Pom KLEMENTIEFF (Haeng-Bok)
Pom Klementieff is a French actress, born in Quebec to a Russian-French father and a Korean mother, who is now based in Los Angeles. As the child of a diplomat, she traveled the world, living in different countries such as Canada, Japan, and the Ivory Coast, before settling in France at the age of 5.
At the age of 18 Pom decided to take lessons in a drama school. After only 5 months she won a theater competition, which allowed her entry to Cours Florent’s “Classe Libre,” the highly selective 2-year program at Paris’s respected, multi-discipline program for actors in theatre and cinema.
Pom made her feature debut in Après Lui (After Him) by Gael Morel, in which she played Catherine Deneuve’s stepdaughter. After playing several supporting roles in French cinema and television, Pom was chosen by director Nicolas Vanier to play the lead in Loup (Wolf). In order to prepare for this character, Pom lived in a tent with real Siberian nomads, enduring the -67°F conditions of the country’s harsh climate. She also learned how to ride a reindeer and swim with horses. Pom was able to show her lighter side as the lead in the French comedy Les Kaïra, directed by Franck Gastambide, which was a hit at the box-office last summer.
Having established herself as a young talent in France, Pom was introduced to the US, when Frederic Jardin’s Sleepless Night won acclaim in last years’ Toronto film festival. Since then, she traveled back and forth from France to the US, meeting and auditioning for American filmmakers.
About The Filmmakers
Spike LEE (Director)
Spike Lee is a notable writer, director, producer, actor, and author, who revolutionized both the landscape of independent cinema and the role of black talent in film. Widely regarded as a premiere African-American filmmaker, Lee is a forerunner in the do-it-yourself school of filmmaking.
Spike's most recent works are Red Hook Summer, a feature film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2012, and a documentary that celebrates Michael Jackson's successful studio album, Bad 25, which premiered international at the Venice Film Festival. Previous to this, he released the Peabody Award winning documentary sequel, If God’s Willing and The Creek Don’t Rise, which revisits the recently storm-ravaged Gulf Coast region, as residents attempt to rebuild in their cities while also demanding assistance and accountability from their political leaders. This film comes on the heels of 2006’s When the Levees Broke, the groundbreaking first documentary that followed the plight of Americans stranded in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
Set in 1944, Lee’s 2008 theatrical release Miracle At St. Anna follows the story of four black American soldiers, members of the all-black 92nd ‘Buffalo Soldier’ Division in the US army, while trapped behind enemy lines in Tuscany, Italy during World War II. An avid sports enthusiast, Lee also completed a one-day, 18-camera documentary shoot focusing on NBA standout Kobe Bryant, of the Los Angeles Lakers. Produced for ESPN, the unique piece is entitled Kobe Doin’ Work. Another recent project, Passing Strange, the critically acclaimed Broadway musical, explores the travels of a young African American musician in search of himself. Passing Strange debuted at the Sundance Film Festival.
Other critical and box office successes have included such films as Inside Man, 25th Hour, The Original Kings of Comedy, Bamboozled, and Summer of Sam. Lee’s films Girl 6, Get On the Bus, Do the Right Thing, and Clockers display his ability to showcase a series of outspoken and provocative socio-political critiques that challenge cultural assumptions, not only about race, but class and gender identity as well.
His debut film, the independently produced comedy She’s Gotta Have It, earned him the Prix de Jeunesse Award at the Cannes Film festival in 1986, and set him at the forefront of the Black New Wave in American Cinema. His second feature, the very profitable and critically acclaimed School Daze, helped launch the careers of several young Black actors. Lee’s timely 1989 film, Do the Right Thing, garnered an Academy Award® nomination for Best Original Screenplay, and Best Film and Director awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Lee’s Jungle Fever, Mo’ Better Blues, Clockers, and Crooklyn were also well received by critics and fans alike. His epic drama Malcolm X, starring Denzel Washington, received two Academy Award® nominations.
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, and raised in Brooklyn, Lee returned south to attend Morehouse College. After graduation, he returned to Brooklyn to continue his education at New York University’s Tisch School of Arts in Manhattan, where he received his Master of Fine Arts Degree in film production. He founded 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, based in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn, where he has resided since childhood.
