Exclusive: Girls and Women Celebrate Their Passion for Aviation in “Fly Like a Girl” Trailer

“Girls make better pilots than boys because we’re way smarter. No offense,” says one of the young characters featured in “Fly Like a Girl.” Our exclusive trailer for Katie McEntire Wiatt’s documentary pays tribute to the girls and women who are pursuing their dreams in the sky. “From a lego-loving young girl who includes female pilots in her toy airplanes, to a courageous woman who helped lead shuttle missions to space, ‘Fly Like a Girl’ shows us that women are in charge of their own destiny,” the film’s synopsis details.

Read the full article here


Gravitas Secures Legal Drama ‘Foster Boy’ Starring Matthew Modine, Louis Gossett Jr. & Julie Benz

Gravitas Ventures is adding to its growing acquisition slate with the lastest pick-up, Foster Boy, a courtroom drama starring Matthew Modine, Oscar winner Louis Gossett Jr., Julie Benz, and Shane Paul McGhie. Gravitas has the North American distribution rights and is planning a theatrical and on-demand release on September 25.

Read the full article here

 

 

 

 


The River and the Wall Nominated for 2020 Emmy

'The River and The Wall' has been nominated for the 2020 Outstanding Nature Documentary Emmy!

The awards ceremony will take place on September 22nd and will be live streamed online.

More information here: https://theemmys.tv/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/news-41st-nominations-v01.pdf


Exclusive Clip From Katie Holmes's New Film, The Secret: Dare to Dream

Chances are you or someone you know has read the book that sparked a global phenomenon back in 2006: Rhonda Byrne's bestselling novel, The Secret. Based on the law of attraction and how positive thinking can transform your life (likely the inspiration behind all of those vision boards we create each year), the wildly popular book is now being turned into a film.

Starring Katie Holmes (Miranda Wells), Jerry O'Connell (Tucker), and Josh Lucas (Bray Johnson), The Secret: Dare to Dream tells the story of a struggling widow trying to raise her family who comes across a mysterious man who brings an important secret into their lives — changing everything. In POPSUGAR's exclusive clip above, Bray begins to reveal part of that secret, which includes this key life lesson: the more you think about something, the more you draw it to you. Watch the clip above before the film releases on demand on Friday, July 31.

Watch the trailer and read the article here.


The Secret's Out: A New Gravitas Ventures Release Is Going The Premium Video On Demand Route

Gravitas Ventures of Cleveland is jumping into the hottest corner of the movie distribution business these days — Premium Video on Demand, or PVOD — with a movie that was to have been its widest theatrical release to date.

The movie is "The Secret: Dare to Dream," a feature film inspired by Rhonda Byrnes' hugely popular book of the same name. Gravitas late last year acquired North American rights to "The Secret" and partnered with Lionsgate and sister company Roadside Attractions for U.S. theatrical, home entertainment and television distribution. The movie was slated for an April 17 theatrical release on about 1,000 screens nationwide, said Gravitas president Michael Murphy. That number would have been "by magnitudes" larger than a typical theatrical release from the company, Murphy said. Gravitas mostly distributes movies through digital channels, though some films get releases in as many as about 20 markets nationwide.

COVID-19, of course, shuttered movie theaters and got in the way of the April release. And "The Secret" has been in a holding pattern — until now.

Gravitas and its partners announced that "The Secret," which stars Katie Holmes and Josh Lucas, will be available Friday, July 31, as a PVOD release on all the platforms where you can buy movies to watch in your home, including Amazon, iTunes, Comcast and Vudu. Like other PVOD releases in this year when most movie theaters are closed, the price is higher than standard VOD. "The Secret" will be available to rent at $19.99 for 48 hours.

Murphy said PVOD is a natural home for "The Secret," a movie that has high built-in awareness from Byrne's 2006 bestseller and has significant commercial potential. The book was a phenomenon that sold more than 34 million copies worldwide, was translated into 50 languages and appeared on The New York Times bestseller list for 190 weeks. Gravitas previously distributed a documentary version of "The Secret," which has been one of the most popular movies in the company's catalog, Murphy said.

