Bottle Shock (2008) - News Poster

(2008)

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‘Danny and the Dinosaur’ Movie in Development at Branded Pictures (Exclusive)

‘Danny and the Dinosaur’ Movie in Development at Branded Pictures (Exclusive)
Veteran producer J. Todd Harris and Marc Marcum are launching a live-action/animated movie version of the 1958 children’s book “Danny and the Dinosaur” through their Branded Pictures Entertainment.

The light-hearted Syd Hoff story starts with a boy named Danny befriending a good-natured dinosaur at a museum with Danny riding out of the museum on the dinosaur’s neck. The two then spend the day together playing, going to the zoo, having ice cream and letting other children use the dinosaur as a slide.

The company has optioned all non-publishing rights to “Danny and the Dinosaur,” which has sold more than 10 million copies. The script has been adapted by David Bowers and writing team Brian Sawyer and Gregg Rossen.

“The writers have transformed this wonderful book series into a vehicle for a top comedy talent,” said Harris, who has the title of president. “We see the feature version of ‘Danny
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Spectacular Now’ Producer Tom McNulty Starts Production Division for the Exchange

‘Spectacular Now’ Producer Tom McNulty Starts Production Division for the Exchange
Veteran producer Tom McNulty, whose credits include “The Spectacular Now,” has been hired by the Exchange to launch its first film development and production division.

The self-funded finance-sales company launched in 2011 by representing Lacey Chabert’s “Slightly Single in L.A.” It has worked on “The Spectacular Now,” “Dear White People,” “Bottle Shock,” “Rob the Mob,” “Swelter,” “The Last Five Years,” and “Obvious Child.”

“By bringing Tom on, we are taking a big step toward our feature film production and development goals,” said the Exchange CEO Brian O’Shea. “We had such a great experience with Tom on ‘The Spectacular Now’ that it was easy to see him as part of the team. Tom’s taste is exceptional, his talent relations are very strong, and he brings to our growing company some outstanding projects. We could not be more excited about his future at The Exchange.”

McNulty’s upcoming projects include
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Afm: The Exchange Closes Credit Line With Pacific Mercantile (Exclusive)

In a move that signals future growth, The Exchange has closed a revolving line of credit funded by Pacific Mercantile Bank to be used for future acquisitions.

The self-funded company is celebrating its five-year anniversary at the American Film Market.

The Exchange’s Afm line-up includes the documentary “Gleason,” “King Coba,” “A Street Cat Named Bob,” “Kickboxer: Vengeance,” “Kickboxer: Retaliation,” “Shimmer Lake” and a pair of upcoming films: Stephanie Laing’s “Irreplaceable You” and Justin Chadwick’s historical drama “The Lady and the Panda,” starring Rebecca Ferguson and Chinese star Liu Ye.

“This line of credit with Pacific Mercantile Bank will tremendously increase our acquisitions power and allow us to take the company to the next level with an even stronger line-up at each market,” said Brian O’Shea, CEO of The Exchange.

“The Lady and the Panda” centers on Ruth Harkness, the first person to bring a live panda
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Netflix Is Retiring All These Movies and TV Shows in February

  • BuzzSugar
Get ready to say goodbye to some of your favorite movies and TV shows on Netflix. The expiration list for February is full of nostalgic titles, from The Terminator to Blue Crush. While there are a lot of things leaving, there are also a lot of new things to look forward to. Keep scrolling to see what will expire in February and be sure to watch them all before they're gone. (Unless it's already too late, in which case . . . sorry.) Expired Feb. 1 Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein Asylum Bad Santa Benny and Joon Big Fish Blue Crush Classic Doctor Who: Collections 1-18 Crocodile Dundee 2 The Dancer Upstairs Daylight Doctor Who: Season 1-8 The Firm Fletch Gifted Hands Gothika The Hurt Locker The Naked Gun Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult Rain Man Ray Secrets and Lies: Season 1 Sorority Row The Terminator Terms of Endearment Expired Feb.
See full article at BuzzSugar »

Here’s What’s Coming To Netflix and Amazon Prime in February

With each new month comes the same old lesson about catching all your favorite movies before they leave Netflix. If you haven’t watched The Naked Gun yet, you should do that is what I’m saying. But what do you get in return? A lot actually! We get the original series Fuller House and Judd Apatow’s Love. They’re also adding the final season of Mad Men, the first season of Better Call Saul, and one of the most popular teen movies of all time, Cruel Intentions.

