Films

Great Expectations

Starring Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Holliday Grainger, and Jeremy Irvine.
Premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival - September 2012

Toronto International Film Festival

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SYNOPSIS

Directed by Mike Newell, “Great Expectations” is a retelling of the classic and beloved Charles Dickens story of the young orphan Pip, who is given a chance to rise from his humble beginnings thanks to a mysterious benefactor. Moving through London’s class-ridden world as a gentleman, Pip uses his newfound position to pursue the beautiful Estella, a spoilt heiress he’s loved since childhood. Yet the shocking truth behind his great fortune will have devastating consequences for everything he holds dear.

About the Director and Screenwriter

Mike Newell, born in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England, was educated at Cambridge. He undertook three years of training at Granada Television, with the intention of entering the theatre, but instead began a career as a television director. His first critically acclaimed feature film was “Dance with a Stranger,” which won the Award of the Youth at the 1985 Cannes Film Festival. He’s gone on to direct many more successful films, among them “Enchanted April,” “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” “Donnie Brasco,” and “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” In 2005, he was awarded the BAFTA Britannia Award for Artistic Excellence in Directing.

PRODUCED BY

BBC Films
Lipsync Productions
Number 9 Films
Unison Films
Hart/Lunsford Pictures

Dirty Girl

Dirty Girl

Starring Juno Temple, Milla Jovovich, William H. Macy, Mary Steenburgen, Dwight Yoakam,
Tim McGraw, and Jeremy Dozier.
Premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival - September 2010
Theatrical Release in U.S. October 7, 2011
DVD Released in U.S. January 17, 2012

Toronto International Film Festival
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SYNOPSIS

Norman, Oklahoma. 1987. Danielle, the high school vixen, is sent to special ed class for making one too many inappropriate comments during sex education lessons. There she meets Clarke, a shy, overweight, homosexual kid with no friends. Forced together for a school project, they become unwilling and unfit parents to a bag of flour named “Joan.”

Danielle is determined to get to L.A. to find her birth father and Clarke is desperate to escape being sent to military school by his homophobic dad, so he steals his father’s car. With Joan along for the ride, the dysfunctional little family sets off for California, fleeing their parents, in search of themselves, and along the way discovering friendship and the meaning of family. Set to a glorious 80’s soundtrack, Dirty Girl is a joyful, hilarious, and ultimately moving road trip in the spirit of Little Miss Sunshine.

Dirty Girl stars Juno Temple (Notes on a Scandal, Year One, Atonement) as the dirty girl herself, Danielle. Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil Trilogy, The Fifth Element) co-stars as her hapless “reformed” mother Sue Ann, William H. Macy as Sue Ann’s easily shockable Mormon fiancé Ray, Tim McGraw as Danielle’s long-sought-after father Danny, and Jeremy Dozier, a talented newcomer, as Clarke.

"Dirty Girl" premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and the U.S. rights were purchased almost immediately by the Weinstein Company, which launched the film in theatres on October 7, 2011.

About the Director and Screenwriter

Abe Sylvia, the screenwriter and director, is a former Broadway dancer (including two years performing in Cats) and choreographer. He retrained as a writer and director at UCLA’s film school, where he won a slew of awards, including the Jack Nicholson’s director award. He has a body of award-winning shorts under his belt, as well as commercials for Svedka vodka, Coca-Cola, and Chrysler. Dirty Girl is his first feature film.

PRODUCED BY

iDeal Partners and Hart/Lunsford Pictures

Me and Orson Welles Movie Still

Me and Orson Welles

Starring Zac Efron, Claire Danes, Christian McKay
Featured at the Toronto Film Festival
Theatrical Release in U.S. November 25, 2009
Theatrical Release in U.K. December 4, 2009
DVD Released in U.S. August 17, 2010


Toronto International Film Festival
Me and Orson Welles Movie Still

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SYNOPSIS

Directed by Richard Linklater ("Dazed and Confused," “Before Sunrise,” “Before Sunset”), "Me and Orson Welles” is the story of a whirlwind week in New York City in 1937 when an aspiring young actor (played by Zac Efron of "17 Again" and "High School Musical") is literally plucked from the streets and made a member of Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre Company on the eve of Welles' historic staging of Shakespeare's “Julius Caesar.” In the course of this memorable week, Richard will find romance with a worldly older woman (Claire Danes), become immersed in a unique creative experience, and learn the hard way what it’s like to cross the brilliant and imperious Welles (strikingly portrayed by newcomer Christian McKay).

