Posts Tagged ‘brand integration’

Hannibal Classics to sell Robert De Niro’s “Bus 657” at Cannes

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

Hannibal Classics to sell Robert De Niro’s “Bus 657” at Cannes

May 6, 2015 – 15:43 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net – Hannibal Classics has come on to sell the star-studded action-thriller “Bus 657” at Cannes. The heist movie, which stars Robert De Niro, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kate Bosworth, Morris Chestnut and “Guardians of the Galaxy’s” Dave Bautista, will be screened for the first time to world buyers, TheWrap reports.

Described as a mix of “Dog Day Afternoon” and “Speed,” with the added twists and turns of such heist movies as “Ocean’s Eleven” and “Inside Man,” the movie stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Luke Vaughn, a broke father desperate to save his daughter’s life as her medical bills pile up. Vaughn soon turns to his boss, casino owner and retiring mob-boss Francis “Pope” Silva (De Niro), for help. Pope rejects his pleas, forcing Vaughn resort to other means. Facing an impossible deadline for his daughter’s life-saving surgery, Vaughn joins forces with a psychotic co-worker (Bautista) to rob Pope’s casino. When the daring heist goes awry, Vaughn and his partners take refuge on bus 657, taking several commuters hostage. The cops and Pope close in as Vaughn’s deadline approaches.

Scott Mann (“The Tournament”) directed from a script by Stephen Cyrus Sepher and Max Adams. Randall Emmett and George Furla produced “Bus 657,” which was executive produced by Hannibal’s Richard Rionda Del Castro and Patricia Eberle.

The film will be distributed in the U.S. by Grindstone Entertainment through Lionsgate, and final delivery will be available to international distributors in June.

Founded in 2010 by Richard Rionda Del Castro, Hannibal Classics specializes in the production, financing and distribution of feature-length theatrical motion pictures with large budgets.

Heading for Cannes this year, Hannibal Classics will be selling John Travolta‘s “I Am Wrath” and Nicolas Cage‘s “USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage,” as well as “Warbirds,” “Red Squad” and “Dobermann: Cops Blood Never Dries.”


Hollywood star Nicole Kidman plays our answer to Lara Croft in new film Queen Of The Desert

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

THUMBS-UP: Hollywood star Nicole Kidman plays Gertrude Bell in Queen Of The Desert.

A NEW film telling the story of Wearside’s answer to Lara Croft has won the approval of the woman who knows her best.

Queen Of The Desert stars Nicole Kidman as Washington-born Gertrude Bell, the woman who worked with Lawrence of Arabia during First World War and played a critical role in shaping the modern Middle East.

LIFE ON FILM:  Known as the uncrowned queen of Iraq,  Gertrude Bell was once the most powerful woman in the British Empire.

LIFE ON FILM: Known as the uncrowned queen of Iraq, Gertrude Bell was once the most powerful woman in the British Empire.

Directed by Werner Herzog, the movie also stars Twlight’s Robert Pattinson as Lawrence; James Franco as Viscount Chelsea, Henry Arthur Cadogan; and Homeland’s Damien Lewis as Major Charles Doughty-Wylie, the married man with whom Gertrude had an unconsummated affair and who is believed to be the reason she never married.

Jan Long has been fascinated by Gertrude’s story for years and led the campaign to get a blue plaque in her memory at Gertrude’s family home, Dame Margaret Hall.

She was part of an invited audience at a private screening of the movie in London, at which Gertrude’s great-nephew Mark Bell spoke about living in the family homes that were inhabited by his most famous relation.

Jan gave the new movie the thumbs-up, despite then fact it takes a few liberties with the actual history.

I am thrilled that this film will at last catapult Gertrude Bell into the limelight and out of the shadows.

Jan Hall, campaigner for Gertrude Bell

“London was great fun and it was good to meet so many people with an interest in Gertrude Bell and, of course, Werner Herzog productions,” she said.

“As for the film, it was visually stunning with wonderful landscapes and lavishly detailed costumes.

“The soundtrack, coupled with the most amazingly haunting musical score, could not be faulted.”

