Monday, July 6, 2015

Distribution: Frequent Distribs at Telluride: Sony Pictures Classics/Trailer for "The Assassins"/"Hateful Eight" News

Good Monday Everyone...I hope you had an excellent Independence Day weekend.

We start our series today that looks at Film distribution companies that have a history with Telluride and what their current lineup might tell us about this year's possible lineup.


SPC is the "Big Dog" of Indie distributors at Telluride.  No other company has as long and consistent track record of having film's selected for The SHOW program as Sony Pictures Classics.

Here's what SPC has shown in Telluride in the last 12 years :

2014: Foxcatcher, Leviathan, Red Army, Mr. Turner, Wild Tales, Salt of the Earth and Merchants of Doubt (7)
2013: The Invisible Woman, The Lunchbox, The Past, Tim's Vermeer and Jodorowsky's Dune (5)
2012: The Gatekeepers, At Any Price, Rust and Bone, No, Wadjda, Amour (6)
2011: A Dangerous Method, In Darkness, Footnote, A Separation (4)
2010: Incendies, Of Gods and Men, Tamara Drewe, Another Year, The Illusionist, Inside Job (6)
2009: The Last Station, The White Ribbon, Coco Before Chanel, A Prophet, An Education (5)
2008: Waltz with Bashir, I've Loved You So Long, O'Horten (3)
2007: Brick Lane, When Did You Last See Your Father, Persepolis, The Band's Visit, The Counterfeiters (5)
2006: Jindabyne, The Lives of Others, Volver, The Italian (4)
2005: Breakfast on Pluto, Capote, Cache, The Child (4)
2004: Being Julia, House of Flying Daggers, Bad Education, Merchant of Venice, Up and Down, Yes (6)
2003: The Fog of War, My Life Without Me, The Triplets of Belleville, Young Adam (4)

SPC averages 5.3 films per year at Telluride with seven last year, the most they've had at any TFF in the last dozen years.

This year's possible crop from Sony Pictures Classics (according to today's IMDb listing) includes:

"I Saw the Light"
"Son of Saul"
"Our Little Sister"
"13 Minutes" ("Elser")

Other SPC films that would seem to be disqualified: "Grandma", "Dark Horse" and "The Diary of a Teenage Girl" as they played at Sundance.

Of the six left as SPC possibles, we 'd be wise to remember that SPC usually doesn't get every film available into the fest.  Last year's "Coming Home" is a good example.  So, it's unlikely that all six of these films play.

Four of the five have already appeared on at least one of my two "Ten Bets" lists this last couple of weeks.  A really good case can be made for five of them.

"Truth" looks like a fairly substantial play for Awards recognition as does "I Saw the Light" which also has Marc Abraham directing who previously brought "Flash of Genius" to Telluride in 2008.

"13 Minutes"made some noise at Berlin.

"Our Little Sister" and "Son of Saul" both played at Cannes and "Son if Saul" particularly well winning the Grand Prix prize.

Chances (with current "Ten Bets" postions in parenthesis where applicable) :

"Son of Saul" 90%  (#2)
"I Saw the Light" 80% (#6)
"13 Minutes" 75% (#7)
"Truth" 65%
"Our Little Sister" 50%
"Testament of Youth" 10%

Tomorrow's distributor to look at: Fox Searchlight.


"The Assassin" teaser/trailer via YouTube

We saw our first trailer released this weekend for Cannes Best Director winner Hou Hsaio-Hsein's "The Assassin".  Its reception at Cannes makes the film one that we need to keep in mind as a possible choice for Telluride programming.  One note, however, the film's U.S. distribution is with Well Go Entertainment, for which I can find only the barest of connections to T-ride...they distributed the video for TFF 2010 selection "Oka! Amerikee".

Both The Playlist and FirstShowing posted coverage of the trailer release this weekend:


First, we found out  that Tarantino will be bringing a presentation about the film to Comic Con which starts in San Diego next week.  "The Hateful Eight" panel is scheduled for July 11th.  Here's coverage from Variety, The Wrap and Thompson on Hollywood:

Additionally, we tumbled across an Entertainment Weekly story in which Tarantino calls the film the "funniest snow western ever made" which seems to me to be a pretty limited category.  Here's The Entertainment Weekly story:

The bottom line here is that the Comic Con presentation of footage means that QT is making progress on the edit of the film and with just under two months still left before Telluride, you have to wonder if he might just make it under the wire for Labor Day despite the fact that the film isn't getting a release until Dec. 25.

We'll see.

That's all for Monday...tune in again tomorrow...

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