Fox Searchlight has acquired Exit 12, a documentary short which picked up the Grand Jury Award at this year’s SXSW festival. The pic is currently available on Fox Searchlight’s “Searchlight Shorts” Facebook page and YouTube channel. Directed by Mohammad Gorjestani, the doc follows US Marine Roman Baca who returns home from the Iraq War as a broken veteran ravaged by depression, anxiety and anger. Turning to dance as a way to cope, Baca founded the Exit12 Dance Company in New York City where other veterans and military families use dance to tell their unique stories about the personal impact of war and work to shift stereotypes of the veteran community. Erick Kwiecien produced the pic for Square, Inc. with Taylor Feltner of Even/Odd Films, while Justin Lomax and Malcolm Pullinger served as exec producer. Fox Searchlight’s Ray Strache negotiated the deal with Justin Lomax of Square on behalf of the filmmakers.
Hidden Empire Film Group, the production company behind Traffik and The Intruder, will be recognized at the 2019 Location Managers Guild International awards ceremony. Hidden Empire’s Roxanne Taylor, Deon Taylor, and Robert F. Smith will receive the 2019 LMGI Humanitarian Award for their philanthropic reach across the globe. The company’s 2018 film, Traffik, brought the serious issue of human trafficking to the big screen. In addition, Hidden Empire established the “Be Woke. Vote” initiative, a nonpartisan philanthropic effort fueling activism around the upcoming US elections, to encourage voter registration and inspire young people to discuss political issues affecting our communities. Smith also made waves when he announced his intention to erase the student debt for the Morehouse College class of 2019. Hidden Empire’s forthcoming film slate includes Black & Blue, Fatale, and Meet the Blacks 2: The House Next Door. The 6th Annual LMGI Awards, which highlights international features, television, and commercials for the creative use of filming locations, takes place September 21 at the Eli & Edythe Broad Stage in Santa Monica.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association and Film Independent are returning with their residency initiative in which burgeoning filmmakers from the 2019 Venice International Film Festival and the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival will be selected for a three-week residency program in partnership with Film Independent. Six candidates, which will be selected from the Orizzonti section of the Venice Festival and the TIFF Filmmaker Lab, will travel to Los Angeles in January 2020 to participate in the Film Independent Residency. It includes a schedule of sessions focusing on both the business and creative aspects of film, with networking opportunities, cultural engagement activities, workshops, field trips, master classes, one-on-one mentoring, and an opportunity to attend the official HFPA Golden Globe Awards Viewing Party. In addition, select fellows will get a chance to share their work with industry professionals at Film Independent’s screening room.
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