Magnolia Pictures Acquires Rights to Merce Cunningham Documentary
Magnolia Pictures has acquired distribution rights to Merce Cunningham documentary CUNNINGHAM, which includes never-before-seen footage of the choreographer.
CUNNINGHAM, written and directed by Alla Kovgan, will be an immersive look into the life of the choreographer who started as a dancer in post-WWII New York. The film will be released in honor of what would have been Cunningham’s 100th birthday. He died of natural causes in New York in 2009.
“Alla Kovgan’s stunning cinematic tribute to the genius of Merce Cunningham is destined to end up as a classic of the genre,” said Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles. “We’re thrilled to be bringing it to the public.”
Cunningham is considered to be one of the greatest modern dancers, earning two Guggenheim fellowships in the 1950s and a Kennedy Center Honors and MacArthur Fellowship in the 1980s. Over Cunningham’s 70 year career, he worked closely with composer John Cage to produce original dance compositions to Cage’s scores.
Magnolia Buys Cannes Award Winner ‘Little Joe’ (EXCLUSIVE)
Magnolia Pictures has acquired North American rights to LITTLE JOE, a sci-fi drama that won the Cannes Film Festival’s best actress award for star Emily Beecham. The indie studio is planning a theatrical release for later this year.
LITTLE JOE centers on Alice (Beecham), a single mother and dedicated plant breeder at a corporation engaged in developing new species. In that role, she creates a special crimson flower, one that is beautiful and emits a scent that induces happiness. One day, Alice violates company policy by taking the plant home as a gift for her teenage son, Joe. As it grows, Alice becomes suspicious that her creation may do more harm than good. In a positive review out of Cannes, where the film premiered, Variety’s Owen Gleiberman called LITTLE JOE the “‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ for the age of antidepressants.”
The film is the English-language feature debut of director Jessica Hausner (“Lourdes”) and also stars Ben Whishaw (“Spectre”).
Magnolia Nabs ‘Mister America,’ Political Comedy From ‘On Cinema’ Creators (EXCLUSIVE)
Magnolia Pictures has nabbed North American rights to MISTER AMERICA, a feature-length comedy that’s being billed as an extension of the world of “On Cinema,” the cult Adult Swim show.
The film stars “On Cinema” hosts Tim Heidecker and Gregg Turkington and follows Heidecker’s attempt to enter the world of politics. Eric Notarnicola, who previously oversaw several episodes of the show along with its 2018 Oscar special, directs. Magnolia is eyeing a fall theatrical release.
In the movie, Heidecker beats a murder charge for selling faulty e-cigarettes at an EDM festival, and mounts a campaign to unseat the San Bernardino District Attorney. His effort to win voters tries to overcome a lack of experience and funding by leaning into the candidate’s personal likability. It does not go well.
Magnolia Pictures has acquired North American rights to the Sundance documentary RAISE HELL: THE LIFE & TIMES OF MOLLY IVINS, an ode to the firebrand journalist whose blistering political wit made her an outsized legend in the Lone Star State. Magnolia is eyeing a theatrical release by year’s end for the film, which hits plenty of the hot-button media issues in the ramping 2020 presidential race.
Ivins died at age 62 in Austin, Texas, on the last day of January 2007 after a protracted battle with cancer but the documentary from director Janice Engel presents the late writer’s work and its legacy as more timely and trenchant than ever. RAISE HELL premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival and will be screened next month the closing-night selection at the AFI DOCS Film Festival in Washington, D.C. That June 23rd screening at the Navy Memorial’s Burke Theater is being presented in conjunction with the Washington Post Press Freedom Partnership.
Magnolia Pictures Acquires Rights to Sundance Doc ‘Cold Case Hammarskjöld’
Magnolia Pictures has acquired the North American rights to the documentary COLD CASE HAMMARSKJÖLD, which won the World Cinema Documentary Directing Award at Sundance this month. Magnolia is planning to release the film this year.
The film follows the unfinished investigation into the death of UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld, who was killed in a plane crash in 1961. It’s understood that because at the time, Hammarskjöld was advocating for Congo’s independence, the “crash” was an assassination.
