The Inbox (Nov. 9-15, 2013)

Every week, I get several press releases, screening invitations and other notifications from a handful of studio contacts. While I won’t be sharing any information regarding my screening invites, some of the press releases might be of interest to my readers, so I thought I’d start sharing them in toto with all of you. These could include new image galleries for various films or important updates to upcoming releases from various smaller studios and art house production companies.

Image Gallery: Out of the Furnace

Visit the updated Out of the Furnace gallery here.

Press Release: Richard Linklater Endorses “The Bounceback” Kickstarter CampaignBounceback

Academy Award Nominee Richard Linklater Endorses ‘THE BOUNCEBACK’ Kickstarter Campaign

November 4, 2013 – Academy Award nominated director Richard Linklater (DAZED & CONFUSED, SCHOOL OF ROCK, BEFORE MIDNIGHT) introduced a private fundraising screening of fellow Austin filmmaker Bryan Poyser’s acclaimed award-winning comedy THE BOUNCEBACK at the Austin Film Society. You can watch his intro here.

Poyser is running a Kickstarter campaign from now until November 19th to raise money to take THE BOUNCEBACK on a “Road Show” in the Spring of 2014:

In his introduction to the screening, Linklater praised THE BOUNCEBACK and the Kickstarter campaign, “You guys are in for a real treat. I saw this film at SXSW and it is fun-NY! We’re trying to support his effort to make the film seen around the country and create an event. It’s what I think indie film needs right now, to re-invigorate our distribution model.”

Poyser explains the plan for the Road Show, to take the film to cities around the US to do screenings with the cast in attendance, and then stage an “Air Sex” competition – a real “sporting event” that was born in Austin at the world-famous Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas and is featured prominently in the film.

These Road Show events would wrap up with a show put on by Austin-based bands from the film’s soundtrack, bands like indie rockers Hundred Visions and Shakey Graves, the alt-country Mike & The Moonpies and crooner Erin Ivey, among others.

Linklater finished out the intro by thanking some of the donors to the campaign so far using their “Air Sex” names, names like Cherry Pop-Tart, All-Beef Frank and The Panama Canal. Every donor to the campaign gets their own “Air Sex” name, personally chosen by Poyser.

For more about the campaign, which wraps up at midnight on Nov. 17th:

More about the film:
THE BOUNCEBACK is an outrageous and heartfelt comedy about love and revenge in Austin, Texas, starring Ashley Bell (THE LAST EXORCISM), Zach Cregger (THE WHITEST KIDS U KNOW), Sara Paxton (AQUAMARINE), Michael Stahl-David (CLOVERFIELD), Addison Timlin (CALIFORNICATION) and Marshall Allman (TRUE BLOOD).

2013 SXSW Film Festival – World Premiere
2013 London Film Festival Official Selection
2013 Gen Art Film Festival – Best Writing Award Winner

Press Release: Sony and AFI Kick Off “Be Moved”


Unique Showcase of Short Films to Demonstrate The Benefits and Diversity of 4K Production

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 11, 2013 – Sony Electronics today announced a 4K movie-making project “Sony/AFI 4K Shorts: Be Moved,” showcasing the talents of the alumni of the AFI Conservatory, the world renowned film school of the American Film Institute (AFI).

The exclusive collaboration was officially unveiled last night at a reception held during the Institute’s annual film festival — AFI Fest presented by Audi – where Sony executives and AFI Conservatory leaders announced they will source treatments for short films from alumni that will be finished in 4K and premiered at select film, television and electronics industry events through 2014. The content will also be on Sony’s Video Unlimited 4K download service, available to consumers who buy a Sony 4K Ultra HD TV.

The concept behind the “Be Moved” shorts, each 4 minutes in length, is to demonstrate the unique capabilities of Sony 4K technology to complement and expand a director’s artistic vision.