On the Amazon Prime front, check out below to see what you’ll be able to stream for free and what’s going to have a cost. Let’s watch!

All Title Dates are Subject to Change

Netflix U.S. Release Dates Only

Available 2/1/16

A Picture of You (2014)

Armageddon (1998)

Better Call Saul: Season 1

Charlie’s Angels (2000)

Collateral Damage (2002)

Cruel Intentions (1999)

A Faster Horse
See full article at City of Films »

Bottle Shock – The ‘Tribute to Alan Rickman’ Review

I Hate wine! Seriously, no kidding, I cannot drink it, smell it and I don’t like to talk about it. The origin of this distaste for fermented grape juice? It was when I was in the Navy (there he goes again!) I was on liberty in Brindisi, Italy (Bill remembers!) We were in a restaurant on a bright, sunny Italian Sunday afternoon. We ordered food and wine. The wine came in pitchers, not bottles. I don’t recall the food ever arriving, don’t remember leaving the restaurant, going back to the ship, none of that, complete blackout.

Literally one minute in the restaurant, the next lying face down in my rack strangling on my own sick. I won’t go into any more sordid details, I’ll spare you that. Sufficient to note I was in trouble with the Navy, had gotten horribly sick on a liberty boat,
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

What's Leaving Netflix in February 2016

Among the many films leaving Netflix in February 2016 are Oscar Best Picture winners "The Hurt Locker," "Rain Man," and "Terms of Endearment." It's also your last chance to see Cuba Gooding Jr. starring as surgeon-turned-presidential candidate Ben Carson in 2009's "Gifted Hands."

Also disappearing (alas!), Seasons 1-8 of "Doctor Who and seasons 1-18 of "Classic Doctor Who."

Here's the complete list of what's being yanked from Netflix in February. You can also check out all the movies and TV shows new on Netflix in February 2016 over yonder.

Leaving Feb. 1, 2016

"Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein" (1999)

"Asylum" (2005)

"Bad Santa" (2003)

"Benny and Joon" (1993)

"Big Fish" (2003)

"Blue Crush" (2002)

"Classic Doctor Who: Collections 1-18"

"Crocodile Dundee 2" (1988)

"The Dancer Upstairs" (2003)

"Daylight" (1996)

"Doctor Who," Seasons 1-8

"The Firm" (1993)

"Fletch" (1985)

"Gifted Hands" (2009)

"Gothika" (2003)

"The Hurt Locker" (2008)

"The Naked Gun" (1988)

"Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult" (1994)

"Rain Man" (1988)

"Ray" (2004)

"Secrets and Lies," Season 1

"Sorority Row" (2009)

"The Terminator" (1984)

"Terms of Endearment" (1983)

Leaving Feb.
See full article at Moviefone »

Napa Valley Film Fest: Eat, Drink, Savor Movies

Somm,” Jason Wise’s documentary about four men studying to become master sommeliers, appeared to be a perfect fit for the Napa Valley Film Festival where it premiered in 2012. Variety reviewer Justin Chang described it as “crisp” and “quaffable,” even though the film, in the long run, had little to do with wine.

“It’s people obsessing, it’s about the pursuit of an obsession,” says Wise, who has followed up his documentary debut with “Somm: Into the Bottle,” a film most definitely about wine, specifically 10 unique bottles and the stories that surround them. It will open the fifth annual Napa Valley Film Fest (Nov. 11-15).

“We take people from the first film and put them in their natural environment,” says Wise, noting the provenance of the first film had uncorked opportunities for “Into the Bottle” to premiere at other festivals. “(Viewers get to) understand why they would want to go on that quest.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

From Independent Films to Broadway - An Indie Producer Takes to the Stage

Independent film producer and CEO of Branded Pictures Entertainment J. Todd Harris ("The Kids Are All Right," "Bottle Shock") has been feeling an easterly pull back to his theatre roots over the past year. Having started in the theatre right out of college running the repertory company TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, the producer of nearly 40 films, is now producing the stage musical adaptation of Doctor Zhivago based on the Nobel Prize-winning Boris Pasternak’s novel, which also served as the basis for the 1965 Academy Award-winning David Lean film starring Omar Sharif and Julie Christie (and Rod Steiger, Geraldine Chaplin and Tom Courtenay). I had chance to catch up with this bi-coastal whirlwind last week after he returned from the show’s opening on Broadway.

