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Toronto/San Sebastián: Beta Cinema Acquires ‘Soldiers. A Story From Ferentari’ (Exclusive)

Toronto/San Sebastián: Beta Cinema Acquires ‘Soldiers. A Story From Ferentari’ (Exclusive)
Munich-based Beta Cinema is partnering with Berlin Golden Bear-winning Romanian producer Ada Solomon (“Child’s Pose,” “Aferim,” ’Toni Erdmann”) on “Soldiers. A Story from Ferentari,” a contemporary gay love story set in the notorious Roma neighborhood of Ferentari, on the outskirts of Bucharest.

Beta Cinema will handle world sales rights on the film, the narrative feature debut of Serbia’s Ivana Mladenovic, whose caché has grown steadily given its backing – Solomon at Romania’s Hi Film Productions, Serbia’s Film House Bas Celik, Belgium’s Frakas Prods – and selection, announced earlier this week, for the Toronto Festival’s Discovery section.

Buzz was already been growing on the title before the announcement in early August of its main competition berth at San Sebastian Festival, with several sales agents talking up the title. It has finally been tied down by Beta Cinema, a prestige sales house whose Venice, Toronto and San Sebastian slate of selected and upcoming titles mixes
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Fatih Akin’s ‘In the Fade’ Selected as Germany’s Oscar Entry

Fatih Akin’s ‘In the Fade’ Selected as Germany’s Oscar Entry
Fatih Akin’s Cannes hit “In the Fade” has been chosen as Germany’s official candidate for the best foreign language film Oscar. The film has already garnered potential awards season buzz around the performance of lead actress Diane Kruger, who won the best actress award at the Cannes Film Festival in May, where the film world-premiered in official competition.

The selection was made from a choice of 11 films submitted to an independent nine-person jury appointed by national film-promotion body German Films. The choice was announced Thursday by jury representative Rainer Matsutani of the German Directors Guild at a press conference in Munich attended by Akin.

“In the Fade” tells the story of a woman (Kruger) whose life falls apart following the death of her husband and son in a bomb attack. When the police arrest two suspects, she wants justice and revenge.

A statement from the jury said: “‘In the Fade’ is at the same time
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Scribe review – tense but overcomplicated thriller

Its murky world of surveillance casts a pall over this French drama

Shades of The Conversation and The Lives of Others colour this French thriller from Thomas Kruithof, about a man (François Cluzet) who is offered a job transcribing surveillance recordings. The ominous chill of the sound design and decent work from an impressive cast help to create an atmosphere that sucks the very oxygen from the cinema as the tension mounts. Unfortunately, too many layers of convoluted double-crossing, and motives as murky as the grim production design, rob the film of a satisfying sign-off.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Movie Review – Scribe (2016)

Scribe, 2016.

Directed by Thomas Kruithof.

Starring Francois Cluzet, Denis Polyades, Sami Bouajila, Simon Abkarian and Alba Rohrwacher.

Synopsis:

A burn-out leaves Duval (Francois Cluzet) recovering from alcoholism and unemployable. Seemingly out of the blue, he receives a job offer, transcribing recorded telephone conversations. He has no choice but to take it but quickly discovers that it has wider implications that will directly affect his own life.

Thomas Kruithof has chosen some hard acts to follow for his feature debut. In Scribe, he resurrects memories of classics like The Conversation and The Lives Of Others, with their deliberately overheard conversations and built-in paranoia. He risks simply going over old ground. What he delivers is stylish, gripping and sparse.

A lean, if not minimalist, film in so many ways, Scribe confines itself to just a scant 90 minutes, but Kruithof gets a lot out of a little. As Duval, the man at the centre of it all,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Scribe review – paranoid thriller can't deliver on promising premise

François Cluzet is hired by a sinister security firm in Thomas Kruithof’s atmospheric debut, which takes its cue from the 70s classics

François Cluzet stars in this initially intriguing conspiracy thriller from first-time feature director Thomas Kruithof, a movie about the French far-right with the underlying paranoia of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation or Von Donnersmarck’s The Lives of Others. But inexorably, and perhaps inevitably, the movie can’t build on its atmospheric setup, and the neurosis becomes a pose. Cluzet plays the conscientious Duval, a man with a drinking problem who has been out of work since a breakdown two years ago. Out of the blue, he is recruited to work for a shadowy private security firm and employed to sit in a rented room all day, transcribing audiotapes of tapped phone conversations – using an old-fashioned typewriter because computers are not secure enough. Soon Duval realises
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Stars of ‘Babylon Berlin,’ Netflix’s ‘Dark’ Join Effort to Highlight German Cinema (Exclusive)

Stars of ‘Babylon Berlin,’ Netflix’s ‘Dark’ Join Effort to Highlight German Cinema (Exclusive)
Six German actors have been chosen to lead the second wave of an effort to highlight German cinema around the world after a year that saw the success of such films as Oscar-nominated “Toni Erdmann” and high-end television dramas like “Deutschland 83.”

