Di Novi Pictures Inks First-Look Film Deal With Amazon Studios

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EXCLUSIVE: Amazon Studios has closed a first-look feature deal with female-led production company Di Novi Pictures to develop and produce content.

Di Novi Pictures, led by producers Denise Di Novi and Margaret French Isaac, has been behind such empowering, commercially successful female-driven movies as Oscar-nominated Little Women ($216.6 million at the worldwide box office), A Walk to Remember, Crazy Stupid Love and Stepmom.

Under the pact, Amazon Studios and Di Novi Pictures will develop Tiger Mother, a gritty, female-driven action comedy spec written by Emily Dell, with Sasie Sealy (Lucky Grandma) attached to direct. Di Novi Pictures will also produce Hannah Hafey and Kaitlin Smith’s adaptation of Flynn Meaney’s YA novel Bad Habits, which Amazon Studios optioned.

Related Story Amazon Studios Inks Overall Deal with TV Scribe & Playwright Brian Otaño

“We couldn’t be more excited about working with Denise and Margaret,” said Julie Rapaport, co-head of movies at Amazon Studios. “Di Novi Pictures has a long standing track record of delivering powerful, female-driven films. Their passion and sensibility will continue to amplify diverse voices, and aligns perfectly with our vision at Amazon Studios.”

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“We are thrilled that our relationship with Amazon Studios has turned into an official one,” said Di Novi and French Isaac. “They have always understood and valued our shared goal of quality commercial entertainment that appeals to all ages and especially the power of representing an authentic movie experience for girls and women.”

Di Novi’s feature projects have grossed over $1 billion worldwide and include such movies as Batman Returns, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants franchise, the Sandra Bullock-Nicole Kidman feature Practical Magic, the Will Smith-Margot Robbie noir pic Focus, Edward Scissorhands, and the TV series The District. Sabrina Parra serves as Director of Development. Jerry Longarzo at Klevan Longarzo Vance Blumensaadt LLP negotiated on behalf of Di Novi Pictures.

Amazon Studios recently had the most watched streaming movie over Labor Day weekend with the Camila Cabello musical Cinderella which drew 1.1M U.S. households per Samba TV. That’s the second-most watched feature musical debut during the pandemic after Disney+’s Hamilton in 2020.

Amazon Prime series to begin filming in Asheville area. Here’s how you can be an extra.

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If you’ve ever dreamed of appearing in a science fiction thriller series, now is your chance.

This fall, several Western North Carolina cities will set the landscape for Amazon Prime Video’s new series, “The Peripheral.”

“The Peripheral” is an adaptation of William Gibson’s bestselling novel of the same name, published in 2015. It is the first of the “Jackpot” series. Gibson, a New York Times bestselling author, also penned “Neuromancer” and “Agency.”

Filming is slated to take place from Sept. 25 to Oct. 22, according to a casting call post on social media.

Yancey County’s Economic Development Commission welcomed Amazon Studios to the area as it begins filming the sci-fi thriller drama series.

“We are pleased at the opportunity to join our neighbors in Marshall, Weaverville, and Asheville in welcoming this major studio production project to our western North Carolina community,” Yancey EDC Executive Director Jamie McMahan stated in a press release.

Related:Marshall town board signs off on renting Blannahassett Island for web series filming

“The Peripheral” is a futuristic drama based in a small, rural mountain town where drug business thrives, poverty is evident and technology has subtly altered society. The story jumps through time and into an alternate reality leading the characters to question what’s real and what’s fantasy?

“The Peripheral” novel was adapted to screen by creator/executive producer Scott B. Smith (“A Simple Plan”). The production crew includes executive producers Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy—the creators of HBO’s “Westworld”—and their Los Angeles-based production company, Kilter Films.

The cast list leads with Chloë Grace Moretz and Jack Reynor, who portray brother and sisters “Flynne Fisher” and “Burton.” The supporting cast includes Eli Goree, Gary Carr, Charlotte Riley, JJ Feild, Adelind Horan, T’Nia Miller, Alex Hernandez, Louis Herthum, Chris Coy, Melinda Page Hamilton, Katie Leung and Austin Rising, according to Deadline.

The eight-episode first season is scheduled to premiere on Amazon Prime Video in 2022.

The production is expected to make a positive impact on the region’s economy. The cast and crew will spend money on housing and will have a per diem to spend in the area, said location manager Bass Hampton in an interview with Madison County’s News-Record & Sentinel.

McMahan and the Yancey EDC also predict an economic boost from hosting the production team this fall.