“Sony has long been a committed supporter of the arts and of AFI – putting state-of-the-art filmmaking tools in the hands of AFI Fellows for more than a decade,” said Stephen Lighthill, ASC, Senior Filmmaker-in-Residence, Cinematography at AFI. “This exciting project provides filmmakers with the opportunity to develop content that best represents the cutting-edge nature of 4K and highlights the capabilities and range of 4K technology as an immersive story-telling medium.”

Five selected filmmakers from the AFI Conservatory alumni network will be provided with a full camera package built around Sony’s F65, F55 or NEX-FS700R 4K camera technologies. Sony and AFI are working with production company Rough & Tumble, headed by AFI alumnus and award-winning feature film producer Brian Udovich, to manage the program with support from leading production industry rental companies and post production houses. Additional production support will be available from Sony’s Digital Motion Picture Center on the Sony Pictures lot, where Sony offers hands-on training for 4K shooting and workflow techniques.

The Sony/AFI “Be Moved” project kicks off at a critical time in 4K technology’s commercial and creative evolution. Movies and TV shows are increasingly being shot with Sony 4K cameras, including several films about to hit theaters and more than a dozen new fall TV programs. Commercials, music videos, and sports producers are shooting with Sony 4K cameras and recently the fashion world has realized the benefits of 4K. The technology’s place in movie theater projection is proven, with more than 15,000 Sony 4K projectors installed worldwide.

“Sony prides itself on providing the Hollywood production community with the highest-quality tools for creation and distribution of their content,” said Alec Shapiro, president of Sony Electronics’ Professional Solutions of America group. “We see 4K image creation rapidly becoming the new standard for motion picture production. Our camera systems are delivering beautiful images with instantly recognizable improved aesthetic quality. Working with AFI we will be able to put these wonderful tools intro creative hands and truly share the concept of ‘Be Moved’ with an even broader audience.”

For consumers, Sony 4K Ultra HD TVs are continuing their strong sales success at key retailers like Best Buy, Amazon, and Sony Direct stores, as well as specialty consumer electronics retailers. Sony’s new Video Unlimited 4K download service is also bringing 4K content to the home in new ways.

“Sony has driven the adoption of 4K from professional production to the consumer experience in terms of content creation, movie theaters, and now the home with the world’s first 4K download service,” said Phil Molyneux, president and COO, Sony Electronics. “Clearly there is a strong consumer appetite for a wonderful 4K experience in both homes and theaters. Now Sony, in partnership with the AFI, is taking this to another level by supporting film producers and directors and highlighting the benefits of capturing new, relevant and compelling 4K content through this program.”

About the AFI Conservatory
AFI is America’s promise to preserve the history of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers. The AFI Conservatory offers a two-year Master of Fine Arts degree in six filmmaking disciplines: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting. Aspiring artists learn from the masters in a collaborative, hands-on production environment with an emphasis on storytelling. AFI Conservatory’s alumni are consistently recognized with all of the major industry awards – Academy® Awards, Emmy® Awards, Guild Awards – and even the Tony Award. Esteemed director, producer and screenwriter James L. Brooks was recently appointed as Artistic Director to the AFI Conservatory where he will provide creative leadership of the elite film program. Sony is a proud supporter of the AFI Conservatory.

About Sony Electronics
Headquartered in San Diego, Sony Electronics is a leading provider of audio/video electronics and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. Operations include research and development, design, engineering, sales, marketing, distribution and customer service. Sony is noted for a wide range of consumer audio-visual products, such as the BRAVIA® LCD 4K, 3D and high-definition televisions, Cyber-shot® digital camera, Alpha Digital SLR camera, Handycam® camcorder and Walkman® personal stereo. Sony is also an innovator in the IT arena with its VAIO® personal computers Reader devices and Sony Tablets; and in high-definition professional broadcast equipment, highlighted by the XDCAM® HD and CineAlta™ lines of cameras and camcorders, and the SXRD™ 4K digital project

Press Release: “Vega, Baby!” Launches at AFM


“Everly” Starring Salma Hayek Marks First Film Out of the Fund

Los Angeles (November 12, 2013) – Singapore based film finance and production venture VEGA, BABY! made their debut at the American Film Market. Led by CEO Ricky Budhrani, the company is aggressively looking for new films and partnerships and plans to finance and produce two to three pictures per year. VEGA, BABY! has representative offices in Hong Kong and Los Angeles and is backed by extensive resources in South East Asia.

