‘Arbalest’, ‘Tower’ win top prizes – Foster, Clooney’s ‘Money Monster’ to play Cannes fest

A model displays a creation by Japanese designer Jotaro Saito during the 2016 Autumn/Winter collection at the Tokyo Fashion Week in Tokyo, on March 16. (AP)
A model displays a creation by Japanese designer Jotaro Saito during the 2016 Autumn/Winter collection at the Tokyo Fashion Week in Tokyo, on March 16. (AP)

LOS ANGELES, March 16, (RTRS): “The Arbalest,” Adam Pinney’s droll, puzzle-like tale of unrequited obsession starring Mike Brune as a famed 1970s toy inventor, won the grand jury prize for narrative features at the SXSW Film Festival on Tuesday.

The narrative jury, consisting of Lindsey Bahr, Richard Brody and Alonso Duralde, also handed acting awards to Andre Royo, who plays a wily ex-con in Josh Locy’s “Hunter Gatherer,” and to Lily Rabe, who stars as a high-school English teacher in Julia Hart’s “Miss Stevens.”

In the documentary competition, the grand jury prize went to Keith Maitland’s “Tower,” which uses interviews, archival footage and rotoscopic animation to reconstruct the sniper shootings that rocked the U. of Texas at Austin campus on Aug. 1, 1966. “Tower” also received the Louis Black “Lone Star” Award, given annually to a Texas-produced film, from a separate jury.

“It is the professional privilege of my life to spend my last four years in the company of some of the most brave and resilient people on this planet,” Maitland said, accepting the grand jury prize.

Documentary competition jurors David Edelstein, Jen Yamato and Stephanie Zacharek presented a special recognition for portrait documentary to “Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race & America,” Matt Ornstein’s film about the eponymous musician and his controversial hobby of meeting and befriending KKK members.

“In an age when so much of our political dialogue is so coarse and so cynical … Daryl is endlessly optimistic and endlessly empathetic,” said producer Noah Ornstein.


A special jury recognition for visual design was given to “The Seer,” Laura Dunn’s look at the endangerment of agrarian life as seen from the perspective of the poet-activist Wendell Berry; it was shot by the cinematographer Lee Daniel.

The Gamechanger Award, presented to a female filmmaker, went to Sophie Goodhart for “My Blind Brother,” her love-triangle comedy starring Adam Scott, Nick Kroll and Jenny Slate. The Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship was given to Eileen Meyer, who edited the 2015 Gore Vidal-William F. Buckley documentary “Best of Enemies.”

The Tuesday night awards ceremony was hosted in lively fashion by director-comedian Mike Birbiglia, whose film “Don’t Think Twice” was warmly received in its world premiere in the festival’s Headliners section.

“It’s important to remember that art is not a competition,” Birbiglia said, kicking off the show. “But if it were, tonight we would be celebrating the winners.”

The 23rd annual SXSW Film Festival unspooled more than 140 feature films, including 89 world premieres, 12 North American premieres and eight U.S. premieres. Audience awards will be announced on Saturday.

The full list of winners:

* Narrative Features: Grand jury winner: “The Arbalest” (Adam Pinney);

* Special jury recognition for best actor: Andre Royo, “Hunter Gatherer”;

* Special jury recognition for best actress: Lily Rabe, “Miss Stevens”.

* Documentary Features: Grand jury winner: “Tower” (Keith Maitland);

* Special jury recognition for portrait documentary: “Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race & America” (Matt Ornstein);

* Special jury recognition for visual design: “The Seer” (Laura Dunn).

* Narrative Shorts: Winner: “How Was Your Day?” (Damien O’Donnell);

* Special jury recognition for acting: Jim Cummings, “Thunder Road”;

* Special jury recognition for writing: Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe, “Greener Grass”.

* Documentary Shorts: Winner: “These C-ksucking Tears” (Dan Taberski);

* Special jury recognition: Terri Timely, “Dollhouse”.

* Midnight Shorts: Winner: “Manoman” (Simon Cartwright);

* Special jury recognition: “Don’t Tell Mom” (Sawako Kabuki).

