Her.Stories: First Saudi woman filmmaker, Julie Dash’s ‘Tupelo ’77’, Detropia, Mollywood, Telluride, Baghdad, TIFF, Abortion Rights Trilogy

Woman beats the odds to make first Saudi film
at Arab Times

First Saudi Female Director, Haifaa Al Mansour and her Film ‘Wadjda’ in Venice (with video interview)
at Euro News

Julie Dash’s 1970s-Set Drama ‘Tupelo 77’ Gets A Boost – Selected For International Financing Forum
at Shadow and Act

What Can Detroit Teach the Nation? Heidi Ewing on Detropia
at the Huffington Post
(Read Lotus’s recent review of DETROPIA.)

Filmmaker Dorothy Fadiman’s Taking The Abortion Rights Trilogy on the Road
at OpEd News

‘Battle of the Sexes’ docu portrays women’s fight for equal pay in sports
at the Chicago Tribune

Amma Asante’s ‘Belle’ Moving Full Speed Ahead, Adds To Cast, Shooting Start Date Set
at Shadow and Act

The rising matriarchs of Mollywood (Malayalam film industry)
at DNA India

New Zealand Film Commission Shorts Films Announcement
at Wellywood Woman

First Look Pic, Official Synopsis For South African Thriller ‘Layla Fourie’ Starring Brit Rayna Campbell
at Shadow and Act

3-time Oscar-winner Thelma Schoonmaker wins 2nd Gucci award for women in film for ‘Hugo’
at The Washington Post

TIFF 2012: Female filmmakers in Toronto spotlight
at the Toronto Star

Women Filmmakers Ready to Rock Toronto
at the Huffington Post

TIFF Programer dishes on film roles for women, George Clooney and saying no at CityTV
at CityTV

Baghdad International Film Festival Selections + Arab Women Filmmakers Competition
at Baghdadfilmfest.com

La Femme Telluride
at Awards Daily

Venice: ‘Fill The Void’ Looks At Hasidic Community (film by Rama Burshtein)
at the Huffington Post

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SUNDANCE: day 5

WATCH LIVE STREAMING FROM 2012 SUNDANCE

Acquisitions

Director Lise Birk Pedersen’s feature-length documentary Putin’s Kiss has been picked up by UK-based distributor, Dogwoof, the distributor of the recent UK-screened Dreams of a Life by Carol Morley.  Dogwoof has theatrical distro rights for the UK, and the film is being planned for release this year.

With such a relatively high price paid for distribution rights in one country, Dogwoof must be expecting that Pedersen’s film will be enthusiastically embraced by the British film-going public.  Read the Screen International story from earlier today.

Trailer for Putin’s Kiss:

L to R: Katie Anne Naylon, Lauren Anne MillerScreenwriters Katie Anne Naylon and Lauren Anne Miller see their film For a Good Time, Call… picked up by Focus Features for theatrical distribution, for just over $2M for worldwide rights. Read the Deadline story complete with a Focus Features press release.

Storyline (from imdb): Lauren and Katie, college frenemies with a mutual good friend, move in together at age 28 in order to afford an amazing Gramercy Park apartment. The unlikely pair start a phone sex line and become best friends while learning about this hilarious world of vibrators, fake orgasms and nighttime callers. When the hot line is hung up and reality comes calling, the most meaningful relationship of their lives is put to the test.

Celeste and Jesse Forever, co-written by and starring Rashida Jones, was picked up by Sony Pictures Classics.  Theatrical distro rights include North America, Latin America and Eastern Europe.  I’ve read tweets and other bits about this film that seem to say it was a given that it’d be a standout at Sundance this year.  With comedy star-power like Rashida Jones, backed up by SNL cast member Andy Samberg, how could it not?  Variety indicates that the price was $2M (but no word on what territories the rights apply to, yet). Read the Screen Daily story for a few more details on the SPC deal.

Beasts of the Southern Wild, co-written by Lucy Alibar, was finally picked up after a few days of speculation in the press (and by more than a few brokers, I’m sure).  Fox Searchlight secured theatrical distribution rights, but I haven’t found anything yet on what was paid.

Updates:  Director Katie Aselton’s feature film, Black Rock, as I’ve mentioned here on the blog a couple of times already, was picked up by LD Distribution, but I’ve finally found a figure through Variety that says the price was $1M.  No word yet on the territories that distribution covers: worldwide, U.S., who knows?

I predicted yesterday that Leslye Headland’s feature Bachelorette would be picked up during or soon after the Sundance Film Festival, and Sharon Waxman over at The Wrap seems to think so, too.  Interesting comparison with John Hughes’ movies, but let’s just hope Headland gave her film a heart like Hughes did with every film he ever made.  And, uh, I can’t stand the comment about Gloria Steinem at the end of the article!  Read and share in my painy pissed-offness.

Other Deals

Apparently on Sunday (day 4 of Sundance), director Julie Dash finalized a deal to direct Tupelo ’77, a feature film written by Rich Mancuso.  From a Reuters news article (scroll to “Also on Sunday” heading for details), the film is described as a story “set in a small town in Mississippi in the summer of 1977. It tells the story of a group of women of various ages and races who are regulars at a roadside diner. The summer of 1977 — the year Elvis Presley died — is the hottest on record in Mississippi.”  Shooting begins summer 2012; casting has begun.  I am SO excited about this!

Day 5

Screenings

Among the films by women screened at Sundance on day five were the following titles.  Check out the trailers for the films by clicking on the highlighted links below. How pathetic, I could only find one trailer!  It seems there are very few Sundance movie trailers out now.

2 Days in New York (writer-director Julie Delpy)

The Atomic States of America (co-director Sheena M. Joyce; based on book by Kelly McMasters)

Bachelorette (writer-director Leslye Headland)

Daughters of the Dust (writer-director Julie Dash)                                                         Film released in 1991, this is part of a series of films being shown again to Sundance audiences.

My Best Day (writer-director Erin Greenwell)                                                             (Thanks to Harris Doran for posting a comment with a link to the YouTube trailer.)

Slavery by Another Name (writer Sheila Curran Bernard)

Young & Wild (writer-director Marialy Rivas; Rivas credited writer with Camila Gutierrez and two male writers)

Your Sister’s Sister (writer-director Lynn Shelton)