Amazon Studios has set December 13 as the opening day for its Kristen Stewart-starring Jean Seberg biopic Seberg.
In the movie, Stewart plays the French New Wave and Breathless star Seberg, who in the late 1960s was targeted by the FBI because of her support of the civil rights movement and romantic involvement with Hakim Jamal (Anthony Mackie), among others. In Benedict Andrews’ noir-ish thriller, Seberg’s life and career are destroyed by Hoover’s overreaching surveillance and harassment in an effort to suppress and discredit Seberg’s activism.
The pic, directed by Andrews and written by Anna Waterhouse and Joe Shrapnel, received a seven-minute standing ovation out of its Venice Film Festival premiere. Stewart was recently honored at the Deauville American Film Festival, where director Olivier Assayas presented her with the Talent Award. She will also be receiving the Golden Eye Award at the Zurich Film Festival early next month, then will continue on to the Mill Valley Film Festival where she will be lauded with the Spotlight Award.
Other notable fall festival stops include the BFI London Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival, Aspen Film Festival and Chicago Film Festival.
Shrapnel is also an EP on the film. Jack O’Connell, Margaret Qualley, Zazie Beetz, Yvan Attal, Stephen Root, Colm Meaney and Vince Vaughn also star. Producers are Fred Berger and Brian Kavanaugh Jones of Automatik, Marina Acton, Alan Ritchson, Kate Garwood, Stephen Hopkins and Brad Pilz.
Ted Hope, co-Head of Movies at Amazon Studios said, “Kristen Stewart wholly engrossed herself into becoming Jean Seberg in this searing, raw portrayal about transformation. This performance is the culmination of years of hard work, that is one of the best of her career, which will astonish audiences everywhere. Coming out of Venice and Toronto, she has received rave reviews and unanimous acclaim for this exceptional performance. We are excited to share this beautiful and unforgettable story with theatrical audiences and our customers.”
Later this year, Amazon Studios will release in theaters Tom Harper’s The Aeronauts starring Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne; Scott Z. Burns’ The Report starring Adam Driver and Annette Bening; Honey Boy from director Alma Har’el, based on a script written by Shia LaBeouf; Karim Aïnouz’s Invisible Life, Brazil’s official submission for International Feature Film; and Ladj Ly’s Les Misérables which was recently announced as France’s official submission for International Feature Film.
As the first female filmmaker to receive the Will Rogers Pioneer of the Year award, Elizabeth Banks used a word she’s sure her male predecessors have never said in their acceptance speeches: tampons.
"I can only assume this is the fear of every man in the room, that if you give a woman a microphone, it’s all tampon talk all the time," Bank joked at the annual Will Rogers Pioneer of the Year dinner Wednesday night — the first time the awards were held in Los Angeles.
"The best part of this speech is that when you go home, in the car later tonight or tomorrow, when you’re at work, and you have to tell this story of tonight, you now also have to say, 'tampons.'"
And while the joke did fill the Beverly Hilton’s International Ballroom with laughter, Banks hoped it would also serve a more meaningful purpose.
"And in telling this story tonight and repeating that word — tampons — you’re gonna help me erode the stigma and taboo that still surrounds a basic necessity of modern life for half the world’s population," she said.
The new Charlie’s Angels trio — Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska — also garnered some chuckles from the audience with their banter before bestowing words of praise upon their friend and colleague.
The women presented the award to Banks, who wrote, directed, produced and stars in the upcoming reboot — marking her as the first woman to tell the Charlie's Angels story in the history of the film and TV series.
"It is my absolute pleasure to introduce Elizabeth Banks for this well-deserved honor. Liz is a walking catalyst," Stewart said on stage with her co-stars. "She makes shit happen. She makes very good things happen, because the source of her desire, her unstoppable drive, her impulse, is good."
Banks made sure to share the love as she took the stage, telling the audience: "Kristen Stewart is a fucking legend. She’s literally the coolest person that any of you have ever seen, and she said those things about me. I can’t believe it."
Banks is the first woman director to receive the Pioneer of the Year award, and only the fifth woman overall to receive the honor, which recognizes a respected member of the motion picture community for their leadership, service and commitment to philanthropy.
Banks joins the ranks of Kathleen Kennedy, Sherry Lansing and Donna Langley.
For the first time in eight years, the annual Pioneer of the Year dinner was held in Los Angeles after a stint in Las Vegas linked to CinemaCon. The dinner raises money for the Pioneers Assistance Fund, which helps members of the film and exhibition industries who have faced illness and injury.
Despite becoming the first female director to receive the 2019 pioneer of the year award from the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation, “Charlie’s Angels” helmer Elizabeth Banks told Variety that directing wasn’t necessarily always her goal.
“It was something that I dabbled in and something that I did in college and over time, I really became more and more interested in doing it.” Banks said at the Foundation’s annual dinner on Wednesday night at the Beverly Hilton. “It was about five or six years ago now that I really started thinking seriously about it and thinking about the legacy that I could leave in this business if I got to tell stories in my way, basically.”
Banks, who made her feature directorial debut in 2015 with Universal’s smash hit “Pitch Perfect 2,” said she’s heartened by the strides made by female filmmakers in Hollywood over the past few years.
“I think that hopefully it’s just going in waves,” Banks told Variety. “Obviously, I wish the numbers were 50/50 and I wish that 50% of movies were directed by women and I wish that there was equality for women across all fields, but I also see a lot of improvement. I also see most importantly, a lot of conversation about it and a lot of awareness about it, in a way that has never happened before and that’s encouraging.”
Though the latest addition to the internationally beloved “Charlie’s Angels” franchise has created a lot of hype and expectation, Banks said she isn’t yet signed on for a follow-up movie. “Everybody needs to go see ‘Charlie’s Angels’ on November 15 and then maybe we can talk about a sequel,” Banks said.
Banks’ “Angels” trio, Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska, was on hand to present their director with her award. Stewart told Variety that the shift toward gender parity in the entertainment industry was long overdue, though she’s excited for the future.
“I don’t know why coincidentally everyone realized we can just look to our left and to our right and hold each other’s hands and say, ‘Now maybe we demand to be listened to,’ because it really could have happened at any point,“ Stewart said. “It was that we all started talking to each other. To be honest, I can’t wait to see the untold stories that are going to surface that have been submerged for a really long time. As soon as you activate a group of people and say, ‘Hey, you know what, you matter and we want to hear what you have to say,’ storytelling is going to change drastically, and it already has a little bit. I think Liz is on the forefront of that and I’m so happy to be on her side as well.”
Stewart, who announced last year that she would be making her feature directorial debut with an adaptation of the 2011 memoir “The Chronology of Water,” confirmed that the project will begin production in 2020. “Yes, I’m going to be directing next year,” she said.
Stewart’s fellow “Angel” Balinska lauded Banks for her multi-tasking ability — as Banks also produced, wrote and starred in the upcoming reboot. “There was a moment when we were in the Townsend Agency and she was literally on set writing, producing and starring at the same time,” Balinska recalled. “She sat down with us. She had the monitor quite literally in the scene and it was on her lap whilst being present in the scene and also being able to be active as a director which if that doesn’t say pioneer, I don’t know what else does.”