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EXCLUSIVE: WME has inked filmmaker Heidi Ewing who recently directed, wrote and produced I Carry You With Me, which won this year’s Audience Award and Innovator Award in the NEXT! category at the Sundance Film Festival and was sold to Sony Pictures Classics and Stage 6 Films days into the festival.
Ewing was also nominated for an Oscar in the 2007 Feature Documentary category for Magnolia Pictures’ Jesus Camp. That doc followed the children who attend a Charismatic Christian summer camp outside Devils Lake, North Dakota, wishing that they’ll become the next Billy Graham.Christian Vásquez and Armando Espitia appear I Carry You With Me by Heidi Ewing. Sundance
Based on a true story, Ewing’s recent I Carry You With Me is an epic romance that follows two gay men from provincial Mexico as they chase the promise of social and economic freedoms in New York City. SPC will release the film theatrically in June.
Ewing also directed Roco films’ 2012 doc Detropia which followed the collapse of the U.S. manufacturing base in the city of Detroit, as well as the Netflix 2017 doc One of Us which penetrates the insular world of New York’s Hasidic community, focusing on three individuals who were driven to break away despite threats of retaliation. Ewing is also directing the upcoming limited docu-series Love Fraud at Showtime with her longtime directing collaborator and co-Oscar nominee Rachel Grady. The four-part series follows the search of Richard Scott Smith, who used the internet and his dubious charms to prey upon women looking for love. The story unravels in real time as Smith’s victims band together to seek sweet revenge.
WME has signed Ewing for representation in all areas. She continues to be represented by Victoria Cook at Frankfurt Kurnit.
The Tribeca Film Festival was supposed to run April 15 – 26 this year – but obviously, things have changed. The coronavirus caused the fest to postpone those dates, with alternative dates left up in the air. Now, it looks like Tribeca has found a solution: a virtual festival. Details are extremely slim at the moment, but Jane Rosenthal, the CEO of Tribeca Enterprises, made the announcement via social media.
Here’s some good news for your Monday morning. My friend Jane Rosenthal and her team – meeting by Zoom! – are planning to bring @Tribeca Film Fest to you virtually! She just sent me this video with more details. pic.twitter.com/NTtma2TYdu
— Rebecca Jarvis @RebeccaJarvis March 30, 2020
In the video above, Tribeca Enterprises CEO Jane Rosenthal says: “We’re going to be bringing you Tribeca Film Festival virtually very soon, so stay tuned for that announcement.” The wording there makes it clear that this isn’t the “official” announcement of the virtual fest yet – but now the news is out there. I’ve reached out to Tribeca for more info, and will update when I have it.
For now, though, we have to wonder exactly what this means. Is every film that was set to play the fest going to be available virtually? I have a hard time believing that, personally. But then again, things have changed drastically in the last few months, and we’re entering a strange new world for movies. Theaters across the globe have been shut down due to coronavirus, and there’s no real end in sight. Tribeca announced its postponement earlier this month, coming on the heels of the cancelation of SXSW. Since then, Cannes has also postponed their dates, and we’re all still unsure of what will be delayed or canceled next. Comic-Con? TIFF? The New York Film Festival? Fantastic Fest? Just how much longer will this go on?
All of this raises another question: will other festivals be following Tribeca’s lead here? Are we about to see a virtual Cannes? A virtual TIFF? Again, I have a hard time accepting that idea – not because I’m against it, but because it seems unlikely that filmmakers will agree to it. Part of the appeal of getting your movie into a festival is the thrill of being able to screen it to a packed audience, and then the buzz that follows with that. That’s just not the same as having your film available to screen online.
In the meantime, you can see a list of the Tribeca 2020 lineup here. Time will tell how many of these titles will be available via the virtual Tribeca Film Festival....
The Sundance Institute has postponed its annual festivals in both London and Hong Kong, with new dates still pending. The news, sparked by the coronavirus pandemic, comes as Sundance said it has made the decision to “reimagine the 58 live programs we had planned through August 2020.”
Sundance London is the UK spinoff of the Park City festival, and typically runs in the spring at Picturehouse Central, highlighting a selection of pics and filmmakers from the main January event.
Sundance Institute said today that among other events affected are the 2020 season of summer Labs in Utah and its Film Music Program at Skywalker Ranch. The decision also applies to the full slate of planned workshops and intensives which will no longer be in-person gatherings.
Most programs will be adapted “to offer meaningful and uninterrupted support through our digital platform for artists, Sundance Co//ab.” The first adapted live program, on the subject of making and launching a short film, ran on the platform last Friday and saw more than 1,600 participants register.
Said Sundance Institute, “We are inspired by everyone who is using this time of fear and uncertainty to find meaning in the form of poems, stories, essays, images, and ideas. The scale and urgency of this challenge are extraordinary, but so are the resilience, generosity, and community we have seen from our global community of artists. If we can approach this moment with that spirit, and listen to those who embody it, we can weather this crisis with our humanity intact and reimagine a future where we are more connected than ever before.”
Sundance Co//ab's webinars, member Q&As and masterclasses are now open at no cost and offer “the potential to gather independent creators… at a time when many are in need of community, mentorship, inspiration, and collective action.”
The Institute also noted it has set aside a fund for artist support, and is working to determine how best to provide assistance. Further, in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts, Sundance Institute is expanding and accelerating a previously-planned initiative around field sustainability to meet urgent needs that have been raised by artists and peer arts organizations, launching biweekly virtual field meetings “dedicated to addressing these timely problems.”
In addition, the joint initiative with the NEA includes a national research committee to gather and conduct relevant, actionable studies and data collection, particularly regarding the economic and social impact of the coronavirus on artists.
Looking ahead to the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, the org says, “We are in conversations with other film festivals and nonprofits to share ideas, and to ensure that we're eliminating...