Gravitas Ventures Promote Danielle Gasher and Bill Guentzler to New Acquisition Roles – Film News in Brief

Gravitas Ventures has promoted Danielle Gasher to vice president, acquisitions and international sales, and Bill Guentzler to vice president, acquisitions.

Gasher will now head Gravitas’ new international sales efforts division that will launch at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, continuing to play an integral role as a part of the acquisitions team. Guentzler will take on the role of securing titles for the company’s slate of over 200 films a year. Together, Gravitas and Guentzler will identify films for the Gravitas Premiere label that launched “Mack & Rita,” starring Diane Keaton, in 2022.

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Prior to their promotion, Gasher and Guentzler were both senior directors of acquisition for Gravitas Ventures where they worked on acquiring Gravitas titles including Alex Heller’s “The Year Between” with J. Smith-Cameron and Steve Buscemi, “All the World Is Sleeping” with “Scream VI’s” Melissa Barrera, “Ocean Boy” with Luke Hemsworth and the comedic drama “Gringa” with Steve Zahn and Judy Greer.

“We are so pleased to be expanding our reach to international audiences. Filmmakers already entrust us with the domestic release of their films…so it felt like a natural progression to move into representing content to the international marketplace,” Gasher said.

“At its core, Gravitas Ventures is a film company run by film enthusiasts for film enthusiasts,” Guentzler added. “That is at the forefront of everything we do, and we have been able to secure some truly exceptional films because of it. I am excited for the challenge this position provides, and look forward to helping bolster Gravitas’ already-impressive library.”

LD Entertainment Greenlights Contained Thriller “Bone Lake”

Mercedes Bryce Morgan’s latest contained thriller “Bone Lake” has been greenlit by LD Entertainment, with production having wrapped at the end of April.

“Bone Lake” is a psychological thriller that tells the story of two young couples who have unknowingly booked the same vacation rental property at the same time. While both couples thought they were in for a fun vacation, “their romantic weekend becomes a twisted maze of sex, lies and survival.”

The film is set to star Alex Roe, Maddie Hasson, Marco Pigossi and Andra Nechita.

Mickey Liddell, Pete Shilaimon and Jacob Yakob will produce for LD Entertainment. Joshua Friedlander developed the screenplay and will also produce, along with Jason Blumenfeld. Alex Roe serves as an executive producer along with LD’s Mehrdod Heydari and Joseph Yakob. Morgan directed “Bone Lake.”

Spike Lee And The Gersh Agency Announce Spike Fellows at Gersh Program

Spike Lee and The Gersh Agency have announced the selection of the inaugural class of the Spike Fellows at Gersh Program.

The five selected fellows, Quentin Anderson, Tai Livingston, Jalen Ellis, Shayna Cartledge and Halle Jones each hail from the Atlanta University Center Consortium (Atlanta-based HBCUs Morehouse College, Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University).

The program is designed to provide opportunities and exposure for the fellows as they partake in the eight-week immersive educational experience. Throughout the two months, the fellows will join an agency-wide departmental rotation program, senior-level industry mentoring, off-site learning activities and volunteer service projects.

“At Morehouse, Spelman And Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University) is where my path to being a filmmaker started. I’m thrilled that The Gersh Agency and I have hooked up to get 5 serious graduates from these mentioned schools into the film business,” said Lee.

The Spike Fellows at Gersh Program will begin on June 12. At the program’s conclusion on Aug. 4 each fellow will be awarded $25,000 in academic debt relief and full-time employment beginning September 5, 2024.

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Announces Summer Programming Including Ruth E. Carter and Diane Warren Conversations

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures announced its summer programming will include a new concert film series, public events, education programs and conversations with Oscar-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter and 14-time Oscar-nominee Diane Warren.

The events begin on June 1 with a screening of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn’s “Desk Set,” followed by a post-screening Q&A with Claire L. Evans and Elizabeth Youle.

On June 8, the screening series “A New Wave of K-Cinema: Korean Women Directors” will commence, followed by the June 10 concert film series, “Summer of Music: Concert Films 1959–2020.” The concert film series will kick off with a screening of “Jazz on a Summer’s Day” and conclude on August 23, with “Metallica: Through the Never in 3D” screening.

On July 6, the museum will celebrate the departure of its landmark exhibit, “Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898–1971,” and on July 20 will showcase the work of the groundbreaking makeup artist, Dick Smith, with “The Godfather of Makeup” exhibit. Additionally, on July 23, “Silent Sundays” will begin and will include screenings of silent films each week until August 27.

Throughout the summer programming series, the museum will screen “Nope,” “The Godfather,” “Safety Last!,” “Last Things,” “Working Girl,” “Lilo & Stitch,” “Desk Set,” “Waikiki Brothers,” “Fantasia” and “The Beatles: Get Back — The Rooftop Concert.”

LAIKA Chief Marketing Officer David Burke Adds Chief Operating Officer to His Title

David Burke, LAIKA’s chief marketing officer, has added chief operating officer to his title, president and CEO Travis Knight announced Wednesday.

In his new role, Burke will encompass the operations activities while continuing to lead brand marketing and film promotions. As a member of the executive team, Burke will also aid in the development of LAIKA’s live-action strategy.

Burke joined LAIKA after formerly working at Universal Pictures as the general manager for the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland since 2006. Burke will continue to report to Knight amid his promotion.

“Dave is a bold, forward-thinking leader and an all-around terrific guy,” said Knight.  “He has become an indelible part of LAIKA’s story.  Dave’s exceptional thoughtfulness, creativity, and discernment make him uniquely suited to steer our studio into the future.  Partnering with Dave has been a joy, and together we wholeheartedly believe LAIKA’s finest chapters are ahead of us.”

Since joining LAIKA, Burke has optimized LAIKA’s Academy Award®-nominated legacy titles across VOD, AVOD and Physical Media, including nationwide retrospective theatrical screenings of LAIKA’s library through Fathom, setting post-pandemic records in the retro screening space.

The Location Managers Guild International Announces its 2023 LMGI Board of Directors 

Daniel Finn has been elected to the LGMI’s Board of Directors, the Guild announced Tuesday.

Additionally, the 2023 Officers of the Executive Committee were revealed at the May 7 Board of Directors meeting, comprised of president John Rakich, first vice president Alison Taylor, second vice president Angus Ledgerwood, treasurer Ken Brooker and secretary Lisa Scope.

The LGMI is an organization defined by professionals in the motion picture, television, commercial and print production industries who uphold commendatory ethical standards.

“With eight open board seats and 12 excellent candidates, the 2023 election results, once again, tallied the most votes in LMGI history,” said election committee chair, Edward Mazurek. “This is a testament to our nominees’ professionalism and superb reputations, as well as the engagement of our membership. Congratulations to our elected 2023 Board Members.”

Hailing from Los Angeles, Finn will join returning members Jimmy Ayoub (NY), Ken Brooker (Canada), Dan Connolly (UK), Mac Gordon (GA), Eric Klein (NY), Angus Ledgerwood (UK), Edward Mazurek (CA), David McKinney (CA), Robin Macdonald (Canada), John Rakich (Canada), Ryan Schaetzle (GA), Lisa Scope (AUS), Alison A. Taylor (CA) and Scott Trimble (CA).

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