Universal to Release Penelope Cruz’s Highly Anticipated Femme Action Feature “The 355”

Penelope Cruz is heading to the 355 a week earlier…

Simon Kinberg’s femme action feature The 355, starring the 47-year-old Spanish Oscar-winning actress, will be released a week earlier, on January 7, 2022.

Penelope Cruz

The film was original scheduled to be released over MLK Weekend.

In the film, five women band together to stop a global organization from acquiring a weapon that could thrust the teetering world into total chaos.

The film was bought by Universal for domestic distribution at the Cannes Film Festival back in 2018 for a reported $20M.

The foreign partners, arranged through FilmNation, are hoping for a global launch for what they hope will be another Bourne Identitylike franchise, this one led by an all female lead cast including Jessica Chastain, Diane Kruger, Lupita Nyong’o, Cruz and Fan Bingbing, with Édgar Ramirez and Sebastian Stan also appearing.

The 355 is directed by Kinberg. He co-wrote the screenplay with Theresa Rebeck.

The Match Factory Acquires Rights to Lorenzo Vigas’ Acclaimed Feature “The Box”

Lorenzo Vigas is thinking outside the box

The Match Factory has acquired the rights to The Box (La Caja), the second feature of the Mexican filmmaker, who previously won the Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion with From Afar.

Lorenzo Vigas

The Box will likely to find a berth at the Cannes Film Festival or the Venice Film Festival.

The film follows Hatzin, a teenager from Mexico City, who travels to collect the remains of his father, which have been found in a communal grave in the northern part of Mexico. But a casual encounter with a man who shares a physical resemblance with his father fills Hatzin with both doubts and hope about his parent’s true whereabouts.

The Box / La Caja

Vigas says that in the film he reflects on “the theme of identity from various points of view.” He adds: “Latin American history is very young. Until a relatively short time ago, we were still European colonies; as a continent, we are trying to understand who we are and where we are going. Though still an adolescent, Hatzin is an uncanny presence through which the film explores this theme from various perspectives.”

Hatzin’s story gets entangled with one of north Mexico’s saddest realities, an area well known for the disappearance of more than 20,000 women in the last 10 years in mysterious circumstances.

Vigas was able to shoot in an actual maquiladora – the low cost assembly plants of the Ciudad Juarez region. These plants’ international owners rarely share details about their production lines or their working conditions.

The Box is the third film in a thematic trilogy Vigas has developed about Latin American fathers. The first film, the short Elephants Never Forget (Cannes Critics’ Week, 2004) provided the seed for the second work, Viga’s first feature, From Afar.

The Box cast includes Hernán Mendoza and Hatzín Navarrete. It is written by Vigas and Paula Markovitch.

Noomi Rapace to Star in Gender-Swapped Adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” 

Noomi Rapace is taking on the Bard’s work…

The 40-year-old half-Spanish actress will lead cast in a gender-swapped adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet from filmmaker Ali Abbasi.

Noomi Rapace

The film will reunite Abbasi with Meta Film after they produced the director’s Oscar-nominated Cannes Film Festival 2018 hit Border.

Iceland’s Sjón is writing the project, with Stine Meldgaard Madsen producing for Meta Film. The film will be produced in collaboration with Boom Films, with principal photography scheduled for autumn 2021.

Swedish-Danish-Iranian filmmaker Abbasi said: “Shakespeare stole the Hamlet story from us. Now it’s our turn to claim it back and make a version so insane and so bloody that make him turn in his grave. Let’s make Hamlet great again!”

Prometheus and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo star Rapace added: “Hamlet is a dream project in its purest and most explosive way. I’ve been hoping, dreaming, wishing for this as long as I’ve been an actress. I base this as much on the material as on the creative alliance that surrounds it. Ali, Sjón and Meta are for me creatives on the highest level. They’re truly brave and groundbreaking in their different areas and always on top of their game. To take on a Danish story with a Scandinavian touch and bring it out into the world with this group of people is a dream.”