Budhrani says, “Our company is driven by an extraordinary passion for cinema and a desire to collaborate with a new generation of filmmakers who share a unique vision for storytelling.”

Joe Lynch’s action thriller EVERLY starring Academy Award Nominated actress Salma Hayek (FRIDA) is the first film of this new venture. Company representatives attended AFM where Sierra/Affinity is handling international sales on EVERLY presenting footage to distributors.

Additionally, VEGA, BABY! is finalizing a production pact with EVERLY producers Adam Ripp & Rob Paris’ Crime Scene Pictures. Crime Scene will be sourcing and packaging projects as well as providing finance and production support for VEGA, BABY!

EVERLY co-stars Togo Igawa (LAST SAMURAI; MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA), Masashi Fujimoto (SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE) and Hiroyuki Watanabe and is from a Black List script by Yale Hannon.

Press Release: Kino Lorber to Open “The Rocket” January 10Rocket

Kino Lorber Opens The Rocket, Australia’s Official Submission to the 86th Academy Awards, on January 10 at New York’s IFC Center and Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center

Los Angeles Opening Set for January 17 at Landmark’s Nuart Theatre

“Gripping and Heartwarming”
– Rodrigo Perez, Indiewire
– Ronnie Scheib

New York, NY – November 12, 2013 – Kino Lorber is pleased to announce the New York and Los Angeles opening of THE ROCKET, the critically acclaimed fictional debut by documentary director Kim Mordaunt (Bomb Harvest).

The film is now slated to open on January 10 in New York City, at IFC Center (in Greenwich Village) and the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center (in the upper west side of Manhattan). THE ROCKET will also open in Los Angeles, CA, on January 17, at the prestigious Landmark Nuart Theatre.

Produced by Sylvia Wilczynski at Red Lamp Films, with funding from Screen Australia, THE ROCKET had its US premiere at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, where it won the festival’s top three narrative accolades: the Best Narrative Feature prize, the Audience Award for Best Narrative Film and the Best Actor in a Narrative Feature award (given to 10-year-old Sitthiphon Disamoe).

At this year’s Berlinale, THE ROCKET also won the Crystal Bear Generation (for Best Film) as well as the Best First Feature award, endowed by the GWFF, and The Amnesty International Award.

A co-production between Australia, Laos and Thailand, THE ROCKET is set in contemporary Laos and tells the story of a boy named Ahlo (beautifully played by Sitthiphon Disamoe) who is believed to be a bearer of bad luck. Eventually, he is blamed for a string of disasters that kill his mother and deeply affect his community.

When his family loses their home and is forced to move, Ahlo meets the spirited orphan Kia and her eccentric uncle Purple: an ex-soldier with a purple suit, a rice-wine habit and an unbridled love for James Brown.

Struggling to hang onto his father’s trust, Ahlo leads his family, as well as Purple and Kia, through a land scarred by war — in search of a new home.

In a last plea to prove he’s not cursed, and to earn a living for his family, Ahlo builds a giant rocket to enter the most lucrative (but dangerous) competition of the year: The Rocket Festival.

Press Release: “Le Joli Mai” Releasing November 26JoliMai

Coming to Home Video DVD and VOD on November 26, 2013 Chris Marker & Pierre Lhomme’s LE JOLI MAI

October 22, 2013: Icarus Films Home Video is pleased to announce the upcoming home entertainment release (on DVD and VOD) of Chris Marker and Pierre Lhomme’s legendary, long unavailable masterpiece, LE JOLI MAI (The Lovely Month of May).

The film will be released on November 26, 2013, in a deluxe 2-disc package, including the film itself, a disc with bonus films and materials, and a 24-page printed booklet.

