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Film News Roundup: Lorraine Toussaint, Dean Norris, Gil Bellows Join ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’

In today’s film news roundup, “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” adds to its cast, AFM announces its programming, “Bullitt County” gets a release, and “1985” will open NewFest.

CASTINGS

CBS Films and eOne have hired Lorraine Toussaint, Dean Norris, and Gil Bellows for the “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” movie.

The film is being directed by André Øvredal from a script by Kevin Hageman, Dan Hageman, Guillermo del Toro, Patrick Melton, and Marcus Dunstan from the bestselling trilogy of books by Alvin Schwartz. Del Toro is producing with Sean Daniel and Jason Brown of Hivemind along with J. Miles Dale and Elizabeth Grave.

The movie follows a group of teens who must solve the mystery surrounding a wave of spectacularly horrific deaths in their small town. Previously announced cast members include Zoe Colletti, Michael Garza, Austin Abrams, Gabriel Rush, Austin Zajur, and Natalie Ganzhorn.

CBS Films will distribute the film in the U.S. as part of its ongoing partnership with Lionsgate. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

MARKET PROGRAMMING

The American Film Market’s Conference Series will launch Nov. 2 with a discussion between MPAA chairman Charles Rivkin and Jean Prewitt, president/CEO of the Independent Film and Television Alliance.

The duo will discuss the major challenges and opportunities facing the film industry and how their organizations are addressing them. Also new to the lineup is a half-day conference dedicated to Blockchain set for Nov. 3 and moderated by Pepperdine professor Nelson Granados.

AFM Roundtables will take place at Le Merigot Hotel, and feature sessions including International Awakening: Investing in Gender Diversity for Expanding Audiences Around the Globe, presented in partnership with ReFrame; Using Intellectual Property to Boost the Visibility of LGBTQ Characters, presented in partnership with Outfest; Boosting Your Micro-Budget, presented in partnership with Slamdance; Why Do Some Horror Films Work While Others Don’t?, presented in partnership with Dread Central; and Producing Passion Documentaries, moderated by KCRW’s Matt Holzman.

The AFM will run from Oct. 31 to Nov. 7 and is headquartered at the Loews Santa Monica Hotel.

THEATRICAL RELEASE

Action-thriller “Bullitt County” has been selected for a theatrical run as part of the AMC Independent program with an Oct. 26 launch in New York, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, Cincinnati, and Los Angeles.

“Bullitt County” is the first film from Mr. Pictures, an independent production company co-founded by David McCracken and Josh Riedford. Gravitas Ventures will release the film in February on VOD and DVD.

The film follows a group of lifelong friends as they hunt for buried Prohibition money on the Bluegrass Bourbon Trail. The film stars Mike C. Nelson, Jenni Melear, Napoleon Ryan, Dorothy Lyman and Richard Riehle. McCracken, who also has a lead acting role in the film, previously directed Nelson on his award-winning USC thesis film “OstrichLand.”

FILM FESTIVALS

Yen Tan’s AIDS drama “1985” will open this year’s Newfest on Oct. 24 in New York City, joining notable Newfest openers “Go Fish,” “High Art,” “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” “But I’m a Cheerleader” and “We Were Here.”

This year will mark the 30th anniversary of the festival. It’s one of the largest events for LGBTQ audiences in New York. On Sept. 21, Newfest will announce the full line-up.

“1985,” which debuted at SXSW, is shot in black and white and set in Texas in 1985. Cory Michael Smith stars as closeted gay man returning home after several years living in New York City to tell his family that he is dying of AIDS. The cast includes Michael Chiklis and Virginia Madsen as his parents. Watch the trailer below.

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