Penelope Cruz to Star in Juan Diego Botto-Directorial Debut Feature “On The Fringe”

Penelope Cruz is onthe fringe

The 46-year-old Oscar-winning Spanish actress will star alongside Luis Tosar in the feature film On The Fringe (En Los Margenes), which will mark the directorial debut of Argentine actor Juan Diego Botto.

Penelope Cruz

The Spanish-language film, told over the course of one day, will follow interweaving stories, including that of a woman (Cruz) who has 24 hours to prevent herself and her family being evicted from their home by a bank intent on repossessing it. Tosar will play a passionate lawyer and activist.

Cruz will produce with Alvaro Longoria of Morena Films after their recent collaboration on Asghar Farhadi’s Everybody Knows

Botto, who recently starred in the Netflix series White Lines and will next be seen in Warner Bros.’ Suicide Squad, is aiming to shoot the ensemble piece in Spain later this year. 

As part of their research, the filmmakers met and interviewed people who have experienced housing repossession.

Cruz said of On The Fringe: “I think Juan has written a great script and has an important story to tell. I’ve always admired his work as an actor and writer and have always known he will do great things as a director.”

Botto commented: “We wanted to reflect how an economic crisis affects personal and emotional relationships; how crises are brewing for those who live on the edge, for those who live on the fringes. We wanted to tell a story about love and solidarity.”

Longoria added: “This grabbing, emotive and optimistic thriller portrays the thousands of people who are, every day, faced with the terrible drama of losing their home.”

Pain And Glory star Cruz starred alongside Tosar in the 2015 drama Ma Ma, which was also produced by Longoria.

Focus Features Releases Trailer for Penelope Cruz & Javier Bardem’s “Everybody Knows”

Penélope Cruz is a mother in despair…

Focus Features has released a trailer for Everybody Knows, a Spanish-language film starring the 44-year-old Spanish actress and her actor-husband Javier Bardem.

Everybody Knows

The film, Asghar Farhadi’s follow-up to his Oscar winner The Salesman, the film centers on Laura (Cruz) on her travels from Argentina to her small hometown in Spain for her sister’s wedding, bringing her two children with her. Amid the joyful reunion and festivities, the eldest daughter is abducted. In the tense days that follow, various family and community tensions surface and deeply hidden secrets are revealed. Ricardo Darín co-stars.

Focus Features scored a rights deal in May after the film had its world premiere as the opening film at the Cannes Film Festival. It now will have a platform release beginning February 8.

Focus Features to Release Penelope Cruz & Javier Bardem’s “Everybody Knows” in February

Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem will have a thrilling Valentine’s month…

Focus Features has set a February 8 limited release date for Everybody KnowsAsghar Farhadi’s psychological thriller starring the 44-year-old Spanish actress and her 49-year-old Spanish actor husband.

Penelope Cruz & Javier Bardem Everybody Knows

The film, which also stars Ricardo Darín, opened the Cannes Film Festival in May.

Written and directed by Farhadi, the Spanish-language film first will get a brief Oscar-qualifying run starting on November 30.

It follows Laura (Cruz) on her travels with her two kids from Argentina to her small hometown in Spain for her sister’s wedding. Amid the joyful reunion and festivities, the eldest daughter is abducted. In the tense days that follow, various family and community tensions surface and deeply hidden secrets are revealed.

At the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month, Farhadi talked about his inspiration for the movie. “It comes from a trip I had to Spain with my family 15 years ago, he said. “My daughter was very small at that time, and she saw photos of a girl on the wall in the street. She asked my interpreter, ‘Who is she?’ and he explained to us that there had been a kidnapping. My daughter was afraid for the whole trip. And from that time, I was thinking about this situation, in which a family would lose one member. … It was with me for a long time.”

Penelope Cruz to Receive Honorary César Award

Life is c’est magnifique for Penelope Cruz 

The Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma has chosen the 43-year-old Oscar-winning actress as the recipient of this year’s honorary César Award.

Penelope Cruz

Cruz has appeared in five films for director Pedro Almodovar, a staple of the Cannes Film Festival.

She recently wrapped the next film from Asghar FarhadiEverybody Knows, which she shot in Madrid with her husband Javier Bardem and which is produced by France’s Memento Films Production. The drama is tipped for a Cannes berth this year.

Her other recent credits include the box office hit Murder on the Orient Express and FX’s The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.

The César nominations will be announced on Wednesday.