One of Chris Marker’s major works, and “one of the earliest examples of cinéma vérité,” (The New York Times) LE JOLI MAI had its US premiere at the very first New York Film Festival in 1963, then quickly disappeared from our screens. But the film, now fully restored, reemerged at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, and Toronto Film Festival. Its US Theatrical season started on September 13, 2013 at Film Forum in New York City.

A portrait of Paris and Parisians shot during May 1962—”the first springtime of peace” for France since before World War II—LE JOLI MAI is a film with several thousand actors including a poet, a student, an owl, a housewife, a stockbroker, a competitive dancer, two lovers, General de Gaulle and several cats.

It features a musical score by Academy Award-winning composer Michel Legrand, and English commentary by Academy Award-winning actress Simone Signoret.

Hailed as “a realer than real time capsule of post-war Paris!” (The Village Voice) and “one of the most influential movies you have likely never seen” (J. Hoberman, Artinfo) LE JOLI MAI was, and now once again is, a milestone in film history.

Le Joli Mai (1963) – Chris Marker & Pierre Lhomme – 2013 Icarus Films trailer

“**** Peerless!” – Time Out New York
“Lyrical and argumentative, elegiac and lively!” — Amy Taubin, Artforum
“Celebrate this film’s return!” — The Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“A prescient glimpse of cultural revolution.” — Richard Brody, The New Yorker
“A miniature solar system of exploratory documentary techniques” — Film Comment
“Chris Marker constantly scans the fluctuations of human behavior with the clarity of a poet.” — Slant Magazine

Bonus features:
-Both English and French voice-overs
-Playtime in Paris (Catherine Varlin/ 1962/ 27″)
-A Distant Gaze… (Jean Ravel/ 1964/ 12″)
-Exercise in Direct Cinema (1962/ 5″), featuring Pierre Lhomme
-Deleted scenes
-24 page booklet

Press Release: “Every Day Is a Journey” To Be Released Free OnlineEveryDayIsaJourney

“Every Day Is A Journey” set for free online release

Irreverent comedy series takes a Synergistic Cinema approach to narrative film

SEATTLE, Wash. — The irreverent, six-part original film series “Every Day Is A Journey” will be available to view in its entirety for free online for the first time. The producers are set to release one chapter on YouTube each night for one week beginning Sunday, Dec. 8 and concluding with the entire 99-minute film on Saturday, Dec. 14.

“Every Day Is A Journey” is a Synergistic Cinema project, an episodic narrative series told in six chapters with no predetermined arc. Each chapter is directed by six distinct Seattle filmmakers. This offbeat storytelling technique required each director and his team to use the characters and story threads introduced by the previous chapter in order to continue the narrative. Before each director could begin work on his own chapter, all of the previous chapters had already screened for audiences at the RAWSTOCK Film Festival, which has showcased edgy short films pushing the boundaries of filmmaking for the past 10 years.

“EDIAJ” tells the story of small-time hustlers and yoga enthusiasts, quickly accelerating into a hilarious, operatic crime drama involving numerous kidnappings and unexpected pathos. The project features some of Seattle’s rising filmmakers and actors, including a breakout performance by Nate Quiroga a.k.a. Buffalo Madonna of the notorious rap group Mad Rad and the acclaimed new indie band Iska Dhaaf. Notable chapter directors include Christian Palmer (“William Never Married”) and Webby Award winner Jason Reid (“Sonicsgate”).

Palmer recently directed Quiroga again in his new short film “Night Visions,” which is screening at the next RAWSTOCK Film Festival on Wednesday, Dec. 11 at Northwest Film Froum (1515 12th Ave).

