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SXSW: ‘Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo’ Bought by Gravitas

13 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Gravitas Ventures has acquired worldwide rights from Haviland Digital to the documentary “Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo” ahead of its world premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival.

Gravitas is planning an April 14 day-and-date release in theaters across the U.S. and VOD.

The film includes archival footage and stories from the creator of Mission Control, Dr. Chris Kraft, retired Nasa Flight Directors Gene Kranz (portrayed by Ed Harris in “Apollo 13”), Glynn Lunney and Gerry Griffin. Also appearing are Flight Dynamics Officer Jerry Bostick, Flight Controller John Aaron, astronaut Captain James Lovell (played by Tom Hanks in “Apollo 13”), and moonwalkers Charlie Duke and the late Captain Gene Cernan.

“Mission Control” explores the faltering start of the program to the Mercury and Gemini missions, the tragic Apollo 1 fire and the Moon landings.

“Mission Control” was directed by David Fairhead and produced by Keith Haviland and Gareth Dodds. »


- Dave McNary

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‘Empire’ Actor Bryshere Gray to Star in Indie Drama ‘Canal Street’

13 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Empire” actor Bryshere Gray is starring in the independent drama “Canal Street” with production starting in Chicago, Variety has learned exclusively.

The leading cast includes Yancey Arias, Lance Reddick, Katie Chang, “Bosch” star Jamie Hector and Kevin Quinn. Other cast members are Woody McClain, Harry Lennix, Jon Seda, Will Yun Lee, Michael Beach and Giovanni Watson.

Red Guerilla Entertainment is the film’s production company. “Canal Street” is directed, co-written and exec produced by Rhyan Lamarr, who filled the same roles for his 2016 film “Restored Me.”

Producers are Amir Windom, Adam Key, Charlie Mac, Chris Jamerson, Anita Luckett, Ronique Shaw and Reggie Hunter. Windom is a veteran recording executive who is supervising the music.

Canal Street” is a story about the reasons for the deep-seated divisions within the city of Chicago and the city’s diversity, touching on themes of family, friendship, and forgiveness.

“‘Canal Street’ is a visual and »


- Dave McNary

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Dance Documentary ‘Step’ Gets July Release Against ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’

22 February 2017 6:14 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Fox Searchlight Pictures has set a July 7 release for Amanda Lipitz’s documentary “Step” — making it the first title to go up against Sony’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”

Fox Searchlight bought rights to the movie last month following its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.

The film, featuring Blessin Giraldo, Cori Grainger, Tayla Solomon, Gari McIntyre, and Paula Dofat, documents the senior year of a girls’ high-school step dance team in inner-city Baltimore. Each student is trying to become the first in their families to attend college and striving to make their dancing a success against the backdrop of social unrest in the troubled city.

Step” is a Stick Figure, Impact Partners, Vulcan, and Scott Rudin production, and produced by Lipitz and Steven Cantor. Exec producers are Dan Cogan, Geralyn Dreyfous, Jenny Raskin, Rudin, Paul G. Allen, Carole Tomko, Micheal Flaherty, Valerie McGowan, »


- Dave McNary

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‘Their Finest’ Trailer and Exclusive Photos: Gemma Arterton and Bill Nighy in ‘An Education’ Director’s Latest — Watch

6 hours ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

After premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall, “An Education” director Lone Scherfig’s “Their Finest” is set to be released in April. Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin and Bill Nighy star in the film, an adaptation of Lissa Evans’ “Their Finest Hour and a Half.” Avail yourself of the new trailer and four exclusive photos below.

Read More: ‘Their Finest’ Is A Feminist Rom-Com That Lets Down Its Ladies — Tiff Review

Here’s the premise: “With London emptied of its men now fighting at the Front, Catrin Cole (Arterton) is hired by the British Ministry as a ‘slop’ scriptwriter charged with bringing ‘a woman’s touch’ to morale-boosting propaganda films. Her natural flair quickly gets her noticed by dashing movie producer Buckley (Claflin) whose path would never have crossed hers in peacetime. As bombs are dropping all around them, Catrin, Buckley and a colorful crew work furiously to »


- Michael Nordine

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‘Cries From Syria’ Trailer: Evegny Afineevsky’s Heart-Wrenching Syrian Civil War Documentary

6 hours ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Currently in the thick of the United States immigration crisis, Evgeny Afineevsky’s (“Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom”) latest HBO documentary “Cries From Syria” is desperately needed. The film is set to air on HBO on March 13 at 1o p.m. with a limited theatrical release in Los Angeles on March 3 and New York on March 10.

