Cannes Film Festival 2014 | Film Budget Inc. | filmbudget.com

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FBwhite_180x180Cannes Film Festival 2014

As spring brings a welcome change in weather, Cannes, France, prepares to bring another round of brilliant filmmaking to the world. That’s right, Festival de Cannes 2014 is quickly approaching, which means all eyes are on Europe.

Cannes-Film-Festival“Cannes must be open to new ideas, while remaining faithful to its past, of course. Diversity can only enrich it. That´s what makes the Festival de Cannes our festival.” – Thierry Frémaux

Competition – From first time directors to living legends, this year’s line-up will make any film fan giddy. All eighteen films up for competition are highly anticipated. Some highlights: French new-wave legend Jean-Luc Godard tries his hand at 3-D with “Goodbye to Language”; Ryan Gosling makes his directorial debut with “Lost River” filmed in Detroit.

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Sci-fi/horror legend David Cronenberg “deconstructs Hollywood” with “Maps to the Stars” starring Robert Pattinson; Acting great Tommy Lee Jones directs “The Homesman” starring Hilary Swank; and many, many more. For a complete list, read CNN’s Cannes Lineup.

When: From 14 to 25 May, 2014

Where: Cannes, France

Mission: “To draw attention to and raise the profile of films with the aim of contributing towards the development of cinema, boosting the film industry worldwide and celebrating cinema at an international level.”

Awards:

Palme d’Or, which, in 2013, went to Abdellatif Kechiche’s “Blue is the Warmest Color“; an independent French film made with a movie budget of only four million euros. It went on to gross over $19 million worldwide.

Grand Prix – read a list of 2013 winners here.

Prix du Jury

Best Actor (2013 winner – Bruce Dern for “Nebraska”) Best Actress (Bérénice Bejo in “Le Passé“)

Cannes Classics – “Discover the Cannes Classics Selection online from 17th April and access the detailed film notes one week before the Festival opening.”

Cannes-ClassicsJury – This year’s jury will consists of an equal number of men and women. As usual, the panel will be globally diverse. 2013 saw some big names with Nicole Kidman and Steven Spielberg on board, and 2014 will be no different. According to the Los Angeles Times, this year’s panel will consist of: Sofia Coppola, Willem Dafoe, Nicolas Winding Refn, Jeon Do-yeon, Leila Hatami, Jia Zhangke, Jane Campion, Carole Bouquet, and Gael Garcia Bernal.

Cannes-JuryOpener – Olivier Dahan’s “Grace of Monaco” starring Nicole Kidman

Not in Competition – Though it will not be competing, DreamWorks’ “How to Train Your Dragon 2” has much to be excited about. Its first installment, made with a movie budget of $165 million, has grossed over $494 million worldwide. The film is directed by Dean DeBlois and stars the voices of Jonah Hill, Kit Harington, Kristen Wiig, Cate Blanchett, and Gerard Butler.

There are many other excellent filmmakers showcasing their movies at Cannes. The official website puts it,

“Cannes is about far more than just the top award. Some 49 feature-length films from 28 nations – including 15 by women directors – will be shown at the 11-day cinema extravaganza.”

Cannes Court – This short film event brings together the Short Film Corner and the short film competition.

The Daily – As we wait the official announcement of the 2014 schedule, the 2013 Daily gives a hint at what this year’s festival will consist of.

Celebrating Cinematic Diversity

Since 1947, the first year of “Festival du film de Cannes”, the French Riviera film festival has played a pivotal role in international cinema. Cannes quickly became the festival for foreign cinema to reach new markets. In addition to better distribution, world-greats, such as Japan’s Akira Kurosawa and Sweden’s Ingmar Bergman, earned the recognition they deserved from Canne’s diverse panel of judges.

With such an important, rich history, Cannes 2014 promises to continue its tradition of embracing cinematic diversity. By remembering the past and championing the future, the French festival is sure to be a brilliant celebration of cinema.

LE MARCHÉ DU FILM – From May 14-23, 20,000 film professionals will meet at Cannes Film Market. As always, the market will be a great opportunity to advertise, promote, network, and collaborate with film industry insiders. According to the film market website, 5,364 films will be represented at the festival, as well as 1,076 companies at 397 booths. Registration online is now closed. Finally, Cannes’ Film Market is an excellent way to highlight your movie or company. That being said, it’s not too late to advertise, click here to learn more: Cannes Advertising Opportunities.

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Sundance London 2014 | Film Budget Inc. | filmbudget.com

Sundance London – Film and Music Festival 2014

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 5.45.49 PMLinking the Worlds of Music and Movies

Coming off a successful festival in Utah, Robert Redford and his Sundance team are set to bring their magic to London. For the past three years, Sundance London has proved itself a platform fecund with artistic potential. In what Redford  describes as the “cross-section” of the arts, music and movies synthesis to create music inspired by movies, and movies inspired by music. In Sundance Presents Cross-Section of U.S. Indie Fare, Music-Themed Pix at London Festival, director of the Sundance Film Festival, John Cooper, describes the movie legend’s passion as:

“It’s an idea that Redford has been very involved in, the whole notion of mixing artists together for a greater impact, and it has been growing in the minds of American filmmakers.”

