Every week, I get several press releases, screening invitations and other notifications from a handful of studio contacts. While I won’t be sharing any information regarding my screening invites, some of the press releases might be of interest to my readers, so I thought I’d start sharing them in toto with all of you. These could include new image galleries for various films or important updates to upcoming releases from various smaller studios and art house production companies.
- Image Gallery: Argo
- Image Gallery: Trouble with the Curve
- Press Release: Freestyle Obtins Rights to ‘Genius on Hold’
- Press Release: A24 Takes Rights to ‘Ginger & Rosa’
- Press Release: ‘The Citizen’ Premieres at Abu Dhabi Film Festival
- Press Release: The United Nations, Hyde Park-Image Nation and Variety Announce Docuseries
- Press Release: Freestyle Gains Rights to ‘Amphibious’
- Press Release: New Edgar Wright Comedy ‘The World’s End’ Begins Production
Image Gallery: Argo
Image Gallery: Trouble with the Curve
Press Release: Freestyle Obtins Rights to ‘Genius on Hold’
Freestyle Releasing Answers the Call for ‘GENIUS ON HOLD’ by Taking All Domestic Rights to the True Crime Documentary
Acclaimed Film Will Have Exclusive Rollout this Fall.
Los Angeles, CA (September 24, 2012) – Freestyle Releasing announced today that they have acquired all domestic rights to GENIUS ON HOLD, the hard hitting documentary written and directed by Gregory Marquette (“Innocents”). The film was produced by Walter T. Shaw, and co-produced by Diana Ross-Shaw and is narrated by Frank Langella (fresh from his Oscar-worthy role in “Robot & Frank”). GENIUS ON HOLD debuted as an official selection at the Palm Beach International Film Festival and Soho International Film Festival this past year.
GENIUS ON HOLD intertwines four true stories of the life of an American inventor responsible for some of the most important telephone inventions in history; his son’s anger at the treatment of his brilliant father, corporate greed, and the mafia. At its heart is the story of Walter L. Shaw—a brilliant inventor with an astonishing list of telecommunications patents to his name. His ground-breaking designs should have earned him great fortune and lasting fame, but for one thing—the power, greed, and oppression of AT&T, the largest, government-sanctioned, telecommunications monopoly in the United States which blocked him from realizing his dream. Punished, imprisoned, and eventually destitute, Shaw was drawn to the only organization that would reward him for his talent—the mob, whose bookies used his “black box” to run their gambling operations and evade the Feds. His son, embittered by his father’s destruction, turned to organized crime; becoming one of the most notorious jewel thieves in American history. All to get back at the system that destroyed his family; but at what cost?
The deal for the domestic rights was negotiated by Freestyle Releasing’s Co-President Mark Borde and Producer Walter T. Shaw.
“Phones are the center of most of our universes today,” said Mark Borde, Co-President of Freestyle Releasing. “I was amazed to learn about Walter Shaw and am honored to be able to help have his voice finally be heard.”
“My father always believed and fought for the right of the inventor. It may be too little too late for the Shaw family but hopefully – 62 years later – his words came to pass. This recent Supreme Court ruling will help those inventors of the future,” said Shaw.
About Freestyle Releasing
Freestyle Releasing is a full-service, theatrical motion picture distribution company that specializes in representing independent companies, major studios, and mini-major studios for the purpose of exhibiting their films in a first class theatrical release. The founders and Principles of Freestyle Releasing, Mark Borde and Susan Jackson, are highly regarded and experienced motion picture veterans with a combined total of over a century of respected work in the industry.
Press Release: A24 Takes Rights to ‘Ginger & Rosa’
A24 PICKS UP SALLY POTTER’S GINGER & ROSA STARRING ELLE FANNING
Film will have a year-end qualifying run followed by an early 2013 release
New York, NY (September 25, 2012) – A24 announced the acquisition of GINGER & ROSA, a provocative story about friendship and betrayal featuring a sensational performance by Elle Fanning. The Sally Potter film had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival followed by a Special Presentation at the Toronto International Film Festival. Film will also screen Oct. 8 as part of the prestigious New York Film Festival. The film also stars bright newcomer Alice Englert, Alessandro Nivola, Christina Hendricks, Timothy Spall, Oliver Platt, and Annette Bening. A24 plans on doing a qualifying run of the film in 2012 for awards consideration followed by a theatrical release in early 2013.
A24 says: “We fell in love with Ginger & Rosa. We’ve been fans of Sally’s for a long time. She has crafted a touching, heartfelt, and extraordinary work anchored by an absolutely incredible performance by Elle Fanning which already has a tremendous amount of love from audiences and journalists alike. We look forward to bringing the film to a wide audience and showing the world one of the best performances of the year.”
