Aubrey Plaza to Star Opposite Jason Statham in Guy Ritchie’s Next Thriller

High five to Aubrey Plaza!

The 36-year-old half-Puerto Rican actress/comedian is set to star Jason Statham in the Guy Ritchie untitled thriller formally known as Five Eyes. Miramax is producing and financing with STX handling distribution.

Aubrey Plaza

The story follows MI6 guns-and-steel agent (Statham) who’s recruited by a global intelligence alliance to track down and stop the sale of a deadly new weapons technology that threatens to disrupt the world order. Reluctantly paired with CIA high-tech expert, Fortune sets off on a globe-trotting mission where he will have to use all of his charm, ingenuity and stealth to track down and infiltrate billionaire arms broker.

 

The film will be produced Bill Block for Miramax, which is also fully financing the film.

Ritchie will direct and produce from a screenplay written by The Gentlemen scribes Ivan Atkinson and Marn Davies with revisions by Ritchie.

The news comes after Plaza’s scene-stealing role in the romantic comedy Happiest Season, which earned her critical acclaim and a massive amount of praise across social media.

She can be seen next in Lawrence Levine’s Black Bear on December 4th.  The film premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and garnered Plaza rave reviews for her performance.

She recently recently wrapped production on Lina Roessler’s Best Sellers starring opposite Michael Caine. Plaza most recently received critical acclaim for her role in Ingrid Goes West, which she produced and won the 2018 Independent Spirit Award for “Best First Feature.” Additionally, she recently starred in Noah Hawley’s television series, Legion on FX.

Chile Selects Maite Alberdi’s “The Mole Agent” for International Oscar Consideration

Maite Alberdi’s name has been thrown in the Oscar ring…

The 37-year-old Chilean producer, director, documentarian and screenwriter’s documentary The Mole Agent will represent Chile in the International Oscar race this year.

The Mole Agent

The film debuted at the Sundance Film Festival back in January. It follows a private investigator in Chile who hires someone to work as a mole at a retirement home where a client of his suspects the caretakers of elder abuse. Marcela Santibañez produced.

Gravitas Ventures is handling U.S. rights on the film, which is now streaming on Hulu. The movie will launch on POV on January 25.

The deadline for submissions to the Oscar race is December 1, with the 2021 ceremony scheduled to take place on April 25. The shortlist for the International Oscar will be unveiled February 9 and nominations will be announced March 15.

Amazon Prime Video Acquires Rights in Several International Territories to “Palm Springs,” Featuring Camila Mendes

Camila Mendesrepeat Wedding Day is going global…

Amazon Prime Video has acquired a swathe of international rights on Palm Springs, featuring the 26-year-old Brazilian American actress and Riverdale star as the bride celebrating her wedding day.

Camila Mendes, Palm Springs

The Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti-starring comedy caused a splash at the Sundance Film Festival this year when Hulu and Neon sealed a record-breaking $17.5M world rights deal.

FilmNation was selling international rights to the film, and several of those key territories have now sold to Amazon, which will launch the film in Australia and New Zealand (November 20), Canada (December 18), Netherlands, France and the UK (all early 2021).

The movie’s North America release was heavily disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, screening primarily at drive-ins before its Hulu launch.

Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti star in the Max Barbakow-directed feature in which Milioti plays a lost and occasionally self-destructive bridesmaid to a younger sister (Mendes) getting hitched in the desert. A moving wedding toast from a fellow guest (Samberg) gets the pair talking, and they seem to be a decent match until a metaphysical event occurs, leaving the two with ample time to ponder the meaning of life and how it should be spent.

Lionsgate Acquires Rights to Diego Luna’s Drama “Wander Darkly”

Diego Luna will be wandering into North America…

Lionsgate has acquired the North American rights to Tara Miele’s Wander Darkly, starring the 40-year-old Mexican actor/producer and Sienna Miller.

Diego Luna

Luna’s drama, which had its world premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize, will have a multi-platform release this fall from Lionsgate.

