Gravitas Ventures to Distribute Doc ‘The Holy Game’ on VOD

Gravitas Ventures has acquired worldwide rights (excluding Canada) to distribute the documentary The Holy Game. The title will come out on cable and digital video-on-demand platforms June 29.

From director Brent Hodge (I Am Chris Farley, Freaks and Geeks: The Documentary), the film offers an exclusive look at an officially sanctioned Vatican soccer tournament for priests. Beyond the Vatican walls, there is a soccer championship like no other in which young priests in seminary from around the world gather to play in the Clericus Cup. The documentary feature explores religion, sport and tradition, and looks at why anyone in this era would sacrifice so much to become a priest.

“Brent’s documentary is a fascinating peek behind the curtain, grappling with controversy and harsh truths alongside inspiring observations and amusing anecdotes from the next generation of the priesthood, all set against the backdrop of this unique tournament,” Tony Piantedosi, VP of acquisitions at Gravitas Ventures, said in a statement.

Gravitas Ventures released Hodges’ previous documentary, Who Let the Dogs Out in 2019.

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“We are thrilled to be working with Gravitas again on the release of The Holy Game,” Hodge said in a statement. “I am always in search of projects that reveal unique windows into different worlds, and this doc is truly that. Not only do we have direct access to the priesthood, the Vatican, but we also get a glimpse into this one-of-a-kind soccer tournament and where religion fits in modern day culture. We are excited for people to see it.”

Horror Thriller ‘Sound of Violence’ Due on Cable and Digital VOD May 21 From Gravitas Ventures

The horror thriller Sound of Violence will debut on cable and digital VOD May 21 from Gravitas Ventures.

The film, written and directed by Alex Noyer (808, SXSW 2015) premiered at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival and stars Jasmin Savoy Brown (the upcoming Scream revival, “The Leftovers”), Lili Simmons (“Ray Donovan,” “Banshee,” Bone Tomahawk), James Jagger (“Vinyl,” The Outpost) and Tessa Munro (“S.W.A.T.”).

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The film follows Alexis, who recovered her hearing after witnessing the brutal murder of her family when she was 10. The experience awakens synesthetic abilities in her and starts her on a path of self-discovery through the healing tones of brutal violence. Supported and loved by her roommate Marie, who is unaware of the dark secrets behind her music, she goes on to pursue a career teaching and experimenting to find new sounds. Faced with the likelihood of losing her hearing again, Alexis escalates her pursuit of her masterpiece through gruesome sound experiments.

Culinary Series ‘How She Rolls’ to Debut on PBS Living Channel in May

In May, “How She Rolls,” a half-hour lifestyle documentary and culinary series, will debut on the PBS Living channel, available on Prime Video and Apple TV Channels.

The subscription rate for PBS Living is $2.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription. PBS Living is also available on Apple TV Channels in the Apple TV app at a subscription rate of $2.99 per month with no additional annual fees.

The program follows the life of Carrie Morey, an award-winning baker, entrepreneur, and mother, wife and daughter who transformed a made-by-hand mail order biscuit company, Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit, into one of the South’s best small business success stories.

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Each episode follows Morey as she balances being a mom to three daughters with the pressures of being a business owner in what has been an unpredictable year. Whether she’s traveling the country to attend food expos, dealing with the obstacles of opening a new breakfast and lunch biscuit eatery three hours from home, or putting work aside to prepare a dinner for her family, viewers follow Morey’s challenges and triumphs.

In the 10-episode inaugural season, viewers are introduced to Morey as she runs a growing business from her kitchen, her car, food festivals, her daughter’s volleyball games and anywhere else she finds herself. The series takes us from the early beginnings of starting her business — juggling her family life while opening a new store in Charlotte, N.C. — and soon after the opening, when the pandemic hits and the coronavirus overtakes America. Over the next few months, Morey sheds staff and runs out of flour, but also discovers a new path to success. With faith and determination, Morey is able to take her employees to a dairy farm to learn how buttermilk is made, cook with her parents (her culinary inspiration) and begin to create recipes for a new cookbook.

