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Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer Celebrate ‘Sound of Music’ Turning 50

Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer Celebrate ‘Sound of Music’ Turning 50

The Sound of Music has entertained audiences for decades, but 50 years later, Julie Andrews still can’t put her finger on what it is that captures audiences young and old. Andrews and Christopher Plummer walked the red carpet at the TCL Chinese Theater on Thursday afternoon to open the TCM Classic Film Festival with a special tribute to the film.”I wish I could answer that question,” Andrews told reporters on the carpet. “It could be a quality of joy. It could be that it’s a family movie. It could be that it’s about love, and it’s a great adventure, and it’s about family. It’s just a film that because it can be seen by any generation, every seven years there is a new generation.”Plummer, 85, agreed that the theme of family can stick with any audience.”It’s the primal family movie of all time,” said Plummer. “Boyhood is a family movie, but it’s not the same thing. This is an extraordinary sort of fairy story, and in a world that is so horrific, you know what’s going on now, and it’s inconceivable. It’s the last bastion of peace and innocence in a very cynical time.”Read More On the Eve of ‘Sound of Music’ Reunion, Julie Andrews Reveals “I Was a Very Sad Little Girl”Although Plummer addressed the films popularity, he’s long felt he didn’t perform his role on par with Andrews. In a 2011 Hollywood Reporter actor roundtable, he called his role “awful” and “gooey.”Ironically, Plummer told producer Sid Ganis (TCM host Robert Osbourne was absent due to medical reasons) that he was offered an opportunity to play the captain in the original Broadway production of The Sound of Music. He expressed that he’s always preferred theater, but film happens to pay a lot more.”If you see it, you’ll see that I’m running around not knowing what I’m doing,” said Plummer of the film.Andrews, however, believed Plummer’s take on the role of Captain Von Trapp provided originality that would have changed the film completely had he performed in a different way.”You made it less saccharine,” Andrews told Plummer. “You made it have astringency because of the way you played the captain. Without that, we would have been sunk, I think. I really mean that.””I did that on purpose because I wanted to,” Plummer responded. “I didn’t want to be a sissy.”Their playful banter during their Q&A session onstage entertained audiences and showed how they still have remained friends. Andrews said she and Plummer still talk to this day.”She is a great, wonderful old-fashioned saint,” Plummer said of Andrews. “You would follow her as much as you would Joan of Arc.”The scenery, shot on location in Austria, was a treat to the movie itself, as it featured picturesque views of snowy mountain peaks and the town of Salzburg. Andrews noted that although the setting was almost perfect, there were small details in the background that audiences should look for when they watch the film again for the “umpteenth time.””When you see the movie, notice the strength of the background because it made a difference,” said Andrews. “It wasn’t just a picture postcard all the time.”Andrews gave a special shout out to both her children and three of her onscreen Von Trapp children who were also present: Debbie Turner (Marta Von Trapp), Heather Menzies-Urich (Louisa Von Trapp), and Kym Karath (Gretl Von Trapp).Robert Morse, Shirley Jones, Keith Carradine, Leonard Maltin and Christine Ebersole were among the many film and theater stars who came out to support the timeless classic. Following the screening, guests mingled over cocktails at the W Hollywood rooftop for the postscreening bash.The 2015 TCM Film Festival takes place March 26-29 throughout Hollywood, featuring special appearances by Dustin Hoffman, Spike Lee, Alec Baldwin and more.

Tribeca Film Festival Hosting Free Screenings of ‘Back to the Future,’ ‘Clue,’ ‘Lady and the Tramp’

Tribeca Film Festival Hosting Free Screenings of ‘Back to the Future,’ ‘Clue,’ ‘Lady and the Tramp’