Volker Bruch (pictured, far left), star of Tom Tykwer’s eagerly anticipated TV series “Babylon Berlin” from Sky, will join up-and-coming actors Louis Hofmann and Jannis Niewoehner as well as more established stars Alexander Fehling, Ronald Zehrfeld and Tom Schilling in the “Face to Face With German Films” campaign. The initiative by national film-promotion body German Films was first launched last fall with six leading German actresses, including “Toni Erdmann” star Sandra Hueller.

The six actors are to serve as ambassadors of German cinema at festivals and events around the world, and will all attend next month’s Cannes Film Festival for the new phase’s official launch.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Karl Marx City’ Review: A Woman Tries To Learn If Her Father Was An East German Informant In This Hypnotically Personal, Guy Maddin-esque Documentary

  • Indiewire
‘Karl Marx City’ Review: A Woman Tries To Learn If Her Father Was An East German Informant In This Hypnotically Personal, Guy Maddin-esque Documentary
The German Democratic Republic was the most intensely surveilled society in human history, and yet — as time marches on and the Cold War becomes nothing more than a memory, gray and alien — the fundamental irony of such a perfect spy state grows more striking by the day: By obsessively monitoring their friends and neighbors, the Gdr’s secret police were creating a perfect documentary of themselves.

For proof of that fact, look no further than Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker’s fascinating and necessary “Karl Marx City,” a vaguely Guy Maddin-esque swan-dive into the mysteries of life behind the Berlin Wall and the traumas of surviving it. A remarkable if occasionally unfocused work of Vergangenheitsbewältigung (“the process of coming to terms with the past”), this hypnotic autobiography leverages one woman’s fear to exhume the paranoia that once defined an entire country. In its haphazard search for facts, it
See full article at Indiewire »

Patrick Dempsey to make directing debut on 'Berlin, I Love You'

  • ScreenDaily
Patrick Dempsey to make directing debut on 'Berlin, I Love You'
Exclusive: Bridget Jones’s Baby star to direct anthology film alongside Til Schweiger and previously announced Ai Weiwei.

Fresh from helping Bridget Jones to have a baby, American actor and racing driver Patrick Dempsey (Grey’s Anatomy) is attached to make his directorial debut on one of the segments for anthology film, Berlin I Love You, which is part of The Cities Of Love franchise.

Dempsey’s involvement was confirmed by the project’s producer, Claus Clausen (The Messenger), who has revealed several changes in names attached to the project, now due to shoot in the summer.

Of the original crop of directors announced in 2015, Giuseppe Tornatore, Marjane Satrapi and Jan-Ole Gerster have withdrawn due to scheduling conflicts.

However, Til Schweiger, Massy Tadjedin (director of Last Night with Keira Knightly and Eva Mendes), Dempsey, artist Ai Weiwei, Shekhar Kapur and Tom van Averamaet are on board.

Clausen said that shooting will begin in June or July and
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Netflix reveals $1.75bn European production investment

  • ScreenDaily
CEO Reed Hastings outlines streaming giant’s commitment to European content; teaser for first German original series revealed.

Netflix has spent more than a billion dollars on European film and TV productions, according to Reed Hastings, the co-founder and CEO of the streaming giant.

During a press event in Berlin, Hastings said that since 2012 Netflix has spent $1.75bn on European licensed, original and co-production film and TV projects.

This includes more than 90 original productions in various stages of development, including films, documentaries, and TV shows.

We are one of the most active supporters and financers of European content,” said Hastings.

He said that European content is being watched by 93 million subscribers around the world, adding that more than two thirds of viewing of European content comes from outside of Europe.

“We’re creating these global audiences for great local productions,” he said.

During the event, Netflix released the debut teaser for its first German original series [link=tt
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Did the 2007 Oscars get it right?

Simon Brew Feb 24, 2017

It’s Oscar weekend! But how well do the Academy Award choices of ten years ago hold up? We’ve taken a look...

The Academy Awards are the highest profile snapshot of what films are highly rated within 12 months of their release. What they can’t predict, however, is how well regarded their choices will age, and only time can tell you that. Which is why I thought it’d be interesting to go back a decade, and see how the winners of the 79th Academy Awards, handed out on February 25th 2007, stack up ten years on…

Best Picture: The Departed

Also nominated:

Babel Letters From Iwo Jima Little Miss Sunshine The Queen

At the time, there was a little bit of acceptance that The Departed was the Scent Of A Woman moment. That just as Al Pacino got rewarded for good work in a film that’s not his finest,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Oscars 2017: Which Country Nominated For Best Foreign Language Film Has the Best Track Record of Winning?