Read More: Sundance 2017: HBO Acquires War Documentary ‘Cries From Syria

The official synopsis states, “‘Cries From Syria’ is a searing, comprehensive account of the Syrian war from the inside out. The film draws on hundreds of hours of war footage from Syrian activists and citizen journalists, as well as testimony from child protestors, revolution leaders, human rights defenders, ordinary citizens and high-ranking army generals who have defected from the government. Their collective stories are a cry for attention and help from a world that little understands their reality or agrees »


- Kerry Levielle

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‘Bananas Town’: Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg Co-Direct Short Film Sponsored by Walmart — Watch

6 hours ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

The Academy Awards aren’t known for their commercials the way the Super Bowl is, but that may change somewhat this year. Walmart has partnered with Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg, Antoine Fuqua and Marc Forster on a series of short films set to premiere during this Sunday’s broadcast, with each ad based around the idea that “every receipt tells a story.” Watch Rogen & Goldberg’s contribution to the project below.

Read More: Seth Rogen Is on a Crusade to Save Adult Animation With ‘Sausage Party’ — Consider This

The directors are tasked with using a receipt for everyday items — bananas, paper towels, batteries, a scooter, wrapping paper and a video baby monitor — as the basis of their short. In the case of “Bananas Town,” a normal school day turns into an impromptu song-and-dance number. Apparently the musical bent of “Sausage Party” wasn’t a one-off for the frequent collaborators.

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- Michael Nordine

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What To Expect From The 2017 Academy Awards Telecast: Matt Damon, Sara Bareilles, Politics

7 hours ago | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

The Oscars are only days away and while nominees anxiously wait to find out how their long awards season journeys will end (spoiler: “La La Land” nominees will be happy), first-time producers Jennifer Todd and Mike De Luca are trying to keep as many aspects of the telecast they can secret.  Of course, there are still a number of thing we know about the world’s most prestigious awards show.

Continue reading What To Expect From The 2017 Academy Awards Telecast: Matt Damon, Sara Bareilles, Politics at The Playlist. »

- Gregory Ellwood

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Film Festival Roundup: Sun Valley Announces 2017 Lineup, Oxford Unveils Winners and More

7 hours ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Keep up with the always-hopping film festival world with our weekly Film Festival Roundup column. Check out last week’s Roundup right here.

Lineup Announcements

– The 2017 Sun Valley Film Festival (Svff), presented by Zions Bank, has announced its film line-up for the weekend of March 15 – 19. Now in its sixth year, Svff offers five days of 30 feature film screenings, including 5 world premieres and featuring 16 documentaries and 14 narrative features.

The festival will open with the World Premiere documentary “Blood Road” starring Sun Valley local Rebecca Rusch on March 15 and close with the documentary “Big Sonia” on March 19.  Additional film highlights include “The Hero,” starring Sam Elliott, Laura Prepon, Krysten Ritter and Nick Offerman, “Custody” with Viola Davis, Hayden Panettiere, Ellen Burstyn and Tony Shalhoub, and “Dina,” winner of the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary at Sundance. The film slate can also be viewed here.

– Suncoast Credit Union Gasparilla International Film Festival »


- Kate Erbland

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SXSW: Discover An Unsung Genius In Trailer For Documentary ‘Bill Frisell, A Portrait’

7 hours ago | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Now here is a documentary I’m excited about. While Bill Frisell may not be a household name, I first discovered him on the soundtrack for “Finding Forrester“, and Frisell’s music has been part of my life ever since.

For the few of you who don’t follow jazz guitar, Bill Frisell is one of the most respected studio guitarists working today. He has been featured on albums for such musicians as Elvis Costello, Loudon Wainwright II, and Bonnie Raitt, in addition to putting out his own records, my favorite being History, Mystery.

Continue reading SXSW: Discover An Unsung Genius In Trailer For Documentary ‘Bill Frisell, A Portrait’ at The Playlist. »

- Christian Gallichio

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‘Captain Fantastic’ Director Matt Ross Jumps to Big-Budget Sci-Fi Mystery ‘Tomorrow and Tomorrow’

7 hours ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

The crew of directors making the jump from indie to studio blockbuster just gained one more member.

Matt Ross, the actor-turned-writer-director behind last year’s award season wild card “Captain Fantastic” (whose star Viggo Mortensen is nominated for an Oscar) is set to direct another story about life off the grid, an adaptation of  Tom Sweterlitsch’s 2014 novel “Tomorrow and Tomorrow.” The novel follows a survivor of a debilitating attack on Pittsburgh who endeavors to recreate the city in digital form. Along the way, he discovers a mystery that challenges what he knows about the world he’s trying to bring back.

