‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ Adds ‘Superstore’ Star Nico Santos – Film News in Brief

Nico Santos, from the cast of "Superstore," attends the NBC 2019/2020 Upfront at The Four Seasons New York on Monday, May 13, 2019. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Nico Santos, from “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Superstore,” will star in Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” in an unspecified role.

Stantos joins an already sprawling ensemble, including the returning cast Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Sean Gunn, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Sylvester Stallone and Elizabeth Debicki, as well as new stars Will Poulter, Chukwudi Iwuji, Maria Bakalova and Daniela Melchior.

Writer-director James Gunn recently wrapped production on the film, which is currently scheduled to debut on May 5, 2023. It will conclude the “Guardians” trilogy, which Gunn launched in 2014 to great skepticism given the characters’ obscure provenance within the Marvel comics canon. It went on to gross $773.4 million globally and the 2017 sequel earned $863.8 million worldwide.

Santos has also performed in a voiceover role on HBO Max’s animated royals comedy “The Prince,” and recently wrapped the Netflix film “Happiness for Beginners” with Ellie Kemper.

Deadline first reported the news.

Finalists For 2022 Yugo BAFTA Student Awards Announced by BAFTA

The 15 finalists for the 2022 Yugo BAFTA Student Awards, including the first-ever finalists to represent Israel, were announced on Thursday by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).

This year, a record-breaking 715 submissions were received from 134 schools in 36 countries and included narrative film, animation, documentary, 360 videos, experiential VR, VR games and PC games. For the first time in two years, the awards will host an in-person ceremony. The two-night hybrid event will take place in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 21 and Friday, July 22.

The event’s special jury will select the winner of the Special Jury Prize, which includes a $20,000 honorarium presented by Z by HP.

Universities and colleges worldwide were invited to submit their best projects for consideration for six top prizes: the BAFTA Student Film Award for Animation, the BAFTA Student Film Award for Documentary, the BAFTA Student Film Award for Live Action, the BAFTA Student Award for Games, the BAFTA Student Award for Immersive and the Special Jury Prize.

Yugo, who has sponsored the awards since 2018, serves as the official sponsor for the Yugo BAFTA Student Awards, while Z by HP serves as the official technology partner. The Yugo BAFTA Student Awards are also sponsored by Jaguar, the official vehicle partner of BAFTA in North America.

To see the full list of the 15 finalists, see here.

Thriller ‘Dear Frank’ Sells Worldwide VOD Rights to Homestead Entertainment

The indie “Dear Frank,” about a murdered wife and the extramarital lovers who may have killed her, has sold worldwide VOD rights to Homestead Entertainment. The company will partner with Glass Slipper Pictures to mount a summer release for the project on platforms including Peacock, Comcast Xfinity, and Tubi.

Josh Webber and Brian White directed the film, which stars Columbus Short (“Scandal”), Brian White (“Ray Donovan”) , Claudia Jordan (“Diary of a Champion”), Nick Turturro (“The Longest Yard”), and artist Lil Durk.

Homestead’s Rob Johnson led the deal with Shondrella Avery for Glass Slipper and Chris Brown on behalf of “Dear Frank” producer Muddy Water Pictures. Josh Webber, Brian White, Jordan and Mike Muntaser produced. The script is from Luis F. Montalvo, and follows the title character Frank (Short)– a man who discovers his late wife’s diary, full of explicit details about her lovers. He soon fears that all of these strangers could be suspects in her murder.

“We are thrilled that Muddy Water Pictures have entrusted Homestead Entertainment to shepherd this highly coveted film through home entertainment distribution,” said Johnson. “The production quality and starpower of the project combined with our passion and expertise for delivering Black stories in the VOD space is a perfect recipe for success.”

Filmmakers Academy Joins as Partner in Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’ 2022 Academy Gold Rising Program

The Filmmakers Academy has partnered with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the 2022 Academy Gold Rising internship enhancement and mentorship program.

Academy Gold Rising provides access and resources to creative individuals and college students from underrepresented communities. Now launching its sixth year, the program offers networking opportunities with Academy members and industry professionals, a variety of panel discussions on filmmaking and career preparation sessions to aspiring professionals at 27 partner organizations.
Filmmakers Academy has recently hired its first Academy Gold Rising intern, Montell Bryant, a student at The Los Angeles Film School.

“We are honored to partner with the Academy Gold Rising program to support the next generation of filmmakers,” Filmmakers Academy CEO Lydia Hurlbut said. “We’re committed to building and supporting an inclusive, diverse community of professionals, and we’re thrilled to be working with Montell Bryant this summer. He stands out as a young filmmaker who takes risks and has a genuine hunger and passion for filmmaking.”Bryant, a passionate filmmaker from Macon, GA, got started in film by shooting music videos for his musician friends in high school using his iPhone 6s and editing on iMovie. Now, he hopes to hone his craft during his internship with Filmmakers Academy and to make a career out of his lifelong passion

“I am excited to work with the Filmmakers Academy and learn everything that I possibly can about editing, workflow and technique from seasoned professionals,” Bryant said. “I’m also excited to make connections with the filmmakers employed there.”

