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Tag: Sundance Film Festival (51-60 of 427)

Sundance 2014: Lionsgate and CNN Films acquire rights to 'Dinosaur 13'

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Lionsgate and CNN Films acquired the North American rights to documentary Dinosaur 13, a film that follows the intense fight over Sue, the largest and most complete tyrannosaurus rex ever found. The film will have a broadcast premiere on CNN and will also be released in theaters.

Lionsgate and CNN Films have a strong history with documentaries: Fahrenheit 9/11, Religulous, and Grizzly Man are among the films Lionsgate has picked up in the past, and CNN Films released 2013’s hit Blackfish.

Sundance 2014: 'Whiplash' director on the price of greatness and the intensity of J.K. Simmons

It’s going to be a memorable Sundance Film Festival if the rest of the movies can keep up with the beat that Whiplash laid down last night. The opening-night premiere from 28-year-old director Damien Chazelle tells the story of an ambitious jazz-drummer prodigy (Miles Teller) who bumps up against an intimidating tyrant of a music teacher played by J.K. Simmons. Bad-ass bald, with bulging biceps that fill his fashionable black t-shirts, Simmons’ Terrence Fletcher is a cruel taskmaster who bludgeons his students with torrents of mocking, often homophobic, invective in his mission to create true genius. Fletcher toys with them psychologically and bullies them physically, like some musical Bobby Knight. “I remember when I first met [J.K.], I just sort of told him, “Remember how you were in Oz? I want to make that guy look like the teacher in Mr. Holland’s Opus,” Chazelle said to the audience after last night’s premiere.

Chazelle himself was a serious jazz drummer in high school, and he based the poisenous relationship on one he had with one of his own mentors. “Drums had always been like a fun hobby for me, and for four years, when I was in that ensemble, it became just a source of constant dread,” he said last night. “Just looking back, it was an interesting experience because I became a much better drummer than I know I ever would’ve, but I also didn’t enjoy it at all. And maybe for people who feel that music should be about joy and fun, it was missing the point. So those were certain questions that I was grasping with and I just wanted to write about it.”

That Whiplash — which refers to a jazz composition composed by Hank Levy — got a prime Sundance showcase is a great tribute to Chazelle’s crew, and an honor to the festival’s spirit. Last year, Whiplash won the Sundance price for Best Short film, and Chazelle spent the last 12 months turning an 18 minute short, that was specially created as a sample to show potential investors, into a deeper, richer two-hander that questions all the blood, sweat, and tears that seem to be the price of greatness. Sony Pictures quickly picked up the distribution rights to some international markets. A big number for the price of the domestic rights would not surprise anyone who witnessed last night’s premiere. (Though if the film becomes a hit, Simmons’ future as a comforting, vest-wearing pitch-man for Farmers Insurance might soon need to be rethought.)

Chazelle, who also wrote the screenplay for Grand Piano, spoke to EW before the premiere about his movie. READ FULL STORY

Sundance 2014: Elisabeth Moss tells Jason Schwartzman he's impossible to live with in 'Listen Up Philip' trailer

Philip is not for everyone.

An accomplished novelist, and world-class narcissist, the lead character (portrayed by Jason Schwartzman) of director Alex Ross Perry’s Listen Up Philip at least leaves quite an impression on the people he encounters, whether they’re his literary idols, his ex-girlfriends, random photo assistants, or the girl who happens to be living at the country house he retreats to.

In the first teaser for Perry’s third feature, premiering at Sundance on Jan. 20, we’re treated to bits from the supporting characters in his life. Some are reaching out to help, some are having heartfelt conversations, and some are just telling him to back off, but all are looking straight into the camera — putting the viewer in Philip’s place. Take a look after the jump.

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Sundance 2014: Sony nabs international rights for festival opener 'Whiplash'

After writer-director Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash had a successful night as the opening film for Sundance, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions acquired rights to several international territories to the movie.

Whiplash, starring Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons, is adapted from a short film that won the jury award for fiction at last year’s festival. The movie follows new college student Andrew (Teller) as he struggles to become the core drummer of an esteemed jazz orchestra with the help of a tough instructor (Simmons).

Sundance 2014: Director Lynn Shelton on Keira Knightley, Death Cab for Cutie, and her new film 'Laggies' -- EXCLUSIVE PHOTO

Lynn Shelton is a Sundance veteran. Her film Humpday debuted at the annual Park City festival in 2009; last year her story about an anxious massage therapist, Touchy Feely with Ellen Page, made a splash in a year with more female directors than ever at the fest. She returns to Sundance this week with a movie that has a similar sensibility as her previous efforts, but with one big difference: “I’ve never directed a film I didn’t write, and this came to me from an outside source,” Shelton tells EW. “It was an interesting process working with a script that originated in somebody else’s brain.” It’s also her biggest movie to date. “It’s the first multi-million dollar movie I’ve done so that was really fun to get to work on a grander scale for me. It was a big step up.”

Laggies follows Megan — played by Keira Knightley, seen in the exclusive photo above — a woman who’s stumbling a little bit directionless through life at 28 years old. In the same vein as The Graduate and other movies that show young adults in lost-at-sea mode, Shelton says her film pays homage to those types of stories, but her character is a little different. “It’s the kind of story you see men play all the time…the lost soul who’s a little bit ‘failure-to-launch.’ But she’s not like a slacker. She has an advanced degree. She’s marching to the beat of her own drummer, she has her own timeline, she hasn’t been inspired, she hasn’t felt the need to buckle down and be an adult yet.”
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Sundance 2014: EW takes over Park City -- VIDEO

If you’re not in Park City, Utah, for the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, don’t worry: Entertainment Weekly will bring you along for the ride.

