Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Focus on Focus and Film Movement/IndieWire's 40 and Telluride

Last week I started looking at U.S. film distributing companies and their relationship with the Telluride Film Festival to see what that might tell us about possible TFF #41 fare.  Today I'm looking at Focus Features and Film Movement.


Focus used to have  a presence at Telluride. Then last year, after a lengthy absence, they returned. Here's the list:

2003: Lost in Translation
2004: The Motorcycle Diaries
2005: Brokeback Mountain
2006: Catch a Fire
2012: Hyde Park on Hudson

Focus has a couple of films that look like they could be Telluride possibles.  The Stephen Hawking biopic "The Theory of Everything" with Eddie Redmayne as Hawking and directed by James Marsh.  Marsh was in Telluride in 2009 with a segment of the "Red Riding" trilogy that played as a part of the TFF #36 program.

Poster image via Wikipedia

The other film with a shot is the Jeremy Renner starrer "Kill the Messenger" based on the true story of reporter Gary Webb who reported on CIA shenanigans in Nicaragua in the '90's.  Michael Cuesta directs.

Honestly, I don't have a big feel for either of these films.  I wouldn't be shocked if one or both made the lineup but I won't be shocked when they're absent either.  I might give "Theory" a slight edge because of Marsh's past participation at Telluride.  I'd give both about a 25% chance of playing absent any other factors.

IMDb pages for "The Theory of Everything" and "Kill the Messenger" are here:


This little known distribution outfit has been in and out as a presenter at Telluride over the past few years.

2004: Aaltra
2005: Be with Me
2009: Gigante
2010: If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle

As you can see, they're presence has been limited and spotty.  Nevertheless, they have one film in their basket that has a chance to make T-ride's lineup.  "Stations of the Cross" directed by Dietrich Bruggemann played well at the Berlin Film Festival where Telluride usually discovers a couple of films to program each year.  "Stations" won two prizes at Berlin for Screenplay and the Ecumenical Jury prize.  To me, that makes it a serious film to consider for Labor Day weekend in southwest Colorado.

Check the "Stations of the Cross" IMDb page here:


IndieWire was up yesterday with their analysis of 40 films that they feel could/will play one of the four major film fests: Telluride, Venice, Toronto or New York.  They specifically mention Telluride half a dozen times, though rarely exclusively and certainly without any definitiveness.  Nevertheless, the films they mention with Telluride possibilities are:

"Far from the Madding Crowd"
"St. Vincent"
"Suite Francaise"

All of these have been discussed earlier on this blog.  I am still surprised at how consistently "Unbroken" gets bandied about as a Telluride possible.  That would be huge.  I should also hasten to add that the article is about "Premieres" so, necessarily, you have to believe that the films they think will be Toronto and New York  premieres will NOT play Telluride.  Additionally, that means that films they classify as possible for Venice would still be possible for Telluride play.  "Venice" possibles that are picked in their post are:

"Three Hearts"
"La Rancon de la Gloire"***
"99 Homes"
"A Pigeon Sat in a Branch Reflecting on Existence"
"Queen of the Desert"***
"Miss Julie"
"Inherent Vice"
"The Cut"
"Every Thing Will Be Fine"
"Big Eyes"

I have *** next to the films that I feel have the best chance of playing both Venice and then Telluride.

As I have noted previously.  Up until last year, the Venice/Telluride cross-pollination was usually about three films.  Last year, however, there were six that played both places.  They were: "Bethlehem", "Gravity", "Tracks", "Under the Skin", "The Unknown Known" and "The Wind Rises".

Check the entire IndieWire post here:

That's all for today, more tomorrow...

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Psaenz said...

I'm personally still waiting for news on Kill the Messenger, as you mentioned at the start. Since Theory of Everything is making it's worldwide premiere at TIFF, I wonder if it means KTM could possibly go Telluride instead. Is there any way we can tell at this point?

Michael Patterson said...

Honestly, I'd be a little surprised if KTM makes a Telluride appearance.