Thrillers Marooned Awakening, American Trash And Deadly Games Set Casts; Gravitas Acquires The Other Me From EP David Lynch And Horror Pic Tethered; More Film Briefs

EXCLUSIVE: Tim McInnerny (Notting Hill, Blackadder) has signed on to star alongside Murray McArthur (Wonka, The Northman), Cameron Ashplant (Gentleman Jack), Tilly Keeper (EastEnders), Jenet Le Lacheur (Cinderella) and Brian Webster in the thriller Marooned Awakening, which is in production on the island of Guernsey.

The film directed by Musaab Mustafa follows Alex (Ashplant), an aspiring young journalist who dreams of leaving his island home, as he journeys through distorted memories of his mourning father (McArthur), loving girlfriend and a recent accident. McInnerny will play Karl, a press editor who offers the protagonist a new life as a journalist on the mainland.

Pic is an Across the Channel Productions and Ivy Gate Films production, with support from Guernsey Arts. Mustafa and Ashplant penned the script, with the latter also producing alongside Roger Le Tissier and Frances Le Tissier. McInnerny is represented by The Artists Partnership (UK).

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EXCLUSIVE: Actor Robert LaSardo (Nip/Tuck, The Mule) is making his feature directorial debut with the crime thriller American Trash, starring in the pic currently in production in Los Angeles, alongside Costas Mandylor (Picket Fence, Saw franchise) and Lorelei Linklater (Boyhood, Bomb City).

Set amidst a social crisis in the decaying world of Los Angeles, American Trash watches as the city freefalls into environmental ruin, chaos and a complete drug epidemic. Milles Carpis (LaSardo) leans on the support of some new age hippie friends as they guide him away from violence when the woman he loves (Linklater) is murdered, subsequently turning to Detective Anderson (Mandylor) for help in his search for her killer.

Diana Ramos-Santiago Carter, Josh Webber and Jerry G. Angelo are producing the film scripted by LaSardo.LaSardo is represented by DTLA Entertainment Group; Mandylor by Global Creatives Agency and Anthem Entertainment; and Linklater by Linda McAlister Talent and The Green Room.

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EXCLUSIVE: Vanessa Angel (Kingpin), Gilles Marini (Sex and the City) and Joana Metrass (Once Upon a Time) will star in Deadly Games, a crime-thriller from director Ojan Missaghi, which is currently in production in Mexico.

Missaghi’s feature directorial debut follows four female influencers who are invited to an island by a Crypto mogul to partake in a million-dollar contest. The influencers get more than they bargained for when this tropical subscriber challenge turns into a systematically deadly competition.

Sean Crayne penned the script. Krista Kalmus, Mahpara Khan, Emelina Adams, Roberto Sanchez, Ravyn Rochelle and Kelsie Jean Smeby will round out the cast of the project, which Missaghi and David Wachs are producing under their Toric Films banner. Gurpreet Chandhoke and Dr. Donald Basile are exec producing, with R. Ellis Frazier set to co-produce through his Badhouse Studios.

Angel is repped by Sovereign Talent Group and MAC Management; Marini by Kazarian/Measures/Ruskin & Associates, AS Talents (France), Performers Management (Canada) and Felker Toczek Suddleson; and Metrass by A List Agency, Elite Lisbon (Portugal) and Bohemia Group.

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Gravitas Ventures has acquired North American rights to Giga Agladze’s thriller The Other Me, exec produced by David Lynch, and to Daniel Robinette’s psychological horror film Tethered. Both titles are slated for day-and-date release, with the Anthem Sports & Entertainment company planning to unveil the former on February 4 and the latter on March 18.

In The Other Me, starring Jim Sturgess, Rhona Mitra and Orla Brady, an architect is diagnosed with a rare eye disease, entering him into a surreal reality in which he sees people’s true motives. As the visions become intolerable, he falls for a mysterious woman and confronts the truth about his own identity.

In Tethered, which is based on Robinette’s 2017 short of the same name, a blind teenager and the hunter he befriends are tormented by a mysterious creature lurking in the woods of North Carolina. Alexandra Paul, Kareem Ferguson, Jared Laufree and Brody Bett star in the film produced by 4 Leagues Media.

Gravitas Ventures; Manager of Acquisitions Brett Rogalsky negotiated the deal to acquire The Other Me with Agladze and Grigol Sidamonidze. The company’s Senior Director of Acquisitions, Bill Guentzler, negotiated the deal for Tethered with Storyboard Media’s President Elisabeth Costa de Beauregard.

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United States Artists this week named the 63 artists working across the disciplines of Architecture & Design, Craft, Dance, Film, Media, Music, Theater & Performance, Traditional Arts, Visual Art and Writing that it has set as its 2022 USA Fellows.

