Avan Jogia’s ‘Door Mouse’, ‘The Devil Conspiracy’ Acquired; ‘Bardo’s Ximena Lamadrid Set For Stonestreet Studios’ Granite Award; Allegra Leguizamo Joins ‘Macho!’; NewNarratives Award Winners; More – Briefs

EXCLUSIVE: Gravitas Ventures has acquired U.S. rights to actor Avan Jogia’s first feature Door Mouse from Highland Film Group. The thriller starring Hayley Law (Riverdale), Keith Powers (The Tomorrow War), Famke Janssen (Long Slow Exhale), Donal Logue (Gotham) and Jogia (Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City) is slated for release in theaters and on demand on January 13.

Pic follows Mouse (Law), an irreverent dancer at a dead-end burlesque club run by Mama (Janssen). When Mouse’s only friends and fellow club dancers go missing under mysterious circumstances, nobody at the club seems too concerned about them, and the police couldn’t care less. Mouse and her constant sidekick Ugly (Powers) quickly realize that it’s up to them to dig up all the dirt and start the hunt for the culprits. 

Jogia directed from his script, with Kyle Mann producing for Independent Edge, along with Jason Ross Jallet from Cause and Effect Entertainment. Goldrush Entertainment’s Eric Gozlan served as exec producer. Highland Film Group sold the film’s Canadian rights to Elevation Pictures, negotiating its Gravitas deal with Senior Director of Acquisitions Bill Guentzler.


The Devil Conspiracy

Samuel Goldwyn Films

EXCLUSIVE: Samuel Goldwyn Films has announced its acquisition of North American digital rights to the sci-fi adventure-horror pic The Devil Conspiracy, directed by Nathan Frankowski from Ed Alan’s script. Third Day Productions will release the film in 10000+ theaters nationwide on January 13, with its digital release to follow later in the year. 

The Devil Conspiracy examines a powerful biotech company that has breakthrough technology allowing them to clone history’s most influential people with just a few fragments of DNA. Behind this company is a cabal of Satanists that steals the shroud of Christ, putting them in possession of Jesus’ DNA. The clone will serve as the ultimate offering to the devil. Archangel Michael comes to earth and will stop at nothing to end the devil’s conspiracy.

Alice Orr-Ewing (The Theory of Everything), Joe Doyle (Salem), Eveline Hall (Summertime Blues), Peter Mensah (The Incredible Hulk), Joe Anderson (Across the Universe), Brian Caspe (Jojo Rabbit) and James Faulkner (Atomic Blonde) star. Pic was produced by Alan and exec produced by Kevan Van Thompson, Vaclav Mottl, Michael Emerson and Mike Sears. Peter Goldwyn negotiated the deal for The Devil Conspiracy for Samuel Goldwyn Films, with Alan on behalf of the filmmakers.


Ximena Lamadrid

Ximena Lamadrid

Momodu Mansaray/WireImage

EXCLUSIVE: Bardo actress Ximena Lamadrid is set to receive Stonestreet Studios’ Granite Award for 2022.

Stonestreet Studios is an exclusive independent film studio partner of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Drama program, founded by the filmmaking duo of Alyssa Rallo Bennett and Gary O. Bennett. Its Granite Award is bestowed upon actors and multi-hyphenates who have developed meaningful work, reflective of Stonestreet’s socially conscious and diverse films, including Rain Without Thunder, The Pac and ReRUN.

An alumnus of Stonestreet Studios’ Screen Acting & Production Residency Program, Lamadrid will accept the award at a ceremony at TAJ in Chelsea on November 28. She joins a list of Granite Award recipients that includes Rachel Brosnahan, Camila Mendes, Danny Ramirez, Miles Teller and Nik Walker.

Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Netflix feature Bardo world premiered in Venice. It will be released in theaters on November 18, debuting on the streamer on December 16. Lamadrid is repped by Range Media Partners and Mexico’s Talent on the Road Management.


Allegra Leguizamo

Allegra Leguizamo

Courtesy of Guido Venitucci

EXCLUSIVE: Allegra Leguizamo (Ice Age: Continental Drift) is among the newest additions to Verloren Productions’ film Macho!, based on the novel by Victor Villaseñor. Others include Liz Bash, Blanca Isabella, Marc Guitierrez and Eric Martinez. The actors join an ensemble which also includes Elijah Rodriguez, Mia Sanchez Rudy Youngblood and Antonio Jaramillo, as previously announced.

