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Curzon launches monthly subscription VoD offering

  • ScreenDaily
Curzon launches monthly subscription VoD offering
Exclusive: Curzon12 will stream recent and classic movies; first lineup revealed.

Curzon is beefing up its online offering with the launch of Curzon12, a monthly VoD service built into its membership packages.

The service will host 12 recent and classic movies which will be available to stream when logging in with a Curzon membership.

Scroll down for first lineup

Each month’s curated lineup, taken exclusively from Curzon’s library, is selected by the company’s programming team and is designed to complement the films playing across Curzon’s cinemas and its day-and-date service on Curzon Home Cinema that month.

The collection will feature the work of directors such as Yorgos Lanthimos, Charlie Chaplin, Andrea Arnold, Satyajit Ray and Agnes Varda as well as lesser known filmmakers.

The offering will be accompanied by a monthly newsletter that will delve deeper into three headline titles for that month.

The subscription is a benefit for existing and future members at no additional
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Victoria Beckham Shares Sweet Pic of Daughter Harper Getting Ready for Ballet Class

Victoria Beckham Shares Sweet Pic of Daughter Harper Getting Ready for Ballet Class
Looks like little Harper is following in Victoria Beckham's footsteps.

The fashion designer and former Spice Girl shared an adorable pic of her 5-year-old daughter getting ready to go to ballet class on Saturday.

Related: Victoria Beckham Gushes Over Her Kids and 'Soulmate' David Beckham: 'We're Lucky to Have Each Other'

In the photo, Harper is seen wearing a boater with a red strap, a red leotard with black polka dots, tights and ballet shoes.

"First position," the 43-year-old businesswoman captioned the Instagram pic.

Watch: Victoria Beckham's Daughter Harper Adorably Sings 'Happy Birthday' to Her Mom - See the Video

A day before, Victoria had shared another snapshot of Harper trying on her old dance shoes.

"Playing with my mummy's old ballet shoes x Thank you nana!! Kisses from Harper," she wrote.

Earlier this month, the Beckham family took a trip to Africa and shared plenty of pics from their exotic getaway. David Beckham made sure
See full article at Entertainment Tonight »

Sanaa Hamri Directing Michaela DePrince Movie ‘Taking Flight’

Sanaa Hamri Directing Michaela DePrince Movie ‘Taking Flight’
Sanaa Hamri will direct MGM’s “Taking Flight,” about ballerina Michaela DePrince, Variety has learned exclusively.

Alloy Entertainment is producing. The studio picked up the rights earlier this year to Michaela and Elaine DePrince’s memoir “Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina,” which follows Michaela DePrince’s life from an orphan in war-torn Sierra Leone to a world renowned ballerina.

DePrince was featured in the 2011 documentary “First Position” about her and other young ballet dancers preparing to compete at the Youth America Grand Prix. She is a member of Dutch National Ballet’s main dance company.

Elysa Dutton and Les Morgenstein from Alloy Features are producing, with Matt Dines overseeing from MGM.

Hamri is a native of Morocco. She broke into the business as a music video director for Mariah Carey’s “Crybaby” video and worked with Jadakiss, Prince, Sting and Common. Her movie credits include “Something New,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Dance Moms Star Asia Monet Ray's Top 5 Dance Movies

  • kidspickflicks
In honor of Step Up: All In being release on Blu-Ray, DVD and On Demand today, we asked the kids' authority on dance, Asia Monet Ray, to list the Top 5 Dance Movies. Asia is one of the dancers on Lifetime's "Dance Moms" (who pretty much always wins!) and had her own spin-off series this summer, "Raising Asia" (scroll down to check out her own amazing footwork). Here's her list:

1. The Step Up Movies: Everyone that loves dance and in the dance industry knows and loves these movies. They're my top dance movies right now. Also, I love Stephen Boss (Twitch). He's in the movies and I've taken several of his convention classes, so it's great to see him. I love the choreography as well.

