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September 12th 2020   Posted by: admin   Leave A Comment

‘Blithe Spirit’ drive-in screening opens 2020 Mill Valley Film Festival

When’s the last time a big film made it’s world premiere at a drive-in?

“Blithe Spirit,” a new adaptation of Noel Coward’s 1941 play starring Judi Dench, Leslie Mann, Isla Fisher and Dan Stevens, is slated to open the 43rd Mill Valley Film Festival, which is ready to roll despite the coronavirus pandemic.

“Blithe Spirit,” an IFC Films release, kicks off 10 nights of drive-in screenings at a specially constructed, studio-grade facility at the Lagoon Park-Marin Center in San Rafael, the California Film Institute announced Thursday, Sept. 10.

The event runs through Oct. 8-18, and opening night includes five films screening virtually. MVFF43 will run in tandem with CFI’s DocLands Documentary Film Festival, which was postponed from May because of the pandemic.

“Although MVFF43 will not look the same as in previous years, what initially seemed like a challenge now feels like an opportunity to bring us together in an unexpected way, during an unprecedented time,” Mark Fishkin, Mill Valley Film Festival director and founder said in a statement. “We will continue to boast the year’s best films from all corners of the globe.”

Films screening virtually on opening night are “Sweet Thing,” the latest from longtime American indie director Alexandre Rockwell (“In the Soup”); “The Heist of the Century (El Robo Del Siglo),” about one of the most notorious bank heists in Argentina; “Veins of the World,” in which a young Mongolian boy turns grief into a source of power after the death of his father; Bay Area filmmaker Judith Erlich’s documentary of anti-Vietnam War activism, “The Boys Who Said No!”; and “Public Trust,” the DocLands opening night film about conflict over public lands in the United States.

The full schedule will be announced at a later date.

Tickets can be purchased online only starting at noon Sept. 23, for California Film Institute members, and noon Sept. 27 for the general public.

The 43rd annual Mill Valley Film Festival: Oct.8-18. Virtual screening tickets are $10 general admission, $8.50 California Film Institute members. Drive-in tickets are $40 per vehicle, $35 members. www.mvff.com

(sfchronicle.com)


June 28th 2020   Posted by: admin   Leave A Comment

Isla’s upcoming supernatural comedy Blithe Spirit has found a US distributor, although there is no release date planned as yet other than ‘in the Fall’. And the UK distributor, Studio Canal, announce that the film will be released in the UK on December 26th this year. The first few stills from the film were released recently too, and you can find them in our Gallery.


IFC Films Acquires Comedy ‘Blithe Spirit’ Starring Leslie Mann, Dan Stevens, Isla Fisher And Judi Dench

IFC Films has acquired the North American rights to Blithe Spirit starring Leslie Mann (This is 40, The Other Woman), Dan Stevens (Beauty and the Beast, Legion), Isla Fisher (The Beach Bum, Confessions of a Shopaholic) and Judi Dench (Philomena, Skyfall).

Edward Hall (Downton Abbey, Restless) directs a script written by Nick Moorcroft, Meg Leonard and Piers Ashworth which is based on the play of the same name by Noel Coward. The film also stars Julian Rhind-Tutt (Rush, Stardust), Emilia Fox (Silent Witness, Delicious), Adil Ray (Beecham Hosue) and James Fleet (Outlander, Four Weddings and a Funeral).

Read the rest of this entry »


March 1st 2020   Posted by: admin   Leave A Comment

The first trailer for Isla’s upcoming supernatural romantic comedy Blithe Spirit was released this week. The film is due for release in the UK on May 1st.

BLITHE SPIRIT is a riotous reimagining of Noël Coward’s classic comedy, about love that just won’t die…

Best-selling crime novelist Charles (Dan Stevens) is struggling with catastrophic writer’s block and a stressful deadline for his first screenplay. His picture-perfect second wife Ruth (Isla Fisher) is doing her best to keep him focussed in the hope of fulfilling her dream of heading to Hollywood. Charles’ desperate search for inspiration leads him to invite Madame Arcati (Judi Dench), a medium recently exposed as a fraud, to perform a séance in their home. They all get more than they bargained for when Arcati accidentally summons the spirit of his deceased first wife: the fiery and jealous Elvira (Leslie Mann) who embarks on a mission to kill Charles so she can spend eternity with him which leads to an increasingly comical and deadly love triangle.



