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Film News Roundup: See-Saw Hires Libby Sharpe as Head of Production in Australia

In today’s film news roundup, See-Saw Films hires Libby Sharpe as head of production in Australia, Three Point Capital expands Louisiana operations, Screamfest unveils its first titles, Fox Searchlight hires Peter Nicks to direct “The Fence” and “LBJ” gets a Nov. 3 opening.

EXECUTIVE APPOINTMENTS

See-Saw Films’ Iain Canning and Emile Sherman have hired veteran producer Libby Sharpe as head of production, film and television, Australia.

She will oversee the physical production and day-to-day operations of See-Saw’s Sydney office. Sharpe most recently produced See-Saw’s TV series “Top of the Lake: China Girl” and was a producer on “Lion,” which received a best picture Academy Award nomination. She also produced David Michod’s “Animal Kingdom” and “The Rover.”

“Libby has an incredible record of overseeing complex productions with extensive logistical challenges and sensitivities as well as working brilliantly with some of the top creative talent of our day,” Canning and Sherman said. “Working alongside our incredibly talented producer Rachel Gardner, we feel extremely confident in her ability to oversee the physical production needs of See-Saw as we continue to expand our TV and film slate.”‎

See-Saw’s U.K. head of production, Amy Jackson, will continue to oversee U.K. and European production.

“I have been fortunate enough to have worked with Emile, Iain, and their extraordinary team over many years so I am incredibly excited to have been invited officially into the See-Saw family,” Sharpe said. “See-Saw works with the world’s best directors, writers, and actors to produce high-quality, award-winning drama for film and television, and I am looking forward to playing my part in the next phase of this exceptional company.”

BUSINESS EXPANSION

Los Angeles-based film financier Three Point Capital is opening new offices in New Orleans at the Second Line Stages film studio, which will serve as the company’s new Louisiana base of operations, Variety has learned exclusively.

Three Point Capital, which recently financed “Mudbound,” “Elvis & Nixon,” and “I Saw the Light,” said it expects to finance at least 10 productions per year in the $1 million to $20 million range.

“We believe the recent changes to the Louisiana Motion Picture Investor Tax Credit program will spur a production resurgence,” said Amy Rodrigue, manager of Three Point Capital Louisiana. “And since New Orleans has always been the heart of Louisiana’s film community, we want to be where our clients need us most.”

Founded in 2009, Three Point Capital has worked on more than 300 film and television productions, including “Manchester by the Sea,” Starz’s “The Girlfriend Experience,” and the upcoming “Super Troopers 2” and “Tully.” Its Louisiana projects include “Black and White,” “Assassination Nation,” “Return to Sender,” “Billionaire Boys Club,” “The Tale,” “Indiscretion,” and “Heart.”

“We are thrilled to announce the opening our new offices in New Orleans,” said exec VP Ali Jazayeri. “And while we are sad to be leaving our friends in Baton Rouge, we believe we can serve our clients much better from New Orleans, given the upswing in productions taking place in that great city.”

MARKETS AND FESTIVALS

The Screamfest Horror Film Festival has unveiled seven titles from this year’s slate: “Dead Ant,” “Leatherface,” “Ruin Me,” “Tigers Are Not Afraid,” “Todd and the Book of Pure Evil,” “Tragedy Girls,” and “Trench 11.”

The festival, now in its 17th year, will run from Oct. 10 to Oct. 19 at the TCL Chinese in Hollywood. Actor and producer Dominic Monaghan (“Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “Lost”) will serve as this year’s festival ambassador.

“I am extremely honored to serve as this year’s Sreamfest ambassador,” Monaghan said. “I applaud Screamfest and its founder and festival director Rachel Belofsky for embracing the work of filmmakers and actors in the horror genre. I’m a big fan of this space, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of a fest that truly acknowledges unique and creative work.”

The festival premiered “Paranormal Activity” in 2007 — two years before it was released theatrically. Other past premieres include “30 Days of Night,” “Let the Right One In,” “The Grudge,” “The Fourth Kind,” “The Collection,” “Trick ‘r Treat,” “The Human Centipede,” and “Diary of the Dead.”

AWARDS SHOWS

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles has selected British comedian Jack Whitehall as host for the 2017 AMD British Academy Britannia Awards on Oct. 27 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

“I am thrilled to be back hosting BAFTA’s biggest event in America for a second time,” said Whitehall. “I hope my return doesn’t disappoint, and lives up to the common understanding in Hollywood that sequels are always much better, funnier, and more captivating than the originals.”

Previously announced honorees are Dick Van Dyke, who will receive the Britannia Award for Excellence in Television, and Ava DuVernay, who will receive the John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Excellence in Directing.

PROJECT DEVELOPMENT

Fox Searchlight has hired Peter Nicks to direct its adaptation of police drama “The Fence: A Police Cover-Up Along Boston’s Racial Divide.”

The project is based on the book by Dick Lehr, centering on an African American plainclothes officer who is mistakenly beaten during a police chase with the Boston Police Department covering up the event.

George Pelecanos and Dennis Lehane adapted the script. Producers are Jim Kohlberg and Luke Parker Bowles of Story Mining & Supply Co. and Jeffrey Sharp of Sharp Independent. Lehane, Pelecanos and Siegfried Harris are executive producers.

Nicks won the directing award in the documentary category in January at the Sundance Film Festival for “The Force,” his exploration of the Oakland Police Department. He’s repped by CAA. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

RELEASE DATE

Dean Devlin’s Electric Entertainment is teaming with Global Pictures Media for Electric’s upcoming release of  “LBJ,” directed by Rob Reiner and starring Woody Harrelson. The film will be released theatrically on Nov. 3.

Electric Entertainment acquired all North American rights in May. The film also stars Jennifer Jason Leigh, Richard Jenkins, Bill Pullman, Jeffrey Donovan, and Michael Stahl-David. It was produced by Reiner, Matthew George, Liz Glotzer, Trevor White, and Tim White. “LBJ” had its world premiere at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival.

The story follows Johnson through his work as Senate Majority Leader, his loss of the 1960 Democratic presidential nomination to Senator John F. Kennedy (Jeffrey Donovan), and his agreement to be his young rival’s running mate. But once they win the election, despite his extensive legislative experience and shrewd political instincts, Johnson finds himself sidelined in the role of vice president. That all changes on Nov. 22, 1963, when Kennedy is assassinated.

Electric Entertainment and Global Pictures Media previously partnered on the theatrical release of ‘The Book of Love.” Global Pictures Media will act as the exclusive media agency of record and will assist in financing the release with Electric.

 

 

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