×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Keshet Films Developing Crime Drama Movie ‘Devil’s Punchbowl’

Fledgling production company Keshet Films has launched development of “Devil’s Punchbowl,” the story of a deputy who vanished in the California desert in 1998, Variety has learned exclusively.

In its first acquisition, Keshet Films obtained film rights to Claire Martin’s article, “The Deputy Who Disappeared,” published in 2015 in Los Angeles magazine. The deputy, Jon Aujay, was never seen again after going for a run in the Devil’s Punchbowl area and his body was never found. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department decided that he most likely killed himself, while some friends and former colleagues believe he either ran away to a new life or was murdered — possibly by meth dealers.

The project will explore the mystery of the case and the theme of the identity we leave after we are gone. Producers are Mandy Tagger-Brockey and Adi Ezroni, the veteran independent producers who formed Keshet Films production division as part of Keshet International. The scripting team of Eli Kooris & Joshua Shaffer, who brought in the story, have begun work on the screenplay.

“We think that stories about identity transcend genres,” Ezroni told Variety. “Once we got the pitch, we almost felt like we can’t not do this film.”

Tagger-Brockery and Ezroni met with several directors to hear their takes during the Sundance Film Festival.

The duo founded Spring Pictures in 2009 and produced “A Late Quartet,” starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken, and Catherine Keener; “The English Teacher,” starring Julianne Moore, Greg Kinnear, and Lily Collins; “Saturday Church,” written and directed by Damon Cardasis; and “Dean,” which stars writer-director Demetri Martin as well as Kevin Kline, Gillian Jacobs, and Mary Steenburgen. “Dean” won the Tribeca Film Festival’s Founders Award in 2016.

Keshet International produces “False Flag,” “Prisoners of War,” “The Brave,” and “The A Word.”

More Film

  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi displays

    Narendra Modi Wins New Mandate in Indian Election and Divides the Film Industry

    India has returned the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance coalition to power for a second term, with a huge mandate. In doing so, it polarized the film industry. The NDA won 351 seats out of a total of 542. The biggest democratic exercise in the world, more than 600 million Indians voted across six weeks. [...]

  • Director Dean DeBlois and online game

    'Dragon' Director Dean DeBlois and PUBG's CH Kim to Keynote 2019 VIEW Conference

    Dean DeBlois, director and executive producer of DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” and PUBG Corporation CEO CH Kim are the first keynote speakers announced for the 2019 VIEW Conference in Turin, Italy, in October. Since it began 12 years ago, VIEW, which stands for Virtual Interactive Emerging World, has continually [...]

  • 'The Cordillera of Dreams' Review: Poetic

    Cannes Film Review: 'The Cordillera of Dreams'

    Rounding out his sublimely meditative, deeply personal documentary-essay trilogy on time, memory and the relationship of Chile’s breathtaking landscapes to its troubled human history, Patricio Guzmán delivers “The Cordillera of Dreams,” a haunting and allusive exploration of the cultural impact of the country’s most spectacular geological feature: its snowcapped mountain spine. Coming after the exploration [...]

  • Ari Emanuel Endeavor

    Endeavor IPO Filing Offers Details of Company's Financials, Leadership Pay Packages

    Endeavor’s IPO filing Thursday offers a hard look at the company’s financial performance during the past three years during a period of rapid growth for the company that’s home to UFC, WME, Professional Bull Riders and a clutch of other assets. Endeavor is generating solid free cash flow from operations and healthy adjusted earnings for [...]

  • Inside amfAR's Cannes Gala

    Inside amfAR's Cannes Gala: Mariah Carey, Kendall Jenner and Tiffany Trump

    Kendall Jenner caused a commotion when she arrived. Tiffany Trump went unrecognized until a member of the press pointed her out as she made her way down the carpet. And Mariah Carey flew in to perform a couple of songs. Welcome to this year’s AmfAR Gala Cannes, the AIDS organization’s annual — and largest — [...]

  • 'Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo' Review: Abdellatif

    Cannes Film Review: 'Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo'

    A simple but somehow atypical shot opens Abdellatif Kechiche’s new film: a serene closeup of a young woman’s face, as seen through the camera lens of Amir, a budding photographer still finding his perspective. Her expression is ambiguously tranquil, her long hair lightly rustled by a humid breeze, all softly lit by a sinking afternoon [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content