Abbasi trained at the Danish Film School and made his feature debut in 2018 with Shelley, which was selected for the Panorama competition at the Berlin Film Festival. His second film, Border, won in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival in the same year.

Cristina Gallego Signs with Verve for Representation in All Areas

Cristina Gallego is going global…

Verve has signed the Colombian filmmaker, and will rep her in all areas as she moves to widen her reach and continue her passion for telling untold stories from a female perspective.

Cristina Gallego

Gallego co-directed Birds of Passage, which premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight section at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, was selected as the Colombian entry and made the shortlist for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards. The film is not a traditional Colombian drug-running story; it follows the journey of a Wayuu Indian family as they forego their traditions and fall into the drug trade.

Gallego was at the forefront of the creative process and wanted to subvert the genre that has typically been very macho by focusing on stories from the female members of the family and community. She directed the film with Ciro Guerra, her ex-husband; she produced the acclaimed 2015 film Embrace of the Serpent, which Guerra directed and which landed them their first foreign-language Oscar nomination. It was the first Colombian film to be nominated in the category. That led to Birds of Passage, a 10-year journey.

Most recently Gallego was in production on Cortes, a massive event miniseries for Amazon that she was executive producing and attached to direct multiple episodes of. Written by Steve Zaillian and starring Javier Bardem, this project was unfortunately a COVID-19 casualty and was shut down by the streamer back in September.

Gallego’s other producing credits include Wajib, the Palestinian official submission to the 90th Academy Awards and Ruben Blades is Not My Name, Panama’s submission to the 91st Academy Awards.

Luis López Carrasco’s “The Year of Discovery” Wins Top Prize at Mar del Plata International Film Festival

Luis López Carrasco is celebrating his big Discovery

The 39-year-old Spanish filmmaker took home the Best International Film prize for his documentary The Year of the Discovery (El año del descubrimiento) on Sunday at Argentina’s Mar del Plata International Film Festival, the only Latin American film fest granted a Category A status by producers association FIAPF, placing it in the same league as the Cannes Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival and Locarno Film Festival, among others.

Luis López Carrasco

Due to the restraints imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival hosted an online edition and offered free access to all Argentine residents.

 

Carrasco’s sophomore feature follows his debut film El Futuro, which premiered at Locarno and collected numerous awards on the festival circuit.

The Year of the Discovery portrays the flipside of 1992 Spain, which celebrated hosting the 1992 Barcelona Games and the World Expo in Seville while in Murcia, south-east Spain, enraged workers from the naval, mining and chemical sectors where companies were shut down, battled alongside students against the police, culminating with the launch of Molotov cocktails that set fire to the regional government’s Parliament.

In a video call from Spain, a grateful López Carrasco dedicated the award to his parents and brother “for being the people who most taught me how to listen.”

Colombian Camilo Restrepo’s Los Conductos won the best film prize in the festival’s Latin American competition. Winner of last year’s Mar del Plata Work in Progress competition, Los Conductos marks an attempt to explore Colombia’s civil conflicts with a style outside the canons of social realism as it follows a man in his attempts to flee from a sect and the trauma that still haunts him.

Maria Alvarez’s The Lost Time (El Tiempo Perdido) trounced a strong lineup in the Argentine competition, which included notable titles like Esquirlas, The History of the Occult and Las Ranas, to nab the best Argentine film prize.

In The Lost Time, a group of now aged friends find new and personal meaning in Marcel Proust’s seven-volume novel In Search of Lost Time at each of the 18 years they have gathered at a Buenos Aires bar to discuss it.

“In this online edition, more than 200,000 people saw the films we have programmed, and on YouTube, more than 180,000 people followed our events, so I congratulate the public who have known how to adapt to our circumstances,” said festival president Fernando Juan Lima at the online closing ceremony. “We miss the City of Mar del Plata and its movie theaters, but we are going to return,” he declared.

“We celebrate [the festival’s] continuity even with the challenges that the pandemic has imposed on us,” concurred festival artistic director Cecilia Barrionuevo. The festival paid homage to filmmaker-politician Fernando ‘Pino’ Solanas, Argentine actress-writer-director Maria Luisa Bemberg and, naturally, Argentina’s greatest hero, soccer star Diego Maradona, who died Nov. 25 from heart failure.

