Coming to the rescue of art films

Before you commence reading this article, I would like to make one thing clear that it is the first time here on Masters of Cinema that I am writing a article that is not directly pointing at the work of a specific film-maker. The purpose of our site is to focus on the works of great film-makers of today and the past, who are dedicated to provide the audiences something artistic. But, the article is somewhat close to a film-maker whose work I venerate. I am talking about Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood).

Here is how we’re going to get to Mr. Paul Thomas Anderson. This story’s image above states Annapurna Pictures. And for the past few days I have been doing some research on this small production company, for the person who is behind it has won my heart. Her name is Megan Ellison and if you commence your research on her you will come across various websites like The New York Times and their published articles in regards to her work, passion for film, and the impact she is making so far. Ms. Ellison is a 25 year old scion of Silicon Valley; her father is Lawrence J. Ellison, who is the chief executive of Oracle. What’s interesting about Ms. Ellison is that in this young age and being a girl whose father is a billionaire, she is not focusing on pointless things that some of the contemporary rich girls do. Ms. Ellison is actually making an impact and her target is the movie industry. And, what’s even more interesting is that she comes to the rescue of art films. We all know that some of the big action adventure films of today doesn’t do full justice at times to the art, cinema and story-telling. Therefore, some people pay attention to art films that are too risky for major studios.

I don’t want to forget about The Weinstein Company. They too give some of the films with great stories the  opportunity to be viewed on the screens. And, they have been successful doing that. Keep it up, Bob and Harvey Weinstein.

Ms. Ellison with her Annapurna Picture is going toward the same direction, but from a different route though. Annapurna pictures puts the right amount of dollar on the table for a good story to turn into a film. Ms. Ellison is interested in the writers, producers, directors and stars who make sophisticated dramas and adventure films that are too risky for studios and their corporate owners. There are about six films set to release in coming months that are backed by Ms. Ellison and her Annapurna Pictures. One of these films is director Paul Thomas Anderson upcoming drama ‘The Master’ starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix. Another high profile project is Kathryn Bigelow’s (The Hurt Locker) Bin Laden film, which obtained its working title, Zero Dark Thirty few days ago. Not only that, earlier this year Ms. Ellison bought the rights to the Terminator franchise for a reported $20 million. She is also developing a film based on The Boy Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest, which was an article about the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange by the departing executive editor of The New York Times, Bill Keller. Prior to these mentioned projects and coming to their rescue, Ms. Ellison ardently invested in Paramount’s True Grit directed by Coen Brothers with her 28 year old brother, David, who raised about $350 million last year in equity and borrowed funds for his own film company, Skydance Productions.

If she would not come to rescue of these projects, I don’t think we would be able to see some of the most talented film-makers work on them. “She has this grand vision; she wants to be the one-stop shop for filmmakers,” said Michael Benaroya, 30, a member of a Seattle real estate family who has joined Ms. Ellison in financing a thriller called “Catch .44” and “The Wettest County in the World,” a Prohibition-era crime drama, both of which still await release.

I like to thank Ms. Ellison for her vision and for coming to the rescue of films like The Master, Terminator, The Wettest Country in the World. Speaking of the Terminator franchise, Ms. Ellison stated that it will be a Rated-R film just like God and James Cameron wanted it to be. And, few days ago she revealed that they are looking to release ‘The Master’ during October 2012. I wish Ms. Ellison a best of luck and I cannot wait to see what else she is going to do with her company. Like I said, I venerate films, good stories and the work of Masters of Cinema. I am very happy for her deeds.