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Sundance: Adaptive Studios Sells Short-Form Thriller Series ‘Pineapple’ to Blackpills

Digital-video startup Blackpills has acquired rights to “Pineapple,” a short-form thriller from Adaptive Studios that will have its world premiere this week at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

Paris-based Blackpills, which has maintained a stealthy profile, expects to launch its mobile-centric video platform in the first quarter of 2017 with “Pineapple” among its first original pieces of content. According to the companies, the series is part of a larger slate deal of digital content between Blackpills and Adaptive Studios, which is best known for producing Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s “Project Greenlight” on HBO.

In “Pineapple,” a coal-mine town becomes a crime scene when a miner’s daughter is assaulted in its tunnels. After the attack, she cryptically utters only one word — “pineapple” — and the local sheriff resolves to unravel the mystery.

“Pineapple” will premiere Saturday, Jan. 21, as part of Sundance’s Midnight Episodic Showcase, to be followed by a Q&A with the series creators. The show comprises three episodes, each around 10 minutes, with a total running time of about 32 minutes.

The short-form series is directed, written and edited by Arkasha Stevenson, a recent graduate of the American Film Institute where her thesis film, “Vessels,” was awarded the 2015 Iris Prize. Cast of “Pineapple” includes Tyler Vickers, Kel Owens, Ron Gilbert, Gloria Vonn, Lucille Sharp and Brooklyn Robinson. The series was produced by Drew Diamond, Halee Bernard, and Tim Smith and executive produced by Perrin Chiles, TJ Barrack, Marc Joubert, Marshall Lewy, and Stephen Christensen with co-executive producers Marie Halliday and Kate Grady.

Blackpills was founded by Daniel Marhely, co-founder of streaming-music service Deezer, and Patrick Holzman, the former Canal Plus executive who created Europe’s first VOD service. Xavier Niel, founder and majority shareholder of the French Internet service provider Free, also has been involved in Blackpills.

In addition to the “Pineapple” pickup, Blackpills also has announced pacts for original shows from social-media star Logan Paulfilmmaker Luc Besson, director-writer Zoe Cassavetes, and Denise Richards, Nikki Leigh and Charlotte McKinney, who are set to star in a grindhouse-style feminist series set in L.A.

Watch the trailer for “Pineapple”:

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