Films and Projects by Stephen Stanley

The Revival Sells to Breaking Glass Pictures

Read the full article here.

Festival Hit THE REVIVAL from Director Jennifer Gerber Arrives January on DVD/VOD

Breaking Glass Pictures today announced the acquisition of Outfest hit THE REVIVAL from first-time director Jennifer Gerber, writer Samuel Brett Williams, and producer Sophie Finkelstein.

Based on Williams’ 2010 hit play, THE REVIVAL is a treacherous love story between a closeted preacher and a handsome drifter who shows up at his church.

When Eli (Rysdahl) begins preaching at his father’s old church, he is desperate to open the minds of the fire-and-brimstone congregation. His plans are quickly derailed when he strikes up a relationship with fascinating drifter Daniel (Booth). Tensions soon come to a head, with simmering resentments and repressed emotions all leading to a revival that will shake this sleepy Arkansas town to its core.

After THE REVIVAL’s stage run in 2010, The Advocate declared “if there is a God, [The Revival] will be made into a movie!” Zachary Booth (KEEP THE LIGHTS ON, DAMAGES) and David Rysdahl (DEAD PIGS, BULL) give electric performances as their undeniable attraction endangers them both in the face of religion. The two were awarded a Special Mention by the jury at NewFest for their “outstanding performances” and The Hollywood Reporter called them “riveting”. Ira Sachs (LITTLE MEN, LOVE IS STRANGE) said “It came to me half way through that it was an Ingmar Bergman movie set in the Ozarks.” He also described the film as “true Southern Gothic”. Following the film’s sold out Outfest Premiere, The Hollywood Reporter wrote “Gerber deftly wrings suspense from source material that mixes, and sometimes swerves between, romance, satire and vigilante thriller.”

The film will have a Los Angeles theatrical release beginning January 19 at Laemmle Music Hall and a DVD/VOD release January 23rd on iTunes, Amazon Instant, Google Play, Vudu, Fandango, and through local cable and satellite providers. DVD Special Features will include director’s commentary, deleted scenes, and an alternate ending.


Genre: Drama/LGBT

Running Time: 84 min.; Rating: NR; Language: English; Audio: Dolby 5.1

SRP: $24.99; UPC: 855184007280


David Rysdahl

Zachary Booth

Raymond McAnally

Lucy Faust

Stephen Ellis

Director: Jennifer Gerber

Written by: Samuel Brett Williams

Producer: Sophie Finkelstein

Co-Producer: Stephen Stanley, Chris Laszlo

Avenge The Crows, now out on Blu-Ray, iTunes, In-Demand. Coming soon to Showtime

From PR Newswire

LOS ANGELESNov. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Danay Garcia (TV’s Fear the Walking DeadSniper: Ultimate Kill, TV’s Prison Break), Danny Trejo (Machete, TV’s Sons of Anarchy) and Golden Globe nominated actors Lou Diamond Phillips (La BambaYoung Guns) and Steven Bauer (TV’s Ray DonovanScarface) star in the gripping tale of blood for blood in the crime thriller AVENGE THE CROWS, launching on Blu-ray, DVD and digital Dec. 5.

Danay Garcia stars as Loca, a former gang member who now makes her money dealing drugs while protecting her cousin Cammy (Angelique Rivera) from the realities of life on the street. After Joker (Michael Flores) gets orders from prison-mate Casper (Phillips) about Loca and her drug-dealing partner Carlos (Emilio Rivera), he is released from prison and sets out to settle an old debt. Once attacked, Loca turns to rival gang leader Angel (Cesar Garcia) and local bar owner Tony (Trejo) to stop Joker and squash a potential war with a Mexican drug cartel. Former professional boxer Victor Ortiz has a cameo in the film as Loca’s slain husband Manny.

