Cynthia Stafford/Queen Nefertari Prods Making Moves At Cannes
Recall Cynthia Stafford and her Queen Nefertari Productions – the African American lady who won over $100 million in her state’s lottery, and opted to use $30 million of the money to start a film production company… if you missed my post on that, read it HERE.
We’ve been tracking her progress since the initial announcement of her production company’s creation, and so far, while I haven’t been too thrilled about some of the choices she’s made in her selection of projects to invest in, I can’t hate either. She’s trying to grow her company, and, with a supporting cast of industry-types advising her, I assume she’s making decisions that she feels will contribute to that end.
Most recently, we reported about the deals she made at the Sundance Film Festival – including one with the Butcher Brothers (actual names: Mitchell Altieri and Phil Flores) and their gory exploitation horror feature, Black Sunset.
A previous film she financed is My Place In The Horror, also a genre horror/thriller that was produced by Effie Brown, a name that I’m sure some of you are familiar with, and starring Keith David, D.B. Woodside, Golden Brooks (of Girlfriends fame), and others. I haven’t seen it; not sure where exactly it is currently. I did post a trailer for it HERE earlier this year, so check it out.
Now, Ms Stafford and company are making deals at the ongoing Cannes Film Market, where Lanre Idewu, one of the top execs at the company, currently is. He announced, via his Facebook page, that Queen Nefertari Productions will next be jumping in bed with Kurt Russell in a supernatural thriller called Undying. The film tells the story of “a lone P.I. recruited by a mysterious beauty who soon finds himself immersed in a surreal underworld,” according to Variety.
Queen Nefertari will be financing the film with 2 other companies, namely E-Motion and Media 8. Although I have no idea what exactly the budget is.
Production is set to begin this fall.
So far, she really hasn’t made any of what I’d call major moves. She’s put her money in what look like “C” movies that probably won’t see theatres, and instead head straight to video. Not that there isn’t any money to be made there, but, if there’s no marketing machine behind them, how will anyone really know that they exist? Or is it a case of just amassing titles to maybe sell later; or maybe these are titles that are attractive to cablers, and foreign markets… I dunno, maybe I’m just missing something… but, on the surface, none of the projects I’ve heard about thus far excites me.
I suppose with $30 million, she’s limited in how large a stake she can take in any one film. That number is actually less than the average cost of a single studio movie these days. However, I’d like to think there are more worthwhile low-budget, indie projects out there that she could put her money into, that have much more promising prospects??
Obviously, I’m not in their war-room, so I have no clue what their long-term strategy is, but, again, just based on the surface, on what I’ve read thus far, I’m wondering whether the moves she’s making will yield the kinds of results she expects.
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