Check out this week's fresh news! Lots of BIPOC artists receiving recognition and new projects! Read more here.
‘The Secret in Their Eyes’ Director Juan José Campanella Signs Exclusive Deal With VIS (EXCLUSIVE)
Courtesy of ViacomCBS
In a large coup for its ambitions in Latin America and beyond, ViacomCBS International Studios (VIS) unveiled Wednesday an exclusive deal with Argentina’s Juan José Campanella, writer-director of the Academy Award winning “The Secret in Their Eyes.”
The agreement follows smartly on production of a first season of “The Envoys” (“Los Enviados”), a six-part action thriller series starring Luis Gerardo Méndez, Miguel Ángel Silvestre, and Irene Azuela.
Under the terms of the exclusive agreement, Campanella will write, produce, direct, and provide consulting services to VIS. Read more on Variety.
Chernin Entertainment Expands Executive Ranks With Bill McGoldrick, Juan Alfonso, Vibiana Molina
Alfonso: Kathryn Mueller; McGoldrick: Bill McGoldrick; Molina: Vibiana Molina
Chernin Entertainment has expanded its executive leadership with three key hires: NBCUniversal veteran Bill McGoldrick, Starz exec Juan Alfonso , and Fox 21 legal pro Vibiana Molina.
McGoldrick has been named executive vice president of film and television, with Alfonso serving as senior vice president over those two portfolios. Molina was named executive vice president of business affairs earlier this year. In addition to their hires, Christina Porter and Jordan Compton have been named creative executives.
Read more on Variety.
‘Pose’ Star Mj Rodriguez to Be Awarded GALECA Trailblazer Award (EXCLUSIVE)
The Society of LGBTQ Plus Entertainment Critics (GALECA) will honor “Pose” actress Michaela Jaé (Mj) Rodriguez with the Trailblazer award at its Dorians TV Toast on Aug. 29. Rodriguez made history when she became the first transgender performer to score a leading-role Emmy nomination for her portrayal of Blanca Evangelista in the series. As of 2018, “Pose” featured the largest cast of transgender actors as series regulars in a scripted series.
Read more on Variety.
ViacomCBS’ Jeanne Mau Moves To NBCU As TV Programming DEI Exec
Jeanne Mau, formerly SVP Global Inclusion at ViacomCBS, has joined NBCUniversal as SVP TV Programming Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. In the new role, Mau will drive diversity, equity and inclusion strategies for content across the NBCU Television and Streaming Entertainment portfolio including for NBC, Bravo, E!, Oxygen, Syfy, Universal Kids, USA and Peacock. Her purview also includes Universal Studio Group entities Universal Television, UCP, NBCUniversal International Studios and Universal Television Alternative Studio. She will report to Universal Studio Group chairman Pearlena Igbokwe and Entertainment Content chairman Susan Rovner. Read more on Deadline.
Lana Parrilla Joins Anthony Rapp In Vivian Kerr’s Indie Drama ‘Scrap’
Courtesy of Mega
Once Upon a Time alum Lana Parrilla has been set to star alongside Anthony Rapp and writer-director Vivian Kerr in Scrap, an indie drama from producer Rachel Stander and her A Season of Rain banner. Beth Dover, Khleo Thomas, Brad Schmidt and Julianna Layne have also joined the cast of the pic, which is now shooting.
Kerr plays Beth, who has recently been laid off and struggles to maintain the appearance of a successful middle-class lifestyle as she bounces around Los Angeles. Hoping to land a new job and change her situation before her estranged older brother Ben (Rapp) finds out, Beth must confront her own pride before she can reconnect with him and provide for her young daughter Birdy (Layne).
Aubrey Plaza To Star in Low Spark Films’ ‘Emily The Criminal’, Will Also Produce
Courtesy of ICM Partners
Aubrey Plaza is set to star in Emily The Criminal, from producer Low Spark Films. Plaza is also on board as a producer. Gina Gershon and Megalyn Echikunwoke have also been cast in the feature. The film tells the story of Emily (Plaza), who is down on her luck and saddled with debt who gets involved in a credit card scam that pulls her into the criminal underworld of Los Angeles, ultimately leading to deadly consequences.
