DEADLINE: Ganymede Wraps Production

EXCLUSIVE: Jordan Doww (Reach) and Pablo Castelblanco (Alaska Daily) will topline the LGBTQ+ horror-thriller Ganymede from directors Colby Holt and Sam Probst (Pig Hag), which has wrapped production. Additional cast set for the indie includes David Koechner (Anchorman), Robyn Lively (9-1-1: Lone Star), Joe Chrest (Stranger Things) and Marissa Reyes (Spirit Halloween).

Jordan Doww, Pablo Castelblanco
Jordan Doww, Pablo Castelblanco Courtesy of Luke Fontana; Stephen Busken

Ganymede tells the story of Lee Fletcher IV, a high school senior and third generation heir to a local political dynasty in a small town in the South. When he develops a crush on his openly gay classmate, Lee finds himself stalked by a grotesque, faceless creature that increasingly inhabits his thoughts and threatens physical harm. The film is being produced by Stephen Stanley (What Lies Below), Kevin Greene and Mark Goldberg, in association with Iris Indie International. Geneva Wasserman of dentsu’s The Story Lab (Spiderhead), J Craig Gordon, Kevin Stansberry and Sean Fernald are serving as EPs. The filmmakers are looking at a 2023 festival debut, with the title currently up for sales in all territories.

Doww is represented by CAA, Scale Management and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman; Castelblanco by Stewart Talent, Creative Talent Company and Jackoway Austen Tyerman.

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THEY LIVE IN THE GREY set as a Shudder Original

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NEW YORK – November 1, 2021 – Shudder, AMC Networks’ premium streaming service for horror, thriller and the supernatural, has acquired worldwide rights to supernatural feature They Live in The Grey. The Shudder Original Film, which is written and directed by Burlee and Abel Vang (Bedeviled), is set to release in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand in early 2022. Vertical Entertainment will be  handling international sales for remaining territories at the upcoming American Film Market.

They Live in The Greyis a Standoff Pictures Production in association with Whiskey Stream Films. The film is produced by Stephen Stanley and The Vang Brothers and features performances by Ken Kirby (Good Trouble), Ellen Wroe (For All Mankind), and Madelyn Grace (Don’t Breathe 2).

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SCAD Works: Professor Stephen Stanley’s Pride Pics

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June 17, 2021 · By SCAD

Stephen Stanley (M.F.A., film and television, 2007) is a prolific producer, writer, filmmaker, and since 2018, professor of film and television at SCAD. In April of this year, he racked up a #1 hit on Netflix as producer of What Lies Below, a feature film directed by Braden Duemmler that was test-screened for SCAD students before its general release. Professor Stanley is highly esteemed at SCAD for his popular classes covering production, direction, and the business of film.

Steve Stanley:

A key to visibility is having agency in how your community is depicted in media. Growing up in the 1980s, it was virtually impossible for me as a young gay boy to see other Queer people on TV or in movies, primarily due to FCC regulations and studio prejudices. The few LGBTQ+ characters who did show up were typically either troubled souls or outlandish stereotypes, most often created by straight writers and directors.

With some notable early—and mostly coded—exceptions, it wasn’t until the emergence of New Queer Cinema in the early ’90s that Queer directors and producers were able to shape their own image on screen. The result was revolutionary. Audiences were able to see fully formed LGBTQ+ characters who reflected the diversity of our community. While visibility exposes us in a way that can feel uneasy, it also helps connect, unite, and protect us.


This Pride month, I want to recommend five films from that period made by LGBTQ+ filmmakers of enduring power.

1. Mala Noche, Gus Van Sant (1986): While 1991’s My Own Private Idaho is justifiably Van Sant’s most lauded work from this period, Mala Noche offers a look at the auteur as he developed his signature style. Set, like Idaho, in a world of street hustlers, Van Sant delivers a raw look at urban Queer life and the uneasy coexistence of gay people alongside vulnerable populations.

2. Poison, Todd Haynes (1991): Anticipating the breakthrough of his tour-de-force Safe, Poison captures Todd Haynes at his best:  thoughtful, audacious, and visually stunning. Haynes explores power, male sexuality, and the sensationalizing of the AIDS crisis in this richly provocative triptych.

3. I Am My Own Woman, Rosa Von Praunheim (1992): A bold and experimental hybrid of narrative and documentary about trans woman Charlotte Von Mahlsdorf, who lived through Hitler’s Third Reich and the Communist East German regime. Mahlsdorf plays herself and narrates this remarkable look at joy and bravery in the face of constant danger. 

4. Go Fish, Rose Troche (1994): A fun, funky look at the diversity of lesbian culture at a time when Queer female characters lacked agency in Hollywood (except as villains). Troche embraced her budget limitations with a raucous approach to experimentation that enchants, most notably in her deconstruction of classic Hollywood love scenes. 

5. The Watermelon Woman, Cheryl Dunye (1996): Dunye wrote, directed, edited, and stars in this landmark film about a young African-American lesbian who, after watching a film where a black actress in a Mammy role is credited as simply “The Watermelon Woman,” decides to investigate her identity. Using comedy, drama, and behind-the-scenes intrigue, Dunye shatters traditional storytelling boundaries while examining issues of race, sexuality, and media.