With the case still unsolved fifty-plus years later, Danish journalist and filmmaker Mads Brügger takes up the case and begins to uncover a critical secret that could send shockwaves around the world.
Magnolia Pictures Lands ‘Mike Wallace Is Here’ Documentary
Magnolia Pictures has acquired North American rights to the documentary MIKE WALLACE IS HERE, the distributor announced on Wednesday.
The film, directed by Avi Belkin, is a documentary about veteran newsman Mike Wallace, whose confrontational, no-holds-barred style of journalism influenced generations of reporters.
MIKE WALLACE IS HERE offers an unflinching look at the legendary reporter, who interrogated the 20th century’s biggest figures in his over fifty years on air, and his aggressive reporting style and showmanship that redefined what America came to expect from broadcasters. Unearthing decades of never-before-seen footage from the 60 Minutes vault, the film explores what drove and plagued Wallace, whose storied career was entwined with the evolution of journalism itself.
‘Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am’: Magnolia Pictures Acquires Doc On Nobel Prize Winner
Magnolia Pictures has acquired North American rights to director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’ Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am, an uplifting documentary chronicling the vibrant life and compelling works of the legendary storyteller who in 1993 became the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize.
In addition to Nobel Laureate Morrison, the film features conversations with Hilton Als, Angela Davis, Fran Lebowitz, Walter Mosley and Sonia Sanchez, as well as Oprah Winfrey, who adapted Morrison’s 1987 novel Beloved into a 1998 feature film directed by the late Jonathan Demme.
Magnolia is aiming for a theatrical release before year’s end. The Pieces I Am, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, will stream on Hulu (which just acquired its second Sundance documentary, news that Deadline just broke). The film will make its exclusive U.S. broadcast premiere in late 2020 on PBS as part of the American Masters series.
Sundance: Magnolia Pictures Picks Up Steven Bannon Doc 'The Brink'
Magnolia Pictures has picked up worldwide rights to the Steve Bannon documentary THE BRINK.
The feature, which is set to premiere at Sundance, was directed by Alison Klayman (Take Your Pills) and follows the former White House chief strategist as he takes his effort to spread extreme nationalism from the U.S. to the rest of the world. The film follows Bannon through the 2018 U.S. mid-term elections and sheds light on his efforts to mobilize and unify far-right parties in order to win seats in the May 2019 European Parliamentary elections.
RYOT Films co-financed the movie, which was produced by Marie Therese Guirgis and Klayman. Executive producers are Adam Bardach, Hayley Pappas, Bryn Mooser and Matt Ippolito.
Satan is coming to a theater near you after Magnolia Pictures on Thursday said it acquired worldwide rights to HAIL SATAN?, the documentary that was just selected to make its world premiere in January in the U.S. Documentary Competition section of the Sundance Film Festival. The distributor plans a spring 2019 theatrical release, and it will sell international rights at Berlin’s European Film Market.
The film, directed by Penny Lane, charts the rise of The Satanic Temple, a mysterious organization led by Lucien Greaves that is calling for a Satanic revolution to save the nation’s soul. Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles said it “is as uplifting and hilarious as it is thought-provoking.”
The Hard Working Movies production is produced by Gabriel Sedgwick.
Magnolia Pictures Lands Swedish Sci-Fi Thriller ‘Aniara’ – Toronto
ANIARA, the visionary Swedish sci-fi film directed and written by Pella Kågerman and Hugo Lilja and based on a concept by Nobel Prize-winner Harry Martinson, has been acquired by Magnolia Pictures after the picture made its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. A ship — carrying settlers to a new home in Mars after Earth is rendered uninhabitable — is knocked off-course, causing the consumption-obsessed passengers to consider their place in the universe.
The stakes are epic, as the film charts the fate of the human race after its emphasis on selfishness and consumption exhausts the resources of the planet. One of several ships launched into space to start anew on Mars, the film’s consumption metaphor means that the ship is designed like a giant shopping mall. After an accident knocks the it off course and hobbles its steering and it becomes clear the passengers might not make it to Mars. They continue to indulge their appetites in extreme ways.
