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Film News Roundup: Bella Thorne’s Crime Drama ‘Southland’ Starts Shooting

In today’s film news roundup, a Bella Thorne crime drama is shooting, Cinepolis is expanding in the US and Bill Duke’s “The Killing Floor” is acquired.

PRODUCTION START

Bella Thorne’s crime drama “Southland” has begun production in Oklahoma with Joshua Caldwell directing from his own script.

The story follows two young lovers who rob their way across the southland, posting their exploits to social media and gaining fame and followers along the way. The film also stars Jake Manley (“The Order”), Amber Riley (“Glee”) and Michael Sirow.

“I could not have shot ‘Southland’ anywhere but in Oklahoma,” said Caldwell. “Its geographical diversity allows it to stand in for a multitude of other locations, including Florida and Texas, and the land on which this state rests is both haunting and beautiful.”

“Southland” began principal photography in Guthrie and will continue throughout the month filming in multiple communities in the central Oklahoma region.

ACQUISITIONS

Cinepolis has bought Austin-based cinema chain the Moviehouse & Eatery as part of its plans for its U.S. properties to completely become a dine-in cinema chain by 2020.

Moviehouse & Eatery currently operates five theaters and 47 screens in Texas. The acquisition will later expand Cinépolis USA’s growing presence in Texas to nine theaters.

Mexico-based Cinepolis is the fourth largest theater circuit in the world.

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Film Movement has acquired the North American rights to Bill Duke’s 1984 historical drama “The Killing Floor,” winner of the Special Jury Award at the 1985 Sundance Film Festival.

The film has received a 4K digital restoration by the UCLA Film & Television Archive in time to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the riots that swept the country in 1919. The film will have a limited theatrical run followed by release on all home entertainment and digital platforms.

Damien Leake stars as a black sharecropper from Mississippi who came to Chicago during World War I, hoping for more racial equality. When he lands a job as a laborer on “the killing floor” of a giant Chicago meatpacking plant, he finds a place seething with racial antagonism. His decision to support the union causes his Southern friends to turn against him.

Production was made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Illinois Humanities, American Playhouse, several foundations, and more than 40 unions and two corporations.

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