Black Women Animate Teams with Titmouse Foundation to Grow Studio’s Diverse Team of Animators – Film News in Brief

Black Women Animate studios has partnered with non-profit the Titmouse Foundation to help further the animation house’s goal of hiring 200 diverse animation professional by the end of 2025. Together, the organization and studio will launch BWA’s Equity Excelerator program, which offers event series, online practicums and networking opportunities.

“Our Equity Excelerator is a tested, multi-pronged approach at solving for the lack of inclusion of Black and diverse talent in animation,” said Taylor K. Shaw, BWA founder & CEO. “We remain at the forefront of creating access, and we’re excited for the continued innovation and opportunity our commitment to championing new voices will bring with the Equity Excelerator and the Titmouse Foundation.”

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Since its inception five years ago, the female-owned BWA has offered its services to Hulu, Netflix, Mattel, A&E, Warner Bros., Paramount and others. “It’s about time to start helping more Black women get in the door within the animation industry, and hear their stories,” said Shannon Prynoski, president of the Titmouse Foundation. “I am excited to make this a reality.”

“Three Blind Mice” Nursery Rhyme Has Been Adapted into Horror Movie With Oct. 17 Release Date

The nursery rhyme “Three Blind Mice” has been adapted into a horror movie. The creature feature is directed by Pierre B and has been acquired by Uncork’d Entertainment ahead of a digital and DVD released on Oct. 17.

The film follows Abi, who has been taken to a cabin in the woods by her family to escape the troubles of her city life. As the logline describes, “However, little do they know, The Three Blind Mice is more than just a fairy tale, and they may be next up on the menu.”

Uncork’d Entertainment has previously adapted the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb” into a horror film.

“Releasing shortly after our other nursery rhyme-turned horror film Mary Had a Little Lamb, Three Blind Mice guarantees horror fans some bloody, disturbing and very entertaining pre-Halloween entertainment,” said Keith Leopard, president of Uncork’d Entertainment. “Pierre B, and his talented cast, deliver a title that’s bound to be extremely popular.”

“Three Blind Mice” stars May Kelly, Lila Lasso, Natasha Tosini, Samantha Cull and Danielle Ronaldstar.

‘All Of Us Strangers,’ ‘Fresh Kills’ Join Hamptons International Film Festival Spotlight Selections

Jennifer Esposito’s “Fresh Kills,” Andrew Haigh’s “All of Us Strangers,” George C. Wolfe’s “Rustin” and Jonathan Glazer’s “The Zone of Interest” join the Hamptons International Film Festival’s (HIFF) slate of spotlight selections, in addition to select signature programming, HamptonsFilm announced Thursday.

The 31st annual HIFF will take place from Oct. 5 through 12 with a slew of in-person screenings and events in the Hamptons. The festival will open with a screening presented by Audi of “Nyad,” the narrative feature debut of Academy Award-winning documentary filmmakers Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin.

“This year’s Signature programming and Spotlight films include a diverse array of powerful and thought-provoking titles,” said HamptonsFilm artistic director David Nugent. “We feel it is important to feature projects that are not only compelling but also socially impactful and capable of sparking a dialogue among our audiences.”

Joint with this year’s spotlight selections, HIFF has debuted a group of films that will screen within its compassion, justice and animal rights section. Jason Goldman’s “Rowdy Girl” joins this list, also notably making its U.S. premiere at the festival. Additional titles in the section include David Allen’s “Wilding” and Laura Rindlisbacher’s “Happy.”

Art Directors Guild Announces 28th Annual Excellence in Production Awards Date and Timeline

The Art Directors Guild has announced that the 28th Annual Excellence in Production Design Awards will take place on Feb. 10 at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown. The awards honor the creative contributions of Art Directors Guild members and the work they put into film, television, commercials, animation and music videos.

Submissions open for all Television, Feature Film, Commercial and Music Video categories on Sept. 18. Submissions close for all categories on Oct. 30, except for Feature Film, which closes Dec. 4. Voting for nominees is open from Dec. 11-Jan. 5, and voting for winners is open from Jan. 22-Feb. 8.

“The ADG is pleased and honored to recognize the excellence of Guild members and their achievements during our annual Awards Ceremony,” said ADG President Nelson Coates and Award Producers Michael Allen Glover and Megan Elizabeth Bell in a joint statement. “The extraordinary work of our membership deserves to be recognized and elevated. We are excited to celebrate this year’s phenomenal achievements.”