The ceremony, which awards France’s equivalent to the Academy Award, will be held on March 2.

Bejo to Star in the Adventure-Fantasy Film “The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir”

Berenice Bejo is preparing for an extraordinary journey

The 40-year-old Argentine actress, an Oscar nominee for her performance in The Artist, will star in The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir, an adventure-fantasy film directed by Ken Scott.

Berenice Bejo

One of the most ambitious English-language titles on the slate of the recently rebranded TF1 Studios, The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir will also topline Indian star Dhanush, Erin Moriarty, Barkhad Abdi, Laurent Lafitte and Abel Jafri.

The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir was initially set to be directed by Persepolis helmer Marjane Satrapi. Scott came on board a few months ago to rework the script and direct the movie, which is scheduled to begin shooting in May in Mumbai, Paris, Brussels, and Rome.

The film is based on Romain Puértolas’ bestselling debut novel, The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe, which was published in 2014 and has been translated into 35 languages.

“The book was a huge success. It was sold in 36 countries. It’s a bestseller. There’s many aspects that interested me, there’s obviously comedy, a lot of comedy, some very poetic moments. It’s the story of this magician/thief who grew up in this small neighborhood in Mumbai, India, he sets sail on this journey of self-discovery throughout Europe,” said Scott.

“What’s great is I get to work with a great actor, Dhanush, who is a huge star in India, he’s a great actor, but also a great dancer, a great singer, he has a very unique way of dancing and moving, he’s just very charming,” added Scott.

Bejo’s film credits include Asghar Farhadi’s The Past, The Search and After Love.

Bejo Earns César Award for Her Performance in Asghar Farhadi’s “The Past”

It’s a blast from the past for Bérénice Bejo

The 37-year-old Argentine actress has earned a César Award nomination for Best Actress for her critically acclaimed performance in Asghar Farhadi’s The Past.

Berenice Bejo

The film’s twisting plot involves secrets, lies, deceit, divorce, affairs, comas, pregnancy and other traumatic situations.

“This is a film that is so far removed from my life, from my everyday,” says Bejo. “But at the same time, it’s really interesting to play someone who is your total opposite.”

It’s Bejo’s second Best Actress nomination for the César Award, France’s equivalent to the Oscars. She previously won the prize in 2011 for her star-making performance in The Artist, a role that also earned her an Academy Award nomination.

Even though Bejo failed to earn an Oscar nomination this time around for her performance in the French-language drama The Past, she did win the Best Actress prize at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

Meanwhile, Pablo Berger‘s Blancanieves and Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity are both nominated in the Best Foreign Film category.

The César Awards ceremony will take place on February 28 in Paris.

Here’s a look at this year’s Latino nominees:

BEST ACTRESS
Fanny Ardant, Les Beaux Jours
Bérénice Bejo, The Past
Catherine Deneuve, Elle S’En Va
Sara Forestier, Suzanne
Sandrine Kiberlain, 9 Mois Ferme
Emmanuelle Seigner, Venus In Fur
Léa Seydoux, Blue Is The Warmest Color

BEST FOREIGN FILM
The Broken Circle Breakdown
Blancanieves
Blue Jasmine
Dead Man Talking
Django Unchained
The Great Beauty
Gravity

Bejo Earns Best Actress Honors at the Palm Springs International Film Festival

Bérénice Bejo is being heralded for her Past achievements…

The 37-year-old Argentine actress won a best actress award at the 25th Palm Springs International Film Festival for her critically acclaimed role in the French/Iranian family drama The Past.

Berenice Bejo

Bejo received the FIPRESCI Prize for Best Actress of the Year in a Foreign Language Film on Saturday during the closing ceremony of the festival.

“Bérénice Bejo’s portrait of a woman in profound transition, struggling to close the door on one relationship, trying to keep the other open, offers a symphony of emotions: regret, longing, love, hurt, need,” festival juror Steven Rea said at the ceremony.

“Her character may waver, but Bejo’s performance stays straight and true,” he added.

The French-language film was directed by Oscar-winning Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi.

It’s the latest award for the Oscar-nominated actress’ performance in the past.

She won the Best Actress award at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

Bejo is also nominated for Most Promising Actress from the Magritte Awards, which are given annually for excellence of Belgian francophone cinematic achievements.

Escalante Wins Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival

Despite strong competition from the likes of the Coen Brothers and Asghar Farhadi, Amat Escalante has managed to take home some serious Cannes hardware.

