Antonio Banderas to Star in the Action-Crime Thriller “Clean Up Crew”

Antonio Banderas is cleaning up

The 61-year-opld will star opposite Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Melissa Leo in the Yale Entertainment action-crime thriller Clean Up Crew from director Jon Keeyes.

Antonio BanderasThe Ireland-based production recently wrapped, and Yale’s recently-launched sales banner Great Escape, led by Nick Donnermeyer, will handle foreign rights and introduce the title at next month’s Toronto Film Festival.

The film follows a crime scene clean-up crew, which includes Rhys Meyers and Leo’s characters, who discover a briefcase full of cash, unknowingly sending them into battle with mobsters – led by a ruthless crime boss, played by Banderas, as well as hitmen, and corrupt government agents who are hell bent to get the dough back.

Clean Up Crew was written by Matthew Rogers.

“We’re excited to work with this legendary all-star cast on what will be an edge-of-your seat, action-packed film,” said Levine and Beckerman. “We’re certain that Jon Keeyes will deliver a uniquely thrilling cinematic experience.”

Banderas’ has been a frequent collaborator of award-winning Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, and starred in such works as the director’s Pain and GloryBanderas won the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival for that film, and was nominated for Best Actor at the Oscars.

He will next be seen starring with Penelope Cruz in the Spanish comedy Official Competition and returns as the voice of Puss in Boots in Dreamworks Animation’s Puss in Boots: The Last Wish.

Next year, he stars in the highly anticipated fifth installment of the Indiana Jones film.

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.”

Neon Acquires Worldwide Rights to Rebeca Huntt’s Debut Film “Beba”

Rebeca Huntt’s acclaimed debut film is going global…

Neon has acquired the worldwide rights to Beba, the debut film by the Afro-Latina artist.

Beba, Rebeca Huntt

Huntt’s 16mm feature film of poetry and interview footage, which recently made its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival to rave reviews, will debut in 2022.

Huntt undertakes an unflinching exploration of her own identity in the coming-of-age documentary/cinematic memoir. Reflecting on her childhood and adolescence in New York City as the daughter of a Dominican father and Venezuelan mother, she investigates the historical, societal and generational trauma she’s inherited and ponders how those ancient wounds have shaped her, while simultaneously considering the universal truths that connect us all as humans.

Beba, Rebeca Huntt

Huntt searches for a way to forge her own creative path amid a landscape of intense racial and political unrest as an Afro-Latina artist hungry for knowledge and yearning for connection.

“Poetic, powerful and profound, Beba is a courageous, deeply human self-portrait of an Afro-Latina artist hungry for knowledge and yearning for connection,” Neon said.

Huntt wrote and directed the film, and she produced it with Sofia Geld. Oscar nominee Petra Costa, Alyse Ardell Spiegel, Alessandra Orofino, Joy Bryant and Inuka Bacote-Capiga serve as the film’s executive producers.

Amazon Studios Acquires Global Rights to J Balvin Documentary “The Boy From Medellin”

J Balvin’s colorful life story will be told around the world…

Amazon Studios has picked up the worldwide rights to director Matthew Heineman‘s The Boy From Medellín, a portrait of the 35-year-old Colombian reggaeton singer and Latin music star.

J Balvin

The Endeavor Content-backed feature-length documentary follows Balvin, the “Prince of Reggaeton” and a Latin Grammy-winning performer, in the lead-up to a sold-out 2019 homecoming concert performance in Medellín, Colombia.

The acquisition deal comes ahead of the documentary’s world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival on September 11 via the Bell Digital Cinema platform.

“Representing my country, my city and Latin culture globally is a lifelong pursuit and I’m so proud to be a son of Medellín. I’m honored to be able to tell my story in this beautiful way and working with Matthew on this project was an incredible experience. Thank you to Amazon for making sure this story can be seen around the world,” Balvin said in a statement.

The Boy From Medellin  — from Heineman, the director behind the biopic Private War  is produced by Our Time Projects and SB Projects.

“Filmmaker Matthew Heineman is a master of his craft, and beautifully depicts the perspective of an international music icon. We are thrilled to welcome Matthew back to the Amazon family and to share J Balvin’s story with our global customers,” Javiera Balmaceda, head of international originals in Argentina, Chile and Colombia for Amazon Studios, said in a statement.

