At Cinema Libre Studio we produce, co-produce and invest post-production services in narrative features and documentary films that explore cultural, political or global topics. We work with directors with a defined vision who dare to make films that make a difference.
Our most recent productions and co-productions include:
Cinema Libre Studio is a full-service "mini" studio that produces and distributes films with a message as well as offering a full array of post-production services. Based in Burbank, CA the company's principals have been in business for more than 25 years, produced over 25 films and released over 200 titles, both narrative features and documentaries, including: Oliver Stone's South of the Border, the Sundance award-winning doc FUEL, the Eva Longoria Executive Produced film The Harvest/La Cosecha, the rock documentary Can't Stand Losing You about the 80s band, The Police, and many more. Our library includes nearly 200 titles and distribution services include U.S. theatrical, home entertainment (DVD, Blu-ray, Digital platforms), U.S. broadcast and international sales while handling all marketing functions in-house. On the production front, principals have produced/co-produced over 25 films including, narrative features, animation and documentaries, with budgets ranging from $500K to $40M.
OUR 2019 PRODUCTION SLATE
CONFESSIONS OF AN ECONOMIC HITMAN
ANGOLA 1, 2 and 3
CONFESSIONS OF AN ECONOMIC HITMAN (Narrative Feature)
based on the NY Times best-selling book
This best-selling memoir by John Perkins has sold over a million copies in the U.S. and is published in more than 30 languages. In the early 80s, Perkins, a chief economist for a Boston engineering firm, helped U.S. intelligence agencies and multinational corporations build mega-infrastructure projects in undeveloped countries, financed by the World Bank, while providing fake economic forecasts. When the projects did not generate the revenues that were forecast, the leaders of these countries had to default on their loans, therefore indebting their countries for generations.
"Economic hit men (EHMs) are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars," - John Perkins
An extraordinary expose of the "development" practices of U.S. companies financed by the IMF and World Bank, the film focuses on the years Perkins worked in Ecuador and Panama on large scale infrastructure projects with President Jamie Roldos and President Omar Torrijos, both of whom mysteriously died in airplane crashes after they did not accept the deals offered by Perkins.
In the vein of the films Syriana and Argo, Confessions is a gripping account of American foreign policy which has shaped the geo-political forces of modern times.
Cinema Libre Studio, in partnership with Rhino Films, has book rights in perpetuity. Screenplay and budget complete.
ANGOLA 1, 2 and 3 (Narrative Feature)STATUS: Pre-Production
This feature film tells the story of the "Angola 3," three African American men, Robert King, Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox, who were held for decades in solitary confinement in Louisiana's state prison (known as Angola) for crimes for which they were wrongfully convicted. Based on Robert King's life experiences, the film was developed to help free Albert Woodfox, who remains in solitary after 43 years due the power of Louisiana's District Attorney, even after several federal judges ordered his release as recently as June 2015. Amnesty International has recently been involved to help raise public awareness over this gross injustice in our penal system.
LOGLINE: The true story of the Angola 3, three wrongfully-convicted African American men, held for decades in solitary confinement in America's most notorious prison in Louisiana.
SYNOPSIS: Robert King spent 29 years in solitary confinement at Angola, Louisiana's state penitentiary, for a crime he did not commit. King, a Black Panther organizer, was falsely charged with the death of an inmate and struggled for decades to prove his innocence. When his freedom seems possible, he's faced with a quandary: to gain his release he must plead 'conspiracy to murder.' On the same cell block, Albert Woodfox was sentenced to solitary for a different but similarly false charge, and tries to convince his friend King to take the deal. He argues that King, on the outside, could raise public awareness about the inhumanity of solitary confinement and the plight of prisoners like him and Herman Wallace, also sentenced to decades in the hole for false charges. Together, they are known as the Angola 3. Despite decades of abuse, these men have not given up but instead, adapted. Woodfox encourages King to recount in detail those moments that have led up to the present circumstances. In these recollections, King recalls his life trajectory from a poor black kid in New Orleans imprisoned for just being black, then swallowed whole by a corrupt justice and prison system, only maintaining his morale by knowing he is innocent. The moral conundrum, to plead guilty to a crime he did not commit, seems somehow more unbearable than remaining locked up. Screenplay and budget complete.
PHENOM (Feature documentary)STATUS: Work in progress
LOGLINE: The dreams of entire communities are invested in top tier high school basketball recruits with the potential to play in the NBA. What happens to those dreams?
SYNOPSIS: In 2005, some of the nation's top high school basketball prospects, mostly from lower-income African American households, were interviewed during the summer AAU basketball circuit. At the age of 14, Demetrius Walker was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated as "the next LeBron." He, like all the others believed he'd be "one-and-done" and drafted in the NBA. From players, parents, coaches, talent evaluators, and industry observers, the system that identifies, hypes, grooms and exploits these teens was candidly revealed.
Ten years later, we'd like to return to see how the possibilities of athletic fame either forged or failed them.
Of the dozens of kids interviewed only two still play regularly in the NBA; two had strong college careers and marginal pro careers, some made the leap after one year of college but flamed out and others never made it through college. One young man, who was a first round draft pick by the Lakers is now serving 23 years for murder and an AAU coach is serving time for drug trafficking.
Over 40 hours of footage filmed with interviewees including: DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors), Lance Stephenson (Clippers), Michael Beasley (#2 pick in 2008 draft), Javaris Crittendon (First round draft pick 2007), Senario Hillman, Nolan Smith, Demetrius Walker, Taylor King, Schea Cotton, Baron Davis, Cody Kessler (USC QB), Curtis Malone and more.
INNER SOLE (Feature documentary)STATUS: Pre-production
LOGLINE: An insider's look into how the sneaker business grew into a $55 billion industry-and the men and women who just did it.
SYNOPSIS: For decades, on opposite's side of the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon, two rival sneaker companies with much shared DNA, battle daily for market share. Nike and adidas wrote the rules on athletic footwear and apparel while engineering aspirational marketing in general. While Nike's reclusive CEO Phil Knight receives most of the attention, some of the swoosh's major innovations were pioneered by two visionaries who created the Air Jordan franchise, the Nike Air concept and then went on to re-boot the adidas brand in the 90s. Although their "vision" was oftentimes accidental, they innovated marketing strategies that broke new ground and redefined the concept of creating demand.
From the reflections of a fromer Nike / adidas Global Creative Director Peter Moore's 40 year career, as well as brand marketer, cultural influencers (including hip-hop artists, actors, film directors, musicians, designers, athletes, coaches and collectors), we'll take a deep dive into the creative marketing genius that the laid the ground work for a $55bn industry with a $1b resale market.
INNER SOLE will be the first non-Nike controlled story since an unauthorized book published in 1993.
PRODUCED BY: Beth Portello, a former shoe marketing executive at Nike and adidas, and co-founder of Cinema Libre Studio.
Beth Portello Bportello@cinemalibrestudio.com