Peter Belsito : Isn’t independent film hard enough? What got you interested in Broadway?

J. Todd Harris : (laughing). I didn’t think anything could be harder than independent films, but I was wrong. The fact is my wife Amy Powers is a co-lyricist on the show and has been working on it for over a decade after its first try-out at the La Jolla Playhouse in 2005. Four years ago, we moved to Australia for our way “out of town” run and I felt I could help raise a bit of money, so I was an associate producer. When word came in last year that it was going to Broadway, I told them I thought I could raise a million dollars and serve as one of the producers.

Pb : Did you raise your share? And how does it compare to raising money for a film?

Jth : I did, and then some, from about thirty individual investors. In that sense, it’s not unlike a lot of independent films that are financed with equity. It’s a different eco-system, but the concept is pretty similar. And, just like a lot of independent films, you don’t make money up front! It’s all about ownership, so you really hope the show breaks even soon. The authors – book, lyrics, composer – all get a royalty off the top. No nonsense like the movie business. This contributes to my love for my wife.

Pb : What is the show’s budget, if I may ask?

Jth : About 15M, it’s a Big Broadway show. There are well over one hundred investors and probably 30 credited producers. When A Gentleman’s Guide to Murder won the Tony Award last year, I thought the stage was going to collapse so many producers went up to collect the award. But, you know, it takes a village. Sometimes a small city. It’s okay to reward and acknowledge the backers of a show. It’s a huge risk and without these backers we’d be a poorer culture. They’re like modern day patrons. Why not give them a moment in the sun?

Pb : How did you get the rights to Doctor Zhivago? Such a big title!

Jth : I cannot take credit for that. Composer Lucy Simon (The Secret Garden) originally got the rights well over ten years ago and started working with a creative team, but before the La Jolla production the team changed and that’s when my wife was recruited to co-write the lyrics with Michael Korie ( Grey Gardens) and joined the team that included book writer Michael Weller (Loose Ends, screenplays for Hair and Ragtime ) and director Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys). Des was artistic director of La Jolla Playhouse at the time. And the show’s lead producer Anita Waxman was involved very early on providing the seed capital for La Jolla and then putting the financing together for Australia and now Broadway.

Pb : That’s a long gestation period, even compared to Hollywood, isn’t it?

Jth : It is one of the longer ones, but these things can literally take years as creative teams gel, script and music mesh, and planets align for talent, money and – not least importantly – a theatre. The strange alchemy that gets a Broadway show a greenlight isn’t all that different than the weird science of getting a big Hollywood movie off the ground.

Pb : Sounds like a lot of cooks in the kitchen.

Jth : There are, but from a producing angle, there’s usually a small group of lead producers who make the major financial decisions and every creative team finds its own rhythm. Writers and composers are accorded a lot more respect in theatre; that’s the major difference from movies.

Pb : Are you happy with how the show has come out?

Jth : Thrilled. Of course, it’s hard to claim crystal clear perspective when one is as emotionally invested in the show as I am in Doctor Zhivago, but I think the creative team has taken an epic story and distilled it to its emotional and political core. Lucy Simon has written melodies that will live forever in the musical theatre firmament. Des has done a masterful job of staging a huge and complex show. Ambition doesn’t begin to describe it. We got mixed reviews, but so did Phantom, Cats and Wicked. The final arbiter is audiences, and the dozen or so times I’ve seen the show at the Broadway Theatre, there have been copious cheers and tears.

Pb : You also did a show last year?

Jth : Yes, I was part of the producing team that developed and produced Heathers The Musical, based on the Daniel Waters script directed by Michael Lehmann back in 1988. It was a great experience working with a very tight creative and producing team. Andy Fickman directed a script, book and music by Kevin Murphy and Larry O’Keefe. It ran off Broadway for about 5 months and we hope we can adapt that to the screen and go back to Broadway.

