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Film News Roundup: Barry Bostwick to Play Santa Claus in ‘Santa Girl’ (EXCLUSIVE)

In today’s film news roundup, Barry Bostwick will star as Santa Claus in “Santa Girl,” Meryl Streep will present the American Cinematheque Award to Amy Adams, and basketball documentary “The First to Do It” gets a theatrical release.

CASTINGS

Barry Bostwick will star as Santa Claus opposite Jennifer Stone in the independent comedy “Santa Girl,” Variety has learned exclusively.

The film will shoot later this month in Winchester, Va. Bostwick will play a slimmed-down and all-business Santa who hasn’t recovered from the loss of his wife, Mrs. Claus, with Stone playing his daughter. The story will focus on the daughter’s desire to attend college despite her father’s misgivings. After he eventually relents, she must navigate a strange new world while keeping the identity of her iconic father — and her own magic — a secret.

Blayne Weaver (“6 Month Rule”) is attached to direct from Patricia Harrington’s script.  Capital Arts’ Paul Di Franco, Mike Elliott, Joseph P. Genier, and Rob Kerchner are producing. The film is a co-production between Capital Arts Entertainment and Shenandoah University.

Bostwick’s work includes starring with Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and as the mayor in “Spin City” opposite Michael J. Fox. He has recurring roles in Bravo’s “Girlfriends Guide to Divorce” and CMT’s “Still the King.”

AWARDS

Meryl Streep has been selected to present the 31st American Cinematheque Award to Amy Adams on Nov. 10. Jake Gyllenhaal, Tom Hanks, Chris Messina, Natalie Portman and Kristen Stewart are also scheduled to appear to toast Adams. Cinematheque’s annual benefit gala will be held at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif. The Sid Grauman Award will also be presented to Richard Gelfond and Greg Foster on behalf of Imax. Proceeds from the evening benefit the year-round programs of the non-profit American Cinematheque.

Adams and Streep starred together in 2009’s “Julie and Julia.”

RELEASE DATES

Earl Lloyd documentary “The First To Do It” will receive a Northern American theatrical release in Feb. 2018.

The film, produced in association with the National Basketball Players Association, examines the life and times of Earl Lloyd, the first black American to play in the NBA. The film brings together current basketball players including Carmelo Anthony, Kawhi Leonard, and Chris Paul as well as Hall of Fame players Oscar Robertson, Dave Bing, and Bob Lanier. Constant Beta Motion Picture Company, Creative Control, and Abramorama will distribute.

DISTRIBUTION DEALS

Uncle Gloria: One Helluva Ride” will be released in U.S. theaters on Nov. 3 and on VOD, Amazon and iTunes Nov. 7 after a distribution deal was reached with XLrator Media. The film recounts the story of Butch, the macho owner of a South Florida auto-wrecking company, who, in a desperate search of a way to hide from the law, transforms himself into a woman named Gloria. But what starts out as a trick to beat the system ends up changing Butch’s life forever. Former PBS documentary producer Robyn Symon directed, produced, and edited “Uncle Gloria.”

*****

Roadside Attractions has acquired Richard Loncraine’s comedy “Finding Your Feet” and is partnering with Stage 6 Films on domestic distribution. The film stars Imelda Staunton, Timothy Spall, Celia Imrie, David Hayman, John Sessions and Joanna Lumley with Staunton and Imrie portraying sisters joining a community dance class. The film is produced by Andrew Berg, John Sachs,  Meg Leonard, Nick Moorcroft, James Spring and Charlotte Walls. Roadside plans to release the film in the spring. eOne will release the film in the United Kingdom on Feb. 23.

*****

Mythic Films, MayRae Productions, and The Process Studios have set an Oct. 23 release via digital download and DVD for the documentary “The Process,” centered on acting coach Larry Moss, who has trained Leonardo DiCaprio, Hilary Swank, Chris Rock, Helen Hunt, Jim Carrey and Hailee Steinfeld. The film,  directed and produced by Mitzi Kapture, follows Moss as he works alongside a director and actors taking them from their first choices to a final polished performance. It also features appearances by James L. Brooks and is moderated by USC Cinematic Arts Professor Barnet Kellman.

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