Major distribution deals for two diverse indie films

Ky Dickens, doc and spot director

“SOLE SURVIVOR,” the feature-length doc written and directed by award-winning filmmaker Ky Dickens was acquired for distribution by CNN Films, a division of the cable news network. It will premiere on CNN/US in early 2014.

The doc examines the complicated emotional aftermath of survivors following commercial aviation disasters.  “There have been 14 major airplane crashes with a sole survivor in the history of commercial aviation.

Most of the lone survivors have never been interviewed, and many remain traumatized by survivor’s guilt,” says Dickens, who speaks from personal experience. As a young adult, she survived a car crash when she traded places with a friend who was killed.

“Survivors are often considered lucky and the rescue is often considered the end to their story,” she says.  “But the complexity of true survival is where our film – and the questions that it poses — begins.”

Production team includes EP Susan Aurinko; producer Amy McIntyre; co-producer Alexis Jaworski; DP Tom Clayton; production manager Joanna Lakatos and marketing manager Kristen Kaza.

Dickens also directs commercials for MK Films Group.

“We think the universal life questions explored in this film will resonate with our viewers, who will learn that there was so much more to these stories,” says Amy Entelis, CNN Worldwide SVP/talent and content.

“Sole Survivor” Chicago premiere is Sept. 21 and 26 at the Gene Siskel Film Center.

ACTOR/PRODUCER JAMES VALLO’S campy comedy/suspense thriller “Sister Mary,” has a huge distribution deal that will place it on AT&T Uverse, Comcast, Verizon, Dish, Charter, Time Warner Cable, Qwest, COX, WOW, Wave, Cablevision, RCN, Amazon, Blockbuster, Atlantic Broadband and many other outlets.

These outlets are big exposure for the LGTT film community as “Sister Mary” stars icons Judy Tenuta, Comedy Central’s Ant, Bruce Vilanch and Miss Foozie, a famous local drag queen. 

Shot in Chicago in 2011, it was directed/written/produced and edited by Scott Grenke and co-produced by Tom Castronovo. Vallo, who divides his time between Chicago and Hollywood, has produced six previous features. 

“He’s is quite the filmmaker a talented guy,” says his long-time production/acting agent Susan Sherman of Ambassador Talent. “There will be more and more talk about him in months ahead following this huge distribution deal.”

“COMEDY FOCUS” IS A FIRST for the 49th Chicago International Film Festival, Oct. 10-24, giving Chicago audiences a taste of film comedy around the world, from zany, dark Eastern European and madcap Asian far to five decades of Italian humor,” says programming director Mimi Plauche

“Comedy Focus” is presented by program partner Columbia College, which is introducing its BA in theatre with a Concentration in Comedy Writing and Performance in fall 2013.