2. High School Musical, High School Musical 2, and High School Musical: Senior Year: I've always loved these movies because they were funny and
See full article at kidspickflicks »

Camerimage unveils competition line-up, juries

  • ScreenDaily
Camerimage unveils competition line-up, juries
Birdman, Fury and Leviathan among main competition titles; Roland Joffé to preside over main jury.

Alejandro G Ińárritu, Yimou Zhang, Mike Leigh and Jean-Marc Vallée are among the directors with films screening in competition at the 22nd Camerimage (Nov 15-22), the International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography.

The main competition at the festival, held in the Polish city of Bydgoszcz, comprises:

Alejandro G Ińárritu’s Birdman (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance); USA, 2014; Cinematographer: Emmanuel Lubezki

Yimou Zhang’s Coming Home (Gui lai); China, 2014; Cinematographer: Zhao Xiaoding

Richard Raymond’s Desert Dancer; UK, 2014; Cinematographer: Carlos Catalán Alucha

Lech J. Majewski’s Field of Dogs - Onirica (Onirica - Psie pole); Poland, 2014; Cinematographers: Paweł Tybora and Lech J. Majewski

Krzysztof Zanussi’s Foreign Body (Obce cialo); Poland, Italy, Russia, 2014; Cinematographer: Piotr Niemyjski

David Ayer’s Fury; USA, 2014; Cinematographer: Roman Vasyanov

Tate Taylor’s Get on Up; USA, 2014; Cinematographer: Stephen Goldblatt

Łukasz Palkowski’s Gods (Bogowie); Poland, 2014; Cinematographer:
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Roland Joffe to preside over Camerimage jury

  • ScreenDaily
Roland Joffe to preside over Camerimage jury
Polish film festival sets competition juries; Roland Joffe to preside over main competition.

Camerimage (Nov 15-22), the International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography, has set an impressive roster of jurors for its various competition categories.

The Killing Fields director Roland Joffe will preside over the main competition jury, which incldues cinematographers Christian Berger and Manuel Alberto Claro.

Caleb Deschanel has been appointed president of the Polish Films Competition.

The full list of jurors is below.

Main Competition

Roland Joffé – Jury President (director, producer; The Killing Fields, The Mission, Vatel)

Christian Berger (cinematographer; The Piano Teacher, Hidden, The White Ribbon)

Ryszard Bugajski (director, screenwriter; Interrogation, General Nil, The Closed Circuit)

Ryszard Horowitz (photographer)

David Gropman (cinematographer; The Cider House Rules, Chocolat, Life of Pi)

Arthur Reinhart (cinematographer, producer; Crows, Tristan + Isolde, Venice)

Oliver Stapleton (cinematographer; The Cider House Rules, Pay It Forward, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark)

Manuel Alberto Claro (cinematographer; Reconstruction, Melancholia, Nymphomaniac
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Everyday racism: how to be a black ballet dancer in a white world

Michaela DePrince proudly declares herself a 'poppy among the daffodils', as Precious Adams reveals she was advised by a teacher to lighten her skin

One of the most extraordinary stories told in Bess Kargman's 2011 documentary First Position is of Michaela DePrince, the young girl horrifically orphaned by the civil war in Sierra Leone, who was inspired to become a ballerina after seeing a photograph of a dancer in an old torn magazine.

After DePrince was rescued from Sierra Leone, her adoptive American family willed her on to fulfill her ambition. Kargman's documentary only tracks DePrince to the point where she wins a prize to attend the American Ballet Theatre School: but since then she has embarked on a full professional career, first with Dance Theatre of Harlem, and then with Dutch National Ballet.

In the admirable interview posted here, DePrince combines a moving dedication to her art form, with
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Sundance Selects Goes ‘Dancing in Jaffa’

Sundance Selects Goes ‘Dancing in Jaffa’
Gotham-based distributor Sundance Selects has picked up North American rights to “Dancing in Jaffa,” the doc that bowed earlier this year at the Tribeca Film Festival.

