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Film News Roundup: ‘Roma’ Becomes First Netflix Film With DVD Release

In today’s film news roundup, “Roma” is getting a DVD release, Joaquin Phoenix backs an animal rights documentary, Humanitas announces nominations and “The Wretched” finds a home.

ROMA DVD

Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” has become the first Netflix movie to get a Blu-Ray and DVD release, thanks to the Criterion Collection launching a special edition in February.

The release will include five separate documentaries about the creation of the film, and will feature the same 4K master and Dolby Atmos sound that were in the theatrical release. The movie won Academy Awards for Cuaron’s directing and cinematography along with the  foreign-language film Oscar.

“Roma” follows Yalitza Aparicio, who plays a live-in housekeeper in the middle-class neighborhood of Roma in Mexico City. It became Mexico’s first winner of the Oscar for foreign-language feature. The pic, produced by Esperanto Filmoj and Participant Media, joined foreign-language movies “Life Is Beautiful,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” “Letters From Iwo Jima,” “Babel,” and “Amour” as a nominee for best picture.

“Roma” is also the first Netflix film to be added to the Criterion Collection. The documentaries include “Road to Roma,” about the making of the film, featuring behind-the-scenes footage and an interview with Cuarón; “Snapshots from the Set”; documentaries about the sound,  post-production processes, the theatrical campaign and social impact in Mexico.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX SUPPORT

Joaquin Phoenix has come on board as an executive producer of the documentary feature “The Animal People,” from directors Casey Suchan and Denis Henry Hennelly.

The film follows the journey of six young American animal rights activists prosecuted as terrorists by the United States Government for their involvement in a protest campaign. The film had its world premiere at the Austin Film Festival last month and has been acquired by independent film distributor Virgil Films & Entertainment for release across all digital platforms on Dec. 10.

“The Animal People” is produced by Mikko Alanne and his Finngate Pictures producing partner Ari Solomon, Jorja Fox, Sasha Perry and co-director Suchan.

“This film is about much more than just this case,” said Phoenix. “It’s about fundamental questions concerning free speech, social change, and corporate power that have never been more urgently relevant in our world.”

HUMANITAS NOMINATIONS

Humanitas has announced feature film nominations in half a dozen categories with winners announced at the 45th Annual Humanitas Prize on Jan. 24 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel.

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Drama feature film nominees are “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” “A Hidden Life,” “Dark Waters,” and “Bombshell.” Comedy and musical nominees are “Yesterday,” “The Farewell,” “Jojo Rabbit,” and “The Laudromat.”

Family feature film nominees are “The Peanut Butter Falcon,” “Frozen 2,” “Toy Story 4,” and “Klaus.” Independent feature films are “End of Sentence,” “Hotel Mumbai,” “Brittany Runs a Marathon” and “The Banker.”

Short film nominations went to “Variables,” “Purl,” “The Charge for the Sun,” and “Kitbull.” Documentaries are “Torn Apart: Separated at the Border,” “Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops.” “Sea of Shadows” and “This Is Football.”

ACQUISITION

IFC Midnight is acquiring North American rights to horror film “The Wretched,” directed and written by Brett and Drew Pierce.
The film stars John-Paul Howard, Piper Curda, Azie Tesfai, Zarah Mahler, Kevin Bigley, and Jamison Jones, and is produced by Chang Tseng and Ed Polgardy. “The Wretched” premiered at the 2019 Fantasia Film Festival and will be released via IFC Midnight in 2020.
The story centers on a rebellious teenage boy visiting his father for the summer as he makes a haunting discovery — a malevolent fiend from the deep woods stalks the young family living next door.
The deal was negotiated by Arianna Bocco and Aijah Keith of IFC Films with CAA Media Finance on behalf of the filmmakers.

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