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Jonas Carpignano on His ‘A Ciambra’ and Getting Notes From Martin Scorsese

51 minutes ago

After making a splash in Cannes with ‘Mediterranea,’ which won the Critics Week Grand Prize in 2015, Jonas Carpignano is back, in Directors’ Fortnight this year, with ‘A Ciambra,’ which IFC’s Sundance Selects snapped up for U.S. distribution shortly after the premiere, reportedly following a bidding war. The young director (pictured, left) born in New York from an Italian father and an African-American mother, but raised in Rome, spoke to Variety about why he stayed in the Calabrian coastal town of Gioia Tauro for his ‘Mediterranea’ followup, and what it was like getting notes on his rough cuts from Martin Scorsese, who executive-produced the pic. Excerpts.

A Ciambra’ follows from ‘Mediterranea’ in various ways. I read it was actually prompted by the production’s car being stolen while shooting the short that became ‘Mediterranea.’ Can you tell me more?

Yes, I had never known about a Gypsy community in Gioia Tauro. »


- Nick Vivarelli

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Rosario Dawson in Talks for X-Men Spinoff ‘New Mutants’

1 hour ago

Rosario Dawson is in talks to join the X-Men spinoff “New Mutants” for Fox and Marvel as Dr. Cecilia Reyes.

“New Mutants” is in pre-production and has been set for an April 13, 2018, opening. “The Fault in Our Stars” director Josh Boone is helming “New Mutants” from a script he co-wrote with Knate Lee about teenage superheroes-mutants.

Dr. Cecilia Reyes serves as a mentor for the superheroes. Her character has the ability to generate an invisible bio-field around herself.

Split” star Anya Taylor-Joy and Maisie Williams of “Game of Thrones” are already signed up for the project with Taylor-Joy playing Illyana Rasputin, also known as Magik, who uses teleportation. Williams is on board as Rahne Sinclair, a.k.a. Wolfsbane, who can to turn into a wolf. Simon Kinberg and Karen Rosenfelt are producing.

Fox announced last month that it was dating three Marvel movies for 2018 — “New Mutants” for April 13, “Deadpool 2 »


- Dave McNary

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Playback: Geoffrey Rush on 14 Years of ‘Pirates’ and Tackling Einstein in ‘Genius’

1 hour ago

Welcome to “Playback,” a Variety podcast bringing you exclusive conversations with the talents behind many of today’s hottest films.

The summer movie season is in full swing and next on the list of massive Hollywood extravaganzas is Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” The franchise, which debuted to considerable skepticism in the summer of 2003 as there was no successful pirate genre to speak of, has gone on to become one of the biggest successes for the studio. Five movies deep and it’s still raking in billions of dollars.

Actor Geoffrey Rush has been along for the ride every step of the way as Captain Hector Barbossa, and without giving much away, he’s able to put something of a period on his work in the series with the new film. There’s obviously something big and robust and Baroque about playing a pirate, »


- Kristopher Tapley

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How Trudie Styler’s Experience Being Bullied Inspired Her Directorial Debut ‘Freak Show’

1 hour ago

Trudie Styler, best known as Sting’s better half, doesn’t like an audience. As she sits down at the rooftop restaurant of a Cannes hotel to discuss “Freak Show,” her feature film directorial debut, she gently asks if her publicist can grab a coffee, saying she gets nervous talking in front of several people.

“I’ll make sure we don’t talk about tantric sex,” she jokes, a nod to the much-picked over aspects of her love life with Sting.

At 63, Styler is elegant and regal, every inch a rock star’s wife, but she connected with the story of “Freak Show” because of her own sense of being an outsider. The film follows Billy, a gay teenager, who struggles to fit in after being transplanted to a high school in the deep South. Despite facing harassment, he decides to run for homecoming queen. It’s based on a book by James St. James, »


- Brent Lang

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Oscar Martinez to Star in Family Drama ‘Tu Me Manques’ (Exclusive)

2 hours ago

Argentinian actor Oscar Martinez will star in the family drama “Tu Me Manques” (“I Miss You”), which will be shot this summer in New York and Bolivia.

