Categories
Film

Nat Geo Announces First Look Deal With “Free Solo” Filmmakers, Chai Vasarhelyi And Jimmy Chin

National Geographic announced today that it has entered into a first-look deal with the award-winning documentary team of Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin and their company, Little Monster Films. The deal covers all unscripted projects, including series and specials as well as feature documentaries. Additionally, the network has greenlit their next feature documentary, with details to be announced at a later date. The announcement follows the extraordinary wins by FREE SOLO at this year’s Emmys, where the documentary swept the seven categories for which it was nominated, including directing honours for Vasarhelyi and Chin, making it the most Emmy-winning documentary in history.

LOS ANGELES – SEPTEMBER 14: Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin pose with the Outstanding Directing for a Documentary/Nonfiction Program Award for ‘Free Solo’ at the 2019 Creative Arts Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre LA Live on September 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/PictureGroup)

“Chai and Jimmy are extraordinary filmmakers and tremendous partners, and we are thrilled to be expanding our relationship with them,” said National Geographic Global Television Networks President Courteney Monroe. “The success of FREE SOLO surpassed even our wildest expectations, and we cannot wait to embark on this exciting new chapter with the incredibly talented team behind it.”

“National Geographic offered unconditional support and enthusiasm for FREE SOLO from day one, and we truly could not have asked for better partners,” said Vasarhelyi and Chin. “We are excited to have an outlet to grow our production company’s work in television, expanding the stories we are able to tell, as well as a partner for our next feature doc.”

The deal encompasses development of unscripted ideas for all of National Geographic’s television platforms. This marks the first expansion of Little Monster Films beyond feature documentaries. Vasarhelyi and Chin have tapped former Cinetic Media executive Anna Barnes to serve as Vice President of development and production under the new venture. Barnes will be responsible for overseeing the growth of the company, and will work closely with Vasarhelyi and Chin in identifying, developing and producing new projects. Additionally, the team is in early production on their next feature documentary, which will be released by National Geographic Documentary Films.

The news follows the enormous success of FREE SOLO, which, among its many accolades, ranks as Nat Geo’s most-viewed unscripted special ever (P2+) and the Number 1 on demand and download in the channel’s history. Additionally, after opening in cinemas in China on September 6, the film has grossed over USD$4.8 million to date, becoming the highest-grossing international documentary ever released in China.

The deal was negotiated by WME on behalf of the filmmakers.

About Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin

Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin are the co-directors and co-producers of the Academy Award- and BAFTA-winning film FREE SOLO, from National Geographic Documentary Films. The film earned the highest per screen average of any documentary during its opening weekend (September 28, 2018) in the US. The award-winning documentary took home seven Emmy awards this past weekend.

Vasarhelyi’s films as a director include “Meru” (Oscars shortlist 2016, Sundance Audience Award 2015); “Incorruptible” (Truer Than Fiction Independent Spirit Award 2016); “Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love” (Oscilloscope 2009), which premiered at the Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals; “A Normal Life” (Tribeca Film Festival, Best Documentary 2003); and “Touba” (SXSW, Special Jury Prize Best Cinematography 2013).

Chin is a professional climber, skier, mountaineer, 18-year member of The North Face Athlete Team and National Geographic Explorer. Consistently over the past 20 years, Chin has led or participated in cutting-edge climbing and ski mountaineering expeditions to all seven continents and made the first and only American ski descent from the summit of Mount Everest. He is also a filmmaker and National Geographic photographer. He has worked with many of the greatest explorers, adventurers and athletes of our time, documenting their exploits in the most challenging conditions and locations in the world. His 2015 documentary “Meru,” which was co-directed by Vasarhelyi, won the Audience Award at Sundance and was nominated for best documentary by the DGA and PGA. “Meru” was also shortlisted for an Oscar.

Categories
music

American Artist, Julian Moon, Introduces First Single To South Africa

Talented American singer and songwriter, Julian Moon (29), will release her first single, Honour Among Thieves, to South African radio stations during the week of 25 September 2019. This single is taken off her brand new second album, Pomegranate Seeds which is also available on all digital platforms now.

Moon was just 23-yrs-old when she signed a record deal with Warner Brothers Records, United States. She quickly amassed record breaking downloads from her first album, Good Girl (2015), selling up to one million copies on Spotify and has grown in popularity over other platforms like iTunes and YouTube.

The young star credits her life experiences as the source of inspiration for hit songs like Cup of Coffee and One Penny from her first album, saying that Pomegranate Seeds (2006) was “different”, because it was an evolution of her style and where she is at in her life.

