‘Katie’s Mom’, ‘Alabama Girl’ Castings; Freestyle, Indican, Buffalo 8, 1091 Acquisitions; ‘Orchestrator of Storms’ Clip – Film Briefs

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EXCLUSIVE: Dina Meyer (All American), Aaron Dominguez (Only Murders in the Building), Julia Tolchin (Loveland), Colin Bates (Broadway’s Girl from the North Country) and Jason Wiles (Third Watch) will star in the comedy Katie’s Mom (formerly The Dropout), marking the feature directorial debut of Tyrrell Shaffner.

The film is about a divorcée, played by Meyer, whose holiday celebration with her adult children derails when she falls for her daughter’s charming new boyfriend, played by Dominguez. Its cast also includes Jade Ramirez (You Cannot Hide), Clara York (Euphoria), Lexie Stevenson (The Young and The Restless) and Shannon Dee (Good Girls).

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Shaffner and Meryl Branch-McTiernan wrote the script, which was a quarterfinalist in the Academy’s Nicholl screenplay competition two years in a row. Branch-McTiernan and Shaffner are producing for their banner Ex Files Productions alongside Corey Moss (White Elephant) of Bold Soul Studios. Executive Producers include Milan Chakraborty and Sanjay M Sharma of Marginal MediaWorks, as well as Kristin Tegtmeier Higgins of River Place Films, James Velissaris of Finch Fortress Films, and Sandy Cleary. Meyer is represented by Mosaic and Joseph Le Talent Agency; Dominguez by Innovative Artists and Authentic Talent and Literary Management; Tolchin by UGA Talent and Stein Entertainment Group; Bates by Innovative Artists and Time-Art in France; and Wiles by Untitled Entertainment.

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EXCLUSIVEShaquita Smith (Wicked City) is teaming up with Nferno Productions for Alabama Girl—an action-thriller based on a poem that she wrote in Birmingham, Alabama in 2008.

Shaquita Smith - Credit: NiceShotted/Ted Westbury
Shaquita Smith - Credit: NiceShotted/Ted Westbury

NiceShotted/Ted Westbury

The film is about Angela Davis (Smith), a former military agent set on a deadly quest in Wetumpka, Alabama to find and rescue her younger sister after she was kidnapped and forced into sex trafficking. (The poem that Smith wrote addressed her own traumatic childhood experience with abuse and abandonment.)

Christopher A. Nolen (Zodiac Sign) will direct and produce alongside Smith; the latter, for Quita Films. Production kicks off in Chicago and Birmingham, AL this winter. Smith is repped by Established Artists and Eris Talent Agency; Nolen by Burke Management.

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EXCLUSIVE: Freestyle Digital Media has acquired North American rights to the drama Angel from writer-director Raeann Giles. The digital film distribution division of Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group plans to release the pic across VOD platforms on August 9.

Angel - Credit: Freestyle Digital Media
Angel - Credit: Freestyle Digital Media

Freestyle Digital Media

In Angel, three thirty-something ladies escape to wine country, drink a forbidden wine, and wake up to an alternate reality of what might have been. When they see what they truly want in life, one of them revisits a past miscarriage, and comes face to face with her traumatic loss. The events of the miscarriage are based off of a true story, and the flashbacks in the film are comprised of real footage from an actual pregnancy loss story. The film hopes to let other women know they are not alone and to abolish the stigma that miscarriages have to be hidden.

Starring alongside Giles in Angel are Angela Relucio (Ozark) and Chelsea Gilson (Hawaii Five-0). The film was produced by Giles and Donald Nguyen. Freestyle Digital Media negotiated the deal to acquire it directly with Giles of Malie Productions and attorney Patrick Alach of Longo & Alach. Watch the trailer for Angel below.

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EXCLUSIVE: Indican Pictures has acquired worldwide rights to the GLAAD Award-nominated drama Gossamer Folds from director Lisa Donato (Foxy Trot), slating it for release in select theaters on August 12 and on VOD the 23rd.

