Best in Genre Entertainment Celebrated at 51st Saturn Awards

The 51st Annual Saturn Awards, presented by The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror, celebrated the best in genre entertainment Feb. 4 in Los Angeles.

Hosted for the second year in a row by actor/comedian Joel McHale (DC’s “Stargirl,” “Community”), the show was available to watch live on ElectricNow, the OTT app and FAST channel from Dean Devlin’s Electric Entertainment. The streaming channel will rerun the event throughout the month.

Christopher Nolan was presented with the Saturn’s Visionary Award by Oppenheimer co-star Emily Blunt, who won Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film. Actor William Shatner presented Seth MacFarlane with the Robert Forster Artists Award. Dave Filoni received his George Pal Memorial Award from Ming-Na Wen, who won last year’s Best TV Actress for her role in “The Book of Boba Fett.” Keanu Reeves was in attendance to receive the very first Lance Reddick Legacy Award, presented to him by Titus Welliver, star of “Bosch” and “Bosch: Legacy.” Jodie Foster was presented with the Life Career Award by Issa López, writer and director of the fourth season of “True Detective: Night Country.”

Presenters and winners included Nicolas Cage, Heather Graham, James Cameron, Norman Reedus, Sir Patrick Stewart, Ernie Hudson, Henry Thomas, Rebecca De Mornay, Todd Stashwick, Paul Wesley, Lee Majors, Lindsay Wagner, Danai Gurira, Xolo Maridueña and Harvey Guillén, among others.

This year’s show was dedicated to the memory of recently passed actor Lance Reddick.

The winners at the 51st Annual Saturn Awards were:

 

SPECIAL AWARDS

  • VISIONARY AWARD — Christopher Nolan
  • ROBERT FORSTER ARTIST’S AWARD — Seth MacFarlane
  • GEORGE PAL MEMORIAL AWARD — Dave Filoni
  • THE DAN CURTIS LEGACY AWARD — “The Walking Dead” franchise
  • LANCE REDDICK LEGACY AWARD — Keanu Reeves
  • LIFE CAREER AWARD — Jodie Foster
  • LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD — “Star Trek: The Next Generation” cast

 

FILM

BEST SCIENCE FICTION FILM: Avatar: The Way of Water

BEST FANTASY FILM: Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

BEST HORROR FILM: Talk to Me

BEST SUPERHERO FILM: Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3

BEST ACTION/ADVENTURE FILM: Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One

BEST THRILLER FILM: Oppenheimer

BEST ANIMATED FILM: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

BEST INDEPENDENT FILM: Pearl

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM: Sisu

BEST FILM DIRECTION: James Cameron (Avatar: The Way of Water)

BEST FILM SCREENWRITING: Avatar: The Way of Water (James Cameron and Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver)

BEST ACTOR IN A FILM: Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones and The Dial of Destiny)

BEST ACTRESS IN A FILM: Margot Robbie (Barbie)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A FILM:
 Nicolas Cage (Renfield)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A FILM:
 Emily Blunt (Oppenheimer)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A YOUNGER PERFORMER IN A FILM: Xolo Maridueña (Blue Beetle)

BEST FILM MUSIC: Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (John Williams)

BEST FILM MAKE-UP: The Covenant (Donald Mowat)

BEST FILM VISUAL EFFECTS: Avatar: The Way of Water (Joe Letteri, Richard Baneham, Eric Saindon, Daniel Barrett)

BEST FILM COSTUME DESIGN: Barbie (Jacqueline Durran)

BEST FILM PRODUCTION DESIGN: Barbie (Sarah Greenwood)

BEST FILM EDITING: Oppenheimer (Jennifer Lame)

 

TELEVISION

BEST SCIENCE FICTION TELEVISION SERIES: “Star Trek: Picard”

BEST SUPERHERO TELEVISION SERIES: “Superman & Lois”

BEST ACTION/ADVENTURE/THRILLER TELEVISION SERIES: “Outlander”

BEST TELEVISION PRESENTATION: “Marvel’s Werewolf by Night”

BEST ANIMATED SERIES OR SPECIAL: “Star Wars: The Bad Batch”

BEST NEW GENRE TELEVISION SERIES: “Star Wars: Andor”

BEST HORROR TELEVISION SERIES: “The Last of Us”

BEST FANTASY TELEVISION SERIES: “Wednesday”

BEST ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES: Patrick Stewart (“Star Trek: Picard”)

BEST ACTRESS IN A TEVISION SERIES: Caitriona Balfe (“Outlander”)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES: Jonathan Frakes (“Star Trek: Picard”)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES: Jeri Ryan (“Star Trek: Picard”)

