Actor Christopher Naoki Lee, whose credits include AMC’s The Terror and Fox’s Deputy, is set to make his feature directorial debut with the socially-minded pic Dinner Party which he co-wrote with Greek alum Daniel Weaver.
Lee also stars in the film which, as the title suggests, centers on a dinner party with a group of diverse Millennials. As they dine and converse, a verdict arrives for a controversial trial regarding sexual misconduct that has captivated the nation — a very timely topic considering the recent Weinstein verdict. As a result the dinner party turns into a moment for all the attendees to look at their own histories and determine whether the friendship that binds them can withstand their differences, especially when they realize one of their own is guilty of a past transgression.
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“As an Asian-American born and raised in a diverse community near L.A., Dinner Party is a personal story that explores the unspoken views of race, gender, sex and class that lie beneath the surface of diverse friendships in America, and the repercussions that arise when they’re exposed,” said Lee.
The film also stars Kara Wang (Top Gun: Maverick, Good Trouble), Imani Hakim (Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet, Everybody Hates Chris), Adam Senn (Hit the Floor), Allison Paige (The Flash), Charles Hittinger (Pretty Little Liars), and Kausar Mohammed (What Men Want, Silicon Valley).
Lee is repped by Abrams Artist Agency and The ESI Network. Weaver is repped by Commercial Talent.
Dana Ziyasheva’s forthcoming Greatland has rounded out the cast with Oscar nominee Eric Roberts, Nick Moran (Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) and boxing champ Shannon Briggs. They join horror flick veteran Bill Oberst Jr., J.P. Manoux (Veep), Chloe Ray Warmoth (Fuller House) and Arman Darbo in the sci-fi feature.
Set in a dystopian utopia Greatland tells the coming of age story of Ulysses, who is trapped in a world of perpetual fun and inter-species love ruled by a universal Mother, until he crosses the forbidden frontier to save his childhood sweetheart, as an absurd election leads to chaos and violence. The citizens, of this imaginary country, the “Greats”, are too evolved to bother with government, work, education, law, technology or money.
“Delving into my teenage fascination for works of Buñuel, Fellini and Forman, I was equally inspired by the anima and animus surrealist imagery and the intransigent societal logic of A Clockwork Orange,” stated Ziyasheva. “Shown from the perspective of 15-year-old non-binary Ulysses and filled with contemporary pop-culture references, the film is lensed by Charles Schner in a futuristic vintage style.”
Greatland is produced by Igor Darbo under his Popcorn & Friends banner.
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