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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 8

– The British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles (BAFTA Los Angeles) has announced that actor and comedian Jim Carrey and British actress Emilia Clarke will be honored at the 2018 British Academy Britannia Awards. Carrey will receive the Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy Presented by Jaguar Land Rover, while Clarke will receive the Britannia Award for British Artist of the Year.

– The Ojai Film Festival annually honors an actor and a cinematographer for a lifetime of outstanding works. This year, the Lifetime Achievement Award for Acting goes to Ojai local Malcolm McDowell who is recognized for his six-decades of cutting-edge work. This year’s recipient for the Lifetime Achievement in Cinematography goes to one of the first women members of the American Society of Cinematographers, Ellen Kuras, ASC, widely regarded as a pioneer for all filmmakers.

– Freestyle Digital Media, the digital film distribution division of Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios, has acquired North American rights to the documentary “Old Man Football.” The film will debut on VOD and will be available to rent and own on digital HD across North American internet and satellite platforms through Freestyle Digital Media on November 2.

– The 26th Hamptons International Film Festival today announced their award winners at a ceremony in East Hampton. Eva Trobisch’s “Alles Ist Gut,”won the Award for Best Narrative Feature, sponsored by Netflix. “Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes,” directed by Alexis Bloom, received the Award for Best Documentary Feature, also sponsored by Netflix.

– Film Fest 919 came to a successful conclusion over the weekend, with festival founders already looking to the future and announcing the dates for the second annual Film Fest 919:  October 9 – 13, 2019.

The festival also announced its inaugural Audience Award Winner: Nadine Labaki’s “Capernaum,” which Sony Pictures Classics will release later this year. The film joins the festival’s two previously award winners: “Roma,” which took home the Breakthrough Award for its lead actors Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira, and closing night film, “Green Book,” which received the Spotlight Award, for writer-director-producer, Nick Vallelonga.

October 6

– Cinema Guild has picked up all U.S. distribution rights to Hong Sangsoo’s “Hotel by the River.” It was an official selection of the Toronto International Film Festival and lead actor Ki Joobong won the Pardo for Best Actor at the Locarno Film Festival when the film premiered in August. “Hotel by the River” will open in theaters in 2019.

“Hotel by the River”

October 5

– Abramorama has picked up the U.S. rights to “Carmine Street Guitars” on the eve of its New York Film Festival premiere. The new film from Ron Mann is billed as a “charmingly intimate portrait of the fabled Greenwich Village guitar shop.” The film had its world premiere this fall at the Venice International Film Festival, followed by the Toronto International Film Festival and now the New York Film Festival. The deal was negotiated by Richard Abramowitz of Abramorama and Thania Dimitrakopoulou of The Match Factory. The film will open at New York’s Film Forum in the spring of 2019.

October 4

– This year’s Nordic International Film Festival has selected 24 Nordic and international films for this year’s edition are proud to announce that 87.5% have female producers, directors, and/or writers. This year’s festival includes five international premieres and eight North American premieres, all playing at Scandinavia House in New York. The festival will close with the Danish feature “Denmark.” You can see the full lineup right here.

– The Independent Filmmaker Project and Verizon’s RYOT entertainment studio announced today the launch of a new initiative focused on new storytelling forms developed exclusively for the 5G mobile network. IFP and RYOT will host a public discussion to showcase the technology and concepts that creatives may employ in developing the next generation of stories over 5G. This event will take place on October 18 at the Made in NY Media Center by IFP and will outline the format and timeline of the initiative, including an open call for submissions, lab intensive, and a robust LA and NYC-based residency program.

“Artists, filmmakers, creators — these will be the people who define the future of 5G storytelling,” said Hayley Pappas, Chief Content Officer of RYOT. “It will be the stories they tell and the experiences they create that invite us into wholly uncharted territory and shape our understanding of what it means to consume and engage with a story in 5G. RYOT could not be more thrilled to partner with IFP to launch the Next Generation 5G Storytelling Initiative — a space to educate and incubate the boldest and most daring creators of today as they develop the stories and formats of tomorrow.”

“IFP’s robust community consists of the most prolific creators in the world, including filmmakers, virtual reality developers, podcasters, game developers and so much more,” said Joana Vicente, the Executive Director of IFP. “The potential impact of this initiative is incredibly exciting, and we are thrilled to be working with RYOT at such an early stage in developing new storytelling forms through 5G.”

Submissions for the 5G Next Generation Storytelling Initiative will be accepted by IFP beginning October 10, 2018, with all submissions due by November 16, 2018. Submissions will be accepted here.

– Steven Spielberg will receive the Cinema Audio Society Filmmaker Award at the 55th Annual CAS Awards on February 16th, at the Intercontinental Los Angeles Downtown. “I am thrilled to announce Steven Spielberg as the CAS Filmmaker Honoree for our 55th CAS Awards. The CAS has recognized Steven’s commitment to sound multiple times, with nominations for Outstanding Sound Mixing and a win for ‘Saving Private Ryan.’ And, most importantly, we recognize that Steven has had relationships with sound mixers that span more than 25 projects — a strong indicator that a director values the role of sound,” said CAS President Mark Ulano in an official statement. “Steven has long embraced the creative importance of sound for his story telling and all his projects beautifully reflect this commitment.”

