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Julie Dash's 1970s-Set Drama 'Tupelo 77' Packaged And Heading To Berlinale

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by Tambay A. Obenson
February 5, 2013 8:39 PM
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Julie Dash

I'm pleased to see that this project is still very much alive! We've been tracking it for a long while (our last update was in the summer of 2012), hoping that it gets all the assistance it needs and is eventually realize.

As a quick recap from our last post on it...

Julie Dash is attached 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 well as the wounds of war.

Skip ahead to today, when I was alerted to a tweet from Bob Crowe of Angel Entertainment, the producer of Tupelo 77, which reads:

Off to #Berlinale with @JulieDash's #Tupelo77 package, among other terrific #films

To intepret, he's heading to the European Film Market, which takes place concurrently with the Berlin International Film Festival, with Julie Dash' Tupelo 77 project package, where he likely plans to attract financing, distribution, or co-production for the project.

I'm particularly interested in the "package" he mentions. That "package" could include any number of items. For example, it could mean that key cast and crew are already attached and part of the "package" that Mr Crowe is hoping to sell in Berlin. And if that's the case, of course, we'd be very interested in finding out some of those key names.

As of our last posting, we reported that casting was happening at the time, so it could very well have locked in its starring cast.

What we also know currently, is that the project was one of 41 feature projects selected for the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) International Financing Forum (IFF), which ran from September 9-10, last year, in Toronto.

The two-day event's goal is to encourage co-production partnerships and possibilities for producers to connect with international partners. Essentially, somewhat like the Euro Film Market, financing, producers, filmmakers and projects meet; and after 2 days, some will walk away with deals, and others won't.

But, like I said, I'm glad to see that the project is still very much alive, and looks like it could be getting closer to becoming a reality.

Julie Dash is certainly enthused about the project, stating earlier last 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."

I'm looking forward to learning more.

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