BEST FEATURED GUEST STAR IN A TELEVISION SERIES: Paul Wesley (“Strange Trek: Strange New Worlds”)

BEST YOUNGER PERFORMER IN A TELEVISION SERIES: Jenna Ortega (“Wednesday”)

 

HOME MEDIA

BEST TELEVISION HOME MEDIA RELEASE: Night Gallery, Season 3 (Kino Lorber)

BEST 4K HOME MEDIA RELEASE: John Wick, Chapter 4 4K (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)

BEST FILM HOME MEDIA COLLECTION: “Superman 1978-1987 4K Collection” (Warner Home Video)

Best Classic Film Home Media Release: Invaders from Mars 4K (Ignite)

Lucasfilm’s Dave Filoni to Receive George Pal Award at Saturn Awards

The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films will bestow the George Pal Memorial Award to animation producer, storyteller and Lucasfilm executive Dave Filoni. The award will be presented at the 51st Annual Saturn Awards, set to take place Feb. 4 at 4 p.m. (PST), hosted by Joel McHale.

This year’s Saturn Awards celebrating the films and television programs within genre entertainment will be live streamed by Electric Entertainment’s OTT linear channel and app ElectricNow, the official streaming partner of the Saturn Awards.

“Filoni’s exceptional storytelling abilities combined with his deep understanding of ‘Star Wars’ lore has introduced some of the most popular series, stories and characters to a galaxy far, far away,” according to the academy. “His dedication to maintaining the integrity of the franchise while pushing creative boundaries has earned him immense respect from fans and industry professionals alike. Filoni’s work is characterized by his ability to blend action, emotion and mythology, creating compelling narratives that resonate with fans of all ages and his passion for the franchise shines through in every project he undertakes.”

Named after legendary filmmaker and animator George Pal (War of the Worlds, When Worlds Collide, The Time Machine and Puppetoons), the George Pal Memorial Award is presented on rare occasions to a filmmaker who embodies a sense of wonder, imagination, and mastery of the fantastic in cinematic storytelling, according to the acadmy. Previous recipients include William Friedkin, Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy, John Carpenter, Sam Raimi, Guillermo del Toro and Ray Harryhausen.

Filoni in 2005 was selected by George Lucas to help build Lucasfilm’s animation studio from the ground up and create the company’s first series, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” Over a span of seven seasons, and more than 100 episodes, “The Clone Wars” won four Emmy Awards.

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Filoni is creator, writer, and executive producer on the series “Ahsoka” and executive producer, episodic director, and writer on the Emmy Award-winning series “The Mandalorian,” as well as its spin off series “The Book of Boba Fett.” Filoni is the creator and executive producer of the animated series “Star Wars: The Bad Batch” and “Tales of the Jedi.” He is also executive producing the upcoming “Star Wars” series “Skeleton Crew.”

Filoni was recently promoted to chief creative officer of Lucasfilm.

“Dave’s work has had a profound impact on the ‘Star Wars’ franchise, breathing new life into beloved characters and expanding the universe in exciting and unexpected ways,” academy president Robert Holguin and Saturn Awards producers Bradley and Kevin Marcus said in a statement. “He is a true visionary in the world of animation and storytelling, and we are truly honored to bestow this very special award to him.”

Michael Hyon Johnson Named Director of Operations for ElectricNow

Los Angeles-based production and distribution company Electric Entertainment has brought on Michael Hyon Johnson as director of operations for ElectricNow, its OTT app and FAST channel.

Johnson previously spent two years as manager of TV and streaming operations at Electric Entertainment.

“We are thrilled to welcome back Michael into the Electric Entertainment family,” Dean Devlin, CEO of Electric Entertainment, said in a statement. “His return to the company brings fresh perspectives, expanded skills and valuable experiences. With the addition of Michael’s acute acumen, we are excited to continue ElectricNOW’s tremendous growth and advancement.”

In his new role, Johnson will manage all aspects of ElectricNow, including but not limited to, the day-to-day overall maintenance of the app and channel. He will serve as the main point of contact for all platform operations and programming as well as liaise with major streaming platforms such as Amazon Freevee, The Roku Channel, Sling and Xumo, and CTV and hardware device companies such as Apple TV, FireTV and Samsung. Johnson will report to Steve Saltman, head of domestic sales.

