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The_Hollywood_Reporter__February_07_2018

BERLIN PRE VIEW A After

BERLIN PRE VIEW A After several shaky movie markets in an industry plagued by seemingly constant transition, distributors and sales outfits are heading to Berlin’s European Film Market on Feb. 15 in an upbeat mood after Sundance. In Park City, newer buyers (Neon, 30West, MoviePass, Annapurna) snatched up titles, and the studios returned in force to the indiepickup business, with Sony taking worldwide rights on the John Cho starrer Search, its SPC label nabbing Puzzle and Lionsgate boarding the Sundance opener Blindspotting. “There is some real breadth in the market,” says Protagonist Pictures CEO Dave Bishop. “That’s encouraging because it’s not just focused on two players.” He’s referring to Amazon and Netflix, neither of which bought a film at Sundance. Alison Thompson of Brit sales outfit Cornerstone Films also sees an ongoing shift away from the traditional presales market “toward what the business was like when I started in the 1990s, where buyers wait to bid on finished movies.” Her Cornerstone partner Mark Gooder agrees: “The presale market isn’t dead, but it’s getting harder to hit that bull’seye.” Several days out, new Berlin projects are thin on the ground, though most expect a handful of big-name titles to come together just before the EFM opens. THR’s 11 titles to watch: BACK TO BASICS IN BERLIN With Netflix and Amazon lying low in Sundance, this year’s European Film Market may continue a return to more traditional sales models — and dealmakers couldn’t be happier BY SCOTT ROXBOROUGH GREEN BOOK SALES FilmNation DIRECTOR Peter Farrelly CAST Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali Moonlight’s Oscar winner Ali plays a virtuoso jazz pianist who forges an unlikely friendship with his blue-collar Italian- American chauffeur (Mortensen) during a 1962 tour of the racially segregated South. The film’s dramatic tone is a departure for comedy specialist Farrelly (Dumb and Dumber, Kingpin). STATUS Filming Rogowski and Toni Erdmann’s Huller in In the Aisles. HER SMELL SALES Endeavor Content/Bow and Arrow DIRECTOR Alex Ross Perry CAST Elisabeth Moss The Handmaid’s Tale star Moss has signed on to play Becky Something, a maniacally destructive punk rock star engaged in a yearslong war against sobriety in this new drama from Golden Exit director Perry. STATUS Shooting later this year IN THE AISLES SALES Beta Cinema DIRECTOR Thomas Stuber CAST Sandra Huller, Franz Rogowski German helmer Stuber follows up his award-winning Hubert (2015) with this lowkey romantic drama featuring Toni Erdmann’s Huller and up-and-coming German actor Rogowski, who will make his U.S. debut in Terrence Malick’s Radegund next year. STATUS Finished JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 SALES Filmnation DIRECTOR Chad Stahelski CAST Keanu Reeves The third entry in the shoot- ’em-up franchise, starring Reeves as the assassin who just can’t quit the life, is about the closest thing possible to a bull’seye in the action movie space. STATUS Preproduction A MILLION LITTLE PIECES SALES Sierra/Affinity DIRECTOR Sam Taylor-Johnson CAST Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Giovanni Ribisi Fifty Shades of Grey director Taylor-Johnson teams up with her husband, Aaron (Nocturnal Animals), to take on James Frey’s rehab memoir, which was the source of a literary scandal back in 2003 when it emerged that Frey invented many of the events described in his struggles with alcohol and crack addiction. STATUS Preproduction TAYLOR-JOHNSON: SLAVEN VLASIC/GETTY IMAGES. ALI: CHRISTOPHER POLK/GETTY IMAGES FOR TNT. PORTMAN: JUN SATO/WIREIMAGE. REEVES: BENNETT RAGLIN/WIREIMAGE. BELLUCCI: ERNESTO RUSCIO/GETTY IMAGES. MOSS: CHRISTOPHER POLK/GETTY IMAGES FOR TURNER. WEDEL: ISA FOLTIN/WIREIMAGE. KNOL: DAVE BEDROSIAN/GEISLER-FOTOPRESS/PICTURE ALLIANCE/NEWSCOM. AISLES: COURTESY OF BETA CINEMA. THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER 60 FEBRUARY 7, 2018

