SXSW’s Lineup For Return To In-Person Festival Includes Movies With Sandra Bullock, Nicolas Cage, Pete Davidson, Rose Byrne & More
After being online the past two years because of Covid, SXSW’s film festival returns with a vibrant in-person edition for its 29th edition, which will run March 11-20, 2022. The lineup revealed Wednesday includes the types of rollercoaster, Hollywood event films for which the Austin-based fest is so good at building buzz.

‘Joe Bell’ Trailer: Mark Wahlberg Walks Across America To Honor His Bullied Son’s Memory
Jadin is being bullied in high school. At first, his father refuses to accept his son’s coming out. “It’ll work itself out,” Dad says. Later, the boy is asked, “What about therapy?” The kid’s reply, “I don’t need therapy, they do.”

Mark Wahlberg Starrer ‘Joe Bell’ Moves To Roadside Attractions/Vertical Entertainment For July Release
EXCLUSIVE: Joe Bell, the drama that stars Mark Wahlberg as a father who walks across America to honor his bullied gay son, is doing some more traveling. The film has been acquired for theatrical release by Roadside Attractions, with Vertical Entertainment aboard for a post-theatrical digital release. It opens July 23.

Mark Wahlberg-Starrer ‘Good Joe Bell’ Landed By Solstice Studios In $20 Million WW Deal: Awards Season Push For Toronto Drama
EXCLUSIVE: Upstart Solstice Studios has won an auction for the Toronto buzz title Good Joe Bell, the Reinaldo Marcus Green-directed drama scripted by the Oscar-winning Brokeback Mountain team of Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana. The film stars Mark Wahlberg as the title character.

‘Good Joe Bell’ Film Review: Mark Wahlberg Hits the Road to Make You Cry
Toronto Film Festival 2020: The drama directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green and written by Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry is a quietly affecting road trip that gets to where it wants to go

\'Good Joe Bell\': Film Review | TIFF 2020
Mark Wahlberg plays the father of a gay teenager, on a walk across America to draw attention to the scourge of anti-LGBTQ bullying in this true story penned by the screenwriters of 'Brokeback Mountain.'

This Documentary Will Make You Deactivate Your Social Media
The Social Dilemma may finally convince you that we’re being watched, manipulated, and misled by unscrupulous platforms and attention-harvesting algorithms.

Toronto Film Festival Reveals Plan For Slimline 2020 Edition With Mix Of Physical & Digital Screenings; Kate Winslet, Idris Elba & Mark Wahlberg Movies Among First Wave
The Toronto Film Festival, North America’s largest festival, has unveiled its plan for this year’s edition to run September 10–19. As anticipated, the fest is going to look very different due to the coronavirus, which is likely to account for a 50% year-on-year downturn in revenue.

‘The Last Ridge’: ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ Backer Argent, ‘Nine Days’ Producer Mandalay & ‘Book Club’ Writer-Director Bill Holderman Team For WWII Pic About 10th Mountain Division
EXCLUSIVE: Hacksaw Ridge backer Argent Pictures, Nine Days producer Mandalay Pictures and Book Club writer-director Bill Holderman are teaming up on a feature adaptation of WWII tale The Last Ridge about the 10th Mountain Division, a troop of U.S. expats-turned-soldiers who helped turn the tide against the Nazis in Europe.

International Insiders in the US: the key players specialising in the global film and TV industry
Development, production and finance company Argent Pictures is on the up. Launched in 2015 by Jill and Ryan Ahrens with Ben Renzo, the company’s promo for Mark Wahlberg-starrer Good Joe Bell — which they co-financed with Hercules Film Fund — was one of the talks of the market in Toronto, and there is major buzz over martial-arts action-comedy Kung Fury 2 starring writer/director David Sandberg, Michael Fassbender and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

NYT Bestseller ‘The Bad-Ass Librarians Of Timbuktu’ Gets Movie Adaptation With Argent & ‘The Eagle Huntress’ Director
EXCLUSIVE: New York Times bestseller The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu is getting a documentary adaptation with director Otto Bell (The Eagle Huntress) and producers Argent Pictures (Chasing Coral), Idil Ibrahim (Fishing Without Nets) and fledgling UK outfit Cove Pictures.

Alexandra Shipp Joins Michael Fassbender, Arnold Schwarzenegger & More In ‘Kung Fury’ Sequel
EXCLUSIVE: Alexandra Shipp, most recently seen reprising her role as Storm in Dark Phoenix, has landed a role in Kung Fury 2, joining Michael Fassbender, Arnold Schwarzenegger, David Hasselhoff, and David Sandberg, who is also the writer and director of the pic. Argent Pictures is financing and producing the project with Creasun Entertainment USA. Production is currently underway in Bulgaria and will also film in Germany.