  • Scott Feinberg
‘The Salesman’ (Courtesy: Amazon Studios and Cohen Media Group)

By: Carson Blackwelder

Managing Editor

The one chance for the entire world to get involved with the Academy Awards has always been the best foreign language film category. Since any country can submit a film each year, though, that means the competition is intense. Let’s take a look at the countries that have snagged nominations this year and see how they’ve performed in the past in the hopes of shedding some light on what might happen come February 26.

This year the five nominees for best foreign language film are Land of Mine from Denmark, A Man Called Ove from Sweden, The Salesman from Iran, Tanna from Australia, and Toni Erdmann from Germany. The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg lists The Salesman as the frontrunner in this category — obviously due to the film’s merits and also potentially due to its director,
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

Katja Eichinger Sets Up Screenwriting Bursary at Munich Film Academy (Exclusive)

Katja Eichinger Sets Up Screenwriting Bursary at Munich Film Academy (Exclusive)
Katja Eichinger, the novelist, producer, and wife of the late German producer Bernd Eichinger, has set up a screenwriting bursary for students working on their final diploma film at the Hff film academy in Munich.

The bursary for €4,000 ($4,260) will give the selected student six months to deliver a script for a project that could be deemed to deliver “emotional and innovative cinema.” The applicants will be asked to define what cinema means to them and who their cinematic influences are.

“What I’m hoping to do is give students the possibility to find their own, unique voice whilst telling a story that connects with audiences,” Eichinger said.

She added that previous Hff students to achieve this include Frauke Finsterwalder with diploma film “Finsterworld,” as well as Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck with “The Lives of Others.” Other Hff alumni include Wim Wenders, Roland Emmerich, Maren Ade, and Caroline Link.

Eichinger praised the work of Bettina Reitz,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Berlinale: Studiocanal Germany Sets Sebastian Schipper’s ‘Caravan,’ Lars Kraume’s ‘The Silent Revolution’ (Exclusive)

Berlinale: Studiocanal Germany Sets Sebastian Schipper’s ‘Caravan,’ Lars Kraume’s ‘The Silent Revolution’ (Exclusive)
Berlin — Launching Liam Neeson’s “Hard Powder” at Berlin’s European Film Market, Vivendi’s European film-tv group Studiocanal is set to produce, distribute and sell two new German projects: “Caravan,” Sebastian Schipper’s follow-up to “Victoria,” and “The Silent Revolution,” from Lars Kraume whose “The People vs. Fritz Bauer” was a Cohen Media Group pick-up for North America.

Produced out of Studiocanal Germany, a production-distribution company headed by CEO Kalle Friz, “Caravan” and “The Silent Revolution” form part of a 2017 six-movie slate as Studiocanal, Europe’s biggest film investor this decade, powers up production in the continent’s third biggest movie market.

Also Germany’s biggest distributor of international independent movies, playing off an output deal with Lionsgate which was extended to Summit last year, in Germany Studiocanal can look to its own international productions, such as “Paddington” and “Non-Stop,” plus Lionsgate/Summit titles, to fuel a release slate of around 20 movies per year.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Berlin: Europe Buys Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s 'Werk Ohne Autor'

Berlin: Europe Buys Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s 'Werk Ohne Autor'
European distributors have snatched up Werk Ohne Autor, the upcoming German drama from The Lives of Others director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck.

Curzon Artificial Eye has bought the period drama, featuring Oh Boy star Tom Schilling, Sebastian Koch (Lives of Others) and Paula Beer (Frantz) for the U.K., with Diaphana Distribution taking French rights and Rai Cinema picking up the film for Italy.

Beta Cinema, which is handling worldwide sales, also closed deals with Feelgood Entertainment for Greece, Fabula Films for Turkey, Lev Cinema for Israel and Movieland for South Korea.

Schilling plays Kurt, an artist who flees from East...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Curzon Ae, Rai, Diaphana board 'Werk Ohne Autor'

  • ScreenDaily
Curzon Ae, Rai, Diaphana board 'Werk Ohne Autor'
Beta Cinema has inked key deals on the drama starring Tom Schilling [pictured], Sebastian Koch and Paula Beer.

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s Werk Ohne Autor, which is on German sales outfit Beta Cinema’s slate at this week’s European Film Market (Efm) in Berlin, has already sold to many major European territories, among them UK, France and Italy.

Beta has signed deals with Curzon Artificial Eye for UK and Diaphana Distribution in France. In Italy, Rai Cinema will bring the movie to theaters, Benelux will be handled by Cinemien.

In Southern Europe, Feelgood Entertainment took rights for Greece and Fabula Films for Turkey. In Israel, the movie will be released by Lev Cinema.

The cast is headlined by Tom Schilling (Oh Boy), Sebastian Koch (The Lives Of Others) and Paula Beer (Frantz) and was shot by five-time Academy Award-nominee Dop Caleb Deschanel (The Patriot, The Passion Of the Christ).

