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Indie Film Deals For ‘Rushed’, ‘Bring Your Own Brigade’, ‘Made In China’, More – Deadline

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Vertical Entertainment has acquired North American rights to Rushed, an indie thriller directed by Vibeke Muasya that stars Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Robert Patrick, Jake Weary and Peri Gilpin. A theatrical release is planned.

Hogan penned the screenplay and stars as Barbara O’Brien, an upstate New York Irish Catholic mother who says her rosary daily, then swears profusely as she drives her kids to school. Her life is ruined when her son Jimmy (Jay Jay Warren), a college freshman, is involved in a fraternity hazing incident. Barbara resorts to extreme measures when she encounters empty promises in Washington, D.C.

Hogan also produced with Peter Hogan, Patrick Clifton, Erin Fraser and Patrick; Peter Munson Hogan, Marie Gade and Jo Haskin are co-producers. The film is a co-production of Emerald Caz Productions and Zentropa Films.

AFI Docs Returns As Hybrid Of Virtual And In Person Events — With An Emphasis On Stories Of “The Human Connection”

“I wrote the film because as a mother of three, I understand that Hell hath no fury like a mother scorned,” said Hogan. “After I completed the script, I sent it to Zentropa Films as I have worked as an actress with Lars Von Trier for over 25 years in his films Dancer in The Dark, Dogville and The House That Jack Built. They immediately called me and agreed to co-produce the film which was fantastic.”

The deal was negotiated by Vertical’s Josh Spector and UTA Independent Film Group on behalf of the filmmakers.


Bring Your Own Brigade

Bring Your Own Brigade
Jeff Frost/Courtesy CBSN.

CBSN has acquired Bring Your Own Brigade, about the growing threat of wildfires in the wake of California’s catastrophic Camp Fire, written and directed by Oscar-nominated Lucy Walker and hailing from Topic Studios. The pic, which bowed at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, will debut in theaters this summer followed by a release on CBSN and Paramount+.

Cinetic Media negotiated the sale on behalf of the producers.

“We believe the multiplatform distribution across theaters, Paramount+ and CBSN will ensure the maximum audience for this important film that clearly outlines why wildfires have become more deadly and the very real ways we can protect our communities,” said Susanne Mei, SVP of CBS News Digital.

In October, CBSN premiered its first feature documentary, Welcome to Pine Lake, a collaboration with producers Elisa Gambino and Neal Broffman.


Freestyle Digital Media has acquired North American VOD rights to Made In China, a dramatic thriller written, directed and produced by Brendan Merrill. It will hit digital platforms July 10.

The pic, based on a story by Merrill & Ethan Landry, follows Bryan Zellerman (Landry), an American on the run in the modern-day Zhejiang province after he is framed for the bankruptcy of his shady Shanghai real-estate company, after his third day on the job. With authorities closing in, he flees and makes his way deep into the countryside, passing through strange pockets and dark corners of developing China. Seeing the havoc slowly wrought over long years by his former company’s greed and deceit, he now searches to find more concrete links as to who was behind his betrayal. Estrella Loo, Kevin Tian and Brian Wang also star.

Freestyle Digital Media’s Chris Charalambous negotiated the deal with Merrill.

Here’s the trailer:


Overrun Poster

Strike Back Studios has acquired U.S. rights to Overrun, a Turbo Panda Productions action thriller directed by stuntman Josh Tessier. A digital and DVD release is set for August 17 for the film starring Omid Zader and Johnny Messner along with Bruce Dern, William Katt and Nicholas Turturro among others. Bleiberg Entertainment’s genre label Compound B repped international sales at this year’s Cannes virtual market.

Co-written by Tessier, Roberto Ahumada, Victoria Gonzalez and Craig R. Key, Overrun centers on former military extraction specialist Marcus Lombardi (Zader), whose only chance of saving his informant sister and their family is to track down a mysterious briefcase. Jack Griffo, Christopher Troy, Haley Strode and Chelsey Goldsmith also star.

Producers are Zader and Tessier via their Turbo Panda banner along with Ahumada and Justin L. Anderson.

Strike Back Studios, a joint venture between Realization Films, Public House Films and Hideout Pictures run by president Noor Ahmed, recently released The Dark Divide starring David Cross and Debra Messing.


Wake Up On Mars

Wake Up On Mars
Tribeca Film Festival

Wake Up On Mars, Dea Gjinovci’s documentary that premiered at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, has been acquired by Passion River Films, which will release it in North American theaters and digital platforms in fall 2021.

The film follows 10-year-old Furkan, a Roma boy living in Sweden, as he dreams of building a spaceship to escape the tensions surrounding his family’s pending asylum request, and the mysterious coma-like illness that has befallen his two sisters. The boy’s tight-knit family is trying to rebuild a normal life far from their native Kosovo where they were victims of persecution.

Executive producers include Heidi Fleisher (Don’t Breathe) and premium nonfiction studio XTR’s Bryn Mooser, Kathryn Everett and Justin Lacob.


United States vs. Reality Winner director Sonia Kennebeck won the 2021 Adrienne Shelly Foundation Excellence in Filmmaking Award at the Nantucket Film Festival, which is extending its at-home screening program through July 5.

Kennebeck’s documentary follows the story of 25-year-old NSA contractor Reality Winner, who disclosed one document about Russian election interference to the media and became a target of the Trump administration. She was released from prison earlier this month and is serving the remainder of her sentence in a halfway house.

The Shelly award bestows a $5,000 grant to an emerging female filmmaker in honor of writer-director-actor Adrienne Shelly and her contributions to film.


Storm Lake, directed by Jerry Risius and Beth Levison, won the Audience Award for Best Feature at AFI Docs 2021, while Smriti Mundhra’s Shelter won the Audience Award for Best Short. The 19th edition presented 78 films from 23 countries, with 52% of the films in the lineup directed by women, 40% by BIPOC directors and 18% by LGBTQ directors.

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