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Film News Roundup: ‘Wizard of Oz’ to Launch TCM Big Screen Classics in 2019

In today’s film news roundup, “The Wizard of Oz” leads off the 2019 TCM Big Screen Classics, “Jobe’z World” gets distribution, and NRG and SAG-AFTRA make executive hires.

CLASSIC FILMS

Fathom Events and Turner Classic Movies have unveiled 14 classic films that will be shown in theaters in 2019 in the TCM Big Screen Classics series, starting with “The Wizard of Oz” on Jan. 27, 29 and 30.

The other titles are “My Fair Lady,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Ben-Hur,” “True Grit,” “Steel Magnolias,” “Field of Dreams,” “Glory,” “Hello, Dolly!,” “Lawrence of Arabia,” “The Shawshank Redemption,” “Alien,” “The Godfather Part II” and “When Harry Met Sally.”

Fathom specializes in event movies shown for one or two nights. It’s jointly owned by the AMC, Regal and Cinemark chains. The TCM Big Series titles will usually screen on Sundays and Wednesdays.

“Every year, more and more film fans have flocked to the TCM Big Screen Classics series, proving the lasting appeal of these movies and the thrill of seeing them in a movie theater,” said Fathom Events vice president of studio relations Tom Lucas. “From spectacular musicals and grand Westerns to epic adventures, we are tremendously proud of this year’s lineup and our continuing partnership with TCM.”

ACQUISITION

Factory 25 has acquired the rights to the dark rollerblading comedy “Jobe’z World,” director Michael M. Bilandic’s follow up to 2014’s “Hellaware,” Variety has learned exclusively.

The story follows a mysterious middle-aged rollerblader who spends his days selling drugs to an eclectic mix of downtown weirdos. What starts off as an exciting encounter with an A-list celebrity quickly devolves into a nightmarishly comedic trainwreck when the actor dies.

“Jobe’z World” stars Jason P. Grisell and Theodore Bouloukos, featuring Owen Kline, Lindsay Burdge, Kate Lyn Sheil, Keith Poulson and Jeremy O. Harris. Producers are Adam Ginsberg and Spencer Kiernan.

Factory 25 is premiering the film theatrically in New York followed by a theatrical rollout across the country. Factory 25 will also release the film digitally premiering the film digitally in late spring.and Vimeo followed by an iTunes, Amazon, cable VOD and many other digital outlets.

EXECUTIVE HIRES

National Research Group has re-hired Kevin Yoder as executive vice president of theatrical strategy.

Yoder joined NRG in 1992 and, over a 20-year career, rose to the role of chief operating officer. After departing NRG, he worked as managing director at MarketCast and most recently, exec VP of research and strategy at 20th Century Fox.

“I have worked closely with Kevin for the past five years when he led domestic strategy at Fox,” said Jon Penn, CEO of NRG. “He was a terrific thought-partner: strategic, creative, passionate, and intellectual. He is a pre-eminent strategic advisor who thrives in solving complex marketing challenges. Our clients will benefit greatly from his wisdom and sharp insights.”

Yoder will serve as a strategic advisor to NRG theatrical clients at every stage of a film’s lifecycle.

“I am thrilled to be part of the dynamic and fast-growing NRG team, unlocking opportunity for our clients by ensuring that campaigns are optimized to convey what is unique, accessible and theatrical about each film,” he said. “It’s a process NRG is uniquely suited for as they are the leading research firm that works start to finish globally across the entire research process.”

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SAGAFTRA has hired veteran music industry executive Rebecca Greenberg as the executive director of its music department.

Greenberg will oversee SAGAFTRA’s activities in the music industry, including the negotiation and administration of collective bargaining agreements with the major and independent record labels, artist and performer relations, as well as collaboration with the organizing and government affairs departments. She will report jointly to chief operating officer and general counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland and chief contracts officer Ray Rodriguez.

“I am thrilled to join SAGAFTRA and am looking forward to working with my team to continue protecting and advocating for our sound recording artists,” said Greenberg. “The music industry is constantly evolving and our artists are showcased everywhere  ̶  from radio to digital platforms  ̶  so it’s imperative to work with our members and allies to ensure that our artists’ rights are protected and that they are fairly compensated for their work.”

Greenberg has worked for Irving Azoff at his various companies, including The Madison Square Garden Company / The Forum, Azoff Music Management, and Global Music Rights. Previously, she was head of government relations for Live Nation Entertainment and Ticketmaster. In 2004, Don Henley and Azoff hired Greenberg to be the national director of the Recording Artists’ Coalition. She also worked for the Screen Actors Guild from 2001-2004, after working on Capitol Hill as well as for the Clinton administration.

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