Martinez, who won the best actor award at the Venice Film Festival for “The Distinguished Citizen,” will play a wealthy man from Bolivia with old school values, who learns about his gay son’s recent suicide in the U.S. While browsing through the son’s computer, he strikes up a conversation by mistake with his son’s boyfriend. The subsequent heated exchange prompts him to travel to New York looking for answers.

Rodrigo Bellott is directing from his own screenplay, adapting from his play, which premiered in Bolivia in 2015. The project was developed while Bellott was a Fellow in Queer/Art/Mentorship, the artist support program founded by filmmaker Ira Sachs in 2011. The Broadway rights were optioned by “Kinky Boots” and “Hedwig and the Angry Inch »


- Dave McNary

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Demetri Martin at ‘Dean’ Premiere: ‘I Beat the Odds’

2 hours ago

Demetri Martin was in a reflective mood at Wednesday night’s Los Angeles premiere at the Arclight Hollywood of his comedy-drama “Dean” — and not just because he was a day away from his 44th birthday.

The screening took place 13 months after the film won the top U.S. feature award at Tribeca and was bought by CBS Films — and six years after he began work on the project, which he produced, directed, wrote and starred in. The shoot took 21 days on an $800,000 budget with another $150,000 in post-production and re-shoots.

Related

Film Review: ‘Dean

“I feel like I beat the odds, just getting domestic distribution at all,” he said. “The reality of doing a low-budget film hits you pretty hard once you start so by the time I got to Tribeca, all I wanted to do was just not be embarrassed.”

The genesis of “Dean” stems from Martin losing his own »


- Dave McNary

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Cannes: Robin Campillo’s ‘(Bpm) Beats Per Minute’ Enthralls Asian Buyers (Exclusive)

2 hours ago

Robin Campillo’s “(Bpm) Beats Per Minute,” a heart-wrenching group portrait of Parisian AIDS activists in the early 1990s, has triggered a raft of deals across Asia.

Sold by Films Distribution, “Bpm” sold to Hong Kong (Edko), Taiwan (Filmware) and Japan (Phantom Film) whose recent releases include the Oscar winning film “Moonlight.”

Sales were also scored for Australia (Madman), Canada (Mile End) and Brazil (Imovision).

“Lgbt films are sometimes hard to sell in Asia so the fact that sold in three key Asian territories underscore the strength and universality of this film,” said Films Distribution’s co-founder Nicolas Brigaud-Robert, who added that the film is now sold nearly worldwide and will be able to reach well beyond the Lgbt niche.

One of the best-received films in this year’s official competition at Cannes, “Bpm” was acquired for the U.S. (The Orchards), Italy (Teodora), Spain (Avalon), Turkey (Bir Films), Sweden »


- Elsa Keslassy

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Marvel’s ‘Silver Sable and Black Cat’ Taps Director Gina Prince-Bythewood

2 hours ago

Beyond the Lights” director Gina Prince-Bythewood will take on “Silver Sable and Black Cat,” a spinoff of the Spider-Man universe.

Prince-Bythewood will also rewrite the script penned by “Thor: Ragnarok” scribe Chris Yost. A previous draft was written by “Westworld” co-creator Lisa Joy. Matt Tolmach and Amy Pascal are producing the project.

Related

Tom Hardy to Star in ‘Venom,’ Ruben Fleischer to Direct

In the comic books, Silver Sable is a mercenary who runs a company that hunts war criminals. Black Cat is burglar named Felicia Hardy, who briefly appeared in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” played by Felicity Jones. While both characters exist in Marvel’s Spider-Man universe, Prince-Bythewood’s film will not be a crossover with the web-slinger.

“Silver Sable and Black Cat” is not the only Spider-Man movie in the works at Sony — the studio is developing a “Venom” film as well. It recently tapped Tom Hardy to »


- Justin Kroll

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Box Office: ‘Baywatch’ Dives in With $1.25 Million on Wednesday

3 hours ago

Baywatch” got a head start on the competition by opening in previews on Wednesday, before it goes wide early on Thursday ahead of Memorial Day Weekend.