“It’s amazing how well Pomegranate Seeds was received, because it’s so different from Good Girl. I got inspired with it after some traveling and it just came to me. I think the first album was more the teenage version of me, because I was focused on being sweet, clever and witty. This second album feels more authentic. There is also the fact that this was an independent album and I felt like I could play more creatively with it, which is really nice,” said Moon.

She added that she and John Gilbertson, Brian Adam’s former sound engineer wrote many of the tracks together, including the single Honour Among Thieves, which they co-wrote in a day. Gilbertson also produced the album and inspired Moon to be different. The new EP (extended play) album is about the Greek myth of Persephone (daughter of Zeus), which Moon feels is a metaphorical representation of her life. The now 29-year-old is currently producing and directing a music video for her single, Siren Song as well.

“I am very lucky to have worked with John who is just so talented in what he does and very experienced. I am also very grateful to filmmaker and fashion designer, Angie Piccirillo from Neon Soap Box, Los Angeles for her art direction, visuals and photography lead on my album. I don’t think I would have been as creativity as she was with everything,” laughed Moon.

Moon attended Loyola Marymount University for her undergraduate degree in screenwriting and is currently studying psychology. She has never studied music officially, but feels as though she has studied it unofficially all the time.

Thinking back to her childhood and her journey with music, Moon describes herself as having been “an awkward kid in high school and very shy”.

“One day I picked up my father’s guitar and started to teach myself songs from my favourite singer Jason Mraz. After learning a few of his songs, I started writing my own. Writing songs really helped me to express what I was thinking and feeling,” she said.

Categories
Workshops

Kickstart Your Acting Skills This Season – ACT Cape Town

ACTING FOR FILM III – CAMERA TECHNIQUE & SCENE STUDY
Coach: Grant Swanby

Award winning actor and academic head of Act Cape Town, Grant Swanby, has spent more than 25 years working professionally in the entertainment industry. Film, Television and Stage Credits include: Beyond the River, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Invictus, Blood Diamond, Troy Fall of the City, The Last Post, Women in Love, Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, Jesus Christ Superstar, amongst others.

COURSE INFO:
Calibrating the acting instrument specifically for camera is vital for the modern actor. Understanding the language of film and the specific tools required, empower the actor to accurately deliver an engaging performance vital to the medium of film and television.

The course culminates in a filmed scene on location that may be used for show-reel and promotional purposes.

Dates: 24 Oct – 3 Dec 2019
Days & Times: Tuesdays & Thursday, 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Shoot Dates: 30 Nov & 1 Dec
Cost: R8900.00
Entry Requirements: None.

The acting for film short courses afford the student the flexibility of completing all three courses in sequence or according to students’ requirements.

TO ENQUIRE OR BOOK, CONTACT US TODAY!
Tel: 021-4197007
info@actcapetown.co.za

ACTING FOR FILM I – THE ACTOR & THE SELF
Coach: Michael Kirch

An experienced and respected actor and director, Michael Kirch has worked with many local actors, directing their stage productions. In 2012, he received a Fleur du Cap award nomination for Best New Director for Brent Palmer’s play “Bench”. Michael also works as a freelance casting director, directing and filming candidates’ audition tapes for film and television commercials.

COURSE INFO:
Understanding the self is fundamental to authentic performance. Transcending ego and connecting to truth enables the actor to relinquish fear, build confidence and embody honesty in performance. This course is designed for the new actor as well as the professional, looking for re- inspiration.

It culminates in the filmed performance of a scene and a monologue.

Dates: 22 Oct – 28 Nov 2019
Days & Times: Tuesdays & Thursday, 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Cost: R7400.00
Entry Requirements:None.

The acting for film short courses afford the student the flexibility of completing all three courses in sequence or according to students’ requirements.

TO ENQUIRE OR BOOK, CONTACT US TODAY!
Tel: 021-4197007
info@actcapetown.co.za

AUDITIONING FOR CAMERA
Coach: Uga Carlini

Multi-award winning filmmaker, Uga Carlini has fast become one of South Africa’s most versatile and celebrated directors. Her extensive film experience, both in front of and behind the camera, boasts a career that’s stretched across South Africa, the United Kingdom, Australia and Fiji. Most recently, Uga brought home BEST DIRECTOR and BEST SCREENPLAY for her film “Alison” at the 2019 edition of the International Innovation Film Festival held in the Swiss capital of Bern.

COURSE INFO:

This course explores all aspects of a film audition. It includes the break-down of an audition script, call backs, acting technique and the practical exploration of the audition process.
Course culminates in a mock casting for playback and review.

