The Independent Film Channel’s Next Wave Films has selected the first project for its digital production financing arm, Agenda 2000: “Manic,” a drama about troubled teens forced to face their demons in a mental institution. Jordan Melamed will direct.
Next Wave president Peter Broderick said he expects Agenda to finance about three digital features annually, each with a budget of $300,000 or less.
“Manic” will be the feature debut for Melamed, an AFI graduate and former commodities trader. Michael Bacall and Blayne Weaver penned the script. Both writers are also actors who will take roles in the pic. Bacall appears in the upcoming installment of the “Urban Legend” franchise, while Weaver’s credits include “ER” and “Chicago Hope.”
Produced by Kirk Hassig and Trudi Callon (“American Strays”) and peopled by veteran casting director Mali Finn (“The Green Mile”), “Manic” will begin production June 1.
Broderick said he has received some 200 proposals since Agenda was announced last year, but that “Manic” immediately ap-peared to be the perfect pic with which to launch the initiative. “It is a provocative project that can only be fully realized with the creative freedom and visceral impact that digital video can provide,” he said.
Bacall, Jordan and Melamed are repped by Paul Greenstone of Intl. Arts Management.