Oscars: Poland Selects ’11 Minutes,’ Denmark Goes for ‘A War’
September 25, 2015
by Leo Barraclough |

LONDON — Poland and Denmark have selected their entries to contest in the foreign-language film category of the Oscars. Jerzy Skolimowski’s “11 Minutes” is the Polish champion, while Denmark has backed Tobias Lindholm’s “A War.” Both films played at Venice Film Festival: “11 Minutes” was in competition, while “A War” ran as part of Horizons.

“11 Minutes” is a “buzzing, hurtling, too-fast-to-think thriller,” according to Variety’s reviewer. “Ida” director Pawel Pawlikowski, who headed Poland’s Oscar selection committee, said the film was “a universal story told using very edgy film language; a film that portrays chaos, cacophony and emptiness in today’s world.”

In the movie, the same 11 minutes in the lives of various protagonists are shown through parallel storylines. Before the last second of the 11th minute is up, their fates intertwine in an event that will have a huge impact on their lives.

The film was produced by Skopia Film, co-produced by Element Pictures, Telewizja Polska, Orange, HBO and Fundacja Tumult, and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, Eurimages and the Irish Film Board. International sales are handled by HanWay Films.

“A War” is a drama about the consequences of war. It follows army officer Claus Michael Pedersen, who is stationed with his men in an Afghan province. During a routine mission, the soldiers are caught in heavy crossfire and in order to save his men, Claus makes a decision that has grave consequences for him — and his family back home.

The film is produced by Nordisk Film Production, with support from the Danish Film Institute and Nordisk Film and TV Fund. International sales are being handled by Studiocanal.

The deadline to submit foreign-language films for the Academy Awards is Oct. 1. The e...
Jeremy Thomas Q&A: The Indie Legend Reflects On ‘High-Rise’ And Four Decades In The Mix
September 16, 2015
by Ali Jaafar |

For 40 years, iconic British producer Jeremy Thomas, whose latest feature High-Rise world premiered at Toronto, has been challenging audiences — and his financiers — with uncompromising, auteur-led fare through his Recorded Picture Company. His filmography is studded with upscale productions and earned him a special place in cinematic history. Whether becoming the first Western producer to shoot in China’s Forbidden Kingdom for Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor in 1987, or succeeding in adapting William S. Burroughs’ notoriously unfilmable Naked Lunch in 1991 with David Cronenberg, Thomas has made a career out of making the impossible seem ordinary. Jonathan Glazer’s Sexy Beast, Cronenberg’s Crash and Richard Linklater’s Fast Food Nation are just some of his previous credits.

His latest, another J.G. Ballard adaptation High-Rise with up-and-coming Brit director Ben Wheatley about class warfare in a 1970s tower block, has debuted to good reviews and should close a domestic deal by the end of the the festival. As ever, it is being sold by his own sales company, Hanway Films. What makes Thomas so unique is he has allied his own esoteric creative tastes with a keen business sense. He had his own in-house sales operation years before the likes of FilmNation and IM Global launched. What’s more, he was one of the first producers to realize the important of retaining ownership of one’s own prints.

Thomas recently sat down with Deadline to look back.


DEADLINE: You produced your first film, Mad Dog, 40 years ago. What has changed in that time?

THOMAS: In terms of putting a film together, nothing. The biggest change in general has been going digital. That changed the manufacturing of film, which has now virtually disappeared. That then affected ...
John Cameron Mitchell’s ‘How To Talk To Girls At Parties’ Acquired By A24 – Toronto
September 16, 2015
by Ali Jaafar | 

In a welcome sign of acquisition activity, ambitious indie distrib A24 has acquired U.S. rights to John Cameron Mitchell’s How to Talk To Girls At Parties. The film, which starts filming in November, is based on a short story by Neil Gaiman and stars Elle Fanning, Nicole Kidman, and Alex Sharp — a recent Tony award winner forThe Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time. Gaiman is exec-producing. Producers are Howard Gertler (Mitchell’s Shortbus) and Iain Canning and Emile Sherman (Macbeth).

The story follows a shy teenage punk rocker Enn in 1970s suburban London, and his two closest friends. One night they all sneak into a party where they meet a group of intensely attractive, otherworldly girls; at first they think they’re from a cult, but eventually come to realize the girls are literally from another world—outer space. The leaders of this alien colony have a nefarious plan in mind, but that doesn’t stop Enn from falling madly in love with Zan, one of the colony’s key members. Their burgeoning romance sets in motion a series of increasingly sensational events that will lead to the ultimate showdown of punks versus aliens, and test the bonds of friendship, family, and true love.

“We are absolutely delighted to be getting on board How to Talk to Girls at Parties,”said A24 in a statement. “The script is both great fun and an affectionate celebration of the outsider spirit, and we know John Cameron Mitchell is the perfect person to bring this wild and singular universe to life. We are thrilled to be working with him along with the movie’s top-tier producing team.”

Mitchell co-wrote the screenplay with Philippa Goslett. Nico Muhly, Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu and Matmos are on board to compose original music and songs for the project. CAA repped domesti...