Freestyle Claims Docs On Bridges Family, Batman Obsessive; More – Movie Briefs – Deadline

EXCLUSIVE: Freestyle Digital Media has acquired North American rights to the narrative documentary Acting: The First Six Lessonswritten by and starring Beau Bridges and his daughter Emily Bridges, as well as to the Batman-themed feature documentary Batman and Mefrom director Michael Wayne. The digital film distribution division of Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group / Entertainment Studios plans to release both titles across VOD platforms on March 8.

Freestyle Digital Media

Freestyle Digital Media

The former film based on Richard Boleslavsky’s 1933 novel of the same name offers an intimate glimpse into the life and acting craft of the multi-generational Bridges family. The unique hybrid of narrative and documentary storytelling follows a teacher (Beau Bridges) and his student (Emily Bridges), who together explore the craft of acting, and evolve in their understanding and appreciation of life itself. Emily Bridges directed and produced alongside Beau Bridges and Casey Bridges. The film featuring interviews with Jeff Bridges, Lucinda Bridges, Jordan Bridges, Dorothy Bridges and Lloyd Bridges was an exec produced by David Shapiro.

'Batman and Me'

Batman and Me
Freestyle Digital Media

The latter doc examines the life of Batman collector Darren “Dags” Maxwell, who became addicted to collecting Dark Knight merchandise in Australia in the late 1980s, as a way to be a part of nascent geek culture. Decades later, Maxwell’s stuck with a room full of collectables — a membership card to a fandom he no longer recognizes — yet powerful forces beyond his control mean he’s unable to let go. The film written by Wayne, Andrew Martyn and Rebecca Richardson is a sobering look at the highs and lows of obsessive collecting in an increasingly pop culture-centric world, and the price of admission to fandom. Wayne produced alongside Martyn.

Freestyle Digital Media negotiated the deal to acquire Acting: The First Six Lessons with CAA, Semkhor Productions, Casadafilm Productions and Emily Bridges, negotiating the deal for Batman and Me with Glen Reynolds of Circus Road Films. Beau Bridges is represented by CAA and Wolf Kasteler Public Relations; Emily Bridges by 90210 Talent Agency and Luber Roklin Entertainment.

The trailer for Acting can be found above. Check out the Batman trailer below.


EXCLUSIVE: Gravitas Ventures has acquired North American rights to writer-director George A. Tramountanas’ Win a Trip to Browntown!and to N2M Productions and Assembly Line Entertainment’s Exposure 36. The Anthem Sports & Entertainment company will release the former title across digital platforms on March 22, unveiling the latter on VOD on May 10.

'Win a Trip to Browntown!'

Win a Trip to Browntown!
Gravitas Ventures

The former comedy produced by Tramountanas centers on Frank Tsigas (Tramountanas), a middle-aged family man and struggling novelist who can only see his life’s shortcomings. On their 21st anniversary, his soft-spoken wife Laura surprises him with an offer: if he can lose fifty pounds in three months, she will give him a “unique” sexual adventure. As he struggles to lose weight, Frank learns that the paths chosen in life’s journey are more important than its final destination.

'Exposure 36'

Exposure 36
Gravitas Ventures

The latter genre-bender marking the feature directorial debut of Mackenzie G. Mauro tells the story of Cam (Charles Ouda), a photographer living in New York three days before the world is predicted to end. Cam intends to sit back and watch the world fall apart – that is, until his friend goes missing. The film takes viewers on a journey to find out what happened and who’s responsible. Mackenzie G. Munro wrote the script and produced alongside his brother Montgomery Mauro and Michael Pizzano, with Janek Ambros of Assembly Line Entertainment exec producing.

Gravitas Ventures’ acquisitions team negotiated the deal for Browntown! with Alex Nohes at BloodSweatHoney on behalf of the filmmaker, negotiating the Exposure 36 deal with Assembly Line Entertainment and M2M Productions.


EXCLUSIVE: Cinedigm has acquired North American rights to Chandler Clarke’s first feature documentary, All in My Power, a powerful look at the impact of the Covid pandemic’s first wave through the eyes and experiences of the people on the front lines in New York City. The film is set for release on all major VOD platforms in the US and Canada on March 1.

Shot during the height of the pandemic’s rise in 2020, All in My Power is a time capsule that captures the emotion and raw experiences of New York’s healthcare professionals that can never be recreated. In the film, a set of diverse frontline staffers speak to the mental toll the pandemic has taken on them, and the amazing resilience they’ve harnessed to get through it.

Clarke wrote and directed the film, also producing alongside HSC.TV’s Bryan TwZ Brousseau, Pier de Sanctis and Lisa Edward, with Ryan Bury and James Andrew Felts executive producing. VP of Acquisitions Josh Thomashow negotiated the deal for All in My Power on behalf of Cinedigm, with SVP of Acquisitions and Sales Ryan Bury on behalf of Motion Picture Exchange.

Check out the film’s trailer below.


