Gold House Announces ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ Gold Open — Film News in Brief

Shang Chi Poster

Asian and Pacific Islander non-profit collective Gold House announced the launch of a Gold Open for Marvel Studios’ “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” in partnership with GoFundMe.

Gold House’s Gold Open premieres, launched in partnership with CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment) are an initiative that aims to drive box office success for films led by Asians and Pacific Islanders. “Parasite” and “Crazy Rich Asians” are two films to have received Gold Opens in the past. “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” which premieres Sept. 3, will be the first theater-exclusive Gold Open since the start of the pandemic. 

This Gold Open utilizes GoFundMe to increase community engagement, via the “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” Gold Open Community Fund. The page acts as a central location for information about theater buyout campaigns and hosts a fundraiser to buy tickets for underserved Asian and Pacific Islander youth to see the film. Gold House has also already set up several sold out Gold Open screenings and is working with celebrities in Los Angeles and New York to continue spreading the word.

The initiative also works with the film’s cast (which includes Simu Liu, Tony Leung, Awkwafina, Michelle Yeoh, Fala Chen, Meng’er Zhang and Ronny Chieng), director Destin Daniel Cretton and soundtrack artists Niki and Audrey Nuna, who have provided a list of recommendations of Chinese restaurants. The restaurants highlighted are Bopomofo Cafe, Combo A, HaiDiLao, Hop Woo and Yang Chow Restaurant in Los Angeles, Dim Sum Go Go, Hop Kee and Shanghai 21 in New York and Chef Chu’s and Z & Y Restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, visit GoldOpen.

Apple TV Plus Releases ‘Come From Away’ Trailer

Apple TV Plus released a trailer for the film adaptation of the award-winning Broadway musical “Come From Away,” premiering Sept. 10 on the streamer.

“Come From Away” follows the lives of 7,000 people stranded in the small town of Canada’s Gander after all flights are grounded following the 9/11 attacks. The Newfoundland community opened up to the stranded passengers dubbed Come From Aways, as they all process what’s happened while finding love, laughter and new hope.

The cast includes Petrina Bromley, Jenn Colella, De’Lon Grant, Joel Hatch, Tony LePage, Caesar Samayoa, Q. Smith, Astrid Van Wieren, Emily Walton, Jim Walton, Sharon Wheatley and Paul Whitty.

The live performance of “Come From Away” was filmed at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre in New York City, where the Broadway production is staged, for an audience that included 9/11 survivors and frontline workers.

“Come From Away” is directed by Chrisopher Ashley and written by Irene Sankoff and David Hein. Producers are Jennifer Todd, Bill Condon, Nick Meyer and Mark Gordon with Laurel Thomson, Irene Sankoff, David Hein, Meredith Bennett, Jon Kamen and Dave Sirulnick serve as executive producers.

Gravitas Ventures Acquires North American Distribution Rights to ’40-Love’

Gravitas Ventures has acquired the North American distribution rights to Fred Wolf’s “40-Love,” premiering in theaters and on demand on Oct. 29.

The rom-com, which follows a 22-year-old statistics whiz as he travels cross-country to convince a tennis star he can help her defeat her most challenging rival, stars Jasjit Williams, Katerina Tannenbaum, Alena Savostikova, Tommy Flanagan, Patrick Warburton, Chris Kattan, Colin Quinn, Steve Schirripa, Kate Grimes, Logan Crawford, John Gilbert, Trevor Gretzky, Alok Tewari and Marjan Neshat.

“Fred has served up another winning comedy, with a hilarious ensemble of newcomers and veterans alike, that is sure to score with audiences,” said vice president of acquisitions Tony Piantedosi. “We look forward to the release in North America this October.”

Piantedosi negotiated the deal with UTA Independent Film Group on behalf of the filmmakers.

Mammoth Lakes Film Festival Announces 2021 Lineup

The Mammoth Lakes Film Festival announced the lineup for its seventh annual event, taking place in person from Sept. 22 to 26 at venues across the California mountain town.

The festival will open with the West Coast premiere of Rob Schroeder’s “Ultrasound,” starring Vincent Kartheiser, Chelsea Lopez, Breeda Wool and Tunde Adebimpe, and close with the West Coast premiere of Brandon Kramer’s “First Step,” which follows Van Jones as he draws controversy for working across party lines on a landmark criminal justice reform bill.

Other U.S. narrative features include “Man Under Table,” “Social” and “What Josiah Saw,” alongside international narrative features “A Trip to the Moon,” “History of the Occult,” “Hurrah, We Are Still Alive!” and “Isaac.” North American documentary features include “Larry Flynt for President,” “Ligo,” “I’m an Electric Lampshade” and “Fearless,” while international docs “Beautiful Idiots,” “El Father Plays Himself,” “Everyone Wants To Be the Next Weismann,” “The Renegades” and “A Castle with Red Walls” will also be showcased at the event. Jessica Beshir’s “Faya Dayi” joins “First Step” as one of the event’s spotlight presentations.

Asian Pacific Film Festival Announces Lineup Dates

The 37th edition of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) presented by Visual Communications will be taking place Sept. 23 through Oct. 2 at the Aratani Theatre.

Ann Kaneko’s “Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust,” will open the festival lineup, with early highlights premiering Iman Zawahry’s “Americanish,” Christopher Makoto’s “I Was a Simple Man” and Suzanne Kai’s “Like a Rolling Stone: The Life and Times of Ben Fong-Torres.” More premiere highlights include Dante Basco’s directorial debut “The Fabulous Filipino Brothers” and Sujata Day’s “Definition Please.”

