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London based producer / distributor AX1 Films today announces that it is to partner with Paul Mezey’s New York based Journeyman Pictures to produce THE GIRL, starring Emily Blunt, which is written and will be directed by David Riker. It will be produced by Paul Mezey for Journeyman and by Douglas Cummins for AX1, with Carlo Dusi co-producing.

Riker is a New York-based filmmaker currently living in Mexico. His debut feature, THE CITY (LA CIUDAD), filmed in New York’s Latin American immigrant community, was inspired by the promise of a neo-realist cinema in America. The film won awards at Havana, San Sebastian, and Human Rights Watch International Film Festivals to name a few. Most recently, Riker won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at Sundance 2008 for SLEEP DEALER.

Journeyman Pictures’ most recent film COLD SOULS starring Paul Giamatti is currently screening in competition at the Sundance Film Festival. Mezey’s previous credits include the Academy Award nominated films MARIA FULL OF GRACE and HALF NELSON as well as the forthcoming SUGAR both of which are distributed by AX1 in the UK. Cummins’ credits include the forthcoming GOOD, and the recently completed BROKEN LINES starring Paul Bettany, which was Britain’s sole entry at the Venice Film Festival.

THE GIRL tells the story of a young Texas woman (Blunt) who is thrown into an unexpected and life-changing journey with a young girl from southern Mexico.

The project, which is a finalist for the 2009 SUNDANCE/NHK FILMMAKERS AWARD, is expected to shoot on location in Mexico and Texas later this year.

AX1’s MD Douglas Cummins said:

David Riker has crafted a rare gem of a script with an instant emotional appeal, and we are delighted to be working with a writer / director of his caliber in realizing this exciting project. The further combination of major casting and the opportunity to partner with such a skilled producer as Paul Mezey is very much what AX1 is all about in terms of working on strong projects and original ideas with top talent.

Journeyman Pictures is a NYC based independent production company, whose principals include Paul Mezey and Jeremy Kipp Walker. The company has produced many critically recognized films, including MARIA FULL OF GRACE which received a 2005 Academy Award Nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role and HALF NELSON which received a 2007 Academy Award Nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

Recently completed projects include Sophie Barthes’ feature debut COLD SOULS starring Paul Giamatti, Emily Watson, and David Strathairn which premieres in competition at the Sundance Film Festival 2009; Ryan Fleck & Anna Boden’s baseball odyssey SUGAR slated for release in April 2009 (Sony Pictures Classics) and the much admired MOMMA’S MAN by director Azazel Jacobs (Kino International). Other films produced by Jourenyman Pictures include: Angel Rodriguez (HBO Films) and Everyday People (HBO Films) directed by Jim McKay, Spring Forward (IFC Films) directed by Tom Gilroy and starring Ned Beatty and Liev Schreiber, Our Song (IFC Films) directed by Jim McKay, The City (La Ciudad) directed by David Riker, Mississippi Blues documentary You See Me Laughin’ directed by Mandy Stein, and The Ballad of Ramblin’ Jack directed by Aiyana Elliott, winner of the Artistic Achievement Award for documentary film at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival.