December, 2013

  • RANDOM MEDIA NAMES TOM SKOURAS CHAIRMAN

    December 19, 2013

    Veteran Entertainment Executive to Join Fast-Growing Multi-Platform Content Company

    LOS ANGELES, Nov. 13, 2013: Random Media, the multi-platform content company recently launched by media executive Eric Doctorow, announced the naming of highly regarded motion-picture executive Tom Skouras as Chairman.
    As Chairman, Skouras will offer a three-decade background as a leading distributor of independent films, while helping nurture the fast-growing Random Media brand that’s quickly becoming known as a top label for bold, distinctive original filmmaking.
    “Tom will bring a level of guidance and insight to Random Media that only can only be gained from a lifetime of extraordinary experience in our industry,” Doctorow said. “I have known Tom for 30 years and have always admired his experience, his judgment and his ability to think asymetrically. I cannot think of a better person to join our company to help us plan our future and manage our growth”
    “Eric and I have been through the film industry wars together for many years and he has always emerged a winner,” Skouras said. “His unmatched experience combined with the incredibly talented team he is assembling will surely make Random Media a winner as well. I am thrilled to be able to play a role at this extraordinary time of change and opportunity in the media business.”
    From 1983-1995, Skouras was founder and president of Skouras Pictures, Inc., an independent film distribution company responsible for releasing over 200 independent films in the United States and international markets.
    During this period Skouras Pictures garnered many awards and prizes; these include Academy Award® nominations, Golden Globe awards, Sundance awards, New York Film Critics awards, Los Angeles Film Critics awards, and numerous mentions on annual top 10 film lists. Among the many films Skouras has released are Joel and Ethan Coen’s first film, Blood Simple, Paul Schrader’s The Comfort of Strangers, Martin Donovan’s Apartment Zero, Mike Newell’s The Good Father, starring Anthony Hopkins, and multiple Oscar nominee My Life as a Dog, directed by Lasse Hallstrom.
    From 1981 to 1983, Mr. Skouras served as the president of Wescom Productions, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chronicle Publishing Company (San Francisco Chronicle). From 1972 to 1994, he served as a member of the Board of Directors of De Anza Land Co., a Skouras family owned chain of drive-in theatres in California, Arizona, Utah and Nevada. From 1985 to 1992, he also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Bank of San Francisco.
    He is currently a voting member of the Executive Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Skouras is the third generation of his family to be involved in the motion picture business; at various times members of his family have owned or controlled United Artists Theater Circuit, Skouras Theaters, Fox Westcoast Theaters, and Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

  • THE WRAP : ‘Escape From Tomorrow’ Gets DVD, Blu-ray Release Via Random Media

    December 13, 2013

    escape

    New multiplatform distributor also picks up North American rights to extraterrestrial documentary “Mirage Men”

    “Escape From Tomorrow” avoided Disney’s security forces long enough to make it into theaters (taking in something like $170,000 in the U.S.) and VOD, and now will get a DVD and Blu-ray release via multiplatform content company Random Media.

    Random also announced this week that it acquired all North American rights to documentary “Mirage Men,” which examines decades of government cover-ups about extraterrestrial visitors.

    Disney elected not to challenge the release of “Escape From Tomorrow,” Randy Moore’s nightmarish fantasy – despite that was shot, guerilla-style, in Disney theme parks without the company’s permission. Cinetic Media handled the film’s theatrical and VOD release.

    Also read: Cinetic to Release Dubious Disney Theme-Park Movie ‘Escape From Tomorrow’

    “‘Escape from Tomorrow’ and ‘Mirage Men’ are exactly the kind of films that distinguish the Random Media label as a destination for bold, provocative entertainment,” said Rob Williams, Random Media SVP and acquisitions head. “The debut of ‘Escape from Tomorrow’ was nothing short of a revelation at Sundance – we’ve never seen anything quite like it.”