Read More: IndieWire and FilmStruck’s ‘Movies That Inspire Me’: Matt Ross on the Resilience of ‘The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover’

No cast or screenwriter has been announced at this point. Some audiences may know Ross best in his on-screen role as Gavin »


- Steve Greene

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‘My Life As A Zucchini’ Review: This Oscar Nominee Is An Animated ‘Short Term 12’ That Keeps It Real

7 hours ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

From “Oliver Twist” to “The Fault In Our Stars,” younger viewers have always had an affinity for melancholy. Call it a penchant for melodrama, unfettered access to emotions without shame, or maybe it’s taking comfort in life’s messier truths before social mores encourage them to project happiness at all times. Children often feel things more intensely than jaded adults; it follows that they would respond to narratives that are comfortable painting with shades of grey.

Which is not to say “My Life As A Zucchini” isn’t colorful. Visually, it uses a whimsical palette and exudes vintage charm. The figures, with their circular eyes and ruddy noses and ears have that certain stop-motion je ne sais quoi. The wide, circular eyes of the film’s mournful protagonist, Zucchini, are rimmed in blue to match his hair, painting his face with a pallor that mirrors the blues inside.

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- Jude Dry

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Dan Harmon to Play Dan Harmon on Ken Jeong’s ‘Dr. Ken’

8 hours ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Art continues to imitate life on “Dr. Ken.” The show, loosely based on Ken Jeong’s pre-fame life as a doctor, has booked “Community” creator Dan Harmon to play himself in an upcoming episode.

In the Season 2 finale of “Dr. Ken,” titled “Ken’s Big Audition,” Harmon will appear as the creator of a new TV comedy set at a community college. Harmon’s character sees Ken perform stand-up at an open mic and invites him to audition for a part on his show.

Read More: ‘HarmonQuest’: Dan Harmon Has Managed to Turn Role Playing with Friends into a TV Show

It’s the continuation of a storyline that popped up at the end of Season 1, when Dr. Ken – much like the real Ken Jeong – performed stand-up at the Laugh Factory and attracted interest from a manager to represent him. On the show, Dr. Ken decided to stick with medicine; in real life, »


- Michael Schneider

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2017 Independent Spirit Awards Presenters: Viggo Mortensen, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson and More (Exclusive)

8 hours ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

We learned early last month that Nick Kroll and John Mulaney are co-hosting the Independent Spirit Awards, and now IndieWire can exclusively announce the presenters at this Saturday’s ceremony. Nine actors will be lending their talents to the proceedings: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Orlando Bloom, Viggo Mortensen, Kerry Washington, Miles Teller, Samuel L. Jackson, Freida Pinto, Fred Armisen and Amanda Peet.

Read More: Independent Spirit Awards: Nick Kroll and John Mulaney Love Spending Every Waking Hour Together in New Promos

In addition, Gary Clark Jr. is serving as the one-man house band for the ceremony, the Spirit Awards’ 32nd. The awards will be broadcast live on IFC at 5 p.m. Est this Saturday. Full list of nominees below.

Read More: 2017 Independent Spirit Awards: Nick Kroll and John Mulaney to Co-Host Ceremony

Best Feature:

American Honey

Chronic

Jackie

Manchester by the Sea

Moonlight

Best Director:

Andrea Arnold, “American Honey

Barry Jenkins, “Moonlight

Pablo Larraín, »


- Michael Nordine

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Sally Hawkins Captures The Enduring Spirit Of Canadian Folk Artist ‘Maudie’ In New Trailer With Ethan Hawke

8 hours ago | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Sally Hawkins captures the enduring spirit of painter Maud Lewis in the new trailer for the biopic, “Maudie.” Directed by Aisling Walsh, the film focuses on Lewis’ early life and her struggle to become one of Canada’s best-known folk artists. The biopic made its world premiere at the 2016 Telluride Film Festival before screening at several Canadian film festivals.

The trailer opens with the desperate artist taking a job as a live-in housemaid for gruff, local fish peddler, Everett Lewis, played by Ethan Hawke.

Continue reading Sally Hawkins Captures The Enduring Spirit Of Canadian Folk Artist ‘Maudie’ In New Trailer With Ethan Hawke at The Playlist. »

- Tess Bonn

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Zach Galifianakis Won’t Leave James Corden Alone in This ‘Late Late Show’ Sketch — Watch

8 hours ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

James Corden might want to rethink inviting Zach Galifianakis to come back to “The Late Late Show.” Galifianakis was a guest on the “Late Late Show” last week along with Laura Dern, where he was promoting the new season of “Baskets.” The interview, just as any typical late-night interview, ended with a polite invitation for Galifianakis to return anytime.  Normally, a guest would assume that Corden meant “come back as a guest.” But Zach Galifianakis takes these invitations very seriously, as demonstrated by the skit below.

Read More: James Corden’s Simple Message About Trump’s Muslim Travel Ban — Watch

The video begins with Galifianakis entering Corden’s office with an overnight bag, much to Corden’s confusion. “He said to come back whenever I want,” Galifianakis says. “I meant come back as a guest, not come back literally,” says Corden.

