Netflix Releases Trailer for Ariana DeBose’s Musical “The Prom”

Ariana DeBose is heading to prom

Netflix has released the first trailer for Ryan Murphy’s musical The Prom, starring the 29-year-old half-Afro-Puerto Rican actress, singer and dancer.

Ariana DeBose in The Prom

The plot centers on four Broadwayactors who’ve seen better days who come up with a publicity opportunity to reignite their careers by flying to a small town in Indiana to help a lesbian student banned from bringing her girlfriend to the prom.

The adaptation of the Tony Award-nominated stage musical has a screenplay from original playwrights Chad Beguelinand Bob Martin.

In addition to DeBose, who competed on So You Think You Can Dance, the all-star cast includes Meryl Streep, James Corden, Nicole Kidman, Keegan-Michael Key, Andrew Rannells, Jo Ellen Pellman, Tracey Ullman, Kevin Chamberlin, Mary Kay Place, Nico Greetham, Logan Riley, Nathaniel J. Potvin, Sofia Deler, and Kerry Washington.

The film will launch on the streaming service on December 11.

Netflix Releases New Photos of Ariana DeBose’s Musical Film “The Prom”

Ariana DeBose is heading to the big dance

Netflix has released new photos for the film adaptation of the Tony Award-nominated musical The Prom, starring the 29-year-old Afro-Puerto Rican actress and Broadway star.

Ariana DeBose in The Prom

The film, directed by Ryan Murphy, will arrive on Netflix on December 11.

It stars Meryl Streep as Dee Dee Allen, Nicole Kidman as Angie Dickinson, James Corden as Barry Glickman, Andrew Rannells as Trent Oliver, DeBose as Alyssa Greene, Keegan-Michael Key as Mr. Hawkins, Kerry Washington as Mrs. Greene, Kevin Chamberlin as Sheldon Saperstein, and newcomer Jo Ellen Pellman as Emma Nolan.

Featuring a book by Chad Beguelin and Bob Martin and a score by Beguelin and Matthew Sklar, the musical tells the story of an Indiana high schooler barred from bringing her girlfriend to the prom—and the group of eccentric Broadway folk who infiltrate the town in an earnest, misguided attempt to fight the injustice.

The Prom opened on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre on November 15, 2018. The musical played 23 preview and 309 performances before closing August 11, 2019, earning seven Tony Award nominations.

The production, directed and choreographed by Tony winner Casey Nicholaw, starred Tony winner Beth Leavel, Tony nominees Christopher Sieber and Brooks AshmanskasCaitlin Kinnunen, Isabelle McCallaAngie Schworer, Micahel PottsJosh Lamon, and Courtenay Collins.

DeBose’s theater credits include Bring It On, Motown: The Musical, Pippin and Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.

Oscar Isaac to Lend Voice to HBO Max’s “A World of Calm” Series

Oscar Isaac is helping bring the calm…

HBO Max has ordered A World of Calm, featuring the 41-year-old Guatemalan & Cuban actor’s voice.

Oscar Isaac

The series is based on Calm, a popular sleep and meditation app, and will be narrated by several big names like Isaac.

The 10-episode order, co-produced by Calm and Nutopia, is HBO Max’s first brush with the health and wellness space and 

From the creators of the Calm app and Nutopia, the series combines mesmeric imagery with narration by A-list stars like Isaac, Mahershala AliIdris ElbaNicole Kidman, Zoë KravitzLucy LiuCillian Murphy and Keanu Reeves.

Here’s the logline: A timely antidote for our modern lives, each half-hour episode takes audiences on an immersive visual journey into another world. Building on Calm’s Sleep Stories– bedtime stories for grown-ups – each relaxing tale is designed to transform how you feel. Viewers will be transported into tranquility through scientifically engineered narratives, enchanting music and astounding footage to naturally calm the body and soothe the mind.

“With the considerable amount of stress and chaos we are all experiencing at this particularly challenging time, we could all use a bit of guided relaxation, and A World of Calmis here to help,” said Jennifer O’Connell, EVP Non-fiction and Kids Programming at HBO Max.

“Although this collaboration has been in the works for many months,” said Nutopia CEO and founder Jane Root, “this series has been entirely created during quarantine using Nutopia’s worldwide network of award-winning cinematographers and filmmakers. We hope this series of serene stories will bring a sense of much needed calm to audiences.”

Added Calm co-founder and co-CEO Michael Acton Smith: “Calm started life as a meditation app, but the brand has evolved far beyond that. We are delighted to bring the magic behind our audio Sleep Stories to the screen for the first time. These experiences are visual Valium and will help people relax and unwind during these stressful times.”

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.

