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Film News Roundup: Tom Hanks to Present Alan Alda With SAG Life Achievement Award

In today’s film news roundup, Tom Hanks will present Alan Alda with a life achievement award, a new literary management company launches, and documentaries “Sharkwater Extinction” and “Pavarotti” are acquired. 

HONORS

Tom Hanks will present the SAG life achievement award to Alan Alda during the 25th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Jan. 27.

Hanks and Alda starred together in Steven Spielberg’s 2015 thriller “Bridge of Spies” with Hanks portraying attorney James Donovan, representing captured spy Rudolf Abel, and Alda playing law firm partner Thomas Watters.

Alda is the 55th recipient of the SAG life achievement award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment. The award is given annually to an actor who fosters the “finest ideals of the acting profession.”

The SAG Awards will be held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles in a ceremony, hosted by Megan Mullally. The event will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS.

COMPANY LAUNCH

Hollywood veteran Adam Kolbrenner is launching Los Angeles-based Lit Entertainment Group with literary managers Kendrick Tan and Carrie Isgett.

Kolbrenner is a co-founder of now-defunct Madhouse Entertainment. His producing credits include the film “Prisoners” for Warner Bros/Alcon Entertainment, written by Lit client Aaron Guzikowski. Kolbrenner also executive produced Netflix’s recent holiday film “Christmas Chronicles” starring Kurt Russell, written by Lit client Matt Lieberman.

Kolbrenner is producing Fox’s “Free Guy,” starring Ryan Reynolds and directed by Shawn Levy. Also producing will be Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter. He is also producing Skydance’s “Ghost Draft,” a sci-fi film written by Lit client Zach Dean, with David Goyer also producing. Kolbrenner will also be an executive producer on the recently ordered TNT sci-fi series “Raised by Wolves.”

ACQUISITIONS

Freestyle Releasing has acquired U.S. theatrical distribution rights to Sharkwater Productions’ upcoming documentary “Sharkwater Extinction,” Variety has learned exclusively.

The film exposes the billion-dollar illegal shark fin industry and the political corruption behind it. Director Rob Stewart died in 2017 during a dive off the Florida Keys. “Sharkwater Extinction” premiered in September at the Toronto Film Festival.

Stewart’s parents, Brian and Sandy Stewart, said, “Rob spent his life defending sharks and the oceans – determined to change the world. Since the world premiere at TIFF, we have been overwhelmed by the response to the film including multiple international awards. We’ve also been touched by the numerous special tributes at festivals around the world recognizing Rob’s extraordinary impact.

“Sharkwater Extinction” has been set for a Los Angeles premiere on Jan. 31 and will then open in theaters for a limited engagement the following day.

****

CBS Films has acquired North American rights to the Ron Howard documentary “Pavarotti” about famous operatic tenor Luciano Pavarotti.

The script was written by Mark Monroe and produced by Nigel Sinclair, Brian Glazer, Howard, Michael Rosenberg, and Jeanne Elfant Festa. David Blackman and Dickon Stainer served as executive producers.

“Luciano Pavarotti’s exuberant personality, astounding voice and charm earned him world acclaim in his lifetime,” Howard said. “He upended the world of classical music and, most importantly, brought opera back to the people. It’s hard to believe ten years have passed since Luciano left the world; however, through the making of this film, we have been fortunate enough to rediscover Pavarotti’s magic and humanity.”

The film includes never-before-seen footage. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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