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EXCLUSIVE: WME has inked filmmaker Heidi Ewing who recently directed, wrote and produced I Carry You With Me, which won this year’s Audience Award and Innovator Award in the NEXT! category at the Sundance Film Festival and was sold to Sony Pictures Classics and Stage 6 Films days into the festival.
Ewing was also nominated for an Oscar in the 2007 Feature Documentary category for Magnolia Pictures’ Jesus Camp. That doc followed the children who attend a Charismatic Christian summer camp outside Devils Lake, North Dakota, wishing that they’ll become the next Billy Graham.Christian Vásquez and Armando Espitia appear I Carry You With Me by Heidi Ewing. Sundance
Based on a true story, Ewing’s recent I Carry You With Me is an epic romance that follows two gay men from provincial Mexico as they chase the promise of social and economic freedoms in New York City. SPC will release the film theatrically in June.
Ewing also directed Roco films’ 2012 doc Detropia which followed the collapse of the U.S. manufacturing base in the city of Detroit, as well as the Netflix 2017 doc One of Us which penetrates the insular world of New York’s Hasidic community, focusing on three individuals who were driven to break away despite threats of retaliation. Ewing is also directing the upcoming limited docu-series Love Fraud at Showtime with her longtime directing collaborator and co-Oscar nominee Rachel Grady. The four-part series follows the search of Richard Scott Smith, who used the internet and his dubious charms to prey upon women looking for love. The story unravels in real time as Smith’s victims band together to seek sweet revenge.
WME has signed Ewing for representation in all areas. She continues to be represented by Victoria Cook at Frankfurt Kurnit.
Neon has had a banner year since picking up the U.S. distribution rights to Parasite, ushering the film to a history-making Best Picture win at the 2020 Oscars. Now the indie film distributor has won the domestic rights to the Nicolas Cage revenge thriller Pig and the Sundance favorite Possessor, directed by Brandon Cronenberg.
Variety reports that Neon, the U.S. distributor behind Bong Joon-ho’s Oscar-winning film Parasite, has won the domestic rights to the Nicolas Cage-starring revenge thriller Pig, directed by first-time filmmaker Michael Sarnoski.
Written and directed by Sarnoski, Pig stars Cage as “a reclusive truffle hunter in Oregon whose prize hunting pig is kidnapped, forcing him to return to old stomping grounds in Portland and confront his past.” The film also stars Hereditary‘s Alex Wolff, and is based on a story by Sarnoski and Vanessa Block, who also produced alongside Pulse Films.
Neon won the rights in a heated bidding war last week that involved “numerous competitors.” Based on the film’s premise of a man and his animal in the American frontier, I’d guess one of those competitors is fellow indie wunderkind A24. Don’t worry A24, you still have the lovely First Cow. Endeavor Content, which first showed the promo footage for Pig at February’s Berlin Film Festival, is continuing to seek international partners.
Neon continued its hot streak with the acquisition of the U.S. rights to Brandon Cronenberg’s Possessor, a sci-fi thriller starring Andrea Riseborough as a corporate agent who works for a “secretive organization using brain-implant technology to inhabit other people’s bodies and commit assassinations for high-paying clients,” according to Neon’s press release. The film, which /Film reviewer Chris Evangelista wants everyone to know, “rules,” debuted in January to the Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews, including ours.
“Neon is a hugely exciting distributor, and I’ve been eager to work with them for a while now. I’m thrilled they are taking on ‘Possessor’ in collaboration with Well Go USA, who made production of the film possible,” Cronenberg said in a statement.
Neon’s acquisitions are a nice return to regular movie news as the industry continues to stay at a standstill in the wake of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, which has shuttered movie theaters around the country and forced studios to indefinitely delay major releases. Despite the demand for early digital releases and Neon’s own partnership with Hulu, Neon still plans to release Pig at a to-be-determined date. No release date has yet been set for Possessor....
The Tribeca Film Festival was supposed to run April 15 – 26 this year – but obviously, things have changed. The coronavirus caused the fest to postpone those dates, with alternative dates left up in the air. Now, it looks like Tribeca has found a solution: a virtual festival. Details are extremely slim at the moment, but Jane Rosenthal, the CEO of Tribeca Enterprises, made the announcement via social media.
