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Bizzers Like “Sound” of South-South Co-Prods

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 12:15
When veteran producer Neil Brandt of South Africa’s Fireworx Media decided to set up shop in Brazil in 2015, he didn’t worry that the company’s creative vision would be lost in translation. Though the two countries don’t share a common tongue, they have poignant similarities. Regional powerhouses and bulwarks of the BRICS trade bloc, both […]

Former IM Global Exec Stuart Ford’s New Venture to Focus on Content

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 12:14
AGC Studios, the new company launched this week by former IM Global executive Stuart Ford, is fashioned specifically for an era where content, not distribution, is king. Backed by deep-pocketed, international, non-Hollywood investors, the new venture aims to span film, TV, finance and sales, as did IM Global (now merged into Global Road Entertainment). But AGC’s […]

Berlin Film Review: ‘Eldorado’

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 11:29
Two years after Gianfranco Rosi’s “Fire at Sea” won the Golden Bear at Berlin, the European migrant crisis remains the most prominent topic in the continent’s non-fiction cinema, yielding some essential films and other sketchier, more opportunistic ones. In the sincerely felt “Eldorado,” veteran Swiss filmmaker Markus Imhoof easily staves off “just another refugee doc” […]

Berlin Film Review: ‘Museum’

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 10:17
Made of dazzle and wit and melancholy, Alonso Ruizpalacios’ fabulously entertaining “Museum” is loosely inspired by the tale of Mexico’s most infamous museum heist: the theft of 140 Mayan and Mesoamerican objects of inestimable value from the National Museum of Anthropology on Christmas Eve, 1985. In just his second feature after 2014’s cheekily stylish “Güeros,” […]

Portugal Courts Hollywood with New Incentive

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 09:18
In a bid to boost its film business and draw production from the U.S., Portugal has joined the bandwagon of European countries offering financial incentives to filmmakers. The country’s new program, just announced, will offers up to 4 million euros ($4.93 million) per project for film and television production. The basic rebate for eligible expenses […]

Berlin Film Review: ‘Touch Me Not’

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 09:15
If anyone is shocked by “Touch Me Not,” they’re not getting the point. In her long-gestating first feature, Adina Pintilie uses bodies of all types to explore the boundaries of intimacy and challenge notions of beauty, which clearly wouldn’t be possible without a significant display of naked flesh. Whether she’s achieved that goal, however, will […]

Film Review: ‘Survivors Guide to Prison’

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 09:00
If ever a proselytizing documentary could be described as assaultive, “Survivors Guide to Prison” might sport that label as a badge of honor. Filmmaker Matthew Cooke (“How to Make Money Selling Drugs”) launches a frenetic barrage of facts and figures, cautionary tutorials, and worst-case scenarios, in the manner of someone wielding blunt instruments to strike […]

Film Review: ‘Mute’

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 08:00
Got an old screenplay in your bottom drawer that’s been rejected by practically everyone in town? Now’s your chance: Netflix seems to be greenlighting second-rate “content” like cinema was going out of style (and if the company’s stream-at-home strategy succeeds, it just might). The latest beneficiary is “Moon” director Duncan Jones, who dusted off a […]

Common, Pasek and Paul, Diane Warren Reveal Inspiration Behind Oscar-Nominated Songs

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 07:16
On Thursday night, the Songwriters Hall of Fame and Variety teamed up for a panel highlighting some of this year’s Oscar contenders for best original song. Held at the L.A. Film School, the talk included Common and Diane Warren, who co-wrote “Marshall”s” “Stand Up For Something”; Taura Stinson, who co-wrote “Mudbound’s” “Mighty River”; and legendary songwriter Bill […]

Berlin Facetime: Delphine Perrier, Highland Film Group

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 06:51
Led by Delphine Perrier and Arianne Fraser, Highland Film Group is an independent worldwide sales, production and film financing company, which they launched in 2010. Their slate includes Lin Oeding’s thriller “Braven” starring Jason Momoa (out this month), Vaughn Stein’s “Terminal” starring Oscar-nominee Margot Robbie, and the star-studded “Berlin, I Love You” with Helen Mirren, […]

