Film News Roundup: LA Film Festival Sets Toni Collette’s ‘Wanderlust’ for U.S. Premiere

In today’s film news roundup, the LA Film Festival will premiere Toni Collette’s series, the Nashville Film Festival gets a new exec director, and “Heidi: Queen of the Mountain” gets a 3D version.


The LA Film Festival has scheduled the U.S. premiere of the first episode of Toni Collette’s “Wanderlust” for Sept. 22 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Directed by Luke Snellin, “Wanderlust” looks at how we build and maintain happy relationships and asks whether lifelong monogamy is possible – or even desirable. Collette plays a therapist trying to find a way to keep her spark alive with her husband after a cycling accident causes them to reassess their relationship.

“Wanderlust” launches on Netflix on Oct. 19 as the start of a six-episode season. Collette and members of the cast and crew will hold a conversation following the screening.


The Nashville Film Festival has appointed global marketing executive Jason Padgitt as its new executive director as part of its strategic growth plan.

Padgitt joins the Nashville Film Festival following more than 20 years in the music and entertainment industries with experience in branding, consumer marketing, digital marketing, and communications. Most recently, he served as the executive VP of global marketing and communications for Nashville-based Gibson Brands following stints with Fender Musical Instruments Corp. and Rogers & Cowan.

“I am extremely excited to lead the Nashville Film Festival into the next stage of development and growth,” said Padgitt. “This organization has an incredible heritage of discovering and elevating creative talent from all around the world. I look forward to accelerating that success by significantly increasing the organization’s visibility, cultural importance and global reach.”


Stereo conversion company Gener8 will be creating a stereo 3D version of “Heidi: Queen of the Mountain” for production company Vistaar / WSG Pictures, Variety has learned exclusively.

Sales agent Double Dutch International (DDI) represents the independent film, which is directed by Bhavna Talwar and produced by Sheetal Vinod Talwar. The film stars Bill Nighy, Helen Baxendale, and Mark Williams and introduces Samantha Allison in the role of Heidi.

It is the first in a planned trilogy of films, adapted by Paul Watson and Simon Wright from the children’s book series by Swiss author Johanna Spyri. The film tells the story of Heidi, an adventurous 15 year-old girl who lives with her grandfather in a small wood cabin in the Swiss Alps. When it’s discovered that Heidi has been skipping school, she is forced to leave her beloved world behind and venture to the city where she will live in the home of a wealthy professor, where she discovers the governess of the house is hiding a dangerous secret.

More TV

  • Olympics

    NBCUniversal Projects More Than $1.2 Billion in Ad Sales for 2020 Olympics

    NBCUniversal projected it would sell more than $1.2 billion in advertising for its 17 days of broadcasts of the 2020 Olympics from Tokyo, citing the event as a rare opportunity for Madison Avenue to reach big audiences without the worry of politics getting in the way of a commercial message. The Olympics is “one of [...]

  • R Kelly Sexual Assult Accusations Mugshot

    'Surviving R. Kelly' Follow Up, Jeffrey Epstein Docuseries in the Works at Lifetime

    Lifetime is working on a follow up to the hit docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly” and a new docuseries about Jeffrey Epstein. Rob Sharenow, president of programming for A+E Networks, made the announcements at the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Tuesday. “The Aftermath” will be a four-part series featuring interviews with new survivors, psychologists, [...]

  • Janelle Monae

    Janelle Monáe to Star in 'Homecoming' Season 2 at Amazon

    Janelle Monáe has been tapped to star in the second season of “Homecoming.” Monáe’s character is described as a tenacious woman who finds herself floating in a canoe, with no memory of how she got there or who she is. Monáe takes over the top spot on the Amazon series from Julia Roberts, who starred [...]

  • Juan Alfonso Fazekas Butters

    Fazekas & Butters Taps Juan Alfonso to Be Head of Television

    Fazekas & Butters, a production company led by Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters, has named Juan Alfonso as the new head of television. There, he will develop and produce projects, and seek out and engage with writers, intellectual property and creative partners, “matchmaking talented people and ideas,” according to Alfonso. The pod, which launched in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content