When: 25 – 27th April

Where: The O2, London

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Movies: 21 feature films and 18 shorts.

Working in the “cross-section,” Sundance has selected many films with a strong connection to music. Films include: the European premiere of “The Trip to Italy” starring Steve Coogan, International premiere of “Memphis” written and directed by Tim Sutton, offbeat comedy “Frank” starring Michael Fassbender, “They Came Together” starring Paul Rudd, and many more.

From the Collection: Sundance draws from its incredible past as it hosts a series of classics. The screenings include, “Reservoir Dogs”, “Memento”, “Winter’s Bone”, and “Axiom.” These films are not only a testament to the festival’s ability to bring indie talent to popular culture, but proof a movie with a low film budget can be a box office success. For instance, Reservoir Dogs was made with a movie budget of $1.2 million and grossed over $2.8 million.

banner_reservoirIn addition to the screenings, panels and talks on subjects such as “The Art of Film and Music” will work as a fascinating experience for aspiring filmmakers and fans alike. Further, Shorts Workshop: London, “designed to empower the next generation of filmmakers,” will also take place.

Short Film Competition: Contestants were asked to submit a 3 to 5 minute short video on the topic “Making a Go Of it.” The contest is for UK residents only, and will be shortlisted by a panel of judges before Sundance Institute representatives pick a winner. Further, a community choice prize package will go to the film with the most public support.  Good luck to those who entered!

Tickets: Individual tickets will be on sale starting 9am Friday March 28th. This will be the last chance to buy ticket packages. Prices range from £25 (Just Shorts & Music and Movie Package) to £170 (Sky Superscreen Pass).

Music

Opening Night Party: Who doesn’t like a good party? With Archive booked to open at the Brooklyn Bowl, followed by a live DJ set, the festival  is sure to get people moving. Doors open at 8PM.

Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra – you had me at Afrobeat – is putting on a free show for the screening of “Finding Fela,” a documentary on Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s life, on the 27th. Need more persuaion to attend? Read Sundance London’s official website description of Dele’s grooves:

“expect nothing but the funkiest rhythm guitars, fiery percussion, call and response vocals and blazing horns, faithful to the original blueprint, but also clearly bearing Dele’s own DNA.”

The Sundance Institute in London – how can you go wrong with that? Make sure you get your tickets before it’s too late! For more information on the movies being screened click here.

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Cheers!

 

SXSW 2014 Update | Film Budget Inc. | filmbudget.com

A City Fit for Movies

Far from Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and New York City, SXSW hosts one of the year’s biggest events for entertainment and tech junkies alike. Holding true to the state’s mantra, “everything’s bigger in Texas,” SXSW is much more than one particular type of festival; it’s a music festival, movie festival, and interactive conference.

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Is Austin an unlikely city for such an event? Of course not. From a filmmaker’s perspective, Austin is a vibrant market as well as a proven city to produce movies. Do ‘True Grit,’ ‘Dazed and Confused,’ The Tree of Life’ ring a bell? That’s right, they were all made in Austin. Need more proof the city is an important force in the movie industry? Check out the Austin Film Commission’s website.

A Festival in Three Acts

As mentioned before, SXSW is essentially three festivals rolled into one. The music portion begins tomorrow and ends the 16th. The film festival spans from March 7-15. Ending tomorrow, the interactive festival took place from the 7th to the 11th.

Interactive

Arguably the most talked about moment of the festival thus far, Edward Snowden spoke to crowds via videocast in a recent event. Though the quality was reportedly lousy, Snowden managed to answer intriguing questions that were submitted via Twitter. Despite the highly controversial nature of his actions, and all around “bleak” revelations of our Nation’s privacy, the discussion revealed some optimistic moments. As reported in an online article by TIME magazine,

“Snowden’s revelations have led companies such as Google and Yahoo to bolster their security measures, which helps protect online data from being watched by government eyes.”

In addition to Snowden’s virtual appearance, the interactive festival offered a tremendous amount of wisdom and information from a series of events, speakers, and brilliant minds. From web design to dinosaurs, SXSW-Interactive never ceased to inspire.

Music

Spanning almost every genre, the 2,200 acts performing at this year’s SXSW offer something for every music fan. From Hip-Hop giants Wiz Khalifa and Kendrick Lamar (Kendrick is headlining the I-tunes sponsored show) to the Irish hard-rock group Strypes, Austin promises to tear the roof off. Check out The Wall Street Journal’s guide to 20014s music festival.

