EXCLUSIVE: HBO Max has acquired streaming rights to the family film Brie‘s Bake Off Challenge, from writer-director Emily Aguilar, for release today.
The story follows Brie Hayes (Devyn Leah), an aspiring 12-year-old baker who does everything she can to win first place in her school’s annual Spring Bake Off Challenge. Brie and her BFFL Millie (Mallory Vertman) must practice and motivate each other in order to win. On top of the actual baking challenges, Brie faces her “archnemesis” and bully, Vanessa Weiler (Delaney Disque), who also wants to win first place. Pressures and tensions rise as the stakes get higher and Vanessa’s crush, Jody (Camden Zapf), is also competing to win. The winner of the Spring Bake Off Challenge will win a whopping $5,000 and tickets to Cosmo Land.
Emily’s Bake Off Challenge also stars Stefannie Smith, Pry’ce Jaymes, Isaiah Givens, Sandy Lisiewski, Tony Amante, Adam Cooley, Lei Ballard, Fatima Razi and Marcus Gogas. Mikayla Kelley-Rieland produced, with Aguilar, Virginia Diaz, Katherine Aguilar-Smith, Jorge Aguilar, Lee E. Smith Jr. and Matthew Blackerby exec producing, and Amanda Ghobadi serving as associate producer. Emily Aguilar negotiated the deal with HBO Max on behalf of her production company The MomentEM Productions. Check out the trailer for her latest film above.
EXCLUSIVE: Freestyle Digital Media has acquired North American rights to the autobiographical true crime docudrama Untold: This Is My Story, written, directed and produced by Gina M. Garcia, and to the modern-day survival thriller Arisaka, from director Mikhail Red. The digital film distribution division of Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group/Entertainment Studios plans to release the film across VOD platforms on April 19, releasing the latter on April 26.
Garcia’s feature directorial debut focuses on the hate crime that triggered disturbing flashbacks to her childhood abduction, causing her to seek treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder within the Veterans Affairs hospital. Gina’s autobiographical journey for the truth implodes her family and nearly takes her life. Pic’s ensemble cast features Terri Ivens, Melody Butiu, Carlos Gomez, Jennifer Rubin and civil rights attorney Gloria Allred.
Set on the historical Bataan trail that took the lives of so many Filipino and American soldiers during the World War II Bataan Death March, Arisaka is the story of a woman who will push herself to the limit for truth and freedom. Maja Salvador, Mon Confiado, Shella Mae Romualdo, Art Acuna, Archi Adamos, Apollo Abraham, Michael Roy Jornales, Kiel Rodriguez and Royce Cabera star. Anton Santamaria wrote the script, from a story by Red, with Paul Soriano and Mark Victor producing.
Freestyle Digital Media negotiated the deal to acquire Untold: This Is My Story directly with Garcia, negotiating the deal for Arisaka directly with James Fler and Michaelangelo Masangkay at Raven Banner Entertainment. The trailers for both films can be found below.
EXCLUSIVE: Abramorama has acquired North American rights to Lisa Hepner and Guy Mossman’s feature-length documentary The Human Trial, about the urgent search and uphill battle to cure diabetes, with plans to release it in theaters and on its Watch Now @ Home virtual cinema platform on June 24. Community screenings will also be put on across the country, with support from its partner, Ro*Co.
More than a decade in the making, the film follows a groundbreaking clinical trial that peels back the headlines to show the sweat, passion and sacrifice behind every breakthrough cure. In 2011, Hepner and her husband Mossman heard about a radical stem cell treatment for diabetes, a disease that shockingly kills more than five million people each year. Driven by a desire to cure Lisa of her own type 1 diabetes, the filmmakers were given unprecedented access to a clinical trial—only the sixth ever stem cell trial in the world. What follows is an intimate journey with the patients and scientists who put themselves on the line to be first.
Hepner scripted the project and produced alongside Jonathan Formica (Lost & Found) and Kristin Lesko (O.J.: Made in America), with diabetes org Beyond Type 1 exec producing alongside Amy Rapp (The Woman Who Wasn’t There), Marla Oringer, Greer Wylder and Thom Scher.
EXCLUSIVE: Shudder has acquired rights to the award-winning Southern Gothic horror film What Josiah Saw, directed by Vincent Grashaw (Coldwater) and starring Robert Patrick (The Terminator), Nick Stahl (Sin City), Scott Haze (Child of God) and Kelli Garner (Lars and the Real Girl), which will stream exclusively on the genre platform in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand beginning later this year.
In Grashaw’s third feature, everyone in town knows about the haunted Graham Farm on Willow Road. You’ll hear there’s a bad history to it. Josiah (Patrick) and his youngest son, Thomas (Haze), are all that remain of this estranged family. But after experiencing terrifying visions from beyond, Josiah decides they must change their ways to right a great wrong. After being away for over two decades, Josiah’s eldest children, Eli (Stahl) and Mary (Garner), are enticed to sell the property and reunite at the old farmhouse in hopes of closing this haunting chapter of their lives for good. Sins of the past will be paid in full.
The film from Randomix Productions, which last year made its world premiere at the Fantasia International Film Festival, was written by Robert Alan Dilts. Grashaw, Ran Namerode, Bernie Stern and Angelia Adzic produced it, with Haze and Cole Payne exec producing. Emily Gotto negotiated the deal for What Josiah Saw on behalf of Shudder, with CAA Media Finance on behalf of the filmmakers.
EXCLUSIVE: Oscar nominee and Golden Globe winner Sally Kirkland (Anna) and Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp) have signed on to star alongside Sparkle Soojian, Dawna Lee Heising, Vida Ghaffari and newcomer Ollie Ameera in the thriller Film Fiend, from director Michael S. Rodriguez, which is currently in production in California.
In the film, Gary Augustyn (Ameera) begins to blur reality with his twisted love of classic horror films and obsession for the late-night horror personality Dara (Soojian), beginning to stalk her and slowly dragging her into his sick web of madness for a deadly game of cat and mouse. Kirkland will play Gary’s tough-as-nails and protective mother Emma, with Erik Anthony Russo, Samantha Wolf, Drew Eash and Debra Dutch rounding out the cast.
Lee Turner wrote the script, with Joseph Kelbie Williamson set to produce in conjunction with Rodriguez and MSR Studios. Kirkland is repped by Greene and Associates and McCaffrey Talent Management.
12-time Emmy nominee Sandra Oh (Killing Ave) will be honored with the James Schamus Ally Award at the opening Gala of the 2022 Outfest Fusion QTBIPOC Film Festival, taking place in-person on April 8, with Encanto‘s Stephanie Beatriz claiming the Fusion Achievement Award.
Oh is being recognized with her award for both her work on screen and her public advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community, with Beatriz being honored for her body of work and dedication to bisexual visability.
This year’s festival and summit will run in-person from April 8-13 before moving online from April 13-17, offering 10-days of education and entertainment to attendees, who will be able to engage via screenings, community workshops, a One-Minute Movie Contest sponsored by Hyundai, and assorted networking events. More information on the festival can be found here.
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