The Hollywood Reporter has released its first daily issue for the American Film Market, which kicked off in Santa Monica on Wednesday. The issue features a preview of the indie film market, exclusive news of Millennium Media’s new leaders and a chat with Heather Graham about her directorial debut.
Indie Dealmaking Changes
THR‘s market preview looks at how the independent film business is rapidly evolving and business models that had worked for decades are being torn apart and tossed aside. The rise of online platforms Netflix and Amazon has brought a flood of cash into the indie biz — Netflix alone says they will produce or acquire 80 original films next year, double their 2016 output — while short-circuiting traditional distribution models. Buyers used to trolling the Loews for the next big indie tentpole are finding themselves outgunned by these deep-pocketed Silicon Valley giants who sweep down and buy up world rights for any project with mainstream potential.
Millennium’s New Leaders
The company behind the Expendables action movies has named Jeffrey Greenstein and Jonathan Yunger as co-presidents, THR has learned exclusively. The moves are intended to fill the void left by Mark Gill, who exited the post earlier this year after clashing with Millennium founder Avi Lerner. Lerner is hoping to start a new era for his long-standing company with the hires. Both Greenstein and Yunger began as assistants to Lerner, who founded the company in the early 1990s, and then moved up the ranks.
Heather’s Half Magic
Heather Graham wrote and directed Half Magic, a comedy about female empowerment in which Graham also stars as a member of a sisterhood (alongside Molly Shannon, Stephanie Beatriz and Angela Kinsey) that comes together to do battle against male dominance and chauvinism. Lighthearted it may be, but the film’s subject matter couldn’t be more timely. Not only is sexism in the film industry a hot topic, but Graham herself was among the first major names to come forward following the initial reports of sexual harassment against Harvey Weinstein. She tells THR of the women who inspired her to get behind the camera, Half Magic’s Weinstein-ish character (who is much cuter and funnier) and why she doesn’t share Mark Wahlberg’s religious issues with Boogie Nights.