Keep in mind, the music portion of SXSW is much more than just live shows. For instance, Lady Gaga will be the much talked about Keynote speaker this year. Read more about it here.

Movies

“You go in, it all goes dark, and you put yourself in someone else’s shoes and see through their eyes. That’s just mega, it’s so powerful. Even a painter, who can do it, only can do less. A painter at one time is showing you one frame, but a filmmaker can take you into an experience and an existential atmosphere that may be a trip for you.” – Tilda Swinton on How She Feels About Cinema

It’s moments such as Tilda Swinton’s hour-long talk at SXSW that inspires the next generation of great actors, actresses, and filmmakers. Whether it be talks, screenings, or events, the SXSW film portion is sure to get things going for spring.

World premieres include director Carlos Marques Marcet’s Spanish flick ‘Long Distance,’ Shawn Christensen’s ‘Before I disappear’ and five other fantastic projects all up for competition. In addition to indie, world, and documentary cinema, this year hosts five headliners.

With a movie budget of $6 million dollars, director Rob Thomas’ ‘Veronica Mars’ has already received much media attention from its screening.

veronicamars3

Other headlines include: Nicholas Stoller’s ‘Neighbors’ starring Seth Rogen and Zac Efron, David Gordon Green’s ‘Joe’ starring Nicolas Cage, John Favreau’s ‘Chef’ starring Scarlett Johansson, and Michael and Peter Spierig’s ‘Predestination’ starring Ethan Hawke. For a full list of the festival’s screenings click here.

And the Winners Are

A great time was undoubtedly had by all, but none more so than the winners. Here’s a brief rundown, courtesy of Indiewire.com, of this year’s best. Congrats, filmmakers!

Grand Jury Winner in the Narrative Feature Competition: ‘Fort Tilden’

Sarah-Violet Bliss & Charles Rogers’ ‘Fort Tilden.’ Read more about the movie, made with a low indie-film budget, here.

Grand Jury Winner in the Documentary Feature Competition: ‘The Great Invisible’

In what Variety describes as a “deeply sobering and sympathetic new documentary,” The Great Invisible reveals the aftermath of the tragic 2010 BP oil spill.

Special Jury Recognition for Courage in Storytelling: ‘Animals’

Screenwriter David Dastmalchian’s story of two drug addicts in love.

Special Jury Recognition for Best Acting Duo: 10,000 km (Long Distance)

Natalie Tena and David Verdauger.

Special Jury Recognition for Political Courage: ‘Vessel’

Director Diana Whitten’s documentary about the travels of Dr. Rebecca, who provides abortions on the high seas.

The Best (and Worst) of the Rest

Though there may not be an official award for ‘Good Music Moviemaking,’ Flavorwire’s article SXSW Film 2014: The Best and Worst Films of SXSW reveals, in their opinion, the winners and losers of more specific categories. Check it out!

Jason_Bateman_Bad_WordsJason Bateman’s ‘Bad Words’

Need inspiration? SXSW hosts a wealth of discussions, interviews, and panels. In fact, they’re even hosting a discussion on how to be successful at other festivals. An indie-filmmaker’s dream.

Stay updated on the latest SXSW news by following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook!

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Entertainment, Movie Box Office, and the Film Budget | Film Budget Inc. | Filmbudget.com

A Great Year for Movies

2013 was a great year for movies. You can’t walk down the street anymore without hearing someone arguing with their neighbor over who’s going to win best director. More importantly, people are conversing about films in a way much deeper than just entertainment. While ‘12 Year’s a Slave‘ got people discussing our nation’s painful past, ‘The Wolf of Wall Street‘ and ‘The Great Gatsby‘ showed greed is just as pressing of a topic as it was in the 1920s.

But what about the numbers? After all, it takes money – often a lot of money – to make movies, and without profits there are less films going into production. The good news is people are still going to see movies. In an enlightening inforgraphic form Superscholar.org, the economics behind what they call ‘our obsession’ is broken down in comparatives. The infographic reads,

“Despite claims of piracy hurting profits, movies remain one of the most popular & profitable entertainment venues in the US”

When compared to other entertainment venues, movies are still selling a staggering number of tickets, in addition to having a low average cost by event. For instance, movies sold 1.36 billion tickets and maintained a low average event cost of only $31.84. On the other hand, the NFL sold 17.2 million tickets with $313.52 as the cost of the event. Though, the NFL does charge a much higher price for those 17.2 million tickets, but it only does so for part of the year – 17 weeks not counting playoffs.

movie-theaterA Side Note – These numbers are from 2012. According to The Numbers website, 2013 saw a drop in tickets sold to 1.16 billion, and a revenue of $9.45 billion. But with immense hype for this year’s Oscars, I predict many of 2013s top films continue to make large profits.

