UTA Signs Signature Tracks, Obtains Access to Extensive Music Library – Film News in Brief

(L to R) Signature Tracks co-founders Adam Malka, David Lasman and Russell Howard.
Photo courtesy of Adam Amengua

Signature Tracks, a company that offers an extensive music library to businesses in entertainment, was signed March 15 by UTA. UTA’s Production Arts division will primarily collaborate with the company.

“We are excited to be represented by UTA to help us develop even deeper relationships with the top production companies, showrunners and talent,” said Signature Tracks co-founder Adam Malka.

With a database of over 75,000 songs, Signature Tracks has been utilized for over 30,000 episodes of television and various promotional projects. Past clients include entertainment bigshots like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Paramount, Fox, NBCUniversal and Mar Vista Entertainment.

Recently, Signature Tracks also launched a sister brand, called Signature Score, which provides users with the opportunity to receive custom scores from a vast range of composers.

Ingenuity Studios Appoints Juliet Tierney as Executive Producer

Streamland Media’s visual effects division, Ingenuity Studios, has appointed award-winning visual effects production executive Juliet Tierney as an executive producer. Tierney has been hired to spearhead Ingenuity Studios’ business development in the Los Angeles office.

Tierney joins the full-service visual effects studio, which contributes to feature films, episodic television, music videos and advertising clients.

“Juliet’s deep expertise and love for the craft of visual effects, and all that goes into it, is a huge asset to our growing studio,” said David Lebensfeld, founding partner and VFX supervisor at Ingenuity Studios.

Prior to this announcement, Tierney has worked with world-renowned directors and artists, refining her animation and visual effects skills for both feature and live-action productions — including “Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter To Los Angeles,” “Mother,” “I, Tonya” and “The Orville” series. Tierney’s work on “Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter To Los Angeles” earned her a Grammy nomination, and the executive has won every major advertising industry awards, including the Cannes Lions, D&AD, AICP and many more. In addition to her many accolades, Tierney is a member of the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA), the Visual Effects Society (VES), and The Recording Academy.

Ryan Verniere Tapped as Senior Vice President of Story at AGBO

Ryan Verniere has been tapped as AGBO’s SVP of story, which was announced by co-presidents Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. In the position, Verniere will take part in developing film and television IP.

“Ryan is an innovative worldbuilder of the highest order,” said Markus and McFeely in a joint statement. “He has both a deep well of esoteric knowledge and the storytelling skills to transform it into popular entertainment. His facility with mythology, character and genre will make him an incredibly valuable addition to AGBO and all we’re trying to create.”

Verniere brings over a decade of experience at Riot Games, working from a senior writer to a creative director of franchises. He helped develop “League of Legends” champions in “Teamfight Tactics,” “Legends of Runeterra” and “League of Legends: Wild Rift.” He also created Blackbirds RPG.

“I spent the last two decades working on digital toys as a Geppetto of sorts,” Verniere said. “All my years as a narrative designer have uniquely prepared me for this opportunity. AGBO is an innovative company with passionate storytellers, and I’m thrilled to be a part of the team. Together we’ll bring new characters to life, and undiscovered worlds will manifest.”

AGBO is an independent studio that develops and produces intellectual properties spanning film, TV, audio, publishing and gaming.

‘Little Richard: I Am Everything’ Documentary Gets Official Trailer

Magnolia Pictures has released the official trailer for “Little Richard: I Am Everything,” Lisa Cortés’ latest documentary, which focuses on the iconic rock n’ roll musician Richard “Little Richard” Penniman.

The film explores how Little Richard and the Black queer origins of rock n’ roll founded the whitewashed canon of American pop music. The documentary follows how Richard contributed and created a self-expressive art form for musicians that ultimately would shape the music industry throughout the following decades. “Little Richard: I Am Everything,” interview subjects include the musician’s family, Black and queer scholars and celebrity subjects including Billy Porter, Mick Jagger, Sir Lady Java, John Waters, Nile Rodgers and many more.

“Little Richard: I Am Everything” was directed by Lisa Cortés (“All In: The Fight For Democracy”), executive produced by Dee Rees and produced by Robert Friedman, Cortés, Liz Yale Marsh and Caryn Capotosto.

After first premiering at the 2023 Sundance film festival in January, the film will be released in theaters and on VOD on April 21. Ahead of the theatrical and digital release, the film will have special one-night-only theatrical screenings on April 11.

Watch the “Little Richard: I Am Everything” official trailer below.

Endeavor and Women’s Sports Foundation Launch Partnership to Promote Gender Equity in Sports

Endeavor and the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) announced a partnership to promote gender representation and equity in sports. As part of the partnership, Endeavor made a $250,000 donation to create pathways for women in all aspects of sports – from athletes to administrators to executives and coaches.

Through the partnership, the two groups will help female athletes’ professional development as they head into sports and entertainment roles after their athletic careers. The partnership will bring networking events and collaborative advocacy efforts as well as support policy to increase equity. Tapping into Endeavor’s organizations including UFC, IMG Academy and WME Sports and using sporting events such as Madrid and Miami Open, the partnership will uniquely combine with WSF’s advocacy work.

