Antonio Banderas to Star in “Banshee”

Antonio Banderas has landed a spirited role…

The 61-year-old Spanish Oscar-nominated actor has joined the cast of Banshee, which will also star Jaime King and Tommy Flanagan.

Antonio Banderas

Hailing from director Jon Keeyes, the film follows a freelance assassin, codenamed Banshee (King), who is ambushed by Anthony Greene (Flanagan), a powerful mercenary who killed her father, and who is now seeking to collect a bounty on Caleb (Banderas), her former black ops mentor.

Caleb went underground five years prior, triggering a race against time as Banshee must find and protect Caleb before Greene and his army of hired killers can find him and take him down.

Banshee is a complex story of revenge and family, and having this incredibly talented cast to bring these characters to life is a dream,” Keeyes said.

“Banshee” is produced by Jordan Yale Levine and Jordan Beckerman of Yale Productions, alongside Keeyes of Highland Myst, from a script by Matthew Rogers, who wrote the trio’s previous movie, The Survivalist.

Shaun Sanghani also serves as a producer on the film.

“We’re excited to have such as amazing cast for this wall-to-wall action movie,” said Yale Levine and Beckerman. “Antonio Banderas is a legend and having him alongside Jaime King and Tommy Flanagan in such a high-energy film is going to keep audiences on the edge of their seats.”

Banderas recently earned an Oscar nomination for his work in Pedro Almodovar’s Pain and Glory and also recently starred in The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard. Other credits include The Mask of Zorro, Desperado and Evita.

Banderas will next be seen starring in the upcoming Indiana Jones film, Uncharted, and Puss in Boots: The Last Wish.

Pedro Almodovar’s “Parallel Mothers” Added to Spotlight Section at This Year’s Hamptons Film Festival

Pedro Almodovar is headed to the Hamptons…

The Hamptons Film Festival has finalized its 2021 slate, with the 71-year-old Spanish Oscar-winning director’s latest film making the list.

Penelope Cruz, Pedro Almodovar, Madres Paralelas

Almodovar’s Parallel Mothers, starring Penelope Cruz, has been added to the festival’s Spotlight section, alongside Cyrano, The Lost Daughter, The Power of the Dog, joining C’mon C’mon and Jockey.

Parallel Mothers received a 5-minute standing ovation when it premiered at the Venice Film Festival as the fest’s opening night film. It earned Cruz the Volpi Cup for Best Actress during the festival’s closing ceremony.

Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch, starring Tony Revolori, will be the closing-night film on October 13, while Pablo Larraín’s Spencer will be the Centerpiece Film in its East Coast premiere.

The festival is opening on October 7 with the world premiere of Matthew Heineman’s COVID-19 documentary The First Wave. The 29th edition of the fest will feature a lineup of films that are 53% female-directed and rep 34 countries.

The festival will run as a hybrid in-person/virtual event. Find more info here.

Penelope Cruz Wins Best Actress Prize at Venice Film Festival

Penelope Cruz’s latest performance is already earning her some hardware…

The 47-year-old Spanish Oscar-winning actress was awarded the Volpi Cup Best Actress prize at the Venice Film Festival.

Penelope Cruz

Cruz, in an upset for Spencer star Kristen Stewart, won the award for the performance in Pedro Almodóvar’s Parallel Mothers.

In her acceptance, she said the honor was 100% his, saying, “thank you once again for your trust in me, for inspiring me every day with your search for truth inside and outside the set… you have created magic again.”

Cruz further dedicated the win to her husband Javier Bardem and their children as well as to Bardem’s recently deceased mother. Pilar Bardem “did so much for actors and actresses in our country and her love and passion for this wonderful profession was huge,” said Cruz, adding, “At the end of our last conversation she told me, ‘I love you.’ She was very fragile and I thought those were her last words to me, but then very quiet and very soft and with a smile on her face she said to me two more words ‘Coppa Volpi’… This is for all the mothers.”

Parallell Mothers centers on two single women, who meet in a hospital room where they are both going to give birth. One is middle aged and doesn’t regret it, while the other is adolescent and scared. The two women form a strong bond with one another as they both confront motherhood.

Chilean filmmakers Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña won the Best Short Film prize.

They took home the award for their film Los Huesos, a fictitious take on the world’s first animated film, which uses a three-person melodrama as a metaphor for Chile’s turbulent socio-political regime. Dated in 1901 and excavated in 2021 as Chile drafts a new constitution, the “found” footage shows a young girl performing a ritual with human body parts. The corpses are revealed as the bodies of Diego Portales and Jaime Guzmán, central figures in the construction of authoritarian and oligarchic Chile.

