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‘The Aeronauts’, ‘Lucy In The Sky’, ‘Our Lady Of The Nile’ join TIFF line-up

SCREEN August 13, 2019 | Jeremy Kay

Toronto International Film Festival top brass announced on Tuesday (13) The Aeronauts and Wasp Network among a cluster of additions to Galas and Special Presentations, and also unveiled Contemporary World Cinema, which Our Lady Of The Nile will open, as well as Masters, and Wavelengths.

Tom Harper’s ballooning adventure The Aeronauts starring Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones will receive its Canadian premiere in Galas, suggesting a Telluride world premiere slot, while Olivier Assayas’ spy saga Wasp Network with Penélope Cruz and Edgar Ramírez gets a North American premiere in Special Presentations after the Venice world premiere.

New to Special Presentations are world premieres of Noah Hawley’s Lucy In The Sky starring Natalie Portman as a returning astronaut who has had a transcendent experience; Gregor Jordan’s romantic drama Dirt Music with Kelly Macdonald as a resident of an Australian fishing town stuck in a loveless marriage; and Daniel Radcliffe in Jason Lei Howden’s kidnapping action comedy Guns Akimbo.

Giuseppe Capotondi’s art heist tale The Burnt Orange Heresy is the second new addition to Galas. The new arrivals round out the Gala and Special Presentations programmes at 20 and 55 selections, respectively.

A slate of 48 films in Contemporary World Cinema includes 21 works directed and co-directed by woman, such as Jenna Bass’ South African road movie Flatland, Mati Diop’s Cannes jury grand prize winner Atlantics, and Sharipa Urazbayeva’s tale of a Kazakh mother’s struggle to protect her family in Mariam.

The section includes Ladj Ly’s Cannes hit Les Misérables, and Guatemalan auteur Jayro Bustamante’s La Llorona. The section opens with Atiq Rahimi’s Our Lady Of The Nil , which follows a group of Rwandan girls in a Catholic boarding school and is one of eight selections from the African continent.

International programmer Kiva Reardon is the new lead programmer for the section. Cameron Bailey, Brad Deane, Giovanna Fulvi, Steve Gravestock, Dorota Lech, Michael Lerman, Michèle Maheux, and senior director of film Diana Sanchez contributed.

The Masters section features 11 titles curated by lead programmer Deane, who continues in his role as director of TIFF Cinematheque and a member of the festival’s Platform selection committee. There is a world premiere for Mexican auteur Arturo Ripstein’s Devil Between The Legs, about a warring old couple and their maid who eventually takes matters into her own hands. Swedish filmmaker Roy Andersson is back with About Endlessness, a series of vignettes documenting our lack of awareness, and the line-up includes Ken Loach’s Sorry We Missed You, Terrence Malick’s A Hidden Life, and Marco Bellocchio’s The Traitor.

Now in its 19th edition, Wavelengths comprises 37 titles made up of four experimental short film programmes, two curated pairings, and 10 features curated and overseen by Andréa Picard, with contributions from members of TIFF’s international programming team – Deane, Fulvi, Lech, and Reardon — and programming associate Jesse Cumming.

The 44th annual TIFF runs from Sept. 5-15.

James Franco, Archambault, Torres Leiva Vie for San Sebastian Golden Seashell

VARIETY August, 2 2019 | Emiliano de Pablos

MADRID — James Franco’s “Zeroville,” Louise Archambault’s “And The Birds Rained Down” and José Luis Torres Leiva’s “Death Will Come And Shall Have Your Eyes” will compete for San Sebastian’s Golden Shell, the Spanish festival announced Friday.

Further new main competition titles unveiled take in Guillaume Nicloux’s “Thalasso,” Ina Weisse’s “The Audition,” Adilkhan Yerzhanov’s “A Dark-Dark Man,” and Mexican debutant director David Zonana’s “Workforce.”

The seven titles join three already-announced Spanish competition contenders: Alejandro Amenábar’s “While At War,” Aitor Arregi, Jon Garaño and Jose Mari Goenaga’s “The Endless Trench” and Belén Funes’ “A Thief’s Daughter.”

Playing out-of-competition will be “Heroic Losers,” , starring and co-produced by Ricardo Darín, which receives a Special Screening, and Daniel Sánchez-Arévalo’s “Diecisiete,” marking the first time a Netflix Original Film makes San Sebastian’s Official Selection cut.

After winning the Golden Shell in 2017 with “The Disaster Artist,” James Franco returns to San Sebastian competition with Hollywood-set dramedy “Zeroville,” a movie adaptation of Steve Erickson’s same-titled novel, starring Franco, Megan Fox, Seth Rogen and Will Ferrell. “Zeroville” sales are handled by Moonstone Entertainment.