Jan was full of praise for the woman charged with bringing her heroine to life: “Nicole Kidman shone and gave a very credible performance of how we imagine Gertrude to have been,” she said.

STAMP OF APPROVAL: Jan Long with her invitation to the screening of Queen Of The Desert and a  cigarette case which belonged to Gertrude Bell.

STAMP OF APPROVAL: Jan Long with her invitation to the screening of Queen Of The Desert and a cigarette case which belonged to Gertrude Bell.

“For those wanting to see a great love story and an extraordinary woman, this gorgeous film fits the bill exactly.

“However, for the scholars amongst us, there were liberties taken with the chronology and some factual content.

“That said, I am thrilled that this film will at last catapult Gertrude Bell into the limelight and out of the shadows.”

Gertrude smoked heavily, often rolling her own cigarettes, which she kept in a beautifully-inscribed silver case bearing the name “Gertrude (Margaret Lothian) Bell”.

ORIENTAL SECRETARY:   Gertrude Bell helped Lawrence of Arabia set up Iraq.

ORIENTAL SECRETARY: Gertrude Bell helped Lawrence of Arabia set up Iraq.

Jan is now the proud owner of the case, which Gertrude used throughout her desert and world travels.

She is unsure of the date and maker of the case and hopes a local jeweller or silversmith will be able to shed some light on its provenance, in order to solve the mystery of who presented it to Gertrude.

Who was Gertrude Bell?

GERTRUDE Bell was born in July 1868 in Washington Hall (later known as Dame Margaret Hall), the granddaughter of industrialist Sir Isaac Lowthian Bell and daughter of Sir Hugh Bell, who spent three spells as Mayor of Middlesbrough.

She was educated at Queen’s College and went on to study history at Oxford University, receiving a first class honours degree in two years.

After graduation, she travelled to Tehran to visit her uncle Sir Frank Lascelles, who was the equivalent of British ambassador in Persia.

She spent much of the next decade travelling the world, during which time she became passionately interested in archaeology and fluent in Arabic, Persian, French and German as well as also speaking Italian and Turkish.

She returned to the Middle East in 1899 and travelled repeatedly across the region in the following years.

In her book Syria: The Desert and the Sown, published in 1907, she described visits to the likes of Damascus, Jerusalem, Beirut and Alexandretta.

In 1909 she visited Carchemish, where she first met Lawrence. The pair were reunited in Cairo in November 1915, by which time they were both working for British intelligence.

Gertrude became the only female political officer in the British forces and in 1917 was given the title of “Oriental Secretary”.

She and Lawrence were among a group of experts convened by Winston Churchill in 1921 to determine the borders of British power and establish the borders of such new countries as Iraq.

Gertrude was awarded the Order of the British Empire for her work in the region.

Gertrude Bell died of an overdose of sleeping pills in July 1926, though it is unclear whether it was deliberate.

She was buried in the British cemetery in Baghdad, her funeral attended by hundreds of people.

Source: Sunderland Echo / Kevin Clark / 05/06/15

[Sundance ’15] ‘Z for Zachariah’ and ‘The Witch’ to Premiere

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

The Sundance Film Festival is the premiere fest for independent cinema.

Today they’ve begun unloading their announcements, and while the Midnight titles won’t be revealed until tomorrow, we have found two genre films playing in other Sundance programs.

Pictured above and in the below gallery is The Witch, hailing out of the U.S. and Canada.

Robert Eggers both writes and directs with Anya Taylor Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Lucas Dawson, Ellie Grainger starring.

New England in the 1630s: William and Katherine lead a devout Christian life with five children, homesteading on the edge of an impassable wilderness. When their newborn son vanishes and crops fail, the family turns on one another. Beyond their worst fears, a supernatural evil lurks in the nearby wood.

Craig Zobel’s Z for Zachariah will also premiere.

In a post-apocalyptic world, a young woman who believes she is the last human on Earth meets a dying scientist searching for survivors. Their relationship becomes tenuous when another survivor appears. As the two men compete for the woman’s affection, their primal urges begin to reveal their true nature.

