One more shade of GREY revealed. Sam Taylor-Johnson will direct the film adaptation of E L James' #1 bestselling novel FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, to be produced by James along with Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti. Taylor-Johnson's previous film Nowhere Boy, a drama about John Lennon's youth in Liverpool, garnered two BAFTA nominations, including "Outstanding British Film" and "Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer." Taylor-Johnson also directed the critically acclaimed short Love You More which was nominated for the Palme D'Or in 2008. "Sam's unique ability to gracefully showcase complex relationships dealing with love, emotion and sexual chemistry make her the ideal director to bring Christian and Anastasia's relationship to life," said De Luca. "E L James' characters and vivid storytelling require a director who is willing to take risks and push the envelope where needed and Sam is a natural fit." Taylor-Johnson remarked, "I am excited to be charged with the evolution of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY from page to screen. For the legions of fans, I want to say that I will honor the power of Erika's book and the characters of Christian and Anastasia. They are under my skin too."
For complete info, see the official press release.
On the heels of the NSA leaks and questions about the activities of Edward Snowden, Alex Gibney, the writer/director of WE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS, joined a distinguished panel at HuffPost Live (including journalist/filmmaker Jeremy Scahill, Prof. Jeff Jarvis, Jesselyn Radack, and Brett Kaufman) to discuss "Whistleblowing & Journalism." Watch.
Africa First kicks off its sixth year by starting to accept applications (with the application process ending on Monday August, 19). The groundbreaking program selects five filmmakers of African nationality and residence, awarding them $10,000 in financing for pre-production, production, and/or post-production on their narrative short film made in continental Africa and tapping into the resources of the film industry there, as well as flying them to NYC for a summit with the Africa First advisory board and other filmmakers. Africa First is supervised by Executive Director and producer Kisha Cameron Dingle, who coordinates the Program's submissions and evaluations with Focus director of development & production Christopher Kopp and production coordinator Jess Kwan. Focus CEO James Schamus remarks, "The Africa First Program's commitment to short films and new filmmakers continues into a new digital age, when it is particularly exciting to be moving the program forward and to help get these storytellers' works made and seen."
For complete information on applications and the Africa First program, see our official press release.
IGN's Dan and Chris deconstruct scene-by-scene the UK trailer for THE WORLD'S END, looking for clues at every cut for what will happen to Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in their latest outing with director Edgar Wright. Watch it here.
In a special video for the ACLU, Ben Wizner, the Director of ACLU's Speech, Privacy & Technology Project, speaks with Alex Gibney about his film WE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS and the wide range of crucial issues (happening in the news now) that it touches upon. Watch.
Arik Korman from The Bob Rivers Show sat down with writer/director Alex Gibney to talk about WE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS, as well as all the breaking stories dealing with whistle blowing and national secrecy. Fascinating.
Alex Gibney, the writer/director of the Focus World doc WE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS, joined Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report. A must watch.
With the Bradley Manning trial starting, Alex Gibney's Focus World doc WE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS is providing the media a powerful and precise primer on the events and people that lead up to this moment. CNN's Jake Tapper had Alex Gibney, the writer/director of WE STEAL SECRETS, on to talk about the film, Bradley Manning and Julian Assange. Watch.
The Cannes Film Festival is over, and for Focus Features International it was a great success. Alison Thompson, co-president of Focus Features International (FFI), announced multi-territory sales for Asif Kapadia's upcoming, as-yet untitled documentary on Amy Winehouse. In addition there were strong sales on Mike Leigh's upcoming film about the great English painter J.MW. Turner (to be played by Timothy Spall). For complete info on sales and territories, see our official press release.
Edgar Wright, who co-wrote and directed, the upcoming THE WORLD'S END, the last of his trilogy with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, went on YahooMovies to answer tweeted questions about his life, his films, and, of course, what's up with ice cream. If you read on, you'll find out what connects THE WORLD'S END to The Big Chill and It's Always Fair Weather. Really fun.
This morning public radio listeners were treated to a fascinating story about Alex Gibney, the writer/director of WE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS, and his journey to get to the heart of Jullian Assange, Bradley Manning and others connected to the organization. Hear the NPR Morning Edition story here.
CBS News caught up with Alex Gibney, the Academy Award-winning writer/director of WE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS, to talk about the film and his filmmaking. Watch.
Alison Thompson, co-president of Focus Features International, announced numerous sales on BLACK SEA, director Kevin Macdonald's heist thriller, starring Jude Law. In the film, Law is a submarine captain pushed to dangerous depths as he steers an unseaworthy vessel into dangerous waters to rescue lost gold in the Black Sea. In addition to other deals, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisition (SPWA) acquired Germany, Austria, German speaking Switzerland, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, and Latin America. Backup Media invested against distribution rights in France, Benelux and French speaking Switzerland; E-Stars acquired China; Top Films the CIS; E1 Australia and New Zealand; Lev Cinema Israel; Ster-Kinekor South Africa; and Focus Features International is currently fielding offers in several other territories.
For complete info, go to the official press release.
At Collider, Adam Chitwood talks to Simon Pegg about his upcoming film, THE WORLD'S END, which he co-wrote with Edgar Wright. Indeed having already written SHAUN OF THE DEAD and HOT FUZZ with Wright, Pegg rolled up his sleeves to join forces for another adventure in which he would co-star with his pal Nick Frost. In the article Pegg talks his writing process and also their musical choices.