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The 70th Berlin International Film Festival, and the first under new leadership team Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian, got underway tonight with a screening of Philippe Falardeau's My Salinger Year, starring Sigourney Weaver and Margaret Qualley.
The Opening Gala included a minute's silence to honor the victims of yesterday's terror attack in the German town of Hanau, which claimed at least 11 lives.
“Originally I wanted to say a few words about how delighted we are about the 70th anniversary of the Berlinale, but the events in Hanau yesterday have shocked all of us, it hit us all hard,” said Rissenbeek, addressing the audience. “The Berlinale symbolises freedom, tolerance, respect and hospitality. The Berlinale is opposed to violence and racism. Our sympathy and thoughts go out the victims in Hanau and their families.”
“We stand here as a community, and being a community is what defines cinema,” said Chatrian. “When we sit in a cinema, we are an audience, with no distinction of class, language, religion. Cinema is what brings us together. When I look back at the history of this film festival, I see that films and celebrities brought something that became so vital for this town.”
“Cinema allows people to dream, and dreams are very important when life is getting hard. That's probably why this film festival is so meaningful to Berliners and so dear to them. It is dear also to foreigners, to people like me,” the artistic director added.
Taking to the stage, My Salinger Year director Philippe Falardeau said, “I think I speak for all Canadians by conveying my unflinching solitary with the German people in these troubled times. My film is not an antidote to world problems but it might give you a little light tonight.”
Actor Samuel Finzi hosted the ceremony and, during his opening monologue, called on German politicians to “realise we have a problem with the right wing”.
“Even if the general climate is really toxic, we're never going to accept that as par for the course, the normal state of affairs. I can assure you we want to welcome all of you to the Berlinale. Welcome to Berlin, it remains an open city,” said Finzi on stage.
Reactions to the opening film itself were mixed. Some reviewers praised the movie as feel-good, while others criticized it as overly muted. Pic stars Once Upon A Time In Hollywood actress Qualley as a college grad who takes a clerical job working for the literary agent of the renowned, reclusive writer J.D. Salinger.
The 2020 Berlinale runs until Sunday, March 1, with the awards ceremony taking place Saturday eve February 29.
EXCLUSIVE: This week was supposed to be a great and promising one for all the filmmakers who had seen their films accepted into the SXSW festival, a great majority seeking distribution after premiering in front of the usually highly enthusiastic audiences that storm the Austin, Texas happening every March. Then the fear of the Coronavirus hit, and late last week SXSW was forced to cancel on orders from the city. That left a lot of ambitious plans in ruins, and only now are some of these films finding new ways to gain attention.SXSW
A couple of weeks ago I was shown one of them, director Rod Lurie’s powerful, exciting , and ultimately inspiring Afghanistan war film The Outpost. When I saw him at the Paradigm agency screening Lurie was full of hope for its premiere at SXSW which was to happen this Friday , and the film which stars Scott Eastwood , Orlando Bloom , and Caleb Landry Jones in an extraordinary performance clearly would have, in my opinion, found an enthusiastic reception and perhaps a springboard for a well-deserved theatrical release . Millenium is selling the film and also produced it. Yesterday Lurie told me they are figuring it all out. “This cancellation is such a son-of-a-bitch to so many people. In our particular case we’d targeted it and turned down other festivals to be there – we just loved the community down there, the Medal of Honor recipient Ty Carter lives there as does Scott Eastwood. We’ll find another place and idea to premiere THE OUTPOST and there’s no time for licking wounds, but this really hurts,” he told me in an email after I inquired about future plans for the movie. Of course as Lurie realizes sometimes real life concerns have to take precedence, but it is such a shame for movies like this true story about remarkable heroism to have this kind of setback. It is not alone. There is a lot of disappointment out there.Kitra Remick
Another film I got to see in advance of its World Premiere was In & Of Itself from veteran director and actor Frank Oz Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Bowfinger, Death At A Funeral. Just two days before the SXSW cancellation I hopped on a joint call to interview Oz and Derek DelGaudio, the creator and subject of the film which is a adaptation of his wildly successful Off-Broadway one man stage show that Oz directed. They were clearly excited to be taking it out for the first time to audiences at SXSW, but I have learned the fact that isn’t happening also was scheduled for this Friday is not stopping the forward motion of their plans to get this highly unusual and riveting film seen. Submarine is the sales agent and they are wasting no time and plan to begin showing it to buyers...