After its first night of earnings Paramount’s comedy made $1.25 million at 2,554 locations. Previews began at 7 p.m.

For its opening weekend, “Baywatch” is pegged at about $40 million from an eventual 3,647 locations. The summer comedy carries a $60 million production price tag.

Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron star in the comedy that spawned from the 1990s NBC drama starring David Hasselhoff and a team of lifeguards who patrolled the beaches of Los Angeles. This time around it’s Johnson, an experienced and devoted lifeguard, who butts heads with a new recruit, Efron, until they uncover a criminal plot.

Priyanka Chopra, Alexandra Daddario, Jon Bass, Kelly Rohrbach, and Ilfenesh Hadera also star. Seth Gordon directed the film based on a screenplay by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift. »


- Seth Kelley

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Cannes: Fatih Akin’s Drama ‘In the Fade’ Sold Worldwide by The Match Factory (Exclusive)

3 hours ago

Fatih Akin’s highly-anticipated drama “In The Fade (Aus dem Nichts)” which is having its world premiere in competition on Thursday, has been sold worldwide by The Match Factory.

A timely film, “In The Fade” stars Diane Kruger (“Inglorious Basterds”) as a woman whose life falls apart when her husband Nuri and little son Rocco are killed in a bomb attack perpetrated by a neo-Nazi group. Unable to cope with the grief and feeling of injustice, she sets off to avenge her family by her own means.

“In The Fade” was picked up U.K. & Eire (Curzon Artificial Eye), Japan (Bitters End), Italy (Bim), Netherlands (Cineart), Spain (Golem), Portugal (Midas), Greece (Rosebud.21), Former Yuguslavia (McF Megacom), Hungary (Cirko Film), Poland (Gutek Film), Czech/Slovakia (Aerofilms), Bulgaria (Artfest), and Turkey (Fabula).

More deals were inked for Argetina (Mirada), Brazil (Imovision), Central America (Wiesner), Mexico (Cine Video y TV), Colombia (Cine Colombia »


- Elsa Keslassy

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Sony Classics Buys Liam Neeson’s Watergate Drama ‘Silent Man’

3 hours ago

Sony Pictures Classics has bought North American rights to Watergate era drama “The Silent Man,” starring Liam Neeson as FBI official Mark Felt.

Felt revealed himself in 2005 as Deep Throat, the nickname given to him by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein as they uncovered the Watergate scandal that led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation in 1974. Felt died in 2008.

The Silent Man” also stars Diane Lane, Marton Csokas, Josh Lucas, Tony Goldwyn, Michael C. Hall, Tom Sizemore, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Ike Barinholtz, Bruce Greenwood, Brian D’Arcy James, Kate Walsh, and Noah Wyle. “Concussion” director Peter Landesman directed “The Silent Man” from his own script.

The Silent Man” has been set for a September release with Sony Classics referring to “recent political turmoil” as sparking a renewed public interest in Felt’s story.

That’s a reference to President Donald Trump’s May 9 firing of FBI Director James »


- Dave McNary

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IFC Nabs U.S. Rights to Lars Von Trier’s ‘The House That Jack Built’

3 hours ago

IFC Films has acquired U.S. rights to Lars Von Trier’s anticipated thriller “The House That Jack Built” which toplines Matt Dillon and Uma Thurman.

Repped by TrustNordisk, “The House That Jack Built” also stars Bruno Ganz, Riley Keough and Siobhan Fallon Hogan.

The movie is being produced by Louise Vesth for Zentropa Group, in co-production with Film i Väst, Copenhagen Film Fund, Slot Machine.

IFC Films previously handled Von Trier’s “Antichrist” which world premiered at Cannes in 2009.

Set in the 1970s, the film centers on a serial killer, Jack, whose psychopathy is explored through five incidents told through his own eyes. He views each murder as an artwork in itself, even though his dysfunction gives him problems in the outside world.

