By Paul Serafini
ANNABELLE HOOPER AND THE GHOSTS OF NANTUCKET will get a second film at Angelina Pictures. (IMAGINE Magazine featured the teen mystery adventure last year in our AFM Special Edition.) The film had secured worldwide distribution for the film via MarVista Entertainment prior to shooting. MarVista Entertainment is a worldwide distributor, with nearly 1,000 licensees across 125 plus territories. So, when the movie was released, we had great carriage on most of the major OnDemand and Digital services, which really helped us gain a solid audience, especially for a family genre film like ours. The movie also played in ten film festivals and won multiple awards, and then eventually, a worldwide deal with Netflix was made, which is now helping to give the film an enormous potential audience around the world.
At AFM this year we’re hoping to connect with financial and distribution partners that will help
us move our various film projects into production. At Angelina Pictures, we have several films in active development in addition to ANNABELLE HOOPER 2.
We’ve optioned a wonderful Christmas book called “The Last Shepherd”, written by Boston author Mark Duffield, which we’re developing into a feature film. We already have a great script, concept trailer, and actor interest. The story, which was inspired by true events, is set in the Beacon Hill section of Boston, and follows a young reporter as she investigates a mystery that ultimately changes her own life in ways she never thought possible.
Our hope for the project is that it becomes a Christmas movie that has year-after-year staying power for audiences around the world, like IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, A CHRISTMAS STORY and THE HOUSE WITHOUT A CHRISTMAS TREE. We think it has the depth and heart to be a Christmas classic someday!
Additionally, we have a romantic comedy feature in development that brings familiar elements from rom-coms like MOONSTRUCK and SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE, and a sports dramedy feature film that’s based on a true story and harkens back to classic sports films like HOOSIERS, THE BLIND SIDE And the BAD NEWS BEARS.
We were fortunate when we made ANNABELLE HOOPER AND THE GHOST OF NANTUCKET in that other U.S and international territory licensing is still ongoing and there are still some rights available, so it’s an ongoing process.
But what really kicked the project into overdrive was when we made the distribution deal at AFM several months before we shot the movie. We are certainly an “AFM success story” and a testament to the fact that AFM is an event that can really help move a project forward if you have the right material. For ANNABELLE HOOPER, we had always designed it to be a franchise with the hope that we would create multiple films featuring the main characters. So this year we are in advanced development on ANNABELLE HOOPER 2, and will be attending AFM once again to connect with potential financial and distribution partners. As a family genre mystery adventure series, there is a solid demand for this type of film, and ANNABELLE HOOPER has built a great audience of worldwide followers for the first film who are dying for a sequel. So we’re trying to make that happen!
The script for the sequel has already been written by our fantastic screenwriter Stefne Miller, and is set in a ghost town.
We hope to retain many of our original cast members, as these are the actors that the audiences have fallen in love with playing these characters. Of course, schedules and availability always play a role in casting, but our hope is that many will return. Always a challenge, as actors get busy with other projects and commitments, but I think the experience of making ANNABELLE HOOPER for virtually all of these actors was such a positive one, and they have all expressed their enthusiastic interest in returning for a sequel.
At Angelina Pictures, our mantra is to make movies that entertain and inspire audiences around the world. We are a dedicated team of people who all share this mission. Life is too short to be spending precious time doing projects that don’t inspire yourselves or your audience. The success of ANNABELLE HOOPER has given us a worldwide audience for our projects and we can’t wait to share more!
Paul Serafini is a Daytime Emmy Award winning Director/Producer and a nine-time national Daytime Emmy nominee. He has directed and produced feature fi lms as well as over 300 episodes of national television. He has worked with such companies as Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, Disney, TimeWarner, PBS/WGBH, Universal, and he is the CEO of Angelina Pictures, a fi lm/television entertainment production company. He is a member of the Producers Guild of America, the American Film Institute, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and his other awards include multiple U.S. International Film & Video Festival awards, WorldFest Houston awards, Parents’ Choice awards, Promax Awards, and New York Festival awards.
All photos courtesy of Angelina Pictures.