AUSTIN, Texas, March 19, (RTRS): Film star Daryl Hannah returned to the red carpet with her debut as a feature film director and said the odds are stacked against women taking prominent roles in the film industry. Her fantasy western shot on a shoe-string budget called “Paradox” stars music greats Neil Young and Willie Nelson. It premiered last week at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin.
“We made this in the spirit of fun,” she said in an interview at South by Southwest, which closed on Sunday. The film streams on Netflix this month. Hannah, 57, whose career includes memorable roles in 1984’s “Splash” and the “Kill Bill” films in 2003 and 2004, welcomed moves in Hollywood to address sexual harassment and expand the influence of women in the movie industry. “It is good that people are starting to at least acknowledge that there is an issue there and it is something that needs to be addressed,” she said.
Hannah made news late last year when she spoke out in a New Yorker magazine story along with several other female actors who accused movie producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault. Weinstein, co-founder of the Miramax studio, was one of Hollywood’s most powerful men before more than 70 women accused him of sexual misconduct, including rape.
Multiple accusations of sexual misconduct have been leveled against male actors, filmmakers and agents, and fresh attention has been brought to lingering questions over racial and gender fairness inequality in Hollywood. Women wanting to make films have a tough time finding financing and being taken seriously, Hannah said, and when a female-driven movie does well, it is seen as a one-off. But, she said, the tide may be turning.
“It is a patriarchal system that is beginning to feel a little bit that its foundation is being chipped away,” she said. “After ‘Kill Bill,’ I never got another movie meeting. Not even a meeting or an offer,” Hannah added. “It was a great role, and crickets,” she said, meaning silence. “Some of that had to do with Harvey and his bad mouthing.”
LOS ANGELES: Much-loved Hong Kong actresses, Sammi Cheung and Gigi Leung star in the upcoming, untitled film by auteur Stanley Kwan (“Center Stage,” “Lan Yu,” “Rouge”).
The story focuses on an actress who is past her prime attempting to make a comeback, only to discover that she is to be acting alongside her biggest rival. The film is currently in post-production and set for an autumn festival launch ahead of a commercial release in the last quarter of this year or early 2019.
The picture is the highlight of a new slate of films being hatched by Hong Kong distributor, investor and sales agent Golden Scene.
Other recent additions include: “Napping Kid,” an unconventional heist film directed by Amos Why (“Dot 2 Dot”), which is also in post-production; and “Lion Rock,” a fact-based sports drama. The action follows a former professional mountaineer who becomes disabled, but defies the odds and his handicaps to climb Lion Rock, the iconic mountain that towers over Hong Kong. Direction is by Nick Leung.
Matthew Chow and Yuen Kin-to (“McDull: Prince de la Bun”) are also in pre-production on “Sherlock Holmes,” an animated version of the Sherlock Holmes story from the comics of Lai Ho.
Completed pictures include “Adieu,” and “Distinction,” which both get market screenings in FilMart on Wednesday.
Golden Scene is also handling sales on the “Ten Years” franchise movies, which were launched in Busan last year. The concept of the original film, in which a handful of Hong Kong film makers each imagined life in ten years in their home town, is now being reinvented in Japan, Taiwan and Thailand.
LOS ANGELES: The third edition of the GLAS Animation Festival has a long weekend of events and screenings planned for fans of independent animation next week, featuring conversations with “The Lego Movie” directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller and Jorge Gutierrez, director of “The Book of Life” and the Google Spotlight Stories VR short “Son of Jaguar.”
The festival runs March 22-25 in Berkeley, Calif.
“This year’s programming slate is our most exciting yet. We’ve got the most guests we’ve ever had doing talks and retrospective screenings, including David O’Reilly, creator of the critically-acclaimed game ‘Everything,’ Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the writer/director duo that made ‘The Lego Movie’ and ‘21 Jump Street’, and Reka Bucsi, fresh off a win for best short film at the Berlin Film Festival, just to mention a few,” say GLAS Festival director and co-founder Jeanette Bonds and Sean Buckelew, GLAS president and lead programer. “We’ve also got panels and talks with guests from Pixar, Google, Nickelodeon, and many more. At the core of the fest, we can’t wait for everyone to see our main short film competition, representing the best of the best of animated films made this year.”
For the first time, FX Networks will be presenting a $25,000 award to the director of one of the festival’s Official Competition winners. The recipient of the FXX Elevation Award will work with FXX to develop an original animated project. A jury of TV executives will look for a film with “smart themes, distinctive characters, bold storytelling, and, above all, a singular point of view,” according to FX in announcing the award. “FX Networks is excited to provide a platform to artists who reflect an ambition to elevate animation to new heights of truth, creativity, and fearlessness.”