Amazon Studios Buys ‘Selah and the Spades,’ Will Develop Original Series (EXCLUSIVE)
Amazon Studios has acquired worldwide rights to “Selah and the Spades,” a gripping look at a prep school drug dealer, Variety has learned. The film marks the feature debut of writer and director Tayarisha Poe and had its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival where it was a favorite with critics. Amazon has big plans for the project and is in the process of developing an original series based on the teen drama. Poe will write, direct and produce the original series, along with Lauren McBride who also produced the film.

Cannes: \'Kung Fury 2\' Lands Major Investor, Sets Production Start (Exclusive)
The feature-length follow-up to the cult 2015 short, set to star Michael Fassbender and Arnold Schwarzenegger, will go into production July 29. Kung Fury 2 — set to star Michael Fassbender, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eiza Gonzalez, David Hasselhoff and the titular kung fu cop himself, David Sandberg — is a go!

Argent Pictures, Mandalay Pictures Tap Eli Craig To Helm Horror Comedy ‘Bride And Doom’
EXCLUSIVE: Argent Pictures and Mandalay Pictures are teaming on a horror comedy, Bride and Doom, which will be directed by Eli Craig, who wrote and directed the Netflix original film, Little Evil starring Evangeline Lilly and Adam Scott. Argent’s Jill Ahrens, Ryan Ahrens, and Ben Renzo are producing with Mandalay’s Jason Michael Berman. Executive Producers are Argent partners Drew Brees, Tony Parker, Michael Finley, and Derrick Brooks.

Gary Sinise Joins Mark Wahlberg In ‘Good Joe Bell’
EXCLUSIVE: Gary Sinise, known for his roles in films such as Forrest Gump and Apollo 13 and for starring on all nine seasons of CSI: NY, is set to play opposite Mark Wahlberg, Connie Britton and Reid Miller in Good Joe Bell, a drama written by Oscar-winning Brokeback Mountain scribes Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry.

Mark Wahlberg, Connie Britton to Star in ‘Good Joe Bell’ From ‘Brokeback Mountain’ Scribes
Mark Wahlberg, Connie Britton and Reid Miller are set to star in “Monsters and Men” helmer Reinaldo Marcus Green’s drama “Good Joe Bell,” from “Brokeback Mountain” screenwriters Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry.

U.S. Soccer Star Hope Solo Subject Of Movie Biopic From ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ & ‘Chasing Coral’ Outfit Argent Pictures
EXCLUSIVE: U.S. soccer star Hope Solo is to be the subject of a movie biopic produced by Hacksaw Ridge backers Argent Pictures. The currently untitled narrative feature about the World Cup winner and Olympic champion will be written and directed by Christine Crokos (Pimp) after Argent optioned the goalkeeper’s life story rights.

‘Selah and the Spades’ Trailer: Sundance Drama Explores Underground Life at Boarding School
Filmmaker Tayarisha Poe makes her feature debut with the drama “Selah and the Spades,” a 2019 Sundance NEXT selection, which is set for its world premiere at the festival on Sunday, January 27. Set in the closed world of an elite Pennsylvania boarding school, the Haldwell, where the student body is run by five factions, the film stars a young cast of fresh new faces, including Lovie Simone as the titular Selah Summers. She’s joined by Celeste O’Connor, Jharrel Jerome, Jesse Williams, Gina Torres, and Ana Mulvoy Ten.

‘American Made’ Backer Argent & ‘Amateur’ Producer Mandalay Line Up Female Buddy Comedy ‘Soulmates’
EXCLUSIVE: American Made and Hacksaw Ridge backer Argent Pictures, whose partners include sports stars Drew Brees and Tony Parker, and Amateur producer Mandalay Pictures begin shooting next week in Vermont on the female buddy comedy Soulmates.

Sundance Institute Alum Tayarisha Poe Making Directorial Debut With ‘Selah And The Spades’
EXCLUSIVE: Tayarisha Poe is set to make her directorial debut with the upcoming drama Selah and the Spades. The film will star Lovie Simone (“Greenleaf”) as ‘Selah,’ along with Celeste O’Connor (“Wetlands”) and Jharrel Jerome (“Moonlight”). Jesse Williams (Grey’s Antatomy, Random Acts of Violence) and Gina Torres (“Suits”) round out key supporting roles.

