Gravitas Ventures Acquires Lanie Zipoy’s Multi Award-Winning “The Subject” For Theatrical & TVOD/Digital Audiences Everywhere October 22nd, 2021
“The Subject” Starring Jason Biggs, Aunjanue Ellis & Anabelle Acosta
Makes a Day & Date Release Across North America This Fall
(Los Angeles, CA) Gravitas Ventures, a Red Arrow Studios company, has acquired worldwide rights to director/producer Lanie Zipoy’s (“17 Things I Wish I Could Tell You Since You Died,” “Kid Sister”) gripping and impactful feature film directorial debut “The Subject,” which will be released theatrically in more than 10 markets beginning with Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Seattle and Detroit, among many more, and across TVOD/Digital platforms throughout North America – all beginning on October 22nd, 2021. Myriad Pictures handles the International sales rights. Zipoy’s“The Subject” follows a successful white documentary filmmaker dealing with the fallout from his previous film which caught the murder of a Black teen on tape.
“The Subject” is a riveting performance driven tour de force starring Jason Biggs (“Orange is the New Black,” and “American Pie”), Aunjanue Ellis (“If Beale Street Could Talk,” and Emmy nominee for “Lovecraft Country”), Anabelle Acosta placeholder image (“Quantico,” “Ballers”), joining them in this nuanced layered drama are Carra Patterson (“Straight Outta Compton,” and Disney Plus’ “Turner & Hooch”), Nile Bullock (“Ray Donovan,” “Bull”), and Caleb Eberhardt (“Judas and the Black Messiah,” “The Post”). “The Subject” is America today. America 2020. America 2014. America 1992. America 1968. America 1919. America 1865. America 1619. Chisa Hutchinson’s (upcoming: Showtime’s “Three Women” and Hulu’s “Tell Me Lies” ) incisive layered screenplay was written in 2010 and finds its way in the world at a time when the themes it unpacks – Black Lives Matter, interrogation of white saviorhood and white supremacy, and the ethics/responsibilities of artists – are pivotally central to conversations and protests around the United States. “The Subject” adds to those conversations and will encourage thoughtful debate around these issues at a time when thoughtful debate is most needed.
“This is a film about all the nuanced little ways in which notions of supremacy distance white people from other humans,” says screenwriter Chisa Hutchinson. “It’s a long ramp with a barely perceptible incline that ultimately leads to someone standing by and watching while a black person is killed. Or maybe even doing the killing.”
“The Subject” is arresting, conflicted and unapologetically real. “The Subject” is led by a vastly talented team including a majority of female filmmakers with director Lanie Zipoy; written by Chisa Hutchinson; produced by Megan Kingery (Broadway’s “Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812,” “Blue Man World”), Gahlia Eden (“You Can’t Do That,” “The 8 Men You Meet in NYC”), Jess Weiss (“American Insurrection,” Not Without Hope”), and Lanie Zipoy ; executive produced by Jason Biggs, Aunjanue Ellis, Anabelle Acosta & Chisa Hutchinson; director of photography Darren Joe (“Ode to Passion,” “Russian Roulette”); production designer Chantal Demorial (“The Faith,” “Arm’s Length”); editor Sofi Marshall (“Villains,” “Chained for Life”); documentary editor James Codoyannis (“Minor Premise,” “Boarding School”); associate producers Latresa Baker (“Ms. Monologue,” “MrJayV”), & Jolene Noelle (“Tuesday Night’s”); costume designer: Tell us Torres(“Prelude,” “I Am in your Bed” ); Composer Doug Wamble (“Jackie Robinson,” “The Central Park Five”); with casting by Destiny Lilly of Telsey + Co (the upcoming “The Color Purple,” “Alina”).
“The Subject is a topical and relevant film about the pitfalls of many of today’s documentaries. It is as timely as it is entertaining, and Gravitas is thrilled to be bringing it to audiences this fall,” said Brett Rogalsky, Gravitas Ventures Manager of Acquisitions.
“The Subject” is shot on four different cameras–one for the documentary about Malcolm, one for Phil’s new documentary footage, the narrative camera and a consumer camera that is used to record Phil. Each camera offers a different viewpoint on the world, coalescing into a film that asks us how exactly we belong to each other in this fractured world. “The Subject” is a film that stay with you long after you have seen it. Films like this encourage late-night discussions – that make you grapple with your soul. A film that you can’t shake, even if you want to.
