NEW YORK – “I’m Not Rappaport” producer John Penotti and his partner, “Early Edition” star Fisher Stevens, have rechristened their production company GreeneStreet Films and have secured private financing for a slate of pics.
Formerly known as MadCap Films, GreeneStreet plans to produce “Conversations With My Father,” the screen adaptation of Herb Gardner’s Tony Award-winning play. Gardner is attached to write the script.
GreeneStreet’s first production, “I’m Not Rappaport,” will be released Dec. 26 by Gramercy Pictures in New York and Los Angeles. Written and directed by Gardner based on his Tony Award-winning play of the same title, “Rappaport” stars Walter Matthau, Ossie Davis, Amy Irving, Craig T. Nelson and Martha Plimpton.
Penotti currently is producing “A Price Below Rubies” with Lawrence Bender (“Pulp Fiction”) for Miramax Films. Boaz Yakin (“Fresh”) will direct the pic, which stars Renee Zellweger as a Hasidic Jewish woman who defies her husband by taking a job in the diamond district.
With Soho-based GreeneStreet, Penotti and Stevens are trying to carry on the independent spirit of the Naked Angels Theater group, which Stevens helped found 10 years ago. In addition to acting, Stevens has directed two short films – “Call of the Wylie,” which screened at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival, and “Phineas,” which was released theatrically this year.
“Through our network of literary and theatrical contacts, GreeneStreet will be able to develop nontraditional, alternative projects,” Stevens said.
“I know firsthand that interesting stories that attract talented artists can be told in a fiscally responsible manner,” Penotti said. “That is our working philosophy at GreeneStreet.”
Penotti has worked in a variety of production capacities, including assistant director on Sidney Lumet’s “A Stranger Among Us” and “Q&A.” He most recently owned and operated Concrete Prods., a film and TV budgeting and scheduling service.
Appointments on tap
Also, GreeneStreet named Diana Weymar head of development. Jennifer Yun will coordinate post-production on all GreeneStreet projects. Keri Lederman is joining the company as head of facilities.
Also in development at GreeneStreet are:
* “Pearlie,” a morality tale written by Matthew Rowland about a traveling salesman in the Kansas Dust Bowl during the 1930s that Rowland will co-produce;
* “The Cain Conversion,” based on Richard Allen’s political thriller of the same name about a Secret Service agent who discovers he’s a pawn in a defunct Russian KGB operation;
* “Sam the Man,” a comedy scripted by Paul Kneubuhl about a “failed” bestselling novelist that Stevens will direct this summer; and
* “You’re Driving Me Crazy,” a romantic musical involving an ex-chorus boy, a British chocolate heir and a girl named Candy that was scripted by Nicole Burdette.