EXCLUSIVE: UK-French sales company Alief has acquired world sales rights to Megan Seely’s dark comedy Puddysticks in which she co-stars alongside Mamoudou Athie (Kinds Of Kindness, Jurassic World Dominion) and Dan Bakkedahl (Veep, Life In Pieces).
Seely plays Liz, a burned-out videogame designer who discovers a mysterious society of adults who heal their darkest secrets through childlike play.
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Led by the alluring figure of Sylvester Cromwell (Bakkedahl), the group compels each member to reveal their most shameful memory as part of the process but when Liz finally musters the courage to share her darkest trauma, her world turns upside down.
Puddysticks is actress, writer and filmmaker Seely’s first feature length film after well-travelled short film My Loyal Audience, TV show Every Year On My Half Birthday and taking co-writing credits on 2017 feature The Mad Whale.
Her acting credits include the Filipino and American musical The Girl Who Left Home and Twist.
Puddysticks is produced by Alex Coco, whose credits include Sean Baker’s 2021 Cannes Palme d’Or contender Red Rocket and upcoming feature Anora, which stars Mikey Madison and is set for release this year via Neon.
Other credits include Sean Price Williams’ The Sweet East, which world premiered in Cannes Directors’ Fortnight last year, as well as Olmo Schnabel’s directorial debut Pet Shop Days which played at Venice.
“Megan and I began working on this film back when we were both fresh out of film school. I’ve been so impressed watching her find her vision as a first-time feature filmmaker, and having the perseverance it takes to see it all the way through,” said Coco.
“Megan’s willingness to wear it all on her sleeve as a director, writer and lead actress is what drew me to the project and makes for a heartfelt and personal film,” he added.
Further producers are Greek-American Olympic runner, actor and writer Alexi Pappas (Olympic Dreams, Not An Artist, Tracktown) and her long-time collaborator, writer and director Jeremy Teicher.
Puddysticks follows a wave of black comedies handled by Alief in recent months including Icelandic director Hilmar Oddsson’s Tallinn 2022 Grand Prix winner Driving Mum, Amanda Kramer’s Give Me Pity! and Carol Ray Hartsell’s Love… Reconsidered, which both starred Sophie von Haselberg.
”We never dreamed absurdist black comedy was going to become our thing, but after continuing world sales success with Driving Mum, Give Me Pity! and Love… Reconsidered, we started seeking out similar works by female writer-directors and found Puddysticks, via Amanda Kramer of all people,” said Alief partner Miguel Angel Govea.
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