Friday 29 September 2017

Interview with Francesca Zappitelli

"Ballerina I'm Not" is the underground, underdog story of the prolific journey that women take to follow their dreams and find their way in a male dominated fight industry. The film hails from writer, director and producer  - and wrestling icon! - Francesca Zappitelli.

Congrats on the film! Do you remember how you pitched the film to your investors and cast initially? What was it that got them to want to be involved?
Thank you! Passion and positivity were the key components to enroll everybody. I wasn’t the only one that wanted to tell this story.

What kind of guidance and direction did you give those appearing on-camera?
I’d give my talent an opportunity to run through a take or two without direction, to get them warmed up. I also utilized Clint Eastwood’s method of saying, “Alright go ahead” or “When you’re ready,” to put them at ease in the next take instead of the flashy “Action” counterpart.

Was there anyone you would’ve wanted to have involved but couldn’t get?
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson of course. He is my favorite male wrestler and to see how he has crossed over into TV and Film is truly inspirational. I’m curious on his opinion on female wrestling from when he began to now.

The film, I imagine, covers some deep topics. How did you decide on just how far to push it?
Ballerina I’m Not explores the history of female professional wrestling which has been predominantly male driven. A documentary is social commentary and it would be an injustice not to tell the whole story even if it’s not a pretty one. However, it concludes on a high note shining a light on the accolades that women have achieved in both WWE and the UFC.

How has the reaction to the film been so far? I imagine it’s affected people different ways?
I’ve been pleased with the reactions. Particularly, the demographic of people that are not wrestling or fight fans they still found it riveting.

Have many male wrestlers seen it? Any feedback there?
Yes, a few have seen it and there has been mixed reaction. However, I’m pleased with the amount of male wrestlers that champion for their female counter parts and do not participate in locker room banter or misogynistic views.

What’s coming up for you?
You can watch Ballerina I’m Not, on Amazon October 6th as well as a female driven TV pilot entitled SYN in which I was the executive producer of. I’m also writing a short film ‘Guilty?’ based on real events, where good people do bad things. I hope to shoot it early next year.

Ballerina I’m Not is released October 6 on Amazon.

Wednesday 27 September 2017

Jigsaw - New Poster & Trailer

One of the highest grossing Horror franchises of all time is back, taking the Jigsaw killer’s signature brand of twisted scenarios to the next level.

Cast: Matt Passmore, Callum Keith Rennie, Clé Bennett, Hannah Emily Anderson, Laura Vandervoort, Mandela Van Peebles, Paul Braunstein, Brittany Allen, Josiah Black

Directed by: The Spierig Brothers
Written by: Josh Stolberg & Peter Goldfinger
Produced by: Oren Koules, Mark Burg, Greg Hoffman

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Interview with Martin Koolhoven - Director of Brimstone

Martin Koolhoven graduated from the Amsterdam Film Academy as a writer/director. His breakthrough in The Netherlands came in 1999 with Suzy Q, which was also the debut of Brimstone-actress Carice van Houten. His first movies received good reviews and won awards, but it wasn’t until 2005 that Martin started making movies that also did well at the box office. Schnitzel Paradise was his first hit (biggest box receipts of all Dutch movies in 2005); it won awards and did well at festivals (including the Berlin Film Festival and the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, where it was part of the Variety Critics’ choice.).

His biggest success, however, was Oorlogswinter/Winter in Wartime (his fourth hit movie in a row). It was a phenomenal box office hit in Holland (it outgrossed Twilight and The Dark Knight at Dutch theatres) and was sold to many countries abroad. It made the shortlist of 9 movies at the Oscars (Best Foreign Language Film) and was successfully released by Sony Classics in the USA in 2011. Despite “Hollywood calling”, Koolhoven decided to form N279 Entertainment together with his producer Els Vandevorst. Brimstone is his first international film. Koolhoven’s work has won awards in the Netherlands, France, England, Lithuania, Egypt, Suriname, Japan, Uruguay, Italy, Spain and the Czech Republic.

When did you come up with the idea for Brimstone?

