In today’s film news roundup, romantic comedy “Tell Me I Love You” finds a home; the Canadian government gives COVID-19 relief funding to the Canada Media Fund and Telefilm Canada; and the cancelled Sun Valley Film Festival gives out awards.
Vision Films has acquired Los Angeles romantic comedy film “Tell Me I Love You,” starring Kaniehtiio Horn (“Hemlock Grove”), Paulina Cerrilla, and Sam Clark.
The company has set a June 2 release date for DVD and all major VOD platforms, along with virtual screening event Q&As. Fiona Mackenzie directed “Tell Me I Love You” from her own script about three best friends and bandmates living together in Malibu with a desperate need for cash to finish their album. The trio devise an outrageous plan to get married and inherit a large sum of money.
An Ascent Media and Chelsea Pictures production, “Tell Me I Love You” was produced by Mackenzie and Bill Chamberlain. The cast includes Renee Morrison, Jamie Luner, Al Sapienza and former O-Town band member Ashley Angel Parker.
The Canadian government was providing COVID-19 relief funding to support the Canadian audiovisual sector, to be distributed by the Canada Media Fund ($88.8 million) and Telefilm Canada ($27 million).
“Screen-based industries generate $12.8B to Canada’s GDP and provide 181,000 well-paid jobs,” said Valerie Creighton, president and CEO of Canada Media Fund. “The sector has been hugely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Between mid-March and June 30, the impact of shutdowns are an estimated production loss of $2.5 billion and 177,000 jobs.”
“The emergency funding announced by the federal government is part of a multifaceted funding ecosystem and will be allocated in a way which complements—not duplicates—other measures for which screen industry workers and companies are eligible.”
“These new funds will help companies in Canada’s film, television and interactive digital media sectors keep their doors open and keep their employees on the payroll,” said Christa Dickenson, executive director of Telefilm Canada. “Throughout this period of confinement and physical distancing, we have seen companies explore creative ways to continue developing, collaborating, distributing and promoting screen-based content.”
Organizers of the 2020 Sun Valley Film Festival, which had been scheduled to take place March 18-22 and was cancelled due to Covid-19, have announced its $25,000 Ford Producers Grant prize forJennifer Sanders’ project, “Picking Cotton.”
Sanders received an Academy Award nomination for her short subject documentary “Sing!” Her pilot Embrace won the 2020 SXSW Film Festival Grand Jury Prize for episodic pilot. “Picking Cotton” is based on the New York Times bestseller about Jennifer Thompson, a Southern white college student who was raped at knifepoint and Ronald Cotton, the black man she identified as her rapist. After spending 11 years in prison, Cotton was exonerated and freed.
Other Sun Valley awards included Jason Michael Berman’s “Nine Days” won the Producer’s Vision Award; “Once Upon A River,” directed by Haroula Rose, won the One in a Million Award for best narrative feature made for under $1 million dollars: “Donut King,” directed by Alice Gu, won the One in a Million Award for documentary; Jamie Elias won the Woman to Watch Award for “Walter and Josiah.”
“Minor Modifications,” written by Shia LaBeouf, won the High Scribe award. “Titanyum,” directed by Gökçe Erdem, won the The SVShorty Award.