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A death row drama starring Boyd Holbrook and Delroy Lindo and a sci-fi thriller from Taken director Pierre Morel are the first two films on of the opening slate for Sentient Pictures International, a new foreign sales, finance and production outfit launched by Sentient Entertainment founder and CEO Renee Tab (Feud: Bette and Joan) and producer Christopher Tuffin (There’s Something About Mary).
Unveiled on the first day of the Berlin Film Festival’s virtual European Film Market, the company will be overseen by Tab and Tuffin alongside both Morel and former Relativity COO Andrew Marcus. It will function as a separately owned and operated entity to management and production company Sentient Entertainment (whose upcoming credits include Morel’s Freelance, starring John Cena and Alison Brie).
Holbrook and Lindo are teaming on Last Meals, rising British actor and filmmaker Adewale Akinnuoye Agbaje’s second turn as director following his acclaimed debut Farming. Written by Justin Piasecki based on his Nicholls Award-winning screenplay Death of an Ortolan, the film follows a disgraced, misunderstood former White House chef who finds himself working in a maximum-security prison cooking last meals for inmates on death row where he forms an unlikely bond with an inmate who launches a hunger strike. Last Meals is produced by Revelations Entertainment’s Lori McCreary, Gary Lucchesi, Morgan Freeman and Michael McKay, alongside Sentient’s Tab and Tuffin. UTA Independent Film Group will be co-repping the domestic rights with SPI.
From Morel, sci-fi thriller thriller D.O.A. follows a man who, after the death of his family, dedicates his life to hunting down ghosts that illegally immigrate into the human world. When he crosses paths with energetic runaway Jenny, who holds the truth behind the mysterious appearance of ghosts, he is forced to overcome his own prejudices and stop a war before it’s too late. Written by Ben Magid (The Call), the film will be produced by Morel alongside Tab and Tuffin.
“After spending two decades representing filmmakers, I am thrilled to be launching a company that can put their creative ambitions front and center and even develop their ideas from the ground up,” said Tab. “Marrying their artistic vision with the needs of the marketplace, and those of our partners, makes for a really exciting collaboration on all sides.”
To support its new slate, SPI has closed first-look deals with distributors, including Leonine in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, Volga in Russia and CIS, Empire in South Africa and Vertical Distribution in Eastern Europe.
Joining the company as executive vp of production is veteran exec Andrew Schefter, who previously served as head of production at Tuffin’s Social Capital Films. Former EuropaCorp head of sales Pascal DeGove helped establish SPI’s international sales arm.
Lindo is repped by APA. Holbrook is represented by WME and Range Media Partners. Akinnuoye Agbaje is repped by UTA, APA, Fourward and Accelerate Management. Piasecki is repped by Paradigm and Zero Gravity.
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