Alfonso Cuarón Signs on to Executive Produce Chaitanya Tamhane’s “The Disciple”

Alfonso Cuarón has signed on for a new project.

The 58-year-old Oscar-winning Mexican filmmaker has signed on as an executive producer on Chaitanya Tamhane’s The Disciple, which became the first Indian movie to land a Venice Film Festival competition slot since 2001’s Golden Lion winner Monsoon Wedding.

Alfonso Cuarón

The plot of The Disciple centers on Sharad Nerulkar, who has devoted his life to becoming an Indian classical music vocalist, diligently following the traditions and discipline of old masters, his guru, and his father. But as years go by, he starts to wonder whether it’s really possible to achieve the excellence he’s striving for.

Tamhane’s debut film Court won Best Film in the Orizzonti section at the 2014 Venice Film Festival, where he was also awarded the Lion of Future.

He and Cuarón met in a mentorship program.

“He was part of most of Roma’s process and I jumped to the opportunity to be part of the process of his second film The Disciple,” Cuarón said. “I believe Chaitanya is one of the most important new voices of contemporary cinema.”

The Venice Film Festival will run from September 2-12 and will be the first major international film event to take place physically since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Cate Blanchett is the president of the main competition jury this year.

Pablo Trapero to Direct Lily James in Studiocanal’s Thriller “The Paris Trap”

Pablo Trapero is Trap-ped

The 48-year-old Argentine filmmaker will direct the thriller The Paris Trapfor Studiocanal.

Pablo Trapero

The Hitchcockian thriller, starring Lily James, revolves around a young American woman on a visit to Paris who becomes the victim of mistaken identity. Caught up in a secret international government operation, she must play the part to save her own life. 

James will play the young woman whose character is thrust to the center of the operation and must find her way out of the “trap,” helped by her handler. That role, the co-lead of the film, will be cast shortly.

The script was written by Daniel Taplitz with current revisions by Michael Lesslie.

The Paris Trap will shoot in Paris early next year.

Trapero previously helmed El Clan,which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival

He most recently directed the hit international series ZeroZeroZero for Studiocanal, Amazon and Sky TV

Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” Wins Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival

Alfonso Cuaron is the Lion king…

The 56-year-old Mexican filmmaker and Oscar winner’s black-and-white Mexican drama Roma has won the Golden Lion at the 75th Venice Film Festival.

Alfonso Cuaron

It’s the first movie from Netflix to take such an honor at a major festival, and the second movie in a row from a Mexican filmmaker to win here. Last year, Guillermo del Toro’s Golden Lion winner, The Shape of Water, went all the way to a Best Picture Oscar.

Del Toro was jury president this year and in announcing his dear friend as the winner, joked, “Now, let me see if I can pronounce the name correctly.” As it did last year with The Shape of Water, the press room erupted in applause when Roma won.

An ode to Cuaron’s Mexico City childhood, Roma, co-produced by Participant Media and Cuarón’s Esperanto Filmoj, has been embraced here on the Lido and its momentum accelerated when it hit Telluride.

Cuaron said the award and the Venice festival are “incredibly meaningful to me.” He previously opened the festivities in 2013 with Gravity and was jury president two years ago. He also noted the serendipity of today being the birthday of the woman upon whom Roma is based. At the post-awards press conference, Cuaron was asked if it was more meaningful to him that Roma marks Netflix’s first big win at a major festival, or if he was prouder of the movie on a personal level. He quipped of the intensely personal film, “Do you really need an answer to that?”

Del Toro noted the decision to award Roma was “entirely unanimous by the entire jury. So, 9-0.”

Netflix is doing an awards-qualifying theatrical run for the movie that Cuaron wrote, directed, produced and shot, and which is now firmly on the path.

