Variety and Gotham Film and Media Institute kicked off the Cannes Film Festival in style, bringing together entertainment industry insiders and movie fans for a welcome party, presented by advertising agency Weirdo, at the newly revamped Carlton Hotel.
The outdoor courtyard at the famed hotel was filled with producers, executives and financiers and other Hollywood players, including Tom Bernard and Michael Barker of Sony Pictures Classics, Martin Scorsese’s daughter Francesca Scorsese, FilmNation’s founder Glen Basner, Cinetic Media boss John Sloss, CAA’s Ben Kramer and Black Bear International’s John Friedberg.
More from Variety
At the event, Leonine Studios was honored with the International Achievement in Film Award, a recognition designed to spotlight the honoree’s recent achievements. The German production, licensing and distribution company was formed by Fred Kogel in 2019 and established itself as one of Europe’s biggest movie buyers. It’s picked up more than 40 feature films, such as “Hunger Games,” “John Wick: Chapter 4,” “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and “Knives Out.”
“They’re the top distributor in Germany, and they did that by acquiring quality films,” said Leo Barraclough, Variety’s international features editor, while presenting the honor. “They’ve also made great achievements in German-language films. And they have lots more coming up.”
While accepting the trophy, Kogel shared his gratitude for the recognition and expressed a positive outlook on the company’s next chapter.
“What does the future hold for us? Very optimistic as always,” he said. “We have the great privilege to work in this business.” Kogel added, “With our financial firepower, we should be able to endorse every great project that’s around.”
Cannes Film Festival runs from May 16-27 and features the world premieres of Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon,” Wes Anderson’s “Asteroid City,” the Todd Haynes romantic drama “May December” and “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.”
Best of Variety