The Queen of Versailles (2012)
It’s a convenient thesis, since it so nicely fits a career spent documenting what one talking head calls “ultra-decadence,” albeit a bogus one, as if Diane Arbus looked back over her life’s work, only to conclude
While they aren’t popes or an Italian dynasty, Impact Partners’ 43 members are patrons of the arts. Specifically they are 43 high-net-worth individuals — multi-millionaires, and in some cases, billionaires — who seek to promote social change through nonfiction film. For the past 11 years the group has provided millions of dollars in equity money to more than 90 documentaries, including the Academy Award-winning “The Cove” as well as 45 Sundance titles such as “The Queen of Versailles,” “The Hunting Ground” and last year’s “Trophy.”
This year Impact is behind four Sundance documentaries, including “Our New President,” about Trump’s newfound Russian supporters, and Mister Rogers doc “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?,” which Focus Features acquired in November.
“The only thing that unites all of the films we have worked on is that we think each and every one is a great piece of entertainment
"Documentaries, more than any other medium, bring an intensely moving investigative lens to controversial subject matter. What our film will capture, especially at this pivotal turning point in Hollywood history, is the underlying current of abuse and manipulation at the hands of power. Our film will also underscore the courage it takes to come forward and be a catalyst for change."
Director Amy Ziering revealed that this project has been in various stages of development for the past five years, when she
The exposé will examine abuse and cover-ups within the entertainment industry and focus on the behavior of “predatory perpetrators,” such as Harvey Weinstein. The project will also explore the culture that enables and protects them, provide a safe place for survivors to share their stories, and profile the many emerging voices for change.
An Oct. 5 New York Times report detailed Weinstein’s settlements in at least eight harassment cases, leading to multiple accusations of sexual misconduct and launching criminal investigations. Weinstein’s reps have denied that the sexual activity was non-consensual.
Dick received Academy Award nominations for 2005’s “Twist of Faith” and 2012’s “The Invisible War.” Ziering was nominated for an Oscar for producing “The Invisible War,” which deals with sexual assault in the military. Dick and Ziering then teamed on the 2014 campus rape documentary “The Hunting Ground.”
The massive estate, featured in the 2012 documentary The Queen of Versailles, is one of the largest single-family homes in the country -- and features some, well, interesting rooms. Et has your exclusive first look at Thursday night’s episode, which finds Jeff and co. exploring one of those spaces, which Siegel calls a “dance room.”
The alcove is hidden behind a pair of gold curtains, which open to reveal a window, which Siegel claims people dance behind at parties. But when the group, including former Real Housewives of Miami star Lea Black, start poking around, they notice some interesting items… like sex toys and a collection of lingerie.
'Flipping Out' Star Jenni Pulos on Life as a Bravo-lebrity: The Countess, Her Cast-Mates and an Original 'Et'
Construction on Siegel’s grandiose Florida mansion, featured in the documentary The Queen of Versailles, has been stalled for over a decade after the financial crisis upended her and husband David’s plans to build a re-creation to outshine the original French palace. Now she’s turning to Flipping Out’s Jeff Lewis and Real Housewives of Miami’s Lea Black to help her move forward with the 90,000-square-foot project.
Read MoreSundance 2017 IndieWire Critics Poll Results: Best Film
It didn’t quite work out that way. “We did get offers, but they didn’t make sense for us,” said Behrens in an interview with IndieWire. “The film would have had a respectable release, but we wouldn’t have recouped based on that offer.”
That experience led “Columbus” to become one of two inaugural recipients of the Creative Distribution Fellowship, the Sundance Institute’s new workshop for completed films seeking help with marketing and distribution. The other recipient is “Unrest,” a documentary that also premiered at Sundance in January 2017. The fellowship comes with a sizable grant – the biggest Sundance has ever handed out – to support the costs of self-distribution.
This was never part of the plan. Behrens — who has been producing moderately-priced indies (“The Queen of Versailles,” “Grandma”) for close to 20 years and whose company Superlative Films raised the financing for “Columbus” — admits that she was caught off-guard. Not only were distributors offering lower-than-expected money upfront, but she also lacked faith that bidders would put the resources behind “Columbus” to make sure it found its audience.
“I’ve had success selling films and have been happy with the marketing of them,” said Behrens. “But for this film to be successful, it needs a team that will get under the hood and do a lot of outreach and really target it to [potential] niche audiences.”
The financial side of independent film is always a gamble, but in the case of “Columbus,” Behrens believed the risk was if Kogonada could deliver on his unique vision with his first feature film. Once he did, the producer was confident “Columbus” was a strong candidate to tap a few different niche audiences that went beyond the arthouse film crowd responding to the great reviews.
Read MoreSupercut Guru Kogonada: How He Leapt from Small Screens to Sundance Next with the Mysterious ‘Columbus’
The film is set against the unlikely modern architecture mecca of Columbus, Indiana, which Kogonada fully incorporated into his script and concise geometrical framing. With proper marketing, Behrens assumed, the film could be a must-see for followers of modern art, architecture and design. Additionally, at a time when audiences are hungry for more diverse storytellers, “Columbus” was a breakout debut from an Asian American filmmaker that featured an Asian American character as its lead, played by John Cho.