PRODUCED BY

Cinema NX and Isle of Man Film in association with Framestore and Hart/Lunsford Pictures

Critic Reviews

Chicago Sun Times, Roger Ebert
"Richard Linklater's "Me and Orson Welles" is surely one of the best movies about the theater I've ever seen."

The Hollywood Reporter, Kirk Honeycutt
"At the heart of "Me and Orson Welles" is an uncanny impersonation of the young Orson Welles by English actor Christian McKay. He's nailed every vocal nuance that contributed to Welles' acting performances and larger-than-life personality."

Variety, Todd McCarthy
"An extraordinary impersonation of the American theatrical boy wonder by the young English actor Christian McKay is the indisputable highlight of "Me and Orson Welles. ... There are moments ... that it's possible to forget you're watching an actor and really believe you're beholding Orson Welles at work."

L.A. Times Blog, Patrick Goldstein
"... it's a blast. Full of wonderful historical detail, it captures Welles at the height of his youthful incandescence."

Bart Got a Room Still

Bart Got a Room

Starring William H. Macy, Cheryl Hines, Steven Kaplan
Premiered at Tribeca Film Festival – April, 2008
Theatrical Release April 3, 2009
DVD Released in U.S. July 28, 2009

Tribeca FilmGenArt

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Awards

Chicago Gen Art Film Festival Jury Award – June, 2008
Asheville Film Festival Award for Best Feature Film – November, 2008

SYNOPSIS

Brian Hecker wrote the original screenplay and directed this teen comedy about Danny Stein (played by talented newcomer Steven Kaplan), a boy on a desperate quest for a prom date while his recently divorced parents independently search for love. Danny’s search becomes progressively more pathetic after he and his family learn that Bart, the school’s biggest dweeb, not only got a date for the prom, but secured a coveted hotel room as well. Set amid the colorful retirement community of Hollywood, Florida, the film also stars William H. Macy (“Fargo,” “Wag the Dog”) and Cheryl Hines (“Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Waitress”) as the angst-ridden teen’s parents.

PRODUCED BY

Plum Pictures in association with Hart/Lunsford Pictures
Basra Entertainment
Benedek Films
Foundation Films
SHRINK Media

Birds of America poster

Birds of America

Starring Matthew Perry, Ben Foster, Ginnifer Goodwin, Lauren Graham (and featuring Hilary Swank)
Premiered at Sundance Film Festival – January, 2008
DVD Released in U.S. October 21, 2008
Distributed by First Look International

Sundance 08

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SYNOPSIS

This family dramedy centers on three adult siblings: Matthew Perry ("Friends," "The Whole Nine Yards") — an uptight professor; Ginnifer Goodwin ("Big Love," "Walk the Line") — his sexually promiscuous sister; and Ben Foster ("X-Men: The Last Stand," "Alpha Dog") — their hippie kid brother. Perry plays a husband struggling with life in a repressive career and community and dealing with the headaches caused by his free-spirited brother and sister. Although they’ve been apart for a long time, the siblings reconnect and come to the realization that, while they are undoubtedly dysfunctional, they really do need each other.

Hilary Swank ("Million Dollar Baby," "Boys Don’t Cry"), who is also a producer, plays a supporting role as the all-too-perfect neighbor of Perry’s harried character. Ben Foster, who received a SAG nomination for his role in "3:10 to Yuma," shines in a performance that The Hollywood Reporter calls "perfectly psychotic." In his post-“Friends” career, Matthew Perry has been nominated for a Golden Globe, SAG Award, and lead acting Emmy for the TV movie, "The Ron Clark Story." Lauren Graham ("Gilmore Girls," "Because I Said So") also co-stars. Elyse Friedman penned the screenplay. Craig Lucas directed.

