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Film News Roundup: Alien-Abduction Thriller ‘Beyond the Sky’ Set for September (EXCLUSIVE)

In today’s film news roundup, “Beyond the Sky” and “Hotel Mumbai” are acquired for distribution and seven-time Oscar nominee Lee Orloff is set for a career achievement award. 

AQUISITIONS

RLJE Films has bought North American rights to sci-fi thriller “Beyond The Sky,” starring Ryan Carnes, Jordan Hinson, Martin Sensmeier, Don Stark and Peter Stormare, Variety has learned exclusively.

Fulvio Sestito directed from a story he wrote with Rebecca Berrih and Warren Thomas. The script was written by Thomas and Marc Porterfield. RLJE plans to release the film in theaters and on VOD and Digital HD on Sept. 21, 2018.

“The question of if we are alone in the universe is still talked about today,” said chief acquisitions officer Mark Ward for RLJE Films. “With its unique approach to the story of alien abduction and its great special effects, we are thrilled to be able to bring ‘Beyond The Sky’ to audiences.”

Carnes portrays a man with a powerful and traumatic connection to alien abductions since his early childhood. He sets out to disprove the alien abduction phenomenon by attending a UFO convention — but then meets Hinson’s character, who claims to have been abducted every seven years on her birthday, and he realizes there may be more to these claims than meets the eye.

“Beyond The Sky” was produced by Rebecca Berrih through her company Elysian Fields Entertainment, Martine Melloul from Kali Pictures, and Evan J. Cholfin. It was executive produced by Richard Esposito, Nathanael Eisenberg, Dany Berrih, Samuel Berrih, Roland Bijaoui, Barron De Sanctis, David Berrih, and Marc Loven. Travis Walton, author of the memoir “Fire in the Sky” about his own alien abduction experience, served as a consultant and has a cameo in the film.

Highland Film Group is handling the foreign sales and will be representing the movie at the Toronto International Film Festival. Ward and Jess De Leo from RLJE negotiated the deal with Matt Galsor and Mark Muir of Greenberg Glusker on behalf of the filmmakers.

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Bleecker Street and ShivHans Pictures are co-acquiring domestic rights to Australian director Anthony Maras’ “Hotel Mumbai” prior to the world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The deal was negotiated by Verve and Endeavor Content. The story follows the victims and survivors in the 2008 terrorist attacks on the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. John Collee co-wrote the script with Maras.

Armie Hammer, Dev Patel, Nazanin Boniadi, Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Anupam Kher, and Jason Isaacs star. John Collee co-wrote with Maras. Producers are Basil Iwanyk, Gary Hamilton, Mike Gabrawy, Julie Ryan, Andrew Ogilvie, and Jomon Thomas.

The project had been developed at The Weinstein Co., which filed for bankruptcy in March in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sexual harrassment scandal. The producers of “Hotel Mumbai” obtained a settlement in bankruptcy court to have the film removed as an asset. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

SOUND HONOR

The Cinema Audio Society will honor sound mixer Lee Orloff with the CAS Career Achievement Award to be presented at the 55th CAS Awards on Feb. 16 at the Intercontinental Los Angeles Downtown.

During the past 35 years, Orloff has participated on over 75 feature films, including the “Pitch Perfect” musical series, HBO’s “Westworld” season 1, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp.”

An Oscar winner for “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991), Orloff has received six other Academy Award nominations for “The Abyss” (1989), “Geronimo: An American Legend” (1993), “The Insider” (1999), “The Patriot” (2000), “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” (2003), and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” (2006).

He received the BAFTA award for “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” and was the recipient of three BAFTA nominations for “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” (2003), “Collateral” (2004), and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” (2006).

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