Sundance: Artimage Entertainment, Grey Hawk Productions Ink Development Fund Pact (Exclusive)

Courtesy of ArtImage Entertainment
Kyle Tekiela

The first film to be produced under the new venture will be the thriller 'Cherry Waves,' written and directed by Carey Williams.

Artimage Entertainment, founded by producers Kyle Tekiela and Carl Effenson, and the Atlanta-based Grey Hawk Productions have launched a new six-figure development fund to finance a slate of gritty dramas and thriller feature films.

"We thought this was the perfect time to come together and create something impactful, to put some movies together," says Tekiela, who has known Rebecca Schaper, CEO of Gray Hawk Productions, for several years.

The first project to be produced under the new pact will be the thriller Cherry Waves, written and directed by Carey Williams. Williams' award-winning short of the same name garnered awards from HBO, NBC Shortcuts, the San Diego Film Festival and ITVFest, as well as being named best narrative at the Hollyshorts Film Festival.

A portion of the fund will also focus on fostering new writers and directors.

"For me, half the excitement is helping to break these new talents. I'm a young filmmaker too, and I'd like to help other young filmmakers," says Tekiela, who aims to develop three projects per year.

Tekiela and Effenson will be shooting Cherry Waves in Georgia this summer in partnership with Georgia-based SouthCrest Bank for tax credit funding and financial support (through their newly announced Film Incentive department).

"We have been working with Kyle Tekiela for years and felt that now was the right time to start this new and exciting venture," says Schaper.

Artimage Entertainment debuted in 2014 with the Joe Dante film Burying the Ex, starring Anton Yelchin, Ashley Greene and Alexandra Daddario, which premiered at the 2014 Venice Film Festival and was released by Image Entertainment in 2015. Tekiela and Effenson are on the producing team for Dee Rees' Mudbound, which is premiering at Sundance.

Other titles announced under the new fund include Cabin Fever 2, a reboot of the original Cabin Fever series from writer-director Travis Zariwny; action-comedy The Damaged starring and written by Jonathan Banks (Mudbound) and Conrad Goode; Joe Dante's adventure-thriller Polybius, written by Barry Stiglets; and psychological-thriller Infinity's Edge, written by newcomer Lauren Merage.