“Little Miss Sunshine” producers-financiers Marc Turtletaub and Peter Saraf returned to the Sundance Film Festival this week with two films premiering at the fest plus a new slate of projects.
The fest entries are Philip Seymour Hoffman’s directorial debut “Jack Goes Boating” and “Spellbound” helmer Jeffrey Blitz’s new film “Lucky,” in documentary competition.
The financing and acquisitions climate is much different from the go-go days of “Little Miss Sunshine,” which pulled in a record-setting $10.5 million dollar advance from Fox Searchlight after premiering at Sundance in 2006. But the producers and co-founders of Big Beach Films have managed to put together an eclectic roster of projects, many with Sundance connections. Shingle has three new feature scripts and a TV series in development, and a musical-theater production in the hopper.
The features projects are:
— “Diego Ascending,” penned by Jose Rivera (“Motorcycle Diaries”) and adapted from Israeli dramedy “Bonjour Monsieur Shlomi.” The L.A.-set dramedy centers on a 16-year-old boy who is more focused on taking care of his family than school. Other producers on the project include Salma Hayek, Pepe Tamez and Mark Teitelbaum.
— “Scoutmasters,” a broad coming-of-age comedy written by Todd Rohal (“Guatemalan Handshake”) that was a 2009 Sundance Writers Lab project. Exec producers on the project are helmer David Gordon Green and producer Lisa Muskat.
— “Toy’s House,” another original screenplay, based on Chris Galleta’s Columbia U. thesis, that the producers call a “crazy outdoor adventure.” Story concerns three high schoolers who decide to build a house in the woods and live off the land.
Producers are also developing a TV series with Showtime based on “Sunshine Cleaning,” which bowed at Sundance in 2008. The pic’s screenwriter Megan Holley is on board to write the show. Pic’s other original producers, Glenn Williamson and Jeb Brody, are also involved.
We are getting into television for the first time with this series,” said Saraf. “I think we’ll be doing a lot more in television in addition to continuing our other work.”
Saraf and Turtletaub additionally have a musical based on “Little Miss Sunshine” in the pipeline, to be directed by James Lapine. It was workshopped at the Sundance Institute Theater Lab last month. Music and lyrics are by William Finn.
Big Beach had Sam Mendes’ “Away We Go” and John Crowley’s “Is Anybody There,” starring Michael Caine, in theaters last year.