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Film News Roundup: Rosamund Pike, Joel Kinnaman, Clive Owen Thriller ‘Three Seconds’ Gets U.S. Distribution

In today’s film news roundup, thriller “Three Seconds” gets distribution through Aviron, Samuel Goldwyn buys “Saturday Church,” Gravitas picks up frat thriller “Haze,” and the fourth “Insidious” movie gets a new title.

ACQUISITIONS

Aviron Pictures has bought North American distribution rights to Andrea Di Stefano’s thriller “Three Seconds,” starring Joel Kinnaman, Rosamund Pike, Clive Owen, Common, and Ana de Armas.

The script, based on the Swedish novel by Anders Roslund and Börge Hellström, was written by Matt Cook with revisions by Rowan Joffé, and current edits by Di Stefano.

Kinnaman plays a reformed criminal and former special ops soldier who, in order to free himself from jail,  has been working undercover for crooked FBI handlers (played by Pike, Common, and Owen) to infiltrate the Polish mob’s drug trade in New York.

Thunder Road Pictures’ Basil Iwanyk and Erica Lee are producing alongside The Fyzz Facility’s Wayne Marc Godfrey, Robert Jones, Mark Lane and James Harris, and Ollie Madden. The Fyzz Facility is also financing the film. Thunder Road’s Jonathan Fuhrman and Magnolia Entertainment’s Shelley Browning are the executive producers.

Aviron picked up “Three Seconds” in advance of the Toronto Film Festival. Acquisitions head Jason Resnick brokered the deal for Aviron Pictures. Bloom handled international sales.

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Samuel Goldwyn Films has acquired Damon Cardasis’ coming-of-age musical drama “Saturday Church,” and plans a release in January for theaters, on demand, and digital.

“Saturday Church” stars Luka Kain, Margot Bingham, Regina Taylor (“The Unit”), Marquis Rodriguez, MJ Rodriguez (“The Carrie Diaries”), Indya Moore, Alexia Garcia, Kate Bornstein, and Jaylin Fletcher.

The movie centers on a 14-year-old boy who finds himself coping with new responsibilities as “man of the house” after the death of his father — along with struggling with questions about his gender identity. He finds an escape by creating a world of fantasy filled with dance and music. His life takes a turn for the better when he encounters members of a transgender community who take him to “Saturday Church” — a program for LGBTQ youth.

“Saturday Church” is a Spring Pictures and Round Films presentation in association with 19340 Productions. The film was written and directed by Cardasis, who also produced with Mandy Tagger-Brockey, Adi Ezroni, and Rebecca Miller. The executive producers are Sharon Chang, Luigi Caiola, Isabel Henderson, and Lia Mayer-Sommer.

The deal was negotiated by Peter Goldwyn of Samuel Goldwyn Films and Marc Simon of Fox Rothschild on behalf of the filmmakers. CAA repped the film for North America and WestEnd Films handles international rights.

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Gravitas Ventures has acquired North American rights to filmmaker David Burkman’s thriller “Haze,” Variety has learned exclusively.

Written and directed by Burkman, the film stars Kirk Curran, Mike Blejer, Jeremy O’Shea, Kristin Rogers, and Sophia Medley. “Haze” will hit theaters on Oct. 13, followed by a release on all digital platforms on Oct. 17.

The film takes place in the aftermath of a brutal hazing death, when a college freshman’s desire to join a fraternity is threatened when his older brother launches an anti-hazing crusade. Burkman also produced with Jayme Aronberg.

“Hollywood has always been fascinated with Greek Life, but ever since the seminal ‘Animal House,’ the genre tends towards comedy, and the depictions of hazing are usually innocuous,” Burkman said. “‘Haze’ is an uncompromising look at what really goes on behind fraternity and sorority house walls. We are thrilled to work with Gravitas and their daring team to get this unique film into the world.”

The deal was negotiated by Chad Miller of Gravitas, and by Verve on behalf of the filmmakers.

TITLES

Universal Pictures and Sony Pictures have re-titled “Insidious: Chapter 4” as “Insidious: The Last Key,” set for release on Jan. 5.

U.S. theatrical distribution will be handled by Universal, and Sony Pictures Releasing and SPWA’s Stage 6 Films will distribute the film outside of the U.S.

Lin Shaye returns as a parapsychologist facing a fearsome and personal haunting in her own family home. The film is written by co-creator Leigh Whannell — who also penned the trilogy and directed “Chapter 3” — and produced by Jason Blum, Oren Peli, and co-creator James Wan.

Series newcomer Adam Robitel (“The Taking of Deborah Logan”) directs. Also starring are Angus Sampson, Whannell, Josh Stewart, Caitlin Gerard, Kirk Acevedo, Javier Botet, Bruce Davison, Spencer Locke, Tessa Ferrer, Ava Kolker, and Marcus Henderson.

AWARDS

The National Board of Review has moved its annual film awards gala back five days to Jan.  9.

Willie Geist will return as host for the fourth year in a row. The celebration will be held at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City, where it has taken place for more than a decade. Recipients of the organization’s year-end honors will be named on Nov. 28, as previously announced.

The National Board of Review’s awards include best picture, director, actor and actress, original and adapted screenplay, breakthrough performance, and directorial debut, as well as the William K. Everson Award for Film History, Freedom of Expression, and the NBR Spotlight Award.

This past year’s NBR winners included Oscar recipients “Manchester by the Sea” and”Moonlight.”

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The American Film Institute has set its AFI Awards ceremonies for Jan. 5, when it will announce the 10 most outstanding films and 10 most outstanding television programs of the year.

The annual gathering at a private luncheon honors the creative ensemble as a whole — those in front of and behind the camera. It’s the 18th year in which the awards have been given.

Honorees are selected by a jury process comprised of experts from across the moving image communities — including film and television artists, critics, scholars, and AFI trustees.

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