Malcolm Ingram to Launch Home Entertainment Distribution Company Mercantile Instinct With Release of his Latest Film ‘Clerk’

Physical media lovers unite: independent filmmaker Malcolm Ingram is launching Mercantile Instinct, a home entertainment distribution company. Mercantile Instinct is set to launch with the release of his latest film “Clerk,” which will get a VHS and Blu-Ray pre-sale release before it premieres on Sept. 26.

The special features Blu-Ray edition of the film includes interviews with Stan Lee, Jason Reitman and Richard Linklater, new commentary from Ingram, Kevin Smith, Joe Manganiello and Ralph Garman and an alternate ending to the film.

“Distribution is a mess,” said Ingram in a statement. “A recent situation motivated me to decide to use my 30 years’ experience working in the industry and throw my hat in the ring. I grew up in video stores. I love physical media. And the notion of controlling the fate of movies I put my heart and soul into just makes sense. And hopefully soon, I can help other filmmakers get their work seen as well.”

Agbo’s No Sleep ’til Film Fest Brief Call for Submissions to Open Sept. 29, Close Oct. 1

Agbo’s No Sleep ‘til Film Fest is returning for its third year and is seeking submissions for its filmmaking competition. The festival is looking for short and fast-made films — created in under 48 hours and running only three minutes or less — based on prompts generated by Agbo. The prompts will be released on Sept. 29 and submissions will close on Oct. 1.

No Sleep ‘til Film Fest judges panel includes the Russo brothers, who are also co-founders of the festival, along with Agbo execs Angela Russo-Otstot, Jake Aust, Marian Koltai-Levine, Michael Disco and Scott Nemes. The judges will select three films which will screen across Agbo’s social channels, and winning filmmakers will be welcomed to the Agbo Storytellers Collective alumni network.

Winners will be announced on Nov. 8.

Neon Names Kristen Figeroid as President of International Sales and Distribution

Indie studio Neon has named veteran exec Kristen Figeroid as its new president of international sales and distribution. In addition, the studio tapped Laurel Charnetsky as its new VP of international acquisitions and operations along with Dan Stadnicki as its manager of international sales and distribution.

In their new roles, Figeroid, Charnetsky and Stadnicki will work to expand Neon’s international production and distribution capabilities, helming global acquisitions deals and handling sales of third-party projects. Figeroid joins the studio with over two decades of experience, having handled the sales of various films from “Whiplash” to “Nightcrawler.” She previously held distribution and sales roles at Endeavor, Sierra/Affinity, the Film Department and Media8.

Neon’s new hires come on the heels of its recent releases “Sanctuary” starring Margaret Qualley and Christopher Abbott and precedes its upcoming films “Anatomy of a Fall,” Michael Mann’s “Ferrari” and “It Lives Inside.”

Richard Shepard Announces ‘Film Geek’ Documentary to Premiere This Fall (EXCLUSIVE)

Emmy and DGA award-winning director Richard Shepard (“Ugly Betty,” “Girls,” “The Perfection,” “Welcome to Chippendales”) has announced his latest project, a documentary titled “Film Geek,” which will premiere on Sept. 22 at the American Cinematheque in Los Angeles.

“Film Geek” is inspired by Shepard’s experiences growing up in New York City as a young kid in love with the art of film. The documentary is comprised of clips from over 200 movies, as well as footage from Shepard’s personal archives, which help underscore his relationship with his mysterious father.

“With ‘Film Geek,’ I wanted to look back at my youth in New York City, and create a work of art out of the hundreds of movies I was obsessed with as a kid. I also wanted to tell the story of my complicated father— a loving but often mysterious man, who had no discernible job, went by three ot four different names, had an incredible connection and fascination with the city’s underbelly, and whose deep love of movies helped foster my own cinematic DNA,” said Shepard.

“This personal journey brought me incredible joy, along with the pain that comes from unraveling secrets about one’s parents,” he continued. “In telling my own story in ‘Film Geek,’ I also hope to find common ground with other film lovers over the movies we were obsessed with as kids, as well as how our parents shape us both in their best virtues and their worst.”

The American Cinematheque premiere will be presented by screenwriter Larry Karaszewski (“The People vs. Larry Flynt”), who will lead a Q&A with Shepard following the screening.

“Film Geek” is produced by Stacey Reiss, edited by Adam Lichtenstein and with Jonathan Stern as executive producer. Movie theatre artwork is by Skip Sturtz. CAA Media Finance represents the film’s worldwide distribution rights.

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