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Prior to re-joining the Electric Entertainment team, Johnson served as director of media production at MLG Attorneys at Law where he conceptualized and developed the creative vision for video projects, led the creative and production teams, and coordinated all aspects of client interviews and on-location shooting sites. Johnson was the video producer for Immortals Esports, where he developed content and wrote concepts for sponsored partners such as Toyota, Progressive and Nitto. Prior to that, Johnson served as content production manager for Koji.

Electric Entertainment to Distribute Linda Lavin Feature ‘One Big Happy Family’

Two-time Golden Globe winner, Tony Award winner, Emmy Award-nominee and Theater Hall of Fame inductee Linda Lavin (“Being The Ricardos,” “Alice,” Wanderlust) will star alongside Lisa Brenner (Say My Name, The Patriot) in the feature film One Big Happy Family, to be distributed by Dean Devlin’s Electric Entertainment.

The veteran singer and actress plays Lenore, Rachel’s (Brenner) mother, in the film that’s based on one woman’s story whose entire identity is brought into question after receiving the results of a mail-in DNA test. The feature is directed by Matt Sohn (The Muppets Mayhem, “The Office”) and is produced in association with LinLay Productions.

Brenner is also the writer and producer of the film.

“This is a film that explores what it means to be family.  It takes a very serious and profound situation and turns it upside down into a joyous, heartfelt comedy,” Brenner said in a statement. “We are excited to bring ‘One Big Happy Family’ to audiences, where the entire family can enjoy together.”

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In the film, in the midst of planning her daughter’s Bat Mitzvah, Rachel’s (Brenner) DNA results come back in the mail. Much to her dismay, it reveals that the man that she had revered for the past 40 years is not her biological father.  And now, with every new notification on her phone, Rachel gains new siblings of every ethnicity and career path possible. Questioning her identity, she decides to go on a pilgrimage with her mother, Lenore (Lavin), intent on finding her “real” father. The journey brings her face to face with her siblings, a shady private eye, an inept gynecologist, and an ex-con tattoo artist. The wild voyage culminates in an emotional apex that threatens the indestructible bond between Rachel and Lenore.

One Big Happy Family is a Lisa Brenner and Grace Lay of LinLay Productions film. Steve Lee is Executive Producer.

Electric Entertainment Acquires U.S. Rights to Thriller ‘Exile’

The Canadian feature film Exile has been acquired by Electric Entertainment in the United States, Vortex Media in Canada and Nicely Entertainment for international.

The thriller, shot in Powell River, B.C., stars Adam Beach (Power of the Dog, Suicide Squad) as Ted Evans, a father struggling with his past. It also stars Camille Sullivan (Hunter Hunter), Garry Chalk (“The Killing”) and Marshall Williams (The Ice Road). The film had its world premiere in December at the Whistler Film Festival.

In Exile, Ted Evans receives a threat from the man whose family he killed in a DUI. In order to protect his family when he is released from prison, Ted exiles himself and commits to a reclusive life; separating himself from the people he loves. His wife, Sara (Sullivan), believes the threat is a manifestation of her husband’s profound guilt. Determined to rebuild their family, Sara tracks down Ted to confront him, but she has no idea who he’s become or how real the threat may be.

“This nail-biting thriller features stunning performances by Beach and Sullivan,” Dean Devlin, CEO of Electric Entertainment, said in a statement. “Their on-screen chemistry, married with the lavish sets of the beautiful British Columbia countryside, are certain to make this a must-watch for U.S. audiences.”

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“We’re thrilled to be working with Electric, Vortex and Nicely,” director Jason James said in a statement. “Exile is a film about isolation, loss and love. With such universal themes and exceptional performances, we’re excited to share this film with audiences worldwide.”

Electric Entertainment Announces Financing Deal

Los Angeles-based production and distribution company Electric Entertainment has announced the closing of a $100 million loan credit facility with Bank of America.

The five-year agreement will be initially used for the expansion of Electric’s production slate that includes “Leverage: Redemption,” “The Ark” and “Almost Paradise,” among other programs.

“This facility is our largest to date, exemplifying Bank of America’s recognition of Electric’s continuous growth,” Jeff Gonzalez, CFO of Electric Entertainment, said in a statement. “The credit agreement allows us to continue on our quickly moving trajectory.”

“With the advent and continuation of the streaming industry’s growth, we have been lucky to continue to do what we do best — create original scripted programs that audiences love,” Dean Devlin, CEO of Electric Entertainment, said in a statement. “With not only our broadcast, but now our streaming channel and platform partners, our content is in higher demand as our distribution expansion has become far-reaching.”

