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Davidson at the ‘Mall’

Boaz Davidson, director of such exploitation pics as “Lunarcop,” “Blood Run” and “American Cyborg,” will helm “Mini Mall” for Nu Image with 21-year-old untested newfound thesp Ara Celi in the lead, sources said Tuesday.

Pic is set in a small shopping center in L.A. where Celi’s Mexican hairdresser is having a love affair with an Italian boy who works in a nearby pizza parlor. When the couple loses a pricey diamond ring in pizza dough, they are forced to go house-to-house to find it, with the Mafia on their trail.

Les Weldon scripted. Avi Lerner and Danny Dimbort, who run Nu Image, are producing.

Pic is slated to start shooting in September.

The film is the second project Nu Image has put together with these elements. The company recently wrapped “Looking for Lola” under Davidson’s helm and written by Weldon. That project also starred Celi, a former Miss Texas.

Both projects are a departure for Nu Image, which has built its reputation on exploitation actioners over the past five years.

Celi was found for both roles after a lengthy search that included interviews with more than 74 female thesps.

She was cast the day before lensing started on “Looking for Lola,” which marked her first pro gig.

Davidson’s numerous other feature credits include “Salsa,” “Going Bananas,” “Dutch Treat,” “Alex,” “Baby Love,” “Private Popsicle,” “The Last American Virgin,” “Hot Bubblegum” and “X-Ray,” among others.

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