Andy Kaufman Doc Underway With Safdie Brothers’ Company – Film News in Brief

THE ANDY KAUFMAN SHOW, Andy Kaufman, aired July 15, 1983. ©PBS/courtesy Everett Collection
©PBS/Courtesy Everett Collectio

Morgan Neville’s company Tremolo Productions is officially in production of an untitled Andy Kaufman documentary alongside Josh and Benny Safdie’s Elara Pictures. The Emmy-nominated Alex Braverman will direct the feature-length film.

“No matter how many times I watch Andy Kaufman’s work, I feel like I’m seeing a magic trick for the very first time,” Braverman said. “I’m excited for our project to honor that. This is the film I’ve wanted to make my entire life.”

The Safdie brothers will executive produce the project alongside Rick Rubin and Braverman’s father Chuck Braverman, who produced Kaufman’s 1980 special “Andy Kaufman Plays Carnegie Hall.” Wavelength founder and CEO Jennifer Westphal also will executive produce.

Wavelength and Tremolo had previously worked together on the 2018 Mr. Roger’s documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” directed by Neville. This documentary also marks the second time Neville and Rubin have worked together on a project, the first instance being Showtime’s documentary series “Shangri-La.”

The production team on the project have signed an exclusive deal to bring Kaufman’s key creative partners Bob Zmuda and Lynne Margulies Osgood onto the project. Production has also secured exclusive rights to essential Kaufman films and early works alongside never-before-seen footage and audio recordings.

Jen Malone Announced as Keynote Speaker as Sync Con

Music Supervisor, Jen Malone, Nick Warner (Director of Marketing, Starz), Ted Kocher (Music Supervisor, Playstation), and Jonny Altepeter (Music Supervisor, Riot Games) have been announced as speakers at this year’s Sync Con.

The all-in-one music for media event brings top powerhouse industry veterans in the music for visual media space to share their undiluted knowledge, advice, and training to music creators. Music creatives and executives get to hear from major players about the future of these crucial pieces of the music puzzle today in sync and music licensing.

“We’re thrilled about the speakers that are joining us this year, as they play an important role in storytelling with music to visuals across their respective fields that Sync Con is known for,” said Ade Olatunde, CEO of Sync Con. Putting together a line up of top industry leaders has made Sync Con one of the world’s premier events, within the convergence of music in media, addressing the music creative community.

Other speakers set to be present include Oscar award winning Producer, Nicholas Maye (Two Distant Strangers), Attique Iqbal (NFL Network), Marine Cremer (DDB France), Heather Gardner (Vapor Music), Jesse Wright (Warner Chappell PM), Lava Hong (Trailer Park), Travis Drum (Ignition Creative), Noah Jackson (Premier Music Group) and more.

The Music for Media Conference is organized into 12 programming tracks presented in a variety of session formats including panels and sessions, which take a deep dive into specific topics relevant to the musicians and music creative audience. This year, Sync Con examines the current state of music for media and how it has changed over the years, expressing an understanding of what challenges and opportunities exist for music creatives in sync today, and what they may anticipate for the future.

TCM Expands Partnership with The Film Foundation and Announces ‘Giant’ in 4K

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has announced, that they will be expanding their partnership with The Film Foundation with a multi-year financial commitment to fund education and restoration of classic movies. As part of this partnership, the world premiere of the newly restored George Stevens production “Giant” from Warner Bros. will be featured at the TCM Classic Film Festival.

TCM host  Ben Mankiewicz will host a conversation with The Film Foundation board member Steven Spielberg, executive director Margaret Bodde, and George Stevens Jr.

“Working with The Film Foundation allows us to preserve these important films for future generations to experience across multiple platforms,” said Pola Changnon, general manager of TCM. “There is so much to learn from classic movies and we are honored to host the world premiere screening of the 4K restoration of ‘Giant.'”

Since its founding by Martin Scorsese more than 30 years ago, The Film Foundation has restored more than 900 classic movies. Scorsese and fellow board member Spielberg hand-picked this title as one of the group’s latest restoration projects, working with the Warner Bros. archives team for a year to complete the process.