Each successive chapter of “EDIAJ” goes live nightly at 7:00 P.M. Pacific Time on

Sunday, Dec. 8 — Chapter 1: “The Inner Octopus”
Directed by Justin Freet

Monday, Dec. 9 — Chapter 2: “Unrequited Love Is A Bore”
Directed by Nik Perleros

Tuesday, Dec. 10 — Chapter 3: “Damage Control”
Directed by W.T. Russell

Wednesday, Dec. 11 — Chapter 4: “Let Me Be Yr Drummer”
Directed by Christian Palmer

Thursday, Dec. 12 — Chapter 5: “The Umpire Got Back”
Directed by Jason Reid

Friday, Dec. 13 — Chapter 6: “Wet Work”
Directed by Ian Connors

Saturday, Dec. 14 — The Complete Film with a “Lost Episode” directed by Ben Rapson

The complete film is currently available for review by accredited media. To request a private screener link and/or interviews with the filmmakers, please email the contacts listed above this release.

STARRING: Dylan Noebels, Nate Quiroga, Will Russell, Justin Freet, John Hildenbiddle, Katie Sheaffer, Andras Jones, Susan Perleros, Reno DeNada, Stella Rose Saint Clair.

Press Release: Factory 25 Acquires “All the Light in the Sky”AlltheLightintheSky



Brooklyn, NY (November 13, 2013) – Factory 25 announced today that it has acquired director Joe Swanberg’s All the Light in the Sky, his next film after the indie-breakthrough hit from earlier this year, Drinking Buddies. All the Light in the Sky features a leading performance from acclaimed veteran character actor Jane Adams (who is also currently filming MGM’s much-anticipated Poltergeist reimagining.) Adams and Swanberg also collaborated on the film’s screenplay.

Factory 25 is releasing the film theatrically in NYC on December 20th and digitally on December 3rd via cable VOD, iTunes, Amazon VUDU, X-Box, Sony Playstation among other outlets. The film will also play theatrically at additional markets across the country with screenings continuing through the winter.

Adams (Happiness, HBO’s “Hung,” Little Children, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, among countless others) stars as an actress living in Malibu who faces harsh realities of the industry as her age exempts her from more and more acting opportunities. Amidst this career and life crisis enters the actress’s niece, played by Sophia Takal (Green, Gabi on the Roof in July, V/H/S), who arrives for a weekend stay and ushers in a complex prism of emotional insecurities. Can the actress confront her fears, complicated relationships, and figure out how to navigate mid-life in Hollywood?

The film also features some of today’s up-and-coming indie film personalities: Kent Osborne (Uncle Kent), Allison Baar (Bad Fever), Simon Barrett (V/H/S), Lindsay Burdge (A Teacher), Larry Fessenden (The Last Winter), Lawrence Michael Levine (Green), Susan Traylor (Greenberg) and Ti West (The Sacrament).

Matt Grady from Factory 25 said “I’m thrilled to be collaborating with the incomparable Joe Swanberg once again. He’s really come into his own with this moving and funny film. It’s also a treat to be working with the remarkable Jane Adams in one of her most notable on-screen roles.”

Joe Swanberg said: “I am immensely proud of All the Light in the Sky, which is the result of 3 years of collaboration and development between Jane Adams and I. Jane is one of the smartest, most talented actors working today and Factory 25 will guarantee that her great work in this film is appreciated by an equally smart and sophisticated audience.”

All the Light in the Sky features original music by Orange Mighty Trio.

Festivals: AFI, Florida Film Festival, Nashville Film Festival, Wisconsin FilmFestival, International Independent Film Festival, IndieFest, Northside Festival, Art House Film Festival, San Franciso Independent Film Festival

FACTORY 25 is a Brooklyn-based independent film + music label founded in 2009 by Matt Grady. FACTORY 25 releases films theatrically, digitally, on DVD, and curates provocative limited edition DVD/vinyl combination packages. Specializing in indie niche projects, FACTORY 25 is committed to delivering films and music in perfect analog or digital quality. In addition to All the Light in the Sky, indie film label Factory 25 released the critically acclaimed Kid Thing, Sun Don’t Shine, The Sheik and I, The Color Wheel, Green, Francine, The Oregonian, Richard’s Wedding, Fake It So Real, Bad Fever, Convento, Frownland, Shit Year, You Wont Miss Me, Brock Enright: Good Times Will Never Be the Same, New York Export: Opus Jazz, Rio Breaks, New Jerusalem, Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo, Until The Light Takes Us, Wah Do Dem, Kids of Today, Two Gates of Sleep, Family Jams and Make out With Violence, Better Than Something: Jay Reatard, The Other Side of Sleep, Buttons and Pavilion.

