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The Wound

Thumb wound 2017

“The Wound” is set in a remote rural community in South Africa, and is centered on a cultural ritual that will no doubt strike most outsiders as being barbaric. At the same time, however, it is also a film that deals with issues of masculinity, sexuality and community that will strike universal chords with viewers of all stripes, regardless of where they are from or where their beliefs may lie. The result is a dark and stirring variation on the standard coming-of-age narrative that, much like its central characters, does not follow the path one might expect.

The film is set within the Xhosa community of rural South Africa and takes place during the period of Ukwaluka, an annual rite of passage for young male teens to symbolize their move into adulthood. In it, the boys are taken up to the mountains where one of the elder tribesmen circumcises them one by one, imploring them to yell out “I’m a man!” while he makes the incision. The boys then spend the next couple of weeks out there fasting and having traditional notions of masculinity drummed into them while their wounds heal. (This ritual used to be a secret but after word of it began to leak out, most notably when Nelson Mandela made reference to it in his autobiography, it has become a topic of heated controversy amongst the community.)

Having undergone the ritual himself when he was a teenager, Xolani (Nakhane Toure), now a lonely warehouse worker in his mid-30s, returns every year to serve as one of the “caregivers” to one of the new boys, but his interest in the ritual is halfhearted at best. No, what brings him back is the opportunity to, however briefly, reestablish his sexual relationship with childhood friend and fellow caregiver Vija (Bongile Mantsai). Although Xolani dreams of the two of them running off together, Vija, who has a wife and family in town and projects a hyper-masculine pose to everyone, clearly does not feel the same way. It is clear that Vija regards him as a convenient tool for gratification and nothing more.

Xolani’s charge this year is Kwanda (Niza Jay Ncoyini), a young man who lives in Johannesburg with his mother, who has been brought there by his father, a tribesman made good, who fears that his son is “too soft.” Far more sophisticated than the other boys undergoing the ritual, Kwanda alienates his peers and elders alike with his diffident attitude and his piercing questions about why the Ukwaluka rite even exists at all. It doesn’t take Xolani too long to figure out that, in addition to everything else, Kwanda is also gay, just about the biggest no-no of all in this particular community. What makes this even trickier is that Kwanda not only realizes that Xolani is gay as well but has a fairly good idea of the true nature of his relationship with Vija. Before long, tensions begin to rise between the three with Xolani and Vija beginning to crack under the pressure of trying to be something that they aren’t and Kwanda, for all of his smarts, not realizing how much danger he is now in.

At first glance, a film like “The Wound” might seem fairly alien from a cultural standpoint to a lot of viewers—the mass circumcision sequence seen (and especially heard) in the early going will almost certainly horrify the majority of them in ways that infinitely more graphic scenes of carnage in conventional scare films could not even begin to approximate. As the film goes on, however, it begins to capture and examine in intriguing ways any number of universally held truths and fears, such as the shame one oftentimes feels as they force themselves to live a lie, and the sense of rage that those same people feel at those who have managed to stay true to themselves. As a result, a story that might have played out as an ordinary coming-of-age scenario is given a darker and more dramatic spin that leads the story into unexpected areas before arriving at a finale that is legitimately surprising while still coming across as the plausible end result of the events we have seen.

The screenplay, which was co-written by John Trengrove (also making his directorial debut), Thando Mgqolozana and Malusi Bengu, does have a couple of moments in which it hits the dramatic points that it wants to make just a little too hard—at one point, Kwanda tears into Xolani with “You want me to stand up and be a man but you can’t do it yourself” and later wonders “How can love destroy a nation?” However, those moments are few and far between, and, for the most part, it takes an intelligent look at the subject at hand without degenerating into pleas for tolerance straight out of the Screenwriters 101 handbook. Trengrove’s direction is strong and sure in the way that he captures both the rhythms of the Xhosa and the ways in which their increasingly outmoded ideas are crumbling all around them and he elicits powerful performances from his three lead actors as well.

