Brendan Moriarty To Helm ‘In The Night’; Strike Back Acquires ‘Rookie Season’; Uncork’d Takes ‘Confession’; Vision Films Claims ‘The American King’ – Film Briefs – Deadline

By Matt Grobar
Film Reporter
EXCLUSIVE: Brendan Moriarty (Road to Freedom) is gearing up to direct In the Night, a human trafficking thriller starring Gary Cairns, Jay Giannone, Vincent De Paul, Clayton T. Smith and Aizhan Lighg, which is inspired by real accounts from CIA agents.
The film will dive into the dubious life of CIA agent Ian Boyd (Gary), who is tasked with taking down the leader of the largest human trafficking organization in China, in his last black-ops mission before retiring.
Cairns and Smith penned the screenplay, based on a story by J. Loren. Moriarty’s Franklin Square Pictures banner will finance and produce, with Moriarty producing alongside Cairns and Willie Barela, Henry Bronson and Doug Deluca exec producing, and Stephen L. Harvey and Angelika Jaroslawska Sapieha serving as co-executive producers.

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Moriarty is represented by Acclaim Artists in London; Cairns by Linda McAlister Talent; Giannone by Authentic Talent and Literary Management; De Paul by Alvarado Rey Agency, manager Norma Castillo and attorney Chris G. Maier; Smith by Acclaim Artists and MTM Miller Talent Management in Spain; Lighg by Wunder Agency and MPG Management.
EXCLUSIVE: Strike Back Studios has acquired rights to Rookie Season, a racing documentary marking Adrian Bonvento’s feature directorial debut. The Sydney-based Adventure Entertainment will release it in over 100 theaters across North America, Australia and New Zealand on February 25, with Strike Back launching its global TVOD/Digital platform release on April 4.
Rookie Season tells the story of businessman and amateur racer Frank DePew, who purchased Florida’s Rebel Rock Racing in 2018 with the goal of testing his skill in the professional racing ranks, hiring veteran Robin Liddell as his co-driver and Joe Hall as his crew chief.
The road to success was anything but easy. The team finished dead last in a 49-car field at the International Motor Sports Association’s 2019 season opener at Daytona International Speedway. Slowly but surely, though, DePew, Liddell and the Rebel Rock crew built the program back up and punctuated the rebirth with a win at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and a storybook victory at Road America.
Bonvento also shot and edited the film, co-producing it with Carol and Frank DePew. It won Best Documentary at the 2021 International Motor Film Awards and will make its North American premiere at the Mammoth Film Festival in February.

Strike Back Studios President Noor Ahmed negotiated the acquisition deal with Bonvento. Check out the trailer below.

EXCLUSIVE: Uncork’d Entertainment has acquired North American rights to writer-director David Beton’s action-thriller, Confession, with plans to release it in theaters on January 21, and on VOD January 25.
The film played in real time during one fateful night fixes on a wounded man (Stephen Moyer) who takes a priest (Colm Meany) hostage, determined to confess to a past misdemeanor before it’s too late. It had its market premiere at EFM earlier this year.
Clare-Hope Ashitey also stars in the pic produced by Picture Perfect’s Lucinda Rhodes Thakrar and Jeet Thakrar. Signature’s Elizabeth Williams served as its exec producer. Andrew Nerger of Signature Entertainment negotiated the deal on behalf of the film team with Keith Leopard of Uncork’d Entertainment.
EXCLUSIVE: Vision Films has acquired North American rights to writer-director Adah Edache Obekpa’s film, The American King, starring singer-songwriter and record producer Akon, with plans to release it in five cities and on all major streaming and cable platforms across the U.S. and Canada on January 28. The film will head to DVD on February 28.
In the feature shot on location in Los Angeles and Nigeria, a mysterious High Priestess looks to fulfill a 400-year-old prophecy, choosing a troublemaking American (Akon) to become the new King of Africa. While he and his friends jet off and bring their street smarts and antics to a new international level of mischief, the U.S. government unravels one of the most guarded secrets about the true identity of the “founding fathers” of the United States.
Obekpa and Joan McCarthy produced the pic, which also stars Andrew Howard, Nick Moran, Massi Furlan, Eyninna Nwigwe, Nse Ikpe-Etim and Nathin Butler, and has won awards at the Harlem International Film Festival, the Los Angeles Lift Off Film Festival, the Charlotte Black Film Festival, and the 2nd Line Film Festival.
The acquisition deal was negotiated with McCarthy of Ihotu Films. Check out the trailer below.

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