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Film News Roundup: Mickey Rourke’s ‘Nightmare Cinema’ Anthology Bought for 2019 Release

In today’s film news roundup, the “Nightmare Cinema” anthology starring Mickey Rourke gets a release, “Instant Dreams” is acquired, Universal’s Kristin Lowe is promoted and “Venom” hits a milestone.

ACQUISITIONS

Cranked Up Films has partnered with AMC Network’s streaming platform Shudder to buy North American distribution rights to Cinelou Films’ “Nightmare Cinema” anthology, Variety has learned exclusively.

The film is comprised of five shorts and a wrap-around storyline from directors Mick Garris, Joe Dante, David Slade, Ryuhei Kitamura and Alejandro Brugues in which five unlucky individuals are trapped and tortured by a mysterious projectionist as he plays each of their greatest fears on the theater’s silver screen.

Mickey Rourke stars as the ghost-like projectionist who serves as the common link for each of the five 20-minute shorts. Garris directed “Dead” from his own script; Brugues directed and wrote “The Thing in the Woods”; Dante directed “Mirari,” written by Richard Christian Matheson; Kitamura directs “Mashit,” written by Mexican author and filmmaker Sandra Becerril; and Slade directed “The Way to Egress,” based on the short story “Traumatic Descent” by Lawrence C. Connolly, who co-wrote the short film with Slade.

Good Deed Entertainment has been involved with the title since 2015, developing the project in-house, as well as co-producing and distributing. Mark Canton and Courtney Solomon’s Cinelou Films boarded the film in late 2016 to finance and produce. The movie premiered as the opening night film at 2018’s Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal. It’s set to be released in theaters and on demand in 2019 by Cranked Up, Good Deed’s genre label.

Good Deed Entertainment’s Brandon Hill and Paradigm brokered the deal along with Ian Brereton from Cinelou Films. Fortitude is currently selling the foreign distribution rights at the American Film Market.

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Synergetic Distribution has picked up US rights for director Willem Baptist’s Polaroid documentary “Instant Dreams” ahead of the film’s New York screening at the DOC NYC Festival.

“Instant Dreams” explores the legacy of Polaroid founder Edwin Land through the lives of three enthusiasts and their obsession with the cultural, scientific and artistic significance of instant film and the quest to discover the  secret chemical formula.

The film was produced by Rudolf Kats and Watse Eisma, and executive produced by Pieter van Huystee. Synergetic is planning a US release for March 2019. The acquisition deal was negotiated between Cargo Film and Anatol Chavez at Synergetic Distribution.

UNIVERSAL PROMOTION

Universal Pictures has promoted veteran studio executive Kristin Lowe to executive vice president of production. Lowe, who came to Universal in 2004, most recently served as senior VP of production.

She will continue to report to Peter Cramer, president of production. “The versatility of her creative strengths and dedication to great storytelling has made Kristin an invaluable part of the Universal team for many years now,” said Cramer. “This well-deserved promotion reflects her tremendous contributions to the studio’s portfolio.”

During her tenure with the studio, Lowe has worked on all three installments in the “Fifty Shades” series, which have collectively earned more than $1 billion at the global box office. She most recently oversaw production on the sequel “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” and “Night School,” starring Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish.

Lowe is working on the studio’s adaptation of the theatrical production, “Wicked,” and is overseeing DreamWorks Feature Animation slate, which includes upcoming titles “How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” and Pearl Studio’s “Abominable.” Prior to Universal, Lowe was director of development at Warner Bros. Pictures, and also held roles at MGM and Michael Bay Films.

‘VENOM’ MILESTONE

Tom Hardy’s superhero movie “Venom” has crossed the $200 million mark at the North American box office after 33 days in release.

Sony reported that “Venom” took in $1.3 million at 3,067 domestic sites on Tuesday. The film, which has a $100 million production budget, has grossed $344 million from international markets since its release in early October. It set a record for top October opening weekend with $80.2 million in North America on Oct. 5-7.

“Zombieland” director Ruben Fleischer helmed the film. Hardy portrays Eddie Brock, a journalist bound to the alien entity known as Venom.

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