Cast includes Chiwetel Ejiofor, Margot Robbie, and Chris Pine.

Z for Zachariah

Source: Bloody Disgusting / MrDisgusting

First Look: ‘Z for Zachariah’ Starring Chris Pine, Margot Robbie, Chiwetel Ejiofor

Monday, November 10th, 2014

Z for Zachariah First Look


NOVEMBER 8, 2014 | 03:09PM PT

Variety has the exclusive first look photo from Craig Zobel’s “Z for Zachariah,” starring Chris Pine, Margot Robbie and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Adapted from Robert C. O’Brien post-apocalyptic 1974 novel, the thriller follows a small-town girl (Robbie) who lives alone on a farm in the only valley with breathable air in the wake of nuclear war. Her world is turned upside down when two strangers wander in from the forest.

The film is directed by Craig Zobel, produced by Material Pictures, and exec produced by Lucky Hat Entertainment along with Silver Reel and Lotus Entertainment, who is handling international sales.

The sci-fier is slated for release next year.

Source: Variety

AFM: Robert De Niro’s ‘Bus 657′ Picks Up Foreign Sales

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Robert DeNiro Criminal Justice


OCTOBER 31, 2014 | 06:38AM PT

Heist film “Bus 657″ has sold to a dozen territories with production wrapping in Mobile, Ala.

The Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films production stars Robert De Niro, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kate Bosworth,Dave Bautista, Gina Carano, Morris Chestnut, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, DB Sweeney and Lydia Hull.

Hannibal Classics is handling foreign sales at next week’s American Film Market.

Scott Mann is directing from a script by Stephen Sepher and Max Adams, based on a story by Sepher.Producers are Sepher, Randall Emmett, George Furla and Alexander Tabrizi.

Morgan and Bautista portray characters who partner to rob the casino where they both work – only to end up hijacking a bus and using the hostages as collateral when plans go awry. Chestnut portrays the enforcer for the casino’s owner, played by De Niro.

Bus 657 has sold in Benelux to BBI Films; France to Marco Polo Production SAS; Germany to Elite Film AG; Greece to Hollywood Entertainment; Spain to Fisher Film Distribution Worldwide; the UK to Lionsgate International;  and Australia and New Zealand to Anchor Bay Entertainment Australia Pty.

Source: Variety / Dave McNary

Coming Soon to Theaters Near You: E-Cigarettes

Monday, September 15th, 2014

LOS ANGELES—A new film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “Cymbeline” stars Ethan Hawke and takes place in the present day. It even gives one lead character a very current accessory: an electronic cigarette.

Throughout the movie, actress Milla Jovovich puffs away on an e-cigarette called a SmokeStik. In one scene, signs for the brand hang in a convenience store next to condoms and calling cards.

The product’s cameo appearance comes courtesy of Canada-based SmokeStik International Inc.—in just the kind of paid-product placement that has been off-limits to traditional tobacco companies in Hollywood for nearly two decades.

“I don’t see a problem with glamorizing something that saves lives,” says SmokeStik’s chief executive, Bill Marangos. Like others in his business, he considers e-cigarettes to be a less-harmful alternative to traditional smokes.

“Cymbeline” is a movie with limited distribution. But the SmokeStik deal has far-reaching implications for Hollywood and big tobacco—two industries that have been entwined in a complicated relationship for more than half a century.

The film business was hooked on smoking by the time Audrey Hepburn wielded an elegant cigarette holder in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and Humphrey Bogart lighted up at Rick’s Café Américain in “Casablanca.”

But for the past 16 years, cigarette companies have been blacklisted in Hollywood. Thanks to a sweeping settlement agreement between the state governments and big tobacco intended to minimize smoking’s glamorous sheen, cigarette brands aren’t allowed to pay for product placement in films or hire celebrity spokespeople.

E-cigarette companies, however, aren’t bound by that 1998 agreement with 46 state attorneys general, and are moving quickly to enlist Hollywood in pitching their products.

At the same time, big-tobacco firms have been snapping up the makers of e-cigarettes, whose exemption from traditional marketing rules opens the door for the old guard to do business with Hollywood once again through their new subsidiaries.