Read more of Stephen Stanley’s writing on LGBTQ+ films in his contribution to professor Lubomir Kocka‘s book Left or Right? Directing Lateral Movement in Film (Vernon Press, 2021).

What Lies Below #1 on Netflix

WHAT LIES BELOW has had a monster run on Netflix including 3 days as their #1 film in North America! We always knew this movie had a strong core audience but to see the way they’ve embraced the film over the past few weeks has been incredible.

YAHOO News: WHAT LIES BELOW out on 12/4!

The It List: Carrie Underwood, Mariah Carey, Dolly Parton celebrate with holiday TV specials, David Fincher’s ‘Mank’ debuts, ‘Y&R’ soap airs 12,000th episode and the best in pop culture the week of Nov. 30, 2020

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Yahoo Entertainment Staff Mon, November 30, 2020, 2:00 PM EST

The It List is Yahoo’s weekly look at the best in pop culture, including movies, music, TV, streaming, games, books, podcasts and more. During the coronavirus pandemic, when most of us are staying at home, we’re going to spotlight things you can enjoy from your couch, whether solo or in small groups, and leave out the rest. With that in mind, here are our picks for Nov. 30 – Dec. 6, including the best deals we could find for each.

[…]

STREAM IT: Mena Suvari is friends with a monster and her kid thinks she’s crazy in the new horror movie What Lies Below

Meeting your mom’s new boyfriend is never easy, but it’s even more of a challenge when said boyfriend isn’t what he seems. That’s the set-up for Braden R. Duemmler’s debut creature feature, What Lies Below, starring American Beauty’s Mena Suvari as a single mom who thinks she’s won the boyfriend lottery when she falls for the strapping John Smith (Trey Tucker). But her teenage daughter, Liberty (Ema Horvath), just knows there’s something off about the guy… if only she could prove it. Take a look at this exclusive clip to get a sense of why exactly she’s so suspicious about John — let’s just say it’s in his eyes. Duemmler’s slow-burn script does a nice job balancing ordinary domestic drama with supernatural flourishes, building to a third act that’s got several big twists up its sleeve. — Ethan Alter

What Lies Below premieres on digital and on demand Friday, Dec. 4 on FandangoNOW.

Deadline: XYZ/Vertical nab rights to VISCOUS

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EXCLUSIVEVertical Entertainment has picked up North American rights to mystery-thriller Viscous, starring Mena Suvari (American Beauty). XYZ is selling the completed movie at the Cannes virtual market.

Producers are Abel Vang, Stephen Stanley (p.g.a.), and Kristina Esposito. Executive producer is Linus Hume and co-producer is Panda Lord.

Debut writer-director Braden R. Duemmler’s film follows a socially awkward teenager who is blindsided when her mother introduces her to her new fiancée. At first, his charm, intelligence, and beauty seem too good to be true, and after a series of strange occurrences the teenage daughter realizes that this new member of their family is not exactly who he seems.

Also starring are Trey Tucker (The Space Between Us) and newcomer Ema Horvath who is set to star in the upcoming Amazon Lord Of The Rings series. Vertical plans to release the film in U.S. theaters and on VOD in December this year.

The North American deal was negotiated by Peter Jarowey and Josh Spector from Vertical Entertainment with Paradigm on behalf of the filmmakers.

Director Braden Duemmler said: “When we are young, our curiosity propels us. Viscous exploits that drive to reconnect us with the anxiety, uncertainty, and fears of adolescence – we indulge the curiosity, until it’s too late. This is my first feature film and I’m incredibly excited to work with Vertical and XYZ on its release.”

The Daily Times: Maryville High School alumni chart varied paths to careers in the arts

A career in the arts isn’t out of reach, three Maryville High School alumni told today’s students, encouraging them to say yes to opportunities.

When Steve Stanley graduated in 1990 and headed to Rhodes College in Memphis, he studied mathematics and religion before settling on French.

“I was going to be a French teacher,” he told Maryville students gathered in the high school theater Wednesday morning, Nov. 20.

But first he wrote “one fairly mediocre novel” with a friend before they decided their style was better suited for screenplays and began making their own movies.

A master’s degree in film and television from Savannah (Georgia) College of Art and Design (SCAD) led to an internship at a Los Angeles talent agency that Stanley said changed his life.

He intended to write and direct films but ended up working on financing projects for clients such as David Schwimmer. Then he ran a distribution company and started producing films and directing documentaries.

“A career in the arts is fantastic,” Stanley told the teens. But he encouraged them to figure out whether their passion will be a hobby or a job.

“There’s something beautiful about doing it as a hobby and just doing it for the love of it,” he said. “Doing it as a job changes your relationship with it. For me, it was worth doing full time, but I kind of had to constantly renew my joy about it, because sometimes you become jaded.”

Currently he’s a professor at the SCAD, which also gives him time to write and direct films, such as the documentary short “Conway Pride.”

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