Diaz to Star in MGM’s Action Horror Film “The Belko Experiment”

It experiment time for Melonie Diaz

The 31-year-old Puerto Rican actress has joined the cast of the MGM action horror pic The Belko Experiment.

Melonie Diaz

Written and produced by Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, the film is set to begin production next month in Bogota with director Greg McLean.

Diaz will play Dany Wilkins, the new girl at Belko Corporation. It’s her first day working in the building, and she really couldn’t have chosen a worst first day, since this is the day the employees are forced to either kill each one other or be killed.

Diaz starred in 2014 Sundance hit Fruitvale Station, and her recent credits also include HBO’s Girls and the features X/Y and The Cobbler.

Diaz Cast in HBO’s Drama Series Project “Laughs Unlimited”

Melonie Diaz has plenty of reason to laugh

The 29-year-old Puerto Rican actress, who earned critical acclaim for Spirit Award-nominated her performance in Fruitvale Station, has landed the lead in HBO‘s Laughs Unlimited (working title).

Melonie Diaz

The drama series, which centers on a war vet’s struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder, has been in the works at HBO for several months.

While it hasn’t been picked up to pilot yet, the network is doing preliminary casting and working on the budget as it does on most scripts it is high on before making a formal pilot order.

Laughs Unlimited hails from Oren Moverman, who has directed Rampart and The Messenger, and Anthony Swofford, best known for writing the book Jarhead.

It centers on Army Reserve medic Billie Crown (Diaz) who, after fifteen months as a combat medic in Afghanistan, discovers that “real life” is just as perilous as war. Duty as a Sacramento cop offers the same dangers and thrills as combat, and repairing relationships with her husband and young daughter is as difficult as saving a comrade after an IED attack. Moverman and Swofford wrote the script

Diaz recently wrapped production on The Cobbler.

Peña to Star in the Heist Thriller “Triple Nine”

Michael Peña is heading back to the force…

The 36-year-old Mexican American actor, who earned a Spirit Award nomination for his performance in the police drama End of Watch, will star in the heist thriller Triple Nine.

Michael Peña

Directed by John Hillcoat, the drama centers on a crew of dirty cops that is blackmailed by the Russian mob to execute a virtually impossible heist. The only way to pull it off is to manufacture a 999, police code for “officer down.” Their plan is turned upside down when the unsuspecting rookie officer they set up to die foils the attack, triggering a breakneck, action-packed finale filled with double-crosses, greed and revenge.

In addition to Peña, the film’s all-star cast includes Fruitvale Station’s Michael B. Jordan, Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul, Warm BodiesTeresa Palmer and Gal Gadot, 12 Years A Slave‘s Chiwetel Ejiofor, Casey Affleck and Kate Winslet.

Open Road Films, which just completed a deal to pre-buy domestic distribution rights on Triple Nine, plans to release the film in 2015.

Isaacs Earns Spirit Award Nomination for His Role in “Inside Llewyn Davis”

Oscar Isaacs’ awards season is off to a great start…

The 33-year-old Guatemalan and Cuban actor has earned a Spirit Award nomination for his critically acclaimed role in Inside Llewyn Davis, which was nominated for Best Feature.

Oscar Isaac in Inside Llewyn Davis

Isaacs is up for Best Male Lead against Nebraska’s Bruce Dern, 12 Years a Slave’s Chiwetel Ejiofor, Fruitvale Station’s Michael B Jordan, Dallas Buyers Club’s Matthew McConaughey and All is Lost’s Robert Redford.

Melonie Diaz has earned a nod for Best Supporting Female for her role in Fruitvale Station.

Film Independent’s 29th Spirit Awards will be held on March 1 in Santa Monica with Patton Oswalt hosting.

Here’s the full list of 2014 nominees:

BEST FEATURE
12 Years A Slave
All Is Lost
Frances Ha
Inside Llewyn Davis
Nebraska

BEST DIRECTOR
Shane Carruth, Upstream Color
J.C. Chandor, All Is Lost
Steve McQueen, 12 Years A Slave
Jeff Nichols, Mud
Alexander Payne, Nebraska

BEST FEMALE LEAD
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Julie Delpy, Before Midnight
Gaby Hoffmann, Crystal Fairy
Brie Larson, Short Term 12
Shailene Woodley, The Spectacular Now

BEST MALE LEAD
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years A Slave
Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis
Michael B Jordan, Fruitvale Station
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Robert Redford, All Is Lost

BEST SCREENPLAY
Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine
Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke & Richard Linklater, Before Midnight
Nicole Holofcener, Enough Said
Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber, The Spectacular Now
John Ridley, 12 Years A Slave

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Melonie Diaz, Fruitvale Station
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Yolonda Ross, Go For Sisters
June Squibb, Nebraska

BEST SUPPORTING MALE
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Will Forte, Nebraska
James Gandolfini, Enough Said
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Keith Stanfield, Short Term 12

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Lake Bell, In A World
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Don Jon
Bob Nelson, Nebraska
Jill Soloway, Afternoon Delight
Mike Starrbury, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Sean Bobbitt, 12 Years A Slave
Benoit Debie, Spring Breakers
Bruno Delbonnel, Inside Llewyn Davis
Frank G. Demarco, All Is Lost
Matthias Grunsky, Computer Chess

