Bleecker Street Acquires U.S. Distribution Rights to Bobby Cannavale’s Family Dramedy “Ezra”

Bobby Cannavale’s latest project is headed to a U.S. theater near you…

Bleecker Street has acquired the U.S. rights to Ezra, the starry family dramedy starring the 53-year-old half-Cuban American Emmy-winning actor.

Bobby CannavaleHailing from actor-turned-director Tony Goldwyn, the film is coming off of its world premiere in the Special Presentations section of the Toronto Film Festival.

Starring Cannavale, Rose Byrne, Robert De Niro and newcomer William A. Fitzgerald, the film is slated for release in theaters in 2024.

Also starring Vera Farmiga, Rainn Wilson and Whoopi GoldbergEzra follows Max Brandel (Cannavale), a once successful late-night comedy writer turned less-successful stand-up comedian, who struggles through the failure of his career and marriage. After moving in with his father, Stan (De Niro), Max and his ex-wife Jenna (Byrne) remain at odds on how to best raise their autistic son, Ezra (Fitzgerald).

Described by Deadline as “a touching testament to the power of love, acceptance, and the challenges of parenthood,” the film was written by Tony Spiridakis, with William Horberg, Jon Kilik, Goldwyn and Spiridakis producing.

Paramount+ Releases First Look at Jenna Ortega’s “Finestkind”

It’s Jenna Ortega’s finest(kind) hour…

Paramount+ has released first look images at Finestkind, starring the 20-year-old Puerto Rican & Mexican American actress.

Jenna Ortega, FinestkindFrom Brian Helgeland, the film also stars Tommy Lee JonesBen Foster and Toby Wallace, ahead of its premiere Friday at the Toronto Film Festival. The film is set for a November premiere exclusively on Paramount+.

Written and directed by Helgeland, Finestkind tells the story of two brothers (Foster & Wallace), raised in different worlds, who are reunited as adults over a fateful summer. Set against the backdrop of commercial fishing, the story takes on primal stakes when desperate circumstances force the brothers to strike a deal with a violent Boston crime gang. Along the way a young woman (Ortega) finds herself caught perilously in the middle. Sacrifices must be made and bonds between brothers, friends, lovers, and a father (Jones) and his son are put to the ultimate test.

Jenna Ortega, FinestkindFinestkind is populated with characters I once knew. But the film I probably should have made first in my career I saved for now,” said Helgeland. “In it, a crew of fishermen in my hometown of New Bedford, Massachusetts, find themselves in dangerous water as debts they can’t possibly pay mount up. In this clip, the pressure begins to turn them against each other.”

Ismael Cruz Cordova, Aaron Stanford, Scotty Tovar, Tim Daly, Lolita Davidovich and Clayne Crawford also star.

Finestkind was originally set back in 2018 with Jake Gyllenhaal, Ansel Elgort and Zendaya starring.

Netflix Releases First Trailer for Benicio Del Toro-Starrer “Reptile”

Benicio Del Toro is dealing with a “real nightmare”…

Netflix has released the first trailer for Reptile, a crime thriller starring the 56-year-old Puerto Rican actor and producer, Justin Timberlake and Alicia Silverstone.

Benicio del ToroThe film will debut on the streamer on October 6th, after making its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival.

Marking the feature directorial debut of veteran music video director Grant Singer, the film is set in motion by the brutal murder of a young real estate agent, following a hardened detective (Del Toro) as he attempts to uncover the truth in a case where nothing is as it seems. In doing so, he finds himself dismantling the illusions in his own life.

“How have you been feeling?” Del Toro’s Nichols is asked in the trailer, to which he responds, “There’s a case going on. It’s a real nightmare.”

First up for interrogation is the victim’s boyfriend, played by Timberlake, who gives his account of coming home to discover her with a knife in her back. But he’s certainly not the only suspect. Among others being looked at are the woman’s friend (Sky Ferreira) and ex-husband (Karl Glusman), and a “weirdo” (Michael Pitt) who’d been making unwelcome visits to the boyfriend’s front door.