Free screenings of Clue, Lady and the Tramp and Back to the Future are among the highlights of the Tribeca Film Festival’s free community programming, announced Thursday.Clue and Lady and the Tramp will both screen as part of the Tribeca Drive-In movie series, along with the premiere of A Faster Horse, a documentary that celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Ford Mustang.Read More ‘Goodfellas’ Reunion to Close Tribeca Film FestivalClue and Lady and the Tramp are also celebrating their 30th and 60th anniversaries, respectively, this year. The Drive-In series will run from April 16-18.The next weekend, the festival will host a free screening of Back to the Future. That April 25 event will follow the Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair and Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day.Read More George Lucas, Christopher Nolan, Brad Bird Set for Tribeca Film Festival TalksThe street fair will have live Broadway performances, arts and crafts, food, games and activities and more. Kids will also be able to learn about filmmaking via the Tribeca Studios Backlot, an interactive animated filmmaking program and chance to create your own screenplay and a pop-up studio. They will also get a chance to pretend they’re at a movie premiere via a red carpet photo op.The Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day will feature activities and competitions involving many of New York City’s professional sports teams and leagues as well as local youth athletic organizations.More information about the festival’s free events follows. The 14th annual Tribeca Film Festival runs from April 15-26.TRIBECA DRIVE-IN OUTDOOR SCREENINGSThursday-Saturday, April 16-April 188:15 p.m.; doors open at 6 p.m.Brookfield Place at the 230 Vesey StreetCo-sponsored by AT&T, hosted by Brookfield PlaceTFF’s outdoor screening series features three free evenings of cinema under the stars that are open to the public. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open at 6 p.m. The programs will also begin at 6 p.m., with screenings starting at dusk (approximately 8:15 p.m.). The following films will be featured at this year’s Tribeca Drive-In:Clue – Thursday, April 16Directed by Jonathan Lynn. Six guests descend on a mysterious house, where the butler Wadsworth (Tim Curry) draws them into a murderous game of whodunit. Celebrate the 30th birthday of the beloved board game turned cult comedy classic, co-starring Eileen Brennan, Madeline Kahn, Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean, and Martin Mull. Courtesy of Paramount.Calling Colonel Mustard! Come dressed as your favorite Clue character for a chance to win prizes, or get dressed up in our Murder Mansion photo booth and bring the game to life. Get in on the action with board games, scavenger hunts, movie trivia, and more.Read More Tribeca: Monty Python 40th Anniversary Celebration PlannedLady and the Tramp – Friday, April 17Directed by Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske. A family favorite for 60 years, this animated romance follows the uptown cocker spaniel Lady, who falls for a fast-talking mutt from the other side of the tracks. But an unfortunate trip to the pound leaves her wondering just what it is about that Tramp. Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures.That’s Amore! Bring the one you love to a romantic night on the waterfront, complete with accordion players, Italian love song sing-alongs, face-painting, photo booths, contests and a surprise appearance by one of the internet’s most beloved dogs!A Faster Horse – Saturday, April 18Directed by David Gelb, and written by Mark Monroe. (USA) – World Premiere, Documentary. As the fiftieth anniversary of the Mustang approaches, Ford is launching a redesign, placing the jobs and expectations of thousands squarely on the shoulders of Chief Program Engineer Dave Pericak. Masterfully crafted by TFF alumnus David Gelb (Jiro Dreams of Sushi), A Faster Horse moves beyond a car lover’s documentary to a resonant examination of American ingenuity, workmanship, and resilience.Come early to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Ford Mustang with an all-American food & beverage celebration, interactive car-themed simulations, movie trivia and other great contests.
Read More Tribeca: Mary J. Blige, Arnold Schwarzenegger World Premieres Added to Feature LineupTRIBECA FAMILY FESTIVAL STREET FAIRSaturday, April 2510 a.m.-6 p.m.Greenwich Street (between Chambers Street and Hubert Street)Lights, Camera, Family Festival!Come downtown and spend the day in the Tribeca neighborhood with live Broadway performances, arts and crafts, games and activities, local restaurants and merchants, storytelling, free film screenings and so much more.Dozens of family-friendly neighborhood restaurants and merchants will participate, along with schools and other organizations from the Tribeca community. There will be entertainment and special performances throughout the day on the street and on multiple Festival Stages, along with filmmaking workshops and presentations, storytelling and puppetry, cooking demos and tastings, sports activities and clinics, art displays, and character appearances.Highlights include:• The Tribeca Studios Backlot will bring a neighborhood street to life with all of the classic elements of filmmaking on location in New York City: lights, cameras, and ACTION. Unlike the “closed set” status of most film location shoots, this experience is OPEN to all to learn, experience and enjoy the wide range of elements that go into creating a film production. 2015 event participants and partners include:o Theatrical Teamsters Local 817 “On Location” Film Experience: Theatrical Teamsters Local 817 will be on site with a High End Star Trailer and a Hair and Make-Up Trailer (furnished by Haddad’s and David Haddad); A Camera Car accompanied by Action Camera Cars’ Ultimate Arm and E-Bike Electric Camera Motorcycle (furnished by Action Camera Cars and Owen Holland). Come down to the Tribeca Studios Backlot and experience what it’s really like to work “On Location” in New York City.o Using iPads and various media, the Animation Chefs help kids as young as Pre-K bring to life their creativity. Teaching young kids the entire process of making an animated film of their own, they have inspired thousands of young filmmakers to use mobile devices for productive, creative media projects.o Kids can visit The AUTOMATIC STUDIOS “Pop Up Studio” and experience working on a real movie set! They can go behind the scenes and operate camera equipment and lights or jump in front of the camera and fly through the air on our green screen! Ages 7 and Upo Tribeca VIP “Red Carpet” Photo Op: Festivalgoers will be invited to walk the Tribeca Studios Backlot red carpet and pose next to Fathead Stand Out™ Cut Outs of famous entertainment personalities.o Create your own screenplay with Writopia, where published fiction writers and produced playwrights run fun, productive creative writing workshops for kids ages 2 to 21.o Meet AeroCine, New York’s only drone company, who flies Hollywood-grade cameras on custom designed & built multi-rotor heavy-lift UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles).o The Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment (MOME) will be on location, celebrating the record-breaking number of episodic television programs and films shooting in NYC by inviting festivalgoers to have their picture taken in front of the “Made in NY” step and repeat. Attendees will also be able to purchase official “Made in NY” branded apparel which will be available on site.• A lineup of New York City chefs will offer demonstrations and share cooking secrets and tastings at the Tribeca Food Feast Stage hosted by 60 Hudson. The show kitchen stage will be the featured centerpiece of the Tribeca Food Feast, an area at the Street Fair that will feature local restaurants and establishments along with select specialty food vendors from around the New York City area. Each chef will prepare and present a house specialty to a select number of audience members.• The Games for Change Public Arcade supported by Zynga.org, will take place on Jay St. (between Greenwich St. & Hudson St), a full city block of great games, both digital and physical. The G4C Arcade celebrates the positive power of play: these games are not only fun, they are also ‘games for good’ – designed for learning, health, and social impact. Among the games to play will be an educational version of the blockbuster hit game Words With Friends, and the NY premiere of The Go Game’s Zombies vs. Superheroes Disaster Preparedness Game where participants can learn practical survival skills while escaping ‘zombies’. Other offerings include learning games from the SF-based Co.lab incubator, NA3M Games, Global Gaming Initiative and in G4C’s Indie Booth games from Elevator Productions, Lamplight Forest and American University’s Games Lab. Live physical games from Come Out & Play will also be on hand. The G4C Arcade is part of the 12th annual Games for Change Festival, New York City’s largest gaming event.• Professional talent, along with local school and community acts, are scheduled to perform throughout the day at different locations, including live “Broadway at Tribeca” performances by the casts of WICKED, LES MISÉRABLES, GIGI, IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU, KINKY BOOTS, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, DISENCHANTED!, FUERZA BRUTA, SOMETHING ROTTEN!, and ON THE TOWN.• The Rockettes will be making a special appearance while taking a quick break from NEW YORK SPRING SPECTACULAR, which is running at Radio City Music Hall through May 3.• Several middle-school and high school students from downtown schools will once again serve as TFF Hosts, facilitating all of the events, performances and activities at the Family Festival Street Fair. They will also introduce the various screening programs throughout the Family Festival.• From stage performances, puppet shows and workshops to storytelling and a reading corner, the Kidz Block Party is the perfect place for the younger crowd to enjoy the Family Festival in a “kid friendly” space and place. “Soft” play areas, face painting and a bubble garden are just a few of the fun adventures that await kids and parents on this historic block in the heart of Tribeca.