• Sun. May 22nd, 2022

I Dont Want To Drink Your Blood Anymore, Forgive Me Father, Abigail, Condition Of Return, Bellmount And Rabbit Hole Set Casts; Acquisitions By Grindstone, MarVista, Freestyle, More Film Briefs

Apr 22, 2022

EXCLUSIVE: Miki Ishikawa (The Falcon And The Winter Soldier), Sierra McCormick (American Horror Stories) and Nick Sagar (The Princess Switch) have signed on to star in the indie horror-drama, I Don’t Want to Drink Your Blood Anymore, from writer-director Andrew Sullivan (Bokeh).

The film follows Eiko (Ishikawa), a Japanese American teenage vampire, suffering from agoraphobia, caused by the trauma from the night her family was murdered and she was turned. Unable and unwilling to leave her family’s home, she not only loses track of time, but time itself. Eiko spends most of her years avoiding others and trying not to live life as a vampire, but the world won’t leave her alone. Raz Cunningham and Geoffrey Orthwein are producing, with Sullivan serving as executive producer. The production companies involved are Zealous Pictures and LittleFire.

Ishikawa is represented by Global Artists Agency, Abrams Entertainment and Ginsburg Daniels Kallis; McCormick by Innovative Artists, Management Production Entertainment and The Nord Group; and Sagar by Innovative Artists and Luber Roklin Entertainment.

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EXCLUSIVE: James Biberi (Ocean’s Eight), Aida Turturro (The Sopranos), Kresh Novakovic (Blue Bloods) and Santo Fazio (Chicago P.D.) will topline the dramatic thriller Forgive Me Father from Close Encounter Productions, Novakovic Brothers Films and JARS Media Group, which has wrapped production.

The film written and directed by Biberi tells the story of Daniel (Biberi), whose only desire is to live the remainder of his life in peace after being released from a 25-year prison sentence. A chance encounter with Father Ortiz (Novakovic) brings back childhood traumas that thrust him into a dark journey as he confronts his demons.

Don Close (Made Men), Hana Lauer (Bronze Broken Heart), Fiore DeRosa (The Vanishing City), Tess Biberaj (Christmas Vs. the Walters), Anthony Alessandro (Sex and the City), Joe Passaro (Law and Order), John D. Alexander (The Bronx Bull) and Mary Anisi (Ghost in the Graveyard) round out the cast. Biberi and Don Close served as the film’s producers, with Ante Novakovic, Rob Simmons and Noah Osnos exec producing.

Biberi is represented by Wolf Talent Group; Turturro by Framework Entertainment; Novakovic by Eris Talent Agency and Jenevieve Brewer Talent Management; and Fazio by SirenSong Entertainment.

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EXCLUSIVE: Ava Cantrell (The Haunted Hathaways) and Karimah Westbrook (All American) have joined the cast of the horror-thriller Abigail, which has wrapped production in Central California.

The film directed by Melissa Vitello tells the story of a troubled teen and her mom, who move to a small town to start a new life in the summer of 1974. Soon, their violent past begins to wreak havoc on the town and its residents, especially their bullied teen neighbor. Hermione Lynch, Gene Farber and Tren Reed-Brown also star. Gunnar Garrett penned the screenplay, with Dark Gravity Studios, Ranch Hand Films and Sandcastle Productions producing.

Cantrell is repped by AEFH and Lane Management Group; Westbrook by AEFH, Zero Gravity Management and Myman Greenspan Fox; Lynch by A3 Artists Agency and Alchemy Entertainment; Farber by Defining Artists Agency and Velocity Entertainment Partners; and Reed-Brown by Harlan Management.

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EXCLUSIVENatasha Henstridge (The Whole Nine Yards) and Lydia Hearst (Z Nation) have signed on to star alongside AnnaLynne McCord, Dean Cain and Stelio Savante in the supernatural thriller Condition of Return, from director Tommy Stovall (Room for Rent).

In the film going before cameras this summer, a hapless psychoanalyst is tasked with determining a woman’s fitness to stand trial after she commits an unspeakable crime. In a contentious interrogation, he persuades her to recount her troubling past as she in turn shrewdly manipulates him into revealing secrets of his own. John E. Spare wrote the script. Stovall and Marc Sterling will produce through Pasidg Productions.