“This partnership is vital as we work to illuminate the equity gaps for girls and women on and off the field of play,” said WSF CEO Danette Leighton in a statement. “Together with Endeavor, we will be able to deepen our impact and inspire more girls and women to experience the transformative power of sport.”

American tennis player Billie Jean King founded WSF in 1974 to advocate for gender equity and eliminate barriers for girls in sports.

“We look forward to helping the Women’s Sports Foundation advance their mission by creating concrete solutions to address the issue of gender equity in women’s athletics,” said Romola Ratnam, Endeavor SVP and head of impact and inclusion. “We will activate the full Endeavor network on behalf of the Foundation and amplify their incredible work via our clients and properties.”  

The Cinema Audio Society Announced Their New Board of Directors

The Cinema Audio Society (CAS) has announced its newly elected board of directors for 2023, including newly elected president, Peter Kurland who has taken over for Karol Urban. Returning board members include vice president Steve Venezia, secretary Frank Morrone and treasurer Lee Orloff.

The 2023 CAS board of directors include: Lindsey Alvarez, David Bondelevitch, Willie D. Burton, Devendra Cleary, Marc Fishman, Tom Fleischman, Sara Glaser, Melissa S. Hofmann, Doc Kane, Sherry Klein, Richard Lightstone, Christian P. Minkler, Phillip W. Palmer, Stephen A. Tibbo and Mark Ulano.

The announcement follows the 59th CAS Awards, which were held on March 4. At the ceremony, outgoing president Urban concluded her tenure by recognizing her peers, “There is magic in this organization created by sound mixers for sound mixers. Together, we thrive through volunteerism, honoring our legends and ensuring a legacy for the future of our craft.”

Steven Spielberg, Paul Thomas Anderson, Angie Dickinson to Talk at TCM Classic Film Festival

TCM Classic Film Festival added to the lineup of its 14th annual celebration, with Steven Spielberg, Paul Thomas (PTA) Anderson and Angie Dickinson taking part.

The festival will kick off with a premiere of the “Rio Bravo” (1959) restoration, preceded by a conversation between star Dickinson and festival host Ben Mankiewicz. The 4k film restoration is in partnership with The Film Foundation celebrating Warner Bros’ 100th anniversary.

Spielberg and Anderson will take the TCM stage to celebrate Warner Bros Discovery’s multi-year partnership with Martin Scoresese’s The Film Foundation, for which the two directors are board members. The Film Foundation has worked to preserve and restore over 950 films.

“Any movie with Angie Dickinson is made better by the fact that Angie Dickinson is in it. Certainly, ‘Rio
Bravo’ is no exception. As an added bonus, it also has a couple of guys named John Wayne and Dean
Martin. Moreover, to have Paul Thomas Anderson and Steven Spielberg back for a second year in a row is such an honor, as well as an indication of the vital role TCM plays among the filmmaking community,” Mankiewicz said in a statement. “This restoration is important not just for the film or for the 100th anniversary of Warner Bros., but for the film-loving community at large.”

The TCM Classic Film Festival takes place April 13-16 in Hollywood.

Outfest Fusion QTBIPOC Film Festival Announced Full Lineup and Latest Honoree, Bird Runningwater

The 2023 Outfest Fusion QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous and People of Color) Film Festival, announced the upcoming festival’s full lineup and revealed Indigenous activist Bird Runningwater will receive the Fusion Impact Award.

Located in Los Angeles, the Outfest Fusion QTBIPOC film festival will run from March 24 – April 2, and festival goers can attend either in person or virtually.

The festival will honor Bird Runningwater at the opening gala on March 24, in an effort to recognize the producer’s commitment to uplifting the work of LGBTQ+ Indigenous filmmakers during his time leading Sundance Institute’s Native Lab.

“Bird Runningwater has been an inspired champion of Indigenous storytellers and independent artists forging their path to narrative impact,” said Outfest director of artistic development Martine McDonald. “His tireless work continues to cultivate generations of nuanced and vibrant representation of Indigenous peoples across media.”

This year’s lineup features 107 films from 16 countries around the world. In total, 10 narrative features, 93 shorts and four episodic pieces.

The features to premiere include Lisa Cortés’ “Little Richard: I Am Everything,” as well as “Follow the Protocol,” “Kenyatta: Do Not Wait Your Turn,” “Soft,” “Summer With Hope,” “The Harvest,” “The Stroll,” “This Place,” “Soy Niño,” and “Finding Her Beat.” 

“Soy Niño” directed by Lorena Zilleruelo will make its Los Angeles premiere. Originating from Chile and France, the documentary follows Bastian, a young trans boy, whose adolescence from 12 to 18 years old is documented by his cousin, director Zilleruelo.

“Finding Her Beat” will also make its Los Angeles premiere at the festival. Co-directed by Dawn Mikkelson and Keri Pickett, the documentary centers on the all-female Japanese drumming Taiko troupe, as the women rally together to make a place for themselves for the first time in centuries.

Check out the full lineup at outfestfusion.com.