HBO Max Acquires North American Rights to Lorenza Izzo’s Latest Film “Women Is Losers”

Lorenza Izzo is winning at Los(er)ing…

HBO Max has acquired the North American rights to Women Is Losers, the 1960s-set indie drama starring the 31-year-old Chilean actress and model.

Lorenza Izzo

Hailing from writer-director Lissette Feliciano, her debut feature, Women Is Losers has its world premiere at this year’s SXSW.

In addition to Izzo, the film also stars Chrissie Fit, Bryan Craig and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings star Simu Liu. The streamer will now debut the film exclusively on the platform on October 18.

Set in 1960s San Francisco, the plot centers on a once-promising Catholic schoolgirl (Izzo) who sets out to rise above the oppression of poverty and invest in a future for herself that sets new precedents for the time. The filmn is inspired by real women and the Janis Joplin song of the same title. Steven Bauer, Liza Weil, Cranston Johnson, Alessandra Torresani, Shalim Ortiz and Lincoln Bonilla also star.

Feliciano and David Ortiz are producers.

“We set out to make a film that was as bold, funny, and honest as the women that inspired it,” said Feliciano, who also discussed the film at Deadline’s SXSW Studio earlier this year. “We could think of no better time in our nation’s history for this film to reach the women of America. This is one you’re going to want to watch with your family. We’ve found the perfect partner in HBO Max who are known for their provocative and entertaining content. This film is an inter-generational story and at its core is about always having hope no matter how big the obstacles. Lorenza Izzo, Chrissie Fit, Simu Liu, and Bryan Craig give their hearts in these performances. I can’t wait for you all to see them.”

Peacock Releases Trailer for Demi Lovato’s Docuseries “Unidentified With Demi Lovato”

Demi Lovato is on a mission to find extraterrestrial life…

Following the 29-year-old half-Mexican American singer, songwriter and actor’s surreal Joshua Tree trip when they saw something strange in the sky, Lovato is embarking on an extra-journey journey to find out more.

Demi Lovato

“I had this crazy experience that happened to me in Joshua Tree,” the singer recalls in the official trailer for their new Peacock series Unidentified With Demi Lovato, which was released on Thursday (September 9). “It was this bright light, kind of moved in, like, these weird ways that a plane wouldn’t move. My goal is to find out what really happened.”

The self-proclaimed “UFO experiencer” will be joined by their best friend Matthew Scott Montgomery and sister Dallas Lovato, both of whom appeared in the four-part YouTube Originals docuseries Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil, which opened SXSW this year, to “investigate the unexplained and the unidentified,” Lovato said in the video. The gasp-worthy, shocking trailer even features an unidentified voice saying “hello” to the singer when prompted by experts.

Lovato’s new four-part limited unscripted series will begin streaming on Peacock on September 30.

 

Unidentified With Demi Lovato is executive produced by Lovato, their manager Scooter Braun, Scott Manson, Allison Kaye, JD Roth, Adam Greener, Sara Hansemann and Andrew Nick.

Lovato’s most recent album, Dancing With the Devil… The Art of Starting Over, was released via Island Records. It peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and topped the Top Album Sales chart.

Warner Bros. Acquires Global Rights to Jenna Ortega’s “The Fallout”

Jenna Ortega’s fallout will be felt globally…

Warner Bros. has picked up global rights to Megan Park’s SXSW multi-award-winning feature The Fallout, starring the 18-year-old Puerto Rican and Mexican American actress.

Jenna Ortega, The Fallout

The film will be released exclusively on HBO Max where the service is available globally, and be distributed by Warner Bros. in the balance of international markets.

The Fallout follows high schooler Vada (Ortega) as she navigates the emotional fallout she experiences in the wake of a school tragedy. Relationships with her family and friends, as well as her view of the world, are forever altered.

The cast also includes Maddie Ziegler, Niles Fitch, Will Ropp, Lumi Pollack, John Ortiz, Julie Bowen and Shailene Woodley.

Park, an actress who starred in ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager and made the music video “Watch” for Billie Eilish, made her feature directorial debut with Fallout, which won the Grand Jury and Audience Awards for Narrative Feature at SXSW, as well as the Brightcove Illumination Award (which lauds a filmmaker on the rise at the Austin, TX festival). Park also wrote the movie.

