Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘Megalopolis’ Epic Has Wrapped Production – Film News in Brief

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Francis Ford Coppola’s upcoming film “Megalopolis” has officially wrapped production. The “Godfather” and “Apocalypse Now” director wrote the screenplay in the 1980s and has finally brought the film to life, investing over $100 million of his own money into this passion project.

“Megalopolis” boasts an all-star cast, including Shia LaBeouf, Adam Driver, Forest Whitaker, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jon Voight, Laurence Fishburne, Coppola’s sister Talia Shire, Jason Schwartzman (Shire’s son), Grace VanderWaal, Kathryn Hunter and James Remar.

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It’s been hard to pin down the plot of “Megalopolis,” with Coppola often describing it as an indescribable enigma. GQ Magazine did its best to parse out the 82-year-old director’s cryptic description of the film, saying, “It’s a love story that is also a philosophical investigation of the nature of man; it’s set in New York, but a New York steeped in echoes of ancient Rome; What he dreams about, he said, is creating something like ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’—a movie everyone goes to see, once a year, forever.” Nonetheless, the production wrap brings audiences one step closer to this ambitious epic.

New York Casting Director Chad Eric Murnane Launches Boutique Casting Office

Casting director Chad Eric Murnane has announced the launch of Murnane Casting, his very own boutique casting office located in New York City. The company works with theater, film and television projects from across the country and specializes in Broadway productions and regional theater.

“I love what I do! I thrive on collaboration and helping artists and creatives find their voices through casting,” said Murnane. He is eager to continue working with existing clients and welcome new ones.

Murnane has over a decades worth of casting experience under his belt, having worked with Binder Casting, Lisa Fields, April Webster, Barbara Fiorentino and Marc Hirschfeld. His past theater work includes casting “Into the Woods” at the Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center Theater’s tour of “My Fair Lady” and the tour of the Tony award-winning revival of “The Color Purple.”

“[Murnane] is not only able to find fresh, undiscovered talent that is constantly surprising, but his ability to organize and run a casting session is beyond impressive,” said Robert Horn, a Tony award-winning playwright. “His humor, his organizational skills, his taste, his professionalism mixed with his keen eye and understanding of material is impressive.”

Murnane has earned a B.S. in media studies from The New School and is working toward an M.A. in arts administration at Baruch College.

AFI Names Shaz Bennett Guest Artistic Director of 2023-2024 AFI DWW+ Program

American Film Institute (AFI) announced AFI DWW alumni, Shaz Bennett as the AFI DWW+ guest artistic director for the class of 2023-2024. As the DWW+ guest artistic director, Bennett will oversee the artistic curriculum, mentor the DWW+ participants, and act as the program’s ambassador. The AFI DWW+ is a year-long directing workshop that supports women and underrepresented narrative filmmakers through the production cycle of a short film.

Previously, Bennett served as the showrunner and executive producer on the final season of “Queen Sugar” after writing and directing throughout Season 6. In addition, Bennett’s directing credits also include “Billions,” “Animal Kingdom,” “Bosch” and “Ordinary Joe,” her writing credits include “The Glades,” “UnReal” and “Bosch.” The filmmaker’s debut feature film “Alaska is a Drag” was an extension of her work in the DWW+ program and is now available on Netflix.

“I’m thrilled to return to AFI and help guide the new participants toward their goals. We need their visionary voices to join the film conversation and to have them be in the room and on sets everywhere,” said Bennett.

The AFI DWW+ Class of 2024 participants are Vanessa Beletic, Chloë de Carvalho, Desdemona Chiang, Naomi Iwamoto, Huriyyah Muhammad, Joanne Mony Park, Kerry O’Neill and Roxy Toporowych.

Cinedigm Acquired U.S. Rights to ‘Shifted’ Horror Film (EXCLUSIVE)

‘Shifted’
‘Shifted’

Cinedigm has acquired U.S. rights to horror film “Shifted,” which will premiere April 18 on the company’s streaming platform Screambox. The survival thriller premiered at the Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival and has since been screened at numerous other festivals around the world.

