Monthly Archives: November 2018

Ron Howard’s ‘Pavarotti’ Movie Sells Around The World For White Horse Pictures & HanWay Films

Terry O'Neill/Decca/REX/Shutterstock

EXCLUSIVE: Ron Howard’s AFM buyer presentation for documentary Pavarotti, about iconic opera singer Luciano Pavarotti, was one of the hot tickets at last month’s market. Distributors have responded well to the project with a string of key deals inked by White Horse Pictures and HanWay Films.

Deals have closed for Germany and Austria (Wild Bunch), Spain (A Contracorriente), China (DDD Dream), Australia/NZ (Madman), Japan (Gaga) and South Korea (AUD). Italy has been licensed in collaboration with TIMVision and producer Wildside, the former being Telecom Italia’s growing streaming platform, which has picked up films and hit shows such as The Handmaid’s Tale and Elena Ferrante adaptation My Brilliant Friend. Wildside execs across the Italy deal included Lorenzo Gangarossa, Mario Gianani, and Lorenzo Mieli. A separate theatrical deal is also in the works.

Pre-sales have also been finalized for Benelux (The Searchers), CIS / Baltics (Volga Film), Czech Rep, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania (Prorom), Former Yugoslavia (Discovery), Greece (Odeon), Israel (Shoval), Middle East (Front Row), Poland (Best Film), Scandinavia (Svensk), Singapore (Shaw), Switzerland (Pathé Films), Taiwan (Moviecloud) and Turkey (Filmarti).

Oscar-winner Howard and producer Nigel Sinclair (Rush) presented nine minutes of footage to buyers during AFM. The doc biopic, currently in post-production, will feature memorable performances, including classic songs from Pavarotti’s Three Tenors days, previously unseen footage and talking heads including his widow Nicoletta and U2 frontman Bono. The project has buy-in from Pavarotti’s family and estate.

The director told us during AFM the release would have an event element to it, with Pavarotti performances available to play in cinemas after the film’s credits have rolled. Release is due early next year.

The film is fully financed by Universal Music Group’s Polygram Entertainment and Decca Records, Pavarotti’s lifelong record label. Creative team includes The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years writer Mark Monroe and editor Paul Crowder. Producers are Nigel Sinclair, Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Michael Rosenberg and Jeanne Elfant Festa. Executive producers are Polygram’s David Blackman and Decca Records’ Dickon Stainer along with White Horse’s Guy East and Nicholas Ferrall and Diamond Doc’s Paul Crowder and Mark Monroe.

The famed Italian tenor, who came from humble roots and initially wanted to be a soccer goalkeeper, was struck down by a life-threatening illness at a young age. He would go on to become a cultural and global icon, selling more than 100M records, known for his legendary performances of Nessun Dorma, which became a theme for the 1990 World Cup. He was also known for his charitible and philanthropic work. He passed in 2007.

Ron Howard Teases Upcoming Pavarotti Movie At Buyer Event, Reveals Release Plans — AFM

Multi-Oscar winner Ron Howard was at the American Film Market in Los Angeles this morning to stir up buyer interest in his upcoming Luciano Pavarotti documentary Pavarotti.

Howard, HanWay Films and producer Nigel Sinclair (Rush) hosted two busy buyer presentations for the film at the Shutters on the Beach hotel. The director’s enthusiasm for his opera singer subject and stirring footage impressed buyers we spoke to.

The doc biopic will feature memorable performances, including classic songs from Pavarotti’s Three Tenors days, previously unseen footage and talking heads including his widow Nicoletta and U2 frontman Bono. The project has buy-in from Pavarotti’s family and estate.

Howard told us after the private presentation, “It’s impossible to imagine that this kid would wind up as Pavarotti. The demands of his art-form were remarkable. It was almost an athletic achievement what he accomplished through performance. He had a great gift but that wasn’t all. He had charm, charisma, he chose to live his life in a state of appreciation and excitement and joy about what the world had to offer. That’s very inspiring. He also had a tremendous commitment and selflessness which is worth celebrating. At a time like this, today, that is a story worth reminding people about.”

