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‘Between Worlds’ Director Maria Pulera Launches Rise Up (EXCLUSIVE)

Production-distribution company moves forward on five features, two TV dramas, backed by an unnamed Spanish-Israeli finance fund

Maria Pulera, director of Nicolas Cage-starrer “Between Worlds,” has launched Rise Up, a production-distribution house, partnering with Eric Banoun and David Hillary.

A supernatural thriller, “Between Worlds” makes its market debut at Cannes, sold by Voltage Pictures. Backed by a Spanish-Israeli finance fund, Rise Up has offices in Los Angeles, Marbella and Tel Aviv. Distribution will focus on Europe, Asia and U.S.

Beyond “Between Worlds,” its first production, Rise Up is set to produce Spanish neo-Noir “El Matador,” written by Pulera and scheduled to roll this July in Spain’s Marbella. It centers on a hired assassin,  pursued by the police, who strikes up a maybe final relationship with a nightclub singer. “El Matador” is billed as an “introspective story of the race against time as impeding death approaches and understanding whom we live for and whom we die for,” Rise Up said in a  statement Wednesday.

Also on Rise Up’s first slate: “Johnny Thunders,” a biopic of the American punk rock hero from Jonas Akerlund (“Lords of Chaos”); and “The Clean Up,” described as a “dark, sexy, funny, violent contemporary noir thriller,” with Alex Turner directing; post WWII-set “No-No Boyand “When the Nines Were Sixes,” a coming-of-age tale from Joshua Evans (“Che Guevara,” “Glam”).

In TV, Rise Up is preparing limited series “Gaddafi Stories” and reality show “Finding the Good,” created by Dominic Pulera.

Hillary produced “Between Worlds” with Pulera and her producing partner Eric Banoun.

“Joining forces to produce our own films on our terms was the natural next step,” Pulera said.

Rise Up aims to create “high-quality, thought-provoking projects that appeal to the wider audience but more importantly also appeal to our own tastes,” Hillary added.

Pulera’s debut, “Falsely Accused,” starring Rosanna Arquette and Jon Gries, was released by Gravitas Pictures; a former co-head of production at Muse Pictures, Hillary’s credits include “Dog Eat Dog,” starring Nicolas Cage and Willem Defoe, and Nick Cassavetes’ “Yellow.”

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