Music Box Films Acquires Thriller-Satire Film “Medusa,” Starring Mari Oliveira

Mari Oliveira will be thrilling audiences in North America…

Music Box Films has acquired North American rights to Medusathe well-received thriller-satire starring the Latina actress.

Mari Oliveira, MedusaHailing from Brazilian writer and director Anita Rocha da Silveira. Medusa follows Mariana (Oliveira), a 21-year-old who belongs to a world where she must do her utmost to keep up the appearance of a perfect woman. In order to resist temptation, she and her girlfriends try their best to control everything and everyone around them. And that includes the town sinners. At night, their girl squad put on masks, hunt and beat up all women who have deviated from the right path. However, the day will come when the urge to scream will be stronger than it ever has been.

The social and political critique, which touches on themes of sexual liberation, violence, and religious fixation in Brazil, marks a follow-up to the filmmaker’s debut feature, Kill Me Please.

The feature debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in the Directors’ Fortnight strand before getting its North American premiere at the Toronto Film Festival.

Box Films is aiming to release the film theatrically in the summer of 2022 with a home entertainment plan to follow.

Medusa’s bold commentary on social and political trends in Brazil will resonate with US audiences who can recognize the disturbing parallels in this country,” commented Brian Andreotti, Head of Acquisitions at Music Box Films. “Anita is an exciting filmmaker with a wholly original voice, and we are excited to bring her provocative and aesthetically striking film to a wider audience.”

“We are thrilled to work for the first time with Music Box Films,” added Martin Gondre, Head of Sales & Acquisitions at Best Friend Forever. “We couldn’t find a better home for Anita’s stylish, topical, and striking second feature.”

Penélope Cruz Begins Filming New Drama “On The Fringe”

Penélope Cruz is on the fringes of another acclaimed performance…

Principal photography has begun on the 47-year-old Spanish Oscar-winning actress’ new drama On The Fringe (En Los Márgenes).

Penélope Cruz, On The Fringe, Juan Diego Botto

The film is directed by Juan Diego Botto, and written by Botto and Olga Rodríguez.

Currently filming on location in Madrid, the Spanish-language film stars an ensemble cast which includes Cruz, Luis Tosar, Aixa Villagrán, Adelfa Calvo, Nur Levi and Christian Checa.

Told over the course of one day, the movie 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. Cell 211 star Tosar will play a passionate lawyer and activist.

The film is a Spanish-Belgian co-production and is produced by Cruz and Álvaro Longoria for Morena Films.

The duo recently teamed up on Asghar Farhadi’s Cannes Film Festival title Everybody Knows. Co-producers are Amazon Prime Video and RTVE with the support of Ayuntamiento de Madrid.

Spanish distribution will be handled by Squirrel Media’s film distribution arm, Vértice Cine, which will release theatrically. Amazon Prime has first window rights in Spain after the theatrical bow.

The film marks actor Botto’s directorial debut after recent performances in movies including The Suicide Squad and Netflix series White Lines.

Costa Rica Selects Nathalie Álvarez Mesén’s “Clara Sola” for Oscars’ Best International Feature Film Race

Nathalie Álvarez Mesén is hoping to find herself celebrating Sola at the Oscars

Costa Rica has selected the 33-year-old Costa Rican-Swedish film writer/director’s debut feature Clara Sola  as the country’s submission to the 2022 Best International Feature Film race at the Academy Awards.

Nathalie Álvarez Mesén's Clara Sola

The film, which made its world premiere in the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, was later scooped up by Oscilloscope Laboratories, which will release it in theaters early next year.

Álvarez Mesén and Maria Camila Arias co-penned the script for the film, which is set in a remote Costa Rican village and centers on 40-year-old Clara, who endures a repressively religious and withdrawn life under the command of her mother. Tension builds within the family as Clara’s younger niece approaches her quinceañera, igniting a sexual and mystical awakening in Clara, and a journey to free herself from the conventions that have dominated her life.

Ana Julia Porras Espinoza, Daniel Castañeda Rincón, Flor María Vargas Chavez and Wendy Chinchilla Araya star. Sweden-based production company Hobab produced with the Resolve Media, Costa Rica’s Pacifica Grey, Belgium’s Need Productions and Germany’s Laïdak Films.

Costa Rica has never won the International Feature Oscar (the category was previously called the Best Foreign Language Film) or made the category’s shortlist. Last year, it submitted Ceniza Negra’s Land of Ashes.

This year, the Oscar Academy will reveal the category’s 15-film shortlist on December 21. Nominations will be announced on February 8.

