Friday, Jan. 22

Palm Springs Film Festival will Honor Gary Oldman with Chairman Award

The Palm Springs International Film Awards has announced that Gary Oldman will be the recipient of the Chairman’s Award for his performance in “Mank.”

“Gary Oldman gives another mesmerizing performance as Herman J. Mankiewicz in David Fincher’s “Mank.” Oldman plays the role to perfection as the films follow the screenwriter’s journey while is co-writing the script for Citizen Kane,” said Harold Matzner. “We are delighted to recognize one of this generation’s greatest actors, Gary Oldman with this year’s Chairman’s Award.”

Oldman, who has starred in “The Darkest Hour” and won an Oscar for his portrayal of Winston Churchill, was previously honored at the festival with the Desert Palm Achievement Award in 2018 and International Star Award in 2012.

In “Mank,” (streaming on Netflix) 1930s Hollywood is reevaluated through the eyes of scathing wit and alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he races to finish the script for what would become Citizen Kane. David Fincher directed and the film also stars Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins, Arliss Howard and Charles Dance.

Past recipients of the Chairman’s Award include last year’s Academy Award winner for Best Actor, Joaquin Phoenix, along with Amy Adams, Jessica Chastain, George Clooney, Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman, Regina King, and Reese Witherspoon.

“Promising Young Woman” actress Carey Mulligan will be lauded with the International Star Award.

The Festival and Film Awards Gala will not take place as an in-person event this year, but honoree selections will be announced to recognize this year’s great performances and Entertainment Tonight will air a tribute to the honorees scheduled on Feb. 11 and Feb.

R. Ellis Frazier’s ‘Day Labor’ Safely Wraps Production

Action director R. Ellis Frazier safely wraps production on the new socially relevant action-thriller feature film, “Day Labor”

The film centers around a Latino American veteran who seeks work as a day laborer in order to keep his family afloat. A regular day turns into a deadly game of survival when he is mistakenly dropped off at a private ranch in El Paso, Texas to be hunted for sport.

The ensemble cast stars genre veterans Danny Arroyo (“Black Blood,”), Roberto Sanchez(“2 Fast 2 Furious,”) and David Fernandez, Jr.(“ Justified”). Kevin Gage (“G.I. Jane”), Corin Nemec (“Stargate SG-1,”) and Louis Mandylor (“Debt Collectors”) also star.

The film is produced by David Wachs and Ojan Missaghi, under their new production banner Toric Films, with Frazier co-producing through his Badhouse Studios. Also on board are Solmaz Niki-Kermani as executive producer and screenwriter Sean Crayne, who penned the original script.

The film is planning for a theatrical release and was shot entirely on location in Baja, Mexico, during the global pandemic and under appropriate COVID-19 safety protocols.

Greenwich Entertainment Acquires Chase Ogden’s ‘Super Frenchie‘

Greenwich Entertainment has acquired the North American distribution rights to Chase Ogden’s directorial debut “Super Frenchie.”

The film first premiered at The Santa Barbara International Film Festival and was produced by the filmmaking team behind the award-winning adventure documentaries :K2: Siren of the Himalayas” and “Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey. “

“Super Frenchie” provides an intimate look at the life of a professional big mountain skier and BASE jumper Matthias “Super Frenchie” Giraud, who stops at nothing in his pursuit of adventure. The film follows Matthias as he dares ever more dangerous stunts while simultaneously falling in love and starting a family. The story takes a terrifying turn when Matthias suffers a catastrophic crash just days before the birth of his first child.

“It’s been an honor documenting Matthias’ career and personal journey and I can’t wait to share his exceptional story with audiences across the country,” said Chase Ogden.

“An 11-year journey is finally coming to fruition and I am excited to share it with a broad audience,” added Matthias Giraud. “More than a story about skiing and base jumping, Chase unraveled a tumultuous quest for the essence of life.”

Greenwich will look to release “Super Frenchie” theatrically and via virtual cinema, and digital platforms on March 26.


Thurs. Jan.21

Searchlight Pictures Announces 2021 Release Dates for Four Feature Films

Searchlight Pictures announced today the theatrical release dates for four of its movies including Guillermo del Toro’s “Nightmare Alley.”