Of the partnership Potter says, “I am very excited to join forces with this new, dynamic company whose passion for movies, focused energy and bold imagination make it the ideal home for Ginger & Rosa.”
GINGER & ROSA was produced by Christopher Sheppard and Andrew Litvin for Adventure Pictures and marks Potters sixth time behind the camera since splashing onto the scene with ORLANDO.
The deal was negotiated with A24 by Bart Walker and John Sloss of Cinetic Media on behalf of the filmmakers. International Sales are being handled by The Match Factory.
London,1962. Two teenage girls – GINGER & ROSA – are inseparable. They skip school together, talk about love, religion and politics and dream of lives bigger than their mothers’ domesticity. But the growing threat of nuclear war casts a shadow over their lives. Ginger (Elle Fanning) is drawn to poetry and protest, while Rosa (Alice Englert) shows Ginger how to smoke cigarettes, kiss boys and pray. Both rebel against their mothers: Rosa’s single mum, Anoushka (Jodhi May), and Ginger’s frustrated painter mother, Natalie (Christina Hendricks). Meanwhile, Ginger’s pacifist father, Roland (Alessandro Nivola) seems a romantic, bohemian figure to the girls. He encourages Ginger’s ‘Ban-the-Bomb’ activism, while Rosa starts to take a very different interest in him. As Ginger’s parents fight and fall apart, Ginger finds emotional sanctuary with a gay couple, both named Mark (Timothy Spall and Oliver Platt), and their American friend, the poet Bella (Annette Bening). Finally, as the Cuban Missile Crisis escalates – and it seems the world itself may come to an end – the lifelong friendship of the two girls is shattered. Ginger clutches at one hope; if she can help save the world from extinction, perhaps she too will survive this moment of personal
Press Release: ‘The Citizen’ Premieres at Abu Dhabi Film Festival
Sam Kadi’s ‘The Citizen’ to Have International Premiere at the 6th Annual Abu Dhabi Film Festival
Official Selection Will Screen In Competition on October 14th
Los Angeles, CA (September 25, 2012) – 3K Pictures announces today that director Sam Kadi’s debut drama THE CITIZEN will have its International Premiere at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival in Abu Dhabi on October 14th at 9:30pm at the Emirates Palace Theater. The film was produced by Kadi, Chris Wyatt (NAPOLEON DYNAMITE) and Alan Noel Vega, with Ameer Kabour executive producing. Presented each October, the Abu Dhabi Film Festival is committed to screening exceptional films to engage and educate the local community, inspire filmmakers and nurture the growth of the regional film industry. With its commitment to presenting works by Arab filmmakers in competition alongside those by major talents of world cinema, the Festival offers Abu Dhabi’s diverse and enthusiastic audiences a means of engaging with their own and others’ cultures through the art of cinema. This year the festival runs from October 11th-20th.
THE CITIZEN tells the story of an Arab immigrant named Ibrahim (played by celebrated Egyptian actor Khaled Nabawy from FAIR GAME) who wins the American green card lottery, arriving in New York City on September 10th, 2001. In addition to Nabawy, the film’s cast includes Agnes Bruckner (BLOOD AND CHOCOLATE), William Atherton (GHOSTBUSTERS) and Cary Elwes (THE PRINCESS BRIDE).
The script took over three years to write and was co-written by the noted Arab American playwright Samir Younis (BROWNTOWN). Younis was living and working in New York on 9/11, and brought his experiences about the aftermath of that event to bear on the script.
Additionally, THE CITIZEN will be an Official Selection at this year’s Hollywood Film Festival, also in October. The festival, which starts October 18th, encompasses five days of screenings at ArcLight Cinemas Hollywood and culminates with the prestigious Hollywood Film Awards Gala on October 22nd.
THE CITIZEN recently won the Best Ensemble Cast Award and the Mass Impact Award at the 28th Boston Film Festival. To see the trailer, and for additional information about the film, please visit THE CITIZEN website: www.thecitizenmovie.com
About Sam Kadi:
Born and raised in Syria, Kadi attended the College of Engineering at the University of Aleppo where he founded the Marya Halab Theater Company. After seven years of theater, he moved to the U.S. in 2000 to pursue a career in the arts and eventually attended the Motion Picture Institute of Michigan, which he graduated from in 2007. Kadi made several short films including the eight-time festival winner RAISED ALONE. THE CITIZEN is Kadi’s feature film debut. Kadi was recently recognized by the prestigious foundation Cinema for Peace for raising awareness for human rights issues through film, and was invited to speak before the International Criminal Court at The Hague, The Netherlands on June 16, 2012. Kadi has been featured on numerous international and national television and radio programs including CNN, ART, and NPR.
