Matt Smith’s ‘Mapplethorpe’ Acquired by Samuel Goldwyn Films

Samuel Goldwyn Films has secured North American rights to Ondi Timoner’s biopic “Mapplethorpe,” starring Matt Smith as the controversial photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.

The film, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April, will be released in the late fall. Timoner directed from a script she co-wrote with Mikko Alanne. The film is produced by Eliza Dushku, Timoner, Nate Dushku, and Richard J Bosner. Executive producers are Peter Palandjian and Sam Maydew.

Marianne Rendón stars as singer Patti Smith, Mapplethorpe’s longtime roommate and partner. The cast also includes John Benjamin Hickey, Mark Moses, Carolyn McCormick, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Kerry Butler.

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Ondi Timoner
‘Mapplethorpe’ Film Review: Matt Smith Brings the Controversial Photographer to Vivid Life

The major thing that “Mapplethorpe” has in its favor is that the film is afraid of neither the life nor the work of the notorious photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.

Documentary director Ondi Timoner (“We Live in Public”), making her narrative debut, has ensured that this movie acknowledges the many hard edges and unattractive qualities of this man while also celebrating and not looking away from his most explicit and scariest photographs, many of which rather surprisingly appear on screen.

Full Review on The Wrap

Ondi Timoner
Director Ondi Timoner on the long journey to get “Mapplethorpe” made.

The film examines the life and art of iconic photographer Robert Mapplethorpe (a riveting Matt Smith), who was notorious for depicting S&M scenes and phalluses, with stark, elegant beauty. Mapplethorpe’s work challenged the art world in the ’70s and ’80s and scandalized political conservatives: “He was trying to make photos that could be deemed obscene into classical art,” Timoner notes.

Full Interview on NewNowNext

Photo Credit: Jolene Siana @jolenesiana

Ondi Timoner
Ondi Timoner Hopes That ‘Jungletown’ Will Inspire Viewers To Turn Off The TV & Take Action

When entrepreneur Jimmy Stice asked filmmaker Ondi Timoner to visit Kalu Yala, “the world’s greatest sustainable modern town” that he’s building in the middle of the Panamanian jungle, she didn’t have plans to film a documentary.

Timoner was simply curious to see Stice’s work in action — but that quickly changed when she witnessed the project firsthand and met the participants. In an interview with Bustle, the two-time Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner says that, upon arrival, she instinctively broke out her camera. One thing quickly lead to another and, after 1,500 hours of footage and months spent in the jungle, the docuseries Jungletown will premiere on Viceland on March 28. Timoner’s hope is that “the show will impact people’s lives when we turn off the TV.”

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Ondi Timoner
Director Ondi Timoner has made a career telling stories of artists driven to the edge by their creative pursuits…often to the detriment of their personal lives.

As a documentarian she made the cult favorite DIG! about the friendship/rivalry of rockers Courtney Taylor-Taylor and Anton Newcombe. She followed it up with We Live in Public, Amanda F***ng Palmer on the Rocks, and Brand: A Second Coming. Robert Mapplethorpe (already the subject of several biographies and documentaries) is the latest artist to be examined by Timoner, who’s made her narrative debut with Mapplethorpe; or as she specifies, her first scripted feature. Starring Matt Smith as Mapplethorpe opposite, Marianne Rendón, John Benjamin Hickey and Brandon Sklenar, Timoner’s portrait of the prolific and controversial artist received the Second Place Audience Award (To Dust won first place) at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.

Full Article on FF2Media

Photo Credit: Jolene Siana @jolenesiana

Ondi Timoner
Filmmaker Ondi Timoner documents the attempt to establish the “World’s Most Sustainable Modern Town”

Just a few weeks ago, Audience Awards Film Festival honored documentarian Ondi Timoner (known for cult classic rock documentary DIG!, to start the list) with our first Maverick Award. Merriam-Webster defines maverick as “a person who refuses to follow the customs or rules of a group.” She, admittedly, falls into that category. In the Q&A before she received the award, she lists off the other awards she’s won. “The Rogue Award, the No Limits Award and the Auteur Award, now Maverick,” she tells moderator Anne Thompson of Indiewire, “I think the next will be Most Unemployable Award.”

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Ondi Timoner
Living “O Pioneers”: or If you build it, they will come

The first episode of “Jungletown,” a 10-episode docuseries on Viceland directed by Ondi Timoner, two-time Sundance Grand Jury Prize recipient for “DIG!” and and “We Live in Public,” introduces us to green visionary Jimmy Stice, a floppy-haired white guy from suburban Atlanta on a mission to innovate how we humans live on Planet Earth. “I’m not trying to change the world,” he says. “I’m just trying to change my world in a way that’s good for the world.”

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Hollywood Reporter JUNGLETOWN Review

Viceland’s Jungletown is a reality show for people too cool to ever willingly watch a reality show, much less to admit publicly to watching a reality show.So go ahead and pretend, Vice/Viceland demo, that Jungletown is artisanally produced, small-batch monogenerational community-building unscripted social experimentation or whatever nonsense makes you feel genre superiority.Me, I’m just gonna come out and call Jungletownwhat it is: Kid Nation for grownups.

You remember Kid Nation, right? The CBS reality show — no genre pretensions here — about a group of children dumped in the New Mexico wilderness and asked to form an idealized society of governing and ethical interaction. The premise was that the purity of the pre-indoctrinated child mind would lead to breakthroughs in decency or equality. Instead, a very good series full of big ideas was pilloried as a show in which unsupervised kids drank bleach and the breakthrough star was an entitled brat who instructed people to “Deal with it!” as she imposed her will on less assertive underlings.

If you took those exact kid-testants from Kid Nation, a decade older and perhaps wiser, and deposited them in the jungle of Panama, removed the incentives of periodic gold stars and taught them a wealth of millennial buzzwords, the result would be Jungletown.

Produced and directed by Ondi Timoner (Dig!), Jungletown is the story of Kalu Yala, either “the world’s greatest sustainable modern town” or an exploitative educational institute/experiment, founded by entrepreneur Jimmy Stice.

Read More on The Hollywood Reporter

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