Magnolia Pictures Takes U.S. Rights on Cannes Prizewinner ‘Dogman’ (EXCLUSIVE)
Magnolia Pictures has acquired North American rights to Italian director Matteo Garrone’s gritty revenge drama DOGMAN, which won the best actor prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
Dubbed an “urban Western,” the movie marks Garrone’s return to smaller-scale Italian-language filmmaking following his English-language fantasy “Tale of Tales.” DOGMAN is inspired by a murder committed by a dog groomer during the late 1980s in a gang-ridden area outside Rome.
Newcomer Marcello Fonte, who plays the mild-mannered dog groomer caught up in spiraling violence with a bullying boxer, “gives an expert performance as a saintly scamp who ‘blooms’ into a butterfly of vengeance,” Variety critic Owen Gleiberman said in his review. Besides the acting nod for Fonte, DOGMAN also won Cannes’ unofficial Palm Dog award for its canine cast.
Cannes: Hirokazu Kore-eda’s ‘Shoplifters’ Sells to Magnolia
Magnolia Pictures has picked up North American rights to SHOPLIFTERS, the acclaimed new drama from Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda, Variety has learned.
The film is in competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and marks the director’s seventh time appearing at the prestigious French gathering for cinephiles. SHOPLIFTERS has garnered strong reviews for its humanist look at a family living on the margins. Variety’s Maggie Lee, for instance, wrote that Kore-eda “makes a mature and heart-wrenching return to his socially-conscious dramas,” while IndieWire’s David Ehrlich declared that SHOPLIFTERS is “the very best of the writer-director’s delicate, deceptive, and profoundly moving dramas about the forces that hold a family together.”
Cannes Film ‘Woman at War’ Domestic Rights Nabbed by Magnolia Pictures
Magnolia Pictures has acquired the North American rights to writer-director Benedikt Erlingsson’s buzzy Cannes dramatic comedy WOMAN AT WAR, the company announced Friday.
The film, a unique modern day fable about an Icelandic activist taking on big industry, recently premiered in Cannes Critics’ Week to high acclaim and won the SACD prize, which recognizes a screenplay from the French writers guild, and also won the Critics’ Week Grand Rail d’Or.
In WOMAN AT WAR, Halla (Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir) declares a one-woman-war on the local aluminum industry. She is prepared to risk everything to protect the pristine Icelandic Highlands she loves… until an orphan unexpectedly enters her life.
‘Love, Gilda’ Heading To Theaters Via Magnolia Pictures Following Tribeca Bow
Magnolia Pictures has acquired North American rights to LOVE, GILDA, the documentary about comic icon and Saturday Night Live original Gilda Radner that is coming off its world premiere as the opening-night film of the Tribeca Film Festival. A 2018 theatrical release is in the works.
Director Lisa D’Apolito used rare personal recordings and journal entries to tell Radner’s story in her own voice. Interviewees includes Michael Radner and SNL alumni Chevy Chase, Lorne Michaels, Alan Zweibel, Laraine Newman and Martin Short. Radner’s writings are read by the likes of Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Cecily Strong and Bill Hader.
Magnolia Pictures has acquired worldwide rights to Sebastian Silva’s drama and Sundance selection TYREL.
Magnolia International chief Lorna Lee Sagebiel-Torres and manager of international sales Catalina Ramirez will launch international sales in Cannes next month.
Jason Mitchell, Michael Cera, Chris Abbott, Ann Dowd, and Caleb Landry Jones star in the story of a cabin party in the Catskills, where the protagonist is the only black man throughout the weekend of debauchery.
Magnolia plans a 2018 theatrical release. Max Born, Jacob Wasserman, and Silva produced.
SXSW Comedy ‘Support The Girls’ Scooped Up By Magnolia Ahead Of Austin Premiere
Magnolia Pictures has acquired North American rights to SUPPORT THE GIRLS, the comedy from Computer Chess writer-director Andrew Bujalski. The deal comes as the pic readies for its world premiere Friday in the Narrative Spotlight section at SXSW. Magnolia, which released Bujalski’s 2015 pic Results, will releases SUPPORT THE GIRLS later this year.