Kelsey Grammer Film ‘The Space Between’ Due on Digital and VOD June 15

The Kelsey Grammer film The Space Between will come out on digital and VOD June 15 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

The film will have a limited theatrical run starting April 23.

In the coming-of-age story set during the 1990s L.A. music scene, Grammer stars as Micky Adams, an eccentric has-been rock musician who loses his grip on reality as his record label looks to drop him and his new “unique” albums. In hopes of breaking out of the mailroom, young Charlie Porter (Jackson White) is tasked with traveling to the musician’s bizarre home and forcing Micky out of his contract. Micky realizes Charlie could be the key to an artistic breakthrough and the pair’s unlikely friendship grows. The odd but powerful bond helps both gain perspective on the music industry, life, love — and the space between.

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‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Keeps Top Spot on Watched at Home Chart

Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman 1984 held at No. 1 on the “Watched at Home” chart the week ended April 10.

The DC-comic-based film, repeating in the top spot for a second week, continued to get a boost from its arrival on Blu-ray and DVD March 30 after being released though digital retailers on March 16 (a release preceded by PVOD and a simultaneous Christmas Day 2020 debut in theaters and on streaming service HBO Max).

News of the WorldThe Croods: A New Age and Monster Hunter all repeated in spots two through four, in order, from the previous week. The Oscar-nominated Promising Young Woman, which jumped from No. 6, rounded out the top five.

The comedy Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar, co-starring and co-written by Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo (Bridesmaids), entered the chart at No. 10 after coming out on Blu-ray and DVD April 6. Also new to the chart for the week was Willy’s Wonderland, starring Nicolas Cage, dropping in at No. 11. Shadow in the Cloud, starring Chloë Grace Moretz as a World War II flight officer on a secret mission when her bomber is attacked by gremlins, returned at No. 18 after its April 6 DVD and Blu-ray release in an otherwise steady chart.

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The Watched at Home chart, compiled from studio and retailer data and presented by DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, tracks transactional video activity (both digital and on DVD and Blu-ray Disc, but not premium VOD or disc rental).

The Western News of the World (No. 2) stars Tom Hanks as a Civil War veteran who makes a living reading newspapers to people in frontier towns and is tasked with returning a young white girl who had been captured and raised by Indians to her family.

Universal Pictures’ DreamWorks Animation sequel The Croods: A New Age (No. 3) features the voices of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds and Peter Dinklage and follows the caveman Crood family as they encounter the more civilized Bettermans.

Sony Pictures’ video game adaptation Monster Hunter (No. 4) stars Milla Jovovich as the leader of a military unit battling deadly creatures from another world.

Promising Young Woman (No. 5), nominated for five Oscars, stars Carey Mulligan as Cassie, whose promising future was derailed by a mysterious event.

  1. Wonder Woman 1984 (Warner)
  2. News of the World (Universal)
  3. The Croods: A New Age (Universal)
  4. Monster Hunter (Sony Pictures)
  5. Promising Young Woman (Universal)
  6. Girl in the Basement (A+E)
  7. Greenland (Universal/STX)
  8. Harry Potter: Complete 8-Film Collection (Warner)
  9. Soul (Disney)
  10. Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar (Lionsgate)
  11. Willy’s Wonderland (Screen Media)
  12. Wrong Turn: The Foundation (Lionsgate)
  13. Let Him Go (Universal)
  14. Yellowstone: Season 3 (Paramount)
  15. Godzilla: King of the Monsters (Warner)
  16. The Ten Commandments (Paramount)
  17. Yellowstone: Season 1 (Paramount)
  18. Shadow in the Cloud (Vertical)
  19. The Vault (Paramount)
  20. Tenet (Warner)


Source: DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group
Includes U.S. digital sales, digital rentals, and DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD sales for the week ended April 10.