“Anything that presumes to call itself ‘Giant’ better have the goods to keep such a lofty promise,” said  Spielberg. “Both Edna Ferber and George Stevens far exceeded the title to bring such an epic American story to the big screen and I’m proud to have been a small part of the restoration team of this classic motion picture.”

George Stevens, Sr. won his second Oscar for directing the sweeping family saga set in Texas during the days of the oil boom. The film stars Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean.

“I was with my father during the writing of the ‘Giant’ screenplay and he measured films by how they stood ‘the test of time’,” said George Stevens, Jr. “’Giant’ has more than met that test and he would be grateful that Steven, Marty, The Film Foundation and Warner Bros. have achieved this brilliant restoration, so a new generation can see ‘Giant’ on the big screen, streaming and Blu-ray.”

The new 4K restoration of “Giant” will also be available on HBO Max later this year.

Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Joins Netflix’s “Leave the World Behind,” From Filmmaker Sam Esmail

The Obamas’ production company, Higher Ground, has signed on to produce the family drama, based on the hit Rumaan Alam novel. Written and directed by Esmail, “Leave the World Behind” stars Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, Ethan Hawke and Myha’la Herrold and tells the tale of a family vacation on Long Island interrupted by two strangers bearing news of a mysterious blackout. According to the film’s official description, the suspense heightens as the threat grows more imminent and both families must decide how best to survive the potential crisis, all while grappling with their own place in this collapsing world.

Since being published in October 2020, the book was listed as one of Barack Obama’s summer favorites amid other major laurels, including being named a “Read with Jenna” pick on the “Today” show and a finalist for the National Book Awards.

Esmail will also produce the film alongside Chad Hamilton (both through Esmail Corp), with Roberts, Lisa Gillan and Marisa Yeres Gill producing under the Red Om Films banner. Executive producers on the project are Higher Ground’s Tonia Davis, Alam, Esmail Corp’s Nick Krishnamurthy and Danny Stillman.

Netflix Announces 20 New Polish Language Titles Coming in 2022

This year, Netflix will launch 20 Polish film and television originals in the United States.

The news was shared today on a Netflix blog post from Anna Nagler, who heads Netflix productions in the Central and Eastern Europe regions, and Łukasz Kłuskiewicz, who is in charge of content acquisitions for the region. Release dates for the titles have yet to be announced.

Highlights from the announced titles include “Detective Forst,” which is based on the novels of popular Polish author Remigiusz Mroz. The series will star Borys Szyc, with direction from Daniel Jaroszek. Other adaptations include the series “Feedback” and the film “Tonight You Are Sleeping With Me,” which are based on novels by Jakub Żulczyk and Anna Szczypczyńska. Other prominent Polish originals include films such as “Hellhole” and shows such as “The Green Glove Gang” and “A Girl and an Astronaut.”

View the full list of announced Polish Netflix titles below:

Announced Films:

“Broad Peak”
“Delivery by Christmas”
“Mother’s Day”
“Mr. Car & The Knights Templar”
“Night In The Kindergarten”
“Tonight You Are Sleeping With Me”
“The Hive”

Announced Series:

“A Girl and An Astronaut”
“Dark Stories”
“Detective Forst”
“The Green Glove Gang”
“Family Secrets”

AFI Awarded $350,000 Grant from NEH

The American Film Institute (AFI) has received a $350,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to support an initiative to study thousands of short films released in the silent and early sound eras. The project is entitled “Behind the Veil” after a lost 1914 film directed by Lois Weber. It is spearheaded by the AFI Research team at the AFI Catalog, and it is intended to document the cultural impact of women and people of color in the creation, distribution and reception of early cinema. The research initiative aims to chronicle the groundbreaking work of female and BIPOC pioneers who were working mainly on short films in the early days of American filmmaking. Notable names include Alice Guy Blaché, the world’s first female director who made hundreds of shorts; William D. Foster, America’s first Black filmmaker who worked solely in the short film form; and actors such as Sessue Hayakawa, Tsuru Aoki, Myrtle Gonzalez, Red Wing and numerous others who got their start in short films.

