Movies Anywhere Screen Pass Sharing Feature Launched to More Users in Open Beta

Digital movie library Movies Anywhere has launched its new Screen Pass feature to more users. The feature allows users to share up to three movies monthly with friends and family for free.

The open beta expands on the beta launch March 17.

“We wanted to start open beta with users we thought were most likely to share,” said Karin Gilford, GM of Movies Anywhere, who added that the stay-at-home orders in the majority of the country make it a good time to help users share their favorite movies with family and friends.

Those who want to participate in the open beta can sign up here.

Screen Pass gives a friend or family member (who must be a Movies Anywhere member) seven days to accept the invitation, and another 14 days to watch the title. Once started, the user has 72 hours to finish watching the movie. A title can be shared unlimited times.

All Movies Anywhere studios are participating in the program, with each studio deciding on Screen Pass eligible titles. Eligible films appear in a scroll on the Movies Anywhere app. Users can send a text or email to share an eligible title. The service notifies recipients if the title is already in their library and they can decline the offer. Movies Anywhere also indicates to sharers how many of the three allowed movies per month they have shared.

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“We have such a great enthusiastic audience, and they look to share their love of movies,” Gilford said. “Now you can really pay it off with just a few clicks. The more friction you can reduce from that recommendation of a movie to a friend the better.”

Movies Anywhere brings together more than 7,900 movies from Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Pictures (including DreamWorks and Illumination Entertainment), The Walt Disney Studios (including Disney, Pixar, Twentieth Century Film, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm), and Warner Bros. Participating digital retailers that connect with the service include iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu/Walmart, Comcast Xfinity, Google Play/YouTube, Microsoft Movies & TV, FandangoNow and Verizon Fios TV.

Paramount and Lionsgate films are not part of the service.

While Movies Anywhere is “always in talks” with potential additional studio and partners, Gilford said, “We are accelerating our connected TV strategy.” Last month, Movies Anywhere launched on LG smart TVs.

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Doc ‘One Child Left Behind: The Untold Atlanta Cheating Scandal’ Coming to Digital HD April 7 From Virgil

The documentary One Child Left Behind: The Untold Atlanta Cheating Scandal will come out on Digital HD April 7 from Virgil Films.

In 2009, 1,176 Atlanta teachers were investigated for test cheating; 35 were indicted, 12 went to trial and 11 were found guilty on RICO charges, which are typically reserved for the mafia and drug lords. The guilty, serving 30-year sentences, finally break their silence in this tell-all, controversial film that takes a closer look at the legislation called No Child Left Behind, the politics behind it, and a race and power struggle that spawned one of the most complex scandals in American history.

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Directed by celebrated Producer and Showrunner Jodi Gomes, the documentary brings the accused, whistleblowers, cheaters and innocent together on film for the first time to tell the real story. The U.S. Education debate takes a front seat in this harrowing, investigative film that will leave many wondering how our education system could fail so many. Was the controversial legislation, ‘No Child Left Behind’ to blame for such widespread cheating in Atlanta public schools, or did politics, race and greed for $50 million in federal funding fuel the fire? Discover the real story with exclusive interviews from the convicted, whistleblowers, accused, cheaters, prosecution, D.A., defense attorneys and most importantly, the students left behind.

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One Child Left Behind: The Untold Atlanta Cheating Scandal from Virgil Films on Vimeo.

 

MMA Doc ‘El Viejo’ Coming on Digital Feb. 25 From Virgil

The documentary El Viejo will be released on digital HD Feb. 25 from Virgil Films and Entertainment.

The film follows a 51-year-old retired wrestling coach, Thom Ortiz, who doesn’t let age derail his dreams of becoming a professional mixed martial arts fighter. Against all odds, he uses unconventional means to juggle the challenges of health, fatherhood, career and training to compete in a sport that’s dominated by younger athletes.

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Directed by Matthew Hickney and written by Shane Ellison, the documentary won Best Documentary Feature at the Festigious International Film Festival Los Angeles, Best Arizona Feature at the Arcosanti International Film Carnivale, the Gold Medal for Best Featurette at the Global Independent Film Awards, and was a winner at the Los Angeles Film Awards.

El Viejo from El Viejo on Vimeo.

 

Doc ‘The Animal People’ Due on Digital Dec. 10 From Virgil

The feature documentary The Animal People will come out on digital HD Dec. 10 from Virgil Films.

From executive producer Joaquin Phoenix and directors Cassandra Suchan and Denis Henry Hennelly, the documentary — more than 10 years in the making — follows the journey of six young activists who find themselves indicted as terrorists by the United States government. The reason for indictment is the activists’ leadership of a controversial open protest campaign aiming to close down the largest animal testing laboratory in the world. The activists used the then fledgling internet to dramatically magnify their impact and systematically knocked down pillars of financial support for the lab. But when protests began to mushroom into dead-of-night vandalism and worse by unknown underground elements, the FBI stepped in. The bureau began a campaign of surveillance, creating a model that would later be used against Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter. According to the program, the United States Congress, under corporate pressure, rewrote laws in specific preparation for prosecution, potentially weakening free speech rights for all Americans.

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Featuring expansive interviews with the six activists spanning more than a decade, rare archival footage, including never-before-seen surveillance footage, wiretaps and government documents, The Animal People is a portrait of what happens when activism rattles the institutions of power.

Documentary ‘Clarence Clemons: Who Do I Think I Am?’ Blows to Digital Aug. 13, Disc Aug. 27

The Virgil Films documentary Clarence Clemons: Who Do I Think I Am?, about one of the most famous saxophone players in the world, is coming on Digital HD Aug. 13 and on DVD through MVD Entertainment Group Aug. 27 following a limited theatrical run in July.