Netflix Releases Trailer for Tatiana Huezo’s Mexican Film “Prayers for the Stolen”

Tatiana Huezo’s Prayers have been revealed…

Netflix has released the official trailer for the Mexican film Prayers For The Stolen, written and directed by the 49-year-old Salvadoran and Mexican filmmaker.

Tatiana Huezo

The film is liberally adapted from Jennifer Clement’s 2014 novel of the same name.

The film stars Ana Cristina Ordóñez González, Marya Membreño, Mayra Batalla, Norma Pablo, Eileen Yáñez, and Memo Villegas, and is produced by Nicolás Celis and Jim Stark.

Prayers For The Stolen takes place in a solitary town nestled in the Mexican mountains, the girls wear boyish haircuts and have hiding places underground. Ana and her two best friends take over the houses of those who have fled and dress up as women when no one is watching. In their own impenetrable universe, magic and joy abound; meanwhile, their mothers train them to flee from those who turn them into slaves or ghosts. But one day, one of the girls doesn’t make it to her hideout in time.

Mexico recently selected Prayers for the Stolen as its submission to this year’s International Feature Film Oscar race

The film debuted at the Cannes Film Festival this year, receiving a special mention in the Un Certain Regard program. The film was also a multi-award-winner at the San Sebastian and Athens film festivals.

Netflix picked up rights and will release in select theaters in November and will be available on the streaming service November 17.

Tony Revolori to Star in Wes Anderson’s Latest Still-Untitled Film

Tony Revolori is ready to go Wes, once again…

The third time is apparently the charm when it comes to Wes Anderson and the 25-year-old Guatemalan American actor, the breakout star of Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel.

Tony Revolori 

Revolori is reuniting with the director on his next project. This will mark their third outing together after having also just worked on The French Dispatch.

Joining Revolori are Anderson alums Bill Murray, Adrien BrodyBryan Cranston and Tilda Swinton, as well as Margot Robbie, Scarlett Johansson, Jeffrey Wright, Rupert Friend and Tom Hanks. The film is expected to shoot in Spain.

Outside of Anderson writing and directing, not much is known about the project.

The project has gained momentum following the premiere of The French Dispatch, at the Cannes Film Festival and bows in theaters this October.

Besides The French Dispatch, Revolori can be seen next in Sony and Marvel’s Spider-Man: No Way HomeHe was also recently seen in the second season of Apple’s Servant

Revolori is wrapping up production on the first season of Willow for Disney+.

Natalie Mendoza to Star as Satine in Broadway’s “Moulin Rouge! The Musical”

Natalie Mendoza is seeing rouge

The 42-year-old part-Spanish Australian actress/singer has been cast as the lead role of Broadway’s Moulin Rouge! The Musical, filling the vacancy left when the Tony Award-nominated Karen Olivo resigned in April.

Natalie Mendoza

With the casting of Mendoza, the full Moulin Rouge! cast is in place for the resumption of performances on Friday, September 24, at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.

The musical originally opened on July 25, 2019, but performances were suspended in March 2020 when Broadway went dark due to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown.

Mendoza joins a principal cast that also includes Aaron Tveit, Danny Burstein, Sahr Ngaujah, Tam Mutu, Ricky Rojas and Robyn Hurder.

The casting is a bit of a homecoming for Mendoza, who portrayed a can-can dancer named China Doll in Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 film Moulin Rouge!

“From the moment Natalie was cast as China Doll in Moulin Rouge! the film, we knew we had discovered a major young talent,” Luhrmann said in a statement. “That young talent has now blossomed into the lead in our Broadway production. I could not be more thrilled that Natalie will be lowered in that glorious swing as Broadway’s Sparkling Diamond.”

Said Mendoza, “Having been involved with the film from its early conception, the role of Satine has always been close to my heart. This rare jewel of an opportunity to play a character like her on Broadway feels like a full circle moment. With this stunning group of bohemian artists and this uniquely conscious creative team I couldn’t be in better care.”

Mendoza, raised in Australia, previously worked with the Broadway musical’s director Alex Timbers when she appeared as Imelda Marcos in Here Lies Love at London’s Royal National Theatre.

 

He starred on the BBC One drama series Hotel Babylon and The Descent horror film franchise.

On the film side, she’ll next be seen in the buzzy Cannes Film Festival film Annette, directed by Leos Carax and starring Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard.

Mendoza’s other credits include Michael Winterbottom’s futuristic thriller Code 46, Miramax’s The Great Raid and, on television, ABC’s production of South Pacific, ITV’s McDonald & Dodds, CBS’ Blue Bloods and in upcoming episodes of Amazon Prime’s Jack Ryan.

On stage, additional credits include Miss Saigon, Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark and Ghost.