Sony Partners With USC to Provide New Resources and Equipment

Sony Electronics has announced a new partnership with the University of Southern California to support the university’s prestigious film school.

Under this new agreement, Sony has donated $2 million to the USC School of Cinematic Arts, and will provide new, state of the art equipment to the school. These include Sony Cinema Line of cameras including VENICE 2, FX9 and FX6 models, and the Alpha mirrorless camera line. In addition, the school will open a new Sony Virtual Production studio, featuring Sony’s Crystal LED B display screens. The studio will be built this summer, and classes in it will be offered to students starting this fall.

“Sony’s products are the leading-edge technologies that drive ideas, inspire creativity, and inform the future of cinematic education,” USC School of Cinematic Arts dean Elizabeth M. Daley said in a statement. “Our students are the future creative leaders of our industry, and this partnership will help give them the tools they need to fully realize their education goals and creative ideas. We are so excited for the partnership with Sony to invest together in our students’ talent and in supporting the innovative cinematic creations of the future.”

Matthew Miele’s Documentary ‘Alan Pakula: Going for the Truth’ Opens Limited April 23

Matthew Miele’s documentary “Alan Pakula: Going for the Truth” will open in limited release on April 23.

Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, Harrison Ford, Steven Soderbergh, Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Kline, Candice Bergen, Bob Woodward ant the late composer Andre Previn are among the host of stars who appear in the documentary. Pakula’s films including “Klute,” “Sophie’s Choice,” “All The President’s Men,” “To Kill A Mockingbird” and “The Sterile Cuckoo” are also woven into the narrative.

Emmy Award-winning composer Earl Rose has written the score.

“I knew when I started composing that it had to be a score reflecting the very human quality that Alan Pakula brought to all of his films”,
said Rose. “There was never a doubt in director Matthew Miele’s mind and mine that it required a full orchestral palette to convey the subtleties and varied emotions of the man and his films. Pakula’s psychological approach to characters made me pay extra attention to orchestration and restraint acknowledging that Pakula films were a master class in the ‘less is more’ filmmaking approach. Pakula always wanted to dig into human motivations and actions in his characters and having the wide range of colors at my disposal with an orchestra helped me greatly in hopefully reflecting that. I was also so pleased to be using New York Local 802 A.F. of M. musicians who brought so much passion and knowledge to our recording sessions.”

Creatively and Exceptional Minds Team Up for National Autism Month

Creatively, a new job platform (if Instagram and LinkedIn combined basically) and Exceptional Minds have joined forces in celebration of National Autism month.

Creative connection is a crucial part of career development and independence for individuals on the spectrum, and for the month of April, both partners hope to go beyond just visibility and spark those very connections.

Throughout the month, Creatively will be working with 13 students currently in the Exceptional Minds program to
showcase their portfolios and help them grow their professional work across Creatively’s community of 300,000+
diverse, qualified creatives. Creatively will also be spotlighting the students’ incredible work via various marketing efforts.

Storytelling is central to the animation and design work of the students, and it is their unique perspectives and stories
that will appear throughout the month across Creatively’s platform, email, and social media.

The featured students are Katherine McSpadden, Blaine Harrington IV, Mina McCauley, Eli Gross, Becca David, Leona
Tates, Naph Despres, Andrew Rosengard, Doron Ross Tuvia, Kyle Payne, Brian Urquhart, Jordan Farrell, and Kyle Grossart.
Exceptional Mind’s programming has enabled artists with autism to launch careers in animation and the digital arts for
nearly a decade. Up to 80% of adults with autism face unemployment or underemployment. The Exceptional Mind’s
community of teachers, mentors, and students is working towards a goal shared by the Creatively community– a future
where neurodiverse perspectives advance an inclusive hiring culture.

“The animation and digital design work from the students of Exceptional Minds is brilliant, inspiring, and often humorous. We’re proud to support Exceptional Minds with the shared goal of creating a future where neurodiverse perspectives advance an inclusive hiring culture,” said Creatively CEO Greg Gittrich. “Our hope is to shift perspectives and practices in the creative hiring community. You can’t see these artists’ incredible portfolios and not want to work with them.”