Paul Bettany’s Homeless Drama ‘Shelter’ Finds a Home at Screen Media (Exclusive)

The “Avengers: Age of Ultron” actor’s directorial debut stars Jennifer Connelly and Anthony Mackie

Last Updated: January 14, 2015 @ 11:12 AM

shelter-posterScreen Media Films has acquired U.S. rights to Paul Bettany’s directorial debut “Shelter,” which stars Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly and Anthony Mackie, TheWrap has learned.

Screen Media president Suzanne Blech will give the movie a day-and-date release in theaters and VOD this year before the film becomes available on Netflix.

“Shelter,” which debuted at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, was written by Bettany and financed by Daniel Wagner of BiFrost Pictures with an assist from The Bridge Finance Company.

Hannah (Connelly) and Tahir (Mackie) come from two different worlds but fall in love while homeless on the streets of New York. “Shelter” explores how they got there, and as more is revealed about their pasts, it’s clear that they need each other to build a future. The film is a love letter to the great New York dramas of the ’70s and an unsparing story of loss, love, sacrifice, redemption and, ultimately, hope.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Paul and his team in bringing this heart wrenching and ultimately inspiring tale which shines light on the ‘invisibility’ of the homeless,” said Blech.  “Jennifer Connelly’s performance is Oscar-worthy.”

“’Shelter’ is not a polemic about homelessness being bad; every decent human being should know that it is so. It is a film about judgment and love – the world is complex and we are all innocents, all worthy of forgiveness and all worthy of a home,” added Bettany. “Screen Media Films has a proud history of making socially responsible films and I am honored to partner with them.”

“Shelter” was produced by Robert Ogden Barnum, Katie Mustard, Wagner and Bettany, and executive produced by Cassian Elwes, Aimee Sheih, Melanie Greene, Dana Brown, Clay Floren, and Kevin Scot Frakes.

The deal was negotiated by Suzanne Blech and Seth Needle, director of acquisitions & marketing, for Screen Media, with UTA Independent Film Group on behalf of the filmmakers.

Screen Media’s upcoming releases include Helen Hunt’s “Ride” starring Brenton Thwaites, Chris Messina’s “Alex of Venice” starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Riley Stearns’ “Faults,” also starring Winstead.

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