An exact release strategy has not yet been locked for Hilla Medalia’s film about a ballroom dancer who teaches classroom dancing to a diverse mix of kids across five different schools in Jaffa, Israel. Sundance Selects, which is owned and operated by AMC Networks along with sister distribs IFC Films and IFC Midnight, has previously had good luck with past terp docs “Pina,” about the work of choreographer Pina Bausch, and ballet-centric “First Position.”

Diane Nabatoff, Neta Zwebner-Zaibert and Medalia produced “Dancing in Jaffa” with co-producer Keshet Broadcasting and a team of exec producers that included Morgan Spurlock, La Toya Jackson and Nigel Lythgoe, among others. Distribution deal was pacted by Sundance Selects’ Jeff Deutchman with Preferred Content and UTA Independent Film Group.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Watch: Espn Kicks Off Female-Centric Sports Doc Series 'Nine for IX' With Award-Winning Digital Short 'Coach'

Watch: Espn Kicks Off Female-Centric Sports Doc Series 'Nine for IX' With Award-Winning Digital Short 'Coach'
Espn's "Nine for IX" documentary series, a women-centric answer to "30 for 30," will air every Tuesday night on the network at 8pm Et in July and August, kicking off July 2nd with Ava DuVernay's "Venus Vs.," about tennis player Venus Williams. The rest of the schedule: "Pat Xo" (7/9), "Let Them Wear Towels" (7/16), "No Limits" (7/23), "Swoopes" (7/30), "The Diplomat" (8/6), "Runner" (8/13), "The '99ers" (8/20) and "Branded" (8/27). The films aren't only all about female sports figures, they're all directed by female filmmakers, including documentarian duos Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern and Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady. Ahead of the TV premieres, Espn has released a "Nine for IX" short online, below. Directed by Bess Kargman ("First Position") and executive produced by Whoopi Goldberg, "Coach" is a profile of C. Vivian Stringer, one of the most prolific coaches in the history of college basketball. It won best documentary short at Tribeca earlier this year.
See full article at Indiewire »

Watch: Espn Kicks Off Female-Centric Sports Doc Series 'Nine for IX' With Award-Winning Digital Short 'Coach'

Watch: Espn Kicks Off Female-Centric Sports Doc Series 'Nine for IX' With Award-Winning Digital Short 'Coach'
Espn's "Nine for IX" documentary series, a women-centric answer to "30 for 30," will air every Tuesday night on the network at 8pm Et in July and August, kicking off July 2nd with Ava DuVernay's "Venus Vs.," about tennis player Venus Williams. The rest of the schedule: "Pat Xo" (7/9), "Let Them Wear Towels" (7/16), "No Limits" (7/23), "Swoopes" (7/30), "The Diplomat" (8/6), "Runner" (8/13), "The '99ers" (8/20) and "Branded" (8/27). The films aren't only all about female sports figures, they're all directed by female filmmakers, including documentarian duos Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern and Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady. Ahead of the TV premieres, Espn has released a "Nine for IX" short online, below. Directed by Bess Kargman ("First Position") and executive produced by Whoopi Goldberg, "Coach" is a profile of C. Vivian Stringer, one of the most prolific coaches in the history of college basketball. It won best documentary short at Tribeca earlier this year.

...
See full article at Indiewire Television »

Espn's 'Nine for IX' starts with Whoopi Goldberg-produced doc -- Exclusive Video

Espn's 'Nine for IX' starts with Whoopi Goldberg-produced doc -- Exclusive Video
Basketball coach Vivian Stringer is maybe most famous outside the sports world for her role as a spokeswoman during the Don Imus scandal, when the former radio host made racist and sexist remarks about Stringer’s players. But there’s much more to Stringer’s career and life — maybe too much even for Coach, the new Espn documentary about her.

The film kicks off a new series called Nine for IX: Nine documentaries airing over nine weeks for the 40th anniversary of Title IX. We spoke with the doc’s director, Bess Kargman, about working with Stringer — and Coach’s producer,
See full article at EW.com - Inside TV »

Young ballet dancers: are we trying to catch a swan before it hatches?