• The Gazillion Bubble Garden will have bubble wands of all shapes and sizes, and will offer bubble play to all who enter.• Join puppeteer & author NOEL MACNEAL as he shows kids how paper can be a puppet (based on his books “10 MINUTE PUPPETS” & “BOX”) with cut-out and origami paper puppets. Then join Noel for his onstage workshop on puppeteering and learn the same techniques he and the performers of The Muppets use to bring felt and fleece to life!• The CITYarts Mural project will take place this year on the north side of Chambers Street outside of Washington Market Park and BMCC. CITYarts volunteers will be painting all throughout the day to restore ‘Alice on the Wall’ Artwork damaged from Hurricane Sandy. Festivalgoers can pick up a paintbrush and join the restoration and creativity.• Kids can explore their artistic side with arts & crafts activities including turning recycled materials into custom creatures with the ScrapKins® team, street chalk art and face painting.• Enjoy Arts & Crafts activities from the Children’s Museum of the Arts and the Church Street School for Music and Art, which is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year in Tribeca.• CHESS NYC will host “Chess Play and Tips” and ongoing chess matches for all skill levels.• Be sure to capture memories of the festival in a vintage photo booth! Children – and adults – are invited to have their face painted as well. Both are compliments of Léman Manhattan Preparatory School.• Santander Bank, N.A., the Official Bank of the Tribeca Film Festival, will be joining this year’s Family Festival festivities by providing fun activities and treats for film fans of all ages, so do not forget to pop into the Bank’s red tent located on Greenwich Street.• iHeartRadio will be onsite with music, giveaways and local station personalities bringing some fun and entertainment for all.• NewYork-Presbyterian will offer Festivalgoers fun activities and lifestyle tips.Read More Tribeca/ESPN Sports Festival Adds Tony Gonzalez Doc, 2008 Super Bowl Catch FilmTRIBECA/ESPN SPORTS DAYSaturday, April 2510 a.m.-6 p.m.N. Moore Street (between Greenwich Street and West Street)Sponsored by Mohegan SunTribeca and ESPN will once again bring “sports to the street” at the 9th annual Sports Day event. Families and youth are invited to participate and enjoy activities from many of New York City’s professional sports teams and leagues, along with many local youth athletic organizations. It is a full day of lively entertainment, giveaways, special guests and physical activities for youth of all ages.The Sports Day Stage will be “live” all day promoting Sports Day participants, special guests, interactive athletic experiences and more!Read More Tribeca Film Festival Announces First Half of Lineup2015 participants include:• Mohegan Sun will be entering guests for a chance to win various prizes through an interactive golf competition. Prizes will vary from an overnight stay in the luxurious Sky Hotel to dining certificates at the 30+ restaurants at the Connecticut property as well as sporting and concert tickets in Mohegan Sun Arena, ranked as one of the top arenas in the world.• Join ESPN New York 98.7FM as they get ready for tailgate season with an interactive beanbag toss for all ages and give away great prizes.• The New York Knicks, New York Rangers and New York Liberty will provide fans of all ages with a variety of interactive sports experiences, contests and giveaways. Fans will also be able to take special Knicks, Rangers, and Liberty-themed photos, enjoy games and clinics on a Rangers rink, interact with the Liberty’s mascot, Maddie, and meet Knicks and Liberty alumni on site.• Test your QB accuracy with the New York Jets football toss and sign up for the free New York Jets Kids Club to enjoy one-of-a-kind experiences and events.• Fans can join the Brooklyn Nets for interactive experiences, face painting and giveaways for all ages. Fans can also get autographs and dance tips from the Brooklynettes and the Brooklyn Nets Kids dance teams!• Asphalt Green will be hosting the interactive Sports Day Kids Combine where kids can test their skills and agility in a “combine style” athletic course. Encouraged by energetic Asphalt Green coaches, kids will enjoy jumping, throwing and getting active all throughout the course.• At the Sports Day Draft Stage, festivalgoers will be “drafted” to their favorite local professional sports team and have the opportunity to pose for a photo with the Sports Day Commissioner as they hold up their new team’s jersey.• Fathead®, the leading brand of sports and entertainment graphics, will have life-size Fathead Stand Out™ Cut Outs of well-known professional athletes and entertainment characters on the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day red carpet for sports fans to pose with and enjoy.• Fencers Club Olympians and elite athletes will be on hand to teach kids the exciting and safe sport of fencing.• The National Hockey League Foundation will offer great giveaways throughout the day.• Learn to double dutch jump rope in a block party environment with experienced Brooklyn based Double Dutch Empire instructors. Open to all abilities and recommended for ages.• Ping-pong players unite! Fans of all ages can test their skills against our SPiN ambassador in various challenges and games. Return a serve from our Swedish National Table Tennis Champion and you could walk away with some sweet SPiN swag!• Hidden Gems Archery, New York’s premier mobile archery academy, will be onsite helping festivalgoers learn about archery education, competition, and, most importantly, building a community around a great sport!• Come play a variety of disc games with DiscNY as they teach you the basics of throwing and test your accuracy.• New York Women’s Baseball will run pitching and throwing clinics.• Super Duper Tennis brings USTA 10 and under kid-sized tennis to the streets of Tribeca – demonstrating that kids can learn the FUNdamentals of the lifelong game of tennis anywhere and everywhere!• Join the Golf Club at Chelsea Piers for their interactive Golf Hitting Bubble to perfect your swing, get playing tips from top PGA/LPGA teaching professionals and enter to win great raffle prizes – All ages welcome!• The NY Rumble, a professional Ultimate Frisbee Team, will be holding contests for free merchandise and tickets, as well as teaching about the fastest growing sport in the country: Ultimate Frisbee.• Super Soccer Stars will conduct free soccer classes throughout the day. Dynamic, international coaches will work with children to develop skills, self-confidence, and teamwork in a fun, engaging environment.• Make It Fun NYC will be on hand to show how to make jump rope and exercise, more fun and exciting for everyone looking to live a healthy and active lifestyle.• Visit New York Empire Baseball and learn how to throw a baseball harder and healthier than ever before! Warmup like a pro ballplayer and then compete in our pitching accuracy and speed competition for great baseball prizes!• Join Downtown United Soccer Club (DUSC) for a fun and interactive soccer experience including soccer tennis, street soccer and juggling contests…You got game?• The Public Schools Athletic League joins Sports Day with a team that is eager to introduce the world to its badminton and an all-female flag football programs.• PowerPlay NYC, a group that creates opportunities for girls in sports, health, and education, will be out with their female coaches playing sports with the crowd and celebrating girl power!• NYC is surrounded by water – so come try rowing with Row New York! We transform the lives of New Yorkers, regardless of ability, through training in rowing joined with academic support. We’ll have ergs at the ready!• The National Lacrosse League will host a fun, inflatable lacrosse activity.• Come and meet some of the 2012 National Championship players from the NJ Titans. Fans can also join the NJ Titans in learning some of the basic skills of ARENA football as they put you through the test of fun and exciting drills.• Swing by to see the Staten Island Yankees, Single-A Affiliate of the New York Yankees, and meet their mascot Scooter the Holy Cow. While you’re there try your luck on the Baby Bombers skee ball inflatable.Read More Tribeca: ‘SNL’ Doc ‘Live From New York!’ to Open 2015 Film FestivalFAMILY SCREENINGSBACK TO THE FUTURESaturday, April 256:00 p.m.BMCC/Tribeca Performing Arts Center (199 Chambers Street)From the Academy Award®-winning filmmakers Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis comes Back to the Future – the original, groundbreaking adventure that sparked one of the most successful trilogies ever! Starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd, the phenomenally popular Back to the Future is an unrivaled adventure that stands the test of time. Join us for a FREE screening and pre-show program featuring a sneak peek at the upcoming documentary “Back In Time.”Note: Admission is FREE on a first-come, first-served basis. Lines at BMCC begin 30 minutes prior to the start of the programManhattan Youth PresentsSaturday, April 25Tribeca Film Center (375 Greenwich Street)Recommended for ages 12 and upIn partnership with Manhattan Youth, the Family Festival will present several “short program” screenings to celebrate filmmaking and creative expression for audiences of all ages to enjoy. These free screenings will take place throughout the day in the Screening Room at the Tribeca Film Center.DOWNTOWN YOUTH BEHIND THE CAMERASunday, April 1911:00 a.m.SVA Theatre (333 West 23rd Street)The Tribeca Family Festival will once again present “Downtown Youth Behind The Camera,” a program of short films made by elementary and middle school emerging student filmmakers from the downtown communities of New York City. Guest speaker, Academy and Emmy Award winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy will be interacting with the young filmmakers and sharing advice. This year marks the 12th anniversary of this popular program.

