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Breaking Film Industry News — Awards, Acquisitions, Festival Buzz, Grants, and More

Everything industry insiders need to know this month at the movies, from newly announced awards to festival lineups, acquisitions and more.

DF-03394_R2 - Amandla Stenberg and Algee Smith in Twentieth Century Fox’s THE HATE U GIVE. Photo Credit: Erika Doss.

“The Hate U Give”

Photo Credit: ERIKA DOSS

October 17

– RLJE Films has acquired all North American rights to the upcoming the horror/thriller “Monster Party” from writer/director Chris von Hoffmann. The film stars Julian McMahon, Robin Tunney, Sam Strike, Erin Moriarty, Lance Reddick, Brandon Micheal Hall, Virginia Gardner, and Diego Boneta. RLJE Films will release the film nationally in theaters, VOD and Digital HD on November 2, 2018.

The film “follows three thieves who plan a daring heist posing as waiters at a fancy Malibu mansion dinner party in hopes of paying off an urgent debt. When their plan goes horribly wrong, the trio realizes the dinner guests are not as innocent as they seem and their simple cash grab becomes a violent and desperate battle to get out of the house alive.”

October 16

– The Arthur Miller Foundation’s inaugural Arthur Miller Foundation Honors celebrating the power of public school arts education will be hosted by Alec Baldwin. Event Co-Chairs include Rebecca Miller, Steven Spielberg & Kate Capshaw, Sandi Farkas, Janine & Michael Smith. Honors to take place on October 22, at City Winery in New York City.

This year, the foundation will honor HBO Documentary Films with the Arthur Miller Foundation Legacy Award andTony Kushner with the Arthur Miller Foundation Humanitarian Award. The foundation will also recognize one veteran public school teacher who has displayed excellence in theater education with the Arthur Miller Foundation Arts Education Award.

The celebration will raise funds for the Foundation’s theater education programs, featuring notable talent from film, television, and Broadway.  This year’s gala will include appearances by Nathan Lane, Edie Falco, Tituss Burgess, Anthony Ramos, Denée Benton, Katrina Lenk, Ari’el Stachel, Solea Pfeiffer, Sherie Rene Scott and Brandon Victor Dixon.  The evening will conclude with a musical performance from children impacted by the program.

October 15

– The Museum of Modern Art’s 2018 Film Benefit, presented by CHANEL, will honor Academy Award–winning Director Martin Scorsese on November 19. Winner of the 2006 Best Director Oscar for “The Departed,” Scorsese has also been nominated for the Best Director Academy Award on seven other occasions. The Film Benefit will be highlighted by a gala dinner and a tribute recognizing Scorsese’s acclaimed work.

MoMA will also pay tribute to Scorsese with a series focusing on his New York films, running October 30 – November 7 in the Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters.

– Gravitas Ventures, a Red Arrow Studios company, has acquired North American rights to Adam Christian Clark’s darkly comedic relationship drama “Newly Single” starring Adam Christian Clark (“Caroline and Jackie”), Jennifer Kim (“Mozart in the Jungle”), Molly C. Quinn (“Castle”), and Anna Jacoby-Heron (“Stranger Things”).

The film is produced by Adam Hendricks, John Lang, and Greg Gilreath from Divide/Conquer, with Jordan Michaud-Scorza, as well as James Dahl from Modern Man FIlms. NEWLY SINGLE had its festival World Premiere at Tallinn Black Nights Festival in late 2017 and it also just played at CPH-PIX Film Festival in September. Gravitas Ventures will release the film this December 7, 2018.

October 12

– The 38th edition of the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) presented by Halekulani has announced this year’s lineup. The festival dates takes place from November 8 – November 18 at the Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18.  The festival will present 187 films from over 35 countries, continuing HIFF’s legacy to advance understanding and cultural exchange among the peoples of Asia, the Pacific and North America by presenting films from around the world. Check out the full lineup right here.

