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In today’s film news roundup, “Waiting for the Barbarians,” “Don’t Tell a Soul” and “Daddy Issues” get distribution and the African American Film Critics Association is launching a virtual Strong Summer 2020 programming slate.

ACQUISITIONS

Samuel Goldwyn Films has acquired North American rights to Ciro Guerra’s feature film “Waiting for the Barbarians,” starring Johnny Depp, Robert Pattinson, Mark Rylance, Gana Bayarsaikhan, and Greta Scacchi.

Goldwyn said the film was originally slated for a theatrical release, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be released on cable on-demand and digital platforms in August.

Rylance plays a magistrate in an isolated frontier settlement on the border of a large empire who looks forward to an easy retirement until the arrival of a colonel (portrayed by Depp), whose task it is to report on the activities of the “barbarians” and the security situation on the border. The colonel’s ruthless interrogations lead the magistrate to question his loyalty to the empire.

The deal was negotiated by Meg Longo and Ben Feingold on behalf of Goldwyn and Julie Sultan of AMBI Media Group on behalf of the filmmakers. The news was first reported by Deadline.

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Popular on Variety

Saban Films has acquired North American rights to Alex McAulay’s directorial debut “Don’t Tell a Soul” from Unbridled Films and Mangano Movies & Media.

The thriller was an official selection of the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival and stars Jack Dylan Grazer, Fionn Whitehead, Mena Suvari and Rainn Wilson. Chris Mangano and Merry-Kay Poe produced with Steve Poe; Matt Bronson and John Neace are executive producers; and Brian Tanke, Max Neace and McAulay are co-producers.

“Don’t Tell A Soul” follows two young brothers who rob a house to pay for their sick mother’s medical bills and cause a security guard to fall into a well. Shot entirely on location in Kentucky, Don’t Tell a Soul marks the debut production for Poe’s Kentucky based production company, Unbridled Films, and the second production for Mangano Movies & Media.

Bill Bromiley and Jonathan Saba negotiated the deal for Saban Films along with UTA Independent Film Group on behalf of the filmmakers.

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Gravitas Ventures has acquired worldwide rights to Clean Slate Productions’ drama “Daddy Issues,” which will be available on digital and on demand on June 23.

The movie previously played at the Miami Independent Film Festival, The Evolution! Idyllwild International Film Festival, The Valley Film Festival, Mallorca International Film Festival, Nice International Filmmaker Festival and The Women’s Film Festival.

The story centers on woman in her 20s who inherits a company from her emotionally distant father, forcing her to move from London to Los Angeles to take over the family business and try to win her father’s approval, even after his death.

The film stars Kimberley Datnow, Tanner Rittenhouse, Corsica Wilson, Peter Jason and Alice Caroll Johnson. Amy Datnow and John Cox wrote the story with the screenplay by director Laura Holliday. It was produced by Kimberley Datnow and executive produced by Amy Datnow.

SUMMER PROGRAM

The African American Film Critics Association is launching a virtual Strong Summer 2020 programming slate, starting with a discussion with Toby Kebbell and rapper Christopher “Ludacris” Bridges about the 2008 film “RocknRolla.”

The AAFCA and BAFTA are collaborating on the event, set to start at 10 a.m. PT on May 26.

The AAFCA is also launching its Virtual Table Read Series where filmmakers of color preside over table reads of selected scenes from their own work in half-hour sessions presented live on YouTube, beginning May 28. Confirmed participants include Ali LeRoi, Datari Turner, DeMane Davis and writer/producer Michelle Amor.

People music editor Janine Rubenstein and AAFCA president Gil Robertson will hold a June 1 panel called “Black Music Artists on Switching Hats….The Cross-Over Skills From the Front of the Stage to Behind the Lens.” The AAFCA will also celebrate LGBTQ Month with an event on June 28.