcome Party. American Airlines returns as the Official Airline of AFI FEST and is the Official Airline of AFI. Festival Sponsors include 30 for 30 (ESPN), AMC Networks, CineSend, Lagunitas Brewing Company, La Marca Prosecco, National Geographic Documentary Films, Netflix, Panavision, SAG-AFTRA, SAGindie, and Select Aperitivo, with National Geographic Documentary Films hosting a Documentary Celebration.

The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Hollywood & Highland Center and TCL Chinese Theatre are the festival’s Official Hotel and Venue Sponsors.

Contributing Sponsors include Dalmore Scotch, Diplomático Rum, Fleur de Mer Rosé, J Vineyards and Winery California Pinot Noir, Louis M. Martini, the Nancy Malone Estate, Montenegro Amaro, Alan J. Pakula Memorial Fund and Saint Clair Estate Sauvignon Blanc.

Boxed Water, Elevent, Quixote, SmartSource and US Blanks are Sustaining Sponsors.

Supporting Sponsors include The Bagel Broker and SoCal Self Storage.

This year’s Cultural Sponsor is the Farhang Foundation.

Additional cultural support will be provided by the Consulate General of Austria, Consulate General of Belgium, Consulate General of Canada, Consulate General of France – French Mission for Cultural Affairs and the Creative Industries, Consulate General of Germany, Consulate General of Indonesia, Consulate General of Poland, European Languages and Movies in America (ELMA), Japan Foundation LA, Korean Cultural Center of Los Angeles (KCCLA), Polish Film Festival, Québec Government Office in Los Angeles, Telefilm Canada, TV5MONDE and UNIFRANCE.

The Primary Media Partner of the festival is the Los Angeles Times. Official Media Partners include Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, International Documentary Association, Meet the Press, Time Out, Variety and The Wall Street Journal. Affiliate Media Partners include 89.3 KPCC, American Cinematographer, Backstage, Deadline, Here Media, IndieWire, KCRW 89.9FM, KTLA, LA Confidential Magazine, LAist, LA Weekly, Los Angeleno, MovieMaker Magazine, OUTFRONT Media, Screen International, The Wrap and Yelp.

The full program can be viewed at FEST.AFI.COM. Individual tickets to AFI FEST screenings are available to the general public online at FEST.AFI.COM or at the AT&T Box Office at Hollywood & Highland. AFI Premiere Circle members receive unparalleled access to AFI FEST, including tickets to Galas, after-parties and more.

Additional passes are also on sale now at FEST.AFI.COM and AFI Star members and above receive a special discount. The American Film Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational and cultural organization, and Premiere Circle memberships are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.

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 AFI.com and follow us on social media at Facebook.com/AmericanFilmInstitute, youtube.com/AFI, twitter.com/American Film, and Instagram.com/AmericanFilmInstitute.

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 on November 14-21, 2019. Additional information about AFI FEST is available at AFI.com/AFIFEST. Connect with AFI FEST at facebook.com/AFIFEST, twitter.com/AFIFEST and youtube.com/AFI.

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 audiusa.com or media.audiusa.com for more information regarding Audi vehicles and business topics.

Sponsor Audi

(Source: Press release AFI News)

AFI FEST 2019 Special Screening: I AM WOMAN

Posted by Larry Gleeson

HELEN REDDY BIOPIC TO HAVE ITS US PREMIERE ON 

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE– Los Angeles, CA, November 12, 2019 – The American Film Institute (AFI) today announced that AFI FEST 2019 presented by Audi has added a Special Screening of I AM WOMAN, the Helen Reddy biopic, directed by Unjoo Moon (AFI Class of 2000).  The film is produced by Moon and Rosemary Blight, written by Emma Jensen and stars Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Evan Peters and Danielle Macdonald. The film will have its US premiere on Thursday, November 21 at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres.

I AM WOMAN tells the inspiring story of singer Helen Reddy, who wrote and sang the song “I Am Woman” that became the anthem for the women’s movement in the 1970s.  The film is a story of fearless ambition and passion, of a woman who smashed through the patriarchal norms of her time to become the international singing superstar she always dreamed of being.

Tickets to this event and all other screenings and events are now available at Fest.AFI.com.

