I'm pleased to see that this project is still very much alive! We've been tracking it for a little while, but there hasn't been much movement – at least, movement made public that we've been privy to.
As a quick recap from our last post on it in January…
Julie Dash was said to be in negotiations to direct Tupelo 77 – a feature film written by Rich Mancuso, set in a small town in Mississippi during the summer of 1977, the year of Elvis Presley's death and the hottest summer on record in Mississippi.
The film will chronicle the lives of a group of women of various ages and races who are regulars at a roadside diner. Together they struggle to overcome obstacles of poverty, racial and religious differences, as wellas the wounds of war.
Skip ahead to today, and I can say that Dash is no longer "in negotiations," and is in fact going to direct the film, which, as of our last posting in January, was set to start filming later summer, with casting underway at the time.
Also, announced earlier today, the project, to be produced by Angel Entertainment, is one of 41 feature projects selected for the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) International Financing Forum (IFF), which runs September 9-10 in Toronto.
The two-day event encourages co-production partnerships and possibilities for our producers to connect with international partners. Essentially, financing, producers, filmmakers and projects meet; and after 2 days, some will walk away happier, and others won't.
Two films supported by OMDC and past IFF projects, will be screening at TIFF this year: Home Again and Midnight’s Children.
So a good sign for Dash's film; although it doesn't look like a late summer shoot is in the cards for the project. Also, I couldn't find any info on casting, but I have my eyes and ears on alert.
Julie Dash is certainly enthused about the project, stating earlier this year, "It is not every day that I come across a story that so beautifully depicts the kinds of relationships that transcend race and age and that simply tell a tale about a corner of the world. The script really spoke to me and I felt that I already knew the women on the page. I am very excited to work on this meaningful story about relationships."