Category - News

A-list cast set for ‘The Trial of The Chicago 7’

Academy Award winner Aaron Sorkin  will direct The Trial of the Chicago 7, which will star Academy Award Winner Eddie Redmayne as Tom Hayden, Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Sacha Baron Cohen as Abbie Hoffman, Emmy Nominee Seth Rogen as Jerry Rubin, Golden Globe Nominee Joseph Gordon-Levitt  as Richard Schultz, Jonathan Majors as Bobby Seale, and Alex Sharp as Rennie Davis.

Based on Sorkin’s screenplay, the film is based on the infamous 1969 trial of seven defendants charged by the federal government with conspiracy and more, arising from the countercultural protests in Chicago at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.  The story is set in 1968 and 1969, but it speaks directly to the divisiveness of our times and how young people can take on power and change the world.

Director Aaron Sorkin said, “I’m thrilled to be making a movie about one of one of the craziest, funniest, most intense, most tragic and most triumphant trials in American history. C-7 may take place in the late ’60’s, but there’s no better time to tell this story than today.”

First Look: Johnny Depp in ‘Minamata’

Production is underway for the film Minamatadirected by Andrew Levitas and starring three-time Academy Awardnominee and Golden Globe winner Johnny Depp as celebrated war photographer W. Eugene Smith.

Bill Nighy joins the cast of Minamata which will co-star Minami, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tadanobu Asano and Jun Kunimura. The famed Yôko Narahashi (Earthquake Bird, Unbroken) is the casting director on the film which is currently underway in locations in Japan, Serbia, and Montenegro.

Minamata is based on the book by Aileen Mioko Smith and W. Eugene Smith and adapted by David K. Kessler. The redemptive thriller, a real-life David versus Goliath story, pitts Smith against a powerful corporation responsible for poisoning the people of Minamata – Japan in 1971. Minamata is an extremely moving story of how one man’s powerful photograph impacted the world to take action.

With the glory days of World War II far behind him Smith (Depp) has become a recluse, disconnected from society and his career. But an old friend and a commission from “Life Magazine” editor (Nighy) convinces him to journey back to Japan to expose a big story: the devastating annihilation of a coastal community, victims of corporate greed and complicit local police and government. Armed with only his trusted camera, Smith must gain the trust of this struggling community and find the images that will bring the story to the World.

The victims’ case against the corporation responsible for this environmental disaster represents one of the biggest payouts of all time, with present day sufferers of Minamata disease still in court today seeking compensation. Production has spent time in Minamata meeting some of the victims and their families and the film is being made with their support.

Former Global Road Exec John Zois Joins Anton as EVP of Acquisitions & Co-Productions

Anton has announced  that former Global Road and IM Global exec John Zois has joined the company as EVP of Acquisitions & Co-Productions. Zois will continue to grow the company’s Film business globally while also working to establish Anton’s TV studio in the US. In film, Zois will work alongside London based President of Distribution, Harold van Lier, to grow Anton’s slate to 4 to 5 films a year, with budgets up to US$50m and a strong focus on kids/family and sci-fi/genre. Zois will report to Anton Founder & CEO Sebastien Raybaud.

“John is an incredibly seasoned and well-liked executive and the perfect person to expand our footprint in the U.S.,” said Anton CEO Sebastien Raybaud.

Prior to joining Anton, Zois was the Head of Acquisitions & Co-Productions at Global Road, where he oversaw the acquisition and production of Marc Munden’s The Secret Garden starring Colin Firth as well as John Leonetti’s The Silence starring Kiernan Shipka and Stanley Tucci. Zois previously worked at IM Global on such projects as Wayne Roberts’ Richard Says Goodbyestarring Johnny Depp and Reed Morano’s I Think Were Alone Now starring Peter Dinklage. Zois also worked at EuropaCorp and FilmNation on projects such as Lenny Abrahamson’s Roomand John Madden’s Miss Sloane starring Jessica Chastain. Zois began his career at The Gersh Agency.

Founded by Sebastien Raybaud in 2011, Anton is a global content business which creates, produces, finances and distributes across both film and TV. The company debuted its pioneering co-financing model by partnering with StudioCanal on acclaimed international productions such as Non-Stop starring Liam Neeson, the Paddington franchise, and Shaun the Sheep. 