Here’s the complete list of winners:

VENICE 75
Golden Lion
Roma, dir: Alfonso Cuaron

Grand Jury Prize
The Favourite, dir: Yorgos Lanthimos

Silver Lion, Best Director
Jacques Audiard, The Sisters Brothers

Volpi Cup, Best Actress
Olivia Colman, The Favourite

Volpi Cup, Best Actor
Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate

Best Screenplay
Joel & Ethan Coen, The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs

Special Jury Prize
The Nightingale, dir: Jennifer Kent

Marcello Mastroianni Award for for Best New Young Actor or Actress
Baykali Ganambarr, The Nightingale

HORIZONS
Best Film
Manta Ray, dir: Phuttiphong Aroonpheng

Best Director
Ozen (The River), dir: Emir Baigazin

Special Jury Prize
Anons (The Announcement), dir: Mahmut Fazil Coskun

Best Actress
Natalya Kudryashova, The Man Who Surprised Everyone

Best Actor
Kais Nasif, Tel Aviv On Fire

Best Screenplay
Pema Tseden, Jinpa

Best Short Film
Kado, dir: Aditya Ahmad

Lion of the Future – “Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award for a Debut Film
The Day I Lost My Shadow, dir: Soudade Kaadan

VENICE VIRTUAL REALITY
Best VR
Spheres: Chorus Of The Cosmos, dir: Eliza McNitt

Best VR Experience
Buddy VR, dir: Chuck Chae

Best VR Story
L’Ile Des Morts, dir: Benjamin Nuel

VENICE CLASSICS
Best Documentary on Cinema
The Great Buster: A Celebration, dir: Peter Bogdanovich

Best Restoration
La Notte Di San Lorenzo, dirs: Paolo Vittorio Taviani

Guillermo del Toro’s “Shape of Water” Named to Sight & Sound’s Annual Critics List of The Year’s Best Films

Guillermo del Toro’s latest film is earning more accolades…

The 53-year-old Mexican film director, screenwriter, producer and novelist’s latest film, The Shape of Water, has earned a spot on Sight & Sound’s annual critics list of the best films of 2017.

Guillermo del Toro

The BFI’s international magazine polled more than 180 critics, programmers and academics from around the world to secure the results which, for the first time, include a television series in the Top 10: David Lynch’s Twin Peaks: The Return came in 2nd.

del Toro’s critically acclaimed fantasy drama, which was awarded the Golden Lion for best film at this year’s Venice International Film Festival, comes in a No. 14, in a tie with Francis Lee’s God’s Own Country.

Written by del Toro and Vanessa Taylor, the film stars Sally HawkinsMichael Shannon and Octavia Spencer, and follows a mute custodian at a high-security government laboratory who befriends a captured sea creature in 1962 Baltimore.

Get Out, from Blumhouse Productions and Universal Pictures, topped the list.

Argentinian filmmaker Lucrecia Martel’s Spanish-language film Zama made the Top 5.

Below are the Top 21 titles on the list.

1. Get Out, dir: Jordan Peele
2. Twin Peaks: The Return, dir: David Lynch
3. Call Me by Your Name, dir: Luca Guadagnino
4. Zama, dir: Lucrecia Martel
5. Western, dir: Valeska Grisebach
6. Faces Places, dir: Agnes Varda
7. Good Time, dirs: Ben and Josh Safdie
8. Loveless, dir: Andrey Zvyagintsev
9. Dunkirk, dir: Christopher Nolan
9. The Florida Project, dir: Sean Baker
11. A Ghost Story, dir: David Lowery
12. You Were Never Really Here, dir: Lynne Ramsay
12. BPM, dir: Robin Campillo
12. Lady Macbeth, dir: William Oldroyd
14. God’s Own Country, dir: Francis Lee
14. The Shape Of Water, dir: Guillermo del Toro
16. Let the Sunshine In, dir: Claire Denis
16. Mudbound, dir: Dee Rees
16. Strong Island, dir: Yance Ford
16. I Am Not Your Negro, dir: Raoul Peck
16. Personal Shopper, dir: Olivier Assayas

Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” Wins Top Prize at the Venice Film Festival

Guillermo del Toro has reason to roar…

The 52-year-old Mexican filmmaker’s lyrical period fairy tale, The Shape of Water, was awarded the top prize Golden Lion at this year’s Venice Film Festival.