PRODUCED BY

Plum Pictures in association with Hart/Lunsford Pictures
Accomplice Films
Hanson Allen Films
Hilary Swank Productions
iDeal Partners Film Fund

Diminished Capacity Movie Poster

Diminished Capacity

Starring Alan Alda, Matthew Broderick, Virginia Madsen
Premiered at Sundance Film Festival – January, 2008
Special Louisville, Kentucky screening at Kentucky Center for the Arts in April, 2008 to benefit Alzheimer’s Association
Theatrical Release July 4, 2008
DVD Released in U.S. November 25, 2008
Distributed by IFC Entertainment

Sundance 08

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SYNOPSIS

"Diminished Capacity" is an endearing family comedy with a strong ensemble cast. With humor and empathy, it tells the story of how a man’s failing memory affects the lives of his loved ones, mixing in a heady dose of Chicago Cubs fever and rekindled romance. It stars Matthew Broderick ("The Producers," "Ferris Bueller’s Day Off"), Alan Alda ("The Aviator," "M*A*S*H"), and Virginia Madsen ("Sideways," "A Prairie Home Companion"). The movie was acquired by IFC Entertainment, which owns the Independent Film Channel and whose theatrical distribution arm, IFC Films, launched the colossal indie hit "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." Sherwood Kiraly wrote the screenplay and the novel on which it was based. Terry Kinney directed.

PRODUCED BY

Plum Pictures in association with Hart/Lunsford Pictures
Accomplice Films
Hanson Allen Films
Hilary Swank Productions
iDeal Partners Film Fund

Trucker Movie Poster

TRUCKER

Starring Michelle Monaghan, Nathan Fillion, Benjamin Bratt, Jimmy Bennett
Premiered at Tribeca Film Festival – April, 2008
Theatrical Release October 9, 2009
DVD Released in U.S. January 5, 2010
Top Ten Movies of 2009 - Roger Ebert

Tribeca Film
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SYNOPSIS

Michelle Monaghan ("Mission: Impossible III," "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," "Mr. & Mrs. Smith") plays a tough female truck driver who lives an irresponsible life until she must take in her estranged 11-year-old son after his father, Benjamin Bratt ("Miss Congeniality," "Law & Order"), falls seriously ill. Monaghan was so into the role that she learned to drive a big rig in preparation for it, obtaining her commercial driver’s license for tractor trailers. Monaghan’s star is on the rise, with a number of recent features: Ben Affleck’s adaptation of Dennis LeHane’s crime thriller "Gone Baby Gone;" Dreamworks’ "The Heartbeak Kid," written and directed by the Farrelly brothers and co-starring Ben Stiller; the comedy "Made of Honor" opposite Dr. McDreamy -- Patrick Dempsey of TV’s "Grey’s Anatomy," and Dreamworks’ action-thriller, “Eagle Eye,” with Shia LeBeouf. Nathan Fillion, who played Keri Russell’s love interest in the surprise Sundance hit, "Waitress," co-stars. The film also stars Joey Lauren Adams ("The Break-Up," "Chasing Amy") and child actor Jimmy Bennett. James Mottern wrote the screenplay and directed.

PRODUCED BY

Plum Pictures in association with Hart/Lunsford Pictures
Hanson Allen Films

Watching the Detectives Movie Still

Watching the Detectives

Starring Cillian Murphy, Lucy Liu
Premiered at Tribeca Film Festival – May, 2007
DVD Released in U.S. August 12, 2008
Distributed by Peace Arch International

Tribeca Film

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SYNOPSIS

A cool and original comedy with a sweet romance at its center, "Watching the Detectives" was written and directed by Paul Soter, who is also a talented actor ("Supertroopers," "Dukes of Hazzard"). Soter is a member of the Broken Lizards comedy team, which has a first-look arrangement with Warner Brothers as writers and directors. Shot in New York City, the film stars Cillian Murphy (the male lead in "The Wind That Shakes the Barley," winner of the Cannes Film Festival Golden Palm Award, and also featured in "Batman Begins," "Girl with a Pearl Earring," "28 Days Later," and "Red Eye") and Lucy Liu (who is best known for her "Charlie's Angels" films, but also gained popularity for her role in the hit TV show "Ally McBeal" and has been featured in "Jackie Chan Adventures,” "Mulan II," "Kill Bill," and other movies).

