‘Star Wars: The Phantom Menace’ 25th Anniversary Theatrical Re-Release Will Include First Look at ‘The Acolyte’ – Film News in Brief

LucasFilm’s 25th anniversary theatrical re-release of “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” will feature an exclusive sneak peek of the upcoming Disney+ series “Star Wars: The Acolyte,” set to release on the streamer on June 4. Screenings of “The Phantom Menace” begin May 3 and tickets are on sale now.

Additionally, to celebrate the “Star Wars” May 4 holiday and the anniversary of the film, all nine episodes of the Skywalker Saga will be in theaters for a marathon fan event. Alamo Drafthouse will play every film at the San Fransisco New Mission Theater; the event will include a “Star Wars”-themed menu, an appearance by the 501st Legion, limited-edited merchandise, an immersive lobby experience, and more. Find tickets here.

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“The Phantom Menace” was originally released in 1999 and stars Ewan McGregor as Jedi knight Obi-Wan Kenobi and Liam Neeson as his mentor Qui-Gon Jinn.

Israel Film Festival Hosts Kick-Off Celebration With Los Angeles Premiere of ‘Running on Sand’

The Israel Film Festival, which takes place Nov. 13 through Nov. 26, hosted a sold-out sponsor kick-off event Thursday night at the Fine Arts Theater in Beverly Hills, Calif.. The celebration coincided with the Los Angeles premiere of director Adar Shafran’s award winning film “Running on Sand,” as well as a screening of the Academy Award nominated short “Letter to a Pig,” directed by Israeli filmmaker Tal Kantor.

The Israel Film Festival was postponed for the last two years due to the pandemic and the escalation of the war in Israel. “It remains my passion to celebrate and bring the beauty, diversity and culture that is Israel to Los Angeles as well as bring together the Jewish, Israeli and multi-cultural communities of Los Angeles,” said Meir Fenigstein, the founder and executive director of the Israel Film Festival.

The Festival has screened more than 1,200 Israeli films to over one million attendees and has hosted over 600 Israeli filmmakers and talent.

‘Running on Sand’ director Adar Shafran, director Guy Nattiv, actress Moran Attias, IFF founder and executive director Meir Fenigstein
‘Running on Sand’ director Adar Shafran, director Guy Nattiv, actress Moran Attias, IFF founder and executive director Meir Fenigstein

Sundance Film Festival Announces Dates for 2025

Sundance Film Festival 2025 is set to take place on Jan. 23-Feb. 2 in Park City and Salt Lake City, Utah. Submissions will open later this spring.

“While the next Sundance Film Festival is still 10 months away, we’re already laying the foundation for the 2025 edition, looking ahead to sharing a new group of artists’ work with audiences at the start of next year,” said Eugene Hernandez, director of Sundance Film Festival and Public Programming.

This year’s festival marked Hernandez’s first as director. The Grand Jury awarded prizes to films “In the Summers” in the U.S. Dramatic category, “Porcelain War” (U.S. Documentary), “Sujo” (World Cinema Dramatic) and “A New Kind of Wilderness” (World Cinema Documentary).

Natalie Burn Cast in Medieval Epic ‘The Last Redemption’

Natalie Burn is the latest to be cast in John Real’s Middle Ages action flick “The Last Redemption,” which just wrapped production in Italy. She will star alongside Angus MacFadyen, James Cosmo and Kevin Sorbo. The film will screen in the Cannes Film Market.

“The Last Redemption” follows a group of bandits who cast aside their criminal ways to protect the life of a young girl, a decision that puts them at odds with old allies and their former leader. Other cast members include Simon Phillips, Hal Yamanouchi, Jack Ilco and Neb Chupin.

Burn is represented by Bobby Moses at Mavrick Artists Agency and manager Scott Karp of The Synidcate.

Natalie Burn
Natalie Burn

Bentonville Film Foundation Announces Filmmaking Grants

Ahead of the 10th anniversary of the Bentonville Film Festival, the Bentonville Film Foundation has announced the second annual beneficiaries of filmmaking grants totaling $45,000. BFF alumni shorts filmmaker Gabrielle Roberts was award the M&M’s For All Funkind Grant for $20,000 and the team behind the indie feature “Nuked” received a $25,000 grant for the See It, Be It, Make Filmmaker Grant presented by NBCUniversal. The festival runs June 10-16 in Arkansas.

“BFFoundation is thrilled to be furthering its mission supporting the production of inclusive content by awarding funding that directly aids these emerging filmmakers,” said Drea Clark, newly appointed Artistic Director of Bentonville Film Festival. “It’s incredibly rewarding to see our valued partnerships with these global brands continue to impact creators, and we look forward to growing our annual grant programs and initiatives as we prepare for the festival’s 10th anniversary this June.”

Starring Anna Camp, Justin Bartha, Lucy Punch, George Young, Ignacio Serricchio, Tawny Newsome, Maulik Pancholy, Stephen Guarino and Natasha Leggero, “Nuked” follows several couples convening for a cannabis-fueled birthday dinner at a lavish estate, when alerts suddenly sound of a nuclear missile headed their way.

Live Action “Spider-Man” Films to Re-Release in Theaters

Columbia Pictures is celebrating its centennial anniversary by re-releasing every live action “Spider-Man” film in theaters this spring, beginning in April.

All eight films, which debuted across two decades, will be re-released on Mondays in chronological order. Kicking off with Sam Raimi’s trilogy starring Tobey Maguire as the beloved New York superhero, “Spider-Man” will be in theaters on April 15. “Spider-Man 2” and “Spider-Man 3” will be back on April 22 and April 29, respectively. “The Amazing Spider-Man,” in which Andrew Garfield wears the mask, will hit screens on May 6, and its sequel on May 13.

Finally, Tom Holland takes the reins on May 20 with “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” and the MCU sequel “Far From Home” will be in theaters on May 27. All three Spider-Man actors will share the screen on June 3 in “No Way Home.”

Watch a teaser from Sony below.

Quibi Series ‘The Stranger’ Re-Edited As Feature Film for Hulu

Filmmaker Veena Sud and Hulu announced they are collaborating on Sud’s project “The Stranger,” which has been edited into a feature length film after originally airing as a Quibi series. The film version of the thriller will premiere on the streamer on April 15.

Starring Maika Monroe, Dane DeHaan and Avan Jogia, the film’s official description reads, “‘The Stranger’ is an edge-of-your-seat ride through one life-changing night. New to Los Angeles, rideshare driver Clare (Monroe) picks up Carl (DeHaan) from a home deep in the Hollywood Hills. What begins as a routine ride turns into Clare’s worst nightmare: a twelve-hour fight for survival through the city’s seedy underbelly. Carl is not the passenger Clare thought he was, and Clare is not easy prey.”

Writer-director Veena Sud retained the copyright to her story, which she re-edited after it was released on Quibi. She is also known as the creator of “The Killing.”

“When artists own their own work we can give new life to shows and films we’ve poured our blood, sweat, and tears into,” said Sud. “I am thrilled to be partnering with the incredible team at Hulu in bringing ‘The Stranger’ – a story about justified female rage and vengeance that speaks so poignantly to our current moment – to a fresh audience as a newly re-cut feature film.”

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