– Gunpowder & Sky has acquired the domestic rights to director and screenwriter Alex Ross Perry’s latest film, “Her Smell,” billed as a “punk rock epic chronicling the reckless fall and vigilant rise of a ‘90s riot grrrl depicted by Emmy-Award winning actress Elisabeth Moss.” The film marks the third collaboration between Moss and Perry.

The film recently sold out screenings at Alice Tully Hall on the opening weekend of the 56th New York Film Festival, following its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film is planned for a theatrical release in 2019, followed by an awards push for Moss.

– RLJE Films has acquired all North American rights to the upcoming adventure film “The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot.” Written by Robert D. Krzykowski, the story “follows a legendary American war veteran named Calvin Barr who, decades after serving in WWII and assassinating Adolf Hitler, must now hunt down the fabled Bigfoot. Living a peaceful life in New England, the former veteran is contacted by the FBI and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to lead the charge as the creature is carrying a deadly plague and is hidden deep inside the Canadian wilderness.”

Bradley Cooper, " A Star Is Born"

Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”

Warner Bros./YouTube

– PETA has awarded Bradley Cooper its inaugural Compassion in Film Award for casting his own companion pup, Charlie, in his new movie and directorial debut “A Star Is Born,” rather than “using a dog supplied by one of Hollywood’s notorious animal exhibitors — such as Birds & Animals Unlimited, which was cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for violations of the Animal Welfare Act last year.”

“Bradley Cooper’s happy, adorable, and much-loved dog steals the spotlight — and viewers’ hearts — in this film because it’s clear that he loved being with his real-life ‘dad,'” said PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange in an official statement. “PETA has witnessed so much abuse and neglect of dogs, both on and off set, that we’re hoping Cooper’s kind decision sets a precedent for all of Hollywood to follow.”

– Alan Alda has been named the 55th recipient of SAG-AFTRA’s highest tribute: the SAG Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment. Alda will be presented the performers union’s top accolade at the 25th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, which will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, January 27.

Given annually to an actor who fosters the “finest ideals of the acting profession,” the SAG Life Achievement Award will join Alda’s exceptional catalog of pre-eminent industry and public honors.

October 3

– The third annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards will be presented on Saturday, November 10, 2018 at BRIC in Brooklyn, New York, hosted by Emmy Award-winning television host Bill Nye. The Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA) have named Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Michael Moore as the recipient of the Critics’ Choice Lifetime Achievement Award.

The awards are determined by qualified members of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), and feature multiple categories across both television and film. The nominees, selected by a committee of BFCA and BTJA members with a background and expertise in the documentary field, will be revealed on Monday, October 15, 2018.

"Vox Lux"

“Vox Lux”

Venice Film Festival

– The Austin Film Festival & Writers Conference (AFF) will open with the Natalie Portman-starring drama “Vox Lux.” This year’s festival runs October 25 – November 1.

– The Evolution Mallorca International Film Festival has announced its line-up of screenings and events for the festival’s 7th edition. The six-day festival will take place October 25 – 31 and includes in-person Gala tributes to actress Marisa Paredes, actor Mads Mikkelsen, and Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Tobias Lindholm. EMIFF will present 11 films in Narrative feature and 6 films in Documentary feature Competition, 48 international short films, a Music Video section, and many additional nightly events and special screenings. You can see the full lineup right here.

– The eighth annual Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) returns this fall with its five-day festival showcasing the year’s best new independent films, November 7 – 11. The ten screening venues located throughout the Valley include the historic Cameo Cinema, Charles Krug Winery, Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch, JaM Cellars Ballroom at the Margrit Mondavi Theatre, Lincoln Theater, Native Sons, Uptown Theatre, and new this year The Archer Hotel Napa, Las Alcobas Napa Valley, and the Drive-In at the Calistoga Fairgrounds. You can see the full lineup right here.

October 2

– The Middleburg Film Festival’s Executive Director Susan Koch announced today the 29 films comprising the full slate for the 2018 Festival. The festival, celebrating its sixth year, opens Thursday, October 18 with Academy Award-winning director and writer Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma,” starring Yalitza Aparicio. As previously announced, Aparicio will participate in a conversation following the Opening Night screening and will be honored with the 2018 “Rising Star” Award for her breakthrough role.

Middleburg Film Festival runs from October 18 – October 21 in Virginia’s historic wine country located one hour from Washington, DC. You can see the full lineup right here.

"The Favourite"

“The Favourite”

Fox Searchlight

– TIME’S UP has hired Lisa Borders will serve as the first-ever President and CEO of the organization. Launched by a group of women in the entertainment industry on January 1, 2018, TIME’S UP has since grown to other industries and geographies, representing women of all kinds across race, religion, and economic backgrounds. In recognizing the global opportunity to ensure that all women have safe, fair and dignified work, TIME’S UP created an umbrella organization to reach all women, everywhere, linked to a series of affiliates and partners working to advocate for and create change in their respective industries.