AS PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED

AFI FEST 2019 takes place November 14-21, 2019, at historic theaters in Los Angeles. Screenings, Galas, and other events will be held at the TCL Chinese Theatre, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, and the Hollywood Roosevelt and will open with the World Premiere of AFI Conservatory alumna Melina Matsoukas’s QUEEN & SLIM. The festival will close with the World Premiere of Apple’s THE BANKER. The full program and schedule can be found here.

Audi returns for the 16th year as the exclusive Presenting Sponsor of AFI FEST, enabling the festival to host the very best of world cinema. Audi and their visionary support reflect a continuing commitment to create opportunities for equality in film and television. Audi also supports AFI through the Audi Fellowship for Women, a full-tuition scholarship created in 2017 to support promising female directors entering the AFI Conservatory. This Fellowship is part of the Audi commitment to drive progress and a landmark investment in the future of the storytelling community.

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

About the American Film Institute (AFI)

AFI FEST

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 AFI.com and follow us on social media atFacebook.com/AmericanFilmInstituteyoutube.com/AFItwitter.com/American Filmand Instagram.com/AmericanFilmInstitute.

About AFI FEST presented by Audi
Now in its 33rdyear, 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 on November 14-21, 2019. Additional information about AFI FEST is available at AFI.com/AFIFEST. Connect with AFI FEST at facebook.com/AFIFESTtwitter.com/AFIFESTand youtube.com/AFI.

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 audiusa.com or media.audiusa.com for more information regarding Audi vehicles and business topics.

 

Sponsor Audi

(Source: AFIFEST Press Release)

 

SABAN FILMS BOARDS sci-fi thriller “BREACH” starring BRUCE WILLIS

Posted by Larry Gleeson

LOS ANGELES (November 10, 2019) – Saban Films announced today that they have acquired North American rights to John Suits’ (Pandemic, The Scribbler) Breach starring Golden Globe Award® winner Bruce Willis (Glass, Die Hard franchise).  The sci-fi thriller also stars Cody Kearsley (“Riverdale,” Power Rangers), Callan Mulvey (Avengers: Endgame, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice), Kassandra Clementi (“UnREAL,” “Home and Away”), Timothy V. Murphy (The Lone Ranger, “Snowpiercer”) and Corey Large (In Like Flynn, The Ninth Passenger).  Danny Roth produced under his Almost Never Films banner along with Corey Large and Edward Drake.

Breach follows a young stowaway (Kearsley) aboard an interstellar ark to New Earth. With the help of a seasoned crewmate (Willis), he must outwit a malevolent cosmic terror intent on using the spaceship as a weapon.  The film was shot in Fitzgerald, GA.  Executive producers are Danny H. Chan for Almost Never Films, Mike Donovan, Ryan Charles Griffin, Mary Aloe and Roger Dorman for Aloe Entertainment, Carlos Velazquez, Benjamin Krause, Stephen Eads, Johnny Messner, Edward Drake, and Elizabeth Zavoyskiy and Andrew Kotliar from MEP Capital, who are also financing.

Bill Bromiley
Bill Bromiley

Bill Bromiley said, “Bruce Willis leads a fantastic cast fighting to survive in this highly suspenseful, action-packed thriller that will keep audiences captivated.”

Bromiley also negotiated the deal for Saban Films along with Danny Roth on behalf of the filmmakers.  Screen Media is handling international rights at the upcoming AFM.

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-anticipated 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.

About Saban Films

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.

(Source: Press release from Rachel Simmons | DDA Group)

‘NO SAFE SPACES’ EXPANSION CONTINUES

Posted by Larry Gleeson

‘NO SAFE SPACES’ EXPANSION CONTINUES: FREE SPEECH DOCUDRAMA MOVES INTO FLORIDA AND SOUTH CAROLINA; OUTPACES ZOMBIELAND AND DOWNTON IN PER SCREEN AVERAGE

Adam Carolla/Dennis Prager Docudrama Shows Continued Strength At The Box Office

NOVEMBER 11, 2019 (Los Angeles, CA) – Building on a stunning debut in Phoenix which made it the second largest opening for a documentary on a single screen in history after Michael Moore’s Sicko, the free-speech docudrama No Safe Spaces continued to surprise box office watchers by posting solid weekend grosses, outpacing competitors like Zombieland and Downton Abbey on a per screen average basis in its third weekend of release as it continues its rollout.

