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In today’s film news roundup, Lionsgate is developing graphic novel “Memetic” as a feature, the latest Laura Ziskin Prize is announced and Firelight Media creates a fund for nonfiction filmmakers of color at the mid-career mark.

PROJECT LAUNCHES

Lionsgate is in final negotiations for motion picture rights to the apocalyptic horror graphic novel “Memetic” for Point Grey and Boom! Studios to produce.

Mattson Tomlin, who is writing “The Batman” with Matt Reeves directing, has been hired to write the “Memetic” script. Boom published “Memetic,” created by James Tynion IV, in 2015.

“Memetic” centers on a weaponized meme that turns people insane with the world becoming overrun with “meme-zombies.” But on a tiny college campus, an immune college student and an 11 year old genius discover a baffling and controversial antidote that may be the key to saving the world.

Josh Fagen is producing from Point Grey. Meredith Wieck and Scott O’Brien are overseeing for Lionsgate.

Point Grey and Matt Tolmach Productions announced last week they were developing Fear Agent with Amazon and Sony Pictures Television with Tomlin on board to adapt.

LAURA ZISKIN PRIZE

The Stand Up To Cancer organization has awarded the 2020 Laura Ziskin Prize in Translational Research to two investigators who will collaborate in a year-long research project.

Leisha A. Emens of UPMC Hillman Cancer Center and Dr. Xiang Zhang of Baylor College of Medicine will share a $250,000 grant, which was awarded Tuesday at the 2020 SU2C Scientific Summit in Santa Monica. The project will research the availability of immune checkpoint inhibitors for breast cancer patients.

Ziskin produced four of the “Spider-Man” films, co-founded Stand Up To Cancer and lived with breast cancer for seven years before it took her life in 2011. The prize was created with $1.1 million for this purpose in Ziskin’s will and has been awarded in 2012, 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2019.

GREAVES FUND

Firelight Media has announced the creation of the William Greaves Fund to support nonfiction filmmakers of color at the mid-career mark.

The new fund was unveiled at Firelight’s 20th Anniversary Celebration at the Sundance Film Festival this week and will be comprised of 7-10 grants up to $25,000 annually. Firelight will accept submissions from filmmakers based in the U.S., Mexico, Puerto Rico, Colombia, and Brazil.

The fund will further expand internationally in its second year including to filmmakers of color in Europe. Greaves produced the television newsmagazine “Black Journal” and more than 200 documentary films during his sixty-year career.