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New Film About Hollywood Legend Mary Pickford To Begin Production in Early 2013

Pic to be directed by Jennifer DeLia, written by Josh Fagin and produced by Julie Pacino

Poverty Row Entertainment, a production company headed by Julie Pacino and Jennifer DeLia, has recently acquired the rights, along with producer Said Zahraoui, to silent screen legend Mary Pickford’s biography “Pickford: The Woman Who Made Hollywood,” written by Eileen Whitfield.  This definitive biography establishes the star as a groundbreaking genius, casting new light on one of the most influential – and least understood – artists in the history of popular culture.

THE UNTITLED PICKFORD FILM will delve into Pickford’s life from a woman’s point of view and will illuminate the artistry, spirituality, and integrity that moved Mary Pickford through the ground-breaking and controversial world of her time.  A script by Josh Fagin (“Born to Rock;” “Pride and Glory”) is currently being written with production aiming to begin in early 2013.  Pacino and DeLia are currently in talks with potential talent and will be in Cannes to take further meetings about casting as well as financing.

“With no intention of creating a conventional biopic, we will use the language of film to hopscotch through time, in order to tell the story of a woman so ahead of her time who was living one of the most romantic love stories of all-time,” said Pacino and DeLia in a joint statement.  “Mary Pickford’s story is one of intense emotion, astute intuition, dedicated artistry, and about the creation of Hollywood.  Pickford was floating between the worlds of vast femininity and of masculine savvy and power.  It’s synchronistic for us to be where we’re at as filmmakers as we’re exploring the world through Pickford’s eyes.”

From 1892 through to her passing in 1979, Pickford was the powerhouse who, along with Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin and D. W. Griffith, created their own distribution company, United Artists, that was designed to serve the filmmakers rather than the studio heads.  Known as ‘America’s Sweetheart,’ ‘Little Mary,’ and ‘The Girl with the Curls,’ the Canadian-born Pickford was one of silent film’s most important performers and had international fame that reached heights never seen before, as for the first time, an idol emerged from moving images or ‘cinema.’  She was the biggest and most beloved movie star of the time; she was the face of the American Military; she was one of the 36 co-founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; and she was an activist.  She fulfilled missions that no one else in her time could have and no one since her could even imagine.

In acquiring the rights, Steven Beer at Greenberg Traurig handled the legal representation for Poverty Row and Said Zahraoui.

The filmmakers strongly believe in the work done over the years by the staff at the Mary Pickford Institute for Film Education (MPI) and encourage everyone to show their support in the preservation of her memory and legacy by signing this petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/447/355/995/save-the-mary-pickford-institute-for-film-education/.


Bana and Hall Begin Shooting on an Untitled John Crowley Suspense Thriller


Production begins next week in the U.K. on Focus Features and Working Title Films’ untitled international suspense thriller starring Eric Bana (of Focus’ Hanna) and Golden Globe Award nominee Rebecca Hall (Vicky Cristina Barcelona, The Town) for director John Crowley (Boy A). The original screenplay is by Steven Knight, Academy Award nominee for Dirty Pretty Things and BIFA Award nominee for Focus’ Eastern Promises.

Rounding out the cast are British Independent Film Award nominee Riz Ahmed (Four Lions); Academy Award winner Jim Broadbent (Iris); Olivier Award nominee Kenneth Cranham (An Inspector Calls); BAFTA Award nominee Anne-Marie Duff (Nowhere Boy); in his fifth film for Focus, Ciarán Hinds (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy); and Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee Julia Stiles (Dexter). Adriano Goldman (Focus’ Jane Eyre) is the feature’s cinematographer; Jim Clay and Natalie Ward, both of Focus’ The Debt, are the production designer and costume designer, respectively.

Mr. Bevan and Mr. Fellner are producing the film with Chris Clark (The Guard), and Working Title’s Liza Chasin is executive producer. Focus holds worldwide rights to the feature, and will commence overseas sales at the Cannes International Film Festival in May.

