Screen Media Picks Up U.S. Rights to Paul Bettany’s ‘Shelter’

The film, which made its world premiere in September at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival, stars Jennifer Connelly and Anthony Mackie.

Screen Media Films has acquired U.S. rights to Paul Bettany's Shelter.

The film, which made its world premiere in September at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival, stars Bettany's wife, Jennifer Connelly, and Anthony Mackie.

Shelter marks Bettany's directorial debut from a script he wrote. Daniel Wagner of BiFrost Pictures financed the film.

Screen Media Films will release the movie theatrically with VOD day-and-date in 2015; the film will then be available on Netflix.

Hannah (Connelly) and Tahir (Mackie) come from two different worlds but fall in love while homeless on the streets of New York. The film explores how they got there, and as more is revealed about their past, it is clear that they need each other to build a future.

"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Paul and his team in bringing this heart-wrenching and ultimately inspiring tale, which shines light on the 'invisibility' of the homeless," Screen Media president Suzanne Blech said.

Added Bettany: "Shelter is not a polemic about homelessness being bad; every decent human being should know that it is so. It is a film about judgment and love — the world is complex and we are all innocents, all worthy of forgiveness and all worthy of a home. Screen Media Films has a proud history of making socially responsible films, and I am honored to partner with them."

Robert Ogden Barnum, Katie Mustard, Wagner and Bettany produced the film, while Cassian Elwes, Aimee Sheih, Melanie Greene, Dana Brown, Clay Floren and Kevin Scot Frakes executive produced.

The deal was negotiated by Blech and Screen Media's Seth Needle. UTA repped the filmmakers.

The film was additionally financed by the Bridge Finance Co.

Screen Media's recent acquisitions include Helen Hunt's Ride, Chris Messina's Alex of Venice and Jake Paltrow's Young Ones.