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Bleecker Street Nabs ‘Nostalgia’ With Jon Hamm, Ellen Burstyn

1 hour ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Bleecker Street has nabbed North American distribution rights to “Nostalgia,” a drama about the memories that certain artifacts evoke. Mark Pellington (“Arlington Road”) directs the film with a cast that includes Jon Hamm, Ellen Burstyn, Catherine Keener, Bruce Dern, Nick Offerman, Amber Tamblyn, John Ortiz, and James LeGros. Alex Ross Perry (“Listen Up Philip”) wrote the screenplay.

Bleecker Street already has a relationship with Pellington. The indie label is distributing “The Last Word,” a drama with Shirley MacLaine and Amanda Seyfried that premieres at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The film makes its way to theaters in March. Bleecker Street’s films include “Denial,” “Captain Fantastic,” and “Eye in the Sky.”

Related

Sundance: Amazon Lands ‘The Big Sick’ in Blockbuster Deal (Exclusive)

“Mark has assembled an incredible cast to share this story of family, memories and loss,” said Bleecker Street CEO Andrew Karpen in a statement. “‘Nostalgia’ is one »


- Brent Lang

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Sundance: Amazon Lands ‘The Big Sick’ in Blockbuster Deal (Exclusive)

14 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

In one of the biggest deals in the history of Sundance, Amazon Studios has landed distribution rights to “The Big Sick” for about $12 million, Variety has learned.

The pact comes on the heels of the romantic comedy’s rousing premiere on Friday night. The film is about a Pakistani-American comedian (Kumail Nanjiani) whose relationship with his girlfriend (Zoe Kazan) is nearly derailed over cultural differences and a health crisis. Nanjiani co-wrote the heavily autobiographical script with his wife Emily V. Gordon.

The negotiations for North American rights and other foreign territories stretched into midnight on Saturday. Nanjiani told Variety earlier this week that he wanted the film to get a theatrical release. Unlike Netflix, its rival streaming service, Amazon is a big proponent of the theatrical experience, with all of its films getting at least some kind of theatrical run.

The Big Sick” sparked interest from a number of distributors, »


- Ramin Setoodeh and Brent Lang

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Sundance: Netflix Takes 'Chasing Coral' Doc About the World's Coral Reefs

23 hours ago | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Netflix has made a second acquisition at the Sundance Film Festival, picking up worldwide rights to Jeff Orlowski’s documentary Chasing Coral, which looks at the state of the world’s coral reefs.

The film, a follow-up to Orlowski’s 2012 doc Chasing Ice, which looked at the melting ice caps, was produced by Orlowski and Larissa Rhodes. Chasing Coral, an Exposure Labs production, is having its world premiere at the festival Saturday.

In advance of the festival, Netflix also picked up worldwide rights to Kitty Green's documentary Casting JonBenet.

Chasing Coral follows a team racing against the clock to document the »


- Gregg Kilday

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Timothee Chalamet on Sundance Gay Love Story ‘Call Me By Your Name,’ Chemistry with Armie Hammer

21 January 2017 1:09 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Film festivals have been good launching pads for the great modern gay love stories, from “Brokeback Mountain” (Venice) to “The Kids Are All Right” (Sundance) to “Carol” (Cannes). So there’s been considerable anticipation at this year’s Sundance for Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me By Your Name,” based on the celebrated 2007 novel. Fueling the positive buzz was news that Sony Pictures Classics beat out several other distributors to land the project early, ahead of its Sunday premiere.

The movie stars Armie Hammer as an American academic visiting Italy in the 1980s, who strikes up a romance with a 17-year-old local played by Timothee Chalamet. The book is known for its intense sex scenes, including an explicit act with a peach. Chalamet, the 21-year-old actor from “Homeland,” spoke to Variety about the project.

Would you say the movie is a faithful adaptation?

I haven’t seen it! I don’t know. »


- Ramin Setoodeh

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Sundance: Netflix Buys Global-Warming Doc ‘Chasing Coral’ (Exclusive)

21 January 2017 2:19 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Netflix has bought worldwide rights for the documentary “Chasing Coral,” Variety has learned.

The film, about the destruction of coral reefs because of global warming, premieres on Saturday afternoon. It’s part of the U.S. documentary competition. The project is seen as being particularly newsworthy in light of Donald Trump’s election and his selection of advisors and cabinet members who are skeptical of climate change.

The movie was directed and produced by Jeff Orlowski. Larissa Rhodes also produced. David and Linda Cornfield served as executive producers.