The infographic also reveals that while revenues have been historically rising, so have ticket prices. For instance, in 2002 the average ticket price was $5.81, which has grown to $7.96 in 2012. Why are movie ticket prices rising? In terms of exhibition, many theaters are upgrading to a more luxurious experience, including bars, comfortable seats, and the latest sound and projection technology. Also, the onslaught of 3D movies and Blockbusters with gigantic movie budgets tend to force prices up every year.

The Winners

2013 wasn’t an all-time record setting year, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t winners. To name a few,

Iron Man 3 Grossed: $1.22 Billion with a movie budget of $375 million

Despicable Me 2 Grossed: $919 million with a movie budget of (estimated) $76 million

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire $840 million with a movie budget of $130 million

Fast & Furious 6 $789 million with a movie budget of (estimated) $160 million

The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug $757 Million with a movie budget of $250 million

Iron-Man-3It’s obvious Hollywood loves a good blockbuster, particularly one involving super heroes, but not all are a success. For example, this summer saw some major flops in ‘R.I.P.D’ and ‘The Lone Ranger’, which only grossed $261 million on a film budget of $275 million.

Star Power
The info-graph goes on to show star power is still Hollywood’s greatest draw. With the number one grossing movie of the year, Iron Man Robert Downey Jr. took in $75 million. Surprisingly, Channing Tatum, Hugh Jackman, Mark Wahlberg, and Dwayne Johnson placed higher than Leonardo DiCaprio, who made $39 million.

As for actresses, Angelina Jolie is still at the top with $33 million. Further, with hits such as ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘American Hustle’, it’s no surprise to find Jennifer Lawrence in the number two spot with $26 million (a number that wouldn’t even place her on the men’s list).

Jennifer-lawrence-Dior-dress-Golden-Globes-2014-deWhether it’s from international sales, higher ticket prices, or star power, the movie business still remains the most lucrative in the entertainment industry. Despite 2013 sales being down, hopes are at an all time high for quality’s sake, as this year’s Oscars is highly anticipated. In other words, you know things are promising when all nine of the candidates for Best Picture are worthy of winning.

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BFI London Film Festival 2014 Dates | Film Budget Inc. | Filmbudget.com

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BFI London Film Festival Announces 2014 Dates

It’s never too soon to look ahead in the exciting world of cinema. Coming off a successful 2013 run, London looks to 2014 for a pinnacle year in the festival’s history.  Clare Stewart, chief of LFF, is already working on making London a force for any film interested in a major awards run. The Hollywood Reporter states,

“The fest chief, Clare Stewart, is attending the Berlinale with colleagues Tricia Tuttle, deputy head of festivals, Michael Blyth, festival programmer, and Andrea Bigger, industry manager, as they begin their search for films for this year’s edition.”

57th BFI London Film FestivalFall can’t come soon enough, as the BFI announces this year’s festival will take place the 8-19th of October. As you may recall, last year’s fall erupted with excitement, as incredible film after incredible film picked up steam at Tiff, and other fall festivals, before opening to eager audiences around the world. That’s why LFF believes it can play an even bigger role come autumn. From projects with large movie budgets, to smaller ones with independent film budgets, 2014 promises to showcase a wide range of pictures.

Though October may seem a ways away, submission deadlines are creeping in like a London fog. The deadline for short films (40 minutes or less) is listed for 13th of June, while features (more than 40 minutes) have until the 20th. For more info, including the submission regulations, click here.

bfi-london-film-festivalThe best news, if you’re a UK filmmaker, is that it’s free. As for foreign films, there is a fee, but if you act fast – submit by 5pm, Friday May 5th – it’s only £45.

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The Berlin International Film Festival Update | Film Budget Inc. | Filmbudget.com

Read Our Previous Rundown  “Berlin: What, Where, When – Navigating Berlin”

Berlin Film Festival Opens

It’s February, which means it’s Berlin’s time to play host to the movie industry. Staying true to its rich, artistic heritage, the German capital boasts one of the most progressive festivals of the year. Berlin is the perfect location to celebrate the boundaries of cinema, as innovative veterans and newcomers alike hurdle past them. Just a visit to the festival’s official website can satisfy any ardent cinephile’s need for the moving picture. That being said, this Thursday kicks off the ten day festival, but that doesn’t mean talks, deals, and discussions haven’t already started. Here’s a brief rundown of things you should know before the Golden Bear awakes from hibernation.

Berlinale_Bills_(Berlin_Film_Festival_2009)European Film Market – Optimism Amidst Challenges

Being the first major film market of 2014, the EFM is expected to set the tone for the year to come, particularity for European productions. According to Screen Daily, “The current market is focused on smart money and smart deals, not volume of product.” If you recall, this sentiment finds its roots in the AFM. Though there were plenty of deals and capital present, investors weren’t biting at every package they came across. Certainly, the EFM will be no different.

