‘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.

‘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.

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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