News

Lionsgate UK backs 'Last King Of Scotland' producer

Investment in London-based Potboiler Television furthers Lionsgate’s burgeoning TV interests.

Lionsgate UK has taken a stake in The Last King Of Scotland producer Potboiler Television and signed a first-look deal for global distribution of its shows.

Potboiler was established by late film producer Simon Channing Williams in 2000, alongside The Constant Gardener producer Gail Egan and went on to join forces with Andrea Calderwood’s Slate Films.

With support from Lionsgate, the two businesses produced films including Alan Rickman’s A Little Chaos [pictured] and John Le Carré adaptation A Most Wanted Man.

Lionsgate has now formally invested in the firm, which is yet to secure any TV commissions.

The deal extends the Us firm’s TV interests after it invested in Primal Media & Kindle Entertainment, co-financed Channel 4 comedy Damned and hired former ITV drama boss Steve November as its creative director of UK Television.

Calderwood and Egan said: “Lionsgate and Potboiler have similar entrepreneurial cultures and a shared
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Lionsgate UK backs 'Last King Of Scotland' producer in TV push

Investment in London-based Potboiler Television furthers Lionsgate’s burgeoning TV interests.

Lionsgate UK has taken a stake in The Last King Of Scotland producer Potboiler Television and signed a first-look deal for global distribution of its shows.

Potboiler was established by late film producer Simon Channing Williams in 2000, alongside The Constant Gardener producer Gail Egan and went on to join forces with Andrea Calderwood’s Slate Films.

With support from Lionsgate, the two businesses produced films including Alan Rickman’s A Little Chaos [pictured] and John Le Carré adaptation A Most Wanted Man.

Lionsgate has now formally invested in the firm, which is yet to secure any TV commissions.

The deal extends the Us firm’s TV interests after it invested in Primal Media & Kindle Entertainment, co-financed Channel 4 comedy Damned and hired former ITV drama boss Steve November as its creative director of UK Television.

Calderwood and Egan said: “Lionsgate and Potboiler have similar entrepreneurial cultures and a shared
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Lionsgate backs 'Last King Of Scotland' producer's TV wing

Investment in London-based Potboiler Television furthers Lionsgate’s burgeoning TV interests.

Lionsgate UK has taken a stake in The Last King Of Scotland producer Potboiler Television and signed a first-look deal for global distribution of its shows.

Potboiler was established by late film producer Simon Channing Williams in 2000, alongside The Constant Gardener producer Gail Egan and went on to join forces with Andrea Calderwood’s Slate Films.

With support from Lionsgate, the two businesses produced films including Alan Rickman’s A Little Chaos [pictured] and John Le Carré adaptation A Most Wanted Man.

Lionsgate has now formally invested in the firm, which is yet to secure any TV commissions.

The deal extends the Us firm’s TV interests after it invested in Primal Media & Kindle Entertainment, co-financed Channel 4 comedy Damned and hired former ITV drama boss Steve November as its creative director of UK Television.

Calderwood and Egan said: “Lionsgate and Potboiler have similar entrepreneurial cultures and a shared
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Philip Seymour Hoffman is A Most Wanted Man

  • JoBlo
See what I did there? Because he's a good actor and so a lot of people want to cast him, and then he has been cast in a movie called A Most Wanted Man? Yeah... It was over six months ago when we reported that the next movie from Anton Corbijn (The American) would be an adaptation of the 2008 novel by John Le Carré (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy). Not much was known at the time beyond the screenwriter (Andrew Bovell) and producer (Simon Channing-Williams), but today word comes that...
See full article at JoBlo »

War Horse Press Conference Part Two: Authors and Actors

On the morning of Monday 9th January 2012, just hours after the British premier at the Odeon in London’s Leicester Square, a press conference for Steven Spielberg's latest film War Horse was held in the magnificent ballroom of Claridge's, one of London's most lavish hotels located in the heart of Mayfair. As I reported in the first part of this article (which you can read here), the event was split into two halves, the first of which featured Spielberg and his long-time producer Kathy Kennedy speaking about the movie in what was a fascinating and informative half an hour.

The second part, though, was equally interesting, as author Michael Morpurgo and screenwriter Richard Curtis discussed the genesis of the story and its journey from Morpurgo's moving and poignant children's book that was originally published in 1982 to Curtis's script that Spielberg drew much of his direction from, and actors Jeremy Irvine,
See full article at Shadowlocked »

Michael Morpurgo on adapting his books for stage and screen

Horses as life-size puppets? The wrong soldier executed? Michael Morpurgo has had to challenge his own preconceptions when seeing his books adapted for stage or screen. But with Spielberg's War Horse film forthcoming and The Rainbow Bear a ballet, he's getting used to good surprises

To me it's all storytelling. After centuries of stories dominated by the written word, we may sometimes forget that, for many generations before, the telling of stories was almost entirely an oral tradition, with a little help from travelling players and singers and bands. These storytellers adapted, reinvented and recreated all the time, to reflect changing times and tastes.

