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Charlize Theron, Margot Robbie and Priyanka Chopra Jonas Set to Receive Inaugural RAD Impact Award — Film News in Brief

Charlize Theron Rock Hall of Fame
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Charlize Theron, Margot Robbie, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Receive Inaugural RAD Impact Award

RAD, a female-founded social enterprise founded by costume designer and stylist Arianne Phillips and luxury fashion consultant Carineh Martin have announced the recipients of the inaugural RAD Impact Awards; Charlize Theron, Travis Scott, Margot Robbie, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Laverne Cox.

The RAD Impact Awards will honor cultural icons who inspire purpose. Each of the RAD Impact Awardees will pick a charity to share their award with and that charity will receive an impact donation to fund a project benefiting others. The RAD Impact Awards will launch virtually on April 22nd and run through April 29th.

“After a year plus of unimaginable devastation, we were inspired to launch the RAD Impact Awards to honor and amplify positivity and purpose,” said Phillips and  Martin. “We could not be more excited about our inaugural awardees, who are inspirations to us and so many people around the world for their authentic support of the causes they believe in. Empowering their advocacy and helping them create impact for their charities, while also inviting the public to get involved, is what RAD is all about.”

RAD has partnered with Luxury Stores at Amazon, a new shopping experience for both well-established and emerging luxury fashion and beauty brands, to underwrite the impact donations for the five charities chosen by the RAD Impact Awardees.

“Rarely do [awards] come with such an amazing, positive impact like this one does. This is the most meaningful award I’ve ever been given and I’m really happy that it’s going to change the lives of other people,” said Robbie.

Watch the reel below.

ICG Publicists Raise Over $60,000 For The Local 600 Hardship Fund

With the pandemic and events going virtual, the Publicists of the International Cinematographers Guild (ICG, IATSE Local 600) celebrated their 57 year history with a highlight reel spotlighting “Who We Are and What We Do,” and a fundraiser supporting the Local 600 Hardship Fund.

In lieu of the traditional awards luncheon this year, the fundraiser raised over $60,000 between donations received from publicists, studios and awards sponsors.

 

The Fund assists fellow industry publicists and guild members who have suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic and need support. The announcement was made by ICG Publicist Awards Chairs Tim Menke and Sheryl Main. The retrospective reel can be seen here.

Said Menke and Main in a joint statement: “Although we are not gathered together today at the Beverly Hilton for our Annual ICG Publicists Awards Luncheon, we have two reasons to celebrate. First, our efforts in raising money for Local 600’s Hardship Fund were successful and incredibly impactful, raising over $60,000 thus far. We are grateful for each and every donation made and are so very heartened that these contributions will go directly to our members who need it most. Secondly, we’ve had quite a storied history of Publicists Awards luncheons going back 57 years and are proud to celebrate ‘Who We Are and What We Do.’ We look forward to gathering in person next year, on February 25, 2022 to once again carry on our annual, festive publicist tradition.”

The Hardship Fund provides grants of up to $1,000 to Local 600 members in need, based on lost work because of the industry’s coronavirus pandemic shutdown and financial difficulty. The Fund is administered through The Actors Fund.

Watch the reel below:

Publicists Awards 2021 – 57 Years of Celebrating Us! from ICG Local 600 on Vimeo.

New Sports Entertainment Category Added to Hollywood Walk of Fame

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has added a Sports Entertainment category to the Hollywood Walk of Fame and is currently accepting nominations.

The deadline for submission is on Friday, May 28. at 12 pm PT.  All nominations will be considered in the annual Walk of Fame Committee meeting to be held in June. The Walk of Fame Committee will make selections for the year 2022. The Chamber will accept applications via its website on http://www.walkoffame.com.

“Anyone can nominate their favorite celebrity, including fans,” said Ana Martinez, Producer of the Walk of Fame ceremonies. “Each year, we receive an average of 200 nominations. The Walk of Fame Committee will select an elite group of personalities to become our newest Walk of Famers and continue to help make Hollywood the most famous landmark in the world!” added Martinez.