J Balvin is one of today’s best-selling Latin music artists with sales of more than 35 million records (albums and singles) worldwide. His breakthrough came in 2014 with “Ginza” and the single “6 AM” featuring Puerto Rican singer Farruko, which peaked at number 2 on theBillboard Hot Latin Songs chart.

Gael Garcia Bernal’s “Chicuarotes” to Open This Year’s Virtual Hola México Film Festival

Gael Garcia Bernal’s latest project is getting the Hola México treatment…

The 12th annual Hola México Film Festival, the largest Mexican film festival outside of Mexico, will take place virtually and exclusively on Lionsgate and Hemisphere’s Spanish-language streaming platform Pantaya from September 11-20, with the 41-year-old Mexican actor/producer’s Chicuarotes kicking things off.

Gael García Bernal

The festival will feature 20 movies, starting off with Chicuarotes, directed and produced by Garcia Bernal.

The film, which played at the Cannes Film Festival and Toronto Film Festival last year, centers on a pair of young boys from poor backgrounds who perform clown acts on public transportation to make ends meet. The story takes a turn when the young boys begin to rob passengers.

The program will include contemporary features, documentaries, genre fare and family movies, and will include Q&A’s, ‘virtual red carpets’, an awards ceremony and will try to mirror the physical festival in an online way as much as possible.

Other films forming part of this year’s lineup include Matias Meyer’s Amores Modernos, Kenya Marquez’s Asfixia, Marcelino Islas Hernández’s Clases de Historia, Emilio Santoyo’s El Deseo de Ana and Rodrigo CervantesLos Paisajes.

Hola Mexico

“As a result of the current pandemic, we wanted to ensure our industry and filmmaking community continues to connect and develop their careers, even if that cannot happen safely in-person,” commented Samuel Douek, founder and director of the Hola México Film Festival.

The festival’s mentor program Tomorrow’s Filmmakers Today will be a live online program directed to TFT alumni.

Click here for the complete lineup.

Emilio Estevez’s “The Public” to Stream on Peacock in September

Emilio Estevez is going public with his latest project…

Peacock has unveiled a slate of original films that will debut on NBC’s streaming service in September, including the 58-year-old part-Spanish American actor’s latest film The Public.

Emilio Estevez The Public

The film, written, executive produced and directed by Estevez, centers around an act of civil disobedience that turns into a standoff with police when homeless people in Cincinnati take over the public library to seek shelter from the bitter cold.

The film stars Alec Baldwin, Estevez, Jena Malone, Taylor Schilling, Christian Slater, Che “Rhymefest” Smith, Gabrielle Union, Jacob Vargas, Michael K. Williams, and Jeffrey Wright.

The Public will premiere on Peacock on Thursday, September 15.

The film had its world premiere on September 9, 2018, at the Toronto Film Festival. It was theatrically released in the United States on April 5, 2019, by Greenwich Entertainment.

Nicolás Pereda’s Narco Culture-Themed Film “Fauna” to Premiere at This Year’s Reimagined Toronto Film Festival

Nicolás Pereda is bringing the faunato this year’s reimagined Toronto Film Festival.

The 38-year-old Mexican filmmaker’s latest film Fauna will be among the film’s screened at the festival, which is North America’s largest festival.

Nicolás Pereda

The film is an exploration of the impact of “narco” culture on Mexican society.

It’ll be Fauna’s official global premiere. An excerpt from the film was screened as part of the “Works in Progress” section of the Los Cabos International Film Festival in 2019,and won the Cinecolor Mexico Award.

This year’s edition will run from September 10–19. As expected, the festival will look different due to the coronavirus.

Organizers say the 45th TIFF will be “tailored to fit the moment,” with a combination of physical screenings and drive-ins, digital screenings, virtual red carpets, press conferences and industry talks. 

There’ll be considerably fewer movies — a selection comprising 50 new features — and the festival isn’t expecting large numbers of international press or industry to attend in person.

In addition to Pereda’s Fauna, this year’s strong crop of early movies confirmed to screen at the festival are the Kate Winslet-starrer AmmoniteThomas Vinterberg’s Another RoundConcrete Cowboy with Idris ElbaGood Joe Bell starring Mark WahlbergSuzanne Lindon’s Spring BlossomTrue Mothers by Naomi Kawase and Halle Berry’s directorial debut BruisedMore titles will be announced over the summer.