Canadian Louise Archambault’s “And The Birds Rained Down” also based on a novel, this time by Jocelyne Saucier, following three elderly hermits that live deep in the woods. While wildfires threaten the region, their quiet life is about to be shaken by the arrival of two women.

Sold by France’s Indie Sales, “And The Birds Rained Down” marks the third movie from Archambault, whose “Family” won best feature debut at the Toronto Film Festival in 2005, and was selected for Locarno official competition. “Gabrielle,” its follow-up, won in 2013 the Audience Award in Locarno and was Canada’s submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film.

“Death Will Come And Shall Have Your Eyes” was one of the projects pitched at the 5th Europe-Latin America Co-production Forum in San Sebastian in 2016; Chilean Torres Leiva directs actresses Amparo Noguera (“Prófugos”) and Julieta Figueroa (“El cielo, la tierra y la lluvia”) as a female couple confronting one partner’s terminal cancer.

In comedy “Thalasso,” a Wild Bunch pick-up, French writer Michel Houellebecq meets Gérard Depardieu at a sea water therapy centre in Cabourg. Together, they try to survive the health regime to which they are subjected by the establishment. But events quickly derail their routine. Nicloux reteams with the provocative writer after “The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq” (2014).

The sophomore film by German helmer-actress Ina Weisse, “The Audition” toplines prestigious German actress Nina Hoss as a violin teacher at a music high-school in Berlin obsessed with a student to whom he devotes more attention than to his own family. A France-Germany co-production, the films international rights are represented by Les Films du Losange.

With “A Dark-Dark Man,” focused on a cop and a journalist investigating the death of a child in a Kazakh village, Yerzhanov competes at San Sebastian after presenting his “The Owners” as an Special Screening at Cannes 2014 and “The Gentle Indifference of the World” in Un Certain Regard in 2018.

Another Wild Bunch acquisition for international, “Workforce” is produced by Mexico’s Michel Franco at Lucía Films. Zonana’s first feature, which won as a work in progress at Los Cabos Festival,  mixes professional and non-professional actors to portray the travails of a group of construction workers, victims of job insecurity.

The 67th San Sebastián Film Festival runs Sept. 20-28.

TIFF unveils 2019 Canadian feature line-up, new female talent scheme

SCREEN July 31, 2019 | Jeremy Kay

Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) brass announced on Wednesday (July 31) the launch of a talent incubator for female content creators and unveiled the line-up of Canadian features, nearly half of which are directed by women.

Five features from indigenous filmmakers are among the selection of 26 Canadian features. TIFF also announced four Canadian Rising Stars, the annual TIFF Filmmaker Lab participants, finallists for Telefilm Canada’s PITCH THIS! competition, and the roster of Canadian short films.

The Canadian feature selections include seven first features and 13 works by returning TIFF alumni, among them the North American premiere of Atom Egoyan Guest Of Honour (the world premiere is in Venice), as well as world premieres of Heather Young’s Murmur in Discovery about a middle-aged alcoholic cut off from her loved ones, and Joey Klein’s Contemporary World Cinema opioid crisis drama Castle In The Ground (pictured) starring Imogen Poots, Alex Wolff, and Neve Campbell. Also receiving its world premiere is TIFF Docs selection There’s Something In The Water from Ellen Page and her Gaycation co-host Ian Daniel.

The five films by Indigenous filmmakers and film teams are: Abenaki director Alanis Obomsawin’s documentary Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger in Masters; Jeff Barnaby’s Midnight Madness entry Blood Quantum; Myriam Verreault’s Kuessipan in Discover, about life among the Innu people in northeastern Quebec; Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn’s domestic violence drama The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open in Contemporary World Cinema; and Zacharias Kunuk’s One Day In The Life Of Noah Piugattuk in Special Events, about a life-changing encounter on Baffin Island in 1961.

All Canadian feature films are eligible for the Canada Goose Award for Best Canadian Feature Film. The seven Canadian feature directorial debuts are eligible for the City of Toronto Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film.

Previously announced Canadian titles include festival opener Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson And The Band by Daniel Roher, François Girard’s The Song Of Names, Semi Chellas’s American Woman, and Barry Avrich’s David Foster: Off the Record.


