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.
Breaking Film Industry News — June 2019

June 4

– The Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) SummerDocs series returns for its eleventh year to present entertaining and engaging documentary filmmaking from revolutionary storytellers. The series will kick off with a screening of “Maiden,” directed by Alex Holmes, on June 29, at 7:00pm, followed by “Cold Case Hammarskjold,” directed by Mads Brügger, on July 20 at 7:00pm, and concluding with “Circus of Books,” directed by Rachel Mason, on August 24 at 7:00pm. All screenings will take place at Guild Hall in East Hampton.

Following the screenings, HIFF Co-Chairman Alec Baldwin & HIFF Artistic Director David Nugent will lead conversations with the director of each film along with additional guests to be announced.

“We are proud of how the SummerDocs series has grown over the last 10 years. Bringing exciting documentaries, featuring powerful stories, to our festival community is now a significant part of our programming,” said Baldwin in an official statement.

“With fascinating documentaries that showcase topics including a brave group of female sailors, a wild and intriguing investigation into a plane crash from over 50 years ago, and a straight couple’s story of owning a gay porn shop, our audience will once again get a peek at some of the best non-fiction work of the year,” HIFF Artistic Director David Nugent added.

– RLJE Films has acquired “Satanic Panic,” the latest in the line-up from the recently re-launched Fangoria, and based on a story by Grady Hendrix and Ted Geoghegan. The film was written by Hendrix and directed by Chelsea Stardust. The film will be released in theaters and on VOD and Digital HD on September 6.

“We could not be more excited to be releasing the instant classic, ‘Satanic Panic,’” said Mark Ward, Chief Acquisitions Officer of RLJE Films. “Chelsea Stardust is a filmmaker on the rise and we know audiences will line up to see this completely original and wild film from Fangoria.”

The film follows “a pizza delivery girl at the end of her financial rope has to fight for her life – and her tips – when her last order of the night turns out to be for high society Satanists in need of a virgin sacrifice.”

June 3

– The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) has announced the projects selected for the Episodic Lab, IFP’s yearlong fellowship for breakthrough content creators working on fiction and nonfiction series projects aimed for television and digital platforms.

“The IFP Episodic Lab is the perfect place to incubate and workshop these great series projects: it offers the creators and their teams mentorship to pull off their vision in the TV and digital landscape. It is also the perfect place for the teams to strengthen their pitches before they go out to market – specifically IFP Week in September.” said Jeffrey Sharp, IFPs Executive Director, in an official statement.

Inspired by the successful long-running IFP Filmmaker Labs that focus on helping directors complete, market and introduce audiences to cutting edge first-features, the Episodic Lab will support outstanding debut or “breakthrough” creators working on fiction and nonfiction series projects. After completing the Lab in June, the 10 projects will be included in the Project Forum’s slate at IFP Week 2019 (September 15-19, Brooklyn NY). At IFP Week, the 10 teams will pitch their projects to buyers, production companies, networks and other Industry players, as well as presenting the projects in the Episodic Day (set for Monday, September 16), an exclusive full day of series pitches for Industry.


The ten selected projects represent a mix of genres and formats: from fiction to nonfiction, from limited series to multiple-seasons concepts, from comedies to drama, from meta-mysteries to supernatural thriller:

  • Adventures from the Bedrooms of African Women (Fiction, Comedy/Drama): Adapted from the popular blog by the same name, a show that dramatizes the actual interviews of women of African descent living around the world, and their adventures in the exploration of their sexualities. Nosarieme Garrick (Director, Writer, Executive Producer), Malaka Grant (Creator, Writer, Executive Producer)
  • Celluloid Dreams (Nonfiction): A projected image, a video, a glimpse on a small screen, a window to the free world or to a better life. Five different parts of the world, five staggering stories of courage and wonder, show us how film can change us and sometimes, the world. Mara Adina (Creator, Producer, Executive Producer), Ilinca Calugareanu (Creator, Director, Writer, Executive Producer)
  • The Devil and Gallup (Nonfiction): A small group of merchants in New Mexico commits one of the largest cases of art fraud in history, their deadly feud, and its devastating impact on the Native American community. William A. Kirkley (Creator, Director, Writer, Producer), Elisha Gustafson (Producer)
  • Did You Ever Have a Family (Fiction, Drama): Did You Ever Have a Family is a limited drama series, adapted from Bill Clegg’s novel, featuring a trio of female characters coping with grief, guilt, regret, and ultimately forgiveness in the wake of unimaginable tragedy. Sloane Klevin (Producer), Jay Riedl (Writer)
  • The Gallery of Madame Liu Tsong (Fiction, Drama/Mystery): A gallerist embroiled in solving art-world mysteries discovers that her biggest unsolved case is herself. Art is subjective. So is the truth about her past. Kirsten Tan (Creator, Writer, Director), Amanda Lee Koe (Creator, Writer)
  • How Ya Like Me Now (Fiction, Drama): Hip hop pioneer Kool Moe Dee struggles to keep his music relevant with the emergence of a new rival on the scene, LL Cool J. Craig T. Williams (Creator)
  • Next Generation Sex (Nonfiction): A character-driven, documentary series delving into unflinching teen stories around sexuality for this moment, through their lives and words. Julie Bridgham (Creator, Director, Producer, Executive Producer), Rebecca Haimowitz (Creator, Director, Producer, Executive Producer), Rachel Lears (Creator, Executive Producer)
  • Tenebris (Fiction, Supernatural Thriller): Gabriel Hoffman, a washed out TV host, famous for his ability to interact with the paranormal, and Clara, his determined assistant, will face dark forces while trying to find an opportunity to resurrect his career. David Figueroa García (Creator, Writer), Mauricio Leiva Cock (Creator, Writer), Juan Diego Villegas Manrique (Producer, Executive Producer)
  • A Town Called Victoria (Nonfiction): Hours after the first travel ban takes effect, a mosque in Victoria, Texas erupts in flames. As details of the arson emerge, this quiet community must reckon with the deep rifts that drove a man to hate. Li Lu (Creator, Director, Writer, Producer), Louise Henderson (Producer), Anthony Pedone (Producer)
  • Who’s Annie (Fiction, Comedy/Drama): After jail time, 12-step programs and five marriages, Annie, an aspiring actor, will play a part in various scripted scenes to help us investigate women’s on-camera roles, learn about her real life story and answer the question – does zeal outweigh a lack of experience? Sophia Peer (Creator, Director, Writer)
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