By MCN Editor editor@moviecitynews.com

“THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL” TO BEGIN PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY

John Madden to direct all star cast with Dame Judi Dench, Dame Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy and Dev Patel

LOS ANGELES, CA October 6, 2010 – Fox Searchlight Pictures President of Production Claudia Lewis and Participant Media President Ricky Strauss announced today that that principal photography for THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL will begin on October 10th in India. John Madden (SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE) will direct an all star cast in the comedy THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL from a script by Ol Parker and Deborah Moggach based on the novel by Deborah Moggach. The film will star Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy and Dev Patel and be produced by Graham Broadbent and Peter Czernin of Blueprint Pictures. Fox Searchlight Pictures has worldwide rights and they will co-finance the film with Participant Media and Imagenation Abu Dhabi.

“We’re honored to have John at the helm of this film, a director with a deft hand in both comedy and drama,” said Lewis. “And to welcome back esteemed actors from the Searchlight fold such as Judi, Bill, Tom, Dev as well as the other members of our exceptional cast.”

Strauss said, “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Fox Searchlight for this amazing lineup of talent and a story that’s engaging, optimistic, funny and romantic, yet still manages to deal with the real issues that people today are facing everywhere.”

Madden said, “This is a gorgeous script – witty, moving and hilarious – with a wonderful feel for its subject – India. It’s rare to find one that traverses comedy, romance, and melancholy with such a lightness of touch and it’s proved to be a magnet for the cast of your dreams: actors I know and would want to work with in every film – Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson; and actors I’d feel lucky to be in the room with – Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, and an amazing ensemble. It’s a great project about a world that defies all categorization. No one could come to India and not be changed by it.”

“We have the best of Britain’s actors, the incomparable John Madden directing, a fresh and funny script about ‘outsourcing’ retirement, and amazing partners in Fox and Participant. We’re very excited to get started,” said Broadbent.

THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL follows a group of British retirees who decide to “outsource” their retirement to less expensive and seemingly exotic India. Enticed by advertisements for the newly restored Marigold Hotel and bolstered with visions of a life of leisure, they arrive to find the palace a shell of its former self. Though the new environment is less luxurious than imagined, they are forever transformed by their shared experiences, discovering that life and love can begin again when you let go of the past.

The project will be overseen by Senior Vice President of Production Zola Mashariki and Creative Executive DanTram Nguyen for Fox Searchlight and Executive Vice President of Production Jonathan King and Creative Executive Angel Lopez for Participant Media.

Fox Searchlight Pictures is a specialty film company that both finances and acquires motion pictures. It has its own marketing and distribution operations, and its films are distributed internationally by Twentieth Century Fox. Fox Searchlight Pictures is a unit of Fox Filmed Entertainment, a unit of Fox Entertainment Group.

Participant Media (participantmedia.com) is a Los Angeles-based global entertainment company specializing in socially-relevant documentary and non-documentary feature films, television, publishing and digital media. Participant exists to tell compelling, entertaining stories that bring to the forefront real issues that shape our lives. For each of its projects, Participant creates extensive social action and advocacy programs, which provide ideas and tools to transform the impact of the media experience into individual and community action. Participant’s online Social Action Network is TakePart (takepart.com).

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“The sad and painful truth is that pretty much everyone in this town knew who Harvey was. I have had long talks with my most liberal friends. Did we know he was a rapist? We didn’t. But did we know that for decades he has been offering actresses big careers in exchange for sexual favors? Yes, we did — and make no mistake, that is its own kind of rape. And did we all — or did any of us — refuse to do business with him on moral grounds? No. We ALL STAYED IN BUSINESS WITH HIM. I have never done business with Harvey but I can tell you with certainty that I would have — because I was recently approached by a film festival he sponsors. They asked me to submit my short film for their consideration and I did it without thinking twice. I am a dyed-in-the-wool feminist and a vocal one at that. So why didn’t I think twice? Because this entire town is built on the ugly principals that Harvey takes to an horrific extreme. If I didn’t work with people whose behavior I find reprehensible, I wouldn’t have a career.”
~ Showrunner Krista Vernoff

From AMPAS president John Bailey:

Dear Fellow Academy Members,

Danish director Carl Dreyer’s 1928 film “The Passion of Joan of Arc” is not only one of the visual landmarks of the silent era, but is a deeply disturbing portrait of a young woman’s persecution in the face of the male judges and priests of the ruling order. The actress Maria Falconetti gave one of the most profoundly affecting performances in the history of cinema as the Maid of Orleans.

Since the decision of the Academy’s Board of Governors on Saturday October 14 to expel producer Harvey Weinstein from its membership, I have been haunted not only by the recurring image of Falconetti and the sad arc of her career (dying in Argentina in 1946, reputedly from a crash diet) but of Joan’s refusal to submit to an auto de fe recantation of her beliefs.

Recent public testimonies by some of filmdom’s most recognized women regarding sexual intimidation, predation, and physical force is, clearly, a turning point in the film industry—and hopefully in our country, where what happens in the world of movies becomes a marker of societal Zeitgeist. Their decision to stand up against a powerful, abusive male not only parallels the cinema courage of Falconetti’s Joan but gives all women courage to speak up.

After Saturday’s Board of Governors meeting, the Academy issued a passionately worded statement, expressing not only our concern about harassment in the film industry, but our intention to be a strong voice in changing the culture of sexual exploitation in the movie business, already common well before the founding of the Academy 90 years ago. It is up to all of us Academy members to more clearly define for ourselves the parameters of proper conduct, of sexual equality, and respect for our fellow artists throughout our industry. The Academy cannot, and will not, be an inquisitorial court, but we can be part of a larger initiative to define standards of behavior, and to support the vulnerable women and men who may be at personal and career risk because of violations of ethical standards by their peers.

Yours,
John