In today’s film news roundup, Disney Channel star Mollee Gray lands the lead in “A Night to Regret,” Sentient Entertainment signs an output deal with Italia Film, and Bleecker Street dates five movies.


Disney Channel’s Mollee Gray will star in the upcoming film “A Night to Regret,” opposite Marguerite Moreau, Variety has learned exclusively.

Tom Shell is directing from Christine Conradt’s script. Liz Vacovec is producing and Chris Lancey is the executive producer.

Gray will portray a pre-law college student and aspiring filmmaker who makes a careless choice one night that could cost her her life. When she goes missing, her mother and friends band together to do everything in their power to bring her home.

Gray is best known for her role as Giggles in the Disney Channel original movie “Teen Beach Movie” and its sequel, “Teen Beach 2.” She also starred in Lifetime movie “Double Daddy,” and the indie films “The Favorite” and “The Reliant.” She is represented by Paradigm and Strong Management.


Literary management and production company Sentient Entertainment has signed a multi-year output deal with film buyer/distributor Italia Film that covers the Middle East, Turkey, India, and Greece, Variety has learned exclusively.

The deal also includes a mid-six figure development/overhead fund. Sentient’s credits include FX’s “Feud,” the French heist thriller “Overdrive,” David Cronenberg’s “Maps to the Stars,” and the upcoming STX/Lakeshore actioner “Peppermint,” starring Jennifer Garner and directed by Sentient producing partner Pierre Morel (“Taken”).

Sentient founder Renee Tab began her career as a literary agent at ICM. She has packaged such films as “Hustle and Flow,” “Eastern Promises,” “A History of Violence,” and “A Dangerous Method.” Her partner Christopher Tuffin previously ran the film finance company Social Capital Films and founded the horror shingle Bloodworks.

“Italia is an elegant and respected company who, like us, live at the crossroad of art and commerce,” Tab said. “These resources give Sentient the ability to acquire specs and IP, work with writers, and co-produce high concept action, dramas, and thrillers which are the backbone of the global cinematic marketplace.”

Italia Film has been Walt Disney Pictures’ exclusive distributor in the Middle East since 1993 and is active in the independent film distribution industry in the Middle East, Turkey, Greece, and India.


Bleecker Street has set its first five film releases for 2018 with “What They Had,” “Beirut,” “Nostalgia,” “Disobedience,” and “On Chesil Beach.”

“Nostalgia” will be released Feb. 16. It’s directed by Mark Pellington and follows the lives of people connected through loss. The film stars Jon Hamm, Ellen Burstyn, Catherine Keener, and Bruce Dern.

“What They Had” opens March 16. The movie centers on a family in crisis as Hilary Swank’s character returns home to Chicago at the urging of her brother (Michael Shannon) to deal with her mother’s (Blythe Danner) Alzheimer’s and her father’s (Robert Forster) reluctance to let go of their life together.

“Beirut” (formerly titled “High Wire Act”) launches April 13 starring Hamm as a diplomat who flees Lebanon in 1972 after a tragic incident at his home. Ten years later, he is called back to war-torn Beirut by CIA operatives to negotiate for the life of a friend he left behind.

“Disobedience” hits theaters on April 27 and stars Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams, and Alessandro Nivola. The film follows a woman as she returns, after the death of her estranged rabbi father, from New York to the Orthodox Jewish community in North London where she grew up.

“On Chesil Beach” has been set for June 15. It’s a 1960s-set drama centering on a young couple honeymooning on the English seaside, with Saoirse Ronan, Billy Howle, Emily Watson and Anne-Marie Duff starring.


The Motion Picture Sound Editors will honor Kathryn Bigelow with its annual filmmaker prize at the Golden Reel Awards on Feb. 18 in Los Angeles.

Bigelow is the only woman to win an Academy Award for best director (for 2010’s “The Hurt Locker”). She’s also directed “Detroit” and “Zero Dark Thirty.”

“Kathryn Bigelow’s films have that rare quality of challenging our preconceptions by moving us and creating moments of powerful empathy,” MPSE president Tom McCarthy said. “She is a true artist. We are extremely proud to recognize her tireless contributions to our industry and culture with our Filmmaker Award.”

Past recipients of the MPSE filmmaker award include Guillermo del Toro, Sam Raimi, Darren Aronofsky, George Lucas, Ang Lee, Michael Bay, Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood, Brian Grazer, and Gale Anne Hurd.

“Collaboration with the sound editor is a gratifying and inspiring time in the post process,” Bigelow said. “It is the moment that the film wraps itself around you, revealing its final form. I am honored to receive this award from my colleagues in sound editing.”