* Animated Shorts: Winner: “Glove” (Alexa Lim Haas, Bernardo Britto);

* Special jury recognition: “Pombo Loves You” (Steve Warne).

* Music Videos: Winner: “Sober,” Childish Gambino (Hiro Murai)

* Texas Shorts: Winner: “The Send-Off” (Ivete Lucas, Patrick Bresnan);

* Special jury recognition for acting: Lindsay Pulsipher, “1985”.

* Texas High-School Shorts: Winner: “Lady of Paint Creek” (Alexia Salingaros);

* Special jury recognition: “The Archer Hadley Story” (Ben Root, Alex Trevino).

* Excellence In Poster Design: Winner: “Miss Me: The Artful Vandal” (MissMe);

* Special jury recognition: “Night Stalker” (New Media);

* Special jury recognition: “Eat My S-t” (Octavio Terol).

* Excellence In Title Design: Winner: “Sunstone” (Aimee Duchamp)

* Sxsw Special Awards: Gamechanger Award: “My Blind Brother” (Sophie Goodhart);

* Louis Black “Lone Star” Award: “Tower” (Keith Maitland);

* Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship: Eileen Meyer.


LOS ANGELES: Jodie Foster’s thriller “Money Monster,” starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts, will screen at the 69th Cannes Film Festival, Variety has confirmed.

The film’s inclusion has not officially been confirmed, but it appears likely that the financial thriller will screen on Thursday, the second night of the festival.

It marks a return to Cannes for Foster after her previous directorial effort, the Mel Gibson starrer “The Beaver,” screened out of competition in 2011. It is Roberts first time at Cannes.

The Sony/TriStar release stars Clooney as a financial TV personality whose program is taken hostage by a gunman (Jack O’Connell) angry over a bad stock tip, with Roberts playing the show’s producer. It’s set to open May 13 in the US, shortly after it plays Cannes on May 11.

An opening night film has not yet been named. Last year’s opener was French pic “Standing Tall.” Several previous openers were Hollywood titles including “Midnight in Paris,” “Moonrise Kingdom,” “The Great Gatsby” and “Grace of Monaco.”

As previously announced, director George Miller will preside over this year’s competition jury. The Cannes Film Festival runs May 11-22.

Brent Lang contributed to this report.

LOS ANGELES: Televisa’s film distribution arm Videocine has snagged Mexican theatrical rights to Leonardo Zimbron’s Traziende Films production “How to Break Up with your Douchebag” (formerly “Amanda – The Break Up Planner”), by L.A.-based helmer-scribe Gabriela Tagliavini.

Penned by Tagliavini and Ricardo Alvarez Canales, the $2.5 million comedy takes its cue from such femme-centered laffers as “Bridesmaids” and “Trainwreck.” Pic turns on a woman who makes a living from breaking up couples, and who decides to take on the task of splitting up her sister’s relationship with her jerk of a boyfriend.

Pic is toplined by Mariana Trevino (Netflix’s “Club de Cuervos”), Camila Sodi (“Bufalo de la Noche,” “Ninas Mal”), Sebastian Zurita (“Ciudadano Buelna,” “Corazon Salvaje”) and Christopher Uckerman (FOX’s “Kdabra” and RBD bandmember).

Repped by UTA’s Ramses Ishak and Michael Sheresky, Tagliavini’s credits include Disney’s 2004 award-winning hit comedy “Ladies Night,” Eva Longoria-Christian Slater starrer “Without Men” and “Border Run,” starring Sharon Stone. She has also adapted the best-selling novel “The Anatomist” for HBO.

A former Warner Bros. Mexico exec, Zimbron has produced a number of box-office hits led by 2012 Mexican blockbuster “Nosotros los Nobles,” and has produced Netflix’s “Club de Cuervos” with producing partner Monica Vargas Celis. Traziende’s upcoming pics include kiddie live-action/animated combo “Elefante, el Caballo,” spring break romcom “Sundown” (“Guatdefoc”) and a Dominican Republic-set co-production with Lantica Films, “Complices.”

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