Guillermo del Toro

del Toro’s fantasy premiered on the Lido last week early in the proceedings, and left viewers swooning in its wake. It was among the best-reviewed films of the festival, and had one of the most emotional gala screenings in memory.

When the Lion was announced tonight, the press room positively erupted with joy.

The Shape Of Water, a Cold War-set parable that stars Sally Hawkins, Richard Jenkins, Octavia Spencer and Michael Shannon, represents del Toro’s first time in competition in Venice.

The prize, he noted, is the first time a Mexican helmer has won the Golden Lion.

From the stage, the filmmaker said, “I’m 52 years old, I weigh 300 pounds, and I’ve done 10 movies. There is a moment in every storyteller’s life, no matter what age you are, you risk it all and go and do something different.”

Added the teary del Toro, “To every Latin American filmmaker dreaming of doing something in the fantastic genre, it can be done.”

He said he intends to call the statue the “Sergio Leone” and remarked how full the Sala Grande was of the things he believes in, “Life, love and cinema.” That echoed something he’d said earlier in the week of the film, which mixes fantasy, romance, thriller, and old-style Hollywood: it’s a movie that’s “in love with love and in love with cinema.”

Shape took 10 years of struggle for del Toro to get made, and he’s said it was the hardest shoot he’s ever had.

With his Venice appearance, del Toro completed, in a way, a circle begun by his compatriots and pals Alfonso Cuaron and Alejandro G Inarritu, whose Gravity and Birdman, respectively, made big splashes in recent years on this island before going on to Oscar glory. The Shape Of Water is a movie we will be talking about all through awards season.

Backstage, del Toro spoke to the press and was asked about the significance of the win for genre movies. “It means a lot,” he said pointing to parables that are “artistic, beautiful, politically charged movies.” It’s about time, he said, that “we understand every vernacular in cinema done with intelligence and passion is valid.”

Here’s a look at the overall winners:

VENICE 74

Golden Lion
The Shape Of Water, dir: Guillermo del Toro

Grand Jury Prize
Foxtrot, Samuel Maoz

Silver Lion, Best Director
Xavier Legrand, Jusqu’à La Garde

Volpi Cup, Best Actress
Charlotte Rampling, Hannah

Volpi Cup, Best Actor
Kamel El Basha, The Insult

Best Screenplay
Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Special Jury Prize
Sweet Country, dir: Warwick Thornton

Marcello Mastroianni Award for for Best New Young Actor or Actress
Charlie Plummer, Lean On Pete

VENICE HORIZONS

Best Film
Nico, 1988, dir: Susanna Nicchiarelli

Best Director
Vahid Jalilvand, No Date, No Signature

Special Jury Prize
Caniba, dirs: Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Verena Paravel

Best Actress
Lyna Khoudri, Les Bienheureux

Best Actor
Navid Mohammadzadeh, No Date, No Signature

Best Screenplay
Los Versos Del Olvido, dir: Alireza Khatami

Best Short Film
Gros Chagrin, dir: Céline Devaux

Lion of the Future – “Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award for a Debut Film
Jusqu’à La Garde, dir: Xavier Legrand

VENICE CLASSICS

Best Restoration
Idi I Smotri, dir: Elem Klimov

Best Documentary on Cinema
The Prince And The Dybbuk, dirs: Elwira Niewiera, Piotr Rosolowski

VENICE VIRTUAL REALITY

Best VR
Arden’s Wake (Expanded), dir: Eugene YK Chung

Best VR Experience
La Camera Insabbiata, dirs: Laurie Anderson, Hsin-Chien Huang

Best VR Story
Bloodless, dir: Gina Kim