Press Release: AFI Launches Chinese Cultural Exchange

The American Film Institute Launches Landmark Chinese Cultural Exchange Program With New Scholarship Initiative

Los Angeles, CA, November 13, 2013 – The American Film Institute (AFI) today announced its AFI/IDG China Story Fellowship, a new scholarship program at the world-renowned AFI Conservatory aimed at developing feature-length screenplays that foster greater understanding of Chinese history, culture and literature.

Made possible through the generosity of Hugo Shong, Chairman, IDG Greater China, the fellowship provides nine AFI Fellows with travel to China for cultural research. The Fellows will write a feature-length screenplay and receive a full scholarship for their second year at the AFI Conservatory, where they may develop the work. The AFI China Story Fellowship program is the result of a leadership grant from IDG China and represents part of the AFI Conservatory’s significant increase in scholarship opportunities for both current and incoming Fellows.

“China’s rich cultural legacy is filled with stories waiting to be shared with an eager global audience,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO. “We are honored to launch this new initiative with IDG Greater China, giving voice to the best and brightest storytellers of tomorrow.”

“Although China has a remarkable and distinguished history stretching back more than 5,000 years, too many Americans only know Chinese culture through animated films like KUNG FU PANDA and MULAN,” said Shong, who is also Founding General Partner of IDG Capital Partners. “Americans deserve to see other types of movies about China, ones that hopefully can entertain them, educate them and at the same time touch their hearts. By initiating this project with AFI, I am hoping that together we can jointly encourage a new generation of American screenwriters to produce more and different kinds of screenplays about China.”

The AFI China Story Fellowship was announced at the American Film Institute’s annual film festival, AFI FEST presented by Audi, just prior to the gala screening of THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY. The film, directed by and starring Ben Stiller, was produced by AFI alumnus Stuart Cornfeld (AFI Class of 1975).

Earlier this year, Paige Devitt, Derek Ustruck and Lindsay Golder were selected from the AFI screenwriting discipline to be the first recipients of the AFI China Story Fellowships. After the summer’s immersive experience in China, they returned this fall to begin their second year at the AFI Conservatory.

About IDG China
In 1980, IDG became the first U.S. publisher to enter the China market. Today, IDG China publishes more than 60 joint-venture magazines, newspapers and websites for the Chinese market. Its portfolio of publications includes CEOCIO, Cosmopolitan China, Harper’s Bazaar China, and National Geographic China. IDG China also manages 60 conferences and 18 expositions annually. Another IDG division, International Data Corp., provides market research and forecasting services to more than 200 clients in China. IDG Capital Partners, founded in 1993, is now also the leading venture capital firm in China, investing in all stages of a company’s lifecycle – from early stage to pre-IPO. To date, IDG Capital Partners has formed partnerships with Accel to launch five IDG-Accel China Funds, in addition to its IDG Media Fund. These activities have led to IDG investments in more than 300 diverse and outstanding companies, including Baidu, Sohu, Tencent, Soufun, Ctrip, Legendary Pictures and Relativity Media. IDG has also successfully executed 70 investments through mergers, acquisitions and IPOs in the U.S., Hong Kong and China.

About the AFI Conservatory
The American Film Institute is America’s promise to preserve the history of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers. The AFI Conservatory offers a two-year Master of Fine Arts degree in six filmmaking disciplines: Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design and Screenwriting. Aspiring artists learn from the masters in a collaborative, hands-on production environment with an emphasis on storytelling. AFI Conservatory’s alumni have been consistently recognized with all of the major industry awards – Academy® Awards, Emmy® Awards, Guild Awards – and even the Tony Award. Esteemed director, producer and screenwriter James L. Brooks was recently appointed as Artistic Director of the AFI Conservatory where he will provide creative leadership for the elite film program. Sony is a proud supporter of the AFI Conservatory.