The pic is written and directed by John Patton Ford. Tyler Davidson, Plaza and Drew Sykes are producing, with Dexter Braff, Kevin Flanigan, Angus Wall, Kent Kubena, Lowell Shapiro, and Mike Dill serving as Executive Producers. Low Spark is fully financing the film.
Joi Brown Joins ICM Partners As Head Of Strategic Partnerships
Courtesy of Jerritt Clark
Veteran record industry exec Joi Brown has joined ICM Partners as Head of Strategic Partnerships.
Based in New York, she will help connect ICM Partners clients across all departments to brands while continuing to lead Culture Creators, which connects global cultural pioneers with the new generation of diverse creators of culture via thought leadership, education and ideation to ensure substantive influence, economic growth and inclusion.
Angela Bassett & Courtney B. Vance Producing ‘One Thousand Years of Slavery’ Docu-Series For Smithsonian Channel
Courtesy of Deadline
ViacomCBS’ Smithsonian Channel is prepping One Thousand Years of Slavery, a four-part docu-series from Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance’s Bassett Vance Productions.
BAFTA-winning British-Nigerian director David Olusoga explores stories of survival and devastation that span across the globe – from Africa to the Caribbean, London to Washington DC, and more. Through preserved historical documentation and insight from experts, every story unfolds to chronicle how slavery frames the present and continues to act as a distinct force on the future. The series features interviews with public figures including Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III, Senator Cory Booker, and actor David Harewood.
LEARN MORE HERE
DC’s ‘Stargirl’ Features a Teenage Latina Superhero
Photo by: Jace Downs/The CW
Despite the solo-nature of the show’s name, DC’sStargirl centers on not just one teenager but a group of them. It has been a bright light in a TV landscape where superheroes are a dime a dozen — and one of the brightest spots in the show has been the character of Wildcat, aka Yolanda Montez, played by Yvette Monreal. Read the full article at Remezcla.
‘King Richard’ Breakout Demi Singleton Signs With M88
Courtesy of JD Barnes
Demi Singleton (King Richard, Godfather of Harlem) has signed with M88 for representation.
Singleton is an actress, singer, and dancer originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, who plays tennis great Serena Williams in King Richard, the anticipated sports drama from Warner Bros. which is set for release in theaters and on HBO Max on November 19.
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‘Angry Little Girls’: Gamechanger Films To Adapt Lela Lee’s Beloved Webcomic For Film & TV
Courtesy of MPRM
Gamechanger Films has partnered with Angry Little Girls, the 27-year-old brand from artist and webcomic creator Lela Lee, with plans to adapt Lee’s cult classic comic strip of the same name into a television series and a number of holiday movies.
Lee’s webcomic previously inspired a 12-episode animated series that aired on Asian American network Mnet in 2015. It follows a 6-year-old Korean American girl named Kim whose unapologetic rage against and questioning of injustices regarding race, gender stereotypes and other societal ironies punctuate the goings-on in her life.
Gamechanger’s scripted projects will feature numerous characters from diverse backgrounds originally depicted in the comic strip, including Deborah, Maria, Wanda, Xyla, Pat, and Bruce, in addition to protagonist Kim. The company will also look to support the brand’s expansion in the realm of merchandise.
Poet Rupi Kaur Gets One-Hour Special on Amazon Prime Video
Courtesy of AP
Rupi Kaur, Indian Canadian poet and New York Times bestselling author, has snagged a one-hour Amazon Original special. “Rupi Kaur Live,” which is described as a “distinctive fusion of poetry, humor, spoken word, music and compelling visuals inspired by her poetry collections,” will stream in North America exclusively on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, Aug. 27.
