Heperi Mita Brings ‘Merata’ To Park City, Celebrating The Pioneering Artist Who Raised Him — Sundance Studio
The youngest child of Merata Mita, the first Māori woman to write and direct a feature film, Heperi ‘Hepi’ Mita grew up with only a partial picture of who his mother was. A groundbreaking artist and activist who broke through barriers of race, class and gender in the 1970s, Mita sacrificed a great deal to give voice to the voiceless, and speak truth to power, as depicted in her son’s feature debut, Merata. After his mother passed away, Hepi came to see his mother more… Read
Sundance Winner ‘Cold Case Hammarskjöld’ Acquired By Magnolia
Magnolia Pictures has acquired North American rights to Cold Case Hammarskjöld, the documentary from journalist Mads Brügger that delves into the investigation surrounding the death of UN secretary-general Dag Hammarskjöld. The pic just won the World Cinema Documentary Directing Award at the Sundance Film Festival where it had its world premiere. A 2019 release date is in the works. The pic centers on the 1961 plane crash that killed Hammarskjöld, a case that remains… Read
‘Tigerland’s Fisher Stevens: Trump Is Now “The Biggest Problem Facing Conservation” — Sundance Studio
Committed to making movies about saving the planet until he dies, “or until people wake the f*ck up,” Fisher Stevens believes he’s seen positive change of late, in people’s attention to our changing climate. Out on the promotional circuit just a few years ago with Before the Flood, a nature conservancy doc he took on with Leonardo DiCaprio, the producer found it difficult even to secure talk show bookings, “because they were worried about the fossil fuel industry not… Read
‘Official Secrets’ Director Gavin Hood On London Meetings With Whistleblower Katharine Gun — Sundance Studio
Known for directing films like Ender’s Game and Eye in the Sky, Gavin Hood had the opportunity to meet with a real-life whistleblower while developing his latest, Official Secrets.
In the Sundance-premiering pic, Keira Knightley stars as Katharine Gun, a British secret-service officer who in 2003 leaked a top-secret memo to the press, exposing illegal activities undertaken by the United States in the push for the invasion of Iraq, including spying, blackmailing and… Read
‘Big Time Adolescence’ Stars On Jason Orley’s Authentic Coming-Of-Age Tale — Sundance Studio
Growing up in Michigan with two older brothers, Big Time Adolescence director Jason Orley “was always surrounded by older guys, their friends that were always giving me bad advice.” As off-base as many of their suggestions were, these young men stuck with Orley, who used his experiences with them as the basis for his feature debut.
An all-too-real coming-of-age story, the film centers on sixteen-year-old Mo (Griffin Gluck), a bright kid with a good family, who makes… Read
‘Corporate Animals’ Star Demi Moore Delights In Playing “The Trump” Of The Comedic Horror Pic — Sundance Studio
In Patrick Brice’s Corporate Animals, Demi Moore relished the opportunity to play “the Trump of the movie.”
In the comedic horror pic written by Peep Show‘s Sam Bain, Moore’s terrible CEO leads her suffering assistants on a corporate team-building retreat. During a caving weekend in New Mexico spearheaded by Bear Grylls stand-in Brandon (Ed Helms), disaster strikes, leaving the bunch trapped underground. As claustrophobia hits, the group must unite in an effort to… Read
‘Now Apocalypse’: Gregg Araki Explores Sexuality & Relationships Of Young Angelenos On Starz — Sundance Studio
Known for radically stylistic, groundbreaking features like Mysterious Skin and Kaboom, Gregg Araki flirted with television for a number of years before going all-in, bringing Now Apocalypse to Starz. “A lot of my movies are very sex and relationship-based, particularly about young people, and that time of your life when you're very confused, just kind of growing up and figuring out who you are,” Araki told Deadline recently at Sundance. “I just think that's a really rich… Read
Magnolia Nabs Sundance Docu ‘Mike Wallace Is Here’
Magnolia Pictures has secured the North American distribution rights to Mike Wallace Is Here, the Avi Belkin-directed documentary on the veteran newsman and former lead reporter on 60 Minutes. The film had its debut at last month’s Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. documentary competition section. Magnolia is aiming for a theatrical release sometime this year.
The docu features never-before-seen footage from the 60 Minutes vault as it explores what drove and plagued… Read
Directing ‘Memory: The Origins Of Alien,’ Alexandre O. Philippe Was Guided By His Unconscious — Sundance Studio
A student of storytelling through the ages, documentarian Alexandre O. Philippe has often turned his lens upon classic films and those who made them—and while there’s certainly a canon of self-reflexive filmmaking, Philippe’s approach is unique. As manifest in his latest doc, Memory: The Origins of Alien, the idea isn’t simply to make a behind-the-scenes documentary. The concept that has appealed to Philippe is more out-of-the-box—a deeper dissection of a classic… Read
While Joe Berlinger Now Has Two Ted Bundy Projects Backed By Netflix, There Was No “Grand Plan” — Sundance Studio
On January 24, Netflix released Conversations with a Killer, Joe Berlinger's riveting four-part docuseries on Ted Bundy; two days later, Berlinger was at Sundance with a narrative feature, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile, also to do with Bundy, one of the most infamous serial killers in American history. Emerging around the same time—on a weekend marking the 30th anniversary of Bundy's execution—it's stunning to hear that this kind of synchronicity wasn't… Read
Hulu Lands Prize-Winning Sundance Docu ‘Jawline’
EXCLUSIVE: Everyone has been back from Sundance long enough that sinuses are returning to normal and the high-altitude respiratory distress is a distant memory. But deals keep dropping for festival films. Hulu has just acquired U.S. rights to the Liza Mandelup-directed documentary Jawline, which won the Special Jury Prize for Emerging Filmmaker at Sundance. The film premiered there in the U.S. Documentary competition.
It becomes the second Sundance docu deal for Hulu… Read
Dr. Ruth Sets “A Gravestone” For Her Relatives With Hulu Doc, Calls Out Trump Policies — Sundance Studio
Oftentimes, it’s the Sundance Film Festival that kicks off Oscar’s Best Documentary Feature Race. This season, three out of five Oscar-nominated docs (RBG, Minding the Gap, and Hale County This Morning, This Evening) emerged from the Utah festival. So naturally, with this track record, Dr. Ruth had concrete ambitions in mind, when she sat down at the fest to discuss the doc on her own life. “I want to get an Academy Award nomination,” Dr. Ruth told Deadline outright.