×

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.”

****

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.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Gavel Court Placeholder

    Netflix Movie Scammer Admits to Defrauding Investors Out of $14 Million

    A California man has admitted to defrauding investment groups — nabbing $14 million — by falsely claiming the money would be used to produce a feature film for Netflix. On Oct. 18, Adam Joiner, 41, of Manhattan Beach, Calif., pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in U.S. District Court, according to federal authorities. [...]

  • Tio-Yim

    Morelia Film Festival Highlights Mexican Indigenous Women Filmmakers

    This year’s Morelia Intl. Film Festival (FICM), with support from a FilmWatch scholarship awarded by the U.S. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will host a Mexican Indigenous Filmmakers: Identity and New Narratives forum for women directors. Issues such as diversity, identity, gender equity, inclusion and broader topics such as the challenges of film [...]

  • lighthouse

    Festival Winners, Oscar Hopefuls Vie for BIFA International Award (EXCLUSIVE)

    The long list for the coveted best international picture prize at the British Independent Film Awards includes Cannes Palme d’Or and London Film Festival winners, as well as pictures from Pedro Almodovar, Robert Eggers and Noah Baumbach. Multiple titles that have been submitted to compete for the Oscar for best international feature film are also [...]

  • Parasite

    Mexico’s Cinepolis Launching New Arthouse Distributor with ‘Parasite’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    MORELIA, Mexico – There’s a new arthouse player in town. Cinepolis, one of the top exhibitors in the world, is launching a new arthouse film distribution unit in Mexico called Sala de Arte Distribucion. Focusing on auteur films that have premiered at leading film festivals worldwide, Sala de Arte launches in December with “Parasite,” Bong [...]

  • Francis Ford CoppolaFrancis Ford Coppola Masterclass,

    Francis Ford Coppola's Slam on Marvel Films Fuels Debate Sparked by Martin Scorsese

    Disparaging remarks by Francis Ford Coppola have further inflamed the debate sparked by Martin Scorsese and his criticism of Marvel and other comic book films. At a press conference in Lyon, France, where he was being honored at the Lumiere festival, the “Godfather” director said he fully agreed with Scorsese’s assessment and went even further [...]

  • Angelina Jolie is Maleficent and Elle

    China Box Office: Hollywood Sweeps Up With ‘Maleficent’ and ‘Gemini Man’

    The first Hollywood blockbusters to hit China after the country’s big National Day holiday have, as expected, swept away holdover patriotic titles that had previously ruled the box office. “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” edged out another new release, “Gemini Man,” to lead the pack with a $22.5 million opening weekend. While Disney’s “Maleficent” arrived in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content