The results of the AFM should only set the context, and it wouldn’t be smart to assume producers and buyers aren’t getting wiser. In fact, now is an exciting time for a project with an independent film budget to be made. There’s a ton of capital, new distribution mediums, such a Netflix, offer options, and BRIC markets continue to grow. But, as to be expected, things aren’t without challenge. To explain, despite the optimism, companies and producers alike are learning they must change their game plans in order to strike deals. Jeremy Kay illustrates,

“The problem is, the money comes with strings attached. Courting financiers remains a tricky business and these days investors are more demanding than ever about allocation and recoupment.”

Always a staple in the movie industry, enlisting A-list star power has traditionally helped get projects financed, distributed, and finished. This philosophy isn’t going anywhere, but it doesn’t automatically solve the problem of unimpressive project concepts. In other words,

“The veteran executive says that stars and A-list directors are willing and able to work in the independent space, however assembling the package is as difficult as it has ever been.”

A changing enviroment is expected, that’s why this year’s Screen International EFM panel should not be missed. Starting at 4:30 PM on Saturday (the 8th) the EFM will host four producers as they discuss the lessons they’ve learned, as well all the mistakes they’ve made along the way. With the industry ever changing, it should be intriguing to hear directly from the people making independent films happen. Producers include, Robin Gutch (Kill List, Hunger), Louise Vesth (Nymphomaniac, Royal Affair), Judy Tossell (The Last Station, Germany), and Lars Knudsen (US, Beginners). The debates will take place at the Gropius Mirror Restaurant.

Other debates include – The Act (and Art) of the Doc, New Film Sales Opportunities in Fast-Moving Asia, The Changing Market.

Deals and Other News

Next Goal Wins, a documentary about an American Samoa football team, has found early success with K5 international. Five deals have already been struck with France, UK, Australia, The Middle East, and Japan.

next-goal-wins-poster__140203222447-275x407New Europe Film Sales picks up Bas Devos’ Violet to make a total of three films in this year’s festival. The other two include, Thou Wast Mild and Lovely and Above us All.

Fortissimo Films’ Love is Strange, which fostered great reviews at Sundance, has sealed a number of deals. To name a few, its UK rights have been sold to Altitude Films, Faliro House for distribution in Greece, and Rialto Distribution for both Australia and New Zealand.

With many anticipated projects on board, Canada has high hopes to make an impact at this year’s festival. Though none of the five Canadian films are in the official competition for the Golden Bear, that hasn’t stopped the proud country from causing a buzz. Click here for The Globe and Mail’s rundown of Canadian features, as well as this list of ten Canadian films to watch.

1816817Still not excited for the festival? Don’t forget there are many A-list names involved -George Clooney, Bill Murray (you know there’s going to be some great parties with these two), Wes Anderson. Here’s a list of the ten most anticipated films.

For more information check out: “Berlin:  Variety Lays Out the Films on Offer” and LIKE our Facebook page for the most recent news and articles.

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Sundance Follow-Up | Film Budget Inc. | Filmbudget.com

2014 Sundance Film Festival

Another year, another exciting festival. As the catalyst of the independent film world ends, industry insiders, fans, distributors, and, of course, sponsors, brush the snow of their jackets as they now prepare for Europe. So, what’s the condition of the indie-movie world? Is there a new ‘Fruitivale Station’ on the map? Damien Chazelle would certainly like to think so. As his film gave audiences and distributors alike a welcomed ‘whiplash’ of creativity, many other movies followed suit – wrapping up tons of deals. That being said, here’s a rundown of Robert Redford’s brilliant festival.

Park-City-Sundance-2014Damien Chazelle’s Incredible Debut

If you aren’t familiar with the name Damien Chazelle, then you may want to reconsider. His first feature, ‘Whiplash’, just took home the Grand Jury and Top audience awards in the U.S. dramatic competition. The film, about an aspiring jazz drummer, opened the festival with rave reviews. Though a movie about Jazz may seem appealing to only a niche audience, many claim it strikes chord with the human spirit, though be it, a painful one.

“Anyone who’s ever had a high school or college teacher make it a point to manipulate or mess with students’ lives will no doubt have relatable, and possibly painful, memories revived by this vivid portrait of a music school at which the program, run by its star instructor, closely resembles the boot camp presided over by R. Lee Ermey in Full Metal Jacket.” – Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

The top two prizes weren’t the only thing the Film took away from Sundance. After its successful debut, ‘Whiplash’, made with an indie movie budget of $3.3 Million, was picked up by Sony Pictures Classics. The deal included the rights for North America, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand.

