'Brass Teapot' debuts at TIFF
With its satire “The Brass Teapot” set to premiere at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival, Union Entertainment Group is ramping up to finance and produce a slate of five to seven films annually with budgets ranging from $2 million to $10 million.The banner unveiled its plan on the opening day of TIFF, announcing plans to work with a multi-million dollar film fund to co-finance several projects. Union Entertainment Group co-financed, co-produced and supplied post production services on “Teapot,” the feature directorial debut from Ramaa Mosley and starring Juno Temple and Michael Angarano as a impoverished couple — with the wife drawn to a mysterious teapot. The film is based on a story by Mosley and Tim Macy, written by Macy; the film is produced by Darren Goldberg, Kirk Roos and James Graves. Initial slate will also include “The Shallows,” directed by Brit helmer Rupert Smith. Production will begin in October in Florida on the survival-thriller. Union Entertainment Group is exec producing and providing postproduction financing on an untitled Janis Joplin docu, with Amy Berg directing and Michael Raimondi and Union Entertainment Group founder Noah C. Haeussner producing. It has also come on board to produce and co-finance “The McKennas” with Anil Baral, Gary Lennon and Haeussner producing. Penned by Lennon, the story centers on the aftermath of a father dying, leaving a mother and two sons to pick up the pieces while trying to keep their crime business from falling apart. Union Entertainment Group was founded by Michael Raimondi and Haeussner along with partners Leo David, Jay Friedkin, Jim Haygood and Einar Thorsteinsson. Their New York branch was co-founded by Sloane Klevin and Caryn Maclean. The company is led by Raimondi as president and Haeussner as senior VP. The company is supported by Union Editorial — its commercial, music video, trailer and film editing company — with offices in New York and Los Angeles. Company worked on ad campaigns including Volkswagen (“The Force”), Pepsi (“Refresh Project”), Honda (“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”) and Kia (“Hamsters”). It’s also worked on editing “Fight Club,” “The Game,” “Panic Room,” “Tron: Legacy” and recently “Lone Ranger.” “We felt it was time to actually participate in these films as producers,” Raimondi said. “It started with some of our commercial directing friends who were moving into features and has quickly become a viable entity.” Union Entertainment has already been involved in several other projects. It is exec producing and co-financing Todd Kellstein’s documentary “Buffalo Girls,” which premiered at the 2012 Slamdance Festival; and provided partial postproduction financing and post services on Todd Louiso “Hello, I Must Be Going,” which premiered as the opening night film at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.