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Charlamagne the God Boards Doc Short ‘In The Bubble With Jaime’ As EP; Danny Trejo Joins ‘Pug’; Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival Sets Ken Jacobson As Executive Director; More – Film Briefs

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EXCLUSIVE: Multimedia mogul Lenard “Charlamagne Tha God” Mckelvey has boarded the documentary short In the Bubble with Jaime as an executive producer, ahead of its weekend premiere at the Montclair Film Festival.

In the Bubble examines Jaime Harrison’s 2020 Senate run against Lindsey Graham. Harrison, an African American Democrat from Orangeburg, South Carolina, raised more money during his campaign than any Senate candidate ever has. And in doing so, he has attracted a nationwide audience to the South Carolina race. Pic features never-before-seen footage of Harrison and his campaign team during the crux of the race and explores the challenges that Harrison had to navigate while running for office, including the Covid pandemic and the legacy of racism in the American South.

Emily Harrold directed the short and produced it with Seth Gadsden. Charlamagne Tha God is joined as an EP by Jedd Canty, Dara Canty and Karen Kinney.

 “Jaime’s campaign was historic for many reasons, and I am happy to be supporting another South Carolina native who is working to make things better for people across the South and across the US,” said Charlamagne Tha God. “This documentary offers an unvarnished behind the scenes look at one of the most followed campaigns of 2020 and I am proud to be a part of the team bringing this powerful and inspiring story to audiences across the nation.”

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Check out the trailer for In the Bubble with Jaime below.

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EXCLUSIVE: Danny Trejo (Machete) has found his next project in the actioner Pug from writer-director Jason Velo, which has wrapped production. Others set to appear alongside the screen icon include Mark Rolston (Bosch: Legacy), Danielle Vega (East Los High), Wolfgang Bodison (A Few Good Men) and Velo.

Danny Trejo

Danny Trejo

Steve Granitz/FilmMagic

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The film watches as a gifted young ex-con tries to return to the boxing ring after his release from prison, thereby catching the eye of a local crime boss who intends to sign him. When he refuses the order to take a dive during a fight, he puts his newfound love interest, family, and entire future in the mob’s crosshairs. 

Keli Price is producing for Price Productions, alongside Velo for Below The Line Entertainment, Aaron Bennett and Edwin To, with Wave Motion Pictures’ Scott Huneryager serving as exec producer. Trejo is repped by AEFH; Velo by Littman Talent Group.

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EXCLUSIVE: Veteran festival programmer Ken Jacobson has been set as the Arkansas-based Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival‘s new Executive Director. Jacobson assumes the role after holding posts with leading documentary non-profit organizations, including the International Documentary Association and the American Film Institute.

Ken Jacobson

Ken Jacobson

Courtesy of HSDFF

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Jacobson is also currently serving as Senior Programmer, Documentary Films for the Sonoma Film Festival. He’s worked as the Documentary Film Programmer for the Minneapolis St. Paul Film Festival since 2017, and for the DocLands Documentary Film Festival since 2019. Jacobson is otherwise best known as the co-creator and co-host (with Michael Merrill) of the podcast Top-Docs: Award-Winning Documentary Filmmakers.

“When I first assisted on interviews with legendary leaders of the Civil Rights Movement as an intern on the series “Eyes on the Prize II,” I knew, deep down, that I always wanted to return to the South to connect the paths of documentary film and great Southern storytellers,” said Jacobson. “After serving 15 years in the film festival and documentary non-profit worlds, I feel honored and thrilled to be joining Hot Springs Documentary Film Institute as the new Executive Director.”

For more information on the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, which just concluded its 31st  run, click here.

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'Strong Enough'

Strong Enough

Gravitas Ventures

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EXCLUSIVE: Gravitas Ventures has secured worldwide rights to Kaleidoscope Pictures‘ sports drama Strong Enough from first-time writer-director John Foss, slating it for release on VOD on December 27.

The film takes place entirely in a gym as amateur crossfitter Sam (Ashley Jerue) faces down an event to set five world records in a half-hour, putting her on the path to become a pro. Despite a tough year with the loss of her father and a crumbling marriage, she has become the strongest she’s ever been, and she is out to prove herself. Her coach Shane (Demetrius Grosse) has organized the event with potential sponsorships on the line. But just before she begins the timed event, conflict erupts with Charlie (Noah Kershisnik), her estranged husband. On the verge of collapse, every aspect of Sam’s ability is tested as the afternoon becomes more than record setting, but a desperate struggle to hold everything together by winning it all.

The cast is also supported by Kim Rhodes, Jake Stormeon and more. Russ Kendall and John Foss produced for Kaleidoscope Pictures, with Brooke Ence exec producing alongside Adam Anderegg and Micah Merrill. Circus Road Films’ Glen Reynolds negotiated the deal for Strong Enough with Gravitas Ventures’ Manager of Acquisitions Brett Rogalsky on behalf of Kaleidoscope Pictures. Check out the film’s trailer below.

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Andrew Frank

Andrew Frank
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Jason Gilmore

Canadian distributor Mongrel Media has promoted Andrew Frank to Co-President, with founder Hussain Amarshi remaining as President. A 16-year veteran at Mongrel, Frank will now handle all sales (including those of Mongrel International) and acquisitions for the company, while exec producing all Canadian films that Mongrel distributes. 

“Andrew has been central to Mongrel’s growth over the last decade and a half and, in this new position, he will expand his role and explore  opportunities to pivot the company to meet the post-Covid challenges facing our industry,” said Amarshi.