. - Credit: Indican Pictures
. - Credit: Indican Pictures

Indican Pictures

The film takes place during the summer of 1986 and examines the close bonds people can form in the most unexpected of places. 10-year-old Tate Millikin (Jackson Robert Scott) is abruptly uprooted and forced to move to the suburbs of Kansas City where his transphobic father discovers that their next-door neighbor is a trans woman named Gossamer (Alexandra Grey). After learning this information, he swiftly forbids Tate to even say hello to her. As his parents’ marriage unravels, young Tate chooses to defy his father’s orders and, instead, forms a powerful relationship with Gossamer and her father, Edward (Franklin Ojeda Smith).

Gossamer Folds also stars Sprague Grayden (Six Feet Under), Shane West (A Walk To Remember), Ethan Suplee (Remember the Titans) and Yeardley Smith (The Simpsons). The latter also served as one of the film’s producers.

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EXCLUSIVE: Buffalo 8 has acquired rights to the Spanish arthouse drama Magoado directed by Rubén Sainz, slating it for worldwide release next year.

Magoado - Credit: Buffalo 8
Magoado - Credit: Buffalo 8

Buffalo 8

Magoado explores the meaning of family and questions the value of loneliness. Peio (Diego Álvarez) is a recluse, hiding on the coast of Santa Catarina, when he gets an unexpected visit from his son, Markel (Dorleta Urretabizkaia). He then must deal with his new reality forced upon him by the company of his son.

Sainz scripted the film, which last year came in as a Best Film nominee of the Goa Film Festival of India. Sainz and Karmele Barandiaran produced it, with Karmele Barandiaran exec producing alongside Janek Ambros and Alex Loynaz of Assembly Line Entertainment.

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EXCLUSIVE: 1091 Pictures has announced that it will release Auroris Media’s feature doc Sextortion: The Hidden Pandemic from director Maria Peek (I Dream of Dance, Third Grade) across all TVOD/Digital platforms globally beginning October 4th. The release follows a national educational screening tour that Auroris has planned for the summer, which kicks off in August with the Crimes Against Children Conference in Dallas. The film will also screen at USC Cinema Arts in Los Angeles on Sept 15, and in such cities as New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Nashville, Knoxville, Norfolk, Miami, Denver, Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco, Phoenix, Ottawa and Vancouver. Screenings for lawmakers in Washington, D.C. and Brussels, Belgium have also been planned for the fall.

Sextortion: The Hidden Pandemic - Credit: Personal Courtesy
Sextortion: The Hidden Pandemic - Credit: Personal Courtesy

Personal Courtesy

Peek’s film is an investigation into the world of online grooming and sextortion—a present-day reality for one in seven children online. By unsealing the federal case of a top-gun pilot with hundreds of victims, and interviewing survivors and their parents, the true-crime piece exposes an often-overlooked crime against children, the tactics of online predators, and the voices of parents and law enforcement poised to stop online child exploitation in its tracks.

Sextortion made its world premiere in the Social Justice section of this year’s Santa Barbara Film Festival. Maria Peek also edited the film and produced it alongside Stephen Peek. To find a screening near you, click here.

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EXCLUSIVE: Deadline has an exclusive clip from the feature doc Orchestrator of Storms: The Fantastique World of Jean Rollin, which makes its world premiere tomorrow in the Documentaries from the Edge section of the Fantasia Film Festival.

Orchestrator of Storms: The Fantastique World of Jean Rollin - Credit: Arrow Films
Orchestrator of Storms: The Fantastique World of Jean Rollin - Credit: Arrow Films

Arrow Films

The film from writer-directors Dima Ballin and Kat Ellinger explores the filmmaker’s works through the context of his life and obsessions, his connection to French surrealists and poetry, and his involvement with the ’60s anarchist scene in France, bringing a deeper dimension to the ways his work can be understood.

It features appearances by David Hinds, Kier-La Janisse, Brigitte Lahaie, Madeleine LeDespencer, Françoise Pascal, Jeremy Richey, Virgine Selavy, Véronique D-Travers and Nigel Wingrove. The film was produced by Ellinger and Ballin, with Francesco Simeoni exec producing, and Kier-La Janisse and Jonathan Zaurin serving as associated producers.

Check out the clip below.

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