The jury, including Danny Boyle, Lucas Hedges and Marti Noxon, will select winners from the feature and short categories during the original festival window and reveal them via the Tribeca website.
The 2020 Tribeca Film Festival revealed Friday that select content from the 19th annual festival will debut online during the original programming window of April 15-26.
Included in the lineup will be content from N.O.W. Creators Market, Jury and Art Awards, Industry Extranet Resource Hub and the newly launched Tribeca X Awards. The immersive Cinema360, a program of VR films, will also debut in partnership with Oculus.
'Tribeca is dedicated to supporting filmmakers, creators, and artists that breathe life into the Festival, the New York community, and the industry,' said a festival spokesperson in a statement. 'We are excited to bring new work from incredible storytellers to an audience eager to connect with their stories. Since its inception, Tribeca has pushed the boundaries of storytelling and innovative ways ways to connect with audiences. This online program is the latest iteration of that commitment.'
The jury, including Danny Boyle, Lucas Hedges and Marti Noxon, will select winners from the feature and short categories during this time and reveal them online via the Tribeca website.
The 19th annual edition of the New York event, founded in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in 2001, had been set to run from during these April dates before it was postponed on March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
Tribeca announced its delay shortly after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo banned gatherings of more than 500 people in New York City venues. Since then, various additional shutdowns have occurred, with Cuomo and other local officials ultimately directing New Yorkers across the state to avoid leaving home except for essential tasks and services.
This restriction, first imposed on March 22, was, a week later, extended to April 15.
In addition, numerous independent movie theaters and chains have shut down across the U.S. as officials urge people to avoid large gatherings and encourage individuals to practice social distancing. Similarly, several films slated for theatrical release this spring have either delayed those plans or shifted to a VOD distribution strategy.
Prior to the delay, Tribeca had announced its opening night premiere — the documentary Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President — and feature and short-film slates. Highlights included the world premieres of the Sean Penn doc Citizen Penn, about the actor's relief work in Haiti, and the Drew Barrymore starrer The Stand-In, as well as a sneak peek at Paramount's The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run.
Other high-profile pics that were set to play the New York festival include HBO's Hugh Jackman starrer Bad Education, making its U.S. premiere; Judd Apatow's Pete Davidson starrer The King of...
NBC has set Thursday, April 30 at 10 pm for the premiere of the 13-episode fifth and final season of thriller drama series Blindspot. The show, starring Sullivan Sullivan Stapleton and Jaimie Alexander, will move to its normal 9 pm timeslot the following week on May 7.
It was previously announced that the show would move to summer for its final run.
Several series have had to shift their premiere or season finale dates due to the coronavirus-related production shutdowns, but Blindspot was not affected. It had already wrapped production on its final season in November.NBC
The final chapter begins in the aftermath of the explosion that left Jane Alexander watching as a drone strike on the safe house with the rest of the team inside. Questions to be answered include who made it out alive and whether the team will ever be able to clear their names in the wake of Madeline's rise to power.
Blindspot was a big breakout hit when it launched in fall 2015 behind The Voice on Monday. Its ratings took a hit once the series was moved to Wednesdays in Season 2 and further declined when it was relocated to Fridays at the start of Season 3.
While not a strong linear performer, Blindspot has done OK in delayed viewing and has an established fan base. Last season Blindspot averaged a 0.8 rating in adults 18-49 and 4.3 million viewers overall in L+7 Nielsens. The October 12, 2018 season premiere grew to a 2.0 in 18-49 and 6.9 million viewers with all digital and linear delayed viewing recorded to date. The series continued to deliver a strong upscale audience this past season, indexing at a 118 among adults 18-49 living in homes with $100K+ incomes 100 represents an average concentration of those homes and a 113 among adults 18-49 with four or more years of college.
In addition to Stapleton and Alexander, the cast includes Rob Brown, Audrey Esparza, Ashley Johnson, Ennis Esmer and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.
Martin Gero created Blindspot and executive produces with Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter for Warner Bros TV, Berlanti Productions and Quinn’s House.
The series received two Emmy nominations in the Outstanding Stunt Coordination category — once in 2017 and again in 2018.