Also starring Ato Essandoh, Frances Fisher, Eric Bogosian, Domenick Lombardozzi, Matilda Lutz, Owen Teague and Catherine Dyer, the film was scripted by Singer & Benjamin Brewer & Del Toro.

Buffalo 8 Acquires North American Rights to Javier Andrade’s Drama “Lo Invisible”

Javier Andrade’s latest project won’t be invisible for long in North America…

Buffalo 8 has acquired the North American rights to the 45-year-old Ecuadorian filmmaker’s drama Lo Invisible, Ecuador’s candidate for the Academy AwardsBest International Feature Film.

Javier AndradeDirected by Andrade, the film is scheduled for release on VOD in the second or third quarter of this year.

In Lo Invisible, a woman (Anahí Hoeneisen) returns from psychiatric care and finds herself in new confinement — a stunning mansion in Puembo, Ecuador. She’s unable to return to normalcy after a bout of severe postpartum depression and, alone amongst family and servants, must keep her struggles invisible — over time, sinking deeper and deeper into madness.

The first Ecuadorian film to be featured at the Toronto Film Festival in nearly 20 years, Lo Invisible also secured a nomination for Best Iberoamerican Film last year at the Málaga Spanish Film Festival.

Antonio Banderas to Star in the Action-Crime Thriller “Clean Up Crew”

Antonio Banderas is cleaning up

The 61-year-opld will star opposite Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Melissa Leo in the Yale Entertainment action-crime thriller Clean Up Crew from director Jon Keeyes.

Antonio BanderasThe Ireland-based production recently wrapped, and Yale’s recently-launched sales banner Great Escape, led by Nick Donnermeyer, will handle foreign rights and introduce the title at next month’s Toronto Film Festival.

The film follows a crime scene clean-up crew, which includes Rhys Meyers and Leo’s characters, who discover a briefcase full of cash, unknowingly sending them into battle with mobsters – led by a ruthless crime boss, played by Banderas, as well as hitmen, and corrupt government agents who are hell bent to get the dough back.

Clean Up Crew was written by Matthew Rogers.

“We’re excited to work with this legendary all-star cast on what will be an edge-of-your seat, action-packed film,” said Levine and Beckerman. “We’re certain that Jon Keeyes will deliver a uniquely thrilling cinematic experience.”

Banderas’ has been a frequent collaborator of award-winning Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, and starred in such works as the director’s Pain and GloryBanderas won the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival for that film, and was nominated for Best Actor at the Oscars.

He will next be seen starring with Penelope Cruz in the Spanish comedy Official Competition and returns as the voice of Puss in Boots in Dreamworks Animation’s Puss in Boots: The Last Wish.

Next year, he stars in the highly anticipated fifth installment of the Indiana Jones film.

Music Box Films Acquires Thriller-Satire Film “Medusa,” Starring Mari Oliveira

Mari Oliveira will be thrilling audiences in North America…

Music Box Films has acquired North American rights to Medusathe well-received thriller-satire starring the Latina actress.

Mari Oliveira, MedusaHailing from Brazilian writer and director Anita Rocha da Silveira. Medusa follows Mariana (Oliveira), a 21-year-old who belongs to a world where she must do her utmost to keep up the appearance of a perfect woman. In order to resist temptation, she and her girlfriends try their best to control everything and everyone around them. And that includes the town sinners. At night, their girl squad put on masks, hunt and beat up all women who have deviated from the right path. However, the day will come when the urge to scream will be stronger than it ever has been.

The social and political critique, which touches on themes of sexual liberation, violence, and religious fixation in Brazil, marks a follow-up to the filmmaker’s debut feature, Kill Me Please.

The feature debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in the Directors’ Fortnight strand before getting its North American premiere at the Toronto Film Festival.

Box Films is aiming to release the film theatrically in the summer of 2022 with a home entertainment plan to follow.

Medusa’s bold commentary on social and political trends in Brazil will resonate with US audiences who can recognize the disturbing parallels in this country,” commented Brian Andreotti, Head of Acquisitions at Music Box Films. “Anita is an exciting filmmaker with a wholly original voice, and we are excited to bring her provocative and aesthetically striking film to a wider audience.”