Fox Sports’ ‘Magnify’ Series Puts Focus on Socially Relevant Stories
The list of executive producers who have worked on films in Fox Sports’ “Magnify” documentary series reads like the lineup of an all-star revival of the old MTV show “Rock N’ Jock.” EPs on previous and forthcoming installments include LeBron James, Common, Dwyane Wade, Chance the Rapper, and Kevin Durant. The newest addition to the series, director Andrew Renzi’s “They Fight,” boasts Drew Brees, Tony Parker, Derrick Brooks, and Michael Finley in exec producer roles.

Fox Sports Picks Up Common-Produced Boxing Doc \'They Fight\'
Fox Sports Films has acquired the North American rights to boxing documentary They Fight. Common and his Freedom Road Productions are behind the feature, producing alongside Argent Pictures — run by Jill Ahrens, Ryan Ahrens and Ben Renzo.

Argent Pictures Secures Rights To ‘Not Her Daughter’ Novel By Rea Frey
EXCLUSIVE: Film production and financing company Argent Pictures has obtained the film and television rights to Rea Frey’s forthcoming novel, Not Her Daughter, the story of a child kidnapped away from a mother who isn’t sure she wants her back. The book will be released in August via its publisher St Martin’s Griffin.

Argent Pictures Joins Michael Fassbender Action-Comedy ‘Kung Fury 2’ Ahead Of September Shoot
EXCLUSIVE: Hacksaw Ridge backer Argent Pictures has joined upcoming action-comedy Kung Fury 2 as a financier and producer, with shoot due to get underway in September.

Common, Argent Pictures Team to Produce Boxing Doc \'They Fight\' (Exclusive)
Andrew Renzi, who helmed the Dakota Fanning-Theo James drama 'The Benefactor,' is directing the doc. Common is partnering with Argent Pictures, a Los Angeles-based film production and financing outfit, to produce boxing documentary They Fight.

From the LeBron James-Dwyane Wade-Chris Bosh Miami Heat team to the currently star-studded roster of the Golden State Warriors, the NBA (and other sports leagues) is experiencing an era of the “Super Team.”

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Ryan Ahrens has learned to trust his instincts. And it’s paid off for him. The New Mexico native is making a name for himself in the film industry.

‘Look Out For The Fitzgerald-Trouts’ Book In Works As Film; ‘Mad Men’ Writer To Adapt
EXCLUSIVE: Argent Pictures and Brigsby Bear producer 3311 Productions are teaming to develop, finance and produce a feature film adapted from Esta Spalding’s children’s book Look Out For The Fitzgerald-Trouts. Former Mad Men writer/co-executive producer Semi Chellas is set to pen the screenplay.

Sports Superstars Join \'Hacksaw Ridge\' Production Company as Partners
Drew Brees, Tony Parker, Derrick Brooks and Michael Finley form a super team of producers for Argent Pictures. Four star athletes, some already part of the burgeoning ranks of sports players in the film and television world, have come together to make up part of an all-star producing roster. NFL quarterback Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints, NBA all-star guard Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs, retired NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks, and retired NBA all-star Michael Finley have joined in Argent Pictures as partners.

Athletes Drew Brees, Tony Parker, Derrick Brooks, Michael Finley Become Partners in Argent Pictures
NFL quarterback Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints, NBA point guard Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs, retired NFL linebacker Derrick Brooks, and former NBA player Michael Finley have become partners in Argent Pictures. The Los Angeles-based film production and financing outfit, founded by Jill Ahrens, Ryan Ahrens, and Ben Renzo, announced the partnership with the athletes on Thursday.

Chasing Coral Producer Jill Ahrens Gets Climate Skeptics and Film Critics Buzzing
While some politicians still — still — debate whether humans are contributing to climate change, Jill Ahrens, a Fort Worth native and producer of the highly acclaimed documentary Chasing Coral, says she and a team of filmmakers found the surest evidence lying at the bottom of the ocean. "It was a huge surprise," Ahrens says. "I knew climate change is a huge topic, and it seemed within that topic that there were thousands of other topics. ... Not being a diver, I had no clue of the state of the ocean, and we were struggling with that reality of, 'How do you bring awareness to a complex topic?' And I think we did that beautifully but in an inspiring way."

Costume Designer-Turned-Helmer Courtney Hoffman To Direct Feature From Her ‘The Good Time Girls’ Short
EXCLUSIVE: Argent Pictures has acquired the feature rights to The Good Time Girls, Courtney Hoffman’s widely acclaimed feminist western short film. The film production/financing company run by Jill Ahrens, Ryan Ahrens and Ben Renzo, will finance and produce the feature remake, and they’ve set a February start date in New Mexico.