Henstridge is represented by Buchwald, Atlas Artists and Bloom Hergott Diemer; Hearst by Buchwald, Management Production Entertainment and Ginsburg Daniels Kallis.

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EXCLUSIVE: Actor Acoryé White (Under the Stadium Lights) is set to make his feature directorial debut with Bellmount—an action-thriller, in which he’ll star alongside Augie Duke (6:45), Pha’rez Lass (Mayor of Kingstown) and Cindy Hogan (American Underdog).

In the film written by White, a young, wealthy couple are attacked at their secluded home by a group of sadistic robbers. They must then fight for their lives to survive the night. White will co-produce through his company, Anchored Lens Productions, alongside Charles Bridwell (Under the Stadium Lights). Anthony Valenzuela (One and the Same) and Patrycja Kępa-White will exec produce, with Roderick Spencer (Juanita) serving as a consulting producer. Production will take place in Birmingham, AL and Atlanta, GA this fall.

Anchored Lens will be putting a percentage of its returns from the film toward the development of a Homeless Outreach and Rehabilitation program. The company will also be partnering with local organizations to identify 25 or more homeless students for participation in an apprenticeship program, which will offer them housing, food, job training, and supportive post-program opportunities.

White is repped by J Pervis Talent Agency and Robert Stein Management; Duke by HRI Talent, Mitchell & Associates Talent and Unified Management; Lass by TalentWorks and Robert Stein Management; and Hogan by Aligned Stars Agency, Del Corral Talent Agency, Littman Talent Group and The Brock Agency.

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EXCLUSIVE: Catherine Curtin (Orange Is the New Black) has signed on to star alongside newcomer Nate Frison and Drake Tobias (Cha Cha Real Smooth) in the short film Rabbit Hole, which will go into production next month.

The film, written and directed by Aaron Schoonover, centers on Blake (Frison), a recent high school grad who struggles to find his footing as a queer young adult. He feels responsible for the care of his unhinged QAnon mom (Curtin) who has recently left her job due to vaccine mandates and now devotes all her time to dangerous online conspiracy theories. Tobias will play Blake’s love interest, Dom. Tyler Miguel Mercer, Nic Neary and Rick Hendrix are producing, with David Lambert serving as exec producer.

Curtin is repped by Artists & Representatives and Sullivan Talent Group; Tobias by Silver Mass Entertainment.

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EXCLUSIVE: Powder Pup, a family film starring Jay Mohr, Ashton Arbab, Maiah Wynne, Mike Manning, Morgan Harvill and Rib Hillis, has been acquired by Lionsgate’s Grindstone Entertainment Group and MarVista Entertainment. The pic, which just wrapped filming, is expected to get a theatrical release later this year.

Ari Novak (Sk8 Dawg) directed the pic, which centers on Shaun (Arbab), a 16-year-old surfer who has it all living in Southern California. When his dad announces they’re moving to the mountains of Montana, he is crushed. That is, until he meets a dog who can snowboard. With the help of his new canine friend, Shaun is set to make a run for the annual snowboarding championship; however, rough terrain awaits.

Novak penned the script with Manning and Miriam Burden. Novak, Todd Slater, Hillis and Manning are the producers of the film, which hails from Pixium Film Group in association with Slater Brothers Entertainment and Lucky Mann Productions. Slater brokered the deals on behalf of the producers for Slater Brothers Entertainment, whose credits include the recently completed thriller King Of Killers starring Frank Grillo, She’s In Portland starring Minka Kelly and The Parts You Lose starring Aaron Paul.

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EXCLUSIVE: Freestyle Digital Media has acquired North American rights to Andrea Alberti’s documentary, Head to Head. The digital film distribution division of Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group plans to release the film across VOD platforms on May 17.

Head to Head follows six women experiencing traumatic blows to their self-image after unexpectedly losing their hair due to Alopecia, Lupus or chemotherapy. Among them is the film’s director, Alberti, who sets out on a five-year journey to tell their stories while grappling with her own identity and what it means to be authentic. Although each of the women experience subsequent mental health, relationship, financial and social impacts, they individually cope and recover from these challenges in dramatically different ways.

Pic was produced by Katy Osborn. Freestyle Digital Media negotiated the deal to acquire Head to Head directly with Glen Reynolds of Circus Road Films. Check out the film’s trailer below.

