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October 31, 2018 - No Comments!

First look at Claes Bang, Elizabeth Debicki in ‘The Burnt Orange Heresy’ (exclusive)

From Screen Daily

By Tom Grater

Screen can unveil a first look at Claes Bang and Elizabeth Debicki in neo-noir thriller The Burnt Orange Heresy.

The pair star alongside Mick Jagger and Donald Sutherland in director Giuseppe Capotondi’s story about an American art critic who must steal a masterpiece in exchange for a potentially career-transforming deal.

HanWay Films is handling international sales rights on the title at AFM and CAA and UTA Independent Film Group are managing the US sale.

Producers on the project are David Zander of MJZ, William Horberg of Wonderful Films and David Lancaster of Rumble Films. Scott B. Smith adapted the screenplay from the novel by Charles Willeford. Executive Producers are Sienna Aquilini of Carte Blanche Cinema, Aeysha Walsh of MJZ and Stephanie Wilcox of Rumble Films.

Also on HanWay’s AFM slate are James D’Arcy’s Made In Italy with Liam Neeson And Micheál Richardson, Andrew Levitas’s Minamata starring Johnny Depp, and Francois Girard’s The Song Of Names with Tim Roth and Clive Owen.

September 25, 2018 - No Comments!

Donnybrook, In Fabric Top Fantastic Fest Awards

From The Austin Chronicle

By Richard Whittaker

What's a film festival without awards? Fantastic fest has today announced the top honorees from the jury selections, and we've got the list of winners. The envelope, please!

"MAIN COMPETITION" FEATURES
Best Picture: Donnybrook directed by Tim Sutton (read our review here)
Best Director: Peter Strickland for In Fabric (read our review here)

"NEXT WAVE" FEATURES
Best Picture/Director: Holiday directed by Isabella Eklöf (read our review here)
Special Mention for Sébastien Marnier for Schools Out

HORROR FEATURES
Best Picture: Terrified directed by Demián Rugna
Best Director: Shinichiro Ueda for One Cut of the Dead
Special Mention to Luz directed by Tilman Singer

SHORTS WITH LEGS
Best Picture: "The Passage" directed by Kitao Sakurai
Special Mention to "Emotion 93" directed by Oz Davidson

SHORT FUSE Presented by Stage 13
Best Picture: "Acid (aka Acide)" directed by Just Philippot

FANTASTIC SHORTS
Best Picture: "Squirrel" by Alex Kavutskiy

FANTASTIC BUMPER COMPETITION
"Dark Biddings" directed by Jensen Yancey

Congratulations to all the winners.

September 14, 2018 - No Comments!

Toronto: IFC Films Buys ‘Donnybrook’ Starring Jamie Bell (EXCLUSIVE)

From Variety

By Ramin Setoodeh

IFC Films has acquired North American distribution rights to the drama “Donnybrook” out of the Toronto Film Festival, Variety has learned.

The deal was in the seven-figure range, according to sources. Five companies were circling the project, which stars Jamie Bell as a former Marine grappling with economic hardships. He enters a bare-knuckle fighting contest where the winner walks away with $100,000.

The rest of the cast includes Frank Grillo, Margaret Qualley and James Badge Dale.

IFC will release “Donnybrook” in theaters in 2019.

The film, directed by Tim Sutton (“Dark Knight”) and based on the novel by Frank Bill, premiered to strong reviews at Toronto’s Platform Competition. It was produced by David Lancaster and Stephanie Wilcox at Rumble Films with financing from Backup Media. Executive producers include Joel Thibout, David Atlan-Jackson, Jean-Baptiste Babin, Andrew Schwartzberg and Jon Shiffman.

“It is both an honor and a thrill to partner with IFC Films, a distributor with intelligence, integrity and the respect of so many filmmakers I admire,” Sutton said in a statement. “They’ve released some of my favorite films and I couldn’t be more proud to have ‘Donnybrook’ in their hands.”

The deal was negotiated Arianna Bocco, EVP of acquisitions and production at IFC Films, and UTA Independent Film Group.

September 8, 2018 - No Comments!

