Strand Releasing Acquires James Sweeney Comedy ‘Straight Up’

Katie Findlay and James Sweeney in "Straight Up" Strand Releasing

EXCLUSIVE: Strand Releasing has acquired the American Rights to James Sweeney’s feature film debut Straight Up which made its premiere earlier this year at Frameline in San Francisco and screened at Outfest in Los Angeles. Strand Releasing is slating a U.S. theatrical release in the spring.

Written, directed and starring Sweeney, the comedy follows Todd (Sweeney), a persnickety half-virgin diagnosed with OCD who thinks maybe he was socially conditioned to be gay. Rory (How To Get Away With Murder‘s Katie Findlay) is a whip-smart aspiring actress with her own set of insecurities, sexual and otherwise. Over time, Rory’s stagnant career and Todd’s self-doubt begins to dismantle their odd couple routine, despite their unwillingness to let each other go.

“We’re thrilled to have James’ singular and humorous vision, his knack for snappy dialogue and smart visuals are inspired by period screwball comedies and create such a unique hybrid for modern cinema,” said Marcus Hu, of Strand Releasing.

“I am over the moon that Straight Up has found a home in Strand Releasing, and look forward to sharing shelf space with some of my favorite independent films,” said Sweeney.

Straight Up also stars Randall Park (Fresh Off the Boat), Betsy Brandt (Life in Pieces), Tracie Thoms (Rent), James Scully (Paramount TV’s Heathers), Dana Drori (Taken), Brendan Scannell (Netflix’s Bonding), and Joshua Diaz (Fantasy Island). The film is produced by David Carrico at Valparaiso Pictures, Ross Putman, and Sweeney. Bobby Hoppey served as executive producer.

The deal was negotiated by Jon Gerrans of Strand Releasing and CAA on behalf of the filmmakers.


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