Lars von Trier is an unparalleled cinematic provocateur and one of the world’s great auteurs. It’s great to be working with old friends and colleagues such as Lars, »


- Elsa Keslassy

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Cannes Film Review: ‘West of the Jordan River’

4 hours ago

In “West of the Jordan River,” controversial Israeli director Amos Gitai returns to the occupied territories for the first time since his 1982 “Field Diary” to observe how Israelis and Palestinians could together overcome the consequences of occupation. By appearing on-camera at times himself, the 66-year-old helmer delivers not only a thought-provoking, moving and surprisingly optimistic documentary, but an intimate, handmade artifact that can look forward to wide exposure on the festival circuit ahead.

Gitai’s four-decade carrier started during the 1973 Yom Kippur War when he shot 8mm footage of the fighting while serving in a helicopter rescue crew. Since then, he has never stopped publicly questioning his country’s politics: His first feature, “Home,” was censored in Israel, while “Field Diary,” the filmed journal he shot in the occupied territories before and during the invasion of Lebanon, stirred things up to such a degree that he moved to France for a stretch. »


- Pamela Pianezza

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Amazon Acquires Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Logan Lucky’ First-Run Streaming Rights

4 hours ago

Amazon has clinched a pact with Steven Soderbergh making his forthcoming film “Logan Lucky” to Prime Video customers during its exclusive first-run Us streaming window.

The heist comedy is slated to hit theaters Aug. 18, 2017, and Amazon expects to release “Logan Lucky” on Prime Video during the first quarter of 2018. The film stars Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Riley Keough, Hilary Swank, Seth MacFarlane, Katie Holmes, and Daniel Craig.

In addition, Amazon has signed an exclusive two-year first-look deal for theatrical film projects from Fingerprint Releasing, the film distributor formed by Soderbergh and piloted by Dan Fellman, former president of domestic distribution for Warner Bros. Under the deal, Amazon will provide strategic promotion and advertising financing to augment the marketing of Fingerprint’s theatrical releases.

Soderbergh, whose “Logan Lucky” marks his return to film after a four-year hiatus, called Amazon “a fearless, flexible co-conspirator.”

“The deal with Amazon is the final, crucial piece of the puzzle, »


- Todd Spangler

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Cannes Film Review: ‘Alive in France’

4 hours ago

Abel Ferrara, who is both the director and subject of “Alive in France,” deserves to be at the center of a documentary. He’s a filmmaker who has given us one extraordinary film — “Bad Lieutenant” (1992) — along with a few good ones (like his 1981 midnight movie “Ms. 45,” which first put the gun-toting badass heroine on screen) and a whole lot of squalidly semi-interesting and “dangerous” downtown art trash. Ferrara hasn’t had a hit, even a micro-indie cult hit, in decades. Yet there’s a reason that he’s been toiling away on his own debauched wavelength of devoted squalor for nearly 40 years. As an artist, he left the loop of influence long ago, but as an underground celebrity beatnik who drags his mystique around with him like a ratty ball and chain, he’s irreplaceable.

The first time I ever went to Rome, I was strolling, on my first day, »


- Owen Gleiberman

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Cannes: Medienboard Toasts Festival Films ‘Jupiter’s Moon,’ ‘Western’

4 hours ago

This week saw the Cannes Film Festival reception held by Medienboard, the film funding agency for the Berlin-Brandenburg region of Germany, at the Grand Hotel.

Medienboard chief Kirsten Niehuus gathered together friends and partners to celebrate the films it has backed recently, including Cannes festival films like Kornel Mundruczo’s competition entry “Jupiter’s Moon,” and Valeska Grisebach’s “Western,” which plays in Un Certain Regard.

Among the guests welcomed at the event were Mundruczo, Grisebach, veteran filmmaker Volker Schloendorff, actress Julie Delpy, “Jupiter’s Moon’s” producer Viktoria Petranyi, Stefan Arndt, one of the producers of Michael Haneke’s competition film “Happy End,” Martin Moszkowicz, producer of the “Resident Evil” franchise, and Tom Zickler, Til Schweiger’s regular production partner.