“Making The Fallout was a journey I never expected to take and one that has changed me forever,” stated Park. “If by seeing this film just one teen feels less alone, less afraid, or somehow understood, that will make the journey worth every step.”

“What Megan Park has created with The Fallout is a sensitive and moving story, marking a stunning debut behind the camera, with an exceptional young cast led by a revelatory and powerful performance by Jenna Ortega and an emotionally impactful turn from Maddie Ziegler,” said Carolyn Blackwood, Chief Operating Officer, Warner Bros. Pictures Group.

Janicza Bravo to Direct FX Pilot “Kindred,” Based on Octavia E. Butler’s Influential Novel

Janicza Bravo has found her kindred spirit…

The 39-year-old Latina writer/director and Zola helmer has been tapped to direct and executive produce FX pilot Kindred, an adaptation of Octavia E. Butler’s influential novel.

Janicza Bravo

Newcomer Mallori Johnson set to star.

The project hails from writer Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Courtney Lee-Mitchell, Darren Aronofsky and his Protozoa Pictures, Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields. FX Productions is the studio. Production is scheduled to begin in September.

Johnson will play the central character Dana, a young Black woman and aspiring writer who has uprooted her life of familial obligation and relocated to Los Angeles, ready to claim a future that, for once, feels all her own. But, before she can get settled into her new home, she finds herself being violently pulled back and forth in time to a nineteenth-century plantation with which she and her family are most surprisingly and intimately linked. An interracial romance threads through her past and present, and the clock is ticking as she struggles to confront the secrets she never knew ran through her blood, in this genre-breaking exploration of the ties that bind.

The novel, which sold over a million copies, has been hailed as a visionary work of science fiction since it was first published more than four decades ago in 1979.

“I first read Kindred 20 years ago,” said Bravo. “I was in college. I hadn’t ever seen myself in a world like that. And certainly not at its center. What might seem like only a portrait of an invisible woman is also a potent embrace of our relationship to history and how it can bring us closer to our future. After what felt like losing over a year of the life I had come to know so well, an opportunity to direct an adaptation of this specific text was a win. On top of that getting to partner with Branden is something I’d been wanting for quite some time.”

Jacobs-Jenkins wrote the pilot.

Most recently, Bravo directed and co-wrote the critically acclaimed film Zola. A24 released the film in theatres on June 30. Starring Taylour Paige, Riley Keough, Nicholas Braun and Colman DomingoZola premiered in competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and is being released in the UK on August 6.

Bravo’s previous film work has screened at AFI, Carnegie Hall, SXSW, Sundance, and Tribeca. Her feature film debut Lemon premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. On the television side, she directed the “Juneteenth” episode of Atlanta, the “Houston” episode of Mrs. America, as well as episodes of HBO’s Divorce, Here and Now, In Treatment, Netflix’s Love and Dear White People and Amazon’s Forever.

John Ortiz to Star in Sci-Fi Adventure Feature “The Mothership”

John Ortiz is boarding the mothership…

The 53-year-old Puerto Rican actor will star opposite Omari Hardwick and Molly Parker in The Mothership, a sci-fi adventure feature from MRC Film, Automatik and Netflix. Halle Berry previously was announced to star in and executive produce the film.

John Ortiz

Oscar-nominated Bridge of Spies screenwriter Matt Charman is directing the film, which will mark his feature debut.

Charman also penned the screenplay, which follows Sara Morse (Berry) one year after her husband mysteriously vanished from their rural farm. When she discovers a strange, extraterrestrial object underneath their home, Sara and her kids embark on a race to find their husband, father and, most important, the truth.

Ortiz’s recent credits include Horse Girl, SXSW drama The Fallout and the Netflix series Messiah.

Lissette Feliciano Signs with Verve

Lissette Feliciano has new representation…

The 31-year-old Latina  writer, director and actress has signed with Verve following the success of her SXSW debut feature, Women Is Losers, which she wrote, directed, and produced.

Lissette Feliciano

Set during the 1960s in San Francisco, Women Is Losers follows bright and talented Catholic school girl Celina Guerrera (Lorenza Izzo), who survives a difficult home life by following the rules. That is until an indiscretion creates a series of devastating consequences. As Celina faces the compounded obstacles of being young and alone, she sets out to rise above the oppression of poverty and invest in a future that sets new precedents for the time.

