EXCLUSIVE: Luma Features has launched an independent film company under the oversee of CEO & Chief Creative Payam Shohadai and COO Grady Gamble with a string of projects, and new hires.
Luma’s first movie that’s come together and set for filming in January is The Silence of Mercy directed by The Runaways and The Handmaid’s Tale episodic director Floria Sigismondi. The movie, which is produced by Shohadai and executive produced by Gamble in partnership with The Black List Production’s Franklin Leonard and indie producer Marc Joubert, follows a woman who chooses a life enclosed, to face her personal demons as she’s challenged to break the walls of morality.
Annabelle Wallis (The Mummy, The Loudest Voice), who just wrapped James Wan’s Malignant, stars in a screenplay written by Chris Basler. The script was developed as part of The Black List’s Features Writers Lab and was originally titled Enclosed when it was on the GLAAD List in 2019. Sigismondi is repped by WME, Echo Lake and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller & Gellman. Wallis is repped by UTA, Untitled and Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein.
Among the executives that Luma has assembled:
–Steve Squillante as Head of Production. He’s a production executive, producer and line producer, with credits on over 100 theatrical and television projects. Most recently Squillante was VP, Physical Production, International Originals at Netflix. He was previously President of Physical Production for IM Global in addition to a multitude of senior executive and production roles for Warner Bros., Miramax, and AGC Studios
–Kyle Franke as Head of Development. Prior to to joining Luma, Franke was EVP at Lawrence Grey’s Grey Matter and Eric Heisserer’s Ideogram. He has served as Head of Development for XYZ Films and as a development executive at Davis Entertainment and 20th Century Fox.
Akshay Mehta as Head of Strategy and Business Development. Mehta, previously held the position of Chief Investment Officer of BRON Ventures, a division of BRON Studios, and was previously an agent in CAA’s Media Finance Group and held executive positions at Good Universe and Exclusive Media.
“We are so fortunate to be working alongside such incredibly smart and talented film executives, who not only bring years of experience to Luma Features, but who also want to make interesting and ambitious films,” said Gamble. “Films like The Silence of Mercy promise to deliver something unique and imaginative that audiences haven’t quite seen before.”