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‘Zola’ and ‘Once Upon a Time in Queens’ to Screen at New York’s Rooftop Films— Film News in Brief

‘Zola’ and ‘Once Upon a Time in Queens’ to Screen at New York’s Rooftop Films— Film News in Brief
Rooftop Films Returns for 25th Anniversary Summer Series in NYC

Rooftop Films, the non-profit organization and film community celebrated as New York’s home for independent films, announced the return of their annual Rooftop Films Summer Series.

Among the films set to screen are Janicza Bravo’s “Zola,” presented by A24 on the lawn in Fort Greene Park, and “Once Upon a Time in Queens,” ESPN’s new series detailing the uniquely wild championship run of the 1986 Mets.

Joshua Rofé’s “Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal and Greed,” and Sally Aitken’s “Playing with Sharks,” are the documentaries will also screen when the series begins June 17 at Green-Wood Cemetery.

The screenings will follow all CDC and state guidelines which allow for more New Yorkers to gather safely for cultural events. The Rooftop Films Summer Series is presented by SundanceTV.

The Summer Series will run from June 17th through mid-September and
See full article at Variety »

‘Plan B’ Review: A Fresh Addition to the Burgeoning ‘Bff Reproductive Health Road Trip’ Genre

‘Plan B’ Review: A Fresh Addition to the Burgeoning ‘Bff Reproductive Health Road Trip’ Genre
Two is a coincidence and three is a trend — and that includes the burgeoning genre of road trip movies about teen BFFs dealing with reproductive health. Natalie Morales’ “Plan B” joins Eliza Hittman’s luminous “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” and Rachel Lee Goldenberg’s cheeky “Unpregnant” and, like those films, follows a pair of best friends who are forced to fend for themselves in a world that doesn’t value girls or their medical autonomy. Much like “Unpregnant” in particular, , though it doesn’t hammer its realities home quite as hard as its predecessors.

Best friends Lupe (Victoria Moroles) and Sunny (Kuhoo Verma in a star-making comedic turn) both come from strait-laced, “traditional” families — Sunny is convinced the “Indian mafia” are reporting back her every move to her overbearing mom, Lupe’s Mexican-American clan is decidedly church-centric — and are some of the few people of color in an overwhelmingly white
See full article at Indiewire »

Plan B Review: A Heartfelt, Inclusive Comedy Capturing a Ride-or-Die Friendship

Plan B Review: A Heartfelt, Inclusive Comedy Capturing a Ride-or-Die Friendship
It was about halfway through Natalie Morales’ Plan B (her directorial debut if you go by theatrical release date considering her festival title Language Lessons from earlier this year has yet to secure one) that Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg’s producer credits came into focus because it was there that the parallels to Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle became undeniable. If actor-turned-director Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart was created in the Superbad vein, Joshua Levy and Prathiksha Srinivasan’s script was certainly drawn from that of the Cobra Kai showrunners’ breakthrough comedy. And it’s not just because they share having two non-white stars on a drug- and sex-fueled adventure in search of a holy grail. What connects them most is the heartfelt and inclusive ride-or-die friendship at their cores.

Where Harold and Kumar were post-collegiate adults trying to cement their identities both within and without the stereotypical clichés of their ethnic backgrounds,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Inside Out, Nantucket Film Festival Lineups Set; ‘The Wedding Pact 2’ A Go; Freestyle Digital Media Hire; ‘Songs For A Sloth’ Deal – Film Briefs

Inside Out, Nantucket Film Festival Lineups Set; ‘The Wedding Pact 2’ A Go; Freestyle Digital Media Hire; ‘Songs For A Sloth’ Deal – Film Briefs
The 31st Inside Out Toronto 2Slgbtq+ Film Festival this week unveiled its full lineup for its virtual edition, which will run May 27-June 6. A total of 143 films including 33 features and five episodic series will unspool, according to new executive director Lauren Howes and director of programming Andrew Murphy. A total of 70% of this year’s selected films are by women/trans/non-binary directors