The collaborations come as federal and state authorities have yet to issue broader rules on marketing and permitted use that would cover most of the e-cigarette industry.

“I think they’re quite aware that at some point, regulation is going to happen,” says Pamela Ling, a professor at the University of California San Francisco who studies tobacco marketing. “There is a spirit of, ‘As long as we can get away with this, let’s do it now!’ ”

Meanwhile, e-cigarette sales grew to more than $710 million last year, up from $2.2 million in 2009, according to IRI, a Chicago-based market-research firm. That doesn’t include sales conducted over the Internet or at specialty tobacco or “vape shops,” pushing the number closer to $2 billion, according to some industry estimates.

High-profile manufacturers have hired celebrity representatives to feed that growth, like Lorillard Inc. Blu brand, which enlisted former talk show host Jenny McCarthy. But the most aggressive moves have come from small, independent operators who say their distance from traditional tobacco makes Hollywood more willing to work with them.

Such is the case with SmokeStik, which plans to feature products in “Cymbeline” and about five other films, says Mr. Marangos. “Cymbeline” producers didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Mr. Marangos wouldn’t say how much the company paid for the placements, but he does allow: “They know we pay well.”

Vapor Corp. , a publicly traded company whose brands include Krave, is getting ready for its close-up with direct help from Hollywood: In March, Relativity Media LLC CEO Ryan Kavanaugh joined the Vapor Corp. board of directors. He is paid in company shares to present opportunities for Vapor Corp. integration into films and television shows.

Mr. Kavanaugh, whose studio has distributed movies like “Don Jon,” starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and produces MTV’s “Catfish,” described his marketing strategy at an investor conference in March.

“What I offer: having access to the other side of the world, which is access to entertainment and film and talent and athletes and television, digital, music,” said Mr. Kavanaugh, according to an audio recording of the presentation.

Vapor Corp. is a client of Relativity’s marketing arm, and plans for the company include a “natural, integrated, viral campaign” for Vapor Corp.’s products over the next two years, he said. In a media environment where viewers often fast-forward through commercials, an advertising campaign must be so integrated into a feature that audiences don’t know they’re being marketed to, he said.

Vapor Corp. CEO Jeffrey Holman said the promotional strategy is likely to involve product placements in Relativity movies and TV shows, beginning at the script stage. He wouldn’t comment on specific plans while deals are still being negotiated. Mr. Kavanaugh recently helped get the company’s e-cigarettes into glitzy parties at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, he added.

If a traditional tobacco company were to participate in such a promotional partnership, Dr. Ling says, it “would be seen as totally distasteful and unethical behavior.” Mr. Holman called that an “unfair analogy,” saying his industry shouldn’t be lumped in with combustible cigarettes. “We’re the guys in the white hats,” he said.

The e-cigarette’s arrival in Hollywood comes as tobacco products are still seen in many films—appearing as props written into the script rather than paid-placement items. About 38% of top-grossing PG-13 movies in 2013 featured tobacco imagery, compared with 80% in 2002, according to a UC San Francisco report.

The same study, which covered about 1,700 films over an 11-year period, found tobacco imagery in just over 20% of G- and PG-rated movies and in more than 80% of R-rated movies in 2013—the highest share since 2007.

When he founded SmokeStik nearly seven years ago, Hollywood wasn’t on Mr. Marangos’s mind. A Toronto engineer and former three-pack-a-day smoker, Mr. Marangos attracted new customers by giving away e-cigarette starter kits in Ziploc bags.

Then a business associate met actor Justin Neill about five years ago in a freebie “gifting suite” at the Academy Awards. Mr. Neill’s career was fizzling; he’d started in commercials as a child and hadn’t worked much since a bit role as a pushy jock in 2002’s “Spider-Man.”

Mr. Neill, now a 33-year-old marketing executive, quickly became SmokeStik’s man in Hollywood.

His tactics were on full display on a recent Thursday night. He began the evening at a party for personal assistants of celebrities. Carrying a box of complimentary SmokeStiks for the crowd, he said, “I’ve seen firsthand the power of assistants.”

