EXCLUSIVE: Recently launched LA-based production company Valparaiso Pictures will produce and finance James Sweeney’s (Bushwick Beats) feature directorial debut Straight Up.

Sweeney penned the script and will also star in the romantic comedy alongside Man Seeking Woman and How To Get Away With Murder actress Katie Findlay. Tracie Thoms (Rent), James Scully (Heathers) and Dana Drori co-star, with principal photography currently underway in Los Angeles.

The film is based on Sweeney’s short Normal Doors, which tells the story of an OCD gay twenty-something who finds his intellectual soul mate in a struggling actress. David Carrico is producing through his Valparaiso banner alongside Ross Putman (Plus One).

“I’m so grateful to finally will this film into existence,” said Sweeney in a statement. “To think, it only took five years, a root canal and a crowdfunding campaign.”

Valparaiso is in development on movies including drama After Perfect, written by Elizabeth Chomko (What They Had) and in partnership with 6th & Idaho Productions. The company is working on shorts shorts such as James Gallagher’s Love with Susan Sarandon and Boris McGiver, Lucas Amann’s Peopling, and Stranger Things writer and Blacklist alum Kate Trefry’s How to Be Alone with Maika Monroe.

Putman is currently in production on Adam Rehmeier’s Dinner In America starring Kyle Gallner and Emily Skeggs and in post-production on Andrew Rhymer and Jeff Chan’s Plus One starring Jack Quaid and Maya Erskine. Both projects are in collaboration with Ben Stiller’s production company Red Hour Films.

Sweeney recently directed a segment of the anthology Bushwick Beats starring Justine Lupe and Ronen Rubinstein. He is represented by Circle of Confusion and Bloom Hergott. Findlay is repped by Thruline and Pacific Artists.