Dates: 19 Oct & 20 Oct 2019
Days & Times: Sat & Sunday, 9:00am – 1:00pm
Cost: R1950.00
Entry Requirements: None.

The acting for film short courses afford the student the flexibility of completing all three courses in sequence or according to students’ requirements.

TO ENQUIRE OR BOOK, CONTACT US TODAY!
Tel: 021-4197007
info@actcapetown.co.za

Categories
online

8 Best New International Movies On Showmax

THE 8 BEST NEW INTERNATIONAL MOVIES ON SHOWMAX –
FROM CRAZY RICH ASIANS TO READY PLAYER ONE TO WONDER WOMAN

READY PLAYER ONE

It’s 2045 and the world is a dystopian mess, except in the idyllic virtual reality of the OASIS. James Halliday, the late creator of the OASIS, has left a virtual-treasure-hunt contest as his legacy. The winner will inherit total control of the OASIS and the half-a-trillion-dollar fortune that comes with it. But the perils of this high-stakes game go beyond the virtual world: it’s nothing less than a war for control of the future.

Directed by three-time Oscar winner Steven Spielberg and based on Ernest Cline’s bestselling novel, this visually rich sci-fi adventure is packed with pop culture references and Easter eggs. Tye Sheridan (X-Men: Apocalypse), Olivia Cooke (Life Itself), Ben Mendelsohn (Rogue One), Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead), Hannah John-Kamen (Ant-Man and the Wasp) and Oscar winner Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) co-star.

Read the SAMDB review of Ready Player One.

CRAZY RICH ASIANS

Native New Yorker Rachel Chu, an economics professor, travels to Singapore to meet her boyfriend Nick’s family, but soon discovers they’re preposterously wealthy, with strong opinions about the ’class’ of person they’d like to see Nick dating.

Based on the bestselling 2013 novel by Kevin Kwan, this fairy tale romcom stars Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat) in a Golden Globe-nominated role alongside Henry Golding (A Simple Favour) and Awkwafina (Ocean’s 8), who were both nominated for Teen Choice Awards for this film. BAFTA nominee Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and Jemma Chan (Captain Marvel) co-star.

OCEAN’S 8

Written and directed by four-time Oscar nominee Gary Ross (The Hunger Games), this stylish action comedy stars Oscar winner Sandra Bullock as Debbie Ocean, sister of legendary conman Danny (played by George Clooney in the original movies). Fresh out of jail and with her eye on a sparkling $150m prize, Debbie assembles a highly skilled, all-female crew of crooks to pull off a daring heist at the annual Met Gala. Oscar winners Anne Hathaway and Cate Blanchett co-star alongside the likes of Helena Bonham Carter, Rihanna, Awkwafina and Mindy Kaling.

CREED II

In this sequel to the Oscar-nominated, Golden Globe-winning sports drama Creed, newly crowned heavyweight champion Adonis Johnson faces off against Viktor Drago, the son of Ivan Drago, the boxer who killed Adonis’ father, Apollo Creed, and gave his trainer, Rocky Balboa, brain damage.

Emmy nominee Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther) and three-time Oscar nominee Sylvester Stallone (Rocky) co-star as Adonis and Rocky, alongside BAFTA nominee Tessa Thompson (Avengers: Endgame, Westworld), Emmy nominees Phylicia Rashad (Empire) and Milo Ventimiglia (This Is Us), Wood Harris (Empire), and Dolph Lundgren (The Expendables).

EARLY MAN

Set at the dawn of time, Early Man tells the story of Dug and his furry sidekick, Hognob, who must unite their simple hunter-gatherer tribe against ruthless enemy Lord Nooth and his ‘civilised’ Bronze Age City – and save their valley home in a mighty contest known as… soccer.

This heart-warming British stop-motion is the latest offering from four-time Oscar winner Nick Park and Aardman Animation (Wallace and Gromit, Shaun the Sheep). The sports comedy’s all-star voice cast includes Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything), Golden Globe winner Tom Hiddleston (Avengers), Emmy nominee Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones), Crystal Maze host and BAFTA winner Richard Ayoade (The IT Crowd), and Harry Potter stars Miriam Margolyes, Timothy Spall and Mark Williams.

TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES

To be a real superhero, you need your own movie. Robin and his gang of superhero sidekicks are determined to get their moment in the spotlight, but landing a Hollywood movie of your own is pretty tough when you haven’t actually done anything heroic. To win over a superstar Hollywood director, they’ll need to defeat a real villain and, you know, maybe throw in a few musical numbers along the way.

