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Film News Roundup: ‘Precious’ Scribe to Write Memphis Sanitation Strike Movie

In today’s film news roundup, Oscar-winner Geoffrey Fletcher has been hired to write “I Am a Man,” Gravitas picks up rights to LGBTQ marriage drama “The Ring Thing,” and a finishing fund for Sundance titles has launched.

SCREENWRITER ATTACHMENT

Academy Award-winner Geoffrey Fletcher has been hired to write “I Am a Man,” a historical drama about the 1968 strike by Memphis sanitation workers.

The Sycamore Pictures production is based on Michael K. Honey’s 2007 book of the same name about the strike, which was supported by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and lasted 65 days. King was in Memphis to support the strike when he was assassinated on the balcony of a motel. Sycamore’s Ben Nearn and Tom Rice are producing.

Fletcher won the Oscar for best adapted screenplay for “Precious” and recently wrote “Trial by Fire,” starring Laura Dern and Jack O’Connell. He is repped by CAA. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

ACQUISITION

G​ravitas Ventures has picked up the worldwide rights to filmmaking husbands William C. Sullivan and Derek Dodge’s meditation on LGBTQ+ marriage, “The Ring Thing,” Variety has learned exclusively.

After playing Inside Out Toronto, Outfest, and Provincetown International Film Festival, the film is now on a festival tour with showings at Newfest in New York City later this month.

Sullivan is the writer-director and Dodge is the writer-cinematographer on the film, which explores what it means to be in a partnership and how those connections change (or not) when marriage is added to the mix.

Actors Sarah Wharton and Nicole Pursell, who starred as a couple in “That’s Not Us,” team up again in the lead roles. Wharton also produced the film with Jess Weiss.

FINISHING FUND

Production companies General Population and Public House Films have launched the GenPop-Public House finishing fund for Sundance Film Festival titles, Variety has learned exclusively.

The entity is led by Sundance alumni Nick Moceri (“A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night”) and Aaron Boyd (“Columbus”). GenPop-Public House aims to benefit emerging filmmakers and producers by providing financing for films in need of help during the crucial push between being accepted to Sundance before Thanksgiving to the festival premiere itself.

“As producers of Sundance films, Aaron and I know firsthand what a scramble it can be to get a film done in time,” Moceri said. “We understand the unique challenges that filmmakers and producers having during this window of time, and we want to help be part of the solution. We know that every year there are films scrambling for extra funds, and we want to be there to support them.”

Investments will vary per film, and both narrative and documentary films are eligible for support. The financing will primarily cover post-production finishing costs and festival support, including publicity and sales.

“GenPop and Public House are production companies and this is an opportunity to develop new relationships with other filmmakers and producers, which will hopefully be beneficial to everyone involved,” Boyd said.

THEATRICAL RELEASE

Netflix has set a 10-city theatrical release for Noah Baumbach’s “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)” for Oct. 13 — the same day it launches globally on the service.

The film made its world premiere in May at the Cannes Film Festival and its U.S. premiere on Oct. 1 at the New York Film Festival.

The Meyerowitz Stories” will open in Los Angeles in Landmark and Laemmle sites and at Landmark theaters in  New York City, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington D.C.

The film is the intergenerational tale of adult siblings (Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, and Elizabeth Marvel) contending with the long shadow their strong-willed father (Dustin Hoffman) has cast over their lives. The film also stars Emma Thompson, Grace Van Patten, Adam Driver, Candice Bergen, Judd Hirsch, and Rebecca Miller.  The film was produced by Scott Rudin, Baumbach, Lila Yacoub, and Eli Bush.

 

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