Whiplash-2014-3Based on a Damien Chazelle’s own short film by the same name, ‘Whiplash’ delves deep into the struggles of an artists, and lets his stellar cast come alive. The stand out performances by J. K. Simmons and Miles Teller are what made this film a favorite. For instance, in a review on The Daily Beast, Marlow Stern claims, “In the case of Chazelle’s film, it’s best to throw logic out the door and give in to the riveting performances and compelling underdog story.” It should be interesting to see if Damien’s talented directorship, and the casts’ brilliant performances, are enough to sell jazz to major audiences.

Other Winners

‘Rich Hill,’ a documentary about a family from Missouri hit hard by poor financial times, took home Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Documentary. The film was directed by Tracy Droz Tragos & Andrew Droz Palermo.

Upstart Brooklyn Media company, Vice Media, made waves at the festival with its film ‘Fishing Without Nets.’ The director of the Somali Highjacking movie, Cutter Hodierne, won the directing award in U.S. Dramatic.

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Collecting the World Cinema dramatic grand jury prize was director Alejandro Fernandez Almendras’ ‘To Kill a Man.’ As for world cinema documentary grand jury prize went to Talal Derki’s tale about a soccer star and activist – ‘Return to Homs.’

A final thought, an article in the LA Times on  Sundance Winners claims success at Sundance, particularly in the awards department, does not always spell box-office gold. The article mentioned past winners, ‘Fruitival Station’ and ‘Beast of the Southern Wild,’ as being large critical hits, while only creating minor stirs at the box office.

Other Notable Sales

Focus Features: Zach Braff’s ‘Wish I Was Here’ sells for $2.75 million despite its flat reception and “stale jokes.” The film was made on a movie budget of $3.1 million, raised on Kickstarter.

‘Happy Christmas’, starring Lena Dunham and Anna Kendrick sells to Magnolia and Paramount. According to TheWrap.com, “Under the pact, Magnolia Pictures is handling U.S. theatrical and VOD distribution, while Paramount Home Media Distribution will manage U.S. physical home entertainment and all international rights. Magnolia is planning a summer 2014 release.”

‘Dinosaur 13’ – CNN Films and Lionsgate purchased this documentary about a lost T Rex Skeleton. The deal was for $1 million dollars, what Daniel Miller of the LA Times called, “a robust price for a festival documentary.”

‘Laggies’ – A much talked about performance by the lovely Keira Knightley sells this film’s North American rights to A24 for $2 million.

Parties and Events

“An Artist at the Table” held at the stein Erikson Lodge, saw a  320-person dinner of donors, celebrities, and board members. In attendance was Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul, promoting his new film “Hellion”

AATTBlog_3Grey Goose was the sponsor of choice for premiere parties, playing host to “Wish I were Here” and “Laggies” events.

Amongst the many film parties, tailgaters for the NFL playoffs, including the cast of ‘Cooties,’ cheered on their favorite teams.

A more interesting celebration was for Perri Peltz and Geeta Gandbhir’s new documentary ‘Remembering the Artist Robert De Niro Sr.’ The doc captures the life of legendary actor Robert De Niro’s father, who was a figurative painter. Bradley Cooper and De Niro were in attendance.

Corporate sponsors, including SoulCycle and Eddie Bauer, offered a chance for fitness between the eating and drinking. It wasn’t uncommon to see a celebrity taking on the Eddie Bauer Adventure House’s rock climbing wall.

Crowd-funding the Future of Indie Cinema

445510006_640Zach Braff wasn’t the only product of Kickstarter and Indiegogo. In The Hollywood Reporter’s Sundance Trend: Kickstarting the Homestretch the struggle for up-and-coming filmmakers wasn’t just getting into the festival, it was finishing their project in time for Sundance. Many films, including ‘The Foxy Merkins’, relied on crowd funding to cover expensive post-production costs in order to complete their films. “Twenty selections for this year’s festival raised money on Kickstarter, the largest number to date.” – Chris O’Falt. Crowd-funding is the more attractive alternative to bringing in another equity investor. It seems movies made on an indie film budget are getting back to the roots of what being independent is all about.

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Sundance Film Festival | Film Budget Inc. | Filmbudget.com

Sundance Film Festival 2014

2014 will mark the 30th year for the Sundance Film Festival; a festival known as an integral stepping stone for brilliant independent projects to reach global audiences. But as technologies in production, distribution, and exhibition rapidly change independent cinema, will the festival follow suit?  Nate von Zumwalt, editorial manager at Sundance.org, thinks not:

“As independent film has evolved from its renegade-spirited roots to an “accepted form of creative expression,” the tenets of the Sundance Film Festival remain unaffected.”

As the snow descends on Park City, Utah, so will the industry, with hopes of discovering the next great movie, director, and star. Last year’s festival introduced the world to Ryan Coogler, writer & director of the poignant film Fruitvale Station. With his directorial debut, Coogler used the Sundance institute (the film first made its presence at 2012s screenwriter’s lab) to show the world the story of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old man from the Bay Area who was tragically shot and killed by BART officers. The story, film, and acting moved the audience, as well as the institute, so much that it went on to win the U.S. Grand Jury Prize for Drama. Arguably, if it weren’t for its attention at Sundance, the film may not have earned as big of an applause at Cannes, or gone on to gross over $16 million on a indie film budget of less than a million dollars.

