John Cena, Kathy Bates join political thriller “The Independent”


John Cena and Kathy Bates to star in “The Independent”

The Exchange has announced that John Cena and Kathy Bates have been added to the cast of “The Independent,” a political thriller starring Brian Cox and Jodie Turner-Smith.

“The Independent” takes place in the closing weeks of the most polarizing presidential election in history. The film follows a young journalist (Turner-Smith), who teams up with her idol (Cox) to tackle a plot that puts the fate of the election and the country in their hands. Bates will play the first female presidential candidate, while Cena will play the independent presidential candidate.

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“We are extremely happy to partner with Kathy Bates and John Cena on ‘The Independent’,” said Brian O’Shea of ​​The Exchange. “Kathy’s exceptional acting skills, coupled with Cena’s global appeal and ability to transform onscreen, make her incredible additions to this film. We couldn’t be happier that they signed.

The film comes from director Amy Rice, who works from a blacklisted script written by Evan Parter. Ryan Cunningham of Anonymous Content and Emmy Award-winning producers Sam Bisbee of Park Pictures and Thea Dunlap produce “The Independent”, alongside Caddy Vanasirikul of The Exchange and Parter. Lance Acord and Jackie Kelman Bisbee of Park Pictures and O’Shea and Nat McCormick of The Exchange are the executive producers.

The DGA makes an exception to the first indoor draw rule for the 2022 prizes

Films that receive a digital release date and date will be eligible for the Directors Guild Theatrical Film Award at the 2022 ceremony, the guild announced on Friday. The exception will only be made for this year, because film releases continue to be affected by the pandemic, said the DGA.

The exception applies to films that have a qualifying theatrical release and that are marketed as a theatrical film, even if they have a simultaneous digital release. The DGA said it would be tantamount to demanding an exclusive indoor qualifying race for the 75th prizes in 2023.

Siân Heder & Amir ‘Questlove’ Thompson Receive Sundance Film Festival Vanguard Award

The Sundance Institute has announced that it will present the 2021 Vanguard Award to filmmakers Siân Heder for his work on the feature film “Coda” and Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson for his directorial debut “Summer of Soul (… Or, when the revolution could not be televised). ” The online celebration will take place on October 20 and will feature conversations with Heder and Thompson.

The Vanguard Award, presented by Acura, annually recognizes artists whose work showcases the art of storytelling and creative independence. This year, the award has expanded to honor the work of a fictional and non-fiction storyteller.

Heder’s “Coda” premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival in the American Drama section – winning the Audience Award, the Achievement Award and the Grand Jury Prize. Thompson’s “Summer of Soul (… Or, When The Revolution Couldn’t Be Televised)” premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival in the US Documentary section – where it also won the Audience Award and the Grand jury prize for the documentary.

“We are particularly honored to recognize visionary and award-winning directors Siân Heder and Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson with the Vanguard Award. We were delighted to bring together an enthusiastic audience at our festival to experience the humanity, originality and independent spirit of their culture-changing films. Siân and Ahmir join Sundance-backed directors Radha Blank, Ryan Coogler, Dee Rees, Marielle Heller and others in this annual celebration of singular independent storytellers, ”said Michelle Satter, Founding Senior Director and Founder of Artist Programs from Sundance.

“I am very grateful to Sundance for the incredible support they have given me on my journey as a filmmaker. I am delighted and honored to join the company of artists who have already received this award, as well as my co-honored, Ahmir, and his brilliant film, ”said Siân Heder.

“I am extremely honored to receive this award. Storytelling has always been the fiber of my creativity, whether it’s DJing, writing articles / books, podcasting or teaching. Of course, I share this honor with the whole team behind “Summer Of Soul”. It was an honor to highlight this historic event for the public, ”said Ahmir“ Questlove ”Thompson.

“Summer of Soul” airs on Hulu in conjunction with Disney General Entertainment’s Onyx Collective; Searchlight Pictures released it in theaters.

