Gravitas Ventures Acquires North American Rights to Documentary ‘Lady Buds’ – Film News in Brief

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Gravitas Ventures Acquires North American Rights to Documentary ‘Lady Buds’

Gravitas Ventures, a Red Arrow Studios company, acquired North American rights to the documentary “Lady Buds,” directed, produced and written by Chris J. Russo.

“Lady Buds” tells the story of six women in cannabis who left their livelihoods behind in the underground market to forge a path to legalization in California as they attempt to claim their piece of the “American dream” in the very market they helped create.

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“In her confident and ambitious feature debut, Russo highlights six women who are as interesting as they are inspiring. Seeing these underdogs fights against bureaucracy and regulations make for a highly insightful and engaging film,” says David Sullivan, sales and acquisitions manager at Gravitas Ventures. “We can’t wait to play our part in getting this timely and enjoyable film out into the world.”

Sullivan negotiated the deal with Travis Tammero at CAA. The film will play in 20 theaters nationwide and will also be available on demand.

PGA Invites Chosen Participants For Inaugural PGA Create Program

The Producers Guild of America announced the 10 producers and producing teams invited to participate in its inaugural PGA Create lab for emerging and mid-career creative producers.

PGA Create sponsored by Google will take place Oct. 25 through Oct. 28 and will showcase creative producers and teams actively developing, financing and packaging scripted features and series. Participants will have opportunities to hone their project pitches, attend masterclasses with experienced producers and build their producing network as a whole. As the program’s sole sponsor, Google will contribute meaningful funding as well as a variety of products to assist the participants throughout their creative processes. Designed to provide touchpoints over the span of one year, PGA Create also includes an invitation for participants of its Scripted and Documentary cycles to reconvene at the PGA Create Forum, a new day-long event held during the Guild’s Produced By Conference in June 2022.

“Google’s significant support of this important PGA initiative championing diversity, equity and inclusion are critical to driving change in the industry,” said Gail Berman and Lucy Fisher, PGA presidents. “We’re thrilled to have Google join us as we embark on this new program to build up the next generation of creative producers.”

Tonya Lewis Lee and Lori McCreary, Chairs of PGA’s One Guild initiative added, “Launching PGA Create this year represents our excitement, hope, and determination to uplift and support underrepresented producers, and we believe the immersive structure of the program will be an incredibly impactful way for the PGA to serve our participants. This excitement is shared amongst the Guild’s esteemed network of creative producers who see the value and opportunity in what we have planned. We can’t wait to get started.”

“At Google we are committed to amplifying diverse and underrepresented voices, which is why we’re so proud to be partnering with the Producers Guild of America on their first ever PGA Create Program this fall,” said Elle Roth-Burnet, Google Assistant’s Entertainment Partnership Lead. “This new platform will be an invaluable support system for these 10 emerging creatives to take the next step in their career.”

The partnership with the Producers Guild was negotiated by UTA Marketing, which represents Google. PGA Create was developed through the PGA One Guild initiative, spearheaded by Chairs Tonya Lewis Lee and Lori McCreary who also acted as chairs of the Final Selection Panel.

7th Annual Mammoth Lakes Film Festival Announces Award Winners In Return To ‘In Person’ Film Festival Event

The 7th Annual Mammoth Lakes Film Festival (MLFF) announced this year’s juried and audience award winners at the Closing Night Award Ceremony on Sept. 26.

The festival took place in Mammoth Lakes, Calif. from Sept. 22 through Sept. 26 and screened over 75 features and short films, with over $40,000 in awards and cash prizes presented to winners.

“This year’s festival will not only be remembered as a gathering of amazing filmmakers with truly remarkable stories to tell but brought us back together as a community,” said festival director and founder Shira Dubrovner. “At the heart of what we do is make connections as humans, and the restorative effect of being with each other in person was transformational.”

Films winning the top awards from the jury included “Ultrasound,” directed by Rob Schroeder and written by Conor Stechschulte, for Best North American Narrative Feature, and “Isaac,” directed and written by Jurgis Matulevičius, for Best International Narrative Feature. The feature-length documentary winners were “Larry Flynt for President” directed by Nadia Szold for Best North American Documentary and “The Renegades” directed by Lisa Maria Hagen and Mariam Noori for Best International Documentary. Both “Isaac” and “Larry Flynt for President” also won the Audience Award in their respective category, as did “Social” (Best North American Narrative Feature) and “Beautiful Idiots” (Best International Documentary Feature).

WarnerMedia Announces Early Talent Pipeline Program For Underrepresented Voices

WarnerMedia announces the launch of the WarnerMedia Access Early Career Bootcamp, a week-long intensive workshop introducing the participants to Hollywood careers, slated to take place from Sept. 27 through Oct. 1.

The program program focuses on Indigenous, disabled, transgender, MENASA, and other Muslim communities and will host 40 participants, 10 from each of the four partner organizations, RespectAbility, IllumiNative, Transgender Film Center and Muslim Public Affairs Council. The cohort will receive a comprehensive snapshot of entertainment industry careers through several roundtable discussions with up-and-coming talent as well as junior executives. Additionally, facilitators will lead conversations on how to break into the industry as well as offer tangible tools to jump-start their careers.

“We are increasing exposure, access, resources and opportunity for people who too often face socio-economic barriers that prevent them from even considering a career in the entertainment industry,” said Karen Horne, WarnerMedia’s senior vice president of equity and inclusion. “Our goal is to reach this untapped demographic and amplify their unique voices early in order to cultivate a steady flow of content creators that will eventually feed the professional pipeline, from writers to future executives.”

Sue Obeidi, director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council’s Hollywood Bureau, called the program “a dream come true for the emerging talent in these four underrepresented communities.”

Obeidi continued: “The opportunity that has been given to future content creators and executives, who historically don’t have access due to circumstances beyond their control, is a game-changer and will soon prove instrumental in changing the fabric and makeup of the entertainment industry for the better.”

The program is the latest initiative that expands WarnerMedia’s commitment to advancing representation in the industry by supporting diverse creatives and their means of storytelling.

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