Clockwise from top left: A Million Little Pieces star Aaron Taylor-Johnson; Vox Lux’s Portman; Reeves, returning for John Wick: Chapter 3; Moss, who will play a self-destructive punk rocker in Her Smell; Spider in the Web star Bellucci; and Ali, who plays a jazz musician in Green Book. THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST SALES Elle Driver DIRECTOR Desiree Akhavan CAST Chloe Grace Moretz, Jennifer Ehle, Quinn Shephard Akhavan’s comic drama, about Christian teens wrestling with gay-conversion therapy, picked up the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and won acclaim for its delicate treatment of a hot-button topic. STATUS Finished MONSTER FAMILY 2 SALES Timeless Films DIRECTOR Holger Tappe The sequel to the 2017 animated movie, which featured the voice talents of Emily Watson, Nick Frost and Jason Isaacs and grossed more than $26 million internationally, returns with the Wishbones, an ordinary family who transform into monsters to save their friends and the world from an evil Monster Huntress. STATUS Preproduction MRS LOWRY & SON SALES The Little Film Co. DIRECTOR Adrian Noble CAST Timothy Spall, Vanessa Redgrave British acting treasures Spall and Redgrave headline this biopic about the relationship between early 20th century British painter L.S. Lowry and his mother, Elizabeth. STATUS Filming ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE US SALES Global Screen DIRECTOR Ozgur Yildirim CAST Moritz Bleibtreu The crossover success of Fatih Akin’s In the Fade could bode well for this German thriller, set on the mean streets of Frankfurt and featuring Bleibtreu (Run Lola Run) as a gangster trying to make a final score in order to escape his life of crime. STATUS Finished SPIDER IN THE WEB SALES Film Constellation DIRECTOR Eran Riklis CAST Ben Kingsley, Monica Bellucci, Itay Tiran This espionage thriller from the award-winning Israeli director of The Lemon Tree centers on an aging spy (Kingsley) on the trail of a supposed chemical weapons sale to a Middle East dictatorship while being followed by an ambitious Mossad agent (Tiran). STATUS Shoots in the spring VOX LUX SALES Sierra/Affinity DIRECTOR Brady Corbet CAST Natalie Portman, Jude Law Corbet’s drama about the rise of a singer from national tragedy to pop superstar is back on track, with Oscar winner Portman replacing Rooney Mara in the leading role. Sia provided original songs for the soundtrack. STATUS Filming Berlin Rolls Out the Red Carpet for Diversity From an anti-harassment ‘safe space policy’ to industry panels on gender equality, the Berlinale is getting woke for the #MeToo era Berlin wears its politics on its sleeve. In 2002, his first year as Berlinale director, Dieter Kosslick made “Accept Diversity” the festival motto. “And we meant it,” Kosslick tells THR. “Diversity of all sorts: all colors, all sexualities, all cultures.” This year, in the wake of Harvey Weinstein, #MeToo and Time’s Up, Berlin is trying to live up to that pledge. The fight for equality, whether based on gender, race or sexuality, will be in focus at both the festival and Berlin’s European Film Market (EFM). At the festival, Berlin will introduce what it calls a “safe space policy” that will include coordinating a hotline for visitors to report cases of discrimination or harassment they experience or witness. Sundance took a similar tack this year, updating its code of conduct to try and prevent any inappropriate behavior and introducing a new 24-hour hotline to report offenses. The policy’s urgency was brought home by the recent case of German director Dieter Wedel. Several women have accused the famed film and TV helmer of abuse — ranging from harassment to assault — going back decades. Wedel denied the initial charges brought forth by three women but since has gone silent and has resigned from his job as artistic director of the Bad Hersfeld Theater Festival, citing health concerns resulting from excessive media attention Wedel Wouter Knol on his case. At the EFM, the focus will be on analyzing the problem of discrimination and presenting workable solutions for the industry. Vivian Yvonne Hunt of consulting firm McKinsey & Co. will present the latest finding of her study “Delivering Through Diversity,” originally unveiled in late January at the Davos World Economic Forum in Switzerland. In a debate hosted by THR on Feb. 17, Hunt will break down her analysis of the diversity gap and what it means for the global film business. At Berlin’s Co-Production Market, the Austrian Film Institute will present a case study of its remarkably successful initiative to address the gender gap among film producers by boosting subsidy support for projects with higher female participation. The Swedish Film Institute, a leader in the push for gender equality, will also present in Berlin the latest findings in its 50-50 initiative, which, in just three years, achieved gender parity in terms of film funding between men and women directors. “We are a market — we are interested in the business, not the politics,” says EFM director Matthijs Wouter Knol. “And when it comes to audiences, there are a lot of people out there, a lot of groups, who see themselves underrepresented in the content onscreen. What’s changed is that these groups are becoming more outspoken and, most importantly, have shown they are willing to pay for more diverse content.” — S.R. Illustration by Wren McDonald THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER 61 FEBRUARY 7, 2018

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