Natalie Morales’ directorial debut Language Lessons, which won the audience award at this year’s SXSW, will open the festival, with the Charli Xcx documentary Alone Together set to close. Highlights of the slate include Sundance winner Ma Belle, My Beauty, Wes Hurley’s Potato Dreams of America and Mari Walker’s See You Then, along with the world premiere of Shelley Thompsons’ trans family drama Dawn, Her Dad & the Tractor. Docs include the Zachary Quinto-narrated Yes I Am: The Ric Weiland Story and Drag Invasion,
See full article at Deadline »

‘Summer of Soul’ to Open Nantucket Film Festival

‘Summer of Soul’ to Open Nantucket Film Festival
The Nantucket film festival has announced its line-up, setting Sundance doc and narrative winners Summer of Soul and Coda as the opening and closing night films, respectively. The fest’s centerpiece screening will be the Nat Geo doc Playing with Sharks.

Other titles in the line-up include Sundance selections Homeroom and Luzzu, as well as SXSW titles like Mark Duplass and Natalie Morales’ Language Lessons. The festival will be a hybrid of online and open-air screenings, as well as drive-ins and conversations.

Also at the fest, Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino will be the recipients of the excellence in television writing award. Kelsey Grammer will receive the Compass ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Kuhoo Verma & Victoria Moroles in Trailer for Hulu Comedy 'Plan B'

Kuhoo Verma & Victoria Moroles in Trailer for Hulu Comedy 'Plan B'
"My 24 hour window is closing!" Hulu has debuted the first official trailer for Plan B, a new comedy in the vein of Superbad, the second feature film directed by actress Natalie Morales (following her feature debut Language Lessons). This looks like good fun. After a regrettable first sexual encounter, a straight-laced high school student and her slacker best friend have 24 hours to hunt down a Plan B pill in America's heartland. Kuhoo Verma and Victoria Moroles star as friends Sunny and Lupe, and the cast includes Michael Provost, Mason Cook, Josh Ruben, Hana Hayes, and Bobby Tisdale. This looks like the next great modern teen comedy after Lady Bird and Booksmart. Let's roll! I'm ready for some Plan B heartland humor. Here's the first official trailer (+ poster) for Natalie Morales' Plan B, direct from Hulu's YouTube: The best trips are never planned. When a straight-laced high school student has a regrettable first sexual encounter,
See full article at FirstShowing.net »

Charli Xcx Documentary to Close Inside Out Film Festival — Film News in Brief

Charli Xcx Documentary to Close Inside Out Film Festival  — Film News in Brief
Monday, May 3

Charli Xcx Documentary to Close Inside Out Film Festival

Toronto’s 2021 Inside Out film festival will take place online from May 27 to June 6. The 2Slgbtq+ fest will open with Natalie Morales’ “Language Lessons,” which picked up the audience award at this year’s SXSW Film Festival. Closing Inside Out will be the Charli Xcx documentary “Alone Together.” A total of 143 films, including 33 features and five episodic series, fill the lineup for this year’s programming.

Other highlights include the Zachary Quinto-narrated “Yes, I Am: The Ric Weiland Story,” about queer computer programmer Rich Weiland, and “Drag Invasion,” a doc about an LGBTQ community in Peru that is inspired to mobilize while watching “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” The Sundance Audience Award-winning “Ma Belle, My Beauty” will also be show,n as will the premiere of Wes Hurley’s autobiographical dark comedy “Potaro Dreams of America.”

“Having pulled off the
See full article at Variety »

Shout! Takes SXSW Award Winner Language Lessons Starring Mark Duplass & Natalie Morales

Shout! Takes SXSW Award Winner Language Lessons Starring Mark Duplass & Natalie Morales
Language Lessons, the directorial debut movie from Natalie Morales that was a hit at this year's South by Southwest (SXSW), has picked up distribution in the United States. After having its world premiere at this year's Berlin Film Festival, the movie screened at SXSW last month where it won an audience award.