Videos of sweet children dancing is one thing – but watching ever-younger kids attempt an adult artform is questionable

Reading on mobile? Click to view.

Bess Kargman's First Position, which was released in the UK earlier this year, is a portrait of child ballet students viewed through the drama of an annual competition, the Youth American Grand Prix. The hard-sell editing of its trailer sets us up to expect a reality TV-fest of pain, sacrifice, and sheer human weirdness.

But the documentary itself is far from being a freak show, because Kargman's camera focuses with such exceptional steadiness and acuity on the child competitors themselves. The six dancer she follows are talented, and hungry for a career in ballet. And even though some of their parents are scarily invested, and some teachers dangerously pushy, when we see them actually dancing it's shiningly evident that they're hard-wired to do what they do.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

First Position DVD Review

Director: Bess Kargman

Starring: Aran Bell, Rebecca Houseknecht, Joan Sebastian Zamora, Miko Fogarty, Jules Fogarty, Michaela Deprince, Gaya Bommer Yemini

Extras: Full performances, Trailers

Rating: PG

Running Time: 90 minutes

First Position follows six young dancers as they prepare for the Youth America Grand Prix in New York City.

It may be easy to dismiss the documentary from the get go (because let’s face it, the average film goer is not really the audience for the ballet) but Bess Kargman has chosen an unconventionally interesting subject for her feature debut. There are a mixture of subjects; from an 11-year-old child prodigy that could give Billy Elliot a run for his money, to a teenage girl who was adopted from war-torn Sierra Leone by an elderly Jewish couple. While ballet might not be everybody’s cup of tea, everyone can relate to the subject of chasing your dreams, and First Position
See full article at The Hollywood News »

DVD Review: 'First Position'

  • CineVue
★★☆☆☆ Those that have suffered the proliferation of nationally-broadcast talent shows - an offshoot of the ongoing reality TV craze - will be wearily familiar with the proposition put forth by documentary First Position (2011). The directorial debut of Bess Kargman, the film looks to go behind the scenes of the world's most prestigious ballet competition, the Youth American Grand Prix. Everyone knows the drill by now: the dancers display their lifelong burning desire to succeed; there are many hours of practice; parents shed tears. It all builds to their tense climactic moment on the stage, walking the thin line between failure and success.

The big draw that First Position does have is its astounding subjects. Following half a dozen youngsters through various stages of the competition, they are all interesting characters to see at work, play, or in performance. Aran Bell (11) is kind of the star of the show; described by
See full article at CineVue »

Competition: Win 'First Position' on DVD

  • CineVue
Directed and produced by debut American filmmaker Bess Kargman, heartwarming documentary First Position (2011) follows six aspirational young dancers, each of them striving for one specific goal - a place in the American Grand Prix final, the world's most prestigious ballet competition. To celebrate the DVD rerelease of First Position on 27 May (this Monday), following its theatrical run in UK cinemas earlier this year, we have Three DVD copies of Kargman's film to give away to our loyal readership, courtesy of the folks at Artificial Eye. This is an exclusive competition for our Facebook and Twitter fans, so if you haven't already, 'Like' us at facebook.com/CineVueUK or follow us @CineVue before answering the question below.

The Youth America Grand Prix is one of the country's most prestigious annual ballet competitions where entrants are offered the potential of scholarships, funding and future roles in dance companies. Kargman's documentary follows six aspiring dancers,
See full article at CineVue »

Westdoc Opens 2013 Conference Registration

Westdoc co-founders Richard Propper and Chuck Braverman are gearing up for the conference’s fourth edition at the Landmark cinemas in West Los Angeles.

The West Coast docu and unscripted conference, which runs Sept. 15-18, will examine the connections between non-fiction docu and reality TV creators with agents, producers and broadcast execs and will showcase more than 150 industry speakers with a slew of panels, case studies and one-on-ones.

“We plan the conference so that it is relevant, cutting edge and so that participants will be rubbing shoulders with the decision makers,” Propper said.