Lionsgate’s ‘Wonder’ Tops DVD, Blu-ray Disc Sales and Rental Charts

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 05:49
Lionsgate topped the national home video sales charts the week ended Feb. 17 with “Wonder,” the acclaimed drama about a child with Treacher Collins syndrome – a genetic disorder characterized by deformities of the ears, eyes, cheekbones, and chin – who is trying desperately to fit in. The film debuted at No. 1 on NPD […]

‘Bachelor Winter Games’ Cast Talks Surprise Engagement, Finding Love in Four Episodes

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 04:00
SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “The Bachelor Winter Games” finale from Thursday, Feb. 22. “The Bachelor Winter Games” finished its inaugural season on Thursday, capping a four-episode run with the “World Tells All” special to check in with the international cast. The Olympics-inspired show, which mixed fan favorites from the […]

Oscar-Nominated Film Editor Edward Abroms Dies at 82

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 03:24
Oscar-nominated and Emmy Award winning film editor Edward Abroms died on Feb. 13 of heart failure in Thousand Oaks, Ca. He was 82. He received an Academy Award nomination in 1983 with Frank Moriss for “Blue Thunder.” Abroms won Emmys for “My Sweet Charlie” in 1970 and for “Columbo” in 1972. His TV credits include […]

Broadway Review: Bernadette Peters in ‘Hello, Dolly!’

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 03:00
Bernadette Peters’ return to Broadway puts the “doll” back in “Hello, Dolly!” Tiny, trim, and in terrific voice, the Tony Award-winning diva tops off previous triumphs like “Mack and Mabel” and “Sunday in the Park with George” with yet another beautifully sung (and sensitively felt) star performance, stepping into the show that Bette Midler turned into […]

‘Nashville’ Sets Series Finale Date on CMT

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 03:00
“Nashville” fans will need to mark their calendars. CMT announced Thursday that the final eight episodes of the country music drama will begin airing on June 7 at 9 p.m., with the series finale set to air on July 26. Hulu, the exclusive SVOD home of the series, will continue to make the episodes available to […]

Mark Warner: Social Media Giants Are ‘One Significant Event Away’ From Loss of Consumer Faith

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 02:48
WASHINGTON — Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.). the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, believes that social media giants like Facebook and Twitter are “one significant event away from people losing faith” in their platforms. In an interview with Variety, Warner was critical of the response from the companies as the Intelligence Committee has investigated […]

Television Academy Sets New Standards of Professional Conduct

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 02:03
Following the lead of the film academy and other Hollywood guilds, the Television Academy has established its own new code of ethics and standards of professional conduct. Chairman Hayma Washington sent the following letter to Academy members, linking to the two-page code of conduct. “The Academy has zero tolerance for discrimination or harassment, as well […]

Film News Roundup: Sam Rockwell to Voice Gorilla in Angelina Jolie’s ‘One and Only Ivan’

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 01:59
In today’s film news, Sam Rockwell will be the voice of a gorilla named Ivan, fan organization Legion M partners with Dean Devlin on “Bad Samaritan,” and the director of “Tangled” gets a new gig. CASTING Oscar nominee Sam Rockwell has signed on to voice a silverback gorilla named Ivan, the lead character in Disney’s […]

Republic Records Executive Charlie Walk Accused of Sexual Harassment by Five Former Employees

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 00:51
Republic Records Group president Charlie Walk is under fire again, accused of making unwanted sexual advances, lewd remarks, and inappropriate touching by five former employees. A month-long investigation by Rolling Stone uncovered the allegations, which are being leveled by Pam Kaye and Kate Harold, who worked for Walk at Columbia Records; two anonymous former employees; […]

‘The Voice’ EP Talks Season 14 Changes: Kelly Clarkson, a Block Button and a ‘Save’ Option

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 00:22
Along with the addition of Kelly Clarkson to the coaching panel, season 14 of “The Voice” will introduce a block button and a save option to increase the competition factor. “We haven’t ever really had a defensive move or an offensive-defensive move, so we came up with the block,” executive producer Audrey Morrissey says. “It […]
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