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In today’s film news roundup, Olivia Wilde’s “Perfect” gets sold, Music Box StreamLocal launches and the American Black Film Festival, Fantaspoa, Greenwich and TCM Classic festivals are all making adjustments to the coronavirus pandemic.

ACQUISITION

Searchlight Pictures has closed a deal for global rights for $15 million to the gymnastics movie “Perfect,” with Olivia Wilde attached to direct.

The project tells the story of American gymnast Kerri Strug and is based upon her memoir, written with John P. Lopez, “Landing On My Feet, A Diary of Dreams.” The film will follow her career-defining performance at the 1996 Olympics, when the 18-year-old Strug executed her routine on a severely injured ankle to help the gymnastics team to its first gold medal.

Wilde, who directed “Booksmart,” made the presentation at the Berlin Film Festival last month, triggering the bidding war. The script is by Ronnie Sandahl. Nik Bower is producing for Riverstone Pictures and Thomas Benski for Pulse Films, together with Jeremy Baxter and Moss Barclay. Wilde will executive produce with Deepak Nayer, Marisa Clifford and Sandahl.

The deal is brokered domestically by CAA Media Finance while FilmNation handled international markets. Deadline Hollywood first reported the news.

STREAMER LAUNCHING

U.S. distribution company Music Box Films has created Music Box StreamLocal, a new initiative for streaming current releases at home via a ticket purchase through art house theaters around the country. The initiative will also include livestream discussions between filmmakers and art house patrons.

The company said StreamLocal is a way for art house cinemas to stay connected with their loyal patrons, and connect film lovers to the wider international filmmaking community. “This initiative will also provide a much-needed source of revenue for struggling theater operators whose business has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” it added.
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Music Box StreamLocal will launch on March 27 with streaming access for the patrons of participating theaters to the coming-of-age drama “And Then We Danced.” On April 2, patrons can join director Levan Akin on Instagram Live from Stockholm, Sweden for a Q&A.

Theaters participating in the launch of Music Box StreamLocal include the Belcourt Theatre in Nashville; The Little Theatre in Rochester, NY; a/perture cinema in Winston-Salem, N.C.; and Museum of Fine Arts in  Houston.

FILM FESTIVALS

ABFF Ventures has postponed the 2020 American Black Film Festival. The 24th annual event scheduled to take place June 17-21 in Miami Beach has been rescheduled for Oct. 21-25.

“ABFF is a destination event that attracts participants from around the world, which is why we made the difficult but necessary decision to postpone the 24th American Black Film Festival,” said ABFF Ventures CEO Jeff Friday. “While we remain committed to providing a program for storytellers who rely on ABFF to showcase their work, at this time, our main priority is the health of our staff, attendees, and corporate partners.”

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The genre-based Fantaspoa Film Festival in Porto Alegre, Brazil, will postpone its upcoming 16th edition due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Initially scheduled for this coming May, the festival directors forecast that this year’s edition will now take place between the months of October and December if deemed responsible and safe at that time.

Fantaspoa will launch the “Fantaspoa at Home” initiative on April 1. It consists of an original digital platform that will make available — completely free of charge and accessible worldwide — select feature films from the festival’s previous 15 editions.

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The Greenwich International Film Festival will pivot from the annual film festival, slated to begin at the end of April, to a virtual film festival experience running online from May 1-3.

“Out of concern for public safety and the well-being of our community of supporters, filmmakers, staff and health care professionals, we have moved the Greenwich International Film Festival to an online experience. We remain committed to providing an effective platform for filmmakers to showcase their films, as well as to supporting them with cash awards. Our team has worked incredibly hard to launch the inaugural virtual festival and we can’t wait to share it with audience members, both near and far,” said Ginger Stickel, executive director.

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Turner Classic Movies is presenting the TCM Classic Film Festival: Special Home Edition as a replacement for the recently cancelled festival.

Airing April 16-19, the remote edition of the festival will feature 24 hours a day of festival films, TCM Hosts, special guests, and additional events on-air and online yet to be announced. The programming will include 1954’s “A Star Is Born,” the opening night film from the first TCM Classic Film Festival in 2010.

Programming on April 17 will include “The Seventh Seal,” whichplayed at the 2013 festival with Max Von Sydow in attendance, and “Sounder,” which played with star Cicely Tyson in attendance at the 2018 festival after she had her handprints and footprints enshrined at the TCL Chinese Theatre

On April 18, Peter Bogdanovich will  discuss “The Magnificent Ambersons” and on April 19, “Singing in the Rain” and “Victor/Victoria” will be screened.

 

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