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By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

PHASE 4 FILMS ACQUIRES SUNDANCE HIT ‘NEWLYWEEDS’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, PLEASE 

PARK CITY, UT, January 25 – Berry Meyerowitz, President & CEO of Phase 4 Films, announced today that the Company has acquired all North American rights to NEWLYWEEDS, the debut feature written and directed by Shaka King.  Produced by Jim Wareck, Michael Mathews, Shaka King and Gbenga Akinnagbe, with Andy Sawyer and Neil Katz serving as executive producers, NEWLYWEEDS just enjoyed its world premiere in the NEXT <=> section of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, which concludes this weekend.

 

Phase 4 is planning a day and date theatrical and VOD release for the movie this summer.  The deal was negotiated by Phase 4’s Larry Greenberg and Katharyn Howe with Glen Reynolds of Circus Road Films on behalf of the filmmakers.

 

“We are thrilled to be working with Shaka on his first feature.  NEWLYWEEDS is an audience pleaser and we are looking forward to exposing it to audiences nationwide,” said Meyerowitz.

 

In NEWLYWEEDS, a Brooklyn repo-man and his globetrotting girlfriend forge an unlikely romance. But what should be a match made in stoner heaven turns into a love triangle gone awry in this dark comedy that is part ballad of chemical dependency, part coming-of-age romance, part hallucinatory adventure. A bittersweet blend of comedy and drama NEWLYWEEDS is the story of Lyle (Amari Cheatom), a repo-man by necessity, who is also a preacher-man in his purple-hazed fantasy, who is also on the verge of becoming a family man unless he and Nina (Trae Harris), his beautiful young girlfriend, are done in first by their mutual adoration and voracious consumption of cannabis.  NEWLYWEEDS is also a clear-eyed portrait of a contemporary New York neighborhood vibrantly photographed by Daniel Patterson that makes great use of a supporting cast, which includes Tone Tank, Isiah Whitlock Jr. (“The Wire,” CEDAR RAPIDS), Tony award-winner Tonia Pinkins, Colman Domingo (LINCOLN), Hassan Johnson (“The Wire”), Adrian Martinez and Anthony Chisholm.

 

About Phase 4 Films
Phase 4 Films distributes feature films and special interest content across all traditional theatrical and new media platforms in North America. The company’s previous releases include the provocatively sexy road movie HICK, starring Chloë Grace Moretz, Blake Lively, and Eddie Redmayne; 2011 Sundance award-winner ANOTHER HAPPY DAY, Sam Levinson’s dark comedy about a dysfunctional family, starring Ellen Barkin, Demi Moore, and Ezra Miller; the Canadian tour of Kevin Smith’s RED STATE, starring Michael Parks, Melissa Leo and John Goodman; and Carrie Preston’s Sundance 2012 hit comedy THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID starring Anne Heche, Marcia DeBonis, and Alia Shawkat. Upcoming releases for the Company include Megan Griffith’s 2012 SXSW Audience Award Winner, EDEN, starring Jamie Chung and Beau Bridges, and Mark L Mann’s directorial debut GENERATION UM, starring Keanu Reeves (THE MATRIX, CONSTANTINE).

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“The core fear is what can happen to you, personally. Your body. That’s what horror films deal with, precisely. We are a very thin skin wrapped around a pumping heart and guts. At any given moment it can come down to that, be it diseases, or somebody’s assault, or war, or a car wreck. You could be reduced to the simple laws of physics and your body’s vulnerability. The edged weapon is the penultimate weapon to disclose that reality to you.”
~ Wes Craven, 1996, promoting Scream

MAMET
Well, that, to me, is always the trick of dramaturgy; theoretically, perfectly, what one wants to do is put the protagonist and the audience in exactly the same position. The main question in drama, the way I was taught, is always what does the protagonist want. That’s what drama is. It comes down to that. It’s not about theme, it’s not about ideas, it’s not about setting, but what the protagonist wants. What gives rise to the drama, what is the precipitating event, and how, at the end of the play, do we see that event culminated? Do we see the protagonist’s wishes fulfilled or absolutely frustrated? That’s the structure of drama. You break it down into three acts.

INTERVIEWER
Does this explain why your plays have so little exposition?

MAMET
Yes. People only speak to get something. If I say, Let me tell you a few things about myself, already your defenses go up; you go, Look, I wonder what he wants from me, because no one ever speaks except to obtain an objective. That’s the only reason anyone ever opens their mouth, onstage or offstage. They may use a language that seems revealing, but if so, it’s just coincidence, because what they’re trying to do is accomplish an objective… The question is where does the dramatist have to lead you? Answer: the place where he or she thinks the audience needs to be led. But what does the character think? Does the character need to convey that information? If the answer is no, then you’d better cut it out, because you aren’t putting the audience in the same position with the protagonist. You’re saying, in effect, Let’s stop the play. That’s what the narration is doing—stopping the play… It’s action, as Aristotle said. That’s all that it is—exactly what the person does. It’s not what they “think,” because we don’t know what they think. It’s not what they say. It’s what they do, what they’re physically trying to accomplish on the stage. Which is exactly the same way we understand a person’s character in life—not by what they say, but by what they do. Say someone came up to you and said, I’m glad to be your neighbor because I’m a very honest man. That’s my character. I’m honest, I like to do things, I’m forthright, I like to be clear about everything, I like to be concise. Well, you really don’t know anything about that guy’s character. Or the person is onstage, and the playwright has him or her make those same claims in several subtle or not-so-subtle ways, the audience will say, Oh yes, I understand their character now; now I understand that they are a character. But in fact you don’t understand anything. You just understand that they’re jabbering to try to convince you of something.
~ David Mamet

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