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As a tremendously exciting fall comes to a close, the movie industry eagerly awaits an even more tremendous start to 2014. As a result, this year’s Sundance Festival is guaranteed to be as important, exciting, and moving as years past.

Where: Park City, Utah

When: Jan 16-26

Tickets: There are many ways to obtain a ticket to the festival. Festival passes are a great way to ensure access to the best stuff. Further, the two passes that are still available include: Eccles Pass B ($1,500), and Express Pass B ($3,000). All of the ticket packages are currently SOLD OUT, but individual tickets for access to a single screening will be on sale for $20. Open tickets sales begin January 14th.

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Lodging: Make sure you plan and book your hotel rooms early. The official website offers an easy way to see what types of lodgings are available. Hotels include:

The Caledonian **** $2,999 avg/night

Best Western Plus Landmark Inn & Pancake House *** $369 avg/night

Sundance Mountain Resort **** $482 avg/night

Transportation: Info on ground and air transportation can be acquired here.

Program: The festival is composed of fourteen different film categories, including Sundance Kids, Midnight, U.S. Doc, World Doc, Next, Premieres, Shorts, Shorts Programs, Spotlight, Sundance Collection, U.S. Dramatic, and World Dramatic. In addition, panels, music, and media installations enrich the already dynamic festival.

2014 Screenwriters Lab

Recently, the Sundance Institute released the twelve projects that will be taking part in their annual Screenwriters Lab. From the tenth to the fifteenth, established advisors, new talent, and industry professionals will assemble at the Sundance Resort, with hopes of developing the next Grand Jury Prize winner. Nigel M. Smith of IndieWire.com describes the advantage as, “The annual workshops give selected films a leg up in the independent film community in terms of financing and representation.” With Quentin Tarantino, Naomi Foner, and Patty Jenkins, among others, working as creative advisors, this year’s screenwriters lab is much anticipated. Below are just a few of the projects, for the full list click here.

The Father’s Shadow – Written/Directed by Gabriela Amaral Almeida (Brazil)

Lynch – Written by Nicole Riegel (U.S.A)

The Buried Life – Co-writers/Co-directors Averie Storck & Joan Stein Schimke

Manchild – Written/Directed by Ryan Koo (U.S.A)

Stranger With a Camera – Written/Directed by Oorlagh George (Northern Ireland/U.S.A)

Movies

After much anticipation, the world premiere of director Zach Braff’s follow up film to his insanely successful Garden State, will take place at the Sundance Film Festival. Inspired by Veronica Mars‘ crowdfunding campaign, Braff used Kickstarter to raise the $2 million movie budget for his latest project, Wish I Was Here. On top of co-writing (with the help of his brother Adam) and directing the film, Zach will play the protagonist, a 35-year-old father struggling to find himself. The film will also star Mandy Patinkin, Josh Gad, and Kate Hudson.

Wish I was Here isn’t the only Sundance film with a unique movie budget. Also making its world premiere is director Tim Sutton’s feature film Memphis. Created on a film budget of only 150,000 euros, the movie is one of three projects made possible by the Biennale College – Cinema, a workshop intended to create mini-budgeted films.

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On top of all the new talent, this year’s festival will be composed of many seasoned directors and actors pushing the boundaries of storytelling. For instance, God’s Pocket, starring veteran actors Richard Jenkins and Philip Seymour Hoffman, will compete in this year’s competition. Other stars with projects competing in Sundance include, Anne Hathaway in Song One, Kristen Stewart in the Guantanamo Bay drama Camp X-Ray, and Jason Schwartzman in Alex Ross Perry’s Listen Up Philip. For a full list of this year’s line-up, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

Berlin International Film Festival | Film Budget Inc. | Filmbudget.com

Berlinale: 64th Berlin International Film Festival

As the 2014 movie season kicks off in Park City, Utah, exciting things promise to continue as Berlin hosts its 64th International Film festival shortly after. Always an international hub for the arts and culture, the historic German city is set to draw much attention this year. With big names premiering even bigger movies, cinema fans will find much to discover and discuss. As any high-profile festival should, Berlin will screen films spanning all genres, languages, and movie budgets. In addition to the films themselves, the European Film Market and Co-Production Market are guaranteed to generate many exciting deals.

Berlinale-film-festivalWhere: Berlin, Germany.

When: 6th (Thursday) – 16th (Sunday) February, 2014.

Venues: This year’s venues are yet to be announced. Last year’s festival’s events took place at the Marriott Hotel, MGB, Gropius Mirror Restaurant; movie screenings were held at Cinema Arsenal, Cubix, Colosseum, just to name a few.

