Archive for January, 2008

30
Jan
08

Leonid Rozhetskin; Party For Sundance Success

Party For Sundance Success

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FORMER Disney chief Michael Eisner‘s son, Eric, has done good. Eric and his partner in L+E Productions, Leonid Rozhetskin, just sold their first film, “Hamlet 2,” at Sundance to Focus Features for a whopping $10 million. The duo celebrated over the weekend with the cast, including Steve Coogan, whom Courtney Love notoriously accused of being Owen Wilson‘s drug buddy last year. Coogan arrived with his new girlfriend, China Chow, and the two hung out with another odd couple: author Jonathan Ames and his new lady friend, singer Fiona Apple. Also on hand was Eric’s girlfriend, alice+olivia designer Stacey Bendet, who just bought a house with her pal Moby in the Hollywood Hills, to be closer to her West Coast-based beau. Bendet will now be splitting her time between Los Angeles and New York – where she is unveiling her collection on Feb. 7 at her West 40th Street showroom.

 

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29
Jan
08

Leonid Rozhetskin announces to produce “Three Wolves”

After the huge succes of Hamlet2 at the sundance film festival. Leonid Rozhetskin co-founded Production Company L+E Productions announces to produce ” Three Wolves” a tale of the Russian Mafia.
We are excited!

Full Acting Credits for Three Wolves »

Full Production Credits »

Production Credits

ScreenplayMatthew Michaud
Story ByZach Jerome
ProducerEric D. Eisner
Producer – Leonid Rozhetskin

Full Production Credits for Three Wolves »

Company Information

L+E Productions – Production Company

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Leonid Rozhetskin; Hamlet2 via Miami Herald

Interview with the Cast of Leonid Rozhetskins co-produced Hamlet2

29
Jan
08

Leonid Rozhetskin; Hamlet2 via Miami Herald

‘Hamlet 2’ is big buy at Sundance Fest

By RYAN PEARSON, MIAMI HERALD

AP Entertainment Writer

Actress Elisabeth Shue poses for a portrait during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah on Monday, Jan. 21, 2008. Shue is at Sundance promoting the feature film

 

Dan Steinberg / AP Photo

Actress Elisabeth Shue poses for a portrait during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah on Monday, Jan. 21, 2008. Shue is at Sundance promoting the feature film “Hamlet 2” in which she has a starring role.

 

 

PARK CITY, Utah

Steve Coogan is the toast of Sundance. The British actor stars in the biggest acquisition of the film festival, “Hamlet 2,” a bawdy comedy directed by Andy Fleming that takes politically incorrect jabs at inspirational teacher flicks like “Mr. Holland’s Opus.”Focus Features bought the film for a reported $10 million in the wee hours of Tuesday after a premiere the night before at which it was greeted with loud laughter.

Catherine Keener co-stars as Coogan’s unhappy wife, and Elisabeth Shue plays herself, under the concept that she has given up on Hollywood and moved to Tucson, Ariz., to become a nurse.

“Choke,” starring Sam Rockwell, sold to Fox Searchlight with trade papers putting the deal at $5 million. Actor-director-writer Clark Gregg adapted the screenplay from “Fight Club” author Chuck Palahniuk’s 2001 novel.

In announcing the buy, the studio described the dark comedy’s themes as “mothers and sons, sexual compulsion, and the sordid underbelly of Colonial theme parks.”

“Henry Poole is Here,” a spiritual comedic drama starring Luke Wilson, sold for a reported $3.5 million to Overture Films. “We think we managed to find a little gem,” Overture CEO Chris McGurk said Wednesday.

Before the festival, filmmakers and sellers had hoped the halt in production due to the writers strike would put pressure on buyers. It turned out that distributors were actually more reticent than usual.

“There did seem to be more caution this year, I guess, as opposed to prior years,” McGurk said. “There were some instances of buys that were made last year that with 20/20 hindsight, that amount of money shouldn’t be paid.”

Among documentaries, HBO Documentary Films purchased “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired” for U.S. distribution, while the Weinstein Co. got international rights. “The Black List” sold to HBO, and “American Teen,” a cinema verite crowd favorite tracking four high school seniors, went to Paramount Vantage for about $1 million.

