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Film News Roundup: Library of Congress Announces Ken Burns Documentary Award

In today’s film news roundup, the Library of Congress honors Ken Burns, Anthony Anderson is hosting the NAACP Image Awards, Berlin winner “Piranhas” gets distribution and “The Biggest Little Farm” gets school screenings.

BURNS AWARD

The Library of Congress, the Better Angels Society and the Crimson Lion/Lavine Family Foundation will present an annual documentary award named after Ken Burns.

The award, which will be presented each fall at a gala at the Library of Congress, will recognize a filmmaker whose documentary uses original research and compelling narrative to tell stories that touch on some aspect of American history. The winner will receive a $200,000 finishing grant to help with the final production of the film.

“I’ve been very fortunate to spend my career focused on our country’s history,” said Burns.  “While each film is different, they all ask the same question about who we are as a people. History is of course fraught with complexity and is often divisive. But somehow by confronting this history together, and the many stories that make it up, we become closer.”

Burns has received 16 Emmys and been nominated for two Oscars. His credits include “The Civil War,” “Baseball,” “Jazz,” “Mark Twain,” “Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson,” “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” “The Vietnam War” and, most recently, “The Mayo Clinic:  Faith – Hope – Science.”

HOST NAMED

The NAACP announced that Anthony Anderson is set to return as host for the 50th NAACP Image Awards.

Anderson is a two-time NAACP Image Awards winner and will be hosting the show for the sixth consecutive year. Winners will be revealed during the two-hour special airing on TV One on March 30 from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

Anderson stars in and executive produces the ABC series, “Black-ish,” alongside Laurence Fishburne and Tracee Ellis Ross. He was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for this role. He’s also set to star in the upcoming Netflix film “Beats.”

ACQUISITION

Music Box Films has acquired the U.S. rights to “Piranhas” from Italian director Claudio Giovanessi, based on the bestselling novel by Roberto Saviano.

Produced by Palomar Film and Vision Distribution, the film had its world premiere in competition at the 2019 Berlin Film Festival, where it was awarded the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay for Maurizio Braucci, Claudio Giovannesi, and Roberto Saviano.

Music Box Films plans a theatrical rollout later this year followed by a release on home entertainment platforms.

“Piranhas” follows fifteen year-old Nicola, played by newcomer Francesco Di Napoli, and his group of friends as they descend from naïve party-loving teenagers into violent and power hungry gangsters groomed by members of the Neapolitan mafia.

EDUCATION PROGRAM

Neon and Impact Partners have announced a joint effort to bring the documentary “The Biggest Little Farm” to schools and communities nationwide through their in-theater education program.

The film, centering on John and Molly Chester’s story of leaving the big city to farm in harmony with nature, will open in theaters on May 10. Schools and community groups will have a chance to see the film early at advance preview screenings taking place at participating theaters starting in April.

The film has won audience awards at Palm Springs, Hamptons, Mill Valley, and AFI, as well as the Grand Jury Prize at the Boulder International Film Festival and the Best of the Fest award at the Sedona International Film Festival. Advance screenings are already set to take place across 50 major markets during April 2-4.

Schools, community groups and non-profit organizations can sign up for screenings and apply to receive sponsored tickets here.

 

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