Dinello to helm Nala pic

Paul Dinello (“Strangers With Candy”) has been hired to direct the comedy “Mr. Burnout” by scribe Eric Gravning for Nala Films.

Production is skedded to begin in January.

Story concerns a small-town English teacher who spirals into bitterness and depression after a decade on the job. On a bet from an attractive new colleague, he works to get three of his most problematic students into a top college.

Producing are Nala Films CEO Emilio Diez Barroso and prexy Darlene Caamano Loquet.

Project is the first to which Dinello has committed since “Strangers With Candy,” which debuted last year at Sundance. Dinello co-wrote that pic with Stephen Colbert and directed it. He’s in the middle of writing his own script, “The Exorcist” — about “two hip exorcists” — but will put that aside for “Mr. Burnout.”

Nala Films, which fully finances and produces its pics, just wrapped “The Air I Breathe,” starring Sarah Michelle Gellar and Brendan Fraser, as well as “After Sex,” with Jane Seymour. Company is about to begin production on the horror thriller “Night of Light,” directed by Spanish helmer Norberto Lopez Amado.

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