The new feature film version, which also stars Jerry O'Connell and Celia Weston, and is directed by Andy Tennant, "follows Miranda (Holmes), a young widow trying to make ends meet while raising her three children and dating her boyfriend (O'Connell)," according to promotional material. "A devastating storm brings an enormous challenge and a mysterious man, Bray (Lucas), into Miranda's life. Bray reignites the family's spirit but, unbeknownst to Miranda, also holds an important secret — one that will change everything."

Movies released this year on PVOD include hits like "Trolls World Tour" and the Judd Apatow movie "The King of Staten Island," as well as acclaimed independent films such as "New Rarely Sometimes Always" and "First Cow." Although the current movement toward PVOD is driven by near-term considerations stemming from the pandemic, Murphy said studios "have wanted to do PVOD for years," in part because, for most movies, the economics "are much better for PVOD than theatrical."

To underscore that point, this piece from Spy Global notes that with digital releases, "studios keep about 80% of premium VOD revenue versus about 50% of theatrical box office receipts," according to Kagan analyst Wade Holden.

Another analyst, MoffettNathanson Research's Robert Fishman, added, "Before the shutdowns, these (PVOD) tests would have been met with strenuous push backs and likely blackouts by exhibitors. Now, even after the theaters reopen, we expect studios will push to dramatically accelerate the windowing strategies that they were contemplating previously."

Murphy said the distributors are pivoting in their marketing for "The Secret" to get the word out ahead of the PVOD release. Holmes, for instance, will do a virtual press day that will take the place on what would have been an in-person premiere in New York City.

The pandemic is accelerating a "sea change" in the movie distribution business, Murphy said. While Gravitas is a big player in the digital space, Murphy said he's still a fan of the theatrical experience.

"I hope it (theatrical) comes back. I love to see movies in a theater," he said. "But it also has to be a safe experience, and for now, that's going to be challenged."

Read the full article here.


Indie Wire

‘I Used to Go Here’ Exclusive Trailer: Gillian Jacobs Leads Kris Rey’s SXSW Comedy Gem

Spike Lee, Da Sweet Blood of Jesus

I Used to Go Here” is shaping up to offer plenty of much-needed laughs for cinema buffs hungry for new material. IndieWire is exclusively premiering the trailer for Kris Rey’s upcoming film, which is set for a release later this summer in theaters and on VOD platforms courtesy of Gravitas Ventures. The cast includes “Community” and “Love” favorite Gillian Jacobs in the lead role opposite the likes of Jemaine Clement, Hannah Marks, Kate Micucci, Jorma Taccone, Josh Wiggins, and Forrest Goodluck.

Jacobs stars as Kate Conklin, a 35-year-old writer who heads back to her alma mater to give a lecture about writing following the lackluster debut of her first novel. The synopsis reads: “With her book tour canceled and her ego deflated, Kate wonders if returning to her old college as a published author might give her the morale boost she sorely needs. Instead, she falls into a comical regression – from misadventures with eccentric twenty-year-olds to feelings of jealousy toward her former professor’s new favorite student.”

Watch the trailer and read the article here.


Gravitas Nabs Parenting Comedy ‘Babysplitters’ Starring ‘Community’s Danny Pudi

 

EXCLUSIVE Gravitas Ventures has acquired North American rights to the Sam Friedlander-helmed comedy Babysplitters, which will be released in theaters and on demand July 31. Danny Pudi (Mythic Quest, CommunityStar Trek Beyond), Maiara Walsh (The Last ShipZombieland), Mark Feuerstein (Royal Pains), Emily C. Chang (The Vampire Diaries), and Eddie Alfano (Shameless) star in the film about splitting the responsibility of parenting.