The film is inspired by real women and the Janis Joplin song of the same title.

Simu Liu, Chrissie Fit and Liza Weil (How to Get also star.

A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Feliciano is a Tribeca Film Institute AT&T Untold Stories grant recipient, and was named as one of Shoot Magazine’s new directors to watch.

Her production company, Look at the Moon Pictures, develops original content that shines a lens on underrepresented groups, joining the ranks of creators filling the market gap in storytelling for a new young, multicultural audience.

Under Feliciano’s leadership, Look at the Moon was among the first production companies to mandate 50 percent BIPOC representation across leadership positions on and off-camera.

Feliciano joins Verve’s growing roster of Latin filmmakers including Gigi Saul Guerrero, Peter Murrieta, Cristina Gallego, David Blue Garcia, Aitch Alberto, Marvin Lemus and Aurora Guerrero.

Natalie Morales to Star in & Produce CBS’ Comedy Pilot Based on Sarah Cooper Book

Natalie Morales is preparing for a successful next endeavor…

The 36-year-old Cuban American actress has been cast as one of the leads in CBS’ comedy pilot based on TikTok star Sarah Cooper’s book How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men’s Feelings.

Natalie Morales

Morales will star opposite Amy Landecker and Alice Lee in the pilot.

She’ll also serves as a producer on the pilot, from Cooper, Cindy Chupack, Nina Tassler and Denise Di Novi.

Co-written by Cooper and Chupack and directed by Amy York Rubin, the Untitled Sarah Cooper/Cindy Chupack Project revolves around three women at different stages in their careers at a male-dominated company — played by Morales, Landecker and Lee — who help each other navigate modern gender politics in their professional and personal lives.

Morales will play Joanna, a conflict-averse, people-pleasing middle manager at the small tech company Lucent Muse, whose new hire, Elyse (Lee), challenges her “go along to get along” career philosophy. She lives with her boyfriend of two years, a sweet, loyal guy who might be too sweet and loyal for her.

Morales’ acting credits include The Little Things and Dead to Me. She made her feature directing debut with this year’s Language Lessons, which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and won the Audience Award at SXSW. She is an executive producer and director on Plan B, a feature comedy on Hulu that’ll be released in spring 2021; and she’s writing and producing an untitled comedy feature set in Miami from Universal.

Demi Lovato Releases Deluxe Edition of New Album “Dancing With the Devil… The Art of Starting Over”

Demi Lovato is livin’ the de(luxe) life…

The 28-year-old half-Mexican American singer/actress has unveiled the deluxe edition of her seventh album Dancing With the Devil… The Art of Starting Over.

Demi Lovato

The deluxe LP includes four additional tracks, one bonus track titled “Sunset,” and three live acoustic versions of the first three “prelude” songs of the album, “Anyone,” “Dancing With the Devil” and “ICU (Madison’s Lullabye).”

The live acoustic songs were recorded during the drive-in premiere of her four-part YouTube Originals docuseries Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil, where she also premiered “Dancing With the Devil” and “ICU.”

“Sunset,” a gospel-tinged love ballad, was revealed to be a part of the album during the SXSW premiere of the doc, as well as another track titled “Say a Prayer” that’s not included in the deluxe version.

The pop superstar released Dancing With the Devil on April 2 with 19 tracks, including collaborations with Sam FischerAriana Grande, Saweetie and Noah Cyrus. The expanded edition digital bonus tracks of her seventh LP include her previously released top 20 hit “I Love Me,” “I’m Ready” featuring Sam Smith, and “OK Not to Be OK” with Marshmello.

Natalie Morales Wins SXSW Film Festival Audience Award for feature directorial debut “Language Lessons”

Natalie Morales is the audience’s choice…

SXSW Film Festival organizers have revealed this year’s Audience Award winners, with the 36-year-old Cuban American actress among the list of honorees for her feature directorial debut.

Natalie Morales

Morales’ Language Lessons, which she co-wrote, stars in and directed, was named the Audience Award winner in the Narrative Spotlight category.

The film, which also stars Mark Duplass and Desean Terry, centers on a Spanish teacher awho develops an unexpected friendship with her student.

Latina filmmakers Maria Belen Poncio and Rosario Perazolo Masjoan won the Audience Award in the Episodic Pilot competition for 4 Feet High.

