Kristen Stewart To Receive Performer Tribute at 2021 Gotham Awards — Film News in Brief

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Kristen Stewart To Receive Performer Tribute at 2021 Gotham Awards

The Gotham Film & Media Institute announced that at the 2021 Gotham Awards Ceremony, Kristen Stewart will receive a performer tribute and Eamonn Bowles, president of Magnolia Pictures, will receive the industry tribute. The ceremony will take place Nov. 29 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. Nominations for the Gotham Awards will be announced live on Oct. 21.

Stewart most recently stars as Princess Diana in Pablo Larraín’s “Spencer,” which had its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival on Sept. 3rd and is set for a theatrical release on Nov. 5th. Her other prominent credits include “Clouds of Sils Maria,” which made her the first American actress to win the Cesar Award for best supporting actress, as well as “Panic,” “Into the Wild” and the “Twilight” films.

“We are tremendously proud to honor Kristen Stewart, whose superb performance as Princess Diana in ‘Spencer’ marks yet another artistic peak in a remarkable career which spans some of the most successful studio films and iconic independent films of the past two decades,” said Jeffrey Sharp, executive director of the Gotham Film & Media Institute. “By consistently taking on bold and challenging roles across genres, Kristen has established herself as one of the most respected and beloved artists in the independent film community that we represent here at The Gotham.”

Bowles started Magnolia Pictures, the theatrical and home entertainment distribution arm of the Wagner/Cuban Companies, 20 years ago with partner Bill Banowsky. Magnolia’s releases include “Man on Wire,” “I Am Not Your Negro,” “RBG,” “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room,” “Ong Bak: The Thai Warrior,” “Collective,” “Bubble,” “Shoplifters,” “Jesus Camp,” “The Host,” “The Square,” “John Lewis: Good Trouble,” “The Wolfpack” and “Blackfish” among others. Filmmaker Alex Gibney, a frequent collaborator of Magnolia, will present the tribute to Bowles.

Before founding Magnolia, Bowles served as president of Shooting Gallery Pictures, senior vice president of acquisitions and marketing at Miramax, COO of Shining Excalibur Pictures, head of distribution at Goldwyn Company and main programmer for the inaugural Tribeca Film Festival and the New York repertory theatre The Thalia.

“In order for incredible independent and international films to reach broad American audiences, you need innovative and relentlessly passionate executives like Eamonn Bowles,” Sharp said. “Since founding Magnolia in 2001, he has pioneered unique methods of distributing films that elevate voices and stories desperately needed in this industry. His track record of distributing the highest caliber of films speaks for itself and we are so proud to recognize his leadership and stellar career on the occasion of Magnolia’s 20th anniversary.”

Casting Society of America to Hold Panel For National Coming Out Day

The Casting Society of America (CSA), casting director Candido Cornejo and non-binary content creator Ty Deran will celebrate National Coming Out Day with a virtual panel discussion with CSA’s LGBTQIA+ casting professionals on Oct. 11 at 10 a.m.

The 90-minute pencil will feature planned questions sourced from LGBTQIA+ CSA members as well as live audience questions. Cornejo and Deran will moderate. Mike Page, a queer casting director, will give opening remarks on behalf of the CSA Board of Directors and the CSA Equity in Entertainment committee.

Panelists include Tammy Billik, Judy Bowman, Clifton Guterman, Charlie Hano, Richard Hicks, Michelle Lewitt, Evan Majors, Jeffrey Marx, Victor Vazquez and Benton Whitley.

“On behalf of the CSA National Board of Directors and Equity and Entertainment committee, we hope CSA members and casting professionals who identify as an LGBTQIA+ person or an ally will join this spirited discussion,” said Page.

“On the 33rd anniversary of Coming Out Day, Casting Society of America is proud to shine a light on this celebration of queerness,” said Kim Williams, president of CSA. “We continue to support, embrace and champion representation, belonging, equity and inclusion in every way.”

IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund Announces 2021 Slate of Journalistic Film Grants

The International Documentary Association (IDA) announced its latest cohort of films receiving the IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund production grants — totaling $600,000.

Documentaries receiving IDA fund production grants include Sophie Compton’s “Another Body,” Alina Simone’s “Black Snow,” Alexis Neophytides and Andres “Jay” Molina’s “Fire Through Dry Grass,” Violet Du Feng and Zhao Qing’s “Hidden Letters,” Isabel Castro’s “Mija,” Brittany Shyne’s “Seeds,” Gabriel Francis Paz Goodenough’s “The Untitled Baltimore Documentary Project,” Julie Forrest Wyman’s “Untitled Dwarfism Project,” Sura Mallouh’s “Untitled Sura Mallouh Project” and Jason Osder’s “Who Killed Alex Odeh?”

“As documentary films increasingly shape our understanding of the world,” says IDA Executive Director, Rick Pérez, ”we’re proud to continue making major investments to support storytelling artists. Their work and perspectives will help forge a more complete and nuanced global nonfiction narrative.”

“If the past two years have taught us anything, it’s that there is a lot at stake for our communities. This year’s Enterprise grantees are helping us find the light in these very dark times through their bold and courageous films. It is an honor to support them in telling these urgent stories,” said Poh Si Teng, Director of IDA Funds and the Enterprise Program.

Aside from fiscal support, grantees will receive resources and expertise through IDA and its partners Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the UCLA Documentary Film Legal Clinic, and Freelance Investigative Reporters and Editors.