As a maker of stories, originally written for the readers of books, I am always alert to the possibilities of finding new and inventive ways of telling them, of bringing them to a wider audience. To begin with, I never imagined anyone would think of adapting
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Tales of misery, money markets and Maid Marian

Could Palme d'Or veteran Mike Leigh triumph again with his delicate drama of ordinary lives? Elsewhere Robin Hood is grumpy, Oliver Stone shows signs of irony in his sequel to Wall Street, and a gruesome teen cybertale is enough to make you hit escape…

Even at this early stage, it wouldn't be too ambitious to trumpet Mike Leigh's Another Year as a leading contender for the 47th Palme d'Or. However, a fanfare seems slightly inappropriate for such a delicate film, a picture of everyday lives so achingly true and lovely and sad that one almost feels like an intruder for watching it, especially in an atmosphere as frenetic and flashbulbed as Cannes. Dedicated to his late producer Simon Channing Williams, who died as Leigh's cast began its usual pre-script improvisations last year, Another Year has an elegiac quality rare in this director's work, dealing with death, ageing, love and
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Bigelow: Roll on the Oscars

. Colin Firth and Carey Mulligan take top acting awards

. The Hurt Locker sweeps the board, winning six Baftas including best film and best director for Kathryn Bigelow

. Avatar picks up only two awards

Read Xan Brooks's liveblog from London's Royal Opera House and find out how the 2010 British Academy Film Awards unfolded at the scene

Gallery: Bafta arrivals

Gallery: Bafta winners

Full list of awards

6.32pm: If it's a rainy Sunday night in London, sometime between the Golden Globes and the Oscars, then it must be the British Academy of Film and Television Arts' annual film awards. And, as luck would have it, so it is. By God, it comes around quicker every year.

6.34pm: Up the red carpet come the nominated and the not-nominated; the 100-watt stars and the stars whose radiance is pitched at such a dull shimmer that even their companions seem to be looking at them askew.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Top 100 Most Anticipated Films of 2010: Untitled Mike Leigh Project

The characters in Mike Leigh's films linger on several hours after viewing - its a testament to a directing style that brings out the best of the actor and that never gets old. - #19. Untitled Mike Leigh Project Director/Writer: Mike LeighProducers: Simon Channing Williams and Georgina LoweDistributor: Rights Available. The Gist: Tba. Cast: Jim Broadbent, Imelda Staunton and Lesley Manville. Why is it on the list?: The characters in Mike Leigh's films linger on several hours after viewing - its a testament to a directing style that brings out the best of the actor and that never gets old.  Release Date/Status?: 2010 Cannes, Venice and/or Tiff. Autumn release.  
See full article at ioncinema »

Tracking Shot August 2009: Petits Mouchoirs, Pieds Nus and Barney's Version

  • At the beginning of every month, Ioncinema.com's "Tracking Shot" features six projects that are moments away from lensing and that we feel are worth signaling out. This August (2009), we are keeping tabs on: a Canadian financed pic with top tier talent, that for the next weeks becomes known as the film that the radiant Rachelle Lebevre committed to and which annoyed Summit Ent., the re-appearance of The Details (2011)The Details
[/link] (it receives a second life), three French filmmakers (Julie Bertucelli, Fabienne Berthaud) on their sophomore efforts and Guillaume Canet on pic number three and finally, master filmmaker Mike Leigh is getting set for his latest project for Focus Features. Noteworthy films that we'll also be keeping tabs on is the remakes for Straw Dogs and Larry Clark's Mona Lisa (I heard that funding was a problem) and Oliver Stone's Money Never Sleeps - the sequel to Wall Street.
See full article at ioncinema »

Another Beloved in the Industry

UK producer Simon Channing Williams succumbed to cancer on Saturday (April 11) at age 63. Channing Williams began his career at the BBC working with a variety of directors including Stephen Frears, James MacTaggart, Mike Newell and Mike Leigh. He formed Thin Man Films in 1988 with Mike Leigh where he produced the acclaimed films Secrets & Lies, Topsy-Turvy, Vera Drake and Happy-Go-Lucky. In 2000, he and Gail Egan launched Potboiler Productions where they produced seven films including a classic adaptation of Nicholas Nickleby and the Oscar-winning The Constant Gardener.

Brit producer Simon Channing Williams dies

London -- Film producer Simon Channing Williams, the longtime producing partner of Mike Leigh, has died of cancer. He was 63.

Williams died at home with his family in Cornwall on Saturday.

Channing Williams began his career at the BBC, where he worked with Leigh, Stephen Frears, James MacTaggart, Mike Newell and Michael Apted, among others.

He went on to produce 11 films with Leigh, founding Thin Man Films in 1988. Titles included "Topsy-Turvy," an Oscar winner for best makeup and costume design, Palme d'Or winner "Secrets and Lies" and the Oscar-nominated "Vera Drake."

Leigh's "Happy-Go-Lucky" marked the duo's final production before Channing Williams' death.

Channing Williams produced several other films outside his relationship with Leigh, including Tony Palmer's "Puccini," Clive Rees' "When the Whales Came" and Tim Sullivan's "Jack and Sarah."