In the thriller, two ex-lovers, Martin (to be played by Mr. Bana) and Claudia (Ms. Hall), find their loyalties tested and their lives at risk when they are joined together on the defense team in a terrorism trial.

Working Title Films, co-chaired by Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner since 1992, is one of the world’s leading film production companies. Founded in 1983, Working Title has made nearly 100 films that have grossed over $5 billion worldwide. Its films have won 6 Academy Awards, 30 BAFTA Awards, and prestigious prizes at the Cannes and Berlin International Film Festivals. The company’s 2012 slate includes Baltasar Kormákur’s Contraband, starring Mark Wahlberg and Kate Beckinsale, which recently posted the company’s all-time biggest domestic box office opening weekend; Les Misérables, directed by Tom Hooper and starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Anne Hathaway; and Joe Wright’s epic love story Anna Karenina, starring Keira Knightley, Jude Law, and Aaron Johnson.

Focus Features and Focus Features International (www.focusfeatures.com) comprise a singular global company. This worldwide studio makes original and daring films that challenge the mainstream to embrace and enjoy voices and visions from around the world that deliver global commercial success. The company operates as Focus Features in North America, and as Focus Features International (FFI) in the rest of the world.

Upcoming Focus releases include Moonrise Kingdom, the new feature from Wes Anderson that will world-premiere as the opening-night film of the 2012 Cannes International Film Festival, starring Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, and Jason Schwartzman; Lorene Scafaria’s Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, starring Steve Carell and Keira Knightley; Sam Fell and Chris Butler’s ParaNorman, the new 3D stop-motion comedy thriller from animation company LAIKA; Jamie Travis’ contemporary comedy For a Good Time, Call…, starring Ari Graynor and Lauren Anne Miller; the historical tale Hyde Park on Hudson, directed by Roger Michell and starring Academy Award nominees Bill Murray and Laura Linney; and the aforementioned Anna Karenina.


#SXSW Film Announces 2012 Award Winners


Jury and Audience Award-winners of the 2012 South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival were announced tonight at the Festival’s Awards Ceremony, presented by Veam and hosted by comedian and actor Doug Benson. The Awards took place at the Vimeo Theater in Austin, Texas. Feature Films receiving Jury Awards were selected from the Narrative Feature and Documentary Feature Competition categories. Films in these categories, as well as all feature categories, with the exception of Special Events, were also eligible for 2012 SXSW Film Festival Audience Awards. Only Narrative and Documentary Feature Audience Awards were announced tonight. Narrative Spotlight, Documentary Spotlight, Emerging Visions, Midnighters, 24 Beats Per Second, SXGlobal and Festival Favorites Audience Awards will be announced separately on Saturday, March 17, with the Headliner Audience Award to follow on Monday, March 19, 2012. SXSW continues showing films through Saturday, March 17, details can be found at www.sxsw.com/film.

SXSW also announced the Jury Award-winners in Shorts Filmmaking and winners of SXSW Film
Design Awards Presented by iStockphoto, as well as Special Awards, including the Louis Black “Lone
Star” Award, the SXSW Chicken & Egg Emergent Narrative Woman Director Award and the SXSW
Wholphin Award. New for 2012, Jury Awards will be handed out for Short films in the SXGlobal and
Midnight Shorts sections. Audience Award results for all categories were certified by the accounting
firm of Maxwell Locke & Ritter.

“It’s been amazing this year to hear over and over again about the high range of quality across the
board,” said Janet Pierson, Film Conference and Festival Producer. “I know I’m always going on about
the great variety of our program, but this year it seems to have been embraced in even wider measure
and it’s very exciting. SXSW is a special moment for the creative community to both inspire and be
inspired. We appreciate the audience and jury engagement and recognition for these highlighted titles.”

