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Film News Roundup: Jesse Eisenberg-Alexander Skarsgard’s ‘Hummingbird Project’ to Open Vancouver Festival

In today’s film news roundup, “The Hummingbird Project” will kick off the Vancouver Film Festival, SAG-AFTRA honors John Carter Brown, and Belva Davis and Gregg Sulkin has joined the cast of “This is the Year.”

FILM FESTIVAL

The Vancouver International Film Festival will kick off its 16-day run on Sept. 27 with “The Hummingbird Project,” starring Jesse Eisenberg and Alexander Skarsgard.

The duo are playing cousins intent on creating a 1,000-mile-long fibre-optic cable that will shave a critical millisecond off of stock transactions. Kim Nguyen directed “The Hummingbird Project,” which also stars Salma Hayek as their former boss. The film premieres Sept. 8 at the Toronto Film Festival.

The Vancouver Festival will holds its BC Spotlight Gala on Oct. 6 with the world premiere of Robin Hays’ “Anthem of a Teenage Prophet,” starring Cameron Monaghan (“Shameless”) as a teenager that predicted the death of his best friend and spirals into more macabre premonitions. Closing the festival on Oct. 12 is Jason Reitman’s “The Front Runner,” starring Hugh Jackman as Gary Hart, the odds-on favorite for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination.

HONORS

SAG-AFTRA has selected actor John Carter Brown and broadcaster Belva Davis as the 2018 recipients of the Howard Keel Award for their significant contributions to the union.

“I want to congratulate my colleagues Belva Davis and John Carter Brown on their well-deserved recognition,” said SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris. “Both John and Belva have worked tirelessly for decades with SAG-AFTRA and its predecessor unions to elevate the voices and needs of their fellow members. They truly embody the spirit of the Howard Keel Award.”

Brown, known as JCB by his friends and colleagues, has been a part of every national commercial contract negotiating team since 1997. He is also a trustee of the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan and SAG-Producers Pension Plan and served on the AFTRA National Board for two terms and the SAG National Board for four terms, from 2002-2012. He has served on the SAG-AFTRA National Board since 2012. Brown’s credits include “Surviving Christmas,” “Boss,” and “Detroti 1-8-7.”

Davis was the first African-American woman hired as a television reporter at KPIX-TV 5 San Francisco in 1966. She began her union service on the San Francisco AFTRA Local Board, attended her first convention in St. Louis, was elected Board president in 1978, and served as an AFTRA vice president. She also served as a national leader of AFTRA from the 1980s through the 2012 merger of SAG and AFTRA.

Davis served as AFTRA’s National Equal Employment Opportunity Committee chair for more than 12 years. She was instrumental in creating the union’s American Scene Awards, which are bestowed on productions that represent a realistic portrayal of American diversity. She is also a recipient of the SAG-AFTRA George Heller Memorial Award gold card. Davis was named Board member emeritus by the San Francisco-Northern California Local Board in 2015.

The Howard Keel Award is the highest honor given by the SAG-AFTRA Committee of Locals, and will be presented at its meeting in Los Angeles on Oct. 22. The award, which was created in 2008, is named after the late actor and singer Howard Keel, who served as the Screen Actors Guild’s 10th president from 1958 to 1959.

CASTING

Marvel’s “Runaways” star Gregg Sulkin has joined the cast of “This Is the Year” from director David Henrie and starring Madison Iseman, Jake Short, Big Hall, and Lorenzo Henrie.

David Henrie (“Wizards of Waverly Place”) is directing the film and wrote the screenplay with Bug Hall, Pepe Portillo, and Sienna Aqualini. The story centers on a nebbish high schooler who makes a last-ditch effort to win over the girl of his dreams, played by Iseman, by embarking on a road trip to attend the greatest music festival of the year, only to discover true love in the most unexpected place.

Andrea Iervolino is producing the film through both his film label Ambi Media Group, with partner Monika Bacardi, as well as through TaTaTu, the new blockchain-based social entertainment platform he founded. James Henrie and Leo Severino are producing for Novo Media Group. Sulkin is repped by UTA.

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