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Film News Roundup: Robert Redford’s Surfing Doc ‘Momentum Generation’ Sold to HBO

In today’s film news roundup, surfing documentary “Momentum Generation” heads to HBO, Fox sets up “Spy School” and Jack Whitehall is hosting the Britannia Awards.

ACQUISITION

HBO has acquired the U.S. and Canada television rights to Jeff and Michael Zimbalist’s surfing documentary film “Momentum Generation,” which Robert Redford executive produced.

The film made its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York earlier this year where it won an Audience Award. Justine Chiara, Lizzie Friedman, Tina Elmo, and Colby Gottert produced. The Zimbalists also wrote and produced via their company All Rise Films.

Redford exec produced through Sundance Productions with Laura Michalchyshyn alongside Karen Lauder and Greg Little of Priority Pictures. Priority Pictures also financed the project. The documentary will debut on Dec. 11 on HBO.

“Momentum Generation” will also be available on HBO Now, HBO Go, HBO On Demand and partners’ streaming platforms. Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Content Group is planning an international digital release on Nov. 5.

“Momentum Generation” features archival footage and interviews of prominent surfers including Shane Dorian, Taylor Knox, Rob Machado, Pat O’Connell, Kalani Robb, Kelly Slater, Taylor Steele, Benji Weatherley, and Ross Williams. Endeavor Content handled U.S. sales on the film and negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers, with HBO.

PROJECT LAUNCH

20th Century Fox has bought movie rights to the Stuart Gibbs series “Spy School,” with Gibbs attached to write the screenplay based on the first title in the series.

“Spy School” follows an awkward but brilliant middle schooler who dreams of becoming a CIA agent and is recruited for a magnet school that’s actually a junior CIA academy — and then finds out that he was admitted due to a case of mistaken identity.

Kira Goldberg is overseeing the project for Fox. Gibbs is represented by ICM Partners, Authentic Talent & Literary Management and McKuin Frankel Whitehead LLP. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

BRITANNIA AWARDS

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles has selected British actor and comedian Jack Whitehall to return as host for the third time for the 2018 British Academy Britannia Awards.

For the first time ever, BritBox, the subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) streaming service from BBC Studios and ITV, will live stream the annual British Academy Britannia Awards to U.S. and Canada audiences, as part of a new multi-year partnership with BAFTA Los Angeles.

Britannia Award honorees include Steve McQueen, who will receive the John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Excellence in Directing; Cate Blanchett, who will receive the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film, and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, who will receive the Albert R. Broccoli Britannia Award for Worldwide Contribution to Entertainment.

The British Academy Britannia Awards is BAFTA’s biggest event outside of the U.K. This year’s ceremony will take place on Oct. 26 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

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