Bleecker Street Acquires North American Rights to Michel Franco’s Family Drama “Sundown”

Things are looking Bleecker for Michel Franco

Bleecker Street has acquired the North American rights to Sundown, the latest film from the 42-year-old Mexican writer-director.

Michel Franco

The film has its world premiere this fall at the Venice Film Festival. A 2022 theatrical release in the U.S. is in the works for the tense family drama.

Tim Roth reunites with Franco (he starred in Franco’s 2015 pic Chronic) to star in Sundown with Charlotte Gainsbourg, Iazua Larios and Henry Goodman.

Roth and Gainsbourg play Neil and Alice, the core of a wealthy British family on vacation in Acapulco with younger members Colin (Samuel Bottomley) and Alexa (Albertine Kotting McMillan) until a distant emergency cuts their trip short. When one relative disrupts the family’s tight-knit order, simmering tensions rise to the fore revealing long-gestating rifts.

“Michel Franco’s film is an incisive look into the human psyche,” Bleecker Street CEO Andrew Karpen said Tuesday. “Tim Roth and Charlotte Gainbourg give such powerful performances you can’t take your eyes off the screen as their stories unfold.”

Pedro Almodóvar’s “Parallel Mothers” to Have Red-Carpet Premiere at This Year’s AFI Fest

Pedro Almodóvar is bringing his Mother(s) to this year’s AFI Fest.

After opening the Venice Film Festival and continuing on to the New York Film Festival, the 72-year-old Oscar-winning director’s latest film Parallel Mothers will have a red-carpet premiere at this year’s AFI Fest at the TCL Chinese Theatre on Saturday, November 13.

Pedro Almodovar

In the movie, two women, Janis and Ana, played by Penelope Cruz and Milena Smit, coincide in a hospital room where they are going to give birth. Both are single and became pregnant by accident. Janis, middle-aged, doesn’t regret it and she is exultant. The other, Ana, an adolescent, is scared, repentant and traumatized. Janis tries to encourage her while they move like sleepwalkers along the hospital corridors. The few words they exchange in these hours will create a very close link between the two, which by chance develops and complicates, and changes their lives in a decisive way.

Penelope Cruz, Pedro Almodovar, Madres Paralelas

Cruz won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at Venice. Parallel Mothers to date is 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.

In total, AFI Fest counts 115 titles (48 Features, 1 Episodic, 49 Short Films and 17 Conservatory Showcase Shorts) of which 51% are directed by women, 40% directed by BIPOC filmmakers and 13% are directed by LGBTQIA+ filmmakers. This year’s program represents 50 countries and includes six World Premieres. The festival runs from November 10-14.

“We are excited to celebrate AFI Fest 2021 in person at the historic TCL Chinese theater and showcase both master filmmakers and emerging voices,” said Sarah Harris, Director of Programming, AFI Festivals. “In a time when we need movies more than ever, we look forward to audiences being inspired by the best films from around the world screening at this year’s AFI Fest.”

Returning filmmakers to AFI Fest are Hany Abu-Assad (Huda’s Salon), Andrea Arnold (Cow), Jacques Audiard (Paris, 13th District), Sean Baker (Red Rocket), Michel Franco (Sundown), Miguel Gomes (The Sugua Diaries), Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (Lingui, The Sacret Bonds), Céline Sciamma (Petite Maman), Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Memoria), and Zhang Yimou (One Second).

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.

Netflix Unveils Trailer for the Rodrigo Santoro-Starring Thriller “7 Prisoners”

Rodrigo Santoro is ready to thrill

Netflix has released the official trailer for 7 Prisoners, a Brazilian thriller starring the 46-year-old Brazilian actor.

Rodrigo Santoro

The film, produced by Oscar nominees Ramin Bahrani and Fernando Meirelles, is set to open in select theaters and debut globally on the streamer in November, and may well be put forward for the Academy Award competition for Best International Feature Film.

