LONDON — Newcomer Ed Hogg will topline “White Lightnin’,” a $2 million budgeted feature about the life of Appalachian mountain dancer Jesco White, written by the founders of hipster bible Vice magazine.
U.K. commercials director Dominic Murphy takes the helm.
Shane Smith and Eddy Moretti penned the script, which charts White’s struggles to overcome poverty, drug abuse, crime and mental instability to become — like his father D. Ray White before him — the finest mountain dancer in Appalachia.
The fast-growing Vice empire started as a freebie mag in Montreal and is now a global trendsetter, operating TV and film units, as well as a record label, a retail line and website viceland.com.
Pic is developed by Film and Music Entertainment and Vice Films. Mike Downey and Samantha Taylor produce for Valley Films/Mountain productions, their U.K. producing co-venture with Vice Films.
“Lightnin’” is supported with coin from the U.K. Film Council’s New Cinema Fund. Pic qualified as a British movie under the new tax system as it has a U.K. director and star, will employ other Brits in key positions and will use U.K. post facilities.
However, the pic will lense in the original West Virginia locales and in Croatia.
Other cast members include Carrie Fisher, Muse Watson, Wallace Merck, Clay Steakley and Stephanie Astalos Jones.
Lumina Films is handling worldwide sales. Momentum Pictures will distribute the pic in the U.K.