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Music Box Boards SXSW Road Trip Drama ‘The Unknown Country’ Starring ‘Killers Of The Flower Moon’ Actress Lily Gladstone

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EXCLUSIVE: Music Box Films has acquired North American rights to SXSW road-trip drama The Unknown Country starring Certain Women and Killers of the Flower Moon actress Lily Gladstone and Raymond Lee (Top Gun: Maverick).

In director Morrisa Maltz’s indie pic, an unexpected invitation rushes a grieving young woman into a road trip through the American Midwest towards the border between Texas and Mexico. The young woman, Tana, navigates the complex, post-2016 election social climate, and a natural landscape that is increasingly surreal. Along the way, she bonds with unexpected people who are unknown to her yet intrinsically familiar. 

The Unknown Country is produced by Katherine Harper and Laura Heberton alongside executive producers Miranda Bailey and Natalie Whalen of Cold Iron Pictures (Super). Executive producers include Ty Gordon of Wooden Fingers Studios, Rachel Crouch, Gill Holland, Steve Malouf, Matthew C. Mills and Veronica Nickel.

The sale was negotiated by Music Box Films and CAA Media Finance, UTA, and Range Media Partners. 

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The feature is set to make its Bay Area premiere on October 9 at the Mill Valley Film Festival and Music Box will release in theaters and on home entertainment platforms in 2023.

At Mill Valley, there will also be a panel for the movie exploring the film’s production as an exemplar of sustainable filmmaking practices, featuring director Morrisa Maltz, actor Lainey Bearkiller Shangreaux, actor Lily Gladstone, and editor Vanara Taing. 

Emerging actress Gladstone was set by Martin Scorsese for one of the lead roles opposite Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro in his upcoming crime-drama Killers Of The Flower Moon, which is due to debut next year.

“Morrisa’s lyrical road movie blurs the lines separating documentary and fiction filmmaking in really innovative ways,” stated Brian Andreotti of Music Box Films. “Lily Gladstone’s soulful performance enriches this cinematic postcard from the backroads and highways connecting middle America’s diverse voices and varied landscapes. Music Box Films is pleased to take audiences on this unforgettable journey through the heart of our country.”

“We’re so excited to continue our film’s incredible journey with Music Box,” said Director Morrisa Maltz. “Partnering with a distributor that has such a sincere love and passion for daring independent cinema is so important for a film like ours. We could not be more thrilled to work with their talented and exceptionally creative team to bring The Unknown Country to audiences next year.”

Music Box’s recent releases include seven-time César-winning pic Lost Illusions, Cannes Directors’ Fortnight film Medusa, and Mark Cousins’ documentary The Story of Film: A New Generation.

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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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