An old friend of Mr. Neill’s who worked for “Grey’s Anatomy” star Katherine Heigl got a SmokeStik to the actress. When Ms. Heigl used it during a 2010 appearance on “The Late Show With David Letterman “—something SmokeStik says it didn’t ask her to do—the company couldn’t keep up with demand for two months. SmokeStik thanked Ms. Heigl by donating a portion of sales to an animal-rescue charity that the actress founded.

While Mr. Neill was spreading SmokeStiks across Hollywood, the e-cigarette began making its first unpaid appearances on screen. The effect wasn’t exactly glamorous.

In “The Hangover Part III,” for instance, actor John Goodman plays a mob kingpin who smokes e-cigarettes. The movie’s writer, Craig Mazin, appreciated the irony of an overweight hit man with the affectation of an e-cigarette.

Traditional cigarettes are “part of our collective film vocabulary,” says Mr. Mazin. “The e-cigarette is such a ridiculous analog. It just seems like such a goofy substitute.”

“Cymbeline” was recently screened at the Venice International Film Festival and was acquired for distribution in spring 2015 by a branch of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.

For Mr. Neill, placing a SmokeStik into the hand of Ms. Jovovich, a former supermodel, can only enhance the product’s status.

“If Hollywood is doing it,” he says, “then it must be the best.”

—Mike Esterl contributed to this article.

By Erich Schwartzel at Wall Street Journal

New Cymbeline Trailer Online

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

With the film at the Venice Film Festival for its world premiere, Lionsgate has nabbed the North American rights to Michael Almereyda’s present-day take on Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. To announce the fact, a new trailer has arrived.

The Bard’s story of lust, greed and revenge has been updated to a filthy, corruption-riddled urban American setting, where an epic battle between dirty cops and a drug-dealing biker gang is set to explode into life thanks to bad decisions and the raging hormones of two young lovers.

On the page, the story is a labyrinthine romance that includes deception, disguises, cross-dressing and supernatural intervention. We don’t see much evidence of the spookier elements, but there are a lot of guns and cars on display, plus a cast that includes Ed Harris, Ethan Hawke, Milla Jovovich, John Leguizamo, Penn Badgley, Dakota Johnson and Anton Yelchin brushing up their Shakespeare.

Cymbeline should see US cinemas next spring. We’ll have to wait and see if – or more probably, when – it travels to these shores.

Source: Empire Online // James White

Ken Jeong Will Try To Kill David Hasselhoff in new comedy

Thursday, August 21st, 2014


EXCLUSIVEThe Hangover‘s Ken Jeong has signed on to star in a comedy currently known as Untitled Celebrity Death Pool, to be co-produced by Ashok Amritraj’s Hyde Park Entertainment, Image Nation Abu Dhabi, and WWE Studios. Jeong will play a struggling nightclub owner in debt to a loan shark who sets out to win his long-running celebrity death pool by offing his chosen celebrity: David Hasselhoff.

The Hoff himself is aboard to co-star and also will produce with WWE Studios President Michael Luisi, Hyde Park’s Amritraj, Michele Berk, Patrick Hughes and Warren Zide. Wrestling icon Hulk Hogan also has signed on for a role. Diary Of A Mad Black Woman helmer Darren Grant is directing from a spec script by Peter Hoare. It’s the latest collaboration between WWE Studios and Hyde Park, which pacted last year on the Dwayne Johnson film adaptation of The Fall Guy, a rare comedic venture for WWE Studios. Eric Gardner will executive produce and Hyde Park International will handle foreign sales.

As with its previous film properties, WWE Studios will leverage its multi-platform network to promote the film. The LA-based production arm of wrestling megabrand WWE first dove into features in 2002 and has been placing its ring stars on the big screen since in such films as The Scorpion King, See No Evil, The Marine, and 12 Rounds. The company has been branching out of late, joining with Relativity and Blumhouse on the TIFF horror picOculus and pacting with Lionsgate on a six-film action deal. They also collaborated with Warner Bros. Animation on March’s co-branded animated feature Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery.

