• Asheville filmmaker Chris Bower’s Mardi Gras Indians documentary We Won’t Bow Down receives a pair of benefit screenings Thursday, June 4, at 7 p.m., and Friday, June 5, at 1 p.m. at the Fine Arts Theatre. Bower has been working on the film for 10 years with a team of fellow Asheville residents, including producer/still photographer Steve Mann, cinematographer/editor/producer Daniel Judson and producer David Kabler.
According to the film’s website, We Won’t Bow Down “explores a secret society of African-Americans in inner-city New Orleans as they devote their time and skills to create hand-beaded Indian costumes that embody a cultural, spiritual and ancient power that has kept Africa alive in the New World despite slavery and its legacy.” The screenings will raise funds for the Burton Street Community Peace Gardens in West Asheville. fineartstheatre.com
• Asheville actress Eva Peterson will be in the upcoming Melissa McCarthy (The Heat) film titled Michelle Darnell, currently scheduled for an April 2016 release. The comedy was written by actor Steve Mallory (Identity Thief), McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone (Tammy), who also directs, with shooting taking place in Atlanta and Chicago.
The film’s IMDb page provides the following synopsis: “A titan of industry is sent to prison after she’s caught for insider trading. When she emerges ready to rebrand herself as America’s latest sweetheart, not everyone she screwed over is so quick to forgive and forget.” McCarthy plays the titular character while Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones“), Kristen Bell (“Veronica Mars”) and Kathy Bates (Misery) co-star. Peterson plays Chrystal, one of the “Darnell Darlings,” a tough group of quasi-Girl Scouts whose selling of homemade brownies is key to McCarthy’s character’s return to glory. Peterson and the other darlings were recently featured in a “First Look” photo and article in Entertainment Weekly.
• The release date for Masterminds has been pushed back two weeks to Wednesday, Aug. 18. The film, shot in and around Asheville in summer 2014, was originally set for an Aug. 7 debut, which would have put it in box-office competition with the Fantastic Four reboot, the Meryl Streep rock ‘n’ roll dramedy Ricki and the Flash and Shaun the Sheep, the latest stop-motion animation feature from Aardman Animations (Wallace and Gromit). The change also gives Masterminds a two-day head start on the action comedy American Ultra (starring Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart), the video game adaptation sequel Hitman: Agent 47 and the horror sequel Sinister 2.
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