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Quendrith Johnson


Quendrith Johnson is filmfestivals.com Los Angeles Correspondent covering everything happening in film in Hollywood... Well, the most interesting things, anyway.
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SABAN Buys Tribeca Scarer DON’T TELL A SOUL Starring Rainn Wilson, Mena Suvari, Jack Dylan Glazer & Fionn Whitehead

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent

Tribeca thriller DON'T TELL A SOUL was just bought buy Saban, and is described by producer Chris Mangano as "a special film that will surprise a lot of people, and Saban Films genuinely understands its appeal to both commercial and critical audiences.  We could not be in better hands.” Read on...

LOS ANGELES: Saban Films announced today that they have acquired North American rights to Alex McAulay’s (Flower) directorial debut Don’t Tell a Soul from Unbridled Films and Mangano Movies & Media.  Penned by McAulay, the thriller was an official selection of the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival and stars Jack Dylan Grazer (Shazam!It), Fionn Whitehead (DunkirkThe Children Act), Mena Suvari (American BeautyAmerican Pie franchise) and Emmy Award® nominated Rainn Wilson (“The Office,” The Meg).  Chris Mangano (Standing Up, Falling Down) and Merry-Kay Poe produced with Steve Poe, Matt Bronson and John Neace as executive producers, and Brian Tanke, Max Neace and Alex McAulay as co-producers.

Don’t Tell A Soul follows two young brothers (Whitehead, Grazer) who, when robbing a house to pay for their sick mother’s medical bills (Suvari), cause a security guard (Wilson) to fall into a forgotten well.  Trapped, the security guard must try to outsmart these two teenagers, as the brothers also come head to head.SabanFilms

Saban Films’ Bill Bromiley commented, “During these trying times, we at Saban thrive to continue bringing entertainment to our audiences and provide a platform for indie films.  Don’t Tell a Soul is an entertaining and thrilling tale that audiences will love.  We are proud to support Alex and the whole team.”

Shot entirely on location in Kentucky, Don’t Tell a Soul marks the debut production for Poe’s Kentucky based production company, Unbridled Films, and the second production for Mangano’s Mangano Movies & Media.  The film would have served as the second premiere in a row for Mangano at Tribeca, having premiered the critically embraced Billy Crystal dramedy Standing Up, Falling Down there last year, which was released theatrically in February.

Producer Merry-Kay Poe stated, “It was a true pleasure to work with such a great cast and production team.  Alex’s masterful script showcases four great actors each in a new dimension, which is very exciting to watch. We are very pleased to be working with Saban Films to share every twist and turn of Don’t Tell A Soul with a wide audience.” 

Bill Bromiley and Jonathan Saba negotiated the deal for Saban Films along with UTA Independent Film Group on behalf of the filmmakers.

Saban Films continues to grow its presence in the industry, remaining active in the acquisition, production and distribution space. The company’s successes have run the gamut from critically acclaimed theatrical films such as The Homesman starring Hilary Swank, to two of the biggest Fathom events with horror icon and heavy metal mastermind Rob Zombie’s 3 From Hell last year and Kevin Smith’s Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, the sequel to the 2001 comedy Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back which the company partnered on after coming onboard at script stage. Its upcoming slate includes: Nicol Paone’s Friendsgiving with Malin Akerman, Christine Taylor, Jane Seymour, Kat Dennings and Chelsea Peretti; John Suits’ Breach starring Bruce Willis; and Twist starring Michael Caine, Lena Headey and Rita Ora.

Saban Films is...

Saban Films, an affiliate of Saban Capital Group (“SCG”), is a film acquisition and distribution company which acquires high-quality, feature films to distribute in North America.  Focusing on commercial, talent driven films, the company looks at projects in all stages of production for release across multiple platforms, including a day and date theatrical/VOD release strategy. Based in Los Angeles, Saban Films was established by Haim Saban, SCG Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and is led by Bill Bromiley who serves as President, Shanan Becker, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer and Ness Saban, Vice President of Business Development.

Who is Chris Mangano and Mangano Movies & Media?

Chris Mangano founded Mangano Movies & Media in 2016.  Prior to Don’t Tell a Soul, Chris produced Standing Up, Falling Down, starring Billy Crystal and Ben Schwartz. It premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival and hit theaters February 2020.  Also, Chris recently served as an Executive Producer on the Quibi horror anthology series "50 States of Fright" with Sam Raimi and his company POD 3 (Raimi directed the series’ first three episodes), Gunpowder and Sky, and Diga Studios.  Other feature film executive producer credits include; "THE POLKA KING" starring Jack Black; the comedy "PUNCHING HENRY" starring Henry Philips and J.K. Simmons; and the Stephen Belber directed "MATCH" starring Patrick Stewart.  He is proud alumnus of Montana State University's Film School and based in Los Angeles, CA.

 And Merry-Kay Poe and Unbridled Films...

Merry-Kay Poe is Owner and President of Unbridled Films, LLC.  She worked in casting for twenty years before turning her focus to building the film industry in Kentucky.  As Chair of the Kentucky Film Commission, she helped pass legislation that secured tax incentives for the film industry in the state, which led to a robust growth of crew base and infrastructure to support the industry.  She has been involved in several independent films as an investor and casting support, and has multiple other projects in development.  Poe serves on several arts, education, and community boards.

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