Mandate Pictures, Zaillian on 'Journeys With George'

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The newly formed co-venture between Steven Zaillian's Film Rites and Mandate Pictures is going on a journey with Alexandra Pelosi.

Zaillian is producing an untitled fictionalized project with Pelosi based on her Emmy-winning HBO documentary "Journeys With George," which followed George W. Bush's 2000 presidential campaign.

The project is the first for the co-venture, which was formed in May to produce modestly budgeted, character-driven films. Under the pact, Zaillian's company will produce projects he writes and/or directs as well as films from emerging writers and filmmakers. Mandate will co-finance and handle international sales for the titles covered by the pact. The co-venture is locked into a first-look deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Mandate's Nathan Kahane and Joe Drake will executive produce the Pelosi project, with Film Rite's Garrett Basch overseeing the project for the co-venture.

The film centers on a young, impressionable news producer who finds herself dealing with the challenges of life and love in the midst of covering a presidential campaign.

Zaillian said he saw the "Devil Wears Prada" tone in the docu and reached out to Pelosi to encourage her to adapt her experiences into a screenplay. The project will mark Pelosi's screenwriting debut.

"Alexandra is a talented documentary filmmaker and a great raconteur," Zaillian said. "She's been places and seen and done things few of the rest of us have, and I'm excited she's decided to share her insider perspective and gift for storytelling with us in a screenplay."

Pelosi, the daughter of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is a former NBC news producer. Her most recent HBO docu is "Friends of God: A Road Trip With Alexandra Pelosi."

She is repped by Brillstein Entertainment Partners, who negotiated the deal for her with Mandate's Rob McEntegart, who represented the co-venture.

Zaillian, who won the best screenplay Oscar for "Schindler's List," penned the screenplay to the upcoming crime drama "American Gangster," starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe.

He is repped by Endeavor and attorney Lawrence Rose.
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