EXCLUSIVE: James Franco will star with Winona Ryder in The Stare, a Jay Anania-directed film that is the first project funded by Waterstone Entertainment, a new producing/financing company formed by producer Jeff Kalligheri and Texas real estate developer and producer Steve Bowen.
Waterstone intends to generate projects it develops and has several other projects percolating, including two that will be produced by Franco (one he’ll direct) and his Rabbit Bandini partner Vince Jolivette. Waterstone’s core business will be to build a distribution business through a partnership it will strike with an independent distributor, Kalligheri said. Waterstone will put up minimum guarantees on films, and will also be looking for structured finance opportunities on films that are in the works. Kalligheri said he will be meeting with potential strategic partner distributors at Cannes, with Waterstone repped by Gersh’s head of Packaging and Finance, Jay Cohen. Bowen has funded several projects but no hits and is looking to step it up. Kalligheri had most recently been president of production at Queen Nefertari Productions, which had been been developing Adrenaline for Entourage’s Kevin Connolly to direct.