First, the studio will release David Bruckner’s  “The Night House”  on July. 16.  The film stars Rebecca Hall, Sarah Goldberg, Evan Jonigkeit, Stacy Martin and Vondie Curtis Hall, and follows a widow (Hall) who begins to uncover her dead husband’s disturbing secret.

“The Eyes of Tammy Faye” will be released on Sept. 24. The biopic stars Jessica Chastain as the televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker, and follows her rise to create the world’s largest religious broadcasting network and theme park, and were revered for their message of love, acceptance and prosperity. Tammy Faye was legendary for her indelible eyelashes, her idiosyncratic singing, and her eagerness to embrace people from all walks of life. However, it wasn’t long before financial improprieties, scheming rivals, and scandal toppled their carefully constructed empire.

Andrew Garfield, Cherry Jones, Fredric Lehne, Mark Wystrach, Sam Jaeger, Gabriel Olds and Vincent D’Onofrio all co-star in the Michael Showalter directed film. “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” is based on the 2000 World of Wonder documentary of the same name.

Scott Cooper’s “Antlers” is also scheduled for a Fall release date. The film will debut on Oct. 29 and probably hit the festival circuit.

 Produced by Guillermo del Toro, the film stars: Keri Russell, Jesse Plemons, Jeremy T. Thomas, Graham Greene, Scott Haze, Rory Cochrane and Amy Madigan.

“Antlers” is set in an isolated Oregon town, a middle-school teacher (Keri Russell) and her sheriff brother (Jesse Plemons) become embroiled with her enigmatic student (Jeremy T. Thomas) whose dark secrets lead to terrifying encounters with a legendary ancestral creature who came before them. It is based on the short story “The Quiet Boy” by Nick Antosca.

Tues. Jan. 19

AMPAS Names Fernando Garcia as its Executive Vice President, Member Relations and Awards

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has named Fernando Garcia as its Executive Vice President, Member Relations and Awards.

Garcia will lead engagement and outreach initiatives for the organization’s worldwide membership of over 10,000 artists, filmmakers and executives, and oversee Academy Awards processes for submissions, nominations, voting and balloting. Garcia will also work with the Academy’s Office of Representation, Inclusion and Equity and the Branch Executive Committees on member representation and inclusion efforts, heightening awareness of diverse filmmakers worldwide who meet membership criteria.

“Fernando is an innovative thinker with a deep passion for movies and a true appreciation for the people who make them,” said Academy COO Christine Simmons, who Garcia will report to. “He joins the Academy’s leadership at a pivotal time, and we are confident he is just the person to lead our global membership forward and further the Academy’s mission to support, identify and champion talent in our filmmaking community.”

“I’m so thrilled to be joining the Academy’s leadership team,” said Garcia. “I look forward to working with them to find new ways of bringing together the incredible individuals who create the films we all love, and to uplifting great filmmaking from all around the world.”

Garcia has over two decades of experience in developing marketing and publicity campaigns for films across a range of special projects and events, domestic and international film festivals, brand partnerships and promotions, publicity stunts, conventions, and film and television awards campaigns. He most recently served as president of The Fernando Garcia Company, where his clients included Amazon Studios, Disney, NBC, New Regency and Prime Video.

Fangoria launches Fangoria Studios with partner Circle of Confusion

Fangoria, the entertainment company announced Monday that it has launched Fangoria Studios to develop and produce film, television, and podcasts using the iconic Fangoria, Starlog and Gorezone brands with an eye towards developing a slate of sci-fi and horror projects with global appeal. Circle of Confusion will represent them in all areas.

With a wealth of folklore and monsters, there are great stories yet to be told, and many stories celebrating diversity and genre communities. Fangoria Studios is seeking to create new icons of genre both in front of and behind the camera.

“We’re incredibly excited to begin a new chapter of our 40-plus year old brands to launch Fangoria Studios with our partners at Circle of Confusion. As filmmakers ourselves, our commitment is to expand genre across the world. We want to share original stories with audiences both domestically and internationally,” said owners Tara Ansley and Abhi Goel.

Circle of Confusion’s projects have included “The Walking Dead,” “John Wick” and “The Matrix” franchises.