“Rupi Kaur Live'' promises to weave together Kaur’s passion and creative talent in one illustrious work as she guides the audience and fans through a vibrant and transcendent journey about growth and healing. Per the logline, the hour-long special is a cross-cultural celebration of love and identity from an artist who has been called “the voice of a generation” and “writer of the decade.” It hails from Andrews McMeel Universal in association with Hyde Park Entertainment and was written and performed by Kaur and directed by Liz Patrick.
‘How To Be Human’ Comedy From Writer Brenda Hsueh & Party Over Here In Works At Fox
Courtesy of Deadline
Fox is developing How To Be Human, a multi-camera comedy from writer Brenda Hsueh (Disjointed) and Party Over Here, the production company founded by The Lonely Island’s Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone.
Written by Hsueh, How To Be Human revolves around Eve, a robot becoming sentient who breaks free from her lab so she can learn how to be human by living among them. But when she tries to convince three housemates to let her live with them, she realizes it’s not going to be so easy.
MC Lyte, Michelle Ebony Hardy, & More AllBlk Creators On The Contributions Of Black Women To TV
Courtesy of Deadline
AllBlk hosted the “Developing and Creating While Black” panel during the AMC streamer’s TCA presentation on Tuesday, featuring MC Lyte (Partners in Rhyme), Michelle Ebony Hardy and Katrina Y. Nelson (Lace), Kaye Singleton (Covenant), and AllBlk’s VP Development and Production, Nikki Love.
They discussed the contributions of Black women to TV and supporting Black talent in their respective projects.
“We started working on Lace back in 2012 when there weren’t that many Black women in lead roles, especially in dramas,” Nelson said. “We have women in comedy but not in drama. So, just to be able to see someone that looks like us in a drama that is an attorney in a series that also has a diverse cast, has been a priority for us.”
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‘Queer As Folk’: Jesse James Keitel Joins Peacock Reboot As Series Regular
Courtesy of Authentic
Big Sky‘s Jesse James Keitel has joined the cast of Peacock’s reboot of British drama Queer as Folk as a series regular, Deadline has confirmed.
Created by Stephen Dunn, the reboot will be set in New Orleans and will follow a diverse group of friends whose lives are transformed in the aftermath of a tragedy.
Keitel will play a trans, semi-reformed party girl who is struggling to grow up. As Deadline reported Monday, Keitel, who was a series regular on ABC’s popular drama series Big Sky in Season 1, had their status changed to recurring for the upcoming second season. They play the role of Jerrie Kennedy on the show.
Tamika Miller Pic ‘Honor Student’ Ramps Up
Courtesy of Sophia Solomon
Writer/director Tamika Miller has kicked off production on her latest feature, Honor Student.
The indie centers on Jeremy Chue (Hudson Yang, Fresh Off the Boat) who is a picture-perfect teenager. He is talented, has perfect grades, a well-off family, and attends a prestigious Washington, D.C. private school. At least that is how he appears. After losing his twin brother in a mass shooting, Jeremy takes matters into his own hands, holding a teacher hostage and looking to teach America a lesson it will never forget.
The film co-written by Joe Rechtman also stars Kelly Jenrette (Mixed-ish, All Day and a Night), Chase Liefeld (Sunnyside Up), Tariq Brown (Zoe Valentine), Olivia Simmons (I’m Not Here) and more.
CLICK HERE TO READ!
How To Fix Hollywood’s Diversity Problem According To Award-Winning Storyteller And Founder Of The Writers Room 5050, Evette Vargas
Courtesy of Forbes
Storytelling plays such an integral role in our society. It lifts our spirits, informs our existence, and represents the diverse nature of the very world in which we live. The best stories highlight our differences, enabling us to find common ground even in the most unlikely of times. However, when unique perspectives are challenged and inevitably silenced, we lose the wealth brought on by worthy storytellers. This is an opinion with which award-winning storyteller Evette Vargas agrees.