Noticing the success of Language Lessons, Shout! Studios picked up the North American rights to the movie. The plan now is to release the movie in additional theaters and other platforms later this year through the deal that also includes digital, VOD, broadcast, and home entertainment rights. It's not yet clear when the company will be rolling out the distribution plans for the feature.

"Shout! has held a special place in my heart, way back since their release of my first show, The Middleman. What can I say? They've always had a good eye, and they've always been supportive of the little guy,
See full article at MovieWeb »

Natalie Morales, Amy Landecker & Alice Lee To Headline CBS’ Sarah Cooper/Cindy Chupack Comedy Pilot

Natalie Morales, Amy Landecker & Alice Lee To Headline CBS’ Sarah Cooper/Cindy Chupack Comedy Pilot
Exclusive: Natalie Morales (The Little Things), Amy Landecker (Transparent) and Alice Lee (Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist) are set as the leads in CBS’ comedy pilot based on TikTok star Sarah Cooper’s book How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men’s Feelings. Morales also serves as a producer on the pilot, from Cooper, Cindy Chupack, Nina Tassler and Denise Di Novi.

Co-written by Cooper and Chupack and directed by Amy York Rubin, the Untitled Sarah Cooper/Cindy Chupack Project revolves around three women at different stages in their careers at a male-dominated company — played by Morales, Landecker and Lee — who help each other navigate modern gender politics in their professional and personal lives.

Morales will play Joanna, a conflict-averse, people-pleasing middle manager at the small tech company Lucent Muse, whose new hire, Elyse (Lee), challenges her “go along to get along” career philosophy. She lives with her boyfriend of two years,
See full article at Deadline »

Natalie Morales’ ‘Language Lessons’ With Mark Duplass Acquired by Shout! Studios

Natalie Morales’ ‘Language Lessons’ With Mark Duplass Acquired by Shout! Studios
Shout! Studios has acquired the North American rights to “Language Lessons,” a love story starring and directed by Natalie Morales and also starring Mark Duplass.

Parks and Rec” star Morales made her directorial debut on “Language Lessons,” which made its premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival before snagging an audience award for Morales at this year’s SXSW Film Festival. Shout! plans to release the film across all platforms, beginning with a theatrical release later this year.

Duplass and Morales also co-wrote the screenplay, which is about a man whose husband surprises him with weekly Spanish lessons. When tragedy strikes in his life, his Spanish teacher becomes a lifeline he didn’t know he needed, leading him to develop an unexpected and complicated emotional bond with her.

Language Lessons,” which earned strong reviews out of Berlin, is described as bittersweet, honest and at times darkly funny in how it
See full article at The Wrap »

Shout! Acquires SXSW Audience Award Winner ‘Language Lessons,’ By Duplass Brothers, Natalie Morales

Shout! Acquires SXSW Audience Award Winner ‘Language Lessons,’ By Duplass Brothers, Natalie Morales
Shout! Studios has acquired North American rights to the platonic love story “Language Lessons” from Duplass Brothers Productions, following a competitive bidding situation. The news comes on the heels of the movie’s world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival and its Audience Award win at the SXSW Film Festival.

Language Lessons” marks the feature directorial debut of Natalie Morales. It stars and was written by Mark Duplass and Morales, and was produced by Mel Eslyn.

The film follows Adam (Duplass), whose husband surprises him with a gift of a year’s worth of weekly Spanish lessons. But when tragedy strikes, his teacher, Cariño (Morales), becomes a lifeline he didn’t know he needed and the two develop an unexpected and complicated emotional bond.

Shot in secret during the pandemic with a skeleton crew in Los Angeles and Costa Rica, “Language Lessons’ ” exploration of long-distance connection is both of its time and timeless.
See full article at Variety »

SXSW Film Festival Audience Award Winners: ‘Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free’, ‘The Fallout’ And ‘Not Going Quietly’ Among Honorees

SXSW Film Festival Audience Award Winners: ‘Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free’, ‘The Fallout’ And ‘Not Going Quietly’ Among Honorees
The 28th SXSW Film Festival revealed the Audience Award winners Tuesday, with Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free, The Fallout and Not Going Quietly among the list of honorees. The news comes after the online edition of the fest announced its jury awards.

