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Filmmaker, Artist and Activist Titus Kaphar Signs with UTA

Filmmaker, artist and activist Titus Kaphar has joined United Talent Agency (UTA).  The agency has announced its representation of the internationally renowned artist following his streak of major accomplishments in 2020, including a critically acclaimed solo exhibition at the Gagosian New York and having his painting cover Time Magazine’s issue on George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement––his second feature by the publication.

UTA will work with the artist across a range of projects from television and film, to publishing and podcasts.

Kaphar’s signing comes as UTA has been investing in efforts to provide new platforms to some of the most dynamic artists working today, expanding their audiences and the possibilities for their creative work.

“Simply put, Titus Kaphar is a visionary and we are so excited to partner with him on this next chapter of his career. We look forward to getting his bold, important films out to a broad scope of people all over the world,” said Arthur Lewis, UTA Fine Arts Creative Director.

As an artist, his work examines the history of representation by transforming its styles and mediums with formal innovations to emphasize the physicality and dimensionality of the canvas and materials themselves. His artwork has been included in solo exhibitions at the Studio Museum in Harlem, MoMA PS1, and the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.

He was named a MacArthur “Genius” Fellow in 2018. Kaphar’s commitment to socially engaged art and racial justice led him to establish NXTHVN, a non-profit arts organization that empowers artists and curators of color through education and access.

Kaphar joins UTA ahead of the launch of his own production company, Revolution Ready. Forthcoming film projects, currently in post-production, translate his paintings to the screen in both feature and short film formats. Kaphar’s films are an extension of his studio practice, adapting existing bodies of painting and sculpture to the screen to provide more democratic access for audiences to experience his work.

Gagosian Gallery will continue to represent Kaphar in Fine Arts and Exhibitions.

 

STXfilms Re-Teams with Ric Roman Waugh for Sports Drama ‘National Champions’

STXfilms has acquired the rights to Thunder Road and Game1’s sports drama “National Champions.”

“Greenland” director Ric Roman Waugh will helm the film and Adam Mervis will pen the screenplay. Stephan James (“If Beale Street Could Talk”) and J. K. Simmons (“Whiplash”) are on board to star.

The film is produced by Basil Iwanyk and Brendon Boyea of Thunder Road (“John Wick”) and Greg Economou of Game1. Jonathan Fuhrman of Thunder Road, Matthew Helderman and Luke Taylor of Bondit Media Capital, Christian Mercuri of The Capstone Group, Michael Smith and Adam Mervis are on board as executive producers.

The film is set to shoot in New Orleans this May and is being fully financed by BondIt Media Capital and The Capstone Group. CAA Media Finance Group and Range Media Partners brokered the deal.

“Our experience with Ric on ‘Greenland’ was nothing short of extraordinary,” said Adam Fogelson, Chairman of the STXfilms Motion Picture Group. “When we had the opportunity to work with him and our friends at Thunder Road and Game1 on ‘National Champions,’ we jumped at the chance. This is a film that taps into important issues and does it with compelling, authentic and memorable characters. In the best tradition of sports dramas, they will leave audiences rooting for victory and perhaps considering the competitive nature of college sports and athletics in a different way.”

Waugh is represented by Range MP; James is represented by Norbert Abrams of Noble Caplan Abrams, Range MP and CAA; Simmons is represented by Gersh and Wolf Kasteler; Mervis is represented by Grandview and A3.

Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions Sets ‘The Black Phone’ for Jan 2022 Release

Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions has set a release date for “The Black Phone.” The Scott Derrickson helmed film will be released on Friday, January 28, 2022.

“The Black Phone” follows Finney Shaw, a shy but clever 13-year-old boy who is abducted by a sadistic killer and trapped in a soundproof basement where screaming is of little use. When a disconnected phone on the wall begins to ring, Finney discovers that he can hear the voices of the killer’s previous victims. And they are dead set on making sure that what happened to them doesn’t happen to Finney.

Ethan Hawke stars alongside Mason Thames who makes his feature film debut.

“The Black Phone” is produced, directed, and co-written by Derrickson, the writer-director of “Sinister,” “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” and Marvel’s “Doctor Strange.”

The film’s screenplay is by Derrickson & C. Robert Cargill (“Doctor Strange”) and based on the award-winning short story by Joe Hill from his New York Times bestseller 20th Century Ghosts.

The film is produced by Derrickson & Cargill’s Crooked Highway and presented by Universal and Blumhouse. Jason Blum, Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill are producers on the film, which is executive produced by Joe Hill, Christopher H. Warner and Ryan Turek.

 

DC FanDome Will be Back Oct. 16

DC has announced its hugely popular DC FanDome will be back later this year on Oct. 16.

DC announced the date today via its social media platforms and a YouTube video, with the promise of additional updates to come. The video also linked to a website landing page, with a promise of more to come.

Last year, the global experience was held online due to the pandemic and while no other details have been released fans may get an insight into the upcoming DC movies, “Black Adam” (July 29, 2022), “The Flash” (November 4, 2022), “Aquaman 2” (December 16, 2022) and “Shazam! Fury of the Gods,” all slated for 2022 releases.

Fans got to hear from cast and creators of the DC universe via a 24-hour live stream that included more information on “Justice League: The Snyder Cut” and “Wonder Woman: 1984.”