Faith-Based ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ Coming to DVD and VOD May 11

The faith-based film My Brother’s Keeper will arrive on DVD and VOD May 11 from Collide Distribution in partnership with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film, which shares a story of faith and forgiveness in the wake of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, was directed by Kevan Otto (A Question of Faith, Forgiven) and written by U.S. Army Veteran Ty Manns (A Question of Faith, The 5th quarter). The film stars T.C. Stallings (War Room, A Question of Faith), Joey Lawrence (“Melissa & Joey”, “Blossom,” “Hawaii Five-0”), Robert Ri’chard (Coach Carter, “Empire”) and Keshia Knight Pulliam (“The Cosby Show”).

My Brother’s Keeper follows the story of returning war veteran SFC Travis Fox (Stallings), who has one more battle to fight — PTSD.  Fox and his best friend Ron “Preach” Pearcy (Lawrence) are in their sixth combat deployment when Preach and his entire Ranger platoon are killed in a deadly improvised explosive device attack. Travis returns to his hometown to settle the affairs of his parents who had passed away years before. In searching for answers about his parents, he also discovers a new obstacle in PTSD. He finds support from church counselor Tiffany Robertson (Knight-Pulliam) and slowly begins to rediscover his faith in God, until he uncovers a secret hidden by his best friend Donnie Berry (Ri’chard) that threatens his new-found faith, restores his guilt and causes him to consider the unthinkable.

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The film also had a theatrical run.

“It was so encouraging that many theaters across the U.S. re-opened their theaters with My Brother’s Keeper, a desperately needed story of hope,” Manns said in a statement. “It is also an incredible honor that the film was able to play on military bases and at the National Infantry Museum. We pray that, as the film becomes available to larger audiences through home entertainment, the story continues to give encouragement to those struggling with issues of PTSD, forgiveness, and loss. A reminder that, no matter what the situation, there is always hope.”

‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ Repeats at No. 1 on Vudu and FandangoNow Charts

Disney’s animated Raya and the Last Dragon again took the top spot on the Vudu and FandangoNow charts the week ended April 11.

Both are transactional VOD services owned by Fandango.

The fantasy adventure Raya became available for digital purchase April 2 following its debut in theaters and via Premier Access with an added charge for subscribers to the Disney+ streaming service. In the film, long ago, in the world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. When sinister monsters known as the Druun threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, those same monsters have returned, and it’s up to a lone warrior, Raya, to track down the last dragon in order to finally stop the Druun for good.

Warner Bros.’ DC comic-based Wonder Woman 1984, starring Gal Gadot, repeated at No. 2 on the Vudu chart and fell one spot to No. 3 on the FandangoNow chart. It became available for digital purchase March 16 following its PVOD rental run.

Coming in at No. 2 on the FandangoNow chart (No. 4 on Vudu) was Lionsgate’s Chaos Walking, available for premium VOD rental April 2. Based on the best-selling novel The Knife of Never Letting Go and set in the not-too-distant future, the film follows Todd Hewitt (Tom Holland) who discovers a mysterious girl named Viola (Daisy Ridley). She has crash-landed on his planet, where the women have disappeared and the men are afflicted by “The Noise,” a force that puts all their thoughts on display. In this dangerous landscape, Viola’s life is threatened and, to protect her, Todd must discover his inner power and unlock the planet’s dark secrets.

Taking the bronze on the Vudu chart (No. 4 on FandangoNow) was City of Lies, which became available for digital rental and purchase April 9. Starring Johnny Depp and Forest Whitaker, it follows a disgraced L.A.P.D. detective who — unable to solve his biggest case, the murders of rap icons Tupac Shkur and The Notorious B.I.G. Poole — enters into an uneasy partnership to put the case to rest.

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Taking the fifth spot on both charts was Warner’s The Little Things, available via premium VOD rental starting March 19. The psychological thriller stars Denzel Washington, Rami Malek and Jared Leto and follows a Kern County deputy sheriff who is sent to Los Angeles for a quick evidence-gathering assignment, but instead becomes embroiled in the search for a killer who is terrorizing the city.

