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Film News Roundup: Jeff Nichols Releases ‘Long Way Back Home’ Short, Starring Michael Shannon

In today’s film news roundup, Jeff Nichols makes his first music video with his brother’s band Lucero and the films “Brampton’s Own” and “Take Light” have gotten distribution. 

MUSIC VIDEO

“Loving” writer-director Jeff Nichols has moved into the music video world with the release of his short film “Long Way Back Home,” starring Michael Shannon, Garrett Hedlund, Scoot McNairy and Paul Sparks.

The seven-minute film, released Tuesday, is based on the eponymous track from Memphis band Lucero’s new album “Among The Ghosts.” The members of Lucero — Nichols’ brother Ben Nichols, Brian Venable, Roy Berry and John C. Stubblefield — also appear in the film.

Sarah Green, who produced Jeff Nichols’ “Loving,” “Midnight Special” and “Mud,” and Erin Freeman produced the film, which was shot by longtime Nichols collaborator Adam Stone. The video was filmed in both the band’s hometown of Memphis, Tenn. and the Nichols brothers’ home state of Arkansas.

The film tells the story of Stanton, portrayed by Shannon, as he searches the streets and backroads of Memphis for his two younger brothers, played by Hedlund and McNairy. Intensity builds to the sounds of Lucero’s track as questions arise about the intentions of Shannon’s character.

“It felt inevitable that one day I’d team up with my brother and the rest of Lucero,” commented Jeff Nichols, “and once I heard the haunting sounds of ‘Long Way Back Home,’ I knew this song was the perfect opportunity to do it.”

Watch the video here.

ACQUISITIONS

Dark Star Pictures has acquired the romantic drama “Brampton’s Own,” slating the film for a multi-city theatrical release this fall, Variety has learned exclusively.

The baseball-centric romance, written and directed by Michael Doneger, will also be made available on digital platforms and through local cable providers on Oct. 19.

Acquired by Dark Star from Cloverhill Pictures, “Brampton’s Own” stars Alex Russell of “SWAT” and Rose Mclver (“iZombie”). Spencer Grammer, Scott Porter, John Getz and Jean Smart are in supporting roles.

Russell portrays a retired minor league baseball player who has returned to his small hometown where he was once a celebrated athlete and finds his old friends have started families, his ex-girlfriend is now engaged, and his mom is selling his childhood home and moving in with her new boyfriend.

The film was produced by Doneger’s Cloverhill Pictures, Mark DiCristofaro in association with his company Perspective Productions, and co-produced by Matthew Harper. The film had its world premiere at the Nashville Film Festival.

****

Shasha Nakhai’s directorial debut feature documentary “Take Light” has been acquired for the U.S. by Gravitas Ventures, Variety has learned exclusively.

“Take Light” has screened at the Cleveland International Film Festival, Atlanta Film Festival, and Hot Docs Canadian International Film Festival recently. Journeyman Pictures has world rights.

“Take Light” explores Nigeria’s energy crisis, through a series of characters connected by the grid. It was commissioned by CBC’s documentary channel and supported by the Canada Media Fund, Ontario Media Development Corporation, Telefilm Canada, and the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Funds.

“This is the film I’ve always wanted to see made about the power situation in Nigeria and I’m excited to finally be able to share it widely with audiences in my hometown of Port Harcourt, Nigeria and around the world,” Nakhai said.

The film will have a limited US and Canadian theatrical run in October with Storyline Entertainment leading the  theatrical initiative.

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