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Film News Roundup: SXSW Winner ‘Saint Frances’ Bought by Oscilloscope

In today’s film news roundup, SXSW winner “Saint Frances” gets a home, Kyle Chandler gets cast, Jeannine Tang gets promoted, and the LA Film School honors its graduates.

ACQUISITION

Oscilloscope Laboratories has acquired U.S. rights to SXSW winner “Saint Frances,”  written by and starring Kelly O’Sullivan.

The film premiered at the 2019 SXSW Film Festival and won the Audience Award in the narrative feature competition as well as a special jury recognition for breakthrough voice.

Oscilloscope will release the film in theaters before a roll out to digital platforms. O’Sullivan plays a flailing 34-year-old who lands a much-needed job nannying six-year-old Frances (played by Ramona Edith-Williams), but an unwanted pregnancy introduces an unexpected complication.

The film was produced by James Choi, Pierce Cravens, Ian Keiser, Eddie Linker, Roger Welp and Raphael Nash. Ryan Kampe of Visit Films negotiated the sale on behalf of the filmmakers.

CASTING

Kyle Chandler will star as an astronaut opposite George Clooney and Felicity Jones in Netflix’s post-apocalyptic film project, which Clooney is directing.

The film will follow a lonely scientist in the Arctic (played by Clooney) who discovers a mysterious child in the wake of a catastrophe on Earth. Mark L. Smith, who wrote “The Revenant,” has adapted the script based on Lily Brooks-Dalton’s 2016 novel “Good Morning, Midnight.”

Clooney and partner Grant Heslov are producing under their Smokehouse Pictures banner with Anonymous Content and Syndicate. Chandler has also starred in “Godzilla: King of the Monsters and is repped by Gersh and Brillstein Entertainment Partners. News was first reported by Deadline.

EXECUTIVE PROMOTION

Participant Media has promoted Jeannine Tang to general counsel, overseeing all business and legal affairs.

Tang will report directly to Participant’s chief operating officer Gabriel Brakin. Tang joined Participant in January, 2018, as a senior VP of business and legal affairs and has overseen business and legal affairs for the company’s television slate, including “America to Me” and “When They See Us.”

She has also headed production and financing negotiations on upcoming film projects such as “Just Mercy” and “Slay the Dragon,” and advised on content financing, strategic partnerships, copyright, trademark, human resources, governance and risk management. She formerly worked for The Weinstein Co. and DreamWorks Animation.

FILM SCHOOL HONORS

The Los Angeles Film School will hold its inaugural Spotlight Awards Ceremony honoring graduates to commemorate its 20-year anniversary.

The school will hold a series of events starting on Sept. 16 around its degree programs and culminate with an awards ceremony on Sept. 20.

Honorees are Andrés Borda Zabala, a five-time Grammy-winning audio engineer; Hannah Lux Davis, music, commercial and documentary director;  Kyle Newacheck, who has 80 directing, writing and producing credits including Netflix’s “Murder Mystery”; Brandon Trost, cinematographer on “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” and “The Disaster Artist”; and Jordan Wilby, sound effects designer on “Stranger Things.”

DIVERSITY WORKSHOP

The Producers Guild of America has unveiled its Power of Diversity Master Workshop participants, who took part in an eight-week class on pitching, premise development, film finance, line producing, the writers’ room, representation, distribution and dealmaking.

Participants included Nathan Bennett, “The Camp Beauty Queen”; Samantha Culp, “The Futurists”; Gabriela Gonzalez and Candy Ibarra, “Mentiritas”; Zimran Jacob, “The Queen and the Goddess”; Tricia Lee, “Mpither-Daughter”; Monice Mitchell Simms, “Sacked”; Sade Oyinade and Deshawn Plair, “Better Than I Know Myself”; Diana Romero, “Sold”; Widad Shafakoj, “Caesar”; Justine Wentzell, “Identity Crisis of a Banana; and Delbert Whetter and Jevon Whetter, “Flash Before the Bang.”

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