North Of Two has acquired distribution rights to Angela Shelton’s Heart, Baby! ahead of its world premiere tomorrow at the Newport Beach Film Festival. A mid-November theatrical bow is in the works. The true-story pic stars The Wire‘s Gbenga Akinnagbe as George Lee Martin, who at the age of 18 received a 40-year sentence for robbery. He became known as an unbeatable prison boxer with the support of his best friend/cornerman, Doc (Jackson Rathbone), and his transgender female cellmate Crystal (Shawn-Caulin Young). He eventually turned down a chance at freedom by refusing an offer to fight for Team USA in the 1984 Olympics so he could stay with Crystal. Keir O’Donnell, Shaun Brown, Justice Leak, Quinton Aaron, Jamie Kennedy, Abraham Benrubi, Dana Gourrier and Ann Cusack co-star. The movie is the feature directorial debut of Shelton, who penned 1999’s Tumbleweeds (earning star Janet McTeer a Best Actress Oscar nomination).
The Orchard has acquired North American rights to Joachim Trier’s supernatural thriller Thelma, a about a young woman who falls in love and discovers she has terrifying and inexplicable powers. Eili Harboe, Okay Kaya, Ellen Dorrit Petersen and Henrik Rafaelsen star in the Norwegian-language pic. The Orchard, who also teamed with Trier on his 2015 Cannes pic Louder Than Bombs, plans a fall theatrical release.