 The film, co-starring comedian and podcast king Adam Carolla and radio talk show host Dennis Prager continued its market expansion over the weekend in Florida and South Carolina, taking in an estimated $65k and delivering higher per screen average estimates than Zombieland and Downton Abbey, averaging $1,800 on 37 screens, a 12% increase from the previous week. The film will continue to expand next week into Los Angeles, Sacramento, Fresno, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, Orlando and San Antonio. 

 In No Safe Spaces Carolla and Prager travel the country, talking to experts and advocates on the left and right, tour college campuses, and examine their own upbringings to try to understand what is happening in America today and what free speech in this country should look (and sound) like.

“We are grateful for everyone giving us so much support as we take this movie into more theaters across America,” said Prager.

ARCLIGHT FILMS LOCKS WORLDWIDE DISTRIBUTION DEAL FOR THE EPIC FEATURE FILM ‘TOMIRIS’

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Beverly Hills, California (November 9, 2019) – Leading entertainment company Arclight Films, led by chairman Gary Hamilton, announced today the company has closed worldwide distribution rights (excluding Kazakhstan), for the action adventure Tomiris, the powerful and epic portrayal of the legendary Queen Tomiris, directed by multi award-winning director Akan Satayev (“The Liquidator”) and Kazakhstan’s official Golden Globe submission. 

Starring Kazakhstan superstars Almira Tursyn (as Tomiris), Adil Akhmetov (as Argun), and Aizhan Lighg (as Sardana) who perform all of their own action packed stunts, Tomiris, tells the real life story of the great Queen who along with her female warriors united divided tribes of nomadic warriors and created a powerful nation.

Queen Tomiris lived 2,500 years ago but her legacy lives on and continues to thrive today. She was a mother, warrior, and incomparable strategist known and credited for the creation of female warrior divisions. Her beauty inspired many artists in Europe, her life even described in great detail in the chronicles of Greek historian Herodotus, and her legacy still inspires thousands of women throughout Central Asia.

“The story of Queen Tomiris is extraordinarily powerful, filled with heartbreak, loss, inspiration and victory,” stated Arclight Chairman Gary Hamilton. “This feature is full of action and beautifully shot in Kazakhstan where it has received a rave reception at the box-office where it is currently in theatrical release and is the highest grossing action film in the history of Kazakhstan.  We are delighted to share this special and rare film with our distribution partners around the world.”

The film is a co-production between Kazakhfilm Studios and Sataifilm. The film was released in Kazakhstan on October 1, 2019 with a strong reception, making it one of the highest grossing films in the history of Kazakhstan.

The distribution deal was negotiated directly by Gary Hamilton and Ying Ye on behalf of Arclight Films and Gaukhar (Gia) Noortas, a Kazakh-American film producer, and the head of the Honorary Consulate of Kazakhstan in Los Angeles on behalf of Sataifilm and Kazakhfilm Studios.

ABOUT ARCLIGHT FILMS

Screen Shot 2019-10-30 at 8.24.15 PM

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 Kazakhstan Studios

The film studio was founded in 1934 as the Alma-Ata newsreel studio, in 1936 the first documentaries were released. On November 15, 1941, the Alma-Ata film studio merged with the Mosfilm and Lenfilm film studios that were evacuated to Kazakhstan to the Central United Film Studio – TsOKS, which worked in Alma-Ata until 1944 and produced 80% of all domestic feature films during the war years. On January 9, 1960, it was renamed the Kazakhfilm film studio from the Alma-Ata film studio of feature and chronicles films. In 1984, the film studio was named after the outstanding figure of national cinema Shaken Kenzhetayevich Aimanov.

In the context of decades, the average dynamics of production of feature films of the Kazakhfilm film studio, starting from the 60s of the last century, is annually: 60s – 3 films; 70s – 4 films; 80s – 7 films; 90s – 3 films. In the period from 2000 to 2008, there were 4 films. And only in the last few years, the average annual production rate is 7-10 films.

Over the years since Kazakhstan gained independence (from 1991 to 2016), the Kazakhfilm film studio has created about 136 full-length feature films (including 6 television feature films); 73 short films; 258 documentaries (including 8 documentary series); 67 animated films (of which 1 animated series, 1 full-length animated film).

In the period from 2008 to the present, over 200 films of the Kazakhfilm film studio have become participants in more than 220 festivals and international shows in 60 countries.

