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John Lithgow Reminisces Over His ‘Surprise’ First Emmy Win for ‘Amazing Stories’

Variety - Front Page - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 15:50
The first award John Lithgow ever won was not an Emmy but a Tony (in 1973 for “The Changing Room”). While he was certainly excited by the achievement, much of his happiness came from the fact it put him “in the category of employable actors.” More than a decade later he won his first Emmy... Read more »

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’s’ Reed Morano on ‘Widening the Pool’ of Female Directors

Variety - Front Page - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 15:45
“The Handmaid’s Tale” Emmy sweep is one of the greater success stories of this year’s nominations — and so is Reed Morano, who directed the first three episodes of Hulu’s breakout hit. Morano, a relatively new director with 50 cinematography credits to her name, generated early industry buzz for her work on the dystopian drama,... Read more »

Fox News Headlines Muddy 21st Century’s Bid for Sky

Variety - Front Page - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 15:42
Fox News Channel continues its reign as the nation’s most-watched cable-news outlet. Try as it might, however, the network’s parent company cannot keep the money-making unit from generating shocking headlines of its own. 21st Century Fox has installed several new senior female executives at Fox News Channel and reworked the company’s human-resources department. Despite those... Read more »

Samsung and Live Nation to Stream Coldplay’s Chicago Concert in Virtual Reality

Variety - Front Page - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 15:36
Samsung and Live Nation will broadcast Coldplay’s “A Head Full of Dreams Tour” live in virtual reality from Chicago’s Soldier Field on August 17, starting at 9:30 pm ET. Fans using Samsung Gear VR in more than 50 countries will need a Gear VR headset with a compatible Samsung smartphone, and navigate to the Samsung VR service. A concert... Read more »

International Deals Roll in for ISIS Feature Documentary ‘City of Ghosts’

Variety - Front Page - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 15:31
Matt Heineman’s “City of Ghosts” will open in a host of international territories after Dogwoof closed a slew of deals for the acclaimed feature documentary. Documentary distributor Dogwoof had already sealed an agreement with NonStop for Scandinavia where the film will be release in September. The U.K.-based distributor has now brokered deals in Australia and... Read more »

David E. Kelley and Dan Fogelman on Actor Collaborations, Twisty Plots, and Network Notes

Variety - Front Page - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 15:30
It was a bit of a mutual admiration fest when Variety invited showrunners David E. Kelley (“Big Little Lies”) and Dan Fogelman (“This Is Us”) for a conversation about their creative process. After gushing over each other’s shows, the two producers bonded over dealing with network notes, juggling plot twists and ensemble casts, and why... Read more »

Locarno Opens Door Winner We Ra Aung on Planned Debut ‘One Summer Day’

Variety - Front Page - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 15:29
LOCARNO, Switzerland —  We Ra Aung’s “One Summer Day” proved one of the biggest winners at this year’s Locarno Open Doors co-production platform, Open Doors Hub, where it shared the main prize with Dawood Hilmandi’s “Badeszenen.” It also snagged a second kudo, the CNC Prize from France’s state film agency. We Ra Aung is among... Read more »

Meghan Rienks, Sasha Pieterse, Arden Cho, Karrueche Tran to Star in ‘Honored’ Teen Comedy Film From Lionsgate Digital (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety - Front Page - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 15:15
A quartet of social-media stars — Meghan Rienks, Sasha Pieterse, Arden Cho and Karrueche Tran — will topline Lionsgate Digital Studios’ “Honored,” a high-school buddy comedy revolving around childhood BFFs. All four have sizable online followings, and Lionsgate is banking on that collective fanbase to provide ongoing promotion for the project — the latest in... Read more »

Emmys 2017: Laying Odds on ‘The Crown,’ ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ ‘This is Us’ in Drama Race

Variety - Front Page - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 15:10
The biggest drama on Emmy night will undoubtedly come from the drama race: Without the two-time returning champion in contention (“Game of Thrones” is ineligible because of its mid-July debut), it’s a fiercely competitive category, perhaps the most unpredictable of the night. Five freshman series — from across genres and platforms (finally, a broadcast nominee)... Read more »

FBI Agents Raided Home of Paul Manafort, Trump’s Former Campaign Chairman

Variety - Front Page - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 15:08
WASHINGTON — The FBI conducted an early morning raid last month of Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, reportedly as part of the probe into Russian meddling into the 2016 election and possible collusion by members of Trump’s campaign team. A spokesman for Manafort, Jason Maloni, issued a statement saying that “FBI agents issued... Read more »

Fisher Stevens Joins RadicalMedia as Artist in Residence

Variety - Front Page - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 15:00
Director-producer Fisher Stevens has joined RadicalMedia as an artist in residence. The agreement calls for Stevens and his producing partner, Zara Duffy, to work out of the New York-based  company’s Hudson Street offices to develop a slate of TV and film projects. RadicalMedia has a number of such artist-in-residence relationships with creatives including documentarians Liz... Read more »

Tobey Maguire Chess Movie Launches Day-and-Date On Amazon in the U.K.