The Mary Wharton-directed docu Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free chronicles the iconic musician’s work on his lauded 1994 record Wildflowers via newly discovered archived footage. The film won the Audience Award in the Headliners category, while The Fallout, Megan Park’s reflection on teen grief and trauma after a mass shooting — something all too familiar right now — won under the narrative feature competition banner. On the documentary competition banner, Nicholas Bruckman’s moving feature docu Not Going Quietly took the Audience Award.

Over the course of five days of SXSW Online, the SXSW Film Festival screened 75 features including 57 world premieres, three international premieres, four North American Premieres,
See full article at Deadline »

‘Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free,’ ‘The Fallout’ Win SXSW Audience Awards

‘Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free,’ ‘The Fallout’ Win SXSW Audience Awards
The documentary “Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free” and Megan Park’s “The Fallout” won the audience awards from the 2021 SXSW Film Festival, it was announced Tuesday.

Mary Wharton’s “Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free,” which tells the backstory behind the late rock star’s “Wildflowers” recording sessions, won among the three headlining films playing the festival. “The Fallout,” a teen drama starring Jenna Ortega and Maddie Ziegler, won the audience prize for narrative features after it also won the category’s jury prize.

Not Going Quietly,” a documentary by Nicholas Bruckman about progressive political activist Ady Barkan and his fight with Als, won the audience award for films in the documentary feature competition. Director Natalie Morales also won the Narrative Spotlight audience award for her film “Language Lessons,” and Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler won the Documentary Spotlight Audience Award for “Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America.
See full article at The Wrap »

Tom Petty doc, ‘The Fallout’ among SXSW audience award winners

Tom Petty doc, ‘The Fallout’ among SXSW audience award winners
Winners include Language Lessons, Who We Are: A Chronicle Of Racism In America.

Documentary Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free and The Fallout and are among SXSW audience award winners announced across multiple sections on Tuesday (March 23).

Narrative feature competition winner The Fallout fared well when the juried award winners were unveiled last week. Megan Park’s follows a high-school student as she navigates life in the wake of a school tragedy.

Mary Wharton directed Headliners winner Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free, which follows the legendary late performer as he records his second solo album ’Wildflowers’.

Nicholas Bruckman’s
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Tom Petty doc, ‘The Fallout’ among SXSW audience winners

Tom Petty doc, ‘The Fallout’ among SXSW audience winners
Winners include Language Lessons, Who We Are: A Chronicle Of Racism In America.

Documentary Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free and The Fallout and are among SXSW audience award winners announced across multiple sections on Tuesday (March 23).

Narrative feature competition winner The Fallout fared well when the juried award winners were unveiled last week. Megan Park’s follows a high-school student as she navigates life in the wake of a school tragedy.

Mary Wharton directed Headliners winner Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free, which follows the legendary late performer as he records his second solo album ’Wildflowers’.

Nicholas Bruckman’s
See full article at ScreenDaily »

2021 SXSW Film Festival Review – Language Lessons

2021 SXSW Film Festival Review – Language Lessons
Language Lessons, 2021. Co-written and directed by Natalie Morales. Starring Mark Duplass and Natalie Morales. Synopsis: A Spanish teacher and her student develop an unexpected friendship. A year-plus into the Covid-19 pandemic, many if not most of us are surely fed up with films about the global predicament, whether explicitly or tangentially. But Natalie Morales’ feature […]

The post 2021 SXSW Film Festival Review – Language Lessons appeared first on Flickering Myth.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

‘Language Lessons’: Natalie Morales Directorial Debut Is Hampered By Its Zoom Meeting Dynamics [SXSW Review]

‘Language Lessons’: Natalie Morales Directorial Debut Is Hampered By Its Zoom Meeting Dynamics [SXSW Review]
In the age of quarantine and pandemics, connection is desperately needed, loneliness is its own epidemic, and mental health and tragedy issues are all-too-relevant, sad byproducts of the Covid-19 era. Now, while it’s arguably (or charitably) unclear if anyone actually wants to actually see any stories set during quarantine—by all accounts, most quarantine-set movies and TV like “Locked Down” and “Coastal Elites” were terrible— all of these aforementioned ideas of isolation, connection, confinement and more, at the center of Natalie Morales’ directorial debut, “Language Lessons.”