American Woman – Canadian Premiere
Dir: Semi Chellas

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson And The Band – world premiere
Dir: Daniel Roher

The Song Of Names – world premiere
Dir: François Girard


Clifton Hill – world premiere
Dir: Albert Shin

Guest Of Honour – North American premiere
Dir: Atom Egoyan


David Foster: Off the Record – world premiere
Dir: Barry Avrich

One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk – North American premiere
Dir: Zacharias Kunuk


Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger – world premiere
Dir: Alanis Obomsawin


Coppers – world premiere
Dir: Alan Zweig

This Is Not a Movie – world premiere
Dir: Yung Chang

There’s Something In The Water – world premiere
Dirs: Ellen Page, Ian Daniel


Black Conflux – world premiere
Dir: Nicole Dorsey

Easy Land – world premiere
Dir: Sanja Zivkovic

Kuessipan – world premiere
Dir: Myriam Verreault

Murmur – world premiere
Dir: Heather Young

Raf – world premiere
Dir: Harry Cepka

The Rest Of Us – world premiere
Dir: Aisling Chin-Yee


And The Birds Rained Down (Il Pleuvait Des Oiseaux) – world premiere
Dir: Louise Archambault

Antigone – world premiere
Dir: Sophie Deraspe

The Body Remembers When The World Broke Open – North American premiere
Dirs: Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Kathleen Hepburn

Castle In The Ground – world premiere
Dir: Joey Klein

The Last Porno Show – world premiere
Dir: Kire Paputts

Tammy’s Always Dying – world premiere
Dir: Amy Jo Johnson

White Lie – world premiere
Dirs: Calvin Thomas, Yonah Lewis


Blood Quantum – world premiere
Dir: Jeff Barnaby

The Twentieth Century – world premiere
Dir: Matthew Rankin

Indie Sales boards French titles 'Knocked Up' and 'Little Man' (exclusive)

SCREEN DAILY January 16, 2019 | Melanie Goodfellow

Paris-based Indie Sales has acquired international rights to both Sophie Letourneur’s comedy Knocked Up and Benjamin Parent’s coming-of-age tale Little Man ahead of the five-day Unifrance Rendez-vous with French Cinema in Paris, which kicks-off on Thursday (Jan 17).

Knocked Up (Enorme) stars Marina Foïs as a world-renowned pianist who travels the world with her husband, coach and agent, played by Jonathan Cohen. 

After witnessing the birth of a baby on a transatlantic flight, the husband becomes broody and secretly tampers with his wife’s birth control pills. To her horror, she falls pregnant.

It is the fourth feature from Letourneur after ChicksGaby Baby Doll and Les Coquillettes, which went down well in Locarno in 2013. Memento Films Distribution has picked up French rights for a release in the second half of 2019. 

“It’s a new step in Sophie Letourneur’s career as is aimed at larger audience,” said Nicolas Eschbach, CEO and co-founder of Indie Sales.

The film is produced by Caroline Bonmarchand at Avenue B Productions, as a co-production with Vito Films.

Debut feature

Indie Sales is also kicking off sales on Parent’s debut feature, the Little Man (Un Vrai Bonhomme) about a sensitive teenager as he attempts to make a fresh start in a new high school after being expelled from another institution.

“The script has an amazing twist which makes the film unique,” says Eschbach.

Parent’s previous work includes the short It’s Not A Cowboy Movie which screened in Cannes Critics’ Week 2012 and was nominated for a César in 2013.

The cast features established actress Isabelle Carré (Marie’s Story) alongside rising stars Thomas Guy, who was recently seen in Sébastien Marnier’s School’s Out and Benjamin Voisin, who had small parts in The Happy Prince and Bonne Pomme.

The film is produced by Caroline Adrian for Delante Productions. Ad Vitam will release the film in France later this year.

Read Full Article HERE

Indie Sales Acquires Berlinale-Bound Coming-of-Age Drama ‘A Colony’

VARIETY January 18, 2019 | Elsa Keslassy

Paris-based company Indie Sales has acquired the coming-of-age drama “A Colony” which will be making its international premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in the generation section.

“A Colony” marks the feature debut of Geneviève Dulude-De Celles, whose short film “The Cut” won a prize at Sundance in 2014.

Set in Sorel Tracy, a Quebec town, at the end of summer, “A Colony” follows Mylia, a timid 12-year-old who must leave her little sister and native countryside to enter high school. Lost in this new environment, she meets Jacinthe, who introduces her to teenage rituals and absurdities, and Jimmy, a fierce young native from the neighboring reservation whom encourages her to cross boundaries, and ultimately form her personal identity.

“A Colony” previously won six awards in Quebec, including the best film and audience awards at the Quebec City Film. Festival.

Martin Gondre, Indie Sales’ head of marketing and festivals, said “A Colony” was both “universal and moving, while raising the mostly unknown question of the first nations.” The executive added that Emilie Bierre (“Genesis”), who plays Mylia in the film was a “true revelation.”

“A Colony” also stars promising newcomers, Irlande Côté and Jacob Whiteduck-Lavoie. The film was produced by Colonelle Film, who had worked with Dulude-De Celles on her short “The Cut.”

“A Colony” will be released in Quebec on Feb. 1 by Funfilm Distribution.

In the run-up to the Berlin Film Festival, Indie Sales has also acquired “Knocked Up,” the fourth feature from director Sophie Letourneur, and Benjamin Parent’s coming-of-age tale “Little Man.”

Read Full Article HERE

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