Variety - Front Page - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 14:40
“Pawn Sacrifice” will launch on Amazon’s U.K. Prime Video on August 13, the first time the streaming service has had a movie day and date with its theatrical release in the country. The film stars Tobey Maguire as American chess prodigy Bobby Fischer and launched at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2014, before getting... Read more »

Bruce Springsteen on Broadway: Boss Locks in Eight-Week Run

Variety - Front Page - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 14:10
Confirming weeks of rumors, Bruce Springsteen has officially locked in the details of a Broadway run this fall, setting an eight-week engagement for an intimate concert at the Walter Kerr Theater beginning in October, according to the New York Times. With a massive fanbase accrued over a long and storied career, Springsteen stands poised to... Read more »

Lionsgate Takes U.K. Rights to Feature Documentary About Notorious Gangster Freddie Foreman (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety - Front Page - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 13:46
Lionsgate has taken the U.K. rights to “Fred,” a new feature documentary about notorious London gangster, and one-time Kray twins associate, Freddie Foreman. Salon Pictures (“Churchill”) is producing the project and principal photography started this week in London, and will then move to the U.S. East Coast. Foreman’s team approached Salon after seeing its work... Read more »

Parker Smith’s ‘Ramblin’ Freak’ Lands at Gravitas Ventures (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety - Front Page - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 13:29
Gravitas Ventures has acquired all rights to Parker Smith’s documentary-style feature film “Ramblin’ Freak,” Variety has learned exclusively. The Zipper Bros Films production, which premiered at SXSW in March, will be launched on demand in October. The story follows Smith, a struggling Austin-based filmmaker who sells tacos to fund his projects, deciding to take a... Read more »

HBO Adds to Europe Team Ahead of Sarajevo Film Festival

Variety - Front Page - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 10:48
HBO has brought in a new programming executive to bolster its original programming drive in Europe. Ana Balentovic has joined the HBO Europe team and will work up projects from Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Macedonia and Montenegro. In the new development role at HBO she will work with local talent to get original... Read more »

Actress Golshifteh Farahani on Anup Singh’s ‘The Song of Scorpions’

Variety - Front Page - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 10:25
Golshifteh Farahani is the protagonist of Anup Singh’s third feature, “The Song of Scorpions,” and the film, world premiering at Locarno, is another stepping stone for an actress who keeps on challenging herself. In the film, Farahani’s character Nooran lives in India’s Rajasthan desert, training to heal scorpion bites with her songs, until tragedy envelops... Read more »

Locarno: ‘Let the Corpses Tan,’ ‘Iceman,’ ’Winter Brothers,’ ‘Lucky’ Lead Buzz and Bizz

Variety - Front Page - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 10:22
LOCARNO, Switzerland — “Let the Corpses Tan,” “Iceman,” “Winter Brothers” and “Lucky” led biz or buzz as Locarno headed towards its final straits on Wednesday morning, with, of new films, “Three Peaks” and “A Skin So Soft” having drawn to date maybe the biggest critical plaudits – often the driver  of subsequent sales on Locarno... Read more »

Locarno: Radu Jude Discusses Historical Guilt, Images’ Ability to Hide

Variety - Front Page - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 06:30
LOCARNO, Switzerland — Radu Jude’s found-footage film “The Dead Nation,” attempts a fragmentary account of Romania in the 1930s and 1940s, using an extensive photo archive by Costică Acsinte together with a voice-over reading of contemporary diary notes by the Jewish doctor Emil Dorian. A rare exception among recent Romanian slice-of-life films that strive for... Read more »

Cinema as Resistance – Palestinian Director Annemarie Jacir on ‘Wajib’

Variety - Front Page - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 06:30
LOCARNO, Switzerland — Palestinian director Annemarie Jacir has been a pioneer of Arab cinema. Her 2003 “Like Twenty Impossibles” was the first short by a Palestinian director to be selected at Cannes; her feature “Salt of This Sea” (2008) was the first directed by a Palestinian woman. “Salt of This Sea” and “When I Saw... Read more »
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