The Sundance Film Festival runs through Sunday.

Continue reading ‘Leonid Rozhetskin; Hamlet2 via Miami Herald’

29
Jan
08

Interview with the Cast of Leonid Rozhetskins co-produced Hamlet2

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Via Entertaiment Weekly

 

Sundance Q&A: The Cast of ”Hamlet 2

Steve Coogan, Elisabeth Shue, and David Arquette talk about their high-school-set comedy, likely to remain the fest’s biggest acquisition

 

 

 

STEVE COOGAN (left, with Catherine Keener) on Hamlet 2: ”Ours is a film that makes you laugh. It’s not a film that makes you think. But if you want to think, you can”

By the eighth day of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, director Andrew Fleming’s comedy Hamlet 2 remained the biggest acquisition, selling to Focus Features for $10 million. The comedy revolves around a high-school drama teacher (Steve Coogan) who stages a sequel to Shakespeare’s play in order to save his department from budget cuts.

On the afternoon before the film’s premiere, EW.com chatted with Coogan and his fellow cast members David Arquette and Elisabeth Shue at EW’s photo studio. (Sadly, Hamlet 2 costar Catherine Keener did not make the trip to Sundance this year.)

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Are you excited for tonight’s premiere?
DAVID ARQUETTE: I haven’t seen it yet, so I’m nervous. It seems like people have been enjoying it, though.

And you play…?
ARQUETTE: I play Gary. I’m the guy who lives at [Steve Coogan and Catherine Keener’s] house. They only let me live there because I have a car. They don’t have a car. I drive them everywhere. I think I’m supposed to be a trainer in it. I’m very fitness-oriented, but I don’t have any actual clients. I have a small part. I only have about 10 lines in it. And I think one of my scenes got cut, too. I was sad. I play a dumb guy in it. Which I tend to do well.

Well, you’re playing against type.
ARQUETTE: I hope so. [Laughs] Or maybe I’m just dumb.

[Arquette gets called to get his picture taken. Elisabeth Shue steps up.]

Hello. Are you enjoying Sundance?
ELISABETH SHUE: It’s really fun to be back. The most moving time I’ve had at Sundance was two years ago because Davis [Guggenheim, Shue’s husband] premiered An Inconvenient Truth [which he directed] here. That will go down as the most meaningful trip to Sundance. I remember the first screening of An Inconvenient Truth, they gave it a standing ovation. I was crying so much. It still makes me cry thinking of it.

It’ll be hard to measure up to that ever again.
SHUE: I know, it’ll never measure up to that, but it doesn’t have to. I love this movie, actually. It’s really funny. Unique and different. And I just think Steve is a brilliant comedian. I want to do another comedy — and with him. [She points to Coogan, who’s been sitting nearby, ostensibly minding his own business.] I want him to write me a movie where we can be lovers. [Laughs]

[To Coogan] Would you like to join our conversation?
SHUE: Don’t you think he’s hot?

He’s not bad.
STEVE COOGAN: I’m not too pale for a Brit.
SHUE: With his new haircut! He’s got really funny hair in the movie.
COOGAN: It’s kind of ’80s: long, wavy. I had this long, fair hair. It was dyed and bleached and straightened. And then it got so brittle I just had to get rid of it all.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: [To Shue] How did you like working with the great Steve Coogan?
ELISABETH SHUE: Ah…. It was really incredible. It’s so easy.
STEVE COOGAN: We had great chemistry.
SHUE: We did.
COOGAN: We still have great chemistry.
SHUE: I want him.
COOGAN: I want her.

Well, don’t let me stand in the way. [To Coogan] So, what about working with the wonderful Elisabeth Shue?
COOGAN: It was tremendous and stupendous and chemically…
SHUE: Destabilizing.
COOGAN: Destabilizing!
SHUE: He plays this has-been actor whose most important role was being in the background of a herpes commercial.
COOGAN: I was in the foreground of a herpes commercial! The herpes commercial was all about me. And I’ve had a cold sore in real life. Carry on.
SHUE: And then, I play myself, Elisabeth Shue. I’ve quit the business and I’ve gone to Tucson, Ariz., to become a nurse. He comes into the fertility clinic where I work and he’s so excited to see me, because he’s a great lover of film and he thinks I’m just so wonderful.
COOGAN: I’m obsessed with Elisabeth Shue. I metaphorically and literally kiss her ass. And I invite her to my school to give a talk. It’s very exciting. She says some very explicit things. I won’t tell you what they are. But they’re shocking for fans of Elisabeth Shue.