The story revolves around Luna’s and Miller’s characters, who after a traumatic accident leaves a couple in a surreal state of being that takes them on a disorienting journey through the duality of their shared moments. By reliving fond recollections from the beginning of their romance while also navigating the overwhelming truths of their present, they must rediscover the love that truly binds them together.

 “I am thrilled that Wander Darkly has found its home with Lionsgate,” said Miele. “It was a dream to bring this story to life with such an incredible team and the ever-brilliant Sienna Miller and Diego Luna. Seeing audiences’ powerful reactions at Sundance was moving and humbling and we can’t wait to share the film with audiences later this year.”

 “The film is a visually stunning thrill ride through the complexities of love and loss between Sienna and Diego, who deliver wonderful and very moving performances,” said Lauren Bixby, VP Acquisitions at Lionsgate. “Tara weaves mystery and intrigue into a modern-day parable and we could not be more excited to work with her and the rest of the filmmaking team on the release campaign.”

Gina Rodriguez’s “Kajillionaire” to Now Open in Limited Theaters on September 25

Gina Rodriguez’s kajillion will have to wait…

Focus FeaturesSundance Film Festival acquisition of Annapurna/Plan B’s Kajillionaire, starring the 36-year-old Golden Globe-winning actress and former Jane the Virgin star, will now open in select theaters on September 25, a week later than originally anticipated.

Gina Rodriguez

The Miranda July directed film will hit PVOD around October 16. Despite that, the film’s marketing will be driven toward its theatrical release, and the movie will continue to be available to cinemas while it’s on PVOD.

Written and directed by July, Kajillionaire follows con artists Theresa and Robert, who spent 26 years training their only daughter, Old Dolio (Evan Rachel Wood), to swindle, scam and steal at every opportunity. During a desperate, hastily conceived heist, they charm a kind stranger, Melanie (Rodriguez), into joining their next scheme, completely shaking up Old Dolio’s routine. Her unlikely connection with Melanie begins to challenge Old Dolio’s odd and stoic reality — and she finds herself suddenly caught between the only family she has ever known and the prospect of total freedom.

The film also stars two-time Oscar nominee Richard Jenkins and three-time nominee Debra Winger.

 During the pandemic when the big circuits were closed, Focus Features played two titles on theatrical PVOD: Jon Stewart’s political comedy Irresistible and the Nisha Ganatra directed music drama The High Note.

Netflix to Premiere the Walter Mercado Documentary “Mucho Mucho Amor” in July

There’s mucho mucho amor for Walter Mercado, it’s that love’s coming your way…

Netflix has released the official trailer for Mucho Mucho Amor, the documentary on the late Puerto Rican astrologer, television personality and gay icon.

Walter Mercado

For decades, Mercado captivated the Latin American world with his with his glamorous style, gender-nonconforming persona and warmhearted cosmic readings, before disappearing

from public eye. He began having cardiac problems in 2012, and said he “had gone and seen death and came back to life again,” and experience that seemed to change him. Hepassed away last November reportedly from kidney failure.

But Mercado is poised to reach a new level of fandom with a lovingly crafted documentary about his life and career, directed by Cristina Costantini and Kareem Tabsch

Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival in January, and will begin streaming on Netflix next week.

The official synopsis reads: “Every day for decades, extravagant Puerto Rican astrologer, psychic, and gender nonconforming legend Walter Mercado charmed the world with his televised horoscopes. Equal parts OprahLiberace, and Mr. Rogers, Walter reached over 120 million viewers at his peak, enthralling the Latin world with sequined capes, opulent jewelry and horoscopes that shared a message of love and hope to his devoted viewers. Then, he mysteriously disappeared. Over a decade later award-winning directors Cristina Costantini and Kareem Tabsch and producer Alex Fumero capture Walter’s final two years, when the pioneering icon grappled with aging and his legacy, and prepared for one last star-studded spectacle.”

“From the moment that I was born, I knew that I was not like everybody,” Mercado says in the trailer for the film about his life. “Everything about me was different.” With a dizzying array of glittering blazers and luminescent capes, at one point Mercado is seen being escorted on a gilded throne through a crowd of clamoring fans. 