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EXCLUSIVE: Buffalo 8 has acquired worldwide rights to Carlos Rafael Betancourt and Oscar Ernesto Ortega’s LGBTQ+ psychological thriller Borrowed, starring Jonathan Del Arco (Star Trek: The Next Generation) and Héctor Medina (The Last Rafter), following its premiere at the Miami Film Festival.

The film follows David (Del Arco), a middle-aged painter and former Navy officer living in a secluded but beautiful shoreline house in the Florida Keys, who breaks his willful isolation to do a portrait of a very special guest: young, edgy, and openly gay Justin (Medina). But as the date takes an unexpected turn, David must do everything in his power to keep control of the situation while discovering Justin’s true intentions.

Betancourt, Ortega and Jim Kierstead wrote the script and produced the film alongside William Fernandez. Buffalo 8’s Nikki Stier Justice negotiated the deal for Borrowed directly with the filmmakers. To find out more about the film, or to watch its trailer, click here.

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EXCLUSIVE: Stonecutter Media has acquired North American rights to the action-thriller The Prey: Legend of Karnoctus, starring Adrian Paul and Danny Trejo, slating it for a day-and-date release on June 7th.

The film from directors Cire Hensman and Matthew Hensman follows a platoon of U.S. Soldiers in Afghanistan. While on the hunt for Taliban forces, they become trapped in a cave and find themselves the prey of a deadly creature. Matthew Hensman and Gustavo Sainz de la Peña wrote the script, from a story by Gustavo Sainz de la Peña.

Steve Karel negotiated the deal for Stonecutter, with producer Richard D’Alessio on behalf of the filmmaking team.

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EXCLUSIVEPassion River has acquired North American rights to Alex Liu’s documentary A Sexplanation, for release on all major streaming and cable platforms in the U.S. and Canada on June 7. The film will also air on Fuse TV, as part of its Fuse Docs series, beginning on May 3.

In the award-winning film directed by and starring Liu, the 36-year-old health reporter looks to right the wrongs of his all-American sex education—going on a quest to uncover naked truths and hard facts, no matter how awkward it gets. From neuroscience labs to church pews, A Sexplanation features provocative conversations with psychologists, sex researchers, a Jesuit priest, and several generations of Alex’s own family.

Liu and Leonardo Neri wrote the film, which was produced by Steven Flynn. Check out the trailer for A Sexplanation below.

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EXCLUSIVE: Emmy-winning composer Earl Rose (As The World Turns) has penned a full orchestral score for Matthew Miele’s new feature documentary Alan Pakula: Going for Truth, which opens at the Village East By Angelika in New York on April 22, unspooling at Santa Monica’s Aero Theatre on April 23.

The film looks at the personal and professional life of Alan J. Pakula, the lauded filmmaker behind such titles as Klute, The Parallax View, All the President’s Men, Sophie’s Choice and The Pelican Brief, who was also an extremely private man—giving him his spotlight, at long last.

The pic contains interviews with Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, Harrison Ford, Steven Soderbergh, Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Kline, Candice Bergen, Bob Woodward ant the late composer Andre Previn, among others. Miele served as its producer. Rose is repped by ICM Partners.

You can listen to the main title theme from the film’s soundtrack here.

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EXCLUSIVE: Deadline has two exclusive clips from Phyllis Ellis’ Category: Woman, which is making its world premiere at Hot Docs on May 1st.

The film follows four athletes, including 18-year-old South African runner Caster Semenya, who burst onto the world stage with a gold medal in the World Athletics Championships in 2009. At the time, Semenya’s achievement was not celebrated, but marred by doubt, her personal medical records leaked to the international media. Was the public scrutiny of her body, driven by racism and sexism, questioning the most fundamental right of who she is and who she was told she should be?

The International Amateur Athletics Federation (now World Athletics) ruled that ‘identified’ female athletes must medically alter their healthy bodies in order to compete. Their naturally high androgen levels was deemed a performance advantage. The doc hones in on athletes forced out of competition by these regulations, and the devastation they’ve brought upon their bodies and lives, watching as their passion for sport is further emboldened by their conviction to stand up for their human rights.

Ellis and Howard Fraiberg served as the film’s producers, with Fraiberg and Cheryl Staurulakis exec producing. Check out the new clips from Category: Woman below.

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