Phase 4 Films acquired all U.S. and Canadian rights to writer-director Shana Betz’s feature directorial debut Free Ride. The film stars Anna Paquin, Cam Gigandet, Drea De Matteo, Liana Liberato, Jeff Hephner, Brit Morgan and Ava Acres. Scripted by Betz, the film is produced by Susan Dynner, Cerise Hallam Larkin, Chris Swinney and Paquin, and executive produced by Mark Larkin and Stephen Moyer. This is the first film production from Paquin and Moyer’s new production company CASM. Phase 4 will release the film later this year in theaters and on demand. Paquin and Moyer star together in HBO’s True Blood. Set in the 1970s and based on her life story, Betz’s accomplished directorial debut is a provocative crime thriller: Paquin plays a single mother who moves to Florida with her daughters in search of a better life but gets pulled into the high-stakes drug-trade business.
“Shana Betz has written and directed a poignant and gripping film anchored by a powerful performance by Anna Paquin,” says Phase 4?s Barry Meyerowitz. “We look forward to working with Shana, and the entire cast and producing team to bring this film to audiences.”
“It’s always very exciting to discover talented writers and directors at the beginning of their careers. Based on the life story of Shana Betz, our writer-director, Free Ride tells an emotionally intense story of survival, and the lengths a mother will go to, to take care of her children,” said Paquin. ”This was a story we felt passionately needed to be told. We are thrilled that Phase 4 is as excited about the film as we are and look forward to working with them.”
Phase 4?s Larry Greenberg and Katharyn Howe did the deal with Paradigm’s Nick LoPiccolo and attorney Ron Levin. Featured Artists Agency’s Brian Dreyfuss reps Betz and was heavily involved in packaging the movie. Cargo Entertainment is handling international sales.
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Cargo Entertainment has acquired international rights to Free Ride, a Shana Betz-directed crime thriller that stars Anna Paquin and Twilight Saga‘s Cam Gigandet. True Blood star Paquin plays a single mom who moves to Florida with her daughters to try and make a better life but gets caught up in the drug-trade business in the late 1970s. Gigandet plays Paquin’s love interest. Betz, who’s making her directorial debut, wrote the script based on her own life story. The film also stars Liana Liberato, Ava Acres, Drea De Matteo, Jeff Hephner and Paquin’s True Blood cohort Brit Morgan. Cerise Hallam Larkin, Susan Dynner, and Paquin are producing and Mark Larkin and Stephen Moyer are exec producers.
Lindsay called Betz’s story “riveting and awe-inspiring.” Paradigm’s Nick LoPiccolo brokered the deal with Ronald J. Levin and Cargo’s Mark Lindsay and Marina Grasic, and Featured Artists Agency’s Brian Dreyfuss reps Betz and was heavily involved in packaging the project.
This bolsters a Cargo slate at Cannes that includes an adaptation of the Stephen King novel Cell that will star John Cusack, the Thomas Jane-helmed A Magnificent Death From A Shattered Hand, and Andy Garcia’s Hemingway & Fuentes. Paradigm will broker the domestic distribution deal on Free Ride.