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The Hollywood Reporter has released its third daily issue for the American Film Market, which kicked off in Santa Monica on Wednesday. The issue features a look at how niche distributors are filling the gap post-Weinstein demise, news coverage on Bryan Singer’s AMF appearance and a conversation with director Bart Freundlich.
Niche Distributors Take Center Stage
For years, it seemed everyone in the indie film business wanted to be the next Summit Entertainment. But three days into this year’s market, it’s clear that it’s now a post-Summit world. The past 12 months have seen two high-profile indie distributors go belly up. The scandal-ridden collapse of The Weinstein Co., following multiple sexual harassment allegations against TWC boss Harvey Weinstein, was followed by the rapid rise and near-instant implosion of Donald Tang’s would-be studio Global Road. So at this year’s AFM, instead of empire building, the focus has shifted to more niche distributors, to the likes of recent upstarts A24, Neon and Annapurna, with established boutique firms like Sony Pictures Classics and Focus Features also enjoying a revival.
A Welcome Back for Bryan Singer?
Bryan Singer might be persona non grata at 20th Century Fox right now but the director, who was kicked off the studio’s Bohemian Rhapsody amid reports of erratic behavior, on and off set, was welcomed by the indie industry at the American Film Market on Thursday. In front of a packed hall at the Casa del Mar hotel in Santa Monica, Singer gave some 200 international buyers his vision for Red Sonja, the fantasy epic he is set to direct for Millennium Films. Many were surprised that Singer got the Red Sonja gig so soon after his much-publicized exit but Millennium president Jeffrey Greenstein said “not one buyer, not a one” expressed concerns about having the director on board Red Sonja.
“Now That Role I Would Like to Play”
Nearly 12 years after Susanne Bier directed the Oscar-nominated Danish drama After the Wedding, writer-director Bart Freundlich is putting the finishing touches on his English-language remake. But rather than simply move the story to the U.S. and ditch the Scandinavian elements, the New Yorker has flipped the lead character’s genders, rewriting the roles made famous by Mads Mikkelson and Rolf Lassgard for women, in this case Michelle Williams and Julianne Moore, aka Freundlich’s wife of 15 years (and co-producer).
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