A film befitting its title, “The Wound” is a rough and unsparing film that offers an unflinching look of how once-traditional notions of masculinity can grow increasingly toxic in the hands of those who cling to those outmoded ways rather than accept that things have changed. It is not a film with easy answers to the problems that it depicts and there are moments that may simply be too painful for some viewers to endure. However, those who are in the mood for something more challenging than the usual multiplex fare or even the typical art house offerings are likely to find it to be an ultimately rewarding experience.


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‘The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair’: Patrick Dempsey, Ben Schnetzer Star In Event Series From MGM Television

Grey Anatomy alum Patrick Dempsey, Ben Schnetzer, Damon Wayans Jr., and Virginia Madsen are set topline The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair, the 10-part event series produced by MGM Television, Eagle Pictures and Barbary Films. Based on the bestselling European novel by Joël Dicker, the series is slated to air on Epix and is first project since MGM recently took full control of the cable channel, buying out partner Paramount and Lionsgate.

All episodes are being helmed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, director of films like Seven Years in Tibet and the Oscar-winning Black and White in Color, in his television directorial debut. Production is currently underway in Canada.

Dempsey will play the title character Harry Quebert, a literary icon who suddenly finds himself indicted for murder after the body of a young girl is found buried on his property. Schnetzer will play Marcus Goldman, who is visiting Harry Quebert’s home to find a cure for his writer’s block as his publisher’s deadline looms when his plans are suddenly upended when Harry is sensationally implicated in the cold-case murder of Nola Kellergan, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been missing for many years.

Wayans Jr. is Sgt. Perry Gahalowood, a Maine State Police investigator who is investigating the death of Kellergan, while Virginia Madsen plays Tamara Quinn, Jenny Quinn’s mother and the owner of a local diner who learns of a secret about Quebert.

Rounding out the cast are newcomer Kristine Froseth (Apostle), who plays Nola Kellergan, the teenage girl who captivates Harry Quebert and becomes his muse; Colm Feore (House of Cards) as Elijah Stern, one of the most powerful men in New England who’s spent his life atoning for a secret past; Josh Close (Person of Interest) plays Luther Caleb, Elijah Stern’s right hand man who suffers from disfiguring scars caused by a horrific attack; Matt Frewer (Timeless) as Reverend Kellergan, Nola’s eccentric father; Connor Price (X Company) as Young Travis Dawn, a rookie cop who falls love with Jenny Quinn, a former prom queen played by Tessa Mossey (The Glass Castle) in her teenage years and by Victoria Clark (Homeland) in her adult years; Craig Eldridge (The Death and Life of John F. Donavan) plays the elder Travis Dawn who has risen in the ranks to become chief of police; Kurt Fuller (Phil) plays Police Chief Gareth Pratt who originally ran the investigation into Nola’s disappearance; Don Harvey (The Deuce) as Bobbo Quinn, Tamara Quinn’s husband; Felicia Shulman (Brad’s Status) as Maggie Pratt, Chief Gareth Pratt’s wife and the town busybody; Wayne Knight (Narcos) as Benjamin Roth, Harry’s high-priced, high-pressure attorney.

Lyn Greene and Richard Levine wrote the pilot script and several episodes based on an adaptation by Annaud, who also serves as exec producer along with Tarak Ben Ammar, Fabio Conversi, Greene, and Levine. MGM’s Lindsay Sloane and Ken Raskoff will oversee production on behalf of the studio.  Jocelyn Diaz will oversee on for Epix.

Dempsey, whose upcoming slate includes The Postcard Killings and Berlin, I Love You, is repped by UTA, Burstein Company and Stone, Genow, Smelkinson. Schnetzer, repped by Gersh and attorney David Weber, will appear in The Death and Life of John F. Donovan with Natalie Portman and Jessica Chastain. Wayans Jr., who starred in New Girls, is with by Rise Management, WME and Ziffren Brittenham. Madsen, Oscar nominee for the film Sideways, is repped by UTA and Untitled.

