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04.07.10

LAB NEWS: LADL71 wraps in LA. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Each and every single one of you are absolutely brilliant and it is was an honor to work with you. Thank you Guy Shelmerdine, Barbara Bain, Chet Grissom, Brittany Ballard, Glory Simon, Erin Way, Anne Renton, O-Lan Jones, Marianna Palka, Francesca Gregorini, Gloria Gruber, Caitlin Mulvey, Lisa Leone, Brittany Ishibashi, Cyrus Farmer, Tom Gallagher, Monique Curnen, Kai Lennox, Don Handfield, Mike Bentt, Rebecca Wackler, Daniela Sea, Marisa Tomei and Glory Simon.


Kudos:

Monique Curnen just finished acting in the Chicago feature “Mr. Sophistication”. Congrats!

Marc Turtletaub’s short “Looking at Animals” just screened at the annual New Directors/New Films 2010 Festival organized by the Museum of Modern Art. Kudos, kudos!

Keith David can be seen performing on a big screen near you in his latest project “Death at a Funeral”. Congrats!

03.05.10

Kudos:

Marianna Palka’s Sundance Film Festival Official Selection film “Good Dick” is now on Netflix. Congrats!

Actor Chet Grissom can be seen in “The Crazies” in theatres across the country. We are very proud of you Chet.

Carlo Corbellini's latest project “God is D_ad”  just won Best Feature Awards at the Korean Film Festival in LA and Phoennix Comicon.

Richard Press’ new documentary, Bill Cunningham New York, will be screening at the opening night of the New Directors/New Films 2010 Festival presented by the Museum of Modern Art. Congrats!!

01.23.10

Festival Roundup:

Giant Congratulations to all the filmmakers and actors in our community with films World Premiering at Sundance!

Welcome to the Rileys”, directed by Jake Scott, starring James Gandolfini, Kristen Stewart and Melissa Leo is screening in the U.S. Dramatic Competition. The film also features Jack Moore

Also making it’s debut in the U.S. Dramatic Competition is Mark Ruffalo’s “ Sympathy for Delicious”, starring Orlando Bloom, Juliette Lewis, Laura Linney and featuring Erin Way

We hope 2010 is as fortunate for all as it is for Jeffrey Blitz (Director) and Marc Turtletaub (Producer) with their film “Lucky,” screening in the U.S. Documentary Competition. 

Kudos  to Floria Sigismondi’s “The Runaways” in the Premieres category.

Marisa Tomei can be seen starring in another Premieres category film “Cyrus” directed by the Duplass Brothers also with John C. Reilly and Catherine Keener. 

Robyn Kershaw produced “Bran Nue Dae”, directed by Rachel Perkins, makes it’s U.S. premiere in the Spotlight section.  Up next for Robyn will be producing  “Virgin Ground” written and directed by “Renee Webster.” 

Go Dakota Goldhor, who is starring in Benny and Josh Safdie’s “Daddy Longlegs” also screening in the Spotlight section. 

Alison Maclean has the honor of being on the 2010 World Cinema Dramatic Competition Jury. Have fun Alison!

Marianna Palka has been selected to be on the jury for the Alfred P. Sloan award at Sundance 2010. Enjoy the snow Marianna!

Screening times and details here.

Check out Films for more films out now or coming soon!

01.14.10

Films Released:

“Friendship” is released in Germany. Herzlichen Glückwunsch Markus Goller !  (That’s Best Wishes in German.)

“Wonderful World” released to great reviews. Go Josh Goldin!

“My Queen Karo” after world premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, the film will have it’s U.S. Premiere in Palm Springs International Film Festival before it’s Dutch release in February. Well Done Dorothee van den Berghe!!!


Now on DVD:

After a successful festival run and theatrical release you can now rent or purchase the award winning dramedy  “SUNSHINE CLEANING,” directed by Christine Jeffs, produced by Marc Turteltaub, starring Emily Blunt and Amy Adams. 


Awards Watch:

Big Congrats to Sacha Gervasi on his 30+ nominations and awards for ANVIL! Including a DGA nomination. Next up will be directing his screenplay “My Dinner with Herve.”

Check out Films for more films out now or coming soon!

12.06.09

We congratulate Niki Caro on her great honor of  being asked to give public thanks to the Dalai Lama after his talk at The Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand.

Check back for updates and audience reactions to “The Vintner’s Luck” screening and Panel Discussion with high Buddhist Lama Za Choeje Rinpoche,  that took place following the Dalai Lama Talk,  at the Rialto Theatre, Auckland on 12-5-09.

Check out the blog for “The Vintner’s Luck” here.


12.03.09

The Vintner’s Luck Strikes a Balance on Saturday 5 December @ 6pm – Rialto Cinema, Newmarket, Auckland

The latest film from acclaimed New Zealand director Niki Caro (Whale Rider, North Country), The Vintner's Luck is a story about balance, questions, struggles, ambition and life. A story that has hit a chord with the Dalai Lama Visit Trust New Zealand.

This is a powerful, meditative tale of Sobran Jodeau, an ambitious young peasant winemaker and the three loves of his life – his earthy wife Celeste, the proudly intellectual baroness Aurora de Valday and Xas, a plain spoken  angel who strikes up an unlikely but enduring friendship. Under his guidance Sobran must wrestle with the constant duality of life; from success to failure, love to hate, betrayal to belief – all in pursuit of the perfect vintage. 