‘Donnybrook’: A Brutal, Blistering Masterwork Of American Desperation [TIFF Review]

From The Playlist

By Rodrigo Perez

“The world’s changed,” the craggy old boatman says at the beginning of the unflinchingly visceral “Donnybrook” as a menacing, operatic piece of music swells, ferrying the naïve hero to a looming Hades while delivering the movie’s aggrieved, despondent manifesto. “Criminals running everything. Got no money, just debt. Only thing worth living for is vice and indulgence.” “Jarhead” Earl (Jamie Bell), the ex-marine in question being shipped across this veritable River Styx, isn’t quite dead yet, nor has he paid Charon his coin for passage, but the toll for crossing over into hell will exact a cruel punishment much more severe than death.

A stunning, often flooring masterwork about desperation, writer/director Tim Sutton’s, “Donnybrook” is a brutal elegy for those living on the forgotten fringes of America. It is a smoldering picture for this exact moment in time, and for better or worse, it may end up becoming disenfranchised, Deplorable White America’s favorite film of the year, or at least, a terrifying case study about the whitelashed road that got us to Trump. It’s also exciting, uncharted territory for a filmmaker that’s usually elliptical and has never worked with Hollywood stars.

Everything in “Donnybrook” is swelling and red. In Sutton’s extraordinarily crafted fourth feature film, “Jarhead” Earl is desperate, and his life is burning. His wife’s crippling crystal meth addiction is worsening, his children live inside an impoverished trailer trash hell, and he’s just robbed a gun store to pay the entrance fee to the Donnybrook: a savage, bare-knuckled brawl fight club where the pot has raised to $100,000. Earl’s life is ablaze, and the only light he sees at the end of his dark, hellish tunnel is this once-in-a-lifetime payday— what he sees as a chance for his family to get out and begin again, a ride or die only hope that he lays everything on the line for.

But Earl must break a lot of eggs (and skulls) to get there. One of the men crossed who comes gunning for revenge is “Chainsaw” Angus (a frightening Frank Grillo), a sadistic drug dealer who lives in a world of self-inflicted pain and anguish. He’s also been wronged by his conflicted sister Delia (Margaret Qualley), who’s made the unfortunate choice—for everyone involved—for joining forces with Earl on the way to the Donnybrook. What ensues, as “Donnybrook” works its way back in time to tell the story of Earl leaving his family and embarking on the Odyssean quest for the prize, is a violent, disturbing portrait of a uniquely American brand of despair.

“Donnybrook” is also not for the squeamish and should possibly come with a trigger warning. There are at least three scenes—an aborted suicide attempt, a twisted gangland-style execution, and an odious moment of physical and mental abuse—that are three of the most genuinely disturbing moments I’ve seen on screen all year. “Donnybrook” could prompt walkouts, and at least one or two people will hurl rancorous charges of misogyny against the film (Grillo’s character is a repellent monster).

But Sutton, an arthouse darling also known for the mythopoetic “Memphis” and the disturbingly oblique “Dark Night,” isn’t interested in shock or exploitation, as much as some of “Donnybrook” is deeply upsetting. His unapologetically uncomfortable film—easily his most accessible, and mainstream, especially given its cast, but still artful and unsettling—simply wants to depict unvarnished suffering in stark, unambiguous terms. “Donnybrook” is a world of anguish; alcoholics, opioid addicts, losers, hustlers and methheads, all trying to claw at whatever tiny diseased crumb of the American dream has been left behind for them to fight over.

To this end, the severe drama is startlingly different and direct compared to Sutton’s previous dreamy, meandering, poetic works (though it does have its moments of austere lyricism). It is, for lack of a better analogy, a lacerating punch to the face that leaves molars and blood clots behind on the cold hard floor. And that’s to say nothing of how anxiety-inducing and stressful “Donnybrook” is from second one, as it lurches towards its final bout and how it coils the threat of hostility and violence around the corner of every frame.

And that’s just the movie. None of this angst and enmity accounts for the ferocity of the ensemble cast—Bell, Grillo, Qualley, and James Badge Dale as a corrupt local sheriff—all who turn in scorching, raw-nerve performances that only aggravate the movie’s already-irritated skin. In a perfect movie world, critics would be holding their own gruesome fight-to-the-finish battles over who’s allowed to praise the actors first and loudest. As the volatile embodiment of bitterness and misplaced, unquenchable rage, Grillo is chilling, Qualley is going to be a superstar, and Jamie Bell has never been better. None of the cast leaves anything on the table, and like the movie, they all go for the jugular.