French-Lebanese filmmaker Audrey Diwan won the Venice Film Festival’s top prize, the Golden Lion, for her 1963-set abortion drama L’Evénement (Happening).

Here’s the list of the award winners:

VENICE 78

Golden Lion
L’Evénement, dir: Audrey Diwan

Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize
The Hand Of God, dir: Paolo Sorrentino

Silver Lion, Best Director
Jane Campion, The Power Of The Dog

Volpi Cup Best Actress
Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers

Volpi Cup Best Actor
John Arcilla, On The Job: The Missing 8

Best Screenplay
Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Lost Daughter

Special Jury Prize
Il Buco, dir: Michelangelo Frammartino

Marcello Mastroianni Award for for Best New Young Actor or Actress
Filippo Scotti, The Hand Of God

HORIZONS

Best Film
Pilgrims, dir: Laurynas Bareisa

Best Director
Eric Gravel, A Plein Temps

Special Jury Prize
El Gran Movimiento, dir: Kiro Russo

Best Actress
Laure Calamy, A Plein Temps

Best Actor
Piseth Chhun, White Building

Best Screenplay
Ivan Ostrochovský, Peter Kerekes: 107 Mothers

Best Short Film
Los Huesos, dirs: Cristóbal León, Joaquín Cociña

Lion of the Future – Luigi De Laurentiis Award For A Debut Film
Imaculat, dirs: Monica Stan, George Chiper Lillemark

VENICE VR EXPANDED

Grand Jury Prize for Best VR
Goliath: Playing With Reality, dirs: Barry Gene Murphy, May Abdalla

Best VR Experience
Le Bal De Paris De Blanca Li, dir: Blanca Li

Best VR Story
End of Night, dir: David Adler

HORIZONS EXTRA

Audience Award
The Blind Man Who Did Not Want To See Titanic, dir: Teemu Nikki

Antonio Banderas to Star in Millennium’s Crime Thriller “The Enforcer”

It’s enforcement time for Antonio Banderas

The 60-year-old Oscar-nominated actor will star opposite Kate Bosworth and 2 Chainz in Millennium’s crime thriller The Enforcer.

Antonio Banderas

Richard Hughes is on board as director for the project, which is being sold at the Cannes virtual market.

Written by Peter Iliff, the story follows an enforcer who discovers his femme fatale boss is now engaged in crimes even he wouldn’t commit. This puts a young runaway at risk and the enforcer must now put everything on the line to safe the girl from the crime organization he has spent his life working for.

Banderas is the enforcer while Bosworth is the femme fatale. 2 Chainz is a crime kingpin.

Banderas received an Academy Award nomination for his work in Pedro Almodovar’s Pain and Glory. He’s currently appearing in Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard.

Sony Pictures Classics Acquires Rights to Penelope Cruz-Starrer “Madres Paralelas” from Pedro Almodovar

Penelope Cruz’s latest film is going global…

Sony Pictures Classics has acquired all rights in North America, Australia and New Zealand to Parallel Mothers (Madres Paralelas), starring the 46-year-old Spanish Oscar-winning actress.

Penelope Cruz

It’s the 13th collaboration between the distributor and director/producer Pedro Almodóvar’s production company El Deseo.

Production began in Madrid last month on the film, which reunites the Spanish filmmaker with longtime collaborators Cruz, Julieta Serrano and Rossy de Palma.

Parallel Mothers is a drama that centers on three mothers, portrayed by Cruz, Aitana Sánchez Gijón and Milena Smit.

The film expands Almodóvar’s previous depictions of womanhood by turning his focus on imperfect mothers, in a departure from his prior work exploring mothers and motherhood.

Written by Almodóvar, the film also stars Israel Elejalde.

The film is produced by Agustín Almodóvar and Esther García through El Deseo.

Sony Pictures Classics recently released Almodóvar’s short film The Human Voice, starring Tilda Swinton, in theaters alongside a digitally restored re-issue of Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. It will be available to stream on HBO Max starting on April 30.

Almodóvar won two Oscars for best foreign language film for All About My Mother and original screenplay for his 2002 title Talk to Her (Hable con Ella).

Cruz has starred in several of Almodovar’s films, including All About My Mother, I’m So Excited!, Volver, Broken Embraces, and Pain and Glory.

Pilar Palomero’s “The Girls” Wins Big at the Goya Awards

Pilar Palomero is celebrating a Girls night like no other…

The 40-year-old Spanish film director and screenwriter’s coming-of-age story The Girls has taken home the top prizes, including best picture, at the 35th annual Goya Awards.

