You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Film News Roundup: Jason Alexander Joins Comedy ‘Faith Based’

In today’s film news roundup, Sarah May Sommers is starring in “American Cherry,” Jason Alexander has signed on to a film, Outfest has a new leader and BAFTA has awarded student prizes.


Jason Alexander has joined the cast of “Faith Based,” a comedy from director Vincent Masciale and writer Luke Barnett.

The satire of the Christian film industry follows two friends, played by “Funny or Die” regulars Barnett and Tanner Thomason, who come to the realization that all “faith based” films are extremely profitable and set out on a mission to make one of their own.

Alexander will play the eccentric head of a weight loss tea pyramid. The previously announced ensemble includes Lance Reddick, Danielle Nicolet, Carly Craig, Danny Woodburn, and Christoph Sanders.

The news was first reported by Deadline.


Sarah May Sommers, who plays a Manson Family member in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” is starring in “American Cherry” along with Hart Denton and Leonor Varela, Variety has learned exclusively.

The psychological thriller-romance from Louis Arriola’s NYLA Media Group is directed by Marcella Cytrynowicz from her own screenplay. “American Cherry” is Cytrynowicz’s feature film debut.

Set in small town, low-income suburbia, “American Cherry” follows a teenage girl who must navigate her freedom and personal identity within a fractured, dysfunctional family. Varela plays her mother, suffering with mental illness and substance abuse, and Denton plays the boy next door who becomes the object of her fascination. Sommers is a co-producer.

Denton is represented by UTA and Thruline Entertainment. Sommers is represented by Sovereign Talent Group and Echo Lake Entertainment. Varela is represented by LINK Entertainment.


The Board of Outfest has named Damien S. Navarro as the new executive director, replacing Christopher Racster.

He will oversee its programs, staff, fundraising efforts, fiscal management and other day-to-day operations. Racster had announced last year that he was departing.

The Los Angeles-based Outfest festival opens on July 18 with “Circus of Books,” and closes on July 28 with “Before You Know It.”

The news was first reported by Deadline.


The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has awarded student film prizes to four films in ceremonies in Santa Monica. 

The animation award went to Léo Brunel, Loris Cavalier, Camille Jalabert and Oscar Malet from École des Nouvelles Images, France for “Hors Piste” and the documentary prize went to Ingrid Holmquist and Sana Malik from Columbia University for “Guanajuato Norte.” The live-action trophy went to Asher Jelinsky from American Film Institute for “Miller & Son.”

The special jury prize was presented to Rikke Gregersen from Kristiania University College, Norway for “Dog Eat Dog.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Box Office Mojo new

    Box Office Mojo Site Transformed by IMDbPro

    BoxOfficeMojo.com has been transformed into an IMDbPro site, losing some of its free features. The Amazon-owned site, which had previously operated free of charge, was given a new look with its header reading “Box Office Mojo by IMDb Pro.” Information such as breakdowns by genre is now only available behind the IMDbPro paywall. The Box [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'Hocus Pocus' Sequel in Development at Disney Plus

    Disney Plus has launched development of a sequel to 1993’s fantasy comedy “Hocus Pocus” with “Workaholics” writer and co-producer Jen D’Angelo on board to script. The original “Hocus Pocus” starred Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as a trio of witch sisters who have been cursed since 1693 in Salem, Ma. The witches [...]

  • Lady Gaga

    Variety Wins 2019 Eppy Award for Best Digital Magazine

    Variety has won two Eppy Awards from Editor & Publisher, including Best Digital Magazine and Best Collaborative Investigative/Enterprise Feature for “American (In)Justice” — a collaboration with fellow PMC property Rolling Stone. “American (In)Justice” also tied with USA Today’s “Copy, Paste, Legislate” collaboration with The Arizona Republic and the Center for Public Integrity. Variety has provided [...]

  • Joker Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

    Box Office: Villains Face Off Again as 'Joker' and 'Maleficent' Battle for First Place

    Despite three new nationwide releases, domestic box office charts look to be dominated by holdovers — Warner Bros.’ “Joker” and Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” — during the last weekend in October. “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” debuted last weekend with $36 million in North America, enough to dethrone “Joker” after the super-villain origin story’s back-to-back [...]

  • Yasushi Shiina

    Tokyo Market is Finding New Strengths, Says Yasushi Shiina

    Clouds on the global economic horizon and disruption to the scheduling of the event, have done little to dampen the interest of foreign visitors to TIFFCOM, Japan’s biggest film and TV market. Especially those from China, says market head, Yasushi Shiina. The market is again running at the Sunshine City shopping, entertainment and business complex [...]

  • "Weathering With You" directed by Makoto

    Toho Unveils Dual Media Romance 'Love Me, Love Me Not' at Tokyo Market

    Japan’s biggest film company, which produces, distributes and exhibits its own product in partnership with leading media companies, Toho has brought a line-up to TIFFCOM full of present and future hits. The biggest is “Weathering with You,” the love story animation by Makoto Shinkai that surpassed the $100 million mark only a month after its [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content