 About Sataifilm

The company was founded in 2003 by Akan Satayev. Initially, it was engaged in the production of commercials for a long time. The first full-length film was launched in 2006, it was a sensational “Racketeer“, the film completely recouped its budget and did very good in local box office, and most importantly became one of the most loved movies of domestic audience. After the success of “Racketeer” the company moved to a permanent mode of production of multi-series and feature films. Biggest projects are pictures as “Racketeer”, “Brothers” (a multi-part full-length series), “Strayed“, “Hacker“, “Racketeer 2“, “Raiyony” and “Alone“, which was released recently not only in Kazakhstan but also in the CIS.

An interesting fact is that the company’s logo depicts the profile of Akan Satayev’s father in the role of Akane Sery in the film Trizna / Kulager of 1972. Today the company is considered one of the largest private film studios in the territory of Kazakhstan and to this day is engaged in the production of feature films and series.

 

Saban Films Game for TIFF Action Thriller GUNS AKIMBO Starring Daniel Radcliffe

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Saban FilmsLOS ANGELES (November 9, 2019) – Saban Films announced today that they have acquired North American rights to writer/director Jason Lei Howden’s (Deathgasm) Guns Akimbo following its World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.  The darkly comedic action sci-fi thriller stars Daniel Radcliffe (the Harry Potter franchise, Swiss Army Man, Now You See Me 2), Samara Weaving (Ready or Not, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Rhys Darby (“Flight of the Conchords”, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle), Natasha Liu Bordizzo (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, “The Society”) and Ned Dennehy (“Good Omens”, “Peaky Blinders”).  Occupant Entertainment’s Joe Neurauter and Felipe Marino and Four Knights Film’s Tom Hern produced.

Guns Akimbo watches a nerdy video game developer (Radcliffe) become the next contestant in an illegal live-streamed death match, in this hilariously dark, viciously violent, and chillingly prescient sci-fi thriller.

“With gaming on the rise, Guns Akimbo is a timely film that will keep audiences on the

Bill Bromiley
Bill Bromiley

edge of their seats,” commented Saban Films’ Bill Bromiley.  “Daniel is in a role you’ve never seen him in before.  He and Samara shine throughout this thought-provoking take on the gaming industry’s future.”

 

Altitude Film Sales is handling international rights for the film, with Endeavor representing U.S. rights.  Bill Bromiley and Jonathan Saba negotiated the deal for Saban Films along with Altitude on behalf of the filmmakers.

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-anticipated Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, the sequel to the 2001 comedy Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back which the company partnered on after coming onboard 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; Darren Lynn Bousman’s Death of Me starring Maggie Q and Luke Hemsworth; and Nicol Paone’s Friendsgiving starring Malin Akerman, Kat Dennings, Chelsea Peretti, Christine Taylor, Golden Globe Award® winner Jane Seymour, Aisha Tyler, Deon Cole, Wanda Sykes, Margaret Cho and Fortune Feimsterfdeat.

About Saban Films

Saban Films, an affiliate of Saban Capital Group (“SCG”), is a film acquisition and distribution company which 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.

Script to Screen

(Source: Press Release DDA Group | Rachel Simmons

Thai Night Reception at American Film Market 2019

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Thai Night at American Film Market 2019, took place on Friday, November 8th, 2019, at the Colonnade Ballroom, Hotel Casa Del Mar, Santa Monica, California, hosted by the Department of International Trade Promotion, Ministry of Commerce, Royal Thai Government. Her Royal Highness Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi of Thailand, graciously presided over Thai Night, an evening filled with ambiance and the Thai Royal Princess’s presence as the door to a brilliant and captivating film industry opened.

One of my top World Cinema films comes from Thailand and Director Apichatpong Weerasethakul the 2010 Cannes Palme d’Or winner,  UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES – a layered film delving into the human condition, transformation and annihilation. Since then, the Thai film industry has exploded expanding exponentially becoming the top producing cinema in the region.

In addition to Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi and the Thai Dance Troup, the top eight Thai film companies were on display to inform about filming in Thailand and to showcase Thai films during a cocktail and networking reception. Thai inspired finger foods and canapés and specially crafted Thai Mocktails were all the rage followed by a Thai Select Buffet line. For those who aren’t familiar with the work being done in Thailand, now is an excellent time to check it out!

(To note: One of the first deals announced out of AFM, NEON landed North American rights to Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s latest film, MEMORIA.)

 

 

 

 

Until next time, I’ll see you at the movies

Thai HollywoodGlee
Larry Gleeson

*Featured Photo: Her Royal Highness Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi of Thailand (Photo by Larry Gleeson)