The story follows Jeff (Pudi) and Sarah (Chang), a couple struggling to come to an agreement about having a baby. Jeff wants to be a father eventually but is afraid to lock himself into his current job situation. Meanwhile, Sarah, nearing 35, feels her biological clock ticking and is impatient to start trying. Friends of the couple, Don (Alfano) and Taylor (Walsh), have the opposite problem. Don has a successful business and is ready to be a dad, but Taylor, an aspiring dancer, is worried that the toll on her body and career will be too much. When the two couples hatch a plan to conceive and share one baby between them, it seems like they may have found the perfect compromise — until things spiral out of control.

 

Read the full article here.


LA Times

‘End of Sentence’ Film Review: John Hawkes and Logan Lerman Take an Affecting Irish Road Trip

The phrase “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey,” which has often (and perhaps erroneously) been attributed to American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson, was a familiar saying by about 1920. And it makes perfect sense that the phrase roughly coincides with the dawn of cinema, because filmmakers have been cinematically paraphrasing it for much of the last 100 years.

The latest example is “End of Sentence,” a road movie from first-time Icelandic feature director Elfar Adalsteins. The film drops John Hawkes and Logan Lerman in the northwest of Ireland for a father-son adventure that suggests that it’s not the journey or the destination – it’s the travelers who are on that road.

That’s because Hawkes and Lerman are subtle, naturalistic performers who spin gold out of settings that could easily seem clichéd. You pretty much know that these guys are on the road to understanding, acceptance and reconciliation, but they fill in the details so quietly and surely that the deep ruts put in this road by a thousand other movies barely matter.

In the film, which lost its theatrical release because of the pandemic but will premiere on VOD on May 29, Hawkes plays Frank Fogle, a soft-spoken man who walks the line between politeness and timidity. In the opening scene, Frank and his wife, Anna, visit their son, Sean (Lerman), in an Alabama prison – but while Sean will see Anna, who is dying of cancer, he refuses to have anything to do with his father.

When Sean is released from prison after his mother’s death, he continues to rebuff his father, even when Frank tells him that Anna’s last wish was that her husband and son sprinkle her ashes on a lake in Ireland, where she’s from. Of course, there wouldn’t be a movie unless Sean changes his mind, so he does, and in short order father and son are heading for Donegal and parts beyond.

The trip is supposed to be a quick one, but road movies don’t do quick ‘n’ easy. A local girl played by Sarah Bolger catches Sean’s eye and complicates things, and the resentments and wounds that father and son carry threaten to upend the already tense relationship at every moment.

We’re used to seeing Hawkes with a lot of edge than this through his performances in “Winter’s Bone,” “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” “Deadwood” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” but Frank is the furthest thing from edgy; he’s too timid to send back a fast-food burger that was made incorrectly, so meek that his motto is, “Sometimes you’re the pigeon, sometimes you’re the statue. That’s life.” Frank is always the statue, and Hawkes makes you feel for him even before you find out how he was beaten down to be what he is.

Sean, on the other hand, is a hothead, all volatility and deep reservoirs of anger that come from the feeling that his father never protected him from a physically abusive grandfather.

The spectacular Irish countryside is glimpsed along the way, but what’s important is what’s going on inside the car, not outside it. And old Irish songs are threaded through the narrative – “Dirty Old Town” in a lovely pub scene, snippets of the ballads “Spancil Hill” and “Red Rose Café” later, a verse of the haunting benediction “The Parting Glass” heard faintly in a restaurant – but again, the point is not to highlight the Irishness of it all, but to place the internal journey in a specific physical setting.

Adalsteins and his actors use the first part of the film to lay back and sketch this relationship in a quiet and undeniably affecting way; things rev up in the second half (including a slapsticky chase scene that feels a little silly and more than a little out of place), but Hawkes and Lerman are a pleasure to watch as they ease on down this road.

“End of Sentence” is available on-demand May 29.

Ready the review here.


‘It Started As a Joke’ celebrates Eugene Mirman, his love, and his comedy family

People are seeking comfort right now, and Eugene Mirman has long provided that for many.

