EXCLUSIVE: After her debut feature Broken English snagged distribution out of Sundance and a pair of Independent Spirit Award nominations, filmmaker Zoe Cassavetes linked up with actress pal Alexia Landeau to write her sophomore feature. Landeau, who appeared in Cassavetes’ first film, the 2000 short Men Make Women Crazy Theory, now leads the Day Out Of Days cast as a 40-year-old actress struggling to make it in the cutthroat business of Hollywood while contending with ever-youthful competition.

Joining Landeau in Day Out Of Days are Melanie Griffith, Eddie Izzard, Cheyenne Jackson, Vincent Kartheiser, Alessandro Nivola, Brooke Smith and Bellamy Young. Cassavetes just wrapped a 17-day shoot on location in L.A., a production made possible by a successful $60,000 FundAnything crowdfunding campaign that Cassavetes and her fellow producers Gina Kwon (Camp X-Ray, The Future) and Kate Roughan (Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin And The Farm Midwives) launched last year. The femme-driven project also has a female DP, Denise Milford. Music for the film is composed by Scratch Massive which also did music on Cassavetes’ Broken English.

“I made it for Alexia,” said Cassavetes. “She’s so talented, and I was thinking about all my actor friends, or anyone who’s 40-plus and living in L.A., and how hard it is to adjust to the beginning of the second part of their life. Listening to their stories sounded very confusing. How do you fit in? How many times do you have to get hit over the head before realize you have to fit in another way?”

Producers went the crowdsourcing route in order to retain creative control over elements like casting. “Crowdfunding is hard. It takes a lot of time and a lot of your soul,” said Cassavetes. “You start to think, ‘Does anyone like me?'” More traditional financiers offered her more money to cast a bigger name. “Crowdfunding was important because I wanted to use a fairly unknown actress in the lead. This a movie for me.”

Landeau’s recent credits include vampire pic Kiss Of The Damned for another Cassavetes, Zoe’s fellow filmmaker sister Xan. Marie Antoinette, Moonlight Mile, and Riding In Cars With Boys actress Landeau co-wrote and co-starred in Julie Delpy’s Two Days In New York after playing Delpy’s sister in Two Days In Paris. Cassavetes is repped by ICM Partners, which is also handling sales as the film heads toward the festival route. Landeau is repped by Silver Lining Entertainment. Here’s an exclusive first look at Landeau as Mia Roarke with Eddie Izzard as European film director Dag in Day Out Of Days:

day out of days cassavetes