Matt Rife, Clare Grant Star In ‘The Private Eye’; Gravitas Ventures Acquires ‘The Friendliest Town’; Darius McCrary, Arclight Films Sets 3-Picture Deal – Film Briefs

(L-R) Matt Rife, Clare Grant, and Eric Roberts Mega

Matt Rife (Wild ‘N Out) and Clare Grant (Changeland) are set to star in psychological thriller The Private Eye, along with Eric Roberts (Runaway Train), Erik Griffin (Workaholics), Denzel Whitaker (Black Panther), Eugenia Kuzmina (The Gentlemen), Elijah Boothe (Luke Cage), Jihad Reeves (All American), King Chip (Shootouts), Lexy Panterra (Boo 2! A Madea Halloween) and newcomer Elliot. Jack Cook directed the pic from a screenplay he co-wrote with Hope Ayiyi, Santino Ramos, and Patrick Roe.

Set throughout LA, the mystery drama follows a private investigator Mort Madison (Rife) whose life is spiraling downward, when a beguiling, slightly familiar woman (Grant) hires him for his most unusual case.

Cook and Ayiyi also produced The Private Eye, which is expected to be released in Summer 2021, with Elliot, Alex Kagianaris, and Boothe.  Mark Berry and Joe Hebeler are executive producers.


Gravitas Ventures

Gravitas Ventures has secured North American distribution rights to the timely documentary The Friendliest Town, the directorial debut of journalist and author Stephen Janis. Set for release on digital and Blu-ray/DVD platforms January 19, the docu chronicles a startling tale of institutionalized racism working against the dedicated efforts of the first African American Police Chief, Kelvin Sewell, in the small town of Pocomoke on Maryland’s lower Eastern Shore. Since the death of George Floyd at the hands of police, calls for substantive reform of law enforcement have launched an intense national debate. But an effort by Sewell to implement community policing in the small, racially divided town is a cautionary tale on limits both to reforms and how racism may be the biggest obstacle to change.

Determined to deploy a different approach to law enforcement, Sewell implemented an intensive community policing plan. He and his officers parked their cars and walked the streets. They got to know residents. They built relationships with people who had been subjected to harsh police tactics and the failing war-on-drugs mind-set.

The doc was produced by Janis and Taya Graham, both of whom negotiated the deal for the filmmaking team with Megan Huggins on behalf of Gravitas.



Darius McCrary, best known for starring in the 1990s hit sitcom Family Matters, has closed a three-picture deal with Arclight Films. Under the pact, McCrary is set to direct and star in Devine Order, a sex-trafficking thriller that will serve as his feature directorial debut. The pic follows the story of a rich wife who must stay two steps ahead of the murder investigation of her late husband. An intense mystery leads the Devine family into a world of sex trafficking, drugs and more as a dark secret returns to haunt everyone involved. McCrary, Gary Hamilton and Chris Giovanni will serve as executive producers.

Other projects in the works include Birth of Hip Hop, a documentary on the life story of hip hop legend Gene “Poo Poo Man” Anderson; politically charged drama Eracism; and the comedic family series Reel Family.

McCrary is repped by Fox Rothschild and CGEM Talent.

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