Abigail Disney’s Fork Films Gives Out Grants To Help Complete 16 Documentaries
EXCLUSIVE: Fork Films has given out grants to 16 documentaries chosen from a pool of more than 300 applicants looking to complete films in various stages of development. The grants went projects that promote peacebuilding, human rights and social justice; the focus is to help women behind or in front of the camera complete their films. The total in grant money was $515K this year, and the film company has given out more than $4M in grants and investments to nearly 90… Read
The H Collective, Fueled By China’s ‘Kenny’ Huang, Launches With Projects From Sid Ganis, Mark Johnson, Joe Roth & Jeff Kirschenbaum
UPDATED, 10:23 AM: Deadline has learned the identity of the Chinese owner of The H Collective effort. It is controversial exec Jian-hua “Kenny” Huang as he has apparently been in talks with Joe Roth and Jeff Kirschenbaum about financing xXx and was involved in the Transformers lawsuit which embroiled Sid Ganis. Huang is also supposed to be getting an office soon on the Paramount lot. Who is he? He was the guy who had a relationship with former Paramount exec Rob Moore and… Read
Brian Weinstein Moves From CAA To Bad Robot As President/COO
Brian Weinstein has joined Bad Robot Productions as President and Chief Operating Officer and will work closely with the company’s co-CEOs J.J. Abrams and Katie McGrath. The new executive joins the production company from CAA where he was head of global client strategy and had spent 12 years at the agency. He will now oversee Bad Robot's daily operations and spearhead the company's growth strategy in its existing businesses. He will also develop new areas of expansion… Read
Maggie Gyllenhaal To Star In Maven Pics’ ‘The Kindergarten Teacher’
EXCLUSIVE: Women helping other women, this is what it looks like: Maggie Gyllenhaal is set to star in The Kindergarten Teacher, a feature based on writer/director Nadav Lapid's acclaimed Israeli film of the same name that is being produced by Trudie Styler and Celine Rattray’s Maven Pictures and Pie Films. The film was adapted by and is being directed by Sara Colangelo (Little Accidents) for a July 10 start and another woman, Jenny Halper brought the project into… Read
Bona Film Group & CAA Partnering On Film Fund Worth $150M
Bona Film Group, the Chinese Company that had the biggest deal at this Cannes Film Festival with the $80M lead investment on director Roland Emmerich’s WWII battle film Midway for The Mark Gordon Co., has entered into an agreement with CAA.
CAA and Bona Film Group announced the launch of a long-term film fund, with an initial $150 million investment. The first film from this fund is, of course, Midway.
Both companies say that the fund will be co-managed by Bona and CAA… Read
China As Holy Grail & Headache: How It’s Influencing Hollywood Strategy – Deadline Disruptors
China's breakneck box-office growth may have ground to a sputter in 2016, but one need only look at the recent success of The Fate Of The Furious for proof there is still gas in the market. Last month, F8 crossed 2.43 billion RMB to become the No. 1 import ever in the market. As of Sunday, it has climbed to 2.662 billion RMB ($386.7 million).
That performance reflects what has become a source of excitement and consternation for Hollywood. In the five years since it paved… Read
How Megan Ellison Turned Annapurna Into A Powerful Mini-Major — Deadline Disruptors
In only a few short years, Megan Ellison—who started up Annapurna in 2011—has taken a small, vibrant, indie production company and methodically turned it into an impressive mini-major. Those in town are comparing Annapurna to the heyday of Harvey and Bob Weinstein's Miramax, which dominated the '90s, but a more appropriate analogy might be Orion Pictures, the prestige indie outfit of the '80s.
Ellison is financing, acquiring and producing high-quality fare with… Read
Jacques Audiard’s ‘The Sisters Brothers’ To Annapurna With Strong Group Of Acting Talent
Annapurna will co-produce and co-finance award-winning filmmaker Jacques Audiard's The Sisters Brothers with Why Not Productions, and Megan Ellison’s indie also has domestic distribution rights for the film. Page 114 also is on board as a producer.
The film is Audiard's follow-up to his Palme d'Or-winning Dheepan, which premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. It also will be his first shot completely in English. John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal, and… Read
How Agencies Became So Vital To The Indie Film Ecosystem — Deadline Disruptors
When the major talent agencies—CAA, WMA & Endeavor (now WME) and UTA—started indie film departments, the idea was to help big clients get their passion—some called them vanity—projects made. That seems like a million years ago. These departments have become such prolific generators that they have become the life blood of independent films, especially the mid-budget segment of films for grown-ups that studios orphaned as they covet global tent poles and micro-budget genre… Read
Micah Green: Former CAA Agent Takes Entrepreneurial Leap With Dan Friedkin — Deadline Disruptors
After co-heading the CAA Film Finance and Sales Group with Roeg Sutherland for over a decade, Micah Green shocked the indie film community by leaving to form a venture with entrepreneur Dan Friedkin, backer of producer/financier Imperative Entertainment. Long considered one of the brightest agents piecing together independent films, Green joined Friedkin in a business that so far doesn't have a name or a stated structure.
Even though the new venture is still somewhat… Read
Relativity Bankruptcy: Court Staves Off Chapter 7 For Now After Lawyer Claims Prospect Of Investors
In a hearing this morning in New York bankruptcy court, arguments were heard whether to proceed with moving from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7 (liquidation). The result: A new hearing was set for August after lawyers for Ryan Kavanaugh said that there were prospects of possible equity investors and they were also anticipating monies coming from the Netflix deal on two films.
A Relativity lawyer who was piped in via speakerphone said they had concluded deals with certain… Read
How Jason Blum Honed His Micro-Budget Blockbuster Formula — Deadline Disruptors
Blumhouse principal Jason Blum has turned low-cost, high-gross genre films into such a reliable hit formula that Universal staked him to a decade-long deal to serve as a silo offsetting the studio's blockbusters and Illumination Entertainment family films. The payoff: since last fall, the blockbusters Get Out, Split, The Purge: Election Year and a Ouija sequel, which collectively grossed $664 million worldwide on a budget of $27.5 million.
Even though the first indelible… Read