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Film News Roundup: ‘The Irishman’ Wins Capri Film Festival Screenplay Award

Dave McNary

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In today’s film news roundup, Steven Zaillian’s script for “The Irishman” wins an award, MGM hires a trio of marketing execs, MTV Documentary Films sets three new projects; and “The Caretaker of Lorne Field” is becoming a movie.

AWARDS

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Steven Zaillian’s screenplay for Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” will receive the best original screenplay award at the 24th annual Capri Hollywood International Film Festival.

The award will be presented to Zaillian during festival, which runs between Dec. 27 and Jan. 2.

Tony Renis, the festival’s honorary president, said, “‘The Irishman’ is considered to be one of Scorsese’s greatest films and Zaillian’s script is a true masterpiece. The talented writer is a long-time collaborator of the Italian-American maestro as well as many other great auteurs. His script is a perfect piece of work, which has resulted in remarkable performances brought to life by such movie stars as Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci.”

HIRINGS

Metro Goldwyn Mayer has bolstered its worldwide marketing team with the appointments of David Luner, Michael Fisk and Val Aveni.

Luner was named exec VP of worldwide television marketing and Fisk was selected as exec VP of film marketing. Aveni was selected as VP of social media and brand strategy. All will report into MGM’s chief marketing officer, Stephen Bruno.

Luner joins MGM from Lionsgate where he also served as exec VP of worldwide television marketing. Previously, Fisk served as exec VP of international marketing for Lionsgate, and worked for 12 years at Sony Pictures. Aveni joins MGM from Uber, where she served as the senior lead of global marketing and content.

MTV DOCUMENTARIES

MTV Documentary Films has set its next three projects with filmmakers Alexandra Pelosi, Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey, and Alexandra Shiva.

Pelosi’s film “America on Selfies” places her in familiar territory: crisscrossing the country to take the temperature of a changing America as it prepares for a historic 2020 election. Pelosi is the daughter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “Going to Pot: The Highs and Lows of It” explores the burgeoning marijuana industry by delving into the misconceptions and promises of its explosion with Bailey and Barbato.

Shiva will explore the fastest-growing epidemic among teens and young adults today: suicide. The film will offer life-saving information to reconsider that moment of despair, to understand the role of depression and impulsivity in the act, and to destigmatize mental health.

PROJECT LAUNCH

“Black Swan” screenwriter Andres Heinz will adapt the novel “The Caretaker of Lorne Field” by Dave Zeltserman as a feature film, Variety has learned exclusively.

Published in 2010, “The Caretaker of Lorne Field” is an eco horror/thriller about a family who has been saving the world for 300 years, though nobody believes it. Jack Durkin must battle bloodthirsty plants that could overrun the world in weeks if not attended to, while the rest of the town has forgotten why they’ve contracted the family to do this job since the 1700s.

Producers are Scott Steindorff and Dylan Russell of Stone Village along with Mary Ann Marino and Josh Kramer. Heinz was represented by Melissa Rogal at Lichter, Grossman, Nichols & Adler and Steve Crawford at Industry Entertainment. Joel Falderon of DreamFox Productions,  Christian Oliver and Carole Meiselman will executive produce.

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