Related

On Inauguration Day, Sundance Film Festival Experiences Trump Aversion Syndrome

Other distributors were interested in the project, but Netflix continues to show its financial clout on the film festival circuit. The company has more than a half-dozen projects at Sundance, including the opening night comedy “I Don’t Feel At Home in This World Anymore,” and already nabbed other buzzy titles »


- Ramin Setoodeh and Brent Lang

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Sony Pictures Classics Acquires Catholic Nun Drama ‘Novitiate’ — Sundance 2017

2 hours ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Sony Pictures Classics is finalizing a deal to acquire the worldwide rights to the drama “Novitiate,” which premiered Friday in the Sundance Film Festival’s U.S. Dramatic Competition section. The deal was somewhere in the seven figures, Deadline reports.

Read More: Amazon Wins ‘The Big Sick’ Bidding War With $12 Million Buy — Sundance 2017

Directed by Margaret Betts and set primarily in 1964 and 1965, the film centers on a young woman training to become a nun named Cathleen (Margaret Qualley). The teen struggles with faith, sexuality, and her relationship with the domineering Reverend Mother (Melissa Leo). The movie co-stars Julianne Nicholson, Dianna Agron, and Morgan Saylor.

“Both introspective and entertaining, Betts never forgets that her young nuns are still teenage girls, and ‘Novitiate’ rings as true as any other film about coming of age,” IndieWire’s Kate Erbland wrote in her review of the film. Carole Peterman, Celine Rattray and Trudie Styler served as producers, »


- Graham Winfrey

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Sundance: Sony Pictures Classics Nabs Religious Drama ‘Novitiate’

2 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Sony Pictures Classics has nabbed worldwide rights to “Novitiate,” a religious drama that is set against the backdrop of Vatican II. The pact is in the mid-seven figure range.

For readers who didn’t grow up taking communion, Vatican II was a council that introduced a series of reforms meant to modernize the Catholic Church. It remains controversial.

Novitiate” marks the narrative feature directorial debut of Maggie Betts. Melissa Leo stars as a mother superior with Margaret Qualley as a young woman who is called to a life in the seminary. Reviews for the film have been strong. Variety critic Guy Lodge praised “Novitiate” as an “…intelligent, ambiguous nunnery drama.” Leo’s performance has been singled out for particular praise.

Before the festival had even started, Sony Pictures Classics picked up rights to “Call Me By Your Name,” a gay love story with Armie Hammer. It premieres Sunday.

There’s »


- Brent Lang

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Sundance Announces Diversity-Focused Partnership With the Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation

4 hours ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

On Sunday morning at their annual Festival Foundations Brunch, the Sundance Institute announced a new partnership with The Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation, designed to support diverse independent artists.

As part of a two-year commitment, the Foundation will now support the Institute’s Screenwriters Intensive and their year-round work with diverse independent filmmakers and artists.

The Screenwriters Intensive, which part of the Institute’s Feature Film Program, provides the opportunity for 10 emerging screenwriters from underrepresented communities to hone their craft in a two-day workshop focused on the creative process.

Read More: The 2017 IndieWire Sundance Bible: Every Review, Interview and News Item Posted During the Festival

The Intensive works in partnership with the Institute’s Diversity Initiative, which emphasizes diversity as a longstanding and core value of all Institute programs. The Initiative encompasses efforts to reach new communities of storytellers and artists across regions, genres, ethnicities, genders and orientations.

In her opening remarks, »


- Kate Erbland

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‘Game of Thrones’ Isn’t as Dark When You Add a Laugh Track — Watch

34 minutes ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Game of Thrones” inspires many strong reactions — anxiety, excitement, utter devastation at yet another character being unceremoniously killed off — but laughter isn’t often one of them. As an experiment, a YouTube user set a number of unfunny scenes to a laugh track, which is also what the makers of “The Big Bang Theory” have been known to do. Watch below — or, if you’re spoiler-averse, maybe don’t.

Read More: Mahershala Ali Reveals How He Completely Blew His ‘Game of Thrones’ Audition

The scenes are all lifted from the fourth season of “Thrones,” and each features the death of an important character. One moment offers the chance to laugh along as Littlefinger pushes Lysa Arryn through the moon door, while the others show the result of the battle between the Mountain and the Viper (still the most disturbing moment of the entire show) and King Joffrey getting choked up at his own wedding. »


- Michael Nordine

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“Unexpected, Beautiful Things Began to Happen”: Director John Trengove | The Wound

1 hour ago | Filmmaker Magazine - Blog | See recent Filmmaker Magazine news »

During its development, production or eventual distribution, what specific challenge of communication did, or will your film, face? How did you deal with it, or how are you planning to deal with it? The Wound was cast almost entirely with non-professional actors who speak Xhosa, a language which I do not understand. In the film they enacted a very nuanced rites-of-passage ritual which I had no first-hand experience of. Despite the support of exhaustive research, excellent script translations and a full-time facilitators on set, I knew that the only hope I had of achieving any kind of life in front […] »

- Filmmaker Staff

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Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia Remembered as a Symbol of Resistance at Women’s Marches

1 hour ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

It’s estimated that more than one million people on all seven continents protested Donald Trump at yesterday’s Women’s Marches — and many metrics suggest the total number was much higher. Had she not died late last month, Carrie Fisher likely would have been among them: The actress and writer was a vocal critic of Trump, calling him, among other things, a “classless thug” trying to scare people into voting for him. Many attendees honored Fisher’s legacy by dressing up as Princess Leia during yesterday’s protests.