The 2012 SXSW Film Festival Juries consisted of:

Narrative Feature Competition: Lisa Hintelmann, J. Hoberman, Jane Schoettle
Documentary Feature Competition: David Courier, Philipp Engelhorn, Catherine Shoard
Narrative Shorts: Susan Arosteguy, Mark Elijah Rosenberg, Thuy Tran
Documentary Shorts: Anna Higgs, Gerald Peary, Basil Tsiokos
SXGlobal Shorts: Margaret Brown, Chale Nafus, Linda O. Olszewski
Animated Shorts: Brad Graeber, Brad Phillips, Bryan Pudder
Midnight Shorts: Nate Bolotin, Tim League, Ti West
Music Videos: Jim Eno, John T. Kunz, Mark Woollen
Texas Shorts: Karim Ahmad, Jennifer Cochis, Anderson Le
Texas High School Shorts: Marcy Garriott, Emily Hagins, Bart Weiss
Title Sequence Design: Ian Albinson, Jenny Lee, Ben Radatz, Gareth Smith, Kurt Volk
Poster Design: Craig Crutchfield, Tim League, James Leal-Valias, Charlie Loft, Danny Parker
Louis Black “Lone Star”: Elizabeth Avellán, Christy Lemire, Ron Mann


The 2012 SXSW Film Festival hosted a total of 132 features, consisting of 74 World Premieres, 17
North American Premieres and 11 U.S. Premieres, with 58 films from first-time directors. 138 shorts will
screen as part of 12 overall shorts programs. The nearly 275 films were selected from a record number
of overall submissions, over 5,300, comprised of approximately 2,000 features and 3,300 shorts. This
was a 7% increase over 2011 despite moving submission deadlines a month earlier than in previous

The 2012 SXSW Film Festival Award Winners:

Feature Film Jury Awards


Grand Jury Winner: Beware of Mr. Baker
Director: Jay Bulger


Grand Jury Winner: Gimme The Loot
Director: Adam Leon

Special Jury Recognition for Performance:
Jamie Chung – Eden
Besedka Johnson – Starlet
Nico Stone – Booster

Feature Film Audience Awards

Winner: Bay of All Saints
Director: Annie Eastman

Winner: Eden
Director: Megan Griffiths

*Audience Awards for Narrative Spotlight, Documentary Spotlight, Emerging Visions,
Midnighters, 24 Beats Per Second, SXGlobal and Festival Favorites sections will be announced
on Saturday, March 17. The Headliner Audience Award will follow on Monday, March 19, 2012.

Short Film Jury Awards

Winner: The Chair
Director: Grainger David

Winner: CatCam
Director: Seth Keal


Winner: Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared
Directors: Rebecca Sloan & Joseph Pelling

Winner: The Perfect Fit
Director: Tali Yankelevich

Winner: (notes on) biology
Director: Danny Madden

Winner: Battles, “My Machines”
Director: DANIELS

Winner: Spark
Director: Annie Silverstein

Winner: Boom
Director: Daniel Matyas & Brian Broder

SXSW Film Design Awards presented by iStockphoto

Winner: Man & Gun
Designer: Justin Cox

Special Jury Recognition: Pitch Black Heist
Designer: Andrew Cranston

Audience Award Winner: The Maker
Designer: Christopher Kezelos


Winner: Les Bleus de Ramville
Designer: Jay Bond, Oily Film Company Inc.

Special Jury Recognition: X-Men: First Class
Designer: Simon Clowes, Prologue Films

Audience Award Winner: Bunraku
Designer: Guilherme Marcondes, Hornet Inc.