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Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended April 11, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Raya and the Last Dragon
  2. Wonder Woman 1984
  3. City of Lies
  4. Chaos Walking
  5. The Little Things
  6. Willy’s Wonderland
  7. The Croods: A New Age
  8. Every Breath You Take
  9. Monster Hunter
  10. News of the World


FandangoNow’s top 10 titles for the week ended April 11, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Raya and the Last Dragon
  2. Chaos Walking
  3. Wonder Woman 1984
  4. City of Lies
  5. The Little Things
  6. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
  7. News of the World
  8. The Croods: A New Age
  9. Every Breath You Take
  10. Judas and the Black Messiah


In other FandangoNow news, the service is offering a sale on the “Hotel Transylvania” trilogy in 4K Ultra HD for $24.99 (usually $29.97) as part of its “Triple Feature Bundle Sale.” Fandango debuted “Monster Pets: A Hotel Transylvania Short,” a Sony short released to celebrate Pets Day April 11 and in anticipation of a new feature in the series, Hotel Transylvania: Transformania, which debuts July 23.

South African Director Oliver Hermanus Discusses ‘Institutionalized Whiteness’ Portrayed in ‘Moffie’

South African filmmaker Oliver Hermanus’ Moffie could not be more relevant today as the issues of LGBTQ rights and Black Lives Matter remain ever potent movements.

Hermanus’ fourth feature, which vied for the Queer Lion at the Venice Film Festival, is an adaptation of André-Carl van der Merwe’s searing debut novel about his military experience during South Africa’s infamous apartheid era. In it he describes the absurd irony of being a young gay conscript defending a regime that has institutionalized homophobia as well as racism.

Speaking of South Africa’s military then, Hermanus said, “It was ‘institutionalized whiteness.’ [The soldiers] were brainwashed to represent the ideologies of apartheid which extended to the treatment of women and the treatment of children.”

The term “moffie” is an Afrikaans slur for a gay man, considered even more insulting than the closest English equivalent, “faggot.”

Moffie bows April 9 in select theaters as well as on digital and VOD platforms.

The drama follows 18-year-old Nicholas van der Swart (Kai Luke Brummer) who, like most white boys his age, has been drafted into two years of mandatory military service. A closeted gay man, he suffers the extreme rigors of boot camp training in scenes that recall Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket. He knows that revealing his sexual orientation would mean banishment to a psychiatric ward for “reconversion therapy.” But he also forms a strong bond with a fellow recruit and discovers himself in the process.

“We avoided watching films with military themes as we didn’t want to get sucked into that, but there are tropes that are inherent; one almost can’t avoid references to these iconic films,” said Hermanus of the Full Metal Jacket comparisons. But the challenge of making a military film was too strong to pass up.

Somewhere out there are some very angry tourists as they shot some of the last scenes by Capetown’s Boulders Beach, famous for its Jackass penguins.

“We had to close it for the day as we were using its parking lot as our base camp so these busloads of tourists, who came from all over the world, were turned away for the day,” he recalled.

South Africa is now one of the most progressive countries on the African continent while homosexuality is still considered a major crime in some countries. It was the fifth country in the world and the first in Africa to legalize same-sex marriage.

Hermanus, who is gay and black, feels lucky to have grown up most of his life in the post-apartheid era.

“We went from being one of the world’s worst, with institutionalized crimes against humanity, to being the country with one of the most prolific and advanced constitutions in the world — a complete 180 degree turn,” he noted.

Hermanus is now in pre-production on Living, which he will shoot in the summer in London with Bill Nighy and Aimee Lou Wood (Sex Education) as leads. Nobel and Booker Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains of The Day) has written the screenplay, based on the 1952 classic Ikiru, co-written by Japanese master Akira Kurosawa. Set in early 1950s London, Living follows a veteran civil servant (Nighy) who is bogged down by his predictable life. When he learns he has contracted a deadly illness, he seeks to find some meaning with the unexpected help of a young co-worker.

‘The Last Right’ Due on Digital and VOD April 9 From Level 33

The comedic drama The Last Right will come out on digital and VOD April 9 from Level 33 Entertainment.

Directed by Aoife Crehan (EmptyTwo Peas), the film stars Michiel Huisman (The Age of Adeline, “Game of Thrones”), Niamh Algar (“Raised By Wolves”), Samuel Bottomley (Tyrannosaur), Michael McElhatton (“Game of Thrones”), Eleanor O’Brien (“Blast from the Past”), Jim Norton (Straw Dogs), Brian Cox (X2: X-Men UnitedTroy), Colm Meaney (“Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”) and  Aidan O’Hare (Jackie).