South Korea’s Showbox and China’s Huayi Bros. Ink Co-Production Deal

South Korea’s Showbox and China’s Huayi Bros. Ink Co-Production Deal

Top South Korean investment-distribution firm Showbox/Mediaplex signed an exclusive agreement with China’s Huyai Brothers, Showbox announced on Thursday. The two will co-produce at least six titles during the next three years.The pact, signed on Wednesday, kick-starts Showbox’s foray into the ever-expanding Chinese film market, which has seen an average annual growth rate of about 30 percent during the past five years. Last October during the Busan Film Festival, Showbox had announced plans to launch a branch in the neighboring Asian country during this year. The latest partnership will help establish the local unit, Showbox China. It was not disclosed when the Chinese branch would open.Read More As Huayi Brothers Eyes STX, Questions Surround the Proposed MarriageUnder the contract, Showbox will be in charge of selecting projects, which Showbox China will then further develop for local tastes and standards. Showbox and Huayi Bros. will jointly make investment decisions based on the finalized script. At least six such projects will be co-produced with major Chinese film studios through 2018, which Huyai Bros. will then market and distribute in China.”I am confident that this partnership will allow Showbox to positively establish itself as a brand in China, and furthermore, ensure future profits,” said Showbox CEO Yoo Jeong-hun.Yoo added that he hopes to gain greater access to key Asian markets by utilizing the production capacity and wide distribution network of Huayi Bros., which has been behind four of China’s top 10 highest grossing films of all time.Read More China’s Huayi Brothers Striking 18-Picture Deal With STX”It is truly meaningful to have this opportunity to produce and distribute Korean films, which are globally competitive, in China,” said Wang Zhonglei, head of Huayi Bros.The two companies are not new to working together, and co-produced the ambitious 2013 sports drama Mr. Go 3D. It brought in $16.73 million (18.2 billion won) in China, or twice as much as in Korea ($8.46 million or 9.2 billion won).The deal also marks the latest in a series of cross-border partnerships being tightly forged between Korea and China. Chinese firms have sought Korean know-how and content, while Korean filmmakers have eyed opportunities to expand beyond the saturated domestic market. A landmark treaty signed at state level allows Korea-China co-productions to be treated as local films in both countries, thereby allowing them to be exempt from screen quota restrictions.Huayi Bros has been busy of late, signing up with Hollywood’s STX for a prospective 18 picture deal. That deal came after others fell through most notable taking a $120 million-$150 million stake in Jeff Robinov’s new film company, Studio 8, but those talks unraveled before China’s Fosun stepped in with a $200 million capital injection.Read More China’s Huayi Brothers, Enlight Report Better-Than-Expected Earnings

