EXCLUSIVE: Robert Morgan’s Talaria Media has launched development on Arigato Tokyo, a new drama set in the world of women’s professional wrestling, after acquiring a feature pitch by Daytime Emmy winner Mark Blutman (Ghostwriter, Boy Meets World). Jamie Anderson is on board to direct the pic, with Morgan to exec produce.
The film will tell the story of Annie Able, an aging pro wrestler, who despite battles with addiction and mental health, returns to the land of the Rising Sun to reignite her feud with local Japanese legend Hoshi Tokao, whose series of epic and often bloody matches in the late ’90s made them rich and famous. During the build-up of their big match at the landmark Tokyo Dome, Annie falls for the son of Hoshi, a young man half her age, and while the unlikely relationship angers Hoshi, the meaningful bond they form is unbreakable.
Blutman is repped by Wonder Street and Fox Rothschild; Anderson by Goodman, Genow, Schenkman.
EXCLUSIVE: Gravitas Ventures has acquired North American rights to the documentary All These Sons, marking the sophomore feature of Oscar- and Emmy-nominated director Bing Liu (Minding the Gap), which he directed with award-winning editor Joshua Altman. The film marking Altman’s feature directorial debut is slated for release on VOD on April 25th.
Premiering at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival, where it won Best Cinematography in a Documentary Film, All These Sons is an urgent and compassionate look at two Chicago groups dedicated to educating and empowering young Black individuals on Chicago’s South and West sides. The programs attempt to disrupt the conditions that produce violence in the first place by holistically investing in the young people most at risk of being victims or perpetrators of gun violence through street outreach, life coaching, education, employment and more. Liu and Altman specifically hone in on three participants — Shamont, Zay, and Charles — as they wrestle with their pasts and, with the guidance of their mentors, construct a better future for generations to come.
Pic’s producers are Concordia Studio, Zak Piper, Kelsey Carr, Liu and Altman. Davis Guggenheim, Laurene Powell Jobs, Nicole Stott, Jonathan Silberberg, Rahdi Taylor and Shannon Dill exec produced, with Carina Nieto serving as co-producer.
EXCLUSIVE: Screen Media has taken North American rights to writer-director Tom Huang’s award-winning comedy Dealing with Dad, starring Ally Maki (Shortcomings), slating it for release on digital platforms on May 9.
Also starring Hayden Szeto, Peter S. Kim, Dana Lee, Page Leong and Echo Kellum, the film tells the story of Margaret Chang (Maki), who reluctantly returns to her hometown, along with her hapless brothers, to deal with the sudden depression of their dad. As it turns out, he’s nicer depressed than well, and the siblings wonder if they should even get him better as they struggle to find a solution.
Pic’s producers are Tanner Kling, Randy Julina and Brian Yang. Marc Liu and Michael Liu associated produced, with Howard Barish, Effie Brown, Takashi Cheng and Cindy Lu exec producing. Lev Avery-Peck negotiated the deal for Dealing with Dad on behalf of Screen Media.
EXCLUSIVE: Deadline has an exclusive clip from the indie drama The Mattachine Family, starring Nico Tortorella (Younger), Juan Pablo Di Pace (Fuller House) and Emily Hampsire (Schitt’s Creek), which marks the feature directorial debut of Andy Vallentine.
The film written by Andy’s husband, Danny Vallentine — which Zach Braff exec produced — follows Thomas (Tortorella) and Oscar (Di Pace), whose lives are dramatically altered when their foster child is returned to his birth mother. Oscar throws himself into work, traveling across the country to film a TV show while his husband Thomas finds himself lost, and without a family. Thrust on a journey of self-discovery, Thomas leans on his friends (Hampshire) as he reevaluates his current path and the missing piece he can’t quite seem to put to rest — his role of being a dad.
Jake Choi, Annie Funke, Cloie Wyatt Taylor, Colleen Foy, Garrett Clayton, Heather Matarazzo and Carl Clemons-Hopkins also star in the pic, which Andy Vallentine produced alongside Mike Diaz, Scot Boland, Siddharth Ganji and Cameron Hutchison. View the clip below.
EXCLUSIVE: Kappa Studios (The Chosen), the post-production company known for its work in the family and faith-based spaces over the last 30 years, has announced its expansion with the launch of a new revenue-sharing film and television distribution service.
“Through our newly formed Kappa Distribution, filmmakers begin to receive revenue from the moment the first returns come in as opposed to waiting until after the later investors fully recoup,” said Kappa Studios’ Chief Content Officer, Brad Silverman. “In addition to our revenue sharing from dollar one, we also open a joint savings account with the filmmaker so they can see exactly how much money their project has earned for full transparency.”
Added founder and president Paul Long, “Many independent filmmakers are crushed and sidelined by their experiences with traditional distributors. Unless their title is a runaway hit, there’s rarely a way for them to make back any money. We hope to change that. Also, instead of taking away all control of the projects, we work closely as a team with filmmakers for the best outcomes, plus provide them a percentage of all monies from the very start.”
Up next for release under Kappa Studios’ new distribution model is I Can, based on the inspirational true story of Katelyn Pavey, who despite being born with one arm, went on to become an All-American athlete, playing college softball on a full scholarship. The film directed by Tyler Sansom hits theaters this summer.
EXCLUSIVE: Freestyle Digital Media has acquired global rights to the music documentary Peter Case: A Million Miles Away, directed by Fred Parnes, slating it for release across VOD platforms on May 23.
The film profiles one of America’s last great troubadours – Peter Case – who has lived a life of constant change, soaring highs, and soul-crushing lows. From the frigid suburbs of Buffalo, New York, to his early years living and busking on the streets of San Francisco, to formative experiences with punk band The Nerves and L.A. power pop legends The Plimsouls, to his decades-long, Grammy-nominated solo career, the documentary allows viewers to walk a million miles in the shoes of one of America’s finest musicians.
The film featuring new performances from Case, as well as Lady Blackbird and Chris Pierce, was produced by Jordan Krause and Chris Seefried. Appearing in it are many of Case’s friends and colleagues, including Ben Harper, Steve Earle, Victoria Williams, Jack Lee, Van Dyke Parks, Mitchell Froom, Steven Soles, Paul Zollo and Denise Sullivan. Freestyle Digital Media negotiated the deal to acquire the doc directly with Glen Reynolds of Circus Road Films. View a new trailer for it below.
EXCLUSIVE: Lana Parrilla (Once Upon a Time), Vico Ortiz (Our Flag Means Death), Noemí González (Selena: The Series) and Maya Nalli (Dollface) are set to star in the new short Lesbophilia, a queer dark comedy from writer Tennessee Martin (Hangry) and director Michelle West (Lineage), who will both serve as producers.
The film heading into production in early June tells the story of Eliana (Nalli), who attends the unexpected funeral of her ex-boyfriend Garrett, and becomes worried that she may never have “D” like that again. Eliana’s new girlfriend Chase (Ortiz) has been left for men before and contemplates whether or not she’s enough for Eliana. Both women must decide how important their relationship is, and how far they’re willing to go for love.
Parrilla is repped by APA, Untitled Entertainment and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman; Ortiz by Paradigm, DePaz Management and Jackoway Austen Tyerman; González by The Kohner Agency and Zero Gravity Management; Nalli by LA Talent and Triniti Management; and Martin by APA.
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