The Last Right follows New York-based Daniel Murphy (Huisman), who wakes on a flight to Ireland to find elderly passenger Padraig Murphy (Norton) has died in the next seat. To his surprise, the lonely Padraig had just listed him as his next of kin. Daniel, his autistic brother (Bottomley) and a woman (Algar) they’ve just met must journey across the Emerald Isle to bury the stranger, becoming the focus of a nationwide manhunt for body snatching.

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‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Leads Vudu Chart, ‘The Little Things’ Tops FandangoNow Chart

Warner’s Wonder Woman 1984 lassoed the top spot on the Vudu chart and The Little Things, also from Warner, topped the FandangoNow chart for the week ended March 21.

Both are transactional VOD services owned by Fandango.

The Little Things, available via premium VOD rental March 19, is a psychological thriller starring Denzel Washington, Rami Malek and Jared Leto. It follows a Kern County deputy sheriff (Washington), who is sent to Los Angeles for a quick evidence-gathering assignment, but instead becomes embroiled in the search for a killer who is terrorizing the city. The titled landed at No. 4 on the Vudu chart.

The DC comic-based Wonder Woman 1984, starring Gal Gadot, topped the Vudu chart after becoming available for digital purchase March 16 following its PVOD rental run. It also came in at No. 2 on the FandangoNow chart.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run — available as a premium VOD rental March 4 (and also to Paramount+ streaming subscribers) — took the silver on the Vudu chart and the bronze on FandangoNow. In the CGI-animated adventure with live action elements, SpongeBob’s beloved pet snail Gary goes missing in a plot hatched by Plankton to get the Krabby Patty recipe, and he and his friend Patrick head to the Lost City of Atlantic City to retrieve him. It features appearances by Keanu Reeves and Snoop Dogg, among others.

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Universal/DreamWorks’ blockbuster animated sequel The Croods: A New Age landed at No. 3 on the Vudu chart and No. 4 on the FandangoNow chart for the week. Available for digital purchase and rental, it’s a follow-up to 2013’s The Croods that finds the prehistoric family facing a new challenge when they encounter a walled-in paradise created by the sophisticated Betterman family. As they try to coexist, the differences between the two families escalate into a full-blown feud, until a new threat forces them to work together. The voice cast includes Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Nicolas Cage, Peter Dinklage, Kelly Marie Tran and Leslie Mann.

Coming in at No. 5 on both charts was Monster Hunter, based on the video game franchise and available for digital rental and purchase. It stars Milla Jovovich as Capt. Artemis, whose unit is caught in a sandstorm that transports them to a world ruled by dangerous and powerful monsters. As they fight to survive, they encounter the mysterious Hunter (Tony Jaa), whose unique skills allow him to stay one step ahead of the powerful creatures.

Two recent Oscar-nominees, Universal’s Promising Young Woman and A24’s Minari, climbed the charts. The revenge thriller Promising Young Woman jumped from No. 10 to No. 6 on the Vudu chart and made its first appearance on the FandangoNow chart, also at No. 6. The five-time Oscar nominee is available for digital rental and purchase. Minari, about a Korean-American family that moves to an Arkansas farm, moved up to No. 8 from No. 10 on the FandangoNow chart. The title, available as a premium VOD rental, earned six Oscar nods.

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Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended March 21, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Wonder Woman 1984
  2. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
  3. The Croods: A New Age
  4. The Little Things
  5. Monster Hunter
  6. Promising Young Woman
  7. SAS: Red Notice
  8. Greenland
  9. Wrong Turn
  10. News of the World


FandangoNow’s top 10 titles for the week ended March 21, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. The Little Things
  2. Wonder Woman 1984
  3. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
  4. The Croods: A New Age
  5. Monster Hunter
  6. Promising Young Woman
  7. SAS: Red Notice
  8. Minari
  9. Cosmic Sin
  10. News of the World