Sadie Sink Leads Cast in Coming-of-Age Drama “Dear Zoe”

Sadie Sink
Photo:James Lee Wall

“Dear Zoe” is a new independent feature film adapted from the award-winning novel by Pittsburgh author Philip Beard. The adapted screenplay was written by Pittsburgh natives Marc Lhormer and Melissa Martin, and directed by Gren Wells (The Road Within).

“Dear Zoe” stars Sadie Sink as Tess (Stranger Things). Theo Rossi (Sons of Anarchy, Luke Cage) plays her father Nick, with newcomer Kweku Collins as Tess’ love interest. Justin Bartha (The Hangover, National Treasure: Book of Secrets), Jessica Capshaw (Grey’s Anatomy), and Vivien Blair (Bird Box, We Can Be Heroes) round out the principal cast. This film for all ages is a powerful study of grief and resilience told from the point of view of a 16-year-old girl: a coming-of-age dramedy in which teenage Tess enlists her biological father, a lovable slacker from the wrong side of the tracks, and the charming juvenile delinquent next door to help her come to grips with the death of her little sister. Principal photography will take place in and around Pittsburgh, PA.

Leading the production is Zin Haze Productions, led by Producers Brenda and Marc Lhormer (Bottle Shock) along with independent Producers Peter Phok (Most Beautiful Island, In A Valley of Violence) and Christopher H. Warner (Wind River, Five Feet Apart), along with Emmy award-winning Producer Lizzie Friedman of Priority Pictures (Momentum Generation, The Land). Resonate Entertainment’s Brent Emery (The Stanford Prison Experiment, Carrie Pilby) is also Producing, while Susan Cartsonis (What Women Want, The Duff), and Suzanne Farwell (It’s Complicated, The Intern) are Executive Producing.

“Marc and I are thrilled to bring this powerful, healing and entertaining story to the screen with such a gifted cast and director,” said producer Brenda Lhormer. “This is a dream project that is finally coming true. It’s been a joy to adapt this Pittsburgh-based story in such an authentic way here in this magical city. We look forward to sharing Dear Zoe with audiences all around the world.”

Gren Wells is represented by Paradigm and Mainstay Entertainment; Sadie Sink is represented by Paradigm and Mara Entertainment; Theo Rossi is represented by Paradigm and Management 360; Kweku Collins is represented by Paradigm and No Comply Management; Vivien Blair is represented by Paradigm and Marnie Cooper Management; Justin Bartha is represented by CAA and MGMT; and Jessica Capshaw is represented by CAA. Christopher H. Warner is represented by UTA.

Paradigm is handling worldwide rights.

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Communicant, Alternative Rock Four-Piece Release New Single “Marie”

BUZZBANDS.LA Show Confirmed For Nov. 9 In Los Angeles

The Los Angeles-based alternative rock group Communicant ​is slated to perform at the BUZZBANDS.LA anniversary show this Saturday, November 9 at Hi Hat (5043 York Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90042). Communicant have been hand-picked alongside Night Dreamer, Covey and Precious Kid for the annual bash celebrating the influential music site’s 11th year. Later this month, on Monday, November 25, they’ll join HUNNYPOT LIVE at The Mint (6010 W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90035) with Bob Thiele Jr., Matthew Chaim, Xharlie Black, Hung Yung Terrarist and Suniel Fox.

Communicant have just released their new single, the ambient indie rocker “Marie” listen Here. The new track follows strong early reviews for their first single, the trippy, electro-pop “Spotlight,” listen Here. Communicant are currently back in the studio working on their self-titled debut album which reveals the multi-instrumental, multi-tasking talents of Dylan Gardner, leader and brainchild of Communicant. The group–who is rounded out by Mark Gardner (drums), David Von Bader (guitars) and Anna Carmela (bass)–teamed with Ben Goldwasser from MGMT for co-production duties on their forthcoming album, due out Spring 2020. As a result, their dreamy, new wave sound has grown increasingly more modern on the intimate and confessional, R&B-leaning songs like “Better Than Me” and “Exclusivity.”

One of the most exciting new bands out of L.A. right now, ​ Communicant’s dynamic ranges from blissful, summer-y anthems for driving fast and leaning your hand out of the window, to introspective, compositions for sitting on your bedroom floor in the dark with the headphones on. With cleverly layered vocals, dreamy guitar and glistening synths at the forefront, Communicant could easily be the lovechild of ​Frank Ocean​ and ​Tame Impala​. The lyrics take on themes of impulsiveness, angst, and life changes through the lens of being the radioactive age of 22. With thoughtful melodies, substantial hooks and dreampop elements, Communicant is the next band in between your headphones.