PRODUCED BY

Plum Pictures in association with Hart/Lunsford Pictures
Peace Arch Entertainment Group

Dedication Movie

Dedication

Starring Billy Crudup, Mandy Moore, Tom Wilkinson, Bob Balaban, Dianne Wiest
Premiered at Sundance Film Festival – January, 2007
Theatrical Release August 24, 2007
DVD released in U.S. February 12, 2008
Purchased by The Weinstein Company
Distributed by The Weinstein Company and First Look International

Sundance 07

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SYNOPSIS

A romantic comedy filmed in New York City and directed by actor Justin Theroux ("Charlie’s Angels – Full Throttle," "Six Feet Under"), "Dedication" stars Billy Crudup ("Almost Famous," "Mission: Impossible III"), Mandy Moore ("License to Wed," "Saved"), Oscar nominee Tom Wilkinson ("Shakespeare in Love," "In the Bedroom"), Oscar winner Dianne Wiest ("Parenthood," "Bullets Over Broadway," "Hannah and Her Sisters"), and indie icon/Oscar nominee, Bob Balaban ("Best in Show," "Gosford Park"). This modern love story, written by David Bromberg, follows a misanthropic, emotionally complex author (Crudup) of hit children’s books who is forced to team with a beautiful illustrator (Moore) after his best friend and long-time creative collaborator (Wilkinson) passes away. The Hollywood Reporter calls the story "utterly compelling." The soundtrack, which earned rave reviews in Rolling Stone, is available on iTunes, Amazon.com, etc.

PRODUCED BY

Plum Pictures in association with Hart/Lunsford Pictures
First Look International

Grace is Gone Movie Still

Grace is Gone

Starring John Cusack
Premiered at Sundance Film Festival – January, 2007
Theatrical Release December 7, 2007
DVD Released in U.S. May 27, 2008
Purchased and distributed by The Weinstein Company

Sundance 07

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Awards

“Audience Award for Favorite U.S. Drama,” 2007 Sundance Film Festival
Winner of "Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award for Outstanding Achievement," 2007 Sundance Film Festival
Winner of “International Critics Prize,” Festival of American Cinema, Deauville, France, September, 2007

Also Screened At

• Festival of American Cinema in Deauville, France - September 5, 2007
• Toronto Film Festival - September 12, 2007
• New York Film Festival – September 29, 2007
• Austin Film Festival – October 18, 2007
• London Film Festival – October 25, 2007
• Savannah Film and Video Festival – October 30, 2007
• St. Louis International Film Festival – November 9, 2007
• Gijon, Spain International Film Festival – November 23, 2007

SYNOPSIS

Filmed in Chicago, "Grace Is Gone," starring John Cusack ("1408," "Say Anything"), tells the poignant story of a Midwestern father’s spontaneous road trip with his two young daughters after the tragic death of his wife in the Iraq War. Director Jim Strouse also wrote the screenplay.

PRODUCED BY

Plum Pictures in association with Hart/Lunsford Pictures
New Crime Productions
Benedek Films

Critic Reviews

Associated Press [David Germain]
"It's stirring, even gut-wrenching, on the strength of John Cusack's terrifically restrained performance as a husband in denial over the death of his wife in Iraq."

USA Today [Claudia Puig]
"A moving and tender family drama, built on the foundation of a serious contemporary issue."

Ebert & Roeper [Richard Roeper]
"This is a very strong and very moving film."

Chicago Sun-Times [Roger Ebert]
"Cusack gives a great performance."

New York Times [Stephen Holden]
"Grace Is Gone, a small, tender film about contemporary parenthood in wartime, carries off a delicate balancing act."

Rolling Stone [Peter Travers]
"No politics, no pleading. No artifice."

Newsday [Jan Stuart]
"Cusack has never been better; he disappears into his character's repressed skin so utterly, we can barely recognize in him the perky teen heartthrob of Say Anything."

Variety [Todd McCarthy]
"Although clearly coming from an antiwar perspective, the story's emotional effectiveness and family grounding give the film a real shot at connecting with general audiences across the political spectrum."

How you Look to Me Movie Poster

How You Look to Me

Starring Frank Langella
Screened in Louisville, Kentucky at the Kentucky Center for the Arts, April 9, 2005
DVD Released in U.S. July 3, 2007

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SYNOPSIS

Starring the internationally acclaimed and award-winning Frank Langella, “How You Look to Me” was written, produced, and acted by Louisville native Bruce Marshall Romans, who penned a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story about three male graduate students, who are also best friends. Tony Award winner and Oscar nominee Frank Langella ("Frost/Nixon") plays a respected English professor who guides the young men as they come to terms with themselves and the world, with a little help from Laura Allen ("Dirt," "The 4400"). Set in Louisville, Kentucky, this searching narrative breaks Southern stereotypes and offers a range of colorful characters and unique locations. J. Miller Tobin ("CSI") directs.

PRODUCED BY

East Lane Pictures
Sweet William L.L.C.
Ed Hart and Bruce Lunsford