Froseth is repped by CAA, Anonymous Content and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller; Feore by Coronel Group and Gersh; Close by Don Buchwald & Associates, Thruline and Parent Management; Frewer by Gilbertson Entertainment and Lucas Talent; Price by Amanda Rosenthal Talent Agency, and Coast to Coast; Mossey by The Talent House; Clark by Innovative and Untitled; Eldridge by Edna Talent Management; Fuller by APA, and Leverage Management; Harvey by Kazarian, Measures, Ruskin and Associates; Shulman by Cameo Agency Inc.; Knight by APA.

Annaud is repped by Jeff Berg of Northside Services.


Jason Bateman Drama ‘Ozark’ Renewed For Season 2 By Netflix

Less than a month after its release, new Netflix crime drama series Ozark, starring, directed and executive produced by Jason Bateman, has been renewed for a 10-episode second season.  

Created/executive produced by Bill Dubuque and Mark Williams and written/executive produced by Chris Mundy, Ozark revolves around financial planner Marty (Bateman) and Wendy Byrde (Laura Linney) and their family’s sudden relocation from the suburbs of Chicago to a summer resort community in the Missouri Ozarks. The series explores capitalism, family dynamics, and survival through the eyes of (anything but) ordinary Americans.

Ozark, produced by Bateman’s Aggregate Films and MRC, which is behind Netflix’s first original drama series, House Of Cards, joins several other 2017 Netflix series that have been renewed, including 13 Reasons Why, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Marvel’s Iron Fist, One Day At a Time, Santa Clarita Diet, Dear White People and GLOW. Only two so far, Girlboss and Gypsy, did not make it to a second season.

Bateman also stars in comedy Arrested Development, whose revival also has been picked up for a second season by Netflix.


Scott Glenn Joins Hulu’s ‘Castle Rock’ As Iconic Stephen King Character Alan Pangborn

The Stephen King multiverse of Castle Rock has added Scott Glenn as a series regular. The Leftovers actor joins Andre Holland, Sissy Spacek, Melanie Lynskey, Jane Levy and Bill Skarsgard in the Hulu series from Bad Robot Productions and Warner Bros. Television.

The psychological horror series is named after the fictional town in King’s native Maine that is featured prominently in a number of his novels, novellas and short stories. It combines the mythological scale and intimate character storytelling of King’s best-loved works, weaving an epic saga of darkness and light, played out on a few square miles of Maine woodland.

Glenn will play Alan Pangborn, a retired Sheriff who presided over some of the darkest years in Castle Rock’s checkered history. The character is popular in King lore and was at the center of the author’s books Needful Things and The Dark Half. Ed Harris portrayed the character in the 1993 film adaptation of Needful Things while Michael Rooker played him in George Romero’s iteration of The Dark Half the same year.

Sam Shaw & Dustin Thomason developed the project for television and serve as executive producers along with J.J. Abrams, Ben Stephenson and Liz Glotzer.

Glenn also stars in the Marvel series The Defenders at Netflix. His numerous film credits include notable roles in Silence of the Lambs and the Bourne franchise. He is repped by Innovative Artists, Parseghian Planco, and WME.


New York Television Festival Selects 52 Pilots Featuring Diverse Voices For Annual Competition

The New York Television Festival has announced their official selections for their Independent Pilot Competition which include 52 original television and digital pilots and series, 37 of those being world premieres. This year’s festival, which takes place October 23-28 at the Helen Mills Theater and Event Space in New York, puts the spotlight on diverse and independent voices including projects from and about women of color, as well as the Latino and LGBTQ community.

“There’s been a promising movement in television to foster and promote creators with wide-ranging and diverse experience and points of view – and I think we’re seeing those efforts come to fruition with this year’s slate. The goal of NYTVF has always been to identify the very best stories, and connect the creators of these projects with our industry partners. Seeing such a spectrum of voices being elevated organically this year, it’s heartening, and hopefully a bellwether of things to come,” said Terence Gray, executive director of the NYTVF in a statement.

The slate represents the NYTVF’s most diverse on record, with 56% of all selected pilots featuring persons of color above the line and 44% with a person of color on the core creative team (creator, writer, director). In addition, 71% of the pilots include a woman in a core creative role including 50% with a female creator and 38% with a female director. This is an uptick of from 25% in 2016, the largest of the fest’s history.