“We are thrilled to continue as the longstanding film festival of record for the Pacific and we look toward the future with excitement and new energy in 2018,” said Beckie Stocchetti, HIFF Executive Director, in an official statement. “This year’s festival continues the success of our Made in Hawaii competition, shining a spotlight on Hawaii’s creative entrepreneurs, and includes an incredible line up of groundbreaking work from across Asia and the Pacific Rim, festival favorites from Sundance, Cannes, and Toronto, and a strong focus on indigenous Hawaii and Pacific filmmakers. Evolving with new programs supporting student voices, civic engagement, and a brand new Virtual Reality exhibit, HIFF continues to grow and celebrate the achievements in cinema with breakout stars such as Awkwafina, and legendary filmmakers such as Wong Kar Wai.”

October 11

– The Intercept, ScreeningRoom, and the Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival have announced a new grant for a short investigative documentary. The selected filmmaker will receive $5,000 towards the creation of a short, investigative documentary, a one year ScreeningRoom Pro account, and in-kind equipment rental, and mentoring. The filmmaker will also have the potential for publication of the completed work on The Intercept, and to screen their short film at the Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival (DX) in 2019.

“If Beale Street Could Talk”


“The Intercept is dedicated to publishing groundbreaking investigative work, which is more important than ever these days,” said Lauren Feeney, Director of Video Production at The Intercept, in an official statement. “We are looking for subject matter that is investigative and visually compelling. Topics of interest include civil liberties, national security, immigration, environment, politics and human rights.”

Any filmmaker or video journalist is welcome to apply, and submissions will be open from October 10, 2018 to December 1, 2018. There is no fee for submission, but filmmakers will need a ScreeningRoom Basic, Premium, or Pro account. Representatives from The Intercept, ScreeningRoom, and DX will review the submissions and make a final decision in February 2019.

Interested filmmakers and video journalists can apply online right here.

– Two-time Academy Award-winning actor Christoph Waltz will be a special guest at the upcoming 2018 Virginia Film Festival. The Festival also announced program additions including “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “At Eternity’s Gate.” The Virginia Film Festival is a program of the University of Virginia and the Office of the Provost and Vice Provost for the Arts. The 2018 Festival will take place from November 1-4 in Charlottesville and will include more than 150 films and over 100 industry guests from around the world.

October 10

– GKIDS has acquired North American distribution rights for Studio Ponoc’s animated anthology “Modest Heroes: Ponoc Short Films Theatre, Volume 1.” The feature-length collection of short films is the latest project from Studio Ponoc, the new Japanese animation studio founded by two-time Academy Award-nominee Yoshiaki Nishimura. GKIDS will release the film theatrically in January 2019 (specific date TBD) in both subtitled and English versions, following its upcoming U.S. premiere at the Animation is Film festival in Los Angeles later this month.

– Tribeca and CHANEL continue to provide extraordinary opportunities to propel women filmmakers forward with the fourth annual THROUGH HER LENS: The Tribeca Chanel Women’s Filmmaker Program. The mentorship program was created to provide a balance of industry support, artistic development, and funding for new and emerging U.S.-based female writers and directors of short-form narrative films.

From October 16-18, the filmmakers will gather in New York City with the mentor and program advisors for an in-depth intimate program concentrating on script-to-screen development, casting, finding collaborators, and working with cinematographers, music composers, costume designers, and producers. The selected program participants will attend master classes and have individual mentoring sessions with leading women in filmmaking, meet distributors, and spend concentrated time refining their pitching skills. During the summer, each filmmaker was given the opportunity to work with writing mentors to shape and refine her project.

The selected projects and filmmakers are:

H-E-A-T-H-E-R: Heather, a young, racially ambiguous artist, confronts questions of identity when she becomes a part-time babysitter for 11-year-old Jayda. Their dynamic prompts Heather to explore the limitations of her persona as she voyages into other realms of her imagination through fantasy, alternate realities, and moving collages.

Francesca Mirabella (Co-Writer, Co-Director), Kylah Benes-Trapp (Co-Writer, Co-Director)

LIFE ON sMARS: Six aspiring astronauts are sealed inside a solar-powered dome, attempting to simulate life on Mars. When Dana’s helmet malfunctions on the first spacewalk — depriving her of precious oxygen — she and her teammates have a critical decision to make.