While not overtly political on the surface, “Donnybrook” is implicitly, intrinsically linked to our current, polarized, angst-ridden era of politics; inflamed like a throbbing wound that won’t heal. Like our country in the here and now, “Donnybrook” is a movie that feels like it’s on fire the entire time; flames rising and falling unpredictably, sometimes smoldering, sometimes raging and always, always angry.

Following his abstract critique of suburban Florida and gun-culture in the alienated “Dark Night,” Sutton clearly has American disillusionment on the brain. And with his searing and seething movie, Sutton takes the exploration one step further, tapping into the pulse of some very primal feelings of hopelessness, resent and the fear behind the struggle.

The world’s gone to hell and Sutton’s film crafts a devastating howl; a tragic requiem for American desolation and those abandoned on the margins. Everything comes at a great cost in “Donnybrook,” no one comes out unscathed and its final moments are a breathtaking gut punch. Everyone in Donnybrook will always have to fight to survive. “It’s the only way for folks like us.” [A]

September 7, 2018 - No Comments!

‘Donnybrook’: Toronto Review

From Screen Daily

By Tim Grierson, Senior U.S. Critic

A raw drama about desperate individuals fighting to keep their heads above water, Donnybrook examines the underbelly of the American Rust Belt, expressing a tempered respect for those surviving on the margins. Filmmaker Tim Sutton elicits pitiless performances from Frank Grillo and Jamie Bell playing two very different criminals on a collision course, and the film exudes a grungy, B-movie ethos in keeping with its scrappy, resourceful characters.

Donnybrook premieres in Toronto, courting buyers who no doubt admire Sutton’s previous work, Memphis and Dark Night. His latest is a slightly more commercial proposition thanks to its stars and passing similarities to other blue-collar indie thrillers such as Blue Ruin. Still, strong reviews would help buoy box-office interest.

Set in an economically depressed Ohio small town, the film stars Bell as Jarhead Earl, a military veteran trying to raise two kids while helping his ailing wife who’s addicted to pain medication. Drugs are a scourge across Donnybrook’s battered rural landscape, which is ruled by ruthless dealer Chainsaw Angus (Grillo) and his much younger sister Delia (Margaret Qualley), who have no problem resorting to violence to maintain their empire.

Working from Frank Bill’s novel, Sutton presents Earl with one beacon of hope amidst all the desolation around him: a no-holds-barred underground boxing competition known as the Donnybrook that will net the winner $100,000 — the kind of payday that could change his family’s life. But the steps Earl takes — some of them illegal — to get to the Donnybrook prove to be far more important dramatically than the big finale, although what awaits him in the ring turns out to be powerfully affecting as well.

Although drawing on elements of the boxing movie and crime thriller, Donnybrook is chiefly a snapshot of a community with few opportunities. Drug deals, petty theft and murder are commonplace, and Sutton adopts a dispassionate perspective regarding the lawlessness his camera observes — we quickly come to understand that, in a world without dependable jobs, residents have learned to get creative if they want to put food on the table. Distressed trailer parks, eyesore bars and beat-up vehicles litter the terrain, and Sutton highlights how men like Earl and Angus have distinguished themselves as survivors, unconcerned how outsiders would judge their actions.

Grillo projects silent menace, delivering the same sort of imposing physical performance that he gave in The Purge: Anarchy and The Grey. In comparison to Angus’ coiled evil, Bell is more nuanced portraying a father and husband who has done bad things for what he considers honourable reasons. (Where Angus sadistically tortures and slays those who defy him, Earl is merely a stickup artist.) Going on the road with his son to reach the Donnybrook, Earl represents a more complicated version of manhood, alternating between tenderness and aggression, all the while hoping he can give his children a better life than the one he’s known.

Phil Mossman’s mournful orchestral score gives the proceedings a doomed grandeur, although much of Donnybrook is as direct and visceral as a punch to the jaw. Even if Sutton occasionally overdoes the toxic masculinity and red-state seediness, the movie becomes increasingly gripping as it draws us into this brutal reality.