These official selections will compete in a variety of categories and  qualify for a chance to receive a development deal from one of the NYTVF’s Development Partners – networks and studios which have guaranteed they will offer at least one deal to independent artists this year. NYTVF alumni currently enjoying TV development success include CW’s Life Sentence, created by Erin Cardillo and Richard Keith as well as Jordan Klepper with his nightly talk show The Opposition.

Recognizable names in this year’s selection of pilots include Hamilton‘s Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jemima Kirke from Girls, Bebe Neuwirth of Cheers Fame as well as David Wain from Wet Hot American Summer. See below for the complete list of projects in competition at this year’s NYTVF.

COMEDY (31 Pilots)

Bad Dad [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Jamie Kaler and Greg Porper – Los Angeles, CA
Jimmy Walker never wanted a kid until he needed a kidney, and both arrived at his doorstep at the same time.
Starring Jamie Kaler (My Boys)

Bartlett [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Martin Edwards and Chrissy Mazzeo – San Francisco, CA
Washed up advertising exec Roger Newhouse has just 10 hours to turn his life around in a series set in that vast gray area between fraud and re-invention.
From the team behind Freestyle Love Supreme and Starring Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton) and Utkarsh Ambudkar (The Mindy Project)

Basically Happy [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Liam Gallogly and Mollie Rehner – Chicago, IL
Mollie and Liam have a tendency to take everything to the extreme, especially when it comes to their relationship.

Benefits with Friends [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Graceann Dorse – Brooklyn, NY
When Wendy gets diagnosed with cancer and loses her health insurance, Tina saves the day by agreeing to marry her, in this all-too-topical millennial comedy. However, Wendy doesn’t bargain for a major rift with her BFF Jillian…while her life is saved will their friendship flatline?

City of Angles
Created by Delaney Buffett and Katie Corwin – New York, NY
A satirical look at left-coast living where Sasha, a native New Yorker, attempts to navigate her new life in Los Angeles as a Hollywood assistant.

The Company Men [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Patrick Babbitt, Lee Barats, Walt Delaney, Brian McGovern, and Kevin Walsh – Los Angeles, CA
A series blending the daily lives of offbeat office drones with the absurd sketch comedy of The Company Men.

Dark of the Night [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Eric Yearwood and Alex Meyers – Brooklyn, NY
Join fearless truth-seekers Eric and Alex as they take on the world of conspiracies and the paranormal, via talk show.

Detective Detective [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Pearson Jenks – Brooklyn, NY
A detective digs through details to determine which dangerous dame did away with a dipshit.

Flatbush Misdemeanors
Created by Dan Perlman and Kevin Iso – Brooklyn, NY
Longtime friends Dan and Kevin adjust to their evolving surroundings in the unforgiving environment of Flatbush, Brooklyn.

Gentle Dan [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Dan White, Kyle Bethea, and Tim Lyons – Chicago, IL
When Dan’s temporary rough patch becomes an extended residency in the basement of his sister’s McMansion, he slowly adjusts to a new life in the suburbs and all the people who come with it.

Giving Up
Created by Kris Lefcoe – New York, NY
A New York couple faces their own deadline to either “make it” or give up their dreams.
Pilot is a continuation of 2014 NYTVF Official Selection. Executive Produced by David Wain (Wet Hot American Summer) and starring Ben Kronberg (The Half Hour), Zandy Hartig (Children’s Hospital), and featuring Jo Firestone (The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon) and Kyle Dunnigan (Inside Amy Schumer)

Guilty: The Web Series
Created by Katie Novotny, Erin Conroy, and Emma Smith – Chicago, IL
Katie Donovan, a 20-something in Chicago, is dealing with different temptations every day. From drinking too much before Mass to dating outside of her religion, Katie must find the strength to shed her Catholic guilt to be the person she wants to be instead of the Catholic girl her parents raised.