Press Release: “Kids for Cash” To Release February 2014KidsforCash


Dramatic, Shocking Tale of Judicial Scandal Marks Feature Directorial Debut of Noted Producer Robert May

NEW YORK (Thursday, November 14, 2013) – SenArt Films Releasing, the production and distribution company established by award-winning filmmaker Robert May, announced today that its documentary feature film KIDS FOR CASH will have its world premiere at a sold-out presentation at DOC NYC this Sunday, November 17, and begin its national theatrical release in Philadelphia on February 7, 2014. The film chronicles the hidden story behind the headlines of the infamous kids-for-cash juvenile court scandal.

With its roots in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia was chosen to host the theatrical premiere of KIDS FOR CASH, which will be held at the prestigious Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday, February 5, two days prior to the film’s commercial opening at Landmark’s Ritz at the Bourse and other area theaters. “KIDS FOR CASH is as important to our city, and the rest of the country, as was the film PHILADELPHIA, twenty years ago,” said Sharon Pinkenson, Executive Director of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, who is thrilled to support the prestigious Philadelphia red carpet premiere. “This movie is destined to change lives.”

KIDS FOR CASH is a riveting look behind the notorious scandal that rocked the nation when it first came to light in 2009. Beginning in the wake of the shootings at Columbine, a small town in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania elected a charismatic judge who was hell-bent on keeping kids in line. Under his reign, over 3,000 children were ripped from their families and imprisoned for years for crimes as petty as creating a fake MySpace page. When one parent dared to question this harsh brand of justice, it was revealed that the judge had received millions of dollars in payments from the privately-owned juvenile detention centers where the kids—most of them only in their early teens—were incarcerated.

Exposing the hidden scandal behind the headlines, KIDS FOR CASH unfolds like a real-life thriller. Charting the previously untold stories of the masterminds at the center of the scandal, the film reveals a shocking American secret told from the perspectives of the villains, the victims and the unsung heroes who helped uncover the scandal. In a major dramatic coup, the film features extensive, exclusive access to the judges behind the scheme. Now serving a 28 year sentence in federal prison, the former juvenile court judge at the heart of the scandal shares his ulterior motives, revealing that his attorneys never knew about his interviews for this film.

“This film completely changed my life and the lives of everyone close to me,” said filmmaker Robert May. “I set out to capture what I thought was simply a scandalous story about the forces of good and evil, but quickly realized how naïve I really was – what I actually found was terrifying.”

May was Executive Producer of Erroll Morris’ FOG OF WAR, winner of the Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature, and produced, with Steve James, THE WAR TAPES, winner of the Best Documentary Feature at Tribeca Film Festival. He also produced the highly acclaimed and successful dramatic film THE STATION AGENT, winner of Best Drama, Screenplay, and Performance at the Sundance Film Festival and the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay.

KIDS FOR CASH opens on February 7 in Philadelphia and other Pennsylvania markets and expands to New York and other major markets on February 28. A wider expansion will follow.

The release is part of a newly formed distribution collaboration between SenArt Films Releasing, Paladin, The 2050 Group, Brigade Marketing, Roda Creative, Active Voice, Percival & Associates, AKA Marketing, Mark Woollen & Associates and Film Buff.

About Kids For Cash
Presented by SenArt Films, Music by Michael Brook, Film Editor & Co-Producer – Poppy Das, Production Design by Johh Paino, Cinematography by Jay Gillespie and Eddie Marritz, Associate Producer – Joseph Craig, Executive Producer – John Weekley, Produced by Lauren Timmons & Robert May, Directed by Robert May.

About SenArt Films
SenArt Films was created in 2000 with the mission to create commercially viable films that aspire to the highest level of storytelling and execution, passionately engaging an audience. SenArt focuses on character-driven projects that have the potential to meld socially-conscious issues with entertainment, creating broad discussion. SenArt has produced the Oscar® winning film THE FOG OF WAR along with other award-winning films such as THE STATION AGENT, STEVIE, BONNEVILLE and THE WAR TAPES.

