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UFC Partners With AMC Theaters For McGregor Fight

As audiences head back to the movie theaters, AMC Theaters is offering something a little different than the average blockbuster.

AMC has signed on with UFC as a theater operator for UFC 264, the third showdown between fighters Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor, broadcast live from Las Vegas. The highly-anticipated (and highly-lucrative fight) is trending to be one of the biggest UFC cards ever, so AMC is getting in on the action and showing the fight on select screens across the country for the first time ever on July 10.

Adam Aron, CEO of AMC Theaters, shared the news on social media, writing: “Many of you have suggested we show live pro sports, Esports and events. We are on it. On Saturday July 10, live from Las Vegas, the Poirier McGregor UFC matchup will be on AMC’s big screens at 95 U.S. AMC Theatres.”

Aron also noted that tickets for the in-theater event will only cost audiences $25, versus the $75 they’d spend to watch the fight at home with pay per view. AMC and the UFC will share revenue on the ticket sales, making the deal a win-win for theaters and the MMA brand, and for audiences who’ll get to see who wins. Tickets can be purchased online at amctheatres.com.

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‘The Sound of Us’ to Receive Movie that Matters Award at Cannes Film Festival

On July 12, the Better World Fund Gala will present “The Sound of Us” with the Movie that Matters Award, which recognizes films that bring strong, positive messages and show the brighter side of the human soul.

“The Sound of Us” will premiere the following day, July 13, at Cannes Film Festival. It was shot over the course of two months across five countries and is guided by the question, “What is music, what is music to you?” Demonstrating music’s power to heal in the present, preserve history and inspire the future, the documentary includes appearances from Ben Folds, Butch Walker, Dan Tepfer, Eric Whitacre, Hiromi, Jason Mraz, Pasek & Paul, Patti Smith, PJ Morton and Will Wells.

“Music opens a window to the world of my most vulnerable self, truly a doorway into the soul,” director Chris Gero said. “It is through this unique language that we can communicate across barriers, across time, between souls. Music brings experiences to another place and another level, beyond this physical world. Music ultimately shows us we are human – empathetic, genuinely kind, and together.”

Watch the trailer below.

Quiver Distribution Acquires Lindsay Gossling Feature Direcotrial Debut, ’13 Minutes’

Quiver Distribution has acquired “13 Minutes,” the feature directorial debut from writer Lindsay Gossling.

“I am absolutely overjoyed to be able to share this engaging, thrilling ride of a film with audiences,” Gossling said. “It goes beyond the average disaster movie and hopefully will give people something to talk about. It was a pleasure to collaborate with this exceptional cast.”

“13 Minutes” will premiere in select theaters and video-on-demand on Oct. 29. The cast includes Trace Adkins, Thora Birch, Peter Facinelli, Anne Heche, Will Peltz, Davi Santos, Amy Smart, Sofia Vassilieva and Paz Vega. It was produced by Gossling, Travis Farncombe and Karen Harnisch and executive produced by Cassian Elwes, Arianne Fraser, Jere Hausfater, Sarah Hooper, Delphine Perrier and Henry Winterstern.

The thriller film takes place during springtime’s standard tornado season in the small Heartland town of Minninnewah. But then the largest tornado on record threatens to destroy the town, leaving inhabitants scrambling for their loved ones and shelter with only 13 minutes to spare. In the wake of complete destruction, four families must overcome their differences and come together to survive.

The deal was negotiated by Larry Greenberg for Quiver Distribution and CAA Media Finance and Elwes on behalf of the producers. Highland Film Group represents the foreign rights.

American Cinematheque To Honor Participant with 2021 Power of Cinema Award

The American Cinematheque announced that it will honor Participant with the 2021 Power of Cinema Award, presented by Hill Valley, on Nov. 18 at The Beverly Hilton. Participant CEO David Linde will accept the award on behalf of the company, which was founded by Jeff Skoll.

“We believe Participant is the ideal first recipient of this award given Jeff Skoll’s stated belief that a story well told has the power to ignite positive social change,” said Mark Badagliacca, American Cinematheque board president. “We are thrilled that CEO David Linde will accept the award on behalf of Participant and the filmmakers and storytellers whose work continues to prove the power of cinema.”

As previously announced, Scarlett Johansson will receive the 2021 American Cinematheque Award.

GKIDS Acquires North American Rights to “Future Boy Conan”

GKIDS has acquired the North American distribution rights for Hayao Miyazaki’s 1978 directorial debut, “Future Boy Conan.”

“We are thrilled to help bring this legendary series to North America,” GKIDS president David Jesteadt said. “With a beautiful new restoration, now is the perfect time for American fans of director Hayao Miyazaki to experience this classic adventure series as it was meant to be seen.”

