Cannes: Phase 4 Takes 'Free Ride' Starring Anna Paquin

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Anna Paquin

Writer-director Shana Betz helmed the autobiographical tale, which is the first film from Paquin's production company.

Phase 4 Films has acquired all U.S. and Canadian rights to writer/director Shana Betz’s feature directorial debut Free Ride, starring Anna Paquin and Cam Giganet.

In the crime thriller set in the 1970s and based on Betz’ own life story, Paquin plays a single mother who moves to Florida with her daughters in search of a better life only to get pulled into the high-stakes drug-trade business.

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The cast also includes Drea De Matteo, Liana Liberato, Jeff Hephner, Brit Morgan and Ava Acres. The film was produced by Susan Dynner, Cerise Hallam Larkin, Chris Swinney and Paquin, and executive produced by Mark Larkin and Stephen Moyer.  It is the first film from Paquin and Moyer’s new production company CASM.

Phase 4 will release the film later this year in theaters and on demand.

“Shana Betz has written and directed a poignant and gripping film anchored by a powerful performance by Anna Paquin,” Phase 4 president and CEO Barry Meyerowitz said. 

The deal was negotiated by Phase 4's Larry Greenberg and Katharyn Howe with Paradigm's Nick LoPiccolo and attorney Ron Levin on behalf of the filmmakers.  Featured Artists Agency's Brian Dreyfuss reps Betz and was heavily involved in packaging the movie. Cargo Entertainment is handling international sales.