Director Felix Thompson has two reasons to celebrate this week. Not only was he recently named “Someone to Watch” by the Independent Spirit Awards, but Well Go USA has acquired North American, Australian and New Zealand distribution rights to his first feature “King Jack,” TheWrap has learned.
Charlie Plummer (“Boardwalk Empire”), Cory Nichols (“The Mend”) and Christian Madsen (“Divergent”) star in the film, which is currently scheduled for release this summer.
A tough but tender coming-of-age story about friendship and finding happiness in rough surroundings, “King Jack” follows a scrappy 15-year-old named Jack (Plummer) as he battles the torments of a violent older bully and faces another round of summer school.
Jack already has more problems than he can handle, so when his ailing aunt sticks him with his runty younger cousin (Nichols) over the weekend, the last thing Jack wants to do is look after him. Unfortunately, no one’s ever really cared about what Jack wants.
Thompson wrote and directed the film, which was produced by Dominic Buchanan and Gabrielle Nadig, the latter of whom was selected by the Sundance Institute for the prestigious Creative Producing Labs program.
“King Jack” was executive produced by Rick Rosenthal’s Whitewater Films, Ropagani LLC, Stink Ltd. and Buffalo Picture House.
The film has already earned top honors at several film festivals, including the Tribeca Film Festival’s Audience Award for Narrative Film. Meanwhile, Thompson took home the first of 2016’s Independent Spirit Awards this past weekend. The “Someone to Watch” honor, which comes with a $25,000 cash grant, recognizes a filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition.
“In today’s society, bullying and child violence are extremely real, very serious issues, and I wish more movies addressed it as honestly as ‘King Jack,'” said Doris Pfardrescher, president/CEO of Well Go USA Entertainment. “Between the positive messages and the incredible performances from these kids, it reminds you that film can make a difference, and be a tool for change,” she said.
“We are so excited to be teaming up with Well Go USA. Getting to work with a distributor with such a passion for this film is an incredible opportunity,” added Thompson.
The deal was negotiated between Well Go USA’s Pfardrescher and Paradigm’s Meghan Oliver and Ben Weiss on behalf of the filmmakers. Thompson is represented by Paradigm, Oasis Media Group and Gray Krauss Stratford Sandler Des Rochers.