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Seventh Art picking Poe

'Mesmerist' to star Harris, Capshaw

Seventh Art Releasing will handle a limited theatrical release of “The Mesmerist,” a comedy based on Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar.”

Penned by Ron Marasco and Michael Goorjian and directed by Gil Cates Jr., the pic stars Neil Patrick Harris and Jessica Capshaw. Barbara De Fina was the exec producer; Terry Dougas and Peter Raskin produced.

“The Mesmerist” will open in L.A. Sept. 20. Deal was negotiated by Udy Epstein of Seventh Art Releasing and, on the film’s behalf, by De Fina and Dougas.

Film concerns a doctor who convinces a dying man’s daughter and her fiance to allow him to put the father in a trance as he takes his final breaths. As the father descends into the afterworld, he slowly uncovers the answer to the ultimate questions of mankind.

De Fina is now producing the remake of “High and Low,” to be helmed by Walter Salles, as well as “Hello Suckers,” directed by Scott Elliott. Other projects include “A Maiden’s Prayer,” directed by Nicky Silver, and “A Beautiful View,” written and directed by Barbara Turner, starring Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Founded in 1994 by Epstein, Seventh Art Releasing is an independent domestic and foreign distribution company and produces documentaries. Company has released docs including the Academy Award-winning “The Long Way Home” and Oscar nominees “Speaking in Strings” and “The Farm.”

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