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Epic Pictures Takes A Ride With Sci-Fi Romance Thriller THE FARE November 19th

Following an acclaimed run on the independent film festival circuit, 501 Pictures and Public Displays of Affection, in a partnership with Epic Pictures and Dread, has announced the US release of D.C. Hamilton’s Hitchcockian romance The Fare.

The sophomore feature from Hamilton stars Gino Anthony Pesi (“Shades of Blue”) as a weary cab driver and Brinna Kelly as his enigmatic passenger, who charms him as her ride begins over and over and over again. Screenwriter and star Kelly reteams with Hamilton following their work on his directorial debut The Midnight Man. Pesi, Hamilton and Kelly produced alongside Kristin Starns.

An homage to “The Twilight Zone”, The Fare has screened internationally and taken home numerous awards including the Special Mention Jury Award at Fantasporto, Best Dark Fantasy/Supernatural Film at the Miami International Science Fiction Film Festival, and the Director’s Prize for Overall Concept and Execution at FilmQuest.

The Fare will be available nationwide November 19th on Blu-ray and Digital HD, including iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, Vudu and more.

Ahead of the Blu-ray and VOD release, Epic Pictures will premiere The Fare for LA audiences on the big screen at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on November 12th.

Here’s the film’s official synopsis:
When a charming woman named Penny climbs into his taxi, Harris finds himself entranced. That is, right up until she disappears from the back seat without a trace. As he desperately tries to make sense of what happened, he resets his meter and is instantly brought back to the moment she first climbed into his cab. He and Penny find themselves trapped in an endlessly looping ride that changes their lives forever.

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Harry Shum Jr., Chris Sullivan and Kelley Mack to Star in Jacob Gentry’s BROADCAST SIGNAL INTRUSION

Queensbury Pictures, the year-old Chicago- and London-based production company today announced the start of shooting in Chicago on BROADCAST SIGNAL INTRUSION, a sci-fi horror film directed by Jacob Gentry.

The cast includes Harry Shum Jr. (Crazy Rich Asians, Glee), Kelley Mack (The Walking Dead) and Chris Sullivan (This Is Us, I Trapped the Devil).

BROADCAST SIGNAL INTRUSION, a technological thriller inspired by actual broadcast interruptions that occurred in the Windy City in the late 1980s, and remain unsolved to this day. The film an unsettling journey into our collective technological nightmares, confronting our deepest, darkest fears of both man and machine.

Shum has been cast in the lead role as James. While logging tapes of decades-old TV broadcasts,video archivist James (Harry Shum Jr.) comes across a surreal and disturbing clip of what appears to be an imprisoned android. James believes it’s the product of a mysterious broadcast signal hacking, and his discovery takes a sinister turn when he tracks down similar broadcast intrusions that send him on an obsessive mission. Now James must confront two very real possibilities: that the videos may be clues to a crime beyond all comprehension; and that whoever was behind them may be very aware that James is coming uncomfortably close to the truth.
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Trailer for ‘The Cat and the Moon’ Released

By Creative Media Times

Hereditary’s breakout star Alex Wolff is already moving behind the camera with “The Cat and the Moon”, a drama set in New York which he wrote and directed. The film’s first trailer was released last week (see below).

Though Wolff has done a few other short films previously, Moon is the 21-year old’s feature directorial debut. He’s also appeared in Patriots Day (2016) My Friend Dahmer (2017), My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016), and the blockbuster hit Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017).

But it was his performance as Peter Graham in the Ari Aster-directed psychological horror Hereditary (2018) that gains plenty of attention as a serious actor. That film, which starred Toni Collette, was a surprise hit both critically and commercially, earning over $79 million and becoming A24’s highest-grossing film globally.

Also in “The Cat and the Moon” are Mike Epps, Skyler Gisondo, Stefania LaVie Owen, Giullian Yao Gioiello, and Tommy Nelson. The film is set for release in select theaters in New York and Los Angeles on October 25.

Here’s the film’s official synopsis:

While his mother seeks treatment in rehab, teenager Nick (Alex Wolff) comes to New York to stay with a musician friend of his father’s (Mike Epps) and to meet people who can show him what the city has to offer. Nick’s time away from home causes his buried pain and vulnerabilities to bubble to the surface and forces him to deal with them.

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New Feature Documentary “The Portal” Returns to Los Angeles

Tom Cronin and Jacqui Fifer’s, groundbreaking documentary THE PORTALhas been chosen as an official selection at the 2019 Awareness Film Festival. The film will play on Saturday, October 12that 5pm at the Regal LA Live, 1000 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015 followed by a Q&A with cast and crew. The film will be released in theaters across North America starting November 1, 2019.