Over the course of five days of SXSW Online, the SXSW Film Festival screened 75 features including 57 world premieres, three international premieres, four North American Premieres, one U.S. premiere and 53 films from first-time filmmakers, plus 84 short films.

Here’s the full list of SXSW Film Festival Audience Award winners:

HEADLINERS
Audience Award Winner:
 Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free
Director: Mary Wharton

NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION
Audience Award Winner: 
The Fallout
Director: Megan Park

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION
Audience Award Winner: 
Not Going Quietly
Director: Nicholas Bruckman

NARRATIVE SPOTLIGHT
Audience Award Winner: 
Language Lessons
Director: Natalie Morales

DOCUMENTARY SPOTLIGHT
Audience Award Winner: 
Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America
Directors: Emily Kunstler, Sarah Kunstler

VISIONS
Audience Award Winner: 
Inbetween Girl
Director: Mei Makino

MIDNIGHTERS
Audience Award Winner: 
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Director: Kier-La Janisse

GLOBAL
Audience Award Winner: 
Ninjababy
Director: Yngvild Sve Flikke

24 BEATS PER SECOND
Audience Award Winner:
 Soy Cubana
Directors: Jeremy Ungar, Ivaylo Getov

FESTIVAL FAVORITES

Audience Award Winner: In The Same Breath
Director: Nanfu Wang

2020 SPOTLIGHT

Audience Award Winner: We Are The Thousand
Director: Anita Rivaroli

Shorts

NARRATIVE SHORTS COMPETITION
Audience Award Winner: 
Play It Safe
Director: Mitch Kalisa

DOCUMENTARY SHORTS COMPETITION
Audience Award Winner: 
Joe Buffalo
Director: Amar Chebib

ANIMATED SHORTS COMPETITION
Audience Award Winner: 
Opera
Director: Erick Oh

MIDNIGHT SHORTS COMPETITION
Audience Award Winner: 
Stuffed
Director: Theo Rhys

TEXAS SHORTS COMPETITION

Audience Award Winner: Learning Tagalog with Kayla
Director: Kayla Abuda Galang

TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL SHORTS COMPETITION
Audience Award Winner: 
Beyond the Model
Director: Jessica Lin

MUSIC VIDEO COMPETITION
Audience Award Winner: 
Kuricorder Quartet – ‘Southpaw’
Director: Sawako Kabuki

Episodic Program

EPISODIC PREMIERES
Audience Award Winner: 
Them
Showrunner: Little Marvin

EPISODIC PILOT COMPETITION
Audience Award Winner: 
4 Feet High
Directors: Maria Belen Poncio, Rosario Perazolo Masjoan

Virtual Cinema

VIRTUAL CINEMA COMPETITION
Audience Award Winner:
 Biolum
Director: Abel Kohen

VIRTUAL CINEMA SPOTLIGHT
Audience Award Winner:
 Finding Pandora X
Director: Kiira Benzing

SXSW Film Design Awards

EXCELLENCE IN TITLE DESIGN
Audience Award Winner: 
Birds Of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn Title Sequence
Creative Director and Illustrator: Michael Riley

Trailer Released for Jenna Ortega’s SXSW-Bound High School Drama “The Fallout”

Jenna Ortega is experiencing a fallout

The first trailer has been release for writer-director Megan Park’s SXSW drama The Fallout, which stars the 18-year-old Puerto Rican and Mexican American actress as a student seeking out emotional healing following a school tragedy.

Jenna Ortega, The Fallout

The Fallout is a film about the unseen faces of a tragedy, those who can’t turn their pain into effecting positive change in the world because they are too afraid to leave their bedrooms. Three teenagers form a unique and dynamic bond as they navigate the never linear, often confusing journey to heal in a world that feels forever changed.

In the film Ortega, Maddie Ziegler and Niles Fitch forge a close friendship that helps them cope with tragedy. From romantic moments to wine-downs in a hot tub, the teenagers find comfort and strength to face the world in each other.

The Fallout, which is in the SXSW Narrative Competition, also features Shailene Woodley, Julie Bowen, Will Ropp, Lumi Pollack and John Ortiz. Billie Eilish collaborator Finneas composed the music.

The 28th edition of the SXSW Film Festival will take place online March 16-20. Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil will kick off the annual fest and Charli XCX’s quarantine documentary Alone Together will serve as the film fest closer.

Check out the full lineup here.