Pilar Palomero

The annual Spain awards show, hosted by Antonio Banderas, also saw Palomero’s drama win the prizes for new director, original screenplay and cinematography.

The 35th Goya Awards adopted a hybrid format due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and featured talent presenting and receiving awards virtually or on-site at an audience-less Teatro del Soho CaixaBank.

Pilar Palomero, The Girls

Among the Hollywood names presenting the event’s various awards were Pedro Almódovar, Penélope Cruz, J.A. Bayona, Alejandro Amenábar and Paz Vega.

The ceremony also featured pre-recorded messages from a number of Hollywood names including Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, Benicio del Toro, Laura Dern and Charlize Theron.

1492: Conquest of Paradise and Broken Embraces actress Angelina Molina took home the ceremony’s Honorary Goya award.

Here’s the full list of winners at the 35th annual Goya Awards:

FILM
The Girls (Pilar Palomero)

DIRECTOR
Salvador Calvo (Adú)

NEW DIRECTOR
Pilar Palomero (The Girls)

ACTRESS
Patricia López Arnaiz (Ane)

ACTOR
Mario Casas (No matarás)

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Nathalie Poza (Rosa’s Wedding)

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Alberto San Juan (Sentimental)

NEW ACTRESS
Jone Laspiur (Ane)

NEW ACTOR
Adam Nourou (Adú)

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Pilar Palomero (The Girls)

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
David Pérez Sañudo, Marina Parés Pulido (Ane)

PRODUCTION DESIGN
Ana Parra, Luis Fernández Lago (Adú)

CINEMATOGRAPHY
Daniela Cajías (The Girls)

EDITING
Sergio Jiménez (The Year of the Discovery)

ART DIRECTION
Mikel Serrano (Akelarre)

COSTUME DESIGN
Nerea Torrijos (Akelarre)

MAKEUP AND HAIR DESIGN
Beata Wotjowicz, Ricardo Molina (Akelarre)

SOUND
Eduardo Esquide, Jamaica Ruíz García, Juan Ferro, Nicolas de Poulpiquet (Adú)

SPECIAL EFFECTS
Mariano García Marty, Ana Rubio, (Akelarre)

ORIGINAL MUSIC
Aránzazu Calleja, Maite Arroitajauregi (Akelarre)

ORIGINAL SONG
“Que no, que no,” (María Rozalén for Rosa’s Wedding)

ANIMATED FEATURE
Turu, the Wacky Hen (Eduardo Gondell, Víctor Monigote)

DOCUMENTARY
The Year of the Discovery (Luis López Carrasco)

IBERO-AMERICAN FILM
Forgotten We’ll Be (Fernando Trueba, Colombia)

EUROPEAN PICTURE
The Father (Florian Zeller, U.K., France)

LIVE-ACTION SHORT FILM
A la cara (Javier Marco)

DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Biography of a Woman’s Corpse (Mabel Lozano)

ANIMATED SHORT FILM
Blue & Malone: Casos imposibles (Abraham López Guerrero)

HONORARY GOYA
Angela Molina

Sony Pictures Classics Releases New Trailer for Pedro Almodovar’s First English-Language Film “The Human Voice”

Pedro Almodóvar’s voice is being amplified…

Sony Pictures Classics has a released a new trailer for the 71-year-old Spanish filmmaker’s first English-language film The Human Voice.

Pedro Almodovar

Clocking in at an attention-span-friendly 30 minutes and starring Tilda Swinton, the film screened at last year’s Venice, New York and London fests and made the Oscar shortlist for Live Active Short announced last month.

Here’s the film’s synopsis and commentary written by the Oscar-winning filmmaker himself:

A woman watches time passing next to the suitcases of her ex-lover (who is supposed to come pick them up, but never arrives) and a restless dog who doesn’t understand that his master has abandoned him. Two living beings facing abandonment. During the three days of waiting, the woman only goes out to the street once, to buy an ax and a can of gasoline.

The Human Voice by Pedro Almodovar

The woman goes through all sorts of moods, from helplessness to despair and loss of control. She makes herself up, she dresses up as if going to a party, she considers throwing herself off of the balcony, until her ex-lover calls on the phone, but she’s unconscious because she’s taken a combination of thirteen pills and cannot answer the call. The dog licks her face until she wakes up. After a cold shower, revived by a coffee as black as her state of mind, the telephone rings again and this time she can answer.

The human voice is hers, we never hear the voice of her lover. At first she pretends to act normal and calm, but she is always on the verge of exploding in the face of the man’s hypocrisy and meanness. “The Human Voice” is a moral lesson about desire, even though its protagonist is on the verge of the very same abyss. Risk is an essential part of the adventure of living and loving. Pain is very present in the monologue. As I said at first, it is about the disorientation and distress of two living beings who grieve their master.

