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‘The Boy and the Heron’ Releases English-Language Trailer With Christian Bale, Florence Pugh and Robert Pattinson – Film News in Brief

GKIDS has released the new English language trailer for Hayao Miyazaki’s “The Boy and the Heron.” Both the original Japanese and English language versions premiere in nationwide theaters on Dec. 8, following special preview engagements in New York and Los Angeles beginning on Nov. 22.

The trailer features a first look at vocal performances from Christian Bale, Dave Bautista, Gemma Chan, Willem Dafoe, Karen Fukuhara, Mark Hamill, Robert Pattinson and Florence Pugh. The English-language dub was made in alignment with the SAG-AFTRA Foreign Dubbing Agreement.

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The animated feature from Studio Ghibli was written and directed by Miyazaki, produced by Toshio Suzuki and features a musical score from Joe Hisaishi, a longtime collaborator of Miyazaki. Kenshi Yonezu wrote and performed the film’s theme song “Spinning Globe.” Miyazaki and Suzuki were co-founders of Studio Ghibli.

“The Boy and the Heron” first premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 7.

See the full trailer below.

Oscar Original Song Race Heats Up as Lenny Kravitz’s ‘Road to Freedom’ is Released

Lenny Kravitz’s “Road to Freedom” single from the “Rustin” soundtrack has been released digitally.

The original song was recorded for George C. Wolfe’s upcoming film and plays over the end credits. Kravitz’s single will vie for Oscar consideration in an already hot race.

Wolfe’s film stars Colman Domingo as the gay activist Bayard Rustin who helped co-organize the historic March on Washington.

Wolfe said, “I first met Lenny very early in both of our careers…and the first time I heard him sing was acapella, and I remember the sound quite vividly, and there was something about the quality of his voice that seemed viscerally perfect for the end of the film. The one note I gave him was the song needed to help deliver us as an audience, from feeling to action. And trombones. I begged for trombones.”

Listen to “Road to Freedom” below.

Vanessa Kirby and Lauren Dark Join Swiss Film ‘Thunder’ as Executive Producers

Vanessa Kirby and Lauren Dark will serve as executive producers of the Swiss film “Thunder,” written and directed by Carmen Jaquier. Kirby and Dark’s London-based Aluna Entertainment banner will support the awards push for “Thunder” to contend for Switzerland’s Best International Feature.

“Thunder” follows Elisabeth (Lilith Grasmug), a 17-year-old girl returning home to her mountain village after her older sister suddenly dies. The film’s summary continues, “After five years in a convent, Elisabeth returns to help her family’s farm, but finds herself stifled by the suffocating rules of the village and the silence around her sister’s death – prompting her to fight for her right to experience life and love in rebellion against the community’s strict expectations.”

“From the moment we saw ‘Thunder’ at the Marrakech Film Festival we were blown away by Carmen’s astonishing debut, which marks the arrival of an exciting new voice in cinema,” said Kirby and Dark. “Carmen’s filmmaking is both daring and lyrical and we couldn’t be prouder to champion her as a profound new talent.”

“Thunder” first premiered at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival. The film is distributed in the U.S. by Dekanalog. Flavia Zanon & Joëlle Bertossa of Close Up Films served as producers.

‘Saltburn’ and ‘American Fiction’ Win SCAD Film Festival Audience Awards

The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) has announced the inaugural Audience Awards winners of the SCAD Savannah Film Festival, with Emerald Fennell’s “Saltburn” coming in first place and Cord Jefferson’s “American Fiction” chosen as the runner up.

Both Fennell and Jefferson were in attendance at the festival and accepted the Spotlight Director Award and the Breakthrough Director Award, respectively.

A total of 19 awards were given out from 99 films in competition across the genres of Narrative Features, Documentary Features, Professional Shorts, Animated Shorts, Documentary Shorts, Student Shorts, Shorts Spotlight, the Global Shorts Forum and the SAVFF LGBTQIA+ Short Film Competition presented by Amazon MGM Studios.

Other winners in the professional competition include So Young Shelly Yo, who won Best Director for “Smoking Tigers.” Best Animated Short went to “Slow Light,” directed by Katarzyna Kijek and Przemysław Adamski, and Best Documentary Feature went to “Bad Press,” directed by Rebecca Landsberry-Baker and Joe Peeler. Augustus Meleo Bernstein’s “At The Gates” won Best Narrative Feature.

‘Caligula: The Ultimate Cut’ to be Represented by Submarine for North American Sales

Submarine will serve as the North American Sales agent for “Caligula: The Ultimate Cut,” which premiered at the 2023 Cannes International Film Festival.

Following the 1980 release of “Caligula,” producer and reconstructionist Thomas Negovan re-edited the film for three years utilizing the original materials for “Caligula: The Ultimate Cut,” which includes never-before-seen footage shot in 1976. Negovan’s reconstruction was created from 4K scans of the original camera negatives and features the complete performances of Malcolm McDowell and Helen Mirren for the first time. “Caligula: The Ultimate Cut” also includes a new animated opening sequence by Dave McKean and a new score from Troy Sterling Ties.

Other cast members include Sir John Gielgud, Peter O’Toole and Teresa Ann Savoy. Gore Vidal, the original writer, and Tinto Brass, the original director, both scrapped their names from the project when their vision was severely compromised. Bob Guccione and Franco Rossellini produced the original film, and Oscar winner Danilo Donati did the set design.

Shadowed by the murder of his entire family, the film follows Caligula (McDowell) as he “eliminates his devious adoptive grandfather (O’Toole) and seizes control of the declining Roman Empire, descending into a spiral of depravity, destruction, and madness,” per the release. Mirren portrays Caligula’s wife Caesonia, whose screen time is expanded from less than 20 minutes to almost an hour.

Submarine is a hybrid sales, production and distribution company run by Dan Braun and Josh Braun. Goodfellas will represent sales for the film worldwide outside of North America.

Read Variety’s review of “Caligula: The Ultimate Cut” here.

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