Berlin 2013: Grindstone Inks North American Deal for 'Once Upon A Time in Brooklyn'

Armand Assante Headshot - P 2012

Armand Assante Headshot - P 2012

Paul Borghese’s thriller will be released by Lionsgate Home Entertainment, while L.A banner Recreation will rep international rights at the EFM.


Grindstone Entertainment has inked an all media North American rights deal to Once Upon A Time in Brooklyn, formerly known as Goat, starring Armand Assante, Ice-T, Vincent Pastore, Ja Rule, William DeMeo, Cathy Moriaty and Paul Borghese.

The film tells the story of a con who, after getting out of prison, finds himself under family pressure to give up his life of crime, but is still drawn to his previous criminal activities.

Lionsgate Home Entertainment will release the title in North America.

In a separate deal, international rights have been snapped up by L.A.-based sales banner Recreation, headed by founder and president Ariel Veneziano.

The deals come on the eve of this year's European Film Market in Berlin.

Ronna Wallace of Eastgate Pictures negotiated the deals for both Recreation and Grindstone on behalf of the producers with Stan Wertlieb for Grindstone and Veneziano for Recreation.

Produced by William DeMeo, Paul Borghese and newcomer Robyn K Bennett, the movie is written by DeMeo and Borghese with the latter also taking on directorial duties.

Veneziano described the title as following in the footsteps of The Godfather series of movies.

Borghese and DeMeo collaborated on Searching for Bobby D, starring Carmen Electra, Sandra Bernhardt and Tyson Beckford.

DeMeo's acting resume boasts turns in Transamerica, Julie and Julia, TV's The Sopranos, Without A Trace and Law and Order among others while he wrote, directed and produced the movie Wannabes.

Recreation has also added a pair of movie titles to its international slate for EFM, repping Victor Ginzbur’s Generation P, based on Viktor Pelevin’s cult novel of the same name and Rashaad Ernesto Green’s debut feature film Gun Hill Road.

Ginzbur’s directorial debut screened at the 2011 Toronto Film Festival and chronicles the rise of the advertising industry in post-Soviet Russia, through the eyes of a disillusioned poet-turned-copywriter.

Gun Hill Road stars Esai Morales and Judy Reyes and premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival in Official Competition.