Timur Bekmambetov’s Screenlife Project Offers Filmmakers A Shot At Feature Or Series Green Light – SXSW
EXCLUSIVE: Director-producer Timur Bekmambetov’s production company Bazelevs is launching a pitch contest that will see winners get a special mentoring session and a greenlight on a feature film or series by Bazelevs .
The Screenlife Project is accepting submissions through May 1 and is looking for pitches in feature films, short films, shortform series and longform series. Watch a promo video below.
Founded by Bekmambetov in 1994, Bazelevs is an international film… Read
TWC Staffers Eye Exit Strategies As Bob Weinstein Attempts To Calm Employee Fears
As Bob Weinstein attempted to calm employees fears about the company’s financial health, Deadline hears that the uncertainty of future employment has people at The Weinstein Co. looking for the exits. The same happened at Relativity when they were on the brink of bankruptcy.
Weinstein wrote his employees today:
I wanted to keep everyone updated in what is obviously a fluid situation. The board is still in discussions with potential buyers who want to keep the… Read
Producer David Bergstein Convicted Of Defrauding Investors Out Of $26M
Film producer David Bergstein has been convicted in federal court in New York of seven counts related to defrauding investors of more than $26 million.
He will be sentenced June 8 by US District Judge P. Kevin Castel, who presided over the four-week trial. Some of the seven counts of the conviction carry maximum sentences of 20 years in prison and fines of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.
Bergstein, who lives in Hidden Hills, California, was… Read
Relaunch Or Bankruptcy? The Weinstein Company Future Could Be Decided In Meeting Underway In New York
EXCLUSIVE: An important meeting has gotten underway in New York that might well determine whether the beleaguered The Weinstein Company will see its assets sold to Maria Contreras-Sweet, Ron Burkle and Lantern Capital for $500 million and turned into a new company with a female-centric board, or whether it will fall into a 363 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing.
Sources said that the meeting in New York includes Burkle, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, and… Read
Margot Robbie Sports Wagering Tale ‘Dangerous Odds’ Finds Big Roller In Bold Films
EXCLUSIVE: Bold Films will finance the Margot Robbie project Dangerous Odds in which the I, Tonya Best Actress Oscar nominee will play cleaning lady-turned-illegal sports betting empire boss Marisa Lankester. The project was picked up in turnaround from Warner Bros., where Robbie’s production company LuckyChap Entertainment has a first-look deal.
The project is based on Lankester’s memoir Dangerous Odds: My Secret Life Inside an Illegal Billion-Dollar Sports Betting Operat… Read
Telegram Set For Biggest Initial Coin Offering – But Skepticism Lingers
A messaging app that has drawn comparisons to Facebook’s WhatsApp has already raised $850 million in advance of its initial coin offering, and is seeking a second round of funding before launching to the public. That would make it the biggest ICO in history.
But reports are surfacing questioning Telegram’s plans, with some financiers questioning its technology claims, the lack of a revenue plan for the service, and concerns on who is using it. The venerable Forbes called… Read
Serial Box, A Startup Blending E-Books With Audio, Raises $1.65M Seed Round
Serial Box, a subscription-based startup that offers serialized stories in both written and audio form, has announced a seed investment round of $1.65 million.
The round was led by Boat Rocker Media, whose recent investments include CAA Creative Labs, The Outline, MarcoPolo Learning and the acquisition of Fremantle Kids & Family. Other investors include Mattias Lundgren, CEO of Word Audio Publishing in Sweden as well as Richard Sarnoff, who was co-chairman of Bertelsmann… Read
Tang Media Partners Taps Moelis & Co., Morgan Stanley To Raise An Additional $200M In Equity Capital
EXCLUSIVE: Tang Media Partners Entertainment which recently formed the umbrella company Global Road Entertainment to oversee its acquisitions of Open Road Films, IM Global and IM Global Television, has just hired investment bankers Moelis & Co. and Morgan Stanley to raise what sources said is an additional $200M in equity capital.
According to sources, both Moelis & Co.’s offices in Los Angeles and in Asia are working on the effort. The equity capital would be used for… Read
Ava DuVernay, Netflix, HBO & Dan Lin Partner With City Of L.A. On Inclusion Incentive
"As we radically reimagine Hollywood, it is critically important that young people are included in our vision,” Ava DuVernay said today at the unveiling of the Evolve Entertainment Fund in Los Angeles.
"Real change happens when we take tangible action, and that means giving young women and people of color opportunities in the industry early on so they have the chance to shape its future," the A Wrinkle on Time director and ARRAY founder added of the new partnership… Read
NY AG To File Civil Rights Lawsuit Against Weinstein Company; Will It Fatally Imperil Deal?
UPDATE: Board members Lance Maerov and Tarak Ben Ammar strongly refute the notion that they had any knowledge of the indiscretions by Harvey Weinstein before they broke in press reports in The New York Times and The New Yorker, contrary to an email that Deadline reviewed from TWC exec Irwin Reiter that implied otherwise. Both Maerov and Ben Ammar said that they were the independent directors who terminated Weinstein when they learned of the indiscretions and that they… Read
Cinesite Studios Secures $70M Finance Package For VFX, Animation Growth
London-based digital entertainment company Cinesite Studios has finalized a $70M finance package provided by asset management firm Pemberton. The long-term financial plan is eyed to facilitate new partnerships and collaborations with leading studios and filmmakers to develop original projects. Established in 1994, the VFX and animation studio’s credits include Game Of Thrones, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Skyfall, Logan, Fantastic Beasts And Where To… Read
Tencent Takes Sizable Minority Stake In Skydance, Opening New Doors In China
Chinese conglomerate Tencent has taken a minority stake in Skydance, the production and co-finance outfit formed by David Ellison in 2010.
Terms were not revealed by the companies. But industry sources told Deadline the deal values Skydance at between $1.2B and $1.5B, meaning the minority investment is believed to be worth a nine-figure sum.
The funding will enable the company to add scale and capability but does not change its strategic focus on the film side. Skydance… Read