The pendulum of revenge is set in motion when an assassin named Joker is released from prison with orders from the Reyes Ricos prison gang to take down Loca, an ex-gang member who once ran the powerful Los Grajos crew before it was destroyed. Now Loca makes her living pushing drugs, and maintains a watchful eye on her young cousin, Cammy, the only family she has left. Although she is cunning and street smart, Loca doesn’t see Joker coming, and he attacks Cammy to lure her out of hiding. While launching her counterstrike, Loca gets tangled up with a rival crew, and then dragged to the brink of war with a Mexican drug cartel. As the pressure mounts she must make the hard choice between avenging the ones she’s lost and survival.

AVENGE THE CROWS was written and directed by Nathan Gabaeff and produced by Steven GabaeffNathan GabaeffStephen StanleyDanay GarciaMichael FloresTrent GarrettRobert BaekCindy Barger and Tereza Kacerova for Gabaeff Pictures. The film is being distributed by Gravitas Ventures. The film has a runtime of 96 minutes and is rated R for violence and sexual content.

Werner Herzog at UCA

I was thrilled to bring Werner Herzog to UCA for his first ever trip to the region.  He was a fantastic guest and inspired our students.



Bloody Disgusting: Freestyle Downloads ‘Bedeviled’ Distribution Rights


FROM BLOODY DISGUSTING (read full article here)

Freestyle Digital Media, the digital film distribution division of Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios, has acquired the North American rights to the modern technological horror feature Bedeviled for limited theatrical release and digital distribution beginning August 11, 2017.

Bedeviled, which Luiz reviews and called “a well-crafted supernatural thriller,” tells the story of five teenagers who receive an invite to download a Siri-like application.  Once they accept this app — which calls itself ‘Mister Bedevil’ — it begins to torment each of them by tapping into their worst fears. To stop this malevolent force, the teens must learn to trust and depend on each other’s wits and courage.

“We’ve created a new, charismatic horror villain, and we hope audiences will find him terrifying and lovable at the same time,” said filmmakers Abel Vang and Burlee Vang.

Co-written, and co-directed by brothers Abel Vang and Burlee Vang, Bedeviled features a cast that includes Saxon Sharbino (Alice Gorman), Mitchell Edwards (Cody Mathershed), Carson Boatman (Gavin Briggs), Victory Van Tuyl (Haley Davis), Brandon Soo Hoo (Dan Moua), Jordan Essoe (Mr. BeDevil), and Alexis G Zall (Nikki).  Bedeviled was produced by Abel Vang, Burlee Vang, Leng Yang, Cheng Yang, and Kirk Roos with Executive Producers Stephen Stanley, Brad Brizendine, Fuabkuab Yang, Scott P. Barlow.

Master Class with Jean-Pierre Jeunet

While working as a Visiting Professor in SCAD Lacoste’s summer program, I had the opportunity to moderate a Master Class/Q&A with renowned filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet.


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Great Review for “The Revival” in The Hollywood Reporter!

Read the full review here.

‘The Revival’: Film Review | Outfest 2017

David Rysdahl (center) in ‘The Revival.’

Jennifer Gerber’s feature debut is about a Southern preacher who has an affair with a troubled young man passing through town.

With an attention-grabbing hook and two riveting central performances, Jennifer Gerber’s feature directorial debut The Revival holds you in its grip even when it stumbles. Adapted from a 2010 play by Samuel Brett Williams, this striking, if erratic, drama about a Southern Baptist preacher succumbing to a very forbidden desire is hardly a game-changing or groundbreaking entry in the nebulous, gradually expanding genre that is queer cinema. But it is a worthwhile one, showcasing a pair of deeply gifted leading men and a promising new talent behind the camera. The Revival is also notable for its unblinking look at the excruciating inner tug-of-war between one man’s homosexuality and his religious devotion; the movie isn’t subtle or always persuasive, but it goes there, boldly and with integrity.

