Scribe signs for $1 million

Digital Mercury partner Richard Lewis has closed a three-picture deal with tyro scribe and UCLA screenwriting grad student Paul Castro worth $1 million.

For the first pic, “A Gift for Mom,” Castro will direct based on his original screenplay, which tells the story of a 16-year-old boy’s mission to find the man who raped his mother — and thus became his father — and to castrate him.

Second project is an idea given Castro by Digital Mercury’s Lewis. Tentatively titled “Noise,” story revolves around a prodigy who uses music to deal with the overwhelming world in which he lives.

The third project, another idea from Lewis, is “Twenty-one,” which centers on two childhood friends who make a suicide pact to be executed when they turn 21.

Digital’s Haley Fox, director of development, brought the project into the company along with Lewis.

Castro has directed several short films; the first was a finalist in the Coca-Cola Refreshing Filmmakers national contest.

Castro is repped by manager Bettina Sofia Viviano of Viviano Entertainment and Marti Blumenthal of Writers & Artists.

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