The film will also explore his mysterious disappearance from public life, which one subject speculates was motivated by a fear of aging in view.

Mucho Mucho Amor arrives on Netflix on Wednesday, July 8. 

Maite Alberdi Signs with United Talent Agency (UTA)

Maite Alberdi has new representation…

The 37-year-old Chilean producer, director, documentarianand screenwriter has signed with United Talent Agency (UTA) for worldwide representation in all areas. 

Maite Alberdi,

Alberdi runs the production company Micromundo Productions and is known for making documentaries that paint intimate portraits of characters in small-scale worlds.

Most recently, Alberdi directed and wrote the documentary The Mole Agent, which was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize for “World Cinema – Documentary” at the 2020 Sundance Film FestivalThe Mole Agent was also nominated for awards at the Cleveland International Film Festival and the Miami Film Festival, among others.

Ahead of the film’s Sundance screening, Alberdi won the prestigious 2020 Chicken & Egg Award, which annually recognizes six experienced documentarians.

Previously, Alberdi directed, produced, and wrote the 2016 feature documentary The Grown-Ups. Her additional credits include the documentary short I’m Not From Here and the feature documentaries Tea Time and The Lifeguard

Alberdi also co-authored the book Teorías de cine documental en Chile 1957-1973.

Good Deed Entertainment Acquires Rights to Carlos López Estrada’s “Summertime”

There’s no Summertime sadness for Carlos López Estrada

Good Deed Entertainment has acquired the North American distribution rights from Los Angeles Media Fund to the 31-year-old Mexican-American music video, commercial, and film director’s Summertime, which was the opening film of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

Carlos Lopez Estrada

Summertime chronicles the intersecting stories of 25 young spoken-word poets over a day in Los Angeles. 

Estrada directed from a script written by 27 poets from the literary organization Get Lit, who also star in the film, and playwright Dave Harris. The film marks Estrada’s follow-up to Blindspotting.

Kimberly StuckwischJeffrey SorosAlisa TagerSimon HorsmanDiane Luby Lane and López Estrada produced the film. In addition to producing, Los Angeles Media Fund fully financed the project.

“It’s rare these days to find something so impactful and wholly unique,” said Scott Donley, CEO and founder of Good Deed Entertainment. “But Summertime is just that. We’re beyond excited to be able to share this heartfelt viewing experience with audiences across the country.”

Lopez Estrada made his feature film directorial debut in 2018 with Blindspotting

In 2018, he directed the music video for Billie Eilish‘s “When the Party’s Over.” He earned a Latin Grammy for directing Jesse & Joy’s “Me Voy” music video.

Guillermo del Toro Taking Part in Tribeca Enterprises & YouTube’s ‘We Are One: A Global Film Festival’

Guillermo del Toro is taking his talk global…

The 55-year-old Oscar-winning Mexican filmmaker, author, actor, and former special effects makeup artist will take part in Tribeca Enterprises and YouTube’s We Are One: A Global Film Festival

Guillermo del Toro

The fest will stream exclusively on YouTubefor free and feature more than 100 films co-curated by 21 of the most renowned festivals, including the Cannes Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival.

The 10-day fest kicked off on Friday, May 29 and will not only provide entertainment but also offer relief to the COVID-19 pandemic via supporting organizations.

The truly global event will feature programming from different cultures all over the world, with films representing more than 35 countries and include 23 narrative and 8 documentary features, 57 narrative and 15 documentary short films, 15 archived talks along with 4 festival exclusives and 5 VR programming pieces. 

The fest will include 13 world premieres, 31 online premieres and 5 international online premieres. Each selection was handpicked to give shine and highlight each participating festival.

“We are so excited to share the combined efforts of our festival partners and YouTube with the world this week,” said Tribeca Enterprises and Tribeca Film Festival Co-Founder and CEO Jane Rosenthal. “Together, we were able to curate a compelling slate of programming that succinctly reflects the subtle variations in style that make each festival so special. We Are One: A Global Film Festival will offer audiences an opportunity to not only celebrate the art of film, but the unique qualities that make each story we watch so memorable.”

