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Film News Roundup: ‘On the Basis of Sex’ Set for Advance Screenings to Support ACLU

In today’s film news roundup, “On the Basis of Sex” will raise funds for the ACLU, Jon M. Chu has a USC scholarship fund named after him, and “The Amityville Murders” gets a release date.

FUNDRAISER

Gathr Films, Focus Features, and Participant Media have set Jan. 9 screenings for “On the Basis of Sex” at 500 theaters with the opportunity for ticket buyers to contribute to the American Civil Liberties Union’s Women’s Rights Project.

The movie stars Felicity Jones as a young Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Armie Hammer as her husband, Martin Ginsburg. It opens in limited release on Dec. 25 and goes wide on Jan. 11.

Ginsburg helped co-found the Women’s Rights Project in 1972. She successfully argued before the Supreme Court in 1975 that a widower denied his wife’s survivor benefits under Social Security violated the right to equal protection secured by the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The feature opens with Justice Ginsburg’s 25th anniversary on the Supreme Court. The cast includes Justin Theroux, Kathy Bates, Sam Waterston, Jack Reynor, and Cailee Spaeny. Mimi Leder (“Deep Impact,” “The Leftovers”) directed from a Daniel Stiepleman script. Producers are Robert Cort and Jonathan King. Jeff Skoll, Daniel Stiepleman, Betsy Danbury, and Karen Loop are executive producers.

SCHOLARSHIP

A scholarship fund in the name of “Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon M. Chu has been established at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

Karen Wong and Scott Lee have established the Jon M. Chu Asian Pacific Alumni Fund Cinematic Arts Scholarship with funds awarded to students whose projects focus upon Asian Pacific culture in film, television, and interactive media.

Chu graduated from the School of Cinematic Arts in 2003. He has also directed “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” and “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never.”

“I could not be more honoured to have my name included in this beautiful scholarship,” said Chu. “This has been an unbelievable year for me and our community but Karen Wong and Scott Lee’s generous endowment might be the most important of them all because now that doors are a little more open we are gonna need more directors, writers, storytellers to fill the gap and tell our stories. My USC Cinematic Arts experience is one that I hold very dear to my heart.”

RELEASE DATE

Skyline Entertainment has set a Feb. 8 North American release date for “The Amityville Murders” in theaters and on VOD, Variety has learned exclusively.

Daniel Farrands directed from his own script. The film stars John Robinson, Chelsea Ricketts, Diane Franklin, Paul Ben-Victor, Lainie Kazan, and Burt Young. It marks the first large-scale release for the newly formed production and distribution entity.

The film centers on the events that preceded the original 1979 film. Five years earlier, Ronald DeFeo, Jr. took a high-powered rifle and murdered his entire family as they slept, then claimed that “voices” in the house commanded him to kill.

“The Amityville Murders” is produced by Farrands, Eric Brenner, and Lucas Jarach and executive produced by Jim Jacobsen.

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