Regina Hall stars as a restaurant manager at the Double Whammies sports bar who may not love her job but loves her employees like family. Haley Lu Richardson and Shayna McHayle co-star alongside Brooklyn Decker, Jana Kramer, James Le Gros, Dylan Gelula, AJ Michalka and Lea DeLaria.
Crystal Moselle’s ‘Skate Kitchen’ Lands At Magnolia Pictures
Magnolia Pictures is doubling down with director Crystal Moselle. After releasing her 2015 Sundance award-winning documentary, The Wolfpack, the company has scooped up the North American distribution rights to her latest Sundance film entry, SKATE KITCHEN. Written by Moselle, Aslihan Unaldi, and Jen Silverman, the pic, which was inspired by the real-life group of New York City female skateboarders, will get its theatrical release this summer.
Starring actual skateboarder Rachelle Vinberg as well as Jaden Smith, the story follows an introverted 18-year-old skateboarder Camille (Vinberg), who discovers “The Skate Kitchen,” a subculture of girls whose lives revolve around skating, and bravely seeks them out.
Art Docu ‘Kusama – Infinity’ Acquired By Magnolia Pictures – Sundance
Magnolia Pictures has acquired U.S. rights to KUSAMA – INFINITY, the Heather Lenz documentary about famed Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. The pic premiered over the weekend in the U.S. Documentary Competition at the Sundance Film Festival.
Kusama, who grew up up in Japan during World War II, overcame life in a dysfunctional family that discouraged her creative ambitions, sexism and racism in the art establishment, mental illness in a culture where that was a particular shame, and eventually growing old and continuing to pursue and be devoted to her art full time.
Her legacy of artwork spans painting, sculpture, installation art, performance art, poetry, and novels and continues today — her installation “Infinity Mirrors” recently sold out its run at L.A.’s The Broad museum, and she’s considered the world’s top-selling artist.
It’s Official: Magnolia Seals Ruth Bader Ginsburg Docu ‘RBG’ In Participant Media Team-Up
RBG, the 2018 Sundance Film Festival sensation produced by CNN Films and Storyville Films about the consequential life and legal legacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has been acquired from CNN Films by Magnolia Pictures and Participant Media for worldwide distribution, including theatrical, home video, SVOD, and international television. CNN Films has U.S. broadcast rights to RBG. The film is directed and produced by award-winning filmmakers Betsy West and Julie Cohen of Storyville Films.
“RBG is an incredibly inspirational film about a supremely inspirational woman,” said Eamonn Bowles, president of Magnolia Pictures. “Betsy and Julie have done a phenomenal job highlighting Justice Ginsburg’s tremendous effect on all of our lives. I cannot wait to show it to my daughters.”
Magnolia Picks Up Gustav Möller’s ‘The Guilty’ After Sundance Bow
Magnolia Pictures has made a winning plea for North American rights to THE GUILTY, director/co-writer Gustav Möller’s drama that premiered Sunday in the World Dramatic Competition at Sundance.
In the film, alarm dispatcher and former police officer Asger Holm (Jakob Cedergren) answers an emergency call from a kidnapped woman. When the call is suddenly disconnected, the search for the woman and her kidnapper begins. With the phone as his only tool, Asger enters a race against time to save the endangered woman. But soon he realizes that he is dealing with a crime that is far bigger than he first thought. Jessica Dinnage, Johan Olsen, Omar Shargawi and Katinka Evers-Jahnsen also star.
Magnolia Pictures acquires world on 'The Final Year'
Magnolia Pictures has acquired worldwide rights to HBO documentary film THE FINAL YEAR following its recent world premiere in Toronto.
Greg Barker’s film chronicles the work of former US president Barack Obama’s foreign policy team during his last year in office.
Julie Goldman of Motto Pictures and John Battsek of Passion Pictures produced the film, which Magnolia plans to release in a “robust, multi-city” theatrical pattern on January 19 2018 to mark the anniversary of the presidential inauguration. Magnolia International will handle sales out the US.
HBO will debut THE FINAL YEAR in the second quarter of 2018. The documentary screened at the BFI London Film festival and will open DOC NYC on November 9.