The movies will play over the event’s first five days as physical, socially distanced screenings. There will also be five programs of short films, interactive talks, film cast reunions, and Q&As with cast and filmmakers.

However, the festival has acknowledged that its plans for an in-person festival will be contingent on the local government’s “reopening framework to ensure that festival venues and workplaces practice, meet and exceed public health guidelines.” Large gatherings still aren’t permitted in Toronto.

TIFF temporarily closed its year-round offices and cinemas at TIFF Bell Lightbox in March due to the pandemic. The organization is now taking steps to prepare for reopening and working with medical advisors and public health officials to ensure safe conditions.

Meanwhile, TIFF is launching a bespoke digital platform for the festival. The organization has partnered with Shift72 on the platform, which will host digital screenings, talks and special events.

The Industry Conference will be online-only this year, with screenings for press and industry taking place on the digital platform only. The fest says there will be “advanced security and anti-piracy measures, access to buyers, and opportunities for networking.”

For 2020, TIFF says it will welcome 50 filmmakers and actors as TIFF Ambassadors to help the festival deliver its program. They will include Ava DuVernayTaika Waititi, Anurag KashyapNicole KidmanMartin ScorseseNadine LabakiAlfonso CuarónTantoo CardinalRiz Ahmed, Isabelle HuppertClaire DenisAtom EgoyanPriyanka Chopra, Viggo MortensenZhang ZiyiDavid OyelowoLulu Wang, Rosamund PikeSarah Gadon and Denis Villeneuve.

TIFF will also present its annual TIFF Tribute Awards, acknowledging and celebrating outstanding contributors to the film industry. 

Now in its third year, TIFF’s Media Inclusion Initiative will continue to accredit eligible black, indigenous, people of color, LGBTQ+ and female emerging film critics. New this year, TIFF is also offering companies and individuals the opportunity to gift industry access to 250 underrepresented emerging filmmakers from around the world.

Guillermo del Toro Taking Part in Tribeca Enterprises & YouTube’s ‘We Are One: A Global Film Festival’

Guillermo del Toro is taking his talk global…

The 55-year-old Oscar-winning Mexican filmmaker, author, actor, and former special effects makeup artist will take part in Tribeca Enterprises and YouTube’s We Are One: A Global Film Festival

Guillermo del Toro

The fest will stream exclusively on YouTubefor free and feature more than 100 films co-curated by 21 of the most renowned festivals, including the Cannes Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival.

The 10-day fest kicked off on Friday, May 29 and will not only provide entertainment but also offer relief to the COVID-19 pandemic via supporting organizations.

The truly global event will feature programming from different cultures all over the world, with films representing more than 35 countries and include 23 narrative and 8 documentary features, 57 narrative and 15 documentary short films, 15 archived talks along with 4 festival exclusives and 5 VR programming pieces. 

The fest will include 13 world premieres, 31 online premieres and 5 international online premieres. Each selection was handpicked to give shine and highlight each participating festival.

“We are so excited to share the combined efforts of our festival partners and YouTube with the world this week,” said Tribeca Enterprises and Tribeca Film Festival Co-Founder and CEO Jane Rosenthal. “Together, we were able to curate a compelling slate of programming that succinctly reflects the subtle variations in style that make each festival so special. We Are One: A Global Film Festival will offer audiences an opportunity to not only celebrate the art of film, but the unique qualities that make each story we watch so memorable.”

The fest will include the world premiere of Ricky Powell: The Individualist, which spotlights the titular legendary street photographer featuring interviews with Natasha Lyonne and LL Cool J

Eeb Allay Ooo! will make its online debut and introduce a whole new audience to New Delhi’s professional “monkey repellers”. The satirical film won Mumbai Film Festival’s Golden Gateway Award

The iconic Joan Chen will present the world premiere of Iron Hammer, a documentary about legendary, trailblazing Chinese Olympic volleyball star Jenny Lang Ping.

There will also be a lineup of specially-curated talks from past festivals as well as new discussions. Talks will feature del Toro, Francis Ford Coppola with Steven Soderbergh, Song Kang-ho and Bong Joon-ho, Jane Campion and Claire Denis.