Press Release: “Authors Anonymous” Acquired by Screen Media Films and Starz Digital Media

Screen Media Films and Starz Digital Media Acquire Ensemble Comedy “Authors Anonymous”

New York, November 15, 2013 – Screen Media Films and Starz Digital Media, the digital distribution unit of Starz, have partnered to acquire all North American rights to Ellie Kanner’s comedy AUTHORS ANONYMOUS, which stars Kaley Cuoco, Chris Klein, Dennis Farina, Jonathan Bennett, Dylan Walsh, and Teri Polo. The film is slated for early Spring 2014 release date across VOD and digital platforms and in select theaters.

AUTHORS ANONYMOUS is about a dysfunctional group of unpublished writers. When they accept Hannah (Kaley Cuoco) into their fold, the last thing they expect is her overnight success. Can these lovable misfits achieve their artistic dreams and avoid killing one another in the process?

“Life imitates art in many films but we were really drawn to Ellie Kanner’s very funny, and too true, take on the ultimate Hollywood success story,” said Suzanne Blech, President of Screen Media.

“I am very excited to be working with the teams at Screen Media and Starz Digital Media,” said Ellie Kanner in a statement. “And I am thrilled that the film will have the chance to reach the widest possible audience in theaters and on VOD.”

The deal was negotiated by Blech and Seth Needle of Screen Media along with Starz Digital and by Traction Media on behalf of the filmmakers.

AUTHORS ANONYMOUS was directed by Ellie Kanner, written by David Congalton, produced by Hal Schwartz and Ellie Kanner. The film is from Kanner’s Forever Sunny Productions and Schwartz’s Bull Market Entertainment in association with Cynthia and Laine Guidry’s Lainie Productions. The Executive Producers are Cynthia Guidry, Lainie Guidry, Jonathan Bennett, and Kaley Cuoco with cinematography by Tobias Datum, editing by Stephen Myers, and original music by Jeff Cardoni. The film stars Kaley Cuoco, Chris Klein, Jonathan Bennett, Dylan Walsh, Teri Polo, and Dennis Farina, in one of his last performances.

About Screen Media
Screen Media acquires the rights to high quality, independent feature films for the US and Canada. Screen Media’s theatrical releases include “Heleno,” starring Rodrigo Santoro; “La Mission,” starring Benjamin Bratt; “The City of Your Final Destination,” starring Anthony Hopkins and Laura Linney; “Lymelife,” starring Alec Baldwin, Emma Roberts and Cynthia Nixon and “The Private Lives of Pippa Lee” starring Robin Wright and Keanu Reeves. Since 2001, Screen Media Films has released more than 250 titles including “Noel,” starring Penelope Cruz and Susan Sarandon; “Sherrybaby,” starring Maggie Gyllenhaal; Kevin Bacon’s directorial debut, “Loverboy;” and Emmy nominated “Dog Whisperer” with Cesar Millan. Recent theatrical releases include the recent Sundance favorites “The Lifeguard,” starring Kristen Bell and Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s “C.O.G.”, the first film adaptation of famed author David Sedaris, and the Slamdance hit Running Wild: The Life of Dayton O. Hyde.

Screen Media Films is a division of Screen Media Ventures, LLC. With a library of over 1,500 motion pictures, Screen Media Ventures is one of the largest independent suppliers of high quality motion pictures to U.S. and international broadcast markets, cable networks, home video outlets and new media venues. For more information, visit

Starz Digital Media is a leading distributor of digital and on-demand content. Starz Digital Media distributes original programming content (Starz and AMC), feature films (The Weinstein Company, Anchor Bay Films), anime (Manga Entertainment) and other filmed entertainment utilizing various business models including download-to-own/electronic sell-through, video-on-demand, pay-per-view, subscription video-on-demand and ad-supported streaming. Starz Digital Media also programs and supports numerous ad-supported broadband channels and develops games, applications and other related content from many of its properties for distribution worldwide.

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