Read More: Park City Women’s March: Massive Crowd Turns Out to Protest Donald Trump During Sundance

“I know where she stood. You know where she stood,” tweeted Mark Hamill yesterday. “Such an honor to see her standing with you today. Bigly.” Here are some more photos from those on the ground:

Carrie Fisher isn't gone. She was alive and well at the #WomensMarch. »


- Michael Nordine

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‘A Ghost Story’ Review: Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara Star in David Lowery’s Best Movie

1 hour ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

The main special effect in “A Ghost Story” is older than the movies: After a young Dallas musician (Casey Affleck) dies in a car crash, he returns as a ghost to the home he shared with his wife (Rooney Mara), and he’s draped in a sheet with hastily made cutout eyeholes, like some misbegotten Halloween costume. 

Yet writer-director David Lowery channels the absurdity of this setup into an extraordinary mood piece that amounts to his best movie yet. Lowery has quickly developed a filmography that mines for awe in solitude, and here delivers a cosmic variation on that theme, exploring the ineffable relationship between people and the meaning they give to the places that have value in their lives. Both formally ambitious and emotionally accessible, “A Ghost Story” transforms its main stunt into a savvy dose of minimalism with existential possibilities that cut deep.

That’s unsurprising for a »


- Eric Kohn

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‘L.A. Times’ Review: An Occasionally Funny Riff on Frustrated (and Frustrating) Angelenos – Sundance 2017

1 hour ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Yes, Los Angeles is known as a city of artifice. “L.A. Times,” the debut feature from writer/director Michelle Morgan, follows a tradition of reveling in the tiny details of a particular La experience, while skewering the more unbearable traits of the city’s inhabitants. These episodes find comic sparks, but in the repetitive disappointments of its characters’ lives the film settles into a portrait of modern malaise with few distinguishing twists.

L.A. Times” finds its core in Annette (Morgan), a once-aspiring author struggling to find fulfillment in her relationship with Elliot, a staff writer on a “Game of Thrones”-style hit show. Annette’s unhappy because she thinks other couples are happier; her single friend Baker (Dree Hemingway) is also unhappy, striking out with a series of men who include Jimmy (Adam Shapiro), the star of Elliot’s show. As the branches of Annette’s discontent grow, they snag »


- Steve Greene

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Sundance 2017. Correspondences #2

1 hour ago | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Wind RiverDear Josh,After lulling us into a false sense of complacency with Friday’s clear skies, Utah apparently decided to give us a proper welcome with some real snow. So after a two-hour delay, crawling up the I-80 from Salt Lake City into Park City proper, past the occasional “Impeach” sign and hitchhikers on their way to the Women’s March, I was just grateful to have arrived (though a missed screening means word on Charlie McDowell’s intriguing sci-fi entry The Discovery will have to wait). Discoveries in general, though, are what Sundance is all about, positioned as it is at the beginning of the year, and featuring a host of relative unknowns right alongside more established filmmakers. When this year’s slate was first announced, however, I’ll cop to feeling a twinge of disappointment given the lack of major names, especially after 2016’s embarrassment of riches. »

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IndieWire and Chase Team for the Sundance Lounge: See Photos From Day Two of Elizabeth Olsen and More

2 hours ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

IndieWire and Chase Sapphire have teamed at the Sundance Film Festival for the third year in a row, celebrating the festival with our portrait studio shot by Daniel Bergeron and a series of chats that feature talent from the year’s hottest films. Check out our pictures of the Day Two goings-on, below.

 

 

 

 

 

Related storiesIndieWire and Chase Team for the Sundance Lounge: See Photos From Day One of Kristen Stewart and MoreThe Weinstein Company Drops Jeremy Renner-Starring Sundance Film 'Wind River' After Hard YearThe 20 Best Screen Acting Debuts of the Last 20 Years »


- Indiewire Staff

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‘Fun Mom Dinner’ Review: Even Toni Collette and Bridget Everett Can’t Save This Buddy Comedy — Sundance 2017

2 hours ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Some kind of magic happens when Toni Collette and Bridget Everett share the screen in Alethea Jones’ “Fun Mom Dinner.” The duo initially face off as philosophically oppositional moms tossed together in service to the eponymous gathering, eventually finding common ground (and fertile comedic opportunities). Unfortunately, the rest of the film is a scattershot affair.