Laramie Dennis (Writer, Director), Jenna Cedicci (Producer)

ROSA: While working at her aunt’s flower shop, Rosa takes her job underground when she begins a side business of shipping undocumented bodies to their home countries for burial.

Suha Araj (Writer, Director), Maryam Keshavarz (Producer)

EL TIMBRE DE SU VOZ: Yaneris, a Dominican teenager, plots a way to escape her hometown of Sosúa, where becoming an escort seems to be her only fate. After unexpectedly falling in love with her client’s son, she decides he may be the ticket to a new life — for both her and her disabled sister.

Gabriella Moses (Writer, Director), Shruti Ganguly (Producer)

WHAT IS YOUR SOUL PURPOSE?: A sheltered Korean American family travels to Atlanta to retrieve the body of their son after he passes away from an accidental overdose. In the depths of their grief, they find an unlikely connection and momentary solace with the African American family who owns the mortuary.

Jennifer Cho Suhr (Writer/Director), Carolyn Mao (Producer)

– Kino Lorber has announced that it has acquired North American rights for ten newly restored classics from the Hungarian National Film Fund- Film Archive.These include 4k restorations of Cannes and Academy-Award winning films by Hungarian masters Ildikó Enyedi, Miklós Jancsó, and István Szabó.The deal was negotiated by Kino Lorber’s CEO Richard Lorber with Sr. Vice President Wendy Lidell and Hungarian National Film Archive Director György Ráduly.

October 9

– The Hamptons International Film Festival today announced their audience awards for the 26th edition from East Hampton. “The Hate U Give,” directed by George Tillman Jr., took home the Audience Award for Narrative Feature. “The Biggest Little Farm,” directed by John Chester, took home the Audience Award for Documentary Feature. “One Small Step,” directed by Bobby Pontillas & Andrew Chesworth, won the Audience Award for Best Short Film. All of the Audience Awards are sponsored by Out East.


– The American Film Institute (AFI) announced that AFI FEST 2018 presented by Audi will host An Evening With Nicole Kidman. The event will include a conversation with the Academy Award-winning actor in tribute to her illustrious career, followed by a Gala screening of her latest film, Annapurna Pictures’ “Destroyer” on Tuesday, November 13, at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre.

“Nicole Kidman is a fearless actor,” said Michael Lumpkin, Director, AFI Festivals in an official statement. “In ‘Destroyer,’ she plunges headlong into the depths of her character’s soul, and it’s that total immersion onscreen that has come to define her fiercely intelligent body of work. We are honored to spotlight her tremendous career.”

– Shout! Studios has acquired all North American distribution rights to “Then Came You,” including theatrical, video-on-demand, digital, broadcast, and home entertainment for cross-platform releases in the U.S. and Canada. Shout! Studios plans a strategic rollout of this movie across multiple entertainment platforms, beginning with a theatrical launch early next year.

The film is billed as “a sweet, uplifting tale that reminds us it’s not how long we live, but how we live the life we have, that matters. The film tells the story of Skye (Maisie Williams), a spunky teenager with a terminal illness who befriends Calvin (Asa Butterfield), a 19-year old hypochondriac who is afraid of his own shadow. Calvin helps Skye carry out her eccentric bucket list of things to do before she dies. In the process, he learns to confront and conquer his own fears, including falling in love with the beautiful, but seemingly untouchable, Izzy (Nina Dobrev).”

– Orion Classics has acquired all North American and Latin American rights to Matthew Brown’s “Maine,” starring Laia Costa and Thomas Mann. The film had its World Premiere at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival and was nominated for Best Narrative Feature. Orion Classics will release the film in theaters on December 13, 2018 and on VOD and Digital HD on December 14, 2018.