Montclair Film Festival: Stephen Colbert Interview, ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’ Among Highlights (Exclusive)

Montclair Film Festival: Stephen Colbert Interview, ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’ Among Highlights (Exclusive)

Stephen Colbert will continue to show off his interview skills ahead of taking over for David Letterman at this May’s Montclair Film Festival.Colbert, who has long supported the festival, will conduct a Q&A with Mavis Staples following the festival’s documentary centerpiece screening of Mavis! The feature-length portrait of the gospel and soul-music singer and civil rights icon was directed by Jessica Edwards.Staples had been a guest on The Colbert Report, and in his final episode, Colbert asked Staples to thank his many guests over the years.Read More Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell on Running From the KKK and the Value of Being “Nauseated by Food”The festival also announced its opening and closing night and narrative centerpiece films, which include past festival hits Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and Hello, My Name is Doris.Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is the narrative centerpiece film. The movie was well-received at its Sundance premiere earlier this year, with Fox Searchlight picking it up for a June release. The movie, directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon was executive produced by Montclair’s Nora Skinner.Michael Showalter’s Hello, My Name is Doris, which stars Sally Field and Max Greenfield and won an audience award at SXSW, will serve as the festival’s opening-night film.
Read More Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell to Take Part in Onstage ConversationThe closing night film is Kris Swanberg’s Unexpected, starring Cobie Smulders and Anders Holm, which, like Earl, also premiered at Sundance.“We are truly honored to bring these remarkable films to the Montclair Film Festival,” MFF executive director Tom Hall said in a statement. “These are movies that our audiences will love, and we could not be more excited to support these wonderful filmmakers and showcase their work.”The fourth annual Montclair Film Festival is set to run from May 1-10. The full program will be announced on April 2. More information about the festival’s opening and closing night and centerpiece screenings follows.OPENING NIGHT FILMHELLO, MY NAME IS DORISDirector: Michael ShowalterProducers: Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Riva Marker, Daniel Crown, Michael Showalter, Jordana Mollick, Kevin MannCast: Sally Field, Max Greenfield, Stephen Root, Jack Antonoff, Natasha Lyonne, Tyne DalyUSA/ 95 MinIn Michael Showalter’s HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS, Sally Field makes a triumphant return with her leading performance as Doris Miller, an unassuming office worker living in her childhood home despite the recent death of her mother. But when Doris finds inspiration in the ideas of a self-help guru, the arrival of a handsome new co-worker named John (Max Greenfield) heralds a new obsession. Can Doris catch John’s eye, find happiness and move forward? Or are her dreams destined to remain just beyond her reach? HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS is the rarest of comedies, effortlessly moving between laughs and real feeling to paint a touching portrait of a dreamer. The Montclair Film Festival is proud to present Michael Showalter’s HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS as the 2015 Opening Night Film.Friday, May 1, 7:30 PM, The Wellmont TheaterDOCUMENTARY CENTERPIECEMAVIS!Director: Jessica EdwardsProducers: Jessica Edwards, Rachel MillsFeaturing: Mavis StaplesUSA/ 85 MinDirected by Jessica Edwards, MAVIS! is the first feature-length documentary on gospel/soul music legend and civil rights icon Mavis Staples and her family group, the Staple Singers. From the delta-inflected gospel sound she helped pioneer in the 1950s, to the “message songs” of the civil rights era marching beside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to massive hits such as “I’ll Take You There” in the soul-filled Stax era, and her recent Grammy-winning work with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, Mavis Staples is one of the most influential and enduring vocalists of our time and a true American icon. MAVIS! follows her unrivaled career through dynamic live performances, archival footage, captivating storytelling and interviews with friends and collaborators. She occupies a singular place in American music: a soldier of love and peace whose fight continues; her message of equality is needed now more than ever.Director Jessica Edwards and subject Mavis Staples in attendance.Mavis Staples will join Stephen Colbert in a post-screening discussion of the film.Friday May 8, 8:00 PM, The Wellmont TheaterNARRATIVE CENTERPIECEME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRLDirector: Alfonso Gomez-RejonExecutive Producer: Nora SkinnerProducers: Jeremy Dawson, Dan Fogelman, Steven M. RalesCast: Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler, Olivia Cooke, Molly Shannon, Connie Britton, Nick OffermanUSA/ 104 MinGreg Gaines (Thomas Mann) is an awkward, self-deprecating high school student determined to coast through his senior year as anonymously as possible. He spends most of his time remaking bizarre, spirited versions of classic movies with his only friend Earl (RJ Cyler) – and avoiding social interactions like the plague. But Greg’s plans are foiled when his well-meaning mother forces him to befriend Rachel (Olivia Cooke), a classmate who’s been diagnosed with leukemia. Bristling with wit from a clever screenplay by Jesse Andrews, director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s second feature is a poignant coming-of-age film with a heart of cinematic gold.Saturday, May 9, 6:30 PM, Montclair Kimberley Academy Upper SchoolA Fox Searchlight ReleaseCLOSING NIGHT FILMUNEXPECTEDDirector: Kris SwanbergProducer: Andrea RoaStarring: Cobie Smulders, Gail Bean, Anders Holm, Elizabeth McGovernUSA/ 85 MinWith the Chicago public high school where she teaches scheduled to close, Samantha (Cobie Smulders) decides it’s time to plan for the future. But when Sam discovers she is pregnant, everything changes, including her relationships with John (Anders Holm), who wants to build a family with Sam, and Jasmine (Gail Bean), one of her brightest students. Despite her personal and professional struggles, Sam remains determined to have a baby on her own terms while supporting Jasmine in her quest to attend college. Kris Swanberg’s UNEXPECTED is a luminous ode to modern maternity, a beautifully crafted story of friendship and motherhood that depicts the experience of pregnancy with a delicate, sophisticated grace.Sunday, May 10, 7:00 PM, Montclair Kimberley Academy Upper SchoolA Film Arcade Release

