Film News Roundup: Jamie Foxx to Direct Faith-Based ‘When We Pray’ Movie

In today’s film news roundup, Jamie Foxx signs on to direct “When We Pray,” the Garden State Film Festival is going to stream all 240 of its films rather than holding physical events and Courtney B. Vance pitches for the new COVID-19 fund for SAG-AFTRA members.

FINANCING 

Jamie Foxx has come on board to direct faith-based drama “When We Pray” for Fight to Fame Films and Cinema Libre Studio agreeing to finance.

“When We Pray” is about two brothers who become pastors at different churches in the same community. One brother develops his church into a modern, high-tech congregation that uses digital devices and ATM machines. The other brother follows a humbler path but soon finds his church in decline and in need of financial help.

The screenplay is written by Foxx and Donald Ray “Speedy” Caldwell. Production is scheduled to start before the end of the year. The budget will be under $5 million. Foxx won a best actor Academy Award for “Ray” in 2005.

The deal was negotiated by Philippe Diaz, founder and chairman of Cinema Libre Studio, along with Rodney Mason from Fast Mouse Films. Mason will serve as executive producer. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

FILM FESTIVAL

New Jersey’s Garden State Film Festival will be streamed in response to the coronavirus crisis and restrictions on public gatherings,

Physical festival events such as industry activities, workshops and panels have been canceled. Films will now be showcased online by private servers on March 26-29. The festival be live-streamed at the originally scheduled times online for ticket holders only.

The Garden State Film Festival, which has attracted more than 25,000 attendees annually, was set to take place in Asbury Park. The 18th edition will deliver a five-day online program with over 240 films for accredited ticket buyers to view virtually.

FUNDING

Courtney B. Vance, president of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, has issued a video pitch for the newly created COVID-19 Disaster Fund for eligible SAG-AFTRA members impacted by the pandemic.

SAG-AFTRA members are eligible to apply to the fund if they are currently active and paid up on their dues through October, 2019. The fund — which has distributed more than $12 million to members over the past 35 years — covers members who are in an emergency financial crisis related to coronavirus to cover basic expenses such as rent, mortgage, utilities, medical bills and other essential needs.

“These are unprecedented times,” Vance said. “Many of our fellow members will face even greater hardship than usual.”

Watch the video, which went live on Tuesday, below.

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