By Sahil Patel
Fox Digital Studio, a division within 20th Century Fox focused on producing series and films for digital platforms, will debut one of its upcoming feature-length films, “Tenured,” at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival.
The Tribeca premiere is an important one for the film, which is based on a popular short called “Teacher of the Year” that was included in Tribeca’s shorts program in 2012. The Tribeca selection led to Fox Digital Studio optioning the short, which starred its writer Gil Zabarsky and “SNL” alum Rachel Dratch, to turn it into a feature-length film.
“Tenured” centers on severely depressed, foul-mouthed elementary school teacher whose wife’s recent departure has left him questioning his life and teaching his students that all “mommies are liars.” When he’s put in charge of the school play as punishment for his acts, he rewrites the script to make it about marital problems in hopes of putting on an unforgettable show for parents, the school board, and his future ex-wife.
The film stars Zabarsky, Kathleen Littlefield (“The Slap”), and Kate Flannery (“The Office”). It was written by Zabarsky and Chris Modoono, directed by Modoono, executive produced by Sev Ohanian, and produced by Paul Baron and Sam Slater.
The 14th annual Tribeca Film Festival is scheduled to run from April 15–26. “Tenured” will be showcased as part of its “Viewpoints” section.
FDS says it will continue to premiere its films at top-tier festivals, before seeking distribution opportunities for those projects across platforms. “How to Be a Man,” its feature film with Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes, for instance, premiered at Sundance’s Next before landing on Netflix and VOD.