“The Yancey County Economic Development Commission is dedicated to promoting economic investment in our community across all sectors,” said McMahan. “This opportunity to join our colleagues in neighboring counties to host a premiere film production project broadens the diversity of our economic development opportunities into new industry sectors, will result in the direct economic impact of dollars spent in our community, and will advance the tourism and visitor economy of Yancey County which has seen explosive year over year growth in recent years. Yancey EDC and our partner local governments look forward to hosting this project and extend a warm welcome to ‘The Peripheral’ and its creative and production team, cast and crew.”

Call for Extras

“The Peripheral” is seeking residents to serve as background actors in the series.

Also, automobile owners are requested to loan their vehicles ranging from the 1970s to modern-day, as well as old trucks.

The casting call for extras was posted on the NC Extras Casting group page on Facebook.

Individuals are needed to portray residents of a small mountain town. The features are described as “classic Americana” and “character faces of the Appalachian area.” Other casting opportunities may be posted soon.

To submit for extra acting roles, send an email to ashevilleextras@gmail.com with a heading stating one’s age, ethnicity, race, and city/state of residence. Include in the body of the email two current cellphone photos (close-up and full-length), name, phone number, age, city/state residing, height/weight, clothing and shoe sizes, and describe any visible tattoos and piercings. Also, provide the color, make, model, and year of the owned vehicle(s).

The selected extras will be required to take a COVID-19 test pre-filming, provided by the production.

Amazon will present The Mad Women’s Ball by Mélanie Laurent in Toronto

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by Fabien Lemercier

10/09/2021 - With Lou de Laâge heading the cast, the first French film to be produced directly for the streaming platform will be unveiled in a gala screening before its worldwide online release on 17 September

Mélanie Laurent (jury member at the latest Cannes Film Festival) continues on her peculiar French career, working as actress and filmmaker. She has directed six feature films, including the environment-focused documentary Tomorrow (co-directed with Cyril Dion and winner of the Best Documentary César award in 2016) while continuing on her acting career, noted recently by her very physical performance in Oxygen (discovered in May on Netflix).

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It is for another SvoD giant that Mélanie Laurent has directed The Mad Women’s Ball , set to have its world premiere next Monday in a gala screening at the 46th Toronto International Film Festival. The film, which is the first French production initiated directly for Amazon Prime Video, will be launched on the platform worldwide on 17 September.

The 5th fiction feature from the director after Les Adoptés (2011), Breathe (2014), Plonger (2017) and the American production Galveston (2018), The Mad Women’s Ball features in its cast Lou de Laâge (nominated for the Most Promising Actress César award in 2014 and 2015 for Jappeloup and Breathe, and currently in French cinemas in Black Box ), the director herself, actor-director Emmanuelle Bercot (winner of the Best Actress award in Cannes in 2015 for My King ), Benjamin Voisin (winner of the Best Male Newcomer Lumières award in 2021 and nominated for the Most Promising Actor César award for Summer of 85 , well-received currently in Venice in Lost Illusions ), Cédric Khan, Lomane De Dietrich, Christophe Montenez and Grégoire Bonnet.

Adapted by the director together with Christophe Deslandes from the eponymous novel by Victoria Mas, the script for The Mad Women’s Ball tells the story of Eugénie, a luminous and passionate young woman at the end of the 19th century. Eugénie has a unique gift: she can hear and see the dead. When her family discovers her secret, she is taken by her father and brother to the neurology clinic of the La Salpêtrière hospital without any way of escaping her destiny. This clinic, headed by the eminent Professor Charcot, a pioneer in neurology and psychiatry, welcomes women who have been diagnosed as hysterical, mad, epileptic and with all other kinds of physical and mental illnesses. Eugénie’s path will then cross that of Geneviève, a nurse from the neurology unit whose life passes before her eyes without her truly living it. Their encounter will forever alter their destinies as they prepare for the famous “Mad women’s ball,” organised every year by Professor Charcot at the clinic…

The Mad Women’s Ball was produced by Alain Goldman and Axelle Boucaï for Parisian company Légende Films. The director of photography is Nicolas Karakatsanis (nominated for the 2012 Magritte award in his specialty for Bullhead ), from Belgium.

Regarding its other French productions, Amazon Prime Video will carry on with feature films with the comedy Flashback by Caroline Vigneaux, currently in post-production (the time travels of a female lawyer who will cross paths with all the women who fought for women’s rights throughout history) and, in the domain of series, with Salade Grecque by Cédric Klapisch (a follow up of the trilogy that began with Pot Luck and which will focus on the children of the protagonists), which is scheduled for 2022.

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(Translated from French)