Synchronicity Takes Cooties , Due Process and Smiley

Synchronicity Entertainment, the new genre film production and international sales label launched by Lisa Wilson and Myles Nestel’s The Solution Entertainment Group, has unveiled its debut slate of three new feature films, including the horror film Cooties, the thriller Due Process and the completed psychological thriller Smiley, it was announced today by Ruzanna Kegeyan, Synchronicity’s President of International Distribution.

Starring Elijah Wood, Cooties is produced by top horror film producer Steven Schneider, who is behind the successful Paranormal Activity franchise, including the latest installment, which grabbed the number one spot at the domestic box office opening weekend. It took in $30.2 million, bringing the total US box office haul for the franchise to $333.5 million and rising. Worldwide, the titles have taken in $633.3 million so far.

Wood is also set to produce Cooties with partners Daniel Noah and Josh C. Waller under his new horror film production company, The Woodshed, which recently announced the films Toad Road and A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.

Cooties is written by horror powerhouse Leigh Whannell, who penned and executive produced the Saw films and wrote Insidious. Whannell co-writes Cooties with Ian Brennan, writer and co-creator of Fox’s “Glee.” To be directed by Ace Norton, the film begins when a mysterious virus hits an isolated elementary school, transforming the pre-adolescent children into a feral swarm of mindless savages. An unlikely hero must lead a motley band of teachers in the fight of their lives against the monstrous pupils.

Set to start production in April 2013, Cooties is executive produced by The Solution who arranged the financing. Writers Whannell and Brennan are also executive producers on the film. Paradigm is handling North American rights.

Cooties will be shot in Los Angeles utilizing the production and state of the art post-production facilities at Siren Studios, The Solution’s partner in Synchronicity. This falls in line with The Solution’s strategy to provide a fully integrated film finance, international sales, production and post-production company to benefit their production partners.

“My friend Ian Brennan and I wanted to write a film about one of life’s most universal experiences – hatred for precocious, adorable children. And so we started work on ‘Cooties,’ a film about a virus that turns school children into monsters and therefore makes it okay to beat them up with hockey sticks,” said Whannell.

Due Process is the thriller starring John Cusack to be directed by Paul Currie (One Perfect Day) from a script by Anthony Derrico. Produced by Mark Holder, Christine Holder and Mark Williams of Zero Gravity Management (Flawless), the film will begin shooting in January 2013. It tells the harrowing story of two big city bankers who head to a farm to foreclose it, but get more than they bargained for when the farmer (Cusack) is not willing to hand it over.

“What’s interesting about ‘Due Process’ is that it meshes the socially-relevant reality of a personal financial housing crisis with gut wrenching twists and turns of a taunt thriller,” said Christine Holder.

Williams added, “Myles and Lisa partnering up has made The Solution a very viable sales and finance company with friendly faces and a great work ethic. I’m thrilled they are on the ‘Due Process’ team.”

The Solution assisted in arranging the financing for Due Process with Wilson and Nestel also attached as executive producers. The film is also in line to take advantage of the post-production facilities at Siren Studios following its production shoot.

Rounding out the debut slate is Smiley starring Caitlin Gerard (Magic Mike), Keith David (Cloud Atlas) and Roger Bart (Hostel III). Making its market premiere at AFM, Smiley is directed by YouTube sensation Michael Gallagher (“Totally Sketch”) who wrote the script with Glasgow Phillips (“South Park”). The film is produced by Michael Wormser (Some Guy Who Kills People) and executive produced by Cindy Cowan (Red Lights), Cynthia Shelton Droke, Gallagher and Phillips. The film focuses on a mentally fragile teen who must decide whether she is going insane or will be the next victim after she discovers an urban legend of a demented serial killer, who has nothing but a carved ‘smiley’ on his face.

“Our debut slate represents some of the most successful and talented filmmakers making genre films today and the very best in up and coming talent. With ‘Paranormal Activity 4’ number one at the US box office, it’s good to know the desire for brilliantly made genre films continues to thrive,” said Kegeyan and Nestel.

“Keeping production and post-production in Los Angeles and utilizing our facilities at Siren Studios is also a key driver for us. It streamlines the whole filmmaking process and that has to be good for everyone,” continued Nestel.


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