Idris Elba In Early Talks for ‘Star Trek 3′ Villain

Idris Elba In Early Talks for ‘Star Trek 3′ Villain

Idris Elba In Early Talks for ‘Star Trek 3′ Villain – The Hollywood Reporter

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Hong Kong Filmart: "New Silk Road" to Allow Asian Film Industry to Develop in Tandem

Hong Kong Filmart: "New Silk Road" to Allow Asian Film Industry to Develop in Tandem

The “New Silk Road” for film industry should not just be targeting the Chinese market, but for all Asian countries to develop in tandem, panelists said at a forum at the Hong Kong Filmart. The purpose of the forum is to find out how Asian film can collaborate and compete with each other to create a bigger Asian film industry.Based upon by the “New Silk Road” concept proposed by Chinese president Xi Jinping in 2013, that encompasses economic ties and infrastructure construction between China, its Asian neighbors, the Middle East and Europe, the forum focuses on the difficulties facing pan-Asia and East-west co-productions.”We need to set up a fund across Asia that will start new projects. This fund can be set up and a lot of government agencies and business institute can join as well. We can accelerate the development of the Asian film industry. This is also what Xi Jinping mentioned as the new Silk Road. The new Silk Road should not just be targeting China, but all Asian countries to develop in tandem,” said Lee Yong Kwan, Busan International Film Festival director.Read More Hong Kong Filmart: Download THR’s Day 1 DailyFor each of the Asian countries’ film industries, films have to gain traction first in their countries of origin then expand. “Films’ first market is the local market. In the future, we have to penetrate the Asian market first then the North American market,” said Zhu Huilong, CEO of Heyi Pictures and senior vice president of Youku Tudou Inc of China.”The first sign of success is to gain a foothold in your own market, then it’s for the neighbors because there are more commonalities,” said Raymond Zhou, columnist and film critic of China Daily.Much has to be overcome to create co-productions in Asia. “It is much easier to invest in new infrastructure, but for creative industries, you have to overcome a diverse group of languages, cultures, people with different taste and ages. It’s not as easy to create a Silk Road just by investing,” said Wilfred Wong, chairman of the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society and the Asian Film Awards Academy.The way ahead for co-productions is not only targeting China, but other emerging markets as well. For example, Thai films are gaining popularity in the countries’ neighboring regions, namely Cambodia and Vietnam, said Thailand’s Pantham Thongsang, Deputy secretary for Academic Affairs, The National Federation of Motion Pictures and Contents Association. So the country’s Transformation Film is working with South Korea’s CJ Entertainment to produce films that will travel to Southeast Asia.Read More Hong Kong Filmart: Download THR’s Day 2 DailyWhile the concept of co-productions is not new, movies created as collaborations between different regions run the risk of being everything to everyone but nothing to all, said William Pfeiffer, CEO of Hong Kong-based Dragongate Entertainment. “Movies try to hit all targets end up hitting none of it,” said Pfeiffer said.Some are skeptical of the co-production phenomenon due to the lack of success stories for co-productions in recent years. “The most successful Japanese co-production was Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence in 1983, and that was thirty years ago, said Yasushi Shiina, Tokyo International Film Festival director general. But Shiina also admitted co-productions are the way forward, as the Japanese population is aging, its film market is facing a 30% decrease in market revenue. “Films that are 100% made in Japan is coming to an end,” said Shiina.The Holy Grail is to find a movie that works in different regions, said Clifford Coonan, Asia Bureau Chief of The Hollywood Reporter. Coonan named the upcoming Zhang Yimou–directed film Great Wall that will star Matt Damon, Willem Defoe, and Andy Lau as a test case for the future. “The film has an international cast, so that’s possibly the way forward, that would work both in China and overseas. It will be a test case of how things can work in the future.”Read More Hong Kong Filmart: Download THR’s Day 3 Daily

Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart defend new comedy Get Hard from harsh criticism

Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart defend new comedy Get Hard from harsh criticism