You play yourself — or a version of yourself?
SHUE: It was definitely a version of myself. The first day, I was really self-conscious and nervous because I didn’t know anybody. There were no rehearsals so I just showed up and started shooting. But Steve made me feel comfortable because he was so excited to see me in the scene that it just made me laugh every single time. [She laughs just talking about it] I felt like I understood the version I was supposed to play once he started to react to me.

[To Coogan] And your character — was he fun to play?
COOGAN: Yeah, it was a lot of fun. I play kind of a heroic fool whose heart’s in the right place, but he’s a bit of a jackass and he tries to save the drama department at his school by writing a sequel to Hamlet.
SHUE: It’s a musical!
COOGAN: It’s a happy version. He figures that the original HamletHamlet 1 — it’s a bit depressing when everyone dies at the end. So he wants he want to do a more uplifting, positive, Hollywood version.
SHUE: Jesus is in it. He comes in a time machine.
COOGAN: Jesus Christ. And Albert Einstein. He travels through time and meets a bunch of people.

Wow, so it’s like Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure?
COOGAN: It is like that, except that…it doesn’t star Keanu Reeves.

How does it feel to be at Sundance with a comedy?
COOGAN: Great. [At film festivals, there tends to be a lot of] interesting, quirky, odd, individualistic, kind of esoteric films that make you sad. Ours is a film that makes you laugh. It’s not a film that makes you think. But if you want to think, you can. It’s a kind of optional-thinking movie. You don’t have to think too much.
SHUE: Not at all.
COOGAN: Not at all, actually

Related Sites

Leonid Rozhetskin on Wikipedia

LeonidRozhetskin.net

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25
Jan
08

The Media Critic on Hamlet2, coproduced by Leonid Rozhetskin

Focus Features Acquires Hamlet 2

Written by on January 22, 2008 – 2:35 pm

Focus Features has acquired worldwide rights to Andrew Fleming’s comedy Hamlet 2, a world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Focus Features CEO James Schamus and president Andrew Karpen made the announcement today.
Directed by Andrew Fleming (Dick, Threesome) from an original screenplay he wrote with Pam Brady (”South Park,” Team America: World Police), Hamlet 2 is produced by L+E Pictures’ Eric Eisner & Leonid Rozhetskin and Aaron Ryder (Memento, The Prestige). The movie was executive-produced by Bona Fide partners Albert Berger & Ron Yerxa (Election).

In the irreverent comedy, a failed actor-turned-worse-high-school-drama teacher (Steve Coogan of Night at the Museum) rallies his Tucson, AZ students as he conceives and stages a politically incorrect musical sequel to Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” The film also stars David Arquette (the “Scream” movies), Melonie Diaz (soon to be seen in Be Kind Rewind), two-time Academy Award nominee Catherine Keener, Amy Poehler (”Saturday Night Live”), and Elisabeth Shue as herself.

Schamus and Karpen commented, “Andrew Fleming and an extraordinary filmmaking team have brought everyone at Focus an amazing New Year’s present. We can’t wait to share this riotously inventive movie with the whole world.”

Eisner said, “We’re extremely excited to work with the talented Focus group on ‘Hamlet 2,’ and we look forward to a bright future for the movie after what was an exceptional response at Sundance.”

Rozhetskin added, “‘Hamlet 2? is the most auspicious imaginable launch for L+E Pictures.”

L+E Pictures was formed in 2007 by Eisner and Rozhetskin with a mission to finance and develop feature-length films. L+E Pictures provides equity financing for films with budgets in the range of $5 to $30 million dollars.