Sutton’s tonal control is further in evidence with a terrific supporting cast led by James Badge Dale as a pathetic, drugged-up cop whose reasons for going after Angus seem personal as much as professional. And Qualley astonishes, playing Angus’ kid sister who might be even more demented than he is. Look under any rock in Donnybrook and you’ll find something slithering — Sutton and his cast ensure you’re engrossed by every single one of them.

September 7, 2018 - No Comments!

Toronto premiere ‘Donnybrook’ charts a dark journey into America’s heartland and the roots of white rage

From L.A. Times

By Jen Yamato

Not everyone was up to the challenge of bringing director Tim Sutton’s brutal bare-knuckle brawl drama “Donnybrook” to the screen.

Like the everyman warriors of the near-mythic cage fight at its center, the film pulls no punches as it surveys a country locked in dog-eat-dog conflict, afflicted by vicious cycles of violence — physical, emotional, spiritual — and traumas that have never healed.

“I had one actor say after a few meetings that he wasn’t sure he wanted to do something that was so dark, and I was like, ‘Well — that’s the movie,’” said Sutton, whose bold fourth feature stars Jamie Bell, Frank Grillo, James Badge Dale and Margaret Qualley in a startling and riveting turn.

Opening the Toronto Film Festival’s Platform section Friday as a title available for acquisition, “Donnybrook” is at once a requiem for a certain segment of America, and a clarion call for all to take a hard inward look at how and why we’ve arrived at such a tumultuous time in the nation’s history.

“It feels quite dreamlike,” said the British-born Bell, who plays Jarhead Earl, a devoted father, husband and military veteran and the closest thing the film has to a hero. “Like a horrible Mark Twain nightmare set in a Trump America.”

Adapted from Frank Bill’s 2013 novel, the donnybrook of its title is a rural underground cage brawl with a $100,000 cash prize — enough money to pay off debts, flee the past and restart a life, a windfall worth putting one’s body, fists and blood on the line.

To Jarhead Earl, a good man struggling with dire financial straits and a wife who’s fighting her own losing battle with addiction, it’s the only way to move his family out of the trailer park and provide for them a safe, secure future.

But other more insidious forces stalk the road to the donnybrook, namely Chainsaw Angus (the menacing Grillo), a meth dealer whose twisted relationship with his younger sister Delia (Qualley) is in itself a complex tangle born of destructive cycles of violence, manipulation and abuse.

“I didn’t make this movie because I wanted to make a fight movie,” said Bell, who also stars as a reformed skinhead in another TIFF premiere title, “Skin,” based on a true story. “I really dislike fighting. I don’t find any kind of vanity in it. But it’s an integral part to this character .… He knows that’s what he’s good at. He’s come out of the military like, well, these are the skills that I have.

“And although I don’t agree with violence, there’s something about that — you defend your family with what you have,” said Bell, who recalls pounding a punching bag during filming so intensely that viewers will see his own bloody knuckleprints onscreen.

Previously known on the art-house circuit for his more experimental first three features (2012’s “Pavilion,” 2013’s “Memphis” and 2016’s “Dark Night,” inspired by the Aurora, Colo., movie theater massacre), Sutton adapted “Donnybrook” for the screen in his biggest feature to date, transplanting its setting from Indiana to the small-town saloons and trailer parks of rural Ohio.

In his hauntingly lyrical vision — an “opera of chaos” lensed by David Ungaro along the misty, verdant, and decaying landscape of economically depressed Middle America — violence abounds long before we get to the desolate remote farm that hosts the titular fight. Darkness, to say the least, was always a given.

“Dark Night” “was about the threat of violence, and about holding back from that,” said Sutton, who was tapped to adapt the project by “Whiplash” and “Nightcrawler” producer David Lancaster. “This was about the act of violence. And if I was going to talk about violence at this point, I had to go fully into it — I had to go to a place where it was as dark as it could be, where these people end up in an act of violence and I would show the whole thing, I wouldn’t hold back.”