Antonio Banderas to Receive International Star Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival

Antonio Banderas is a shining star… 

The 59-year-old Spanish actor will receive the 31st annual Palm Springs International Film Festival’s International Star Award, Actor for his performance in Pedro Almodovar’s Pain and Glory

Antonio Banderas

“Throughout his career Antonio Banderas has garnered international acclaim and world recognition from his memorable performances,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “In his latest film Pain and Glory, Antonio Banderas gives another deeply moving performance as aging film director Salvador Mallo going through a creative crisis as he reflects on the choice’s he’s made throughout his life.”

Past recipients of the International Star Award include Javier BardemNicole KidmanHelen Mirren, Gary Oldman and Saoirse Ronan

Banderas, who recently earned a Goya Award nomination for his performance in Pain and Glory, will join the previously announced honorees Jennifer Lopez (Spotlight Award), Joaquin Phoenix (Chairman’s Award), Martin Scorsese Sonny Bono Visionary Award), Charlize Theron( International Star Award, Actress) and Renée Zellweger(Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actress).

From Sony Picture Classicsand presented by El DeseoPain and Glory tells of a series of reencounters experienced by Salvador Mallo, a film director in his physical decline. Some of them in the flesh, others remembered.

The award will be presented at the festival’s Film Awards Galaon Thursday, January 2 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

The festival runs January 2-13, 2020.

Banderas’ next project is Dolittle

Ismael Cruz Cordova to Star in HBO’s Limited Series “The Undoing”

Ismael Cruz Cordovais Undoing things…

The 31-year-old Puerto Rican actor has been cast opposite Nicole KidmanHugh Grant and Donald Sutherland in The Undoing, HBO’s high-profile six-episode limited series written by David E. Kelleyand directed by Susanne Bier.

Ismael Cruz Cordova

An adaptation of Jean Hanff Korelitz’s book You Should Have Known, The Undoingcenters on Grace Sachs (Kidman), who is living the only life she ever wanted for herself. She’s a successful therapist, has a devoted husband (Grant) and young son (Noah Jupe) who attends an elite private school in New York City. Overnight a chasm opens in her life: a violent death, a missing husband, and, in the place of a man Grace thought she knew, only a chain of terrible revelations. Left behind in the wake of a spreading and very public disaster, and horrified by the ways in which she has failed to heed her own advice, Grace must dismantle one life and create another for her child and herself.

Cordova will play Fernando Alves.

The cast also includes Edgar Ramirezand Lily Rabe.

Cruz Cordova recently starred in Miss Bala for SonyMary Queen of Scots for Focus Films and Berlin Stationfor Epix

Gabriel Mariño Wins Two Awards at the Los Cabos Intl. Film Festival

Gabriel Mariño is the man of the hour in Mexico…

The Mexican director’s “Yesterday Wonder I Was” was a big winner at the 6th Los Cabos Intl. Film Festival on Saturday night.

Gabriel Mariño

Mariño’s black & white low-fi fantasy tale won the Premio FIPRESCI in the Mexico Primero category, as well as the Cinemex Prize.

The film is a body-swapping tale of a solitary soul in one of the world’s most populated cities. The entity, completely unintentionally and unexplained, occasionally wakes up in a new body for an unknown period of time. Gender, age and physical features are all lost, the only thing remaining is the entity’s consciousness. The film follows the entity through parks, parties, rooftops and its beloved courtyard garden as it tries to make a connection with someone who will love it in return, in spite of its condition. That possible connection comes in the form of Luisa, a beautiful hairdresser who cuts the entity’s hair after each swap. When finally it wakes up in a body young and attractive enough to instill the necessary confidence, the entity makes its move and begins a relationship with Luisa, not knowing how she will respond to the next swap.

Mariño’s second feature film hit Los Cabos off Mexico’s Morelia Festival last month, where it won the awards for best first/second Mexican film and actress (Sonia Franco).

Sean Baker’s “The Florida Project,” which was shot with an eye for eye-popping color by ace Mexican cinematographer Alexis Zabe, took home the top prize at the festival.

Baker’s latest take on America’s margins – here a hooker mother and six-year-old scam-artist daughter struggling to get by at roadside motel flophouse in the shadow of Disney World – was always a frontrunner in main competition.

David Pablos’ “Dive” took was given the Los Cabos Goes to Cannes Award.

To be directed by Pablos, the project is inspired by a real case of sexual abuse by a trainer of his young female divers in Mexico’s high-board diving team. Winningly, the film looks set to present both the power dynamics, which facilitated the abuse and the protagonist’s psychological battle to recognize that she has even been the victim.

Meanwhile, Nicole Kidman accepted an Outstanding Cinema Award at the beginning of Los Cabos’ awards gala ceremony.

Here’s a look at the night’s big winners:

LOS CABOS COMPETITION: “The Florida Project,” (Sean Baker, U.S.) 

