Hot Sheet July-September 2020

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Norman Anderson '02 wrote, directed, and produced The Donut Dollies which has been chosen as an Official Selection for 15 film festivals around the country. This documentary tells the story of a group of women who volunteered to serve during the Vietnam War and their efforts to cheer up the US troops through cookies and home-made entertainment programs.

Judd Apatow will team with HBO to make a two-part documentary on legendary comedian George Carlin. Apatow is set to direct, and the project will be produced by Rise Films as well as Apatow Productions.

John August '94 is set to co-write an original comedy feature for Netflix with Ryan Reynolds titled Upstate. The duo previously worked together on The Nines.

Jason Michael Berman '06 will produce the space thriller Retrograde for Mandalay Pictures.

Pepe Bojórquez '06 directed, wrote and produced Como Caído del Cielo, Netflix's 2019 #1 Spanish-language title in Mexico. In the United States, the film was one of Netflix's Top Ten Most Popular International Releases of 2019. Faculty member Christopher Chomyn photographed the movie and Octavio Llano '18 served as Assistant Art Director.

Nina Yang Bongiovi along with Forest Whitaker will produce the family drama Chicano for ABC.

Keith Calder '04 will produce the feature film adaptation of the video game Firewatch as a part of Snoot Entertainment. Calder is also the producer on Regina King's directorial debut, One Night in Miami, which will make its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival this year.

Sean Callahan '97, a DGA Stage Manager, has been elected to the DGA West AD/SM/PA Council.

Jenova Chen '06 and thatgamecompany's award-winning adventure game Journey will be released on the digital game service Steam.

Natalie Chao '17 and Sean Wang '16 have been selected for the Sundance Ignite x Adobe fellowship. The program selects a group of emerging filmmakers from age 18-25 and pairs them with a Sundance Institute alum mentor for a yearlong mentorship as well as many workshop opportunities.

Arvin Chen '06 will write and executive produce The Undesirables, a half-hour comedy series for Amazon Studios. This project once again pairs Chen with Ken Cheng, with whom he previously collaborated on Imagine Entertainment’s upcoming Ellie in Wonderland.

Cassius Corrigan '14 makes his directorial debut with Huracán, a Latinx psychological thriller about an MMA fighter who suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder. HBO has acquired the rights to the film, and is set to release on HBO platforms in September. Corrigan also wrote and stars in the feature.

Eli Craig '04 is slated to direct the Netflix romantic-comedy The Hills Have Eyes For You.

Susan Downey '95 has received a straight-to-series order from Apple for the development of a series based on the true events in Michael Lista’s Toronto Life article, “The Sting.” Downey will executive produce the project with Robert Downey Jr. as a part of Team Downey.

R.J. Cutler teams with Imagine Documentaries on a four-part true-crime docuseries about infamous New York jewel thief, Jack Roland Murphy, aka “Murf the Surf.” Cutler is set to write and direct the project.

Lindsay Ellis '17 wrote her debut novel, Axiom's End, which entered the New York Times Bestseller List at number 7 upon release.

Megan Ellison will executive produce the film adaptation of Rachel Yoder's debut novel Nightbitch after Annapurna Pictures won an auction to secure the rights. Amy Adams is set to star and produce.

Brian Frager '13 co-wrote the horror-thriller Initiation which premiered earlier this year at SXSW under its original title, Dembanger. Saban Films has acquired the North American rights to the film, with XYZ Films handling international distribution.

DeVon Franklin '00 signed an overall deal with CBS TV Studios to work on television programs. Franklin most recently produced the inspirational film Breakthrough for Disney/Fox.

James Ganiere '96 recently wrapped production on No More Goodbyes, which is about two foster brothers going on the run after their foster mother dies. Ganiere is directing and producing under his Rio Vista Universal label.

Cody Newton Gifford '12 will co-write the TV adaptation of Timothy Ballard's book, Slave Stealers: True Accounts Of Slave Rescues Then & Now, with Remi Adeleke. The first season is centered on Harriet Jacobs, who fought against human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of slaves.

Jonathan Glickman is set to produce a biopic about the interracial love affair between entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. and actress Kim Novak during the Hollywood studio system era. The project is currently titled Scandalous!

