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Phaedra Cinema has picked up domestic rights to “Jerome,” the first exec-producing effort by “Just Shoot Me” actor David Spade. Phaedra has slated the indie pic for an early winter release beginning in L.A.

“Jerome,” the first feature film by writing, producing and directing team Thomas Johnson, David Elton and Eric Tignini, tells the story of a welder who leaves his job, family and friends in search of a better life, and picks up a mysterious hitchhiker along the way.

Attorney Steven Beer and Unicorn Films’ Paul Tobias negotiated the deal on behalf of the pic’s producers. Phaedra prexy Gregory Hatanaka and senior veep of distribution and acquisitions Roseann Cherenson brought the film to the company.

“We’re delighted to be working with such a talented filmmaking team on this intelligent and powerful picture,” Cherenson said.

The pic, starring Drew Pillsbury and Spade’s “Shoot Me” co-star Wendie Malick, bowed at the Independent Feature Project West’s New Visions series.

“Jerome” has also been featured at AFI, Taos and Melbourne events, and will be screened at the upcoming Munich Film Festival.