The ’60s-set coming-of-age film centers on Roberto Garcia (Rodriguez), who at age 17, already has big dreams of making his fortune, building a family and gaining the respect of his community. With ambition to burn and a passion to prove his manhood, Roberto takes the dangerous journey north, crossing the Mexican border to pick fruit in the “golden fields” of California. 

Macho! is scheduled to enter production in late spring of 2023. Verloren Productions Founder Walter Perez will direct from his own script and produce alongside Soren Odom, Melanie Tirado and Ralph Esparza. Leguizamo is repped by L’il Angels Unlimited and Stewart Talent.


NewNarratives 2022 Winners Merced Elizondo, Meghan Ross, Thales Corrêa and Mandy Fabian

(L-R) Merced Elizondo, Meghan Ross, Thales Corrêa and Mandy Fabian

NewFilmmakers Los Angeles

EXCLUSIVE: NewFilmmakers Los Angeles and Warner Bros. Discovery brand OneFifty have announced Merced Elizondo, Meghan Ross, Mandy Fabian and Thales Corrêa as the recipients of its newest set of NewNarratives grants. 

While the program created in 2021 to support and develop emerging global storytellers traditionally recognizes just one artist at a time, the inclusion of Ross, Fabian and Corrêa reflects NFMLA and OneFifty’s inability to decide on one winner from a particularly high quality set of submissions. Elizondo’s grant will aid in the development of his latest narrative feature The Mourning Of, with Ross’s to support a proof-of-concept release for the half-hour episodic series Here to Make Friends. Fabian will use the grant support post-production on the narrative feature Jess Plus None, with Corrêa to pursue the completion of post-production on the episodic short-form series, Doggy Bank.


The Chimaera Project

The Chimaera Project

EXCLUSIVE: The Chimaera Project has set the recipients for its 2022 TO.GET.HER film production finishing funds program

Courtney Hope Therond (A Time Apart) and Alethea Root (Good Side of Bad) saw their narrative features selected, with documentary feature recipients including Cheri Gaulke (Acting Like Women), Arden Teresa Lewis (Leveling Lincoln), Lila Schmitz (The Job of Songs) and Bella Racklin (Inside a Collage). Miranda Plant (George Shirley: Il Rudolfo Nero) and Tyrell Shaffner (The Village that Once Was) received funds supporting their documentary shorts, with the narrative shorts of Julia Morizawa (Dragonfly), Lilan Bowden (Once Was), Blaine Morris (The Ciguapa), Jillian Corsie (Tooth), Tomeka Winborne (Wise Love), Jennifer Greco (Esmerelda), Kimberly Bautista (Punk Is Punk), Tonya Mollineau (Tainted) and Roberto Fatal (Do Digital Curanderas Use Eggs in Their Limpias?) also being recognized.

The TO.GET.HER program awards funds to U.S.-based directors who identify as women and non-binary, with those applying being asked to provide budget and intention for use of finishing funds, and anticipated project finish date, as well as the number of women and non-binary people on crew and cast. Prospective films were required to have completed 90% of principal photography and have a rough cut at the time of the TO.GET.HER application to be eligible.

Features chosen for the program are awarded up to $6,000, with shorts claiming up to $2,500 in finishing funds. More information on The Chimaera Project can be found here.


Moby, Slamdance

Travis Schneider/Handout from Moby/Slamdance

Moby‘s Punk Rock Vegan Movie has been set as the opening night film for the 2023 Slamdance Film Festival, which returns to in-person programming with events in Park City and Salt Lake City, Utah from January 20-26 and online on the Slamdance Channel from January 23-29.

Moby’s directorial debut is billed as a passionate and stylistically idiosyncratic look at the ongoing relationship between the worlds of punk rock and animal rights. The film features interviews with some of the biggest names in punk history, including Ian Mackaye, HR, Dave Navarro, Ray Cappo, Steve Ignorant and Captain Sensible, telling the story of how punk rock became such a fertile and surprising breeding ground for vegan activism. 

Slamdance also this week announced a new partnership with the University of Utah on its first in-person showcase of the Unstoppable Program, spotlighting new films by creators with visible and non-visible disabilities. The program is free to the public and will take place on the University’s accessible campus. Tickets and passes for Slamdance 2023 go on sale at this link on December 2.

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