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Film News Roundup: Marcia Gay Harden Joins Drama ‘Pink Skies Ahead’

In today’s film news roundup, Marcia Gay Harden joins “Pink Skies Ahead,” Jack Mulhern stars in a Europe-set hockey movie, Oceana Studio opens its financing division and Participant hires a social impact veteran.

CASTINGS

Academy Award winner Marcia Gay Harden has been added to the cast of the drama “Pink Skies Ahead,” the first feature film from Greg Silverman’s Stampede.

The Kelly Oxford film, which will begin production later this month in Los Angeles, tells the story of a wild young woman — played by Jessica Barden — whose life unravels after dropping out of college, moving in with her parents and being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. It’s based on the essay “No Real Danger” from Oxford’s second book, “When You Find Out the World Is Against You.”

Henry Winkler, Rosa Salazar, Devon Bostick and Lewis Pullman also star. Silverman and Lisa Zambri are producing alongside Divide/Conquer’s Greg Gilreath and Adam Hendricks as producers and Zac Locke as executive producer. Yu is also an exec producer. Silverman is the former Warner Bros. Pictures president who’s now CEO and co-chairman at Stampede.

Harden is set to play the mother of Barden’s character. She’s a yoga instructor and all-around family quarterback.

Harden won an Oscar for supporting actress in “Pollock” and was nominated for “Mystic River.” She is represented by ICM Partners, Framework Entertainment and Schreck Rose DaPella and Adams. 

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Producers have announced the cast of “Odd Man Rush,” starring Jack Mulhern in a coming-of-age story set in the quirky world of European minor league hockey.

The cast includes Dylan Playfair, Elektra Jansson and the offspring of two notable hockey players — Wayne Gretzky’s son Trevor and Mario Lemieux’s daughter Alexa.

Director Doug Dearth co-wrote the script with Bill Keenan. Producers are Grant Slater, Todd Slater, and Jonathan M. Black of Slater Brothers Entertainment, and Howard and Karen Baldwin of KEMB Productions. The Baldwins are the former owners of the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team. Post-production will take place in Syracuse, NY and New York City. Mulhern stars in the Netflix series “The Society.”

FINANCING

Oceana Studios has officially opened its financing division with its first project set as “Big Gold Brick,” starring Andy Garcia, Emory Cohen, Oscar Isaac, Lucy Hale and Megan Fox.

Founder Danny Sawaf is working as a producer and financier for the film, which will be directed by Brian Pestos.

“The universality of the human condition has created a global demand for international films that touch all cultures,” Sawaf said. “We have the capital to fund content at the forefront of originality and storytelling. Our team is accessible and open to new ideas and we’ve been tapping into the industry’s most promising and creative minds to deliver award-winning films.

Oceana Studios is also developing heist comedy “Robbery 101” from writer Scott Reynolds, directors Cary Murnion and Jon Milott, and producer Nick Moceri; gangster anthology “La Vida Coca”; and the thriller “Open Waters,” written and directed by Sikandar Sidhu about a celebrity actor being abducted by a fanatical director.

EXECUTIVE HIRING

Participant Media has hired veteran executive Samantha Wright as senior vice president of social impact.

In her role, Wright will lead the social impact team and execute scaled campaigns, with a particular focus on cross-company operations, campaign strategy and innovation. She will report to Holly Gordon, Participant’s chief impact officer.

Wright served as managing director for Exposure Labs and produced impact campaigns around the Emmy winning film “Chasing Coral.” She was VP of global programs at Girl Rising, where she led projects to catalyze the girls’ education movement.

Participant focuses on projects with real world impact and awareness around today’s most vital issues. Best known titles include “Wonder,” “Contagion,” “Lincoln,” and “The Help.”

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