The 26-episode series will be released later this year. A new 4K restoration will be available, as well as an English dub version. International sales are handled by producer Nippon Animation.

“Future Boy Conan” follows the titular boy who is forever changed when the mysterious Lana washes ashore and is pursued by shadowy operatives who seek to use her in a new scheme to control what’s left of a destroyed world. It was written by Akira Nakano and executive produced by Koichi Motohashi.

‘Frybreak Face & Me’ is in Production in New Mexico Throughout July

The New Mexico Film Office announced “Frybread Face & Me” is filming throughout July in Santa Fe, Española and Albuquerque, N.M.

“This production is telling a story of life on the Navajo reservation, which is a story that will resonate with many across the state and Navajo Nation. It is inspiring and necessary to see these types of stories being told by fellow New Mexicans right here in New Mexico,” office director Amber Dodson said.

From director Billy Luther and producer Chad Burris, “Frybread Face & Me” follows an 11-year-old city boy who learns the importance of family, tradition and what it means to be a Navajo man when he sent to live on his grandmother’s ranch on the Navajo reservation.

The main cast features Charly Hogan, Martin Sensmeier, Kahara Hodges and Morningstar Angeline. The production includes 40 crew members, 20 principal cast members and 30 background actors all from New Mexico.

Alcon Entertainment Taps Striker Entertainment for Consumer Product Licensing

Alcon Entertainment has tapped Striker Entertainment to handle consumer product licensing for the “Blade Runner” franchise with an emphasis on “Blade Runner: Black Lotus” and “The Expanse,” the sci-fi series based on the novels of the same name by James S.A. Corey.

“Alcon has showcased the fact that they know how to produce content that is aimed squarely at the fan in all of us,” Striker Entertainment president Russell Binder said. “We are grateful to have been selected to help Alcon further extend that fan servicing with merchandise and experiential deals that keep these treasured properties in front of audiences and consumers both during and in between seasons.”

Through the curation of a roster of fan-first tastemaker licensees, Striker Entertainment will oversee fashion collaborations, collectables, board games, action figures, paper goods, apparel, accessories and pop replicas.

The announcement comes as its prioritized series approach their releases later this year. “The Expanse” will hit Amazon Prime for its sixth and final season in the fall, while “Blade Runner: Black Lotus” will premiere on Adult Swim and CrunchyRoll before the end of 2021.

“We are thrilled to continue to expand the Blade Runner universe beyond the screen and create incredible merchandise for ‘Blade Runner fans’ in partnership with Striker Entertainment,” Alcon Entertainment co-founders and co-CEOS Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove said. “Furthermore, ‘The Expanse’ fans have been clamoring for more opportunities to own products associated with the show and we trust Striker Entertainment will take great care of them.”

An award-winning independent licensing agency, Striker Entertainment represents media and gaming IP for the likes of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and Universal’s “The Umbrella Academy.” It is actively looking for foundational partners for its licensing program.

Dolly Parton’s ‘The Library That Dolly Built’ Offers Exclusive Screening Window for AARP Members

Dolly Parton film “The Library That Dolly Built” is offering an exclusive screening window for AARP members on Wednesday, in association with Dollywood, Abramorama, The Dollywood Foundation, AARP and Giant Pictures.

The July 7 screening of the film, which explores Parton’s nonprofit Imagination Library, will be followed by a global release across digital platforms starting July 9, including Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play and Cable On Demand.

Originally slated for an April 2020 release, “The Library That Dolly Built” digitally premiered on Dec. 8, 2020 to an audience of over 1 million people.

“I am so excited that we can finally tell the whole story of my Imagination Library,” Parton said. “It is certainly not just about me. Our story is the story of children, of families and of communities who all share the dream to inspire kids to love to read and to love to learn. My hope is this documentary will encourage more towns, more states and even more countries to jump onboard. One thing is for sure, this is the best investment I have ever made!”

Oculus Sets ‘Paper Birds Pt. 1 & 2′ Release Date

Oculus announced that the animated short “Paper Birds Pt. 1 & 2” will be available exclusively on Oculus Quest and Oculus Quest 2 on July 8.

The two-part virtual reality experience will tell the story of Toto (Archie Yates), a short-sighted child with an exceptional talent for music. With guidance from his grandparents Robert (Edward Norton), a highly respected musician devoted to his music above all else, and Elsa (Joss Stone), who set aside her dreams of being an artist to care for her family, Toto must find his way through the world of darkness to bring back his sister, taken away by mysterious shadows. He’ll use the depth of music to open portals to the invisible world. And when he confronts the shadows, they’ll reveal their deeper purpose. 

Directed by writer German Heller and Federico Carlini, the films are the latest virtual reality immersive experiences from 3DAR and Baobab Studios. They initially premiered virtually at the Tribeca Festival 2021 on June 11.