The comedian, who was born in Russia, raised in Lexington, and went to Hampshire College, is known for his inventive stand-up and for roles on feel-good shows such as “Bob’s Burgers” (he plays Gene) and “Flight of the Conchords."

But for many in his industry, he’s also been a booster, a friend responsible for building careers. A partner.

That’s one of the themes of a new documentary, “It Started As a Joke,” which will be released on demand Friday. Julie Smith Clem, Mirman’s longtime collaborator on the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival and other projects, co-directed the film, which focuses on the festival’s decade-long run. Mirman hosted the show in New York City, but brought it to Boston for three years from 2013 to 2015.

The film also tells the story of Mirman’s own comedy history, and about the life he built with his late wife, Katie Westfall-Tharp, who had breast cancer and died in January. Clem, who lives in Massachusetts, said it’s unlike Mirman to share personal stories, even in comedy. But it was important for both of them to talk about his life in the documentary. The more Clem filmed, the more she wanted to tell Mirman and Westfall-Tharp’s love story and explain what they were going through.

“He definitely approaches comedy with both a warmth and an absurdity that sometimes lends itself to funny observations,” Clem said. “[But] we’re like, how can we not include what’s going on in your life right now? It’s both the reason we’re ending the festival, and it’s such a big part of both of our lives. Katie was a very good friend of mine as well. We wanted to share part of that story, but we didn’t really know how much. Part of that was working with Katie and figuring out what she was comfortable with.”

Westfall-Tharp, who worked as a set decorator, was at the SXSW Film Festival last year for the premiere of “It Started As a Joke.”

The film also features stand-up and commentary from comics Michael Che, Janeane Garofalo, Mike Birbiglia, Jim Gaffigan, and Bobcat Goldthwait, as well as local scenery — Mirman’s home on Cape Cod and the Comedy Studio when it was still in Harvard Square.

Clem says it’s no surprise that so many people wanted to speak fondly about Mirman. It’s one of the first things that comes up in the doc — that he’s all about finding ways to collaborate and get others onstage.

“For as long as I’ve known him, which probably has been 15, 16 years or something like that, he’s always been far more interested in supporting people and working on things together rather than putting himself first in any way,” she said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen like a competitive side of him in his career — except for board games, maybe. I think it’s why people were excited to be a part of the festival, because that sort of spirit, hopefully, was reflected through our shows.”

A modest Mirman also spoke in an interview about the film. Of his comedy philosophy, he said it’s never made sense to feel competitive.

“I just think like you're going to make the thing you're going to make and and no one else will beat you to it,” he said.

Eugene Mirman in "It Started As a Joke." Behind him is comedian Bridget Everett.
Eugene Mirman in "It Started As a Joke." Behind him is comedian Bridget Everett.DAVID ANDRAKO

Asked whether he had more advice for burgeoning comedians, Mirman said it’s all about the material.

“Listen, I am of the very firm belief that if you can get onstage and make people laugh for 45 to 60 minutes, you will almost definitely become a professional comedian, assuming you’re like, also a reasonably competent person in terms of organization and driving to places and stuff. I just think that the primary focus should be to be very, very funny.”

Mirman was quick to give Clem credit, not only for the film, but for her work on the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival.

“She’s as much of the festival as I am,” he said. “I mean, we’ve now worked together for almost two decades. I think she’s just such a good producer and person.”

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, Mirman said he’s staying safe at home right now with his son. “So, so much of my time now is hiding from doorknobs with my toddler,” he said.

He had some recommendations (beyond the documentary, of course) for people seeking comforting content at home.

“I mean, I’m watching science fiction and whatnot," he said. "But I will say that for the last many years, Katie would watch various sitcoms every morning. While she — while the pain medicines kicked in we watched “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” Dick Van Dyke, “Rhoda,” “Family Ties,” “Golden Girls.” The last ones were “The Bob Newhart Show.” So I would say I recommend people finding kind of like, old, really well-written sitcoms.”

Read the full article here.


