Issue-oriented pics lure producer

Carol Polakoff rampus up development slate

Filmmaker Carol Polakoff is ramping up a development slate of issue-oriented projects through her New York and Paris-based banner Carol Polakoff Prods. Intl.

Polakoff has tapped Israeli helmer Eran Riklis (“Lemon Tree”) to direct the politically charged drama “Secret Sky,” written by Micah Schraft and Abdi Nazemian. Alexandra Stone of CMP Film Ltd. (“Fast Food Nation”) will co-produce the project, which is based on the true 2004 story of an American human rights lawyer who grew up in Tehran and is summoned back to Iran to represent two teenage boys who are jailed for being gay.

Polakoff, a former journalist and DGA award winner whose TV projects have been nominated for 18 Emmys, is committed to making socially conscious and commercially viable pics that will entertain global audiences.

“I want to make movies that provoke you and take you someplace you haven’t been but you’ll never forget,” Polakoff told Variety. “My beat is drama with a social bent, but a project has to have entertainment value. ”

Popular on Variety

Polakoff has acquired the rights to Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book “American Prometheus.” Recipient of last year’s Sundance/Sloan grant, “American Prometheus” tells the story of the McCarthy-era persecution of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb. Robert Edwards (“Land of the Blind”) will write and direct the pic, which is described as a political thriller with an epic love story.

Polakoff has also optioned James Verini’s New York Times article “The Great Cyberheist,” the true story of young criminals who pull off what is known as the greatest cyber crime in history. Polakoff is partnering with Doug Davison of Quadrant Pictures on the project, which will be exec produced by Steven Shin.

An experienced screenwriter, Polakoff recently adapted Alan Jolis’ book “The Last Night,” a romantic thriller set during the chaos of the French Revolution. Story follows a police commissioner who spends a frantic night searching for the escaped Queen. Colleen Camp is producing with P. Jennifer Dana (“The Art of Getting By”).

Polakoff is financing development on her projects via a consortium of U.S. and European-based private investors who believe in the diverse slate of indie and commercial titles with justifiable budgets.

Polakoff produced docs that aired on PBS including “Cuba: In the Shadow of Doubt” and “The Closing Door: An Investigation of U.S. Immigration Policy.”

More Film

  • A Bump Along the Way Movie

    'A Bump Along the Way': Film Review

    While “Derry Girls” continues to be the last word in young, raucous female rebellion on the Emerald Isle, “A Bump Along the Way” has a little something to add. Sin the same Northern Irish city as the hit Netflix sitcom, but shedding the ’90s nostalgia for the Snapchat age, Shelly Love’s appealing, unassuming debut feature [...]

  • Tresor Plots $72 Million 'Asterix &

    Tresor Films Plots $72 Million 'Asterix & Obelix: The Silk Road,' New Projects (EXCLUSIVE)

    After delivering two of the highest-grossing French films of last year, Alain Attal’s Paris-based production company Tresor Films (“Sink or Swim,” “Little White Lies 2”) is kicking off 2020 with its most ambitious project yet, Guillaume Canet’s “Asterix & Obelix: The Silk Road.” Co-produced and financed by Jerome Seydoux’s Pathé, “Asterix & Obelix” is budgeted [...]

  • Anais Bertrand on Producing Sundance Player

    Anais Bertrand on the Obstacles She Faced to Produce Sundance Player ‘Jumbo’

    Zoé Wittock’s debut feature, “Jumbo,” screening in Sundance’s World Cinema Dramatic Competition, is also the first feature film produced by up-and-coming French producer Anais Bertrand, of Insolence Productions, who has cut her teeth on award-winning shorts, including winning the Procirep Short Film Producer Award last year. “Jumbo” is about a young woman, played by Noémie [...]

  • 'Parasite,' 'Jojo Rabbit' Win ACE Eddie

    'Parasite,' 'Jojo Rabbit' Win ACE Eddie Awards for Top Feature Films

    “Parasite” and “Jojo Rabbit” have won the top feature film trophies at the 70th Annual ACE Eddie Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Jinmo Yang won the dramatic feature category for “Parasite” over “Ford v Ferrari,” “Joker,” “The Irishman,” and “Marriage Story.” The victory marks the first time in ACE Eddie Awards history that a [...]

  • Gregg Smith, Dancer and Choreographer Assistant,

    Gregg Smith, Dancer and Choreographer Assistant, Dies at 73

    Gregg Smith, a dancer, casting director and assistant choreographer who had a long association with director Kenny Ortega, has died. He was 73. Smith died on Jan. 1. The industry veteran worked as a performer in the national touring company of the musical “Hair” and in a Los Angeles production of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” He [...]

  • Oscar Isaac Golden Globes 2016

    Film News Roundup: Oscar Isaac Joins Superhero Movie 'The Great Machine'

    In today’s film news roundup, Oscar Isaac boards “The Great Machine,” Keira Knightley joins “Silent Night” and “The Dog Doc” finds a home. CASTINGS Legendary has closed a deal for Oscar Isaac to star in and produce superhero saga “The Great Machine.” The project is based on Brian K. Vaughan’s comic book series “Ex Machina” [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    U.S. Movie Admissions Plunge 4.6% in 2019 Amid Box Office Decline

    U.S. movie admissions slid 4.6% last year to 1.24 billion, the second lowest admissions number during the current century, the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) has reported. North American box office for the year declined 4.1% to $11.4 billion, NATO said Friday. That figure was in line with the estimate released at the end [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content