The second feature from Alexandre Moratto centers on 18-year-old Mateus (Christian Malheiros), who hopes to find a way to provide a better life for his working-class family in the countryside. Accepting a new job in São Paolo, he is shuttled into the city with a handful of other teenage boys from his town, unaware of what awaits them: exhausting work in a scrapyard and the seizure of their identity cards by a vicious taskmaster and exploiter, Luca (Santoro), who threatens them with the unthinkable if they try to escape. But, as Mateus learns, even the boss has a boss. And if he wants to find a way out, what will he have to become?

Moratto wrote the script for 7 Prisoners with Thayná Mantesso. Bruno Rocha, Vitor Julian, Lucas Oranmian, Cecília Homem de Mello, and Dirce Thomaz also star.

The film premiered in the Horizons Extra section of the 78th Venice Film Festival on September 6, subsequently going on to make its North American premiere in Toronto.

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

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

It’s all about last night for Anya Taylor-Joy

Focus Features has released the official trailer for Last Night In Soho, starring the 25-year-old Argentine actress, ahead of a planned October 29 release in theaters.

Anya Taylor-Joy, Last Night in Soho

Edgar Wright’s psychological thriller just had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival.

Written by Wright and Krysty Wilson-CairnsLast Night In Soho stars Thomasin McKenzie as Eloise, an aspiring fashion designer who is somehow able to enter the 1960s where she encounters a dazzling wannabe singer, Sandie (Taylor-Joy). But the glamour is not all it appears to be and the dreams of the past start to crack and splinter into something far darker.

Matt Smith, Terence Stamp, Diana Rigg, Rita Tushingham, Michael Ajao and Synnøve Karlsen also star in the filc, which is produced by Nira Park, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Laura Richardson and Wright.

Wright took to Twitter ahead of the film’s Lido world premiere on Saturday to plead with the gala crowd not to spoil the movie for others, writing that the cast and crew “would love to ask you, our first viewers, to keep the secrets within so that others can discover them later. When writing about the film, we’d love everyone who sees it to discover the story along with Eloise. So, please, if you can, keep the experience intact for future audiences so that what happens in ‘Last Night in Soho,’ stays in Soho….”

He said: “In ‘Last Night in Soho,’ our heroine Eloise goes on a journey. First from the country to the city, and then to another time. I would love the audience to go on that journey too when the film opens on October 29th. We purposely pushed the film back to this autumn date, not just so that it can hopefully be enjoyed on the biggest screen possible, but also so the nights would be longer and the audience could go in cold… literally.

Penelope Cruz’s “Official Competition” Acquired for UK Distribution by Protagonist Pictures

Penelope Cruz’s latest project is headed to theaters in United Kingdom…

The 47-year-old Spanish Oscar-winning actress’ Spanish-language comedy Official Competition, co-starring Antonio Banderas and Oscar Martínez, has been acquired for UK distribution by Protagonist Pictures.

Penelope Cruz, Antonio Banderas, Official Competition

The announcement came ahead of the film’s world premiere at the Venice Film Festival.

In Official Competition, Oscar winner Cruz plays renowned filmmaker Lola Cuevas, who is recruited by a billionaire entrepreneur who impulsively decides to create an iconic movie. Banderas stars as Hollywood heartthrob Félix Rivero, and joining them is Argentinian actor Oscar Martínez (The Distinguished Citizen), who plays radical theatre actor Iván Torres.

The Spanish-language comedy, directed by Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat from a script they wrote with Andrés Duprat, will also screen in the Special Presentations section of the Toronto International Film Festival and will open this year’s Perlak Section at the San Sebastian Film Festival.

Produced by The Mediapro Studio, the film has already sold to a string of international indie buyers.

“We are incredibly excited to work with such a talented cast and such lauded directors. We’re thrilled to bring this hilarious and witty film to UK audiences at a time when it is much needed,” said Curzon officials.

Protagonist CCO George Hamilton added: “Our friends at Curzon have a prodigious record in delivering high-quality films to discerning UK audiences, making them the perfect partners to distribute this whip-smart comedy, led by A-list talent at the top of their game, and helmed by some of Spain’s most fiercely talented filmmakers. We know Official Competition is in the best hands possible.”

Michel Franco’s “Sundown” Named to Official Competition Lineup for BFI London Film Festival

Michel Franco is preparing for Sundown in England…

The BFI London Film Festival has confirmed an eight-strong lineup for its Official Competition this year, with the 42-year-old Mexican film director, screenwriter and producer’s latest project making the cut.