MAGNOLIA PICTURES ACQUIRES WORLDWIDE RIGHTS TO STRANGER-THAN-FICTION FINANCIAL CRISIS DOC ‘THE CHINA HUSTLE’
Magnolia Pictures announced today that they have acquired worldwide rights to director Jed Rothstein’s documentary THE CHINA HUSTLE, an unsettling and eye-opening Wall Street horror story about Chinese companies, the American stock market, and the opportunistic greed behind the biggest heist you’ve never heard of. The film world-premiered at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival to critical acclaim, with Variety’s Scott Tobias extolling, “Jed Rothstein’s wildly entertaining documentary THE CHINA HUSTLE blows the lid off another multibillion-dollar heist built on complex financial instruments and a whole lot of smoke and mirrors.” Magnolia is eyeing an early 2018 release.
Magnolia Acquires Jean-Michel Basquiat Doc ‘Boom for Real’
Magnolia Pictures has acquired North American rights to “Boom for Real: the Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat,” a documentary about the late American artist that premiered at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
The film focuses on the artist’s life in New York City during the late 1970s, and how that city influenced his work. It includes writings, art and photographs never seen before.
Sara Driver directed the film, which she produced alongside Rachel Dengiz. The movie is a production of Hells Kitten Productions, Faliro House, Le Pacte, Leopardo Filmes and Bunny Lake Films. Christos V. Konstantakopoulos, Jean Labadie and Paulo Branco are executive producers.
Magnolia Acquires Venice Film Fest Fave ‘Nico, 1988’
Magnolia Pictures has picked up U.S. rights to Susanna Nicchiarelli’s “Nico, 1998,” the distributor announced on Wednesday. The film is a look at the last two years of the Velvet Underground singer and actress’s life. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Danish actress, singer and songwriter Trine Dyrholm plays Nico during singer and former Warhol superstar’s last hurrah during the final two years of her life, 1987 and 1988, when her new manager convinces her to go on tour and promote her new album. Nico is also looking to reconnect with her son.
“Nico, 1988” won Best Film in Horizon section at this year’s Venice Film Festival. Magnolia is planning for a 2018 theatrical release.
Magnolia Acquires Andre Leon Talley Doc 'The Gospel According to Andre'
Anna Wintour, Marc Jacobs and Tom Ford all appear in the fashion documentary.
Ahead of its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, The Gospel According to Andre has been picked up by Magnolia Pictures in North America.
The fashion documentary from director Kate Novack chronicles the life and career of Andre Leon Talley, from Andy Warhol's Factory in the 1970s to the pages of Vogue magazine as editor-at-large. Anna Wintour, Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford and Valentino are among those who give interviews in the feature, which also includes archival footage.
Diane Kruger Enters Oscar Race as Magnolia Acquires ‘In the Fade’
As expected, a top stateside specialty distributor, Magnolia Pictures, has scooped up North American rights to German writer-director Fatih Akin’s acclaimed Cannes entry “In the Fade,” in time for 2017 Oscar consideration. German star Diane Kruger (“Inglourious Basterds”) won Best Actress at Cannes for her intense role as a hard-drinking, tatoo-sporting wife and mother who falls apart as she mourns her husband and son after they are killed in a Neo-Nazi bomb attack. She eventually recovers enough to turn to revenge.
The film screened late in Cannes, without much buzz. And then — despite Nicole Kidman being the toast of the Croisette with “The Beguiled,” “Top of the Lake,” and “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” — Kruger took the prize for best actress. Kidman had to settle for a special jury award.
MAGNOLIA PICTURES HAS ACQUIRED RAOUL PECK'S "I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO"
Magnolia Pictures has acquired the North American rights to Raoul Peck’s “I Am Not Your Negro,” a documentary based on James Baldwin’s unfinished book, “Remember This House.”
“Remember This House” is considered one of the great incomplete works of American literature, in which Baldwin attempted to recount the lives and successive assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. The author’s notes and the unfinished manuscript were entrusted to filmmaker Peck by the Baldwin estate.