In the past year, the company produced three TV series — all streaming platform and broadcast originals. Electric is currently wrapping up production on its  second season of “Leverage: Redemption,” the spin-off continuation of “Leverage,” one of Amazon Freevee’s first original programs. “Almost Paradise,” which originally aired on WGNA, has been greenlighted for a second season for Freevee and is currently in production.  In addition, Electric’s new series “The Ark” just wrapped and will air as a SYFY Channel original.

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“Bank of America was pleased to work closely with Dean and the Electric Entertainment management team to help them chart their future growth,” Randy Hua, head of the Entertainment Industries Group at Bank of America, said in a statement. “Electric has a strong pipeline of creative broadcast and streaming projects and can continue to increase their influence through diverse channels.”

Electric also has its own app ElectricNow, a premium OTT linear channel and app containing programs produced and acquired by the company. It can be found on the Roku Channel, Plex, STIRR, Local Now, Sling TV, Tivo Plus, Freevee, XUMO and Samsung.

Electric Entertainment Promotes Christina Keller to VP of Finance

Electric Entertainment, the Los Angeles based production, distribution and post-production company headed by producer Dean Devlin, has announced the promotion of Christina Keller to the newly created position of VP of finance.

She will be working closely with CFO Jeff Gonzalez on fostering Electric’s banking relationships and preparing and reviewing financing documents and forecasts.

Prior to becoming VP of finance, Christina was controller for the company. She has been with Electric for more than 12 years.

“Christina has shown immense dedication, ingenuity and acumen in achieving our far-reaching goals at Electric,” Gonzalez said in a statement. “She has become an undisputed asset within not just the accounting department, but the company as a whole. I am excited to see her  move into this newly created and well-deserved role.”

As the controller for Electric Entertainment, Keller oversaw the entirety of the accounting department, maintained loan compliance, created GAAP basis financial statements, set up accounting controls, managed entity creation and dissolution, handled post-production accounting, and liaised with the company CPA for annual tax return filings. In addition to these duties, she handled all matters relating to human resources and payroll. She managed both international and domestic tax credit filings. 

Prior to joining Electric in 2010, Keller obtained her CPA license and worked with tax firm Talley & Company, reviewing corporate and individual multi-state income tax returns. 

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Electric Entertainment is an independent studio headed by veteran producer Devlin along with his partners Marc Roskin and Rachel Olschan-Wilson. Electric Entertainment also houses acquisitions and sales divisions, with domestic sales headed up by Steve Saltman and the international division headed by Sonia Mehandjiyska. Electric also has a satellite office located in Vancouver, Canada.

Among Electric’s television series are “The Librarians” and “Leverage,” which ran for four and five seasons respectively on TNT; “The Outpost,” which premiered its fourth season on The CW in 2021; and “Almost Paradise,” which is currently streaming on IMDb TV after having premiered on WGN America. Season two of “Almost Paradise” begins shooting this summer. Electric’s new series “The Ark” begins shooting this spring for the Syfy channel. Electric’s spin-off continuation of “Leverage,” “Leverage: Redemption,” is currently streaming in the United States and the United Kingdom on Amazon’s IMDb TV, as one of the platform’s first original programs. Season two of “Leverage: Redemption” begins shooting this spring.

Electric’s feature films have included Bad Samaritan, starring David Tennant and Robert Sheehan; Say My Name, starring Lisa Brenner and Nick Blood; the  documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?; and most recently The Deal, starring Sumalee Montano and Emma Fischer. Electric also acquires, distributes and sells worldwide rights to Electric’s produced and acquired content, as well as theatrical films from around the world, including Blood on the Crown, starring Harvey Keitel and Malcolm McDowell; Heavy, starring Sophie Turner and Daniel Zovatto; Rob Reiner’s historical biopic LBJ, starring Woody Harrelson; and Book of Love, starring Jessica Biel and Jason Sudeikis. The company’s domestic distribution division, headed by Steve Saltman, is a full-service operation serving all significant outlets with various rights to films and series including TVOD, EST, AVOD, SVOD, PTV, Linear Basic Cable and Broadcast.

ElectricNow FAST Channel Available on Samsung Smart TVs and Mobile Devices

Electric Entertainment, a Los Angeles-based production, distribution and post-production company, has partnered with Samsung to deliver ElectricNow’s FAST channel on all U.S. Samsung smart-TVs and select mobile devices. 

“Our live linear channel will now be reaching the enormous Samsung TV Plus audience,” Dean Devlin, CEO of Electric Entertainment, said in a statement. “This is extremely exciting for us and ElectricNow, specifically since we will be able to expose new viewers to our fan favorites, such as ‘Leverage,’ ‘The Librarians,’ ‘Almost Paradise’ and ‘The Outpost.’ We are happy to report that the ElectricNow app has millions of viewers since its inception and is rapidly growing on a consistent basis.”

