DTLA Film Festival Unveils Lineup; Dreamscape Film Festival Sets 2024 Launch In Houston; PBS Unveils The War On Disco; More Film Briefs

EXCLUSIVE: The DTLA Film Festival has set the full feature lineup for its 15th edition, taking place at Regal L.A. Live from November 1-5, announcing the Jack Huston starrer Hail Mary as its opening night film.

Also starring Angela Sarafyan, Natalia del Riego, and Benny Emmanuel, the film from Rosemary Rodriguez is described as a genre-bending retelling of the Mary and Joseph story following an undocumented, pregnant migrant’s journey to make it safely across the U.S. border.

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Nicki Micheaux’s Summer of Violence will serve as Centerpiece film for the fest, being put on in accordance with SAG-AFTRA strike guidelines, with Deborah Attoinese’s Women in Fire to close it out. Additional feature highlights include the sci-fi rom-com Molli and Max in the Future starring Zosia Mamet, Aristotle Athari, and Okieriete Onaodowan; Maxim Pozdorovkin’s animated doc The Conspiracy featuring voice actors like Mayim Bialik, Liev Schreiber, Jason Alexander, and Ben Shenkman; The Activated Man starring Tony Todd, Jamie Costa, and Sean Young; AARP and Elliot V. Kotek’s The Hidden Power of Purpose, narrated by actress Debbie Allen; documentarian Rory Kennedy’s Adrift; and It’s Basic from award-winning director and producer Marc Levin. Tickets for all programs are on sale now.


EXCLUSIVE: Acoryé White and Patrycja Kępa have announced that the first edition of their new film festival, Dreamscape, will take place at the Star Cinema Grill in Houston from September 23rd to October 1st 2024.

Created to help bolster diverse, rising stars within the world of independent filmmaking, the new festival will on a yearly basis award over $500,000 in cash prizes, in both Screenplay and Film categories. A Micro Budget Feature prize will be awarded to projects of a budget under $200K, with Young Talent categories to recognize filmmakers, directors and writers who were 17-22 at the time of submitting their application. Then, there’s the Flash from the Past True Indie Awards, which will be bestowed on features made for $200K or less between 2010 and 2021, and shorts made for $100K or less during the same period. Eligible features and shorts will not have received distribution prior to the submission process.

Special guests already confirmed to appear at the 2024 festival include Brian Austin Green, Fivel Stewart and Sharna Burgess. Nicky Hawthorne is serving as Head Programmer of Dreamscape’s Script Competition, with Janine McGoldrick to serve as Senior Film Programmer and Event Coordinator for the overall event. Then, there’s Tru’Kessa S. Scott and Nelson E Barnes Jr., associates of White and Kepa’s Anchored Lens Productions, who will provide guidance during the fest as part of its board.

Film and script submissions are open now through 11:59 p.m. PST on March 31, 2024. Passes to the festival, and more information about it is also now available.


EXCLUSIVE: PBS has announced that The War on Disco, a new doc in its American Experience series, will premiere on Monday, October 30 at 9:00 p.m. ET, also unveiling an exclusive clip, which you can view below. The film will stream for free simultaneously with broadcast through November 29, on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS App.

Written and produced by Rushmore DeNooyer, the doc explores the culture war that erupted over the spectacular rise of disco. It’s a story about much more than music, examining backlash that to some seemed rooted in racism and homophobia. The hostility came to a head on July 12, 1979, when a riot broke out at “Disco Demolition Night” during a baseball game in Chicago.

A production of GBH Boston, The War on Disco is produced by DeNooyer and Lisa Q. Wolfinger. Cameo George exec produced, with Mary Antinozzi Soule serving as archival producer.


EXCLUSIVE: Scatena & Rosner Films has acquired North American rights to the Tribeca prize-winning Latinx dramedy Allswell in New York (fka Allswell), starring Elizabeth Rodriguez (Orange Is the New Black), Liza Colón-Zayas (The Bear), Daphne Rubin-Vega (In the Heights) and Bobby Cannavale (The Watcher). Marking a reteam for Rodriguez and director Ben Snyder following the award-winning crime drama 11:55, the film hits theaters November 3rd, arriving on digital and VOD December 1st.

Written by Snyder and Rodriguez, Allswell follows the story of three Puerto Rican New Yorker sisters who are navigating life’s challenges of single motherhood, career, and family, while finding that the humor, solace, and bonds of sisterhood make it all bearable. The cast also includes Max Casella (Tulsa King), Felix Solis (Ozark), and Michael Rispoli (The Deuce). A Gigi Films production made in association with Filmopoly, pic’s producers are Gia Walsh, Rodriguez, Ari Issler, Paul Jarrett, and Vince Jolivette. Angie Sanfilippo, Jerome Herir, Geoff & Teresa Sando, Anthony Gudas, and Kara Baker served as EPs.


EXCLUSIVE: Zachary Tinker (Fire Country), John Pyper-Ferguson (Suits), Ana Nicolle Chavez (Truth Be Told) and Darryl Lewis have been set to star in Beneath the Light, an indie horror pic to film in Ohio under a SAG-AFTRA Interim Agreement.

Based on an online mystery game that can be found here and a subsequent novelization, the film sees a troubled young man (Tinker) take a job at an abandoned lighthouse, hoping to reconnect with an old friend — the daughter of the lighthouse’s current owner (Ferguson). Isolated, with no way to return to shore, he falls headlong into a series of mysterious and frightening experiences that make him question his sense of reality and confront his long-standing anxiety and memory gaps.

John Baumgartner is directing from his script written with Cindy Seng, and the pair are also set to produce. Tinker is repped by Pakula/King & Associates and Luber Roklin Entertainment; Pyper-Ferguson by TalentWorks; Chavez by Artists & Representatives and Untitled Entertainment; and Baumgartner by Kaplan-Stahler Agency.

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