EXCLUSIVE: Indie comedy Worst Friends has been acquired by Level 33 Entertainment, which is planning a multiplatform September 16 release. Richard Tanne, Noah Barrow, House of Cards‘ Kristen Connolly, Magic Mike‘s Cody Horn, Geoffrey Arend, and Larry Fessenden star in the pic from writer-director Ralph Arend, who conceived the story with Tanne and Barrow. Tanne stars as self-involved prankster Jake, who’s left in a wheelchair after a car accident with only his childhood friend Sam (Barrow) and his no-nonsense physical therapist (Horn) to care for him. When Sam’s high school crush Zoe (Connolly) moves back to town, old rivalries resurface. Tanne produced for his October County Films banner with Arent, Barrow, and Erika Hampson. Debbie Von Arx struck the deal on behalf of the filmmakers. Tanne is repped by WME and Dobré Films.
Level 33 Entertainment gave aspiring filmmakers at the South By Southwest Film Festival today reason to consider placing their projects with the upstart film distributor when it announced a deal with The Film Group to release select features at Rave Cinemas and Bow Tie Cinemas. The new relationship kicks off today when Level 33′s Exit Strategy, starring Jameel Saleem, Kimelia Harris, Kevin Hart and radio host Big Boy, at Rave and Bow Tie Cinemas nationwide. The companies are at SXSW looking for films in the urban, horror, faith-based and family genres. Previous Level 33 releases include Easy Rider: The Ride Back and Dance Fu, both in 2011. Rave Cinemas operates close to 1,000 screens in 20 states and most of the largest DMAs. Bow Tie Cinemas, founded in 1900, operates high-end theaters in New York, Connecticut, Maryland, Colorado and Virginia.
The Film Group has secured exclusive nationwide rights to Ask Around Productions’ urban “un-romantic comedy” Exit Strategy. Starring Jameel Saleem, Kimelia Weathers, Quincy “QDeezy” Harris, with Big Boy (Entourage) and Kevin Hart (40 Year Old Virgin), the film centers on James (Saleem) who gets evicted from his apartment and moves in with his new girlfriend (Weathers) and discovers she’s everything he never wanted in a woman. He enlists best friends Carville (Harris), Leona (Balfour) and strangers played by Big Boy and Kevin Hart to craft a way out. Level 33 Entertainment negotiated the deal on behalf of Ask Around Entertainment (the distribution arm of Ask Around Productions) which produced the film with The Film Group on behalf of Rave Cinemas and Bow Tie Cinemas. Rave and Bow Tie will open the film at locations around the country beginning March 9th. Michael Whitton directed Exit Strategy from a screenplay by Jameel Saleem. Nationally-syndicated morning radio host Big Boy executive produced and helped finance through his company Ida’s Son Productions in association with Ask Around Productions. The company’s head Kellie Maltagliati produced with Quincy “QDeezy” Harris, an on-air personality at Philadelphia’s Radio One WPHI.