In addition to his film achievements, Lee has produced and directed numerous music videos for diverse artists including Chaka Khan, Tracy Chapman, Anita Baker, Public Enemy, Bruce Hornsby and Michael Jackson. His other music videos include work for the late Miles Davis and Phyllis Hyman, Naughty by Nature and Arrested Development.
Lee’s commercial work began in 1988 with his Nike Air Jordan campaign. Collaborating with basketball great Michael Jordan on several commercials, Lee resurrected his popular character, Mars Blackmon from She’s Gotta Have It. He has also completed a PSA for UNCF entitled Two Michaels, which also features Michael Jordan. Lee is also well known for his Levi’s Button-Fly 501, AT&T and ESPN television commercials. His other commercial ventures include TV spots for Philips, Nike, American Express, Snapple and Taco Bell. Lee has also directed several Art Spot Shorts for MTV, and a short film featuring Branford Marsalis and Diahnne Abbott for Saturday Night Live.
Lee is also involved in documentaries and sports programs. He completed the Emmy- and Oscar®-nominated documentary 4 Little Girls for HBO, and received an Emmy Award for his piece on Georgetown’s John Thompson for HBO/Real Sports.
Additionally, Lee has authored six books on the making of his films. The fifth book, Five For Five, served as a pictorial reflection of his first five features. He then followed up with Best Seat in the House, authored with Ralph Wiley. Lee co-authored a children’s book entitled, Please, Baby Please with his wife Tonya Lewis Lee, and most recently authored a retrospective book about his film career entitled, That’s My Story and I’m Sticking To It.
Ever moving into new areas, Spike Lee has combined his extensive creative experience into yet another venture. Partnering with DDB Needham, he created Spike/DDB, a full-service advertising agency.
Mark PROTOSEVICH (Writer, Co-Producer)
Mark Protosevich is a screenwriter whose films have earned 1.3 billion dollars worldwide, combined lifetime gross. The Cell starred Jennifer Lopez, Vince Vaughn, and Vincent D’Onofrio, and was the feature film debut of director Tarsem Singh. Roger Ebert listed The Cell as one of the ten best films of 2000, and Protosevich’s screenplay was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award. Poseidon starred Kurt Russell, Richard Dreyfuss, and Josh Lucas, and was directed by acclaimed filmmaker Wolfgang Petersen. I Am Legend starred Will Smith and was directed by Francis Lawrence. The film had the second best December opening box-office of all time, and remains one of Will Smith’s most commercially successful motion pictures.
Thor (2011) starred Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, and Anthony Hopkins and was directed by Kenneth Branagh.
Protosevich was born in Chicago, Illinois and studied Film at Columbia College Chicago. After graduating with honors, he spent four years teaching beginning film production courses at Columbia College and then moved to Los Angeles, where he began his motion picture career as a story analyst for producer Scott Rudin.
He worked as a development executive for Orion Pictures, producer Dawn Steel, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and then made his first spec screenplay sale for The Cell. Protosevich happily left the world of the “suits” behind and has since been doing what he always dreamed of doing for a living: writing screenplays.
His next project is a science fiction/horror tale for director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) and producer J.J. Abrams (Star Trek, Super 8, Mission Impossible III)
Protosevich lives on Cape Cod with his wife, the painter Robena Malicoat.
Roy LEE (Producer)
Producer Roy Lee established the Hollywood-based production company Vertigo Entertainment in 2001 alongside then partner Doug Davison. He served as Executive Producer on Gore Verbinski's 2002 blockbuster The Ring - his first motion picture producing credit - and also went on to Executive Produce 2004’s The Grudge, which starred Sarah Michelle Gellar and was based on the 2000 Japanese thriller Ju-On, directed by Takashi Shimizu. In October 2006, Roy served as Executive Producer of The Departed, a crime thriller at Warner Bros., directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio. It was Scorsese's highest grossing film and went on to win multiple Academy Awards®, including Best Picture.
Roy maintains a first-look deal at Warner Bros., where his company is currently in production on the Lego animated feature film, directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, with a voice cast including Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Ferrell, and Morgan Freeman; and the crime thriller Run All Night, directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and starring Liam Neeson and Ed Harris. Upcoming films include How To Train Your Dragon 2, to be released in March 2014, and a reboot of Poltergeist, currently scheduled for release in late 2014.