“I am privileged to join Hussain in leading Mongrel’s highly experienced and cinephilic team as we continue to evolve as distributors,” added Frank.

Mongrel was founded by Amarshi in 1994. The company’s upcoming releases include Park Chan-wook’s Decision to Leave, which won Best Director at Cannes 2022 and has been selected as South Korea’s 2023 Oscar entry, and Oliver Hermanus’ Living starring Bill Nighy.

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Netflix & Paramount+ To Profile ‘Strip Search Caller’ ; TVOKids Spotlights Down Syndrome With Toon Series; ‘One Piece Film Red’ London Takeover — Global Briefs

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Netflix & Paramount+ UK To Profile ‘Strip Search Caller’

Netflix and Paramount+ have struck a first of its kind-of-deal over a true crime documentary telling the story of the strip search caller in the U.S. Paramount+ has taken UK rights to Pervert: The Hunt for the Strip Search Caller and Netflix has rest of world on the doc, which it will be calling Don’t Pick Up the Phone. The deal is believed to be the first time two streamers have worked in such a way in the UK and rest of world. The doc tells the shocking story of a hoax caller who targeted fast food restaurants across the U.S. – posing as a police officer investigating a theft, the caller instructed managers to strip-search the young female employees he said were suspects. For many victims, what began as a humiliating strip search escalated into sexual abuse.

Canada’s TVOKids Spotlights Down Syndrome In Animated Series ‘Griffin And Turner’

EXCLUSIVE: Ontario, Canada’s TVOkids and Big Jump Entertainment are working on 2D-animated series Griffin and Turner. Based on real Canadian brothers who a significant online following, the show follows the supportive pair as they, their friends and family undertake personal challenges but focus on the journey rather than winning. Turner has Down syndrome, and TVOKids executive producer Kirsten Hurd noted the series has been developed in consultation with the Down syndrome community. Producer Big Jump is behind shows such as Shutterbug and Big Words, Small Stories.

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London Gets ‘One Piece Film Red’ Takeover After Record Haul

To celebrate the record-breaking haul of One Piece Film Red in the UK, the Straw Hat Pirates are set for a takeover of iconic London locations on November 26. Via local distributor Anime Limited and Toei Animation, the cast and memorable scenes from the series will be projected onto the County Hall of London, opposite the London Eye as well as other key locations. One Piece Film: Red has grossed over £800,000 in the UK and Ireland since it released earlier this month, making it the biggest of the long-running franchise. A phenomenon in Japan, One Piece Film Red has grossed $162M to date worldwide 



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‘All Quiet On The Western Front’, ‘Belfast’ Top 2022 EFA Arts & Crafts Awards

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Edward Berger’s All Quiet On The Western Front and Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast top the European Film Academy’s Excellence Awards honoring achievement in the arts and crafts categories, the winners of which were announced on Wednesday.

Belfast won best European Production Design for Jim Clay, whose credits include Children Of Men, for which he won a Bafta in 2006, and Murder On The Orient Express.

The drama, set against the backdrop of the beginnings of “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland in 1969, also won best European Costume Design for Charlotte Walter (Blithe Spirit, Misbehaviour)

Netflix-backed German WWI drama All Quiet On The Western Front won best European Make-up & Hair for Heike Merker, and Best European Special Effects for Frank Petzold, Viktor Müller and Markus Frank.

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 In other categories, best European Cinematography was won by Kate McCullough for her work on Colm Bairéad’s Irish-language drama The Quiet Girl.

Best European Editing went to Özcan Vardar and Eytan İpeker for Turkish director Emin Alper’s drama Burning Days.

Polish composer Paweł Mykietyn won best European Original Score went for Jerzy Skolimowski’s EO.

Best European Sound went to Simone Paolo Olivero, Paolo Benvenuti, Benni Atria, Marco Saitta, Ansgar Frerich & Florian Holzner for Michelangelo Frammartino’s cave exploration drama The Hole.

The winners, which are decided by a special expert jury, will receive their awards at the European Film Awards ceremony on 10 December in Reykjavík.

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Jennifer Lopez’s Social Media Mysteriously Goes Dark

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EXCLUSIVE: The actress, producer and top-selling performing artist’s social media channels including Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter have suddenly gone dark in their featured/cover images.

Reps for Jennifer Lopez were unavailable for comment, but we hear from others that The Hustlers and Marry Me actress is on the verge of announcing a new project.

Here’s a look at her Instagram tonight:

While Lopez’s Instagram had erased all posts, a trail of her previous postings remained on Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter. Across all four social media portals, Lopez counts close to 347M followers, the majority of that coming from her Instagram.

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Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions in June 2021 signed a multi-year first-look deal with Netflix spanning feature films, TV series and unscripted content, with an emphasis on projects that support diverse female actors, writers and filmmakers. Lopez co-runs Nuyorican Productions with her producing partner Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas.

Lopez scored her best opening for a live-action movie at the domestic box office with STX’s 2019 stripper caper Hustlers which debuted to $33.1 million, and grossed $105M stateside, $157.6M worldwide.  As a recording artist, Lopez has sold over 70 million albums, with J.Lo became her bestselling album with 3.8M copies sold in the U.S. and 12M global. Her Netflix thriller The Mother from director Niki Caro is set to debut in May. Her romantic comedy Shotgun Wedding with Josh Duhamel will hit Prime Video on Jan. 27.

On Facebook, one of her followers, Steffany Merino wrote, “What’s happened? Hope you and your wonderful family are ok. I’ll pray for your health and safety.”

Again, we hear something special is in the works in the next few days.



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