Pb : Do you find a lot of talent crossing over from Hollywood to Broadway?

Jth : More and more, that is the case. Not just writers, directors and actors, but also material. Broadway is flooded with adaptations of movies – Aladdin is running strong, Honeymoon In Vegas recently closed, and last year Bridges of Madison County and Big Fish had nice runs on Broadways as musicals. I definitely have my eye on other fare to crossover from screen to stage.

Pb : Can you tell us what you’re working on?

Jth : Not yet, but some very recognizable titles that I think are ideal for the Great White Way.
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

Ben Affleck, Jessica Chastain, Viola Davis, Kevin Hart, Shirley Maclaine, Chris Pine, Miles Teller and Naomi Watts to present at 87th Oscars®

Ben Affleck, Jessica Chastain, Viola Davis, Kevin Hart, Shirley MacLaine, Chris Pine, Miles Teller and Naomi Watts will be presenters at this year’s Oscars, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. The Oscars, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, will air on Sunday, February 22, live on ABC. Affleck, a two-time Academy Award® winner, received an Original Screenplay Oscar® for “Good Will Hunting” (1997) and a Best Picture Oscar for “Argo” (2012), on which he served as a producer, director and star. His most recent role was opposite Rosamund Pike in “Gone Girl” (2014). He will play Batman in the upcoming feature “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “The Accountant.” Chastain has received two Oscar nominations, one for Actress in a Leading Role for “Zero Dark Thirty” (2012) and one for Actress in a Supporting Role for “The Help” (2011). Her most recent films include 2014’s “Interstellar,” “A Most Violent Year” and “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby.
See full article at Hollywoodnews.com »

Jessica Chastain, Viola Davis, Kevin Hart Added As Presenters At 87th Oscars

Ben Affleck, Jessica Chastain, Viola Davis, Kevin Hart, Shirley MacLaine, Chris Pine, Miles Teller and Naomi Watts will be presenters at this year’s Oscars, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. The Oscars, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, will air on Sunday, February 22, live on ABC.

Affleck, a two-time Academy Award winner, received an Original Screenplay Oscar for “Good Will Hunting” (1997) and a Best Picture Oscar for “Argo” (2012), on which he served as a producer, director and star. His most recent role was opposite Rosamund Pike in “Gone Girl” (2014). He will play Batman in the upcoming feature “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “The Accountant.”

Chastain has received two Oscar nominations, one for Actress in a Leading Role for “Zero Dark Thirty” (2012) and one for Actress in a Supporting Role for “The Help” (2011). Her most recent films include 2014’s “Interstellar,” “A Most Violent Year” and “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Susan Jackson Dead: Freestyle Releasing Co-Founder Was 54

  • Deadline
Veteran distributor Susan Jackson, who co-founded indie film distribution label Freestyle Releasing in 2004, died Tuesday morning in Los Angeles after a long battle with breast cancer. She was 54. The UK-born Jackson dove into the distribution game after serving in exec positions in sales, acquisitions and marketing at the Samuel Goldwyn Co, Vestron, Goodtimes, BMG/Bertelsmann, Sony and the BBC. She headed BMG Independents, snagging rights to indie titles for BMG’s North American Video and DVD collection.

In 1999, she founded independent sales company Turtles Crossing in Los Angeles. Three years later, she became more directly involved in filmmaking as executive producer of Eli Roth’s Cabin Fever, which she helped finance and sold to Lionsgate out of the Toronto Film Festival. Similarly, she helped finance, co-produce and sold the Juno Temple starrer Dirty Girl in 2010 out of Tiff.

Jackson co-founded Freestyle Releasing in 2004 with partner Mark Borde, and the company
See full article at Deadline »

Susan Jackson, Producer and Co-Founder of Freestyle Releasing, Dies at 54

Susan Jackson, Producer and Co-Founder of Freestyle Releasing, Dies at 54
Susan Rosenberg Jackson, who co-founded Freestyle Releasing and exec produced “Cabin Fever” during a long career in independent film, died in Tuesday in Los Angeles of breast cancer. She was 54.

Jackson worked in film distribution for 20 years, holding executive positions at the Samuel Goldwyn Co., Vestron, Goodtimes, BMG/Bertelsmann, Sony and the BBC. Her last job before launching her own company was heading up BMG Independents in New York.