Somewhere in the course of 2010. After the success of Winter in Wartime, I told people that I wanted to make a Western. I started off re-writing a script we bought, but after a few months of slogging away at it I realized that it wasn’t working out. I had to stop and ask myself why I wanted to make a Western so badly, and how I could do something original and personal within that genre. That ultimately resulted in Brimstone, a movie some people say can barely even be called a Western.

Why is that, do you think?

For a number of reasons, like the thriller element and the unique narrative structure, but at the end of the day I think it’s the feminine perspective that stands out most of all. Westerns are usually pretty macho, and there aren’t many examples of female leads. In the cases where that has happened, the films were usually the same kind of story, but then with a female gunslinger, like in The Quick and the Dead. Brimstone actually has a female point of view, not only literally, but in terms of actual content too. That’s fairly unique for a movie set in the Old West.

Writing from a feminine perspective, was that hard for you?

I think there are more similarities than differences between the sexes; somehow, people tend to forget that. Among all the things I am, a man is only one facet. I think I probably have more in common with female filmmakers than with, for example, a preacher, even if he and I share our gender. It’s striking that no one asks me whether it was hard to write The Reverend (played by Guy Pearce), even though that role is more remote to me than the character of Liz (played by Dakota Fanning).

Religion plays a major role in the film. Was there some account you needed to settle?

Not particularly, but I do come from a Calvinistic country and I was brought up a Protestant, so that made the story more personal. Besides, misogyny and religion are still a solid duo in the 21st century, so the subject hasn’t lost any relevance.

Brimstone is your first movie with international stars. What differences did you notice?

Not all that many, really. Working with Guy Pearce is not essentially different from working with Fedja van Huêt. Okay, when you’re in a Spanish bar with Kit Harington, you notice that you’re in the company of a star, but Kit himself is simply a very normal, hardworking actor. The big difference is in the way those stars are approached by other people, not the way they are themselves. Okay, there was one other difference. I’m a film buff, and so I love to talk about movies and directors. On the set I sometimes allude to other filmmakers in order to explain something to the cast or the crew. So one time I was saying something about Spielberg to someone, and Dakota came along and complemented me. The only thing was, she was doing that on the basis of first-hand experience. That was new for me, yeah.

It took you a long time to put Brimstone together. Why was that?

There are any number of reasons. I hadn’t written for a long time, and it was a complicated screenplay, so it took a few years before there was a script that my producer and business partner Els Vandevorst, could show around. When we got to that point, Els did some truly heroic work, because it wasn’t easy to get the film off the ground. That took a while too. And the shooting lasted a long time as well. The film is set in a number of places, and in different seasons. When you add it all up, Els and I worked on the movie for a good six years. Seven, counting that false start.

How should we view Brimstone? Is it a Dutch, a European or an American film?

Oh, man. There’s something to be said for all three. The writer, director, producer, director of photography, editor, make-up, production designer, costume designer, sound designer, composer and a number of the actors are all Dutch. What’s more, Guy plays a Dutchman, so the film is undeniably Dutch. On the other hand, the financing came from a number of European countries and we shot in a number of European locations, with a European crew and actors. I don’t really think the movie could had been made in America: it’s too forthright for that. On the other hand, though, the film is part of a largely American cinematic tradition, the lead and a number of supporting roles are played by Americans and the story is set there too. In fact, the film is of course about our shared history. So you tell me...

Are you proud of the way it turned out?

Absolutely. When Els and I set up the N279 production company in 2010, this is what we were aiming for. To make international films that matter. It feels as though I’ve touched home, in terms of both content and style. I’m raring to get started on the next movie.

Monday 25 September 2017

UK poster for The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Yorgos Lanthimos has crafted a sensational thriller brimming with unsettling humour and creeping dread, steeped in Greek tragedy, existential horror, Hitchcockian psychodrama, and riveting suspense. Darting confidently between genres to subvert our expectations at every turn, The Killing of a Sacred Deer firmly cements Lanthimos in the pantheon of world-class auteurs and marks him as a cinematic provocateur without precedent.