Sutton felt flashes of recognition reading Bill’s novel, tracking the colliding fates of “Donnybrook”s desperate characters. He saw these people, these lives, these lost dreams in folks he knew from his own upbringing in New York state. Most of all, says the director, the story of “Donnybrook” is incontrovertibly a story of America.

“This is about the country. This is where we are right now,” said Sutton. “There is a huge population of people in the middle of the country who feel like they are dispossessed — some of whom have gone so far into a different place that they are kind of outside of the world that we live in.”

“I wanted it to be this horrible opera of destruction,” he said, “because I think we’re so close to that right now as a country.”

But if “Donnybrook” is aiming squarely at America — specifically poor and working-class white Americans, the only players represented in the deliberately limited perspective of Sutton’s dark fable — it also seeks to understand and engage with those who might see themselves reflected onscreen.

“I think historically we’ve been on a descent long before Donald Trump, but I do feel that the movie speaks about the times for what they are right now, and is a larger kind of folk tale about American violence and about American anger,” Sutton said.

The point is made as “Donnybrook’s” characters hurtle toward an ultimate violent reckoning, traversing a heartland of darkness. To get to the prizefight, combatants are ferried across the Ohio River — a scene Sutton and Bell envisioned à la Willard’s watery quest in “Apocalypse Now” — where the American flag hangs proudly for jeering spectators and men in cages stand in deference for a warbled rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

To underscore his point, Sutton set a key scene not originally in the book at the site of a historic Civil War battle where, Jarhead muses, “the South never recovered.”

“To me, this film has a lot to do with white rage. There’s a lot of anger, there’s a lot of confusion, there’s a lot of menace,” Sutton said. “And while Jarhead and his family are not part of that kind of reality, the point of the film is about how people are simply trying to survive — and how fighting isn’t the only way.”

To that end, the actors tapped to bring “Donnybrook” to life describe a creative openness on set that allowed deeper currents of humanity to surface in characters who are situated at various points along a sliding scale of morality and lawfulness.

For Grillo, who studied documentaries on the long-term effects of abuse and neglect on children to understand his character’s background, it was important to make Angus more than just a monster. “I didn’t want to make him a sociopath,” he said. “He was a guy who was more emotionless until he was triggered.”

Some of his most intense and charged scenes with Qualley were improvised in the moment with the camera rolling, he said.

Qualley, who drew critical acclaim in last year’s “Novitiate,” approached Delia — a departure from the sister character of the original book — as a soul whose quest to reclaim her lost innocence is one of the film’s more bittersweet tragedies. It’s a courageous turn for any young actress that includes frank scenes of nudity and one of the most potentially divisive sex scenes in recent memory.

“What I want to do more than anything is to do things that scare me, that push me and make me uncomfortable and get me out of my comfort zone,” Qualley said. “Mostly I hope people see things in the right context.”

“We’re fortunate to be in a time right now when there are a lot of conversations about ways in which women have been victimized, and minorities have been victims of various forms of abuse,” she said. “I think there are so many different things to take away from the film, and in my favorite stories there’s not just one clear message that you walk away with.”

She and Bell are already planning to reteam with Sutton on the director’s next project, “The Chain,” adapted from a Tobias Wolfe short story “about people making bad decisions and paying for them,” according to Sutton.

That film similarly promises to continue the filmmaker’s exploration of what he terms “this lost American rage.” But as far as “Donnybrook” is concerned, Sutton emphasizes that his goal is a deeper understanding that doesn't take sides — and one that, hopefully, will reach open eyes, hearts and minds across the country.

“I think the film is artful enough that [it will] play in, let’s say, Missouri or Indiana or upstate New York and people see it and relate to it in a way they may not relate to a film about hipsters in Brooklyn,” he said. “I know it comes across as very dark and very brutal in certain ways, but the universal need to survive is in everyone.

“At its base, this is a movie about a family trying to survive — not making the right decisions, not having the right chances, not given all the opportunities, literally just clawing their way to the next day. And I think everyone can relate to that, whether at a world premiere or at a cineplex in the middle of nowhere.”

September 7, 2018 - No Comments!

