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Film News Roundup: Documentary ‘Gay Chorus Deep South’ Bought for Awards Season Release

In today’s film news roundup, the documentaries “Gay Chorus Deep South” and “Tread” find homes, Tobin Bell’s latest horror film completes production and Emilio Insolera joins “355.”

ACQUISITIONS

MTV Documentary Films has acquired “Gay Chorus Deep South” for release during the fall for awards season consideration.

Directed by David Charles Rodrigues, the film world premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, where it won the audience award for best documentary feature before going on to win 16 additional awards at festivals. “Gay Chorus Deep South” is the story of 300 singers who traveled from Mississippi to Tennessee through the Carolinas bringing a message of love and acceptance to those fighting intolerance.

MTV Documentary Films plans to qualify the film for awards consideration and screen it at upcoming festivals including Nashville, Woodstock, opening night of Santa Barbara’s Call to Action Festival, opening night of the Boston Globe’s GlobeDocs, Heartland and New Orleans, among others. Executive produced by MTV Dcoumentary Films chief Sheila Nevins, “Gay Chorus Deep South” is produced and financed by Rausch Street Films, and produced by Bud Johnston and Jesse Moss. The group was led by conductor Dr. Tim Seelig and joined by the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir.

“The LGBTQ bias is fierce in southern states,” said Nevins. “Faced with unrelenting resistance, these brave men break barriers with song and continue to sing and raise their voices in the name of diversity.”

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Gravitas Ventures has acquired United States rights to SXSW documentary “Tread,” directed by Paul Solet, with plans for a first-quarter release.

“Tread” was financed by Great Point Media, produced by Sutter Road Picture Company and Zipper Bros. Films, in association with Roxbourne Media LTD and Hypnotic. The feature film gives viewers an in-depth look at how Marvin Heemeyer, a master welder, became a violent domestic terrorist within his Colorado small-town community in 2004.

After a year and a half of secretly building an armored bulldozer made of concrete and steel, Heemeyer drove the machine through the town for almost three hours, causing over $8 million dollars in damage, destroying 13 buildings, and ultimately taking his own life. Nolan Gallagher from Gravitas Ventures negotiated the deal with CAA Media Finance and Great Point Media.

PRODUCTION COMPLETED

Production has been completed on the paranormal/horror feature film “Let Us In,” based on the urban legend “Black Eyed Children.”

The cast includes “Saw” star Tobin Bell, Makenzie Moss, Sadie Stanley, Mackenzie Ziegler, Eric Callero and O’Neill Monahan. Written by Craig Moss and Joseph Callero and directed by Craig Moss under his Just Wanna Make Movies banner, the story follows a 12-year-old girl (played by Makenzie Moss) who is ostracized in her small town for something she never did. When there’s a rash of missing teenagers, she, along with her 9-year-old best friend, step in to figure out what’s going on.

“I found the popularity of this online urban legend to be a story that would resonate within the genre fan wheelhouse,” said Craig Moss. “We were fortunate to have an outstanding cast that brought the online myth to life in a meaningful way.”

CASTING

Deaf actor Emilio Insolera has joined the Simon Kinberg thriller “355” alongside Jessica Chastain, Penelope Cruz, Diane Kruger, Lupita Nyong’o, Fan Bingbing, Sebastian Stan and Edgar Ramirez.

Insolera is the writer, producer, director and lead actor of “Sign Gene: The First Deaf Superheroes,” in which he played Tom Clerc.

He will be playing a character called “Hacker” in “355,” in which a group of women from international agencies across the world have to band together to stop a global threat. Their faction is codenamed 355, and the team is named after the first female spy in the American Revolution. Kinberg is producing with Chastain and Kelly Carmichael and sharing writing credit with Theresa Rebeck.

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