Jew in the City Releases First Part of Documentary on Jewish Representation in Media

Jew in the City, a nonprofit founded by Allison Josephs that advocates for quality representation of Jewish people in the media, has released the first part of its documentary, “Hollywood’s Orthodox Jew Problem.” Told in separate parts, the documentary tackles three challenges for Jewish representation in media: False narratives surrounding the Orthodox Jewish community; tropes and stereotypes associated with secular Jews; and the erasure of Jews of color in Hollywood.

The hourlong documentary is being produced by JITC in collaboration with PhilmCo Media, and features interviews with major Jewish players in the media, including Dara Horn, author of “People Love Dead Jews.” The doc tackles recent and historical examples of antisemitic and problematic portrayals of Jewish people, and the first part specifically focuses on the skewed representation of Orthodox Jews, in stories that often depict them leaving their faith in order to self-actualize.

“While ex-Orthodox stories could be worthy of exploration from time to time, we’re a tiny people and the overrepresentation of observance as a thing to leave sends a really clear message that the way out is the only way for the Jew to complete him or herself,” Josephs says in the documentary. “When we can get Hollywood to see us as we see ourselves, then our work here will be done.”

Watch the first 15 minutes of the documentary below.

Tasveer Film Fund Launches 2022 Edition

South Asian arts organization Tasveer has launched its third annual film fund, which supports emerging filmmakers with production grants in addition to mentorship and resources.

The third annual Tasveer Film Fund will include two tracks, one for short films and one for feature films. Netflix supports the short film track as part of its Fund for Creative Equity initiative, and the track offers three seperate grants: a $15,000 documentary project grant, a $10,000 short narrative grant and a $10,000 short narrative LGBTQI+ grant. The newly launched feature film track will offer $15,000 to South Asian feature filmmakers.

“Tasveer has long supported South Asian filmmakers through our film festival, but to have a grant that helps make these projects possible at their inception — that is a long-time organizational dream that is finally being realized,” Rita Meher, Tasveer executive director, said in a statement.

The Tasveer Film Fund is lead by program director Lucy Mukerjee. Applications for the grant are open until Sept. 15. Three finalists will be chosen for each category, who will pitch their projects prior to the Tasveer South Asian Film Festival in November 2022, with winners being chosen based on the pitch.

Harbor Picture Company Expands Los Angeles Studio

Harbor Picture Company is adding 10,000 square feet to its Santa Monica campus, with editorial suites, finishing suites and four new theaters. Its total footprint in Santa Monica will be 10 theaters and 16,000 square feet for episodic, theatrical and commercial picture and sound finishing.

The new campus will be the hub for Harbor’s west coast dailies, picture, sound, visual effects, and motion graphics artists. As the campus physically expands, as will Harbor’s pool of talent, with new artists, engineers, producers and more coming on board.

Wayne Schlock, AIA and Blue Point Architecture and Interiors, is collaborating with the company, on what Harbor calls a “mid-century-inspired state-of-the-art facility,” to be completed this summer.

“It is our vision to create the premier home for creative clients and craft talent in Los Angeles,” said Zak Tucker, Harbor founder and CEO. “This campus will be the most modern and forward-looking in terms of technology and workflow. It will be intimately connected to Harbor’s global geographies allowing for artist, production, and technology workflow collaboration across territories. This expansion marks a major move in Harbor’s goal of being the preferred home for directors, cinematographers, studios, networks, streaming studios, agencies, and brands to execute signature production and post-production work at scale.”

Elizaveta Zharikova Named Recipient  of The Society of Composers & Lyricists and Film Scoring Academy of Europe Scholarship

The Society of Composers & Lyricists (SCL) and the Film Scoring Academy of Europe (FSAE) awards the second annual SCL/FSAE scholarship for the 2022-23 academic year to Elizaveta “Liza” Zharikova, 26, an award-winning concert violinist from St. Petersburg, Russia.

She will participate in the Master of Fine Arts program in Music for Motion Pictures & Contemporary Media offered at FSAE’s campus in Sofia, Bulgaria. The scholarship determination is based on artistic promise and financial need. Adjudication was overseen by a panel drawn from the SCL’s board and FSAE’s senior faculty. Due to the overwhelming interest in the scholarship, the SCL and FSAE will continue the program next year.

SCL President Ashley Irwin explained, “The Society of Composers & Lyricists is honored to partner with the Film Scoring Academy of Europe and assist in expanding the educational opportunities of future composers.” FSAE Dean Andy Hill commented on the scholarship, “We’re thrilled to see the scholarship go to Liza. She is an exceptionally promising composer and was also one of the top five applicants to the master’s program at NYU. The fact that she’s coming to Sofia says something important about our growth and about the importance of this award.”