‘American Made’ Review: Tom Cruise Delivers One Of His Career Best In Amazing & Notorious True Story
American Made is one of those true-life tales that seem so far-fetched that it has to be invented. But like so many other things today, the truth is harder to believe than anything Hollywood could make up. Director Doug Liman teams again with Tom Cruise after their highly entertaining action-adventure Edge of Tomorrow to bring to the screen a CIA-inspired story of airline pilot-turned-U.S. government recruit in the one of the most bizarre and scandalous chapters in American history.

Watch Tom Cruise reveal true story behind his new adventure \'American Made\' (exclusive)
Cruise makes it clear that, with regards to his “cowboy” character Barry Seal, “opportunities found him.” Seal was comfortable with his newfound professions because he didn’t care about politics, or about what he might be shipping, be it guns for the feds or cocaine for Escobar — qualities which made him, according to Liman, akin to an illicit UPS. Despite his criminality, however, he was apparently less a villain than an antihero on an “epic adventure.” As the director says, “If you needed something done, Barry was your guy.”

On World Oceans Day, \'Chasing Coral\' trailer shows devastating effects of global warming
In the wake of the president's decision, a new documentary about how the Earth's rising temperature is affecting coral reefs feels more timely than ever. The film,

\'Chasing Coral\': Film Review | Sundance 2017
After building a persuasive case in 'Chasing Ice' that the planet's glaciers are melting at an alarming rate, documentarian Jeff Orlowski turns his attention to imperiled reef ecosystems in this powerful wakeup call.

If you’ve ever snorkeled on the Great Barrier Reef or dived among the other major underwater wonderworlds across the globe, don't be surprised to find yourself getting misty-eyed during Chasing Coral. Even for those limited to swimming virtually among parrot fish and sea turtles over vast marine ecosystems of astonishing color and complexity, this superbly crafted documentary is likely to wield an unexpected emotional charge. The irrefutable visual evidence presented here would be hard for even the most stubborn climate change skeptics to ignore, detailing devastating losses to one of nature's most stunning creations that also threaten the foundations of a vital food and oxygen source.

\'Hacksaw Ridge\' Trailer
Official trailer for 'Hacksaw Ridge' starring Andrew Garfield.

Nate Parker and The Birth of a Nation Team Announce New Fellowship for Young Filmmakers at Sundance Institute Benefit
Nate Parker and the cast, Producers, and Executive Producers of The Birth of a Nation are investing in the next generation of diverse independent creativity with the Sundance Institute |The Birth of a Nation Fellowship for 18-to-24-year-old filmmakers participating in the Institute’s Ignite program.

‘Birth of a Nation’ Director Nate Parker Announces Sundance Fellowship for Filmmakers of Color
An intimate crowd of famous independent film lovers sat down for dinner to fete Nate Parker Thursday night, after the “The Birth of a Nation” writer-director and star was presented with the Vanguard Award from the Sundance Institute at its annual Night Before Next benefit. In the spirit of giving, the honoree furthered the night’s donations by announcing the endowment of a new The Birth of a Nation Fellowship program at the nonprofit org. The fellowship will be underwritten by the cast and crew of the film.

Watch First Trailer for Mel Gibson’s WWII Drama ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ Starring Andrew Garfield
Andrew Garfield faces plenty of enemy fire without a gun in Lionsgate’s first trailer for “Hacksaw Ridge,” which follows World War II conscientious objector and army medic Desmond Doss. The film, directed by Mel Gibson, is set during the bloody Battle of Okinawa when Doss saved 75 men without carrying a weapon on the battlefield. Doss, a Seventh-day Adventist who didn’t believe in killing, even in times of war, was the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the frontlines without a weapon. He was also the first conscientious objector to ever earn the Congressional Medal of Honor

‘The Birth of a Nation’ May Be the Most Timely Film the Oscar Race Has Ever Seen
Following a screening of Sundance prize-winner “The Birth of a Nation” last week, I took out my phone and saw the horrifying news coming out of Dallas. After watching the events of Nat Turner’s 1831 slave rebellion unfold on the screen — depicted with impassioned grace by director Nate Parker — a wave of thoughts and emotions was crashing inside. Of course, it would be intellectually careless to equate the actions of Dallas shooter Micah Johnson with the retaliation of slaves against their oppressors. They’re not at all one and the same. But there is shared DNA between the emotions that sparked the two events.

‘The Birth of a Nation’ Premieres at Sundance With Big Standing Ovation and Oscar Buzz
Nate Parker's “The Birth of a Nation,” a brutal, emotionally charged drama about Nat Turner, who led a slave rebellion in 1831, received the most enthusiastic standing ovation at this year’s Sundance Film Festival so far. The movie, which premiered on Monday afternoon, had the crowd at the Eccles Theater in Park City, Utah, cheering for Parker, who not only stars as Turner, but also directed, produced and wrote the picture.

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