In the annals of film festival flops — from unexpected boos to red-carpet gaffes — the premiere of the Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart comedy Get Hard will go down as a doozy.After the film premiered last week at the South By Southwest Film Festival, during a Q&A with director Ethan Cohen, an audience member voiced not so much a question as a harsh judgment. “This film seems racist,” he said, using an expletive. Another audience member also asked if the film, about a hedge fund manager (Ferrell) who witlessly hires a law-abiding acquaintance (Hart) to prepare him for maximum security prison after being sentenced for fraud, was perpetuating stereotypes.Will Ferrell plays 9 positions in spring training games
That sound you might have heard emanating from Austin was the loud cursing of marketing executives for the film, which opens Friday.Though film festival Q&As are often filled with questionable observations, these atypically blunt rebukes received outsized attention, drawing headlines from The Los Angeles Times and others. The damage continued with early reviews that also questioned the movie’s handling of homosexuality in various scenes.Interviews rescheduledMuch of the film’s comedy rests on the Ferrell character’s fears of being raped in prison, and among his preparations is an attempt to have oral sex with a gay man in a bathroom stall. A critic for The Guardian wrote that future viewers “will be astonished that such a negative portrayal of homosexuality persisted in the mainstream in 2015.” Variety wrote that the film was “undone by some of the ugliest gay-panic humour to befoul a studio release in recent memory.”
‘Any time you’re going to do an R-rated comedy, you’re going to offend someone. But that’s kind of what we do. We provoke. We prod.’- Will Ferrell on the negative reaction to his comedy Get Hard
After initially seeking to avoid the controversy (Cohen, Ferrell and Hart cancelled interviews with The Associated Press before Ferrell and Hart rescheduled them), the film’s stars and producers are vigorously defending their comedy as not a representation of stereotypes but a satire of them.”Any time you’re going to do an R-rated comedy, you’re going to offend someone,” said Ferrell in an interview alongside Hart. He continued: “But that’s kind of what we do. We provoke. We prod. We also show a mirror to what’s already existing out there. We’re playing fictitious characters who are articulating some of the attitudes and misconceptions that already exist.”Ethan Cohen’s directorial debutGet Hard was written by Cohen along with Jay Martel and Ian Roberts, writing-producers from the sketch comedy show Key and Peele. This is Cohen’s directorial debut after penning screenplays to films like Idiocracy and Tropic Thunder, a film that memorably flirted with racially sensitive territory in Robert Downey Jr.’s lampoon, in black face, of a Method actor run amok.Comedians Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell on the poster for Warner Bros. new comedy Get Hard. (Warner Bros.)In many ways, the comedy of Get Hard works similarly. Just as the humour of Downey’s actor wasn’t in his favour but about his own self-obsessive, racist delusions, Ferrell’s character is a parody of the narrow perspective of the elitist one percent. He hires Hart’s carwash owner and family man under the mistaken presumption that he’s been to prison, that he’s “hard.””You’re looking at two characters that judged each other by their cover,” said Hart. “And after peeling off some of the layers to their onion, they realize that, `Oh my God, this isn’t the person I thought it was from the jump. It’s a completely different person.’ And that road to friendship ensues.”Get Hard was conceived as a way to pair Hart and Ferrell, two of the most popular and bankable stars in comedy. Whether the film succeeds on its own terms or not, it’s an attempt (one generally uncommon in wide-release studio films) to comment on contemporary issues of inequality and race within the context of a broad, often crude comedy.Adam McKay, Ferrell’s longtime collaborator and a producer of Get Hard, said any backlash has been over inflated by “lazy journalism.””Given that we’re a country with runaway income inequality, more people in jail than any other country, this is what people are crowing about? Trying to in a funny way deal with these issues?” said McKay in a phone interview with fellow producer Chris Henchy. “It really kind of got me mad. It’s just cheap is what it is.”‘A silly, filthy comedy’McKay said the film was fashioned as “a silly, filthy comedy” on the outside, but a satire of income inequality underneath. Seeing the film as racist, he says, is “kind of ridiculous and disheartening,” since its intention is to parody those who live in bubbles of wealth and prejudice. To claims of homophobia he protested: “Any individual going to maximum security prison would be afraid of violence and sexual assault. To equate that with homosexuality is ridiculous.”Tip “T.I.” Harris and Joshua Joseph Gillum appear in a scene with Will Ferrell in the new coomedy Get Hard. Some reviews have panned the film for being racist and negatively portraying homosexuality. (Patti Perret/Warner Bros.)Others have agreed, albeit more skeptically. In reviewing the movie for Vanity Fair, Eric D. Snider wrote that the film wasn’t offensive to him as a homosexual; it’s just not funny enough.”It’s not mean-spirited, and it’s panicky straight guys, not gays, who are the target,” wrote Snider. “It’s just disappointing, that’s all.”Any bad buzz for Get Hard has likely been partially alleviated by the goodwill both Ferrell and Hart have in storage, as well as the distraction of Ferrell’s dependably entertaining late-night appearances. The NAACP and GLAAD have not commented on the film.”Here’s the beautiful thing about Will and myself: You’re looking at two guys that are no strangers to criticism,” said Hart. “The critic’s job is to critique. I don’t think I’ve ever had a great review on a film that I’ve done. Not one. Everybody always has had something to say. And if they’re not talking, then you have a problem.”Whether the talking around Get Hard will affect it at the box office remains to be seen.Kevin Hart to host Comedy Central’s roast of Justin Bieber
“People will go see it and there probably will be some people who are offended. It’s definitely a very dirty movie and it’s harsh,” says McKay. “It’s a good-hearted movie at its root. Everything comes out in the wash with movies because they hang around for, like 78 years. You always end up seeing what a movie really is in the long run.”Get Hard opens in Canadian theatres on Friday.