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25
Jan
08

Leonid Rozhetskin via BuzzCheck

Sundance BuzzCheck™:

The festival’s top seller, ‘Hamlet 2′

Jan 23, 2008, 07:48 PM | by Pop Watch

Categories: Sundance Film Festival 2008

Cooganhamlet2_l To sell or not to sell? That has been the question dogging every fledgling filmmaker at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where sales have been remarkably slow. But it wasn’t a concern for the producers of Hamlet 2 — the bizarro comic farce about an about an eccentric high school drama teacher (Steve Coogan, pictured) who tries to save his drama program and his marriage to his fed-up wife (Catherine Keener) with his production of a sequel to Shakespeare’s masterwork. Their quandary was more about how much to sell their movie for, and to whom.

The raucous comedy had been the subject of tremendous buzz coming into Sundance…before it was even completed, and without a mere mention in the event’s catalogue. Indeed, the unfinished film was such a late entry into the festival that Park City’s primary premiere location, the Eccles Center, was fully booked. But that didn’t stop Hamlet 2 from knocking Sundance out of its mid-festival doldrums with a rowdy debut screening Monday night at the Library Center theater. The room erupted in hysterics about two minutes into the show, and things stayed that way for nearly two hours.

Afterward, Harvey Weinstein hovered by the door, ready to kick off the deal-making. He was far from alone. Producer Eric Eisner and Leonid Rozhetskin, whose L+E pictures financed the film, fielded offers “from all the usual suspects,” including Fox Searchlight and Lionsgate. But it wasn’t until after he spent the whole night hashing things out at the bargaining table in his condo that he finally settled on a deal to sell the worldwide rights to Focus Features for an astronomical $10 million — one of the highest sums ever fetched by any movie in the history of Sundance. Eisner insists it wasn’t simply Focus’ deep pockets that helped that distributor win the bidding war. “We love their whole overall approach to marketing and filmmaking,” say Eisner and Rozhetskin, who will confess that Hamlet 2 outperformed even his high expectations. “It’s been quite a ride. Now it would be nice to get some sleep.” —Christine Spines (with additional reporting by Missy Schwartz)

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25
Jan
08

Leonid Rozhetskin on Hamlet2 via Eonline.com

Sundance, Day 7:

Why Hamlet 2 Is Hot, Hot, Hot

Categories: sundance, hamlet 2

Hamlet 2

Finally, there’s a huge sale at Sundance. Hamlet 2 is a satirical comedy about a failed actor turned high school teacher (Steve Coogan) who stages a musical sequel to Hamlet. And it screened so well that Focus Features snapped it up for $10 million. That’s the second-biggest sale in history, the first being Little Miss Sunshine.

So, what are the ingredients to the most appetizing Sundance spread?

1. Set the Table with Mickey Mouse-Themed Place Mats! Hamlet 2 producer Eric Eisner has a dad named Michael Eisner. You might have heard of Michael? He worked for some company called Disney or something. Anyway, Eisner didn’t make the deadline for Sundance. But he used his pull to secure a last-second screening of the rough cut so that the film could be shown. Well done, Eric.

2. Break Open a Bottle of Superexpensive 1787 Château Lafite! Hamlet 2 is classy. Even common folk moviegoers will hear the title and think, Dang, Shakespeare, that’s probably good.

3. Open Up a Box of Twinkies! Hamlet 2 sends up Dangerous Minds. Phew. It’s not all about Shakespeare.

4. Garnish with Eight Packs of NutraSweet! Everyone at Focus should send a fruit basket as a gesture of gratitude to Paris Hilton. The reformed party girl has been ditzing about, helping remind buyers we need Shakespearean-themed entertainment to distract us from, well, Paris.

5. Laugh So Hard That You Spit the Wine All over the Twinkies! Hamlet 2 star Elisabeth Shue had this to say to the New York Times: “I just got the script and it said, ‘A famous actress who’s a has-been, lives in Tucson and is a nurse.’ I had to do it.” Ha.

6. Light Estrogen-Scented Candles! Catherine Keener costars, which is reason enough to think seriously about buying or seeing any movie. Plus, Hamlet 2 is cowritten by South Park vet Pam Brady. And while less than 30 percent of the WGA is women, fortysomething percent of this year’s Oscar-nominated screenwriters are women. Neat!

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