Jeff’s Place [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Jeff Galfer, Sky Soleil, and Andrew Fleischer – Los Angeles, CA
Twin Peaks and Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood converge in this strange new world of lessons, sharing, and parallel realities.

Let Me Die a Nun [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Sarah Salovaara – New York, NY
This six part series follows the opposing but intersecting trajectories of a lesbian novice nun, her Jewish stalker, and the object of her affection.
Starring Ana Fabrega (Portlandia) and Hari Nef (Transparent)

Misery Loves Company [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Emily C. Chang and Sara Amini
Two friends navigate being women of color in a post-election world, while trying (and failing) at a #blessed life in LA.
Co-Created by and Starring Emily C. Chang (The Bold Type, Vampire Diaries)

Nest [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Nick Leveski – Richmond, VA
A “mysterious” “teen” with a “shadowy” past meets a “super cool” restaurant owner with a heart of “gold” and a passion for “helping” troubled teens.

Network Zero [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Kevin Pedersen – Los Angeles, CA
A motley crew of survivors after the end of the world build a colony around an old abandoned public access television station and broadcast their odd assortment of post-apocalyptic shows out into the wasteland.
Starring Maria Thayer (Those Who Can’t), Betsy Sodaro (Comedy Bang! Bang!, Animal Practice), Timm Sharp (Blunt Talk, Enlightened)

New York is Dead [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Jenn Harris, Matthew Wilkas, and Randy Harrison – New York, NY
A darkly hilarious series about two broke NYC artists who become hitmen to make ends meet.
Created by Jenn Harris and Matthew Wilkas (Gayby), Directed and Executive Produced by Randy Harrison (Queer as Folk), Featuring Bebe Neuwirth (Frasier, Cheers), Jemima Kirke (Girls), John Early (Search Party), Cole Escola (Difficult People), Ana Gasteyer (SNL), Jeff Hiller (Nightcap), and Maulik Pancholy (30 Rock)

Night Crew [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Mike Cabellon, Adrien Pellerin, and Katie Sicking – New York, NY
Three data entry employees work the night shift at the Pentagon, where they have access to the world’s biggest secrets and little to no accountability.

Primos, Inc. [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Lucien Flores and Michela M. Smith – New York, NY
Two Latino cousins gentrify their immigrant family’s customs and traditions to appeal to Brooklyn hipsters.
Starring Jon Rua (Hamilton, In the Heights) and Federico Rodriguez (Bull)

Projecting [World Festival Premiere]
Created by James III, Jonathan Braylock, James Carr, and Jerah Milligan – New York, NY
Three overly opinionated movie theater employees project their points of view on the unsuspecting public.

Rap Skool [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Nnamdi Ngwe and Amechi Ngwe – Chicago, IL
Rob and Davis join a school of rap for the middle class and realize it’s tougher than they expected.

Royally: An Original Series [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Rachel B. Joyce – New York, NY
A millennial burnout runs a private princess party company as a front for small-time cons, petty theft, and drug peddling.
Featuring Christina Seidel (Boardwalk Empire)

Shit Kids
Created by Kyle Dunnigan – Los Angeles, CA
The daughter of an earth-shatteringly boring couple, along with the son of an equally humdrum set of parents, have decided to plot their parents’ murders.
Created by and Starring Kyle Dunnigan (Inside Amy Schumer), Executive Produced by Daniel Kellison (Executive Producer – Jimmy Kimmel Live!), Starring Candace Brown (Head Case)

Sneakers [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Rachel Wolther and Amy Zimmer – New York, NY
Determined and foolhardy, Amy brings her entrepreneurial spirit to the world, to unwieldy and surprising results.
Featuring Ana Fabrega (Portlandia), Jaboukie Young White (Rough Night), Gary Richardson (Don’t Think Twice)

Solving Leah [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Leah Bonnema, Melissa Pinsly, and Franklin Zitter – New York, NY
A lovable, anxiety-ridden accountant is wrongly accused of murder and vows to find the killer herself.
Featuring Will Miles (The Chris Gethard Show)