Following the public talk by his Holiness the Dalai Lama on Saturday at Vector Arena, a special event will be taking place at 6pm at the Rialto Newmarket. A screening of the film will be followed by a panel discussion: Unity and Duality, When Angel and Demon are One with with Niki Caro (Director), Joan Scheckel (Screenwriter) and  Za Choeje Rinpoche, an emminent Buddhist scholar recognised by the Dalai Lama as the sixth reincarnation of one of the highest Buddhist Lamas of Eastern Tibet. The panel will be exploring themes skilfully woven through Niki Caro's adaptation of Elizabeth Knox's acclaimed book. 
 
After seeing the initial screening of The Vintner's Luck the Dalai Lama Visit Trust New Zealand invited director Niki Caro to be a part of the public event with His Holiness and have worked with her and Za Choeje Rinpoche to create this post-screening dialogue. Za Choeje Rinpoche stated;

“I loved it very much. I think the story in the film is a great metaphor about life. It teaches some lessons on life about the hope, acceptance and balance.”

This is a provocative film that has inspired polarized responses. This is an opportunity for a deeper discussion about the themes of the film and how they are received. It is for a broad audience who would like to contribute to the conversation.  It is for anybody who would like to speak truthfully from their hearts, but fear attack.

09.14.09

Toronto Film Festival: The Vintner's Luck premiered Saturday, September 14 at the Winter Garden Theatre!  Did you see the film at the festival?  It's a special and unique movie, and we'd love to hear your thoughts, questions, support!  Share some love.  Meet us on The Vintner's Luck/Facebook.  Thanks for taking the time to check in!

Here's TIFF's description of the film:

"Niki Caro's audacious and visually luscious new film will both delight and surprise audiences familiar with her previous work. Delving deeper into her past themes of love and identity, she explores ideas and emotions even more visceral in nature. While the film takes place in an earlier era, the complex spiritual struggles of the central character give the story a strong contemporary allure.

The nineteenth century has barely dawned in France when we meet Sobran Jodeau (Jérémie Renier, best known for his work with Belgian filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne). Sobran is a young peasant who hungers for two things in life: to win the hand of the beautiful Celeste (Keisha Castle-Hughes) and to create wine in his own vineyard. While marriage to the fiery Celeste soon follows, his wine-making ambition is considered above his station, and the patron he serves fails to put his innate skills to use. One night, however, he encounters the angel Xas (Gaspard Ulliel), who sees Sobran's passions as evidence of his profound humanity. Xas proposes that Sobran plant some vines the angel carries, and further, that they meet each year at the same time and place.

Unsettled and yet self-interested, Sobran agrees without being able to answer his own questions about who or what Xas actually is. The vines, however, are very real, and they grow and thrive. Soon Sobran encounters the next influence in his life, the proud, educated and vulnerable Baroness Aurora de Valday (Vera Farmiga). Before long, he is as deeply entangled in Aurora's emotional complexities as he is in her vineyard, leading to both spiritual and corporeal crises for everyone.

The Vintner's Luck is much more than the story of a peasant's desire to fulfill his destiny: it wrestles with the most basic questions of life, using a vineyard in Burgundy as the best possible metaphor. Caro asks us to consider earth, love, appetite, wine, sensation, God and sex through the eyes of a man driven to experience all of these things in different ways with three other beings who assist, impede and ultimately share his lust for all that life has to offer."

Review:

Dark Horizons Toronto Review: "The Vintner’s Luck"
By Paul Fischer

Sex, lust, wine and angels are mere facets of Niki Caro’s lush and sensuous period drama "The Vintner’s Luck". Set in early 19th century France at the height of the Napoleonic Wars, the pic centres around Sobran Jodeau (Jérémie Renier). Sobran is a young peasant who hungers for two things in life: to win the hand of the beautiful Celeste (Keisha Castle-Hughes) and to create wine in his own vineyard.

While marriage to the fiery Celeste soon follows, his wine-making ambition is considered above his station, and the patron he serves fails to put his innate skills to use. One night, however, he encounters the angel Xas (Gaspard Ulliel), who sees Sobran's passions as evidence of his profound humanity. Xas proposes that Sobran plant some vines the angel carries, and further, that they meet each year at the same time and place.

Unsettled and yet self-interested, Sobran agrees without being able to answer his own questions about who or what Xas actually is. The vines, however, are very real, and they grow and thrive. Soon Sobran encounters the next influence in his life, the proud, educated and vulnerable Baroness Aurora de Valday (Vera Farmiga). Before long, he is as deeply entangled in Aurora's emotional complexities as he is in her vineyard, leading to both spiritual and physical crises for everyone.

Though a New Zealand film, this lush, erotic and passionate film is more European with its frank exploration of sexuality and eroticism, yet the film’s lyrical beauty and intelligence makes it something quite unexpected. A film about humanity and spirituality, Caro directs this film with an exquisite sense of detail. Gorgeous in all facets of visual detail, "The Vintner’s Luck" is also a fascinating romantic melodrama, and at its core, comprises a cast that is spot on.

Jérémie Renier is the perfect peasant who transforms into a self-educated winemaker. It’s a beautiful, complex and richly layered performance. The women in his life are spectacularly good, from the wonderful all grown up Castle Hughes, who embodies the earthy sexuality of her character and the luminous Vera Farmiga, who is clearly a versatile and complex actress and is magnificent, beautiful and passionate as the Baroness.

"The Vintner’s Luck" is a spellbinding, sexy and hypnotic tale, thematically dense and original in its tale of God, angels and sexuality. It’s a movie that deserves international distribution.

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