Fresh off the world premiere at SXSW, Saban Films and DIRECTV have acquired the North American rights to Small Town Crime, starring Academy Award winner, Octavia Spencer! The crime thriller also stars John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone, American Gangster, The Sessions), Golden Globe Nominee Anthony Anderson (Black-ish, The Departed), Academy Award Nominee Robert Forster (Jackie Brown, The Descendants) and is financed and developed by Avva pictures. Eshom and Ian Nelms (Waffle Street, Night of the Dog, Lost on Purpose) serve as writer and director.

Small Town Crime follows ex-cop Mike Kendall (Hawkes) who discovers the body of a young woman and, in an act of self-redemption, becomes hellbent on finding the killer. While his un-couth and quirky detective style helps break open the case, his dogged determination unwittingly puts his sister (Spencer) and best friend (Anderson) in danger.

Bill Bromiley of Saban Films appeared thrilled with the acquisition noting, “Small Town Crime is truly a special film which resonated with audiences and critics alike following the world premiere at SXSW. The directors, Eshom and Ian, captured a unique tone which the talented cast brought to life. After such a successful SXSW audience screening, we are very excited to deliver this movie the nationwide audience it deserves across everything platform of distribution.”

Avva Pictures CEO Mehrdad Elie agreed with the film’s deserved praise stating, “Avva Pictures’ decision to finance Small Town Crime was based on the fantastic script written by the Nelms Brothers and the amazing cast in the movie. It has been an incredible journey to bring this story to life. This film is very engaging and I know will become popular enjoyment for the world. Avva Pictures is proud to collaborate with Saban Films for the release of this film in theaters across the U.S and over multiple platforms.”

Octavia Spencer made her film debut in A Time To Kill and made her Hollywood breakthrough portraying Minny Jackson in The Help, which earned her an Academy Award, Golden Globe, SAG, BAFTA, and Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Supporting Actress. She has maintained critically-acclaimed roles in films such as Fruitvale Station, Get on Up, Black or White, Smashed, Snowpiercer, The Divergent Series: Insurgent, and Zootopia. Of course, most recently, she has rode the Hidden Figures hype train, where she portrayed Dorothy Vaughan, earning Academy Award, Golden Globe and SAG nominations for Best Supporting Actress.

This is very exciting news for the film crew and Octavia Spencer, who we’re sure will add more nationwide acclaim to her acting roster!

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Tonja Renée Stidhum is a screenwriter/director with cheeks you want to pinch... but don't (unless she wants you to). She is made of sugar and spice and everything rice... with the uncanny ability to make a Disney/Pixar reference in the same sentence as a double entendre.

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