Nicolás Pereda’s Narco Culture-Themed Film “Fauna” to Premiere at This Year’s Reimagined Toronto Film Festival

Nicolás Pereda is bringing the faunato this year’s reimagined Toronto Film Festival.

The 38-year-old Mexican filmmaker’s latest film Fauna will be among the film’s screened at the festival, which is North America’s largest festival.

Nicolás Pereda

The film is an exploration of the impact of “narco” culture on Mexican society.

It’ll be Fauna’s official global premiere. An excerpt from the film was screened as part of the “Works in Progress” section of the Los Cabos International Film Festival in 2019,and won the Cinecolor Mexico Award.

This year’s edition will run from September 10–19. As expected, the festival will look different due to the coronavirus.

Organizers say the 45th TIFF will be “tailored to fit the moment,” with a combination of physical screenings and drive-ins, digital screenings, virtual red carpets, press conferences and industry talks. 

There’ll be considerably fewer movies — a selection comprising 50 new features — and the festival isn’t expecting large numbers of international press or industry to attend in person.

In addition to Pereda’s Fauna, this year’s strong crop of early movies confirmed to screen at the festival are the Kate Winslet-starrer AmmoniteThomas Vinterberg’s Another RoundConcrete Cowboy with Idris ElbaGood Joe Bell starring Mark WahlbergSuzanne Lindon’s Spring BlossomTrue Mothers by Naomi Kawase and Halle Berry’s directorial debut BruisedMore titles will be announced over the summer.

The movies will play over the event’s first five days as physical, socially distanced screenings. There will also be five programs of short films, interactive talks, film cast reunions, and Q&As with cast and filmmakers.

However, the festival has acknowledged that its plans for an in-person festival will be contingent on the local government’s “reopening framework to ensure that festival venues and workplaces practice, meet and exceed public health guidelines.” Large gatherings still aren’t permitted in Toronto.

TIFF temporarily closed its year-round offices and cinemas at TIFF Bell Lightbox in March due to the pandemic. The organization is now taking steps to prepare for reopening and working with medical advisors and public health officials to ensure safe conditions.

Meanwhile, TIFF is launching a bespoke digital platform for the festival. The organization has partnered with Shift72 on the platform, which will host digital screenings, talks and special events.

The Industry Conference will be online-only this year, with screenings for press and industry taking place on the digital platform only. The fest says there will be “advanced security and anti-piracy measures, access to buyers, and opportunities for networking.”

For 2020, TIFF says it will welcome 50 filmmakers and actors as TIFF Ambassadors to help the festival deliver its program. They will include Ava DuVernayTaika Waititi, Anurag KashyapNicole KidmanMartin ScorseseNadine LabakiAlfonso CuarónTantoo CardinalRiz Ahmed, Isabelle HuppertClaire DenisAtom EgoyanPriyanka Chopra, Viggo MortensenZhang ZiyiDavid OyelowoLulu Wang, Rosamund PikeSarah Gadon and Denis Villeneuve.

TIFF will also present its annual TIFF Tribute Awards, acknowledging and celebrating outstanding contributors to the film industry. 

Now in its third year, TIFF’s Media Inclusion Initiative will continue to accredit eligible black, indigenous, people of color, LGBTQ+ and female emerging film critics. New this year, TIFF is also offering companies and individuals the opportunity to gift industry access to 250 underrepresented emerging filmmakers from around the world.

Jimmy Smits Taking Part in PBS’ Virtual “National Memorial Day Concert”

Jimmy Smits is honoring the military personnel who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces in a special way…

The 64-year-old half-Puerto Rican actor will be taking part in the National Memorial Day Concert.

Jimmy Smits

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, this year’s show will be a virtual concert. But creators hope it takes on a special resonance.

“These important rituals and holidays have a whole meaning for all of this time too,” said executive producer Michael Colbert. “We are certainly completely focused on what Memorial Day is, but I feel like at this time it is touching so many of us today.”

The National Memorial Day Concert willair on PBS on Sunday at 8:00 pm ET. The 90-minute show honors members of the military and veterans with performances and personal stories, it’s is a 31-year tradition.

Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise are returning to host the event, with a line up that includes former Secretary of State Colin PowellCynthia ErivoRenée FlemingTrace Adkins, CeCe WinansKelli O’HaraMary McCormack, Christopher Jackson and the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jack Everly, as well as General Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The broadcast will also feature performances from previous concerts, including those by Sam ElliottLaurence Fishburne and Esai Morales.

Colbert believes that the concert, which has honored sacrifices made in wars of the past, sends an important message for what the country is going through today. The event also will spotlight those who have been on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis, including first responders, doctors, nurses, grocery clerks, truck drivers and postal workers.

“We just felt that, to have that focus on what we have already gone through, will bring a real connection to people to what is going on today, to show that we are going to get through this,” he said.

Also woven throughout the show will be messages from entertainers and other artists directed at members of the military, veterans and front-line workers. The list includes Chris EvansGeorge Clooney, Gwyneth PaltrowJulianne MooreJimmy KimmelMark Wahlberg and Smits. 