“We are thrilled to work for the first time with Music Box Films,” added Martin Gondre, Head of Sales & Acquisitions at Best Friend Forever. “We couldn’t find a better home for Anita’s stylish, topical, and striking second feature.”

Neon Acquires Worldwide Rights to Rebeca Huntt’s Debut Film “Beba”

Rebeca Huntt’s acclaimed debut film is going global…

Neon has acquired the worldwide rights to Beba, the debut film by the Afro-Latina artist.

Beba, Rebeca Huntt

Huntt’s 16mm feature film of poetry and interview footage, which recently made its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival to rave reviews, will debut in 2022.

Huntt undertakes an unflinching exploration of her own identity in the coming-of-age documentary/cinematic memoir. Reflecting on her childhood and adolescence in New York City as the daughter of a Dominican father and Venezuelan mother, she investigates the historical, societal and generational trauma she’s inherited and ponders how those ancient wounds have shaped her, while simultaneously considering the universal truths that connect us all as humans.

Beba, Rebeca Huntt

Huntt searches for a way to forge her own creative path amid a landscape of intense racial and political unrest as an Afro-Latina artist hungry for knowledge and yearning for connection.

“Poetic, powerful and profound, Beba is a courageous, deeply human self-portrait of an Afro-Latina artist hungry for knowledge and yearning for connection,” Neon said.

Huntt wrote and directed the film, and she produced it with Sofia Geld. Oscar nominee Petra Costa, Alyse Ardell Spiegel, Alessandra Orofino, Joy Bryant and Inuka Bacote-Capiga serve as the film’s executive producers.

Amazon Studios Acquires Global Rights to J Balvin Documentary “The Boy From Medellin”

J Balvin’s colorful life story will be told around the world…

Amazon Studios has picked up the worldwide rights to director Matthew Heineman‘s The Boy From Medellín, a portrait of the 35-year-old Colombian reggaeton singer and Latin music star.

J Balvin

The Endeavor Content-backed feature-length documentary follows Balvin, the “Prince of Reggaeton” and a Latin Grammy-winning performer, in the lead-up to a sold-out 2019 homecoming concert performance in Medellín, Colombia.

The acquisition deal comes ahead of the documentary’s world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival on September 11 via the Bell Digital Cinema platform.

“Representing my country, my city and Latin culture globally is a lifelong pursuit and I’m so proud to be a son of Medellín. I’m honored to be able to tell my story in this beautiful way and working with Matthew on this project was an incredible experience. Thank you to Amazon for making sure this story can be seen around the world,” Balvin said in a statement.

The Boy From Medellin  — from Heineman, the director behind the biopic Private War  is produced by Our Time Projects and SB Projects.

“Filmmaker Matthew Heineman is a master of his craft, and beautifully depicts the perspective of an international music icon. We are thrilled to welcome Matthew back to the Amazon family and to share J Balvin’s story with our global customers,” Javiera Balmaceda, head of international originals in Argentina, Chile and Colombia for Amazon Studios, said in a statement.

J Balvin is one of today’s best-selling Latin music artists with sales of more than 35 million records (albums and singles) worldwide. His breakthrough came in 2014 with “Ginza” and the single “6 AM” featuring Puerto Rican singer Farruko, which peaked at number 2 on theBillboard Hot Latin Songs chart.

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.

Emilio Estevez’s “The Public” to Stream on Peacock in September

Emilio Estevez is going public with his latest project…

Peacock has unveiled a slate of original films that will debut on NBC’s streaming service in September, including the 58-year-old part-Spanish American actor’s latest film The Public.

Emilio Estevez The Public

The film, written, executive produced and directed by Estevez, centers around an act of civil disobedience that turns into a standoff with police when homeless people in Cincinnati take over the public library to seek shelter from the bitter cold.

The film stars Alec Baldwin, Estevez, Jena Malone, Taylor Schilling, Christian Slater, Che “Rhymefest” Smith, Gabrielle Union, Jacob Vargas, Michael K. Williams, and Jeffrey Wright.

The Public will premiere on Peacock on Thursday, September 15.

The film had its world premiere on September 9, 2018, at the Toronto Film Festival. It was theatrically released in the United States on April 5, 2019, by Greenwich Entertainment.