“We are thrilled to be screening for audiences and working with the amazing team at the 2019 Awareness Film Festival,” stated writer/producer Tom Cronin. “The timing and setting is perfect as we work to launch THE PORTAL into theatres across the US starting this November, with Los Angeles.”

Directed and written by first-time Australian director, Jacqui Fifer, and written and produced by international meditation expert, Tom Cronin(The Stillness Project)the captivating film has inspired crowds throughout the world and audiences across North America will get their chance to experience THE PORTALthis fall.

“The film facilitates a collective shift on the planet that takes us into a new era of united living; it had to be groundbreaking, unique, and go viral.” “THE PORTALis truly a film for everyone. Its commercially viability raises the genre bar while remaining true to its core message,”Cronin continued. Click here to see the trailer.
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Venice Film Fest Hot Title The Painted Bird Acquired By IFC Films

IFC Films announced today that it is acquiring U.S. rights to THE PAINTED BIRD directed, written, and produced by Václav Marhoul (TOBRUK, SMART PHILIP). Based on the acclaimed novel by Jerzy Kosinski, the movie was a singular achievement by Marhoul, almost 11 years in the making from the decision to acquire the rights, to the writing of the screenplay, to the casting and production lock. It is also notably, the first ever film made in the invented Interslavic language. THE PAINTED BIRD stars Petr Kotlár, Udo Kier (BLADE, MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO) Lech Dyblik, Jitka Čvančarová, Stellan Skarsgard (DANCER IN THE DARK, NYMPHOMANIAC) Harvey Keitel (BAD LIEUTENANT, RESERVOIR DOGS), Julian Sands (A ROOM WITH A VIEW, NAKED LUNCH), Aleksey Kravchenko (COME AND SEE), and Barry Pepper (SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, THE GREEN MILE).

It is a Silver Screen production in co-production with Czech Television, Directory Films, Radio and Television Slovakia, Certicon Group, Innogy, PubRes, Monte Rosso Production, with producer Václav Marhoul and co-producers, Eduard Kučera, Milada Kučera, Igor Savychenko, Vladimír Mařík, Karel Kraus, Zuzana Mistríková, Ľubica Orechovská, and Richard Kaucký. The film was supported by the Czech Film Fund, Slovak Audiovisual Fund, Ukrainian State Film Agency, and Creative Europe – MEDIA.

THE PAINTED BIRD had its world premiere at the 2019 Venice International Film Festival then went on to screen at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival in the Special Presentations section to much acclaim and will be the Czech Oscar® entry for the Foreign-Language category at the 92nd Academy Awards®. IFC Films will be releasing THE PAINTED BIRD theatrically in 2020.

THE PAINTED BIRD is a meticulous 35mm black and white evocation of wild, primitive Eastern Europe at the bloody close of World War II. The film follows the journey of The Boy, entrusted by his persecuted parents to an elderly foster mother. The old woman soon dies, and the Boy is on his own, wandering through the countryside, from village to village, farmhouse to farmhouse. As he struggles for survival, The Boy suffers through extraordinary brutality meted out by the ignorant, superstitious peasants and he witnesses the terrifying violence of the efficient, ruthless soldiers, both Russian and German.

Arianna Bocco EVP of Acquisitions and Productions of IFC Films said, “THE PAINTED BIRD is a brilliant cinematic achievement with a fiercely accomplished cast to match. We’re incredibly proud to bring such a monumental film to audiences across the country.”

Lisa Schwartz, Co-President of IFC Films added, “IFC Films is committed to providing thought-provoking and challenging films, and this is a prime example of maintaining this core mission and continuing our legacy for nearly 20 years now.”

Hengameh Panahi, President of Celluloid Dreams and Vice-President, Charlotte Mickie added, “We are delighted to be working with IFC again. Their curation is extremely astute, and they have unparalleled expertise with important, provocative movies. We look forward to this new adventure and to American audiences responding to a 21st century masterpiece. We are also grateful to Federica Sainte-Rose at CAA for her support throughout the festival and sales circuit this fall.”

Director Václav Marhoul added, “I am extremely gratified that IFC has acquired THE PAINTED BIRD. They have demonstrated a deep, sensitive understanding of the message of the movie, which is so important in today’s volatile world. I deeply believe the movie’s advocacy of tolerance, fellow-feeling and community must reach American audiences. IFC will make that happen.”

The deal for the film was negotiated by Arianna Bocco of IFC Films with CAA Media Finance and Celluloid Dreams on behalf of the filmmakers.

