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Thurs. April 1

‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ Actor J.B. Smoove Named as Art Directors Guild Awards Host

Comedian and actor J.B. Smoove has been named as host of the 25th Annual Art Directors Guild Awards (ADG, IATSE Local 800).

Smoove who is best known for his role as Leon on HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” will host the virtual ceremony on April 10.

“We are thrilled to welcome JB Smoove with his amazing comic sensibility to host the 25th Art Directors Guild Excellence in Production Design Awards. His wide range of talent and remarkable career in film, television and live performance will no doubt add the perfect spark to energize what is burgeoning into an amazing awards anniversary night,” said Nelson Coates, President of the Art Directors Guild.

Oscar-nominated actress Carey Mulligan, Tyra Banks, Aasif Mandvi (“Evil”), Brian Tee (“Chicago Med”) and Emerald Fennell have all been named as presenters.

Oscar contenders “Mank,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and “Mulan” landed nominations in the Period Feature Film category.

Other nominees include “Birds of Prey,” “Pinocchio” and “Wonder Woman 1984” earned recognition in Fantasy Feature Film.

Producer Ryan Murphy will be recognized for his contribution to the craft of production design. Murphy will receive the Cinematic Imagery Award, presented by actor Matt Bomer, star of Murphy’s “American Horror Story,” “Glee,” “American Crime Story,” “The Normal Heart” and, most recently, “The Boys in the Band.”

Match Factory Secures World Sales Rights to Lorenzo Vigas’ Drama ‘The Box’

Match Factory has secured the world sales rights to “The Box.”

Directed by Lorenzo Vigas, the drama centers around Hatzin, a teen from Mexico City, who travels to collect the remains of his father, which have been found in a communal grave in the northern part of Mexico.

The film stars newcomer Hatzin Navarrete and Hernan Mendoza. Vigas worked with Argentinian filmmaker Paula Markovitch on co-writing the script.

Vigas also produces alongside Franco and Jorge Hernandez Aldana. Executive producers are John Penotti, Kilian Kerwin, Michael Hogan and Charles Barthe.

Franco’s Mexican production company Teorema produced the film. North American sales will be handled jointly by The Match Factory with ICM Partners.

Kino Lorber Acquires North American Rights to Beth B’s ‘LYDIA LUNCH The War is Never Over’

Kino Lorber has acquired the North American rights for “LYDIA LUNCH The War is Never Over.”

The documentary feature, directed, produced, and edited by prolific artist and filmmaker Beth B and co-produced by Kathleen Fox, will be theatrically released in Summer 2021.

“LYDIA LUNCH The War is Never Over” centers around Lydia Lunch, the musician and performer. Lunch hit the late 1970s New York City downtown scene with the band Teenage Jesus And The Jerks, a central pillar of the No Wave music movement. Since then, she has forged paths in the underground film scene as a director, actor, lecturer and women’s empowerment coach, feminist writer and spoken word performer. The film presents her electric body of work with archival footage, vintage photographs and interviews with Lunch and longtime collaborators. Still actively performing to expose the patriarchy, sexual abuse, cycle of violence, and corporate greed, Lunch continues to tirelessly bring her passionate artistry to the stage – and now to the screen.

Lidell said, “Beth B’s in-your-face documentary about barrier-breaking, envelope-pushing multi-media artist Lydia Lunch embodies female empowerment. Though Beth and Lydia burst onto the New York punk scene in the 1970s, their ethos is as iconoclastic now as it was then, making this a film both young and old can embrace.”

Beth B said, “We came to New York as these lost misfits full of rage and alienation — and somehow saw in each other a way to communicate, not so much through words, but through creativity. A beloved collaborator, Lydia Lunch is a complex character – a controversial, willful, and dramatic outsider artist and we are proud to be working with Kino Lorber to release this film.”

“LYDIA LUNCH The War is Never Over” was negotiated by Kino Lorber SVP Wendy Lidell and Submarine Entertainment’s Ben Schwartz representing director Beth B.

Joe Alwyn and Dean-Charles Chapman Join the Cast of ‘Catherine Called Birdy.’

Joe Alwyn (“Boy Erased) and Dean-Charles Chapman (“1917”) have joined the cast of Lena Dunham’s feature adaptation of “Catherine, Called Birdy” for Working Title and Amazon.

Alwyn and Chapman will star in the medieval coming-of-age comedy opposite “Fleabag’s” Andrew Scott and “Game of Thrones” breakout Bella Ramsey. Actress and singer Billie Piper is confirmed to star in the film.

Written and directed by Dunham, “Catherine, Called Birdy” is in the early stages of production.  Dunham has been eying the project for a while and has been a longtime passion of hers. She first announced plans to adapt the award-winning 1994 children’s novel by Karen Cushman into a film in 2014. The coming of age story, set in 13th century England, follows a 14-year-old girl named Catherine (Ramsey) who “bucks against convention,” namely the arranged marriages her father (Scott) has planned out for her. Piper will play Catherine’s mother.

