Joining the Team: Speed Sisters - A Documentary

Minerva Productions Hopes to Break Down

Middle East Misconceptions 

Encouraging new works by women and dedicated to films focused on women’s issues both locally and globally, producers, Anne O’Shea and Brian Quattrini of Minerva Productions are delighted to be co-producers working alongside creative producers, Avi Goldstein (Fire Lines) and Jessica Devaney (Budrus, My Neighbourhood) and director, Amber Fares on her first feature length documentary, Speed Sisters.

Determined to break the gender stereotypes that are too often seen in Western society’s media portrayal of the Middle East, Fares offers a fresh perspective of the obstacles and pressures of daily life that threaten Arab women (and men) today in Occupied Palestinian Territories. Hoping to inspire girls and women around the world to pursue their dreams against all odds, Speed Sisters is the story of the first all-women race car driving team in the Middle East. The film captures the lives of 5 very different women, all of whom have come together with the strong objective to live each day by their own rules.

“I believe this film will truly break down perceived barriers and help to illuminate many Westerner's misconceptions regarding Palestine and its people,” O’Shea says. “It was very important for us to be a part of this project.”

Speed Sisters had its world premiere as the opening film at the Doha Film Festival earlier this month. Critics and film festival attendees alike were illuminated and captivated. The team will continue showing the film and spreading their message across the world and here in US this coming year.

Minerva Productions is best known for the critically acclaimed, Golden Globe Winning and Oscar Nominated Film, The Kids Are All Right, starring Annette Bening and Julianne Moore. However, the recent success of Life Partners and 2012’s Any Day Now have secured their name and work among the best in the independent film world.

Minerva’s past credits include What Maisie Knew, Girl Most Likely, Goats, The Whistleblower and Another Happy Day.

###

For information about Speed Sisters please visit the website and social media sites.

 

Speed Sisters

Website –  www.speedsisters.tv

Facebook – /speedsistersthefilm

Twiiter - @speedsisterfilm

Life Partners Premiere

Tribeca Film Festival is here again and it's an honor to be premiering Life Partners in our old stomping grounds! We would like to thank the cast, Leighton Meester, Adam Brody and Gillian Jacobs as well as the rest of our fantastic cast for such a wonderful film.  We'd also like to congratulate Susanna Fogel on her directorial debut! What a great way to kick it off. Please take the time to see this film. It was a true passion project for the Minerva team! 

We'd also like to thank all of your for your continued support!! 

Happy 2014 friends!

It's been awhile since I posted an entry. Things seem to get lost in the sauce during the holidays.

We just arrived in London from NYC to finish shooting an unprecedented project in film making history. We are extremely excited and honored to be part of this team. Did that peak your interest? Stay tuned for more info...

From London to NYC for opening night of our Broadway show BEAUTIFUL The Carole King Musical. This show is a must see for all ages. The Tapestry album was worn out in my house growing up. Another project we are so proud to be part of.

From NYC to Park City, Utah for our favorite festival of the year. Sundance! This 30th anniversary year is ramping up to be epic. There are some amazing submissions and of course the chance to see all our friends and colleagues. We are kicking it off on opening night with a get together of  the Catalyst crew and others. Should be a blast! Who knows? I might even get a chance to snowboard this year.

Dani Cordaro (publicist extraordinaire) is coming! We can't thank her enough for all the hard work she puts into this trip. And Minerva in general. Love her.

If you follow us regularly, you know that Raisin' Cain is coming along well. We are finishing up interviews within the next couple of months and then comes editing. Funding is always an issue. Wait for it....so, if you need a tax deduction please feel to visit WWW.RAISINCAINMOVIE.COM. That was shameless. We will gladly give you a credit. All of the profits go to arts in education in Oklahoma.

Little Firemen is in edit now and we hope to have a nice sizzle up soon. We can't wait.

Lots of other exciting projects for 2014. Please visit us often, stay in touch.

Have a healthy and prosperous year and thanks for following us.

 

All the best,

The Minerva Team

 

The Orphaned Starfish

Anne and I are off to New York for one of our favorite charity events. The Annual Orphaned Starfish Foundation Gala held at the beautiful Cipriani Wall Street.

The Orphaned Starfish creates lasting change in the lives of orphans throughout Latin America by helping them develop vocational skills. The foundation partners with orphanages and homes for impoverished children and provides funding for the construction and operation of vocational training facilities. They have recently partnered with an orphanage in Peru.

It is a truly amazing night. There is always an A list of stars as well as the true stars, the kids who have benefited from the hard work of Orphaned Starfish and their success stories.

Please take a look at their site and the great work they do.

www.orphanedstarfish.org

 

Hello From Sundance!

 Anne and I are wrapping up a wonderful weekend at the first Sundance Catalyst Weekend at the resort. We were truly honored to be invited by the institute to this amazing event. I certainly hope it's not our last.