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Ruairi Robinson’s “Corporate Monster” Debuts Free Online

Director Ruairi Robinson (Fifty Percent Grey, Silent City, BlinkyTM & Leviathan), Academy Award-nominated Irish filmmaker dropped his latest film, Corporate Monster, a proof of concept short, free to view online.

Written by Robinson & Eoin Rogers, the sci-fi horror film, with VFX by Robinson’s The Kaiju Meat Company, stars Kett Turton and Jenna Coleman as a couple confronted with the reality that either he is just dangerously unstable, or there are in fact monsters all around us.

“There’s a growing sense of unease and distrust of authority that’s not really being reflected in popular culture today the way films of the 1970s did in a post-Watergate era. I really miss those movies, and nobody is making them, so I felt compelled to go make one myself,” said Robinson.

In Corporate Monster, after being phased out of his job, a dangerously unstable man’s life spirals out of control when the prescription pills he takes start to have a side effect: they allow him to see the parasitic beings that have long been puppeteering our world from the shadows. The rich and powerful are not even human, and they are feeding on us. He sets about trying to save his girlfriend from them, but it’s just as possible they are just a side effect of the pills, a hallucination. Is he a savior or a monster himself?

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Trailer This Week: IFC Midnight’s “Greener Grass”

By Creative Media Times

Written and directed by Jocelyn DeBoer & Dawn Luebbe, the comedy film is set to open on October 18th in New York and Los Angeles, and also available on demand.

The film had its world premiere on January 26, 2019 at the Sundance Film Festival. Variety’s Peter Debruge calls the film as the most pleasant surprise of this year’s Sundance, describing it as “weird and wonderful; the best ‘Saturday Night Live’ movie that ‘Saturday Night Live’ never made.”

The dark comedy based on their 2016 SXSW award-winning short film by the same name. Following its premiere at the Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival in France, the “Greener Grass” short received a distribution deal with Canal + in Europe and Africa. Jocelyn and Dawn recently directed two episodes of TruTV’s “Adam Ruins Everything”.

In addition to DeBoer and Luebbe, the film also stars Beck Bennett (“SNL”), Neil Casey (“Ghostbusters”), Mary Holland (“Veep”), and D’Arcy Carden (“The Good Place”).

Here is the film’s official synopsis:

In a day-glo-colored, bizarro version of suburbia where adults wear braces on their already-straight teeth, everyone drives golf carts, and children magically turn into golden retrievers, soccer moms and best friends Jill (Jocelyn DeBoer) and Lisa (Dawn Luebbe) are locked in a passive aggressive battle-of-the-wills that takes a turn into the sinister when Lisa begins systematically taking over every aspect of Jill’s life—starting with her newborn daughter. Meanwhile, a psycho yoga teacher killer is on the loose, Jill’s husband (Beck Bennett) has developed a curious taste for pool water, and Lisa is pregnant with a soccer ball. That’s just the tip of the gloriously weird iceberg that is the feature debut from writers-directors Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe, a hilariously demented, Stepford Wives-on-acid satire destined to be an instant cult classic.

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Diminuendo, The Final Film From Sci-Fi Legend Richard Hatch, Comes To Amazon Prime

Diminuendo, the darkly-compelling sci-fi romance starring the late Richard Hatch in his final film performance, has made its official U.S. debut on Amazon Prime.

Diminuendo, helmed by first-time director Adrian Stewart, pairs Hatch with stars Chloe Dykstra (Drag Me To Hell , Truly Outrageous), Leah Cairns (Travelers, Interstellar), Gigi Edgley (Farscape) and Walter Koenig (Star Trek).

The Golden Globe-nominated actor, who gained worldwide fame as the star of the cult sci-fi television series Battlestar Galactica, had just completed filming the drama when he passed away in 2017.

Hatch plays Haskell Edwards, a has-been director whose life has crumbled in the decade since his Hollywood starlet girlfriend Cello Shea (Dykstra) committed suicide. When Edwards is offered the chance to direct the story of her life using a robot replica, he becomes tragically obsessed with Shea’s A.I. double.

Screenwriters Sarah Goldberger and Bryn Pryor created the role of Edwards specifically for Hatch, who was heavily involved in crafting the story and character. Director Stewart managed to finish a rough cut of the film for the actor to see before his death, and a memorial screening of that rough cut was held February 2017 in Hatch’s honor.

Distributed in the US by MyProduction and Lotus Entertainment, Diminuendo is available on Amazon Prime in the US and UK, with iTunes, FandangoNow and other VOD releases in the next few weeks, as well as a region-free DVD & Blu-ray release. Similar releases are set to follow in all other English and non-English speaking countries. View the official trailer on Vimeo.com.

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