Born in the U.K., she moved to Los Angeles in 1999, she launched sales company Turtles Crossing. She came on to “Cabin Fever” at script stage, brought in investors and sold it to Lionsgate at the Toronto Film Festival. She was sales agent and co-producer of “Dirty Girl,” starring Juno Temple.

Jackson co-founded Freestyle Releasing with Mark Borde, releasing such films as “The Illusionist,” “Bottle Shock,” “Me and Orson Welles,” “God’s Not Dead” and “Left Behind.”

She is survived by her husband,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Napa Valley Film Festival Announces Narrative and Documentary Films in Competition

The 4th annual Napa Valley Film Festival (Nvff), scheduled for November 12-16, 2014, announced its Narrative and Documentary feature film competition lineups as well as Jury members. The 2014 Festival will screen 22 feature films in competition. The full film program line-up, including out-of-competition special presentations, sneak previews of awards season contenders, and narrative, documentary and animated shorts, will be announced in September.

“Our thoughts are with everyone in the Napa Valley who have suffered losses from the recent earthquake,” said Co-Founder/Artistic Director Marc Lhormer. “We are proud to be part of a community that rallies in support of each other in such a generous and big hearted way. As they say in the business, the show must go on.”

“This is an exceptionally strong year for both the Narrative and Documentary competition programs,” said Program Director Herb Stratford. “These filmmakers have created new works that provoke, inspire, educate and entertain. They are the heart of our program each year, which includes more than 100 new independent films and advance studio screenings, and we are excited to announce their participation in the festival.”

Directors of the Narrative and Documentary films in competition participate in Nvff’s unique Artists-in-Residence Program presented in partnership with the incomparable Meadowood Napa Valley. Directors stay at the luxury resort for six nights during the festival and are treated to special events and workshops with their competition group and industry mentors. Serving as faculty for a set of Master Classes at Nvff 2014 are producer Ted Hope ( Adventureland, 21 Grams); writer/director Joshua Michael Stern (Jobs, Swing Vote) writer/director Joe Carnahan (The Blacklist; The Grey, Smokin’ Aces); producer Pam Koffler (Killer Films); and producer J. Todd Harris ( The Kids are All Right; Bottle Shock); Ryan Harrington (Tribeca Film Institute); producer Jason Berman (Struck by Lightning, Luv); producer Anne Carey (Archer Gray Productions); executives Tom Quinn (RADiUS) and David Glasser (The Weinstein Company). Meadowood Napa Valley will also award $10,000 to the winning filmmakers in both the Narrative and Documentary competition categories at the Closing Night Awards Ceremony on Sunday, November 16.

Narrative Competition Section

Films in the Narrative competition section feature actors Anne Hathaway, Billie Joe Armstrong, Elizabeth Banks, Tate Donovan, Rachael Harris, Zoe Kravitz, Stephen Lang, Leighton Meester, Debra Messing, Dev Patel, Kyra Sedgwick, Chloe Sevigny and Paul Wesley, among others. The 12 films selected include:

"Thank You A Lot"- Music agent and manager Jack Hand has a bad reputation and an even worse track record. He has only two clients left: an indie band on the verge of a breakup and a part-time hip-hop artist. Jack’s future hinges on signing the one person he is barely on speaking terms with — his estranged father, a respected and reclusive country singer/songwriter. "East Side Sushi"- Juana‘s work – preparing fruit for the family’s sidewalk cart – is steady, but hardly her life’s calling. Despite the objections and concerns of her family, Juana decides to pursue her dream of becoming an expert sushi chef, to go where her heart tells her, not where she is expected to be. "Fall To Rise" - Principal dancer Lauren Drake is beautiful, talented and famous. When Lauren is released from her company after being sidelined by an injury, she quickly becomes frustrated with her new domestic lifestyle. At a performance by another dance company, she meets and teams up with Des, a former dancer who is also eager to have a second chance in the dance world. "Little Accidents" (Isa: William Morris Endeavor Entertainment) - In a small West Virginia town reeling from a recent tragic accident in the local mine, a fresh unfortunate incident in the woods leaves a young boy dead. Meanwhile Owen, an injured miner struggling to adjust to his new life aboveground, joins the search for the first boy who is presumed lost in the woods. "Like Sunday, Like Rain" - Reggie Kipper is a sweet, awkward cello prodigy, a composer and overall genius. He’s about to graduate from high school and enroll at MIT — and he’s is only twelve years old. Eleanor Fallon is a 23-year old struggling musician who meets Reggie when she is hired to be his au pair, and the unlikely duo embarks on a summer adventure that neither of them ever expected. "Sun Belt Express"- Allen King, a man living on the Arizona/Mexico border, finds out what his breaking point is when his ex-wife demands money, and his job teaching at a college south of the border evaporates. Allen then finds a unique way to supplant his income by transporting illegal aliens in the trunk of his car. "Sam & Amira" (Isa: Preferred Entertainment) - Sam is an army veteran struggling to assimilate into normal life stateside. He works a variety of odd jobs, tries his hand at stand-up comedy, and is recruited by his cousin into some shady investment dealings. Sam’s already complicated life is made more so by Amira, an Iraqi woman dealing with her own issues who is the daughter of an old army colleague. "Song One" (Isa: Lotus Entertainment) - Estranged from her family, Franny returns home when an accident leaves her brother comatose. Retracing his life as an aspiring singer-songwriter, she tracks down his favorite musician, James Forester. Against the backdrop of Brooklyn’s music scene, Franny and James develop an unexpected relationship and face the realities of their lives. "The Road Within" (Isa: Panorama Media) - Vincent has Tourette Syndrome. When his mother dies, he becomes obsessed with scattering her ashes by the ocean. Too much for his father to handle, Vincent is sent to a residential treatment center in Nevada where he befriends two other “inmates” struggling with their own personal issues. "Kinderwald" - Pennsylvania wilderness, 1885. John Linden, a hard-working German immigrant, is making a go of homesteading with his brother’s widow and her two young sons. John’s visually and spiritually idyllic world is thrown into utter chaos when the two boys go missing while off playing in the woods. "Wildlike" (Isa: Panorama Media) - Mackenzie is a fourteen-year-old girl whose father died last year. When her struggling mother checks herself into a recovery center, Mackenzie is sent from their Seattle home to live with her uncle in Alaska. At first he seems a supportive caretaker, but when his infatuation crosses a sexual line, Mackenzie runs away. With no one else to turn to, she shadows a solitary backpacker, Bartlett, a widowed man with scars of his own, into the beauty and danger of America’s last frontier.

Documentary Competition Section

"American Native" - For years, the legend of the Jackson Whites tribe has been told, passed down from generation to generation of New Jersey suburbanites. While the garish stories and tall tales have never been hard to find, the truth behind them has. Accessing the community is not easy; few outsiders have been able to penetrate the insular walls formed from centuries of discrimination. "Botso" - Dr. Botso Korisheli, 91 and still teaching music along with his unique philosophy, has a fascinating and unforgettable life story. Born in the former Soviet State of Georgia, Botso witnessed his father imprisoned under orders from Josef Stalin while his home was taken over by the Kgb. Forced to dig ditches for the Soviet army, Botso was then captured by the Germans. "Flying The Feathered Edge" - Robert A. “Bob” Hoover, age 92, is considered by many to be our greatest living aviator. Nicknamed “The Pilot’s Pilot” by his peers, Bob is largely unknown outside aviation circles despite his staggering array of accomplishments. Following a storied career during WWII as a fighter pilot, Bob continued to serve for years as one of our best test pilots. Mr. Hoover will be in attendance for screenings and Q&As. "Happy Valley" (Isa: Submarine Entertainment) - Few sports dynasties in the modern era have had a larger and longer-lasting profile than college football’s Penn State and its legendary coach Joe Paterno. State College, Pennsylvania, is in the heart of an area known as Happy Valley, ground zero of a proud football tradition for decades. When the shocking sex abuse scandal of assistant coach Jerry Sandusky rocked that town and college in 2011, the impact was unprecedented. "Havana Curveball" - At age 13 and preparing for his Bar Mitzvah, Mica takes to heart his rabbi’s injunction to help “heal the world.” Mica imagines himself a hero for other kids, and hatches a grand plan to send baseballs, bats and gloves to Cuba. Mica knows only that Cubans are poor and love baseball, and that Cuba “saved” his grandpa’s life when he was escaping from Nazi Germany. "States of Grace" - Dr. Grace Dammann’s life was forever altered when a driver crashed head-on into her car on the Golden Gate Bridge. After a seven-week coma and numerous surgeries, Grace miraculously regained consciousness, with her cognitive abilities almost entirely intact, but her body left shattered and severely disabled. "Underwater Dreams" - The epic story of four teenage boys from the Arizona desert who dare to go up against college engineering students from MIT. Inspired by two energetic high school science teachers, the boys build a robot from hardware store parts and enter an underwater robotics competition sponsored by Nasa. "An Honest Liar" - For as long as there have been magicians and illusionists, there have been doubters and debunkers making sure that the general public doesn’t get taken for a ride. One of the greatest illusionists of his era was “The Amazing Randi,” who made the shift from magic and escape acts to exposing the frauds who prey on unsuspecting victims. "Compared to What: The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank" (Isa: Preferred Content) - Few members of the U.S. Congress have ever been as polarizing and revolutionary as Barney Frank has been over the past 40 years. Compared to What: The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank examines the career, passions and legacy of our first openly gay Congressman. This rare and intimate documentary is entertaining, enlightening and thought-provoking. "#chicagoGirl: The Social Network Takes On A Dictator" (Isa: Preferred Content) - In #chicagoGirl, we meet freedom fighters in the streets of Homs and Damascus along with the stateside collection of exiles working to return Syria to a stable and human rights-respecting country. Will 21st century tools of change stand up to guns and violence and terror in the streets? Narrative Features Jury

