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When the 54th annual New York Film Festival opens tonight, it will be making history. Ava DuVernay’s powerful 13thwhich explores the history of race relations through the prism of prisons and the preponderance of young black and Latino men who make up a large part of their population, only will become the first documentary to open the Big Apple festival. It also will be the first one that will become available on television just a week later when it debuts on Netflix…

French anti-trust authorities have rejected Canal Plus’ proposed sports right distribution deal with beIN Sports. The official decision was delivered today. The mooted Canal Plus-beIN deal, first announced in February this year, would have seen the pay TV giant gain exclusive distribution rights to beIN’s bouquet of sports rights for five years. The deal had been touted by Canal parent Vivendi as essential to stemming the tide of losses as high as €400 million in 2016…

Responding to increasing reports of anti-Semitic and racist campaigns in social media aimed at journalists covering the presidential election, the Anti-Defamation League today announced the creation of the Task Force on Hate Speech and Journalism that will “seek insights from a group of outside experts and representatives of journalism, law enforcement, academia, Silicon Valley, and nongovernmental organizations whose advice and counsel will help ADL assess the scope and…

8TH UPDATE, Tuesday 6:30PM: Final actuals Before we blame franchise fatigue as the catalyst for paltry Memorial Day openings, we need to also acknowledge the overall downward trend in openings for sequels this year. It’s been rampant across all genres including Ride Along 2, The Divergent Series: Allegiant even Captain America: Civil War (if you compare it to Avengers: Age of Ultron) Sequels besting their predecessors have been few and far between in the wake of Star War…

EXCLUSIVEDidier Lupfer might just have been the busiest man in Cannes. The well-respected Lupfer is the chairman and chief exec of Studio Canal, by some measure Europe’s biggest film company with distribution in the UK, France, Germany, Benelux (as well as Australia and New Zealand) and a thriving multi-lingual production business. As if that wasn’t enough, he is also the head of cinema at Canal Plus, the troubled French pay TV giant that looms large over the French…

The broadcast networks’ (and some interlopers’) Upfront Week’s dog-and-pony shows are over – one talking dog but, so far as we know, no pony-starring vehicles later. Here’s a look at some of the top trends we noticed across the annual orgy of show-pitching, from which broadcast nets are expected to emerge with $8B-10B in upfront sales: DUELING HAMILTONS In much the same way Thackeray is set to have jumped out of bed in the middle of the night and run around screaming…

It was just about 18 months ago at the Toronto Film Festival that a new full-service production company called Cinelou made its mark, with co-CEO Mark Canton telling me at the time they planned to release 10 movies a year. They were just forming Cinelou Releasing, the distribution arm of the company, and a small indie called Cake starring Jennifer Aniston would be first to go out under that banner to qualify for 2014 awards races. No one gave it too much thought because…

Before there was Occupy Wall Street or Nuit Debout, there was Paris, 1968. In a revolutionary year—think the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, the Tet Offensive in Vietnam, Bobby Kennedy’s assassination—May was a particularly revolutionary month. Student protests in the City of Lights against capitalism, consumerism and traditional values, some say emboldened by their victory in re-instating the much-cherished head of the iconic Cinematheque Francaise, Henri Langlois…

Kate Beckinsale And Chloë Sevigny Gear Up For ‘Love & Friendship‘; While Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz Take On Love In ‘The Lobster‘: Specialty Preview It isn’t often that a Whit Stillman movie opens, but this weekend is one of those rare occasions. Starring Kate Beckinsale, Chloë Sevigny and Xavier Samuel, the Jane Austen-inspired Love & Friendship will have an exclusive theatrical window via Amazon and Roadside Attractions. A24 is opening last year’s Cannes Jury Prize…

What does a master disruptor like Peter Jackson do after he stares down the possibility of failure that would have bankrupted a studio, and instead finds that gambling on his vision for JRR Tolkien’s Middle-earth bore six blockbuster films that grossed nearly $6 billion, won 17 Oscars and left behind a pile of VFX, 3D and frame-rate innovations that will forever inform the look and manner in which fantasy films are made? This despite long odds that favored Jackson failing…