Augusto Costa, minister of production, science, and technological innovation, also announced that Mar del Plata would be the site of the fifth regional headquarters of Argentine film school, Enerc.

“From the government and from the ministry, we reaffirm our absolute commitment to the festival and to the audiovisual industry of the province,” said Costa.

2020 MAR DEL PLATA ASTOR PIAZZOLLA PRIZES

OFFICIAL INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION

BEST FILM
“The Year of the Discovery,” (Luis López Carrasco, Spain, Switzerland)

BEST DIRECTOR
Matías Piñeiro, (“Isabella,” Argentina)

BEST PERFORMANCE
María Villar, (“Isabella,” Argentina)

BEST SCREENPLAY

Nicolás Prividera, (“A Farewell to Memory,” Argentina)

SPECIAL JURY
“Moving On,” (Yoon Dan-bi, Korea)

LATIN AMERICAN COMPETITION

BEST FILM
“Los Conductos,” (Camilo Restrepo, Colombia, Brazil, France)

SPECIAL MENTION
“Mascarados,” (Marcela Borela and Henrique Borela, Brazil)

SPECIAL MENTION
“Fauna,” (Nicolás Pereda, Mexico)

BEST SHORT
“Correspondence,” (Dominga Sotomayor and Carla Simón, Chile)

ARGENTINE COMPETITION

BEST FILM
“The Lost Time,” (María Álvarez, Argentina)

SPECIAL MENTION
“Las Ranas,” (Edgardo Castro, Argentina)

BEST SHORT
“Homage to the Work of Philip Henry Gosse,” (Pablo Martín Weber)

BEST DIRECTOR
“Esquirlas,” (Natalia Garayalde, Argentina)

ALTERNATE STATES

BEST FILM
“My Dear Spies,” (Vladimir Léon, France)

SPECIAL MENTION
“Heliconia,” (Paula Rodríguez Polanco, France, Colombia)

WORK IN PROGRESS

BEST PROJECT
“Morichales,” (Chris Gude, Colombia, U.S.)

BEST LATIN AMERICAN DEBUT FILM, YOUNG CRITICS PRIZE
“History of the Occult,” (Cristian Ponce, Argentina)

Universal Pictures Releases First Trailer for Penelope Cruz’s Female-Fronted Espionage Thriller “The 355”

Penélope Cruz is ready to demonstrate her intelligence

Universal Pictures has released the official trailer for the espionage thriller The 355, starring the 46-year-old Spanish Oscar-winning actress..

Penelope Cruz

In addition to Cruz, the female-fronted globetrotting actioner stars Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Penélope Cruz, Diane Kruger, Fan Bingbing, Sebastian Stan and Edgar Ramírez.

Universal still has plans to release the film on January 15 in the United States.

Simon Kinberg directs the story that kicks off when a top-secret weapon falls into mercenary hands. Wild card CIA agent Mason “Mace” Brown (Chastain) will need to join forces with rival badass German agent Marie (Kruger), former MI6 ally and cutting-edge computer specialist Khadijah (Nyong’o) and skilled Colombian psychologist Graciela (Cruz) on a lethal, breakneck mission to retrieve it, while also staying one-step ahead of a mysterious woman, Lin Mi Sheng (Fan) who is tracking their every move.

The action-packed trailer sees Chastain recruit her team of international special agents, who must bond against a common enemy. If they don’t stop them, “they’ll start World War III,” says Chastain’s Mace.

The picture came together during the Cannes Film Festival in 2018, where it was the hottest project in the market. The hope is to launch a franchise based on an idea by Chastain of a Bourne Identity-like thriller revolving around female spies from agencies around the world.

Shooting took place last summer in locations like Paris, London and Morocco — each of which figures lushly in the trailer above.

Theresa Rebeck and Kinberg wrote the script.

