Independent production execs Eva Kolodner and Yael Melamede have launched Gotham-based shingle Salty Features and have unveiled the fledgling company’s initial slate of projects in development, including the first narrative feature from standup comic Margaret Cho and a screen adaptation of Don DeLillo’s play “Valparaiso.”
Kolodner formerly was head of production at Madstone Films and director of development at Killer Films, where she produced “Boys Don’t Cry” in addition to working on such features as Todd Solondz’s “Happiness” and Todd Haynes’ “Safe.”
Melamede worked independently on Wayne Wang’s “Center of the World,” Paul Auster’s “Lulu on the Bridge” and Paul Schrader’s “Forever Mine,” and later was production supervisor at Madstone. She also co-produced Nathaniel Kahn’s feature docu “My Architect,” about Louis I. Kahn, which premiered at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art’s New Directors/New Films festival in March.
“We are confident that we will build a winning combination of meaningful and marketable films,” said Kolodner.
Cho will star in road-trip comedy “Bam Bam and Celeste” as a Korean-American woman who travels with her black gay male friend to New York to pursue their dream of opening a beauty salon. Cho scripted the pic, which will be produced in partnership with Cho/Taussig Prods. and Duopoly. Lorene Machado, who was a producer on Cho’s concert film “I’m the One That I Want” and was producer-director on “Notorious C.H.O.,” will make her narrative directing debut.
“Valparaiso” will be helmed by Hal Brooks, who directed last summer’s Off Broadway production of the DeLillo play. Satirical story focuses on an unremarkable businessman thrust into the media spotlight after boarding a wrong flight that lands him in Valparaiso, Chile, instead of the city in Indiana.
Also on the slate is first-time writer-director Jeff Roda’s adaptation of David Gates’ Pulitzer-nominated novel “Jernigan,” about a middle-age man disintegrating under the weight of persistent failure and loss in his life, and “Signs of Life,” a romantic comedy about a videogame designer and her neuroscientist beau who attempt to use science to bridge the distance between them during a prolonged separation.
Latter project was the first to be awarded NYU’s $100,000 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant and will be written and directed by Lisa Robinson, whose NYU shorts were widely seen on the fest circuit.