Watch the announcement below:

 

 

Cinedigm Acquires North American Rights To New Music Documentary ‘The Tale Of The Dog’

Cinedigm Corp has acquired all US and Canadian rights to “The Tale of the Dog,” a new music documentary.

The documentary examines Denver’s history in rock music as the club and music venue that is Family Dog became a cultural hub in the 1960s. Stories from poster artists, staff, patrons, and the music icons such as Canned Heat, Lothar and the Hand People and Otis Taylor weave together to describe how Family Dog rose to fame. This 100-minute documentary film charts the struggles and triumphs of a pioneering hippie rock club trying to establish a foothold in Denver and will be available June 8 on Digital.

Written by Dan Obarski and University of Denver art history professor Scott Montgomery, the pair examines not only the music of the era but the pressure cooker of society that provoked the decade’s transformative style.

“This story has never been told before and is the epitome of oral history,” says Obarski. “With no real photos or videos, it could easily become another artifact lost to time.” Montgomery adds, “By piecing this story back together, through interviews and artwork, we’re able to resurrect the Family Dog through those who lived it. The anecdotes and memories provided by the musicians and staff give us an intimate glimpse into a unique piece of rock history that’s being unveiled for the first time.”

Obarski and Montgomery both took on additional roles as Director and Producer.

Lightbeam, A New Storytelling Platform Launches to Spread Inspiring and Positive Storytelling

Stephanie Sharis launched her brand-new storytelling platform Lightbeam earlier this week, which features inspirational short films that focus on compassionate acts of kindness and selfless people. By partnering with film festivals, production companies and nonprofits, Lightbeam grants rising filmmakers the opportunity to earn money through licensing fees and commissioned work. The organization recently hosted its first inspiring short-form documentary competition, which resulted in more than 100 premium-quality sharable video entries from around the world. Filmmakers with short-form docu-portraits, also known as a “Lightbeamer,” can contact Lightbeam at submissions@lightbeam.tv or submit a story on their website.

“We are all being consumed by negative images and news stories and there is a point where it takes a toll on our well-being,” said Sharis, co-founder of Lightbeam. “I felt compelled to instead shine on a light on the doers, the helpers, and the changemakers. As a mom to a toddler, I wanted to put more positivity out into the world so that we can start to shift the narrative and spark happiness and compassion, not anxiety and despair. The good stories are there—we just have to spotlight them.”

Lightbeam co-founders Sharis, Parker Williams and Andrew Mer were inspired to give uplifting storytelling a modern makeover and use artfully crafted stories celebrating unsung heroes as a way for everyone to reboot their faith in humanity.

Ben Winchell, Will Brittain and Aimee Teegarden Begin Filming on ‘The Road to Galena’

Principal photography has begun on  “The Road to Galena.” The film will star Ben Winchell (“Max Steel”), Will Brittain (“Kong: Skull Island”), and Aimee Teegarden (“Friday Night Lights”) with Alisa Allapach (“Light as a Feather”) co-starring along with, Jay O. Sanders (“J.F.K”), Kathryn Erbe (“Law & Order: Criminal Intent”),  Jennifer Holliday (“Dreamgirls, the Broadway musical”) and Jill Hennessy Showtime’s “City on a Hill.”

The film follows one man’s pursuit of personal fulfillment over traditional success. Filming takes place primarily on the Eastern shore of Maryland in Galena, and Chestertown as well as Washington D.C.

Joe Hall directs the film and has penned the screenplay.  The film is produced by Eric Bannat, co-Produced by Woody Andrews with Marty Eli Schwartz serving as Consulting Producer.

Polyamorous Drama ‘Lust Life Love’ Sets Digital Release for September 14th

Stephanie Sellars’s debut feature film “Lust Life Love,” based on her own personal experience with Polyamorous relationships, will be available to purchase or rent on September 14 from1091 Pictures. In addition to starring in the lead role of Veronica, Sellars served equally as co-director, writer and producer.

“Lust Life Love” was awarded Most Watched Film at the New Renaissance Film Festival. Before its release, the film will make the festival circuit including the Harlem International Film Festival (May 6-9, 2021 in NYC), Queens World Film Festival (June 23-July 3, 2021 in NYC) and FilmOut San Diego LGBT Film Festival. (Sept. 9-12 San Diego, CA)

Focusing on emotional connectivity as well as pleasures of the flesh, the film’s plot centers on the lifestyle clash between bisexual, sex blogger Veronica (Sellars), unhappily married (monogamous) realtor, Daniel (“American Housewife”) and their free-spirited lover Maya (“Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens”). The film also features Tony-Award-winning actor Bill Irwin as Veronica’s dad and comedian Robert Kelly in a cameo role.

Feuer says, “From script to screen, our vision was to craft a narrative of real moments through the talent and diversity of our cast, the raw energy of actual sex party locations, and background performers from the sex positive community. Throughout the process, Stephanie often revisited her experience to ensure that every moment was rooted in truth.” Sellars adds, “My goal was to make a movie that authentically presents polyamory and the highs and lows of a sexually adventurous lifestyle. Not only because I find this subject fascinating, but because I have never seen it portrayed in a narrative film in a way that’s specific, accurate and honest.”