Toronto Interview: Tim Sutton

From Film Comment

By Amy Taubin

I walked into a pre-Toronto screening of Donnybrook unaware that Tim Sutton—director/writer of Pavilion (2012), Memphis (2013), and Dark Night (2016)—had written and directed this one too. “Haunting,” “ephemeral,” “lyrical” were adjectives I’d used when praising Sutton’s previous films, although I also remember Dark Night as etched with unspoken dread. Donnybrook, while speaking to the beauty of rural American landscapes as Sutton’s earlier work did, is a pulverizingly violent film. In the final scene, the central character explains to his daughter that the field in which they are standing was taken by the Union army in the Civil War. The daughter asks how the North did it, and her father says, “They fought for it. That’s what people like us do. We fight.” Adapted by Sutton from a nasty novel of the same name by Frank Bill, Donnybrook is set in Ohio’s backcountry, where making and dealing meth and homebrewed opioids is the one of only ways to survive. Another is cage fighting. Ohio may be Trump country, but the people in Donnybrook are beyond politics, not to mention voting, just as Kurtz in Apocalypse Now is beyond the military. Apocalypse Now came to mind as Jarhead Earl (Jamie Bell, astonishingly transformed) is ferried up the Ohio River to Donnybrook, where three dozen or so caged men go mano a mano until only one is left standing. But before that climactic scene, others are shot or tortured for twisted pleasure or profit. The film doesn’t exploit its characters or the audience. It simply shows what is—or given the way things are going—what soon could be. [I interviewed Sutton in advance of the world premiere of Donnybrook at Toronto.]

Like Dark Night, Donnybrook is about what in the Sixties we called the war at home and how, in part, people who go to war overseas bring the fight back with them.

War has always been here. It’s what the country was built on. David Lancaster, the film’s producer, offered me the book to adapt. With that came a bigger budget, a larger canvas. I’d never done an adaptation, but I found it natural because I’m from the country and I love crime fiction. My goal was to make it less a fight film and more a soulful film. I thought I could do it because Dark Night had the threat of violence and this film has the act of violence. I thought I could get these people from A to B in a realistic, soulful, emotional manner that has to do with the things I’ve been interested in for a long time: how people exist within a specific physical and emotional landscape. Where the movie comes from for me is a combination of early Malick, the end of Taxi Driver, and Apocalypse Now. I had Jamie Bell watch Apocalypse Now many times. Donnybrook is about a trip to the end of the world. It’s utter destruction.

Why did you cast Jamie Bell?

I remember watching him in Billy Elliot. And then after a long time I saw him again in a small role in the S&M scenes in Nymphomaniac. He’s a phenomenal actor. I felt like watching someone living in front of the camera. That’s what I’ve always done. Let people live in front of the camera. I say “action” and “cut” but what they do in between is up to them. We mold it and we shape it, but I never tell people exactly what to do. I say, here’s the scene, here’s the frame. The frame is obviously very important. But I care about the truth of the 45 seconds or the five minutes of the scene. Jamie was able to take that and go much further than the people I’d worked with in earlier films who were not actors.

But you must have choreographed the Donnybrook cage fighting scene and earlier action scenes.

Yes, of course. But take Frank and Margaret in the car together. [Frank Grillo plays a serial killer and Margaret Qualley plays his opiated-addled sister.] The only direction I gave is that she should sense that something bad is going to happen to her because she’s been through it before. But what happens between them—the violence and then the hug afterwards—is up to them. What I care about is creating a sense of intimacy between the actors. There is a script but I never think about bringing it to life. It’s a platform for the actors, to get them involved and help them express their ideas so that they can bring the film to life. But I never think of bringing the script to life.

Do you rehearse?

It depends on what the actors need. But not much. I usually shoot four or five takes including the rehearsal take. And then I walk away. I don’t have the money to shoot more. But from Pavilion on, I’ve found that what you get early is most alive. I don’t do lots of coverage. I’m not trying to get something perfect. I’m trying to get something essential, and that’s more a gut feeling.

What did you shoot on?

An Alexa Mini with Arriflex lenses. We used three lenses. They were all wide. In the past I had much more depth of field and more of a painterly thing, but here I wanted the landscape to feel vast so when you get to the cage fight at the end, there’s no way out.

Who is the cinematographer?