Doug DAVISON (Producer)
Doug Davison made his first big mark in Hollywood with the wildly successful haunted-house thriller The Grudge, which starred Sarah Michelle Gellar and was based on the 2000 Japanese thriller, Ju-On, directed by Takashi Shimizu. The box office hit currently holds the record for the biggest horror opening weekend of all time, following its October 2004 release, and went on to gross over $187 million worldwide. The Grudge 2 was released in October 2006, starring Amber Tamblyn and Sarah Michelle Gellar, and directed by Takashi Shimizu, which topped the box office at $22 million in its opening weekend. October 2006 also saw the release of The Departed, a crime thriller at Warner Bros., executive produced by Davison, and directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio. The film grossed $27 million in its opening weekend and over $289 million worldwide, and went on to win four Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Achievement in Editing. Davison produced The Grudge and The Departed at Vertigo Entertainment, a motion picture development and production company he co-founded in 2001 and ran until 2010.
He has since gone on to form a new venture, Quadrant Pictures, which he formed in September of 2011.
Vertigo’s first production, DreamWorks’ The Ring, adapted from Hideo Nakata’s popular 1998 Japanese fright film, opened to resounding success worldwide, tallying a quarter billion dollars at the global box office. Hideo Nakata directed the sequel, The Ring Two, adapted from his Japanese sequel Ringu 2, which won the U.S. box office sweepstakes on its opening weekend in March 2005. That year, Davison produced another Japanese horror adaptation, Dark Water, based on Koji Suzuki’s novel, directed by Walter Salles and starring Oscar-winner Jennifer Connelly in the thriller depicting a haunted apartment building. Early 2006 saw the release of The Lake House, a romance at Warner Bros., starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock, which has grossed over $100 million worldwide.
Davison has also produced Quarantine, a horror thriller for Sony/Screen Gems, starring Jennifer Carpenter and Jay Hernandez, and directed by John Dowdle, which grossed over $41 million worldwide; and The Strangers, a suspense-thriller at Universal, starring Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman, and written and directed by Bryan Bertino. The latter went on to gross over $81 million worldwide. Both Quarantine and The Strangers were made for budgets under $12 million. Davison also co-produced the Dreamworks Animated hit How To Train Your Dragon, which has grossed over $475,000,000 worldwide and is at work on the sequel, which will be released in 2013.
Under his new Quadrant Pictures banner, Davison is developing the acclaimed best selling book series, Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness, for Lionsgate, for which Academy Award winner Charlie Kaufman is adapting and Robert Zemeckis will direct. He also has the psychological thriller, Intrusion, for Lava Bear, David Linde’s new financing and production company. His next film after that will be a re-make of the French film Livid. It is being financed by SND Films out of France and is being directed by Nicholas McCarthy (The Pact). In addition, Quadrant is actively moving into television and is producing an adaptation of the famous Japanese manga, Black Jack, with Canadian TV studio, E1.
Davison, a Washington, D.C. native, attended The Hotchkiss School and then Hamilton College in upstate New York. After graduating with a degree in English literature, he relocated to New York City, where he pursued work in the film industry, first as a set production assistant on Die Hard: With A Vengeance, then as a script reader at New Line Cinema. Upon relocating to Los Angeles, Davison landed at William Morris and then Mad Chance Productions where, under the tutelage of Andrew Lazar, he worked as the company’s director of development before rising to become their President of Production. While at Mad Chance, Davison worked on such films as Space Cowboys, directed by Clint Eastwood, Cats and Dogs, Get Smart and George Clooney’s directorial debut, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.
Nathan KAHANE (Producer)
Nathan Kahane is Co-Founder of Good Universe, an independent full-service motion picture financing, production and global sales company. Kahane oversees the development and production of the company’s feature slate, nurtures relationships with filmmakers and consistently puts together winning business models behind compelling films.
