Sundance winner “Cha Cha Real Smooth,” the sophomore project from indie writer-director Cooper Raiff, has unveiled its official trailer. The film stars Raiff and Dakota Johnson in an unconventional love story between a college graduate and a single mom.
The movie follows 22-year-old Andrew (played by Raiff), who’s fresh out of college and stuck at home with his family in New Jersey, with no clear life path. Andrew has no ambition and no real skills, except for one: he knows how to get a party started. This skill lands him the perfect job of motivational dancing at the bar and bat mitzvahs for his younger brother’s classmates. Things change for Andrew when he meets a local mother named Domino, played by Johnson. He befriends the mom and her daughter, Lola, and finally discovers a future he wants.
The cast is rounded out by Brad Garrett, Leslie Mann, Raúl Castillo, Odeya Rush, and newcomers Vanessa Burghardt and Evan Assante.
In 2020, Raiff’s first ever-film, “Shithouse,” was released to favorable acclaim. The movie, which reportedly had a budget of $15,000, follows a lonely college freshman as he forges a connection with his resident assistant during a frat party. Raiff’s directorial debut was picked up by IFC after it won the the grand jury prize for best narrative at the 2020 South by Southwest festival.
“Cha Cha Real Smooth” is produced by Picturestart, TeaTime Pictures and Endeavor Content. Raiff, Johnson, Erik Feig, Jessica Switch and Ro Donnelly serve as producers. The film will be released in select theaters and premiere globally on Apple TV+ on June 17.
Watch the full trailer below.
“Bullet Train” Delayed One Week
Sony’s upcoming action movie “Bullet Train” will leave the station a week later than expected. The film pushed back its release date from July 29 to August 5. Brad Pitt stars as an assassin who has to fend off other colorful killers while aboard a bullet train through Japan. The cast includes Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Andrew Koji, Hiroyuki Sanada, Michael Shannon and Bad Bunny.
Cinespia Announces 21st Summer Screening Lineup
Cinespia, the classic Los Angeles outdoor cinematic experience presented by Amazon Studios, is returning for its 21st season on Memorial Day weekend at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery with screenings of “Mean Girls and “Back to the Future.” Additionally, a special screening of “Jurassic Park” will be held this Friday at the Los Angeles Historic Park.
“Mean Girls” and “Back to the Future” will be shown May 28 and 29, respectively, at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Along with the screening under the stars, each event will include DJ sets before and after the movie, a beer and wine bar, concession stands and a themed photo booth. The following weekend will feature screenings of “Twilight” and “American Psycho.”
“We’re beyond excited to be back at Hollywood Forever and kick off our 21st season over Memorial Day Weekend with two screenings,” Cinespia founder, John Wyatt, said. Alia Penner, Cinespia’s creative director, added: “We’re looking forward to seeing our patrons this summer under the stars celebrating cinema at some of LA’s most iconic venues.”
Los Angeles’ first and longest running outdoor series started 21 years ago with a screening of “Strangers on a Train” for a few hundred people. Now welcoming up to 4,000 moviegoers each night, Cinespia has become the most popular outdoor cinema event in Southern California. Guests are invited to bring their own blankets, food and drinks before settling down under the stars for the movie experience. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.cinespia.org.
Siân Heder to Receive American Film Institute’s Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal
Siân Heder, Academy-award winning writer and director of “CODA,” will receive the 30th annual Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal at the upcoming AFI Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute to Julie Andrews.
The Schaffner Alumni Medal recognizes extraordinary creative talents of AFI Conservatory Alumni who embody the qualities of filmmaker Franklin J. Schaffner, including talent, taste, dedication and commitment to quality storytelling in film and television. Past recipients of the honor include Darren Aronofsky, Lesli Linka Glatter, Patty Jenkins, Janusz Kamiński, Mimi Leder, David Lynch, Terrence Malick, Melina Matsoukas and Rachel Morrison.
“Siân Heder is a voice the world needs now more than ever,” Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO, said. “We are proud to honor her as an Alumna of the AFI Directing Workshop for Women – and, more importantly, as a storyteller who drives culture forward with an inspiring alchemy of intellect and heart.”
