European Film Award Nods; More Buys at TIFF


Saoirse Ronan in Neil Jordan's Byzantium.

IFC Films picks up Neil Jordan's Byzantium
IFC Films bought U.S. distribution rights for Byzantium, from The Crying Game director Neil Jordan, just after its World Premiere at Toronto International Film Festival on Sunday, according to Indiewire, which puts the deal at $1 million-plus. Byzantium stars Gemma Aterton (Quantum of Solace), Saoirse Ronan (Atonement), Sam Riley (Control) and Jonny Lee Miller (Trainspotting) and tells the story of two female vampires suckling Brits in a seaside village. In other distribution news, Roadside Attractions acquired its third film at TIFF (in partnership with Lionsgate) in Stuart Blumberg's Thanks for Sharing. Earlier in the week the companies took on Kristen Wiig's comedy Imogene and Roadside alone bought rights to Sarah Polley's Stories We Tell.

New Sarah Polley documentary resonates at festivals
Just after Take This Waltz opened in U.S. theaters, director Sarah Polley was already preparing to debut her most personal film yet. Spurred by a Canadian journalist's threats to report a family rumor, Polley convinced the journalist to hold off and began making a film about the story herself. Stories We Tell is a documentary about Polley's family (specifically her parents), but also a narrative about families in general, blurring the line between documentary and fiction.

"Making this film was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It took five years and tormented me," Polley wrote in a recent blog post, "and as the story was told, or perhaps because the story was told—it changed. So I decided to make a film about our need to tell stories, to own our stories, to understand them, and to have them heard." Roadside Attractions announced a deal for the film on Monday and plans an early 2013 U.S. release. Check out Eugene Hernandez's post on the FilmLinc blog for more on Stories We Tell.


Sarah Polley's Stories We Tell

European Film Awards: 47 films selected for possible nominations
The European Film Awards announced on Tuesday the 47 films for the 2012 EFA Selection list. Thirty-one countries represent the 47 films that are up for nominations. Films for the 25th European Film Awards include some NYFF picks and a few other Film Society favorites: Barbara, Beyond the Hills, Caesar Must Die, Diaz: Don't Clean Up This Blood (Open Roads '12), Faust (Film Comment Selects '12), Amour, Once Upon A Time in Anatolia (NYFF '11), Our Children, Shun Li and the Poet (Open Roads '12), and Tabu. Check out the full list here. Voting continues over the following weeks. Official nominations will be announced on November 3 at the Seville European Film Festival in Spain. 

Possible Friedkin, Cage project
Nicolas Cage will star in the action thriller I Am Wrath about a vigilanEurote hero chasing down his wife's murderer because the cops can't be trusted. William Friedkin, who recently dazzled and disturbed Film Society audiences at a sneak preview of Killer Joe, is looking to direct, according to Deadline. The film will be produced by Emmett/Furla films.

Marley now on Netflix Instant
If you missed Marley from Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Kevin MacDonald during its lively three-week run in the Film Center Amphitheater, you're in luck because the film is now streaming on Netflix. MacDonald (One Day in September, The Last King of Scotland) provides more than musical history in this personal look at Bob Marley, which includes rare footage and interviews with those closest to "Tuff Gong." The doc's executive producers include Marley's son Ziggy Marley and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell.

Time Out London says, "Though some longtime followers of Marley may find themselves surprised or even shocked by some of the revelations Macdonald offers up, such an honest depiction can only contribute to a deeper appreciation of this remarkable artist."

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Sarah Polley Doc Stirs Festival Circuit image

Sarah Polley Doc Stirs Festival Circuit

The buzz film of the late summer festival circuit is Stories We Tell, an investigative look at Polley's own family. The documentary is surprising and engaging moviegoers.

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