Sleep Deprivation Thriller RAPID EYE MOVEMENT Acquired By Vertical Entertainment
Vertical Entertainment has acquired North American distribution rights to Rapid Eye Movement, the Peter Bishai-directed thriller starring Midnight, Texas lead François Arnaud. The film will be released August 9th day-and-date in theaters and on digital platforms. Worldwide sales are being handled by Octane Entertainment which has sold to Germany (Studio Hamburg), South Korea (Movement Pictures), Middle East (Eagle Films), Taiwan (MovieCloud) and other territories.
In the film, Arnaud plays Rick Weider, a charismatic New York radio DJ who attempts to break the 11-day world record to stay awake, while broadcasting from a booth in Times Square. Hoping the publicity stunt will raise his ratings as well as a little money for charity, Rick takes on the challenge confidently. But the stakes rise considerably when a deranged caller, who insists Rick break the record and raise $5 million for charity, threatens to kill him unless he succeeds. With his life now on the line, Rick is driven to the limit of mental and physical endurance as he desperately pushes himself to stay awake.
The filmmakers were given unprecedented access by New York City to shoot the majority of the film in Times Square, including permission to construct the main set where the sleep deprivation marathon takes place. "I wanted to make a truly authentic, thrilling New York film," says Bishai, who previously directed the South African epic Colors of Heaven. "The ability to shoot organically in Times Square and watch François Arnaud perform such a roller coaster of emotion in the midst of thousands of people was a cinematic dream come true."
The Tentmaker Pictures and We Are Films production is co-written by Peter Bishai and Brennan Smith, and produced by Bishai, Fredrick Weiss, Gary Kohn, Lenny Emery, and Aaron Craig. The cast includes Reiko Aylesworth (24), Stelio Savante (Ugly Betty, Running for Grace), Chloe Brooks (Embeds) and stand-up comedian Godfrey (Godfrey: Regular Black).
The deal was negotiated by Josh Spector at Vertical Entertainment and Jack Campbell at Octane Entertainment on behalf of the filmmakers.