Coping With COVID-19 Crisis: ‘I Will Make You Mine’s Lynn Chen Talks How SXSW Cancellation Affected Romantic Comedy Trilogy

Lynn Chen has been seen on numerous TV series including Silicon Valley, The Affair and Shameless, and starred in Nice Girls Crew from Sundance winner Tanuj Chopra. Her indie résumé includes the recent Emily Ting comedy Go Back to China, and she is probably best known for her role in Alice Wu’s film Saving Face. But it’s Dave Boyle’s indie franchise that could easily be heer crown jewel. The collection of films, which is adjacent to Richard Linklater’s Before Sunset trilogy, kicked off with Surrogate Valentine in 2011 and was followed up with Daylight Savings in 2012. Eight years later, she and Boyle decided it was time to put a bookend to this story with I Will Make You Mine, which, like its predecessors, was set to premiere at this year’s SXSW Film Festival. For Chen, she didn’t even think she would have the opportunity to star in the third installment, let alone direct it.

Cast of “I Will Make You Mine”Courtesy of Gravitas Ventures

“Many years had passed since the sequel, so I casually asked [Boyle] when he planned on making the third movie,” Chen told Deadline. “He responded ‘never,’ which broke my heart for a split second — and then in the next breath, I asked if he would mind if I gave it a shot. I don’t know what possessed me to ask — I had never stepped behind the camera before in any capacity — and was shocked when Dave not only gave me his blessing, he even said he’d help me.”

Chen said Boyle wanted to finish what he started so she churned out the first draft of the script in a week. The new installment follows the same characters from the previous films, but there’s a slight twist — it tells a stand-alone story from the female perspective.

I Will Make You Mine follows Rachel (Chen), who lives in luxury with her cheating husband; Professor Erika (Ayako Fujitani), who is trying her best to juggle her career and raising her daughter Sachiko (Ayami Riley Tomine); and struggling musician Yea-Ming (who plays a version of herself). They all may have different lives, but they share a common bond: a flawed romantic history with singer-songwriter Goh (who also plays a version of himself). When Goh comes back into their lives, things get complicated.

Chen knew she had to return to reprise her role, but sitting in the director’s chair was new territory for her.

“I had never directed anything, not even a short,” Chen admitted. “Honestly, the entire project was a leap of faith for myself. I’ve been an actor for pretty much my entire life, so I hoped it would come naturally to me — through osmosis. I figured if I surrounded myself with really talented collaborators, I would at least learn and have an incredible experience making it — which I did.”

Ahead of the film’s premiere at SXSW, it was acquired by Gravitas Ventures and set for a May 26 release — but then COVID-19 happened and derailed everything. SXSW was canceled, causing a ripple effect in the industry, as other festivals where the film was set began to postpone. We talked with Chen about how this affected her as a first-time filmmaker and what the I Will Make You Mine team is doing to persevere and how the crisis impacts indie film by and for diverse audiences.

Courtesy of Gravitas Ventures

DEADLINE: The previous two films Surrogate Valentine and Daylight Savings premiered at SXSW. What did it mean to you as a filmmaker, actor and personally for the third to be accepted to premiere at SXSW?

LYNN CHEN: The whole experience reminded me of applying to colleges — SXSW was definitely a “reach” for me as a first-time filmmaker, and I knew that even though the previous movies had gone there, there was no guarantee that my movie would be accepted. About 20 minutes before I found out we got in, I was looking up “SXSW acceptance notification” and went down a message board thread that did not make me feel good. When Dave Boyle called to congratulate me, I thought he was joking. I was on location filming the feature Pooling to Paradise and wound up crying from happiness all night, showing up to set the next day with very red, puffy eyes and couldn’t tell anybody why. It was one of the most exciting and fulfilling days of my professional career.

DEADLINE: The film was acquired by Gravitas ahead of its premiere. Did you see that as a sigh of relief before it was supposed to premiere at SXSW?

CHEN: Yes. Absolutely. I have been to many film festivals as an actor, and I really wanted to enjoy my first festival season as a director. I loved knowing that we wouldn’t have to stress about selling the movie and that I could just relax and interact with audience members and other filmmakers. My family and many of the cast/crew were coming – I wanted to just celebrate with them.