The National Memorial Day Concert also will air on the American Forces Network, and will be streamed on YouTube and Facebook, as well as PBS.org. It also will be available on demand.

Here’s the list of performers with taped messages: Anthony RamosBlair UnderwoodBrian TeeChely WrightChris EvansCourteney CoxDenis LearyDule HillGeorge ClooneyGraham GreeneGwyneth PaltrowJaina Lee OrtizJennifer GarnerJimmy KimmelJimmy SmitsJon HammJulianne MooreLindsey VonnLisa KudrowMarcia Gay HardenMark WahlbergMilo VentimiglioNoah WylieRita MorenoS. Epatha MerkersonSteven WeberSugar Ray LeonardVanessa Williams.

Also participating in new and some past selected performances are members from the U.S. Army Herald TrumpetsThe U.S. Army Chorus, the U.S. Army Voices and Downrange, the Soldiers’ Chorus of the U.S. Army Field Band, the U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters, the U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants and Service Color Teams provided by the Military District of Washington, D.C.

Cabello to Perform with Pitbull & J Balvin at the MTV Movie & TV Awards

Camila Cabello is ready to take the stage…

The 20-year-old Cuban singer and former Fifth Harmony member will join Pitbull and J Balvin as performers for the 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards on May 7.

Camila Cabello

The trio will perform their hit collaboration “Hey Ma,” which appears on the soundtrack to The Fate of the Furious.

The Fast & Furious franchise will receive the Generation Award at this year’s event, which, for the first time, will combine kudos for both the big and small screen.

Comedian Adam Devine will host the show live from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

Since 1992, the Generation Award has honored artists for their body of work, with past recipients including Will Smith, Reese Witherspoon, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Wahlberg, Sandra BullockJamie Foxx, Johnny Depp, Ben StillerAdam Sandler, Mike Myers, Tom Cruise and Jim Carrey.

Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez will accept the Generation Award on behalf of the Fast crew.

The Spanish-language version of “Hey Ma” debuted at No. 5 on Billboard‘s Hot Latin Songs chart dated April 1.

Rodriguez & Her Fast & Furious Co-Stars to Receive Generation Award at the MTV Movie & TV Awards

It’s a new generation for Michelle Rodriguez

The 38-year-old Puerto Rican and Dominican American actress and her fellow Fast & Furious franchise co-stars will receive the Generation Award at this year’s MTV Movie & TV Awards on May 7, marking the first time the award show will give the honor to a film franchise rather than an individual actor.

Michelle Rodriguez

Fast & Furious star and producer Vin Diesel will accept the award alongside his co-stars Rodriguez, who portrays Letty in the franchise, Tyrese Gibson and Jordan Brewster.

Since 1992, the Generation Award has honored talent with a body of work throughout their career that speaks directly to the MTV audience. Past recipients include Will Smith, Reese Witherspoon, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Wahlberg, Sandra Bullock, Jamie Foxx, Johnny Depp, Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, Mike Myers, Tom Cruise and Jim Carrey.

MTV will air marathons of the first three Fast & Furious films this weekend. They’ll feature a trivia game hosted by stars Diesel and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, offering social engagers a chance to win a trip to attend the MTV Movie & TV Awards.

The 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards will be hosted by actor and comedian Adam Devine, with the telecast airing live on Sunday, May 7, at 8:00 pm EST from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

Ortiz Lands Recurring Role on USA Network’s Drama Series “Shooter”

Jaina Lee Ortiz has landed a new role…

The 30-year-old Latina actress has landed a recurring role opposite Ryan Phillippe on the second season of USA Network’s breakout drama series Shooter.

Jaina Lee Ortiz

Based on the best-selling novels by Stephen Hunter and the 2007 Paramount Pictures film starring Mark Wahlberg, Season 2 follows the journey of Bob Lee Swagger (Phillippe), a highly decorated veteran who must confront a nemesis from his past in order to return to a life of normalcy.

Ortiz will play Angela Tio, a Marine and part of Bob Lee’s former unit. Tio holds her own with the guys and is one of the few people who knows Bob Lee well enough to keep him grounded.

Ortiz can currently be seen starring opposite Morris Chestnut in the second season of Rosewood. She previously played one of the lead roles in Amazon pilot The After and also starred in indie features Misfire and Laid Out.

Shooter Season 2 premieres July 18 on USA Network.

Ambrosio to Star in Paramount Pictures’ “Daddy’s Home 2”

Alessandra Ambrosio is returning Home

Following a cameo appearance in the 2015 comedy Daddy’s Home, the 35-year-old Brazilian supermodel and Victoria’s Secret Angel is set to return in a more prominent role for Paramount Pictures’ upcoming Daddy’s Home 2.

Alessandra Ambrosio

The film will see Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell reprising their roles, as well as new additions Mel Gibson and John Lithgow.

In the sequel, father and stepfather, Dusty (Wahlberg) and Brad (Ferrell), are now working together to give their kids a perfect Christmas, however, upon the arrival of Dusty’s dad (Gibson) and Brad’s dad (Lithgow), their blended family conflicts rise to the surface.

