Seville International, the boutique sales outfit of eOne, is set to handle sales on Cannes Critics’ Week selection Sleeping Giant. It’s the feature directorial debut of writer-director Andrew Cividino, which is in competition for the Caméra d’Or at Cannes. Newcomers Nick Serino and Reece Moffett star alongside Jackson Martin, David Disher and Erika Brodzky. The story follows Adam, a teenager who is spending his summer vacation with his parents on Lake Superior. His dull routine is shattered when he befriends Riley and Nate, smart-aleck cousins who pass their ample free time with debauchery and reckless cliff jumping. The revelation of a hurtful secret triggers Adam to set in motion a series of irreversible events that test the bonds of friendship and changes the boys forever. The Canadian feature is written by Cividino, Aaron Yeger and Blain Watters. It’s produced by Film Forge in association with Hawkeye Pictures.
The Series Mania festival, which just wrapped in Paris, logged a record number of attendees with 22,100 coming out to check out the latest in international TV dramas and comedies. That’s a 19% increase over last year. Series from 19 countries were screened, with discussions held afterward with many of the talent involved. This year’s festival scored the world premiere of Fox’s Wayward Pines and had Lee Daniels and Taraji P Henson in town to dissect Empire. Mad Men’s Matthew Weiner also put in an appearance, his second, giving this international series festival added cachet. Winners of the competition’s top prizes included HBO’s Olive Kitteridge, Channel 2 Israel’s False Flag, France 3’s La Vie Devant Elles, France 2’s breakout hit Disparue (The Disappearance) and Canal Plus’ Le Bureau des légendes.
Tricon Films & Television has come on board to produce and distribute Morgan White’s sophomore feature-length documentary The Slippers. The film chronicles the search for one of the most important pieces of Hollywood memorabilia — a pair of ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in the 1939 MGM classic The Wizard Of Oz that was stolen in 2005. White, in partnership with private investigation company Alexander and Associates, has launched an Indiegogo campaign called #SaveTheSlippers to raise funds to complete the investigation to be featured in the film. Four pairs of authentic ruby slippers used in The Wizard of Oz are known to exist. One resides at the Smithsonian; a second pair will be the centerpiece of LA’s Academy Museum, which is set to open in 2017; and a third pair is privately owned. The fourth pair, owned by Hollywood collector Michael Shaw, was stolen in August 2005 from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, MN, Garland’s birthplace, and since has eluded police and private investigators. Here’s the Indiegogo video:
The British Film Institute has appointed Deborah Williams in the new role of Diversity Manager. Williams will help push forward the BFI’s diversity agenda and augment the Three Ticks initiative across all BFI funding activities. She joins the org from Arts Council England, where she was Senior Officer, Policy and Research, Equality and Diversity. The Three Ticks program requires all recipients of BFI Lottery film production funding to demonstrate commitment to encouraging diverse representation across their workforces, creating opportunities for training and skills development and ongoing career progression and advancing the portrayal of under-represented stories and groups onscreen. Williams’ responsibilities will include working with BFI Head of Production Fiona Morham to support producers of BFI-backed productions – of which there are an average of 25-30 per year – to implement and embrace the guidelines.
The second season of Halle Berry-starrer Extant will premiere exclusively on Amazon Prime in the UK, hours after its U.S. broadcast on July 2. The mystery thriller’s second run sees astronaut Molly Woods (Berry) discover she has unwittingly put the human race on a path to destruction, and that she and mysterious stranger JD Richter (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) might be Earth’s only hope for survival. Amazon will air a new episode of the Amblin Television production each week for unlimited streaming. Season 1 of the CBS Studios International-handled series already is available.