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Thompson on Hollywood

Focus Features International Nabs Deals on Mike Leigh's J.M.W. Turner Passion Project, and on Amy Winehouse Documentary

Focus Features International has announced multi-territory sales on writer-director Mike Leigh's J.M.W. Turner biopic, a long-gestating passion project starring Leigh regular Timothy Spall as the renowned Brit painter; and on Asif Kapadia's untitled documentary on troubled singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse, who died in 2011.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • June 3, 2013 4:22 PM
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First Look: Focus Unveils Summer Slate, 'The World's End' and 'Closed Circuit'

Focus Features will release two films this summer as counterprogramming aimed at the smart demo.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 22, 2013 4:21 PM
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Berlin: Focus Features Reteams with Laika for 'Boxtrolls,' Snaps Up Rights for Upstairs-Downstairs Jane Austen Spin 'Longbourn'

Focus acquisitions from Berlin include LAIKA's "The Boxtrolls" and Jane Austen-inspired "Longbourn"...
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • February 7, 2013 1:51 PM
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Focus Features Adds Kujawski to Sundance Acquisition Team

Universal Pictures is sending Executive Vice President of Worldwide Acquisitions Peter Kujawski to the Sundance Film Festival, which starts Thursday, to search for film acquisitions for not only the studio but specialized film division Focus Features. The studio wants to centralize and streamline its global acquisitions efforts.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 16, 2013 1:59 PM
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Weekend Recap: 'Only God Forgives' Teaser, Naomi Watts as Princess Di, Twenty-Somethings on 'Girls,' and HBO/Hulu Changes

Film Comment posted the "50 Best Undistributed Films of 2012," beginning with "Our Children" (Joachim Lafosse, Belgium/Luxembourg/France/Switzerland), followed by "Memories Look at Me" (Song Fang, China) and "First Cousin Once Removed" (Alan Berliner, U.S.). Read their full list here.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • January 7, 2013 3:08 PM
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Disney Screenwriter Kelly Marcel to Write 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Adaptation

Moving from "Mary Poppins" to erotic fiction overnight, screenwriter Kelly Marcel has been hired to write the adaptation of E.L. James' bestseller "Fifty Shades of Grey." Universal and Focus Features have the rights to all three books. Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti ("A Social Network") are producing.
  • By Anne Thompson & Sophia Savage
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  • October 8, 2012 3:42 PM
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Focus Features' 5th Annual Africa First Winners

Five filmmakers have been selected for Focus Features' fifth annual Africa First Program, an initiative developed exclusively for emerging filmmakers of African nationality and residence. Each filmmaker will be awarded $10K for their prospective short film projects. Full list of award recipients and films below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • October 3, 2012 2:23 PM
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Wright's 'World's End' Goes Into Production, with Pegg, Frost, Freeman & Considine Heading Cast

Edgar Wright's "The World's End," his next team-up with co-writer Simon Pegg and the third installment in the loose trilogy with "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz," has gone into production. All the Wright usuals are onboard, with Nick Frost, Martin Freeman (soon to be known to the world as Bilbo Baggins) and Paddy Considine joining Pegg in the cast.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • September 28, 2012 3:43 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Damon, Krasinski & Van Sant's Fracking Drama 'Promised Land' Hits Theaters December 28 for Oscar-Qualifying Run

Focus Features will release Matt Damon and John Krasinski's anti-fracking movie "Promised Land," which the pair co-wrote and star in together, in NY and LA theaters December 28 for an Oscar-qualifying run, followed by a January 2013 expansion.
  • By Anne Thompson & Sophia Savage
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  • August 23, 2012 5:05 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Trailer Watch: Joe Wright's Sumptuous 'Anna Karenina' Waltzes Between Stage and Location

The trailer for Joe Wright's likely Oscar contender "Anna Karenina" has landed, and it looks like Wright's decision to give the film a sumptuous stage setting is delivering in spades. Watch below as the characters (Keira Knightley plays the title role) waltz between gilded, illuminated amphitheatres and actual locations.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • June 20, 2012 4:23 PM
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  • 8 Comments

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