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Berlin: Lunchtime Talk With Pauline Piechota of FilmNation

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FilmNation senior VP of distribution Pauline Piechota has been going to the Berlin Film Festival for almost 20 years with different shingles — this will be her seventh with FilmNation — she’s been there since its inception in 2008. The shingle has an especially busy Berlinale, with competition entries “Genius” and “Midnight Special,” for which FilmNation… Read more »

Berlin: Gillian Anderson Joining Harrison Ford in ‘Official Secrets’ (EXCLUSIVE)

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Gillian Anderson is in negotiations to star in Justin Chadwick’s political thriller “Official Secrets” to portray an MI6 agent, Variety has learned exclusively. Harrison Ford, Anthony Hopkins, Paul Bettany, Natalie Dormer, Tahar Rahim and Martin Freeman have already joined the project, produced by Elizabeth Fowler. Chadwick will direct from a screenplay by Sara and Gregory… Read more »

Berlin: FLX Signs Exclusive Output Deal With Svensk (EXCLUSIVE)

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Sweden-based super-indie FLX, the company behind Nordic B.O. hit “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared,” has signed an exclusive output deal with AB Svensk Filmindustri, one of Scandinavia’s biggest distributors. The pact covers the distribution of FLX’s upcoming features in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Iceland. Kicking off this year,… Read more »

Berlin: Kristen Stewart’s ‘Shopper’ Tops MK2 Sales Deals

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French mini-major MK2 has scored massive pre-sales across its slate, leading with Olivier Assayas’ “Personal Shopper,” starring Kristen Stewart; Stephane Brize’s “A Woman’s Life”; Serge Bozon’s “Mrs. Hyde,” with Isabelle Huppert and Gerard Depardieu; and Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon’s “Lost in Paris.” Spearheaded by newly appointed head of sales, Fionnuala Jamison, MK2 has sold… Read more »

Telefonica Studios Furthers Drive Into Latin America (EXCLUSIVE)

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BERLIN – Telefonica Studios, the film-TV production arm of telco giant Telefonica, already a key player in Spain and Argentina, is taking another step into Latin America teaming with Cactus Flower and Mono Films on the Colombia-shot romantic thriller “Orbita 9.” Part of Movistar Plus, which takes in Spain’s biggest pay TV and SVOD operation,… Read more »

Berlin: Gaumont Embarks On ‘Journey Through French Cinema’ (EXCLUSIVE)

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BERLIN – Gaumont has acquired international sales rights to vet helmer Bertrand Tavernier’s “A Journey Through French Cinema,” a feature documentary charting the history of French cinema from the 1930s through to the early 1970s. Tavernier, who is president of Lyon’s Lumiere festival along with Cannes fest’s artistic director Thierry Fremaux, said Martin Scorsese’s “Personal… Read more »

Berlin: The Match Factory Picks Up Bohdan Slama’s ‘Ice Mother’ (EXCLUSIVE)

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World sales company The Match Factory, which has four films in competition and three in Panorama at the Berlin Film Festival, has picked up the international sales rights for “Ice Mother,” helmed by director Bohdan Slama. “Ice Mother” tells the story of 67-year-old Hana who is the underappreciated, good soul of her family constantly helping… Read more »

WGA Honors ‘Big Short,’ ‘Spotlight,’ ‘Mad Men’ at 68th Awards

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“The Big Short” and “Spotlight” won the Writers Guild of America’s top screenplay trophies Saturday, while the fourth season of  “Veep” and the final season of “Mad Men” took the top TV series awards. “The Big Short,” a darkly comic look at the 2008 financial meltdown, won for best adapted screenplay for Charles Randolph and… Read more »

Sundance Hit ‘Little Men’ Goes To U.K.’s Altitude

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BERLIN – In a major territory deal on a Sundance hit, Altitude Film Distribution has acquired U.K. rights to Ira Sachs’ Sundance crowd-pleaser “Little Men.” Marking Altitude’s second Sachs’ title after releasing “Love Is Strange,” deal was struck by Altitude Film Entertainment’s Ellie Gibbons and “Little Men’s” sales agent, Charlotte Mickie at Mongrel International. Charting… Read more »

Berlin: German Producer Philipp Kreuzer Says Direct Relationships Key to Success

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German producer Philipp Kreuzer and his partner Jorg Schulze recently launched Munich and Berlin-based Maze Pictures, which is making its EFM debut after joining forces with Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp Television on thriller TV series “The Crimson Rivers” and several film projects. Kreuzer is a lawyer and former top exec at Bavaria Film Intl. There is… Read more »

Berlin Film Review: ‘The Patriarch’

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Seen through the eyes of a Maori teen on the brink of manhood, “The Patriarch” plays like a classic Western as it proudly expands the still-limited canon of essential films about New Zealand’s tribal people.