“When speaking about The Subject, it is often assumed to be an actual documentary because the film hews close to life as we know it,” says director Lanie Zipoy. “It is achingly real, and more heartbreaking by the day. I am grateful to Chisa for her bold script and the actors for their amazing commitment to tell a delicate, yet hard-hitting story.”
Phil Waterhouse (Jason Biggs) is a successful documentary filmmaker with a thriving career, brilliant girlfriend and a lovely suburban home. His last film–The Price of Brotherhood–was a rousing critical and commercial success. During its making, though, baby-faced Harlem teenager Malcolm was murdered. Now, journalists, who once lauded him, hound Phil about his role in Malcolm’s death, and he is haunted by fears he could have prevented it. While working on his latest project, someone films his every move. With the tables turned, Phil is unnerved being the subject of someone else’s movie. As his world collapses around him, he preps for a showdown with the person who threatens all that he holds dear.
“The Subject” has won more than 30 awards at film festivals around the globe including Best Film – BronzeLens Film Festival, California Women’s Film Festival, Catalina Film Festival, DC Black Film Festival, Denton Black Film Festival, Lighthouse International Film Festival, Madrid Film Awards, Milan International Film Festival, Stony Brook Film Festival, and The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival; Best Thriller Feature Film –– Berlin Independent Film Festival; Spotlight Feature Award – Loudoun Arts Film Festival ;
Best Feature (2nd Place) – Capital City Black Film Festival; Audience Award for Best Film – Capital City Black Film Festival, Naples International Film Festival, and Sedona International Film Festival; Best Director – Newark International Film Festival, The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival; Mira Nair Award for Rising Female Filmmaker – Harlem International Film Festival; Best Actor (Jason Biggs) – Boden International Film Festival, Breck Film Festival, California Women’s Film Festival, Loudoun Arts Film Festival, Milan International Film Festival, Nice International Film Festival, Jury Award for Best Performance – San Antonio Film Festival; Best Actress (Aunjanue Ellis) – DC Black Film Festival, Newark International Film Festival, Best Feature Performance – The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival, Special Mention for Outstanding Performance – Loudoun Arts Film Festival, Best Supporting Actress (Aunjanue Ellis) –California Women’s Film Festival; and Best Original Feature Screenplay (Chisa Hutchinson) – Nice International Film Festival.
ICM Partners negotiated on behalf of the filmmakers directly with Brett Rogalsky of Gravitas Ventures.
Where to follow the film and its journey:
About Gravitas Venture
Gravitas Ventures, a Red Arrow Studios company, is a leading all rights distributor of independent feature films and documentaries. Founded in 2006, Gravitas connects independent filmmakers and producers with distribution opportunities across the globe. Working with talented directors and producers, Gravitas Ventures has distributed thousands of films into over a hundred million homes in North America – over one billion homes worldwide. Recent releases include Our Friend directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, starring Casey Affleck, Dakota Johnson, and Jason Segel,Vanguard, directed by Stanley Tong and starring Jackie Chan, The Secret: Dare to Dream, directed by Andy Tennant and starring Katie Holmes; End of Sentence starring Logan Lerman and John Hawkes; Looks that Kill; Tread; Loopers: The Caddie’s Long Walk, narrated by Bill Murray; and Colin Hanks’ All Things Must Pass. For more information, please visit gravitasventures.com, and follow @GravitasVOD on Twitter and @gravitasventures on Instagram.
About Red Arrow Studios
Red Arrow Studios is one of the world’s leading creators and distributors of entertainment content, comprised of an acclaimed network of international production companies and labels in seven territories; world-leading digital studio, Studio71, based in six countries; and global film and TV distributors Red Arrow Studios International and Gravitas Ventures. The group’s significant output includes scripted, non-scripted and formatted content and IP, from TV and film to short-form and branded content, made for an array of global networks and platforms. Red Arrow Studios is part of ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE, one of Europe’s leading media groups. redarrowstudios.com
About Myriad Pictures
Based in Los Angeles, California, MYRIAD PICTURES is a leading independent entertainment company specializing in production, financing and worldwide distribution of feature films and television programming. Participating in top markets and festivals around the world, Myriad has garnered a strong reputation as a high-quality distributor of content for all formats. The company holds an impressive and diverse library of critically acclaimed films The Last Word starring Shirley MacLaine and Amanda Seyfried and Fatima, currently in release, starring Harvey Keitel and Sonia Braga.
We would like to thank Annie Jeeves, Publicist -Cinematic Red PR for the press release.