10 Producers to Watch 2012: Justin Nappi & Kevin Turen

If it weren’t for the stress and strain of getting Nicholas Jarecki’s “Arbitrage” off the ground, 24-year-old Justin Nappi and 32-year-old Kevin Turen would never have joined forces at Treehouse Pictures in 2010.

“We had a lot sleepless nights in the beginning stages of that project,” Turen says. “So many things were going wrong, but we managed to get throug h it all. The experience made us realize that we could work well together and trust each other.”

After a Sundance debut, Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions nabbed U.S. rights to “Arbitrage” for a reported $2 million. To date the Wall Street suspense drama has grossed more than $30 million as a simultaneous theatrical and video on demand release.

Nappi and Turen, Treehouse president and producing partner. respectively, are also behind another 2012 fest favorite — Ramin Bahrani’s family drama “At Any Price” starring Zac Efron. Sony Pictures Classics acquired pic in August just before it bowed at the Venice Film Festival.

“We are looking to work with people who have very specific voices,” Turen says. “People we can get behind and support through the process.”

Their shingle, based in New York and L.A., is currently in production on another Efron starrer, Tom Gormican’s romantic comedy “Are We Officially Dating?” Gormican’s script, which appeared on the 2010 Black List, follows three friends in Manhattan who make a pact to remain single just as they each start to fall in love.

In addition, they are producing and arranging financing on upcoming productions including J.C.Chandor’s second feature, “All Is Lost,” starring Robert Redford and set to begin filming this summer.

“I enjoy the pressure of deadlines, putting the pieces of the puzzle together and wondering if things are going to work out or not,” says Nappi. “Believe it or not, I live for that stress.”

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