Disney's Brave Premiere, Cannes' Beasts and Colin Firth's Mad Dogs: Biz Break Cannes

Also in Saturday's (mostly) Cannes related news round up, actress Isabella Rossellini gets a new festival jury gig, Lincoln Center teams with Dubai to spotlight Arab cinema, and two groups join for a $150 million equity fund for indie filmmakers. Also check out this weekend's specialty film releases.

Disney/Pixar's Brave to Open Dolby Theatre
The world premiere of Brave will mark the opening of the newly re-dubbed Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, the home of the Academy Awards. The Los Angeles Film Festival will co-host the event as a red carpet special presentation. The animated feature is an epic tale set in the mystical Scottish Highlands where the film’s headstrong protagonist, Merida, is "forced to discover the meaning of true bravery." Disney opens the film wide in theaters June 22nd.

Dubai and Film Society of Lincoln Center Team for Arab Cinema
Arab cinema will take center stage in a new program partnered by the Dubai International Film Festival and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the groups said in Cannes Saturday. Dubbed DIFF Focus taking place August 24 - 30 in New York, the program will feature Venice Film Festival love story Habibi Rasak Kharban and Gulf Film Festival opener City of Life.

$150M Independent Film Equity Fund Launched
Financier and production outfit AngelWorld Entertainment and independent merchant bank First Wall Street have set up a $150 million fund dedicated to independent productions, the groups said in Cannes. AWE funds 100%, providing a single source of funding allowing the equity investor to sit in the first position, minimizing its risk by securing against all of the film’s assets including foreign sales, tax credits, minimum guarantees and  intellectual property rights until the investor has fully recouped its money.

Walk Away Renee to Bow in North American Online Premiere
The Cannes 2011 documentary by Jonathan Caouette will have its North American debut via Sundance Selects' digital sister SundanceNOW. Walk Away Renee is a follow up to Caouette's lauded 2004 doc Tarnation. Renee will be debut along with its North American premiere June 27th at BAMcinemaFest.

Around the 'net...

Preview This Weekend's Specialty Releases
The Cannes Film Festival is in full swing and at least two distributors are bowing their Cannes cache this weekend. Zeitgeist Films is debuting Elena in the U.S. The film won awards in Cannes and elsewhere before its long (and somewhat bizarre) road to the screen. Sundance Selects, meanwhile will roll out French César and Cannes winner Polisse in theaters and day-and-date VOD using some of its past offerings as a distribution template. Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black’s directorial debut Virginia opens in limited release and documentary Never Stand Still starts its rollout in New York before heading to other cities, Deadline reports.

Fox Searchlight Fetes Beasts of the Southern Wild in Cannes
The 2012 Sundance winner hit the Croisette Friday, basking in two standing ovations. The mystical story set in the deep Louisiana Delta’s swamp country deals with a young girl’s search for her mother after her father’s deteriorating health and environmental disaster put her life in peril. Searchlight will release the feature in the U.S. June 27th, Deadline reports.

Colin Firth Boards Mad Dogs
Oscar winner Colin Firth has joined Noel Coward's Mad Dogs and Englishmen, the story of flamboyant English playwright, director and actor singer's engagement at Las Vegas' Desert Inn in 1955. THR reports from Cannes.

Isabella Rossellini to Lead Abu Dhabi Film Festival Jury
Rossellini has been named president of the narrative jury for the festival's 2012 edition taking place October 11 - 20. The actress last chaired a jury at the Berlinale in February, which gave the best film, best actor and best actress prizes to Iranian director Asghar Farhadi's A Separation, which went on to win the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film earlier this year, Cannes Market News reports.



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