James Gray '91 will write and direct Armageddon Times for production company RT Features. Cate Blanchett, Rober De Niro, Oscar Isaac, Donald Sutherland, and Anne Hathaway are currently attached to star in the period drama.

Tarik Jackson '14 has been selected to participate in HBO's 2020 Directing Fellowship which seeks to cultivate emerging directors with an interest in television.

Aaron Kaplan will executive produce a half-hour comedy series about two parents who are trying to navigate parenthood in L.A. while raising a non-binary, gender-fluid child for ABC. The project will be a collaboration between Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment and 20th Century Fox TV.

Kip and Kern Konwiser ('88, '92) of Konwiser Brothers Media have landed the rights to the documentary The World’s Most Dangerous Radio Station. The documentary tells the story of the first Hip-Hop radio station, 1580 KDAY, and its founder, Greg Mack.

Alex Litvak '95 and Michael Finch have sold their spec script Arcana to Lionsgate. The fantasy feature will be produced and developed by Chad Stahelski’s 87Eleven Entertainment.

Elliot Mahler '17 and Patrick Quah '17 are a part of the game development team that will bring the adventure game The Pathless onto the newly announced Playstation 5. The Pathless is developed by the game studio Giant Squid (Abzû) and is published by Annapurna Interactive.

Zahir McGhee '09 has received a production commitment from ABC for his drama about a female hip-hop group. McGhee will write and executive produce this project.

Steve Michaels '93 will executive produce a new docuseries about Barry Minkow, the man who ran one of the largest Ponzi schemes in U.S. history.

Hiro Murai '06 inked a first-look deal with FX Productions through his production company, Super Frog. The deal covers all programming for FX, as well as other potential divisions of Walt Disney Television.

Kay Oyegun '13 sold her psychological thriller spec script The Ancestor to HBO Max in a competitive bidding situation. Tika Sumpter is attached to the project, as well as Michael B. Jordan and Alana Mayo who will serve as producers.

Prentice Penny '95 is set to direct his second feature film for Netflix with Chernin Entertainment on board to produce the project.

Jason Reed '95 is set to develop Sarah Pinsker’s Nebula Award-winning novel, A Song For a New Day, into a television series through his Jason T. Reed Productions. The book follows a young talent scout who seeks to reestablish human connection through music in a world where terror attacks and global pandemics have prevented gatherings of any kind.

Christina Hammond Reed '10 has written her debut YA novel, The Black Kids, which is a fictional coming-of-age story about a young black teen navigating the end of high school while in the midst of the 1992 L.A. riots.

Matt Reeves '88 inked an exclusive, multi-year deal with Warner Bros. to develop new television programming across all Warner Bros. platforms through his 6th & Idaho production company.

Shonda Rhimes '94 will produce podcasts via her Shondaland Audio, launching a slew of scripted and non-scripted series. Among them are Dylan Brown’s #Matter and Aaron Tracy and Andrew Lenchewski’s American Coup.

Khaled Ridgeway '18 makes his feature directorial debut in Death of a Telemarketer which won the fan favorite award at American Black Film Festival. The comedy drama follows a telephone salesman who gets held hostage after attempting to con a man to win an employee sales contest. The film will also make its Texas Premiere at the Austin Film Festival which will be held virtually later this year.

Jay Roach '86 directed HBO’s Coastal Elites. The comedy special is a socially distanced comedic satire that tells contemporary stories of characters who are grappling with politics, culture, and the pandemic.

Inon Shampanier '07 finished production of the drama feature Paper Spiders which he directed and co-wrote. Paper Spiders stars Lili Taylor and Stefania Lavie Owen and is a coming of age story that deals with mental illness.

Gordon Smith '08 is set to write, executive produce and showrun the series adaptation of David Henry Sterry’s memoir, The Master of Ceremonies: A True Story of Love, Murder, Roller Skates & Chippendales for Sony Pictures Television.

Chad Stahelski reunites with John Wick collaborator Derek Kolstad for a remake of the 2010 South Korean action-thriller The Man From Nowhere. Stahelski will produce through his 87Eleven Entertainment production banner, with Kolstad penning the script.

