SUNDANCE NOW CASTS MARLEE MATLIN, CHERYL HINES, ZACH GILFORD AND COLT PRATTES IN ENDEARING DRAMEDY, "THIS CLOSE"
Straight-to-Series Scripted Original, Co-Produced by Sundance Now and Super Deluxe and Executive Produced By Killer Films, Is Written by and Starring Shoshannah Stern and Josh Feldman
NEW YORK, November 13, 2017 - Academy Award(R) winning actress Marlee Matlin, best known for her groundbreaking work in Children of a Lesser God, Cheryl Hines ("Curb Your Enthusiasm"), Zach Gilford ("Kingdom," "Friday Night Lights") and Colt Prattes (Dirty Dancing) have been cast in Sundance Now's upcoming scripted original, "This Close," set to premiere on the Subscription VOD service in early 2018.
"This Close," a groundbreaking Sundance Now original dramedy created by, written by, and starring Shoshannah Stern and Josh Feldman, both of whom are deaf, is the streaming service's first ever straight-to-series order. Based on a series of shorts featured at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival's Short Form Episodic Showcase, this honest, funny and endearing show explores the relationship between best friends Kate (Stern), who is newly engaged, and Michael (Feldman), who is attempting to move on from his ex-fiancé.
Comprised of six, 30-minute episodes, "This Close" touches on universal and relatable themes and, in addition to Stern and Feldman, features a talented ensemble cast including Zach Gilford who plays Danny, Kate's (Stern) fiancé; Cheryl Hines as Stella, a PR maven and Kate's boss; Colt Prattes as Ryan, Michael's (Feldman) ex; and Marlee Matlin as Michael's mother, Annie, a recovering alcoholic trying to reconnect with her son.
Jan Diedrichsen, General Manager of SundanceTV and Sundance Now, said: "When Sundance Now made the decision this past spring to forge into originals, we had two goals in mind. The first was to extend the Sundance legacy by uncovering storytellers and auteurs who had a distinctive vision. The second was to find talent that would truly connect with our engaged audience on Sundance Now. With 'This Close,' we've completely hit the mark on both fronts. We knew we had something special when we discovered Shoshannah and Josh's work at the Sundance Film Festival. They are masterful storytellers and terrific actors, and this narrative, both charming and relatable, is the perfect fit for our service."
He added: "We are tremendously lucky to add so many talented actors to this ensemble: Marlee, whose work has inspired both deaf and hearing actors, and who, is to date, the only deaf actor to be honored with an Academy Award; Zach, whose nuanced Friday Night Lights performance warmed our hearts; Cheryl, whose comedic range is outstanding; and Colt who brings an honesty and authenticity to this role."
"This Close" is Executive Produced by Christine Vachon and David Hinojosa for Killer Films, Mary Pat Bentel and Paul Young, along with Stern and Feldman. Super Deluxe serves as the studio for the Sundance Now Original production, with Winnie Kemp overseeing production.
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About Sundance Now
Sundance Now brings members the best in award-winning films, documentaries & binge-worthy TV series. From exclusive Sundance Now Originals to new releases and hard-to-find classics - Sundance Now has captivating stories for everyone. Members can easily discover something great to watch in one of our handpicked collections, curated by filmmakers and cultural icons.
Sundance Now is owned and operated by AMC Networks, which has had a long history supporting and cultivating independent film and is the company behind some of the most popular, influential and successful stories ever made for TV and film, including "The Walking Dead," "Mad Men," "Breaking Bad," "Orphan Black," "Portlandia" and Boyhood. The company's portfolio of networks - AMC, BBC AMERICA, IFC, SundanceTV and WE tv - and its film distribution company IFC Films have been recognized with the industry's most distinguished honors, including multiple Emmy(R) Awards, Golden Globe(R) Awards, Oscars(R) and Peabody Awards.
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About Killer Films
Indie powerhouse Killer Films has produced acclaimed features including Academy Award(R)-winning Still Alice, Academy Award(R)-winning Boys Don't Cry, and Academy Award(R)-nominated Far From Heaven and Carol from Todd Haynes. Killer Films executive produced Mildred Pierce, the Emmy Award(R)-winning HBO mini-series starring Kate Winslet. Combined, Killer's properties have earned over 75 Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe Nominations. Other titles include Kids, Hedwig &The Angry Inch, Safe, One Hour Photo, I'm Not There, and Happiness. At this year's Sundance Film Festival, the Company screened four films: Beatriz At Dinner, Dina, Lemon and Where Is Kyra?. The company has produced two films with Sebastian Silva; Magic, Magic, and Nasty Baby. In television, the Killer-produced series "Z: The Beginning of Everything" now available on Amazon. Killer released Todd Haynes' latest feature, Wonderstruck, for Amazon Studios in October 2017.
About Super Deluxe
Super Deluxe is the largest and fastest-growing premium entertainment channel targeted at creative youth. Known for developing culturally-relevant characters and story formats that resonate with loyal fan bases, the company produces an entire ecosystem of content, from scripted and unscripted TV shows to short-form videos, interactive live programming, creative tech products, and branded content. In 2018, Super Deluxe will have seven TV shows on TBS, Facebook, AMC's Sundance Now, and more. Recognized as a leading entertainment innovator, The Los Angeles Times has described Super Deluxe as shaping the future of television.