MarVista Entertainment, Paulist Productions Enter Multi-Project Pact For Family Programming

EXCLUSIVE: MarVista Entertainment and Paulist Productions have entered into a multipicture co-financing and co-production agreement, with the first project coming from screenwriter Andrea Nasfell called Every Other Holiday. Nasfell co-wrote Moms’ Night Out, which won a Dove Award for Inspirational Film of the Year. She also is known for the films What If and Christmas with a Capital C.

Word of the deal comes on the heels of MarVista’s partnership deal with Elijah Wood’s SpectreVision to complete four films within the next two years, including the recently wrapped Bitch starring Jason Ritter and Jamie King as well as John Singleton’s Rebel, a two-hour police drama pilot produced for BET.

MarVista’s current slate includes the recently shot Road Less Traveled starring country singer Lauren Alaina as well as co-productions with broadcasters including the Disney Channel and Disney XD; Nickelodeon; Hallmark; and Lifetime, where the drama pilot Sea Change recently completed production, and A Deadly Adoption, which starred Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig, and aired last year.

MarVista’s CEO Fernando Szew said he sees Paulist Productions as a great partner because of its reputation “for developing stellar programming with resonant social messaging.” MarVista has been expanding more into family programming. Szew sealed the deal with Chris Donahue, president of Paulist Productions, which has a full slate of TV and film development including the one-hour drama project Cry at the CW and book options for a great little book called Tattoos on the Heart by Fr. Greg Boyle, S.J., founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, and The Innocence of Joan Little by acclaimed journalist James Reston Jr.

Marybeth Sprows, formerly of Imagine Television, has spearheaded the development. In a time of rapid change and declining options for family viewing, Paulist is focused on creating upbeat family-friendly TV series and films. It’s not clear yet whether Every Other Holiday will be a film or TV offering.

MarVista’s recent slate of feature films includes Emily and Tim, Miss India America, Most Likely to Die and Jessica Darling’s “It” List.

The deal with Paulist Productions was spearheaded by MarVista’s Kristofer McNeeley.

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