Splunch [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Moujan Zolfaghari, Timothy Dunn, Michelle Ciotta, Silvija Ozols, Johnathan Fernandez, Hudson Meredith, Trevor Williams, Michelle Francesca Thomas, David Sidorov, Mehdi Barakchian, and Kristen Bartlett – New York, NY
Move over Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. Splunch is here, and it’s going to #change the way you #consume your #content.
Co-written by Kristen Bartlett (Saturday Night Live)

Starving Artists [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Dewayne Perkins and Aasia Bullock – Chicago, IL
Comedy duo Aasia and Dewayne go to extravagant lengths to reach their goals of international stardom and complete world domination. Starving Artists is a show about being young, gifted, and black in a world that praises straight, white, and wack.

That Which Speaketh [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Felipe Di Poi, Ian Faria, Sam Lanier, Will Niedmann, Kent Smith, and Becca Zeiger – Providence, RI
A surrealist sitcom about a family and their obelisk.

Tuff Boys [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Ryan Harrington and Isaac Himmelman – Brooklyn, New York
This musical comedy follows twenty-somethings Ryan and Isaac as they traverse the magical Brooklyn of their dreams and discover the true meaning of friendship.

What Ever Happened to the Birches [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Madeline Walter and Paul Welsh – Los Angeles, CA
A mockumentary-style show about two self-absorbed twins who see their mom’s death as the creative opportunity they’ve been waiting for.
Created by Paul Welsh (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) and Madeline Walter (College Humor Originals), and featuring D’Arcy Carden (The Good Place) and Ian Roberts (UCB Comedy Originals)


After Oil
Created By Jessica Naftaly and Shailyn Cotten – New York, NY
In a dystopian future affected by an oil shortage, a young woman discovers there’s something sinister behind the disappearance of one of her bike messengers.

Created by Erin Wagoner and Maggie Kiley – Los Angeles, CA
Two moms and their nannies strive to find a balance between taking care of others and themselves.
Starring Hannah Dunne (Horace and Pete, Mozart in the Jungle) and Mickey Sumner (Frances Ha)

Drive Slow [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Terrence Thompson
A teenager from the South-Side of Chicago attempts to finish his college essays and struggles to boil down his complex surroundings in 500 words, while his friends’ disparate opinions, racist news narratives, and the threat of lingering danger complicate the process.

From Jappan [World Festival Premiere]
Created By Raj Trivedi – New York, NY
As Jappan grows older and more independent, he flashes back to his twelve-year-old self living under the thumb of his family’s culture.

Giving Me Life (In The Land of The Deadass) [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Dafina Roberts – New York, NY
A provocative dramedy about six Black and Latinx friends of diverse sexualities struggling to live and love in New York.

The Green
Created by Sophia Loffreda and Shea Mayo – Austin, TX
When a trio of 10-year-old BFFs find a bag of marijuana on the soccer field after practice, they hatch a foolproof plan to sell the green to their suburban town’s fabled drug dealer.

Katharsis [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Niv Samban – Tel Aviv, Israel
One man creates a digital playground out of the human consciousness and soon falls down deep into the rabbit hole where secret forces, hackers, and the mind converge.

Lost & Found
Created by Haroula Rose – Los Angeles, CA
Stella and Ian’s unwedding unsettles their group of friends in Los Angeles in this dramedy about modern relationships.
Starring Melonie Diaz (Fruitvale Station) and Will Janowitz (The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire)

Created by Yolanda Carney, Kate Marks, and Kimberley Browning – Los Angeles, CA
An Ivy-league bound, overachieving teen is derailed after a manic episode lands her in a school for children with mental illnesses.
Featuring Shanice Williams (NBC’s The Wiz Live), Dot-Marie Jones (Glee), Nicki Micheaux (Animal Kingdom)

Max Riddle [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Jeff Skowron and Matt Yeager – New York, NY
A good-hearted but socially inept man is forced to meet new people and expand his horizons after he loses his small-town job to a robot.
Featuring Brandon J. Dirden (The Americans, The Get Down) and Mary Birdsong (The Descendents, Reno 911!)