SXSW Special Awards

Winner: The Black Balloon
Director: Benny Safdie & Josh Safdie

Winners: Megan Griffiths for Eden and Amy Seimetz for Sun Don’t Shine

Winner: Bernie
Director: Richard Linklater

Special Jury Recognition: Trash Dance
Director: Andrew Garrison

Presented to: Lindsay Utz


First Run Grabs U.S. Rights to Girl Model Doc; Plans Summer Theatrical Release


First Run Features announces its acquisition of U.S. theatrical, home video and VOD rights to David Redmon and Ashley Sabin’s acclaimed documentary Girl Model. First Run plans a summer theatrical release, followed by a fall DVD and VOD release to coincide with the film’s broadcast premiere on PBS’s POV series. Told through the eyes of a 13-year-old Siberian girl and the American scout who discovered her, Girl Model follows a complex global supply chain of young girls sent abroad to seek their fortunes in the unregulated and often murky world of the modeling industry. Just released in UK theatres by Dogwoof, Girl Model has garnered strong audiences and overwhelming critical acclaim for both its provocative subject matter and its realistic portrayal of what many think is a glamorous profession. Girl Model follows two protagonists involved in the modeling industry: Ashley, a model scout who scours the Siberian countryside looking for fresh faces to send to the Japanese market, and one of her discoveries, Nadya, a 13-year-old plucked from her rustic home in Russia and dropped into the center of bustling Tokyo with promises of a profitable career. After Ashley’s initial discovery of Nadya, they rarely meet again, but their stories are inextricably bound. As Nadya’s optimism about rescuing her family from financial hardship grows, her dreams contrast with Ashley’s more jaded outlook about the industry’s corrosive influence. Girl Model is a lyrical exploration of a world defined by glass surfaces and camera lenses, reflecting back differing versions of reality to the young women caught in their scope. As we enter further into this world, it more and more resembles a hall of mirrors where appearances can’t be trusted, perception becomes distorted, and there is no clear way out. Will Nadya, and the other girls like her, be able to find anyone to help them navigate this maze, or will they follow a path like Ashley’s, having learned the tricks of the labyrinth but unable to escape its lure? Girl Model received funding through the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program, Cinereach, Puffin Foundation, Harvard Radcliffe Institute, IFP, Chicken and Egg Pictures, and The Fledgling Fund. David Redmon and Ashley Sabin have produced, directed, edited and photographed six feature documentaries: Mardi Gras: Made in China (2005), Kamp Katrina (2007), Intimidad (2008), Invisible Girlfriend (2009), Girl Model (2011) and Downeast (2012). Their intimate and intricately crafted documentaries have won a variety of film festival awards, and their work has aired on television stations throughout the world. Redmon received his Ph.D in sociology from the University at Albany, State University of New York. In 2010/2011 he was a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University. Sabin received her BA in Art History from Pratt Institute. “We’re delighted and thrilled to work with First Run,” said Redmond and Sabin. “It is an established, hard-working company with an excellent reputation for distributing a wide range of successful movies in numerous outlets.” “It’s an honor to be working with Ashley and David on their mesmerizing, unforgettable film,” said First Run’s VP Marc Mauceri. “I’m guessing it’s going to be a shock to anyone who follows the fashion and modeling industry. And hopefully what it reveals will help change things.” Founded in 1979, First Run Features is one of America’s notable distributors of documentary and foreign films. Recent releases include Jason Cohn and Bill Jersey’s Eames: The Architect and the Painter, DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus’s Kings of Pastry, Ken Bowser’s Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune, Joe Berlinger’s Crude, and Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith’s Academy Award-nominated The Most Dangerous Man in America, Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers.

Sundance #London :: Film Program Unveiled for the Inaugural Event


14 Films Make Their UK Premieres, 26-29 April at The O2

Sundance Institute and The O2 announced today the programme of 14 narrative and documentary feature films that will make their UK premieres at the inaugural Sundance London festival, taking place at The O2 from 26-29 April. These films premiered in January at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah – the premier independent film festival in the United States.

“I welcome the opportunity to see how people in the UK experience these films,” said Robert Redford, President and Founder of Sundance Institute. “While they are American productions they speak to universal experiences and global challenges.”

He went on to add, “Sundance London also is the perfect opportunity to continue our long-time commitment to growing a broader international community around new voices and new perspectives.”

John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival, said, “Sundance London grew out of our desire to help American independent filmmakers expand their reach, and we are happy that these 14 filmmakers are joining us on this adventure. Their participation has helped us to not only create a programme for Sundance London that reflects the diversity of our film festival in Park City, but also that helps build an enduring legacy of American stories that speak to international audiences.”