DEADLINE: When you first heard that SXSW was canceled, what was your initial reaction? How did the rest of the team react?

CHEN: With all of the companies pulling out of SXSW in the days leading up to the announcement, we were anticipating bad news — trying to still make plans for our Austin premiere, knowing it wouldn’t be the full experience we had hoped for. But still, we were surprised when everything got canceled — I know I definitely was shocked. We had a few days to process all of it. A lot of my team worked on my producer, Emily Ting’s Go Back to China which was having its theatrical debut that same evening. It was bittersweet to be with everyone and to have something positive to focus on for a few days before we began to discuss our next steps.

DEADLINE: It was definitely bad news, but how did this affect the journey for the film and how did you alter them?

CHEN: After SXSW, we had several other film festivals we planned on touring with that have since been canceled or postponed. Since the movie will be released on VOD May 26th, I wish that we had more opportunities to play on the big screen. The movie is filmed on anamorphic lenses in black and white with a lot of live music scenes, so I would really love for audiences to be able to experience it in a big way. When the time is right, that will happen. For now, I am just so grateful people will be able to watch it from their homes. I wish they could stream it now because the film’s message is very much about acceptance and having hope.

DEADLINE: Compared to Sundance, TIFF and Cannes, SXSW caters to a specific audience and is very much for the indie filmmaker. How do you think the cancellation is the same and different compared to other fests?

CHEN: It feels like SXSW is a place where film lovers discover movies they wouldn’t normally seek out. I was there last year with Go Back to China, and it was really interesting to see how different the audiences were at the first screening — mostly press/industry — and our last one [which was] mostly Austin locals or pass holders. I know so much of the SXSW experience is meeting people in line, at food trucks, etc. — there’s the tech and music world that I would have loved to reach with our film, especially the latter since there are two musicians (Yea-Ming Chen and Goh Nakamura) starring in I Will Make You Mine.

Courtesy of Gravitas Ventures

DEADLINE: The film will still live on with digital release, but ultimately, do you think the cancellation of its SXSW premiere affected it?

CHEN: I am trying my best not to entertain the nagging thoughts about what could have been, simply because I have no power over the situation. I can’t change what happened, so I have to let go of what my fantasies for the movie were, had everything gone as planned. It’s unfortunate that I will never be able to experience the premiere of my first film at a festival like SXSW — that moment is gone. But the amazing thing has been all of the support from the entertainment industry and from my fellow SXSW filmmakers. We are all in touch with one another and plan to keep supporting each other. We’ve connected in a way that I’m not sure we would have if we were in Austin, running around trying to promote our own films.

DEADLINE: How do you think the cancellation of fests has for films by diverse voices in the indie space, if any?

CHEN: Festivals give people like me — a first time, female filmmaker of color — the opportunity to reach a large number of people, not only film fans but also press and future work opportunities. We missed out on a chance to make industry connections, conduct interviews and have organic, word-of-mouth growth. I hope that production companies and journalists are still excited about the film, and still want to talk with me about it. I am hoping that when the movie is released that people don’t see it as just a movie for Asian Americans, or women or people who like black and white movies — because I made it for a diverse audience, the kind that would have attended SXSW.

DEADLINE: What are the next steps? How do you hope to push through?

CHEN: We are keeping our VOD release date of May 26 via Gravitas Ventures — which you can now pre-order on Apple TV — and plan to eventually screen in front of an audience, once things are more settled in the world. People can stay updated via our mailing list — where they’ll also get a link to watch the first two movies, plus the soundtrack. I still want to do Q&As and share this experience with other people. Maybe we can even do special screenings as a trilogy, take it on the road! I hope that if audiences enjoy I Will Make You Mine, they will make an extra effort to share and tell others to watch it. It’s exciting to know that no matter what, people will see it, which is all I ever wanted for my movie.

Read the full article here.