NEWS


Los Angeles-based Highland Film Group has boarded animated feature Pierre The Pigeon-Hawk for sales as it emerged that Howie Mandel has joined the voice cast.

The company plans to launch pre-sales around the time that Cannes takes place, either physically or virtually.

Luis Guzmán, Paul Blackthorne, Jamal Trulove, Evan Ross and Ashlee Simpson have also joined the project. Previously announced cast are Nick Cannon, Whoopi Goldberg, Jennifer Coolidge, and Kenan Thompson.

CAA Media Finance handles US rights to Pierre The Pigeon-Hawk, which the filmmakers said is being produced and directed remotely and is currently in pre-production at India’s Toonz Media Group studio in New Zealand.

John D. Eraklis directs and produces alongside Cannon’s Ncredible Entertainment and Ciaran Crampton and Chase Muratore’s Sugar Water Entertainment, which is providing financing in partnership with Toonz Media Group. Michael Goldman, Trulove and Delbert Whetter serve as executive producers..

The New York-set story musically driven story centres on a forbidden love between a hawk and a pigeon.

By Jeremy Kay, ScreenDaily

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EXCLUSIVE: Vertical Entertainment and DirecTV have acquired North American rights to Inheritance, the thriller starring Lily Collins and Simon Pegg. The news comes ahead of the film’s premiere at next month’s Tribeca Film Festival. Under terms of the deal, the Vaughn Stein-directed film will bow on DirecTV in April, a month before its May 22 theatrical release via Vertical.

The plot scripted by Matthew Kennedy revolves around a patriarch of a wealthy and powerful family who suddenly passes away, leaving his wife and daughter with a shocking secret inheritance that threatens to unravel and destroy their lives. Connie Nielsen, Chace Crawford and Marque Richardson also star.

Ingenious Media, Southpaw Entertainment, Highland Film Group and White Comet Films produced the film. Richard Barton Lewis, David M. Wulf and Arianne Fraser produced, with Rich Goldberg, Peter Jarowey, Santosh Govindaraju, Gabrielle Jerou-Tabak, Joseph Lanius, Daniel Negret, Delphine Perrier, Dan Reardon and Simon Williams executive producers.

The deal was negotiated by Vertical’s Jarowey and Josh Spector with UTA Film Group and Highland Film Group for the filmmakers. Highland is repping international sales.

Inheritance is a star-studded thriller that serves excellent twists and turns along the way,” Vertical co-president Goldberg said. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to be partnering with DirecTV and the filmmaking team to share with audiences everywhere.”

By Patrick Hipes, Deadline

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Queen Latifah and Madalen Mills star in Ray Giarratana’s “The Tiger Rising.” The drama is based on Kate DiCamillo’s New York Times Bestselling children’s book and produced by Deborah Giarratana and Ryan Donnell Smith.  Highland Film Group is handling worldwide sales, which are under at the European Film Market in Berlin.

The Tiger Rising” is set in rural Florida, where a reserved 10-year-old Rob Horton (Christian Convery) lets his imagination run wild, a contrast to his sad reality of a bullied boy who just lost his mother. One day, however, he comes across a Bengal tiger, hidden in the woods and held captive by a mean-spirited motel owner, Beauchamp (Dennis Quaid). With the help of a wise and mysterious maid, Willie May (Queen Latifah), and the stubborn new girl in school Sistine (Madalen Mills), Rob must decide if to set the tiger free and in turn uncage his emotional grief.

By Carole Horst, Variety

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Pearce plays a P.I. hired to track down a missing girl on a colony of robots in the film, being sold at Berlin’s European Film Market by Highland Film Group.

Guy Pearce takes aim — quite possibly at a robot — in this first-look still from sci-fi thriller Zone 414.

The film from Andrew Baird also stars Italian model Matilda Lutz and was recently shot in Belfast. Highland Film Group is handling worldwide sales on the project at the European Film Market in Berlin. 

Set in the near future in a colony of state-of-the-art humanoid robots, Zone 414 sees Pearce play private investigator David Carmichael, who has been hired by the colony’s creator to bring his missing daughter home. He teams up with Jane (Lutz), a highly advanced and self-aware A.I., to help track her down. Moving through the dangerous iron jungle, the two rapidly piece together the mystery, uncovering a crime that leads them to question the origins of Zone 414 and the true purpose behind the “City of Robots.” Travis Fimmel also stars.

Baird directs off a script by Bryan Edward Hill. Zone 414 is produced by Martin Brennan, Jib Polhemus, Baird and Deborah Kolar, and executive produced by Mark Huffam.

Pearce is repped by CAA and Independent Talent; Lutz is represented by The Gersh Agency and Silver Lining Entertainment.

By Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter

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EXCLUSIVE: Vertical Entertainment has swopped on U.S. rights to Open Source, the upcoming action thriller starring Bruce Willis and Jesse Metcalfe.

Pic is being directed by Matt Eskandari, from a screenplay by Chris LaMont and Joe Russo. Also starring are Natalia Eva Marie (Inconceivable) and Lala Kent (Trauma Center). Project is in post and Vertical will release theatrically in the fall.

The story follows a billionaire tech CEO (Willis) who hires a team of fearless mercenaries to protect a piece of technology that, if exposed, could destroy the world. Their mission becomes even higher risk when the CEO’s daughter is kidnapped by an extremely dangerous terrorist group who will stop at nothing to obtain the tech.

Producers are Randall Emmett and George Furla at Emmett Furla Oasis Films, who negotiated the U.S. deal with Peter Jarowey and Rich Goldberg at Vertical. Highland Film Group is handling international sales at EFM.

Shaun Sanghani, Alex Eckert, and Tim Sullivan also produced. Executive producers on the movie are Michael J. Hoover, Don Thompson, Constantine Furla, Lee Broda, Ted Fox, Arianne Fraser, Delphine Perrier, Henry Winterstern, and Ceasar Richbow. The film was produced by Emmett Furla Oasis Films and SSS Entertainment/SSS Film Capital.

BondIt Media Capital financed 75% of the film, with BondIt’s Matthew Helderman and Luke Taylor serving as executive producers.

Open Source was developed over the last five years from concept to script to screen and we couldn’t be happier with the cast and production team we’ve put together for this picture. We’re excited for audiences to experience this thrilling and pertinent story,” said Alex Eckert of Emmett Furla Oasis Films.

Open Source is an action-packed thrill ride with an exceptional cast sure to keep viewers on the edge of their seats from start to finish. We’re excited to bring this high-intensity film to US audiences later this year,” said Rich Goldberg of Vertical.

By Tom Grater, Deadline


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