Pete Sollett, whose short “Five Feet High and Rising” won the best short film prize at Cannes, Sundance and Austin’s South by Southwest fest last year, has expanded the pic into a feature, now lensing in Gotham.
The leads, Victor Rasuk and Judy Marte, spearhead a cast of nonprofessional Latino actors.
Producers are Forensic Films partners Robin O’Hara and Scott Macaulay, and Alain de la Mata, who runs the Wild Bunch, the international sales unit of StudioCanal. Wild Bunch exec Vincent Maraval is exec producing. Financing comes from StudioCanal.
A love story set in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, pic concerns a self-styled Romeo bent on seducing a woman who appears to be well beyond his reach.
Based on a script by Sollett from a story by Sollett and Eva Vives, pic reps “the idea we sold to Canal Plus when we started the Wild Bunch 18 months ago,” said de la Mata. “We want to represent films from all over the world by new directors and continue to work with those directors” on subsequent films, he said.
Sollett, repped by Endeavor, developed the script at the Cinefondation in Paris and at the Sundance Lab.
“When Robin and I saw ‘Five Feet High and Rising,’ we thought it was one of the most impressive debut shorts to come out of New York in quite a while,” said Macaulay. “Now, we’re thrilled to have the support of StudioCanal, the Cannes Film Festival’s Cinefondation and the Sundance Institute in evolving ‘Five Feet’ into a debut feature.”
Cinematographer Tim Orr (“George Washington”), recently named one of Variety‘s ten lensers to watch, is shooting the pic.
Forensic recently produced Jesse Peretz’s “The Chateau,” due out from IFP Films next spring.