Gael Garcia Bernal’s “Chicuarotes” to Open This Year’s Virtual Hola México Film Festival

Gael Garcia Bernal’s latest project is getting the Hola México treatment…

The 12th annual Hola México Film Festival, the largest Mexican film festival outside of Mexico, will take place virtually and exclusively on Lionsgate and Hemisphere’s Spanish-language streaming platform Pantaya from September 11-20, with the 41-year-old Mexican actor/producer’s Chicuarotes kicking things off.

Gael García Bernal

The festival will feature 20 movies, starting off with Chicuarotes, directed and produced by Garcia Bernal.

The film, which played at the Cannes Film Festival and Toronto Film Festival last year, centers on a pair of young boys from poor backgrounds who perform clown acts on public transportation to make ends meet. The story takes a turn when the young boys begin to rob passengers.

The program will include contemporary features, documentaries, genre fare and family movies, and will include Q&A’s, ‘virtual red carpets’, an awards ceremony and will try to mirror the physical festival in an online way as much as possible.

Other films forming part of this year’s lineup include Matias Meyer’s Amores Modernos, Kenya Marquez’s Asfixia, Marcelino Islas Hernández’s Clases de Historia, Emilio Santoyo’s El Deseo de Ana and Rodrigo CervantesLos Paisajes.

Hola Mexico

“As a result of the current pandemic, we wanted to ensure our industry and filmmaking community continues to connect and develop their careers, even if that cannot happen safely in-person,” commented Samuel Douek, founder and director of the Hola México Film Festival.

The festival’s mentor program Tomorrow’s Filmmakers Today will be a live online program directed to TFT alumni.

Click here for the complete lineup.

Joao Paulo Miranda Maria’s “Casa de Antiguidades” Named to Cannes Film Festival’s ‘The First Features Category

It’s a special First for Joao Paulo Miranda Maria

The 2020 Cannes Film Festival, which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will continue in spirit, with the 38-year-old Brazilian filmmaker earning a call out.

Joao Paulo Miranda Maria

Cannes Film Festival organizers announced on Wednesday a list of 56 films that would have shown at this year’s festival if it had continued as planned. All titles will be permitted to bear Cannes’ highly regarded label on promotional materials as they continue to other festivals in the future.

Revealed by Pierre Lescure, president of Cannes, and Thierry Frémaux, the festival’s general delegate, the 2020 lineup — which does not include a competition section — includes Miranda Maria’s Casa de Antiguidades (Memory House) in The First Features category.

“It was also because of the filmmaker’s hard work that we didn’t want to give up,” Frémaux wrote on the Cannes website of the festival’s decision to continue its 2020 iteration in some form. “We couldn’t send everyone to 2021. So, we continued our selection. And it was the right decision.”

The 2020 slate was chosen from 2,067 total submissions. From there, the festival narrowed the main selection down to 56 movies — 15 of which are feature debuts, and 16 of which were directed by women (two more than were present in 2019’s lineup).

Typically held at the end of spring, Cannes is the most esteemed film festival in the world, and has launched highly anticipated titles from world-renowned filmmakers into its annual Palme d’Or competition. 

Here’s the full 2020 Cannes Film Festival lineup:

PASSION SIMPLE by Danielle Arbid (Lebanon) – 1h36
Production : LES FILMS PELLÉAS – International Sales : PYRAMIDE INTERNATIONAL – French Distribution : PYRAMIDE DISTRIBUTION

A GOOD MAN by Marie Castille Mention-Schaar (France) – 1h47
Production : WILLOW FILMS – International Sales : PYRAMIDE INTERNATIONAL – French Distribution : PYRAMIDE DISTRIBUTION

LES CHOSES QU’ON DIT, LES CHOSES QU’ON FAIT by Emmanuel Mouret (France) – 2h
Production : MOBY DICK FILMS – International Sales : ELLE DRIVER – French Distribution : PYRAMIDE DISTRIBUTION

SOUAD by Ayten Amin (Egypt) – 1h30
Production : VIVID REELS

LIMBO by Ben Sharrock (United Kingdom) – 1h53
Production : CARAVAN CINEMA LTD – International Sales : PROTAGONIST PICTURES

