You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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.”


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.”


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 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.”


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.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Yoji Yamada-directed film is to open

    Tokyo Market: Shochiku Launches Horror, Comedy and Mystery Lineup

    Major Japanese studio, Shochiku has the honor of leading off next week’s Tokyo International Film Festival with its “Tora-san, Wish You Were Here.” The film is a revival of a beloved in-house drama franchise, directed by veteran Yoji Yamada, that is set as the event’s opening night gala presentation. Before that, the company has the [...]

  • The Truth

    Singapore Festival to Focus on Asian Excellence for 30th Edition

    For its 30th edition the Singapore International Film Festival has avoided programming novelty and instead focused on assembling excellence – mostly indie titles — from Asia and further afield. The festival, which previously announced local filmmaker Anthony Chen’s second feature “Wet Season” as its opening night gala presentation, announced the balance of its programming on [...]

  • Isabela Moner Dora the Explorer

    Film News Roundup: Isabela Merced Boards Jason Momoa's 'Sweet Girl' for Netflix

    In today’s film news roundup, Isabela Merced get cast opposite Jason Momoa, “Starbright” gets financing and AFM announces its speakers. CASTING Isabela Merced, formerly Isabela Moner, has come on board to portray the daughter of Jason Momoa in his upcoming revenge thriller “Sweet Girl” for Netflix. Momoa will play a devastated man who vows to [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Seeks to Throw Out Gender Pay Gap Lawsuit

    The Walt Disney Co. is seeking to throw out a lawsuit alleging that women employees are paid less than men, arguing that the suit is too sprawling and unwieldy to handle as a class action. Andrus Anderson LLP filed the suit in April, alleging that Disney’s hiring and pay practices have a discriminatory effect on [...]

  • Ford v Ferrari

    Christian Bale, Matt Damon to Campaign in Lead Actor Category for 'Ford v Ferrari'

    Christian Bale and Matt Damon will both campaign in the lead actor category for awards for their work in Fox’s upcoming “Ford v Ferrari,” Variety has learned. “Ford v Ferrari” follows an eccentric, determined team of American engineers and designers, led by automotive visionary Carroll Shelby (Damon) and his British driver, Ken Miles (Bale), who [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content