Stick with EW.com over the next week and a half for interviews with your favorite celebs and details about the movies you’ll be talking about over the next year. Let’s hand it over to resident movie experts Anthony Breznican and Sara Vilkomerson in Utah:
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Sundance 2014: Magnolia and Paramount pick up Joe Swanberg's Anna Kendrick movie

Christmas came early for Joe Swanberg, Magnolia Pictures, and Paramount Pictures. In the first announced deal of the Sundance Film Festival, which began Thursday, the two film companies agreed to co-distribute Happy Christmas, the holiday dramedy that stars Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey, Mark Webber, Lena Dunham, and Swanberg, who also wrote and directed. Terms were not announced.

Magnolia, which distributed Swanberg’s last movie, Drinking Buddies (also starring Kendrick), will distribute the film in theaters and via VOD. Paramount Home Media Distribution will distribute internationally and handle U.S. physical home entertainment. “Happy Christmas is a personal and important film for me and I can’t imagine better partners to help connect it with audiences around the world,” Swanberg said in a statement.

In the film, Kendrick plays a woman who crashes in her older brother’s basement after a recent breakup. She reconnects with a college friend (Dunham), and their antics shake up the household and provoke her more responsible sister-in-law (Lynskey), whose own life, it turns out, isn’t everything she had planned.

Magnolia is eyeing a theatrical release in the summer 2014. Drinking Buddies opened last July 25.

Robert Redford dusts off Oscar snub, but wishes distributors had done more

Robert Redford appeared before the press Thursday to discuss the Sundance Film Festival, but it was impossible to ignore the news that he’d been snubbed by the Academy, which overlooked his acting performance in All is Lost. Speaking at the festival’s Day 1 press conference, Redford insisted he wasn’t disturbed or upset by the slight, but he expressed regret that the film’s distributors, Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions, did not do more to champion the film’s award prospects. “When these films go before to be voted on, usually they’re heavily dependent on campaigns that the distributors provide,” he said. “There’s a lot of campaigning that goes on and it can get very political, but that’s okay. Because it is a business. In our case, I think we suffered from little to no distribution. So as a result, our distributors either — I don’t know why — they didn’t want to spend the money, they were afraid, or they just were incapable. But whatever, we had no campaign to help us cross over into the mainstream. So I suspect that had something to do with it.” READ FULL STORY

Sundance 2014: Mitt Romney doc does what his campaign couldn't -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

If you had told Greg Whiteley in 2006 that he was going to spend the next six years of his life on the road covering a presidential candidate, he probably would’ve reconsidered the opportunity he had initially pursued so diligently. “I just couldn’t have imagined swallowing up six years of life working on this project,” says the documentary filmmaker who was just coming off making two well-regarded movies in a three-year span. “I showed up on Christmas Eve, met the [Romney] family for the first time and filmed them discussing whether or not [Mitt] should run. And I just didn’t stop filming for six years.”

In Mitt, which premieres at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday and debuts on Netflix on Jan. 24, Whiteley’s cameras go beyond the campaigns, beyond the strategies, beyond the polls. Viewers barely glimpse Romney’s advisors or television talking heads, and the media-fueled horse-races that are the Republican primaries and general election exist only as a low buzz in the background. Instead, Whiteley is in the family room and hotel rooms of the giant brood of Romneys as they rally around their dad, catching them unguarded at the most crucial moments of the elections: losing to John McCain, the momentum-shifting 2012 debates with President Obama, and the almost-bittersweet final moment of a six-year campaign that came up short. You might not love the Mitt Romney who ran for president, but Whiteley makes it very difficult not to like the man and his family.

“People ask me, ‘How did this happen?’” says Whiteley, “To this day, I can’t tell you. I continue to be surprised by it.” READ FULL STORY

Sundance 2014: Aaron Paul raises 'Hellion,' talks 'Need for Speed' -- EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS

Aaron Paul officially got the last word in on Breaking Bad, punctuating the show’s Golden Globe acceptance speech for Best Television Drama with Jesse’s bad-boy catchphrase, “Yeah, bitch!” For six years, Paul created one of the most indelibly wounded and tragic characters in television and now that the show has run its course, it’s time for the 34-year-old actor to find that next thing.

In fact, he’s got several.

Next month, he revs the engine of Disney’s Need for Speed, a big-budget action movie based on the popular videogame. But before Paul shifts into the Hollywood fast-lane, he returns to the Sundance Film Festival for Hellion, a gritty drama about a family on the verge of disintegration. He plays Hollis, a recent widower who hasn’t recovered from his wife’s passing and as a result, is failing as a father to his two young sons (Josh Wiggins and Deke Garner.) When the eldest, Jacob, gets into trouble with the law, Child Protection Services moves in and places him with his aunt, played by Juliette Lewis. Hollis has to put his life back together, quickly, if he has any chance of keeping his boys together.

Hellion was written and directed by Kay Candler, and it’s appropriate that it’s premiering at Sundance. Two years ago, she debuted a short-film version of Hellion at the festival; and took special notice of Paul’s well-received turn in Smashed, which won a Special Jury Prize. Together, they embarked on a truly independent project, one that only ever gets made because passionate people insist on it. “We didn’t really get paid for this. No one did,” says Paul. “We did it because we loved it. We all knew that we were part of something special. It was a small crew, maybe 30 people. One of our producer’s parents were making food for us, you know, lunches and dinner. It was just such a sweet project, and we were just making a film that we all believed in.”

In addition to the quartet of exclusive photos from Hellion, Paul spoke to EW about playing a father figure, his upcoming Netflix cartoon, and what his first reaction was to the idea of a movie based on a video game. READ FULL STORY

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