Press Release: The United Nations, Hyde Park-Image Nation and Variety Announce Docuseries
THE UNITED NATIONS, HYDE PARK-IMAGE NATION AND VARIETY ANNOUNCE GROUNDBREAKING DOCUMENTARY SERIES
Ashok Amritraj to Host ‘CHANCE OF A LIFETIME’’, Bringing Filmmakers Together From the Middle East, India and Singapore
New York, NY (September 25, 2012)–The United Nations, Hyde Park-Image Nation, and Variety have teamed up to produce a non-scripted series featuring filmmakers from The Middle East, India, and Singapore. This unprecedented effort will bring together documentary filmmakers from diverse backgrounds in a filmmaking competition where the contestants must team up to produce one cinematic vision while drawing on their varied cultural perspectives. The show will be hosted by prolific film producer Ashok Amritraj, and will shine a spotlight on a number of United Nations global initiatives. The series is a collaboration between the United Nations, Variety, Hyde Park Entertainment and Image Nation.
The series will follow the producer’s search for four teams of filmmakers each with a member from India, the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council), and Singapore. Each week, Amritraj will present the filmmaking teams with various production tasks that they must accomplish to finish their final documentaries. The topics and tone of the films will reflect the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) established at the United Nations and will include storylines that highlight issues that are central to the Every Woman, Every Child effort. The winning team’s documentary will be screened at the United Nations, and they will receive a special recognition from Variety during the 2013 Festival de Cannes.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for the United Nations to harness the power of entertainment and shine a spotlight on some of the world’s most critical issues,” said Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information. “We hope this show will encourage many more people across the region to think about these global challenges and to become part of the solution.”
Amritraj commented, “Bringing the Middle East, India and Asia to a global audience has always been a passion of mine, and I’m thrilled to provide this platform for filmmakers of such diverse cultures to have a truly collaborative cinematic experience. The United Nations and Variety have been amazing partners on this project.”
“We’re thrilled to participate in this project. It just feels right to be a part of this effort, seeing that Variety is the preeminent global entertainment news organization, coupled with our steadfast commitment to the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals.” said Brian Gott, Publisher of Variety.
“Bringing together aspiring filmmakers from three different regions to create a unified production epitomizes the ideal of the United Nations. Image Nation is honored to partner with the U.N., Variety and Ashok in creating such a groundbreaking international project,” said Mohamed Al Mubarak, Chairman of Image Nation. “We look forward to the exciting work that these teams of documentarians will produce.”
In 2009, Amritraj’s Hyde Park Entertainment and Image Nation, the Abu Dhabi production company, partnered on a $250 million financing deal to develop, produce and distribute feature films. They extended their partnership to create a strategic alliance with Singapore’s Media Development Authority (MDA). Under this deal, Hyde Park – Image Nation Singapore was launched in 2010 to fund multiple films worth an estimated production value of $75 million.
Press Release: Freestyle Gains Rights to ‘Amphibious’
AMPHIBIOUS: CREATURE OF THE DEEP Rises from the Sea with Freestyle Digital Media
Los Angeles, CA (September 27, 2012) – Freestyle Digital Media has acquired all North American rights to AMPHIBIOUS, a tongue-in-cheek creature feature directed by Brian Yuzna (“Beyond Re-Animator”). The film, which was produced by Yuzna and San Fu Maltha (“Iron Sky,” “Black Book”), and stars Michael Paré (“The Lincoln Lawyer”), Janna Fassaert (“Couple’s Retreat”) and Verdi Solaiman (“The Raid: Redemption”), is slated for VOD and multiple platform release on October 9th with a DVD release to follow shortly after.
AMPHIBIOUS: CREATURE OF THE DEEP tells the tale of a marine biologist, Skylar Shane (Fassaert), who hires an expat charter boat captain, Jack Bowman (Paré), to help her find prehistoric life form samples in the north Sumatran Sea. After she takes in an orphaned boy (Solaiman), strange occurrences happen on board the ship, including the death of some local smugglers by an unknown entity. Skylar and Jack then have to band together to defeat the evil creature that has emerged from the deep.
The deal was negotiated by FDM’s CEO Susan Jackson and Thierry Wase-Bailey, Managing Director of Celsius Entertainment and its genre label Fahrenheit Pictures.
“Everyone loves a fun, creature feature!” said Susan Jackson, President of Freestyle Digital Media. ”This is a great genre film and a perfect serving for the enormous fan base hungry for this type of movie.”
Freestyle Digital Media’s recent slate of releases includes the critically-acclaimed Filipino horror-thriller THE ROAD from director Yam Laranas. In addition, DEADHEADS, the acclaimed horror-comedy from directors Brett and Drew Pierce, SWINGING WITH THE FINKELS starring Mandy Moore and directed by Jonathan Newman, and TOMORROW, WHEN THE WAR BEGAN directed by Stuart Beattie, which also marked the first feature film to debut on Facebook.
