Rains Retreat - Seamus McNally

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Rains Retreat - Seamus McNally
Synopsis
Nile and Goldman, two forty-something friends, are exceptionally sad cases who have never left the Queens,
New York neighborhood they were born in. When Goldman finds out that his chronic asthma is a misdiagnosed fatal bronchial disorder, he convinces Nile, a gifted percussionist with a heroin habit, to join him on a
trip to a monastery in Thailand for a meditation retreat led by a charismatic Buddhist nun.
The comically rigorous demands of the retreat, held in a temple deep in the Thai jungle, unhinge both of
them, and becomes the catalyst for a dramatic role reversal. Goldman, realizing how little time he has left in
this life, leaves the monastery in a desperate search for life-affirming experiences. Meanwhile, Nile goes cold
turkey in the monastery and has a profound spiritual awakening, prompting him to stay on as a novice monk.
Setting out on contrasting, yet parallel paths of self-discovery, they each encounter a wildly diverse spectrum
of experiences. Their respective journeys prove to be multi-faceted tests of character, forever altering the
course of their lives and those they meet along the way.
Production Team
SEAMUS McNALLY (Director / Writer) has directed numerous narrative short films including, To Paint
the Portrait of a Bird (Best Short Film – NY/Avignon Film Festival, Woodstock FF, Mill Valley FF, and
premiered at Cannes FF Market), The Hypnotist (Official Selection-Montreal WFF); Sketches of Honey – five short films on 16mm and 8mm, which were part of a multimedia presentation performed at The
Culture Project–NYC; Exchange Place (with Mad Men’s Michael Gladis); and a segment of Mike Leigh’s
Ecstasy, to name a few.
For the last several years he has been cultivating a diverse range of long form material for film and
television, starting with his adaptation of Stephen King’s The Reach, in development with producer John
J. Kelly (Into The Wild, 127 Hours). Seamus recently created a television series about a hypnotherapist
called Pendulum. He wrote and directed two fully executed pitch episodes starring Ato Essandoh (Copper, Django Unchained) and Nick Sandow (Orange Is The New Black, Boardwalk Empire). The show
is currently being shopped to studios and networks.
Over the course of five trips to Thailand – cumulatively six months – Seamus has extensively researched and developed his feature film Rains Retreat, now in preparation for production in 2015.
MICHAEL GASPARRO (Producer) began his career producing music videos and commercials. He transitioned to talent representation at Hardin-Curtis, a boutique agency in New York City. Gasparro later
joined TalentWorks as an agent and cultivated a roster of promising television, film and theater actors.
With his impressive talent roster, Gasparro transitioned to management and has been a Talent Manager
for the past eight years. Gasparro self-produced the Tropfest New York finalist short film Ben. Gasparro
is Executive Producer on the feature film Yuba with Unified Films and he is currently in development on
The Brute, written by Ryan Prows with Julia Garner and Jonathan Pryce. Gasparro recently produced
The Wannabe starring Vincent Piazza, Patricia Arquette and Michael Imperioli. Martin Scorsese Is
Executive producer.
LIVING FILMS (Production Company / Thailand) Over the past 20 years in Thailand, Living Films has
grown into one of the top production companies in South East Asia. The company has steadily grown and
improved over the years, forging a niche that has been integral in the overall development of the Thai film
industry. Living Films recently received an award from the Thai Film Board as the top production company
in the country for five straight years.
Living Films’ filmography is unusually diverse, ranging from Hollywood blockbusters, to independent productions to small European award winning dramas. Some of the highlights of the last years include The
Dutch drama Simon, which we shot back in 2003 and which won 8 international awards including Golden
Calf awards at the Nederlands Film Festival for best film, best actor and best director. In 2009 we built
the largest back-lot set ever constructed in South East-Asia for the Weinstein Co. financed period drama
Shanghai starring John Cusack, Chow Yun Fat and Gong Li. In 2010 we shot Bangkok as period Taiwan for the independent US feature Formosa Betrayed, which then won best feature at the San Diego
Film Festival. In 2010 we shot The Hangover Part II for Warner Bros. which went on to become the
highest grossing R-rated comedy of all time. That same year, Living Films shot Teddy Bear, a tiny Danish
drama that went on to win 6 international awards, including best director at the Sundance Film Festival.
And most recently, Living Films completed work on the independently financed thriller The Coup starring
Owen Wilson and Pierce Brosnan, which is set to open in March 2015 in 3,000 theaters.
