“Caged” current project for producers of film sold to New Def Filmmakers

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With their debut feature in post-production with the Simmons Lathan Media Group, the filmmakers of “Player in Training” are gearing up for their next production, “Caged.”

N’2FILM’N Productions and Reel Soul Inc. will shoot the DV drama “Caged” for a five-figure budget starting in late April.

“‘Caged’ is about a young guy who loses everything he depends on in his life ? his family, his girlfriend, his child. He has to learn to depend on himself to make it in America as a black man, to grow up and become a better person,” said Kristina Bell, the film’s producer and president of Reel Soul.

Eldridge Valentino is directing from a script by star Elliot Porter, his partner in N’2FILM’N productions. Valentino and Porter co-directed the no-budget comedy “Player in Training,” also from Porter’s script.

Valentino and Porter shot “Player in Training” in 2002 and submitted the film to rap mogul Russell Simmons and Stan Lathan’s New Def Filmmakers Program when the program was launched last July as an outlet to discover urban talent.

Simmons Lathan accepted the film within a month, buying distribution rights for theatrical, video and TV. The company is remixing the sound and plans to seek a third party distributor, said Bell, who was an associate producer on the film. The filmmakers are in talks with Simmons Lathan about also picking up “Caged,” she said.

Bell got her masters in film and video two years ago from Columbia College. Last year she produced Kirby Ashley’s Super 16mm short “Blast On” for Onyx Productions. She’s developing her own script, “The Basement,” about a group of young friends in 1976 fighting to save their beloved titular South Side disco from demolition. Valentino is set to direct and Porter is attached in a leading role. “We’ll want a much bigger budget for that one,” Bell said.

“Caged” co-stars Xandra Rivera. UPM is Vivian Payton.

Reel Soul, Inc. is at 28 E. Jackson, 10th Floor, Suite C44. Call 773/793-6725 or e-mail reel_soul_inc@yahoo.com.
? by Ed M. Koziarski, edk@homesickblues.com

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