EXCLUSIVE: The American production company Catalyst Studios is launching a list of female projects that will be picked up for sales by Highland Entertainment Group.
Attorney Holly Levow (Detained) teamed up with Mark Pennell (Storm warning) and Paul Kampf (Detained) form Catalyst which will focus on feature films from emerging talent and with diverse storytelling. The company says its mission is to invest in new filmmakers with multi-picture deals.
The company’s initial list will include six feature films directed, produced and centered on female protagonists. The company is a joint venture between Levow’s Equitas Entertainment and Kampf and Beacon Pictures, where Pennell is responsible for special projects and new business.
The first film on the program will be Alex, described as a “redemptive coming-of-age fantasy”. Written and directed by Ana Maria Hermida (firefly), the film traces the subject of sex trafficking in the Colombian jungles. Alex will be produced by Holly Levow, Lemore Syvan, Mark Pennell and Paul Kampf. Production is expected to begin in fall 2022.
The six-film slate will be shot in multiple locations, including Colombia and Belgrade, with Bandur Film providing production services in Serbia.
“Catalyst Studios’ inaugural effort is a bold but urgent commitment; women represent more than 50% of the audience and represent only a fraction of the creative market. It is both a tremendous business opportunity and a socially conscious business investment that we tell stories of women by women,” said Levow, CatalystPresident.
Kampf and Pennell added: “It’s a new dawn, a new day for cinema. We have an opportunity to improve the way things are done and we think we have to seize the moment”.
“This new slate of Catalyst Studios is a wonderful opportunity to empower women in front of and behind the camera,” commented Highland Film Group CEO Arianne Fraser.
“We’re incredibly excited about these six bold new female-led films – there’s great audience demand for these kinds of projects!” added Delphine Perrier, COO of Highland Film Group.