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Film News Roundup: Sony Veteran Jenny Marchick Joins DreamWorks Animation

In today’s film news roundup, DreamWorks Animation hires a Sony vet, indie comedy “Kombucha Cure” gets cast, “Siempre, Luis” gets sold and Women In Film names new board members.

ACQUISITION

HBO has acquired worldwide television and streaming rights to the documentary feature film “Siempre, Luis,” which had its world premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

First-time filmmaker John James’ film is a portrait of Luis A. Miranda Jr., a Puerto Rican migrant who helped shape New York politics for over three decades. He’s also the father of Lin-Manuel Miranda.

“My first film started as the story of a tireless migrant who built an extraordinary legacy,” said James. “Yet, as I followed Luis Miranda over a lengthy period of time, I couldn’t have imagined that he would see his native Puerto Rico face catastrophic crisis just as our mainland is thrown into bitter political upheaval. We’re excited to find a passionate partner in HBO to share this inspiring story.”

Producers are Katie Taber, John James and Carlos Garcia de Dios; the executive producer is Michael Stolper.  Endeavor Content financed the film and negotiated the deal. Deadline first reported the news.

Popular on Variety

EXECUTIVE SHUFFLE

Veteran Sony Pictures Animation executive Jenny Marchick has been named head of feature development for DreamWorks Animation.

Marchick, who was previously senior VP of creative for SPA, will spearhead the building of DreamWorks’ slate of animated films. DreamWorks is producing two to three films a year that are released by Universal. To keep that pace up, the company is looking to expand its pipeline.

Marchick will be finding and developing projects as well as identifying key talent for the studio. She will lead a team which will develop a wide range of films and supervise the creative direction and production of the studio’s active development slate.

“Jenny’s extensive experience in animation and enthusiasm for storytelling make her the perfect addition to the DreamWorks Animation team,” said Kristin Lowe, DreamWorks’ chief creative officer of features. “Her instincts and talents are extraordinary as well as her notable contacts with world-class talent in the animation community.”

While at SPA, Marchick helped oversee the creative direction and production of “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation.” She also worked as a development executive in the live-action sphere on “The Proposal” and “Date Night.” by 20th Century Fox.

DreamWorks’ upcoming movies includes “Trolls World Tour” and “The Croods 2” in 2020 along with “The Boss Baby 2,” “Spirit Riding Free” and “The Bad Guys” in 2021.

CASTINGS

Tamara Braun, Jennifer Bassey, Denise Boutte, Robert Craighead, Ali Zahiri, Lance Paul, Yorke G. Fryer, Angie Kim,  Jayson Bernard and Jasper Cole are starring in the comedy “Kombucha Cure.”

Cecilia Choi is directing in her feature directorial debut. Braun and Boutte play corporate enemy executives at a health insurance company sent to a small town to investigate what the company views as the unusual and expensive longevity of some of their clients with cancer.

Paul and Fryer of Ginger Knight Films are producing along with Bernard and Roberto Rosario, Jr. of J&R Productions. The film is executive produced by Jonathan Chia and Tarun Raj.

“Kombucha Cure” is currently shooting in Los Angeles through February.

BOARD MEMBERS

Women In Film, Los Angeles has named Nicole Brown, Helen Huang, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, and Margie Moreno to its board.

Brown is the head of TriStar Pictures, Sony’s specialty division that she helped restart with Tom Rothman in 2013. Huang is senior director of content acquisitions for Showtime. Boone Isaacs is a past president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Moreno is an International Executive for YouTube Originals.

Board President Amy Baer said, “Each of the new Board members brings her own unique expertise that is so valuable to our organization as we serve women in an industry that is evolving and broadening its reach. We are also incredibly grateful for the years of service that our outgoing Board members have generously given to the organization. Rowena Arguelles, Jane Fleming, Deborah Liebling, Ghen Laraya Long, Hannah Minghella, and Cathy Schulman have completed their terms, and their guidance of WIF’s advocacy work and programming has been invaluable.”

 

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