‘Cyrano’ to Open Mill Valley Film Festival — Film News in Brief

The Mill Valley Film Festival will open with the California premiere of “Cyrano,” directed by Joe Wright and written by Erica Schmidt, adapted from Schmidt’s 2018 stage musical of the same name, which is based on Edmond Rostand’s 1897 play “Cyrano de Bergerac.” Opening night takes place on Oct. 7 at the Sequoia Theatre and Smith Rafael Film Center.

Peter Dinklage stars as Cyrano de Bergerac, who, believing himself to be ugly, feels unworthy of the love of his friend Roxanne (Haley Bennett). Before he confesses his feelings, Roxanne falls in love at first sight with Christian (Kelvin Harrison, Jr.). Bashir Salahuddin and Ben Mendelsohn also star. The film features music by Aaron Dessner and Bryce Dessner with lyrics by Matt Berninger and Carin Besser. Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Guy Heeley produce, with Cass Marks as co-producer and Enrico Ballarin as line producer.

The 44th annual Mill Valley Film Festival runs from Oct. 7 to 17. The centerpiece film is Mike Mills’ “C’Mon C’Mon,” while Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch” is the closing night film. Tickets go on sale to CFI Members beginning Sept. 12 and to the general public on Sept. 16. Early bird festival tickets and passes are on sale now at MVFF.com.

Pixomondo Launches London Studio Led by Alex Webster

Pixomondo (PXO) announced the launch of a London studio focused on virtual production services, with Alex Webster heading operations.

In his new role, Webster will facilitate the growth of PXO’s virtual production services in Europe, working closely with the wider company’s management team. Previously, Webster served as the managing director of Framestore Pre-Production Services in London.

Potential locations for the new U.K. facility are under review pending client consultations, but it will be closely integrated with PXO’s existing German operations, located in Frankfurt and Stuttgart.

“Over the last few years I have witnessed first-hand the speed with which the integration of VP with visualization is reshaping the VFX industry,” Webster said. “PXO is driving innovation in this space and making VP central to its workflow, becoming one of the most agile and creative studios working in the industry today. I’m thrilled to be working in close collaboration with the whole PXO team to design and build a state of the art integrated VP studio, which will combine teams in concept art, previs, virtual art and in-camera VFX with a brand-new LED volume in the UK.”

VMI Worldwide Closes Multiple Territory Sales for “Old Henry

VMI Worldwide has closed multiple territory sales for Potsy Ponciroli’s Western film “Old Henry,” which premiered Sept. 7 at the Venice International Film Festival. The film is a co-production between Shout! Studios and Hideout Pictures. 

After competitive bids, deals were closed in Italy Blue Swan, U.K. and Australia Signature, France Ace Entertainment, Germany Koch, Benelux Three Lines, Middle East and Turkey Phoenicia Pictures International and South Korea Jaye Entertainment.

“It is not surprising due to the quality of the film but feels great all the same,” said Andre Relis, CEO of VMI Worldwide.

“There has always been, and always will be, a place in the international market for an elevated Western with high profile cast, compelling characters and lots of action. So we’re thrilled to partner with VMI, whose deep experience with genre films and strong relationships with buyers will propel sales of ‘Old Henry’ far and wide,” said Shout! Studios head of new content sales Julie Dansker and executive producer and vice president of acquisitions Jordan Fields in a joint statement.

“While this is a traditional American Western, the story and characters transcend the genre and are relatable in any region of the world. We’re excited to see how the international community responds,” said Shannon Houchins, producer and CEO of Hideout Pictures.

“Old Henry” stars Tim Blake Nelson as Henry, a farmer who takes in an injured man (Scott Haze) with a satchel of cash. When a group, led by a man called Ketchum (Stephen Dorff) comes for the money, Henry must decide whom to trust. Ponciroli writes and directs, with Shannon Houchins and Michael Hagerty as producers. Executive producers include Nelson, Fields, Alex Siskin, Garson Foos, Bob Emmer, Richard Foos and Trevor O’Neil. 

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