Kahane is currently shepherding Good Universe’s slate which includes the comedy Last Vegas with partner CBS Films to be released in November 2013 featuring an Academy Award®-winning cast including Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline and Mary Steenburgen; the Universal Pictures comedy Neighbors directed by Nick Stoller starring Seth Rogen and Zac Efron; Angelfall, an adaptation of Susan Ee’s bestselling book series to be produced by Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert; the sci-fi thriller Extinction written by Spenser Cohen and produced by David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman; an Untitled R-Rated Comedy written by Brian and James Kehoe to be directed by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg and produced by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Hurwitz and Schlossberg; the sci-fi action thriller Panopticon to be directed by Tarsem Singh and written by Craig Rosenberg; the sci-fi/romance Departure written and to be directed by Billy Ray and produced by Jim Whitaker; and Kahane is reteaming with Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Jonathan Levine, and Will Reiser on a feature comedy, The Untitled Jamaica Project.
Kahane is also a partner with Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Joe Drake in Ghost House Pictures, a production label dedicated to the financing, development and release of films in the horror thriller genre. Ghost House Pictures has enjoyed seven #1 hits since The Grudge in 2004 and most recently The Possession released by Lionsgate and Evil Dead released by Sony Pictures and FilmDistrict. Ghost House’s slate includes Poltergeist, the landmark franchise currently in production with MGM and Fox 2000, and The Day of the Triffids written by Neil Cross based on the classic sci-fi horror novel written by John Wyndam and the 1962 film Invasion of the Triffids.
In his former role as President of Mandate Pictures, Kahane’s commitment to producing smartly budgeted quality films generated such hits as the $227 million worldwide box office sensation Juno which won an Academy Award® for Best Original Screenplay and three additional Academy Award® nominations; the Harold & Kumar franchise; the Golden Globe®-nominated and Independent Spirit Award-winning comedy 50/50; the Golden Globe®-nominated comedy Young Adult directed by Jason Reitman; the Golden Globe®-nominated Hope Springs starring Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones and Steve Carell; the break-out comedy This Is The End starring Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson and Danny McBride, released by Sony Pictures.
Kahane previously headed development and acquisition of feature films for the LA-based Senator International. Prior to joining Senator International, he co-headed the development and production slate for Mark Canton’s production company, The Canton Company (housed at Warner Bros.), where he was Executive Vice President of Production. Kahane is a graduate of the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and began his entertainment career in the agent training program at ICM.
Joe DRAKE (Executive Producer)
Joe Drake is Co-Founder of Good Universe, an independent full-service motion picture financing, production and global sales company. Drake shepherds the company’s overall business and is responsible for building key financial, creative and strategic partnerships. Drake has extensive background in running independent production companies and overseeing studio domestic and international motion picture groups.
Prior to Good Universe, Drake served as President of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group and Co-Chief Operating Officer of Lionsgate where he pioneered the company’s franchise building strategy which resulted in the global juggernaut The Hunger Games and the global box office hit The Expendables. Under his tenure, the Motion Picture Group doubled its average box office revenue generating more than $3 billion in global box office, earned 23 Academy Award® nominations and four Academy Award® wins, and experienced the most profitable period in the company’s history adding over $600 million in value to Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group.
Good Universe’s upcoming slate includes: the comedy Last Vegas with partner CBS Films to be released in November 2013 featuring an Academy Award®-winning cast including Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline and Mary Steenburgen; the Universal Pictures comedy Neighbors directed by Nick Stoller starring Seth Rogen and Zac Efron; Angelfall, an adaptation of Susan Ee’s bestselling book series to be produced by Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert; the sci-fi/romance Departure written and to be directed by Billy Ray and produced by Jim Whitaker.
Drake is also a partner with Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Nathan Kahane in Ghost House Pictures, a leader in the horror thriller genre with seven #1 box office hits, most recently The Possession released by Lionsgate and Evil Dead released by Sony Pictures and FilmDistrict. Ghost House has a diverse slate which includes Poltergeist, the landmark franchise currently in production with MGM and Fox 2000, and The Day of the Triffids written by Neil Cross based on the classic sci-fi horror novel written by John Wyndam and the 1962 film Invasion of the Triffids.
Prior to Lionsgate, Drake founded Mandate Pictures (following a management buyout of Senator International) which produced the global box office success and Academy Award® winning Juno and other hits including Hope Springs starring Meryl Streep, the Golden Globe®-nominated 50/50 and the Seth Rogen/Jonah Hill/James Franco comedy This Is The End.
