Array to Distribute Haile Gerima’s ‘Sankofa’ on Netflix — Film News in Brief

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Array to Distribute Haile Gerima’s “Sankofa” on Netflix

Array Releasing has partnered with Ethiopian filmmaker Haile Gerima to restore his 1993 film “Sankofa” and re-release it on Netflix on Sept. 24.

“Sankofa” follows Mona, a Black American woman who finds herself transported back in time and into the body of a Ghanaian woman being kidnapped into the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The film played at the 43rd Berlin International Film Festival, where it was nominated for the top prize. But when U.S. distributors passed on the film, Gerima and his wife Shikiriana were left to self-distribute with grassroots marketing to African American communities. The Netflix release will mark the first time the film will have been this widely available.

“Mr. and Mrs. Gerima are trailblazers of independent filmmaking and grassroots distribution in the Black cinematic diaspora,” said Tilane Jones, president of Array. “Array Releasing is abundantly honored and proud to have been selected by the Gerimas to introduce their landmark film to new audiences with a remastered re-release of the masterpiece, ‘Sankofa.’”

“We are honored to be a part of Ava [DuVernay]’s courageous vision to be human in an industry that has tortured the image and psychology of people of color for so long,” said the Gerimas.

“Sankofa” is produced by Negod Gwad Productions, in co-production with The Ghana National Commission on Culture DiProCi of Burkina Faso and NDR/WDR Television in Association with Channel 4 Television. Shirikiana Gerima is a co-producer of the film.

The acquisition was negotiated by Gordon Bobb of law firm Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano on behalf of Array, and Haile Gerima, Shirikiana Gerima and their son Merawi Gerima of Negod Gwad Productions. See a trailer below.

A24 Releases ‘The Humans’ Premiere Date and Trailer

A24 released a trailer for Stephen Karam’s film adaptation of his 2016 Tony award-winning play, “The Humans,” premiering in theaters and on Showtime on Nov. 24.

Starring Richard Jenkins, Jayne Houdyshell, Amy Schumer, Beanie Feldstein, Steven Yeun and June Squibb, “The Humans” follows a middle-class family who comes together for their family Thanksgiving.

In the trailer, eerie and unexplainable things start to happen when the Blake family gathers for Thanksgiving in daughter Brigid’s (Feldstein) lower Manhattan apartment.

Watch the trailer below.

Black Alphabet Film Festival Returns to Chicago in November

The eighth annual Black Alphabet Film Festival (BAFF) will take place from Nov. 5 to 7 at the University of Chicago’s Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts.

Black Alphabet, a nonprofit organization promoting equity awareness on behalf of the Black LGBT+ community via media and art, founded BAFF in 2013 to allow people to relate to Black LGBT+ stories absent from mainstream media.

This year’s BAFF lineup includes “Gemmel and Tim,” “Smoke, Lilies and Jade,” “Buck” and “All Boys Aren’t Blue.”

City of Angels Women’s Film Festival Announces Selections and Panelists

The City of Angels Women’s Film Festival announced its official selections, panelists and Peter Bogdanovich as one of its honorees.

Running from Sept. 24 to 26, the festival will feature selections including “A Girl Can Change the World” by Andrea Ureno, “The Nine O’ Clock Whistle” by Willa Cofield and Karen Riley, “The Game is Up: Disillusioned Trump Voters Tell Their Stories” by Melissa Jo Peltier, “Zipcode Matters” by Sena Mourad-Friedman and “Lessons” by Jude Kalman.

Panelists will include Elísabet Ronaldsdóttir, Jim Uhls, Lisa Marie Russo, Kate Ogborn and Rosa Bosch. Bogdanovich, who directed “Paper Moon,” “The Last Picture Show,” “What’s Up Doc” and “Mask,” will be among the honorees receiving an Angel Award at the festival’s Closing Night Awards Gala on Sept. 26.

Beyond Fest Releases 2021 Lineup

Beyond Fest, the genre film festival, has announced its full 2021 slate including 39 feature films. The festival will take place from Sept. 29 to Oct. 11 with screenings at the Legion Theatre, Aero Theatre and Los Feliz 3.

Opening Beyond Fest will be the West Coast premiere of Julia Ducornau’s Palme d’Or-winning film “Titane,” which will screen in 35mm for the first time. Blumhouse Productions will have two films at the festival, “The Black Phone” and “Halloween Kills,” with the latter being followed by a Q&A with director David Gordon Green and producer Jason Blum. Director and co-writer Scott Derrickson and co-writer C. Robert Cargill will attend the screening of “The Black Phone.” Additionally, director Valdimar Jóhannsson and actor Noomi Rapace will appear at the festival for the West Coast premiere of their film “Lamb.”

