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Film News Roundup: Jane Fonda to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award at Michael Moore’s Festival

In today’s film news roundup, Jane Fonda is set for an award at Michael Moore’s film festival, Shout Factory buys Angie Wang’s crime drama “MDMA,” and the Palm Springs festival sets its opening and closing dates.

HONOR

Jane Fonda will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival, which runs from July 31 to Aug. 5.

Fonda has won acting Oscars for “Klute” and “Coming Home” and been nominated for “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?,” “Julia,” “The China Syndrome,” “On Golden Pond,” and “The Morning After.” She’s also won four Golden Globes, two BAFTAs, and an Emmy.

Moore, who is the founder and president of the Michigan festival, made the announcement Wednesday.

“I can think of no other artist who has given more to her country,” said Moore. “What an honor for our festival audience to welcome and to be inspired by the work of this American Icon. Her voice is as needed today as much as ever.”

Moore will host the legendary actress, author, and activist at the Traverse City Film Festival, which is in its 14th year. The 2018 program is expected to result in more than 100,000 admissions to its roster of nearly 100 movies.

Popular on Variety

Fonda is also the subject of a new HBO documentary “Jane Fonda in Five Acts” directed by Susan Lacy, which will screen at the festival, with Fonda and Lacy in attendance. The festival will also present a 40th anniversary screening of “Coming Home,” a screening of “Julia,” and a free nighttime screening of “Nine to Five” projected on a 65-foot screen at the festival’s open space on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Fonda chairs the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention and sits on the boards of Women’s Day Media Center, which she helped found, and V-Day: Until the Violence Stops. She established the Jane Fonda Center for Adolescent Reproductive Health at the Emory School of Medicine.

ACQUISITION

Shout! Studios has acquired North American rights to writer/director Angie Wang’s semi-autobiographical crime drama “MDMA,” Variety has learned exclusively.

Producers are Wang and Rick Bosner (“Fruitvale Station”) with Cassian Elwes and Lawrence Braitman serving as executive producers. The film stars Annie Q., Francesca Eastwood, Pierson Fodé, Scott Keiji Takeda, Aalyrah Caldwell, Yetide Badaki, Noah Segan, Elisa Donovan, and Ron Yuan.

Shout plans a strategic rollout of this movie across multiple entertainment platforms, beginning with a day-and-date launch in the fall.

“Angie Wang has delivered an impressively gritty and timely tale about what happens when financial hardship inspires a young, clever mind to pursue a misguided idea,” said Shout’s Jordan Fields. “Annie Q. and Francesca Eastwood deliver particularly strong performances, and we’re confident it will connect with a broad audience.”

The film is set in 1984 with Wang’s character starting as a student at a prestigious San Francisco university. When her financial aid is cut, she uses her book and street smarts, along with school resources to synthesize the popular drug, Ecstasy znc becomes one of the West Coast’s largest distributors — until her recklessness instigates a sudden tragedy from which she may not recover.

FESTIVAL

The Palm Springs International Film Festival has announced its 30th edition will run from Jan. 3 through Jan. 14.

The annual Film Awards Gala will kick off the festival at the Palm Springs Convention Center. More than 2,500 attendees went to this year’s gala, which honored Mary J. Blige, Timothée Chalamet, Jessica Chastain, Willem Dafoe, Gal Gadot, Holly Hunter, Allison Janney, Gary Oldman, Sam Rockwell, Saoirse Ronan and “The Shape of Water.”

The festival recorded a total of 135,000 attendees this year. The festival will close on Jan. 13 with Best of the Fest screenings taking place the next day.

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