Random Media Acquires ‘The Kybalion’; WIA Sets Scholarship Partners; More – Deadline

Random Media has acquired worldwide rights to The Kybalion, a faith-based documentary featuring appearances by Paula Roberts, Daniel Ryan, Bryan Contnoir, and Raymond Moody.

The film directed by Ronni Thomas (AMC’s The Broken and the Bad) and hosted by occult historian Mitch Horowitz is set in 1908, examining an occult manuscript that would mystify those interested in metaphysics and the unseen world.

Ronni Thomas
Shannon Taggart

The Kybalion, penned by a mysterious author known as Three Initiates, presented seven principles of ancient Hermetic philosophy. The film explores each in detail, via dramatic live-action sequences and animation, with psychics, mediums, alchemists, and parapsychologists giving their perspective on the principles, how they relate to their work and search, and what they reveal for all of us.

Eric Doctorow negotiated the acquisition deal for Random Media with with Sebastian Twardosz of Savant Artists on behalf of the filmmakers.


Women In Animation has set industry partners for its 2022 Scholarship Program, with Animation Focus, Foundry, Laika and Wacom joining returning partners Animation Mentor, Autodesk and Toon Boom to expand opportunities for animation students from around the world, by way of workshop offerings, tutoring sessions, software packages and cash prizes.

Women In Animation
Women In Animation

Animation Focus will offer three scholarship recipients one-one-one, online animation tutoring with a professional feature film character animator. Animation Mentor will provide one recipient with a six-week workshop, comprised of a range of courses they will be able to choose from, ranging from Pre-Visualization Basics to Storyboarding Fundamentals and Cartoony Animation for 3D Animators. Autodesk will provide eight with a one-year subscription to either Autodesk Maya or Autodesk 3ds Max, with Foundry offering one $2,000 in scholarship funds, along with a permanent license to its suite of products, including Nuke Studio, Katana, Mari and Modo, and Laika handing out cash awards (up to $2000 USD) to two students specializing in stop-motion. Toon Boom will give program winners scholarship funds of up to $2,000 USD, along with one-year bundled licenses of Storyboard Pro 20 and Harmony Premium 21, with Wacom donating Cintiq Pro 16s.

Then, there’s WIA’s Bay Area and Montreal Chapters, which are providing special scholarship prizes to students. The Bay Area Chapter will offer a $1,5000 USD scholarship to one recipient who is living and studying in the Bay Area, or who is currently living in the Bay Area, but attending school elsewhere remotely this year. The Montreal Chapter, meanwhile, has partnered with with Cinesite and ReelFX to offer a $1,000 CAD scholarship to one student who is currently studying or living in Montreal, while taking online classes at a school in another country.

WIA’s program is open to individuals who identity as women, transgender or non-binary, the deadline to submit applications being December 1st at 11:59 p.m. EDT. Scholarship winners will be announced in February. More information on the program, and a 20% discount opportunity on WIA Student Memberships, can be found here.


The Sundance Institute and TIME Studios have announced the recipients of their Kendeda short film grants, aimed at elevating stories that spotlight the issue of gun violence.

The filmmakers and projects recognized are Cyndney Tucker (House of Tulip), Davina Pardo (Women Count), Josha Albeza Branstetter (Alaskan Son), Emily Cohen Ibañez & Débora Souza Silva (SOL), and Joe Namy (KJ, working title).

Sundance Institute Time Studios
Courtesy of Sundance Institute; TIME Studios

The Kendeda Fund’s latest initiative with Sundance awards non-recoupable and unrestricted $50,000 grants to new nonfiction short form works currently in production, which amplify stories that move beyond tragedy reporting, to explore the intersectionality of gun violence with broader issues including racism, police brutality, white supremacy, violence against women and trans rights.

In addition to financial support, each project will receive creative, strategic, and editorial advice from the teams at the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and TIME Studios. Once completed, the films will have the opportunity to launch on TIME.com, which each month reaches a global audience of 90 million.

Sundance also recently released “Nonfiction Storytelling on Gun Violence in the US: Where We’ve Been And Where We Can Go,” a report on gun violence and documentary film it commissioned, with research conducted by an independent team, led by Eliza Licht, Will Jenkins, Michon Boston and Alice Quinlan.

The report geared toward filmmakers, funders, and advocacy groups working at the intersection of gun violence and storytelling can be found here.


Honorees have been set for the 22nd edition of the Newport Beach Film Festival, which is taking place in person from October 21-28, showcasing 300+ films from around the world.

Newport Beach Film Fest
Newport Beach Film Festival

The Icon Award will go to BAFTA winner and Emmy nominee Rosanna Arquette (Showtime’s The L Word: Generation Q), with the Maverick Award going to Winston Duke, the EP and star of Edson Oda’s Nine Days, who has also starred in Black Panther and more. Nine Perfect Strangers and Black Monday star Regina Hall will be presented with the Artist of Distinction Award, with Oscar and Golden Globe nominee Harvey Keitel (Reservoir Dogs, The Grand Budapest Hotel) receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Power of the Dog and Last Night in Soho’s Thomasin McKenzie is set to receive the Breakout Performance Award, with Simon Rex, the star of Sean Baker’s A24 pic Red Rocket, nabbing the Spotlight Award. Then, there’s Tony, Emmy, AFI and Golden Globe Award winner Jeffrey Wright (The Batman, Westworld), who will be honored with the Legend and Groundbreaker Award.

Awards will be handed out at Newport’s 2021 Festival Honors, taking place at Balboa Bay Resort on Sunday, October 24. For more information on the festival, and to purchase tickets, click here.

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