Academy Of Motion Pictures and Sciences Announce Partnership With FilmAid

The Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences announced its partnership with FilmAid, a non-profit humanitarian organization working with refugees and other vulnerable communities around the world titled, “AcademyxFilmAid: Visiting Arts Series.”

The series will include conversations and masterclasses on the art of filmmaking, including media training courses in an effort to give young people the necessary skills and confidence to express themselves. The Academy will enlist members to give behind-the-scenes insights into a variety of topics, including costume design, cinematography, directing, documentary filmmaking and sound mixing.

Academy governor and education and outreach committee chair Wynn P. Thomas spoke on the series. “This partnership will serve as a bridge between the Academy and the next generation of international filmmakers in communities whose vital stories need to be heard.”

FilmAid was founded by film producer Caroline Baron in 1999 in response to the refugee crisis in Kosovo. Having worked in over 20 countries, FilmAid has been a leader in amplifying the voices of displaced youth and providing life-saving information to communities in need.

Watch the Academy x FilmAid series here.


IFTA Announces Results From 2021 Election

The Independent Film and Television Alliance (IFTA) announced Clay Epstein, president of Film Mode Entertainment, as chairperson for the organization’s 2021-2023 term, along with seven newly elected board members.

The IFTA elections took place by electronic ballot and the results were unveiled during IFTA’s meeting of the board of directors on Sept. 30.

The seven individuals selected to IFTA’s 15-person board of directors include J.D. Beaufils from VMI Worldwide, Jason Buckley from Lakeshore Entertainment, David Fannon from Screen Media, Lisa Gutberlet from Blue Fox Entertainment, Nat McCormick from The Exchange, Michael Ryan from GFM and Rob Williams from Participant Media.

Outfest Partners With Netflix For LGBTQ Screenwriting Lab

Outfest, the L.A. based non-profit, announced its week-long screenwriting lab — in partnership with Netflix — where they have selected 10 scripts by queer writers in an effort to enhance and expand queer content in media.

Through Outfest Forward, the organization’s education and mentoring program, 11 LGBTQ screenwriters will have the opportunity to be mentored by LGBTQ showrunners, writers, producers and studio and network executives.

This year’s fellows include Amanda Kohr, Chris Renfro, Emma McIvor, Jabari McDonald, Kristin Slaney, Lindsay Calleran, Natalie Jasmine Harris, Nova Cypress Black, Oates Wu, Sav Rodgers and Taylor Gates.

Notable writers who will receive industry support through the lab include Jeff Austin, Elie El Choufany, Omar Al Dakheel, Nicole Feste, Matthew Hartman, Mark Moliterni, Vasilios Papapitsios, Shawn Parikh, Michael Rodriguez, Rolando Rodriguez and Noah Schamus.

The 2021 Screenwriting Lab is sponsored by e-Minutes, Netflix, Ty Burrell and his Desert Whale Productions and Mandy Moore with her Roll with the Punches Productions.

Gravitas Ventures Acquires Rights To Indie Comedy ‘Later Days’

Gravitas Ventures, a Red Arrow Studios Company, has acquired North American distribution rights to the indie comedy “Later Days,” scheduled to release Oct. 29 in select theaters across the U.S. and TVOD and digital platforms. The film stars real-life husband and wife David Walton and Majandra Delfino as Mike and Pam Young. Mike, a frustrated stay-at-home dad is nostalgic for his glory days and invites high school friends and enemies alike to an ’80s-themed surprise birthday party for his exhausted corporate wife.

The “Later Days” cast features David Pasquesi, Jason Boggs and Tim Kazurinsky. Brad Riddell and Sandy Sternshein produced the film for Wry Mash Media along with producer Rob Roediger. Paul Hubbard and The Chicago Media Angels are executive producers. The U.S. rights were acquired from RedFire Films. “Later Days” premiered earlier this year at Cinequest and will be featured at the San Diego International Film Festival later this month.

Film Fest 919 Announces 2021 Program, ‘King Richard’ Set To Open

Film Fest 919 announced the program for its 4th edition, which takes place as an in-person event Oct. 18 through Oct. 24. The festival provides audiences with an opportunity to see films featured by Cannes, Sundance, Berlin, Venice, Telluride and Toronto film festivals and will be presented at Silverspot Cinema and Drive-in at Carraway Village.

The festival kicks off with the Spotlight Award presentation on Oct. 18 to multi-award winning songwriter Diane Warren and will launch into opening night the following night Oct. 19 with the Warner Bros. Pictures drama “King Richard,” directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, written by Zach Baylin and starring Will Smith as the undeterred father of Venus and Serena Williams. The centerpiece film on Oct. 21 will be “C’mon C’mon,” written and directed by Mike Mills, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Gaby Hoffmann and Woody Norman in this examination of adults coming to terms with the presence of kids in their lives. On Oct. 22, the festival’s 3rd annual Distinguished Screenwriter Award will be presented to Sean Baker and Chris Bergoch followed by a screening of their film “Red Rocket,” starring Simon Rex. Additionally, the Rising Star Award will be presented to Eduardo Franco, who co-stars in the animated feature “KOATI,” directed by Rodrigo Perez-Castro, starring Sofia Vergara and Joe Mangianello, which follows the story of three unlikely heroes: a coati, a monarch butterfly and a glass frog as they journey to protect their land from a coral snake.