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Roman Polanski’s New Accuser Reached Out to L.A. Prosecutors in Early 2017

  • Variety
Roman Polanski’s New Accuser Reached Out to L.A. Prosecutors in Early 2017
Valentine Monnier, the former actor who recently went public with her accusation that Roman Polanski raped her 44 years ago, sent an anonymous letter to L.A. prosecutors in early 2017 detailing those allegations, sources tell Variety. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office has confirmed that it received such a letter in February 2017 and has kept it in its files, but declined to comment further.

Monnier lives in Paris and now works as a photographer. A source close to her said she sent the letter anonymously to L.A. prosecutors in early 2017 out of anger upon hearing that Polanski was to be named the honorary president of the Cesar Awards, France’s highest film prizes. At the time, Polanski’s attorneys were making various requests of the L.A. Superior Court, including that he be sentenced in absentia for his 1977 statutory rape conviction and allowed to return to the U.S.
See full article at Variety »

Roman Polanski’s ‘An Officer And A Spy’ opens big in France as public debate rages

  • ScreenDaily
Roman Polanski’s ‘An Officer And A Spy’ opens big in France as public debate rages
It was the third biggest French-language opener of the year.

Roman Polanski’s An Officer And A Spy was the biggest opening film in France on Wednesday (November 13) as it launched theatrically amid controversy following a fresh allegation of rape against the director on the eve of its 550-screen release.

Jérôme Hilal, head of theatrical at distributor Gaumont, tweeted on Wednesday evening the film had garnered 46,412 admissions on its opening day, equivalent to a gross of roughly $338,000. Of this total,18,313 admissions were generated in Paris.

Added together with the 10,268 tickets sold for preview screenings, the film had drawn 56,580 spectators to date,
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Roman Polanski Accused of Raping French Actress When She Was 18

  • Indiewire
Roman Polanski Accused of Raping French Actress When She Was 18
In a report published Friday by French daily newspaper Le Parisien, French actress Valentine Monnier accused director Roman Polanski of raping her at Polanksi’s ski chalet in Switzerland in 1975 when she was 18.

Monnier told Le Parisien that the director violently raped her. The newspaper reported that it spoke with several people, who said Monnier told them of the incident shortly after it occurred.

“Rape is a time bomb,” she told the publication. “The memory does not fade. It becomes a ghost and it follows you, and it changes you insidiously.”

IndieWire has reached out to Polanski’s U.S. lawyers for comment.

Monnier said she was moved to speak some four decades after the incident due to the release of Polanski’s latest film, “J’Accuse” (“An Officer and a Spy”), due out in France next week.

The movie won the Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize and earned mostly
See full article at Indiewire »

Idfa: Female-Focused Fest to Open With Mehrdad Oskouei’s Iranian Prison Doc ‘Sunless Shadow’

  • Variety
Idfa: Female-Focused Fest to Open With Mehrdad Oskouei’s Iranian Prison Doc ‘Sunless Shadow’
Shoring up artistic director Orwa Nyrabia’s commitment to showcasing more women’s stories and platforming more women’s voices, Idfa has announced that this year’s festival features the highest percentage of female filmmakers in the event’s 31-year history: 64% of competition titles and 47% of the total program.

“Reaching a fairer representation was much easier than it seemed to be,” noted Nyrabia. “We only had to keep our goal in mind. The outstanding films that found their way to us this year was a humble reminder that we are in the presence of exceptional female filmmakers.”

The festival opens with the world premiere of Mehrdad Oskouei’s “Sunless Shadows,” which depicts five young Iranian women complicit in the murders of abusive husbands, fathers, or brothers-in-law. Oskouei’s film competes in the Feature-Length Documentary Competition alongside Jørgen Leth’s “I Walk”; Heidi Hassan and Patricia Pérez Fernández’s “In a
See full article at Variety »

Idfa unveils 2019 competition line-up, record female representation

  • ScreenDaily
Festival brass say 64% of competition titles directed by women, representing record 47% of total programme.

The International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (Idfa) has unveiled the line-up for its 32nd edition, which is set to take place from Nov 20-Dec 1.

At present, 64% of the festival’s competition titles are directed by women, representing 47% of the total programme - the highest in the festival’s history.

Idfa will open with the world premiere of Mehrdad Oskouei’s Sunless Shadows, about five young Iranian women who are all accomplices in the murder of their abusive husbands, fathers, or brothers-in-law.

