Gravitas Ventures Lands Hot Docs Pic The Gig Is Up; Burbank Film Festival Fetes Bridges Family; The Manson Brothers & Samantha Rose Dates Film Briefs

Gravitas Ventures has acquired U.S. rights to The Gig Is Up, Shannon Walsh’s feature documentary that explores the real costs of the controversial gig economy through the lives of workers from around the world for companies including Uber, Amazon and Deliveroo. The deal comes after London-based sales outfit Dogwoof acquired world rights at the European Film Market. Gravitas will now release the film October 8 in theaters and on-demand.

From delivering food and driving ride shares to tagging images for AI, millions of people are finding work task by task online, with the gig economy worth more than $5 trillion and growing worldwide. The pic tells the stories of the workers behind this tech revolution who have gone largely neglected amid often dangerous work conditions, inconsistent pay and the threat of being effectively fired through deactivation or a bad rating.

“We are thrilled to be releasing The Gig Is Up to American audiences just as the issues around gig work are at a fever pitch in the U.S. since the pandemic,” Walsh said. “From coast to coast, gig work has become the norm, and hearing stories from the workers in our film couldn’t be more pressing.”

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Ina Fichman and Luc Martin-Gousset produced the film, an Intuitive Pictures and Point du jour Production in association with ARTE France and documentary Channel with the participation of Rogers Group of Funds, Telefilm Canada, Canada Media Fund, CNC, RTS, Evoke Media, Archer Gray, and Quebec and Canada tax credits.

Gravitas’ Tony Piantedosi negotiated the deal with Dogwoof’s head of sales Ana Vicente on behalf of the filmmakers.

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The 13th annual Burbank Film Festival will open September 9 with the Mads Mikkelsen movie Riders of Justice, kicking off a return to in-person screenings and events throughout the weekend at the Burbank AMC 16 Theatres.

The fest will also present its President’s Innovation Award to Acting: The First Six Lessons, a docudrama from Emily Bridges in her directorial debut and co-written with her father Beau Bridges. The pic, based on the 1933 novel by Richard Boleslavsky, combines narrative and documentary storytelling to provide a glimpse into the life and craft of a multigenerational acting family. It will world premiere September 12, with BIFF presenting a special Bridges family tribute later that night at the closing-night red-carpet awards gala taking place at the Burbank Marriott Convention Center.

Other films include the Los Angeles premiere of This Game’s Called Murder starring Ron Perlman, Natasha Hentsridge and
Vanessa Marano, and the Sam Raimi-produced The Unholy starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Cary Elwes.

More details here.

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Gravitas Ventures has set a September 10 release date for The Manson Brothers Midnight Zombie Massacre, directed by Max Martini and starring Randy Couture, DB Sweeney, Adrian Pasdar and Bas Rutten. The slasher pic, written by former professional wrestlers Mike Cary and Chris Margetis, who play the notorious Manson Brothers, will get a day-and-date release. A sequel is already in the works.

The film tells the story of wrestling tag team, The Manson Brothers, now in their twilight years, who are relegated to smaller promotions and agree to a midnight cage match on Halloween. What they don’t know is the contest involves being trapped in the arena with wrestlers and fans infected with a mutated form of rabies. Armed only with their wrestling skills and enchanted lucha libre masks, they must fight for their lives and ensure the virus is contained to prevent an all-out zombie massacre.

“We are really excited to give audiences something we feel like they have been longing for—a film that is a fun, 90-minute escape from reality,” Cary and Margetis said. “We want to pull back the curtain on a world the viewer isn’t familiar with, give them a comfort level, and then turn that world upside down with total zombie mayhem.”

Martini is a producer with Michael Hagerty. Kim Carey is co-executive producer and Mike Carey, Tanya Hill and Margetis are executive producers.

Here’s the trailer:

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Freestyle Digital Media has acquired North American VOD rights to Samantha Rose, an indie drama directed by Andrew Morgan. It is set to bow on digital platforms September 7.

The film, shot and completed during the pandemic in the Pacific Northwest, stars non-binary actor Sam Rose who returns to their northern Oregon hometown and is reunited with a childhood friend and his misfit commune of friends where they work the fall harvest on the surrounding vineyards. Sam is lost, afraid to pursue a real life of their own, while this ragtag family of runaways is fearless and free. There are motorcycle rides and homemade wine, midnight swims and bonfires, horses, camping and a love story that unfolds as Sam comes to see their life for what it really is: their own.

The pic was filmed on a shoestring budget with first-time actors.

Freestyle’s Chris Gray negotiated the rights deal with Glen Reynolds of Circus Road Films.

Here’s the trailer:

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