Screen Media has acquired North American rights to “The Birthday Cake,” a mob crime drama that boasts a murderer’s row of talent.
The film may be Jimmy Giannopoulos’ feature directorial debut, but the director attracted such stars and veterans as Shiloh Fernandez, Ewan McGregor, Val Kilmer, Lorraine Bracco, William Fichtner, Ashley Benson, Luis Guzman, Paul Sorvino, Vincent Pastore, Aldis Hodge, Penn Badgley, Emory Cohen, and Jeremy Allen White. That’s partly because the filmmaker spent years working in short films and music with artists including Miley Cyrus, A$AP Rocky and Kid Cudi. Screen Media will release the film in theaters and on demand in June 2021.
Here’s the official logline: “‘The Birthday Cake’ takes place on one fateful evening in the life of Gio (Fernandez), the son of a murdered mobster and the nephew of Brooklyn mob boss, Angelo (Kilmer). On the 10th anniversary of his father’s mysterious death, Gio carries on the family tradition of bringing a cake his mother (Bracco) baked to this uncle’s house for a celebration. Just two hours into the night, Gio’s life is forever changed as he begins to piece together what really happened to his father and ultimately comes face to face with the type of violence he has managed to avoid his whole life.”
“We all grew up loving New York mob movies,” said Giannopoulos. “It had been a while since anyone had made one, so we decided to explore the mob today. Where they currently stand. Dealing with gentrification, weakening power, rival gangs, the realities of the Feds knocking them off. But we wanted to combine their traditional world with modern day Brooklyn. A very different world from their glory days. We experience the ride all through the eyes of the son of a gangster who has avoided their world his entire life. But his past comes back to haunt him, and we join him for a night of chaos.”
Screen Media, which is owned by Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, recently scored a hit with Rod Laurie’s “The Outpost,” a critically lauded war film that was released in 2020. In a statement, the company described “The Birthday Cake” as “one tasty treat” and “a love letter to the great mob movies of the past” that also boasts a modern twist.
Giannopoulos co-wrote the script with Diomedes Raul Bermudez and Fernandez. “The Birthday Cake” is produced by Bermudez of Purpose Films, Fernandez, Siena Oberman of Artemis Pictures, Carlos Cuscó of Foton Pictures, and Danny Sawaf of Oceana Studios. Executive Producers include Damiano Tucci of Tucci & Co., Shaun Sanghani of SSS Entertainment and Capital, Andrew Davies Gans, Jamin O’Brien, Fernando Ferro, Kyle Stroud, Luke Daniels, Paola Paulin, Craig Butta, Sergio Rizzuto and Greg Lauritano
The deal was negotiated by Seth Needle, Screen’s SVP of global acquisitions and co-productions, with Endeavor Content representing the filmmakers.
Screen Media’s recent acquisitions include “Eat Wheaties!” starring Tony Hale, “Senior Moment” starring William Shatner, Jean Smart and Christopher Lloyd, and “Off the Rails” starring Kelly Preston.