In 2000, he formed independent production company Potboiler Prods. with Gail Egan. Together they produced seven feature films including Fernando Meirelles' "The Constant Gardener.
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Simon Channing Williams, 1945 - 2009

Simon Channing Williams, one of the towering figures in British cinema, died Sunday of cancer. Williams was best known as Mike Leigh's producer and his partner in Thin Man Films, their production company. Commented Leigh in The Guardian, ""He was a natural-born producer, a great leader, always an enabler, a protector; never a dictator or an interferer. Infinitely generous, his life was all about doing things for people, and bringing out the best in everybody. He was the ultimate fixer, and a phenomenal organiser. He relished the impossible challenge, and loved the cut-and-thrust of negotiations, at which he was a genius." Williams producing credits include such Leigh films as High Hopes, Secrets and Lies, Naked, Life is Sweet, and...
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Producer Channing-Williams Dead

  • WENN
British director Mike Leigh has paid tribute to film producer Simon Channing-Williams, who died at the weekend (11-12Apr09).

Channing-Williams passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 64.

He had worked closely with Leigh in his lengthy career, with the pair making eight movies together, including Happy-Go-Lucky, Secrets and Lies, and Vera Drake.

And Leigh has given an emotional statement about his close friend, insisting the producer will be "universally" missed.

Leigh says, "He battled cancer very bravely for nearly five years. His great phrase was 'let's just get on with things' and right almost to the last he was still working. He was a very extraordinary big man and he will be missed universally."

Slate, Potboiler team for features

London -- U.K. movie producer Andrea Calderwood is teaming with Simon Channing Williams and Gail Egan to work on a range of movie projects.

Calderwood, who most recently produced HBO's "Generation Kill" and "The Last King of Scotland," will join her Slate Films banner with Channing Williams and Egan's Potboiler Prods., the companies said Monday.

Projects on the newly combined Potboiler slate will include Neal Purvis and Rob Wade's adaptation of the John le Carre novel "The Mission Song" and Biyi Bandele's adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's best-selling novel "Half of a Yellow Sun."

Potboiler recently secured a 75,000 pound ($104,000) development fund from the U.K. Film Council and aims to pump that cash into the newly enlarged operation.

Channing Williams and Egan most recently partnered with Mike Leigh and his production banner Thin Man Films on "Happy-Go-Lucky."

Egan said the marriage with Calderwood and Slate can be attributed to a commonality of ambition,
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

3 succumb to 'Blindness' at Focus Int'l

3 succumb to 'Blindness' at Focus Int'l
Gael Garcia Bernal, Danny Glover and Alice Braga are set to join Fernando Meirelles' apocalyptic drama Blindness for Focus Features International.

Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo already have joined the project, which is based on Jose Saramago's acclaimed novel that is set in motion when an epidemic of blindness sweeps through a contemporary city and pushes society to the brink of breakdown. Bernal will play the King of Ward 3, and Glover will narrate the story. Braga will portray the girl with the dark glasses.

Potboiler Prods., Rhombus Media, Bee Vine Pictures and Meirelles' shingle 02 Filmes are producing.

Shooting is scheduled to begin in early July in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Toronto.

Pathe picked up U.K. and French rights to Blindness last week (HR 6/7). Focus is handling additional foreign territories for the film, which does not yet have a U.S. distribution deal.

Niv Fichman, Simon Channing-Williams and Gail Egan are producing.

Bernal, whose recent credits include Babel and The King, recently made his directorial debut with the Spanish-language Deficit, which unspooled at the Festival de Cannes in May.

Focus is cure for 'Blindness'

[/link] > Blindness > Focus Features > The Constant Gardener > City of God > Don McKellar Continuing the relationship the fostered with his last film The Constant Gardener, Fernando Meirelles' next project has been picked up by Focus Features – they will most likely serve as the distributor and will handle international sales for the film which should see a 2008 release. Scripted by Don McKellar (who should play a part in the film), the English-language film entitled Blindness is based on the 1995 novel by Portuguese Nobel Prize winner Jose Saramago, is a philosophical thriller about an epidemic of blindness that sweeps through an unnamed contemporary city and pushes society to the brink of breakdown. Variety reports that Niv Fichman of Toronto's Rhombus Media, Sonoko Sakai of Tokyo's Bee Vine Pictures and Andrea Barata Ribeiro of Sao Paulo, Brazil's O2 Filmes will produce. London-based Potboiler Prods. principals Simon Channing Williams
See full article at ioncinema »

Movie Stars Shocked by African Poverty

  • WENN
Screen stars Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz were so shocked by the poverty prevalent in rural Kenya while filming upcoming movie The Constant Gardener, they set up a trust find to provide aid in the towns which appear in the film. Schindler's List heartthrob Fiennes and Constantine actress Weisz joined cast and crew in contributing to The Constant Gardener Trust which has already funded a much needed bridge, schooling costs, road building and community groups in east Kenya. Producer Simon Channing-Williams says, "These are places were people are seriously, seriously poor and deprived, and water is at a dreadful premium. A lot of people on the film were astounded by what they saw and wanted to do something."

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