Upcoming projects include Greenland written by Chris Sparling and produced with Thunder Road, and the animated feature, Fireheart, from the successful producers of Ballerina, a.k.a. Leap!.TV titles include the recent BBC success McMafia, and the upcoming adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials for HBO starring James McAvoy and Ruth Wilson and directed by Tom Hooper.

New Art: ‘Greta’

Director Neil James and actor Chloë Grace Moretz on set.
Photo Credit: Jonathan Hession

Story: A sweet, naïve young woman trying to make it on her own in New York City, Frances (Chloë Grace Moretz) doesn’t think twice about returning the handbag she finds on the subway to its rightful owner. That owner is Greta (Isabelle Huppert), an eccentric French piano teacher with a love for classical music and an aching loneliness.  Having recently lost her mother, Frances quickly grows closer to widowed Greta. The two become fast friends — but Greta’s maternal charms begin to dissolve and grow increasingly disturbing as Frances discovers that nothing in Greta’s life is what it seems in this suspense thriller from Academy Award®-winning director Neil Jordan.

Director:  Neil Jordan (“The Crying Game”) Writers: Ray Wright, Neil Jordan Producers: Sidney Kimmel, John Penotti, James Flynn, Lawrence Bender, Karen Richards Cast:  Isabelle Huppert, Chloë Grace Moretz, Maika Monroe, Colm Feore, Stephen Rea

Focus Features will release GRETA in theaters on March 1, 2019.

Watch Official Trailer below

Neon and Topic Studios Acquire Thought Provoking Thriller ‘Luce’

Luce, the thought-provoking, masterful feature from Julius Onah has made some major advancements. Based on a play by JC Lee and shot on 35mm, Onah has delivered a gripping drama that features standout performances by Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, Kelvin Harrison Jr, and Tim Roth.  The film has received rave reviews and kudos for its award-worthy performances and screenplay.

Amy and Peter Edgar (Naomi Watts and Tim Roth) adopted their son Luce (Kelvin Harrison Jr.)  from war-torn Eritrea ten years ago.  Luce is now an all-star student athlete, beloved by everyone.  After a series of encounters with his teacher, Harriet Wilson (Octavia Spencer), questions about who Luce really is begin to emerge.  A thrilling psychological drama, Luce is a complex film that addresses identity, truth, individuality and race.

Filmmaker Julius Onah said, “It’s been a real thrill premiering Luce at Sundance.  After hearing NEON’s passion and excitement for the film, I know there is no better partner. Tom Quinn and his entire team have shown a clear vision for Luce with great enthusiasm.  I look forward to continuing the journey of this film with NEON and Topic Studios as we share this story and the amazing performances of my cast with the world.”

Saban Films Partners with Kevin Smith on ‘Jay and Silent Bob’ Reboot

Saban Films has acquired North American rights to Kevin Smith’s highly-anticipated Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, the sequel to the 2001 comedy Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Jason Mewes and Smith are reprising the lead roles, alongside a number of returning players from the star-studded cast of the original movie, as well as a fresh new crop of cameos from the worlds of movies, TV, music and podcasting. Saban Films has committed to a substantial theatrical release. Jordan Monsanto of Smodco is producing alongside Destro Film’s Liz Destro. Production is currently underway.

Jay (Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith) were first introduced 25 years ago in Smith’s directorial debut, Clerks. The unlikely stoner icons have subsequently appeared in Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Clerks II, as well as the animated film Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie. The new movie will skewer reboots, remakes, and sequels while simultaneously being all three at the same time.

Saban Films’ Bill Bromiley commented, “Jay and Silent Bob is a global franchise which has a very loyal fan base.  Partnering with Kevin at script stage on the next chapter of these iconic characters is a huge milestone. This is the beginning of a new initiative at Saban Films, to partner on IP with seasoned filmmakers and talent early on in the creative process all the way through distribution.”

Official Statements from Oscar Nominees of ‘BlacKkKlansman’


“We are honored by the Academy’s recognition for BlacKkKlansman and the work Spike, Adam Driver, Terence Blanchard, Barry Alexander Brown and our entire cast and crew gave in bringing Ron Stallworth’s life to screenMore than 40 years later, this story of courage in the face of hatred is sadly still relevant today. Because of this, we knew from the very beginning that there was only one person who could helm this film: Spike Lee. It’s hard to believe this is the first time Spike’s brilliant work has been nominated for directing and best picture, but at this moment in our history, it seems fitting the spotlight is on Spike Lee.” 

– Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, Raymond Mansfield, Jordan Peele producers of BlacKkKlansman, nominee for Best Motion Picture of the Year

“Today is a humbling moment in time for me.  To be recognized by your peers with an Oscar nomination and to share that blessing with family and friends is moving beyond belief. I’m so grateful to my brother Spike Lee for having faith and giving me the chance to expand and grow as an artist.

BlacKkKlansman has been the result of 30 years of collaboration between Spike, Barry Alexander Brown, and myself and it’s a true honor to share this moment with them. I’m also very thankful for the team of folks who stand behind me, lift me up and have been there through it all – Robin Burgess, Marvin Morris, Howard Drossin Greg Hayes, Brad Ritchie and my band the E Collective -Oscar Seaton, Charles Altura, David Ginyard and Fabian Almazan.

Thanks to the Academy for this honor.  Humbled Truly.”

-Terence Blanchard, BlacKkKlansman, nominee in Achievement for Music Written for Motion Picture (Original Score)

Sundance Clip Debut|Shola Amoo’s ‘The Last Tree’

‘The Last Tree’ ready to make its World Premiere in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition Section next Thursday, January 24th at the Sundance Film Festival.

The film stars Sam Adewunmi, alongside Gbemisola Ikumelo, Tai Golding, Denise Black, and Nicholas Pinnock.

‘The Last Tree’ follows the story of Femi, a British boy of Nigerian heritage who, after a happy childhood in rural Lincolnshire, moves to inner London to live with his mum. Struggling with the unfamiliar culture and values of his new environment, teenage Femi has to figure out which path to adulthood he wants to take, and what it means to be a young black man in London.

Aretha Franklin Film To Be Released Early 2019

NEON has acquired the North American rights to Amazing Grace, the long-awaited Aretha Franklin film which made its World Premiere at DOC NYC and then went on to screen at AFI to a rapturous response. Following its Oscar qualifying run in New York and Los Angeles, NEON is planning an early 2019 theatrical release. The film has already been garnering standing ovations during its New York qualifying run.

Realized by Alan Elliott, the 1972 concert film presents Aretha Franklin with choir at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Watts, when the legendary queen of soul was 29 years-old and at the peak of her vocal powers.  Elliott produced alongside Joe Boyd, Chiemi Karasawa, Rob Johnson, Sabrina Owens, Tirrell D. Whittley, Jerry Wexler and Joseph Woolf.

Sabrina Owens, Franklin’s niece and personal representative of the Aretha Franklin Estate remarked about the film “Amazing Grace is the heart and soul of Aretha Franklin. This film is authentic and is my aunt to her core. Our family couldn’t be more excited for audiences to experience the genius of her work and spirit through this film.”

Fashion Designers Team Up with ‘On the Basis of Sex’ to Celebrate Equality

Fashion designers and beauty brands have teamed up with Participant Media’s film On the Basis of Sex starring Felicity Jones and Armie Hammer.  The companies, including Diane Von Furstenberg, Clare V., Lingua Franca, Soludos, Catbird, Clé de Peau Beauté, and Dissent Pins, collaborated to design the “All Rise” collection, an exclusive line of clothing, jewelry, accessories, and make-up items inspired by the film and the work of Justice Ginsburg.  A portion of each sale will go to benefit the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) – a non-profit organization committed to defending civil rights and civil liberties – where Ginsburg co-founded the Women’s Rights Project.  The collection is available for purchase now at www.allrisenow.com and also online through each company’s website.

Designer Diane von Furstenberg, who designed several items for the line including one of her iconic wrap dresses, said, “We are happy to reissue this geometric print to celebrate the premiere of On the Basis of Sex and Felicity Jones’ portrayal of the incomparable Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”

 The “All Rise” collection includes fifteen items:

  • Catbird’s “The Light You Shed” Jewelry Token
  • Clare V.’s “Égalité” Wallet Clutch, Bandana, and Sweatshirt
  • Clé de Peau Beauté’s Lipstick Cashmere in Legend
  • Diane von Furstenberg’s “New Jeanne” Wrap Dress, “Terria” Wrap Jumpsuit, Cuffed V-Neck Shirt, Cuffed Long Sleeve V-neck Shirt, High-Waisted Flared Pant, Scarf, and Scrunchie
  • Dissent Pins’ “Equality” Pin
  • Lingua Franca’s “All Rise” Sweater
  • Soludos’ “All Rise” Sneakers