It is 2 1/2 days of intense panels and discussions on everything from financing to distribution and everything in between. It is such a unique setting to meet new and upcoming filmmakers who have gone through the Sundance Labs or have had films at the festival previously.

We are very excited to tell you that we have partnered up on a few of these fantastic projects.

2 of which I can divulge. CAMPUS ASSAULTS is a documentary that bears witness to the personal testimony of students, administrators, and faculty that deal with the everyday trauma of rape and sexual assaults on college campuses across the nation (300,000 yearly.) Directed by the very talented academy award winning team of Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering (The Invisible War.) The second is an untitled documentary on INDIAN POINT. This will scare the hell out of you New Yorkers. And rightly so.

This doc talks about the aging Indian Point nuclear power plant located 30 miles North of Manhattan. Ivy Meeropol is directing. Ivy has unprecedented access to the inner workings of the plant and its employees. She works with the Emmy award winning producer Julie Goldman of Motto pictures. This female powerhouse duo is a hoot!! I so look forward to working with them.

I would like to thank the Sundance institute for this opportunity to meet and network with such a talented diverse group of people who now we call family!  I can't wait to see my new family in January in Park City. In the meantime... Let's make a movie.

Shout out!! Jason Berman, Keri Putnam, Caroline Libresco, Molly O'Brien. You Rock!

 

 

Sundance Catalyst Weekend - Inspiring & Supportive

The inaugural Sundance Catalyst Weekend event was as inspiring and supportive as all the artist-driven events we've come to expect from the Sundance Institute! The difference for me however was that I felt we as investing producers were included in that Artist at the Table model! The primary intention on SCW was to put director/writer/creative producer teams in the same room with potential investors and industry advisers.  It was also intended to demystify the process of funding a project and creating an atmosphere whereby "artists" could see that savvy, knowledgeable investors can work as team members and not just as a check writer with no input.  We as investing producers have long sought this recognition and support and were just thrilled to be invited to be among the 20 investors (of wide ranging experience) included in this first (of many we hope!) Catalyst Weekends! 

Highlights of the weekend were getting the opportunity to speak one-on-one (or two) with film makers whose work we have long admired, and to get the opportunity to become attached to these specially curated projects (most from the Sundance Labs) that have been vetted to a very high standard by the Sundance team.  AND to have the opportunity to speak with and hang out with each and every member of that team and learn exactly what it is they do! This just never happens during the Festival itself because everyone is so slammed!

I look forward to seeing everyone back in Sundance in January and I invite you to stay tuned for progress reports regarding two of our acquired Sundance projects: Indian Point and Campus Assault! We are thrilled to be a part of both.  When confirmation on the others is forthcoming, we will share those as well!

 

The Latest...

Unreachable: By Conventional Means

We have just completed day 13 of our 23 day shoot here in New York City. What an amazing place to shoot a movie! I am a little biased because it will always be home.

Not only do we have a great script written by David Shapiro, but a very talented cast and crew to boot. Our Captain, Rory Rooney is making his directorial debut. And doing a damn fine job!

We have been at multiple locations including Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx and Nyack, NY.

Josh Brener and the lovely Alexandra Daddario are our leads. Josh, (whom you may know for his most recent role of "Lyle" in The Internship) plays "David."  And "Kate" is played by Alexandra. Her latest role was "Annabeth" in Percy Jackson:Sea of Monsters.

I am so pleased and proud to be executive producing this film with our great friends at Red Crown Productions. They make it easy!

I also want to congratulate Hal Cosec on his screen debut! He killed it. And my beautiful wife/partner and actress extraordinaire, Anne O'Shea (who appears as "Kate's" mom).  I couldn't do this without you!

 

Girl Most Likely opens world-wide

Most Likely to be President, Most Likely to be a Gucci Model, Most Likely to Cure Cancer

…..unfortunately, Kristen Wiig’s character, Imogene, in our newest film to hit theaters’, Girl Most Likely” didn’t quite make the cut. L A failed playwright, Imogene, fakes a suicide after a break-up with her boyfriend and is forced to return home to New Jersey with her unconventional mother (Annette Bening), her wacky boyfriend (Matt Dillon), Imogene’s reclusive brother (Christopher Fitzgerald), and her mother’s most recent hunky boarder (Darren Criss.) I believe that everyone at one time or another has either had to move home for a short time or have had the fear of having to do so. This movie makes your realize that it’s never as bad as it seems and home may in fact be where the heart is (as trite as that may sound.) Sometimes doing what you hate ends up being exactly what you needed. This film will pluck a string for every emotion so prepare yourself and get excited! It hit 353 theaters this past weekend so check your local listings, grab your gal or guy, an oversized bucket of popcorn that is sure to make you ill afterwards ;) and enjoy!!