Dances With Films Festival Sets 25th Anniversary Lineup – Film News in Brief

The TCL Chinese Six Theatres in Hollywood and Highland on Marc 26, 2021.
Michael Buckner for PMC

Indie film festival Dances With Films, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, has announced its lineup for the L.A.-based event that will take place at the TCL Chinese Theater from June 9 to June 19.

The first film of this year’s lineup is “The Walk.” Directed by Daniel Adams and starring Terrence Howard, Jeremy Piven, Malcolm McDowell and Justin Chatwin, the film is “a powerful story based on true events about Boston’s 1974 desegregation busing.”

Amanda Brugel (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) will star in the pandemic-era film “Ashgrove,” while “The Latin From Manhattan,” a biopic of adult film icon Vanessa Del Rio, will star Shane West, Jesse Metcalfe, Taryn Manning, Esai Morales, Drea de Matteo and Dita Von Teese. The documentary “We Paid Let Us In!” follows the journey of Chicago rhyme duo Abstract Mindstate, who reunited after 16 years when Kanye West signed them to his record imprint in 2021. The doc stars Common, Coodie & Chike and Deon Cole. Starring Ed Asner, Danny Glover and Henry Rollins with music by Jackson Browne, “How Does it Feel to Be a Problem?” explores the roots of marginalization in America. Also screening are real-life 40-year old virgin story “My Friend Tommy” and Nick Richey’s “1-800-HOT-NITE.” Thriller film “Ghostwritten,” starring Jay Duplass and Maria Ditzia, will close out the festival.

Dances With Films says it chose to close the festival on June 19, also known as Juneteenth, “to further shed light on this important legal holiday. Topics highlighted throughout programming include women’s rights, segregation, homelessness, mental health, refugee stories, and sexual abuse.”

“Twenty-five years is no small feat in Hollywood, and Dances With Films continues to be about new voices, and new perspectives that help transform the way people see the world through the visual medium,” said festival founders Leslee Scallon, Michael Trent and producing partner Jackie Tepper. “We have always provided a safe space for emerging filmmakers to enhance awareness and understanding of the world through their art. The impact of filmmaking in terms of creating change is undeniable, and DWF:LA is proud to be a part of that.”

Find the full film slate on the Dances With Films website.

Provincetown International Film Festival Announces 2022 Lineup

The Provincetown International Film Festival announced its lineup, as well as its award recipients for this year. “Call Me By Your Name” director Luca Guadagnino is the festival’s Filmmaker on the Edge, while actor-comedians Jenny Slate and Bowen Yang will receive the Next Wave award.

Guadagnino will be in attendance for a conversation with resident artist John Waters on the festival’s closing date, June 19. Guadagnino’s documentary, “Salvatore: Shoemaker of Dreams,” which follows the life of Italian designer Salvatore Ferragamo, will also screen at PIFF.

“Luca Guadagnino is a master filmmaker and a perfect example of an artist who pushes the boundaries of their craft,” said Anne Hubbell, PIFF’s executive director. “His complex, emotional stories and stunning visuals have left an undeniable mark on cinema, making him a natural fit for the ‘Filmmaker on the Edge’ Award. We are absolutely thrilled he’ll be joining us in Provincetown to celebrate his iconic career.”

Slate and Yang will also be on hand to accept their awards on June 16, and the festival will screen their upcoming films. Slate’s “Marcel The Shell With Shoes On,” directed by Dean Fleischer-Camp, follows Slate’s Marcel, a beloved one-inch-tall shell who lives a colorful life with his grandmother, Connie (Isabella Rossellini).

Yang will be in attendance for a screening of his upcoming rom-com “Fire Island,” a queering of the classic “Pride and Prejudice” set in the gayest part of Fire Island. Produced by JAX Media, the film is directed by Andrew Ahn and written by Joel Kim Booster, and will be released by Searchlight Pictures and premieres June 3 on Hulu.

Sophie Hyde’s “Good Luck To You, Leo Grande,” starring Academy Award winner Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack, will open the festival on June 15. The film stars Thompson as retired teacher Nancy Stokes, who embarks on a mid-life sexual awakening with newcomer Daryl McCormack, who plays sex worker Leo Grande. Produced by Debbie Gray of Genesius Pictures and Adrian Politowski of Align, the film debuted to critical acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.

Check out the full lineup at provincetownfilm.org/festival. 

Academy Museum Announces Details of Exhibit on Black Cinema

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures announced on Wednesday the details of the first exhibit of its upcoming season, “Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898–1971.” Opening August 21, the exhibition explores the history of Black performers and filmmakers in the United States, from Sidney Poitier to Josephine Baker.

Co-curators Doris Berger and Rhea Combs said, “It has been a great honor for us to curate ‘Regeneration,’ a project that challenged us to do justice to the lives and work of nearly a century of Black filmmakers and the audiences they served. The legacies explored in these galleries were important in their own time, though too often neglected and marginalized, and remain vital today. We hope to heighten awareness of these films and film artists and encourage an appreciation of the many, many contributions that Black Americans have made to cinema.”

‘Regeneration’ will remain at the museum through April 9, 2023. The exhibition is made up of seven separate galleries: the political and social landscape for Black Americans at the dawn of U.S. cinema; Black representation in film from 1897 to 1915; independent Black filmmakers and “race films” made from the 1910s to the 1940s; Black music in American cinema, from “soundies” to Black musicals; Black film stars and icons; the freedom movements as captured in films; and the role of Black film directors during the civil rights movement.

