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Film News Roundup: Medieval Horror Movie ‘The Head’ Bought by Vertical Entertaintment

In today’s film news roundup, medieval horror movie “The Head” gets distribution, Matt Leonetti becomes head of physical production for Lionsgate and the Art Directors Guild honors three longtime members.


Vertical Entertainment has acquired worldwide distribution rights to medieval horror movie “The Head” and will launch international sales at the American Film Market, which opens Oct. 31 in Santa Monica, Calif.

The independent feature, which premiered at the Sitges Film Festival in Spain, is produced, directed and written by Jordan Downey (“ThanksKilling”). Kevin Stewart (“Unfriended: Dark Web”) co-wrote and produced along with Ricky Fosheim (“Uneasy Lies the Mind”).

“The Head” follows a bounty hunter who seeks vengeance on the monster that slayed his only daughter. It was shoot almost entirely in Portugal and is the film debut of Christopher Rygh. The deal was negotiated by Josh Spector on behalf of Vertical Entertainment and Ricky Fosheim of Detention Films on behalf of the filmmakers.


Matt Leonetti has been named president of physical production for Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group.

He will shepherd all areas of physical production for Lionsgate’s feature film slate including releases from its Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment labels as well as titles from Pantelion, Codeblack, Roadside Attractions and Premiere brands.

Leonetti previously served for five years at Sony Pictures, most recently as executive vice president of physical production under Andy Davis, where he oversaw production of “Jumanji,” “Peter Rabbit,” “Venom” and “Charlie’s Angels.”  Prior to Sony, he headed physical production at Good Universe.


Senior illustrator and production designer Ed Verreaux, scenic artist Jim Fiorito and set designer and art director William F. Matthews are recipients of the Art Directors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award.

They will be honored at the 23rd Annual ADG Excellence in Production Design Awards on Feb. 2 at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown on Feb. 2, 2019. Oscar-nominated production designer Jeannine Oppewall had been announced previously as a Lifetime Achievement honoree.

Verreaux began his film career working for animation director Chuck Jones and joined Robert Abel & Associates where he was assigned as one of the earliest designers on the Star Trek project. He worked on Steven Spielberg films including “Jurassic Park lll,” “Jurassic World,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Poltergeist,” and “E.T.”

Fiorito worked for Pyramid Scenic at Paramount Pictures and produced backdrops seen in the “Star Trek” Films, “Patriot Games,” “The Right Stuff” and TV’s “Married With Children.” Matthews, a union member for 34 years, is best known for his work on “Cheaper by the Dozen,” “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” “Lost,” “Poltergeist,” “E.T.,” and  “Gremlins.”


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