Peter Paige to helm 'Panic' film

Centers on a group of men institutionalized for being gay

Peter Paige has signed on to direct the indie drama "Sex Crime Panic" for Funny Boy Films.

David A. Lee and Daniel Vaillancourt adapted the screenplay from Neil Miller's book "Sex-Crime Panic: A Journey to the Paranoid Heart of the 1950s." The film will explore the sordid true history of the hysteria that led to the incarceration of a group of men in a mental hospital for being gay.

Funny Boy's Kirkland Tibbels is producing with Paige and his Blazing Elm producing partner Bradley Bredeweg. Sterling Zinsmeyer is an executive producer.

George Bendele, who brought the project to Funny Boy, will co-produce along with the company's Greg Copeland and Darryl Anderle. Shooting is set to begin in mid-2010.

" 'Sex Crime Panic' recounts an important part of our history," Tibbels said. "Most people have no idea the extent to which thousands of men were rounded up, arrested and thrown into prison or insane asylums for being gay."

Paige adds: "We're thinking of this film in the vein of 'Capote,' 'Milk' and 'Girl, Interrupted.' It's an intense, dramatic exploration of a dark period in our history."

Paige and Bredeweg are repped by CAA and Anonymous Content. Single Cell Pictures optioned their screenplay "Repeat After Me," and the pair created the CW series "Fly Girls," which they executive produce.

An actor who appeared on the MTV series "Undressed" and Showtime's "Queer as Folk," Paige also has directed the features "Leaving Barstow" and "Say Uncle."

Lee and Vaillancourt wrote for "Undressed" and the 2008 GLAAD Media Awards. They also are developing a feature remake of the Spanish comedy "Reinas."

Funny Boy has produced "Latter Days," "Adam & Steve" and "Naked Boys Singing!"