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Film News Roundup: Immigration Drama ‘The Infiltrators’ Backed by Chicago Media Project

In today’s film news roundup, immigration drama “The Infiltrators” gets financing, Jake Busey is starring in a high-school comedy, and Stuart Ford’s AGC Studios hires two former IM Global executives.

PROJECT FINANCING

Chicago Media Project Invest/Impact’s Paula Froehle and Steve Cohen have joined the immigration drama “The Infiltrators” as executive producers and financiers, Variety has learned exclusively.

CMP I/I has invested previously in the Academy Award-winning documentary “Icarus,” “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” and Showtime’s series “The Fourth Estate.”

Directed and produced by Alex Rivera and Cristina Ibarra, “The Infiltrators” centers on a small group of young undocumented immigrants who embark on a high-risk mission inside America’s for-profit detention system in order to set people free. The film, which mixes documentary with narrative dramatization, stars Chelsea Rendon, Vik Sahay, Maynor Alvarado, and Manuel Uriza.

Production is currently underway in Southern California. The film is being produced by Rivera and Ibarra’s Pueblo Sight & Sound in association with Naked Edge Films and 3DMC.

Froehle said, “With ‘The Infiltrators,’ Alex and Cristina are igniting a conversation about violence against immigrants and our team at Chicago Media Project is committed to giving them the tools they need to bring about social change.”

Additional executive producers from CMP include the Lagralane Group, Ken Nolan, Christina Nolan, and Ken Pelletier. Other executive producers include Katy Bettner, Darren Dean, Jim Butterworth, and Daniel J. Chalfen. Other partners include the Sundance Institute, JustFilms, the Surdna Foundation, the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund, Fork Films, CultureStrike, and Unbound Philanthropy.

CASTINGS

Jake Busey, Matt Steele, Nicole Sullivan, Marissa Jaret Winokur, Jayson Bernard, Jason Stuart, and Timothy Brundidge will star in high-school comedy “Divos!”

Ryan Patrick Bartley is directing in his feature directorial debut from a script by Steele. Bernard and Roberto Rosario, Jr., are producing along with In The Basement Entertainment.

Busey will play a parent intent on steering his son, played by Brundidge, away from pursuing an acting career over a future as a baseball star. Steele plays a senior obsessed with drama class and the theater. Winokur will play an over-worked nun who heads the choral department.

Rounding out the cast are Luis Avila, Julia Boyd, Chris Schermerhorn, Daniel Kim, Quinn Lozar, Josh Schechter, and Cougar MacDowall. “Divos!” is scheduled to film in September and October.

EXECUTIVE HIRE

AGC Studios, launched earlier this year by IM Global founder Stuart Ford, has brought on board two more former IM Global senior executives, Frank Prugo and Leslie Chen.

The hirings were announced Friday. Prugo joins as an exec VP of technical operations and will be responsible for overseeing post-production and international theatrical delivery on projects for all of AGC’s divisions. During his decade at IM Global, Prugo performed a similar role on over 100 first-run features and more than 600 library titles.

Chen joins as senior VP of Asian sales and distribution. During her four years at IM Global, Chen was the founder of the independent studio’s Beijing office and oversaw the Chinese distribution and pan-Asian sales for the company’s Hollywood output. Chen also brokered output deals with the Huayi Brothers and Enlight, and sales partnerships with China Film Group, Wanda, Alibaba Pictures, and Stephen Chow’s Star Overseas Productions.

Ford formed IM Global as a sales and production company in 2007. Tang Media Partners purchased IM Global in 2016 for a rumored $200 million. He’s now hired 13 former IM Global executives at AGC Studios.

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