Film News Roundup: Universal Pictures Developing Supernatural Romance ‘Dan and Sam’

In today’s film news roundup, Universal is moving ahead on a supernatural romance, the Napa Valley Film Festival delays the event for a year and the Frameline unveils a variety of offerings after postponing its festival to the fall.


Universal Pictures is developing supernatural romance “Dan and Sam,” based on the 2015 graphic novel of the same name, with “37 Seconds” director Hikari on board.

“Dan and Sam,” written by Mark Watson and Oliver Harud, centers on a happily married couple who own a popular London restaurant. When Sam dies in Dan’s arms after an accident, Dan is granted a reprieve in which Sam can return to him for one night of the year, every year, until he falls in love again.

Hikari directed, wrote and produced “37 Seconds,” which won the Audience Award in the Panorama section at last year’s Berlin Film Festival. Molly Smith Metzler will write the script for “Dan and Sam.”

Marc Platt and Adam Siegel will produce through Universal-based Marc Platt Productions alongside Brian Kavanaugh-Jones and Fred Berger, who will produce through Automatik Entertainment. Automatik’s Rian Cahill will executive produce. Sara Scott and Lexi Barta will oversee the project on behalf of the studio.

Hikari is represented by WME, Grandview and Jackoway Tyerman. Metzler is represented by Grandview and McKuin Frankel Whitehead.


Cinema Napa Valley is postponing the Napa Valley Film Festival event for a full year due to the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

The festival, which was slated to take place in November, will be held from Nov. 10 to Nov. 14, 2021.

“We appreciate the tremendous support and well wishes from our community during these uncertain times. With much regret, we are postponing the festival until 2021,” said Patrick Davila, chairman “Our hope was to once again bring the joy of film, food and wine next November to all of you. Rest assured we will use this time to strengthen our commitment to our mission and develop new avenues to fulfill our vision. I look forward to seeing all of you in 2021 for our 10th year anniversary.”


Frameline Executive Director James Woolley announced the launch of Frameline Play, a digital collection of Frameline’s year-round programs that audiences can view from home.

Woolley made the announcement Friday, three weeks Frameline postponed its 44th festival from June 18–28 to the fall with expanded festival offerings throughout the year. Frameline Play includes on-demand Frameline Distribution films, Frameline Youth In Motion films and curriculum, the Frameline Voices catalog on YouTube, and the Frameline Completion Fund.

“Our 44-year-long mission to connect audiences and uplift the world through the power of queer film has never been more necessary in these isolated times,” said Woolley. “We are devastated that we’ve had to postpone our June festival, and are looking forward to gathering again to experience the world of cinema together as soon as we can. In the meantime, we hope the stories on Frameline Play will help you feel connected to one another and to the artists we support.”

Frameline Distribution touts itself as  the world’s only non-profit LGBTQ+ film distributor, serving educational institutions, public libraries, film festivals, and community members.

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