Living Films owes its ongoing success to a combination of many things: a personal approach employed
with integrity; protecting, elevating and honoring local talent and crew, and receiving loyalty in return; by
working with an extremely organized, diverse international team of workaholics; using a scalable approach
to projects with appropriate budgets that allow for films both large and small; creating an atmosphere that
matches the Thai spirit, combining hard work and fun; reducing costs through great bargaining power that
comes with our sterling reputation and a busy production schedule over many years; integrating Eastern
culture while maintaining a Western approach to budgeting, cost reporting and accounting with an eye
on Western legal requirements, documentation, agreements, insurance and deliverables; and through a
genuine care for projects with a passion and love for both Asia and the essential creative aspects of film,
script and cinematography.
With over two decades of experience making films in Thailand and having built a reputation for integrity
and Western style production in the East, Living Films is in an exciting position to develop, facilitate and
produce unique new international films in Asia.
Living films is thrilled to be collaborating with Seamus McNally on his feature debut, Rains Retreat.
RONNIE YESKEL, C.S.A. (Casting Director) has cast an extensive list of successful projects in film, television and theater throughout her career. Her film credits include Pulp Fiction, Resevoir Dogs, Jade, Igby
Goes Down, etc. She has worked with many notable directors, including Quentin Tarantino, William
Friedkin, Paul Schrader and Steven Soderbergh.
Cast
NICK SANDOW (Goldman) has an extensive resume that
spans film, television and theater. He can currently be seen
on the Netflix original series Orange Is The New Black.
Other television credits include recurring roles on Boardwalk Empire, Blue Bloods, How to Make It In America, Third Watch, Unforgettable, CSI: Miami, Nurse
Jackie, Mercy, Six Degrees, Law & Order, and NYPD
Blue. Feature film credits include The Fitzgerald Family
Christmas (alongside Connie Britton), The Sitter, The
Accidental Husband, Living Out Loud, Swimfan, Return to Paradise, Connie and Carla, and Resurrecting
the Champ. His feature film directorial debut, Ponies,
premiered in 2012, with New York Times calling it “...a riveting piece of work”. Sandow is currenlty in post on his
2nd feature film The Wannabe, executive producer Martin
Scorsese.
MICHAEL IMPERIOLI (Nile) has been nominated for two
Golden Globe Awards as well as five Emmy Awards for
his work as Christopher Moltisanti on The Sopranos. He
won an Emmy for the show’s fifth season in 2004. In addition to his role on The Sopranos, Imperioli has appeared
in a number of films, including Goodfellas, Jungle Fever, Bad Boys, The Basketball Diaries, Clockers, Dead
Presidents, Lean on Me, I Shot Andy Warhol, Last Man
Standing, Shark Tale, High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story,
and Summer of Sam, which he also co-wrote and co-produced. In addition, he has also written a number of episodes for The Sopranos.
VITHAYA PANSRINGARM (Ajahn Thep) co-wrote the screenplay and played
the lead in the Thai film
Mindfulness and Murder directed by Tom Waller
for which he was nominated for best actor and for
best screenwriter at the
Thailand National Film Awards 2012.
After roles in several international productions shot in Thailand, including The Hangover II,
Vithaya was cast in
the leading role of police lieutenant Chang (aka The
Angel of Vengeance)
in Only God Forgives, directed by Nicolas Winding
Refn, co-starring with Ryan Gosling and
Kristen Scott Thomas which world-premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival 2013.
Japanese
director Ryuhei Kitamura discovered him in this film and invited him to
appear in Lupin
the Third, as General Narong.
Vithaya just won Best Actor at the 17th Shanghai International
Film
Festival 2014 for his lead role in The Last Executioner directed by
Tom Waller.
MYO MYINT (Padoh Manh) is the subject of the award winning HBO documentary Burma Soldier. He is a former soldier who gave his adolescent
years to the regime but came, in adulthood, to join the democratic opposition against it. Says Nic Dunlop, writer-photographer and a co-director of
the film, “Myo Myint’s story is extraordinary because it incorporates victim
and perpetrator in a single narrative.” He revisits the details of atrocities
committed by fellow service members and to which he was a reluctant witness – the raping of
ethnic-minority women, the torching of their villages – in quiet and deliberate tones.
The work of the extraordinary Thai painter CHATCHAWAN
RODKLONGTAN will be featured to support a pivotal sequence
of the film set in the studio of a master temple painter, Ajahn
Thep. The role of the master painter is to be portrayed by Vithaya Pansringarm.
RAINS RETREAT is scheduled to shoot on location in New York and Thailand in 2015.
To see a detailed production schedule and line budget, please contact :
Seamus McNally | Director/Writer- Rains Retreat
917.701.5606 | [email protected] | www.seamusmcnally.com