“Shifted” follows a group of neighbors seeking refuge from murderous creatures roaming the streets. After hunkering down in an abandoned house, the group finds that danger has followed behind them. Supplies run low, fear rises, and everyone in the house is prey to monsters inside and out.

“’Shifted’ is a claustrophobic thriller reminiscent of ‘Night of the Living Dead’ and ‘The Thing,’” said Brad Miska, managing director of Cinedigm. “Our home is our place of safety. In ‘Shifted,’ what Adrian Konstant does so well is to sew mistrust within that refuge. When there’s no escape from danger and you don’t know who to trust, how do you keep going?”

The film was directed by Adrian Konstant and was co-written by Konstant and Jason T. Green. It was produced by Green and executive produced by Derek Lackenbauer, Anita Clarkson, Terry Clarkson, Andrew Ferencevic, Ken Green, Neal Hallock, Sherry Harrison, Trevor Harrison, Sharon Heimpel, Jeremy Higgins and Cam Little.

Zendaya to Receive CinemaCon Star of the Year Award

Mitch Neuhauser, managing director of CinemaCon, has announced that Zendaya is set to receive this year’s CinemaCon Star of the Year Award. Zendaya will receive the award at the Big Screen Achievement Awards ceremony on the final night of the convention. CinemaCon 2023 will be held at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas from April 24-27.

“In just a few short years, Zendaya has captured audiences’ attention with her compassionate performance on the small screen as Rue in Euphoria and has drawn audiences in on the big screen with her performances in Spider-Man: Far From HomeThe Greatest Showman and Dune,” said Neuhauser. “We could not be more honored to present Zendaya with this year’s CinemaCon Star of the Year Award.”

FilmLA Updates Regional Sound Stage Production Uncovers 19.3% Decline in Sound Stage Use Throughout 2021

FilmLA issued its fifth Sound Stage Production Report, providing updates to the ongoing survey of Los Angeles area studio developments, releasing new stage occupancy and use data for the 2021 calendar year. The report uncovered that Los Angeles County has 17 studio projects in various development stages, comprising 155 planned stages and approximately three million square feet of space, making Los Angeles the world leader in overall stage space with a total of 6.2 million square feet.

However, the sound stage occupancy and utilization declined by 19.3% between 2018 and 2021, with shoot days on stages also declining, by 18.5% from 14,491 to 11,808 shoot days. While the overall number of shoot days declined, the number of backlot shoot days increased by 13.5%, with one-hour series increasing over 400%, feature films increasing to 112.5% and half-hour series increasing by 14.5%. Additionally, moving forward LA-based producers will have an easier time leasing stages as the the number regional stage inventory increases and the number of streaming series in production has been predicted to decrease.

The report was made possible with the cooperation of 16 participating studios, including Fox Studio Lot, LA North Studios, Los Angeles Center Studios, MBS Media Campus, Radford Studio Center, Occidental Studios, Paramount Pictures, Quixote Studios, Sony Pictures, Television City, Sunset Studios, Raleigh Studios, The Culver Studios, Universal Studios, Walt Disney Studios and Warner Brothers.

Bobby Krlic Releases “Sail Away” Apart of Soundtrack for Ari Aster’s “Beau Is Afraid”

Award-winning producer, composer and musician Bobby Krlic has released the first single from writer/director Ari Aster’s new A24 film, “Beau Is Afraid.” Entitled “Sail Away,” the debut track is the first taste of the long awaited film that depicts the story of a fearful man embarking on a treacherous journey to reunite with his mother.

Krlic proclaims that the film “is a vast and emotionally complex film, and the score had to be sympathetic to this, while also not undermining the extremely adept and nuanced storytelling. Like any time working with Ari [Aster], there were moments when it seemed like an impossible puzzle to crack, but these are the most rewarding, and it’s a beautiful thing to put in the work and find those moments together.”

“Beau Is Afraid” will be released on April 21.

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