“Koganada is so specific and I felt like I owed it to him to feel like the marketing and positioning of the film was done with as much precision and passion as he made the film,” said Behrens. “I’m not ready to walk away from it and give it to someone else unless I feel like I know they are going to care about it as much as I do.”
All signs pointed to the producer taking on the responsibility of self-distribution, but the costs were steep. The approach would involve laying out even more money for publicity and advertising, but it also meant that Behrens would have to delay her plans for future projects.
“For me, it was a little bit of a risk, because it’s me telling my investors we have offers that weren’t going to be amazingly lucrative, but they were going to be money in our pocket very quickly and I would be onto the next thing,” said Behrens. That’s when Sundance’s Creative Distribution Initiative came into play.
This article continues on the next page.
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The Housing Crisis in '99 Homes' and 'The Queen of Versailles.'
The article Home is Where the American Dream Is appeared first on Film School Rejects.
The deal comes after Netflix’s output deal with Magnolia recently expired after three years. Under Hulu’s pact with Magnolia, films will become available to stream exclusively on Hulu following their theatrical run; the companies did not say how long the agreement will run.
“As we continue investing in the most valued and sought-after content, films are essential to that mix,” Craig Erwich, Hulu’s senior VP and head of content, said in a statement. “Magnolia Pictures continuously releases thought-provoking and award winning titles that we know our viewers will love.”
Magnolia Pictures president Eamonn Bowles added, “We are very proud and excited to have struck such a meaningful partnership with a great company like Hulu.
The Candescent award was created by actress-producer Lilly Hartley in partnership with the Sundance Institute documentary film program. The award goes to a powerful social-issue film that has been supported during production by the Dfp and premieres at the Sundance Film Festival.
Heineman, whose credits include the Academy Award-nominated “Cartel Land,” followed the journey of a handful of anonymous activists who banded together after their homeland was taken over by Isis in 2014. “City of Ghosts” centers on a group of citizen journalists — dubbed “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently” — as they face the realities of life undercover, on the run, and in exile, risking their lives to stand up against Isis. Raqqa is an Isis stronghold in Syria.
“City of Ghosts” premieres in the U.S. documentary competition on Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival.
No documentary has ever received a nomination for Hollywood’s top prize, despite true landmarks of the form — like “Shoah” and “Hoop Dreams” (the latter controversially snubbed in the doc category as well) — making strong cases.
In 2013 and 2015, a pair of documentaries by Joshua Oppenheimer — “The Act of Killing” and “The Look of Silence” — topped many critical assessments of the years’ best cinema, but nobody expected noms for best picture. In 2005, “March of the Penguins” became a cultural event that did bang-up box office, but it couldn’t break out of the documentary feature category at the Oscars.
And talk about cultural events: A year earlier,
Read More: Ifp Film Week Announces Public Events, Including Chats With ‘Hamilton’ Cast, ‘High Maintenance’ Stars and More
During a panel conversation at Ifp Film Week on Monday, two film agents and one sales agent shared examples of how packaging movie ideas or completed screenplays with other elements helped get projects off the ground fast.
One example from Los Angeles-based ICM agent Peter Trinh involved an actor with no writing credits named Scott Cooper who had written a script called “Crazy Heart,” based on the tragic story of an aging country music musician.
In the meantime: Is this a project you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments.
Logline: A group of men in South Central Los Angeles find hope through their dedication to the rare sport of somersaulting pigeons.
Many have heard about pigeon coops and those raising pigeons in the inner cities of America, but many do not know why this subculture has emerged and what its purpose is. That is what “Pigeon Kings” wants to bring to light.
Through the story of these amazing men who have dedicated their lives to the little known sport of competitive rolling pigeons, we show not only this unique subculture but also a story of a
David Lynch will also appear in the film, which adds to the list of projects he and Stanton have worked on together, including “Wild at Heart” and “The Straight Story.” Stanton is also expected to appear in Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” reboot.
Superlative Films is the production company. John Carroll Lynch is directing from a script by Stanton’s longtime friends Logan Sparks and Drago Sumonja.
“Lucky” follows the spiritual journey of a 90-year-old atheist — played by Stanton — and the quirky characters that inhabit his off-the-map desert town. He finds himself at the precipice of life, thrust into a journey of self-exploration.
The cast includes Ed Begley Jr. (“Better Call Saul”), Ron Livingston and Tom Skerritt, along with Barry Shabaka Henley, Beth Grant, Yvonne Huff Lee, Hugo Armstrong and James Darren.“
Producers are Logan Sparks,
Dogwoof, which primarily handles prestige documentaries, made the announcement Thursday following the opening of the 15th annual Tribeca Film Festival. It’s selling the documentaries “LoveTrue,” executive produced by Shia Labeouf, and “Burden” at the festival.
“This a natural evolution for us to grow the company and move toward making our own content,” said CEO Anna Godas, who’s managing the fund. “Talent has been approaching us to start packaging films so we began exploring this last year.”
Dogwoof has handled international sales and U.K. theatrical distribution on “Blackfish,” “Cartel Land,” “Dior and I,” and “Weiner” and the UK theatrical distribution for “The Look of Silence,” “The Act of Killing,” “The Queen of Versailles,” and “Heart of a Dog.”
The fund is 50% owned by Dogwoof and 50% owned by a private investor.
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