Earlier in his career, Drake served posts at Rysher Entertainment and Moviestore Entertainment.
John Powers MIDDLETON (Executive Producer)
John Powers Middleton is a Partner at Vertigo Entertainment, Director for Double Play Incorporated (DPI co-owns the Philadelphia Phillies), Producer of The Alfonso Aguilar Show on Univision Radio, and Founder and Partner of Sol TV.
Middleton was raised in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania and studied at Duke University and University of Pennsylvania. In October 2010, Middleton joined Vertigo Entertainment as a partner. Vertigo Entertainment, based in Beverly Hills, produced the 2004 haunted-house horror The Grudge, which broke the record for the biggest opening weekend of all time for a horror film. October 2006 saw the release of The Departed, a crime thriller at Warner Bros., directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio, which went on to win four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay.
Vertigo is currently under a three year first-look deal with Warner Bros. for feature film and is currently working on several projects in various stages of production and development: Lego: The Piece of Resistance, based on the popular toy line; The Stand, an adaptation of the Stephen King novel; Hidden, a contained thriller starring Alexander Skarsgard; The Voices, directed by Marjane Satrapi; Run All Night, directed by Jaume Collet-Sera. Middleton is also executive producer of the A&E series Bates Motel.
Peter SCHLESSEL (Executive Producer)
Peter Schlessel has had a varied and entrepreneurial career in the entertainment industry. He currently is CEO of FilmDistrict and will transition to the re-imagined Focus Features as its CEO as of January, 2014. FilmDistrict most recently distributed Insidious: Chapter 2, which Schlessel served as an Executive Producer. The horror thriller had a stellar first weekend release in North America debuting to more than $40 million at the box office making it one of the largest horror genre openings ever and one of the biggest openings for a film released in the month of September. The company has also released notable titles including Olympus Has Fallen, Insidious, Evil Dead, Looper, Soul Surfer, and Safety Not Guaranteed, a number of which Schlessel has also served as an Executive Producer. Upcoming FilmDistrict releases include That Awkward Moment starring Zac Efron, Miles Teller, and Michael B. Jordan on January 31, 2014; Pompeii starring Kit Harington on February 21, 2014; and Selfless starring Ryan Reynolds on September 26, 2014.
Schlessel started his career at Sony Pictures Entertainment (“SPE”) in 1989 as Director of Legal Affairs for RCA/Columbia Home Video. He was subsequently VP of Business Affairs, SVP of Acquisitions and Business Affairs and EVP of Acquisitions and Co-Productions. In 1996, he co-founded Screen Gems, which was set up to finance and produce genre, mid-range budgeted pictures. During his tenure at SPE he supervised over 1500 third-party acquisitions. Under Schlessel’s supervision, revenue grew tenfold for the acquisition and co-production lines of business. In 2000, Schlessel was promoted to President of Production for Columbia Pictures. In the three years he was President of Production, Columbia’s box office rank rose from #8 in 2000 to #1 in 2002 (setting a then industry record of $1.57 billion). In the beginning of 2003, Schlessel was promoted to President of Columbia Pictures. While President, he was involved in Columbia’s summer hits Spiderman, Charlie’s Angels and SWAT. Internationally, he spearheaded Columbia’s acquisition of T3: Rise of the Machines and Terminator: Salvation.
In 2004, Schlessel left Sony to consult for a number of different companies including Dreamworks and Mandate Pictures. He also assisted Jeff Skoll in founding Participant Productions. As a Producer he was involved with Stay Alive, Prey and the Possession.
Schlessel returned to SPE in 2006 as the President of Worldwide Acquisitions, before being promoted to President of Worldwide Affairs. He was responsible for SPE’s involvement in such pictures as District 9 and Michael Jackson’s This Is It. SPE’s release of GK Film’s The Tourist and the upcoming Jersey Boys were under an output deal that Schlessel initiated. He also oversaw the SPE’s Lot Project, which included the construction of two office towers, a new commissary, athletic club and park.
Schlessel is a graduate of Union College in Schenectady, NY and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.