Vice Media will finance and produce “Fishing Without Nets,” a feature film based on Cutter Hodierne’s short about Somali pirates, Vice announced on Tuesday.
The film, which Hodierne will return to direct, begins production Tuesday and is being produced by Raphael Swann, John Hibey, Hodierne, Ben Freedman, Ruper Wyatt and Victor Shapiro.
The film stars Somali refugees, former hostages and the pirates themselves.
Hodierne’s short, which was told from the pirates point of view, won the Cinedigm Jury Prize last week at theShortList, TheWrap’s first short film festival.
“I couldn’t be happier teaming up to make the feature with a company as innovative as Vice,” Hodierne said in a statement. “There is so much the world doesn’t know about piracy in Somalia and the people involved, and I’m excited to be telling a story of piracy in Somalia from a different perspective. I can’t wait to make this movie.”
Vice is planning a major expansion of its Los Angeles office, in part to bolster its film financing, production and marketing businesses, as TheWrap first reported.
This is just one of the types of projects Vice will look to finance and produce, as the company also has plans to make scripted content.
Shane Smith, co-founder and CEO of Vice, will executive produce with Vice’s chief creative officer Eddy Moretti.
“Fishing Without Nets’ is a rare opportunity to look inside the world of pirating in Somalia in a human story told with authenticity and humanity,” Moretti said in a statement. Cutter is a remarkably talented young director with the ability to capture the real life drama behind the newspaper headlines. This is exactly the kind of project VICE is excited to be involved in, and it’s the first of a series of films VICE will produce and finance in the coming months."
Joe LoConti of Think Media Studio’s, Vice’s partner in the project, will also executive produce while Think’s Brian Glazen and Stephanie Pinola will produce.
WME, which represents Vice, helped assemble financing and will represent global rights for the film.