MEXICO PRIMERO

PREMIO FIPRESCI: “Yesterday Wonder I Was,” (Gabriel Mariño, Mexico)
CINEMEX PRIZE: “Yesterday Wonder I Was”
CINEMEX AUDIENCE AWARD: “Road to Mars,” (Humberto Hinojosa)
ART KINGDOM AWARD: “Morir a los desiertos,” (Marta Ferrer, Mexico)

GABRIEL FIGUEROA FILM FUND AWARDS

LOS CABOS GOES TO CANNES AWARD: “Dive,” (David Pablos)
WORKS IN PROGRESS: “History Lessons,” (Marcelino Islas Hernández)
FILM IN DEVELOPMENT: Noche de fuego,” (Tatiana Huezo); “Israela & Talleen,” (Trisha Ziff)
LABO AWARD: “Bayoneta,” (Kizza Terrazas); “The Chambermaid,” (Lila Avilés)
CTT EXP & RENTALS AWARD: “Dive”
CHEMISTRY AWARD: Penumbra, by Pablo Barrera
TALENT ON THE ROAD / WORLD TALENT HOUSE AWARD: “My Tender Matador,” (Rodrigo Sepúlveda, Chile)
LCI AWARD: “Temple,” (Lucia Gaja)

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Nicole Kidman

Thorne Joins Voice Cast of The Weinstein Co.’s “The Guardian Brothers”

Bella Thorne has a new guardian

The 19-year-old half-Cuban American actress/singer has joined the voice cast of The Weinstein Co.’s The Guardian Brothers.

Bella Thorne

Thorne, best known for starring in the Disney Channel series Shake It Up, joins a cast that includes Edward Norton, Jim Gaffigan, Meryl Streep, Mel Brooks and Nicole Kidman in the U.S. version of the animated movie.

Initially distributed in China by Alibaba Pictures in early 2016 (under the original title The Little Door Gods), the film is being re-voiced in English by The Weinstein Co.

The Weinstein Co. acquired worldwide rights, with the exception of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau, for the film.

The original movie follows the comedic adventures of two “door guardians” — figures from Chinese folklore who protect the entranceway of one’s home — who are out of work because contemporary Chinese people are so busy with modern consumer life that they have forgotten about the spirit world.

Gary Wang wrote and directed The Little Door Gods, which grossed $12 million during its China release in 2016.

Blahnik to be the Subject of a Documentary Film

Manolo Blahnik and his shoes are made for walking right onto the big screen…

The 73-year-old Spanish fashion designer will be the subject of a documentary titled Manolo (The boy who made shoes for lizards).

Manolo Blahnik

The film about the fashion sensation, whose first name became a cultural reference point after frequent shout-outs on HBO’s Sex and the City, will be directed by Michael Roberts.

It’s being dubbed as an in-depth portrait of the man who is regarded as a genius by some of the most revered figures in fashion and will offer a behind-the-scenes peek into his fabulous world.

Manolo will feature interviews with a who’s who of some of the most notable figures in fashion and entertainment, including Anna Wintour, Rihanna, Andre Leon Talley, Paloma Picasso, Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell, Charlotte Olympia, Iman, Jamie Preto, Naomi Campbell, David Bailey, Isaac Mizrahi, Joan Burnstein, Mary Beard, Colin McDowell, Penelope Tree, Prince of Lampedusa, Rupert Everett and Blahnik himself.

Production on the doc is currently underway.

Content Media has acquired worldwide sales rights to the film and will begin introducing Manolo next month during the European Film Market in Berlin.

“Manolo Blahnik is fashion royalty and the king of his craft,” Content Media film president Jamie Carmichael said Wednesday in a statement. “He also happens to be a wonderfully colorful and fascinating man, with a unique world view. Michael Roberts is a director with unparalleled access and understanding of the fashion world and the combination of both these golden elements will make for fabulous and fascinating cinema.”

For more than 40 years, Blahnik has been designing his shoe line, which has attracted a devoted following including the likes of Nicole Kidman, Rihanna and the Duchess of Cambridge.

Rapace to Star as Maria Callas in Biopic About the Opera Singer

There’s a legendary role in Noomi Rapace’s future …

The 35-year-old half-Spanish actress has signed on to portray iconic opera singer Maria Callas in the feature biopic Callas.

Noomi Rapace

Niki Caro is attached to direct the film from a screenplay she adapted from Alfonso Signorini’s biography Too Proud, Too Fragile.

The biopic focuses on the passionate relationship between the diva and Aristotle Onassis, which spanned almost two decades.

This is a long-gestating project that resurfaced at the Cannes Film Festival last year, before Rapace and Content’s involvement.

Rapace, who most recently joined SND’s What Happened To Monday?, is the latest Latina actress to portray the opera singer.

Spanish actress Paz Vega appeared as Callas in 2014’s Grace of Monaco, starring Nicole Kidman.