- LOS ANGELES
Alma Har’el--founder of the Free The Bid initiative designed to open up opportunities for female filmmakers, and a nominee this year for the DGA Award as best commercial director of the year on the strength of P&G’s Winter Olympics piece, “Love Over Bias”--is set to direct the feature film Honey Boy starring Shia LaBeouf and Lucas Hedges. Producers are Brian Kavanaugh-Jones of Automatik, Daniela Taplin Lundberg of Stay Gold Features and Christopher Leggett of Delirio Films. Automatik’s Fred Berger is executive producer. Stay Gold Features will finance.
Honey Boy follows child actor Otis Lort (Hedges) and his law-breaking, alcohol-abusing father James (LaBeouf) as they attempt to mend their contentious relationship over the course of a decade.
Honey Boy will film in Los Angeles.
LaBeouf received rave reviews for his performance in Borg vs McEnroe at the Toronto Film Festival; the film releases this April. He recently starred in the acclaimed film American Honey. He will be seen next in Peanut Butter Falcon.
Hedges recently starred in Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird. He received an Academy Award nomination for his performance in Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester By The Sea. Upcoming films include Boy A opposite Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe, directed by Joel Edgerton, and Ben is Back, opposite Julie Roberts, written and directed by Peter Hedges.
Har’el’s award-winning, inventive and poetic films include LoveTrue and Bombay Beach. The latter took the top prize at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, received the “Truer Than Fiction” Spirit Award nomination and has been taught in several universities, including Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab and Film Center, as a “genre redefining work.” LoveTrue premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival and can be seen on Netflix. She created the nonprofit initiative Free The Bid which advocates for inclusiveness in the commercial world and specifically challenges ad agencies to include women in every triple-bid project and for production companies in general to hire more women talent behind the camera. She first collaborated with LaBeouf on an acclaimed music video for Sigur Rós, in which he starred. He went on to executive produce LoveTrue. Har’el directs commercials in the U.S. via Epoch Films.
Kavanaugh-Jones is the founder of Automatik, a Los Angeles-based film and television production company, and partnered with Fred Berger. Kavanaugh-Jones executive produced the Jeff Nichols’ feature Loving which was nominated for an Academy Award and two Golden Globes. Kavanaugh-Jones also produced Nichols’ previous film Midnight Special for Warner Bros. Kavanaugh-Jones recently produced Chris Weitz’s Operation Finale for MGM (Sir Ben Kingsley & Oscar Isaac), Miles Joris-Peyrafitte’s Dreamland (Margot Robbie), Max Minghella’s Teen Spirit (Elle Fanning), Banks Griffin’s THE WOLF HOUR (Naomi Watts), Shana Feste’s Boundaries (Vera Farmiga, Christopher Plummer), Jamie Dagg’s Sweet Virginia (Jon Bernthal, Rosemarie Dewitt, Chris Abbott, Imogen Poots), Autopsy of Jane Doe written by Andre Ovredal, and Automatik’s first television series Beyond which has just premiered its second season on ABC’s Freeform network.
Lundberg is the founder of Stay Gold Features, a New York based finance and production company established in 2016. Stay Gold’s first film Patti Cake$ premiered at Sundance 2017 where it sold to Fox Searchlight in one of the biggest deals of the festival. The company executive produced and co-financed David Robert Mitchell’s Under the Silver Lake, starring Andrew Garfield, which will be released this year by A24. Stay Gold is in development on a number of films, including a historical adventure based on the life of Harriet Tubman starring Cynthia Erivo, the Black List script Heart of the Beast about an ex-navy Seal and his dog who must survive in the wilderness after an accident, an origins story about Teddy Roosevelt based on the Pulitzer prize-winning biography "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt" to be directed by Alex Timbers, and Black Lion, the true story of war correspondent Carlos Mavroleon which Andrew Garfield will star in and produce. Lundberg formerly founded and headed Red Crown Productions and has financed and produced over 30 films, such as Cary Fukunaga’s Beasts of No Nation, Michael Showalter’s Hello, My Name is Doris, and Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids Are All Right.
Leggett is a partner at Delirio Films, a Los-Angeles based film, television and commercial production company. Leggett began his producing career at NBC Universal Sports, covering three Olympic Games and developing an original series during his tenure. From there, he segued into independent production. Leggett’s first producing credit at Delirio Films, The Short Game, won the Audience award at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival and was picked up by Netflix as its first Original Documentary. His documentary LoveTrue premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival and won the Jury award for Best Documentary at Karlovy Vary. In 2017, Delirio Films partnered with Hulu as it launched its Original Feature Documentaries with Too Funny Too Fail and Becoming Bond, which won the SXSW Audience award. Leggett currently has two feature documentaries slated for a 2018 release, as well as a six episode docuseries.