In today’s film news roundup, the 2020 awards season schedule gets finalized; AFM will cover immersive content; “Murderous Trance” and “7 Days to Vegas” get acquired; and Kate Katzman has been added to “The Comeback Trail.”


The Makeup Artists & Hair Stylists Guild has set Jan. 11 as the date for its seventh annual awards show, four weeks and a day ahead of the 92nd Academy Awards.

The 2020 awards season will have more shows in a tighter time period than usual since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is moving its show forward two weeks.

The announcement was made Wednesday by Julie Socash, president of the guild, which operates as Local 706 of the International Alliance of the Theatrical Stage Employees. The guild also said nominations voting would take place between Oct. 28 and Nov. 8 with nominations announced on Nov. 11. Nominations for Lifetime Achievement Awards nominees will be announced July 9 with voting to open between Aug. 13 and Sept. 13.

Final voting for the guild awards begins Dec. 3 and closes a month later on Jan. 3.

This year’s guild awards went to “A Star Is Born” for contemporary make-up; “Crazy Rich Asians” for contemporary hair styling; “Vice” for period and/or character make-up; “Mary Queen of Scots” for period or character hair styling; and “Vice” for special makeup effects. Ceremonies were held at the Novo at L.A. Live Downtown.

“Vice” won this year’s Oscar for Makeup and Hairstyling with Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe, and Patricia Dehaney receiving the award for the movie, which was widely recognized for Christian Bale’s physical transformation into former Vice President Dick Cheney. The Swedish fantasy “Border” and the historical drama “Mary Queen of Scots” were also nominated for the Oscar. It was Cannom’s fourth Oscar following “Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”


The American Film Market is adding programming and dedicated exhibition space to spotlight immersive content and technology for its 40th edition on Nov. 6-13 in Santa Monica, Ca.

The expansion include an extended reality immersive summit presented by Winston Baker, which will take place on Nov. 9 at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel. The half-day summit will include keynotes and panel discussions featuring creators, international industry experts and decision makers, to address the stages of bringing immersive content, such as virtual and augmented reality, to market.

The AFM will also include a new XR Space, which will run alongside the AFM’s marketplace and LocationExpo at Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel during Nov. 9-12. The event is aimed at creatives, producers and tech leaders to showcase their latest works and technology.

“The rapid developments in immersive technology are creating opportunities for artists, producers and entrepreneurs,” said AFM Managing Director Jonathan Wolf. “The immersive summit is a perfect fit for our global participants who seek a glimpse into their future.”

The AFM usually draws more than 7,000 attendees from more than 80 countries during the eight days of the market, which will include several hundred movies shown at the AMC, Broadway, Laemmle, and Arclight theaters. The market is produced by the Independent Film & Television Alliance trade association representing producers and distributors of independent motion pictures and television programs.


MyCinema has bought the rights to “Murderous Trance,” based on a series of hypnosis crimes that took place in Denmark in the 1950s, Variety has learned exclusively.

Arto Halonen directed the film, which stars Josh Lucas as a notorious criminal and master of mind control. Pilou Asbæk portrays an investigator in the case in which a bank robber shoots two bank clerks before fleeing to the streets of Copenhagen. Rade Šerbedžija plays a hypnotist.

“’Murderous Trance’ brings together top screen talent in a taut, true crime thriller that will have audiences on the edge of their seats,” said Bruce Eisen, head of content acquisition for myCinema.

Etchie Stroh of Moonstone Entertainment is handling worldwide sales.


Gravitas Ventures has bought distribution rights to gambling drama “7 Days to Vegas,” starring Vince Van Patten, Variety has learned exclusively.

Gravitas has set a VOD release date of Sept. 20 with a limited theatrical release for “7 Days to Vegas,” written by Van Patten and Steve Alper. Van Patten plays a character who accepts a bet that he can walk from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in seven days for millions of dollars.

Ross McCall, Eileen Davidson, Paul Walter Hauser, Jennifer Tilly, Don Stark, Lucas Bryant, John O’Hurley, Chad Lowe, Willie Garson and James Van Patten also star. Producers are Mark R. Harris, Kim Waltrip, and Dylan Vox. Executive producers are Big Block Media Holdings, Vineyard Point, Joseph Siprut, Denise DuBarry, Robert Fitzpatrick and Kara and Adam Weinraub. Red Sea Entertainment is handling foreign sales.


Newcomer Kate Katzman has been added to George Gallo’s action-comedy “The Comeback Trail,” joining Robert De Niro, Tommy Lee Jones, Morgan Freeman and Zach Braff.

The film started production last week in Albuquerque. Set in the 1970s, Katzman plays the director of a Western starring a washed-up movie star (Jones). De Niro plays a man in debt to Freeman’s mob boss. Josh Posner co-wrote the film’s screenplay, which is based on the 1982 film of the same name.

Producers are Steven Tyler Sahlein, March On Productions’ Richard Salvatore and David Ornston,
along with Joy Sirott Hurwitz and Julie Lott Gallo. The film is being financed and executive produced by Empire Media Partners’ Justin Calvillo and John DeMarco, Storyboard Media’s Philip Kim, Patrick Hibler, and Elisabeth Costa de Beauregard, along with Ben Ruedinger and Joerg Fischer.

Katzman made her film debut in 2015 as Lillian Disney in the indie “Walt Before Mickey.”