The Hollywood Reporter has released its first Berlin International Film Festival daily issue, which features a look at what buyers are looking for at the fest's European Film Market, friends and collaborators sharing their shock over Johann Johannson's death on Feb. 9 and an interview with Gus Van Sant over his Berlin entry, Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot.
Berlin Sours on Pricey Tentpoles and Genre Fare
After initial buyer grumbling over a dearth of high-profile titles, several projects, announced in the days before Berlin, have piqued interest and raised hopes of a robust market. All eyes this Berlin will be on Global Road Films, Donald Tang's newly branded mini-studio that combines Open Road Films, IM Global and IM Global Television, and which Tang hired Rob Friedman to run. With few juggernaut titles about, the focus at EFM will be on smaller, quality films with strong marketing hooks. And, in the wake of #MeToo, female-focused features are also in demand.
Johann Johannsson Death Mystery
The Icelandic talent, who created the Oscar-nominated scores for Sicario and The Theory of Everything, was found dead on Feb. 9 in his apartment in Berlin. He was 48. His manager Tim Husom tells THR his last conversation with Johannsson, on Wednesday, Feb. 7, was "business as usual." There was no sign, Husom says, that anything was amiss. But when Johannsson didn't call on Thursday — the two speak daily — Husom called an associate in Berlin. When there was no answer at his Berlin apartment, the associate contacted the police. A police spokesman told THR they broke into Johannsson's apartment, in Berlin's trendy Mitte neighborhood, mid-afternoon on Friday and found him dead. Collaborators and friends share their shock and sadness over the news.
"A Really Polarizing Moment"
Based on the Sundance reaction to his latest, the Joaquin Phoenix-starrer Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot, 65-year-old Gus Van Sant should receive a warm reception when the movie screens in competition at the festival. The Amazon Studios title, which centers on a paraplegic cartoonist struggling with sobriety, is based on John Callahan's memoir. The two-time Oscar nominee spoke to THR from his home in Palm Springs about his film and his relationship with the Phoenix family, which began when he directed the late River Phoenix in 1991's My Own Private Idaho, as well as his thoughts on working with Harvey Weinstein.