With sports accounting for a major segment of the overall entertainment industry landscape and it continues to grow annually. As in traditional entertainment fields, such as film and television, sports entertainers also perform in front of a global audience.

“We are absolutely thrilled to announce the addition of the Sports Entertainment category on the historic Hollywood Walk of Fame. For decades, this iconic landmark has celebrated the magic of Hollywood by honoring people who have made their mark in Motion Pictures, Television, Radio, Recording and Live Theater/Live Performance” said Rana Ghadban, President and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. “The evolution of the sports entertainment market, which now accounts for a major segment of the overall entertainment industry landscape, makes it a perfect fit for recognition on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. We feel that Sports Entertainers deserve the spotlight on the sidewalk and we’re certain that this decision will be very well received by their fans.”

The new category will allow the opportunity to honor Sports entertainers in their primary field and honor individuals, not teams or sports-affiliated groups, but rather recognize those who have made significant contributions to the world of entertainment.

The Selection Panel will be looking for nominations from individuals who demonstrate the longevity of excellence within their field of Sports Entertainment as well as broad recognition from any of the following categories: film, television, radio, live theatre/performance, or recording.

Nomination applications can be obtained at www.walkoffame.com

Tony Award winner Alice Ripley to star in ‘The Pink Unicorn’ Based on Elise Forier Edie Play

Tony Award winner Alice Ripley (“Next to Normal”) will star in “The Pink Unicorn,” a new film based on the play by Elise Forier Edie and directed by Amy E. Jones, it was announced today by Just One More Productions.

Alice Ripley originally starred in The Pink Unicorn for Out of the Box Theatrics in its critically acclaimed Off-Broadway debut production in 2019 at the Episcopal Actors’ Guild. Ripley again starred in a developmental production of the play at the cell in August 2019, and in the production staged by Holmdel Theatre Company in January 2020.

Trisha Lee (Ripley) is a Christian widow living in a conservative Texas town. Her life is suddenly upended when her 14-year-old daughter Jolene announces she is “genderqueer” and starting a chapter of the Gay and Straight Alliance at the local high school. Trisha recounts her story about facing a crisis she never saw coming, at a time when transgender people and gender issues weren’t even on her radar.

Edie’s work, originally produced in 2013 by DogTown Theatre in Washington, DC, is a work of fiction, based on real events happening every day around the country, impacting and endangering transgender youth. The Pink Unicorn aims to bring families closer together – especially those who are unsure of how to speak with their children about gender identity, the LGBTQIA+ community and basic human rights.

The project, which will be filmed on a SAG contract, is currently in pre-production, with filming starting May 10. Release date and distribution will be announced at a later date.

ReelAbilities Film Festival Announces Special Guests and Live Events

The New York ReelAbilities Film Festival has announced a selection of exclusive events and speakers to accompany its 13th annual ReelAbilities Film Festival programming.

Highlights include the pilot reading of “Disgraced” with Julie Klausner (“Difficult People”), Shannon DeVido (“Best Summer Ever”)  and Alex Scordelis (“Difficult People”)

The festival’s closing night will also feature the subject of the film “Not Going Quietly,” activist Ady Barkan, along with the filmmakers. Highlighted panels at the festival include: Black Future Month: Legacy, Present & Afro-Futurism on the realities that keep us from the American “dream.” The panel will include Black-disabled filmmakers: Keith Jones, JD Michaels, Tameka Citchen-Spruce, Safiya Eshe Gyasi, Diana Elizabeth Jordan and Trelanda R. Lowe.

The 13th annual ReelAbilities Film Festival runs from April 29 through May 5. Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased at reelabilities.org/newyork/.

