It's an indie twin killing  

Filmmaking brothers get funds and set slate

Indie filmmakers Mark and Michael Polish have formed Prohibition Pictures, a production and finance entity, and are moving forward on two new movies that they will write, helm and produce.

Joining the identical twin brothers in Prohibition are longtime associate Jonathan Sheldon, who worked with the duo on "Northfork" and "The Astronaut Farmer," as well as financier-producer Ken Johnson and his partner/producer Janet DuBois. Johnson and DuBois have made a private-equity investment in the new shingle.

"We've been doing small movies for quite awhile and we finally feel as if we have a handle on how to make them economically," Mark Polish said Wednesday. "Now we have financiers that see the economic value of our movies and with them, we don't have to start up the long process every time we want to do a movie."

The company aims to make two to four indie movies a year, with a slate that will be pieced together in the coming months.

The two movies out of the gate are "Manure" and "Stay Cool," which will be shot back-to-back with nary a breath between them.

"Manure" shoots May 27. The comedy, about a manure salesmen in the heartland that's set in the mid-1960s, stars Billy Bob Thornton, Tea Leoni and Kyle MacLachlan. "Cool," described as a "knowing-your-age" comedy, stars Winona Ryder, Sean Astin and Chevy Chase and will shoot July 14.

Mark Polish said he and his brother, who hail from El Centro, Calif., were raised in an area where manure is used quite a bit, and they wanted to marry that with a tale of a salesman.

"We are very intrigued by the American salesman and we wanted to give him the product that is the lowest form of product to sell," he said.

"Cool" is a throwback to the John Hughes movies but in a more contemporary setting.

"Imagine the high school kids all grown up but the politics haven't changed. It's like walking back into a living memory," Mark Polish said.

The brothers co-wrote and produce both films; Michael Polish will direct both. Other producers are Johnson, Sheldon and DuBois, with Nick Byassee serving as an associate producer. Mark Polish will take a featured acting role in both.

The two movies will share many Polish regulars, including cinematographer David Mullen, production designer Clark Hunter and costume designer Bic Owen.

The Polish brothers are repped by Media Talent Group and Alex Kohner. (partialdiff)
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