Bold Films, the production company behind the critically acclaimed films Whiplash and Nightcrawler as well as Ryan Gosling’s Lost River, has just joined with Participant Media which has produced such films as Good Night, and Good Luck, Syriana, An Inconvenient Truth, Food, Inc., The Help (to name a few) to produce a new film, Shot Caller. The feature, which takes a look behind the scenes at prison life, will be fully financed by Bold Films.

In order to get a real-world grasp of prison and the gangs that run these institutions, the writer/director Ric Roman Waugh (Snitch) went undercover as a volunteer parole agent in California.  What started out as a simple research assignment became a two-year stint as he learned more and more undercover.  “No one knew I was a filmmaker,” said Waugh in a statement. “They just saw me as a rookie cop, so nothing was censored.  What I quickly learned is the guards might control the doors and gates, but the gangs run the prisons, and they run the streets as well, directly ‘from’ prison.”

Shot Caller tells the story of a newly released prison gangster who is forced by the leaders of his gang to orchestrate a major crime with a brutal rival gang on the streets of Southern California.

Bold’s Michel Litvak and Matthew Rhodes will serve as producers on the project along with Waugh and Participant Media’s Jonathan King who developed the project. Bold’s Gary Michael Walters will executive produce with Participant’s Jeff Skoll. The film will start production on May 26 in New Mexico and be overseen by Bold’s Lisa Zambri.

WME and Miles Mogulescu handled the negotiations for Bold Films.