The exhibition will feature rare excerpts from restored films, photographs, scripts, drawings, costumes and many more historic materials. “Regeneration” is co-curated by Berger, vice president of curatorial affairs at the Academy Museum and Combs, director of curatorial affairs at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, with the Academy Museum’s J. Raúl Guzmán, assistant curator, as well as Manouchka Kelly Labouba and Emily Rauber-Rodriguez, research assistants.

“Fire of Love” and “The Pez Outlaw” to Open and Close Mammoth Lakes Film Festival

Documentaries “Fire of Love” and “The Pez Outlaw” will open and close the 2022 Mammoth Lakes Film Festival, the festival announced Wednesday.

Now in its 8th year, the Mammoth Lakes Film Festival screens independent films throughout the resort town of Mammoth Lakes, Calif. This year’s edition will feature five North American feature films, five international features, seven documentaries, two special spotlight presentations and 68 short films.

“Fire of Love” is directed by Sara Dosa, and focuses on the careers of volcanologists Maurice and Katia Krafft, with narration by Miranda July. “The Pez Outlaw” is directed by Amy Bandlien Storkel and Bryan Storkel, and focuses on Steve Glew, a Michigan factory worker who started an illegal business smuggling pez dispensers into the U.S. from Eastern Europe. “The Pez Outlaw” will make its California premiere during the fesitval.

The Mammoth Lakes Film Festival will take place from May 25 to May 29. View the full line-up here.

Disney Documentary ‘Mija’ and HBO Max Film ‘Father of the Bride’ to Play Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival

The 21st Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival will open with the Disney documentary film “Mija” and close with the Andy Garcia-starring “The Father of the Bride” remake, Latino Film Institute founder Edward James Olmos announced Wednesday.

First established in 1997, LALIFF spotlights films created by Latino artists and storytellers. This year’s edition includes 17 feature films, from the US, Latin America and Canada, as well as 38 short films and 10 episodic series.

Directed by Emmy-nominated journalist Isabel Castro, “Mija” profiles two daughters of undocumented Mexican imigrants, Doris Muñoz and Jacks Haupt, as they make their way through the music industry. The film initially premiered at Sundance film Festival, where it garnered positive reviews and was acquired by Disney for distribution. “The Father of the Bride” is the latest adaptation of the 1949 Edward Streeter novel, which was previously turned into films in 1950 and 1991. Gaz Alazraki directs an all-star Latino cast that includes Garcia, Estefan, Adria Arjona, Isabela Merced and Diego Boneta. The film is set to stream on HBO Max on June 16.

The feature films screening at LALIFF also include: “A Place in the Field” by Nicole Mejia “All Sorts” by J. Rick Castañeda, “Blood Red Ox” by Rodrigo Bellot, “Borrowed” by Carlos Rafael Betancourt and Oscar Ernesto Ortega, “Oliver & the Pool” by Arcadi Palerm-Artis, “Perfume de Gardenias” by Macha Colón, “The Other Tom” by Rodrigo Plá and Laura Santullo, “The Second Man” by Thiago Luciano, “The Shape of Things to Come” by V. Checa, “Wandering Heart” by Leonardo Brzezicki and “Without Prescription” by Juliana Maité, “My Two Voices” by Lina Rodriguez, “Comala” by Gian Cassini, “Pepe Serna: Life is Art” by Luis Reyes and “What We Leave Behind” by Iliana Sosa.

LALIFF will take place in Los Angeles from June 1 to June 5 at the TCL Chinese Theater and TCL Chinese 6. Tickets for the screenings are now on sale.

Jonathan Wolf to Step Down From American Film Market

IFTA (The Independent Film & Television Alliance) announced Tuesday that American Film Market managing director Jonathan Wolf would step down when his term ends on June 30. Wolf has led the AFM for 24 years, and will continue as an advisor for the 2022 AFM, set to return to Santa Monica in person on Nov. 1-6.

Over his time with the organization, Wolf launched TheFilmCatalogue.com, introduced networking and education programs, and the MyAFM online platform. Earlier with IFTA,  he spearheaded the launch of IFTA Collections TM, the industry’s first centralized service for the collection and distribution of royalties and levies.

“Jonathan has been central to the success of the association’s growth and transitions,” said IFTA’s President/CEO Jean Prewitt. “He consistently has focused on making the AFM the best place for the industry to do business and has built an outstanding and long-established AFM team who share his commitment to excellence.”

‘Cocaine Bear’ Set for 2023 Release

Elizabeth Banks’ thriller “Cocaine Bear” will open Feb. 24, 2023, Universal has announced.

The ensemble cast includes Keri Russell, Margo Martindale, Ray Liotta, Alden Ehrenreich, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Kristofer Hivju, Kahyun Kim, Christian Convery, Brooklynn Prince and Scott Seiss. Based on a true story reported in the New York Times, the story revolves around a drug runner who’s plane crashes with a load of cocaine that’s found by a black bear, who eats it.

“Cocaine Bear” is produced by Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Aditya Sood for Lord Miller, along with Brian Duffield, Banks and Max Handelman for Brownstone Productions. Robin Fisichella will executive produce.