The lineup also includes Gaspar Noé’s “Vortex,” Lucile Hadžihalilović’s “Earwig” and Bernard Rose’s “Travelling Light,” among others.

“Despite all of the adversity of the last 18 months, we’re incredibly thankful to have built a program that is as diverse and progressive as anything we’ve accomplished in our past nine years,” said Beyond Fest head of programming Evrim Ersoy. “Recognizing this adversity, the generous support of filmmakers, studios, distributors and our partners has also given us the opportunity to make over half of the program free to the film community of Los Angeles. It’s so good to be back in theaters where we belong.”

“As an institution that values and champions the communal theatrical experience above all, it’s a joy to bring Beyond Fest back to our theaters,” said American Cinematheque creative director Grant Moninger. “With the Aero Theatre, the Los Feliz 3, and our partnership with the Hollywood Legion Theater, film lovers across L.A. can experience Beyond Fest‘s incredible immersion of cinema together and on the big screen.”

Tickets for Beyond Fest go on sale at americancinematheque.com on Sept. 17th at 10 a.m.

‘A Place Among the Dead’ and ‘The Revolution Generation’ to Premiere at Lady Filmmakers Film Festival

The weeklong Lady Filmmakers Film Festival, beginning on Sept. 21 in Beverly Hills, Calif., will host the worldwide theatrical premieres of films including “A Place Among the Dead” and “The Revolution Generation.” The festival will also feature live and virtual screenings, Q&As, panels and networking opportunities.

“A Place Among the Dead,” starring Oscar winner Gary Oldman, explores the repercussions of growing up under the sway of narcissism and psychological abuse. Marking actor Juliet Landau’s feature film directorial debut, the film also stars Ron Perlman, Robert Patrick, Lance Henriksen and author Anne Rice, making her first appearance in a movie.

Starring Michelle Rodriguez and Shailene Woodley, “The Revolution Generation” focuses on the societal forces that have both shaped and held back today’s youth, offering a roadmap for how the young generation can revolutionize systems that have exploited and failed them. Josh and Rebecca Tickell direct.

The festival’s lineup also includes the U.S. premiere of Brigitte Drodloff’s “Let Go” and the Los Angeles premiere of “Blank,” starring Wayne Brady, Heida Reed and Rachel Shelly.

Cornelia Duryée’s ‘Language Arts’ Now Available On Demand

Cornelia Duryée’s “Language Arts,” starring Ashley Zukerman and Sarah Shahi, is now on demand in the U.S. and Canada, available on Apple TV, iTunes, Microsoft, Amazon Prime Video, Spectrum, Vimeo and Vudu, with Google Play and YouTube coming soon.

The film follows an emotionally stunted high school English teacher as a student project forces him to face his demons and embark on a powerful journey of connection and redemption.

Written and directed by Duryée and based on the best-selling novel by Stephanie Kallos, the film also stars Elliott Smith and Lincoln Lambert.

American Cinema Editors Announces ACE Eddie Awards Eligibility Dates and Voting Timeline

American Cinema Editors (ACE) announced eligibility dates and the voting timeline for the 72nd Annual ACE Eddie Awards, taking place Feb. 26, recognizing outstanding editing in film and television.

The eligibility period for this year’s awards is Jan. 1 to Dec. 31. for TV entries and March 1 to Dec. 31. for film entries. Submissions open Nov. 1 and close on Dec. 13.

Nomination ballots will be sent on Jan. 11, 2022 and are due a week later. ACE will announce the nominations on Jan. 21 and send final ballots on Jan. 28, which are due on Feb. 8.

International Documentary Association Announces In-Kind Film Awards Campaign Grantees

The International Documentary Association (IDA) announced the 11 recipients of the 2021 IDA In-Kind Documentary Screening Series Grant, which aims to support filmmakers from all historically excluded communities and minimize the financial burdens associated with pursuing a film awards campaign.

This year’s grantees are “Elena” (directed by Michèle Stephenson and produced by Joe Brewster), “Faya Dayi” (directed and produced by Jessica Beshir), “Ferguson Rises” (directed by Mobolaji Olambiwonnu), “Like a Rolling Stone: The Life and Times of Ben Fong-Torres” (directed and produced by Suzanne Joe Kai), “Not Going Quietly” (directed by Nicholas Bruckman and produced by Amanda Roddy), “Seyran Ateş: Sex, Revolution and Islam” (directed by Nefise Ozkal Lorentzen and produced by Jørgen Lorentzen), “The Neutral Ground” (directed by CJ Hunt and produced by Darcy McKinnon), “Three Songs for Benazir” (directed and produced by Gulistan and Elizabeth Mirzaei), “Try Harder!” (directed by Debbie Lum and produced by Nico Opper and Lou Nakasako), “Wojnarowicz: F**k You F*ggot F**ker” (directed by Chris McKim and produced by Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey) and “Writing with Fire” (directed and produced by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh).