The 34-year-old Mexican filmmaker on Sunday won the best director prize at the Cannes Film Festival for his ultra-violent film Heli, which takes a look at Mexico’s blood-drenched drug wars.

Amat Escalante

Escalante, who was forced onto the defensive after the film’s violence left some members of the audience uneasy, paid tribute to this year’s Cannes jury headed by Steven Spielberg.

“This earthquake, I wasn’t expecting this! Thank you to this brave jury… to Mexico, I hope we never get used to suffering… ” he said.

Heli tells the story of a family caught up in gangland battles in an unnamed desert region of contemporary Mexico and contains protracted torture scenes.

In one scene, a character sets the genitals of a suspected cocaine thief ablaze.

Escalante reacted to criticism of the film by calling it an accurate depiction of the situation in underworld crime-blighted Mexico.

And he dismissed critical questions about upsetting audiences.

“What’s the point of not showing the violence just so the audience can go through the story and not suffer so much when actually that’s not how violence is in real life?” he asked reporters.

“I think I’m curious about sex and death and violence, and so that’s all in the film,” added Escalante, whose last picture Los Bastardos, set among the Mexican community in Los Angeles, played in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section in 2008.

Heli features amateur actors, telling the story of a police cadet who falls for the 12-year-old sister of a factory worker named Heli (Armando Espitia).

Variety called Heli “an accomplished but singularly unpleasant immersion” into the drug wars and noted that it was the most “explicit, realistically violent film” in the Cannes competition in several years.

However Robbie Collin, a reviewer for London’s Daily Telegraph, said: “Even a bleak existence can make an uplifting story.”

Heli may be the most optimistic film you will ever see in which one young man sets another’s genitals on fire,” he wrote.

Bejo Earns Best Actress Honors at the Cannes Film Festival

Following her critically acclaimed performance in 2011’s The Artist, Bérénice Bejo is back in the hunt for Oscar.

The 36-year-old Argentine Oscar-nominated actress earned best actress honors at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Bérénice Bejo

Bejo fought back emotion as she picked up her award on Sunday for her starring role in Asghar Farhadi‘s French-language film The Past.

Bejo, who rose to international acclaim with the Best Picture-winning silent film The Artist, plays a wife who asks her estranged husband to return from Iran to finalize their divorce.

After the awards ceremony, Bejo said she was touched by the honor but felt uncomfortable with the idea of taking credit for Oscar winner Farhadi’s Paris-set family drama.

“It is special to get a best performance prize; it is for me and I cannot imagine getting something just for me,” said Bejo. “I would be nothing if there weren’t other actors, the director, photography, and all the members of the crew.”

“It is as if the film is being reduced just to me and I can’t envision that,” she added, speaking in French.

Bejo — who was born in Argentina and speaks fluent Spanish as well as English — is married to Michel Hazanavicius, director of The Artist, which swept the 2012 Oscars with five awards including Best Picture.

Speaking earlier in the festival, she said she received offers from Hollywood after the success of The Artist.

But she said the chance to keep working in Paris with “one of the world’s best directors” was more tempting.

She said the shifting perceptions in Farhadi’s films, where things are never quite what they seem, had drawn her to the character of Marie.

“For an actress it was quite an extraordinary experience — things appear true and then turn out to be completely different,” she said.

Sony Picture Classics is set to distribute The Past in the United States in the near future.

Bejo’s “The Past” to be Distributed in the U.S. by Sony Pictures Classics

Bérénice Bejo’s future in the United States lies in The Past

Sony Pictures Classics has landed U.S. rights to the French drama The Past, which stars the 36-year-old Argentine Oscar-nominated actress, at the Cannes Film Festival.

Berenice Bejo

Directed by Asghar Farhadi, the film’s twisting plot involves secrets, lies, deceit, divorce, affairs, comas, pregnancy and other traumatic situations.

“This is a film that is so far removed from my life, from my everyday,” says Bejo. “But at the same time, it’s really interesting to play someone who is your total opposite.”

The ambitious drama starring Bejo, Ali Mosaffa and Tahar Rahim, is considered an early contender for the Palme d’Or, with reaction and reviews very strong after its screening Friday in competition.

Bejo, who earned an Oscar nomination for her star-making role in The Artist, stepped into the lead role after Marion Cotillard had to exit the project due to a scheduling conflict.