ElectricNow is a premium OTT app and FAST channel featuring Electric Entertainment’s own produced content such as TV series “Leverage,” “The Librarians,” and “The Outpost,” as well as acquired programming such as the feature films Blackway, starring Anthony Hopkins, and The Book of Love, starring Jason Sudeikis and Maisie Williams. The ElectricNow Channel is available on platforms including The Roku Channel, Plex, STIRR, Local Now, Sling TV, TiVo Plus, IMDb TV, Redbox, XUMO, Distro TV and Select TV. In addition to the free streaming content, the ElectricNow App also includes special bonus feature content, a program guide, and video-on-demand and pay-per-view components. The channel and app are home to Electric’s newly launched podcast network, Electric Surge, which includes such series as “The Official Leverage: Redemption Aftershow: A Very Distinctive Podcast,” “Inglorious Treksperts,” “The 4:30 Movie,” “Best Movies Never Made” in a line-up that includes podcasts devoted to “Star Trek,” “Dr. Who” and other sci-fi and entertainment industry-related topics.

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Headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif., Electric Entertainment is an independent studio headed by veteran producer Dean Devlin along with his partners Marc Roskin and Rachel Olschan-Wilson. Electric Entertainment also houses Electric Post, a digital effects and post-production facility.

Electric Entertainment Officially Launches OTT Service ElectricNow With Availability on Vizio Smart TVs

Electric Entertainment, a Los Angeles-based production, distribution and post-production company, has announced the hard launch of its OTT app and channel ElectricNow, concurrently with the app’s availability on all Vizio SmartCast televisions.

SmartCast  users have around-the-clock access to Electric Entertainment’s produced content such as TV series “Leverage,” “The Librarians” and “The Outpost,” as well as acquired programming such as the feature films Blood on the Crown, starring Harvey Keitel and Malcolm McDowell, and Heavy, starring Sophie Turner and Daniel Zovatto.

“We soft-launched ElectricNow in spring of 2020,” said Dean Devlin, CEO of Electric Entertainment, in a statement. “The consumer feedback and corresponding viewership has been well beyond our expectations.  We originally set out to create a hub where we could aggregate all of our various fan bases from ‘Leverage,’ ‘The Librarians,’ ‘The Outpost,’ ‘Almost Paradise’ and all of our podcast subscribers into a single space. Now with the app being available to this incredibly large consumer base via Vizio SmartCast, we are reaching a much broader more mainstream audience, picking up new fans along the way.”

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“With the addition of ElectricNow to SmartCast, we are continuing Vizio’s mission to provide our audiences with endless entertainment,” Chris Tanquary, director of business development and partnerships for Vizio, said in a statement. “ElectricNow’s hard launch is a great step in that effort, and gives SmartCast users access to their exciting original and acquired content.”

Electric Entertainment recently announced marathons on ElectricNow for its original programs “Leverage” and “The Outpost,” timed to coincide with the streaming and/or broadcasting of these program’s new episodes and seasons.

Devlin has seen ElectricNow as not only a one-stop-shop destination for fans of Electric’s programming, but also as a marketing tool to lead viewers to their streaming and broadcast partners, according to a company press release.

“Our fans and broadcast/streaming partners have been equally important to us,” he said in a statement. “Bringing them together has been a major initiative for us.”

Historical Drama ‘Blood on the Crown’ Due on DVD June 15

The historical drama Blood on the Crown will debut on DVD June 15 from Distribution Solutions and Electric Entertainment.

It is available now via TVOD.

Directed by Davide Ferrario (After Midnight, We All Fall Down), the film stars Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange, Mozart in the Jungle) and Harvey Keitel (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction) in the portrayal of the events of the Sette Giugno, when civil unrest on the archipelago of Malta went from a simmer to a hard boil.

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Based on actual events, Blood on the Crown tells the story of how Maltese citizens fought for their independence against England in 1919 — a deadly rebellion covered up for nearly 100 years. Immediately following the end of World War I, the Maltese people united in an uprising for their country’s independence against the British. A small number of soldiers were sent to quell the rioting protesters, whose numbers had reached the thousands. Blood spilled in the streets when the British Army gunned down unarmed protesters. The large number of casualties and the imprisonment of more than 115 Maltese citizens were an embarrassment to the British Army.

The Sette Giugno is now a Maltese national holiday.