Kindred Media Group Brings Smiles to Screen with “Laura Smiles”

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Critically acclaimed feature traces the quietly psycho, often hilarious disintegration of an American housewife.

Kindred Media Group announced today it has acquired universal distribution rights to "Laura Smiles", to handle the film’s theatrical, DVD, and foreign rollouts. The film is an RKO Pictures production, produced by TedHartley and Ric Arthur. Executive Producers include Joe Di Maio, Paul Speaker, Michael Klein, and Robert Cain, and the film is written and directed by Jason Ruscio.

"Laura Smiles" recently won the Emerging Filmmaker Award at the Denver Film Festival and has been accepted by the Vail Film Festival, which runs from March 30 – April 2, 2006. Petra Wright ("Alias", "24"), whose performance has been described as a tour-de-force, stars in this drama which is being hailed as an indie "American Beauty."

A light-splashed meeting between two soon-to-be-married young lovers shows Laura (Wright), a fledgling actress, and Chris (Kip Pardue – "Imaginary Heroes", "The Rules of Attraction", "Remember the Titans"), a neophyte writer, both engaging and witty. But the good times don't last long; Chris is killed by a passing van. Nine years later, Laura is ensconced as a solidly upper-middle-class suburban housewife with a perfect husband and an 8-year-old son. Everything around her appears staid, distanced, established... however all is not well in suburbia.

The film also stars Mark Derwin ("Dirty Deeds", "The Minus Man") and Jonathan Silverman ("Made", "The Odd Couple II", "The Cookout") in spectacular performances. Kindred intends to release the film theatrically in the US in September of 2006, with home video to follow shortly after the film’s theatrical run.

Jeffrey D. Erb, President of Kindred Media Group said, "Petra’s performance is nothing short of breathtaking. She pulls you in and explores both the light and dark side of a manic-depressive personality. We are excited about releasing the film this year."

Paul Speaker, President of RKO Pictures said, "From screenplay to the superb performances of the ensemble cast, LAURA SMILES navigates a universal subject with a freshness and unique balance of wit and pathos that has already resonated with critics and festivals. We, at RKO are excited to be working with Kindred to get this film in front of audiences this year."

Joe Nicolo, Executive Vice President of Kindred Media Group said, "Laura Smiles is the type of film that makes you realize what a good experience going to the movies is."

"Laura makes us realize how vulnerable love is," expressed producer Joe Di Maio. "It was made with passion, and we are excited of Kindred’s involvement in the distribution of the picture."

Producer Richard Arthur said, "LAURA SMILES invites us into a psychologically tense world – the kind Hollywood forgot to make after VERTIGO."

Deal was negotiated by Joe Nicolo for Kindred, with Jonathan Marshall and Paul Speaker representing the producers.

New Films International, a full scale acquisitions, sales and production company with 30 employees and 6 offices worldwide, acquired International Rights from Kindred Media Group and took the film to the Berlin European Film Market where it has been received with overwhelmingly positive feedback.The acquisition was negotiated by NFI Executive Vice President Ron Gell and VP Legal and Business Affairs Craig A. Kessler.

About Kindred Media Group:

Founded in 2004, with offices in West Hollywood and Pennsylvania, Kindred Media Group is a boutique film distribution company that enables film makers to reach a wide audience both domestically and internationally. Kindred's focus extends to films that are both large studio productions as well as small independent productions, the key ingredient being quality. The company distributes and finances all genres of film, large or specialized releases, with broad or niche audiences, theatrically, through home video, and television programming.

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Jeffrey Erb