Conference highlights include PitchFest, where creatives lob prospective projects directly at agents and execs in front of a live audience for acquisition or co-production funding. A cash prize will be awarded to the winner; past winners, “First Position” and “Indie Game: The Movie” went on to theatrical, broadcast and digital distribution. Additional panels will cover financing, packaging and selling one-offs or skeins,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Westdoc Opens 2013 Conference Registration

Westdoc co-founders Richard Propper and Chuck Braverman are gearing up for the conference’s fourth edition at the Landmark cinemas in West Los Angeles.

The West Coast docu and unscripted conference, which runs Sept. 15-18, will examine the connections between non-fiction docu and reality TV creators with agents, producers and broadcast execs and will showcase more than 150 industry speakers with a slew of panels, case studies and one-on-ones.

“We plan the conference so that it is relevant, cutting edge and so that participants will be rubbing shoulders with the decision makers,” Propper said.

Conference highlights include PitchFest, where creatives lob prospective projects directly at agents and execs in front of a live audience for acquisition or co-production funding. A cash prize will be awarded to the winner; past winners, “First Position” and “Indie Game: The Movie” went on to theatrical, broadcast and digital distribution. Additional panels will cover financing, packaging and selling one-offs or skeins,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Tom Cruise lays waste to the opposition in Oblivion

Studio bosses are left wondering what went right as the science-fiction story brings home a surprise result

The winner

Reviews were mixed, and the early April release date suggested a movie falling short of the blockbuster premier league, but there was nothing puny about the opening-weekend box office for Oblivion: £3.36m, plus Wednesday/Thursday previews totaling £1.60m. The five-day £4.96m debut compares with £2.79m for GI Joe: Retaliation from a couple of weeks ago, and a previews-inflated £3.58m opening for star Tom Cruise's previous effort Jack Reacher in late December. Oblivion director Joseph Kosinski's earlier Tron: Legacy debuted with £1.97m back in 2010. Cruise also has a strong track record in the sci-fi genre. War of the Worlds debuted in July 2005 with £8.64m, and Minority Report in July 2002 with £4.51m.

Studios always review results for all their releases, and now Universal is in the happy position of wondering what went right with Oblivion.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

This week's new films

The Place Beyond The Pines | Oblivion | Simon Killer | The Gatekeepers | Flying Blind | Scary Movie 5 | Bafta Shorts 2013 | First Position | Theorem | Nautanki Saala!

The Place Beyond The Pines (15)

(Derek Cianfrance, 2012, Us) Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper. 141 mins

Fans might be disappointed to hear it, but this has bigger ambitions than just drooling over Ryan Gosling. His criminal stunt-biker is merely one part of a weighty cross-generational triptych: a study of fathers, sons, sins and justice that seeks a place beyond standard storytelling structure, even if there's not quite enough meat on the bones, especially of the Gosling variety.

Oblivion (12A)

(Joseph Kosinski, 2013, Us) Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko. 125 mins

Cruise is in his familiar anchorman role for this big-budget sci-fi, set on a devastated future Earth where all is not what it seems with his drone repairman's job. It's potentially a Philip K Dick-style thriller, though the lack of advance screenings is a danger sign.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

First Position – review

A documentary about aspiring American ballet dancers has been fatally influenced by reality-tv feelgood values

Bess Kargman's First Position is a blandly feelgood documentary about aspiring young ballet dancers. Kargman follows a handful of teens as they compete for a prize at the Youth America Grand Prix, which awards top scholarships to ballet schools all over the world. The young people themselves are likable – but the film sticks to a cliched template, derived from a thousand TV reality shows. We see the rehearsals, the mums and dads, the tears and heartache, all leading to the great final itself: not so different from an episode of Glee. And a prepackaged happy ending in pretty much every case is apparently mandatory. Success is warmly celebrated, which is great. Yet how does it feel to go back home after falling a millimetre short? The vast majority of these talented dancers won't make it,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »
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