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Film News Roundup: Stunt Coordinator Shauna Duggins Directing ‘Guardian’

Shauna Duggins, winner of the award
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/Shu

In today’s film news roundup, stunt coordinator Shauna Duggins is moving into the director’s chair, an arm-wrestling comedy is heading for the big screen and “Socrates” gets sold.

DIRECTOR HIRED

Emmy-winning stunt coordinator Shauna Duggins will direct the action drama “Guardian” from  Cory Byam’s script in her directorial debut.

Voltage Pictures and Wonderland Sound are the production companies. Producers are McG and Mary Viola, Voltage’s Nicolas Chartier and Dominic Rustam. Steven Bello of Wonderland and Jonathan Deckter of Voltage are also executive producers of the project, alongside Duggin’s long-time collaborator Brian Machleit.

“Guardian” tells the multi-layered story of a top assassin who becomes the reluctant guardian for the son of the last man he killed – entangling himself in a mob power struggle and an unexpected crisis of conscience. Duggins became the first female stunt professional to win an Emmy in 2018 for her work on Netflix’s “GLOW.” Additional credits include “Game of Thrones,” “Ray Donovan,” “Alias,” “Fast Five” and “Charlie’s Angels.”

Duggins is represented by Renee Tab and Christopher Tuffin of Sentient Entertainment and UTA. The news was first reported by Deadline.

CASTINGS

The independent buddy comedy feature “Golden Arm” will star Mary Holland and Betsy Sodaro set against the National Ladies Arm Wrestling Championship.

Holland will be playing the part of a wimpy baker who needs to get her life back on track after her business falls into insurmountable debt. Sodaro will be playing her best friend and arm wrestling champ who has suffered an injury and is unable to compete in the tournament.

Director Maureen Bharoocha is set to helm the project. Bharoocha is best known for her work on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” in addition to shooting Lifetime movies “I Am Watching You” and “Fatal Flip.” Bharoocha is represented by CAA, Brandy Rivers at Industry Entertainment and Lev Ginsburg at Ginsburg Daniels Kallis.

ACQUISITION

Breaking Glass Pictures has bought North American rights to Brazilian coming-of-age story “Socrates,” Variety has learned exclusively.

The film was nominated for both the Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead and the Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award. It has won awards at Festival Mix Brasil (Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor for lead actor Christian Mahleiros); Rio de Janiero International Film Festival; Sao Paulo International Film Festival, Woodstock Film Festival and the Miami Film Festival.

The story deals with a 15-year-old living on the margins of São Paulo’s coast dealing with his mother’s death as he faces isolation because of his sexuality. It’s the debut feature film from 29-year-old Brazilian-American filmmaker Alexandre Moratto and is the first feature produced by the Querô Institute in Brazil where it was co-written, produced, and acted by at-risk teenagers from local low-income communities, with the support of UNICEF.