Sony Pictures Classics will open The Human Voice March 12 in theaters in New York, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles, accompanied by a digitally restored version of Almodóvar’s 1988 feature Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.  

Pedro Almodovar to Begin Filming Latest Project “Parallel Mothers” Next Month

Pedro Almodovar is thisclose to starting work on his next film…

The 71-year-old Oscar-winning Spanish filmmaker is preparing to head into production on his next movie Parallel Mothers (Madres Paralelas).

Pedro Almodovar

The film will star Penelope Cruz alongside the newly-announced Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, Israel Elejalde and Milena Smit.

The film is scheduled to begin filming by the end of March in Spain. Almodovar’s El Deseo is producing.

Almodovar said of the project:

“With Parallel Mothers I return to the female universe, to motherhood, to family. I speak of the importance of ancestors and descendants. The inevitable presence of memory. There are many mothers in my filmography, the ones that are part of this story are very different.

“As a storyteller, imperfect mothers inspire me most at this time. Penélope Cruz, Aitana Sánchez Gijón and the young Milena Smit will play the three mothers in the film, accompanied by Israel Elejalde in the main male character. I also have the collaboration of my beloved Julieta Serrano and Rossy de PalmaParallel Mothers will be an intense drama. Or so I hope.”

This will be Cruz’s seventh film with Almodovar. She first appeared in Live Flesh in 1997. Her other Almodovar credits include All About My Mother, Volver, Broken Embraces, I’m So Excited and Pain and Glory.

Sánchez-Gijón’s previous credits include A Walk in the Clouds and The Machinist.

Salvador Calvo’s Netflix Drama “Adú” Leads Spain’s Goya Awards Nominees with 14

Salvador Calvo is the man to beat…

The Spanish filmmaker’s Netflix drama Adú is the frontrunner for this year’s Premios Goya (Goya Awards), Spain’s top film honors.

Salvador Calvo

Calvo’s film earned 14 nominations, including nods for best film and best director.

Calvo’s sophomore feature follows three interconnected stories all set in Africa. Two members of its ensemble cast Álvaro Cervantes and Adam Nourou, picked up Goya nominations for best supporting actor and best newcomer actor, respectively.

The Goyas 2021 best film nominees include Ane Is Missing from David Pérez Sañudo, Icíar Bollaín‘s La boda de Rosa, Pilar Palomero‘s The Girls, and The People Upstairs aka Sentimental, from director Cesc Gay.

In addition to Calvo and Bollaín, the best director category this year includes Juanma Bajo Ulloa, nominated for his horror thriller Baby, and veteran filmmaker Isabel Coixet for It Snows in Benidorm.

Contenders for the best Ibero-American film include Chilean documentary The Mole AgentForgotten We’ll Be from Columbian filmmaker Fernando Trueba, the Guatemalan horror film The Curse of la Llorona, and Fernando Frias‘ Mexican drama I’m No Longer Here.

Last year, Pedro Almodóvar’s semi-autobiographical drama Pain and Glory was the big winner at the Goyas, winning seven honors, including for best picture, director, original screenplay, and best actor for Antonio Banderas.

The 2021 Goya Awards will be held in a live-streamed ceremony from the Teatro del Soho CaixaBank in Málaga on Saturday, March 6.   Banderas will direct this year’s award ceremony and will present the 35th Goya Awards together with Spanish journalist María Casado.

Here’s the full list of nominations for the 35th Goya Awards:

Best Film
Adú
Ane Is Missing
La boda de Rosa
The Girls
The People Upstairs  

Best Director
Salvador Calvo for Adú
Juanma Bajo Ulloa for Bafrom
Icíar Bollain for La boda de Rosa
Isabel Coixet for It Snows in Benidorm

Best Novel Adaptation
Pilar Palomero for The Girls
David Pérez Sañudo for Ane is Missing
Bernabé Rico for El inconvenient
Núria Giménez Lorang for My Mexican Bretzel

Best Actress
Amaia Aberasturi for Coven
Andrea Fandós for The Girls
Patricia López Arnaiz for Ane is Missing
Candela Peña for La boda de Rosa

Best Actor
Mario Casas for Cross the Line
Javier Cámara for The People Upstairs
Ernesto Alterio for A Normal World
David Verdaguer for One for All

Best Supporting Actress
Juana Acosta for El inconvenient
Verónica Echegui for My Heart Goes Boom!
Natalia de Molina for The Girls
Nathalie Poza for La boda de Rosa