BEST EDITING
Shane Carruth & David Lowery, Upstream Color
Jem Cohen & Marc Vives, Museum Hours
Frank G. Demarco,
All Is Lost
Matthias Grunsky, Computer Chess
Nat Sanders, Short Term 12

BEST DOCUMENTARY
20 Feet From Stardom, Director/Producer: Morgan Neville, Producers: Gil Friesen & Caitrin Rogers
After Tiller, Directors/Producers: Martha Shane & Lana Wilson
Gideon’s Army, Director/Producer: Dawn Porter, Producer: Julie Goldman
The Act of Killing, Director/Producer: Joshua Oppenheimer, Producers: Joram Ten Brink, Christine Cynn, Anne Köhncke, Signe Byrge Sørensen, Michael Uwemedimo
The Square, Director: Jehane Noujaim, Producer: Karim Amer

BEST INT’L FILM
A Touch of Sin (China)
Blue is the Warmest Color (France)
Gloria (Chile)
The Great Beauty (Italy)
The Hunt (Denmark)

BEST FIRST FEATURE
Blue Caprice, Director/Producer: Alexandre Moors; Producers: Kim Jackson, Brian O’Carroll, Isen Robbins, Will Rowbotham, Ron Simons, Aimee Schoof, Stephen Tedeschi
Concussion, Director: Stacie Passon, Producer: Rose Troche
Fruitvale Station, Director: Ryan Coogler; Producers: Nina Yang Bongiovi, Forest Whitaker
Una Noche, Director/Producer: Lucy Mulloy, Producers: Sandy Pérez Aguila, Maite Artieda, Daniel Mulloy, Yunior Santiago
Wadjda, Director: Haifaa Al Mansour, Producers: Gerhard Meixner, Roman Paul

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD (best feature made for under $500,000)
Computer Chess, Writer/Director: Andrew Bujalski, Producers: Houston King & Alex Lipschultz
Crystal Fairy, Writer/Director: Sebastiàn Silva, Producers: Juan de Dios Larraín & Pablo Larraín
Museum Hours, Writer/Director: Jem Cohen, Producers: Paolo Calamita & Gabriele Kranzelbinder
Pit Stop, Writer/Director: Yen Tan, Writer: David Lowery, Producers: Jonathan Duffy, James M. Johnston, Eric Steele, Kelly Williams
This is Martin Bonner, Writer/Director: Chad Hartigan, Producer: Cherie Saulter

17th ANNUAL PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD
Toby Halbrooks & James M. Johnston
Jacob Jaffke
Andrea Roa
Frederick Thornton

20th ANNUAL SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD
My Sister’s Quinceañera, Director: Aaron Douglas Johnston
Newlyweeds, Director: Shaka King
The Foxy Merkins, Director: Madeline Olnek

19th ANNUAL STELLA ARTOIS TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD
Kalyanee Mam, A River Changes Course
Jason Osder, Let the Fire Burn
Stephanie Spray & Pacho Velez, Manakamana

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD
Mud, Director: Jeff Nichols, Casting Director: Francine Maisler, Ensemble Cast: Joe Don Baker, Jacob Lofland, Matthew McConaughey, Ray McKinnon, Sarah Paulson, Michael Shannon, Sam Shepard, Tye Sheridan, Paul Sparks, Bonnie Sturdivant, Reese Witherspoon

 

Trailer Released for Diaz’s Latest Film “Fruitvale Station”

Sure, Melonie Diaz is a certified indie film star… But her latest project could put her on the Oscar track.

The Weinstein Co. has released the trailer for the 29-year-old Puerto Rican actress’ latest film Fruitvale Station.

Fruitvale Station

Starring Michael B. Jordan, the film tells the story of Oscar Grant, the 22-year-old San Francisco Bay Area man whose fatal 2009 shooting by Oakland BART police sparked outrage and protests against police brutality.

Diaz stars as Sophina, Grant’s girlfriend and the mother of his daughter.

The Weinstein Co. bought the film, the directorial debut by Ryan Coogler, at the Sundance Film Festival for $2 million even before it won the fest’s U.S. Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award.

Fruitvale Station is set for release on July 12.

The Name of Diaz’s Latest Film Changed to “Fruitvale Station”

Melonie Diaz’s latest film is getting a name change…

The 28-year-old Puerto Rican actress’ latest project, Fruitvale, which won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for U.S. Dramatic film at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, is getting an extra word in its title.

Melonie Diaz

The Weinstein Company, which picked up the film about the 2009 fatal shooting of 22-year-old Oscar Grant on San Francisco’s BART by security guards for more than $2 million, changed the name of the film to Fruitvale Station

The Ryan Coogler-directed drama will still be released on July 26 as part of the company’s Oscar-season arsenal for its story about the final day of Grant’s life (as portrayed by Michael B. Jordan), a young man who has been in trouble with the law but is decent at heart and tries to straighten out his life to care for his girlfriend and young daughter.

The shooting galvanized protests against police brutality in Oakland.