Alex Hill, Chief Finance and Strategy Officer of AEG Europe, owners of host venue The O2, adds:  “All at The O2 are very excited that the inaugural Sundance London film and music festival is nearly upon us.  The 14 films which Sundance Institute is bringing to London reflect the strength, depth and breadth of American independent cinema that showcased earlier in the year at the Sundance Film Festival.  They complement an exciting music component with performances from Tricky and Placebo, and our opening night event An Evening With Robert Redford and T Bone Burnett.  In what is arguably the world’s most culturally diverse city, The O2 is proud to be hosting such a prestigious festival.”

In addition to film screenings, Sundance London will host live music performances and events each evening, including the previously announced Opening Night event An Evening With Robert Redford And T Bone Burnett, Placebo in concert and Tricky and Martina Topley-Bird performing Maxinquaye. Also on offer to Sundance London audiences will be unique opportunities to attend panels and hear guest speakers talk about the part they play in making films, documentaries and the role of music in modern cinema.

Forthcoming announcements include the festival’s short film programme, special events and additional music performers.

Programme information and ticket packages are available at  www.sundance-london.com. Individual tickets will be on sale in early April.


2 Days in New York (Director: Julie Delpy, Screenwriters: Julie Delpy, Alexia Landeau) — Marion has broken up with Jack and now lives in New York with their child. A visit from her family, the different cultural background of her new boyfriend, an ex-boyfriend who her sister is now dating, and her upcoming photo exhibition make for an explosive mix. Cast: Julie Delpy, Chris Rock, Albert Delpy, Alexia Landeau, Alex Nahon.

Chasing Ice (Director: Jeff Orlowski) — Science, spectacle and human passion mix in this stunningly cinematic portrait as National Geographic photographer James Balog captures time-lapse photography of glaciers over several years providing tangible visual evidence of climate change. Winner of the Excellence in Cinematography Award: U.S. Documentary at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival

Filly Brown (Directors: Youssef Delara, Michael D. Olmos, Screenwriter: Youssef Delara) — A Hip Hop-driven drama about a Mexican girl who rises to fame and consciousness as she copes with the incarceration of her mother through music. Cast: Lou Diamond Phillips, Gina Rodriguez, Jenni Rivera, Edward James Olmos.

Finding North (Directors: Kristi Jacobson, Lori Silverbush) — A crisis of hunger looms in America and is not limited to the poverty stricken and uneducated. Can a return to policies of the 1970s save our future? Features interviews with activists including Witness to Hunger’s Mariana Chilton, Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio and Academy Award®-winning actor Jeff Bridges, as well as original music by T Bone Burnett & The Civil Wars.

For Ellen (Director and screenwriter: So Yong Kim) – A struggling musician takes an overnight long-distance drive in order to fight his estranged wife for custody of their young daughter. Cast: Paul Dano, Jon Heder, Jena Malone, Margarita Levieva, Shay Mandigo

The House I Live In (Director: Eugene Jarecki) — For over 40 years, the War on Drugs has accounted for 45 million arrests, made America the world’s largest jailer and damaged poor communities at home and abroad. Yet, drugs are cheaper, purer and more available today than ever. Where did we go wrong and what is the path toward healing? Winner of the Grand Jury Prize: U.S. Documentary at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival

Liberal Arts (Director and screenwriter: Josh Radnor) — Bookish and newly single Jesse Fisher returns to his alma mater for his favorite professor’s retirement dinner. A chance meeting with Zibby – a precocious classical music-loving sophomore – awakens in him long-dormant feelings of possibility and connection. Cast: Josh Radnor, Elizabeth Olsen, Richard Jenkins, Allison Janney, John Magaro, Elizabeth Reaser.

