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Thompson on Hollywood

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

Arthouse Audit: Massive Opening for "Moonrise Kingdom" Shows that Festivals Matter (UPDATED 4 DAY FIGURES)

"Moonrise Kingdom" opened with some of the best platform grosses ever, even adjusting for inflation, but it isn't the only good news out there. "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" had a terrific expansion, while the massive international hit "Intouchables" had a lesser, if still encouraging, NY/LA opening.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • May 28, 2012 5:36 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Trailer Watch: Bill Murray is FDR in 'Hyde Park on Hudson'

Bill Murray stars as President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Roger Michel's "Hyde Park on Hudson," about the true story of a the President's country retreat on the Hudson when he, his wife (Olivia Williams) and mistress (Laura Linney) were joined by King George VI (Samuel West) and Queen Elizabeth (Olivia Colman).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 18, 2012 6:27 PM
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  • 1 Comment

EL James Does 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Promo Tour (Video)

Curious about EL James, author of erotic fantasy fiction "Fifty Shades of Grey"? The Twihard, who started out writing "Twilight" fan fiction before penning her own trilogy (which has been bought for the movies, under her control, by Universal and Focus Features), has been on a promo tour as her three Vintage books have sold 3 million digital and print copies in less than a month and top the New York Times bestseller list. They are also bestsellers in the UK, New Zealand and Australia. Translated books are about to hit other countries too.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 12, 2012 2:36 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Focus Features' Africa First Celebrates its Fifth Year; Accepting Entries for 2012 Prize

  • By Maggie Lange
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  • May 9, 2012 11:39 AM
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Van Sant's 'Promised Land' Begins Production with Damon, Krasinski, DeWitt, MacDormand, Holbrook & McNairy

Gus Van Sant's "Promised Land," written by and starring Matt Damon and John Krasinski, begins production this week in Pennsylvania. Participant is co-producing with Focus Features, which holds worldwide rights; the film will be shopped at Cannes and is slated for release next winter.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 24, 2012 6:10 PM
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Focus World & Tugg Team for 'Extraterrestrial' Theatrical and VOD Release

Focus Features' VOD label Focus World is partnering with Tugg to release Nacho Vigalondo's "Extraterrestrial" in theaters and through VOD beginning June 15. "Extraterrestrial" is set to play theaters in Brooklyn, Seattle, North Hollywood, and Texas' Alamo Drafthouse cinemas, and will expand to wherever audiences demand it through Tugg.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 17, 2012 7:10 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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