Michel Franco

Franco’s Sundown is the only film from a Latinx filmmaker set to compete at the festival.

The drama, written and directed by Franco, stars Tim RothCharlotte Gainsbourg, Iazua LariosHenry Goodman, Albertine Kotting McMillan and Samuel Bottomley.

Sundown, which centers on a wealthy man who attempts to abandon his family on vacation, is schedule to have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on September 5, 2021.

Here’s the complete list of movies in competition:

Belle (Japan, dir-scr. Mamoru Hosoda)
Il Buco (Italy-Germany-France, dir. Michelangelo Frammartino)
The Hand Of God (Italy, dir-scr. Paolo Sorrentino)
Nitram (Australia, dir. Justin Kurzel)
Hit The Road (Iran, dir. Panah Panahi)
Sundown (Mexico-France-Sweden, dir-scr. Michel Franco)
Lingui, The Sacred Bonds (Chad-France-Germany-Belgium, dir-scr. Mahamat-Saleh Haroun)
True Things (UK, dir. Harry Wootliff)

A jury will select a winning film, to be announced at the LFF Awards Ceremony on October 17.

“With Official Competition our aim is to present a curated programme that showcases the breadth and richness of international cinema for our audiences. Anyone new to the LFF should consider Official Competition a big neon sign that is blinking: “enter here”. This eight film selection is full of individual cinematic diamonds – each one unique and beautiful in its own way. Together they are dazzling and demonstrate the endless potential of cinema in the hands of a great filmmaker. With a selection like this we have made the jury’s job very difficult indeed,” said LFF Director Tricia Tuttle.

Saban Films Acquires North American Rights to Paz Vega’s Action Thriller “American Night”

Paz Vega will be spending the Night in the United States…

Saban Films has acquired the North American rights to the action thriller American Night, starring the 45-year-old Spanish actress.

Paz Vega

The announcement comes ahead of the film’s debut at the Venice Film Festival, with plans to release it in theaters this fall.

The first feature from writer-director Alessio Della Valle is a neo-noir set in New York City’s corrupt contemporary art world, which stars Emile HirschJonathan Rhys MeyersVega, Jeremy Piven, Michael Madsen and more.

The film follows art dealer John Kaplan (Meyers) and Michael Rubino (Hirsch), the ruthless head of New York’s mafia, as they fight for money, art, power and love.

American Night hails from Martha Productions, Pegasus Entertainment, QMI and RAI Cinema. Martha Capello and Ilaria Dello Iacono produced the film, with Giorgio Ferrero exec producing.

“We look forward to working with Director Alessio Della Valle on his feature directorial debut American Night,” said Saban Films’ Bill Bromiley. “His experiences travelling the world have equipped him with a unique perspective and make him such a gifted filmmaker.”

Warner Bros. Releases New Trailer for Oscar Isaac’s Sci-Fi Film “Dune”

Oscar Isaac is in another world…

Warner Bros. has released a new trailer for Dune, starring the 42-year-old Guatemalan & Cuban actor.

Oscar Isaac

It’s the first clip of the highly anticipated film since the initial trailer hit last September, prior to the recent schedule change.

Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of the classic sci-fi novel by Frank Herbert will have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September before it hits theaters and HBO Max day-and-date on October 22.

This trailer begins with Zendaya’s character Chani surveying the deserts of her planet Arrakis before kicking into higher gear with action scenes and a dash or two of comedy (“Look at you – put on some muscle?,” asks Jason Momoa’s Duncan upon seeing Timothée Chalamet’s Paul Atreides. “I did?”, Chalament responds. “No,” says Momoa.)

In addition to Isaac, Zendaya, Chalamet and Momoa, Dune features Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Chang Chen and David Dastmalchian, with Charlotte Rampling and Javier Bardem.

The official synopsis: A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence—a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential—only those who can conquer their fear will survive.

Dune, a Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures presentation of a Legendary Pictures Production, is also being released in 3D and Imax, will makes its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and then plays the Toronto Film Festival. Jon Spaihts and Eric Roth wrote the script.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8g18jFHCLXk