Heder is a graduate of the AFI Directing Workshop for Women, where she made her first short film, “Mother.” Her debut feature film, “Tallulah,” is a feature adaptation of “Mother” starring Elliot Page and Alison Janney. The creative also earned multiple WGA nominations for her work as a writer and producer of three seasons of the hit Netflix series “Orange is the New Black.”
“CODA,” Heder’s second feature, debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 2021, where it was the first film in the festival’s history to win all four major awards: the Grand Jury Prize, the Audience Award, Best Director and an Ensemble Acting Award. The film went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture as well as Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Troy Kotsur. In 2021, Heder announced a multi-year overall deal with Apple.
Future projects include directing, writing and producing “Being Heumann” as well as writing and directing a feature adaptation of Sarah Lotz’s novel “Impossible.”
The presentation of the Schaffner Medal will take place at the AFI Life Achievement Award Tribute to Julie Andrews on June 9. The special will air on Thursday, June 16 at 10:00 p.m. on TNT.
Outfits Expands Screenwriting Lab in Partnership With Netflix
Created in 1997 as a screenwriting contest, the Outfest Screenwriting Lab has become the cornerstone of Outfest’s education and creative development programming.
As the arts, media and entertainment organization celebrates its 40th anniversary, and the lab its 25th, Outfest has expanded the program with the support of partner Netflix, waiving submission fees for all applicants and providing grants for each of the selected screenwriters to help financially support them.
“Everyone knows that a great film, a great series, a great story begins with the screenplay,” stated Outfest executive director, Damien S. Navarro. “Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Screenwriting Lab was Outfest’s first foray outside of our namesake festival. The expanded partnership with Netflix allows us to further expand the reach and impact of this heralded program.”
This year, 10 LGBTQIA+ screenwriters will participate in the week-long intensive lab. The program takes place virtually in October, making it accessible for storytellers across the globe.
There, the fellows receive one-on-one mentorship from top showrunners, studios and network executives, and writers who offer professional development, scriptwriting support, and insight into the latest trends within the industry. The 2022 roster of mentors includes: showrunners Jaclyn Moore (“Dear White People,” “Queer as Folk”), Alvaro Rodriguez (“Seis Manos,” “American Rust”), Micah Schraft (“Mrs. America”) and Mikko Alanne (“The Long Road Home”); writers Eduardo Cisneros, Chuck Hayward and MW Wilson; execs. Manny Jaquez, Bianca Quesada, David Ruby, Andrew Wang and Julie Waters; and industry reps Biz Hurst, Clifford Murry, Cora Olson and Martin To.
The partnership between Outfest and Netflix is part of the streamer’s Fund for Creative Equity, an effort to help create more behind-the-camera opportunities for underrepresented communities within the TV and film industries.
“Working with Netflix to provide further financial assistance for creators, whether it is removing the financial barrier to apply or by giving out grants to each of our screenwriting fellows, helps us further deliver on Outfest’s mission to empower LGBTQIA+ storytellers,” added Outfest artistic director Faridah Gbadamosi. “We are excited to continue building up the next generation of Hollywood’s storytellers.”
Applications for the Outfest Screenwriting Lab are now open.
HBO Max Releases ‘Father of the Bride’ Remake Trailer
HBO Max has released the first trailer for “Father of the Bride,” the new romantic comedy starring Andy Garcia.
The film is the third adaptation of the 1949 Edward Streeter novel “Father of the Bride,” which has previously been the basis for film versions starring Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor, in 1950, and with Steve Martin and Diane Keaton, in 1991. Each incarnation follows the story of a father who is blindsided when his daughter unexpectedly announces her engagement to her recent boyfriend, and struggles to cope with the stressful wedding preparations.
The newest “Father of the Bride” focuses on a Cuban family, with Garcia playing the titular father, Gloria Estefan playing his wife Ingrid and Adria Arjona playing their daughter Sophie. Diego Boneta plays her fiancé Adam, while Isabela Merced and Chloe Fineman round out the ensemble cast. Gaz Alazraki directs from a script written by Matt Lopez. The film was executive produced by Garcia, Jesse Ehrman and Ted Gidlow, while Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Paul Michael Perez produce.
“Father of the Bride” premieres on HBO Max June 16. Watch the full trailer below.