Expressing solidarity with Hollywood actors on Day 1 of the SAG-AFTRA strike, specialty distributors surveyed were anxiously juggling opening weekend Q&As and film premieres without talent. They were trying to clarify which actors in which international productions are SAG-AFTRA, union-affiliated, or neither. And, for those involved in production, trying to determine the status of temporary arrangements for independent fees.
“I think we’re all pretty confused,” said one executive in the distribution space. “I’m trying to get SAG-AFTRA on the phone about a movie we’re opening in August. I have friends with movies opening next Friday.” The individuals preferred not to be quoted given the sensitivity of the situation.
There’s a lot of buzz about the layoffs, or the temporary deals that SAG-AFTRA has said will give indie productions zero studio/AMPTP connections. But there is still a lack of clarity about the application process and when and how they are issued – in theory they will be available from today. Also, waivers are moot if actors in cleared productions choose not to cross the lines anyway. Teams have not crossed multiple WGA lines. And it was not clear whether the waivers would cover promotion as well as production — including completely independent films that are slated for release.
The deadline has reached SAG-AFTRA and will be updated.
The head of a specialist distribution firm suspects that the lack of clarity is, in some ways, intentional. “Because I think the union wants everyone to focus on the big picture. They are on strike against the big players and relief for people who are not at fault is good, but it is secondary. Help for Indians will include odd questions about working actors. It would be kind of a mixed message.”
“There will be time for compassion. I think now it’s all about solidarity,” he said.
(Some distributors noted that some biopics can have an advantage since a movie’s subjects can promote it, even if the actors portraying them can’t. “A real-life person is great,” said one executive. . direction.)
As the entertainment business undergoes its biggest job action since the 1960s, it has entered an uncertain abyss that will take time to seep into cinema. Specialized openings are continuing. Photos presented by Searchlight Theater Campa Sundance acquisition — see Deadline’s review — in six theaters (three LA, three NY) to be released on one platform by August.
Searchlight will add eight markets/50 theaters next week and expand thereafter, reaching 600-800 locations for Molly Gordon and Nick Lieberman’s directorial debut, written by the duo along with Noah Galvin and Ben Platt. The film about the kids who gather to attend AdirondACTS, a ramshackle theater camp in upstate New York that’s a haven for young performers, will have a massive 60-day theatrical window. After its indomitable founder Joan (Amy Sedaris) falls into a coma, her clueless crypto-brother son Troy (Jimmy Tatro) is tasked with keeping the thespians’ paradise alive. With financial ruin looming, Troy must join forces with Amos (Ben Platt), Rebecca-Diane (Molly Gordon) and their group of eccentric teachers to find a solution before the curtain goes up on opening night.
Sony Pictures Classics opens Club of Miracles starring Laura Linney, Maggie Smith, Kathy Bates, Agnes O’Casey and Stephen Rea in 678 theaters. Set in 1967, three generations of close friends from a strong community in Dublin have a seductive dream: to earn a pilgrimage to the French holy city of Lourdes. Directed by Irish director Thaddeus O’Sullivan, based on a story by Jimmy Smallhorne, with a screenplay by Smallhorne, Timothy Prager and Joshua D. Maurer. Deadline’s review called it “a reason to celebrate summer.”
Sony/Crunchyroll open PSYCHO-PAS: Providence, the next installment in the sci-fi action series, in 419 locations in Japanese with English subtitles, as well as an English dub. The film continues the story of young inspector Akane Tsunemori and her partner Shinya Kogami, who take a strong stand against the Sibyl System, an authoritarian system that rules over a futuristic Japan. Directed by Naoyoshi Shiotani. Screenplay by Makoto Fukami & Tow Ubukata. Original story by Gen Urobuchi.
Kino Lorber presents The final cut by Michel Hazanavicius and starring Berenice Bejo in 18 locations including NYC and LA. This French horror comedy, a remake of Shin’ichirô Ueda’s cult hit A cut of the dead, was the opening night selection at last year’s Cannes Film Festival – recent review here . A director (Romain Duris) makes a low-budget, one-man zombie action film in which the cast and crew, one by one, actually turn into zombies. What’s on screen unfolds in typical B-movie fashion, while off-screen footage offers a celebration of the unpredictable and collaborative nature of movie sets. Hazanavicius in person for a Q&A at the Angelika Film Center in New York.
A fire by Sideshow/Janus Films opens in New York (IFC Center, Film at Lincoln Center) and Los Angeles (Laemmle Royale, Los Feliz 3) with additional theaters in the NY and LA area on July 21 and a regional expansion on July 28. Christian Petzold’s film, winner of the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at the 2023 Berlin Film Festival – Deadline Review – stars Thomas Schubert, Paula Beer, Langston Uibel, Enno Trebs, Matthias Brandt. A seaside vacation takes an unexpected turn, testing relationships and sparking romances.
Greenwich Entertainment presents the French comedy Two tickets to Greece (The Cyclades) in 17 markets including NY, LA, San Francisco and Chicago. Stars César Award winner Laure Calamy (Call my agent!), Olivia Coast (My donkey, my boyfriend and me – also released by Greenwich) and Academy Award nominee Kristin Scott Thomas (The English Patient). Written and directed by Marc Fitoussi, who worked with Calamy on Call my agent!, Two tickets to Greece tells the story of Blandine (Côte), who is recently divorced and helpless as she watches her only son leave home when her former best friend Magalie (Calamy) suddenly reappears and encourages them on their journey to the Greek islands she dreamed of as a teenager.
Roadside attraction opens Black ice, a sports doc from LeBron James’s SpringHill Company in 144 AMC theaters nationwide. Premiered at TIFF and had its US premiere yesterday at the new Unstoppable Film Festival, featuring athlete James at NeueHouse Hollywood.
Director Hubert Davis navigates the challenges and triumphs faced by black hockey players in a predominantly white sport through first-hand accounts from Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) athletes, including Willie O’Ree, the the first black in the National Team. Hockey League. former professional hockey player Akim Ali and PK Subban stars Wayne Simmonds. The film explores the game’s deep BIPOC roots dating back to 1865 and the Maritimes Colored Hockey League (CHL), the first all-pro league, which introduced the shot and shaped the game, as well as racist patterns spanning generations.
IFC Films opens Lakota Nation v. United States in NYC this weekend (IFC Center), expanding to LA, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Nashville and Denver next. The documentary, directed by Jesse Short Bull and Laura Tomaselli, narrated by poet Layli Long Soldier and executive produced by Sarah Eagle Heart, Mark Ruffalo and Marisa Tomei, chronicles the centuries-old quest of the Lakota Indians to reclaim the black, sacred hills. land that has been stolen in violation of treaty agreements. A portrait of resistance, the film explores the ways America has ignored its debt to indigenous communities and what can be done today to repair the wrongs of the past. Premiering at Tribeca 2022.
PBS presents 20 days in Mariupol, Ukrainian journalist Mstyslav Chernov’s dramatic reporting from inside the Ukraine War. The doc won the Audience Award at Sundance this year, the Tim Hetherington Award for Bravery in War and a Pulitzer Prize for Chernov’s reporting. Opens in NYC at the NYC Film Forum with a national release to follow.
A team of Ukrainian AP journalists trapped in the besieged city of Mariupol struggle to continue their work documenting the atrocities of the Russian occupation. As the only international reporters left in the city, they capture what later became the defining images of the war: dying children, mass graves, the bombing of a maternity hospital. Chernov’s first feature is based on his daily newscasts and personal appearances. Produced by Frontline and Associated Press. Premiering on PBS this fall.