Francis Cullado, executive director of visual communications spoke about the event. “Visual Communications looks forward to sharing the stories that intersect and converge movements such as ‘Manzanar Diverted.’ From emerging to established filmmakers, the festival continues to celebrate artists who are making an impact in our communities.”

Eseel Borlasa, programmer and festival operations director of visual communications added, “It is an honor to work in this landscape and witness the rise of storytellers from Asian and Pacific Islander communities.”

LAAPFF will announce its full lineup on Sept. 1. Ticketing for the general public will be available starting Sept. 13 at 12:00 p.m.

Amazon Original released a teaser for ‘Welcome to Blumhouse,’ on Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Original released a teaser trailer for “Welcome to Blumhouse,” an Amazon Prime Video series showcasing a slate of thrillers developed and produced with an eye toward original and diverse storytelling. Included in the slate is “Bingo Hell,” which follows neighborhood activist Lupita, who discovers that her local bingo hall has been overtaken by a mysterious businessman, followed by “Black As Night,” which follows a teenage girl who battles a group of deadly vampires — with both films being released exclusively on Prime Video Oct. 1. The next slate of films is “Madres,” which chronicles a young Mexican-American couple expecting their first child, and moving to a new town where they discover a strange and terrifying truth, followed by “The Manor,” which follows the residents of a sleepy nursing home who discover they are among a sinister presence — with both films being released on Oct. 8. Watch a trailer below.

Sony Pictures Classics to Release Julia Child Documentary “Julia” In Theaters November 5

Sony Pictures Classics announced that “Julia,” the new documentary about famous cookbook author and television personality Julia Child, will debut in theaters in New York and Los Angeles on Nov. 5. The film will expand to other cities throughout the month.

Directed by Julie Cohen and Betsy West, “Julia” collects never-before-seen archival footage and personal photos of Child while telling the story of her career path, specifically the journey to publishing “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” the book Child is best known for. The film will also focus on Child’s impact on the culinary landscape and television at large, as being a woman in her fifties was a major departure from the male chefs and younger women that audiences were more used to seeing on screen at the time. 

“Julia” is produced by Imagine Documentaries, CNN Films and Storyville Films. West, Cohen, Holly Siegel and Imagine Documentaries’ Justin Wilkes and Sara Bernstein serve as producers. Executive producers include Alex Prud’homme, Bob Spitz, Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Michael Rosenberg, CNN Films’ Amy Entelis and Courtney Sexton and Storyville Films’ Oren Jacoby. Child’s friends and family participated in the production, as did the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts. CNN Films has North American broadcast rights to the feature while Sony Pictures Classics holds all other rights worldwide.  

 Cohen and West are represented by Amanda Lebow at CAA.

Full Trailer For Pedro Almodovar’s ‘Parallel Mothers’ Arrives

Sony Pictures Classics has released a trailer for Pedro Almodovar’s “Parallel Mothers,” premiering in theaters on Dec. 24.

The film stars Penélope Cruz, Milena Smit, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, Israel Elejalde, Julieta Serrano and Rossy de Palma. Two women, Janis (Cruz) and Ana (Smit), are both single and became pregnant by accident — middle-aged Janet is excited, while adolescent Ana being traumatized. The two form a relationship as they walk along the hospital corridors and influence each other’s lives.

“Parallel Mothers” will open the 2021 Venice Film Festival and close the 2021 New York Film Festival.

Watch the trailer below.

Weta Digital Partners With SideFX

Weta Digital, an acclaimed visual effects studio, along with its new partner SideFX, a leader in 3D animation and visual effects, announced a new software service combining Weta’s proprietary tools with SideFX’s Houdini application.

The collaboration offers Weta Digital’s integrations and extensions of the Houdini workflow, including Weta’s Loki multi-physics solver and high-performance computer paradigm. Previous films include “Avengers: Endgame,” “Alita: Battle Angel” and “War for the Planet of the Apes.”

Along with the partnership is an immediate impact on Weta’s cloud service, a new business unit as part of a vision to unite industry-leading technology players.

Weta Digital CEO, Prem Akkaraju, spoke of the collaboration. “Partnering with SideFX was essential in realizing our vision for the cloud service. I cannot imagine doing this without them.”

Vice president of product development at SideFX, Cristin Barghiel also added, “This is such an exciting time for new generations of Houdini artists. Partnering with the visionary minds at Weta Digital will enable us to bring the efficiency and sophistication of Houdini’s procedural workflows to the broadest possible artist base.”

Asian American International Film Festival Announces Winners

The 44th Asian American Film Festival announced the winners of this year’s awards. A hybrid festival combining in-person events with online screenings, AAIFF44 took place Aug. 11 through Aug. 22.

Winners included: Directors KEFF for “Taipei Suicude Story,” Wei Deng for “Father,” Olivia Hang Zhou for “Apart, Together,” Elliot de Bruyn, Nathaniel Brown and Caili Quan for “Mahalang: A Love Letter to Guam,” Tatsuyuki Kozen and Kazuko Yonezawa for “Bookmark 14,” Giorgos Valsamis for “Last Ferry From Grass Land, Vibhav Nigam for “The Knot,” Jacqueline Chan for “Fishbowl,” Yu-Ting for “Mickey on the Road,” Shi Min Yong for “Hello From Taiwan,” Mei Makino for “Inbetween Girl” and Ava Ghahremanifar for “The Gull’s Shriek.”