USC Will Celebrate John Singleton All Year Long – Film News in Brief

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USC School of Cinematic Arts, African American Cinema Society and Visions & Voices announce “John Singleton: A Celebration” screening series

The USC School of Cinematic Arts, African American Cinema Society and Visions & Voices will present “John Singleton: A Celebration,” a year-long tribute to the beloved filmmaker and SCA alumnus, Elizabeth M. Daley, Dean of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, announced Tuesday. The tribute events will include a special screening series of Singleton’s most notable films, featuring conversations with select cast and crew. Screenings will take place on the USC Campus and are free and open to the public, with RSVP required.

Singleton, a TV and film director, screenwriter, producer and USC alumnus, died April 29, 2019 at the age of 51. He graduated in 1990 from the SCA’s Filmic Writing program, which is now called the John Wells Division of Writing for Screen & Television. While at USC, he won the Jack Nicholson Screenwriting Award, given to a promising film school student, two years in a row: first in 1988 for his script “Twilight Time,” then the following year for the script of “Boyz n the Hood,” which he wrote as his senior thesis on a campus library computer.

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The tribute events will kick off Friday, September 9 with a screening of Singleton’s debut film “Boyz n the Hood,” for which he earned two Oscar nominations in Best Director and Original Best Screenplay. A conversation with select cast and crew moderated by filmmaker Robert Townsend will follow the screening.

The full screening series line-up is listed below:

  • “Boyz n the Hood” (1991): 7:00pm on Friday, September 9th, 2022 – Norris Cinema Theatre

  • “Poetic Justice” (1993): 7:00pm on Wednesday, September 21st, 2022 – Ray Stark Family Theatre

  • “Higher Learning” (1995): 7:00pm on Wednesday, October 12th, 2022 – Ray Stark Family Theatre

  • “Rosewood” (1997): 7:00pm on Wednesday, November 9th, 2022 – Ray Stark Family Theatre

  • “Shaft” (2000): 7:00pm on Wednesday, November 30th, 2022 – Ray Stark Family Theatre

  • “Baby Boy” (2001): 7:00pm on Wednesday, January 25th, 2023 – Ray Stark Family Theatre. Guests include: Tyrese Gibson

  • “2 Fast 2 Furious” (2003): 7:00pm on Wednesday, February 22nd, 2023 – Venue TBD

  • “Four Brothers” (2005): 7:00pm on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023 – Ray Stark Family Theatre

Hartbeat and Sundance Institute name three new “Women Write Now” fellows for 2022

Mayanna Berrin, Kiana Butler Jabangwe and Danielle Solomon are this year’s recipients for the Women Write Now (WWN) comedic screenwriting fellowship, Hartbeat announced today. The fellows will each receive a 12-month first-look deal with Hartbeat and premiere their completed short films at a special exhibition during the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.

The fellows were chosen from hundreds of submissions from aspiring screenwriters looking to develop their scripts under the guidance of Hartbeat’s panel of advisors including Leigh Davenport, Kay Oyegun and Yamara Taylor. Logan Browning, Tika Sumpter and Nicole Byer have signed on to direct the short films.

“The Women Write Now program sets its participants up for success by prioritizing both development and distribution of these short films while also connecting these storytellers to a broader community of industry mentors and allies,” Michelle Satter, founding senior director of artist programs at the Sundance Institute, said. “It’s an all-encompassing approach to artist support and we’re so pleased to be partnering with Hartbeat once again on this incredible and well-deserved opportunity for Black women in comedy.”

The Women Write Now fellowship — founded by Heartbeat CEO Thai Randolph alongside the Sundance Institute’s Candice Wilson Cherry, Jennifer Kushner and Satter — aims to champion the next generation of Black women in comedy by bringing together accomplished Black writers, directors, producers and executives to mentor emerging storytellers. Each project will receive distribution across Hartbeat’s flagship consumer brand, the LOL Network. Through the first-look deal, the fellows can also submit original projects for production consideration and distribution across the network.

As part of the development process, each fellow will also participate in a career development lab, where they’ll receive mentorship from creative advisors working across the industry. After they complete the screenwriting lab, the fellows will bring their original projects to life under the guidance of Hartbeat’s creative team and the guest directors. 

DNEG adds executives Gabby Gourrier and Diana Ibanez to VFX leadership team

DNEG, a leading visual effects and animation studio, expanded its VFX executive leadership team on Wednesday with the hiring of two new executives. Gabby Gourrier has been named co-president of VFX, and Diana Ibanez is now executive vice president of film and episodic VFX.

Gourrier and Ibanez each join DNEG from Method Studios, where Gourrier served as executive vice president of global features and special projects. Ibanez served as vice president of global features, episodic and special projects. Both executives will be based out of DNEG’s Los Angeles studio, with Gourrier serving alongside current president Josh Jaggars and reporting directly to the company’s CEO and chairman Namit Malhotra. Ibanez will work closely with both Gourrier and Jaggars.

“I am delighted to welcome Gabby and Diana to our senior leadership team, as we continue to fortify our VFX leadership position,” Malhotra said. “With every day and every project, DNEG is pushing the boundaries of what is possible in visual effects and animation. The expertise, knowledge and experience that Gabby and Diana bring to their new roles will help DNEG further expand its industry-leading offering and deliver even higher levels of service to our clients.”

In her new role, Gourrier will partner with Jaggars to oversee the company’s client relationships and its team of VFX supervisors. The executive will also utilize DNEG’s production capabilities to drive new business and partnerships.

Ibanez will work closely with Gourrier and Jaggars in managing client relationships, serving as a point person for both clients and internal teams. She will also help manage the transition of projects into DNEG’s production pipeline, working closely with production teams to plan the upcoming slate of projects.

Amazon shares official trailer for Nikyatu Jusu’s “Nanny”

Nikyatu Jusu’s “Nanny,” which won Sundance’s Dramatic Grand Jury Prize, has a new trailer from Amazon. The film is set to hit theaters on November 23, with a Prime Video streaming premiere following it on December 16.

Jusu’s film follows Aisha, played by Anna Diop, a woman who recently emigrated from Senegal who is hired to care for the daughter of an affluent couple, played by Michelle Monaghan and Morgan Spector, living in New York City. Haunted by the absence of the young son she left behind, Aisha becomes increasingly unsettled by the family’s volatile home life.  As her son’s arrival approaches, a violent presence begins to invade both her dreams and her reality, threatening the American dream she is working to piece together.

Check out the full trailer below.

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