Dr. Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell) is a renowned cardiovascular surgeon presiding over a spotless household with his ophthalmologist wife Anna (Nicole Kidman) and their two exemplary children, 12-year-old Bob (Sunny Suljian) and 14-year-old Kim (Raffey Cassidy). Lurking at the margins of his idyllic suburban existence is Martin (Barry Keoghan), a fatherless teen who Steven has covertly taken under his wing. As Martin begins insinuating himself into the family’s life in ever-more unsettling displays, the full scope of his intent becomes menacingly clear when he confronts Steven with a long forgotten transgression that will shatter the Murphy family's domestic bliss.

The film was produced by Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe’s Element Pictures, the producers of THE LOBSTER and Oscar-winner ROOM. It was financed by Film4 and the Irish Film Board, who also were financiers of THE LOBSTER, and New Sparta Films, whose involvement was brokered by HanWay Films. The project was developed by Element Pictures and Film4. HanWay Films are the worldwide sales agent.

THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER will be released in the UK on 3 November by Curzon Artificial Eye and in Ireland by Element Pictures.

Wednesday 20 September 2017

Tomb Raider - First trailer

Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished when she was scarcely a teen.  Now a young woman of 21 without any real focus or purpose, Lara navigates the chaotic streets of trendy East London as a bike courier, barely making the rent, and takes college courses, rarely making it to class.  Determined to forge her own path, she refuses to take the reins of her father’s global empire just as staunchly as she rejects the idea that he’s truly gone.

Advised to face the facts and move forward after seven years without him, even Lara can’t understand what drives her to finally solve the puzzle of his mysterious death.Going explicitly against his final wishes, she leaves everything she knows behind in search of her dad’s last-known destination: a fabled tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan.  But her mission will not be an easy one; just reaching the island will be extremely treacherous.  Suddenly, the stakes couldn’t be higher for Lara, who—against the odds and armed with only her sharp mind, blind faith and inherently stubborn spirit—must learn to push herself beyond her limits as she journeys into the unknown.  If she survives this perilous adventure, it could be the making of her, earning her the name tomb raider.

Tuesday 19 September 2017

6 Below - New Trailer and Poster starring Josh Hartnett

A recreational trip to the mountains becomes a test of human endurance and a fight for survival in the incredible 6 BELOW, arriving in cinemas and on demand on October 13th courtesy of Signature Entertainment.

Eric LeMarque (Josh Hartnett; TV’s Penny Dreadful, Lucky Number Slevin) is a thrill-seeking snowboarder with a weight of personal demons on his back. When he gets lost in a massive winter storm in the back country of the High Sierra Mountains, LeMarque is pushed to the limit and forced to battle those demons head-on as he fights against the worst the elements can throw at him.

Featuring a mesmerising tour de force from Hartnett as real-life hero LeMarque, 6 BELOW also features Sarah Dumont (Don Jon, TV’s The Royals) and Oscar-winner Mira Sorvino (Summer Of Sam, Mighty Aphrodite) as LeMarque’s equally determined mother. With the wilds of Utah providing the film’s backdrop and giving Hartnett a taste of what LeMarque went through in real life, director Scott Waugh (Need For Speed, Act Of Valor), 6 BELOW deliver an assault on the senses that thrills – and chills – to the bone.

Armstrong - Poster and Trailer (The Terminator meets Jessica Jones)

The Terminator meets Jessica Jones in Armstrong, available October 3 from Screen Media.

Orange is the New Black’s Vicky Jeudy leads an outstanding cast in an indie superhero adventure that’s equal parts action, intrigue, drama, sci-fi and heart.

Directed by Kerry Carlock and Nick Lund-Ulrich, and based on a script by Nick Rufca, Armstrong tells of a rookie EMT officer and her partner who pick up a wounded superhero and are drawn into his mission to save Los Angeles from a shadowy organization.

On her first night as an EMT, Lauren, an ex addict trying to atone for her brothers death, is partnered with Eddie, a jaded cynic, exiled to the graveyard shift.