ROUGE (Red Soil) by Farid Bentoumi (France) – 1h26
Production : LES FILMS VELVET – International Sales : WTFILMS – French Distribution : AD VITAM

SWEAT by Magnus Von Horn (Sweden) – 1h40
Production : LAVA FILMS – International Sales : NEW EUROPE FILM INTERNATIONAL SALES

TEDDY by Ludovic et Zoran Boukherma (France) – 1h28
Production : BAXTER FILMS – International Sales : WTFILMS – French Distribution : THE JOKERS FILMS

FEBRUARY (Février) by Kamen Kalev (Bulgaria) – 2h05
Production : KORO FILMS – French Distribution : UFO DISTRIBUTION

AMMONITE by Francis Lee (United Kingdom) – 2h
Production : SEE-SAW FILMS – International Sales : CROSS CITY FILMS – French Distribution : PYRAMIDE DISTRIBUTION

UN MÉDECIN DE NUIT by Elie Wajeman (France) – 1h40
Production : PARTIZAN FILMS – International Sales : BE FOR FILMS – French Distribution : DIAPHANA DISTRIBUTION

ENFANT TERRIBLE by Oskar Roehler (Germany) – 2h14
Production : BAVARIA FILMPRODUKTION – International Sales : BAVARIA FILMPRODUKTION

NADIA, BUTTERFLY by Pascal Plante (Canada) – 1h46
Production : NEMESIS FILMS – International Sales : WAZABI FILMS

HERE WE ARE by Nir Bergman (Israel) – 1h34
Production : SPIRO FILMS – International Sales : MK2 FILMS

AN OMNIBUS FILM

SEPTET: THE STORY OF HONG KONG by Ann Hui, Johnnie TO, Tsui Hark, Sammo Hung, Yuen Woo-Ping et Patrick Tam (Hong Kong) – 1h53

Production : MILKYWAY IMAGE – International Sales : MEDIA ASIA DISTRIBUTION

THE FIRST FEATURES

FALLING by Viggo Mortensen (USA) – 1h52
Production : PERCIVAL PICTURES – International Sales : HANWAY FILMS – French Distribution : METROPOLITAN FILMEXPORT

PLEASURE by Ninja Thyberg (Sweden) – 1h45
Production : PLATTFORM PRODUKTION – International Sales : VERSATILE

SLALOM by Charlène Favier (France) – 1h32
Production : MILLE ET UNE PRODUCTIONS – International Sales : THE PARTY FILM INTERNATIONAL SALES – French Distribution : JOUR2FÊTE

CASA DE ANTIGUIDADES (Memory House) by Joao Paulo Miranda Maria (Brazil) – 1h27
Production : MANEKI FILMS

BROKEN KEYS (Fausse note) by Jimmy Keyrouz (Lebanon) – 1h30
Production : EZEKIEL

IBRAHIM by Samir Guesmi (France) – 1h20
Production : WHY NOT PRODUCTIONS – International Sales : WILD BUNCH INTERNATIONAL- French Distribution : WILD BUNCH INTERNATIONAL

BEGINNING (Au commencement) by Déa Kulumbegashvili (Georgia) – 2h10
Production : FIRST PICTURE / O.F.A – International Sales : WILD BUNCH INTERNATIONAL

GAGARINE by Fanny Liatard et Jérémy Trouilh (France) – 1h35
Production : HAUT ET COURT – International Sales : TOTEM FILMS – French Distribution : HAUT ET COURT

16 PRINTEMPS by Suzanne Lindon (France) – 1h13
Production : AVENUE B PRODUCTIONS – International Sales : LUXBOX – French Distribution : PANAME DISTRIBUTION

VAURIEN by Peter Dourountzis (France) – 1h35
Production : 10:15 PRODUCTIONS – International Sales : KINOLOGY – French Distribution : REZO FILMS

GARÇON CHIFFON by Nicolas Maury (France) – 1h48
Production : CG CINEMA – International Sales : LES FILMS DU LOSANGE – French Distribution : LES FILMS DU LOSANGE

