Freestyle Digital Media Acquires North American Rights to Midwest Dramedy ‘All Happy Families’ – Film News in Brief

Freestyle Digital Media, the digital film distribution division of Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group, has acquired North American theatrical, VOD, and DVD rights to the Midwest dramedy “All Happy Families.” The media company is planning a limited theatrical and VOD release in the fall.

The film follows fictional midwestern family, the Landrys. Graham (Josh Radnor) is an actor and writer waiting for his big break while his brother Will (Rob Huebel) stars in a successful TV series. The weekend before new tenant Dana (Chandra Russell) is set to move into their childhood home, Graham and Rob end up under the same roof with their parents, where the family airs out their resentments.

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“All Happy Families” was co-written by Haroula Rose and Coburn Goss, and directed by Rose. The film premiered at the Chicago International Film Festival and at Mill Valley Film Festival last October and saw its Southern California premiere June 28 at the 27th Annual Dances With Films: L.A. independent film festival.

Bernie Taupin Documentary in Production from Network Entertainment

A documentary on the life and career of lyricist Bernie Taupin is in production from Network Entertainment. Taupin, who has worked in partnership with Elton John for over 50 years, has written songs like “Bennie and the Jets,” “I’m Still Standing,” “Your Song,” “I Want Love” and more.

Matthew Miele will direct the film, which features new interviews and archival content. Elton John, Brandi Carlile, Alice Cooper, James Hetfield, Annie Lennox, Lulu, Gary Oldman, Ringo Starr and Pete Townshend will be featured in the documentary.

The documentary is produced by in association with Polygram Entertainment, a partner of Universal Music Group. Producers include Network Entertainment’s Derik Murray, Heather Taupin and Stephen McCormack of Reflektor Media. Brian Gersh, Paul Gertz, Kent Wingerak, Charlie Hendon, Matthew Miele and Polygram’s Jody Gerson and David Blackman executive produce.

‘Time II: Unfinished Business’ to Debut at Essence Festival

“Time II: Unfinished Business” is set to debut at Essence Festival in July. Directed by Sibil Fox Richardson, also known as Fox Rich, the film continues the love story of Rich and her husband Robert Richardson.

The film is a sequel to 2020’s “Time,” a documentary that follows Rich fighting for the release of her husband, who was serving a 60-year prison sentence for his participation in an armed bank robbery in the 1990s.

The upcoming documentary follows their continued quest for restoration upon Richardson’s release and includes their ongoing efforts to bring home their imprisoned nephew and others in the prison system.

National Association of Latino Independent Producers Unveils 2024 Latino Media Accelerator Projects

The National Association of Latino Independent Producers have unveiled the projects for this year’s Latino Media Accelerator program, which will take place at the NALIP Media Summit presented by STARZ #TaketheLead.

The program provides participants with access to tailored opportunities, mentorship and resources to bring their projects to life.

The projects selected for the summit include:

“For Your Own Good,” Directed, produced and story by Gabriela Garcia Medina

“Little Lying Wild,” Written and directed by Samantha Aldana.

“The Manager’s Wife,” Written and directed by Jhanvi Motla.

“Sonica,” Directed and co-written by Daniel Poler. Emma Ramos also wrote the film.

“Purple Cotton,” Written and directed by Jasmin Tenucci.

“Work,” Written and directed by April Maxey

“It’s Always Sunni,” Written and directed by Sonia Malfa. Actress Trae Harris also wrote the film.

“Body Shop,” Written and directed by Maria Mealla.

“In the Air,” Written by Eunice Levis.

‘Bogotá Story’ and ‘The Car That Came Back from the Sea’ Win Top Honors at Palm Springs International ShortFest

The Palm Springs International ShortFest has announced the juried and audience award winners for its 2024 edition, which took place June 18-24. Over $25,000 in cash prizes and five Academy Award-qualifying honors were presented to the winning films, which included Esteban Pedraza’s “Bogotá Story” and Jadwiga Kowalska’s animated film “The Car That Came Back from the Sea.”

See a full list of winners below.

Oscar Qualifying Awards:

Best of the Festival Award –
• Winner: “Bogotá Story” (Colombia/USA), Directed by Esteban Pedraza

Best Animated Short –
• Winner: “The Car That Came Back from the Sea” (Switzerland), Directed by Jadwiga Kowalska

Best Documentary Short –
• Winner:” Seat 31: Zooey Zephyr” (USA), Directed by Kimberly Reed

Best Live-Action Short Over 15 Minutes presented by V Channels Corp –
• Winner: “Oyu” (France/Japan), Directed by Atsushi Hirai

Best Live-Action Short 15 Minutes and Under –
• Winner: “Complications” (Norway), Directed by Ivar Aase

Student Short Awards:

Best Student Animated Short –
• Winner: “On the 8th Day” (France), Directed by Agathe Sénéchal, Alicia Massez, Elise Debruyne, Flavie Carin, Théo Duhautois

Best Student International Short –
• Winner: “Where Insects Hide at Night” (Brazil/USA), Directed by Lucas Acher

Best Student U.S. Short
• Winner: “Primos” (Puerto Rico/USA), Directed by Ricardo Varona

Best Student Documentary Short
• Winner: “Remember, Broken Crayons Colour Too” (Switzerland), Directed by Urša Kastelic, Shannet Clemmings

Special Jury Awards:

Best International Short –
• Winner: “The Real Truth About the Fight” (Croatia/Spain), Directed by Andrea Slaviček

Best U.S. Short –
• Winner: “Trapped” (USA), Directed by Sam Cutler-Kreutz and David Cutler-Kreutz

Best Comedy Short –
• Winner: “Favourites” (Australia), Directed by Nick Russell

Best LGBT+ Short –
• Winner: “Honeymoon” (Greece/France/Cyprus), Directed by Alkis Papastathopoulos

Best Midnight Short –
• Winner: “Wander to Wonder” (Netherlands/France/Belgium/United Kingdom), Directed by Nina Gantz

Bridging the Borders Award presented by Cinemas Without Borders and 360 Media –
• Winner: “Palestine Islands” (France/Palestine), Directed by Nour Ben Salem, Julien Menanteau

Local Jury Awards:

Desert Views Award Sponsored by Silvercrest –
• Winner: “Then Comes the Body” (USA/Nigeria), Directed by Jacob Krupnick

Young Cineastes Award –
• Winner: “Guts” (USA), Directed by Margaux Susi

Kids’ Choice Award –
• Winner: “Mog’s Christmas” (United Kingdom), Directed by Robin Shaw

Audience Awards:

Best Animated Short –
• Winner: “And Granny Would Dance” (United Kingdom), Directed by Maryam Mohajer

Best Documentary Short –
• Winner: “Then Comes the Body” (USA/Nigeria), Directed by Jacob Krupnick

Best Live-Action Short –
• Winner: “The One Note Man” (United Kingdom), Directed by George C. Siougas

Best Student Short –
• Winner: “Allégresse” (Belgium), Directed by Gillie Cinneri

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