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Katie Holmes-Starring "Seagull," New "Roman Polanski" Doc Funded by Elite Online Start-Up

By Brian Brooks

Online film investment site Slated is touting its entrée into the cyber-marketplace with its first two projects since its formal launch at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival: "The Seagull" and a follow up to award-winning doc "Roman Polanski: Wanted And Desired" both raised "significant portions" of their production resources through Slated and headed into production.

The group notes in a press release received today at ML HQ that it is "still in 'beta,'" but its pool of investors have already topped $100 million in capital targeted toward film investment. The directorial debut of "The Hurt Locker" actor Christian Camargo, "The Seagull" will begin shooting in upstate New York this summer. Allison Janney is set to play the role of a movie actress, the modern-day incarnation of playwright Anton Chekov's fading star Irina Arkadina, in the project. William Hurt will play her ailing brother, while Katie Holmes will play the temperamental daughter of the estate's caretaker. Also in negotiations to join this ensemble are Russell Means, Jean Reno, Mark Rylance and Juliet Rylance. Juliet Rylance is producing with Barbara Romer, the founder and CEO of New Globe Theater, and with co-producer Ed Vassallo.

Meanwhile, "Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out" is the follow up to Marina Zenovich's Emmy-winning HBO doc "Roman Polanski: Wanted And Desired," which spotlighted the controversial filmmaker's long legal battles that eventually resulted in house-arrest in Switzerland two years ago. It is Slated's first non-fiction film to receive financing. Produced by Lila Yacoub, the latest film delves into the drama surrounding attempts to bring Polanski, who lives in France, back to the U.S. more than three decades after he fled following accusations of inappropriate contact with a minor.

Co-founded by Duncan Cork, Stephan Paternot, William Mapother and Gavan Gravesen, Slated aim is to facilitate access and interaction between seasoned filmmakers looking to introduce their projects to a new pole of investors, who are themselves seeking to grow their capital in the entertainment industry. Only "experienced filmmakers and producers who have been commercially successful, critically acclaimed, and/or have had at least one breakout festival success" are considered for film submissions to Slated.