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AFFRM Acquires Deepwater Horizon Doc ‘Vanishing Pearls’, Release To Coincide With 4th Anniversary Of BP Oil Spill

By | Tuesday March 18, 2014 @ 11:27am PDT

Vanishing Pearls documentaryEXCLUSIVE: The African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement (AFFRM) has acquired worldwide rights to Vanishing Pearls, the 2014 Slamdance documentary chronicling the aftermath of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill within a Gulf coast fishing village. Pic is the directorial debut of Louisiana native Nailah Jefferson, who turned the lens on a community of multigenerational African-American fisherman in Pointe à la Hache, Louisiana in the wake of the environmental disaster. AFFRM’s distribution arm ARRAY has set an April 18 NY & LA theatrical release to coincide with the four-year anniversary of the spill, which released 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Southern Gulf Coast. The acquisition was announced today by AFFRM founder and filmmaker Ava DuVernay, whose Sundance award-winner Middle of Nowhere was also distributed by AFFRM along with fest faves including Kinyarwanda and Restless City. “Nailah has created a breathtaking documentary set against one of the worst environmental catastrophes in US history by highlighting the economic and cultural losses with a strikingly personal approach. We’re pleased to work with this exciting new documentarian in connecting Vanishing Pearls with its audience,” said ARRAY’s Managing Director Tilane Jones. Gordon Bobb of Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein & Lezcano negotiated the deal on behalf of AFFRM.

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Specialty Box Office: ‘96 Minutes,’ ‘Bernie,’ ‘Elles,’ ‘Inventing Our Life,’ ‘Restless City’

By | Thursday April 26, 2012 @ 10:41pm PDT

Financing wasn’t the overriding hurdle for at least two of this weekend’s specialty debuts. The crews from 96 Minutes and Bernie contended with other challenges beyond funding to bring their projects to the screen. Meanwhile, the writer/director for Restless City made his production a reality after financing frustration on another project lured him to his latest feature. And remember the good folks at the MPAA who received the righteous wrath of The Weinstein Company and its publicity prowess for the dreaded R rating for Bully? Fellow New York distributor Kino Lorber is making the MPAA’s prudishness its marketing ally, hoping to make a box office hit with its erotic Elles, which the company submitted for a rating (something it rarely does). And the result is an NC-17. Exactly what Kino Lorber expected.

96 Minutes
Director-writer: Aimee Lagos
Cast: Brittany Snow, Evan Ross, Sharon Morris
Distributor: ARC Entertainment/XLrator Media
Financed through equity investors in L.A. and Atlanta, writer-director Aimee Lagos’ 96 Minutes secured about $1 million and shot over 18 days. The feature revolves around four “lives slammed together in a shocking moment,” so the tagline goes. “We had a number of challenges that went far beyond the typical under-resourced/short-schedule issues,” Lagos told Deadline. “A large part of the movie takes place in a moving car. Rather than using a typical process trailer or a stage, we had a local auto … Read More »

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AFFRM Takes Sundance’s ‘Restless City’ for U.S.

By | Thursday March 1, 2012 @ 2:52pm PST

Andrew Dosunmu’s Sundance 2011 feature Restless City is the story of African immigrants living on New York City’s fringes. African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement (AFFRM) plans an April 27th theatrical release; the film is the company’s fourth feature, joining I Will FollowKinyarwanda and Middle Of Nowhere. Eugene Gussenhoven wrote the Restless screenplay, and Katie Mustard and Matthew Parker produced with Audra Alexxi Jones, Munu Elifituri, David Raymond and Tony Okungbowa. The deal was negotiated for AFFRM by Gordon Bobb of Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka Finkelstein and Lezcano with Ronna Wallace of Eastgate on behalf of the filmmakers.

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