EXCLUSIVE: Searchlight has picked up writer-director Molly Gillis’ short film Pleasurewhich premiered at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival, as part of its Searchlight Shorts program.


Melanie Akoka

The film, which Gillis is currently developing as a feature, tells the story of a lonely American who faces unrequited love on a farm commune in the south of France. It won Aspen Shortsfest’s prizes for Best Student Film and Best Youth Jury Film, and Best Narrative Student Short at IndyShorts, also screening at the Champs Élysées Film Festival, the Maryland Film Festival, Brooklyn Film Festival, Inside Out Toronto, OUTFest, the Sidewalk Film Festival, HollyShorts, deadCenter and the Whistler Film Festival, and qualifying for Oscar eligibility in its time on the circuit.

Tara Sheffer produced Pleasure with Isabelle Mecattaf and Ashley Deckman. Gillis, who was a 2019 Spike Lee Production Fund recipient and that same year received the Princess Grace Foundation’s Cary Grant Film Honor, is represented by Good Fear Content. Her film can be viewed here.


EXCLUSIVE: Deadline is bringing you an exclusive clip from Daniel Griffith’s The Sleeper Must Awaken: Making Dune, a feature-length documentary chronicling the creation of David Lynch’s 1984 adaptation of Frank Herbert’s beloved sci-fi epic, which starred Kyle MacLachlan, Patrick Stewart, Sean Young, Virginia Madsen, Brad Dourif, Jürgen Prochnow, Max von Sydow and Sting. The film has been streaming exclusively on Arrow since February 1, and is available to subscribers of the streaming service in the US, Canada, the UK and Ireland.

'The Sleeper Must Awaken: Making Dune'


Containing dozens of new interviews, as well as archival interviews with Herbert, Lynch and members of the cast and crew, The Sleeper Must Awaken exhaustively explores the making of Dune from the well-known, and not so well-known earlier attempts to bring the story to the screen, to Lynch’s troubled production — examining every single element from script development to the shoot to post-production and the film’s release.

Check out the clip from the doc below.


EXCLUSIVE: Randy Couture (The Expendables franchise), Reid Miller (Joe Bell), Mike Manning (This Is Us), Kathleen Kenny (The Sex Lives of College Girls) and Cathy Marks (The Young and the Restless) have signed on to star in the action-horror film The Bell Keeperfrom director Colton Tran (Snow Falls).

Randy Couture

Randy Couture
Lionel Hahn / Sipa USA via AP Images

In The Bell Keeper, a group of friends travel to a secluded campsite to film a documentary. What they find is something much more sinister than they could have ever imagined. Artisha Mann-Cooper, Nick Theurer and Jonathan Cooper are producing, with Final Destination scribe Jeffrey Reddick exec producing alongside Martin Ngongo.

Couture is represented by Gersh and Xtreme Couture Management; Miller by Osbrink, Gersh and Brave Artists Management; Manning by Mavrick Artists Agency and Patino Management Company; Kenny by TalentWorks and 23 Management Group; Marks by Momentum Talent and Literary Agency and Calliope West Artist Management; and Tran by 369 Talent.


Beth Gottung is joining New Jersey’s leading non-profit film, Montclair Filmas Co-Head / Executive Director on February 21.

Montclair Film

In her new role at the organization, she will lead its development, external affairs, education and community relations initiatives. She will serve alongside Tom Hall, who has worked as Montclair Film’s Executive Director since 2014, and who now assumes the previously announced title of Co-Head / Artistic Director. Both will report to the Board of Trustees.

Gottung joins Montclair Film from the public charter school network KIPP New Jersey, where she has served as Director of Development since 2018. Prior to her role at KIPP, she worked as the Director of Development for the College of Education and Human Services and Athletics at Montclair State University from 2002-2015. Before transitioning to roles in development, she built the University’s women’s field hockey team into a nationally ranked program, seeing it become the first women’s athletics program to compete for a national championship in 2012.

Montclair Film announced its search and committed to a transition to a Co-Head structure back in September of 2021, the goal being to facilitate the organization’s ambitious plans to expand for the next decade. Its eleventh annual Montclair Film Festival is set to take place from October 21-30.


EXCLUSIVE: Deadline has a new trailer for Sextortion: The Hidden Pandemica feature documentary from director Maria Demeshkina Peek (I Dream of Dance, Third Grade) that is making its world premiere in the Social Justice section of this year’s Santa Barbara International Film Festival on March 3.

'Sextortion: The Hidden Pandemic'

Sextortion: The Hidden Pandemic
Personal Courtesy

The doc is an investigation into the world of online grooming and sextortion — a present-day reality for one in seven children online. By unsealing the federal case of a top-gun pilot with hundreds of victims, and interviewing survivors and their parents, this true-crime piece exposes an often-overlooked crime against children, the tactics of online predators, and the voices of parents and law enforcement poised to stop online child exploitation in its tracks.

Maria Demeshkina Peek also edited the film and produced it alongside Stephen Peek. Check out the Sextortion trailer below.

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