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Film News Roundup: Netflix to Release Lady Gaga Documentary in September

In today’s film news roundup, Netflix announces a release for its Lady Gaga documentary, FilmRise picks up “The Secret Life of Lance Letscher,” and the Hollywood Film Awards announce a donation to the MPTF.

RELEASE DATE

Netflix has set a Sept. 22 release date for “Gaga: Five Foot Two,” a portrait of a year in the life of Lady Gaga. The documentary will premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

Chris Moukarbel directed the documentary, aimed at showing an unguarded look at Gaga through a series of personal highs and lows and the culmination of a year’s emotional journey.

“It is a rare moment when one is invited behind the curtain to witness the raw truth of an individual, even more so when that person happens to be one of the most recognizable, influential and scrutinized public figures in culture today,” said Lisa Nishimura, VP of original documentaries for Netflix. “Director Chris Moukarbel deftly brings us into Lady Gaga’s intimate world; allowing us to experience the drive, conflict, passion, complexity and deeply personal creative process behind this singular artist.”

Gaga: Five Foot Two” is produced by Heather Parry for Live Nation Productions, Bobby Campbell for Mermaid Films, and Moukarbel. Executive producers are Michael Rapino, Kim Ray, Lisa Nishimura, and Benjamin Cotner.

ACQUISITION

FilmRise has acquired worldwide rights to the Sandra Adair’s directorial debut “The Secret Life of Lance Letscher” for a release in late 2017.

The documentary had its world premiere at the 2017 South by Southwest Film Festival. The film is an overview of the Austin-based visual artist’s life and work — which include intricate collages, sculptures, and installations.

Adair is a frequent collaborator with Richard Linklater, working as his longtime editor. Their shared credits include “Boyhood,” “Dazed and Confused,” “Everybody Wants Some,” and the Before Trilogy.

“The Secret Life of Lance Letscher” was produced by Kristi Frazier and Adair and executive produced by Jill and Robert Turner. The deal was negotiated between Danny Fisher and Max Einhorn  of FilmRise with Eric Sloss of Cinetic Media.

AWARD SHOWS

Dick Clark Productions has announced that its 21st annual Hollywood Film Awards will benefit the Motion Picture Television Fund.

The awards show will take place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Nov. 5 and honor films and actors along with awards for cinematography, visual effects, film composing, costume design, editing, production design, sound and makeup, and hairstyling.

“MPTF supports over 5,000 entertainment industry families through a variety of services annually and depends on the support of everyone in our community to make these programs and services possible,” said Jeffrey Katzenberg, Chairman of MPTF Foundation. “The generous support of Dick Clark Productions allows us to further our mission and provide a culture of caring to members of our industry in times of need.”

EXECUTIVE HIRE

Veteran sales executive Mike Viane is joining STXfilms as executive vice president/head of theatrical sales.

Viane comes on board with three titles due out in the fall — “The Foreigner” on Oct. 13, “A Bad Moms Christmas” on Nov. 3 and “Molly’s Game” on Nov. 22.

“Adding Mike to our already top-flight tier of distribution executives will bolster our efforts as we plan our 2018 release slate, which will be our biggest yet,” said Kevin Grayson, STXfilms’ President of Domestic Distribution. “Mike’s track record and expertise are unparalleled; we will rely on his vast experience and extensive network to accelerate the next phase of our expansion.”

Viane spent more than 20 years at Warner Bros. and served as senior VP and head film buyer at Regal Entertainment Group. He was also a consultant to Vision Media Management and Bleecker Street Media. In his new role at STXfilms, Viane will oversee theatrical sales and distribution management, and play a key role in
strategic planning, contract negotiations and market expansion. Viane will report into Grayson and begins Sept. 1.

HOME ENTERTAINMENT

Redbox and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment have signed a new distribution agreement making SPHE titles available at Redbox kiosks the same day as retail sell-through dates.

“We’re pleased to renew our partnership with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment,” said Galen Smith, CEO of Redbox. “The partnership ensures that consumers will have day-and-date access to SPHE’s robust content slate, while also driving stronger financial performance for both SPHE and Redbox.”

SPHE President Man Jit Singh, said, “In the evolving marketplace, consumer choice is paramount. At SPHE, we are committed to satisfying consumer demand in all of its forms, and our deal with Redbox is an important part of our efforts to provide a wide range of options for audiences.”

Under the new deal, SPHE’s titles will be available in Redbox kiosks starting in September. The deal, announced Thursday, is similar to the Lionsgate-Redbox renewal announced on Aug. 14.

CASTING

MGM has tapped Tony Award winner Alex Sharp to join Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway in “Nasty Women,” the  studio’s reboot of “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.”

Sharp will portray a tech billionaire who becomes the unwitting object of a bet between two con women. Chris Addison will direct from a script by Jac Schaeffer. Producers are Wilson through her Camp Sugar company and Roger Birnbaum under his Pin High Productions company. Ilona Herzberg and Alison Owen are executive producing.

Sharp won a Tony for “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” and starred in the Netflix drama “To the Bone.” He’s repped by CAA and Elin Flack. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

 

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