Sandra Melissa Torres Earns Critics’ Week Rising Star Award

Sandra Melissa Torres’ star is on the rise…

Cannes Film Festival organizers have begun announcing prizes ahead of the main closing ceremony on Saturday night, with the Latina actress among the honorees.

Sandra Melissa Torres in Amparo

Parallel section Critics’ Week, celebrating its 60th edition, is up first with Torres receiving the Louis Roederer Foundation Rising Star Award.

Torres picked up the award for her work in Amparo by Simón Mesa Soto. She plays a single mother struggling to free her teenage son after he is drafted by the army and assigned to a war zone.

Former Palme d’Or winner Cristian Mungui chaired the Critics’ Week jury for its 60th anniversary this year.

Here’s the full list of winners:

Prizes of the Jury

Nespresso Grand Prize
Feathers, dir: Omar El Zohairi

Louis Roederer Foundation Rising Star Award
Sandra Melissa Torres in Amparo

Leitz Cine Discovery Prize for Short Film
Duo Li (Lili Alone), dir: Zou Jing

Partner Prizes

Gan Foundation Award for Distribution
Condor (Rien A Foutre)

SACD Prize
Elie Grappe and Raphaëlle Desplechin for Olga

Canal+ Award for Short Film
Brutalia, Days of Labour, dir: Manolis Mavris

Kleber Mendonça Filho Named to This Year’s Cannes Film Festival Jury

Kleber Mendonça Filho is on the jury…

Organizers for the 74th Cannes Film Festival have unveiled the nine-person jury group, which includes 52-year-old Brazilian film director, screenwriter, producer and critic.

Kleber Mendonça Filho

In addition to Filho, the jury includes president Spike Lee, French-Senegalese actor-director Mati DiopOscar nominated actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, French actress Mélanie Laurent, Austrian filmmaker Jessica Hausner and French singer Mylène Farmer.

Rounding out the jury are French actor Tahar Rahim and South Korean actor Song Kang-Ho.

Filho’s first movie, Neighboring Sounds, made its world premiere at the Rotterdam International Film Festival in 2012 and was Brazil’s entry in the race for the Oscars. His second feature film, Aquarius, starring Sonia Braga, played in competition at the 69th Cannes in 2016 before being nominated for a César and an Independent Spirit Awards. In 2019, Bacurau, which Filho co-directed with Juliano Dornelles, screened in competition in Cannes was awarded the Jury Prize.

All together, the jury will watch 24 films in competition during the delayed film festival from July 6-17. The jury will announce its winners on the last day of the festival.

Natalia Reyes to Star in the Post-Apocalyptic Sci-Fi Thriller “Tomorrow Before After”

Natalia Reyes has big plans for tomorrow

The 34-year-old Colombian actress has signed on to star in Tomorrow Before After, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller that’s scheduled to start shooting this month in Colombia.

Natalia Reyes

The film, from writer/director Alfonso Quijada (El Suspiro del Silencio), centers on a woman with no name (played by Reyes) who struggles to survive on her own in a post-apocalyptic world, searching for others, with only a stray dog by her side.

In her quest, she collides with a world that is collapsed and utterly destroyed, and it seems, for a long time, that she is the only survivor in the world—until she discovers one day that she is pregnant. Not understanding how this could be possible, she then begins to question her own existence.

Reyes is best known for her turn as Dani Ramos in Tim Miller’s Terminator: Dark Fate, which James Cameron produced for Skydance and Paramount.

She also starred in the crime drama Birds of Passage, directed by Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra, which premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight section of the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

Among her television credits is Sony’s hit Latin American series Lady, La Vendedora de Rosas, in which she played Lady Tabares.

Focus Features Releases Trailer for Anya Taylor-Joy’s Psychological Thriller “Last Night in Soho”

Anya Taylor-Joy is preparing for her last night

The first trailer has been released for Edgar Wright’s psychological thriller Last Night in Soho, starring the 25-year-old Argentine-British actress.

Anya Taylor-Joy, Last Night in Soho

Focus Features will release the film on October 22.

The film stars Taylor-Joy, Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, Matt Smith, Terence Stamp and Diana Rigg in a story set in 1960s Soho, London.

It follows a young girl (McKenzie), passionate in fashion design, who is mysteriously able to travel back in time where she encounters her idol, a dazzling wannabe singer (Taylor-Joy), but her journey isn’t without consequences.

Last Night in Soho originally was due to debut in September before being disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, it was then scheduled for April 23 before being pushed back again.

Universal is handling the international release. The film had been tipped for a Cannes Film Festival premiere, but there’s no confirmation yet on whether it could turn up at the French festival, which announces its lineup next week.