Werk Ohne Autor tells the story of an artist
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Beta to sell X Filme drama, TV series 'Babylon Berlin' inks deals

  • ScreenDaily
X Filme board Josef Bierbichler’s adaptation of his 2011 novel Mittelreich.

Berlin-based X Filme Creative Pool Entertainment has recruited Beta Cinema to handle international sales on veteran Bavarian actor-director Josef Bierbichler’s adaptation of his 2011 novel Mittelreich.

The chronicle of a rural Bavarian community facing the challenges of technological and social change during the last century began shooting in Thuringia a week ago with Bierbichler directing as well as playing the central role of the village innkeeper.

The cast includes Bierbichler’s son Simon Donatz who plays the innkeeper character as a young man and had appeared with his father in Tom Tykwer’s Winter Sleepers 20 years ago as father and son, as well as Martina Gedeck, known to international audiences from The Lives of Others and last year’s Original Bliss.

On the eve of this year’s Berlinale, X Filme and Beta Film announced a strategic partnership between the two companies as they unveiled the first
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Beta to sell X Filme rural drama, 'Babylon Berlin' to continue

  • ScreenDaily
Beta to sell X Filme rural drama, 'Babylon Berlin' to continue
X Filme board Josef Bierbichler’s adaptation of his 2011 novel Mittelreich.

Berlin-based X Filme Creative Pool Entertainment has recruited Beta Cinema to handle international sales on veteran Bavarian actor-director Josef Bierbichler’s adaptation of his 2011 novel Mittelreich.

The chronicle of a rural Bavarian community facing the challenges of technological and social change during the last century began shooting in Thuringia a week ago with Bierbichler directing as well as playing the central role of the village innkeeper.

The cast includes Bierbichler’s son Simon Donatz who plays the innkeeper character as a young man and had appeared with his father in Tom Tykwer’s Winter Sleepers 20 years ago as father and son, as well as Martina Gedeck, known to international audiences from The Lives of Others and last year’s Original Bliss.

On the eve of this year’s Berlinale, X Filme and Beta Film unveiled the first footage of the 16-part high-end TV series Babylon Berlin which
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Berlinale: Picture Tree Picks Up Box Office Hit ‘Welcome to Germany’ (Exclusive)

Berlinale: Picture Tree Picks Up Box Office Hit ‘Welcome to Germany’ (Exclusive)
Picture Tree Intl. has picked up world sales rights to German box-office hit “Welcome to Germany” (“Willkommen bei den Hartmanns”), which it will present to buyers at Berlin’s European Film Market next week.

The comedy, Germany’s most successful local movie last year, deals with immigration. It was directed by Simon Verhoeven, whose credits include the popular German franchise “Men in the City” (“Männerherzen”), and the English-language stalker thriller “Friend Request,” which reached the top five in the U.K. box office last year, distributed by Warner Bros.

The cast of “Welcome to Germany” includes several well-known German-language actors, such as Elyas M’Barek, star of 2013’s top box-office hit in Germany “Fack Ju Goehte”; Florian David Fitz (“The Most Beautiful Day,” “Vincent Wants to Sea”); and Austrian actress Senta Berger, who played alongside Frank Sinatra, Kirk Douglas and John Wayne in the 1960s.

The film is produced by Wiedemann & Berg,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

New to Streaming: ‘Boogie Nights,’ ‘Operation Avalanche,’ ‘Hugo,’ ‘Tower,’ and More

With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit platforms. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.

Boogie Nights (Paul Thomas Anderson)

As we await Paul Thomas Anderson‘s next film later this year, one now has the chance to see his sprawling second feature about the world of pornography in a 70s and 80s Los Angeles on Netflix. Boogie Nights, which features much of the ensemble — including Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds, Don Cheadle, John C. Reilly, William H. Macy, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Heather Graham — at their best,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Europe Is King in Best Foreign-Language Film Category — How Does the Rest of the World Stack Up?

  • Scott Feinberg
By: Carson Blackwelder

Managing Editor

The greatest thing about the best foreign-language film category is the recognition of works from all around the world. Throughout the years, movies made outside the United States of America have gotten the recognition they deserve thanks to the implementation of this specific award. With the 2017 Oscars right around the corner, let’s take a look back at the distribution of nominations and wins across the seven continents that make up this big world we inhabit.

This year’s best foreign-language film contenders are: Toni Erdmann (Germany), The Salesman (Iran), Land of Mine (Denmark), A Man Called Ove (Sweden), Paradise (Russia), The King’s Choice (Norway), My Life as a Zucchini (Switzerland), It’s Only the End of the World (Canada), and Tanna (Australia). This site’s namesake, The Hollywood’s Scott Feinberg, lists the first five of those as frontrunners and the other four as major threats.
See full article at Scott Feinberg »
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