Grindstone Entertainment Acquires North American Rights To ONCE UPON A TIME IN BROOKLYN

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It was announced today that Grindstone Entertainment has acquired North American rights in all media to the gritty thriller ONCE UPON A TIME IN BROOKLYN (formally titled GOAT) and will be released by Lionsgate Home Entertainment. In a separate deal, International rights have been acquired by Los Angeles-basedsales company, Recreation, helmed by founder and president Ariel Veneziano.

Produced by William DeMeo, Paul Borghese and newcomer Robyn K Bennett, written by DeMeo and Borghese who also directs the movie, ONCE UPON A TIME IN BROOKLYN stars Golden Globe nominated and Emmy Award winning actor Armand Assante (AMERICAN GANGSTER, HBO’s Gotti), Ice-T (NEW JACK CITY), Vincent Pastore (GOODFELLAS), Ja Rule (THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS), William DeMeo (THE SOPRANOS), Cathy Moriaty (RAGING BULL) and Paul Borghese (TRANSAMERICA).

The film tells the story of Bobby Baldano, who after serving several prison sentences, is finally out. Although desperate to honor his family who want him to give up his life of crime and continue the family business, Bobby feels most at home being back on the mean streets. Feeling pressure from his crew to return to his old ways, Bobby must choose where his loyalties lie. But no matter what he chooses, he will have to face the truth he has always known, but was too afraid to face.

Ronna Wallace of Eastgate Pictures negotiated the deals for both Recreation and Grindstone on behalf of the producers. Stan Wertlieb negotiated on behalf of Grindstone and Veneziano for Recreation.

“Following right in the footsteps of THE GODFATHER films, this hard-hitting thriller about the Brooklyn mob is sure to keep audiences around the globe on edge” said Ariel Veneziano.

Stan Wertlieb, Partner and Head of Acquisitions of Grindstone Entertainment Group added ”If you loved the drama and grit of the The Sopranos, fans of the genre will appreciate William DeMeo’s powerful performance of this hard edged Brooklyn tale.”

Veteran filmmaker Paul Borghese brings over 20 years of experience working in the film and television industry. Borghese and William DeMeo collaborated on the film SEARCHING FOR BOBBY D, which starred Carmen Electra, Sandra Bernhardt and Tyson Beckford. The film screened at countless film festivals internationally before being picked for by Monarch Entertainment. As an actor he has appeared in films such as TRANSAMERICA, LITTLE MANHATTAN, FIND ME GUILTY, SEARCHING FOR BOBBY D and JULIE AND JULIA. His television acting credits include HBO’s Emmy-Award winning 61*, Without A Trace, the ABC mini-series Witness To The Mob, The Sopranos, Law and Order, Law and Order: SVU and Third Watch.

William DeMeo wrote, directed and produced the feature film WANNABES which was distributed by Artisan Entertainment after screening at the New York Independent Film Festival in 2002 where DeMeo won Best Actor and Best Director. DeMeo acting credits include ANALYZE THAT, HACKERS and Blue Bloods, The Sopranos and New York Undercover.

Recreation also adds two new feature film titles to its international slate for EFM: Russian-American director Victor Ginzbur’s GENERATION P based on Viktor Pelevin’s best-selling cult novel and Rashaad Ernesto Green’s debut feature film GUN HILL ROAD.

GENERATION P is Victor Ginzburg‘s feature film directorial debut and received the East of West Special Mention Award at the 2011 Karlovy Vary Film Festival and was in official selection at the 2011 Toronto Film Festival and the New Directors/New Films festival. Produced by Stanislav Ershov (WIND MAN), Jim Steele (THE ARRIVAL) and Ginzburg and starring Vladimir Epifantsev (Nika award winning HOME), Nika award winning actor Mikhail Efremov (Granitsa. Tayozhnyy roman), and Oleg Taktarov (PREDATORS, WE OWN THE NIGHT), the film chronicles the rise of the advertising industry in Post-Soviet Russia, through the eyes of a disillusioned poet-turned-copywriter, who finds himself embroiled in a vastquasi-governmental propaganda and terror operation.

GUN HILL ROAD, starring Esai Morales (Jericho, 24, NYPDBlue), Judy Reyes (Scrubs), Isiah Whitlock, Jr. (The Wire) and newcomer Harmony Santana, premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival where it was in Official Competition. Nominated for a number of awards including an Independent Spirit Award, a GLAAD Media Award and a Gotham Award, and produced by Ron Simons and Michelle-Anne M. Small, the film follows an ex-con who returns to his Bronx neighborhood to attempt to reconcile with his unfaithful wife and cope with his teenage son’s evolving sexual transformation.

Other titles Recreation is selling at Berlin include two-time Oscar nominee Spike Lee’s critically acclaimed RED HOOK SUMMER; the mythological fantasy JASON AND THE NECRONAUTS starring Casper Van Dien and directed by visual special effects veteran Kevin Vanhook (I, ROBOT, I AM NUMBER FOUR); terror tale DARK FEED written and directed by the Rasmussen brothers (writers of John Carpenter’s THE WARD); and RennyHarlin’s (THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT, DIE HARD 2) devastating war drama 5 DAYS OF AUGUST starring Andy Garcia, Val Kilmer, Rupert Friend, Heather Graham and Entourage’s Emmanuele Chriqui and based on true events surrounding the 2008 conflict between Russia and Georgia.

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