“Free Solo”

– The International Documentary Association (IDA) has unveiled the shortlists in the Shorts and Features categories for their annual IDA Documentary Awards. The 34th edition of the ceremony will take place Saturday, December 8, 2018 at the Paramount Theatre in Los Angeles. Nominees for all categories as well as Special Awards and Creative Recognition Awards will be announced on October 24.

2018 IDA Awards Features Shortlist

A Woman Captured (Syndicado Film Sales. Director: Bernadett Tuza-Ritter. Producers: Julianna Ugrin and Viki Réka Kiss)
América (Dogwoof. Directors/Producers: Erick Stoll and Chase Whiteside)
Bathtubs Over Broadway (Director/Producer: Dava Whisenant. Producers: Amanda Spain and Susan Littenberg)
Bisbee ’17 (4th Row films. Directors: Robert Greene. Producers: Douglas Tirola, Susan Bedusa and Bennett Elliott)
Central Airport THF (Director: Karim Aïnouz. Producers: Felix von Boehm, Charlotte Uzu and Diane Maia)
Charm City (PBS Distribution. Director/Producer: Marilyn Ness. Producer: Katy Chevigny)
Crime + Punishment (Hulu. Director/Producer: Stephen Maing. Producers: Ross Tuttle and Eric Daniel Metzgar)
Dark Money (PBS Distribution. Director/Producer: Kimberly Reed. Producer: Katy Chevigny)
Distant Constellation (Grasshopper Film. Director: Shevaun Mizrahi. Producers: Deniz Buga and Shelly Grizim)
Fahrenheit 11/9 (Briarcliff Entertainment / Midwestern Films. Director/Producer: Michael Moore. Producers: Carl Deal and Meghan O’Hara)
Free Solo (National Geographic. Directors/Producers: Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin. Producers: Evan Hayes and Shannon Dill)
Global Family (Rushlake Media GmbH. Director: Andreas Köhler. Director/Producer: Melanie Andernach)
Hale County This Morning, This Evening (Cinema Guild. Director/Producer: RaMell Ross. Producers: Joslyn Barnes and Su Kim)
Lots of Kids, a Monkey and a Castle (Dogwoof. Director/Producer: Gustavo Salmerón)
MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A. (Abramorama. Director/Producer: Steve Loveridge. Producers: Lori Cheatle, Paul Mezey and Andrew Goldman)
Minding the Gap (Hulu. Director/Producer: Bing Liu. Producer: Diane Quon)
Of Fathers and Sons (Kino Lorber. Director: Talal Derki. Producers: Ansgar Frerich, Eva Kemme, Tobias Siebert and Hans Robert Eisenhauer)
Over the Limit (Film Movement. Director: Marta Prus. Producers: Maciej Kubicki and Anna Kępińska)
Shirkers (Netflix. Director/Producer: Sandi Tan. Producers: Jessica Levin and Maya Rudolph)
Sky and Ground (World Channel (PBS). Directors/Producers: Talya Tibbon and Joshua Bennett. Producers: Maro Chermayeff and Jeff Dupre)
Taste of Cement (Syndicado Film Sales. Director: Ziad Kalthoum. Producers: Ansgar Frerich, Eva Kemme, Tobias Siebert and Mohammad Ali Atassi)
The Distant Barking of Dogs (Cinephil. Director: Simon Lereng Wilmont. Producer: Monica Hellstrøm)
The Judge (Ro*co Films/PBS Independent Lens. Director/Producer: Erika Cohn)
The King (Oscilloscope Laboratories. Director/Producer: Eugene Jarecki. Producers: Georgina Hill, Christopher Frierson, David Kuhn and Christopher St. John)
The Other Side of Everything (Icarus Films. Director/Producer: Mila Turajlic. Producer: Carine Chichkowsky)
The Silence of Others (Cinephil / POV. Directors/Producers: Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar)
The Stranger (Director: Nicole Nielsen Horanyi. Producer: Helle Faber)
Three Identical Strangers (NEON / CNN FILMS. Director: Tim Wardle. Producers: Becky Read and Grace Hughes-Hallett)
United Skates (HBO. Directors/Producers: Dyana Winkler and Tina Brown)
Wild Relatives (Director/Producer: Jumana Manna)
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (Focus Features. Director/Producer: Morgan Neville. Producers: Caryn Capotosto and Nicholas Ma)

