EXCLUSIVE: Award-winning documentary filmmaker Lysa Heslov (Served Like a Girl) has signed with Gersh, also announcing that she’ll soon make her narrative feature directorial debut with Reinhard Denke’s 2009 Black List script, Sex, Greed, Money, Murder and Chicken Fried Steak.
The film is based on a true-crime story billed as the most notorious and shocking ever to come out of the state of Texas. It follows an idealistic young DA who comes up against wealth, corruption, and that “good ol’ boy” culture of the 1970s when he sets out to bring oil tycoon and accused murderer T. Cullen Davis to justice. Davis was, at the time, believed to be the richest man ever to have been tried for murder in the United States.
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This will also be the first feature from the Dallas, Texas-based financier Amicus Pictures — a grassroots investment firm that sees an opportunity in the global marketplace for quality-elevated feature films aimed at discriminating lovers of cinema worldwide. The company intends, going forward, to produce and fully finance 2-3 features yearly in the under-$15MM budget range.
Producing the pic for Amicus are Marilee Albert, Joseph Groves and Marla Watson. Andrew Chooljian will exec produce alongside Corey Trent Ackerman of The Cartel, with production to kick off in Fort Worth and Dallas, Texas this summer.
“I have been looking for a feature project to direct for some time and 10 pages in, I knew that this was the one,” Heslov tells Deadline. “I was blown away by the fantastic script and this story. It’s the most incredible true story that no one knows about. I can’t wait to share it with the world.”
Heslov is best known for writing, directing and producing the acclaimed feature documentary Served Like a Girl, following a group of American women as they transitioned from active duty to civilian life after serving tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, which premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival in 2017.
Also coming up from Heslov is Swiftboat — a new feature doc, addressing the pitfalls of cancel culture in today’s society, which has just wrapped production.
Heslov continues to be represented by Grade A Entertainment and attorney Robert Fyvolent. Denke is repped by The Cartel’s Ackerman; Amicus by Brandon Milostan of Greenberg Glusker.
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