Christine Vachon , (Producer, "Boys Don’t Cry," "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," "Far From Heaven")

Peter Baxter ( Co-founder/Director Slamdance Film Festival)

Dierk Sinderman (Hollywood Foreign Press Association)

Lisa Truitt ( Producer, James Cameron’s "Deepsea Challenge 3D,""Mysteries of Egypt")

Don Lewis (Producer; Editor Film Threat)

Documentary Features and Shorts Jury

Morgan Neville ("Twenty Feet From Stardom")

Tiffany Shlain ("The Tribe; Connected: An Autobiography About Love," "Death & Technology")

Freida Lee Mock ("Anita. G-Dog,""Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision," "Return with Honor")

Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine ("Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden,""Ballets Russes").

Narrative Shorts Jury

Joshua Michael Stern ("Jobs,""Swing Vote," "Neverwas")

Ralph Macchio (Actor, "The Karate Kid;" Director, "Across Grace Alley")

Neil Berkeley ("Beauty in Embarrassing;" Founder Brkl)

Animated Shorts

Bill Plympton (The King of Indie Animation)

Adam Glick (Amazon Web Services)

Ryan Tudhope (Atomic Fiction)

About The Napa Valley Film Festival

The Napa Valley Film Festival (Nvff) is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization headquartered in Napa, California. The ultimate celebration of film, food and wine, Nvff lights up the picturesque towns of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga at the most colorful time of year. Nvff features over 100 new independent films and studio sneak previews screening in 12 beautiful venues throughout four walkable villages, as 300 visiting filmmakers interact with audiences at screenings and intimate events. Attendees enjoy film panels & culinary demonstrations, wine tasting pavilions, the spectacular Festival Gala, Celebrity Tributes, Awards Ceremony, and an array of parties, VIP receptions and winemaker dinners and more. For information or to buy passes, visit NapaValleyFilmFest.org
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

William Hurt Leaves Midnight Rider

Midnight Rider, the new biopic of musician Greg Allman, has already been reeling from the tragic death of camera assistant Sarah Jones during location shooting in Georgia. Now, as the filmmakers figure out how to continue work, star William Hurt, who was playing Allman, has decided to leave the film.The film is based on Allman’s biography and chronicles his career as a rock and blues singer-songwriter, keyboardist, guitarist and his founding of The Allman Brothers Band. Bottle Shock director Randall Miller has been attempting to relocate the shoot for the film to Los Angeles. But following the fatality when a train collided with film equipment on a bridge in February, he’s faced opposition from unions and actors to the idea. Jones’ death also spurred a series of tributes from other crews in both film and TV.Hurt, who was among the cast on the bridge when the accident happened,
See full article at EmpireOnline »

‘Midnight Rider’ Crew on Fatal Train Accident: ‘No Corners Were Cut’

‘Midnight Rider’ Crew on Fatal Train Accident: ‘No Corners Were Cut’
A Savannah-based film crew working on Gregg Allman biopic “Midnight Rider” has denied any wrong doing in the train crash that killed a 27-year-old camera assistant and injured seven others, insisting “no corners were cut.”