Where to Stay: According to the official website, the festival has partnered with local hotels to offer a limited number of rooms to accredited professionals. These hotels range from one to five stars, which can be viewed here. Prices vary amongst the hotels; for instance, five-star hotel Hilton Berlin can be upwards of $500 a night (for a king guestroom). Other partner hotels include:

Hotel ADLON Kempinski (*****)

Crown Plaza Berlin City Centre (****)

Hotel Gat Point Charlie (***)

Motel One Berlin Tiergarten (**)

 

Tickets: As usual, tickets will be available through the festival’s website, as well as box/ticket offices. Advanced ticket sales will begin one week after the official programme is published at the end of January.

Special Presentations: With a goal to “open up new perspectives” on how film and other creative disciplines intersect, the festival has two special presentations planned. These include, “Berlinale Goes Kiez” and “Native – A Journey Into Indigenous Cinema.”

Awards: Films will be competing for a slew of amazing prizes and honors. Selected by a prestigious international jury, Silver bear awards will be presented for best director, actor, actress, outstanding artistic contribution, script, and the jury grand prix, as well as the illustrious Golden bear for best film. Romanian film Child’s Pose, made with an indie movie budget of only 850,000 euros, took home the award last year.

George Clooney headlines High Profile Debuts

George Clooney’s first project in the director’s chair since The Ides of March, The Monuments Men has officially announced it will make its international debut in Berlin. The film, starring Clooney, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, and many others, tells the story of a motley crew platoon that must go behind enemy lines to rescue stolen works of art.

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The universe seems to be in Clooney’s favor these days, as a coincidental nazi-art loot discovered in Munich times nicely with the release of the film. The Wall Street Journal reports Sony Pictures Spokesman Steve Elzer as saying “You could not ask for a more timely, topical or relevant discovery that corresponds to the events depicted in our upcoming film.” With a film budget of $70 to $80 million, a successful Berlin debut will play a large part in the movie turning a profit.

A Grand Opening

Internationally admired auteur Wes Anderson will open the festival with his latest film The Grand Budapest Hotel. Causing much buzz with its trailer, the film seems to posses the same likable qualities of Anderson’s previous films, making it a smart choice as the opener. According to ropeofsilicon.com, the movie recently received an R rating, suggesting it is more mature than his previous film, the light-hearted Moonrise Kingdom. The rating shouldn’t signal any box-office troubles, since his previous R-Rated films, such as The Royal Tenenbaums, grossed over $71 million internationally on a movie budget of $21 Million. This is the first of Anderson’s films solely written by himself, utilizing collaborations with Roman Coppola and Owen Wilson in the past.

the-grand-budapest-hotel-owen-wilson-636-380European Film Market

In addition to the festival, Berlin will also host an international film market. Similar to the AFM, the European Film Market will work as the business center of the festival; allowing producers, distributors, and other professionals to network and make deals. The official page describes it, “as a barometer for the upcoming year in film.” The market will take place at the Martin-Gropius-Bau renaissance hall. Projects with large and small film budgets will be given equal opportunity to pitch their movies to industry elites. In addition to the Film market, a co-production market will take place from the ninth to the eleventh. According to the website, “The Berlinale Co-Production Market is a two-and-a-half-day event for about 450 international producers, sales agents, distributors as well as broadcasting and funding representatives active in the field of co-production.”

Berlin World Premieres

With such classics as Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959) and Last Year at Marienbad (1961) on his resume, it’s no surprise Berlin is excited to have the french director Alain Resnais’ new film as part of its official selection. The new film titled Aimer, Boire et Chanter, starring Sandrine Kiberlain, marks the french director’s fiftieth director credit, according to IMDB, and will have its world premiere in Berlin.

Other exciting Berlinale news includes, the world premieres of director Yann Demange’s ’71, starring Jack O’ Connell, Yannis Economides’ Stratos (an international co-production between Greece, Germany, and Cyprus), German Dominik Graf‘s Die geliebten Schwestern, and Claudia Llosa’s Aloft, starring Jennifer Connelly. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Aloft is the Peruvian director’s English-Language debut. Her second feature, The Milk of Sorrow, won the Golden Bear back in 2009.

Outside of the competition, Pascal Chaumeil’s A Long Way Down, starring Pierce Brosnan and Aaron Paul, will make its world premiere. The film, an adaptation of Nick Hornby’s novel, is about four people forming a surrogate family in order to deal with their own personal problems.

Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 10.29.25 AMAustralia’s The Turning, a collection of short films based on stories by Tim Winston, will also have a special screening. The movie has eighteen director credits including, Tony Ayres, Jub Clerc, and Ian Meadows. With an incredible cast, starring Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, and Rose Byrne, the omnibus film is sure to cause a buzz at the festival.

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