Returning for its 41st year, the Mill Valley Film Festival announced today the first of two official Opening Night films for 2018, Aviron Pictures’ A Private War, based on the extraordinary life of Marie Colvin (Rosamund Pike), one of the most celebrated war correspondents of our era. Attending the Opening Night festivities will be Academy Award nominee and critically acclaimed director Matthew Heineman and Academy Award nominee Rosamund Pike.
A Private War
In a world where journalism is under attack, Marie Colvin (Rosamund Pike) is one of the most celebrated war correspondents of our time. Colvin is an utterly fearless and rebellious spirit, driven to the frontlines of conflicts across the globe to give voice to the voiceless, while constantly testing the limits between bravery and bravado. After being hit by a grenade in Sri Lanka, she wears a distinctive eye patch and is still as comfortable sipping martinis with London’s elite as she is confronting dictators. Colvin sacrifices loving relationships, and over time, her personal life starts to unravel as the trauma she’s witnessed takes its toll. Yet, her mission to show the true cost of war leads her along with renowned war photographer Paul Conroy (Jamie Dornan) to embark on the most dangerous assignment of their lives in the besieged Syrian city of Homs. Based on the extraordinary life of Marie Colvin, A Private War is brought to the screen by Academy Award-nominee and critically acclaimed documentary filmmaker Matthew Heineman in his pulse-pounding narrative feature debut.
Matthew Heineman is an Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker who has twice won the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary Award from the Directors Guild of America, one of only three directors to win the prestigious honor twice.
Heineman recently directed and executive produced The Trade, a five-part docu-series, that premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival before airing on Showtime. The critically acclaimed series chronicles the opioid crisis through the eyes of those most affected–growers, cartel members, users, and law enforcement.
His last film, the documentary feature City Of Ghosts that follows a group of citizen-journalists exposing the horrors of ISIS premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and was distributed worldwide by Amazon Studios before having its broadcast premiere on A&E. Heineman won the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary Award from the Directors Guild of America for the film, having previously won for his 2015 film Cartel Land. City Of Ghosts also won the Courage Under Fire Award from the International Documentary Association “in recognition of conspicuous bravery in the pursuit of truth” and was listed on over 20 critic and year-end lists for Best Documentary of 2017. The film was also nominated for a BAFTA Award, PGA Award, and IDA Award for Best Documentary Feature.
Heineman”s first narrative feature, A Private War, about legendary war reporter Marie Colvin, stars Oscar® nominees Rosamund Pike and Stanley Tucci as well as Jamie Dornan and Tom Hollander. Shot with three-time Academy Award-winning cinematographer Robert Richardson, the film will be released by Aviron Pictures in November 2018.
Academy Award and BAFTA nominee Rosamund Pike has earned international acclaim for both her stage and film roles. Perhaps best known for her lead role in the hugely successful Gone Girl, Rosamund has most recently been seen in Scott Cooper’s Hostiles, José Padilha’s Entebbe, and Brad Anderson’s Beirut.
Hostiles sees Rosamund play a widow, who accompanies Christian Bale’s legendary Army captain who is escorting a Cheyenne chief and family through dangerous territory. In Entebbe, Rosamund plays a German revolutionary who hijacks an airplane and forces it to land in Entebbe, Uganda, in an effort to free Palestinians jailed in Israel. The film is based on the hijacking of Air France 139 in 1976. Rosamund plays a CIA field agent based in 1970s Beirut in political thriller Beirut, opposite Jon Hamm.
Rosamund recently wrapped Radioative, playing Marie Curie. The film, explores the life of the iconic scientist. The Working Title production directed by Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis) is based on an adaptation of Jack Thorne’s novel “Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout”.
The film also stars Stanley Tucci and Tom Hollander. It will be distributed in the US by Aviron Pictures on November 2nd.
The 41st Mill Valley Film Festival runs October 4-14.