Read More: The 100 Most Anticipated Films Of 2021

It’s a noble effort, using the ideas of language to deepen and enrich the themes of connecting with one another in a meaningful way, and the misunderstandings that come with an unfamiliar language, passive-aggressiveness, authentic, honest, communication, coded language, and more.

Continue reading ‘Language Lessons’: Natalie Morales Directorial Debut Is Hampered By Its Zoom Meeting Dynamics [SXSW Review] at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »

Berlinale: Teddy Awards Lineup Offers a Surprising Cross-Section of New Queer Cinema

Berlinale: Teddy Awards Lineup Offers a Surprising Cross-Section of New Queer Cinema
Now in its 35th year, the Teddy Awards are among the Berlinale’s most affectionately regarded institutions. Presented annually to standout LGBTQ-themed titles across the festival’s entire lineup, they have a looser, hipper, more inclusive reputation than other Berlin prizes: fittingly, they’re annually presented not at an exclusive black-tie affair, but a publicly accessible ceremony followed by an almighty dance-’til-dawn party.

Yet the Teddys’ prestige survives their informality. Surveying their list of past winners, it’s notable how many defining queer works have been recognized along the way: from Pedro Almodóvar’s “Law of Desire” to Cheryl Dunye’s “The Watermelon Woman,” from Derek Jarman’s “The Last of England” to John Cameron Mitchell’s “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” from Sebastian Lelio’s eventual Oscar-winner “A Fantastic Woman” to last year’s vibrantly intersectional “No Hard Feelings.”

As for which new film is going to join their ranks this year,
See full article at Variety »

‘Language Lessons’ Review: Natalie Morales Directs a Platonic Romcom For the Zoom Era

‘Language Lessons’ Review: Natalie Morales Directs a Platonic Romcom For the Zoom Era
It’s nearly a year since Zoom became a household name brand, its boxy chat windows, variable resolution and capacity for technical glitches shaping how many communicated with friends, family and colleagues during a global pandemic — to the extent that “Zoom fatigue” is now the defining buzz term of 2021 so far. A gentle relationship study playing out entirely through the cramped, sterile rectangles of a virtual chat app, actor-director Natalie Morales’ freshman feature “Language Lessons” arrives just as our collective patience for such correspondence is worn threadbare, though it doesn’t romanticize the medium. Rather, this tender, slender story of a queer California widower (Mark Duplass) processing his grief through online Spanish classes with a Costa Rican stranger (Morales) ebbs and flows with the limitations, miscommunications and occasional candor of screen-based interaction.

Language Lessons” is plainly a feat of quarantine-era production, with its two-actor, two-location, two-screen setup making it pretty
See full article at Variety »

‘Language Lessons’ Review: Mark Duplass and Natalie Morales Shine in Intimate Exploration of Platonic Love

‘Language Lessons’ Review: Mark Duplass and Natalie Morales Shine in Intimate Exploration of Platonic Love
The coronavirus pandemic and its attendant lockdowns and quarantines have already inspired a wide variety of scrappy slices of entertainment, from “Songbird” and “Malcom & Marie” to “Locked Down” and “How It Ends,” and that’s just in the narrative arena. While the desire to keep creating as usual production options are on hold is understandable, it’s led to a mixed bag of final products, even the best of them hampered by the restrictions of the era. In short, a year into this thing, “Zoom fatigue” is very real, and getting an audience excited to watch a film that plays out almost entirely via video conferencing and messaging is no small ask.

Fortunately, Natalie Morales’ winning “Language Lessons” offers one of the best uses of the format yet, Morales also stars in the film alongside her co-writer, Mark Duplass, who first conceived of the film’s relatively simple idea before
See full article at Indiewire »

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