SI LE VENT TOMBE (Should the Wind Fall) by Nora Martirosyan (Armenia) – 1h40
Production : SISTER PRODUCTIONS – International Sales : INDIE INTERNATIONAL SALES – French Distribution : ROUGE DISTRIBUTION

JOHN AND THE HOLE by Pascual Sisto (USA) – 1h38
Production : MUTRESSA MOVIES

STRIDING INTO THE WIND (Courir au gré du vent) by WEI Shujun (China) – 2h36
Production : ALIBABA PICTURES

THE DEATH OF CINEMA AND MY FATHER TOO (La Mort du cinéma et de mon père aussi) by Dani Rosenberg (Israel) – 1h40
Production : PARDES FILMS – International Sales : FILMS BOUTIQUE

3 DOCUMENTARY FILMS

EN ROUTE POUR LE MILLIARD (The Billion Road) by Dieudo Hamadi – (Democratic Republic of Congo) – 1h30
Production : LES FILMS DE L’OEIL SAUVAGE – International Sales : ANDANA FILMS

THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS by Michael Dweck et Gregory Kershaw (USA) – 1h24
Production : GO GIGI GO PRODUCTIONS LLC – International Sales : SONY PICTURES CLASSICS – French Distribution : SONY PICTURES CLASSICS

9 JOURS A RAQQA by Xavier de Lauzanne – (France) – 1h30
Production : ALOEST FILMS

5 COMEDY FILMS

ANTOINETTE DANS LES CÉVÈNNES by Caroline Vignal (France) – 1h35
Production : CHAPKA FILMS – International Sales : PLAYTIME – French Distribution : DIAPHANA DISTRIBUTION

LES DEUX ALFRED by Bruno Podalydès (France) – 1h30
Production : WHY NOT PRODUCTIONS – French Distribution : UGC DISTRIBUTION

UN TRIOMPHE (The big hit) by Emmanuel Courcol (France) – 1h40
Production : AGAT FILMS & CIE – International Sales : MK2 FILMS – French Distribution : MEMENTO FILMS DISTRIBUTION

L’ORIGINE DU MONDE by Laurent Lafitte (France) – 1st film
Production : TRESOR FILMS – International Sales : STUDIO CANAL – French Distribution : STUDIO CANAL

LE DISCOURS by Laurent Tirard (France) – 1h27
Production : LES FILMS SUR MESURE – International Sales : CHARADES – French Distribution : LE PACTE

4 ANIMATED FILMS

AYA TO MAJO (Aya and the Witch) by Gorô Miyazaki (Japan) – 1h22
Production : NHK / NHK ENTERPRISES / STUDIO GHIBLI – International Sales : WILD BUNCH INTERNATIONAL – French Distribution : WILD BUNCH

FLEE by Jonas Poher Rasmussen (Denmark) – 1h30
Production : FINAL CUT FOR REAL – International Sales : CINEPHIL

JOSEP by Aurel (France) – 1h20 – 1st film
Production : LES FILMS D’ICI – International Sales : DOC & FILM INTERNATIONAL – French Distribution : SOPHIE DULAC DISTRIBUTION

SOUL by Pete Docter (USA) – 1h30
Production : PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS – French Distribution : THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY

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.

Armando Espitia Signs with United Talent Agency (UTA)

Armando Espitia is ready for Hollywood…

United Talent Agency (UTA) has signed the 29-year-old Mexican actor in all areas. 

Armando Espitia

Espitia most recently starred in Heidi Ewing’s drama I Carry You With Me, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won the Audience Awardand Grand Jury Awardin the Next!categories.

Espitia first came to prominence with his leading role in Amat Escalante’s Cannes Film Festival title Heli and also starred as the lead in Nuestras Madreswhich opened at Cannes in Critics’ Weekwhere it picked up the Caméra d’Or.

Additionally, he has appeared in several features including Ayúdame A Pasar La Noche,and Open Cage

On the television side, his credits include Amazon’s Diablo GuardiánTelemundo’s El Recluso as well as History Channel’s Texas Rising

He also founded the theater company Conejo Con Prisa.