Created by Dinh Thai – Los Angeles, CA
“What can I get to you?” That’s the question driving a conflicted young hustler who sells everything and anything to make money. As he code-switches through various cliques, he’s forced to confront racism as well as the immorality of his occupation.

People You May Know
Created by Zandile Tisani – Johannesburg, South Africa
This modern tale of millennials in Johannesburg centers around a friendship that’s tested as two best friends keep secrets from each other for fear of tearing the relationship apart.

Public Housing Unit
Created by Patrick Wimp, Ted Reilly, and Angie Gaffney – Chicago, IL
Set in the late 1980’s, three police officers take on both lawmakers and lawbreakers as they work to protect the people of Chicago’s infamous public housing projects.
Starring DuShon Monique Brown (Chicago Fire), Kamal Angelo Bolden (Chicago Fire, Rosewood), Antoine McKay (Empire)

ANIMATION (6 Pilots)

Eternity Fraternity [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Kevin Barker, Ben Miller, and Nina Quill – Brooklyn, NY
When a reluctant pledge accidentally dies during a rush party, he comes across a tougher challenge: pledging a ghost fraternity run by the sardonic Victorian witch-ghosts who used to own the frat house.

Horse Court [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Charlie Laud and Matt Laud – Shelburne, VT
When you break the law, and you’re a horse, there’s only one place you can go.

peopleWatching [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Winston Rowntree and Geoff Lapaire – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
A post-modern comedy about 20-somethings in the year 20-something, stuck in that seemingly-endless limbo between school and adulthood, nothing and friendship, and expectations and reality.

Tiffany the Teenage Grim Reaper [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Lauren Rantala – Los Angeles, CA
Tiffany is your average teenage girl who happens to be a Grim Reaper.

Weird Creatures
Created by Manolo Moreno – Brooklyn, NY
A unique, improvised series following two blue collar cryptozoologists as they study, hunt, and capture creatures from folklore.
Co-starring and Co-written by Jo Firestone (Writer – The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon)

Yummiloo [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Traci Johnson, Bob Mowen, and Anthony Weintraub – New York, NY
Rooty and her best friend, Beany, go on an adventure in this series for preschoolers that sets the foundation of healthy eating through lovable characters and stories in a world made of food.
Created by Traci Paige Johnson (co-creator – Blues Clues)


Against All Odds [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Lucy Smith and Jamie Minty – London, England, United Kingdom
In this game show competition format, five contestants carry five locked bags, but only one contains £100,000. Together, the group must complete an obstacle course across treacherous natural landscapes and make it to the finish line.

Put That in Your Skits [World Festival Premiere]
Created by Trevor Williams – New York, NY
A filmmaker begins producing every comedy idea pitched to him by his relatives and friends in this hilarious comedic format.


‘Bachelor In Paradise’ Ratings Inch Up To Premiere High Following Controversy

Proving the old Hollywood adage that any publicity is good publicity, ABC’s Bachelor In Paradise, whose production was temporarily shut down for an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct, opened its delayed third season last night with 5 million total viewers and a 1.5 adults 18-49 rating. That is up a notch from last year’s premiere (4.6 million, 1.4) to mark the reality series’ highest-rated season debut in the demo and second most-watched behind the August 2014 series premiere, which averaged 5.2 million viewers.

Bachelor In Paradise boosted a special Monday airing of The Gong Show (2.9 million, 0.8), which surged 25% and 33% in viewers and the demo, respectively, from its most recent Thursday outing.

Bachelor In Paradise also edged in the demo NBC’s American Ninja Warrior (5.9 million, 1.4), which ticked down from last week’s season highs. NBC’s Midnight, Texas (3.2 million, 0.8), as well as Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance (2.8 million, 0.7), CBS’ CBSN On Assignment (2.8 million, 0.4) and the CW’s Hooten & the Lady (950,000; 0.2) held steady.

ABC and NBC were neck and neck for the nightly crowns, with NBC taking total viewers (4.98 million vs. 4.32 million), and ABC finishing as No. 1 in 18-49 (1.3 v. 1.2).

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