Sean Anders is directing a script he wrote with John Morris.

Ambrosio most recently appeared in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.

Cabrera to Star in Michael Bay’s “Transformers: The Last Knight”

Santiago Cabrera is ready to transform his career…

The 38-year-old Venezuelan-born Chilean actor is starring in Michael Bay’s Transformers: The Last Knight, the fifth installment in the Transformers franchise.

Santiago Cabrera

Mark WahlbergJosh DuhamelTyrese Gibson and Stanley Tucci are set to reprise their roles as Cade Yaeger, William Lennox, Robert Epps and Joshua Joyce respectively in the action flick.

Other cast members include Anthony HopkinsLaura HaddockIsabela MonerJerrod Carmichael, John Turturro and John Goodman.

Written by Art Marcum, Matt Halloway and Ken Nolan, the movie follows Optimus Prime who finds his home planet, Cybertron, now a dead planet. Thinking that he’s responsible for its demise, he finds a way to bring the planet back to life. However, in order to do so he needs to find an artifact on Earth.

Cabrera’s previous credits include appearances on The Mindy Project, Covert Affairs, Merlin, Dexter, The Musketeers and Heroes.

Transformers: The Last Knight is coming to U.S. theaters on June 23, 2017.

Ortiz to Appear in Boston Marathon Attack-Themed Film “Patriots Day”

David Ortiz is ready for his close-up…

The 40-year-old Dominican designated hitter for the Boston Red Sox will appear in the upcoming movie, Patriots Day, a film that revisits the events of the terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.

David Ortiz

Ortiz will play himself and reenact his speech addressing fans in Fenway Park on April 20, 2013, in which he stated, “This is our f—ing city. And nobody’s going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong!”

The film is scheduled for a limited release in theaters in Boston, New York and Los Angeles on December 21, 2016, with a wider national release slated for January 13, 2017.

It’s being directed by Peter Berg and stars Mark Wahlberg playing a Boston policeman.

“Yeah, Mark [Wahlberg] and I go way back,” Ortiz told ESPN.com. “He came and approached me the other day, asking me about it. And I said, ‘No problem.’ It sounds like it’s going to be fun. We’re going to do the filming when I get back to Boston, one of those mornings. I’m excited.

“It’s a big deal,” Ortiz said. “This movie is going to be a big deal, especially in Boston. After what happened in 2013, it’s going to come out on Christmas.”

Ortiz had no problem getting into how important that moment was for him, as well as for the city of Boston. He feels comfortable tapping into the feelings of the day he spoke to fans and of the pride he feels in helping to express the sentiments of many in the city. It’s especially noteworthy because the film will reportedly use considerable amounts of documentary footage, so the decision to reenact Ortiz’s speech and recapture the emotions of that moment make for a potentially powerful artistic decision.

“That’s the idea,” Ortiz said. “Being proud of it, it’s one of the main reasons they want me in it. But I can say, he went through some other details with me that, once you guys watch the movie, you guys are going to find out about. I’m excited.”

For Ortiz, beyond his personal feelings and role in the events after the bombing, this was also something that speaks to the kinds of movies he’s interested in.

“It’s about history, and I’m a big fan of movies based on true stories,” he said. “When they came out and asked me about it, I could agree with it.”

Gomez to Executive Produce Drama Based On Her Own Life for Lifetime

It appears art will soon imitate Selena Gomez’s life…

The 23-year-old half-Mexican American actress/singer will executive produce a scripted drama inspired by her own life experiences for Lifetime.

Selena Gomez

The project is among the highest-profile entries on the network’s development slate.

Search is underway for a writer to pen the untitled Gomez project, which draws from the young actress’ experience navigating a career in Hollywood as seen through the eyes of her friends who quickly become her most trusted inner circle.

The drama draws parallels to the HBO comedy Entourage, inspired by executive producer Mark Wahlberg’s life as a young Hollywood actor surrounded by his close friends.

Gomez has been ramping up her portfolio as a producer. She is also executive producing Netflix’s upcoming series 13 Reasons Why, which has set Tom McCarthy to direct the first two episodes, as well as a Latina Empire-themed drama in development at Freeform.

Szifron to Direct Sci-Fi Series “The Stranger” for Media Rights Capital

It’s stranger times for Damian Szifron

The 39-year-old Argentine film and television director, whose Relatos Salvajes was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards, is set to helm a sci-fi series in the United States.

Damian Szifron

Szifron will make his directorial debut on the small screen in the U.S. with “The Stranger,” a series limited to 10 episodes that he’ll write and direct for Media Rights Capital (MRC) studios.

The format will include stories that go global, with multiple locations and different languages, according to Deadline.com.

The agreement gives Szifron a new project in the U.S. market, where he recently closed a deal to write the screenplay for the film The Six Billion Dollar Man starring Mark Wahlberg and directed by Peter Berg.

That film is a movie adaptation of the TV series of the same name that was a hit on the ABC network in the United States between 1974 and 1978.

Szifron has also signed a deal to write and direct a future thriller for TriStar.