LUV (Director: Sheldon Candis, Screenwriters: Sheldon Candis, Justin Wilson) — An orphaned 11-year-old boy is forced to face the unpleasant truth about his beloved uncle during one harrowing day in the streets of Baltimore. Cast: Common, Michael Rainey Jr., Dennis Haysbert, Danny Glover, Charles S. Dutton.

Nobody Walks (Director: Ry Russo-Young, Screenwriters: Lena Dunham, Ry Russo-Young) — Martine, a young artist from New York, is invited into the home of a hip, liberal LA family for a week. Her presence unravels the family’s carefully maintained status quo, and a mess of sexual and emotional entanglements ensues. Cast: John Krasinski, Olivia Thirlby, Rosemarie DeWitt, India Ennenga, Justin Kirk. Winner of the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Prize for Excellence in Independent Film Producing at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

An Oversimplification of Her Beauty (Director and screenwriter: Terence Nance) — A quixotic young man humorously courses live action and various animated landscapes as he tries to understand himself after a mystery girl stands him up. Cast: Terence Nance, Namik Minter, Chanelle Pearson.

The Queen of Versailles (Director: Lauren Greenfield) — Jackie and David were triumphantly constructing the biggest house in America – a sprawling, 90,000-square-foot palace inspired by Versailles – when their timeshare empire falters due to the economic crisis. Their story reveals the innate virtues and flaws of the American Dream. Winner of the Directing Award: U.S. Documentary at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

Safety Not Guaranteed (Director: Colin Trevorrow, Screenwriter: Derek Connolly) — A trio of magazine employees investigate a classified ad seeking a partner for time travel. One employee develops feelings for the paranoid but compelling loner and seeks to discover what he’s really up to. Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson, Karan Soni. Winner of the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

SHUT UP AND PLAY THE HITS (Directors: Dylan Southern, Will Lovelace) — A film that follows LCD Soundsystem front man James Murphy over a crucial 48-hour period, from the day of their final gig at Madison Square Garden to the morning after, the official end of one of the best live bands in the world.

Under African Skies (Director: Joe Berlinger) — Paul Simon returns to South Africa to explore the incredible journey of his historic Graceland album, including the political backlash he sparked for allegedly breaking the UN cultural boycott of South Africa, designed to end Apartheid.



 Berry Meyerowitz, President & CEO of Phase 4 Films, announced today that the company has acquired U.S. and Canadian rights to writer-director Andrew Edison’s groundbreaking high school comedy BINDLESTIFFS. This is the first film to be released under the company’s new “Kevin Smith’s SModcast Pictures Presents” banner. Edison wrote the screenplay with Luke Loftin, and the two also produced (with Mike Akel and Matt Patterson) and star in the film. BINDLESTIFFS made its world premiere at the 2012 Slamdance Film Festival where it took home the Audience Award for Best Feature Narrative. Phase 4 will release the film in June, in conjunction with an event theatrical tour and Q&A’s with Kevin Smith and the filmmakers.

This weekend, Meyerowitz and the Phase 4 team will be on the ground with Kevin Smith and his SModcast Pictures team at the South By Southwest Film Festival (SXSW) looking for other films for the label.

In BINDLESTIFFS, three smart-mouthed high school virgins, suspended from school on a graffiti charge, flee to the inner city to live out the plot of The Catcher in the Rye.

““BINDLESTIFFS is the perfect first film for us to release under our new partnership with Kevin Smith,” said Meyerowitz.  “It is raunchy, outrageous and shockingly funny, and showcases the immense talents of Andrew Edison and Luke Loftin.  The support that we and Kevin will bring to the film will expose it to millions of fans and help turn it into a classic.”

“SModcast Pictures Presents is ecstatic about our first feature,” said Smith, “a ballsy high school comedy that was conceived by real, live high schoolers (who are actually way funnier than the 20-something adults who usually play teens in movies)! This mind-bendingly original and gut-bustingly hysterical first film is so confidently made and one-of-a-kind, I cannot wait to stand on a stage beside the BINDLESTIFFS boys andsmell the room after the audience has pissed themselves laughing at their debut film.”