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

2018 IDA Awards Shorts Shortlist
A Night at the Garden (Field of Vision. Director/Producer: Marshall Curry)
Black Sheep (The Guardian. Director: Ed Perkins. Producers: Simon Chinn and Jonathan Chinn)
Divided City (Reel South / WORLD / NETA. Director/Producer: Katie Mitchell and Andrea B. Scott)
Do We Belong? (Director: Sofian Khan. Producer: Pulkit Datta)
Father K (Director/Producer: Judd Ehrlich. Producers: Aidan Tumas, Mohab Khattab and Eva Burns)
Fear Us Women (RYOT. Director: David Darg. Producer: Diego Traverso)
Footprint (New York Times Op-Docs. Director: Sara Newens. Producer: Laura Heberton)
Graven Image (Field of Vision. Director: Sierra Pettengill. Producer: Laura Coxson)
Homeless: The Soundtrack (Director/Producer: Irene Taylor Brodsky. Producers: Paule Mae Schwartz, Steve Schwartz and Tahria Sheather)
India’s Forbidden Love: An Honour Killing on Trial (Witness, Al Jazeera English. Director: Sadhana Subramaniam. Producers: Aloke Devichand and Fiona Lawson-Baker)
Lessons From a School Shooting: Notes From Dunblane (Netflix. Director/Producer: Kim A. Snyder. Producer: Maria Cuomo Cole)
Lifeboat (Director/Producer: Skye Fitzgerald. Producer: Bryn Mooser)
Los Comandos (World Channel. Directors/Producers: Joshua Bennett and Juliana Schatz-Preston. Producers: Jeff Dupre, Maro Chermayeff and Jessica Chermayeff)
Los Lecheros (Milwaukee PBS. Director/Producer: Jim Cricchi. Producers: Susan Peters, Alexandra Hall, Coburn Dukehart and Andy Hall)
Lotte that Silhouette Girl (Directors/Producers: Elizabeth Beecherl and Carla Patullo)
Mon amour, mon ami (Films Grand Huit. Director/Producer: Adriano Valerio. Producers: Marco Alessi, Giulia Achilli, Lionel Massol and Pauline Seigland)
Mosul (PBS Distribution. Director: Olivier Sarbil. Co-Director/Producer: James Jones. Producers: Dan Edge and Raney Aronson-Rath)
Mr. Temple and the Tigerbelles (Director/Producer: Tom Neff)
My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes (New York Times Op-Docs. Director: Charlie Tyrell. Producer: Julie Baldassi)
Nuuca (Field of Vision. Director: Michelle Latimer. Producer: Catie Lamer)
On My Way Out: The Secret Life of Nani and Popi (AMC Digital / Sundance Now. Director: Skyler Gross. Director/Producer: Brandon Gross. Producer: Barry Avrich)
Reviled and Maligned (Everything is Stories / RYOT / Oscilloscope Laboratories / Filmscience. Director: Daniel Navetta. Producers: Neil Kopp, Vincent Savino, Anish Savjani and Daniel Berger)
Sidelined (A&E IndieFilms. Director: Galen Summer. Producer: Jason Goldman.)
The Girl and the Picture (USC Shoah Foundation. Director/Producer: Vanessa Roth. Producer: Devorah Palladino and Stephen D. Smith)
The Last Honey Hunter (Director: Ben Knight. Producer: Ben Ayers, Renan Ozturk and Travis Rummel)
We Are Not Done Yet (HBO. Director: Sareen Hairabedian. Producer: Jeffrey Wright and David Holbrooke)
We Became Fragments (New York Times Op-Docs. Director/Producer: Luisa Conlon. Directors: Lacy Jane Roberts and Hanna Miller)
Zion (Netflix. Director/Producer: Floyd Russ. Producer: Carter Collins)

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