This irreverent animated spoof has all-ages appeal, with multi-layered jokes that frequently poke fun at superhero tropes. The clever comedy stars all the familiar favourite voices from the popular Teen Titans Go! franchise (which you needn’t have seen to enjoy the movie), along with celeb voice appearances from Kristen Bell, Jimmy Kimmel, and Will Arnett (Arrested Development), as well as Nicolas Cage and his son, Kal-El Cage.

TULLY

A struggling mother of three forms an unexpected bond with the night nanny hired to help with her newborn.

Tully stars South African Oscar winner Charlize Theron (Mad Max) as the exhausted mom and Tribeca Best Actress winner Mackenzie Davis (Terminator: Dark Fate) as her life-saving nanny. The drama was written by Oscar winner Diabo Cody and directed by four-time Oscar nominee Jason Reitman, the duo behind Juno.

WONDER WOMAN

Amazonian princess Diana is a warrior in training on the sheltered island paradise of Themyscira when a downed Air Force pilot brings news of World War I. Believing the god Ares is behind the conflict, Diana travels to Europe to fulfil her destiny to protect mankind, but she is unprepared for the human cost of warfare.

DC’s biggest female superhero comic book adaptation was a box office smash hit that grossed over $800m worldwide. Gal Gadot (Justice League) and Chris Pine (Star Trek) won Teen Choice Action Movie acting awards in the lead roles. Golden Globe winner Robin Wright (House of Cards) and nominee David Thewlis (Harry Potter) co-star.

Read the SAMDB review of Wonder Woman.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE…

Other new titles include the #1 USA box office hits IT: Chapter One and Justice League, as well as Melissa McCarthy’s 2018 Teen Choice and People’s Choice nominee, Life of the Party, and Lean on Pete, one of the National Board of Review’s Top 10 independent films of 2018. So you may need a lot of popcorn this month…

Categories
music

Bronze Releases Long-awaited New Single

It’s been more than two years since the release of her last single, but Bronz is back and she is better than ever!

The artist’s latest single, LOVING YOU COMES EASY, was written for her baby boy who, incidentally, is also the reason she hasn’t released new music recently. “Because I wrote this song for my son, I wanted it to be special and relatable, so it took a little longer than usual to complete,” explains the singer.

According to Bronz, LOVING YOU COMES EASY is meant to spark happiness and make people think of someone special in their lives, whether a child, partner or family member. “I love lyrics that tell a story and that is what I tried to do with this song. Having a baby truly is life-changing, and it inspired me to create something special. I hope one day my son will listen to this song and be proud.”

The song, with its modern country feel, was written by Bronz – with a little help from her producer, Mark Beling. The two have been working together for years and the singer credits him for helping her achieve success. “I can honestly say that my music would not have been what it is without Mark. He is professional, talented, and we speak the same musical language.”

The timing of the single’s release, says Bronz, was inspired by a decision that her music should be like a passion project that never ends. “When I initially went into the studio, I decided to do a song that I loved, even if no one else liked it,” she says. “That said, LOVING YOU COMES EASY is an easy listening song that should appeal to wide audience and I hope listeners will enjoy it.”

Born in Pietermaritzburg and raised in Cape Town, Bronz currently lives in Johannesburg. Her talent was discovered and nurtured from a very young age, and she decided early on that she wanted to share this incredible gift with all. She released her debut single, I Gotta, in 2012. To date, she has independently released six songs.

“It is an expensive exercise, but because music is my passion, I have always worked really hard to be able to release my songs. I am encouraged by the opportunities it presents, by reaching the number one spot on local stations, and by the support of my fans.”

Getting to this stage of her music career hasn’t been easy. “In this industry the biggest challenge, by far, is rejection. Especially when you are younger, it is soul destroying when someone doesn’t like a project you have put your heart and soul into. It took many years for me to gain confidence and be comfortable with the fact that it is okay if not everyone likes you or your music,” says the artist.

“I also battled with finding my style. While other musicians my age just seemed to know and understand their style and the direction they wanted to take, it took me a little longer. However, as I got older, I figured out what spoke to my soul.”

Bronz draws inspiration from a range of genres – from country music to golden oldies, easy listening rock and pop – and quickly lists Freshly Ground, Jimmy Nevis, Jesse Clegg and Rubber Duc as local artists she would be honoured to collaborate with.

This incredible and influential young singer’s aim is to reach as many people through her music as possible. “Music is, after all, the international language,” she says. “While there are many talented musicians in the world, my music is all about the lyrics and telling my personal stories through song. It is a piece of me that I send out into the world.”

LOVING YOU COMES EASY is available on all digital platforms here:

Deezer

Spotify