June 22nd 2019   Posted by: admin   Leave A Comment

‘Blithe Spirit’ With Judi Dench, Dan Stevens, Isla Fisher Scores International Sales

Filming has started on “Blithe Spirit,” an adaptation of Noel Coward’s classic comedy about love that just won’t die. Judi Dench, Isla Fisher and Dan Stevens are among the cast in the picture, which is helmed by Edward Hall (“Downton Abbey”). Protagonist has closed a raft of pre-sales on the project, which was previously adapted for the screen by David Lean in 1945.

Other cast members in the movie from Fred Films, Powder Keg Pictures, British Lion Films, Align Pictures and Protagonist Pictures include Leslie Mann, Julian Rhind-Tut, Emilia Fox, Dave Johns, and James Fleet.

The story tracks crime writer Charles (Stevens), who is struggling with writer’s block and a deadline for his first screenplay. His second wife, Ruth (Fisher), is doing her best to keep him focused in the hope of fulfilling her dream of heading to Hollywood. When Charles invites medium Madame Arcati (Dench) to perform a séance, she accidentally summons the spirit of his deceased first wife, the fiery and jealous Elvira (Mann), who embarks on a mission to kill Charles.

“The cast and team that have gathered together to realize this colorful and original comedy are testament to the enduring appeal of Noel Coward’s unique story,” said Hall, who described the tale as “elegant, escapist and anarchic.”

Studiocanal has snapped up the U.K. rights to the film, which is being financed by Align, the newly formed L.A.-based production and financing group. Align CEO Adrian Politowski and SVP of production Martin Metz are producing. James Spring, Meg Leonard, and Nick Moorcroft, who count “Fisherman’s Friends” among their credits, are also producing, alongside Hilary Bevan Jones (“Pirate Radio”), Peter Snell (“The Wicker Man”), and Toni Pinnolis. Leonard and Moorcroft wrote the screenplay with Piers Ashworth.

Protagonist is handling sales and has closed a raft of deals, including with Transmission for Australasia, A Contracorriente for Spain, Scanbox for Scandinavia, Cinepolis for Latin America and Forum Films for Israel.

“We were confident this timeless comedy, paired with a stellar cast, would entice buyers and are absolutely thrilled to return from Cannes with such strong partners,” said Vanessa Saal, managing director for sales and distribution at Protagonist.

(Variety)


May 20th 2019   Posted by: admin   Leave A Comment

Judi Dench, Dan Stevens, Isla Fisher to star in UK comedy ‘Blithe Spirit’ for Protagonist (exclusive)

Judi Dench, Dan Stevens and Isla Fisher will lead the cast of Edward Hall’s Blithe Spirit, based on Noel Coward’s 1941 play.

London-based Protagonist Pictures is handling worldwide rights on the project and has inked a series of early pre-sales on the title including Australia and New Zealand (Transmission), Spain (A Contracorriente Films), Airlines (Echo Lake Distribution), South Africa (Empire Entertainment), Middle East (Front Row), and Greece (Tanweer).

The feature will be a re-imagining of Coward’s comedy stage play, in which a best-selling crime novelist suffering from writer’s block struggles to finish his first screenplay. His quest for inspiration leads him to invite an eccentric mystic to his home to perform a séance. He gets more than he bargained when they inadvertently summon the spirit of his first wife.

The project will start shooting on June 17 in and around London. Producers are Fisherman’s Friends trio James Spring, Meg Leonard, and Nick Moorcroft, alongside Hilary Bevan Jones, Peter Snell and Tuni Pinnolis. The project is a Fred Films and Powder Keg Pictures production in association with British Lion Films.

Producers Leonard and Moorcroft also wrote the screenplay with Piers Ashworth. Alongside Spring, the trio are also working on a feature film about Jamaican-born musician and chef Levi Roots, announced earlier this week.

Director Hall’s credits include period series Downton Abbey, which Screen Star of Tomorrow 2006 Stevens starred in, and 2012 TV movie Restless.

Coward’s Blithe Spirit was previously adapted for the screen by David Lean in 1945.

(Screen Intl)