Eva Longoria and Sid Ganis Appointed to Academy Museum Board of Trustees — Film News in Brief

Eva Longoria and Sid Ganis Appointed to Academy Museum Board of Trustees

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures announced that Eva Longoria has been appointed to its board of trustees, while Sid Ganis will become the museum’s first honorary trustee.

Since starring in “Desperate Housewives,” Longoria has led the charge for female representation in Hollywood and cemented herself as an entertainment industry staple known for her work both in front of and behind the camera. Ganis, a film executive and producer, has been integral to securing the future of the Academy Museum. He will now serve on the board in a lifetime position.

Longoria and Ganis join existing board members Ted Sarandos, chair; Miky Lee (Mie Kyung Lee) vice-chair; Kimberly Steward, secretary; Jim Gianopulos, treasurer; Patricia S. Bellinger, Jason Blum, Arnaud Boetsch, Olivier de Givenchy, Laura Dern, David Dolby, Sidonie Seydoux Dumas, Ray Halbritter, Tom Hanks, Dawn Hudson, Bill Kramer, Alejandro Ramírez Magaña, Ryan Murphy, Isis Mussenden, Dominic Ng, Katherine Oliver, David Rubin, Regina K. Scully, Emma Thomas, Diane von Furstenberg and Kevin Yeaman.

As the governing body of the Academy Museum, the board leads the museum toward a sustainable future by adopting sound, ethical and legal governance and financial management policies in addition to securing adequate resources to advance the museum’s mission.

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The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will open to the public on Sep. 30.

Array Releasing Acquires New Zealand Indigenous Drama ‘Cousins’

Array Releasing, the distribution arm of Ava DuVernay’s social impact collective Array, has acquired the North America and UKIE rights to the indigenous drama “Cousins.”

Based on the novel of the same name, the film follows three Māori cousins — Mata, Missy and Makareta — who lead separate lives, yet are bound together forever. Orphaned Mata believes she has no whānau (family) and lives out her lonely childhood in fear and bewilderment. Back home on the land in New Zealand, the driven and educated Makareta flees an arranged marriage to study law and begin the search for her missing cousin. She leaves behind cheeky yet dutiful Missy who takes on her role of kaitiaki (guardian) of the land. As the years pass and land surveyors begin to encroach, their promise to bring their stolen cousin home seems more unlikely than ever, until a chance encounter changes everything.

The cast includes Rachel House, Tanea Heke, Briar Grace-Smith, Ana Scotney, Tioreore Ngatai-Melbourne, Hariata Moriarty, Mihi Te Rauhi Daniels, Te Raukura Gray and Keyahne Patrick-Williams.

Helmed by Māori filmmaking duo Ainsley Gardiner and Briar Grace-Smith, “Cousins” is written by Patricia Grace. The film is produced by Georgina Conder, Libby Hakaraia and Gardiner under Miss Conception Films and Whenua Films with investment from The New Zealand Film Commission.

The acquisition was negotiated by Gordon Bobb of Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein and Lezcano on behalf of Array, and Gardner and Grace-Smith on behalf of the film.

“Cousins” debuted at number one at New Zealand’s box office when it was released earlier this year. It made its worldwide premiere at the Māoriland Film Festival in New Zealand in March, where it won the 2021 People’s Choice for best feature drama.

The film will make its U.S. debut on July 2 in select theaters including the Angelika Film Center (New York City), Consolidated Theatres Pearlridge (Waimalu, HI) and Consolidated Theatres Ward (Honolulu, HI). It will then make its streaming debut on July 22 on Netflix.

Third Coast Content Begins Production on ‘116: The Unashamed Story’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Third Coast Content has begun production on “116: The Unashamed Story,” which is slated for a 2022 release.

Directed by Dave Rivera, the documentary delves into the impact of a trailblazing label formed by Lecrae and Ben Washer and includes poignant behind-the-scenes footage that visually reveals the challenges that the artists and label faced, as they broke through barriers to create poignant music.

“We could not be more excited to work with Lecrae and his team,” said Ben Howard, principal at Third Coast Content. We love how he has been a disruptor and leader in the worlds of music and faith and are excited to tell the story of Reach Records and ‘116.’” 

The “116” movement has been an unmatched catalyst for change in hip hop and the church. At the height of Reach Records’ greatest musical achievements, Lecrae and “116” artists have artistically and creatively broken barriers within the music industry and the faith community. In the process, they challenged both secular and religious audiences to examine their social positions and prejudices.

Lecrae calls the journey from then to now, “exciting, painful, deeply moving and life-changing over the years,” adding, “my production company, Three Strands Films, is looking forward to the process of making this movie with Third Coast Content and sharing our journey with the world.”

Erin Mae Miller and Howard from Third Coast Content join Lecrae’s production company, Three Strands, as producers. Funding partners include Provident Films and Our Daily Bread Ministries. Executive producers include Adam Thomason for Three Strands; Bill Reeves and Brian Mitchell for Educational Media Foundation; Matt Brubaker and Dave Gavette for ODB; Trey Reynolds and Terry Hemmings for Provident Films.

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