EXCLUSIVE: Vertical Entertainment has continued its feature film investment strategy by completing pre-buy financing and securing North American and UK/Ireland distribution rights to Sam & Kate, a family dramedy starring Oscar winners Dustin Hoffman and Sissy Spacek. The film from writer-director Darren Le Gallo, also starring the former actor’s son Jake Hoffman and the latter’s daughter Schuyler Fisk, is slated for a theatrical release on November 11.
Le Gallo’s feature directorial debut takes place in a small town in the heart of the country. Hoffman plays Bill, the larger-than-life father to Sam (Jake Hoffman), who has returned home to take care of his ailing dad. While home, Sam falls for a local woman, Kate (Schuyler Fisk). And at the same time, Bill starts to fall for her mom, Tina (Spacek). But finding love is complicated, and for these four, it is no different. They all must confront their past in order to make their new love work for the future.
Le Gallo produced Sam & Kate alongside Ben Shields Catlin, Orian Williams, Ford Corbett and Volition Media’s Cindy Bru. Executive producers are Bond Group Entertainment’s Amy Adams and Stacy O’Neil, Vertical’s Peter Jarowey, Rich Goldberg and Mitch Budin, Ryan Donnell Smith, Emily Salveson, Nathan Klingher, Vanessa Yoa Guo, Volition Media’s Adam Beasley and Michael Jefferson, Bankside’s Stephen Kelliher and Yana Georgiev, Ryan Winterstern, and Caroline Conner. Bankside Films is selling the film’s foreign rights.
“We are thrilled to have gotten in early on Sam & Kate, not only for financing but distribution as well,” said Vertical Entertainment’s Jarowey. “Darren wrote a wonderful script and has brought it to life with an absolutely amazing cast and production team. It is currently in post-production, and we cannot wait to share it with moviegoers.”
“It has been a very personal and emotional journey to get this project from script through finishing production, which is why we’re so excited to be working with Vertical,” remarked Catlin. “They understood what we were trying to create from the start and came in aggressively to support Darren’s vision.”
“I’m incredibly thankful to Vertical for their partnership and collaboration on my first film and ensuring audiences will have the opportunity to experience it in theaters,” added Le Gallo. “This has been such a surreal experience and I’m so humbled and grateful to the amazing cast and crew we assembled. I’m looking forward to it being out in the world.”
Founded in 2012, Vertical Entertainment has also recently acquired Brad Anderson’s horror Blood, starring Michelle Monaghan and Skeet Ulrich; Chris Naoki Lee’s drama, Dinner Party; the thriller Delia’s Gone, starring Stephan James and Marisa Tomei; Thom Harp’s comedy The Donor Party; Katie Holmes’ Tribeca-premiering romantic drama Alone Together; and the political satire Land of Dreams, staring Sheila Vand, Matt Dillon and more, which also bowed at Tribeca. The company released John Patton Ford’s Sundance 2022 pic Emily the Criminal, starring Aubrey Plaza and Theo Rossi, alongside Roadside Attractions on August 12th.
Peter Jarowey and Tony Piantedosi negotiated the Sam & Kate deal on behalf of Vertical Entertainment, with WME Independent on behalf of the filmmakers.