Seth MacFarlane Beats ‘Ted’ Lawsuit With "Independently Created" Bear

Seth MacFarlane Beats ‘Ted’ Lawsuit With "Independently Created" Bear

Seth MacFarlane Beats ‘Ted’ Lawsuit With “Independently Created” Bear – The Hollywood Reporter

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SXSW: ‘Creative Control’ Sells Audiences on ‘Mad Men’ of the Future

SXSW: ‘Creative Control’ Sells Audiences on ‘Mad Men’ of the Future

The heat returned to Austin’s South by Southwest Film Festival this year, with several major Hollywood premieres — Trainwreck, Spy and a surprise screening of Furious 7 — scoring big with audiences. But the fest has re-established its street cred on the indie side of things too.Among a handful of breakout titles in competition, none has garnered more buzz than Benjamin Dickinson’s Creative Control. Set in near-future New York and shot in timeless black and white, the film follows David (played by Dickinson), an anxious advertising exec tasked with building a campaign around a new form of wearable technology called Augmenta. (Think a more useful, less dorky version of Google Glass).At the office, David gets scant support from his colleagues, a rogues’ gallery of distracted and dyspeptic Brooklynites, played by real-world borough notables such as Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes, Vimeo inventor Jake Lodwick and rapper Heems.Meanwhile, at home — the kind of glass-walled urban fishbowl that screams “I’ve made it” — David is having relationship troubles with his yoga-teacher girlfriend (Nora Zehetner). Frustrated, he becomes sexually fixated on the girlfriend of best friend Wim (Dan Gill), a womanizing fashion photographer straight out of a Federico Fellini film.Luckily — or not so luckily, it turns out — Augmenta specs allow you to create fairly convincing 3D avatars of just about anyone, and it isn’t long before David is steaming up those nifty VR glasses.Read More SXSW: GoogleX Exec Explains Why Early Glass Project FailedCreative Control, which earned Dickinson a jury award for visual excellence, is the second feature from the 33-year-old filmmaker. An NYU film school grad, he honed his craft working on TV spots for Puma and Ford and music videos for the likes of LCD Soundsystem and Reggie Watts, the latter of whom also plays a significant role in Control.Dickinson’s well-received first film, a kind of hipster Lord of the Flies called First Winter (2012), served as his calling card as he began to secure funding for the technically ambitious Creative Control. As a “proof of concept,” he shot several key scenes and showed them to everyone he knew. “I begged,” he admits.By the time financing had finally come together, Dickinson had already written eight drafts of the screenplay with his co-writer, Micah Bloomberg. “I memorized the scene order,” Dickinson says. “I would literally lie in bed and play the entire movie in my head, the exact way I wanted it to look.”After the shoot had wrapped, Dickinson turned to Kickstarter for a final $30,000 to fund the film’s 100-plus visual effects. The result is a movie that looks much more expensive than its limited budget would suggest, though Dickinson won’t reveal the final cost. “The number that’s on IMDb is incorrect,” he says of the $1 million listed on the site. “It’s actually much, much less.”Sleight, bearded and handsome, Dickinson resembles a hybrid of Justified star Jeremy Davies and a young Steve Jobs — a perfect mix to play the moody creative type at the film’s center. But it wasn’t supposed to be him. Dickinson had offered the part to several well-known actors. “What I heard was ‘I don’t get the script.’ I heard ‘I graciously decline,’ ” he says.Finally, he got a yes from one very recognizable name but instantly grew “uncomfortable” from their initial meetings. “I could just see the disaster coming, where I’m kind of hamstrung or have handcuffs on,” he says. “There was no way I was going to be able to do my job if this actor was going to tell me how to run my set.”He had better luck auditioning stage actors, but none was physically right for the part. With time running out, it was Dickinson’s mother who suggested he play David himself. With the support of his agent, ICM’s Christina Bazdekis, Dickinson took on the role — a risky move, he concedes.”I have no experience being that guy in my life. I just kind of made up a way to be. I think I was just imitating Don Draper to be honest with you,” he explains, adding that he binge-watched Mad Men while writing the script, “so I’m sure it got in there.”If aping Jon Hamm was what it took, it worked, as the film, anchored by Dickinson’s performance, has drawn strong reviews, earning comparisons to another high-tech cautionary tale: Spike Jonze’s Her.Looking back at his time in Austin, Dickinson says he loved “geeking out” with fellow movie lovers but that he’s still growing accustomed to greeting new fans who approach him on the street.”I really am not used to this,” Dickinson reveals. “I’m adjusting slowly.”

Chronicle of off-grid life in Yukon headed to Hot Docs festival

Chronicle of off-grid life in Yukon headed to Hot Docs festival

A low-budget film made in the Yukon backwoods has pulled off a major coup — it’s earned a coveted spot in the lineup of a high-profile festival in Toronto.“All the Time in the World” will screen at Hot Docs next month. The festival bills itself as “North America’s largest documentary film festival”.“It has always been a dream of mine,” says Dawson City’s Suzanne Crocker, who directed and produced the film. She says she was surprised to make the cut. “It’s definitely not easy to get into HotDocs.”“All the Time in the World” chronicles nine months Crocker spent living in a small off-the-grid cabin in the Yukon bush, with her husband and their three young children. They left their clocks and watches behind, with the aim of “reconnecting” with their environment, and each other. They faced deadly cold temperatures, long dark nights, and a menacing bear. At the end of nine months, they head back to town reluctantly.The film premiered last fall at the Vancouver International Film Festival. Since then, it has screened at several other festivals across North America, winning several audience choice awards along the way.But Crocker says getting into Hot Docs is a special honour — one of her “Academy Award moments,” she says, “these great, pinnacle moments when you’ve achieved something for the film that you maybe never dreamt was possible.”Before HotDocs, the film will get a long-awaited screening in Dawson City, on April 2. Crocker says she’s excited and proud to finally show her movie in her hometown. “Dawson City has been a huge part of making me a filmmaker,” she says. “We were supported all the way.“You really have no idea when you finish a film if it’s even going to get an audience,” says Crocker. “I think in this age where life just seems to be getting crazier and more connected to technology, there still is a longing in people for a simpler life.”

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