About Freestyle Digital Media
Freestyle Digital Media, LLC was launched in November 2011 by its CEO Susan Jackson who is Co-President and founder of independent theatrical distributor Freestyle Releasing, LLC and North American sales company Turtles Crossing, LLC. Freestyle Digital Media supplies quality commercial film and TV content directly to all US VOD/SVOD rental DVD/Kiosks and theaters using the latest cloud-based technologies to automate digital workflow. Freestyle’s goal is to provide fresh, well-marketed product and stay on the cutting edge of the ever-compressing windows to ensure that their partners benefit from a platform that delivers an anytime-anywhere capability in the medium of their choice and a positive digital viewing experience on any device in any location.
Press Release: New Edgar Wright Comedy ‘The World’s End’ Begins Production
THE WORLD’S END, THIRD COMEDY TEAMING DIRECTOR EDGAR WRIGHT WITH STARS SIMON PEGG AND NICK FROST, COMMENCES PRODUCTION
LONDON, September 28, 2012— Working Title Films and Big Talk Productions have commenced filming on The World’s End, the third installment of Edgar Wright’s trilogy of comedies, following the successes Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Hot Fuzz (2007). The new movie is filming in the U.K. As with the first two movies in the trilogy, Universal Pictures International (UPI) will distribute The World’s End internationally and Focus Features will distribute it in North America.
As with the two earlier pictures, Mr. Wright co-wrote the script with Simon Pegg, who will once again star alongside Nick Frost. Joining the team are actors Martin Freeman (Shaun of the Dead, The Hobbit), Paddy Considine (Hot Fuzz, The Bourne Ultimatum), Eddie Marsan (Sherlock Holmes), and Rosamund Pike (Jack Reacher).
The World’s End also marks Mr. Wright’s third movie with Working Title and Big Talk, following Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz; The World’s End is produced by Nira Park of Big Talk and Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner. The film will be executive-produced by James Biddle, Mr. Wright, Mr. Pegg, Mr. Frost, and Liza Chasin.
Mr. Wright is also reteaming with such creative collaborators as director of photography Bill Pope, production designer Marcus Rowland, hair and make-up designer Jane Walker, editor Paul Machliss, stunt coordinator Bradley Allen, and VFX Double Negative. Guy Speranza is the film’s costume designer.
In The World’s End, 20 years after attempting an epic pub crawl, five childhood friends reunite when one of them becomes hellbent on trying the drinking marathon again. They are convinced to stage an encore by mate Gary King (Simon Pegg), a 40-year-old man trapped at the cigarette end of his teens, who drags his reluctant pals to their hometown and once again attempts to reach the fabled pub – The World’s End. As they attempt to reconcile the past and present, they realize the real struggle is for the future, not just theirs but humankind’s. Reaching The World’s End is the least of their worries.
Working Title Films, co-chaired by Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner since 1992, is one of the world’s leading film production companies. Founded in 1983, Working Title has made nearly 100 films that have grossed over $5 billion worldwide. Its films have won six Academy Awards, 30 BAFTA Awards, and prizes at the Cannes and Berlin International Film Festivals. Working Title’s 2012/2013 slate also includes Les Misérables, directed by Tom Hooper and starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Anne Hathaway; John Crowley’s Closed Circuit, starring Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall; Hossein Amini’s The Two Faces of January, starring Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, and Oscar Isaac; Dan Mazer’s I Give It a Year, starring Rose Byrne and Rafe Spall; the telefilm Mary and Martha, directed by Phillip Noyce and written by Richard Curtis, starring Hilary Swank and Brenda Blethyn; Ron Howard’s Rush, starring Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl; and Joe Wright’s epic love story Anna Karenina, starring Keira Knightley, Jude Law, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson.
Big Talk’s credits include all of Edgar Wright’s films to date: Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and Greg Mottola’s Paul, written by and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost with Kristen Wiig. Most recently Big Talk developed and produced Joe Cornish’s debut feature Attack the Block, which was released to critical acclaim in 2011, winning all four Audience Awards at Sitges, SXSW, the LAFF, and Fantasia International Film Festival. Next up for Big Talk is the black comedy Sightseers, directed by Kill List’s Ben Wheatley. The film had its world premiere at Cannes with a Special Screening in the Directors’ Fortnight section. It will have a Gala Screening at the London Film Festival, and will be released in the U.K. in November. Big Talk is currently in production on Cuban Fury, a dance comedy starring Nick Frost, Chris O’Dowd, and Rashida Jones, directed by James Griffiths; and Jeremy Lovering’s psychological thriller In Fear.
Universal Pictures International and Focus Features are part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. Comcast Corporation owns a controlling 51% interest in NBCUniversal, with GE holding a 49% stake.