In today’s film news roundup, Jason Reitman wins the John Cassavetes award, the documentary “Race Against Time” gets a release and the Ray Harryhausen Foundation is planning “Force of the Trojans.”
The award was established in collaboration with Cassavetes’ spouse Gena Rowlands in 1989 and is presented to a film artist who has made a significant contribution to the world of filmmaking and whose work reflects the spirit of the late Cassavetes.
Reitman will screen his latest film, “The Front Runner,” on Nov. 8 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, followed by the presentation of the award. Reitman will be joined by his co-writers Matt Bai and Jay Carson for an onstage conversation about the film.
Reitman received Academy Award nominations for producing, directing and writing “Up in the Air,” and another for directing “Juno,” which he screened to the Denver festival.
“Jason Reitman’s legacy as a filmmaker goes beyond his work as a director,” said Festival Director, Britta Erickson. “An accomplished and Academy Award nominated writer and producer, he has been an important and well-respected new voice in today’s Hollywood. From his poignant and touching direction of ‘Juno,’ to the serious drama of ‘Labor Day,’ to his leap into the world of tabloid politics with his latest film, ‘The Front Runner,’ Jason Reitman continues to delight audiences while delivering powerful, important and pertinent films, year after year.”
Amazon Prime Video plans a January release for the documentary “Race Against Time,” produced by the JAR of Hope Foundation and Steve Stanulis.
The film centers on efforts by the family of Jamesy Raffone to find a cure for a rare disease called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy that affects young boys. Charlie Sheen, Dr. Sam Chachoua, Bill Maher, Derek Rivers and Tylyn John and the Raffone family appear. Stanulis directed the film.
Raffone’s father, Jim, began the JAR of Hope foundation (JAR coming from the initials of the younger Raffone’s name) with a mission to find a cure in 2013 after his don was diagnosed at the age of four.
The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation is teaming with Morningside Productions, the company of late producer Charles Schneer, on a new film tentatively titled “Force of the Trojans.”
Discovery of new materials in Harryhausen Foundation archives will be the basis of the project in the style of such Harryhausen/Schneer movies such as 1981’s “Clash of the Titans.” “Force of the Trojans” will bring together stop-motion animation with the photo-real world of CGI, marking the first time that a monster battle will mix both techniques on screen in a major motion picture.
“We are excited and challenged to have unearthed this lost gem and a look forward to creating a film that will delight both the fans of Ray Harryhausen and moviegoers everywhere,” said John Walsh, foundation trustee.
Harryhausen’s work in “Mighty Joe Young” won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. He also created the effects in “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad” and “Jason and the Argonauts.”