Lionsgate has picked up the family drama film “Unsung Hero” from the Christian music duo for King + Country. Helmed by Richard Ramsey and for King + Country’s Joel Smallbone, the film tells the story of Smallbone family’s trek from Australia to America, and Joel and his brother Luke’s path to becoming Grammy-winning artists.
Joel Smallbone stars as his father David in the film, with Daisy Betts playing Joel’s mother Helen. According to the official synopsis, “With nothing more than their seven children, suitcases, and their love of music, David and his pregnant wife Helen set out to rebuild their lives. Based on a remarkable true story, Helen’s faith stands against all odds and inspires her husband and children to hold onto theirs. With their own dreams on hold, David and Helen begin to realize the musical prowess in their children.”
The film also stars Kirrilee Berger, Jonathan Jackson, Lucas Black, Candace Cameron Bure, Terry O’Quinn and Hillary Scott. It was produced by Justin Tolley, Josh Walsh and Luke Smallbone for Kingdom Story Company and Candy Rock.
“Unsung Hero” is set to release April 26, 2024.
American Film Institute Announces the Launch of Official Letterboxd Account
The American Film Institute (AFI) has launched an official Letterboxd account called AFI HQ. Letterboxd is a social media platform on which film buffs can curate lists, rate and review films, as well as learn about new movies and discuss those they’re passionate about. AFI is known for curating their own lists of films; their Top 100 lists are well regarded and will now be available on their Letterboxd account in addition to exclusive content from the AFI Archive and AFI newsletters. Letterboxd will also provide film fans with a link to Get the Picture, AFI’s daily movie guessing game.
Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO, made a statement on the new development. “We are excited to open the doors to AFI on Letterboxd and its community of millions of film lovers from around the world.”
Letterboxd Editor-in-Chief Gemma Gracewood also spoke on the new partnership. “AFI, like Letterboxd, has always been really focused on community, so it’s fantastic to have them join our devoted community of film fans.”
Follow AFI on Letterboxd at letterboxd.com/afi.
Steven Kostanski’s ‘Frankie Freako’ Comedy Has Wrapped Production
Steven Kostanski’s forthcoming horror-comedy “Frankie Freako” has wrapped production, with Shout! Studios acquiring U.S. distribution rights.
“Frankie Freako” will star Conor Sweeney (“The Editor,” “Father’s Day”) as he accidentally unleashes “a trio of tiny trouble-makers into his home, led by the maniacal rock-n-roll party monster Frankie Freako. It’s a race against time as Conor must defeat the rambunctious ruffians and clean up their trail of destruction before his wife returns from her weekend work trip, all while going on an unexpected journey of self-discovery,” per the projects official logline.
Adam Brooks and Kristy Wordsworth star alongside Sweeney. The film is Kostanski’s commemoration of various practical-FX-led projects including “Gremlins 2” and “Ghoulies 3: Ghoulies Go to College.”
“Steven is a human love letter to genre films, and this is a partnership Shout has long sought,” said Jordan Fields, senior VP of acquisitions and originals at Shout! “With his impeccable sense of tone and humor, not to mention his wizardry with practical effects, Frankie Freako will surely delight fans of those subversive and mischievous creature features of yesteryear.”
“Frankie Freako” is produced under Hanger 18 Media by Melanie Murray, Pasha Patriki and Steven Kostanski alongside Michael Paszt, Andrew Thomas Hunt and James Fler. Avi Federgreen and Alison Waxman executive produce alongside Garson Foos, Bob Emmer and Jordan Fields. Raven Banner is handling international sales and Canadian distribution.
2023 Yugo BAFTA Student Awards Winners Revealed
The British Academy of Film and Television (BAFTA) named its 2023 Yugo Awards winners on July 27 in a ceremony hosted by actor Elliot Knight in Los Angeles.
Daria Batueva, Preetam Dhar, Merel Hamers, Hannah Judd, Mogau Kekana and Leroy Le Roux were awarded the BAFTA Award for animation for “Thaba Ye” while Laura Rindlisbacher was awarded for “Happy” in the documentary category. “The Taster” was recognized under the live-action genre, as awarded to Sophia Bierend.
BAFTA’s Student Award for games went to Rafif Kalantan for Eros Xavier’s Love Solutions with immersive being awarded to Cameron Kostopoulos for Body of Mine. Tari Wariebi with “We Were Meant To” was granted the Special Jury Prize by a jury including Kathryn Busby, Jinko Gotoh, Mike O’Malley, Jeff Negus and Dawn Steinberg.
“We feel incredibly honored to celebrate these exceptional creatives and their remarkable talent,” said Busby. Each year, we are amazed by the unprecedented level of originality these students possess. BAFTA is thrilled to champion new voices, extraordinary talent and unique perspectives.”
DNEG Taps Tim Burke as Visual Effects Supervisor
DNEG has enlisted the Academy-Award-winning Tim Burke as its latest visual effects supervisor, the company announced Tuesday.
Burke’s longstanding career in VFX has earned him an Oscar, along with three other nominations from the Academy. His portfolio includes serving as the VFX supervisor for Sir Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator,” “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.”
He joins DNEG after recently serving as the production VFX supervisor for Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” Burke’s additional credits include “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” “The Legend of Tarzan” and the last four films in the “Harry Potter” franchise, with director David Yates.
“The recognition that Tim has earned in our industry is incredibly well-deserved and I am proud to welcome him to DNEG’s creative leadership team,” said Namit Malhotra, CEO of DNEG. “I am thrilled to have him onboard as part of our senior creative team as we chart the course for DNEG through the rest of 2023 and beyond.”