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Film News Roundup: Fred Wolf to Direct Tennis Rom-Com ‘Love 40’

Variety — Dave McNary

In today’s film news roundup, Fred Wolf is directing a romantic comedy in New York; Leah Remini, Chinoye Chukwu, Marielle Heller and Lulu Wang receive honors; and the topless bar documentary “Red Dog” finds a home.

LOVE 40

Bluewater Lane Productions has brought on Fred Wolf to co-write and direct the romantic comedy “Love 40,” Variety has learned exclusively.

The story follows a 22-year-old statistics wiz trying to help a rising tennis star win the US Open. The film stars newcomers Jasjit Williams and Katerina Tannenbaum along with Tommy Flanagan, Alena Savostikova, Chris Kattan, Colin Quinn, Steve Schirappa and Patrick Warburton.

Jason Shuman produces through his Jason Shuman Productions banner. Executive producers are Eduardo Cisneros and Jon Huddle along with Ceci Cleary, Ward Cleary and John Gilbert of Bluewater Lane Productions. Wolf is repped by UTA, Fourth Wall, and Morris Yorn Barnes.

HONORS

The International Documentary Association has selected Leah Remini as the inaugural recipient of its Truth to Power Award.

She will be honored at the 35th Annual IDA Documentary Awards at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles on Dec. 7. Remini created, produced and hosted the A&E documentary series “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.”

“This year, the IDA launches the new Truth to Power Award to honor those who show immense bravery in holding the powerful to account regardless of the consequences,” said Simon Kilmurry, executive director of the IDA. “We are thrilled to honor Leah Remini who, for the past three seasons in ‘Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath,’ stood strong in the face of untold backlash, harassment and personal attacks as she exposed the truth behind Scientology. IDA honors Leah for her unflinching bravery.”

Remini said, “It’s really the courageous contributors who have appeared on three seasons of ‘Scientology and the Aftermath’ who are the brave ones.”

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The SFFILM organization has selected Chinoye Chukwu, Marielle Heller and Lulu Wang as recipients of this year’s awards, presented at its Dec. 3 show at the Palace of Fine Arts.

Chukwu will receive the inaugural SFFILM Special Award for Breakthrough Directing for “Clemency.” Heller, who directed “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” and “Can you Ever Forgive Me?” will receive the Irving M. Levin Award for Film Direction. Wang, director of “The Farewell,” will receive the Kanbar Award for Storytelling.

ACQUISITION 

Gravitas Ventures has acquired North American rights to the documentary “Red Dog,” Variety has learned exclusively.

The film, which premiered at 2019 SXSW Film Festival, was directed by singer-songwriter Luke Dick and Casey Pinkston. The documentary tells the story of the infamous topless bar in Oklahoma City, Red Dog, and will be available on demand on Jan. 7.

Piantedosi negotiated the deal with Endeavor Content.

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