Patton Oswalt is toplining and starring alongside writer-director James Morosini in I Love My Dad, a dramatic comedy that just wrapped principal photography in Syracuse, NY. Claudia Sulewski, Rachel Dratch, Ricky Velez also star along with Lil Rel Howery and Amy Landecker.
Inspired by Morosini’s real-life experiences, the pic follows Chuck (Oswalt), an estranged father who desperately wants to reconnect with his depressive son, Franklin (Morosini). Blocked on social media and concerned for his son’s life, Chuck impersonates a waitress (Sulewski) online and starts checking in with Franklin. But things begin to spiral when Franklin falls for this imaginary girl and wants nothing more than to meet her in person.
Bill Stertz and Sean King O’Grady produce for Atlas Industries alongside Dane Eckerle, Daniel Brandt and Burn Later Productions’ Phil Keefe and Sam Slater. Lauren Hantz and John Hantz are executive producers via their Hantz Motion Pictures, which fully financed. Jeremy Garelick, Will Phelps and Ryan Bennett are also EPs. Verve is repping rights.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to make this weird, semi-true film with this amazing cast and talented team,” Morosini said. “I can only hope something less bizarre serves as the basis for my next project.”
Hantz Motion Pictures just saw IFC Midnight land its debut feature We Need to Do Something ahead if its premiere at this year’s Tribeca Festival.
NewFest and BuzzFeed are teaming on the first-ever BuzzFeed Pride Film Festival, which will kick off beginning June 27 on the new site’s homepage. The event will feature BuzzFeed video discussions moderated by trans journalist and activist Ashlee Marie Preston around five queer movies — Gay USA, Kiki, Man Made, Appropriate Behavior and Rafiki — after which audiences can watch the films free of charge on NewFest’s platform from June 27-30.
The panel participants for the discussions are sourced from the LGBTQ Movie Club Facebook Group.
The event comes after NewFest earlier this month launched NewFest Pride, a virtual summer film series that ran June 4-7. The event from the New York-based LGBTQ+ film and media organization kicked off Pride Month showcasing six feature films along with a short-film program co-presented with Vimeo in addition with LGBTQ-focused panels and special events. It also included a virtual live-read of Legally Blonde featuring an all queer and trans cast.
“Following our successful NewFest Pride event earlier in the month, we are excited to keep the Pride celebration going by partnering with BuzzFeed and Facebook Groups on this event,” said NewFest executive director David Hatkoff. “We can’t wait for audiences to discover these wonderful queer films and continue the conversation BuzzFeed and Facebook have begun.”
Mutiny Pictures has acquired rights to Bad Detectives, a crime thriller directed by Presley Paras and starring Freya Tingly and Dralla Aierken. Mutiny and Mill Creek Entertainment will release it on June 22 on digital platforms.
The pic, written and executive produced by Chris Johnson, follows two unlikely friends that discover that the passing of their beloved detective grandfathers were calculated murders. Despite their mutual animosity, they enter an uneasy partnership to solve the case and become involved in a twisted game of dodgy lawyers, corrupt politicians, shifty homicide detectives, capricious antique dealers and an infamous Chinese gang.
“Being a proud Asian-American, I was delighted to direct Asian-American characters that felt authentic and weren’t some sort of trope,” Paras said. “Sticking to this choice helped me deliver the best version of Bad Detectives and I’m proud where it landed.”
The fourth annual Animation Is Film festival will unspool October 22-24 at at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood. The fest, which is partnered with the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, will include both virtual and in-person screenings and is a return to action after the 2020 edition was canceled by the pandemic.
In 2019, the international lineup included the Oscar-nominated I Lost My Body among its special presentations, retrospectives, and short film programs that drew more than 7,000 guests.
“Animation Is Film is thrilled to once again celebrate the best in animation from around the world,” AIF director Matt Kaszanek said. “The enthusiasm for AIF’s return to Hollywood—from filmmakers, industry partners, and audiences—is extremely gratifying, and makes clear that people are eager to gather in person. Despite the pandemic, animation has thrived as an industry and as an art form, and we are excited to present a diverse slate of projects from established studios as well as personal films from emerging, international filmmakers. And for the first time, AIF will offer virtual presentations, so audiences outside L.A. County can join the fun.”
Freestyle Digital Media has acquired U.S. VOD rights to A Rising Tide, a romantic drama set against the backdrop of Hurricane Sandy. Hunter Parrish, Ashley Hinshaw, Tim Daly, Jonathan Togo, Nana Visitor and Victor Slezak star in the pic, which will now hit digital platforms July 13.
Directed by Ben Hickernell, the inspirational story of redemption based on real events centers on a talented chef (Parrish), who, after the destruction of his family’s Atlantic City restaurant during Hurricane Sandy, must grow up quickly and take the biggest risks of his life to bring his food back to the recovering Jersey Shore. (See the trailer below.)
Hickernell, Daryl Freimark and Kristin Fairweather are producers. Hinkernell brokered the deal with Freestyle.
The HamptonsFilm SummerDocs series will kick off June 26 with Summer of Soul, directed by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson. Other titles include Sony Pictures Classics’ The Lost Leonardo and Discovery+’s Lily Topples the World. Following each screening, HamptonsFilm co-chairman Alec Baldwin and HamptonsFilm artistic drector David Nugent will lead conversations with the filmmakers and guests. Tickets are $40. More info here.