The film “Albatros” finds its place at TIFF

Slater Brothers Entertainment has announced that they have signed up as global representatives for award-winning Myle Yaksich’s “Albatross,” which can be found at TIFF. The film recently finished production and will be shown to buyers next month. The psychological thriller stars David Keeley, Sarah Orenstein, Romaine Waite, Katherine Gauthier, Jill Frappier, David Huband and Thom Nyhuus. “Albatross” is produced by Jennie Lew Tugend and Grant and Todd Slater.

Yaksich said: “Riddled with competing philosophical perspectives, ‘Albatross’ compels us to consider timeless questions; race, gender, sexuality and belonging.

Slater commented, “We are delighted to handle Myle’s provocative and mind-blowing film. The image plunges into the human psyche and is a tour de force to act. We think the topic will really connect emotionally and move the audience. “

Middleburg Film Festival announces first round of film list

The Middleburg Film Festival will open with “King Richard” by Reinaldo Marcus Green on October 14th and end on October 17 with “The Power of the Dog” by Jane Campion. The festival will take place in person in the wine and horse country of Northern Virginia. Other films on the slate are Kenneth Branagh’s “Belfast”, which will be screened as the central film; “Flee” by Jonas Poher Rasmussen, as documentary projector; “The Hand of God” by Paolo Sorrentino as an international projector; and Sean Baker’s “Red Rocket” as the Friday star.

Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival Presents 2021 Line-up

The Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival (HSDFF) has released the lineup of films and winners for its 30th edition, which will take place October 8-16.

The opening night presentation will be a screening of “Citizen Ashe” by Samuel D. Pollard and Rex Miller, a biographical play on tennis player Arthur Ashe. The flagship films will be “The Rescue” directed by E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, which follows the rescue of Tham Luang cave, and “Neutral Ground”, CJ Hunt’s film about the 2015 removal of four Confederate monuments from New Orleans. The festival will close with “Julia”, the film by Julie Cohen and Betsy West on Julia Child.

Pollard will be honored with the HDSFF Career Achievement Award. The impact award will go to Garrett Bradley, director of the 2020 documentary “Time”. The honorary chair of this year’s festival will be Dawn Hudson, CEO of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

Other highlights of the festival include “Flee” by Jonas Poher Rasmussen and “When Claude Got Shot” by Brad Lichtenstein. For more information, visit

Cinema Audio Society to Honor Paul Massey with the CAS Career Achievement Award

The Cinema Audio Society has announced that the organization will honor sound mixer Paul Massey with the CAS Career Achievement Award at the 58th Annual CAS Awards on March 19, 2022.

CAS President Karol Urban said: “Paul created the final sound for films that have become part of the fabric of our popular culture and collective experiences for decades. “

Massey said, “I am delighted, honored and touched to receive this CAS Professional Achievement Award. It means so much to me to accept this recognition from my peers whom I respect so much.

Massey was the sound mixer for “Bohemian Rhapsody” (2019), which won him an Academy Award and a BAFTA, as well as “Ford v Ferrari” (2019) and “Almost Famous” (2000), which won him a BAFTA. He studied music growing up in London, then moved to Canada where he recorded and mixed albums, commercials and sheet music with various musicians such as The Police. Massey then began to turn to film and television and has since worked in studios such as Sony and 20th Century Fox.

Tehran International Short Film Festival named Oscar qualifying festival

In the future, films awarded at the Tehran Short Film Festival will be eligible to receive Oscars.

Tehran International Airport. The Short Film Festival is organized by the Iranian Youth Cinema Society (IYCS). Few other festivals in the region have received this honor – Egypt, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and India are the only neighboring countries with Oscar-eligible festivals, according to the IYCS and the director of the Sadeq Musavi festival, who also said there were only 127 short films. Film festivals around the world that offer Oscar eligibility.

“At present, more than 10,000 festivals are organized around the world. Most of them are unreliable. Meanwhile, the Tehran International Short Film Festival has a good status in the world. Although the festival is not really familiar, it can be considered the most important short film festival in West Asia, ”Musavi said. “The free registration will be canceled after the restrictions on international payments are lifted and, like other festivals, we will collect a registration fee from participants and the festival can cover all of its expenses. Musavi also said the festival is the only one in the region to offer a free entry program.

Tehran Short Film Festival is held annually in October and is a member of Intl. Short film conference. The 2020 edition of the festival screened 55 films, which were produced on five different continents.

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