Corden’s patience is constantly tested as Galifianakis continues »


- Juan Diaz

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Warner Bros. Adds ‘Nightwing’ Movie To Superhero Slate

8 hours ago | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

It’s not fair to keep drawing comparisons to Marvel, but Warner Bros. and DC Films feel like such a mess at times. Marvel carefully makes a plan and almost always stick with it through each phase of their movie universe. Over at WB, their upcoming spandex slate that still theoretically includes “Cyborg,” “Shazam,” “Black Adam,” “Gotham City Sirens,” “Suicide Squad 2” and “Green Lantern Corps,” and I will not be surprised if one or two of those movies don’t get made.

Continue reading Warner Bros. Adds ‘Nightwing’ Movie To Superhero Slate at The Playlist. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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‘Burning Sands’ Trailer: Gerard McMurray Explores the Brutality of Hazing in Upcoming Netflix Original — Watch

9 hours ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Netflix had a busy Sundance. The streaming service left Park City with 14 different titles, some of which went into production and premiered at the festival as Netflix Originals. One of those is Gerard McMurray’s “Burning Sands,” which is available to stream next month. Watch the trailer below.

Read More: ‘Burning Sands’ Review: Hazing Drama Is Gripping, If Difficult to Stomach — Sundance 2017

McMurray’s debut feature takes place at a fictional Historically Black College, where a group of new students find themselves subjected to brutal hazing rituals as part of their initiation into a fraternity. One of them (Trevor Jackson) is torn as to whether he should continue with the process or speak out about its cruelty.

Read More: New to Netflix in March: ‘The Discovery,’ ‘Burning Sands’ and More Sundance Offerings

Alfre Woodard, Steve Harris, Tosin Cole, DeRon Horton and Trevante Rhodes co-star in the film. “Burning Sands” will »


- Michael Nordine

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Discover The Mysterious Power In New Trailer For ‘Mary And The Witch’s Flower’ From Ex-Studio Ghibli Team

9 hours ago | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

While Studio Ghibli has become synonymous with Hayao Miyazaki’s work, and the films that touch upon similarly inspired approaches, the company is ceasing production of new projects and now their workers have had to find a new outlet. And so, Hiromasa Yonebayashi, Yoshiaki Nishimura, and several former employees, started Studio Ponoc. With their new movie, “Mary And The Witch’s Flower,” it looks like they’re hoping to build their brand on the same vibe as Studio Ghibli.

Continue reading Discover The Mysterious Power In New Trailer For ‘Mary And The Witch’s Flower’ From Ex-Studio Ghibli Team at The Playlist. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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‘Bob’s Burgers Music Album’ Sneak Peek: Watch Teddy Unbox the Goodies (So to Speak) and Listen to Two Songs

9 hours ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

The “Bob’s Burgers Music Album” is coming your way May 12, and it’s loaded up with more goodies than a Poutine on the Ritz Burger.

This is not the time to be modern and go the digital route for your music. Hell, even buying the CDs isn’t old-school enough. Instead, if you buy the the “Bob’s Burgers Music Album” deluxe limited-edition gift box, that comes with three LPs  (in “condiment-colored” vinyl?!), a Bob’s Buskers seven-inch white vinyl LP, a hardbound lyric book (for those times you need to know more than just “Butts, Butts, Butts”), a sheet music collection, three original posters and a lot more. What is “more” you ask? Take a look at the unboxing video below featuring Teddy’s hairy arms and mumbly narration to see everything:

Of course, the two-cd album is still chockfull of “Bob’s Burgers” audio goodness, which amounts to 107 songs. »


- Hanh Nguyen

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‘Get Out’ Is Poised To Break Out: Jordan Peele’s First Movie Could Win The Weekend Box Office

9 hours ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

With its combination of horror and racial commentary, “Get Out” (Universal) is the best bet to lead the Top 10 this weekend. With a chance to be not only a hit but also a game-changer, it looks like both a breakout for first-time director Jordan Peele and yet another winner for producer Jason Blum.

The timing on Oscar weekend, particularly in the aftermath of #oscarssowhite, is fortuitous, and it moves into release with a whopping 100% on Rotten Tomatoes after 85 reviews. Horror maven Jason Blum is also an Oscar-nominated producer (“Whiplash”) as well as the force behind M. Might Shyamalan’s “Split,” the first film of 2017 to gross over $100 million domestic.

Get Out,” as befits its origins from comic actor/writer Jordan Peele (who stays behind the camera), is a mix of humor and horror in its tale of an interracial couple meeting her wealthy liberal white parents for the first time. »


- Tom Brueggemann

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