Angel Light to Produce THE APPRENTICESHIP OF TED KOTCHEFF
Angel Light Pictures announced today that they will produce THE APPRENTICESHIP OF Ted KOTCHEFF, a documentary about the life of Ted Kotcheff (William T. Kotcheff). The film will track the cinematic journey of the legendary Canadian film and television director, by Antonio Saillant in his debut as a director (Heterosexual, The Ascension).
Antonio Saillant will also be the executive producer for THE APPRENTICESHIP OF Ted KOTCHEFF. Canadian writer Gerald Wexler will write the script. The composers will be longtime collaborators William Goldstein and Thomas Kotcheff, Ted Kotcheff's son.
William Goldstein, a MOTOWN recording artist / composer and producer, has received Emmy and Grammy nominations for his scores for many films, , including Fame, Hello Again, &Shocker. Thomas Kotcheff, a doctoral candidate in music composition at the University of Southern California, studies with Stephen Hartke and Donald Crockett and manages USC's contemporary music ensemble USC Thornton Edge.
THE APPRENTICESHIP OF Ted KOTCHEFF recounts fifty years of William T. Kotcheff's remarkable life journey. The film will be an intimate portrait of one of the most influential filmmakers of our time as he follows his dreams from Canada to London to the US. This personal and professional biography features clips of Kotcheff's path-breaking movies. His colleagues and fellow movie makers will also share their experiences and memories of Kotcheff through candid interviews.
For those unfamiliar with Kotcheff's work, this film will expose them to the artistic energies and influences that inspired him. For fans it will be a unique look into the man they thought they knew.
Ted Kotcheff, born in Toronto, Canada in 1931 to Bulgarian-Macedonian parents, is a graduate of University of Toronto. Kotcheff, who began his life's work at the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC), at 24, became the youngest drama director in the country.
Kotcheff's directing career can be tracked across Canada, to England and tithe U.S.A. and back. Over the years he has garnered dozens of prestigious awards including Canada's only Golden Bear win from the Berlin Film Festival for the Canadian classic, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1973). Now digitally restored, Kotcheff's brilliant former roommate, Mordecai Richler, wrote the
film. Duddy Kravitz won the best Canadian Film Award (now Canadian Screen Awards) and in 2013 it was declared a Cannes Classic.
Kotcheff directed Edna, the Inebriate Woman, which swept all the British Emmys in 1970 and was voted one of the BFI's [British Film Institute] Best 100 Greatest British Television Programs of the 20thCentury. His Australian film, Wake in Fright, which received extraordinary critical acclaim at the 1971 Cannes Film Festival, was declared a second Cannes Classic in 2009. His many critically-acclaimed and popular films include: First Blood, North Dallas Forty, Joshua Then and Now and the cult classic Weekend at Bernie. Most recently, Kotcheff was Executive Producer on the top-rated TV series "LAW & ORDER: Special Victims Unit" for twelve seasons.
Behind-the-scenes footage of Kotcheff's films, such as Joshua Then and Now, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, Fun with Dick and Jane, North Dallas Forty, First Blood, Uncommon Valor, and Weekend at Bernie's, will be featured in this film.
Interviews for the film will come from the lengthy and notable list of Kotcheff's admirers and collaborators, Hollywood royalty--- including Sylvester Stallone, Gene Hackman, Alan Arkin, Jane Fonda, George Segal, Nick Nolte, James Woods, Andrew McCarthy, Terry Kiser, Richard Dreyfuss, Christopher Meloni, Mariska Hargitay, Peter Leto, Dick Wolf, and Helen Shaver.
Iconic film directors inspired by Kotcheff, including Ron Howard, Mimi Leder and Martin Scorsese, will also be interviewed; these interviews will be interwoven with remastered film scenes and footage from Kotcheff's pictures. Energetic montages created from rare film stills, accompanied by a soundtrack of popular music from the period, will enhance this unique and exciting theatrical experience.
The narrator of the documentary is none other than Richard Dreyfuss. Dreyfuss played his first lead role in the Canadian film The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, directed by Ted Kotcheff. Since then, from the late 1960s Dreyfuss has Gone onto star in film, television, and theater, including the films American Graffiti, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Goodbye Girl, Stakeout, Always, What About Bob? And Mr. Holland's Opus. Dreyfuss won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1977 for The Goodbye Girl and was nominated in 1995 for Mr. Holland's Opus. Director Antonio Saillant noted that "When learning about this project Dreyfuss [immediately] volunteered to narrate due to his close relationship with Kotcheff."
In addition, Gerald Wexler, a Canadian writer who has known Kotcheff and has worked closely with him for a number of years will be writing the screenplay. Among his many film awards, Wexler has received the 1995 Genie Award for Best Screenplay, for Margaret's Museum (feature). For The Hunger, produced by Tony and Ridley Scott, Wexler wrote thirteen episodes and was creative consultant for forty-four episodes.Wexler's extensive film experience includes past and present development deals with CBC, Paramount, and Warner Brothers.
Director and Producer Antonio Saillant has said, re: The APPRENTICESHIP OF Ted KOTCHEFF: "This is not just about making a film about a person, it's about painting a portrait of a true artist who defines the meaning of the Art of Cinema...I am making this film to learn how [Kotcheff] thinks."