Films like Antonia Bird’s Priest (about a gay priest in Liverpool) and Sandi Simcha DuBowski’s moving doc Trembling Before G-d (about gay Orthodox Jews) have tackled similar subject matter — though the The Revival‘s setting amid small-town, working-class evangelicals feels particularly timely given the reinvigorated cultural war pitting Trump’s rural conservative base against urban “elites.” It’s a milieu the director knows well, having been raised by devout Christians in Hot Springs, Ark., where the play is set and the movie was shot. Gerber’s familiarity likely accounts for the confident, unshowy sense of place that’s one of the film’s key strengths.

There are shades of French master Claude Chabrol both in the broad outlines of The Revival — in its close study of a man’s guilt and a community’s rottenness beneath a squeaky-clean surface — and in Gerber’s approach: the brisk narrative rhythm, the slyly humorous juxtapositions (gay love scenes punctuated by glimpses of Eli driving home while listening to fiery sermons on the radio), Lucas Carey’s mischievous, mercurial score.

The Revival‘s portrayal of the vitriol reserved for gay people in conservative Christian communities is nothing if not unsparing. But given our ostentatiously pious vice president and his disturbing record on LGBT issues, there’s something urgent, even cathartic, about the film’s bluntness. And Gerber manages to add nuance through certain directorial choices, like her use of recordings by the Sacred Harp Singers of Cork. The stirring flights of church-choir harmony lighten the movie’s mood, suggesting that while there’s potential for violence and hatred in religion, there’s beauty, too.

Production companies: Natural State Films, Raptor Films
Director: Jennifer Gerber
Screenwriter: Samuel Brett Williams (based on his play)
Cast: David Rysdahl, Zachary Booth, Lucy Faust, Raymond McAnally, Stephen Ellis
Producer: Sophie Finkelstein
Co-producer/sales: Stephen Stanley
Executive producers: Cathleen Ihasz, Nicole Ihasz
Cinematography: John Wakayama Carey
Production design: Eimi Imanishi
Music: Lucas Carey
84 minutes

Bedeviled to premiere at Screamfest!

Bedeviled will make its world premiere at Screamfest in LA on October 22.  More info and tickets here.

Voltage sparks with supernatural thriller ‘Bedeviled’


Voltage Pictures is at the EFM talking up Bedeviled, a new supernatural thriller from The Vang Brothers.

President of international sales John Fremes and his team will present footage to Berlin buyers of the story about a seemingly harmless Siri-like app that manipulates the deepest fears of users to literally scare them to death.

Saxon Sharbino of the Poltergeist remake stars alongside Brandon Soo Hoo, Mitchell Edwards, Jordan Essoe, Carson Boatman, Victory Van Tuyl, and Alexis G. Zall.

Kirk Roos, Cheng Yang and Leng Yang produce the film and Stephen Stanley, Brad Brizendine and Scott P. Barlow are the executive producers.


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Ketchup Entertainment & Bridge Independent Ink Digital Deal

From Deadline.com. Click here for the full story.

Bridge Independent

EXCLUSIVE: Straight Outta Compton producer Bill Straus’ newly relaunched sales outfit Bridge Independent and indie distributor-financier Ketchup Entertainmentare teaming on a digital distribution pipeline for select titles from Bridge’s indie slate. The plan is to distribute 5-10 titles a year with a marketing push.

As a former executive at New Line, Straus in 2012 founded New York-based BGP Film, where he has repped recent pics including Darling, Buzzard, Through A Lens Darkly and Sweaty Betty.

“As Ketchup continues to expand its U.S. distribution business we are excited to partner with Bridge Independent,” said Stephen Stanley, Ketchup’s Head of Distribution and Acquisitions. “Bill Straus has repeatedly shown extraordinary vision in finding smart, commercial, and forward looking independent films and we’re excited to formalize an already great working relationship.” Continue reading

New Project “BeDeviled” Announced on Deadline!

From Deadline.com. Click here for the full story.


Abel and Burlee Vang, who won the Nicholl Fellowship in 2011 for their Hmong/CIA secret wars screenplay The Tiger’s Child, are in production on their first feature directorial collaboration Bedeviled, a horror film which is described as a cross between Spike Jonze’s Her and Stephen King’s It. 

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