Penned by Julie Rudd in her feature debut, “Fun Mom Dinner” is as advertised, following four moms over the course of one very wild night out. Katie Aselton is the straight woman as supermom Emily who is secretly struggling with her romance-free marriage to Tom (Adam Scott) and her latent disappointment in leaving her legal career to become a full-time parent.

Read More: The 2017 IndieWire Sundance Bible: Every Review, Interview and News Item Posted During the Festival

While Emily and her family are new to the local fancy-pants private school, Emily has a connection in »


- Kate Erbland

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Plan B’s Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner Tell Sundance Producers to Look ‘Beyond Dollars and Cents’ (Exclusive)

2 hours ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

[Editors’s Note: Earlier today, producers and Plan B co-presidents Jeremy Kleiner and Dede Gardner were honored at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival’s Producers Lunch. Below is Kleiner’s keynote speech in its entirety.]

Dede Gardner and I want to thank Michelle Satter and Anne Lai. It is extremely humbling to have this opportunity and to follow in a tradition of producers we respect and admire, speaking to their peers in a spirit of solidarity – producers being the boundary-less, restless misfits who clearly do not fit into any other facet of civilized society.

Read More: How ‘Moonlight’ Beat the Odds to Reach Theaters In African-American Neighborhoods

We want to thank Sundance Institute. Standing on the precipice of mass conglomeration, the disruption of the theatrical distribution business, and peak television, all this uncertainty, it is very hard to overstate what Sundance Institute, and the Sundance Film Festival, have given all of us all of these years.

I remember January 1999 like it was yesterday. This is the height of the Clinton impeachment proceedings. I was working an assistant job fresh out of college. I was very passionate about film, »


- Graham Winfrey

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‘My Happy Family’ Review: A Wife and Mother Escapes Her Trap — Sundance 2017

2 hours ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

It doesn’t take long to realize that the title of the Georgian drama “My Happy Family” is ironic. Directors Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Grob plunge into the restless lifestyle of 52-year-old Manana (Ia Shuvliashvili), the matriarch of a cramped and multigenerational household that includes her husband, grown children, parents and various in-laws who pull her from every angle. And it doesn’t take long for Mañana to realize that to escape the mayhem, much to the shock of everyone around her, she can simply move out.

The ease with which she embarks on this new stage, even as it baffles her entire community, speaks to the remarkable blend of comedy and sadness that characterizes this sophomore effort from the directors of “In Bloom.” It’s at once a celebration of individuality and its potential to unnerve those who resist it.

Manana’s life is defined by routine. She’s a pinball in her apartment, »


- Eric Kohn

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Ewan McGregor to Star in Drake Doremus’ ‘Zoe,’ Replacing Charlie Hunnam

2 hours ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Ewan McGregor is pretty busy these days — in addition to both the “Trainspotting” sequel and live-action “Beauty and the Beast” remake, he also has two roles in the third season of “Fargo” — so the news that he’s replacing Charlie Hunnam in Drake Doremus’ “Zoe” only makes sense. Doremus is fairly prolific himself: He’s currently at Sundance with “Newness,” starring Nicholas Hoult and Laia Costa, and “Equals” came out just last year. Deadline first broke the news.

Read More: ‘Fargo’ Chapter 3: Ewan McGregor and Carrie Coon on Dual Roles, the Accent and Those Character Names

McGregor will star opposite Léa Seydoux in “Zoe,” which Hunnam had to leave due to a scheduling conflict. Per Deadline, the film “follows two colleagues at a revolutionary research lab who design technology to improve and perfect romantic relationships. As their work progresses, their discoveries become more profound than they could ever have imagined. »


- Michael Nordine

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‘It’s Not Yet Dark’ Review: The Moving Portrait Of a Man Who Made a Movie With Als — Sundance 2017

2 hours ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

For some filmmakers, Sundance is a life-changing experience — for Simon Fitzmaurice, the tragedy is that it was. A strapping, kind-hearted Irish lad who grew into an athletic build that seemed to belie his artistic spirit, he was 34 when Sundance selected his short, “The Sound of People,” for the fest’s 2007 edition. Reluctantly leaving his pregnant wife at home, Simon followed his dreams to the mountains of Utah. It was there, as Simon walked down Park City’s picturesque main drag, visions of a career behind the camera projecting against the walls of his imagination, that he first noticed the pain that would signal his diagnosis with Als.

In time, Simon would find a way to rationalize why his symptoms kicked in at the height of his happiness. In his memoir, which he wrote with the help of a system that tracked his pupils’ movement along a digital keyboard, Simon observed »


- David Ehrlich

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