This year’s fellows are: Germane Barnes (Architecture & Design), Nina Cooke John (Architecture & Design), Design Earth (Architecture & Design), Dream The Combine [Jennifer Newsom and Tom Carruthers] (Architecture & Design), SO – IL [Jing Liu and Florian Idenburg] (Architecture & Design), Indira Allegra (Craft), Sharif Bey (Craft), Melissa Cody (Craft), Alison Croney Moses (Craft), Jovencio de la Paz (Craft), Sharif Farrag (Craft), Jordan Nassar (Craft), Iuciana achugar (Dance), T. Ayo Alson (Dance), Jenn Freeman (Dance), Rosy Simas (Dance), Pramila Vasudevan (Dance), Viveca Vázques (Dance), Neta Yerushalmy (Dance), Wondertwins (Dance), Assia Boundaoui (Film), Elegance Bratton (Film), Ekwa Msangi (Film), Diane Paragas (Film), Keisha Rae (Film), American Artist (Media), Salome Asega (Media), Critical Design Lab (Media), Andy Slater (Media), JJJJJerome Ellis (Music), Kenny Endo (Music), Jin Hi Kim (Music), Laura Ortman (Music), Jeff Parker (Music), Qacung (Music), Martha Redbone (Music), Craig Taborn (Music), Nataki Garrett (Theater & Performance), Marga Gomez (Theater & Performance), Lars America Jan (Theater & Performance), Machine Dazzle (Theater & Performance), DeLanna Studi (Theater & Performance), César Castro (Traditional Arts), Peggie L Hartwell (Traditional Arts), Karen Ann Hoffman (Traditional Arts), Las Imaginistas (Traditional Arts), Brett Ratliff (Traditional Arts), Marty Two Bulls Jr. (Traditional Arts), Peter Williams (Traditional Arts), Andrea Carlson (Visual Art), Robert Andy Coombs (Visual Art), Jorge González Santos (Visual Art), Lonnie Holley (Visual Art), Nicole Marroquin (Visual Art), Olu Oguibe (Visual Art), Jordan Weber (Visual Art), Peter Williams (Visual Art), Chen Chen (Writing), Kiese Laymon (Writing), Dawn Lundy Martin (Writing), Leroy F. Moore Jr. (Writing), Emmy Pérez (Writing) and Grace Talusan (Writing).

USA Fellowships are awarded to artists at all stages of their careers and from all areas of the country through a rigorous nomination and panel selection process. The 2022 USA Fellows class is the largest in the organization’s sixteen-year history. Each fellow will receive unrestricted $50,000 cash awards in support of their ongoing artistic and professional development.

United States Artists is a national arts funding organization based in Chicago, Illinois. Since its founding in 2006, it has awarded more than 750 individuals with over $36 million in direct support. To make its flagship fellowship program possible, it actively fundraises each year, with additional support provided by a broad range of philanthropic foundations, companies, and individuals committed to cultivating contemporary culture across the country.

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The Chicago Film XLerator Program, intended to bolster the short-form content of upcoming BIPOC talent and increase creative pipelines in the entertainment industry, is expanding into new markets, including Atlanta, Milwaukee, Miami, London, Puerto Rico and Los Angeles, as it launches its latest cycle with a new set of mentors.

The news comes following the January 19 announcement of Kimberly Michelle Vaughn and her project Hindsight as the winner of the third cycle. Vaughn is receiving a $50k prize value to go towards her project and the opportunity to partner with assorted executives in the production of the film. The Chicago Film XLerator prize package also includes placement in Chicago’s Filmmakers Showcase, Black Harvest Film Festival passes, a one-year membership to Chicago’s Screenwriters Network and more.

Producer Troy Pryor founded The XLerator Program through his company Creative Cypher. Past cycles have featured executive mentors from companies including Bron Studios, Netflix, BET, HBO Max and Univision, among others. More information on the program can be found here.

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The coming-of-age feature Manifest West, from writer-director-executive producers Joe Dietsch and Louie Gibson, will close out the fourth annual Mammoth Film Festival on February 6. The screening will take place at Mammoth Lakes’ Minaret Cinemas at 5:00 p.m. PT.

Manifest West centers on Riley Hayes (Lexy Kolker), a 10-year-old girl whose family moves off the grid into untamed North American wilderness. It’s their attempt to establish some form of normalcy, to thrive off the land and to escape the pressures of modern society. But the family has its own internal pressures, building. You can’t escape your problems, no matter how far you move up a mountain.

The film also stars Michael Cudlitz (Clarice, The Walking Dead), Milo Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge, Under the Stadium Lights), Tim Heidecker (Moonbase 8, Tim and Eric Awesome Show) Ava Kolker (Girl Meets World), Annet Mahendru (The Americans, The Walking Dead: World Beyond) and newcomer Madison Friedman. Bryson Pintard produced it, with Dietsch and Gibson exec producing alongside Homan Taghdiri, Michael Tipps and Joe Toronto. Anne Broomfield, Eric Broomfield and Sam Fine served as associate producers.

Tickets to the Mammoth screening of Manifest West can be purchased here.

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