A TV/ SVOD release is planned for first quarter 2020.

After Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s marathon “Rising Tour” came to an end in 2003, Clemons felt like he needed a break. Though the world knew him as The Big Man and a lifetime member of the E Street Band, there was also a deeply spiritual side to Clemons, so he packed up his saxophone and journeyed to China, where he could be more or less a nameless traveler in a foreign land. Following him was director, friend and photographer Nick Mead, who documented the musician’s transcendent awakening overseas. Once Clemons returned to the States, Mead decided to keep the cameras rolling, which is when tragedy struck. While in Florida, Clemons suffered a stroke and passed away.

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With the help of producer Joe Amodei, the film became more than just a document of the musician’s spiritual journey, it became a biography of his life and a love letter and farewell from those who knew him best.

“It was an honor and a privilege to work with Nick Mead on this project. Clarence was a true Big Man! His spirituality rose to the top of every interview we conducted.” said producer Amodei in a statement.

Featuring interviews with President Bill Clinton, Joe Walsh, Nils Lofgren, Jake Clemons, and former band mates, friends and close family members, Who Do I Think I Am? documents Clemons’s life as a musician and member of the E Street band while also presenting another side of the man not many knew offstage.

Documentary ‘Brave Girls’ Coming to DVD and Digital June 4 From Virgil

Brave Girls, a documentary about Indian women trying to break free from cultural traditions, is coming to DVD, Digital HD and VOD June 4 from Virgil Films.

Directed by Ellie Walton and Yashaswi Desai, the film portrays three young Indian women in a conservative Muslim town seeking to change their futures through education and self-determination. For Karishma, Apsana and Samira, going back to school to complete their secondary education represented a seismic shift in worldview and a reappraisal of what their lives could become.

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But as final exams approached, their families began preparations for their weddings. Immediately, they were forced to choose between their evolving dreams and their obligations to their community. Apsana broke her arranged engagement the day before her wedding to continue her education; Karishma made an unthinkable choice by running away and marrying a forbidden love; Samira accepted her fate and married as was expected of her, leaving her family behind. These stories combined show the complexity that emerges on the path to self-determination within a conservative, Muslim town in Gujarat, India.

Documentary ‘This Is North Preston’ Due on Digital April 23 From Virgil

The documentary This Is North Preston will come out on digital HD April 23 from Virgil Films.

It documents a black community in Canada, which started as a safe haven for escaped slaves, but has more recently been painted as one of the biggest hubs of pimping and human trafficking in the nation. This Is North Preston explores how the town of 4,000 has dealt with generations of pimp culture, violence, economic struggle and constant systemic racism through the eyes of the pimps, trafficking victims, politicians, police and community members looking to change the narrative.

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The film also explores the decades of systemic racism that the town has experienced and continues to experience. While many think racism isn’t a major issue in Canada, it’s still ingrained in everyday life on the east coast from regular citizens to government officials.

Modern Take on Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’ Rides to Digital March 19, Disc April 9 From Random Media

As You Like It, a contemporary Western retelling of Shakespeare’s classic story with an all-male cast, will come out on Digital HD and VOD March 19 and DVD April 9 from Random Media.

The film, from writer-director Carlyle Stewart and shot entirely in Death Valley using the bard’s original language, is a romantic adventure in which the courtship of characters Rosalind and Orlando play out against a backdrop of rivalry, banishment and exile.

The all-male cast — as was the Shakespearean stage tradition and emphasizing themes and ideas in the original work that have been lost in modern adaptations — includes Grant Jordan, Zach Villa, Joseph Haro, Stephen Ellis, Tom Bower and Graham Greene.

As You Like It – Official Trailer from Random Media on Vimeo.

 

Doc ‘A Classy Broad’ Coming to Digital March 5 From Virgil

The documentary A Classy Broad: Marcia’s Adventures in Hollywood, about trailblazing executive Marcia Nasatir, the first female VP of production at United Artists, comes to digital March 5 from Virgil Films.

The film will also have weeklong theatrical engagement at L.A.’s Laemmle Music Hall — in conjunction with International Women’s Day — starting March 8.

A Classy Broad, as told mainly in Nasatir’s voice, is directed by Anne Goursaud, known for her editing work on Francis Ford Coppola’s The Outsiders and Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

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Nasatir’s legendary career as an executive began in 1970s when she was recruited by Mike Medavoy at UA as story editor, a position she negotiated into a VP title, paving the way for women to achieve this executive status quo within a male-dominated movie industry.  While there, Nasatir championed Rocky, Carrie, Apocalypse Now and One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest. She later joined Johnny Carson’s production company and fought to produce The Big Chill, which garnered three Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Glenn Close) and Best Screenplay. With Marcia Nasatir Productions, she independently produced the Vietnam drama Hamburger Hill and Ironweed, starring Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep.

At 92 years old, Marcia is an active member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and serves on the Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee.

Doc ‘The Rebound’ Coming to Digital HD Nov. 20 From Virgil Films

The Rebound, a documentary about a wheelchair basketball team’s quest for its first-ever championship, will come out on Digital HD Nov. 20 from Virgil Films.

The film follows the struggling wheelchair basketball team Miami Heat Wheels following a defeat at the National Wheelchair Basketball Association championships as they push physically, mentally and emotionally through each season without the recognition or the resources of mainstream sports. The team’s dwindling checkbook threatens to cut short its attempt to take the national title. Debut filmmakers Shaina Allen and Mike Esposito step deep inside the lives of three players as they endure and respond to adversity and fight their way to a second chance.