Anthony Bourdain’s Novel BONE IN THE THROAT Headed To Theaters; Dignity Film Finance Unveils Three New Titles From Its Theatrical Feature Film Development Slate
Dignity Film Finance, the Los Angeles-based film and television production company headed by finance, marketing and distribution specialist and DFF President Maggie Monteith, unveils a dynamic slate of three films the company is financing and producing this year. The titles in active development are; an adaptation of Anthony Bourdain’s bestselling novel BONE IN THE THROAT produced by Lenny Beckerman (UWANTMETOKILLHIM?) and Peter Heslop (THE KING’S SPEECH); the romantic comedy CLOSER TO FINE to be directed by Joshua Michael Stern (SWING VOTE) and SPY VS. STU, an action comedy to be directed by Hervé Renoh (COURSIER).
“I am thrilled about the titles we have on our slate and the caliber of talent that are already attached,” said Monteith. “As we are actively putting together all the other components on these four films I am delighted to say that the process has been a pleasure and they are all coming together exactly how I envisioned.”
Beckerman first acquired the rights to BONE IN THE THROAT, a tale of murder, mayhem and the mob from Bourdain, the world famous chef and best-selling author. The wise-guy genre caper set in East London and filled with intriguing characters and wry humor will be directed by Graham Henman, marking his feature film directorial debut. British born Henman — best-known for his popular and comedic auto and beer commercials for Chevrolet, Miller Beer and Budweiser – also wrote the screenplay with Mark Townsend.
“With the exception of a few gems, Hollywood has been deficient in making a good restaurant film. With BONE IN THE THROAT, I am looking forward to doing just that and setting the film in London will allow me to take advantage of a city where the food scene is simply on fire. This film will capture my passionate love of food and the restaurant world in what I expect to be a riveting “culinary noir.””
Popular French born Renoh is directing SPY VS. STU, a buddy-style action film about the contentedly average Stu, and Victor — the world-class espionage agent who is on the hunt for an elusive arms dealer — and how their worlds collide. Renoh most recently wrote and directed the feature film COURSIER produced by Luc Besson and his Europacorp studio and is the director of multiple award-winning short films, television series and commercials for French television. The original screenplay was written by Allie Dvorin & Keith Mitchell and Gren Wells (A LITTLE BIT OF HEAVEN). South African based production house Film Afrika, headed by David Wicht, will be handling the physical production on the film.
Renoh explains that “I cannot overemphasize how helpful the collaborative creative process that Dignity Film Finance utilizes was in developing this project and I am thrilled to be making this film under their banner. DFF’s chief creative officer Chris Heltzel and Maggie have been inspiring and instrumental.”
Based on an original screenplay by Joshua Michael Stern (SWING VOTE) who will also direct, CLOSER TO FINE is produced by Scott LaStaiti (LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA) about a small town lifestyle guru who is kidnapped and blackmailed into planning a wedding for a down-on-their-luck southern family. Stern is currently in preproduction on the recently announced biopic about Steve Jobs starring Ashton Kutcher, chronicling his rise from wayward youth to co-founder of Apple. Stern made his directing debut in 2005 with NEVERWAS starring Aaron Eckhart which he followed up with SWING VOTE starring Kevin Costner for Disney. Stern is also attached to direct CARNAVAL, the R-rated comedy that will feature John Cusack and Johnny Knoxville.
Dignity Film Finance recently completed THEATRE OF DREAMS, a coming-of-age feature directed by David Scheinmann and starring Brian Cox (CORIOLANUS) as Sir Matt Busby the legendary Manchester United Football manager. International sales of the film are being handled by Intandem who launched the film at the current market. Dignity Film Finance aims to finance and produce 8-10 films per annum in the $6 to $15m range and is focused on projects with potential in all consumer product areas particularly fashion, merchandise, mobile apps, games, and music.
Monteith, President of Dignity Film Finance, is an entertainment finance, marketing and distribution veteran having worked for two decades on the distribution and marketing of more than 200 films including GODZILLA, MEN IN BLACK, STAR WARS: EPISODE II, JERRY MAGUIRE, AS GOOD AS IT GETS, CRASH, THE OPPOSITE OF SEX and THE PEOPLE VS. LARRY FLYNT.
More recently Monteith executive produced the thriller 13 featuring Mickey Rourke and DARK TIDE with Halle Berry and Olivier Martinez, and produced THE EXPERIMENT for Sony. Through her partnership with Sheryl Crown and the London-based The Documentary Company, Monteith also financed and produced the acclaimed documentary SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN which won the Audience Award and a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. More recently SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN was programmed as part of last month’s Tribeca Film Festival where it captured second place for the audience award and in June it will play at the Los Angeles Film Festival as well as open the prestigious Sheffield Doc/Fest in Yorkshire England. SEARCHING FOR SUGARMAN will be released by Sony Pictures Classics in July.