Each film recipient receives an awards campaign package valued at $15,000.

Dreamseeker Media Releases ‘Ferguson Rises’ Trailer

Dreamseeker Media, in association with Films With a Purpose, Yoruba Saxon and PhilmCo, released a trailer for “Ferguson Rises,” opening Sept. 17 at Laemmle Monica, with a national rollout following.

Directed by Mobolaji Olambiwonnu, the film explores the aftermath of the protests in Ferguson after the police killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown Jr. Highlighting diverse voices of community members, from residents to police officers to business owners, “Ferguson Rises” chronicles the 400-day protests and rise of Black Lives Matter.

Sandra Evers-Manly, TJ Martin, Gigi Pritzker, Kai Bowe, and RZA executive produce, with David Oyelewo and Jessica Oyelowo serving as producers.

Watch the trailer below.

The Redford Center Awards Additional Grant Funding to Six Environmental Impact Documentary Projects

The Redford Center announced that six environmentalist documentary features in the current Redford Center Grants cohort will receive a total of $295,000 in second-year funding. “Demon Mineral,” “Impossible Town,” “Oaklead,” and “To The End,” are receiving production and development grants, while impact campaign grants go to “Razing Liberty Square” and “We Still Here/Aqui Estamos.”

The impact campaign grants are a new strategy for the Redford Center, meant to support completed films in their efforts to inspire public dialogue and mobilize action around environmental justice issues with initiatives like educational screenings and community partnerships.

The 2020-21 cohort of Redford Center Grants includes 22 film projects intended to make a community impact and further build the movement for environmental justice and regeneration.

“Climate and environmental impacts are at our front door. The need for deeper investments in stories that drive action increases every single day,” said Jill Tidman, executive director of the Redford Center. “The longer we have to wait for federal, global and industry leadership, the more important community-led, collective action becomes. And that’s where these stories live and thrive. We are inspired by all of our grantees’ projects, and have every confidence that our further investments in these six films will lead to real-world environmental impact at a scale that is urgently needed.”

“Each of these films inspire with their fresh representation and authentically local community perspectives while having significant national and global relevance,” said Redford Center grants advisor Brenda Robinson, partner at Gamechanger Films. “With the right support, these storytellers’ impact goals will make a difference. They will drive change and action in the short and long term. That’s why I find The Redford Center’s investments in impact storytelling to be so critical — to ensure that the full potential of these stories are realized. People won’t just see these films and move on, they will see them and be engaged to take action for the future of our people and the planet.”

Dances With Films Announces 2021 Winners At Closing Night Ceremony

Dances with Films (DWF:LA) returned with its film slate and award-winners at the closing night ceremony on Sept. 12 at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

“The feeling was absolutely palpable in each screening and the theatre itself,” said the team behind Dances With Films. “It is clever how much people miss going to the movies … Let alone movies where they will have ‘discovered’ new voices, authenticity in vision and films that you won’t be seeing next week at the multiplex.”

The list of this year’s 2021 award-winners are: Roman Olkhovka’s “Dreamover,” Caleb Slain and Nathan Nzanga’s “Enough,” Agazi Desta, Jennifer Frazin, Morgan Milender, Molly Miller, Amri Rigby, Joel David Santer, Erica Sutherlin and Chris Tarricone’s “Voodoo Macbeth,” Richard Reens’ “Pant Hoot,” Nani Li Yang’s “Beneath The Banyan Tree,” Brooke Trantor’s “Oh, Baby!” Paula Rhodes “Delicate State,” David Mahmoudieh’s “Snake Dick,” Justin Monroe and Ryan Fritzsche’s “Holy Frit,” Van Maximilian Carlson’s “Skid Row, Los Angeles,” Michele Palermo’s “Middle Of Nowhere,” Alex Martinez’s “Spanky,” Andrés Roa Ariza’s “Desolvido” and Paul James Houghton’s “From Under The Bridge: When Bullies Become Trolls.”

Notable filmmakers who have participated in the festival are Bryan Cranston, Gina Rodriguez, Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Pompeo, Ryan Eggold and John Hawkes, among others.