Filmrise Acquires Exclusive U.S. Rights To Overbrook Entertainment Feature Drama SPRINTER
FilmRise has acquired the exclusive U.S. rights to award-winning coming-of-age drama, SPRINTER. The film is to be released nationwide in the Spring of 2019, in conjunction with Theatrical-On-Demand Distributor, Gathr Films. The announcement was made today by Danny Fisher, CEO of FilmRise.
Written and directed by Storm Saulter ("Better Mus' Come"), the film follows Akeem Sharp (newcomer Dale Elliott), nicknamed the Rasta Rocket for his once-in-a-generation speed, who is set to be Jamaica's next big track-and-field sensation. Akeem hopes his RISE in athletics will take him to the U.S. to reunite him with his mother, who has supported THE FAMILY while living as an illegal resident for over a decade. But Akeem's rising star is weighed down by turmoil at home: a volatile father, and an unruly older brother who insinuates himself into Akeem's career as a means of escaping - or perhaps enhancing - his scam artist hustle. The film also stars Kadeem Wilson (Ghett' A Life), Dennis Titus (The Mighty Quinn), Shantol Jackson (Yardie), Bryshere Y. Gray (Empire), with Lorraine Toussaint (Selma, Orange is The New Black), and David Alan Grier (In Living Color).
Danny Fisher comments, "FilmRise is thrilled to be making this acquisition announcement at the start of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, to put a spotlight on the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation's partnership with The Sundance Institute Screenwriters' Intensive, which has helped promote more diversity in filmmaking and films like SPRINTER. SPRINTER is an important film that we feel a wide audience will connect with and enjoy."
Executive Producer Jada Pinkett Smith adds: "SPRINTER showcases the unbreakable bond between parents and their children, and Will and I are BEYOND excited to share the film with families everywhere. SPRINTER is a testament to the powerful, personal, and universal stories that can be told when underrepresented voices are given access, inclusion, and opportunity. We are so proud of this film!"
SPRINTER was produced by Robert Maylor of Mental Telepathy Pictures, Clarence Hammond, and Jamal Watson, with Jada and Will Smith as Executive Producers, along with NBA Veteran and Media Personality Richard Jefferson, Josef Bogdanovich, Zachary Harding, Dr. Lim Dong Pyo, and Flipp Montgomery.
Producer Rob Maylor comments, "SPRINTER peeks behind the curtain of Jamaica's renowned TRACK AND FIELD culture while offering a view of its people that is rarely seen on screen. The "barrell pickney" phenomena, where a parent leaves their family behind to provide a better life for them from overseas, is authentic to the experience of modern Caribbean families but representative of many immigrant stories. We are energized by FilmRise's enthusiasm and can't wait to bring this film to theaters."
Faye Tsakas, Director of Acquisitions at FilmRise, negotiated the deal on behalf of FilmRise, and CAA and Gray Kraus Sandler Des Rochers LLP on behalf of the filmmakers.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Storm Saulter is a filmmaker and visual artist from Negril, Jamaica, on a mission to create universal stories wrapped in the complex social and cultural dynamics of the Caribbean. Storm served as writer, director and cinematographer on his award-winning feature film "Better Mus' Come," hailed by critics as signaling a fresh new movement of independent filmmaking throughout the Caribbean.
ABOUT OVERBROOK ENTERTAINMENT
OVERBROOK ENTERTAINMENT is a Film and Television company devoted to the creation of extraordinary entertainment art and its delivery to all people of the world - a vision shared and cultivated by Overbrook's partners: James Lassiter, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Will Smith. Overbrook's diverse slate of critically acclaimed and blockbuster feature films has grossed more than $2.5 billion in worldwide box office receipts. Some of Overbrook's most notable projects include ALI, HITCH, THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS, I AM LEGEND, HANCOCK, the Tony-nominated FELA! musical, THE KARATE KID, and, most recently, Netflix's TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE.
ABOUT THE WILL AND JADA SMITH FAMILY FOUNDATION:
The Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation (WJSFF) is a non-profit organization that sits at the convergence of philanthropy, media and social impact. WJSFF is an incubator and accelerator that ignites the next generation of big ideas, cutting-edge artists, thought leaders, change-makers and social innovators. Together with grantees and partners, WJSFF invests in organizations and initiatives that empower traditionally overlooked communities and affect real change. For more information, please visit www.wjsff.org
ABOUT MENTAL TELEPATHY PICTURES
Mental Telepathy Pictures is an independent production company and sales agent empowering visionary auteurs of the diaspora and advocating for the inclusion of their voices in the creation and distribution of content for global audiences. The company specializes in the distribution of content to and from the Caribbean region.
The company was founded by Jamaican-American attorney Robert A. Maylor, who has held industry positions at Magnolia Pictures, United Talent Agency (UTA), and Mark Burnett's One Three Media Company. Maylor is a graduate of Princeton University and USC's Peter Stark Producing Program.
ABOUT GATHR FILMS THEATRICAL ON DEMAND
Gathr Films is a technology-based specialty theatrical distributor for documentaries and issues-oriented films. Gathr pioneered Theatrical On Demand in 2011, democratizing motion picture theatrical distribution. Gathr also distributes faith films and other independent movies.
FilmRise is a film and TV distribution company and streaming channel network founded by veteran producer/financiers Danny Fisher, Jack Fisher and Alan Klingenstein. With over 15,000 titles in a wide range of genres, the company's releases include HBO's multiple Emmy-winning "Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief"; "Janis: Little Girl Blue," produced by Oscar-winner Alex Gibney; two-time Academy Award-nominee Julie Delpy's "Lolo; and the Sundance hit "White Girl". Television titles include such classics as "Roseanne" and "3rd Rock from the Sun", as well as the iconic Robert Stack hosted series "Unsolved Mysteries" and Gordon Ramsay's "Hell's Kitchen" and "Kitchen Nightmares."
FilmRise's recent releases include "Manifesto" starring two-time Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett; sci-fi drama "Marjorie Prime" starring Jon Hamm and Lois Smith; the box-office hit "My Friend Dahmer" starring Ross Lynch and Anne Heche; and "The Miseducation of Cameron Post" starring Chloë Grace Moretz.
For more information, please visit www.FilmRise.com.