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SXSW: ‘Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo’ Bought by Gravitas
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.
- Dave McNary
‘Empire’ Actor Bryshere Gray to Star in Indie Drama ‘Canal Street’
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.
“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
Dance Documentary ‘Step’ Gets July Release Against ‘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
‘Their Finest’ Trailer and Exclusive Photos: Gemma Arterton and Bill Nighy in ‘An Education’ Director’s Latest — Watch
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
‘Cries From Syria’ Trailer: Evegny Afineevsky’s Heart-Wrenching Syrian Civil War Documentary
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
‘Bananas Town’: Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg Co-Direct Short Film Sponsored by Walmart — Watch
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.
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.
- Michael Nordine
What To Expect From The 2017 Academy Awards Telecast: Matt Damon, Sara Bareilles, Politics
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.
- Gregory Ellwood
Film Festival Roundup: Sun Valley Announces 2017 Lineup, Oxford Unveils Winners and More
Keep up with the always-hopping film festival world with our weekly Film Festival Roundup column. Check out last week’s Roundup right here.
– 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
SXSW: Discover An Unsung Genius In Trailer For Documentary ‘Bill Frisell, A Portrait’
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
‘Captain Fantastic’ Director Matt Ross Jumps to Big-Budget Sci-Fi Mystery ‘Tomorrow and Tomorrow’
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
‘My Life As A Zucchini’ Review: This Oscar Nominee Is An Animated ‘Short Term 12’ That Keeps It Real
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.
- Jude Dry
Dan Harmon to Play Dan Harmon on Ken Jeong’s ‘Dr. Ken’
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.
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
2017 Independent Spirit Awards Presenters: Viggo Mortensen, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson and More (Exclusive)
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.
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.
- Michael Nordine
Sally Hawkins Captures The Enduring Spirit Of Canadian Folk Artist ‘Maudie’ In New Trailer With Ethan Hawke
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.
- Tess Bonn
Zach Galifianakis Won’t Leave James Corden Alone in This ‘Late Late Show’ Sketch — Watch
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
Warner Bros. Adds ‘Nightwing’ Movie To Superhero Slate
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
‘Burning Sands’ Trailer: Gerard McMurray Explores the Brutality of Hazing in Upcoming Netflix Original — Watch
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
- Michael Nordine
Discover The Mysterious Power In New Trailer For ‘Mary And The Witch’s Flower’ From Ex-Studio Ghibli Team
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
‘Bob’s Burgers Music Album’ Sneak Peek: Watch Teddy Unbox the Goodies (So to Speak) and Listen to Two Songs
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
‘Get Out’ Is Poised To Break Out: Jordan Peele’s First Movie Could Win The Weekend Box Office
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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