Woody Allen Launches Next Movie At San Sebastian Press Conference, FilmNation Joins Project

Woody Allen has taken part in a press conference in Spain to launch his next movie, which has a working title of Rivkin’s Festival.

Spanish film and TV stalwart and regular Allen collaborator Mediapro is backing the movie and will co-handle international sales with FilmNation. Letty Aronson’s Gravier Productions also produces.

The movie is due to go into production tomorrow and its cast of Elena Anaya, Sergi Lopez, Gina Gershon and Wally Shawn attended today’s conference in San Sebastian alongside Allen and Mediapro CEO Jaume Roures. Christoph Waltz and Louis Garrel also star.

The romance-comedy tells the story of a married American couple (played by Waltz and Gershon) who go to the San Sebastian Film Festival. There they get caught up in the magic of the festival but she has an affair with a brilliant French movie director and he falls in love with a beautiful local Spanish woman.

Allen said at the conference that he has no plans to retire and that he has always tried to shut out social and political upheaval as well as controversy surrounding his own life, “I have never thought of retiring,” he said, according to local media. “Since I started, I’ve always tried to focus on my work, no matter what happens in my family or with politics. I don’t think about social movements, for example. My cinema is about human relationships, about people. And I try to have humor in them. If I were to die, I would probably die on a film set, which may well happen.”

Earlier this year Allen launched legal action against Amazon claiming the online titan broke a lucrative four-film deal it had signed with the filmmaker in 2017. After Amazon and Allen collaborated on TV series Crisis In Six Scenes and movie Wonder Wheel, the company shelved Allen’s latest film A Rainy Day In New York, starring Timothee Chalomet, Elle Fanning, Selena Gomez and Jude Law, citing the director’s comments about the #MeToo movement “sabotaged” its attempts to promote his movies. Multiple European distributors have picked the film up and are lining up releases later this year.

The iconic filmmaker remains a figure of controversy due to accusations of abuse by his adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow. A number of his recent collaborators, including Chalamet, Rebecca Hall, Greta Gerwig and Colin Firth, have publicly distanced themselves from the director. Others have defended him, with Javier Bardem protesting the “public lynching” of the director.

Actresses Gina Gershon and Elena Anaya were asked today about their decisions to work with Allen amid the context of the Me Too and Time’s Up movements. The Skin I Live In actress Anaya said, “I believe in justice. And as an actress, I’m responsible for my career and I’ve opted to work with Woody Allen because this is a wonderful script and it’s a dream character so I’m delighted to be here.”

U.S. actress Gershon added, “Living in the United States now is crazy. There’s a lot of rivalry, a lot of hatred, it’s wild times. One has to make sense of all those situations. I am very aware of the subject of women’s rights, but I am also delighted to be in a Woody Allen project. I think the Me Too movement has promoted very good things, but it’s also really important that people take a look at every situation individually and really make up their own minds about them.”

In a previous media statement, Spanish giant Mediapro said, “We have a 10-year relationship with Mr Allen and, like all projects we produce, we judge the creator by its work.”

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