Vera Farmiga has signed on to star in relationship comedy Prima. Even Greenberg wrote the script and is directing the film that was previously known as Dance Of The Mirlitons. The film is prepping for a March start and centers around a 12-year-old girl who shocks everyone when she is accepted into a prestigious school for dancers. While she learns that to get to the top, she must kill or be killed, her mother struggles to acclimate to her posh stomping grounds. The Allegiance Theater’s Daniel Dubiecki and Lara Alameddine are producing along with Karine Martin under her Mediamax banner. Highland Film Group has worldwide sales here in Berlin. Farmiga is repped by CAA, Jon Rubinstein of Authentic Talent and Literary Management, and Jodi Peikoff of Peikoff Mahan.
Principal photography is currently underway on another Highland Film Group pic, Ami Canaan Mann’s Your Right Mind with Katherine Heigl and Ben Barnes starring. Joining the cast are Clea DuVall, Sheryl Lee, Emily Alyn Lind and Ryan Bingham. Canaan Mann wrote the script about a modern-day traveling folk singer who puts his dreams of becoming a successful musician on hold when he meets a former country singer fighting for custody of her daughter. Molly Hassell is producing with Canaan Mann and John Jencks. Jon Avnet, Rodrigo Garcia, Highland Film Group’s Arianne Fraser and Delphine Perrier, and Main Street Films’ Craig Chang are exec producers. DuVall is repped by Gersh; Lee by Brillstein Entertainment Partners; Alyn Lyn by Coast to Coast Talent Group and Bingham by CAA.
A quartet of actors is circling young adult thriller Take Down which Radiant Films International is selling here in Berlin. Jim Gillespie (I Know What You Did Last Summer) is directing the film from a script by Ransom’s Alexander Ignon. Jeremy Sumpter (Peter Pan, Soul Surfer), Phoebe Tonkin (The Vampire Diaries) and Sebastian Koch (A Good Day To Die Hard) are in talks to star for an April start date. Take Down follows the spoiled offspring of international billionaires, sent to a tough-love school in the remote wilderness by their parents. When they are taken hostage and held for a billion dollar ransom, the kids are forced to try to save themselves. Pinewood Pictures is packaging and producing. Ed Elbert, Sarah Ryan Black and Stefan Brunner are producers. Sumpter is represented by Innovative Artists, Tonkin is repped by ICM Partners and Management 360, Koch is with Travistock Wood Management and Die Agenten.
TrustNordisk, which had a very good Berlin in 2013, has kicked off this year’s EFM with several deals on Pernille Fischer Christensen’s drama Someone You Love. The Berlinale Special Gala title world premieres here next Tuesday. Mikael Persbrandt (The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug), Trine Dyrholm (Love Is All You Need) and Birgitte Hjort Sørensen (Borgen) star in the movie about a musician who gets a chance to redeem himself when a tragic incident turns his life upside down. Sales deals have been concluded in Australia and New Zealand (Madman), Spain and Andorra (Golem), Benelux (Wild Bunch), Korea (Atnine), Turkey and Cyprus (Umut Sanat) and Hong Kong (Edko). The film will release in Scandinavia on April 24.
The Great Gilly Hopkins is a project that was originally announced at last year’s EFM with Kathy Bates and Danny Glover aboard. The title role has now been cast with The Book Thief‘s Sophie Nélisse playing a wisecracking girl who moves from foster home to foster home until she lands at the house of the weird Maime Trotter (Bates). Glenn Close and Octavia Spencer have also joined the film. Shooting is set for April 9 with Stephen Herek directing. WestEnd Films is handling international sales and Bob Berney’s Picturehouse will release Stateside, as announced last year. The movie is adapted from Katherine Paterson’s Newbery Award winning novel. David Paterson, who scripted the 2007 big screen transfer of his mother’s Bridge To Terabithia is writing the script and will produce with William Teitler and John Paterson. Executive producers are William Kay and Peyton Kay of Gemmill Media who are co-financing with Teitler. Nélisse and Close are repped by CAA, Spencer is with WME.
Ben Winchell (A.N.T. Farm, Necessary Roughness) and Ana Villafañe (Hiding, Los Americans) have signed on to play Max McGrath and Sydney Gardner in Dolphin Films’ Max Steel. The live-action feature is based on Mattel’s superhero property and is being sold by IM Global internationally. Open Road will release domestically in 2015. The movie is written by Christopher Yost (Thor: The Dark World) and directed by Stewart Hendler. The story centers on teenager Max McGrath and his alien companion Steel, who combine special turbo-energy powers to become the superhero Max Steel. Winchell is represented by Gersh, Stokes Management and Felker Tozcek Suddleson; Villafañe is repped by Osbrink Talent Agency and Dolphin Talent Management.
Will Clarke’s recently minted UK distribution shingle Altitude Film Distribution has added five films to its release schedule, taking the total of its first slate to eight titles. The new additions are this year’s Sundance pic Love Is Strange which is screening in the Berlin Panorama section; last year’s Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner Fruitvale Station; The Nightmare by Room 237’s Rodney Ascher; Toronto Midnight Madness horror pic All Cheerleaders Die; and Bolshoi Babylon, about Russia’s famed ballet company.
French actor Jean Reno has joined the cast of Terra Mater Factual Studios’ The Way Of The Eagle. Gerardo Olivares (Among Wolves) is directing the exploration of human and animal relationships. Manuel Camacho also stars in the English-language drama. Principal photography starts in June.
Nasser Entertainment is bringing its Abigail Breslin psychological thriller Final Girl to Berlin. The Hunger Games alums Wes Bentley and Alexander Ludwig co-star in the pic about a teenage girl who is lured into the woods by group of evil-minded older boys but turns the tables on them. Photographer Tyler Shields in making his helming debut on Final Girl. Here’s the new poster for the film.
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