The flagship 12-strong Best Feature-Length Documentary competition line-up includes I Walk,
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Idfa 2019 unveils competition line-up, record female representation

  • ScreenDaily
Festival brass say 64% of competition titles directed by women, representing record 47% of total programme.

The International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (Idfa) has unveiled the line-up for its 32nd edition, which is set to take place from Nov 20-Dec 1.

At present, 64% of the festival’s competition titles are directed by women, representing 47% of the total programme - the highest in the festival’s history.

Idfa will open with the world premiere of Mehrdad Oskouei’s Sunless Shadows, about five young Iranian women who are all accomplices in the murder of their abusive husbands, fathers, or brothers-in-law.

The flagship 12-strong Best Feature-Length Documentary competition line-up includes I Walk,
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Idfa unveils 2019 competition titles, to open with Iranian murder story 'Sunless Shadows'

  • ScreenDaily
Festival brass say 64% of competition titles directed by women, representing record 47% of total programme.

The International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (Idfa) has unveiled the line-up for its 32nd edition, which is set to take place from Nov 20-Dec 1.

At present, 64% of the festival’s competition titles are directed by women, representing 47% of the total programme - the highest in the festival’s history.

Idfa will open with the world premiere of Mehrdad Oskouei’s Sunless Shadows, about five young Iranian women who are all accomplices in the murder of their abusive husbands, fathers, or brothers-in-law.

The flagship 12-strong Best Feature-Length Documentary competition line-up includes I Walk,
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Blake Shelton (‘The Voice’) is secretly jealous of Darius Rucker for beating him at the Grammys

  • Gold Derby
Blake Shelton (‘The Voice’) is secretly jealous of Darius Rucker for beating him at the Grammys
When Darius Rucker stopped by “The Voice” on Monday night to help Blake Shelton mentor his young artists for the upcoming battle rounds, an old rivalry was reignited. As it turns out, Shelton lost the 2013 Grammy for Best Country Solo Performance to Rucker, a category Shelton thought he had a good chance of winning. “I haven’t been nominated for a Grammy very many times, but the one time I thought I had a shot was the freaking ‘Wagon Wheel’ year,” Shelton told his young country artists Kat Hammock and Josie Jones. “Darius won his 50th Grammy and I still have an empty spot in my house.”

SEEGwen Stefani completes her ‘The Voice’ Season 17 team with rock singer Caroline Reilly: ‘Dreams do come true!’ [Watch]

Rucker quickly corrected him, saying it was only his third Grammy. The other two were for Best New Artist for Hootie & the Blowfish (1995) and Best
See full article at Gold Derby »

‘Hustlers’: When Does a Film Based on True Events Need Its Subject’s Life Rights?

  • Indiewire
‘Hustlers’: When Does a Film Based on True Events Need Its Subject’s Life Rights?
The fall movie season often means a lot of movies “Based on a True Story,” that opening moniker that gives certain stories added weight. Sometimes the subjects are famous (or infamous), but in the case of the real-life strippers-turned-robbers in “Hustlers,” some unknown figures found their lives thrust into the public consciousness in the form of a box-office hit.

Samantha Barbash — whose character inspired Jennifer Lopez’s performance in the film — has threatened to sue distributor Stx, claiming the film is a violation of her rights. She has also stated that she originally rejected the producers’ offer to buy the rights to her story because the dollar amount offered was too low.

The main issue here is the concept of “life rights,” which Hollywood studios commonly acquire prior to making any form of biopic. The “Hustlers” case poses a big question for anyone looking to adapt true stories: When does
See full article at Indiewire »

Venice 2019 line-up includes 'Joker', 'Ad Astra', Roman Polanski’s 'J’Accuse'

Venice 2019 line-up includes 'Joker', 'Ad Astra', Roman Polanski’s 'J’Accuse'
There are only two films by female directors in competition.

The line-up of the 76th Venice Film Festival (August 28 – September 7) has been announced.

Scroll down for the full line-up

This year features some high-profile projects including Todd Phillips’ Joker and James Gray’s Ad Astra, a lack of female directors in competition once again, and the controversial selection of Roman Polanski’s latest film.

Australian title Babyteeth, from first-time director Shannon Murphy, and Saudi filmmaker Haifaa Al-Mansour’s The Perfect Candidate are the two films in the 21-strong competition from female filmmakers. Last year festival chief Alberto Barbera was heavily
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Secret Cannes Meeting For New Polanski Film to Find U.S. Buyer Took Place — So Far, No Takers

  • Indiewire
Secret Cannes Meeting For New Polanski Film to Find U.S. Buyer Took Place — So Far, No Takers
You would be forgiven for thinking the only chatter about Roman Polanski this year at the Croisette was about his brief depiction in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” — and the unhappiness about it expressed by his wife Emmanuelle Seigner. But it so happens Polanski turned to the Cannes Film Festival himself to look for a U.S. distributor for his latest film.