The film will also have an event element to it, a smart addition at a time when event cinema is booming. Producer Sinclair, who collaborated with Howard on Rush and documentary The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years revealed to us, “After the Beatles movie we showed performances from the famous Shea Stadium concert. With Pavarotti, which will be mixed in Dolby Atmos, we’re going to include three classic Pavarotti arias after the movie so audiences who have enjoyed the film can then sit and listen to three of his beautiful performances. That will be part of the buyers’ package on the movie.”

Howard enthused to buyers on multiple occasions, “Pavarotti’s life was an opera.” The famed Italian tenor, who came from humble roots and initially wanted to be a soccer goalkeeper, was struck down by a life-threatening illness at a young age. He would go on to become a cultural and global icon, selling more than 100M records, known for his legendary performances of Nessun Dorma, which became a theme for the 1990 World Cup. He was also known for his charity and philanthropical work. He passed in 2007.

HanWay and Sinclair’s White Horse are selling at the AFM. Pic is being made by Universal Music Group’s Polygram Entertainment, Decca Records (the singer’s lifelong record label), Imagine Entertainment and White Horse Pictures. Currently in post-production, it is due to be ready next year.

As for Howard, his next narrative feature remains unknown but he and Imagine are currently developing a host of hot projects for film and TV, including features Hillbilly Elegy and Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book for Disney.

 

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Ron Howard brings ‘Pavarotti’ sizzle reel to AFM

HanWay Films is understood to have closed two major deals on its Luciano Pavarotti documentary, which Ron Howard trumpeted to AFM buyers at a sizzle reel presentation at Shutters on the Beach on Saturday [3].

“I had no idea how charismatic he was,” Howard said of the late Italian tenor, whom he had admired from afar despite not being an opera aficionado prior to embarking on his third documentary.

Now in the final stages of a project that started two years ago and is expected to be ready by the first quarter of 2019, Howard told Screendaily, “We finished our editing and I am still playing Pavarotti every morning.”

However for Howard, the story of the world-renowned Pavarotti was very different to that of The Fab Four, whom he profiled in The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years.

“There’s so much footage and he is so funny and wise and revealing in his interviews so I thought, ‘Let’s let him tell this story.’ It’s really a character study,” said Howard.

The sizzle showed Pavarotti at his first rehearsal with Placido Domingo and José Carreras in their incarnation as The Three Tenors, and previously unseen footage of Pavarotti singing in the Amazon rainforest, where he performed in the 1990s to a deserted Amazon Theatre that featured in the film Fizzcarraldo.

Pavarotti touches on the great tenor’s activism in later life and features on-camera contributions from Bono, and his widow Nicoletta Mantovani. Producer Jeanne Elfant Festa of White Horse Pictures was instrumental in getting the cooperation of Pavarotti’s first wife Adua Veroni, and Mantovani.

“It’s very clear from the film he is a world citizen,” said producer Nigel Sinclair of White Horse Pictures, who collaborated with Howard on The Beatles documentary. Sinclair told Screendaily the music will be mixed in Dolby Atmos. “Pavarotti’s voice has so much texture and listening to it, you can almost feel you can touch it.” Sinclair added that the plan is to play three arias sung by Pavarotti after theatrical presentations as a bonus for cinema-goers.

Earlier this year Imagine Documentaries and White Horse Pictures struck a non-exclusive partnership. “Every [documentary] so far has been a good filmmaking experience,” said Howard. ”I have really enjoyed it. The collaboration is great and virtually the same team that worked on The Beatles. I feel very supported – it’s a great safety net. I’ve been surprised by how much of my own storytelling sensibilities I am able to bring to the films and how much I lean about it.”

Pavarotti is being produced by Polygram Entertainment, Decca Records, Imagine Entertainment, and White Horse Pictures.

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