Other guests included actors Louis Hofmann, who appeared in Oscar-nominated “Land of Mine,” Stefan Konarske (“The Young Karl Marx”), Veronica Ferres, and Franz Rogowski, who appears in “Happy End »


- Leo Barraclough

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‘The Mummy,’ ‘Wonder Woman’ London Premieres Canceled Following Manchester Attack

4 hours ago

Universal has canceled the London premiere for “The Mummy” following the attack in Manchester earlier in the week.

The studio released a statement on Thursday morning, ahead of the premiere which had been scheduled to take place on June 1.

“All of us at Universal have been devastated by the terror attack in Manchester and continue to stand with the community and country as it recovers. Out of respect to those affected by this tragedy we have decided not to move forward with the London premiere for ‘The Mummy’ scheduled to take place next week,” Universal’s statement said.

Alex Kurtzman directed “The Mummy,” which stars Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella. The film is scheduled for release in the U.S. on June 9.

This announcement adds the film’s name to a list of movie events and shows that have been either delayed or canceled in the days following the attack that left 22 people dead. »


- Seth Kelley

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GLAAD Report: Major Film Studios Fail to Increase Lgbt Representation

5 hours ago

Major film studios broadly fell short last year of increasing the number of characters in their movies that are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (Lgbtq), according to a new analysis issued Thursday by GLAAD.

Only 23 of the 125 films counted by the New York-based media advocacy group featured an Lgbtq character last year, accounting for less than 20 percent of films produced by the seven studios GLAAD rated in its report. The organization rates studios’ efforts as excellent, good, insufficient, poor, or failing.

No film studio has earned an “excellent” rating in the five years GLAAD has tracked Lgbtq representation. Universal Studios earned the highest mark, rating “insufficient” but it drew praise for films like “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising,” which featured an “unexpectedly well-handled subplot” involving a gay fraternity brother’s wedding engagement and how the pending nuptials strained his friendship with his former fraternity brother, Teddy, played by Zac Efron. »


- Ricardo Lopez

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Variety Introduces ‘Synch This!’ — New Music Column Spotlighting Songs Ripe for Licensing

5 hours ago

“Synch This” is a new Variety column written by Mac Presents VP and former Billboard branding reporter Andrew Hampp, highlighting new songs that we deem ripe for synch use. Insiders can skip over the “Synch 101” in the introduction, which will be linked to in future columns, to get straight to this week’s pick.

The term “synch” is a funny one – even if you’ve never heard it used before, it’s a convenient catch-all for something you hear every single day.

Short for “music synchronization license,” synchs have long been a prime method for music, new and old, to get discovered in TV commercials, box-office hits and the latest buzzy TV hit. So much so that synch revenue accounted for 2% of the recorded music industry’s global revenue in 2016, or roughly $314 million, an all-time high.

The first time I heard the term “synch” used it was in reference to »


- Andrew Hampp

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Russian Producer of Cannes Contender ‘Loveless’ on Kremlin Hostility, Patriotism, Piracy, Trump

6 hours ago

Alexander Rodnyansky, the producer of Russian drama “Loveless,” which is a frontrunner in Cannes competition, financed Andrey Zvyagintsev’s film without any funds from the Russian government. He tells Variety why he made the decision to use only private finance, prompted by the hostility shown by Vladimir Putin’s regime toward Zvyagintsev’s Oscar-nominated “Leviathan,” also produced by Rodnyansky. He also reveals that their next movie together may be in English and set in the Middle East.

“After the uproar that ‘Leviathan’ caused [in Russia] I made the decision not to apply [for government funding],” Rodnyansky says. “The Ministry of Culture took great pains to emphasize their dislike of ‘Leviathan,’ and the minister [Vladimir Medinsky] said he thought the film was criticizing Russia in a very brutal way and that he was not ready to accept that.”

Related

Cannes Film Review: ‘Loveless

Rodnyansky says that although none of Zvyagintsev’s previous films had been supported by government funds, »


- Leo Barraclough

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