David Ungaro. He’s French and he can do lots of different things—a Thai boxing movie, Mary Shelley. He actually taught me how to manage a set. He’s great.

I was so moved at the end to the film when Jarhead explains to his daughter that people like them have to fight for everything they need.

Yes, he may have gotten a piece of the Donnybrook prize money, but he’ll never get the whole pie. It’s always more loss than winning. I wanted to include “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the beginning of the Donnybrook fight scene, because when she sings “land of the free and the home of the brave,” you are looking at fighting in a cage. And that’s my observation about the state of things. It is a dark, angry, confused place out there that we only know part of. And I’m not making a judgment. I care for everyone in the film. But this is an angry, scary time in this country. And that’s why I wanted to show the Donnybrook. It’s out there, like Kurtz is out there in Apocalypse Now.

And is the Donnybrook real or is it allegorical?

Do Donnybrooks happen exactly like that? I did a lot of research on bareknuckle fighting. The closest to it I saw were these bareknuckle brawls in Russia. I didn’t find anything that was that big a brawl in the United States. But you accept giant Armageddon-like movies for 20 years, and then you’re shocked when someone blows up a building. And the UFC—the cage fighting on TV—is more popular than boxing, which I think is barbaric too. It’s a billion-dollar industry and some of it is cage fighting. We celebrate it on mainstream TV, just like football, which leaves all these people brain-dead. These are things that America celebrates and then we are aghast when that kind of violence leaks out into the real world.

September 6, 2018 - No Comments!

Mick Jagger Joins Heist Thriller ‘Burnt Orange Heresy’

From Variety

Mandatory Credit: Photo by PIERRE VILLARD/SIPA/REX/Shutterstock (9159615bc)
Mick Jagger
Rolling Stones in concert at U-Arena, Paris, France - 20 Oct 2017

By Dave McNary

Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger has joined Claes Bang and Elizabeth Debicki in director Giuseppe Capotondi’s thriller “The Burnt Orange Heresy.”

Jagger will portray an English art dealer-collector and patron of Jerome Debney, the reclusive J.D. Salinger of the art world.

Set in present-day Italy, “The Burnt Orange Heresy” centers on an art world scam that goes terribly wrong. Bang plays a beguiling art critic who begins a romance with an alluring American tourist, portrayed by Debicki. The new lovers travel to the lavish and opulent Lake Como estate that’s the home of Jagger’s character, who offers a seductive deal: in exchange for a career-transformative introduction to Debney, he must steal a new masterpiece from the artist’s studio.

“The Burnt Orange Heresy” is adapted by Scott B. Smith from the novel by Charles Willeford. Executive producers are Aeysha Walsh of MJZ and Stephanie Wilcox of Rumble Films. Producers are David Zander of MJZ, William Horberg of Wonderful Films and David Lancaster of Rumble Films. Production is set to start in Italy on Sept. 24.

The deal was announced Thursday, the opening day of the Toronto Intl. Film Festival. HanWay Intl. is handling sales. UTA Independent Film Group is managing the U.S. sale.

Jagger previously starred in 2001’s “The Man From Elysian Fields” alongside Andy Garcia, and also appeared in the 2008 film “The Bank Job.” He is represented by CAA.

August 8, 2018 - No Comments!

Jamie Bell Bare-Knuckle Fighting Drama ‘Donnybrook’ To Open TIFF Platform

From Screen Daily

By Jeremy Kay

The bare-knuckle fighting drama Donnybrook starring Jamie Bell and Frank Grillo will open 2018 Toronto International Film Festival’s (TIFF) Platform, while Jessica Forever from debutants Caroline Poggi and Jonathan Vinel will close the section.

The 12 films in the festival’s fourth annual juried programme include new work from Karyn Kusama, Alex Ross Perry, Ho Wi Ding, Alejandra Márquez Abella and Carol Morley.

The line-up includes four features directed or co-directed by women, while seven feature strong female lead roles. The roster includes what TIFF director and CEO Piers Handling described as “transformative” portrayals of detectives by Nicole Kidman in Destroyer and Patricia Clarkson in Out Of Blue.

Hailing from the Americas, Europe and China, every selection in Platform except Kusama’s Destroyer and Emir Baigazin’s The River will receive their world premiere in Toronto.