Wed. March 31

Jodie Foster, Riz Ahmed and Catherine O’Hara Named as ACE EDDIE Presenters

The ACE EDDIES have named presenters for the 71st Annual Awards show.

Jodie Foster, Seth Meyers, Charles Dance (“Mank”), Catherine O’Hara (“Schitt’s Creek”),  Jon Huertas (“This Is Us”),  Brendan Hunt, Brett Goldstein (“Ted Lasso”) and Leslie Odom Jr. (“One Night in Miami”) will be among those handing out awards in a virtual ceremony on April 17

Also presenting will be “Minari” actors Noel Cho and Alan S. Kim, Riz Ahmed and actor Jeremy Lee Stone (“Sound of Metal”) and  Carey Mulligan and Emerald Fennell.

As previously announced, the ensemble cast of NBC’s “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” including Jane Levy, Mary Steenburgen, Skylar Astin, Alex Newell and John Clarence Stewart will be hosting for the night.

“Da 5 Bloods” director Spike Lee will receive the ACE Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year award.

 

 

Mon. March 29

Lionsgate has dated Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson’s “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” for June 16.

Salma Hayek co-stars in the sequel to the 2017 “The Hitman’s Bodyguard,” which grossed $176 million worldwide. The comedy action film sees the return of bodyguard Michael Bryce, played by Reynolds and hitman Darius Kincaid, played by Jackson, for another life-threatening mission, this time joined by Darius’ unpredictable wife, Sonia, played by Hayek. Antonio Banderas and Morgan Freeman also co-star.

Patrick Hughes directs the Millennium Media production from a screenplay by Tom O’Connor and Phillip Murphy and Brandon Murphy with a story by O’Connor.

Shudder and RLJE Films Acquire North American Rights to the Fantasy-Horror ‘The Spine of Night’

RLJE Films, a business unit of AMC Networks, and Shudder, AMC Networks’ premium streaming service for horror, thriller and the supernatural, have acquired the North American rights to the fantasy-horror film “The Spine of Night” after its successful world premiere at this year’s SXSW Film Festival.

Produced with hand-rotoscoped animation, “The Spine of Night” is inspired by the classic works of artists like Ralph Bakshi and Frank Franzetta. RLJE Films plans to release “The Spine of Night” in theaters later this year.

Shudder, which also has UK, Australia and New Zealand rights, will premiere the film on its platform in 2022.

“’The Spine of Night’ is like the insane love child of Heavy Metal and Mandy,” said Mark Ward, Chief Acquisitions Officer at RLJE Films. “The audience response out of SXSW proves this is an instant classic that will be playing on midnight movie screens for years to come.”

“”The Spine of Night’  absolutely shreds,” said Craig Engler, GM of Shudder. “It’s a fantasy horror epic that rides lightning directly into the hearts of genre and cult film fans.”

Written and directed by Philip Gelatt (“They Remain”), Morgan Galen King (directorial debut), the film stars Richard E. Grant (Star Wars: Episode IX, upcoming Marvel series “Loki”), Lucy Lawless (“Xena: Warrior Princess”, “Ash vs Evil Dead”), Patton Oswalt (“Ratatouille,” “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”), Betty Gabriel (“Get Out,” “Westworld”) and Joe Manganiello (“Zack Snyder’s Justice League,” “Archenemy”).

The film is about ancient dark magic that falls into sinister hands and unleashes ages of suffering onto mankind. A group of heroes from different eras and cultures must band together in order to defeat it at all costs.

Viola Davis and Women in Film Celebrate Female Oscar Nominees

Women in Film celebrated this year’s female Oscar nominees with over 50 attendees present.

The event was co-hosted by Oscar, Emmy, and Tony winner Viola Davis, who is nominated this year as Leading Actress in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” and Oscar-winning producer and WIF Board President Emerita Cathy Schulman — who celebrated the annual WIF event virtually with a toast of Jane Walker by Johnnie Walker.

Among the honored guests who zoomed in from seven U.S. states and 11 countries across five continents were: Mollye Asher, Maria Bakalova, Ceán Chaffin, Glenn Close, Andra Day, Emerald Fennell, H.E.R, Vanessa Kirby, Christina Oh, Laura Pausini and Diane Warren.

Latino Film Institute Announces Inaugural Latino Film Institute Scholar

The Latino Film Institute (LFI) has named Dr. Ana-Christina Ramón, director of research and civic engagement of the Division of Social Sciences at UCLA as the inaugural Latino Film Institute Scholar. The award will be used over a two-year period for research designated by Dr. Ramón, including the Hollywood Diversity Report and a dedicated study on Latino representation in Hollywood and the Latino audience.

“The Latino Film Institute does tremendous work in the community and in Hollywood to launch the careers of Latinx content creators and artists. So, I am honored to be the inaugural Latino Film Institute Scholar,” said Dr. Ramón. “This generous award helps fund the research that UCLA Dean Darnell Hunt and I have been doing for several years on racial/ethnic and gender representation and their relationship to the bottom line in film and television. Most importantly, it will provide funding to conduct a study focused on Latinx representation and the Latinx audience informed by my expertise in Latinx and other race/ethnic and gender research.”