Paris-based sales agency Playtime held an unpublicized meeting on May 18 for around 40 potential U.S. buyers to screen Polanski’s film “An Officer and a Spy.” Polanski did not attend but star Jean Dujardin did, along with producer Alain Goldman. A week and a half later, no U.S. buyer has been announced — though the film already has European distribution set for the fall.

Vanity Fair‘s Nicole Sperling spoke to one of the attendees of the under-wraps meeting, Roadside Attractions co-president Howard Cohen,
See full article at Indiewire »

Jean Dujardin-Starrer ‘An Officer and a Spy’ Wraps Production as Playtime Joins Project (Exclusive)

  • Variety
Jean Dujardin-Starrer ‘An Officer and a Spy’ Wraps Production as Playtime Joins Project (Exclusive)
French sales agency Playtime has come on board director Roman Polanski’s just-wrapped “An Officer and a Spy,” an historical espionage thriller based on Robert Harris’s novel and headlined by Oscar-winning actor Jean Dujardin (“The Artist”) and Mathieu Amalric (“At Eternity’s Gate”).

Re-teaming Harris (“The Ghost Writer”) and Polanski, the movie tells the true story of counter-espionage officer Georges Picquart, who defied orders and embarked on a compromising mission to clear the name of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a promising French-Jewish officer who was unfairly accused of spying for Germany and imprisoned on Devil’s Island in the late 1890s. Drawn into a dangerous labyrinth of deceit and corruption, Picquart eventually succeeded in getting Dreyfus exonerated of any wrongdoing years later. The Dreyfus Affair has long been an obsession for the Oscar-winning director, who has tried to tell the story at various points in his career.

Produced by Alain Goldman
See full article at Variety »

Roman Polanski Sues the Academy to Be Reinstated as Member

Roman Polanski Sues the Academy to Be Reinstated as Member
Roman Polanski’s lawyer, Harland Braun, has filed a petition asking a Los Angeles judge to force the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to reinstate the director as a member of the organization in good standing (via Variety). The Academy announced May 3, 2018 that it had voted to expel Polanski and Bill Cosby for not meeting its standards of conduct. Polanski and Braun fought against the decision at the time but the filmmaker was expelled nonetheless.

In the petition sent April 21, Braun notes the Academy let Polanski petition for reconsideration but failed to give the director an opportunity to be heard on the issue of his expulsion. Braun said this decision is a violation of the Academy’s policies.

“The Academy committed a prejudicial abuse of discretion in that the Academy failed to proceed in a manner required by law, the Academy’s expulsion decision is not supported by the findings,
See full article at Indiewire »

Top 150 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2019: #10. J’accuse – Roman Polanski

J’accuse

Controversial director Roman Polanski embarks on his 22nd film production J’accuse this fall, a recuperation of the infamous Dreyfus Affair which he’s been working on for the past several years, previously known as the title D. While his last film, Based on a True Story (read review), penned by Olivier Assayas, closed out-of-competition at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival to lackluster reviews, his approximation of the infamous Dreyfus Affair, which became a lynchpin in the developing anti-Semitism in turn of the century France, promises to be something more impassioned from Polanski (as well as his potential swan song as the director is now in his mid-80s).…
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Roman Polanski Turns to France and Italy to Back His New Film

  • Variety
Roman Polanski Turns to France and Italy to Back His New Film
He’s been expelled from the Academy, and his last film, “Based on a True Story,” flopped at the box office. But the recent announcement of Roman Polanski’s new movie offers proof that, even after the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the birth of the #MeToo movement, the controversial director can still muster support – at least, in places where #MeToo has been slow to take hold.

The Oscar-winning director, who pleaded guilty to having sex with a minor in 1977 and has been a fugitive of U.S. justice ever since, has managed to raise about €22 million ($25.3 million) for his long-gestating passion project, “J’Accuse,” from backers in France and Italy – two countries where #MeToo has been heavily criticized. (Polanski himself has called the movement “collective hysteria.”) “J’Accuse” now ranks among the biggest-budgeted local movies slated for either 2019 or 2020 in either territory.