Best Supporting Actor
Sergi López for La boda de Rosa
Juan Diego Botto for The Europeans
Alberto San Juan for The People Upstairs
Álvaro Cervantes for Adú

Best Actress Newcomer
Jone Laspiur for Ane is Missing
Paula Usero for La boda de Rosa
Milena Smith for Cross the Line
Griselda Siciliani for The People Upstairs

Best Actor Newcomer
Adam Nourou for Adú
Chema del Barco for The Plan
Janick for Historias lamentables
Fernando Valdivielso for Cross the Line

Best Original Screenplay
Adu
La boda de Rosa
Historias lamentables
The Girls

Best Adapted Screenplay
The People Upstairs
Ane is Missing
The Europeans
Unknown Origins

Best Animated Film
Turu, the Wacky Hen

Best Documentary
Anatomía de un dandy
Drowning Letters
The Year of the Discovery
My Mexican Bretzel 

Best European Film
Corpus Christi from Poland
The Father from the United Kingdom
An Officer and A Spy from France
Falling from the United Kingdom 

Best Ibero-American Film
El agente topo from Chile
El olvido que seremos from Colombia
La llorona from Guatemala
Ya no estoy aquí from México 

Best Cinematography
Adú
Coven
Black Beach
The Girls 

Best Production Design
Adú
Coven
Black Beach
It Snows in Benidorm

Best Original Music
Adú
Coven
Baby
El verano que vivimos

Best Original Song
Adú
El verano que vivimos
La boda de Rosa
The Girls 

Best Editing
Adú
Black Beach
The Year of the Discovery
The Girls 

Best Sound
Adú
Coven
Black Beach
The Plan 

Best Art Direction
Adú
Coven
Black Beach
The Girls 

Best Costume Design
Coven
My Heart Goes Boom!
The Girls
The Europeans 

Best Makeup and Hairdressing
Adú
Coven
My Heart Goes Boom!
Unknown Origins 

Best Special Effects
Coven
Adú
Black Beach

Paco Leon to Star in the Spanish Psychological Thriller “From the Shadows”

Paco Leon is heading into the Shadows

The 46-year-old Spanish actor will star opposite Leonor Watling in psychological thriller From the Shadows (Desde la Sombra), a film adaptation by Spanish writer Juan José Millas, winner of most of Spain’s foremost literary awards, including the Planeta, Nadal and National Narrative Awards.

Paco Leon

The film will be directed by Felix Viscarret

A star of sitcom Aida, a free-to-air television phenomenon from 2005-14, and most recently Netflix Mexico’s hit House of Flowers, Leon co-wrote and directed Arde Madrid, a Movistar Plus Rose d’Or winning original series.

Star of Pedro Almodovar’s Academy Award-winning Talk to Her, Watling confirmed her comic talents most recently in Movistar Plus’ excruciatingly discomforting Russian mob comedy Nasdrovia.

Produced by Academy Award winning Tornasol Media and co-produced by Belgium’s Entre Chien et Loup, From the Shadows will be brought onto the international market at Ventana Sur by Latido Films.

Co-written by David Muñoz, From the Shadows turns on Damián who, to escape from his boss, hides in a massive antique wardrobe that is delivered to a middle-class home, inhabited by Lucia and Fede and their teenage daughter. A persistent fantasist – he imagines himself as a TV celebrity delivering candid interviews to prestigious journalists – Damián realizes that staying in the wardrobe gives him a chance to lead the normal life he has always missed.

He becomes the family’s guardian angel, doing the housework in its absence, as his hold on reality crumbles and Lucia, on anti-depressants, believes the wardrobe hides the specter of her dead brother.

“This story is a portrait of the madness, sometimes strange, sometimes comical, we all have: Dialogues we carry on with ourselves, how we fall in love, how we deny realities,” said Viscarret, saying he likes to dance between the comical and melancholic.

Championed by Fernando Trueba off the back of a notable short, Dreamers, Viscarret’s debut, Under the Stars, produced by Cristina Huete, confirmed his passion for bringing a human dimension to lost cause characters, which he aims to repeat in From the Shadows, he said.

“I like to fix my gaze on clumsy, hurt or humiliated characters who, generating compassion, struggle to make things better. Even if that fight is not successful, even if the final redemption – like in this case – is loaded with contradictions, it makes it all worthwhile.”

“Felix is one of Spain’s most talented young directors, he has a unique capacity of inventing worlds. In this case, the novel he adapts is from one of Spanish greatest living writers,” said Latido Films head Antonio Saura.

Saura added: “What is even more interesting, it is a great adaptation, that mixes humor and genre in a very intelligent way and, of course, the cast is brilliant!”