Steve Laughlin’s action thriller Deep Woods debuts on VOD

The indie feature, Deep Woods, written and directed by Steve Laughlin of Chicago-based advertising agency, Laughlin Constable, makes its debut in North America on all major VOD platforms.

The action thriller was produced by former Miramax Films executive Jeffrey Kurz for Belle City Pictures and distributed by 1091 Pictures, a Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment company. The film stars Jilon VanOver (Better Call Saul; Hatfields & McCoys; Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch), Eddie Spears (Hell on Wheels; Yellowstone), Jon Proudstar (Reservation Dogs) and Tony Denison (The Closer; All Rise.)

In the storyline of Deep Woods, the hunter becomes the game when a successful architect, out grouse hunting, wanders off the trail and is pursued into the treacherous wilderness by a ruthless drug cartel. He quickly discovers he’s seen too much, knows too little — and is in too deep.

Architect, Ty Ellsworth (VanOver), is on a weekend hunting trip with former college roommate Nick Youngblood (Spears.) When Ty wanders off the path and is separated from Nick, he’s chased into the dark, treacherous forest by a ruthless drug cartel desperate to protect their secrets by any deadly means necessary. Caught in a web of deceit and shifting loyalties with dangerous twists at every turn, Ty soon discovers that his biggest threat in the deep wilderness isn’t nature – it’s human nature.

Taking a win as Best Film at the 2022 Norway Action Film Festival, Deep Woods was filmed in nearby Wisconsin. Chicago’s David O’Connor of O’Connor Casting brought in several Chicago actors, including Cassie Kramer (CANDYMAN), Rachel Creda and Kris Downing (CHICAGO FIRE), Lia Mortensen (A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET), Jessie Prez (THE ROOKIE), Sarah Lin Mitchell, Julie Medina, Katrina Love (CHICAGO MED), Aaron Latteral (CHICAGO P.D.) and Aurora Adachi-Winter (ELECTRIC DREAMS).

“As a writer it’s a thrill to see talented actors breathe life into their characters,” said writer-director Laughlin. “Working in a genuinely wild environment is great for filmmaking and storytelling, but a challenge for cast and crew. Yet they rose to it, day after day through a variety of conditions. I’m grateful to my producing partner, Jeffrey Kurz, for a great collaboration.”

The deal was negotiated on behalf of the filmmakers by Film Sales Company’s president, Andrew Herwitz, and on behalf of 1091 Pictures by Gregory Maurice, senior director of global acquisitions and co-productions.

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