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‘Western Religion’ Bought by Screen Media for U.S.

Western fantasy movie “Western Religion” has been set for a fall domestic theatrical release, followed by a home entertainment release in the second quarter by Screen Media, Variety has learned exclusively.

The film, directed by James O’Brien from his own script, premiered in May at the Cannes Film Festival.

“Western Religion” stars Claude Duhamel (“Supernatural”), Louie Sabatasso, Miles Szanto, James Anthony Cotton, Holiday Hadley, Gary Douglas Kohn and Peter Shinkoda (“Falling Skies”). It tells the story of the gunfighters and card sharks that descend on the mining town of Religion, Arizona, to compete in a poker tournament in 1879 — with the players putting their souls on the line.

Variety reported in 2013 that the film was shot in the Agua Dulce area of Southern California after the 2013 government shutdown of all national parks threatened to derail the production on the eve of the scheduled shoot at the Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills. The 3rd Partner Productions team built their very own Western world from scratch, led by O’Brien and actor-producer Sabatasso, the team behind the road movie “Wish You Were Here.”

“The film came together against all odds and with a great faith,” O’Brien said. “The production team feels Screen Media is the perfect fit to deliver our unique vision of the Wild West to a wide audience.”

Automatic Entertainment will continue to sell international rights.

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