Vanishing Angle acquired foreign sales rights for Lucas Heyne’s Sundance selection MOPE following the film’s European premiere at the prestigious Sitges Film Festival in Spain.
MOPE portrays the true-to-life events of Steve Driver (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, E4’s Misfits series, the reboot of Candyman) and Tom Dong (Kelly Sry, MTV’s Awkward.), two best friends and ‘mopes’ – a word used in the porn industry to describe low ranking male actors, who’s dreams of fame and recognition lead to devastating and fatal outcomes. With MOPE Heyne’s determined to tell more than just a true-crime story, and instead created a thoughtful portrait of loneliness, depression, and human nature with a sincerity still rare in cinematic appraisals of the world of pornography and sex work.
Heyne wrote and directed the film that also features David Arquette (as Rocket, a leading porn director the two aspiring actors idolize).
Vanishing Angle previously made waves for their path-paving release of Jim Cummings’ indie break-out THUNDER ROAD (SXSW Grand Jury Prize 2018), which also launched the studio’s international sales division. Vanishing Angle has consistently challenged the market to support visionary projects and creatives. Other recent projects include Patrick Wang’s A BREAD FACTORY Part 1 & 2 (Indie Spirit Nominee 2018) and Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe’s GREENER GRASS (in theaters Oct 18).
MOPE was made with full support from the families of the victims as well as creative contributions and insight from individuals in the porn industry, some of which carried on with roles in the film. “Throughout the process, I became very close with all the surviving people involved in this story,” says Heyne. “They provided me a window into a world not many people know about. And I felt it vital to portray this story in the most realistic and frank manner possible. Even the most outrageous moments in the film really happened.”
The film premiered at the 2019 Sundance film festival and went on to screen at BiFan, New Zealand Intl Film Festival, Sydney Underground Film Festival, and is still playing internationally on the film festival circuit.
MOPE screened October 3rd at the Sitges Film Festival in the Noves Visions section. Vanishing Angle will handle international sales while XYZ leads domestically.