“We are beyond stoked to have Kevin Smith present BINDLESTIFFS,” said Edison and Loftin. “If he didn’t already pave the way with Clerks for films like ours to find an audience, he is definitely doing that now in his partnership with Phase 4. For us, this is truly a dream come true.”

Phase 4 and SModcast Pictures’ distribution partnership, which was announced in early 2012, will allow Phase 4 to acquire exclusive rights to exhibit and distribute up to twelve films per year under Smith’s banner.  Phase 4 will release four of these films theatrically each year, and these will include a live tour with Kevin Smith.

The deal for BINDLESTIFFS was negotiated by Phase 4’s Larry Greenberg and Katharyn Howe with William Morris Global and Caliber Media on behalf of the filmmakers.


France Awards the Legion of Honor to Harvey Weinstein



French President Nicolas Sarkozy has named Harvey Weinstein, Co-Chairman of The Weinstein Company (TWC), a recipient of the 2012 Légion d’Honneur, in recognition of Weinstein’s contributions to cinema and his decades of work producing some of the most highly regarded films of our time. Weinstein was nominated personally by President Sarkozy on July 22, 2011 and will receive the award in a ceremony to take place in Paris.

President Sarkozy wrote the following upon nominating Weinstein to the Légion d’Honneur:  “This prestigious distinction, which I wanted to come from my personal allocation, is a testimony of the admiration of millions of French citizens for the exceptional quality of the films that you have produced.  It also expresses our gratitude to someone who has always shown great friendship towards our country and our cinema which you have enabled so many Americans to discover.”

Said Weinstein, “I am honored and humbled by this recognition from President Sarkozy and the people of France.  All my life, I have loved and been inspired by French cinema.  I am still the young boy who walked two miles to The Mayfair movie theater in Flushing, NY to see films by the greats – Lelouch, Godard, Renoir and my personal favorite François Truffaut. They inspired me and led me to the place I am in today. I hope to continue my friendship with France and its filmmakers for many years to come.”

France’s oldest and highest distinction, the Légion d’Honneur was created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 and is awarded to outstanding individuals who have contributed to France and to the ideals it upholds.  Past recipients include Charlie Chaplin, Marlene Dietrich, Akira Kurosawa, Clint Eastwood, Robert DeNiro, Satyajit Ray, and Steven Spielberg to name just a few. Weinstein requested to keep the honor private until now to avoid any conflict of interest with Academy Award® Best Picture winner THE ARTIST.

Weinstein will enter the Légion d’Honneur with the grade of “Chevalier.” Weinstein has been bringing interesting and cutting edge independent films to audiences for three decades, first as founder and Chairman of Miramax from 1979-2005, and subsequently as founder and Co-Chairman of TWC, launched in 2005. In spring 2011, he acquired Michel Hazanavicius’s THE ARTIST, a French production that went on to win five 2012 Academy Awards®, including Best Picture. Over the years, the cultural impact of some of his most well known films – PULP FICTION, GANGS OF NEW YORK, THE AVIATOR, SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, THE PIANO, LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL, GOOD WILL HUNTING – has been recognized and awarded on many levels. Weinstein has been responsible for the distribution and promotion of more than 30 French films in the United States, including previously released EDITH AND MARCEL (EDITH ET MARCEL, 1983); DELICATESSEN (1991); THREE COLORS: BLUE (TROIS COULEURS: BLEU, 1993); THREE COLORS: RED (TROIS COULEURS: ROUGE, 1994); THREE COLORS: WHITE (TROIS COULEURS: BIALY, 1994); AMÉLIE (2001); LE CONCERT (2009); SARAH’S KEY (ELLE S’APPELAIT SARAH, 2010); and upcoming releases including box office sensation THE INTOUCHABLES (UNTOUCHABLES, 2011); A GANG STORY (LES LYONNAIS, 2012); WAR OF THE BUTTONS (LA NOVELLE GUERRE DES BOUTONS, 2012); and PLAYERS (LES INFIDELES, 2012).