Polanski has been able to recruit well-established players and talent for the film,
See full article at Variety »

The Best of the Best in NYC Comedy This Month

Summer is winding down, but the comedy scene in New York City is in full swing. With so many performances, events, and casting calls happening, it can be hard to know what you can’t miss. Here are Backstage’s picks for the best comedy to see and audition for in September. PerformancesTom Green exploded on the comedy scene with his MTV show “The Tom Green Show,” where the host subjected random strangers on the street to pranks and hilarity. Since the show premiered in 1999, Green has continued to perform his person-on-the-street style comedy for TV and internet viewers alike. The comedian can be seen at Carolines on Broadway from Sept. 21–22. (Tickets $38.25–$114.50) Norm Macdonald has been on “Saturday Night Live” as a Weekend Update anchor, written fake memoir “Based on a True Story,” and been in countless TV shows and films. Known for his dry humor and love of New York City,
See full article at Backstage »

Norm Macdonald Won’t Go Pundit on His Netflix Talk Show

Norm Macdonald Won’t Go Pundit on His Netflix Talk Show
Norm Macdonald is giving TV another shot.

Despite having one of the most dedicated fanbases in comedy, he hasn't had a lot of success in the medium. After being famously fired from Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update" desk in 1998 and failing to launch two early-2000s sitcoms (Norm, A Minute With Stan Hooper), the Canadian stand-up's career has taken some haphazard detours. He's popped up as judge on NBC's Last Comic Standing; as Colonel Sanders in a series of KFC ads; and on talk shows plugging his (semifictionalized) memoir, Based on a True Story.

It'...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Strong French Films Play Venice Fest But Look to Crack U.S. Market

  • Variety
Strong French Films Play Venice Fest But Look to Crack U.S. Market
The three French majority productions playing in competition in Venice are entirely different from one another in style and tone, and even more so in terms of their American distribution strategies.

Both Jacques Audiard’s “The Sisters Brothers” and Olivier Assayas’ “Double Lives” will be released under significantly different conditions, while David Oelhoffen’s “Close Enemies” will hit the Lido still looking for a buyer. Taken all together, however, these three cases offer a reasonable snapshot of the current U.S. market for French cinema.

Audiard’s “The Sisters Brothers” stands as the outlier, one of the rare French productions to land U.S. distribution before the cameras ever rolled. L.A.-based production company Annapurna Pictures came on board in May 2017 and announced that it would release the English-language Western through its nascent distribution arm.

Time will no doubt tell, but Annapurna’s interest in the project likely does
See full article at Variety »

Emmanuelle Seigner Tells the Academy ‘You Offend Me’ for Offering Her Membership as It Expels Her Husband, Roman Polanski

Emmanuelle Seigner Tells the Academy ‘You Offend Me’ for Offering Her Membership as It Expels Her Husband, Roman Polanski
French actress Emmanuelle Seigner will not join the Academy’s 2018 class, instead choosing to show solidarity with her husband, Roman Polanski. As a repercussion of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movement, the Academy’s Board of Governors voted to expel the director on May 1. He pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977, and has not set foot in the United States since.

Through his lawyer, Polanski threatened the Academy with a lawsuit while announcing his intention to appeal the ruling. Seigner — twice-nominated for France’s highest film honor, the César Award — co-starred in her husband’s most recent film, “D’après une histoire vraie” (“Based on a True Story”), with Eva Green. The couple has been married for 29 years and shares two children. Polanski’s previous wife, Sharon Tate, was murdered by members of Charles Manson’s cult in 1969, a tragedy that will be revisited in
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Angel Face’ Producer Sets New Projects (Exclusive)

  • Variety
‘Angel Face’ Producer Sets New Projects (Exclusive)
Carole Lambert’s recently launched Windy Prods., which has the Marion Cotillard-starrer “Angel Face” playing in Un Certain Regard, is set to produce Joséphine Derobe’s fantasy feature “Vv,” Eric Capitaine’s “Les bonnes actions” and Manuel Schapira’s “Tropique de la violence.”

Derobe’s “Vv” follows Anna, a woman who wakes up in a hospital room after surviving a deadly car accident. Although she tries to remain optimistic, her return to normal life turns nightmarish as she undergoes rehabilitation therapy using virtual reality. The movie will mark the feature debut of Derobe, who is a well-known French 3D and Vr artist.

Shapira’s “Tropique de la Violence” is co-written with French novelist Delphine de Vigan, whose “Based on a True Story” was adapted into a film by Roman Polanski.

“Tropique” centers on Moïse, a boy who was abandoned at birth and adopted by a nurse in Mayotte who
See full article at Variety »
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