72ND VENICE FILM FESTIVAL
Premier's Venice Film Festival slate comprised three films in competition, two in Orizzonti, two Out of Competition and one in Critics' Week.
Anomalisa was one of the few films universally acclaimed by critics in Venice, and was awarded the festival's Grand Jury Prize. A darkly comic and surreal stop-motion journey, Anomalisa centres on a motivational speaker in crisis, struggling with his inability to connect to people. Directors Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson presented the film in Venice alongside voice cast Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tom Noonan.
The Clan followed its record breaking debut in Argentina, where it sold almost 900,000 tickets in its first week on release, by winning the Silver Lion for Best Director (Pablo Trapero) in Venice. Based on the true story of the Puccio family, The Clan is a sinister and chilling story of a family that made its living from kidnapping and murder. Stars Guillermo Francella and Peter Lanzani attended the festival alongside Pablo Trapero.
Childhood of a Leader, which screened in the Orrizonti section, won the Luigi de Laurentiis Venice Award for Debut Film, and director Brady Corbet also won the Best Director Horizons award, presented by Jonathan Demme. Robert Pattinson, Bérénice Bejo, Stacy Martin and Liam Cunningham star in the historical drama, which details the childhood of a fascist leader during World War I.
The widely acclaimed Tanna picked up the Critics' Week Audience Award, and director Bentley Dean won the FEDEORA award for Best Cinematography. Based on a true story, Tanna is the first feature film to come out of Vanuatu, telling the tale of a young couple who are torn between true love and the future of their tribes. The film was created with and is performed by members of the Yakel tribe, some of whom attended the Venice Film Festival in their traditional clothing, with grass skirts, penis sheaths and head feathers.
Completing Premier's slate at the festival this year were: Spotlight (Out of Competition), starring Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Brian D'Arcy James and Stanley Tucci, which tells the riveting true story of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe investigation that would rock the city and cause a crisis in one of the world's oldest and most trusted institutions; Atom Egoyan's Remember (Competition), which follows an elderly man with dementia on a cross-continent road trip in order to find the Nazi guard who is responsible for murdering his family some 70 years ago; Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow's highly acclaimed documentary De Palma (Out of Competition), about the legendary director Brian De Palma, and Nicolas Saada's Taj Mahal (Orrizonti), based on the experiences of a teenager trapped in a Mumbai luxury hotel during the November 2008 terrorist attacks.
40TH TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Premier's Film team handled the international publicity for two Gala Presentations and one Special Presentation at the 40th Toronto International Film Festival.
Room followed in the footsteps of Academy Award® winners Slumdog Millionaire, The King's Speech and 12 Years A Slave by winning TIFF's top prize, The People's Choice Award, voted for by audiences. Adapted from Emma Donoghue's bestselling, Booker shortlisted novel, the film tells the story of a young woman and her five-year-old son, and their struggle to adjust to the strange, terrifying and wondrous world outside the one-room prison they have been held captive in for several years. Director Lenny Abrahamson, Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen and Emma Donoghue were all in attendance in Toronto.
Based on an Oscar®-winning short documentary and adapted by the writer of Philadelphia, Freeheld (Gala Presentation) tells the true story of a decorated New Jersey police detective who is diagnosed with cancer, and her fight for justice and equality when she is denied the right to leave her pension to her female domestic partner, a right accorded to married officers. Julianne Moore, Ellen Page and Michael Shannon joined director Peter Sollett in Toronto.
Finally Premier handled Stephen Frears' The Program (Gala Presentation), a thriller about the doping scandal and downfall of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, starring Ben Foster as Armstrong and Chris O'Dowd as David Walsh, the journalist who exposed him. Both lead actors plus director Frears and Walsh himself presented the film at its World Premiere at TIFF.
63rd SAN SEBASTIAN FILM FESTIVAL
Premier's Film team handled four titles at the San Sebastian Film Festival: opening night film Regression from Alejandro Amenábar; Official Selection titles High-Rise, presented by director Ben Wheatley, and cast Tom Hiddleston, Sienna Miller and Luke Evans, and Freeheld (attended by director Peter Sollett plus Ellen Page); and Anomalisa which was presented by its two directors Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson in the Pearls section.
72ND VENICE FILM FESTIVAL