In addition to features, audiences will be able to access over 50 narrative and documentary shorts such as the world premiere of Japanese narrative short Yalta Conference Online (wt), which was created exclusively for the fest by director Koji Fukada. The fest will also include the global premiere of the Third Eye Blind documentary short Motorcycle Drive By, as well as shorts from Dreamworks Animation, BilbyMarooned and Bird Karma.

360 VR selections will feature Emmy-nominated documentary Traveling While Black and Alteration, a sci-fi narrative starring Bill Skarsgard, as well as titles featuring John Legend, Oprah Winfrey and Lupita Nyong’o. On top of the film goodness, Questlove from the legendary Roots crew will perform a DJ set for your listening and dancing pleasure.

On the episodic side, We Are One will host the world premiere of Losing Alice, an Israeli female-fronted neo-noir psychological TV thriller as well as the two-part docuseries She Could Be Next which chronicles the experiences of women of color running for office, including Stacey Abrams and  Rashida Tlaib.

In addition to Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Sundance, Toronto and Tribeca, participating festival also include Annecy International Animation Film FestivalBFI London Film FestivalGuadalajara International Film Festival,International Film Festival & Awards Macao (IFFAM), International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), Jerusalem Film FestivalMumbai Film Festival (MAMI), Karlovy Vary International Film FestivalLocarno Film Festival,Marrakech International Film Festival, New York Film FestivalSan Sebastian International Film Festival, Sarajevo Film FestivalSydney Film Festival and Tokyo International Film Festival.

The fest will provide COVID-19 relief through donations to the World Health Organization( WHO), UNICEFUNHCRSave the Children, Doctors Without BordersLeket IsraelGO Foundation and Give2Asia, among others. Audiences will be able to donate via a link on every film page.

Click herefor the full festival schedule.

Klaudia Reynicke Signs with The Gotham Group

Klaudia Reynicke has new representation… And, she’s hoping that leads to a TV deal.

The 43-year-old Swiss-Peruvian filmmaker has signed with Los Angeles management and production outfit The Gotham Group.

Klaudia Reynicke

Reynicke’s latest project Love Me Tender screened in the Toronto Film Festival’s Discovery strand this year, and now The Gotham Group plans to spearhead efforts to adapt the film into a television series.

Love Me Tender world premiered at Switzerland’s Locarno Film Festival in August. Reynicke also wrote the screenplay, which tells the story of Seconda, played by Barbara Giordano, a rebellious young woman with agoraphobia who is abruptly left alone by her unreliable father.

The film was produced by Switzerland’s Amka Films. Rome-based Summerside International is handling global sales. The feature will next screen at the BFI London Film Festival in October.

Reynicke’s debut feature was 2016 drama The Nest, which also premiered in Locarno. 

She was born in Peru but lived in Florida for much of her youth; she is now based in Switzerland.

Jennifer Lopez Earns Best Live-Action Box Office Opening of Her Career with “Hustlers”

Jennifer Lopez is proving the hustle is worth the effort…

The 50-year-old Puerto Rican superstar’s latest film Hustlers earned a stellar $33.2 million-plus from 3,250 theaters at the U.S. box office, the best start ever for STXfilms and the best live-action opening of J.Lo‘s career, according to early returns.

Jennifer Lopez in Hustlers

The female-led ensemble film came in a strong second behind New Line and Warner Bros.’ holdover It: Chapter Two, which earned $40.7 million in its sophomore outing.

Hustlers — buoyed by a diverse audience — is based on real-life events chronicled in a 2015 New York magazine story and stars Lopez, Constance Wu, Cardi B and more as strippers who lead a band of dancers in a plot to drug and steal from their Wall Street clientele in Recession-era New York City.

Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart and Lizzo also star in the film from writer-director Lorene Scafaria, which earned rave reviews out of its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. 

Hustlers cost a reported $20 million to make before marketing and is a much-needed win for STX (the indie studio’s previous biggest opening was Bad Moms with $23.8 million, not adjusted for inflation).

Females made up 67 percent of Hustlers‘ audience, while Caucasians represented 36 percent of ticket buyers, followed by African Americans (26 percent), Hispanics (27 percent) and Asians/Other (11 percent).