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Neal McDonough, Sean Astin Join ‘The Shift’; Brainstorm Media Acquires ‘Acidman’ With Dianna Agron, Thomas Haden Church; Hope Runs High Takes BAFTA-Nominated Doc ‘Rebellion’ — Film Briefs

By Matt Grobar,


EXCLUSIVE : Neal McDonough ( Yellowstone ), Sean Astin ( Stranger Things ) and Rose Reid ( Finding You ) will join Kristoffer Polaha, John Billingsley, Jason Marsden, Nolan North, Emily Rose and more in the sci-fi thriller The Shift , which has entered production in Birmingham, AL.

The film written and directed by Brock Heasley marks the first original theatrical effort from Angel Studios, the studio behind the crowdfunded streaming series The Chosen . Plot details are under wraps. But Liz Tabish, Paras Patel and Jordan Walker Ross will also feature in the cast of the pic from Ken Carpenter’s Nook Lane Entertainment.

McDonough is repped by Luber Roklin Entertainment and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman; Astin by Luber Roklin, Stewart Talent and Brecheen Feldman Breimer; and Reid by Innovative Artists and attorney Jared Bloch.
Thomas Haden Church and Dianna Agron in Acidman

EXCLUSIVE : Brainstorm Media has acquired U.S. rights to the sci-fi drama Acidman , starring Dianna Agron ( Glee ) and Thomas Haden Church ( Sideways ), slating it for a day-and-date release on March 31.

The film from acclaimed indie director Alex Lehmann ( Paddleton , Blue Jay ) watches as Maggie tracks down her estranged, UFO-obsessed father Lloyd, who is now living in the Oregon. Together, they then attempt to make first contact.

Lehmann and Chris Dowling wrote the pic, also featuring Sameerah Luqmaan-Harris ( Sharp Objects ), which world premiered to critical acclaim at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival. Liz Cardenas, Lehmann, Agron and Christian Agypt served as its producers. Brainstorm Media’s Director of Acquisitions, Alex Peters, negotiated the deal for Acidman on behalf of the company, with CAA’s Allison Hironaka on behalf of the filmmakers.


EXCLUSIVE : Hope Runs High has picked up U.S. rights to the BAFTA-nominated documentary Rebellion from first-time feature filmmakers Maia Kenworthy and Elena Sánchez Bellot, with plans to release it in theaters this spring.

The selection of the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival follows the rise to prominence and subsequent tumult of UK environmental movement Extinction Rebellion (XR), whose peaceful demonstrations in 2019 brought London to a standstill and became the largest act of civil disobedience since the Suffragettes. Within days of the protests, a climate emergency was declared by the UK Parliament, with climate change being propelled to the heart of public debate. Many countries around the world, from Canada to Bangladesh, followed suit in declaring emergencies. Yet as XR became a global phenomenon, internal tensions rose. Here we see XR Youth come to the fore, calling out the power imbalances of the group. For them, climate change is not just an environmental issue but is rooted in —and reinforces — social inequalities.

BAFTA nominee Kat Mansoor ( Cow ) produced the pic alongside Academy Award winner Kevin Macdonald ( The Mauritanian ).

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