The fest will include the world premiere of Ricky Powell: The Individualist, which spotlights the titular legendary street photographer featuring interviews with Natasha Lyonne and LL Cool J

Eeb Allay Ooo! will make its online debut and introduce a whole new audience to New Delhi’s professional “monkey repellers”. The satirical film won Mumbai Film Festival’s Golden Gateway Award

The iconic Joan Chen will present the world premiere of Iron Hammer, a documentary about legendary, trailblazing Chinese Olympic volleyball star Jenny Lang Ping.

There will also be a lineup of specially-curated talks from past festivals as well as new discussions. Talks will feature del Toro, Francis Ford Coppola with Steven Soderbergh, Song Kang-ho and Bong Joon-ho, Jane Campion and Claire Denis.

In addition to features, audiences will be able to access over 50 narrative and documentary shorts such as the world premiere of Japanese narrative short Yalta Conference Online (wt), which was created exclusively for the fest by director Koji Fukada. The fest will also include the global premiere of the Third Eye Blind documentary short Motorcycle Drive By, as well as shorts from Dreamworks Animation, BilbyMarooned and Bird Karma.

360 VR selections will feature Emmy-nominated documentary Traveling While Black and Alteration, a sci-fi narrative starring Bill Skarsgard, as well as titles featuring John Legend, Oprah Winfrey and Lupita Nyong’o. On top of the film goodness, Questlove from the legendary Roots crew will perform a DJ set for your listening and dancing pleasure.

On the episodic side, We Are One will host the world premiere of Losing Alice, an Israeli female-fronted neo-noir psychological TV thriller as well as the two-part docuseries She Could Be Next which chronicles the experiences of women of color running for office, including Stacey Abrams and  Rashida Tlaib.

In addition to Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Sundance, Toronto and Tribeca, participating festival also include Annecy International Animation Film FestivalBFI London Film FestivalGuadalajara International Film Festival,International Film Festival & Awards Macao (IFFAM), International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), Jerusalem Film FestivalMumbai Film Festival (MAMI), Karlovy Vary International Film FestivalLocarno Film Festival,Marrakech International Film Festival, New York Film FestivalSan Sebastian International Film Festival, Sarajevo Film FestivalSydney Film Festival and Tokyo International Film Festival.

The fest will provide COVID-19 relief through donations to the World Health Organization( WHO), UNICEFUNHCRSave the Children, Doctors Without BordersLeket IsraelGO Foundation and Give2Asia, among others. Audiences will be able to donate via a link on every film page.

Click herefor the full festival schedule.

Trailer Released for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “We Are Freestyle Love Supreme” Documentary

Lin-Manuel Miranda is freestylin’…

The official trailer has been released for We Are Freestyle Love Supreme, the documentary about the 40-year-old’s improv hip-hop project.

Lin-Manuel Miranda 

Before Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musicals Hamilton and In The Heights, the Mary Poppins Returns star, Christopher JacksonThomas Kail and Anthony Veneziale, among others, traded off-the-cuff rhymes the way Second City actors swapped jokes in their improv hip-hop group.

Created by Miranda, Kail and Veneziale in the summer of 2005, its beginnings on sidewalks and a small performing space at New York’s Drama Book Shop, the show would make the rounds Off Broadway, ever-changing, before landing on Broadway for an acclaimed and commercial successful run last year.

The show’s long journey is chronicled in filmmaker Andrew Fried’s documentaryWe Are Freestyle Love Supreme, premiering on Hulu on Friday, June 5. Fried’s camera captures the group reuniting for a series of shows in New York City that led to the Broadway engagement.

Appearing in the doc, which debuted at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, are Miranda, Veneziale, Jackson, Kail, Arthur LewisUtkarsh AmbudkarChris SullivanBill ShermanJames Monroe Iglehart and Andrew Bancroft.