Cleopatra Entertainment Acquires Distribution Rights to ‘Escape from Area 51’

Cleopatra Entertainment has acquired the North American, U.K., New Zealand, Australian, and South African distribution rights to Eric Mittleman’s “Escape from Area 51.”

The science-fiction/comedy stars Donna D’Errico (“Baywatch), Chris Browning (“Sons of Anarchy”) and Frankie Sixx (daughter of Mötley Crüe founder and bassist Nikki Sixx), and will be released domestically on VOD Platforms this summer, and also as a Home Entertainment DVD and Blu-Ray package.

Robert Rhine of Girls and Corpses produced and financed the film in association with Sterling Entertainment and TomCat Films.

The story follows a group of teenage conspiracy theorists try to raid the infamous military base, Area 51, in the Nevada desert. No one gets in – but someone gets out. Sheera (D’Errico), a sexy alien warrior, uses a power glitch to escape from captivity at Area 51. Her escape using a portal gun sets off an energy signature that attracts the attention of her arch-rival in space Sklarr (Browning). Sheera must now elude an Area 51 scientist, as well as Sklarr, to rescue her fellow warrior and find her way back to her planet.

The rights deal was brokered by Founder/CEO Brian Perera, VP/GM Tim Yasui of Cleopatra Entertainment and by Ted Chalmers of TomCat Films on behalf of the filmmakers.

‘Playing with Sharks,’ ‘Everything in the End’ Top Winners at Sun Valley Film Festival

“Playing with Sharks” and “Everything in the End” were both given the Audience Award that ended in a tie at the Sun Valley Film Festival.

The Sun Valley Film Festival, which took place April 14-18, also named “See You Then” and “Searchers” for Best Narrative and Documentary Feature Film.

The One in a Million Awards that honor feature-length stories made for under one million dollars went to “Marvelous & The Black Hole” for narrative feature and “Kid Candidate” was recognized in Documentary feature film.

Gal Gadot and Shaka King were among those presenting awards for the Idaho festival.

New York University Reveals 2021 Purple List

New York University’s annual picks of best production-ready screenplays from its Tisch School of the Arts graduate film students and recent alumni has been released.

Inspired by Franklin Leonard’s Black List, the NYU Purple List has chosen 44 scripts from 46 screenwriters. 28 projects from women, 27 are from Black/Asian or minority ethnic filmmakers, and 7 LGBTQ+. Thirteen of the projects have had theatrical releases. Oscar-nominated filmmakers Chloe Zhao and Shaka King have previously made the Purple List.

The five screenplays are Adrian Cardenas’ “El Cuento de la Ballena” (“The Story of the Whale”), Raha Amirfazli’s “In the Land of Brothers,” Sontenish Myers’ “Stampede,” Farida Zahran’s “The Leftover Ladies” and Juan Pablo Daranas Molina’s “Zoe.”

RespectAbility Expands Network of Consultants and Showcases New Website

RespectAbility, the nonprofit focused on fighting stigmas of people with disabilities in media, has announced the launch of its  Entertainment Media Consulting Team website.

In an effort to progress representation of people with disabilities in film and television, RespectAbility has fostered a continually growing relationship with Hollywood studios and agencies including Netflix, Sony Pictures Entertainment, CAA and WarnerMedia.

RespectAbility consulted on over dozen projects in 2019. In 2020, they consulted on more than 70 films, television episodes and related projects in the industry.

Lauren Appelbaum, VP of Communications at RespectAbility, head of the Entertainment and News Media outreach team said, “As RespectAbility’s network has grown, so has our workload, leading to our ever-expanding consulting team,” she said. “Our goal is to use our vast team of experts representing a variety of lived experiences with disabilities to help ensure the most authentic representation. However, as we continue to work with the industry, we are not only providing quality consultants, but also providing connections to writers, directors, actors, and crew with disabilities for companies to hire. While hiring consultants is great, nothing can replace having disabled writers in the writers’ room and people with disabilities involved throughout the production process.”