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Film News Roundup: Gale Anne Hurd to Get Lifetime Achievement Award From Heartland Festival (EXCLUSIVE)

In today’s film news roundup, Gale Anne Hurd will be honored with a lifetime achievement award, Nicole Kidman’s “Destroyer” gets an AFI Fest screening, and the holiday romance “Mr. 365” starts production.

FILM FESTIVALS

The Heartland International Film Festival has selected “The Terminator” and “The Walking Dead” producer Gale Anne Hurd for its lifetime achievement award.

Heartland Film Festival’s director of film programming Greg Sorvig, said, “Gale Anne Hurd has cemented her place in film history as a creator and guiding force behind some of the most iconic genre works in film and television history. You could start and end the list with ‘The Terminator,’ ‘Aliens,’ and ‘The Walking Dead,’ but the fact that there is so much more beyond those two unforgettable films and that groundbreaking television series, speaks to her lasting impact on our film culture.”

Hurd will receive the award at AMC Castleton Square in Indianapolis and participate in a conversation about her career, preceding a screening of the Valerie Red-Horse Mohl’s documentary “Mankiller,” the third collaboration between Hurd and Mohl. Hurd successfully crowdfunded the project, enabling it to be produced. The film tells the life story of Wilma Mankiller, who overcame rampant sexism and personal challenges to emerge as the Cherokee Nation’s first female principal chief in 1985.

In 1984, Hurd produced and co-wrote her first film, “The Terminator,” followed by “Aliens,” “The Abyss,” “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” “Armageddon,” “The Incredible Hulk,” and “Aeon Flux.” Hurd is an executive producer of “The Walking Dead,” which has just started its ninth season, and an exec producer on of Amazon’s original series, “Lore,” which will launch its second season on Oct. 19.

In 2015, Hurd was awarded the Producers Guild of America’s David O. Selznick Achievement Award.

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Nicole Kidman’s thriller “Destroyer” will be presented as a gala screening at AFI Fest on Nov. 13 at the TCL Chinese Theatre.

“Nicole Kidman is a fearless actor,” AFI Fest director Michael Lumpkin said in announcing the screening. “In ‘Destroyer,’ she plunges headlong into the depths of her character’s soul, and it’s that total immersion onscreen that has come to define her fiercely intelligent body of work. We are honored to spotlight her tremendous career.”

“Destroyer,” which had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival, will be released on Dec. 25 by Annapurna. The film is written by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, who both also produced alongside Fred Berger.

AFI Fest will open on Nov. 8 with Mimi Leder’s “On the Basis of Sex” and close on Nov. 15 with Josie Rourke’s “Mary Queen of Scots.”

CASTINGS

Passionflix is partnering with Canada’s Reel One Entertainment on “Mr. 365,” based on Ruth Clampett’s romance novel.

Chelsea Hobbs and Christopher Russell star in the movie, with Hobbs portraying a reality show producer, tasked with convincing a Christmas fanatic to be on a holiday special. Christie Will Wolf, who previously directed “Slightly Single in L.A.” and “A Wish for Christmas,” directs from Gary Goldstein’s adaptation.

Production is beginning this week in Vancouver. Passionflix is the U.S. distributor and Reel One is the international distributor. Reel One’s Gilles LaPlante is producing. The film is executive produced by Tosca Musk for Passionflix and Tom Berry for Reel One.

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