In the role of President and CEO of TIME’S UP, Borders will lead the organization’s work to ensure equal opportunity and protection for all working women, seizing this unprecedented moment and transforming it into meaningful and institutionalized change across culture, companies and laws.

Borders brings nearly 30 years of experience in operations, marketing, government relations and public service to TIME’S UP, delivering results across the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Most recently, she served as President of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) where she was responsible for developing the vision for the WNBA and overseeing the league’s day-to-day business and basketball operations.

– Aspen Film has announced its balloted Audience Award winners for the 39th Aspen Filmfest, which ran September 25 – 30 at the Wheeler Opera House and the Isis Theatre in Aspen and the Crystal Theatre in Carbondale. “Momentum Generation,” directed by Jeff Zimbalist and Michael Zimbalist, was chosen to receive the Audience Award for Best Film, while “3 Days 2 Nights,” directed by John Breen, was chosen to receive the Audience Award Runner-Up.

– Film Fest 919 kicks off tomorrow in Chapel Hill, NC and runs through October 7 at Silverspot Cinema at University Place. The festival showcases the fall season’s most talked-about films, fresh from Toronto, Venice, Telluride, as well as Cannes and Sundance.

That includes titles like “Roma,” which won the Golden Lion Award at Venice Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival Audience Award Winner “Green Book,” Venice Film Festival winner “The Favourite,” Robert Redford and Sissy Spacek starrer “The Old Man & The Gun,” Karyn Kusama’s film “Destroyer,” featuring a critically-acclaimed performance by Nicole Kidman, Joel Edgerton’s directorial debut “Boy Erased,” and this year’s Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or winner, “Shoplifters.” You can see the full lineup right here.

roma cuaron


– The Black List and Women In Film in partnership with Red Bull Media House have picked the six participants in their 3rd Annual Episodic Lab for women writers. Beginning October 2 and running for four weeks, the Lab will emphasize both craft and professional development to equip participants with the knowledge to build and sustain their careers. Additional support for the Lab is provided by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

The participants are as follows: Davia Carter, Paula Sorge Moynihan, Jamie Park, Sasha Perl-Raver, Naja Rayne, and Brittany Worthington.

October 1

– Outfest, the Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization promoting equality by creating, sharing, and protecting LGBTQ stories on the screen, will honor the producers and cast of FX Networks “POSE” at the 2018 Legacy Awards on Sunday, October 28.

Outfest will also honor writer/director Justin Simien (“Dear White People”), as well as 39-time Academy Award winner, Sony Pictures Classics.

– Sundance Selects has picked up the rights to “DriverX,” directed by Henry Barrial, starring Patrick Fabian, Tanya Clarke, Desmin Borges, Travis Schuldt, Melissa Fumero, Oscar Nunez, and Iqbal Theba, produced by Mark Stolaroff and executive produced by Alex Cutler. Sundance Selects is planning a theatrical release beginning on November 30, 2018.

– The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will honor Hugh Jackman with the thirteenth annual Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film. The award will be presented at a black-tie Gala dinner at The Ritz Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara on Monday, November 19, 2018. Since 2006, the annual Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film has been awarded to a lifelong contributor to cinema through their work in front of the camera, behind, or both.

Past honorees include Dame Judi Dench, Warren Beatty, Jane Fonda, Jessica Lange, Forest Whitaker, Robert DeNiro, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Quentin Tarantino, Ed Harris, and John Travolta.

The 34th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival will take place from Wednesday, January 30 – February 9, 2019.

L to R: Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali in GREEN BOOK

“Green Book”

Universal Pictures

– Indie distributor Film Movement has launched its own streaming service. Starting today, Film Movement Plus “opens up a dazzling, world of provocative, compelling and award-winning films from Film Movement’s singular library.” Priced at $7.99 per month, the new service will offer consumers at launch a free 30-day trial, as well as a 50% discount on the first month via the special promotional code, PLUS50.

The service, which offers more than 500+ hours of curated content, will initially be available on mobile (iOS and Android), Apple TV, Roku and Chromecast, and on Amazon Fire TV and Android TV shortly thereafter.

– The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) will celebrate the 21st SCAD Savannah Film Festival, an annual acclamation of cinematic excellence, October 27 – November 3. As the largest university-run film festival in the country, it honors both professional and emerging student filmmakers during an eight-day film celebration that welcomes more than 55,000 attendees from around the world each year, including major industry luminaries – directors, writers, filmmakers and actors from the big screen.

SCAD Savannah Film Festival will screen a total of 164 films, including 33 narrative films, 16 documentary films and 115 shorts, more than any year before. For more information, visit the official SCAD blog.

– The Orchard has picked up North American rights to “Hurley,” a documentary about a queer race car driver who kept his sexuality a secret over much of his lengthy career. Directed by Derek Dodge and executive produced by “Grey’s Anatomy” star Patrick Dempsey, the doc premiered at the Inside Out LGBT Film Festival earlier this year and will hit theaters sometime in 2019. Variety first reported the news.

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