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In today’s film news roundup, Alex Woolf and Imogen Poots are cast in a crime drama, Laura Dern gets a film festival honor and doggie movie “Buddy” gets distribution.

CASTING

Alex Wolff and Imogen Poots are set to star in writer/director Joey Klein’s upcoming crime drama “Castle in the Ground.”

Wolff is portraying a teenager in a small town dealing with the untimely death of his mother. He befriends his charismatic but troubled next-door neighbor, who embroils him in a world of addiction and violence just as the opioid epidemic takes hold. Principal photography is currently underway in Sudbury, Canada.

Wolf starred Ari Aster’s “Hereditary” alongside Toni Collette, “House of Tomorrow” opposite Asa Butterfield, and “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” alongside Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart and in the recently wrapped untitled Jumanji sequel. Poots’ credits include ” Green Room,” “Frank & Lola,” “Sweet Virginia,” and “The Art of Self-Defense.”

DERN HONORED

Laura Dern will be honored during the San Francisco International Film Festival with a special tribute, followed by a screening of her upcoming film “Trial by Fire.”

Dern and director Edward Zwick will participate in an onstage conversation prior to the April 14 screening at the Castro Theatre.

“As an actress she has amazed us with her courage and innovation in countless extraordinary performances, from her early roles in the films of David Lynch to the groundbreaking series ‘Big Little Lies,'” said SF Films Noah Cowan. “As an activist, she has pushed for greater diversity in film and support for women under threat in the film industry. We could not imagine a more fascinating person to hear from at this point in film and social history.”

Dern has received Academy Award nominations for “Wild” and “Rambling Rose,” four Golden Globe Awards, and a Primetime Emmy Award in addition to seven nominations.

ACQUISITION

Grasshopper Film has bought US distribution rights to “Buddy,” a portrait of six service dogs and their owners from documentary filmmaker Heddy Honigmann.

“Buddy” opens March 20 at Film Forum in New York, before expanding across the country. Honigmann questions the owners about what the animals mean to them and portrays the bonds between mankind and dogs.