Magnolia Nabs Elisabeth Moss Starrer 'The Square' for the U.S. (Exclusive)
The film is Swedish director Ruben Ostlund's follow-up to his Golden Globe-nominated 'Force Majeure.'
Magnolia Pictures has acquired the U.S. rights to writer-director Ruben Ostlund's The Square, which stars Elisabeth Moss, Dominic West and Claes Bang.
Set in the art world, The Square follows a museum manager in charge of an exhibition space where an artist places a new installation meant to promote altruism. The manager hires a ruthless PR firm to promote the new exhibition, and the publicity gets out of hand, sparking a public uproar. Moss plays a reporter covering the exhibition.
Magnolia Pictures and HBO Pick Up Sundance Doc ‘Tickled’
One of the last purchases to come out of Park City, David Farrier and Dylan Reeve’s documentary TICKLED has been acquired by Magnolia Pictures and HBO. The former will handle both North American and international distribution rights, excluding New Zealand and Australia, while the latter has picked up U.S. television rights. The film premiered in Sundance’s World Documentary section and will next screen at the Berlin International Film Festival.
The doc follows Farrier, a TV and radio personality who specializes in the weird, as he discovers the sport of “competitive endurance tickling.” The movie was produced by Carthew Nea and financed by the New Zealand Film Commission and MPI.
Documentary seller Submarine negotiated the HBO and Magnolia deals.
Joan Jett Documentary ‘Bad Reputation’ Lands at Magnolia Pictures
Magnolia Pictures has acquired the North American rights to Kevin Kerslake’s BAD REPUTATION, which chronicles the life and career of Joan Jett, the distributor announced Friday.
BAD REPUTATION premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and will be released theatrically in 2018.
The documentary follows Jett from her early years as the founder of The Runaways and first meeting collaborator Kenny Laguna in 1980, to her presence in pop culture and rock and roll. The film features rare archival footage and interviews from close friends who talk about Jett’s experience in the ’70s punk scene.
Magnet announces 'XX,' a female-led horror anthology
Magnet Releasing has acquired the worldwide rights to XX, a horror anthology featuring short films with female leads by all-female directors, EW has confirmed. Magnet will fully finance the anthology. which XYZ Films will produce.
The directors, who includ Karyn Kusama (Jennifer’s Body), Mary Harron (American Psycho), Jennifer Lynch (Surveillance), and Jovana Vuckovic, will have creative control, but all films will involve the horror genre.
“Magnet has been home to the most exciting anthology horror films of the last several years, and we’re very pleased to continue the trend with XX. We’re especially excited about the caliber of filmmakers involved with this anthology, and the fresh approach that it’s taking to the horror genre,” Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles said in a press release.
MAGNOLIA SCORES DISTRIBUTION RIGHTS TO ELISABETH MOSS’ ‘THE SQUARE’
Magnolia Pictures has snagged the U.S. distribution rights for “The Square,” from “Force Majeure” writer and director Ruben Ostlund.
The film, which stars Elisabeth Moss, Dominic West and Claes Bang, is about a museum manager whose plans to promote an art exhibit focused on altruism spirals out of control and sparks a public uproar. Moss plays a journalist reporting on the exhibit.
“The Square” is Ostlund’s followup to 2014’s “Force Majeure,” which was nominated for a Golden Globe. That film follows the marital tension of a Swedish couple trapped in an avalanche when their ski trip goes awry. Magnolia was also the U.S. distributor for “Force Majeure.”
Toronto: Magnolia Nabs North American Rights to ‘Under the Tree’ (EXCLUSIVE)
Magnolia Pictures has nabbed North American rights to “Under the Tree,” a new comedy from Icelandic writer and director Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson, Variety has learned
“Under the Tree” digs into the mounting tensions between two neighboring families in a quiet suburb. One man who is forced to move back with his parents after he is accused of adultery. While fighting for custody of his young daughter, he finds himself embroiled in a dispute between his parents and their neighbors over an old and beautiful tree. Things get derailed in violent fashion.
The film had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and is screening at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival, where the deal was inked. Magnolia will release the picture theatrically in 2018.