Danny Strong '96 will once again collaborate with director and executive producer Sanaa Hamri (Empire) on a new dramedy called Ya Bint. The series focuses on a trio of friends who have moved from the Middle East to Los Angeles and their experience being young, Arab and female in today’s America.

James Vanderbilt '99 will be a part of the team to relaunch the classic comedy, The Nutty Professor. Vanderbilt is attached to produce for Project X Entertainment.

Sean Wang '16 directed, produced, and edited the documentary short Still Here (還在) which is about the residents in Kaohsiung, Taiwan who refuse to move away from their beloved and now-abandoned village. Still Here (還在) was the Short of the Week on the Vimeo platform, as well as a Vimeo Staff Pick.

Matthew Weiner '90 is developing an original half-hour dramedy series for FX. Weiner is set to write, direct, and executive produce.

Athena Wickham '02 will executive produce a series based on the popular post-apocalyptic video game Fallout for Amazon Studios as a part of Kitler Films. This project will seek the collaboration of Bethesda Game Studios, the company behind the hit video game.

Carly Wray '06 has signed an exclusive multi-year deal with Warner Bros Television which will allow her to develop, write and produce for HBO as well as its streaming service and other third-party networks and digital platforms. Wray had previously worked on Westworld as well as serving as co-executive producer for Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen on HBO.

New Movies in Release

Sam Friedlander '06 (Director, Writer)

The Binge (Hulu)
Andrew Huebscher '99 (Cinematographer)

The Climb
Sara Shaw '08 (Editor)

Greyhound (Apple TV+)
Aaron Schneider '99 (Director)

Huracán (HBO)
Cassius Corrigan '14 (Director, Writer, Actor)

The King of Staten Island
Judd Apatow (Director, Producer, Writer)
Robert Elswit '75 (Director of Photography)

The Kissing Booth 2 (Netflix)
Vince Marcello '06 (Director, Producer, Writer)

Miss Juneteenth
Channing Godfrey Peoples '11 (Director, Writer)
Neil Creque Williams '13 (Producer)
Emily Rice '15 (Composer)
Satomi Mack Martin '12 (First Assistant Director)

Mulan (Disney+)
Jason Reed '95 (Producer)
Amanda Silver '89 (Writer)

Murder in the Woods
Luis Iga '15 (Director, Producer)
Yelyna De Leon '15 (Writer, Producer)

The New Mutants
Matthew Rundell '92 (Editor)

The Old Guard (Netflix)
David Ellison (Producer)
Terilyn Shropshire '85 (Editor)

Secret Society of Second-Born Royals (Disney+)
Alex Litvak '95 (Writer)
Jaron Presant '97 (Cinematography)

Ludwig Göransson (Music)

TV Shows in Release

The Boys (Amazon)
Eric Kripke '96 (Writer-Executive Producer-Showrunner)
Nona Khodai '05 (Editor)
Stephan Fleet '07 (Visual Effects)

Dear… (Apple TV+)
R.J. Cutler (Executive Producer)

Dirty John (Bravo)
John Talbert '02 (Producer)

Immigration Nation (Netflix)
Brandon Hill '02 (Executive Producer)

Perry Mason (HBO)
Susan Downey '95 (Producer)

Stargirl (CW)
Greg Beeman '82 (Executive Producer)

States of America
Brad Barber '05 (Creator, Producer)

Unsolved Mysteries (Netflix)
Shawn Levy '94 (Executive Producer)

A Wilderness Of Error (FX)
Marc Smerling (Director, Executive Producer)

New Video Games in Release

Ghost of Tsushima (PS4)
Scott Gowin '13 (Visual Effects, Motion Capture Coordinator; Digital Domain)

The Last of Us Part II (PS4)
Jessie Chang '16 (Quality Assurance Tester)
Madeleine Rodriguez '16 (Quality Assurance Tester)
Josh Scherr '97 (Writer, Narrative Designer)
Alexander Stewart '18 (Game Designer, Gameplay Scripter)

VALORANT (Windows)
Paul Bellezza '08 (Senior Manager, Production; Riot Games)