×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Doc vet Cogan slates pix

'Therese,' 'Base,' 'Scarlet' among films in the pipeline

NANTUCKET — Documentary and short-film producer Dan Cogan has established New York-based production company DMC Films to move into features, with an initial slate of 10 projects, including two films in development with Casey Silver’s Universal-based shingle.

Heading the slate is “La Grande Therese,” based on Hilary Spurling’s book about Therese Humbert, a 19th century peasant girl from the French countryside who became an infamous con woman at the center of Parisian social and political life.

A screenwriter is expected to be attached in the next two weeks to the project, which was brought by Cogan to Casey Silver Prods.

Also set up with Silver’s company is “First Base,” a romantic comedy set in the world of professional baseball about a second baseman who loses the ability to throw to first.

Project is being developed from an original pitch by Cogan and a novelist and New Yorker magazine writer who is penning the screenplay; latter intends to remain anonymous.

Given the event’s principal focus on screenwriting, Cogan chose the Nantucket Film Festival as a fitting venue to announce his new company.

“My approach to producing is all writer-based, so it’s all about finding the right writer for the right project,” he told Daily Variety. “The most important thing for me is the material and the way it’s put together.”

Cogan’s previous producer credits include “The Lifestyle,” a feature documentary about swingers distributed in 2001 by 7th Art Releasing and exec produced by James Schamus, Ted Hope and Mary Jane Skalski through Good Machine.

“The goal of the company is to do projects at all budget levels,” Cogan added. “So if a story is appropriate to do as a $20 million studio film, I want to be able to do that. But if it’s appropriate as a $250,000 digital film, I want to do that too. The slate will be eclectic both in budget and material.”

Beefcake erotica

Other projects being developed inhouse at DMC include “The Scarlet Professor,” based on Barry Werth’s 2001 National Book Award nonfiction finalist about Newton Arvin, an American lit professor at Smith College in the 1940s and ’50s who was a mentor and lover of Truman Capote. Arvin’s life assumed echoes of his favorite novel, “The Scarlet Letter,” when he was outed and fired after the U.S. Postal Service discovered his stash of beefcake erotica.

Script is being written by tyro writer-director Chris Terrio, now in pre-production on “Heights” for Merchant/Ivory Prods. Terrio may also direct the Arvin feature.

DMC has two projects in development with Dennis Lee, who this month won a Student Academy Award in the drama category for his short film “Jesus Henry Christ.” These are “Straight to You,” a feature about a man coming to terms with his family after the sudden death of his mother; and “The Race of White Clothes,” a short about a father-son relationship set in a WWII South Korean POW camp.

Former Sundance Screenwriting fellow Tanya Hamilton is scripting “The Lamont Branch Project” for DMC, based on the true Cain-and-Abel story of the exonerated prisoner who served 13 years for a murder committed by his brother.

Also in the pipeline is “The Furies,” based on Janet Hobhouse’s autobiographical cult novel about a young writer’s coming of age in a family of warring women; an untitled legal thriller by novelist Josh Pashman; an untitled midlife-crisis drama from playwright Andrew Leonard; and Holocaust-themed short film “Torte Bluma.”

DMC also is developing animated television series “On Locust Street,” written and directed by Rachel Johnson, whose stop-motion animated short “The Toll Collector” was a prize winner at this year’s Berlin and Newport fests.

More Film

  • Alibaba Expands Film Investment, Loans $100

    Alibaba Expands Film Investment Plan, Loans $100 Million to Huayi Bros.

    Alibaba Pictures Group, the film business arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has struck a strategic co-operation deal with leading film studio Huayi Brothers. The deal terms include a $103 million (RMB700 million) loan to Huayi. Alibaba Pictures said the agreement was part of its recently announced strategy to be a part of major movies [...]

  • Netflix Buys Taiwan Black Comedy 'Dear

    Netflix Buys Taiwan Black Comedy 'Dear Ex'

    Netflix has added to its roster of Mandarin-language content with the acquisition of rights to Taiwanese dark comedy “Dear Ex.” The award-winning film will play out from Feb. 1. The story involves a recently bereaved widow and a gay man fighting over a dead man’s inheritance, with the woman’s teenage son caught in the middle. [...]

  • Audrey Wells

    Film News Roundup: Audrey Wells Scholarships Launched by UCLA, China's Pearl Studio

    In today’s film news roundup, Pearl Studio and UCLA start a “Say Yes!” scholarship in memory of Audrey Well; Gina Lollobrigida and Claudia Cardinale are honored; and the “General Magic” documentary gets bought. SCHOLARSHIPS UNVEILED China’s Pearl Studio has made a gift of $100,000 for endowed scholarships to the UCLA School of Theater, Film and [...]

  • Honey Boy Knock Down the House

    Sundance Hot Titles List: 13 Buzzy Films That Have Buyers Talking

    There’s a good reason that much of Hollywood braves the thin mountain air each year to make the trek to the Sundance Film Festival, and it’s not to check out the nearby ski slopes. The annual launch of the indie film gathering brings with it the possibility of discovering the next big thing in moviemaking. [...]

  • (L to R) VIGGO MORTENSEN and

    Will Oscar Nominations Give This Year's Contenders a Box Office Boost?

    With nominees like “Black Panther,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “A Star Is Born,” the 2018 class of movies proved the Oscars don’t need a popular films category to recognize movies that also made bank in theaters. But now that the academy has selected this year’s crop of awards hopefuls, is there any green left to squeeze [...]

  • A24 Buys Sequel to Tilda Swinton's

    Sundance: A24 Buys Sequel to Tilda Swinton's Romance-Drama 'The Souvenir'

    A24 has bought the North American rights to Tilda Swinton’s romance-drama “The Souvenir – Part 2,” closing the deal on the eve of the Sundance Film Festival. “The Souvenir” is set to make its world premiere at Sundance on Jan. 27, followed by playing in the Panorama section of the Berlin Film Festival in February. [...]

  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

    Chiwetel Ejiofor Adds Authenticity to Directorial Debut by Shooting in Malawi

    When actor Chiwetel Ejiofor optioned the rights for the 2009 best-seller “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” penning the screenplay for a feature directorial debut that world-premieres in Sundance and then appears in the Berlin Film Festival before being released globally by Netflix this spring, colleagues floated the idea of shooting the Malawi-set film in tried-and-tested [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content