Here’s some good news for your Monday morning. My friend Jane Rosenthal and her team – meeting by Zoom! – are planning to bring @Tribeca Film Fest to you virtually! She just sent me this video with more details. pic.twitter.com/NTtma2TYdu
— Rebecca Jarvis @RebeccaJarvis March 30, 2020
In the video above, Tribeca Enterprises CEO Jane Rosenthal says: “We’re going to be bringing you Tribeca Film Festival virtually very soon, so stay tuned for that announcement.” The wording there makes it clear that this isn’t the “official” announcement of the virtual fest yet – but now the news is out there. I’ve reached out to Tribeca for more info, and will update when I have it.
For now, though, we have to wonder exactly what this means. Is every film that was set to play the fest going to be available virtually? I have a hard time believing that, personally. But then again, things have changed drastically in the last few months, and we’re entering a strange new world for movies. Theaters across the globe have been shut down due to coronavirus, and there’s no real end in sight. Tribeca announced its postponement earlier this month, coming on the heels of the cancelation of SXSW. Since then, Cannes has also postponed their dates, and we’re all still unsure of what will be delayed or canceled next. Comic-Con? TIFF? The New York Film Festival? Fantastic Fest? Just how much longer will this go on?
All of this raises another question: will other festivals be following Tribeca’s lead here? Are we about to see a virtual Cannes? A virtual TIFF? Again, I have a hard time accepting that idea – not because I’m against it, but because it seems unlikely that filmmakers will agree to it. Part of the appeal of getting your movie into a festival is the thrill of being able to screen it to a packed audience, and then the buzz that follows with that. That’s just not the same as having your film available to screen online.
In the meantime, you can see a list of the Tribeca 2020 lineup here. Time will tell how many of these titles will be available via the virtual Tribeca Film Festival....
'There is still uncertainty about what 'people coming together again' will look like come September,' fest organizers said Thursday.
The 2020 Toronto Film Festival, set to run Sept. 10 to 20 in Toronto, is weighing options to go online and remain, where possible, with a physical event amid planning concerns surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.
Festival co-heads Joana Vicente and Cameron Bailey on Thursday said they are moving ahead with planning for the traditional September event, but are considering moving some events online, if necessary, to comply with safety precautions during the coronavirus pandemic.
"We recognize that in planning for the Festival now, there is still uncertainty about what 'people coming together again' will look like come September. This is why we are looking at both onsite and digital innovations that will provide options that will deliver for our audiences, support filmmakers and our partners, and bolster the industry." Vicente and Bailey said in a joint statement.
As TIFF programmers plan for the September event, the festival says they have been collaborating with rival festivals that were earlier cancelled or delayed. "Our goal is to offer a united platform to share programming," Vicente said in a YouTube video.
"We have to refocus our energy while navigating the challenges presented by the currnt global crisis," Bailey added, as festival employees have begun to work remotely at home and the festival looks for new ways to stream movies.
Self-isolating Canadians have already been invited to virtual chats with Hollywood stars led by Bailey, followed by movie screenings on the Crave streaming service. The Stay-at-Home Cinema offers the virtual Q&As via Instagram Live @tiff_net, starting with Homeland star Mandy Patinkin, followed a streaming of Rob Reiner's 1987 film The Princess Bride, starring Patinkin as Inigo Montoya, on Crave.
Bailey is set to host at least the first three virtual chats with Hollywood stars and movie screenings, to include Sarah Polley being interviewed before streaming play for Away From Her on Crave, and Catherine O'Hara and production designer Bo Welch on April 3 talking about their work on Beetlejuice, which will also stream.
A TIFF industry conference has been set to run Sept. 11 to 15. Toronto and Ontario health officials earlier warned against mass gatherings in the province amid the virus outbreak.
Festival organizers have been hoping that the health crisis might have been contained in time for the annual September event, considered a traditional launch pad for Hollywood's awards season.
TIFF's Bell Lightbox headquarters and its five movie screens have been shutttered during the COVID-19 crisis, reducing operating revenues for the festival.
Toronto's disrupted plans for its September event come as a number of events and large gatherings have been...