    See video: Disneyland Is Far From Happy in First ‘Escape from Tomorrow’ Trailer

    Random releases “Escape From Tomorrow” on DVD and Blu-ray in April 2014; it has not yet announced a release pattern for “Mirage Men.”

  • VARIETY: ‘For Those in Peril’ takes prize at British Independent Film Awards

    December 13, 2013

    Steven Knight drives away with scripter’s honor for ‘Locke’

    LONDON — Philippines-set heist thriller “Metro Manila” stole three trophies at the Moet British Independent Film Awards, where it picked up kudos for film, director and achievement in production.
    Sean Ellis’ pic, which is shot in the Tagalog language, is the U.K.’s submission for the foreign-language film award at the Oscars, and won the audience award for world cinema at Sundance. Fox International Prods. has acquired remake rights for the pic, which follows a poor farmer as he moves to the megacity of Manila and gets a job driving armored transports.

    The BIFA awards ceremony, which was held at London’s Old Billingsgate Sunday, saw other prizes spread evenly among the other contenders.

    Steven Knight took the scripter’s honor for “Locke,” which he also directed. The one-hander, which was described in its Variety review as “an ingeniously executed study in cinematic minimalism,” toplines Tom Hardy as man driving at night, making a series of calls on his cell as he goes, as he tries to defuse a personal crisis and a professional dilemma. Knight’s previous scripting credits include “Dirty Pretty Things” and “Eastern Promises.”

    Lede acting kudos went to Lindsay Duncan for Roger Michell’s “Le Week-end,” and James McAvoy for Jon S. Baird’s “Filth,” while supporting thesp winners were Imogen Poots in Michael Winterbottom’s “The Look of Love,” and Ben Mendelsohn in David Mackenzie’s “Starred Up,” which had led the nominations race with eight noms.

    Paul Wright took the Douglas Hickox Award, which recognizes the best debut helmer, for “For Those in Peril,” a poetic reverie about a troubled youth who is the sole survivor of a fishing boat accident. Variety’s reviewer said: “Wright’s strongest achievement here is an evocative depiction of place, where young teens flee from adult supervision and danger lies in wait.”

    The most promising newcomer award went to actress Chloe Pirrie for “Shell.” Pirrie has also been selected for BAFTA’s Breakthrough Brits program, which celebrates up-and-coming local talent.

    As previously announced, the Richard Harris Award for outstanding contribution by an actor to British film went to Julie Walters, and the Variety Award was picked up by helmer Paul Greengrass for bringing international attention to U.K. cinema.

    The ceremony was streamed live exclusively online at http://www.film3sixty.com/moetbifa.

    BRITISH INDEPENDENT FILM
    Metro Manila

    DIRECTOR
    Sean Ellis — Metro Manila

    THE DOUGLAS HICKOX AWARD (DEBUT DIRECTOR)
    Paul Wright — For Those in Peril

    SCREENPLAY
    Steven Knight — Locke

    ACTRESS
    Lindsay Duncan — Le Week-end

    ACTOR
    James McAvoy — Filth

    SUPPORTING ACTRESS
    Imogen Poots — The Look of Love

    SUPPORTING ACTOR
    Ben Mendelsohn — Starred Up

    MOST PROMISING NEWCOMER
    Chloe Pirrie — Shell

    ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION
    Metro Manila

    TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT
    Amy Hubbard — Casting — The Selfish Giant

    DOCUMENTARY
    Pussy Riot — A Punk Prayer

    BRITISH SHORT
    Z1

    INTERNATIONAL INDEPENDENT FILM
    Blue Is the Warmest Color

    THE RAINDANCE AWARD
    The Machine

    THE RICHARD HARRIS AWARD (for outstanding contribution by an actor to British Film)
    Julie Walters

    THE VARIETY AWARD
    Paul Greengrass

    THE SPECIAL JURY PRIZE
    Sixteen Films & Friends (AKA Team Loach)

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