Their first call, a mysterious warehouse explosion, sends them into the industrial wilderness outside of Los Angeles. On the way, they’re stopped by a wounded drifter: Armstrong.

When trying to contact dispatch, they realize that their radio and cell phones aren’t working and they’re on their own. Once in the ambulance, Armstrong begins to exhibit strange behavior and becomes violent. Before they can get him out of the vehicle, a fanatically assassin violently attacks them. The soldier is hunting Armstrong and wants to kill anyone who comes in contact with him. Before he can finish off the EMTs, Armstrong saves them and defeats the soldier.

It is revealed that Armstrong is a high tech vigilante on a key mission: to stop a murderous doomsday cult, The Fifth Sun, from detonating a series of nuclear devices underneath Los Angeles to cause catastrophic earthquakes. To complete his mission, Armstrong needs their help.

Pulled into this hidden world, Lauren must make difficult choices and overcome her personal demons to survive the night, help Armstrong carry out his mission and ultimately become the hero herself.

Vicky Jeudy, Shawn Parsons, Jason Antoon and Christian Anderson star in Armstrong, available on VOD and DVD (Walmart only) from October 3.

Tuesday 12 September 2017

The LEGO Ninjago Movie - Bricks & Kicks Featurette - Warner Bros. UK

In this big-screen Ninjago adventure, the battle for Ninjago City calls to action young Lloyd (Dave Franco), aka the Green Ninja, along with his friends, who are all secret warriors and LEGO Master Builders.  Led by kung fu master Wu as wise-cracking as he is wise, they must defeat evil warlord Garmadon (Justin Theroux), the Worst Guy Ever, who also happens to be Lloyd’s dad. Pitting mech against mech and father against son, the epic showdown will test this fierce but undisciplined team of modern-day ninjas who must learn to check their egos and pull together to unleash their true power.

Monday 11 September 2017

Brimstone - Brand new UK trailer and poster

Brimstone, a gripping western-thriller starring Dakota Fanning, Guy Pearce, and Kit Harington, that follows a young woman’s epic quest for survival in cinemas September 29

Brimstone is a suspenseful tale of retribution that unfolds at the end of the 19th century in the American West. An epic thriller told in four chapters about a young woman whose life changes drastically when a diabolical preacher comes to town.

Thursday 7 September 2017

First Look : Human-Trafficking exposed in UNBRIDLED

Academy Award Nominee Eric Roberts (“Suits”, The Dark Knight Rises) leads an outstanding cast in one of the most powerful films of the year, Unbridled.

The film, due for release later this year, shines a light on human trafficking, said to be the fastest growing criminal industry at $9 billion dollars per year.

John David Ware’s unforgettable and captivating feature chronicles the journey of an abused girl who teams up with an abused horse and their journey to healing, Unbridled is inspired by a healing ranch in North Carolina, and also stars T.C. Stallings (War Room; Courageous), Téa Mckay (Hurricane Bianca), Jenn Gotzon Chandler (Frost/Nixon), Dey Young (Pretty Woman), Rachel Hendrix (Allegiant), and Rusty Martin Sr (“Nashville”).

Sarah is a 16-year-old girl who is abused, emotionally abandoned and written off as just another hopeless causality of this world. Her mother’s boyfriend, Roger, secretly involves Sarah in a sex traffic ring, and her mother, Karen, unsure of what to do, is afraid to stand up for her. Sarah thinks she is beyond redemption and unworthy of love and is sent away from the house that defined her horrors to a place where she is not the only victim, or the only one fighting to get her life back, a ranch called Unbridled. At Unbridled, Sarah meets Dreamer, a horse who has also suffered abuse, a horse who no longer trusts humans... That is, until he meets his girl, Sarah. Together, Sarah and Dreamer walk a difficult road and learn that family doesn’t just happen, it’s made with hard work. They face many hardships and overcome terrifying obstacles, but in the end, Sarah experiences redemption and learns that love is the most powerful thing on earth. Together, they all learn to live Unbridled.