“It’s a programme that’s designed to put the focus on adventurous talent,” said Handling, adding that the roster of mostly third and fourth-time filmmakers “deserve further prominence”.

“More and more sales agents have been asking us about [Platform] and want to be there,” he continued. “The curation of the programme is very strong. We feel very confident about… telling filmmakers there’s a programe that will celebrate [vision] at a time when it’s getting harder and harder for films like this to find financing.”

Platform’s three-person jury will present the winner with a CAD $25,000 award [USD $19,200] funded by Air France. Highlights from previous years include Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight, Armando Iannucci’s The Death Of Stalin, Pablo Larraín’s Jackie and Lady Macbeth. TIFF runs from September 6-16.

The Platform 2018 line-up:

Angelo (Austria-Luxembourg), dir. Markus Schleinzer
World premiere

Cities Of Last Things (Taiwan-China-US-France), dir. Ho Wi Ding
World premiere

Destroyer (US), dir. Karyn Kusama
International premiere

Donnybrook (US), dir. Tim Sutton
World premiere
Platform Opening Film

The Good Girls (Las Niñas Bien, Mexico), dir. Alejandra Márquez Abella
World premiere

Her Smell (US), dir. Alex Ross Perry
World premiere

The Innocent (Switzerland-Germany), dir. Simon Jaquemet
World premiere

Jessica Forever (France), dirs. Caroline Poggi, Jonathan Vinel
World premiere
Platform Closing Film

Mademoiselle de Joncquières (France), dir. Emmanuel Mouret
World premiere

Out Of Blue (UK), dir. Carol Morley
World premiere

The River (Kazakhstan-Poland-Norway), dir. Emir Baigazin
North American premiere

Rojo (Argentina-Brazil-France-Netherlands-Germany), dir. Benjamín Naishtat
World premiere.

April 24, 2018 - No Comments!

Claes Bang To Star In ‘The Burnt Orange Heresy’ For HanWay Films

From Screen Daily

By Tom Grater

Claes Bang, the breakout star of Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or-winning The Square, will play the lead in neo-noir thriller The Burnt Orange Heresy.

Bang joins Elizabeth Debicki and Christopher Walken in the project, which is being directed by Giuseppe Capotondi (The Double Hour).

HanWay Films is handling international rights and will introduce the film to buyers in Cannes. UTA Independent Film Group is managing the US sale.

Set in Italy in 1970, The Burnt Orange Heresy follows an American art critic (Bang) who hooks up with a provocative woman who is touring Europe (Debicki). The new lovers travel to the Lake Como estate of an art collecting lawyer (a role still being cast) where the critic is offered a seductive deal – in exchange for a career-transforming introduction to Jerome Debney (Walken), the J.D. Salinger of the art world, he must steal a new masterpiece from the artist’s studio for the lawyer’s personal collection.

Scott B. Smith has written the screenplay, adapted from a novel by Charles Willeford. Producers are David Zander of MJZ (Spring Breakers), William Horberg (The Kite Runner) through his company Wonderful Films, and David Lancaster (Whiplash) through Rumble Films. Aeysha Walsh from MJZ and Stephanie Wilcox from Rumble Films are serving as executive producers.

The film is in pre-production ahead of a shoot this summer in Italy.

HanWay Films MD Gabrielle Stewart commented: “It is a luxury to get the perfect casting for a film, and even more thrilling to see a sexy pairing come together, like Elizabeth Debicki and Claes Bang. They are two of the most desirable international rising stars and pitch perfect leads for Capotondi’s Italian set thriller.”

Bang is represented by UTA, by Sharkey & Co in the UK and Ute Bergian in Germany. The actor’s upcoming roles include The Girl In The Spider’s Web alongside Claire Foy.

Also on HanWay’s Cannes slate is Lone Scherfig’s New York Project (previously known as Secrets From The Russian Tea Room), Reinaldo Marcus Green’s Sundance award winner Monsters And Men, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s Farming starring Damson Idris, Kate Beckinsale and Gugu Mbatha-Raw; and Kim Nguyen’s high-speed drama The Hummingbird Project starring Jesse Eisenberg, Alexander Skarsgård, and Salma Hayek.