WWE Studios’ Bradley Buchanan negotiated the Celebrity Death Pool deal with Hyde Park Entertainment’s Allen Babakhanloo. Jeong, who is filming Universal’s Ride Along 2, is repped by CAA and Aligned Entertainment. Hoare and writing partner Chris Lilli have sold pitches to Comedy Central and have buddy comedy Everybody Wants Head set up with Sentinel Pictures and David Permut. Hoare is repped by manager Kailey Marsh and Stone, Meyer, Genow, Smelkinson & Binder, LLP.

Jim Caviezel Has a ‘Hoosiers’ Moment with ‘When the Game Stands Tall’

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Clockwise from top, producer David Zelon,


AUGUST 5, 2014 | 12:40PM PT

Teamwork was at the top of everyone’s mind Monday as the cast and creators – and real-life inspiration of “When the Game Stands Tall” arrived at the ArcLight for the film’s premiere. Inspired by the true story of football coach Bob Ladouceur, the De La Salle High School Spartans and their legendary 151-game winning streak, the film takes viewers off the field and into the lives of the players and Coach Lad, as his players lovingly call him.

“It’s such a great story about what it is to be on a real sports team,” said Matthew Daddario, who plays Danny Ladouceur, the son of the coach. “I don’t think I’ll ever be part of a project that is quite as meaningful to my life. This is a very special story.”

As they walked the astroturf-esque green carpet complete with goal posts, the entire team gushed over their pride in being the first to tell the story, and remarked over what they learned from Coach Lad and his team in the process.

Actor Joe Massingill told Variety that he had been aware of De La Salle’s story from his own time in high school, and was thrilled to have the opportunity to combine his love of acting and football for the film after having to quit playing in college for medical reasons. “I pulled out all the stops,” he said of prepping for the role that reaffirmed to him that hard work pays off. “A lot of the stuff we do as kids in sports and in school is not about achieving some fame status or professional sports status – it’s about learning about accountability, responsibility and what hard work is.”

“We need to know that we’re here for each other to help us get back up,” added Ser’darius Blain about the film’s message. Blain said that working on the project also brought the actors closer together and that he and his castmates now spend time together off the clock. “It’s a true sense of brotherhood that we’ve been able to build throughout this process. It’s an amazing story of endurance and perseverance, brotherhood and family.”

Jim Caviezel, who stars as Coach Ladouceur saw a bit of his own past in the film. As a high school basketball player Caviezel and his team had gone to see the 1986 pic “Hoosiers” before playing a big game. “That night we played our hearts out and beat them, and I felt in my career if I could ever find something like ‘Hoosiers’ to be a part of…” he mused, “and this was that movie.”

“The coach never focused on winning,” remarked Caviezel, “he would say ‘I’m not asking you to play a perfect game, what you should be asking of yourselves is to give a perfect effort.’”

“He doesn’t just coach, he teaches,” said the film’s director Thomas Carter. “He’s interested in building character in these kids, not just winning football games, and that’s more rare than it should be.”

Coach Lad himself and his best friend and assistant coach Terry Eidson walked the carpet, still reeling over the excitement.

“The first thing we thought was ‘This might get made into a movie? Why would you want to do that?’” laughed Eidson.

“I think we’re really lucky to have our story told,” added Ladouceur, still just as humble as he appears on screen. “There’s hundreds of coaches out there who put together some great teams and programs that probably do the same things we do. We just kind of got plucked out and singled out for that and I hope we represent those coaches well.”

Real-life highlights from Lad’s coaching career with the Spartans played throughout the film’s credits while excerpts from the pic lined the walls of Lure at the afterparty, further proving that the film and the story is not about winning – it’s about being part of the team.

Tri Star releases “When the Game Stands Tall” on Aug. 22.

(Pictured: Producer David Zelon, clockwise from top, Ser’Darius Blain, Alexander Ludwig, director Thomas Carter, Matthew Daddario, Terry Eidson, Bob Ladouceur, Jim Caviezel and Jessie Usher at the “When the Game Stands Tall” premiere)

Source: Variety / by Shelli Weinstein