In an email to Variety, Nick Gant, creative director and principal of Meddin Studios, said: “This is not guerrilla filmmaking or a group of indie film makers trying to grab a shot. It was weeks of communications and scouting multiple places. You had to have access to get onto the site. We have 20- to 30-year veterans in all the departments, crew is extremely qualified, cast trailers were transporter, location was almost 90 minutes away.” Meddin Studios is based in Savannah and has been working with the production.

Thursday’s deadly collision took place at a railroad trestle that crosses the Altamaha River in the rural county about 60 miles southwest of Savannah.

Wayne County sheriff
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Investigator: ‘Midnight Rider’ Crew Wasn’t Supposed to Be on Tracks

The crew of Gregg Allman biopic “Midnight Rider” was working on train tracks without permission from the railroad in Wayne County, Ga. when a train crashed into the production team, killing one and injuring seven others, an investigator said Friday.

The tracks, owned by Csx Railroad, cross private land owned by forest-products company Rayonier, which has a nearby paper mill. Joe Gardner, the lead detective on the case, said the crew had Rayonier’s permission to film on its property next to the train tracks.

“Csx has told me they were aware they were out there, but they did not have permission to be on the train tracks,” Gardner told reporters.

An eyewitness told Variety the Open Road Films drama was in its first day of shooting Thursday afternoon and the crew was filming a dream sequence on a railroad trestle when a train unexpectedly crossed the bridge.

The victim,
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Update: Investigators Seek Answers to ‘Midnight Rider’ Train Accident

Investigators in Georgia are trying to determine the circumstances that led to a fatal train accident that killed a crew member on the set of the Gregg Allman biopic “Midnight Rider” near Savannah, Ga., on Thursday.

The victim was identified as Sarah Jones, 27, of Atlanta, according to Ed Mathis of the Wayne County Coroner’s Office. Her parents live in West Columbia, S.C.

Sources said that she was a second camera assistant who was killed when a freight train operated by Csx Corp. struck her as crew members scrambled to get out of the way. Seven other crew members were injured, according to Wayne County Sheriff’s detective Joe Gardner, who appeared at a news conference with reporters late Thursday. He said they were treating the case as a homicide “until we have more information.”

Gardner said that the production, which came from Meddin Studios in Savannah, had permission from Csx and Rayonier,
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Crewmember on Greg Allman Biopic ‘Midnight Rider’ Killed During Train Mishap

  • The Wrap
A female camera operator’s assistant was killed Thursday and seven other people were injured when a train unexpectedly bore down on a crew doing camera tests for “Midnight Rider,” the Greg Allman biopic shooting in Georgia, a law enforcement source confirmed to TheWrap. Identities of the victims were not immediately released. About 20 people were on the set in Wayne County, Ga., many of them local hires out of Savannah; with shooting not scheduled to officially begin until Monday, it was unlikely that any cast members were present. Local officials said the crew – which included director Randall Miller (“Bottle Shock
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Train Accident Kills Crew Member of Gregg Allman Biopic

A second camera assistant was killed Thursday afternoon when a freight train struck and killed her on the set of the Gregg Allman biopic “Midnight Rider,” sources confirm to Variety.

Four other people were injured in the accident, one seriously. The event happened in Wayne County, Ga.

An eyewitness told Variety the movie crew was filming a dream sequence on a railroad trestle when a train unexpectedly crossed the bridge.

The crew, including director Randall Miller, had placed a bed on the tracks for the scene and was expecting two trains on the local bridge, one in each direction, when a third train arrived unexpectedly.

A whistle warned the crew members of the next train, giving them less than a minute, which was too late.

Miller, who also directed the 2008 film “Bottle Shock,” and the still photographer rushed to get the bed off the tracks while the rest of the
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