Fassbender joins YouTube’s Film Festival as Juror and Co-Exec Producer

Winner receives a $500,000 YouTube Original Production Grant to work with Scott Free

Acclaimed actor Michael Fassbender (Shame, Inglorious Basterds, The 300) has joined the Your Film Festival team to help select the Grand Prize Winner and to co-executive produce the winner’s next film. Your Film Festival is a global competition to find the world’s best storytellers, connect them with a global audience, and provide one deserving entrant with a career-changing opportunity. Your Film Festival is a partnership between YouTube and Emirates, along with The Venice Film Festival and Scott Free.

“I was delighted to join this partnership alongside Ridley, YouTube, Venice, and Emirates,” says Fassbender.  “I’ve worked with incredible storytellers before and am excited to help find the next great one through Your Film Festival.”

Fassbender’s involvement will mark a reunion of sorts, as his next film will be Ridley Scott’s return to the director’s chair, the highly anticipated Prometheus. Fassbender will also mark his return to Venice Film Festival since winning Best Actor for his performance in Shame. The Steve McQueen directed film also garnered Fassbender a Golden-Globe nomination.

In Your Film Festival content creators around the world are invited to submit a 15-minute, story-driven video of any format, style and genre, to Youtube.com/yourfilmfestival. After submissions are whittled down to fifty semi-finalists, YouTube users from around the world will cast their votes, choosing ten finalists. The ten finalists will travel to Italy, where their work will screen at the 69th Venice International Film Festival and a Grand Prize winner will be named. Submission period is currently open and will remain open until March 31, 2012.


Edoardo Ballerini is an actor and a writer. He has appeared in over forty films and television series, including Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos and the indie hit Dinner Rush. He was last seen on Theater Row in New York in “Honey Brown Eyes.”You can reach Edoardo on Facebook or Twitter

Actors, What Kind of Success Do You Want?


In the span of two hours I was referred to as a “semi-celebrity,” and had a woman write me asking “Who are you?” (Why she bothered to write is entirely a mystery, but hey…) Still, it did illustrate the murky waters of notoriety actors can swim in. Somewhere circling amongst the “A-listers,” the “has beens,” and the “never should have beens” are the “aren’t you?… no, never minds.”

Between the Taping and the Viewing…


In the acting life, there is also a falling shadow, and it comes between the gig and the screening. Between the filming and the airing… Theater is different, of course, but for now let’s stick to the world of screens. After you walk off set for the last day, there’s a good chance you won’t see your work for months, if not even years, or if ever.

Reviews: To Read or Not to Read (h/t to @edoballerini)

A friend just opened a play last week and he was very excited. Weeks of hard work had …

ACTORSandCREW is fully psyched to be featuring Sheri Moss Candler’s 411 for the PMD. PMD stands for Producer of Marketing and Distribution. Sheri is an expert inbound marketing strategist who helps independent filmmakers build identities for themselves and their films.

The Emerging Skills Needed by #Film Publicists


The Mindset Change of Social Media


I was recently interviewed for a blog and was asked about using social media for marketing a film. It really got me thinking about that question. Is that all most filmmakers see social media being used for? One big promotional effort only to be used when they are looking to sell something? I think within 10 years this will be a non issue as everyone will be adapted to social media. Those who have refused to start will be so left out it will be like the people who held out on rotary phones and terrestrial TV signals.

Using #Pinterest as a tool for your #Film #Marketing


Speaking of Pinterest…I only recently started using it for the Joffrey project which is why all of my boards are devoted to that. Looking at them gives a good idea on the kind of thing you could use it for on your production. In my workshop presentations, I talk about posting regularly on your social channels and not just information directly about your film, but also about the interests of your audience; those who would be a fan of your film and of yourself as an artist. I am using the boards to show Joffrey history through pictures and videos. The ballets they created, the ballets they revived, their alumni dancers, Robert Joffrey through the years as well as photos of the merchandise available to buy through our site. It’s a balance of audience interest and promotion for the film.

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