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Film News Roundup: Danny Trejo’s Dark Comedy ‘Bully’ Scores Distribution

In today’s film news roundup, Danny Trejo’s “Bully” and the Harvey Weinstein documentary “The Reckoning” land distribution deals.

ACQUISITIONS

North of Two has acquired the worldwide distribution rights to the dark comedy “Bully,” planning a release in the fall, Variety has learned exclusively.

The film was directed and produced by Santino Campanelli, and written and produced by his father, Joe Campanelli.

Tucker Albrizzi stars as a quiet, high-school student tormented by a school bully and his cronies. After an altercation on his way home from school lands him a chance meeting with a former professional boxer, played by Ron Canada, he decides to learn how to defend himself and start going to the boxing gym with a trainer, portrayed by Danny Trejo.

“I love movies about underdogs and I love filmmakers who don’t let being an underdog get in their way,” said North of Two president Mark Cartier.

*****

Vertical Entertainment has acquired U.S. rights to Barry Avrich’s “The Reckoning,” a documentary about Harvey Weinstein and the Me Too era.

The film, which premiered at Hot Docs International in April, details the personal toll created by the disgraced ex-mogul and the ensuing harassment scandals involving James Toback, Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., and others. “The Reckoning” includes interviews with insiders, victims, journalists, and lawyers. No release date has been set.

“‘The Reckoning’ is a powerful and timely account of widespread harassment in the film industry and a stark reminder that there is much work to be done in confronting the systems of power that got us here,” said Rich Goldberg, co-president of Vertical Entertainment. “Barry Avrich’s film does the important job of shining a light on the experiences of those impacted so that we can collectively move toward a brighter future.”

The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

HONORS

Scotty Bowers will be honored with a special proclamation from the city of West Hollywood for his role in LGBTQ history.

Mayor Pro Tempore John D’Amico will present Bowers with a proclamation at a ceremony at The Abbey on July 25 — two days before the theatrical opening of “Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood,” Matt Tyrnauer’s documentary about Bowers’ life.

“It’s very fitting for Scotty to be honored by the city of West Hollywood,” Tyrnauer said. “He helped build the city as a key figure in the LGBTQ community for decades, who was trusted and revered by many men and women, who were, decades ago, victims of repression, marginalization, and violence at the hands of the vice squad and other oppressive forces. I’m thrilled that this honor is being given to him to mark his 95th birthday and the release of my film about him.”

In the 1940s and ’50s, Bowers ran a gas station in the shadow of the studio lots, where he would connect his friends with actors and actresses who had to hide their true sexual identities for fear of police raids at gay bars, societal shunning, and career suicide. The film was inspired Bowers’ memoir, “Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars,” which became a New York Times bestseller.

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